Thursday, April 16, 2009

Sanskara(Character): As defined by Vivekananda




“If you have lost your wealth, you have lost nothing; if you have lost your health, you have lost something; if you have lost your character, you have lost everything.”-

Swami Vivekananda


It has been a sort of positive revelation for me in my personal life to have read "Secret of Work" by Swami Vivekananda. Though not the whole chapter, but the paragraph where he explains how a character is shaped in a man consciously or unconsciously. I strongly agree to his logic and the simplicity with which he explains would make sense even to tiny tots .

Well, I attempt to describe in my own way what he meant by Sanskara and how it is built in a man. I would recommend everyone to read the chapter "The Secret of Work" (available on Internet too).
Swami Vivekananda explains Samskara (Character) by comparing mind to a lake. Similar to a lake, every ripple, every wave that rises in the mind, when it subsides, does not die out entirely, but leaves a mark and a future possibility of that wave coming out again. This mark, with the possibility of the wave reappearing is called Samskara. According to Vivekananda, every work that we do, every movement of the body, every thought that we think, leaves such an impression on the mind, and even such impressions are not obvious on the surface, they are sufficiently strong to work beneath the surface, subconsciously.
"What we are every moment is determined by the sum total of these impressions on the mind."
What I am just at this moment is the effect of the sum total of all the impressions of my past life. This is really what is meant by character; each man's character is determined by the sum total of these impressions. If good impressions prevail, the character becomes good; if bad, it becomes bad. If a man continuously hears bad words, thinks bad thoughts, does bad actions, his mind will be full of bad impressions; and they will influence his thought and work without his being conscious of the fact. In fact, these bad impressions are always working, and their resultant must be evil, and that man will be a bad man; he cannot help it. The sum total of these impressions in him will create the strong motive power for doing bad actions. He will be like a machine in the hand of his impressions, and they will force him to do evil. Similarly, if a man thinks good thoughts and does good works, the sum total of these impressions will be good; and they, in a similar manner, will force him to do good even in spite of himself. When a man has done so much good work and thought so many good thoughts that there is an irresistible tendency in him to do good, in spite of himself and even if he wishes to do evil, his mind, as the sum total of his tendencies, will not allow him to do so; the tendencies will turn him back; he is completely under the influence of the good tendencies. When such is the case, a man's good character is said to be established.
I firmly believe in the above mentioned logic. Being a human, we will have moments when we think wrong thoughts, when we get into wrong company, wrong environment. But its our duty to stay conscious of our thoughts and immediately replace them with good thoughts. That way you will help build positive character.

5 comments:

Smile Friday, April 17, 2009 2:52:00 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
N i t h i n Friday, April 17, 2009 10:14:00 AM  

...something that everyone hopes to attain through out the lifetime. Well written Ravi.

Arru Thursday, April 23, 2009 9:20:00 PM  

Oh, Ravi, nice to enjoy the puff of positive energy gushed forth through your write-up! To come across positive literature as this is in itself a way forward in the right direction.

Ravi Kumar Saturday, July 11, 2009 12:51:00 PM  

Thanks Nithin and Arun for the positive words.

Ravi Kumar Saturday, July 11, 2009 12:51:00 PM  

Thanks Nithin and Arun for the positive words.

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