Characteristics of Mind

The mind has three Characteristics, viz., Sattva (light, bliss, goodness), Rajas (passion, motion) and Tamas (inertia, darkness). There are three thought waves in the mind corresponding to the three Characteristics. Equilibrium or balance is Peaceful thought wave; Anger is Ghora thought wave; Laziness, carelessness and drowsiness are Mudha thought waves.

Sattva Characteristic

Sattva Characteristic is purity. It is the illumination or light. Sattva Characteristic is a force favorable for the attainment of Moksha (Liberation). The virtues such as fearlessness, purity of heart, etc., will confer liberation on you. The effect of Sattva Characteristic is inquiry or search for Truth; differentiation between what is real and what is unreal. A Sattvic mind is always steady. It finds delight internally. It may stick to one place indefinitely. It keeps friendship with persons for a long, long time.

During Sattvic moments, when there is preponderance of pure Sattva in the mind, you are in touch with the Divine Source owing to the cleanness of the mind-mirror. You will get inspiration. You will compose beautiful poetry, etc. Preserve those inspired writings. Jot them down in your notebook. Sattvapatti is a state of mind wherein the mind is full of Sattva or purity. There is purity of thought and purity of heart . It is the fourth stage of Jnana (Self Realization).

Rajo Characteristic

Rajo Characteristic is a hostile force to pull you down into material world and bondage. A mind endowed with Sattva Characteristic will make a man still and inactive, while a mind with Rajo Characteristic will make him restless. It will not allow him to sit idle and will force him to work.

The Rajasic mind always wants new sensations and variety. It likes certain persons, objects and places now and, after some time, it becomes disgusted with them and wants new persons for company, new vegetables to eat, new books to read and new places to see (finds pleasure in sightseeing).

The mind of Rajasic type wants always company and talk. These are the two defects which distract the mind much. Avoid bad company. Live alone. Observe Silence. You will get peace of mind. Most of the pain comes from bad company. Be careful in the selection of your companions. You will rarely find a good, sincere friend. Never take a friend into your close confidence without testing him for a long time. The Rajasic mind has a tendency to look into the defects of others. It also remembers the bad deeds or wrongs done by others and forgets easily their good acts. These two tendencies intensify hatred and cause frequent disturbance in the mind.

A mind which is devoid of Sattva Characteristic will not be good enough to consider others happiness as its own and will, therefore, be ever reeling. Again, as this mind has not the complacency to rejoice at anther’s virtues, there is no internal contentment. Then, as it does not consider others. sufferings as its own, there arises in it no compassion for them.

It is the Rajasic mind that splits, separates, divides and deceptively shows plurality. The sun is one. The moon is one. Sky is one. The idea behind languages is one. The feeling of sincerity is one. There is no inside or outside. Husband and wife become one in heart. Intimate friends are one in heart. Matter is one. Energy is one. Sattvic mind is one. It unifies. Cosmic Mind is one. Karma (law of cause and effect) is one. Dharma is one. Religion is one. Truth is one. Brahman (Supreme) is one. .

Importance of Sattva Characteristic

The real peace of mind does not come from outside. It is produced in the same mind when the mind is controlled and its thoughts are checked. You must put forth great efforts to check the passions and desires. Then alone will your aptitude for activity be subdued and you will be at rest and your thoughts will be stilled.

An ordinary worldly-minded man can hardly hear the inner voice of Soul. He cannot get pure thoughts (inquiry into Self) also. Every Sattvic (pure) thought emanates from Sattvic Buddhi (pure intellect). In the case of worldlings, all thoughts proceed from the mind only. He who does selfless service and has purity of the mind, begins to entertain thoughts of God and meditation. Generally, the mind raises various sorts of curious, fantastic thoughts. It deludes all. It may pretend to do inquiry also. But, when it comes to actual practice, it will do nothing. If there is a serious determination in you to concentrate and, if you put it into actual practice for months steadily and, if the longing for Self-Realization becomes keen and acute, then alone think that all these kinds of thoughts proceed from your Sattvic Intellect only.

All Spiritual practices aim at the development of Sattva Characteristic and the attainment of pure, irresistible Will. This will bring about removal of ignorance and provides complete eternal bliss. Increase of Sattva Characteristic and pure, strong, determined Will pave a long way in achieving Self-Realization. In the world also, there are persons with a few Sattvic virtues such as patience, generosity, forgiveness, etc. But, a spiritual aspirant tries to develop the mind as a whole, to acquire all Sattvic virtues.

Reference

Mind – Its Mysteries and Control by Sri Swami Sivananda

Mind is made of food

Mind is manufactured out of the food that we take. Subtlest part of food reaches upward to the heart and thence entering the arteries, and thereby bringing into existence the aggregate of the organs of speech and being changed into the form of the mind, it increases the mind.

As per Chhandogya Upanishad, the food that we take is transformed in three different ways: the gross or the heaviest part of it becomes the excrement; that of medium density is transformed into flesh and the finest part goes to form the mind. Just as in the churning of curd, its fine particles rise up and are transformed into butter, so when food is consumed, the subtlest part rises up and is transformed into mind.

QUALITY OF MIND DEPENDS UPON QUALITY OF FOOD

Food has a direct and intimate connection with the mind and plays a vital part in the make-up of the mind. Sattvic diet calms the mind. Rajasic diet excites the mind. Note the difference in nature between a tiger which lives on flesh and a cow which lives on grass. Food exercises important influence on the mind. You see it clearly every day. It is very difficult to control the mind after a heavy, sumptuous, indigestible, meal. The mind runs, wanders and jumps like a monkey all the time. Alcohol causes tremendous excitement in the mind.

Food plays an important role in meditation. For purposes of meditation, the food must be light, Sattvic and nutritious. The body is made up of food. When the quality of the mind depends upon the quality of the food taken, it is natural to insist in the interest of the highest morality upon a kind of Sattvic regimen of diet for those aspirants who lead a contemplative life and householders who are attempting to lead a spiritual life in the world.

WHEN FOOD CAN BE DISPENSED

Food is only a mass of energy. Water supplies energy to the body. Air also furnishes energy. You can live without food for very many days, but you cannot live without air even for some minutes. Oxygen is even more important. What is wanted to support the body is energy. If you can supply the energy from any other source, you can dispense with food entirely. Yogis keep up the body without food by drinking nectar. This nectar flows through a hole in the palate. It dribbles and nourishes the body. A Jnani (Self Realized Person) can draw energy directly from his pure, irresistible will and support the body without food. If you know the process of drawing the energy from the cosmic energy or solar energy, you can maintain the body with this energy alone for any length of time and can dispense with food.

FINAL NOTE

Evolution is better than revolution. Do not make sudden changes in anything, particularly in
food. Let the change be gradual. The system should accommodate it without any hitch. Natura non facil saltum (nature never moves by leaps). Take any food that suits you. Do not make much fuss about it. Any food that is readily available and that agrees with your system is harmless.

REFERENCE

Mind – Its Mysteries and Control by Sri Swami Sivananda