29. FOUR CHARACTER TYPES OF PEOPLE
SVADHARMA AND SVABHAVA : THE VARNA SYSTEM
ONE’S OWN DHARMA vis-a-vis ESSENTIAL INNER NATURE
(In respect of the four character-types of people)
The character-type of a person depends upon what quality dominates the person’s essential inner nature (Svabhava). There are three major qualities focussed in all Hindu scriptures and the Gita also discusses them. In Sanskrit they are known as Satva, Rajas and Tamas. Roughly they correspond to Divine, Dynamic and Dull, respectively These are the tendencies or modes that govern our nature and are collectively called Gunas. Six entitites are chosen by Krishna for discussion in the 18th chapter : Knowledge, Action, Doer, Intellect, Will and Happiness. Each is dissected by Him into what shades of behavioral response belong to which of the three modes. Thus He delineates 18 different response-modes, devoting one verse to each. These verses can be a good exercise to do a self-analysis in search of one's own character-type by means of 18 leading questions (framed by using almost the same words of Krishna), to be asked by oneself of oneself. The honest answers to these questions will point out, in a broad way, one’s cumulative character-type among four types of Guna-domination that arise by this analysis.