Publication details

Relationship between Gunas and Mental Health, Flourishing, Positive and Negative Experience: An Indian and Western Perspective



Year of publication 2013
Type Conference abstract
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Description The present research aims to study the Eastern concept of Vedic personality traits comprising of Gunas- Sattva, Rajas and Tamas in relation to Mental Health, Flourishing, Positive and Negative Experience in Czech students. A sample of 353 university students (pertaining to diverse professional disciplines) was selected, consisting of 286 females and 67 males. The age range of the sample was between 19 to 30 years with mean age of 22.2 years. The Mental Health Continuum - Short Form (MHC-SF; Keyes, 2009), Flourishing Scale and Scale of Positive and Negative Experience SPANE (Diener, Wirtz, Tov, Kim-Prieto, Choi, Oishi, & Biswas-Diener, 2009) and Vedic Personality Inventory (VPI; Wolf, 1998) were used in this research. VPI is based on the three gunas which according to the Das Gupta (1961) are ‘the universal characteristics of all kinds of mental tendencies’. These gunas facilitate the behavior style of an individual. Descriptive statistics was used for data analysis. The results revealed significant correlations between specific Vedic Personality Gunas and other variables of interest. Significant positive relationships between Sattva guna (symbolized by purity, wisdom, serenity, love of knowledge and spiritual excellence in Indian philosophy) with Emotional well-being (r = 0.44); Psychological well-being (r = 0.44); Social well-being (r = 0.60); Flourishing (r = 0.67); Positive Experience (r = 0.49) at 0.01 significance level and negatively correlated with Negative Experience (r = - 0.39) were obtained. In contrast, Rajas (which is symbolized by egoism, activity, restlessness and desire after mundane things) and Tamas (related to qualities such as bias, negligence, distortion in taste, thought) were negatively correlated with all well-being indicators except negative experience which is positively correlated. Results of the study point at interesting connections between Indian and Western holistic approach to understand well-being and its indicators.

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