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At the Feet of The Mother

Laziness and “Tamas”

Of course, laziness is a kind of tamas, but in laziness there is an ill-will, a refusal to make an effort — while tamas is inertia: one wants to do something, but one can’t.

I remember, a long time ago, having been among some young people, and they remarked that when I decided to get up I used to get up with a jump, without any difficulty. They asked me, “How do you do it? We, when we want to get up, have to make an effort of will to be able to do it.” They were so surprised! and I was surprised by the opposite. I used to tell myself, “How does it happen? When one has decided to get up, one gets up.” No, the body was there, like that, and it was necessary to put a will into it, to push this body for it to get up and act. It is like that, this is tamas. Tamas is a purely material thing; it is very rare to have a vital or mental tamas (it may occur but through contagion), I believe it is more a tamas of the nerves or the brain than vital or mental tamas. But laziness is everywhere, in the physical, the vital, the mind. Generally lazy people are not always lazy, not in all things. If you propose something that pleases them, amuses them, they are quite ready to make an effort. There is much ill-will in laziness.

28 April 1951

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