Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Internal Makeup of a Human Being 2: Motives for Action

In this class, we have discussed the three dominant types or guNas of nature - sattva, rajas and tamas, which are the three chief motives for action.
I will post an article by Sri Aurobindo explaining these, shortly.

The best way to get out of laziness (or inaction) is to increase sattva + rajas, by engaging in any activity that benefits others (not oneself or one's immediate family). If one gets into an activity driven by one's own "interests" or preferences, that will lead to rajas, which only aggrandizes the ego and leads to downfall.

We have also dwelt a little deeper into the emotional aspect of man, the manas, how the agitations and distortions within this layer are the chief cause of restlessness and lack of efficiency in human beings. We also discussed what constitutes the Buddhi and its powers. We mentioned that Vijnana is a layer above buddhi, and is source of all breakthrough advancements of human knowledge so far.

The objective is to quieten the disturbances of the lower mind or manas through "passive observation" or "udaasiinataa (= sitting above, observing)" so that the buddhi becomes the sovereign controller of human activities as well as awakened to the higher inspirations (or intuitions) coming from the vijnaana or intuitive faculty of man, leading to effective innovation. We also discussed the causal difference between an ordinary man and a genius.

What is the positive role of manas? The manas has this great power of enthusiasm. This enthusiasm for work is what should be cultivated and exploited by the buddhi in achieving its ends.

We then practised praaNadhaaraNa as a first step towards quietening the mind as well as thought observation.

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