Each of the brothers had the same stimulus yet they chose to respond differently. Being bound up tightly by the mode of ignorance, Tamo had little choice. He felt helpless and by further wrong choices, he only aggravated his misery. Rajo, being bound up by the mode of passion, couldn’t help himself either.Sattva could think and act clearly because the modes had the least binding on him; he was situated primarily in the mode of goodness.
Goodness energy helps us think clearly while those in the mode of passion are driven to anger. They can be highly ambitious for wealth and fame of this world. Those trapped by the mode of ignorance are lazy, addicted to intoxicants and always miserable.
We may not have much choice on the nature of provocations that strike us in life. Yet each one of us can choose our response. Depending on which of the modes we allow to influence us, we think and act accordingly.
Simple ‘Choice’ practises
When one takes drugs for the first time, he’s allowed tamas to bind him. The next time he’s provoked with drugs, to say ‘no’ and thus chose rightly, he has to wage a war against tamas. And if he succumbs again to drugs, then his ability to make right choices is further waned. He’s thus trapped in a vicious cycle. That explains how many addicts feel helpless and consider all self-help talk as hog wash. They have been abused by their minds and victimized by the three modes. For many, this inner turmoil reflects in failed relationships. Their inability to get people to love them is due to their own lack of self-love. As Thomas Kempis, the German catholic priest of the fifteenth century, in his popular book of devotion, Imitation of Christ said, “be not angry that you cannot make others as you wish them to be, since you cannot make yourself as you wish to be.”
Alternatively there is a virtuous cycle too in nature. If you chose to rise early and spend time in nature, the experience of sattva nourishes you. Somewhere this healthy deposit of good practises strengthens your desire to seek sattva again. Daily unlimited choices confront us and the more we chose sattva, the more likely we are too be in control of our lives.
To be continued..