Indian concepts of personality and higher levels of mind

Usha Srivastava
M.P.G. Govt. Girls College

The Indian concept of personality is an excellent synthesis of the individual's self in relation to the dualities of finite and infinite realities and higher levels of mind. Progressive enlargement of the self has been the central construct, which is the outcome of a continuous process of realization of the goals through exercise of divine and non-divine energy forces within the individual life which is a struggle of opposites -- reality vs unreality, birth vs death, mortality vs immortality -- in the world of experience for the survival of the self. All forms of existence are found in each being in well-fixed traits of human behavior. Matter, life and mind are all composite elements of infinite reality which fill the world, and are in us as well. We are part of the forces that work in the outer world and nature. Our intellect produces self-consciousness; it leads to the segregation of the individual self from infinite consciousness. Life has a purpose and through the proper development of understanding and intellect, self becomes ego-free and the true reality is found. An individual is a complex multi-dimensional being, including within him different elements of matter, life, consciousness, intelligence and moral sense. Every act of self is a creative one. The law of Karma holds supremacy in life. Man is asked to control his impulses, shake off his wandering and confusions, rise above the current of nature and regulate his conduct by reference to buddhi or intellect, otherwise we become victims of lust and start acting according to our impulses. Perfection at the human level is a task to be accomplished by conscious endeavour. The truly human individual pursues his ideal of perfection with great devotion and sincerity.

This paper was presented at the
National Conference on
Yoga and Indian Approaches to Psychology

Pondicherry, India, September 29 - October 1, 2002