Prakṛti || प्रकृति is the original source, or rather passive power, of creating the material world.
According to Yoga and Saṃkhya doctrine, each physical phenomenon is constituted of prakṛti or pradhāna (a primal matter). This primal matter contains three गुण || guṇa (qualities or strands): सत्त्व || sattva (goodness), रजस् || rajas (energy), and तमस् || tamas (darkness). According to this worldview, the three qualities are distributed in different proportions within the various constituents of the universe.
The latent or unmanifest supreme nature (Prakriti) is the progenitor of all created things. She is self-begotten and connotes the three fundamental or primary virtues of Sattva, Rajas and Tamas. She is imaged or embodied in the eightfold categories of Avyakta (unmanifest), Mahān (intellection), Ahamkāra (Egoism) and the Five Tanmātras or elementals (proper sensibles of hearing, touch, sight, taste, and smell) and is the sole and primary factor in working out the evolution of the universe.
- Academia.edu: The concept of Prāyaścitta in the Introductory Passages of the Ratnakaraṇḍikā