This paper was presented at
Psychology: The Indian Contribution
National Conference on
Indian Psychology, Yoga and Consciousness
organised by the Indian Council of Philosophical Research
at the Sri Aurobindo International Centre of Education
Pondicherry, India, 10-13 December 2004

(click to enlarge)

The concept of guna: A critical analysis

Pannaga. K. Murthy & S.K. Kiran Kumar — University of Mysore, Mysore.

The concept of guna has attracted the attention of psychologists involved in the development of indigenous theories and models due to its explanatory power in understanding human behaviour. From a psychological standpoint, the three gunas - sattva, rajas, and tamas - are regarded as the three fundamental components of the human mind. Though there are a number of commonalities in the interpretations of the construct by scholars of past and present, there is no agreement regarding the origin, etymology, nature, characteristics and manifestations of guna. Hence, there is a need for critical study and systematic analysis to arrive at a proper understanding of the concept before it can be utilized as an explanatory construct. This paper is an attempt to critically examine the concept of guna and to understand it in greater clarity.

Email the author: "Ms. Pannaga. K. Murthy" <>