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.
इन्द्रीयानि /indriiyaani - sense organs.
The innumerable objects of the world are perceived by us as sounds (shabda), touch (sparsha), forms and colours (ruupa), taste (rasa) and smell (gandha) through the five sense organs; the ability to hear (shrotra-indriiya), feel (sparsha-indriiya), see (chakshu-indriiya), taste (rasa-indriiya) and smell (ghraana-indriiya) respectively. Prompted by the mind, these senses perceive the world through the external instruments (golakas) which are the ears, skin, eyes, tongue and nose. For every sense organ the mind has its own likes and dislikes. What smells sweet to one person, might be an asthma trigger to another; what tastes delicious to one might be disgusting to another. The quality of our perceptions are also governed by the trigunas.
Sattvic; when our perceptions are keen, sensitive and focused, our senses are said to be sattvic. Keen, sensitive and clear perceptions add to the joy of man. For instance, watching wonderful colours in nature, or feeling the fresh breeze on a hot day can be exhilarating. On a more subtle level, being able to identify certain notes in a musical piece, or to have a feeling from a painting that is more than the eyes themselves are seeing is also sattvic.
Rajasic; when our perceptions are unfocused, confused and vague and our senses tired, they are said to be rajasic. If we overindulge in food we had a strong desire for (chocolate is always a good example here), we actually loose enjoyment. Instead of leaving it alone, however, we keep taking more and more in the hope that the first experience of extreme surprise and joy at the taste will return. Similarly, eyes and minds which watch too much television or movies become jaded tries to overcome it with continued exposure.
Tamasic; when our perceptions are slow and the senses dullened by disuse or abuse (the last example of overexposure to viewing, for example), they are said to be tamasic. A person living next to a coffee factory looses the ability to enjoy the fragrance of coffee brew. A fishmonger does not even realise that he smells of fish. We become hardened - or don't even notice - the filth or the trauma around us.
रूपग्रः /ruupagraH - perception of colours
One of the strongest indriiyas is sight and therefore colour and form. Colour has a major influence upon us as they and the mind are closely related. Colour tests have shown different personality traits. Also, universally, the moods and conditions of our minds have been symbolised by colours. Even languages reflect this as in the usage of phrases like 'green with envy' or 'dark mood'. Colour examples for the trigunas are given here.
Sattva guna; White represents sattva, which universally stands for peace, purity and brilliance.
Rajo-guna. Red is for rajas, which stands for characteristics like dynamism, action and anger. Do you recall phrases such as 'seeing red'?
Tamo-guna; Black is for tamas, which indicates inertia, ignorance and sleep.