Like gravity pulls things downwards, the modes too battle for supremacy. If you seek sattva don’t be surprised when rajas demands attention. And if you are predominantly leading a rajas lifestyle – busy and passionate, then tamas– drugs, liquor or violence – could threaten to drag you down. Therefore as each energy tries to dominate our mind, it’s imperative we add sufficient sattva choices like rising early, exercise, prayer, meditation, or journaling to our things to do list.
Are we really helpless?
As opposed to animals who act by instinct, humans have a greater choice. We have the freedom to choose our responses. Yet on many occasions we feel helpless as our instinct takes over. Acting on gut instinct is good if we have a repository of sattva in our lives. But if we are generally impulsive, our behavioural choices could trap us in a vicious cycle of lower modes.
For instance when a person takes drugs for the first time, he has the free will to take it or leave it. If he chooses to succumb to the temptation, then the next time an opportunity arises to smoke drugs, he’d have lost some of his determination. Then if he continues to choose drugs, he’s allowed the mode of ignorance to bind him. Finally he is a victim as he is helplessly dragged by the mode of ignorance. He feels powerless in the face of the onslaught of various desires. It’s just a habit now and he merely lives through the mode.
But the good news is we can now choose to break free from the lower modes. By consciously cultivating thoughts and activities in the higher modes, we can break the habits and patterns cultivated in the mode of ignorance.
But do we have a choice with regards to the modes? How can I know if my actions or thinking patterns are attracting the mode of goodness to control me, or am I unwittingly succumbing to the mode of passion or worse can I stop the mode of ignorance from helplessly dragging me?
Our daily eating, dress, music and the countless choices we make for all the little things we do, adds up the pattern of a particular mode or a combination of modes. This then shapes up our personality and behaviour; we have thus determined the modes’ influence on ourselves.
To be continued..