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 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 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.
Mind – Its Mysteries and Control by Sri Swami Sivananda