James LeFevour – USA
In a previous article, the idea of ayurvedic doshas being applied to the mind was introduced. In summary there are three doshas (vata, pitta, and kapha) that come from 2 of the 5 elements (earth, water, fire, air, space) of the universe, and those 2 elements produce the 3 motions of the universe. When applied to the mind this demonstrates 3 distinct personality types that are prevalent in all people.
In this article, instead of focusing just on the mind it is worthwhile to go further into one’s passions. In terms of chakras, instead of just the ajna chakra, we will see what ajna and the anahata (heart) chakra do in tandem to our personalities.
It is not a new concept to look at the mind and the heart in unison as one unit. The science of meditation has only begun to plumb the depths of how our brains and hearts work together on a cellular level. Now we are applying doshas to it as well to understand the persona.
If one were to understand the nature of dosha, it becomes apparent that all things have a nature, so all things have a dosha. In a table, the legs, screws, and table top all have individual doshas. So too does the table in general have one dosha attributed to it. It is this way with people. Our minds, hearts, and all chakras and organs have dosha qualities. The combination of these doshas when applied to the whole give us our general dosha.
Many people believe that it is the body’s dosha that sums up the nature of a human being. However if we were to consider the nature of a human existence, it would make more sense to look at the dosha of the mind as the general dosha, and the body as a subset of the entire being. We are after all defined more by how we act and think, not just by how we digest.
To subdivide every combination or mind-passion dosha, there are a total of 6. This is because a mind dosha cannot have the same passion dosha, or in other words there is no vata-vata combination or pitta-pitta. The reason will be addressed momentarily.
I like to imagine a hexagram, and on each side is a mind-passion dosha. In all, the possible combinations are vata-pitta, vata-kapha, pitta-kapha, pitta-vata, kapha-vata, and kapha-pitta.
To explain what the passion or heart do individually with their doshas, it all comes down to the self and the ideas the self is preoccupied with. A pitta heart loves to see oneself as a unique and attractive individual. A kapha heart likes to stimulate themselves with a good memory, collecting facts and figures the way others collect stamps. A vata heart is all about intensity or pursuit of truth, whether this comes from thill seeking or philosophy the individual pursues an idea until they have gotten the most out of the moment.
The reason there is no repetitive doshas as far as the mind and the heart is concerned is because it would become overly redundant in the personality. There is elements of each nature in the mind and the passion. For example a kapha mind is already meticulous in detail, so to have a passion of the same type would not lead to fulfilling dharma. The individual would be too single focused. Another way of looking at it is from nature, by saying the apple must fall a minimum distance away from the tree or it will not plant in the shade of its parent. The mental nature is initially established, so the passion must be of separate nature to bare fruit.
While it is possible to take these qualities of passion and tack them onto the mind doshas from the previous article, it makes more sense to look at each of the six mind-passion doshas as one individual. Thus here is each of the six looked at as their own personality.
Vata-pittas are interested in obsessing over details, and in their minds they go from topic to topic based on how much emotional stimulation it offers them. They have great stamina when it comes to discussing the subject matter of their interest so much so that they may wear out those around them. If they find a cause that warrants their permanent attention, they have much more of a chance for settling down peacefully in life.
Vata-kaphas are conscientious friends and hard workers. They are very capable of seeing the absurd in life which can lead to bouts of depression personally, and a great deal of acceptance and understanding toward those around them. They are known as great analysts of the problems before them, and others are known to come to them for advice.
Pitta-kaphas are best described as devoted to that which gives them pleasure in life. To an outsider this sounds like a selfish endeavor, but the pitta-kapha knows that if you have what makes you content yet stimulated everything else, family, friends, and work, can fall into place. These individuals are also treated as leaders, but it would be more accurate to describe them as forerunners, because when you know exactly what you want others will follow you to see what you know that they don't.
Pitta-vatas are the rescuers and the world savers, because they are the ones rushing into danger to save lives when everyone else is running the other way. These people are extremely compassionate, though not always the most self confident. It is almost better for others to tell a pitta-vata that they are the most compassionate ones, because they will not see it for themselves. They want others to take them seriously early in life, although some find comfort in the endeavor of taking themselves seriously, and then they feel they have found purpose in life.
Kapha-vatas are enamored with all things and subjects that involve the arts, science, and nature. These are the people who march to their own tune, and are often labeled the most introverted of all the types, especially when you get them into a personal activity or study that captivates them. More often than not they are drawn to building things or the technology that drives civilizations forward. You know a kapha-vata because rather than solve problems by looking at a big picture, they instead choose to dig right into the details and the equations and they don't stop until the problem presents a logical and straight forward solution.
Kapha-pittas are natural leaders, and they do so because they believe in themselves. These are the classic examples of those people who think globally, but act locally in their community. Others will look at these individuals and question what makes them able to stand under pressure, but the kapha-pitta knows that they are simply seeking out the best answer that suits the needs of everyone and making a choice. Everything in the world of these people comes down to choice, and to them it is always a simple matter of weighing pros and cons.
It is worth mentioning that vata-pittas, pitta-kaphas, and kapha-vatas are more often than not occurring in men, and that vata-kaphas, pitta-vatas, and kapha-pittas are mostly women. While it remains true that most anything one gender can do, the other can also accomplish, it does give insight into the inner nature and personalities of men and women. Or you could also say that there is more to a personality than just the doshas, but the doshas of men and women seem to commonly be separate.
For those who have trouble figuring out their dosha it helps to know that sometimes we are drawn to the qualities of an adjacent dosha to our own. Vatas find the aspects of pitta to be stimulating, pittas find comfort in the grounded nature of kapha, and kaphas are in wonder of vata. This is not about romance or partnership, but more about energetic attraction. In this way we are all drawn to each other as in nature. Knowing this can help one anticipate this and see their own dosha clearly.
Personality is not defined entirely by its dosha, however we are given guidance by it. This system shows the inquirer a clue toward understanding what may lead the aspirant to life fulfillment. To use the Sanskrit term, our “dharma” is further revealed for us in understanding our nature. In embracing our dharma, we choose to become more realized spiritual people, and that is why many follow the spiritual path.
To quote H.P.B.:
"The key in each degree is the aspirant himself." It is not "the fear of God" which is "the beginning of Wisdom," but the knowledge of SELF which is WISDOM ITSELF...
It should never be forgotten that Occultism is concerned with the inner man who must be strengthened and freed from the dominion of the physical body and its surroundings, which must become his servants. Hence the first and chief necessity of Chelaship is a spirit of absolute unselfishness and devotion to Truth; then follow self-knowledge and self-mastery. These are all-important; while outward observance of fixed rules of life is a matter of secondary moment. — H. P. Blavatsky, Lucifer IV, 348