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Sattvic Living

🌺 Peace, Love, Harmony

Sattvic Living
by Atman Nityananda

The sattvic life is the basis of a healthy life, of well-being and of the spiritual path. Living with peace, light, love, wisdom, creativity and harmony is only possible when the sattva Guna predominates in our mind.

Therefore one of the fundamental goals in the spiritual life is to increase the sattva Guna (quality) in our mind. The sattva Guna is the quality of light, intelligence, virtue, clarity and harmony and helps us develop the superior capabilities of the mind and heart, (like discernment, intuition, compassion, love etc.)

Mind and sattva

When  the sattva Guna predominates in us, we create the foundation on which all divine virtues and spiritual practices can easily flourish. The ability to discern the true of the false and the ability to be detached from the objects, thoughts, emotions sensations and external situations can be developed fully in a sattvic mind. 
Our capacity for concentration, meditation and self-inquiry, which are the most important practices for self-realization, can be developed highly only when the sattva Guna predominates in our mind. 
The sattva Guna makes the mind, quiet, calm, sharp, luminous, focused, introverted and aspire for truth, peace and eternal bliss.

Mind, rajas and tamas

On the contrary when in our mind prevails the rajas Guna, it becomes extroverted, restless, distracted and turbulent and therefore we cannot concentrate steadily into the space of silence within (or any other object of meditation).The mind, when it functions under the influence of rajas Guna, naturally seeks sensual experiences, action and pleasure. When the mind is under the dominion of tamas Guna it becomes inert, sleepy, dull, lazy, and thus it becomes very difficult (or quite impossible) to remain alert enough and vigilant, in order to pay attention, concentrate and meditate as well as it isn’t capable to learn, discern and understand.

To increase the sattva guna in the mind, we must maintain sattvic associations or relationships at all levels of existence. That means that sensory impressions (sounds, colors, sights, smells), foods, drinks, relationships, activities, actions, words, thoughts, emotions, the environment in which we live and work, etc., must be sattvic in nature.
Our food and drinks should be sattvic (read here about sattvic foods), as well as all sensory impressions (reading sattvic books, listening to sattvic music and songs, making relationships with sattvic people and spiritual teachers, having contact with nature, etc.).

Of course, our self (the ego identified with the body and mind) with its selfish tendencies, the mental and emotional conditioning and its habits wants to keep repeating the same things mechanically and compulsively. Our rajasotamasic ego is very resistant to the changes we want to make.

And here is the importance of spiritual guidance, which can be spiritual teachings (from books, videos, internet), a spiritual center or a spiritual teacher. Their support and knowledge can be of great help for us to overcome obstacles, resistance, as well as our subconscious habits and patterns. However, although external help is of great importance, they cannot practice for us, we have to make the effort. We are the most important factor in our transformation; we can only change ourselves, no one else. Only very mature souls do not need much help from the outside.

It is also true that we cannot change everything in us at once. However, if we do our spiritual practices regularly and diligently, with determination, faith, confidence, patience, tenacity and perseverance, we will undoubtedly be able to overcome all obstacles and develop all the necessary capacities to transform ourselves. Eventually we will be transformed into beings of love and light.

It is only a matter of faith, practice and time. It is obvious that several times we will find ourselves in situations that are not sattvic as well as in difficult conditions in which it will be not so easy to act according our intentions and goals. If this is the case, we must accept what happens and do our best to alleviate the situation until it will possible for us to change external things and situations. In this case, the difficulties and the challenges can be either opportunities for us to develop capabilities or occasions for complaints and suffering.  Depends on our attitude, maturity and capacity to maintain our inner equilibrium as much as possible and learn from these challenges. 

It is certain also that we cannot always avoid pain or difficult situations but suffering depends only on our state of consciousness, mental purity, psychological skills and mental attitude.Our transformation is a continuous process to discard the tamasic and rajasic qualities, patterns, tendencies, habits, emotions and beliefs and increase the sattvic ones until our mind and intellect become completely sattvic. The final step is to go beyond even the sattva and rest permanently in our essential nature (Atman, absolute or pure Consciousness) which is beyond the three Gunas (Gunanita).