In Hindu philosophy
Hindu philosophy
Hindu philosophy is divided into six schools of thought, or , which accept the Vedas as supreme revealed scriptures. Three other schools do not accept the Vedas as authoritative...

, sattva (Sanskrit
Sanskrit , is a historical Indo-Aryan language and the primary liturgical language of Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism.Buddhism: besides Pali, see Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Today, it is listed as one of the 22 scheduled languages of India and is an official language of the state of Uttarakhand...

  / सत्त्व "purity", literally "existence, reality"; adjectival "pure", anglicised sattvic) is the most rarefied of the three guna
' means 'string' or 'a single thread or strand of a cord or twine'. In more abstract uses, it may mean 'a subdivision, species, kind, quality', or an operational principle or tendency....

s in Samkhya
Samkhya, also Sankhya, Sāṃkhya, or Sāṅkhya is one of the six schools of Hindu philosophy and classical Indian philosophy. Sage Kapila is traditionally considered as the founder of the Samkhya school, although no historical verification is possible...

, sāttvika "pure", rājasika
Rajas ) is, in the Samkhya school of Hindu philosophy, one of the three gunas. Of these, rajas, is responsible for motion, energy and preservation...

"dim", and tāmasika
Tamas (philosophy)
In the Samkhya school of philosophy, tamas is one of the three gunas , the other two being rajas and sattva or purity). Tamas is the template for inertia or resistance to action...

"dark". Importantly, no value judgement is entailed as all guna are indivisible and mutually qualifying. The Viṣṇu or the Deity of the quality of goodness in the material world is the puruṣa-avatāra known as Kṣīrodakaśāyī Viṣṇu
Ksirodakasayi Vishnu
Kṣīrodakaśāyī-Viṣṇu is one of the puruṣa Āvatāra of Nārāyaṇa. According to the Vedas, Kṣīrodakaśāyī-Viṣṇu resides in the heart of every living creature as a four hand expansion similar to that of Mahā-Viṣṇu. He is also referred to as Paramātmā or super soul. His abode is the...

 or Paramātmā.

Sattvic objects harroo

For an object or food to be sāttvika, it must be uncontaminated and should not spread evil or disease in the world. On the contrary its presence must purify the surroundings. Thus when an individual consumes such a food, he must feel that he is eating pure food. The food should be healthy, nutritious and clean. It should also not weaken the power or equilibrium of mind. This idea disallows aphrodisiac
An aphrodisiac is a substance that increases sexual desire. The name comes from Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of sexuality and love. Throughout history, many foods, drinks, and behaviors have had a reputation for making sex more attainable and/or pleasurable...

 or other drugs and intoxicants that can affect the mind in such a way. It also disallows food or objects obtained after killing or causing pain to a creature. This is because the object would then have source in an evil act. It also excludes stale and pungent-smelling food.

Some objects that are considered sāttvika are:
  • Flowers, fruits, and food that are allowed as offerings to God
  • Neem
    Azadirachta indica is a tree in the mahogany family Meliaceae. It is one of two species in the genus Azadirachta, and is native to India growing in tropical and semi-tropical regions. Its fruits and seeds are the source of neem oil...

  • The milk of a cow which has grown in good surroundings, is healthy and has been obtained after the calf of the cow has been fed well. In cases when the cow has been ill treated, it becomes sinful or evil to drink such milk. It must be remembered that the cow is sacred for the Hindus.
  • Nature has always had a connotation with being sattvika. Because of this, Hindu philosophy does not encourage the eating of animals, or the destruction of nature and its habitats.

Sattva is a state of mind in which the mind is steady, calm and peaceful. A sattvika man or woman works with no attachment to the result.

Sattvic creatures

A person or creature can be called sāttvika if the creature has predominantly sāttvika tendencies. The name "sathvik" implies one who is divine, pure, and spiritual.

A sāttvika individuals always work for the welfare of the world. They are always hardworking, alert and live life moderately. Leading a chaste life. Eating moderately. Speaking the truth and being bold. Never using vulgar or insulting language. Speaking compliments and using precise language. Does not feel jealousy nor is affected by greed and selfishness. Feeling confidence, abundance and generosity. Does not cheat or mislead anyone. Shows what is and describes destinations, allowing people to choose for themselves. Does not allow any evil tendencies to enter mind. Supporting inner paradise broadcasting to the world. Has good memory and concentration. Also has keen interest in improving spiritual knowledge, and spends time worshiping divinity or meditating. In the extreme state may even perform penance or uninterrupted meditation. A satvic individual can be recognized if their mind, speech and actions synchronize. Manasa, vacha, karmana
Manasa, vacha, karmana
Manasa, vacha, karmana are three Sanskrit words. The word manasa refers to the mind, vaachaa refers to speech, and karmanaa refers to actions....

 are the three Sanskrit words used to describe such a state.

Some of the people considered by Hindus to be sāttvika are:
  • Holy men and bhaktas like Tulsidas
    Tulsidas , was a Hindu poet-saint, reformer and philosopher renowned for his devotion for the god Rama...

    , Tyagaraja
    Kakarla Tyagabrahmam , colloquially known as Tyāgarājar and Tyagayya was one of the greatest composers of Carnatic music or classical South Indian music. He, along with his contemporaries Muthuswami Dikshitar and Shyama Shastry, forms the Trinity of Carnatic music...

    , Dnyaneshwar
    Dnyāneshwar , also known as Jñanadeva , was born into a Deshastha Brahmin Kulkarni family.He was a 13th century Maharashtrian Hindu saint , poet, philosopher and yogi of the Nath tradition whose works Bhavartha deepika teeka ,...

    , Tukaram
    Sant Tukaram was a prominent Varkari Sant and spiritual poet during a Bhakti movement in India.Sant Tukaram was born and lived most of his life in Dehu, a town close to Pune in Mahārāshtra, India. He was born to a couple with the family name "More", the descendent of the Mourya Clan with first...

  • Ancient rishis like Vashishta, Kashyapa
  • Modern day sages like Ramana Maharshi
    Ramana Maharshi
    Sri Ramana Maharshi , born Venkataraman Iyer, was a Hindu spiritual master . He was born to a Tamil-speaking Brahmin family in Tiruchuzhi, Tamil Nadu. After experiencing at age 16 what he later described as liberation , he left home for Arunachala, a mountain considered sacred by Hindus...

    , Aurobindo, Vivekananda
  • Divine beings in the heavens
  • Some flora and fauna like lotus (symbolizes purity), cow (symbolizes the earth mother
    A mother, mum, mom, momma, or mama is a woman who has raised a child, given birth to a child, and/or supplied the ovum that grew into a child. Because of the complexity and differences of a mother's social, cultural, and religious definitions and roles, it is challenging to specify a universally...


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