PRAMAD (remissness)

Vedic Articles
  • Prakriti and Purusha together regulate the creation. The three attributes sat, raj and tam constitute prakriti. The creation is the result of their unbalanced state and if they are in an equanimous state pralaya (universal destruction) takes place. Our life is governed by these three gunas (attributes). Of these sat and tam are considered inactive. They become active because of the influence of rajoguna. The conduct of an individual is moulded in accordance with the pre-eminence of a particular guna in him. Viewed from the angle of vision pramad is tamasik (malevolent). Demonic propensities like ignorance, frenzy, laziness and carelessness arise in him. Negative tendencies like pride, guilt complex, disrespect for others, misuse of time etc. become dominant. The self (the thought of the self) is lost sight of. Sloth is considered to be a synonym of tam. Together with it an intense desire to gratify the senses becomes predominant in a state of pramad. Attachment and enmity control everything. The individual is swayed by the currents of greed, attachment, false respect and illusion. They again promote pramad. He shies away from the path of dharma. Laxity enters the personality of a lazy person.

    In Indian literature tamoguna has been defined in many ways and has been quoted copiously. It renders sat and raj effete by shrouding them. Then, neither the enlightened consciousness shines, nor does one experience bliss. In this state one is neither inclined towards any kind of activity nor towards renunciation. This is known as tamomayi kriya – an action enveloped by malevolence. When ignorance is considered knowledge and consciousness is not enlightened or without bliss, pramad is born.

    Contrary to it sat always contains ananda, vijnan, sham and a feeling of completeness. It is through the medium of these emotions that nature regulates our life in the form of an invisible power. Nature’s function is to set limits. That which is limited is known as anitya (transient). The element of eternity cannot be achieved through transient means. It is equally true that we have to achieve the eternal reality and be free from this cycle of birth and death before this body decays. tamsik quality like pramad is a great hindrance in this endeavour. In a state of arrogance an individual makes use of transient things only for his own satisfaction. He doesn’t use them in the form of yajna. If he uses them in the form of yajna and makes use of uchhista (only leftovers), then he doesn’t become a hostage. Lord Krishna has also said in the Gita, “yagnyarthat karmnoanyatra lokoayam karmbandhanah” One should enjoy one’s income only after dividing it properly. This certainly is not possible if pramad persists.

    The life of a pramadi (a lazy person) is like that of an animal. pramad is also reflected only through one’s conduct. It is revealed only when one acts. One can see criminality, swachhandata (willfulness), vanity and frenzy in the behavior of a pramadi. His capacity to do good is destroyed. His mind is inclined towards sensual pressures. Fickleness becomes an all time phenomenon. A pramadi’s mind is neither influenced by knowledge nor by restraint. Self-introspection or swadhyaya (study of sacred texts) can never become part of his life. He will never experience a sense of stability in his life due to his dictatorial attitude. A pramadi can realize the importance of his life only when he blunders or a good fortune of his previous life smiles on him. Ordinary joy or sorrow can’t change him. He is of little use to his family or to society. He remains oblivious of himself.

    A pramadi has one additional characteristic. He wants to live alone as per the dictates of his desires. If he happens to stay with someone, it becomes unbearable for him. In such situation he develops many kinds of apprehensions in his mind. An environment of fear is created. He is not willing to accept the slightest degree of reduction in his freedom. Unwillingly, if he has to do something under some obligation, he thinks that it is a great burden. That is why he is generally cut off from society. He doesn’t have anything worth doing. Therefore, he can live carefree only among people who are similar to him in nature. How can joy stay in an environment of fear?

    Therefore, pramad is caused by ignorance, forgetfulness, extreme foolishness, and the mind deluded by attachment and enmity. Such a state is known as the delusion of the mind. This delusion makes the mind stupefied. The thoughts of the individual also undergo changes accordingly. He is ruled by arrogance. He keeps on installing himself in many roles. It shows the perverted state of his mind. This is called adhi (distress) which later on manifests itself in the body in the form of vyadhi (a disease). How can one remain healthy in body if his mind is not healthy. For him only the body is consciousness. Body is the soul. This is the ultimate result of pramad.

    The age through which we are passing today also attaches importance to pramad. Cinema and TV have made our life an instrument of entertainment. The moment a man is free, he rushes to watch TV. What relation can a period of work have with entertainment? If a man begins his day with the viewing of TV and watches it till late at night, pramad will certainly engulf his life. Unnecessary and undesirable things will also hold sway over his life. Sloth will begin to overpower him.

    Unnecessary entertainment is a big cause of pramad. Through it a man degrades his own life. The same ambience now prevails in different areas of life. Having forgotten the value of his life, man has begun to waste his time. Since the word ‘fashion’ has gained currency in this mode of living he takes pride in it. Whenever a man begins to give importance to his idiosyncrasies over the aims of life, one should take it for granted that he is in the grip of pramad. You won’t suffer a great loss if you are careless about anything. But if you are careless about life, what will be left behind.