Friday, January 12, 2007

A Tale of Three Kitties

Kitty One:
Street cat. Every-hungry, prone to undue hissing and spitting, often has rheumy eyes.

Kitty Two:
You know those cats who are either so inert or so ailing that they look as if they have already had a visit to the taxidermist? These are those cats.

Kitty Three:
This kitty is very very comfortable in her own skin, probably because it is so glossy and healthy. She just knows that everyone she meets is going to improve her life in some way. Spends no time worrying about where her next meal is coming from.

If these cats were yogis, they would correspond roughly to the three states of nature (guna): rajas, tamas and sattva.

According to TKV Desikachar in The Heart of Yoga,

Rajas is active, fiery, the one that induces us to act. Sometimes it pushes our mind into a state of constant activity and we cannot be still: that state is characterized by restlessness and agitation. Tamas is the opposite of rajas; it is a fixed, immobile, heavy state of mind. Sattva is the quality of insight that is white, clear, and transparent. It is a state of mind in which neither of the other two guna predominate. According to the relationship between rajas and tamas, duhkha [suffering] will take different forms. Our goal is to reduce these two guna until our mind achieves a state of sattva.

Which kitty do you choose?

No comments: