Adventures in Advaita Vedanta, the philosophy and science of spirit. We are one you and I; are you curious why?..


Here is a place to linger, to let your intellect roam. Aatmaavrajanam is being written as a progressive study and, as such, can be read like a book. Anyone arriving at any time can simply start at the very first post and work their way through at their own pace. Please take time to read the info tabs and ensure you don't miss a post, by subscribing to the blog. Interaction is welcomed. Don't be a spectator - be a participator!

Points Of View

Hari Om

Each 'Choose-day' we will investigate the process by which we can reassess our activity and interaction with the world of plurality and become more congruent within our personality.

We are reading the small booklet called "Not Too Loose, Not Too tight - Just right!" This is written by Swamini Vimalananda, and gives a very general overview of Vedanta for the beginner, with emphasis on the sattvic, rajasic and tamasic approaches to life.

दृष्टि /dRshti (vision). 
"यथा दृष्टि  तथा शृष्टि /yathaa drRhti, tathaa shRshti - as our vision, so the world appears." This is a very common saying in Sanskrit. By vision, of course, the reference is not simply to the eye bringing the image of the world to us, but what our mind and intellect do with that image, how they interpret it, is determined to a large extent upon what the vaasanas of the one doing the seeing, the experiences which have influenced the personality and so on. A simple example is, on meeting a person, how we 'see' them will depend on whether we have determined that we like them or dislike them. We may never have met them before, but might have developed opinions based upon our cultural background - or what we think we know of theirs - and form judgements which may or may not have some basis. Let us now view this through the triguna, the three qualities. As you read, ponder where you may stand at the moment and whether you think adopting another stance might enhance your life and vision.

Sattvic; It is a 'holistic' vision, which enables us to see the role of various parts and aspects within the totality of the picture before us. We can therefore understand the role of each and every aspect (or person) in the situation.  For instance, if we want to be happy, we must be aware that a healthy mind is as important as a healthy body. This vision enables us to see unity in diversity and to understand a common cause behind many effects/symptoms, rather than getting caught up in those effects or belabouring the symptoms. When we can see the commonality of everything, even whilst responding to the external differences which are presented in creation, we learn to identify despite the apparent differences and are able to sit in Love (capital 'ell'!). This is the basis of the greeting /namaste… 'the divinity in me is the divinity in thee'. Sattvic vision makes us share and care. Selfless thought.

Rajasic; This may be called as partial vision; there is an understanding that there are parts and there are effects arising from a cause, but there is a tendency to be stimulated and captured by those effects. Undue importance is given to them. Further, an overly rajasic thought process can tend to lead the personality into the trap of believing the part to be the whole. Having pursued qualification of doctor or lawyer, say, there may be an arrogance of having achieved all there is to be achieved; medicine or law become 'the whole' for such as these. Similarly, attaining comforts in life might become equally or even more important than the relationships; or the idea that once a week visit to worship is sufficient… and so on. Rajasic vision, then, gives importance and 'reality' only to the differences, which results in creating division, be it family, community or nationally. Rajasic vision separates and builds 'ownership' - mine versus yours. Selfish thought.

Tamasic; Such a vision makes man blind to the bigger picture entirely. There is no understanding of cause, only effects and symptoms are seen and their life is driven by these. This is not the self-centredness of the rajasic personality; rather it is a complete lack of sensitivity based in ignorance. One who is dominated by the tamasic nature cannot conceive of anything wider than their own little world, the immediacy of what is happening for themselves, regardless of others. They will become narrow-minded, illogical, unreasonable… often leading to fanaticism in whatever they chose to believe. The tamasica will make unequivocal statements such as 'there is not God', 'my God alone saves', 'money is God'… in relationships they will work only at the emotional level, 'without you I am nothing', 'how can I go on living if you leave?', and so on. It is very difficult for such people to progress, to accept no concepts or permit creative thought. Tamasic vision sees only in terms of 'mine', even yours does not exist for them. Self-only thought.

1 comment:

  1. Vivekananda's quote is so apt in the context of your well reasoned article. Thanks!


Hari OM
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