The word satva is used in many senses in Sanskrit. Satva means the mind, it also means virtue/rightousness or morale. Satva is one of the 3 guna (satva, raja and tama) that runs the world as the 3 dosha run the bodies of living organisms.
The 3 guna are basically 3 types of mental orientations. They are a set of assumptions that help us to understand ourselves. Gunas give us emotional and intellectual context for thinking and logic. Gunas are like modes in a video game, where you can choose to play the good guy, the bad guy or the side artist. These gunas form the learning program for all of us.
Satva : the good, signifies light
Raja : full of desires
Tama : signifies darkness
Now, why would a person choose tama or raja guna? Have you seen people who would kill for money? for them, a monk would be no more than a fool who should be punished for his idiocy. Besides, there are also people who would die for a cause even when there is no need to die. But they do die because they are trapped by sattva guna. They have an acute need to show that they stand for good. Thus all gunas are said to be blindfolds, only their colors might be different. Tama might be black in color, raja red, and satva might be white, but still, blindfolds are blindfolds!
Thus the mind is limited by all the 3 guna , even the satva guna. Yes! ond these guna, we can realize the full potential of our mind.
Satvavjaya chikitsa is more about gaining control over the mind. According to Bhagavata Geeta, when mind desires something and fuses its existence with something, event or quality, it develops an imaginary world around it. This imaginary world traps the mind and prevents it from seeing reality. The desire is called “kama”. This can be called the first stage for any mental disorder. Kama is a driving force. It is a force that extinguishes the lamp of discretion and reason.
Sometimes, we know that something is wrong but still we devise reasons and logic to justify it. Kama creates illusions and false assumptions to justify itself. It hides in the subconscious; behind an umbrella of illusion. A person is driven by a desire sometimes does not even know the real cause of his actions. He comes under the influence of “moha” or self-deception.
This is the sunset for wisdom and advent of the night of destiny, where the mind is completely engaged in a dream-world.
An insecure person becomes naturally greedy. Greed creates a lust for more. More accumulation of wealth, power, or even information helps to fortify and secure the dream world of the person. Deep down we all know that the truth is indestructible. Thus we want to make sure that our dream world is the lasting one. Instead of trying to discover the real world, we try to thrust over the dream world over the real one. Greed or “Lobh” is a tool that helps to achieve his end.
Most interesting is the greed for knowledge, good deeds or acceptance. People make big sacrifices, devote their lives in service, or unconsciosuly choose a miserable life, just to prove a point or become valued.
In the next stage, the individual tries to protect his imaginary world by creating false assumptions, asking and expecting other people to endorse his world-view. He feels threatened when anyone questions his beliefs. This is the dawn of anger. The person is out to protect his dream world. He might be ready to kill or die for it. ” krodha” or anger is the second level of mental disturbance.
Thus all the mental disorders seem to emerge from the influence of desires. When a person fuses with his desires, prejudices, anger or misery, he becomes an automaton, a robot!
Satvavjaya Chikitsa is mainly about freeing people from their own mental traps and helping them to accept the truth as it is. My first real experience with Satvavjaya chikitsa started with my PG diploma in psychotherapy. My course started with Freud and ended with mindfulness meditation.
Since then, I have practiced mindfulness in almost all my patients and have always seen a great result. My Ayurveda practice in the past few years have completely convinced that there can be no physical diseases without something wrong with the mind.
This blog series about mindfulness is more about my personal experience about mindfulness and how I have tried to implement it in my life.
Right now, my daughter is playing some game on my mobile phone and I am typing the last pages of this blog. And my mind is almost burning since I hate her to play with mobile or TV or any other gadget for a long time. I try my best to create games or other healthier diversions for her so that she watches less and less of the mobile or TV. But still, in spite of everything I do, there are times when I am angry over something and I spent a lot of time getting over it while my daughter plays mobile or watches TV. Later, I have a huge feeling of guilt that I am a bad mother. Earlier, as a new mom, I was so much into being present for my daughter that I starved myself of even my basic needs. And still, there is constant anguish over even small lapses that I make as a mother.
I am just starting on my journey in mindfulness. Past 18 years of meditation were all washed away with my daughter, the financial stress that I faced as I lost my job and my husband started his own business. Only meditation has pulled me away from deep depression and other health problems. Still, I get angry very fast and take a long time to regain my mental balance. But now I know that I will be able to make it again and there will be peace again in my mind and my life. This is the only thing that I have learned till now. Hope that you benefit much more from this series. And I wish that because of more people like you the world will be a better place to live in as my daughter grows up.
Here is a list of my first few articles on how I have tried to implement mindfulness in my own life. I will try to add more soon.
This blog series is available in the form of a book in kindle –
Thanks for reading!