vaisnavaThe term Gauda is an ancient name for Bengal, and a Vaishnava is a devotee of the Supreme Lord Vishnu. The Gaudiya Vaishnava’s are generally known as followers of Caitanya Mahaprabhu, who rejuvenated the culture of Krsna bhakti in the sixteenth century. Since Krsna and Vishnu are different aspects of the same Supreme Person, devotees of Krsna are also known as Vaishnavas.

In the terminology of the Gita, a psychologically well-adjusted person is one who is aware of the particular influence that the gunas exert on his psyche and acts in consideration of these influences. Regardless of which gunas one is predominantly influenced by, this basic awareness is itself the influence of sattva, which subtly governs the Gita‘s varnasrama social system. In the Gita‘s vision, the essential first step of goodness is to be situated in one’s prescribed duty, a duty that corresponds with one’s psychology. By being properly placed, one finds a sense of harmony with one’s materially conditioned self, which makes the cultivation of other aspects of goodness possible.

Those whose actions are not determined in consideration of their psychology will be out of balance and more easily fall prey to the influences of passion and ignorance. At the same time. sattva itself must also be transcended because it keeps us from ultimate freedom in loving union with God. Under its influence one often remains a prisoner to religious tradition, rather than realizing the tradition’s essential message.

Those whose psyche is predominated by sattva can, to a corresponding extent, directly and naturally pursue transcendental life, whereas those dominated by rajas and tamas will find this course more difficult. For such people, although they may progress in an absolute sense, relative problems such as psychological dysfunctions may arise and create some impediments.

This notion of the gunas and their relation to spiritual culture and psychological wellbeing fits well with transpersonal psychology. In this model, the necessity of developing into a psychologically well-adjusted person is considered a prerequisite to, or a parallel discipline intended to complement, spiritual culture proper.
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