Sattva, Rajas and Tamas, the three Gunas
Sattva, Rajas and Tamas, the three Gunas

In Hinduism the gunas are in the traditions of Sankhya, Yoga, Bhagavad – Gita and Ayurveda three main qualities whose interaction produces all forms of “creation” which emanates from the Prakriti, the Original Nature. They are the three fundamental qualities of Prakriti, the Primordial Nature. They are very subtle, they are the causal factors of creation; without them no life process!

The science of the three gunas as the science of the five elements is a pillar of Ayurvedic and Vedic science.

  • Sattva : stability , harmony, virtue. Satva is light, brightness. It provides enlightenment, development of the soul, brings joy. This is the principle of all intelligence.
  • Rajas : turbulence , movement , motivation and passion. Rajas is selfishness, it leads to disintegration. It creates pain and suffering, emotional fluctuations (fear, desire, love, hatred). This is the principle of energy.
  • Tamas : dullness , darkness, inertia. It hinders and hides, is a passive force blockage. It causes degeneration and death . It gives the illusion leading us towards ignorance and attachment. This is the principle of materialization.

The three Gunas

These three forces are required in ordinary activities, but also have spiritual implications. In manifestation the three Gunas differentiates, Sattva gives birth to the mind generates Rajas and Tamas the vital force creates the form and substance through which the body takes birth.
There are three fundamental laws that manage the Gunas :

  • The law of alternation : they are constantly in dynamic interaction , the three forces are interconnected and affect each other in various ways.
  • The law of continuity : the Gunas tend to maintain their specific nature during a specific time when they are dominant, for example Rajas becomes Tamas and retains this quality for some time.
  • The night  Tamas, becomes sunrise as Rajas, Rajas passes to day as sattva . This is done gradually and alternately.

Originally the five elements includes the Gunas:

  • Ether comes from Sattva , clarity
  • Fire comes from Rajas and energy
  • Earth comes from Tamas , inertia
  • The air comes from Rajas and Sattva, lightness and movement
  • The water comes from Rajas and Tamas , movement and inertia

In Ayurveda we often use the three Gunas to define the Mental. Harmonious if it is Sattvic or heavy if it is Tamasic , Rajasic if it is agitated.
The mind is balanced, clear-sighted if the three Gunas are in harmony. But it is Sattva which manages everything because it is the right balance between Rajas and Tamas .
That’s why yoga and meditations are designed to increase Sattva to find peace and harmony of mind and to be one with nature .

Gunas are factors of illness but sometimes healing :
Sattva brings health , Rajas and Tamas disperses energy by its inertia and leads us to degradation. Feeding Sattva can destroy the disease but it is sometimes powerless against it because it is too tolerant.

  Sometimes you have to use the inertia of Tamas to calm down excessive agitation or using agitation of Rajas to awake Tamas.

But these are temporary methods and it needs to be controlled because the balance remains Sattva. Chronic diseases are in general Tamasic because Tamas results in an accumulation of toxins and waste at the physical and mental level. Very painful diseases are the responsibility of Rajas representing pain.
Health is a state of Sattvic adaptation and balance, preventing any excess.

To determine the mental constitution of an individual, we use tables of habits, qualities and defects.
How to control the Gunas and move towards Sattva which is the highest quality regarding spiritual growth:

  • Food is very important , avoid very spicy food, alcohol , meat, any heavy and greasy food, better use fresh, organic products. The goal is to purify the body .
  • Practicing yoga , meditation and mantras will purify the mind.
  • Avoid too much sleep, get up early is Sattvic.
  • Develop spirituality , compassion, pure feelings

For each type of Prakriti corresponds a state of the Gunas . Vata can be Sattvic , Rajasic or Tamasic – same for Pitta and Kapha.

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With more than 40 years of experience, Don Luis is one of the most knowledgeable Ayahuasca Shaman still in activity. He began his training as a Curandero as an adolescent with his grandfather. His ancestors passed on a wealth of knowledge stemming back to the native healing traditions of the land. He spent many years studying modern medicine and theology, and he established himself in the community of Santa Maria as a Curandero. After more than thirty years of experience, Don Luis came to the village of Padre Cocha, and created Selva Madre in order to assist people in awakening and healing of the mind, body, and soul.

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Don Lucio is one of the greatest men I’ve met. He has a wealth of knowledge and is revered by all that know him and work for him. The ceremonies are incredible… other worldly. The icaros (chanting) and attention given to each participant is enough to bring you to tears.

There are two other shamans, Anderson and Luis Jr who are also exceptional and staged a ceremony when do Lucio couldn’t attend for health reasons.

It isn’t as strict a diet as many of the other retreats and the food is incredibly healthy, nutritious and tasty.

Contrary to many of the other retreats, don Lucio and his team brew the ayahuasca in the true form and do not cater for the ‘tourist’ crowd. According to some sources, other retreats add things like angels trumpet which can be lethal in order for the participant to have an even more crazy trip which is unnecessary and can be dangerous.

The love and care that you experience here is second to none and I have no hesitation in highly recommending this retreat. It helped me a lot.

Christian Sabatino
Great overall
Mar 2020 • Solo
Wonderful experience, great shamans (which was the main concern for me going in) but I was able to trust them really quickly because they were sincere with their goals. Also I want to thank Weyder, he was great in being around and helping with everything needed. The group I met there was great and made the experience more enjoyable. The experience took some getting used to because of the weather & no wifi & other amenities but after a few days I adapted and felt present with the environment. The Ayahuasca was both uncomfortable and very comforting at times & I learned to accept both. I still feel the medicines healing effects even weeks after and have more clearity in my thought processes so I will definitely be back for more.
True Healing in an Authentic Retreat Setting
Sep 2019
It is hard to put into words the power that plant medicine can have on your body, mind and spirit. It can be a truly transformative and insightful experience if one digs deep and seeks healing, Don Lucho, Luis Jr & Anderson all have years of experience helping people from all walks of life find inner peace and harmony. This retreat center provides an authentic experience where one can feel safe in this incredible process of awakening. This recent visit was my second time visiting the center as the year before I had not been fully open to the process. If you are determined to obtain perspective and insight in your life in a nurturing environment then Selva Madre is the right place for you.
Came back for more
May 2019 • Solo
I went back after a year to do a second retreat bc I felt I had to finish my personal work I had started there.
I already left a great review the first time I came. Nothing has changed. This place is still as beautiful as before. I love the work the shamans Don Lucho, Luis jr. , and Anderson do. They really are great shamans and have helped me a lot.
The entire facility is still beautiful and great and just about what you need for a good detox in the amazon. The food as always was a lot, various and great!
Everybody is so nice and friendly and has a great positive attitude and mind. It’s really a place to heal and I’m so happy I choose this retreat and this shamans in the first place and now again. I will be back one day. Thank you so much to everybody who workes at and for Selva madre. You made my stay great! 🙏🏼 much love Jasmin 💓
jasmin k
Jasmin K
Feb 2019 • Solo
This was my first ayahuasca experience and it was unforgettable. The location is incredible – isolated in the jungle, but still with very comfortable lodgings and facilities, delicious food (even on a ayahuasca diet) and super nice people running the retreat. The ceremonies were expertly carried out by the 3 shamans, and everyone in the group felt secure under the attentive care of the shamans. It was a beautiful and undescribable experience for me. I’m so glad I chose Selva Madre.
Rosetta B
Amazing Ayahuasca Experience
Nov 2019 • Solo
I am a solo female traveler under going my first Ayahuasca experience and I could have not asked for a better place! We had 4 ceremonies in total. Don Lucho (main shaman), Luis Jr and Anderson (both shaman in practice) offered spiritual guidance to participants throughout the Ayahuasca experience. They checked in with us frequently and made sure we are safe. In between the ceremonies we did different activities and had some good amount of time with Don Lucho himself. He is an incredible healer who likes to share his knowledge regarding plant healing with everyone who has any interest in learning. He truly cares for the human species to be healed! If you are looking for a good and safe place to do your Ayahuasca ceremonies I can highly recommend this place
Amazing Healing Loving Experience
Nov 2019
I HIGHLY RECOMMEND Selva Madre to anyone seeking a genuine, loving, and safe healing experience with Ayahuasca. From the moment I arrived at Selva Madre I felt so much love. It was truly a magical “healing” experience unlike any other Ayahuasca experience I have ever had in other parts of the world. Master Shaman Don Luis was incredibly attentive to the individual issues and needs of every one participating in the retreat. He structured diet; therapies, medicines, prayers and amounts of everything to suit the particular need of each individual and lovingly monitored their progress and condition closely throughout the entire ten days. I was very impressed. He also spent much time with each of us individually discussing our experience with Ayahuasca the night prior. We were all so grateful for the lengthy discussions that really help the healing process. All seven participants in our retreat departed with much gratitude and a genuinely happy heart! Don Lucho, Luis Jr, and Anderson bring such powerful loving energy to the ceremonies with their Icaros. Wow! Words limit my ability to describe how profound and beautiful the experience was for me. I am truly transformed, humbled, and eternally grateful. Much love and gratitude to the entire staff who kept us safe and well fed. Gracias!!
rosanna G
Rosanna G
Best Ayahuasca Retreat in the Amazon Jungle Peru
May 2021
What an amazing retreat! I don’t think I could of picked a better place. The Shaman Don Lucho is extremely knowledgeable and has helped me tremendously. I had so many health issues and the ayahuasca diet was so delicious and healthy. I actually ate more there than when I’m home and lost weight! (not on purpose). The entire family has their part in the retreat and really makes you love them. They are so hard not to love. It is the right place. I found out that the money from the retreats actually goes to the villages and people in need from the surrounding communities. Don Lucho the main Shaman really cares for people and and soley interested in helping others. In the 10 day retreat you get 4 Ayahauasca ceremonies which were so helpful for my healing and understanding of myself. Best experience Ever!!!!!
briana b
Brianna B
Amazing experience
Nov 2019 • Solo
I traveled to Selva Madre alone and felt safe and welcome from the moment I arrived. The staff is amazing and loving, they have security at all times and the cooks do a wonderfully job feeding nutritious food. They have three shamans for every ceremony and each brings their own unique energy and love. Don Lucho has the biggest most sincere heart. The integrity and sacredness of the retreat is evident from the moment you arrive. I would recommend it to anyone wanting to try ayahuasca. The ceremony’s are beautiful, the icaros are otherworldly and there is always a debrief the following day. I am happy I chose Selva Madre and plan on coming back.
Denise W
Denise W
Jul 2020 • Couples
Selva Madre is an amazing experience. Changed my life in so many ways for the better. Don Lucho, Luis Jr, and Anderson are all awesome shamans. I think my experience would had went differently had I not been with them. They helped my wife and I both tremendously. Ayahuasca helps not only mentally but physically as well for your health. Don’t hesitate about Selva Madre they are very, very good shamans and you will be in good hands!
tayler b
Tyler B
Unforgettable, beautiful, life-changing experience
Apr 2019 • Couples
My life has never been the same since I visited Selva Madre. My anxiety is all but gone. I have a strong sense of inner calm and gratitude that has allowed me to look at my life and the people I care about with complete clarity, and I feel abundance has been attracted to me as a result of my newfound energy. I could not have chosen a better place for healing and rejuvenation than this retreat. All of your needs are taken care of such that you can focus on your inner self. I felt totally supported from beginning to end. The accommodations are very comfortable, the food is absolutely delicious and fresh, and all of the staff (especially Jose) and the shamans are wonderful people. I have never felt so welcomed and enchanted by strangers. The ayahuasca itself was a powerful experience and so it was nice to the ceremonies framed with guided walks through the beautiful Amazon, live music, and good conversation. I cant thank Selva Madre enough for what they have done for my life.
Extraordinary Experience!
Sep 2018 • Solo
My second Ayahuasca retreat in Selva Madre after the first in 2016. Thank you so much Don Lucho, Luis Jr, Anderson and all the beautiful people at Selva Madre. I can tell you that is has been a fascinating experience as part of my spiritual journey. After this integration process… Words cannot describe the powerful and deep healing that I have acquired with this wonderful plant “the mother” as they called it in the Amazon. If you want to explore your mind and really know who you are expanding your consciousness in a land filled with Love, Peace and Light; this is the place you have to visit… extremely recommendable!!! Muchas gracias hermanitos de Selva Madre! Muchas bendiciones. Much Love, Julio 🙂
Literally Reborn!!
Feb 2019 • Couples
My wife and I went at selva Madre in November 2018 and again in February 2019. It is in our opinion the most intense and life changing experience we ever did and for the best. The 3 Shamans Don Lucho, Luis Jr and Anderson conduct their ceremonies with so much power and love that all ceremonies are always amazing and are all different because the 4 ceremonies have a different theme (body, spirit, mind and soul). Their knowledge, professionalism and tradition speak for themself. This is not a business place where fake shamans just take your money and don’t care about you or a place to just get high like other centers. This is a place for healing physically and spiritually. All the Selva Madre Family cares about you from the beginning to the end, feeling safe all the time in the middle of the jungle, and the food is great as you follow an ayahuasca diet. Having your own room (own bungalow) with shower and restroom is very important as well because you need that privacy to process and heal during the retreat. Selva Madre is the place where mother earth speaks to you and heal you! Highly recommended, I will be back soon solo this time around, and next year with my wife again.
Amazing experience
Aug 2019
This is an amazing experience. I will call it a LIFE MUST HAVE experience.
They have 3 shamans, Luis, Luis Jr, Anderson, they are all great people. All shamans will attend ceremony in the night (and all staff from the camp will wait outside). I can fell the place and the temple is protected very well by them, and I feel safe when I was there, and experiencing Ayahuasca.

The master shaman Luis has profound knowledge about Ayahuasca and experience, they took a good care of me, and my friend. The discussion after ceremony is also very important to me. During the stay I had good connections with people here, which makes my very happy.

The place is clean, room is simple but comfortable enough. The food is acceptable. Most important thing is they treat me with heart, and taking good care. I appreciated it very much.

duan fei
Duan Fei
Perfect place for the first aya experience
Feb 2020 • Friends
I realy enjoyed my first ayauahasca experience at Selva madre retreat centre. Even if the ayauahasca wasnt so strong that I expected, I was taken deep in my mind to explore my thoughts and memories. I realy appreciate amazingly positive Don Lucho and his beautiful icarus. Also other shamans Luis jr. and Anderson did an amazing job.
During our free time we were treated like a gods by always helping Weyder, our chef Bermudes and his daughters.
I can realy recomend this retreat! Amazing vibes, comfortable accomodation, good food and safe aya experience!
Apr 2019 • Solo
I am feeling blessed to have experienced my first ayahuasca journey at Selva Madre. I am very thankful to Don Lucho for his love, wisdom, healing and warmth. I am grateful to all the family for creating this warm space for people to journey in their light and shadow. Thank you to everyone who has poured their energy into creating this space. I love you all, Niki X
niki deligiorgi
Niki Deligiorgi

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