The Sattva Guna and the dynamic movement of the mind in Rajas have been explained by Sri Adi Sankaracharya. In the Vivekachoodamani, he asserts that even if a person is endowed with a steady mind, even if he is very learned, smart and has a grasp of the most subtle truths in the scriptural teachings,
when they are immersed in the gross material knowledge of the world, they identify themselves with what they see and consider it to be true.
While the covering of matter has enveloped the thought, even if the truth is ever clear, they are unable to realise and be established in it. They consider the gross as the truth and do not see the reality which is subtle. Alas what indeed is the power of the strong, powerful and deep covering of the mind called Tamas!
As long as one has identified himself with restless, action and inertia, their understanding of objects, people and situations will never be correct. This will not permit a clear stand on any subject and the individual will be constantly assailed by doubts. If the identification with the veiling power is strong, the person will never be of the endless surge of projections in the mind. So to be free, one has to consciously be aware of the attachment to inertia and withdraw the mind from it.
The different manifestations of inertia are ignorance, laziness, stubborn identification with one’s own pet peeves, sleep, insolence towards the pursuit of purifying spiritual practices and a closed mind. If a person is attached to manifesting these thoughts then even a little bit of that reality will not be revealed to the one with such a sleepy mind. He continues to exist in the world like one who moves about in sleep or even like a solid pillar not comprehending the reality.
While the pure Sattva Guna is like water, combining with the power of movement and the power of ignorance, it begins to act in this world. The functioning of the three gunas of Sattva, Rajas and Tamas is like the sun’s rays which are pure and unadulterated falling on the waters of the lake and producing a reflection of its self. In the same way, the pure consciousness is reflected in the world of the qualities of Sattva, Rajas and Tamas. Though it is the one reality that is present everywhere, it seems to be appearing as different things, people and circumstances.
The writer is Sevika, Chinmaya Mission, Coimbatore (www.chinmayamission.com);