Criterion of Mental Health

Posted: 13.05.2007
Updated on: 14.11.2008

Daily Excelsior
13 May, 2007 Sunday Magazine

The Gita, Sankhya philosophy and Charak have analyzed the mind in terms of sattva (quality of purity and goodness), rajas (love of sensual enjoyment or pleasure) and tamas (the third disposition of the human mind-the quality of darkness, ignorance and irascibility). Will-power and tolerance are important elements. We should know that the mind, its power and health do not have a close relation with the intellect. Intellect and mind have separate functions. Tolerance is a quality of the mind. Intellect does not play any part in it. A man with a healthy mind can tolerate any situation, but a diseased mind cannot do so. The criterion of mental health is tolerance.

The man having the sattva disposition (benevolence, purity, goodness) can tolerate anything. One having the rajas disposition (love of sensual enjoyment) lacks tolerance personally, but with proper advice and support he is able to develop tolerance. But one having the tamas disposition (ignorance, mental darkness implying inertness, indolence, anger, malice) is incapable both of understanding by himself and of being made to understand by others, besides lacking tolerance altogether.

Take the case of three different types of individuals, all being victims of some tragedy-huge business loss or the death of a near and dear one. The first type sattva are able to bear with the tragedy. The second type rajas are amenable to being consoled. For example, many people come to Gurudev Shri Tulsi and listen to his enlightening discourse and as a result are able to overcome their grief and anxiety. The third type tamas wail inconsolably and are immune to all instruction. They cannot be influenced and made to understand even by Brahma, the creator. Only those having the sattva disposition are inherently tolerant.


The second criterion of mental health is fortitude or steadiness. A steady person does not get deflected even in the face of adversity. He retains his equanimity despite bad news. Constancy and steadiness are symbolized by the Sumeru mountain which no storm, howsoever fierce, can move or shake. Lord Rishabh has been eulogized in Bhaktamar Strot thus: It is no wonder even celestial damsels could not deflect you. Can a storm causing universal destruction shake the Sumeru mountain? Steadiness of mind is best defined thus : That man is steady whose mind suffers no distortion even when the cause of distortion is present. This steadiness or fortitude is a sign of mental health. It enables man to overcome all adversities and sorrows.
The third criterion of mental health is intelligence or wisdom. The function of intelligence is to discriminate and decide. In performing it will-power can be a great help. A mentally healthy person takes correct decisions and acts intelligently.

A good memory is the fourth criterion of mental health. Whenever a sign of mental disease appears or depression sets in, memory also suffers.
Absence of the loss of memory denotes mental health. People suffer more from mental than physical diseases. We come across a large number of mental cases as quite a lot of them come to attend preksha dhyan training camps. Some of them give the impression that for them the world is all suffering. Even though possessed of all assets, a mentally ill person feels total deprivation.

Therefore, care of the mind is of utmost importance. People take much more care of their bodies than of their minds. Intelligent people do otherwise. After all, it is the mind which controls the body. If its controller is not healthy, how can the body be healthy?

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13 May, 2007 Sunday Magazine, DAILY EXCELSIOR, by the efforts of Mr. Lalit Garg.

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