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Ahimsa & Emotional Harmony

By Maya Tiwari

Each and every speck of life on earth is shaped by the three primordial qualities of the universe - Sattva (harmonious), raja (energetic), and tamas (lethargic). These qualities form the basis of our power of awareness; and therefore have the greatest impact on our emotional and mental well-being. They are the universe’s foundational building blocks; through their interaction, they are responsible for the evolutionary process of manifesting subtle energies into gross objects, and converting material objects back into subtler energies—the cycle of birth, death, and rebirth. All three qualities exist in each and every individual, with a dominance of one or the other depending on that person’s mental constitution.

Although these qualities themselves are intangible, we can observe their outward characteristics. For example, a sattva-dominated individual is naturally generous, forgiving, understanding, and experiences things with great compassion. He has a penchant for clarity, seeing truth and objectivity, and holding firm to universal ideals. A rajas-dominated person experiences the world subjectively, placing emphasis on personal ambitions and desires, often modifying universal truths to fit convenient goals. A tamas-dominated person experiences the world in an isolated and unaware way, with desires firmly entrenched in doubts and attachments.

By understanding the attributes the three qualitiesexhibit within us, we can transcend tendencies toward tamasic and rajasic responses and transform ourselves into more sattvic beings. In other words, adhere to the principles and practices that engender a life of ahimsa. Each quality dynamically different in energy—serves specific and necessary purposes in the overall schema of life. However, all human beings who strive for inner harmony and non-violence are well advised to cultivate a more sattvic lifestyle. Just like each quality arises from pure consciousness, we too must rise above our rajasic and tamasic tendencies to develop the spirit of nurturance, kindness, harmony and good health.

Indeed, we must be willing to take pause, and explore the inner terrain of the mind; to witness our thoughts, responses, and actions in everyday life. By being alert to our mind and thinking process, we can control our responses and assume responsibility for becoming healthier, more peaceful beings. As a result, all of our choices will be informed and clear, better serving our journey of ahimsa. Keeping mindful awareness of everyday habits—breathing, eating, sleeping, and desiring—we become attuned to our inner rhythms and the cyclical rhythms of nature. We can use our knowledge of the primordial qualities as a guide throughout the day to bolster our power of awareness: See how every choice we make, every bite we eat, every thought we think, every word we utter, and every movement we take, is influenced by these innate qualities at work in the mind and the senses. The lesson of applying the human being’s three primordial qualities is to strive for harmony and bear witness to our continually negotiable sense of balance amid the mire of challenges and confusion of modern life.

The Sattvic-Minded Person Strives For:

  • The Mind of Ahimsa: steady, clear, and pure
  • Inner harmony and health
  • Self-control and balance
  • Physical, mental, and spiritual stamina
  • Regard for elders, ancestors, and nature
  • Knowledge and wisdom
  • Compassion and understanding
  • Constructive and caring activities

This article is adapted from Maya Tiwari’s book, Abundance : From Feast to Fast, published 2009 by Mother Om Media:

Notes: Check out the itinerary for Maya Tiwari's Living Ahimsa Tour; come and take the Vow of Ahimsa and learn the proven way to cultivate inner harmony and good health.

Living Ahimsa World Tour 2011 - Present
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Living Ahimsa World Tour 2009 - 2010
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Honoring Ancestors' Event
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