Episode # 373 – Classification of “DHYAANAM” (Meditation) – “Satvika Dhyaanam”, “Raajasa Dhyaanam” & “Taamasa Dhyaanam”!!!

In the previous episode, we had witnessed the continuation of the discussion on classification of many aspects, based on the three Gunas – Satva, Rajas and Taamasa Gunas. In that way, we had moved on from the classification of a day to the classification of “Karma”. We had witnessed that those activities (Karma) that we perform as part of our regular spiritual duty and for world peace and harmony, come under the “Saathvika Karma”. Those activities that we perform for obtaining some selfish needs for our personal happiness are classified under the “Raajasa Karma” and finally, those activities that we might perform for the detrimental effect of others are classified under the “Taamasic Karma”. So, it is evident here as to which of those “Karma” we’ve to avoid and which of them to follow for our spiritual development. It is very clearly explained thus by Bhagawan Krishna that He’s going to grant us “Moksha”, based on our “Karma” and how we’re going to neutralize our “Karma balance”. We’ve witnessed this concept already in the past and readers can recollect it once more by going through our previous episodes on this context.

Now moving on further, we are now going to witness Bhagawan Krishna classifying “Dhyaanam” (Meditation) into three categories – “Saatvika Dhyaana”, “Raajasa Dhyaana” and “Taamasa Dhyaana”. If we’re meditating upon Bhagawan’s beauty and charm, it automatically classifies into the “Saathvika Dhyaanam”. If we’re meditating upon people of our opposite gender – In other words, if a man mediates upon a beautiful woman, or a woman mediates upon a handsome man, this kind of a meditation comes under the “Rajo Guna” classification. Whereas, if we’re meditating upon a person who is our enemy and if we’re constantly filled with his / her thoughts all the time, it comes under the classification of the “Tamo Guna”.

Obviosuly, this classification is easier said than done, isn’t it? We should ponder within ourselves for a moment here – Whenever we sit for a meditative session, what kind of thoughts would we be getting in our mind? Do we directly go into the “Bhagawadh Chintana” straightaway? This is never going to be possible for normal people like us! Instead, our thoughts would be revolving mostly around those people whom we do not like. For instance, we would be thinking thus, “Oh! Yesterday I had to come across my cousin, who is constantly trying to poke me with some issue or the other! Why did I even blink on his face? I should have avoided him, isn’t it? How can he make such blunt statements about me like that?” Or, even if we do not have any present events to recollect, our mind wouldn’t keep quiet. It would start digging into our past and try to “explore” who were our enemies 10 years ago! We would suddenly start thinking thus, “Oh! Fifteen years ago when I was doing my college, my classmate abused me for something!” This is exactly called “Taamasa Guna”, with regards to “Dhyaanam” or meditation and this is what we’ve to consciously try and avoid.

This is where, we’ve to understand another point – If we do not like someone for some reason, it is always best to forget that person then and there. Of course, given so many “constraints”, we’re not able to do so, and this is where the whole problem comes. This is exactly what Maareecha explains to Ravana. We might be remembering this incident from the Valmiki Ramayana, wherein Ravana is sending Maareecha as the golden deer to capture Sita’s attention. At this time, Maareecha initially is reluctant to go as the golden deer in the vicinity of Bhagawan Rama. He says to Ravana thus, “Oh Ravana! You’re trying to play with fire here! I’ve experienced Bhagawan Rama’s sharp arrows when He was a 12-year-old boy. Myself and Shubaahu had gone to destroy Sage Vishwamitra’s “Yagnya”, and it was this same Bhagawan Rama who had came to protect it. During that exercise, he killed Shubaahu with just a single arrow! When it came to me, He chased me with a number of arrows and pushed me into the ocean! With that, I had got a heavy drubbing! I can never forget that till today, even after so many years!”

Maareecha continues thus, “Oh Ravana! Because of this, my fear for Rama increased manifold! Even in my deepest sleep, if I accidentally hear the syllable “Ra”, I start getting afraid! Your name is also beginning with the same syllable, but still, the moment I’ve to say “Ravana” too, I’m getting scared of Bhagawan Rama! Hence please do not involve me in this unnecessary fiasco!” So from this accord of Maareecha, we can clearly understand that if we’re having enemies or scare towards someone, only those people’s thoughts would always keep haunting us at all times. This is where we’ve to be very careful – We should be able to develop that maturity to forgive and forget those who are hostile towards us, rather than growing the enmity further and further, for no use. Ultimately, it is only going to build up our “Taamasa Guna”, and our mind will never be able to take Bhagawan into its thoughts.

Similarly, if we had brought a loan or if we had borrowed some money from someone, only those people’s thoughts would be lingering in our minds, isn’t it? We see this in our everyday experience. We would be unable to even get a proper sleep at night, if we would have borrowed money! But in the present day, we should note one thing – If we’re borrowing less money, the headache is on us. Whereas, if we’re borrowing crores and croes of money, the headache is on the person who is lending that money to us! Scenarios are changing nowadays, isn’t it? 🙂

Thus, the point here is that, while performing “Dhyaanam”, if our thoughts are full with Bhagawan and His “Kalyaana Gunas”, we classify this as “Saatvika Dhyaanam”. On the other hand, if we’re meditating upon someone whom we desire upon, it comes under the “Raajasic Dhyaanam” and in similar lines, if we’re meditating upon someone who is an enemy of any sorts, this comes under the “Taamasic Dhyaanam”. Hence for today, let us understand this important classification and let us do the needful to channelize ourselves and our thought processes. We shall wait till the next episode to continue this discussion further! Stay tuned! 🙂


Published by Dr. Jeayaram

Holds a PhD in Management Psychology from Universite Paris Saclay, Paris, France. Also an Asst. Professor of Human Resources management at Bharatidhasan Institute of Management (BIM) Trichy, India A professional South Indian classical musician (singer) performing concerts. Through this blog, I'm trying to bring out the richness of Indian culture & values and I request your support and feedbacks in making this humble effort a success!!

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