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. Remember, we are a mixture of all; use this as your mirror.
काम /kaama - desires.
All actions are prompted by desires. Desires spring from a sense of unfulfillment. Even though the sense of this lack is common, our desires can be sattvic, rajasic or tamasic, depending on what we feel will give us that the fulfillment.
Sattvic; desire to serve others, improve oneself, act well, gain knowledge, reach God, search for Truth, be with nature and alleviate sorrow are sattvic. They add beauty to a person. Actions prompted by such desires pave the way for inner unfoldment and sattvic joy. They are compared to smoke which adds beauty to a fire (dhuumena avriyate vahniH). Desires do arise, therefore ensure that they are sattvic. Intention behind action can make all the difference to outcomes.
Rajasic; desire for name, fame, wealth, status, power or pleasure are rajasic. The desire to assert, dominate, possess, change others or humble them are also due to rajo-guna. These cause lots of stress, strain, restlessness, craving and the drive for competition. They are compared to the dust that covers a mirror (yatha adarsha malenacha), which prevents us from seeing ourselves as we are. The 'duster' of right attitude and efforts are needed to remove ego-prompted rajasic desires. If our motives are small and self-serving, sattva cannot bloom.
Tamasic; desire for inaction, enjoyment without effort, the need to be served and the drive to terrorise or harm others are tamasic. These make man slothful or criminally minded. They are compared to the foetus in a womb (yatha ulbena aavritam garbhaH). It takes a lot of effort, time and pain to get rid of our tamasic desires. For instance, a person has to go through some trauma to come out of alcoholism, drug addition or a life of crime. These are extreme examples; but it is to emphasise that tamas is strong. The child who will not rise on time, who is inattentive to studies and fails exams because they are indifferent to the advantages it can gain them has an equal struggle. Such a child, unless helped to rise out of this behaviour, will likely be an equally dull adult, contributing little to society, and possibly expecting much in return for their nothing.