Sattva, the balancing force is associated with purity, intelligence, awareness, alertness, harmony, balance and equipoise. The quality is to remain extremely light in the mind, writes RAVI VALLURI
Mahanama despaired at his spiritual anguish and the distraught state of his mind. Buddha analysed the pangs of his cousin and devotee’s problem and attributed it to the latter’s unfulfilled sexual desires and his struggle with sensuality. Lust and obsession, attachments and entanglements play havoc with the mental state of many a human and correspondingly the levels of ‘Sattva’ drop several notches. These act as a roadblock in the path of a layman or a seeker in search of bliss or the truth.
Let us imagine or visualise an individual with a resplendent, radiant face, a bright pair of eyes, sporting a beatific smile, thick black mane, and in absolute harmony and sync with his self and nature. The visualisation is probably akin to observing a rainbow in the sky, snow-capped mountain peaks or perhaps a tranquil river or lake. Such evocative images impact the human mind or chitta, enveloping it with robust positivity. This adumbration conjures a positive disposition and increases the aura. Individuals possessing these unblemished qualities act as magnets to attract people.
Usually we associate such dynamic qualities with only elevated souls perhaps dressed in saffron or whites, who exude enormous serenity and calm. It is not essential that only sages or spiritual masters possess these quintessential pristine qualities. Any individual has the potential to enhance these characteristics.
‘All actions of “Sattva”, a modification of Prakriti, characterised by light and happiness, is for the soul. When ‘Sattva’ is free from egoism and illuminated with pure intelligence of Purusha, it is called the self-centred one because in that state it becomes independent of all relations’, said Swami Vivekananda.
As per the Samkhya school of Hindu philosophy, there are three gunas or traits present in humans and the creation -‘Sattva’, ‘Rajas’ and ‘Tamas’. ‘Sattva’ is associated with purity, intelligence, awareness, alertness, harmony, balance and equipoise. The quality is to remain extremely light in the mind. This is the hallmark of the awakening of the soul, a springboard of spiritual awakening. ‘Rajas’ denotes that energy which invariably causes imbalances. It represents change, constant activity, restlessness, passion, disequilibrium resulting in the fragmentation in the thought process of an individual.
‘Tamas’ is the attribute which reflects dullness, darkness, despondency, inertia, lack of awareness, decay, disintegration and long periods of sleep in the individual. The colour white, associated with purity and harmony, represents ‘Sattva’, while red is symbolic of excessive action and passion which is a metaphor for ‘Rajas’. ‘Tamas’ is delineated by black which also exemplifies darkness accompanied with disintegration.
A ‘Sattvik’ individual is unwavering in his dealings and does not engage in mental chatter. Such individuals are vigilant, adept in quick decision making and are circumspect by nature. But they are truly joyous and radiant. For them life is a celebration.
Persons with predominant ‘Rajasik’ qualities are lustful, full of passion, constantly attached to activity and get intertwined with various attachments and entanglements. ‘Tamasik’ individuals exhibit emotions and actions of anger, disruption, pride, putrefaction and ruination.
But it is well-nigh impossible for everyone in the universe to be of ‘Sattvik’ disposition as the Gods like variety. They do not eat only Okra. If there is a Buddha, Mara would also be lurking in the corner. It would be discernment on part of individuals to constantly grow in ‘Sattva’, than to begin in the winters of their lives. Humans can then harness their true potential and develop the qualities of equilibrium, equanimity and equipoise. The Swadishtan Chakra entails and exhibits the qualities of both lust and creativity. We will gain by expanding our consciousness and focussing on the attributes of creativity than be merely lustful in nature.
The human mind is immensely impacted by the food we consume, the company we keep, events which take place in our lives, places we visit among others. We have to live with some ‘Karma’ but can obliterate malefic effects of certain actions by practising holistic techniques.
To begin with, humans should concentrate on the food consumed. Occasional indulges apart; it is sagacious to partake of ‘Sattvik’ vegetarian food which is easily digestible and reduces craving and avarice in our minds. Breathing practices like Vipassana and Sudarshan Kriya expatriate toxins from the body make it vibrant and oozing energy. Further it is always profitable to practice yoga, pranayama and meditation.
The human mind is cannonaded by innumerable thoughts. We make it even more miserable by clinging on to gizmos, becoming prisoners of technology. Our sacred space has been destroyed and occupied. This space has to be reclaimed. Man is always known by the company he keeps. To increase and buttress our ‘Sattva’ we should attend satsangs and undertake selfless ‘seva’. By actively working on these areas humans can mitigate negative influences, ebb the ‘Karmic’ bondage and uplift the level of ‘Sattva’.