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.
बुद्धि शक्ति /buddhi-shakti -The Powers of the Mind.
We really have little understanding of how powerful our mind is. It is known that we rarely use it to full capacity! In Vedanta, the essence of teaching is that everything we see and experience is based in mind only. There are certain powers which Maya supplies to 'colour' our mind and divert us, keeping us bonded to our baser existence; here they are presented in terms of the trigunas.
आवरण शक्ति /aavarana shakti - the veiling power. Tamas has the power to veil or hide that which exists and block our thinking capacity. It either totally incapacitates our discrimination, ("I don't know; I don't understand; I can't think"), or sets it thinking in a wrong direction. It creates a resistance to any form of physical or mental activity, ("I don't want to know…thinking is too hard!..just let me sleep...") It is the power of inertia that induces man to want to remain in a state of motion or rest without change. Aavarana is so strong, that the tamasic mind becomes lazy and does not question the poor state of living.
विक्षेप शक्ति /vikshepa shakti - the projection power. Rajas has the power to project, create, act, interact and change. It projects even that which is not there a creates illusions which seem very real. It starts its work of creating false illusions once tamas has done its work of hiding the Truth. The classic illustration for this is the rope and the snake... not knowing the object lying in the dark to be a rope, we mistake it for a snake and get frightened by it. Equally, not really knowing a person, we are still disposed to make assumptions as to his or her goodness. Mankind acts and reacts in the world based on subjective projections, prejudices and the colourings of the mind. These make him or her agitated and miserable. Projecting happiness onto an object, we run after it and turn away disappointed when it fails to make us happy.
विवेक शक्ति /viveka shakti - the discriminative power. Sattva has the power to discriminate and helps us to see ourselves and the world 'as it is', without aavarana or vikshepa interfering. Think;
- On observing closely with a calm mind, one sees the rope, thereby dispelling the false vision of the snake and the fear due to it.
- Through experience, one understands that no object really makes us happy - or, indeed, unhappy. It is the mind's projections alone which cause these emotions.