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What develops Sattva ?

The path of liberation starts within. We have potent forces inside, which, if devised wisely can help us control the mind. But, care should be taken that we do not engage in the blind crazy fight, rather skilfully operate these inner forces.

According to Shrimad Bhagwatam:

The gunas, sattva, rajas and tamas, belong to the intellect and not the Self. Through sattva one should subdue the other two and subdue sattva also by means of sattva itself.

Through developed sattva, a man attains that form of spirituality which consists in devotion to Me. Through the use of sattvika things (i.e those which lead to purity and illumination) sattva is developed; this leads to spirituality.

That superior form of spirituality which is brought on by an increase of sattva destroys rajas and tamas. And when both of them are destroyed, inequity which has its rise in them is also quickly destroyed.

In the above stated verse we understand a very important fact that spirituality and mind control are identical. So, most important for those who want to learn mind control is to develop sattva.

What develops sattva?

There is an important verse in Gita, which list the 10 factors  which influence and determine the growth and predominance of a particular guna, 

Scriptures, water, people, place, time, work, birth, meditation, mantra and purification- these are the ten causes which develop the gunas. (Ibid., verse 4)

The objects specified in the verse have their rajasika and tamasika counterparts but when we want to become sattvika, we should choose to avoid them and go for the sattvika counterpart.

- Agama: (Scriptures) The gunas depend on the type of books you study and the knowledge you consume. If you read books on philosophy or religion, they increase your Sattva. If you read books on Political Science and History, they increase your Rajas guna.

Agamas are collection of ancient Hindu Texts and Scriptures which have be traditionally handed down through millennia and extend the Vedic Yoga Systems. They deal with Jnana (Knowledge), Philosophy, Cosmology , Kriya (Rituals), Charya (Ways of worship) and the various paths of Yoga – Raja Yoga, Mantra, Laya, & Hatha. They also contain aesthetic and design rules of Image Sculpting and Temple Construction usead in all Indian temples giving India a rich heritage of monumental proportions. 

Scriptures that teach renunciation of desire and Oneness with Ultimate Reality are Sattvik

- Apah: (Water) Not all water is created equal. It differs in source, taste, smell, nutritional value, chemical purity, drug and hormone residue. The type of water we drink influence our Gunas.

According to German Law there are five main classifications

i. Natural Mineral Water: this water comes from underground source, is protected from contamination and bottled at source. It comprises of vital minerals and trace elements which make it a healthy addition to our diet.

ii. Medicinal Water (Heilwasser) : These are special types of Mineral Wasser which have high content of particular minerals and have healing and preventative healing effects.

iii. Spring Water (Quellwasser) : Though this water comes from underground sources similar to mineral water, it has lower mineral content and has limited nutritional value.

iv. Table Water ( Taffelwasser) : This water is manufactured product by mixing Tap, Spring , Mineral or Sea Water and might be enriched with minerals or Carbon dioxide.

v. Tap Water (Trinkwasser) : This what we get from the tap and is a mixture of surface water such as rivers, lakes, reservoirs etc. This water is cleaned and filtered using chemical additives but it contains drug and hormone residue.       

If different waters can influence the Gunas, effects liquor or wine are self - explanatory !

आपो हि ष्ठा मयोभुवस्था  ऊर्जे दधातन ।
महे रणाथ चक्षसे ॥१॥
  - from Rig Veda - Mandala 10 - Sukta 9

Aapo Hi Sstthaa Mayo-Bhuvasthaa Na Uurje Dadhaatana |
Mahe Rannaatha Cakssase ||1||

Meaning:
Waterbecause of your presence, the atmosphere is so refreshing, and it imparts us with vigour and strength.
We revere you who gladdens us by your pure essence.

- Praja: (Company) What is the type of people you keep company or come into contact? The company you keep influences you. Do you move with Spiritual People or with deceitful, dishonest people or with promiscuous members of opposite sex?

- Desah: (Place) How is the environment of the place you live in? Is it conducive to meditation and other Sadhana? Do you live near a temple or an ashram or do you live in a place of excessive disturbance?

- Kalah: (Time) Yoga is a 24 hours business. You have to be keenly vigilant about the processes of your Mind. One hour spend on the mat during practice under keen self observation and the balance time spent without discrimination will not lead to progress. How you spend your time impacts the Gunas you develop.

- Karma: (Action ) Thoughts lead to Actions, Actions to Experience and Experience leads to Mental Impressions. The type of activity in which you are engaged leads to the type of Mental Impressions.

Are you a Yoga Teacher doing daily Sadhana, a lecturer on philosophy or an assistant in a butchery or a jail worker controlling the convicts – What you do matters how agitated or calm your Mind is.

- Janma: (Birth) Whether you are born in a family of politicians or crooks or in a Honest and Truthful household or a family of scholars steeped in the knowledge of philosophy and Dharma? The environment in which you grow up contributes to your Mental constitution.

- Dhyanam: (Meditation) Are you meditating for momentary inner peace, stress relief or on the Supreme Being? Do you meditate for physical Well being or for Spiritual Progress ? Your object of Meditation influences your mental makeup.

- Mantra: (Chanting) Do you do japa of mantras for liberation or pray for getting something in return? The means and the ends, both impact your Gunas.

- Sanskara: The conditioning or training you get at home is important. Are you trained to prostrate before elders and saints and to serve them or are you trained to wield a gun and hunt? Are you trained to pray to God for atleast ten minutes daily and to help the needy and the poor ? Are you taken to the political rallies or discourses of saints (Satsangs)? Your upbringing has a massive role to play in your mental temperament.

The Sattva Guna can be increased by choosing the factors which will support it. No matter what our circumstances are, continuous Sadhana can help the aspirant to overcome the obstacles in increasing Sattva Guna.   

When preponderance of sattva is achieved, the constitution of mind changes; this change in its creative and positive aspect is called inner transformation. Until this is achieved no true work is really done for gaining control over the mind.