Invitation To Health: 32 ►Three Types Of Mental Energy

Published: 19.04.2017
Updated: 19.04.2017

Three Types Of Mental Energy

One who does not have energy is poor. Affluent is one who has energy. Energy may be physical or mental or of intellect; by these an individual becomes powerful and affluent. One who does not have energy of any sort is poor. Therefore, every individual wants to be powerful. Physical energy is needed but much more is the need of mental energy.

Mental energy: three types

The world is strange; it is full of problems. There is problem outside and there is problem inside also; problem created by mind, problem generated by feelings, problem generated by season and by neighbour also. To live in the midst of innumerable problems and to live with pleasure and happiness cannot possible without mental energy. Therefore, it is very necessary to develop mental energy.

Just as physical energy has three types so also mental energy has three types natural, time-born and effort-born. In some people, mental energy is innate. In some it is not innate but arises at some particular time. The cycle of seasons affect mental energy. The mental energy which is present in the morning or in noon that much is not present in the evening.

A new discipline of science has developed. That is 'Biological Watch'. Within us there is one biological watch. It keeps on changing from time to time. Phonetics is its indicative. In India phonetics was developed very much. On its basis, it was told as to with what pitch of voice or tone one has to talk to the master, or pray or implore. Which work is to be undertaken with what tone? While traveling, which tone is better?

The biological watch keeps changing. Mental energy also keeps changing along with time. Talk to someone in the morning it will be accepted. In summer talk to someone about his benefit it will not be accepted; it will be taken contrary-wise. Biological watch can tell when the mood will be alright, mental energy will be alright, and capacity of tolerance will remain intact.

Time-born: circumstance-born

Scientist knowing biological watch will tell when it is proper to go to dentist for extracting tooth; for operation, which day is good or which time of the day is good, when the power of forbearance of the person will be more and when it will be less. All this depends on time. This is time-born, created by time. In the same day at particular time mental energy is strong or weak Munis (monks) generally undertake pulling out of hair (lunchan) during morning hours. They know that at that time mental energy is strong. There is a science as to when capacity to tolerate is good.

Time-born mental energy means age-born, period of life-born (avasthā) mental energy. Mental energy increases or decreases along with the period of life. The mind of child is not fully developed. His mental energy will be weak. Compared to him the mental energy of youth will be more. The mental energy of aged person keeps decreasing. As and when age advances human being becomes old and mental energy becomes diminished. Mental energy is associated with period of life also.

Effort-born mental energy

Third type of mental energy is effort-born, produced out of some means. This is realizable through three means—food, effort and yoga. Mental energy becomes diverse through all these three. Through one type of food mental energy increases and through another it decreases.

Food is of three types—sātvika (non-stimulant), rājasika (stimulant) and tāmasika (stupefying). Sātvika food increases mental energy. Rājasika food keeps it moderate. By tāmasika food it becomes very little. Mental energy has deep relation with food. Those who take meat, they do not have high mental energy. The tolerance which is present in a vegetarian person, that much of tolerance is not present in non-vegetarian person. All great saints and noble souls were vegetarian, eating roots (and fruits and vegetables). The troubles and torments they suffered that much can never be suffered by non-vegetarians.

Food and mental energy

Those people who take rājasika food, spicy food, they also do not have high mental energy. Spices are taken only for taste. By them mental energy decreases. Rājasika food increases stimulation (rājasikatā); generates impulsiveness and fury. Taking too much of hot and spicy things produces many vices. It harms mental energy. If we take out proportion, then the equation will be that if in the person taking sātvika food mental energy is sixty percent then in the person taking rājasika food it will be thirty percent and in the person taking tāmasika food it will be only ten percent. So much big difference comes.

Food is a powerful means to increase mental energy. That is why all great spiritual yogis first attended to food. They knew that in the increase or decrease of mental energy food has great role to play. And without mental energy sādhanāof spirituality cannot be performed. Without proper selection of food mental energy cannot be developed. Those whose mental energy is not strong right from childhood they can enhance their mental energy by food, can develop it.

Effort and mental energy

The second means is effort. Effort means to labor. By hard work mental energy can be increased. To do asana is also to do hard work.

One regulating element for mental energy is perseverance (dhti). To keep perseverance is not an easy or common thing, it is a great thing. A master asked a servant, "Bring water." The servant brought water after two minutes delay. The master was enraged on him. It was heavy and difficult for the master to have patience for two minutes.

Patience is the greatest and most sublime principle of success in life. One youth went to Tolstoy and asked, "You are experienced person. Please tell me what is the principle for development in life? What is the principle of success?" Tolstoy said, "Perseverance, patience is the principle of success." The youth asked, "This matter is not clear to me. How can patience be a principle of success? Had you told that knowledge, regular study (svādhyāya), concentration, ability, efficiency these are the principles of success then it could have been understood." Tolstoy again said, "Oh young person! The greatest means is perseverance, patience. Without it no success is attained." The youth got fumed and said, "Can by patience water can be held in sieve?" Tolstoy replied, "Yes, if you keep patience water can be held in sieve. Water will stand in sieve." The youth said, "It is impossible. How long has one to keep patience?" Tolstoy said smilingly, "Oh my son! You have to keep patience so long as water does not become ice, does not get solidified."

The regulating principle of development of mental energy is perseverance. There is one principle of Ayurveda -Perseverance is the regulator of mind (Manaso niyāmika dti). Perseverance is the regulator of mind. As and when mind indulges in harmful things then perseverance withholds it and mind stops. Development of perseverance is not possible without sātvika food. By vīrāsana (a variety of bodily posture) also perseverance is developed.

One function of mind is memory. By padmāsana (a variety of bodily posture) there is development of memory, thought power is developed. By svastika āsana (another variety of bodily posture) also memory is developed.

Like this by effort mental energy can be increased. Yoga and mental energy

The third means is yoga (combination) of rasāyana {Ayurvedic tonics). By taking rasāyana mental energy is developed. In the Ayurvedic works of Caraka, Susṛuta etc. many means have been suggested for development of mental energy, mental power. There it is propounded that by Śankhapuśpi a particular type of mental power is developed, by Brāhmi a particular type of mental power is developed etc. In the authentic works of Ayurveda also there are accounts of development of mental powers by taking rasāyanas. This is the treatment of effort-made development of mental energy.

In Ayurveda, there is very subtle discussion of natural, time-born and effort-born mental energies. In modern system of medicine the doctor who treats the body is called physician. He passes M.D. and other such examinations. One who performs surgery is called surgeon. He passes M.S. examination. Along with this there is a different branch mental treatment. In Ayurveda, there is no separate division of mental treatment. Every expert Vaidya (Ayurvedic doctor) is efficient in mental treatment along with bodily treatment. It is necessary to know all these three powers.

Capacity to tolerate: capacity to bear afflictions (Tāpaśakti)

There are many capacities/powers of mind. One of these is to tolerate. Endurance is its chief capacity. Śankarācarya in "Saundarya Laliarī"  has described eight siddhis (accomplishments). Among them two are—capacity to tolerate and capacity to bear afflictions. By capacity to tolerate hardships can be borne, calamities can be faced easily. Even great people become coward in enduring calamities. There was a big merchant in Bombay (Mumbai). He suffered loss in business, a big problem came up. He cannot stand that calamity. Becoming bored in life he wanted to take shelter in sea. He went to sea shore with the intention to drown. At once a thought came to his mind, "oh! I had taken a vow before Acharya Tulsi that I shall never in any circumstance commit suicide. Today I am violating that vow. He pondered. Immediately he postponed the idea of suicide and turned towards home.

Who is accomplished person (siddha purua)!

To develop the capacity to tolerate is a great accomplishment. One who has acquired the capacity to stand slander and insult, gain and loss he really becomes an accomplished person. He is called an accomplished person in whom accomplishments are displayed.

Someone said, how much useless that fellow is. He does this thing, that thing, does this way, does that way. The capacity to tolerate all these is capacity to bear afflictions. How much a monk (sādhu) has to listen? They tolerate everything and that is why they become accomplished persons.

What Mahāvīra has not tolerated? People used to abuse, used to give torments, used to put dogs behind, but Mahāvīra was quiet. In him both the capacity to tolerate and capacity to bear afflictions got awakened. If these were not awakened, then he would not have gone to non-Aryan areas. And had he gone he would not have returned safely. An accomplished person is he in whom the capacity to tolerate abuses, impulses etc. is awakened.

Pravarasattva (person of superb essence)

In Ayurveda three varieties of mental energy are explained—of superb essence (pravarasattva), of mediocre essence (madhyamasattva) and of lower essence (avarasattva), that is, excellent mental energy, mediocre mental energy and lesser mental energy. Sattva l essence here means mind. Acharya Bhikshu was a person of superb essence. His mental energy was outstanding. He was an incarnation of tolerance. He had to suffer many torments. He spent four months of religious austere living (Caturmāsa) in a dungeon (Siriyari ki hat). It was summer season, the dungeon had sloppy door in which one can enter only by bending. There was no window, no ventilation. Inside it was all dark. Acharya Bhikshu stayed in that dungeon. One who is full of superb essence, has excellent mental energy, he alone can endure such hardships.

Acharya Bhikshu not only underwent hardship of place, he also stood the hardships of food and water, and that was really astonishing. For years, together what to talk of proper food, he did not get enough food to feel the belly. He withstood all these with equanimity. He had no paucity of food. Had he gone the earlier way (of a householder) there would have been no scarcity of food for him. But by taking a revolutionary step he vowed to walk on such a path which was full of hardships. He had mental strength. He underwent hardships but did not abandon the path.

Madyamasattva (person of mediocre essence)

Second is mediocre mental energy. A person of mediocre essence cannot smilingly stand difficulties. He needs some help. He thinks that such and such a person also endures so much of torment, let me also do so. Or he may be sermonized, or someone may advise him and he tolerates ordeal. One who has mediocre essence or mental energy his mental energy can be awakened.

There is an episode in Sthānāga Sūtra (a sacred text). A monk (sādhu) became sick. He was ordinary sādhaka (practitioner). He became nervous and perturbed by disease. He became impatient. Another practitioner said, "Why are you so much impatient? The jinakalpimuni (monks practicing a particular austerity) generate or grow pains, invite pains, tolerate them with equanimity, and never get impatient. You have disease. Bear it with equanimity." With such advice, his mental energy becomes strong and impatience is removed. This is the case of mediocre mental energy.

Avarasattva (person of lower essence)

Third type of mental energy is lesser mental energy or lower essence. A person of such mental energy may be advised to any extent but his mental energy does not get awakened.

In small calamity, he becomes impatient and bends his knees.

The Ramayana Serial was being displayed; in it, it was depicted that Lanka is being burnt, Bali is being killed. While seeing T.V. two lady teachers suffered heart attack. They could not withstand it. This is an incident of lower essence, of lesser mental energy. Such persons cannot tolerate any incident. A small happening takes place and they start saying 'Alas, alas'.

Severe disease: slight disease

Caraka has talked of two types of disease—severe and slight. Disease may be severe, terrible, but the mental energy of patient is so high that severe disease also becomes slight for him. The physician gets deluded. He thinks that even in such severe disease there is smile on his face. He is a strange person.

A person suffers from minor disease. He cannot tolerate minimum pain. In little pain, also he will say, "My spirit is going out, I am dying, I do not get sleep during night, I am having severe headache, I am having this, I am having that.

Sadhvi Baluji (my mother of worldly life) was inflicted with severe disease in Gangashahar. If someone would ask her of her disease she would say, "Nothing unusual. There is slight pain. If there is pain it is to the body and not the least to me"

One, who has excellent mental energy severe disease also becomes ordinary for him, becomes minor. One whose mental energy is low or weak minor disease also becomes severe or major.

Mantra for being happy

These are three types of mental energy. A person in whom excellent mental energy gets awakened, the mental energy of determination gets developed, his life in this world which is lull of inflictions of suffering and problems really becomes devoid of all obstacles. No power can bend him, cannot make him unhappy.

The mantra stated in the scriptures for happiness is development of mental energy. Only that person can be happy in this world that has developed mental energy. No one can remove worldly problems. Even big nations are surrounded by problems; they also cannot eradicate them. But an individual can remain happy even in the midst of these problems. Its basic mantra is development of mental energy. One who is not strong in mental energy he succumbs to the problems at every step and gets defeated.

Title: Invitation To Health
Author: Acharya Mahaprajna
Publisher: Adarsh Sahitya Sangh
Edition: 2013
HN4U Digital Edition: Ratna & Amit Kumar Jain

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Page glossary
Some texts contain  footnotes  and  glossary  entries. To distinguish between them, the links have different colors.
  1. Acharya
  2. Acharya Bhikshu
  3. Acharya Tulsi
  4. Asana
  5. Avasthā
  6. Ayurveda
  7. Ayurvedic
  8. Bhikshu
  9. Body
  10. Bombay
  11. Caraka
  12. Concentration
  13. Dhṛti
  14. Discipline
  15. Equanimity
  16. Gangashahar
  17. Mahāvīra
  18. Mantra
  19. Mumbai
  20. Munis
  21. Padmāsana
  22. Puruṣa
  23. Ramayana
  24. Sadhvi
  25. Sattva
  26. Science
  27. Siddha
  28. Siriyari
  29. Svastika
  30. Svādhyāya
  31. Sādhaka
  32. Sādhu
  33. Sūtra
  34. Tolerance
  35. Tulsi
  36. Vaidya
  37. Yoga
  38. āsana
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