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The Three Doshas

by Swami Sivananda

Milk is agreeable to some and disagreeable to others. There is nothing wrong with the milk itself. Surely, there is something wrong with the mind. Doubtless, there is a defect in the mind. The view of a child when it sees its mother is that she is its supporter, nourisher and giver of all comforts. The husband of the woman regards her as an object of enjoyment. A tiger, when it sees the same woman, regards her as its prey. The object, woman, remains the same. The viewpoint differs in these three cases owing to the Dosha of the mind.

Dosha means fault or defect. Mala (impurity), Vikshepa (tossing), Avarana (veil of ignorance) are the threefold defects of the mind.

The mind is tossed about among objects of love and hatred like a light feather in a stormy wind. It ever whirls far and wide in vain among sensual objects away from the association with the wise, like a strolling city dog; but, no results accrue therefrom. This baneful mind whirls at the sight of its much-coveted immense wealth. This ferocious dog of mind, following its mate of desire, ever preys upon poor, ignorant worldlings as on carcasses. It will flit in a moment from Howrah to Paris and from Colombo to Berlin. Not resting on any object firmly, it is characterised by an excessive fluctuating power. It will fluctuate and be confused, will flit away from an object and then return to it, will rejoice in vain and be intoxicated with Ahankara. A mind becomes a prey to fear through its fluctuation.

The mind should be rendered fit for salvation, fit to approach its Adhishthana (substratum), its father, Brahman. Remove the three Doshas.

Mala (such as Kama, Krodha, Lobha, Moha, Mada, Matsarya) is removed by doing Nishkama Karma. Mala means sin also.

Vikshepa is removed by Upasana, Trataka, Pranayama and Raja Yoga.

Avarana is removed by Jnana, study of Vedantic literature, Nididhyasana and Abheda-Chintana after duly understanding the right significance of the Mahavakya, "Tat Tvam Asi."

Without hankering after paltry, terrestrial, things and causing your mind to fluctuate thereby, may you be immovable as a rock! Those who have no lower impulses drive away rebirths to a great distance from them.

Study the nature of the mind. Analyse the mind carefully. Get rid of the three Doshas of the mind, viz., Mala, Vikshepa and Avarana. Purify the mind. Steady the mind. Fix the mind on God or Brahman. Get the mind dissolved in God by constant and intense thinking. Practise the Sadhana of Manonasa. Rise above the deceptions and temptations of the mind. This is your duty. You are born for this only; all other duties are self-created and self-imposed owing to Avidya or ignorance.


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