Sat means truth. When liberated, truth is Cosmic Consciousness. But this same truth, linked to the karma die, becomes subject to the three gunas, the three primary aspects of consciousness (guna means attribute). Attributes are qualifications of the player who is still linked to the karmic die.
Truth is the essence of existence. And in anything that exists the three gunas operate. Truth cannot exist of itself; it would then merge into Cosmic Consciousness. But the game is not finished; the ring is still there. So it is through these three gunas that consciousness will manifest itself for the remainder of the game. The player must return to earth and its game, both of which are products of the gunas.
Sattva by itself will create a state of equilibrium. Activity is required, and material to be activated. Satoguna is synonymous with light, essence, true nature, and vibration at its highest frequencies. The undisturbed state of meditation that gives rise to samadhi comes about when sattva predominates.
All that exists contains sattva, rajas, and tamas; yet nothing is purely sattvic, rajasic, or tamasic. As long as there is form, the creation of Brahma, all three are present. Only the proportions vary from moment to moment.
In the waking state rajas is predominant, while sattva is in the background contributing understanding and knowledge and enabling the player to act out his role.
In the dream state rajas is again predominant, and the dreaming self gets education from sattva. We never see darkness in our dreams; their light comes from sattva. Dreams are a process of purification, and in the dreaming state one is not bound by the laws of the physical plane. The player dwells in his astral body—away from and outside his physical body, yet connected with it by sattvic links.
In the deep-sleep state tamas is predominant, while sattva and rajas go into the background.
In turiya—the state of unconscious consciousness or samadhi, trance—the player dwells in pure sattva. When one is able to transcend the gunas, one is a realized being known as gunateet (beyond guna). These gunas are the dynamic forces that bring about changes in primordial prakriti and help the process of manifestation, becoming active when the cycle of creation starts. They are not three different entities but are interconvertible. Sattva during the process of evolution becomes tamas, creating sound, touch, sight, taste, and smell frequencies. The converting agent is rajas. Tamas in the evolution of consciousness becomes sattva in the same way, with the help of rajas. Sattva by itself is inactive and without the help of rajas cannot change. Sattva predominates on earth from twilight to three hours after sunrise.