Inborn qualities are classified in Ayurveda into three distinct categories called Triguna, there is no English word to translate the concept of guna, the usual but approximate translation is "quality". The three gunas that have always been and continue to be present in all things and beings in the world are called:
- Sattva (goodness, constructive, harmonious),
- Rajas (passion, active, confused), and
- Tamas (darkness, destructive, chaotic).
The interplay of these gunas defines the character of someone or something, its nature and determines the progress of life. The three biological humours Vata, Pitta and Kapha are integral components of the human body and determine the body type or individual constitution, Triguna (Sattva, Rajas and Tamas) are integral components of the mind and determine the ayurvedic mind types. The Triguna theory is not only confined to energy but it is applicable to materialism also, further, the physical and mental characteristics of an individual in healthy and diseased states are determined by the predominance of one or the other guna.