April 7


Key to Better Decision Making –Identify And Remove Three Defects of Mind

By Rajneesh

The existence of Bhagavad Gita in Mahabharata itself is because of lack of decision making when Arjuna was overpowered

Swami Sivanand on Mind
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

by his negative emotions and he was not able to take right decisions due to lack of right vision. His vision was clouded with fear, attachment and despondency. At that time what Lord Krishna taught is the most efficient counseling done by any Management Guru ever in infinite time. The timeless poetry from the mouth of Lord is although the part of the Mahabharata, but is considered as self sufficient Upanishad in itself.

Gita stresses on taming mind for better control over our actions as per Dharma. Mind is one such tool given to mankind free of cost by nature but is worthy of a life time wealth. A crystal clear mind helps one to take better decisions in life leading to all types of success at personal, professional and offcourse spiritual front.

There are three defects of mind identified in our scriptures, which need to be removed for a better understanding of things in life and thus a better decision making. In the words of Swami Sivanand – 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 inthese three cases owing to the Dosha of the mind.”

Dosha here refers to three defects of mind, which do not allow us to be receptive to external situations, and due to lack of understanding on the situations, our decisions many times at workplace are taken out of confusion and self doubt. These defects are as follows:-

Three Defects of Mind
Three Defects of Mind
  • Mala (Impurity)
  • Vikshepa (Tossing of Mind)
  • Avarana (Veil of Ignorance)

To understand these defects let us consider an anomaly of a tank filled with water. If we want to see the bottom of the tank, There will be three factors responsible for its lack of clarity from the top:-

  • Impurities on the surface of Water
  • Continuous Movement of surface of water due to external disturbances
  • Lack of Light inside the tank.

Now these three factors can directly be compared with the defects of mind. Our mind is clouded with a layer of impurities of negative emotions which are generally of five types as follows:-

Kama (Desires)Impurities of Mind

Krodha (Anger)

Lobh (Greed)

Moha (Attachment)

Mad (Pride)

Matsarya (Jealousy)

Impurities of Mind

These impurities of mind bound us with mood swings and do not allow us to understand any problem in its absolute form. Just like a person is not able to see the bottom of the tank due to impurities on the surface of water, impurities of mind also inhibit our vision to the real problem, and we either try to address our problems at superfluous level without even noticing the root cause of it or we try to escape from them by ignoring it.

The second defect ie Vikshep (tossing of mind) can be directly compared to the disturbance in water hindering the true vision of bottom. The mind has got an inherent characteristic of tossing between the objects continuously. It cannot stay on one particular subject for a longer period, and always craves for something more sensational, due to which one cannot contemplate much on the real problem and thus overall decision making is affected. It is due to tossing nature of mind that people love stories, movies with fast paced incidents and climax. The Meditation, Pranayam and Trataka helps in removing Vikshep  and make our mind still with consciousness. The mind after removal of Vikshep is better equipped with the skills of dwelling deep inside the subject matter to be able to solve the toughest of the problems of the world.

The third defect is the ignorance ie. lack of knowledge about the subject matter. The knowledge is like a guiding torch inside the tank filled with water enabling one to see clearly the detailing of the bottom.

One should study the nature of the mind, and get rid of three defects (doshas) to purify it and make it ready and steady to face most difficult situations of life and rise above the temporary deceptions and temptations.

A steady mind free from all the above defects is the most powerful tool of a mankind helping not only in taking right and timely decisions, but also in achieving all the desired short term as well as long term goals of the life.

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  1. Hi Rajneesh,
    Great blog but one point which I never understood is why do humans see the human emotions as dosha, Kam krodh lobh moh, war,destruction are what makes us human.Why would we give up our humanity? Why dont we enjoy these as gifts from almighty ?
    I would point out I am not spiritual person, I believe in enjoying all the indriya and the gifts of emotions.
    Please don’t take it as criticism , I have great respect for people who can follow the above mentioned Path.


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