Manas Prakriti – Mental Personality Types
The Ayurvedic concept of mind (manas) is closely related to the general Vedic idea of the existence of the Universe. There are two hypostases of the real world: prakriti (nature) and purusha (soul). Prakriti is a combination of three elements (gunas): sattva (essence), rajas (energy), and tamas (inertia) that balance each other.
Ayurveda speaks of mental personality types (manas prakriti) , which are based on the idea of a permanent predominance of one or two gunas. The predominance of one or another guna, as well as their various combinations, ensure the mental diversity of people. The main types are those corresponding to the names of the gunas: sattvika, rajasika, tamasika. Each of the three types is divided into several groups.
Sattva (goodness, essence) personifies everything pure and best, and therefore the type of sattvika is considered the highest. It includes the following groups:
1) Brahma kaya (having the traits of Brahma) – distinguished by purity of thoughts and behavior, knowledge of the Vedas; respectful, pious, and hospitable;
2) Mahendra kaya (having the features of Indra) – distinguished by courage, valor, knowledge of the shastras, good attitude towards the inferior;
3) Varuna kaya (having the traits of Varuna) – distinguished by courage, valor, patience, intolerance towards the unrighteous;
4) Kauvera kaya (having the features of Kubera) – distinguished by prudence, wealth, and passion for the arts;
5) Gandharva kaya (having the features of Gandharvas) – distinguished by love for singing, dancing, beautiful clothes and jewelry;
6) Yamya sattva (having the features of Yama) – distinguished by gentleness, lack of jealousy and a tendency to delusion;
7) Rishi sattva (having the features of a rishi – sage) – distinguished by adherence to sacred rites, teachings, and good memory.
Raja (action, passion) includes six groups:
1) Asura sattva (having the features of asuras) – strives for wealth and power, has a frightening appearance, is ruthless;
2) Sarpa sattva (having the features of a sarpa or a snake) – irritable, lazy, bold only in anger;
3) Shakuna sattva (having features of a bird) – prone to sexual excesses, gluttonous, impatient and fickle;
4) Rakshasa sattva (having the traits of rakshasa – demons) – slow-witted, jealous, vain, ignorant, prone to godlessness;
5) Pishacha sattva (having the features of an evil spirit) – temperamental, prone to sexual excesses, characterized by shamelessness and cowardice;
6) Preta sattva (having the features of a ghost) – lazy, greedy, leads a miserable and unhappy life.
Tamas (darkness, ignorance) includes three groups:
1) Pashu sattva (having the features of a domestic animal) – prone to laziness, dirty; their behavior resembles that of an animal;
2) Matsya sattva (having the features of a fish) – people of this type constantly quarrel among themselves, they are fickle like fish, dull-witted and love water;
3) Vana spatya sattva (having the features of a plant) – likes to stay in the same place. Has no inclination to religion and good deeds, prone to excessive gluttony and drinking.
Thus, people who are under the influence of various modes of material nature acquire certain qualities of the psyche, which can lead to specific somatic diseases.
A certain type of psyche is predisposed to certain diseases much more often than others.
Based on the knowledge of mental constitutions, the doctor can choose the right treatment. If we have two patients with the same symptoms and approximately the same physical constitution, but with a different psyche, their treatment will be fundamentally different.
TODAY’S TIP: Where do our mental and physical constitutions come from? Why are they different? We fall under the influence of one or another guna (sattva, rajas or tamas), following our desire, inclinations and interests. Psychic diversity is the result of desires, actions and aspirations that we have accumulated in past lives.
Therefore, by choosing sattvic thoughts, desires and actions in this life, we can contribute to the improvement of our constitution in the next life.