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Tamas ( Sanskrit , n., तमस्, tamas, darkness) is one of the three gunas (properties) of subtle matter in Indian philosophy and Hinduism .

The properties of Guna were originally systematized in the Samkhya philosophy and represent characteristics of the Prakriti (primordial matter). The Guna doctrine later found its way into the Vedanta and is now part of the Hindu common property.

Each of the three gunas has different properties. Tamas is darkness and indolence. It rests in chaos. The color black is assigned to it. Tamas is heavy ( guru ) and inhibiting ( varanaka ). It is the cause of things falling and obscuring each other. And it rests on him when the organs are clumsy and it makes knowledge more difficult. Tamas has an inhibiting and confusing effect and belongs to impurity ( ashuddhi ).

If Tamas predominates in the self-awareness, it is called the "origin of the elements" ( bhutadi ), because the darkness that characterizes this form of appearance is dull and unspiritual. Tamas weighs on the animals. If Tamas predominates in the mental states, they appear in their bad form.

The other two Gunas are Sattva and Rajas .