Two days back at the time of dropping my daughter at school I had a brief conversation with her. She demanded extra biscuits and Yakult in her bag. When I asked the reason she said that her friends take all the snacks she takes to the school. She gets to eat from little to none. I told her though sharing is caring but she also must have her lunch. To this, she naively replied “Mom I know that but my friend Shalbi cries a lot and quite loud too. If I don’t give her Yakult she will continue crying and the teacher will punish her and I don’t want anyone to get punished, that’s why I make her drink my portion and anyways I have water with me”. On the same night as I was preparing my kids for sleep, I cuddled a bit with my son and went to my daughter. She asked if I was “Siddharth’s (my son) love of life”. To this I said yes and not only his but hers’s and their father’s too. She asked me “and what about yours, aren’t you love of your life? Everyone is the love of their own life”. I was amazed and amused at the fact how she is stating the more or less Crux of human life at such a tender age. What might have actually got into her thoughts and does she actually understand the deep meaning hidden in her innocent talks. She inspired me to think hard and given a perspective to work with.
Though the above situations and the statements seem to be convoluted and opposing each other per se – self-love and sacrifice are parallels and don’t coincide. But that’s simply because our prism of looking and understanding things is quite micro where our definition of self-love is somehow confined to the concepts of comfort, luxury and hollow happiness. But isn’t the ultimate motive of self-love is attaining happiness and peace of mind? Unfortunately, we forgot about the ultimate while chasing the illusions.
Let’s dive a bit deeper: Human by nature have three inbuilt characteristic traits (Guna) and in the due course of life depending upon evolution, choices made, assimilation of knowledge – spiritually and otherwise these three traits can be arranged like a pyramid ascending which leads to the ultimate destination – self-awareness uniting the soul with the supreme power. Those three traits are –
- Tamo Guna – Tamas means darkness. This trait in a human being is marked by laziness, lethargy and inactivity. If a person is inactive by the virtue of being a lazy person or by the fear of the result of activity there’s no way he can escape the darkness surrounding him and within him. It’s like sitting in a dark room and too afraid to move a finger lest it would get hurt in the darkness yet waiting for someone to switch on the light. Isn’t it foolishness? It can also be the different vices a man lets breed in him blinding him of his purpose in life both materialistic and spiritual. This is the lowest pedestal – thoughtlessness.
- Rajo Guna – This represents the active nature of a man as in where he Acts. We are in a race, to secure a good life for our loved ones, for ourselves, to ensure the safety of family, to prosper, to succeed (definition varies for everyone), precisely we want nothing less than the world to ourselves. It isn’t bad because this drive is keeping the nations going. What else is an economy then if not billions of zealous people working to fulfil their dreams. This is a higher pedestal than the above-mentioned trait. This delivers results for there’s an action. But the problem isn’t with the action but the emotion driving it. When our actions are a result of insatiable hunger for power, money, fame, love (emotional bondage) often fueled by our egos, false pride, greed etc. our mind is a restless churning wheel of thoughts. Most of us are standing at this juncture reeking of agony, dissatisfaction, pain – Full of Thoughts
- Satva Guna – This is the zenith of the pyramid of human nature. Satva means good and pure. As the name itself suggests a person having this trait is in a frame of mind where the realisation actually dawns upon – our concoction has been done in his light – righteous, happy and peaceful. That’s the ultimate destination to be reached on this earth. It is earmarked by virtues like being able to part without clinging on to it, be one’s own company yet maintain the serenity of mind, unaffected by the praise or abuse (not getting carried away, levelheadedness), keeping the mind free of clusters of unnecessary thoughts – both good and bad (in his constant company). Reaching that pinnacle is the true meaning of Self Love, a peaceful being, isn’t it? This is being thoughtful.
When a human is born these three traits are interwoven. As his journey begins the traits acquire the shape of a pyramid and the inspiration should be to reach the pinnacle !!