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Positive Reflections- Functioning Of The Three Faculties Of The Soul

The Cyclic Functioning Of The Three Faculties Of The Soul

The soul consists of three faculties – the mind, intellect and sanskaras. They work together in a cyclic fashion. How they work together can be illustrated by looking at how habits or sanskaras are formed e.g. if you are used to scolding your children to get them to do their homework, here is what happens when you visit a friend’s place and watch, for the first time, how your friend is doing the same to his/her child, you might think (done by the mind): ‘I should adopt the same method to discipline my children, they never listen to me’. Your intellect discriminates and judges whether that thought is right or not. Seeing others using the same method, and also seeing that the children are not being affected in any negative way (at least in the short term, not realizing the long term harm) and also seeing them get the desired result, you make a decision to do the same, which leads to the action of scolding your children. This creates an impression or memory within the soul, somewhat like cutting a groove in a piece of wood. This groove in the soul becomes a characteristic of your personality and is known as a sanskara. Within the groove is recorded the memory of, firstly, the action of scolding the children and, secondly, the desired result from the action. Now, whenever your child disobeys you even a little bit, this sanskara is activated and the memory of the action and result associated with it emerge in the mind triggering a thought: ‘Let me scold my child, that’s the best way to get him to do things’. The intellect judges the thought, remembering the proof of the scolding, based on past experience, and then makes the decision that it is alright to using anger as a weapon to discipline the child. In this way, the sanskara keeps getting deeper and deeper. The cyclic process explained above, applies to all habits, whether physical or non-physical.


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