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Vivekananda 's Views
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What is personality? According to Cambridge Dictionary, “personality is the type of person you are, which is shown by the way you behave, feel and think”. According to Longman Dictionary, “it is the whole nature or character of a person”. How a person behaves, feels and thinks, how he conducts himself in a given set of circumstances is largely determined by the state of his mind. Mere external appearance or a person’s speech or mannerisms are the only fringes of ones personality. Therefore, personality development in the real sense refers to deeper levels of a person. It is essential thus any study of personality development should start from a clear grasp of nature of our mind, and how it functions. Complexity of Mind: - The human mind has four basic functions. They are 1) Memory, 2) Deliberation and conceptualization, 3) Determination/ Decision making and 4) “I” Consciousness The storehouse of memory and impressions of our past experiences presents various possibilities before the mind. This is called Chitta. The sum total of these impressions (good and bad) determines our character. This chitta is also our sub-conscious mind. The mind examines the many options and it deliberates on several things. This faculty of mind is called as manas. Imagination and formation of concepts are also functions of manas. Buddhi is the faculty responsible for decision making. It is also discriminative faculty in a person. Appropriating to oneself all physical and mental activities like I eat, I sleep, I talk etc. is called ahamkara or “I” consciousness. All these four aspects of the mind, manas, buddhi, chitta and ahamkara are not watertight compartments. It’s the same mind called by different names based on its functions. What is Character? Every action and thought of our leaves an impression in our mind. These impressions determine how we behave at a given moment, how we respond to a given situation. The sum total of all our impressions is what determines our character. The past has determined the present. Even so the present- our present thoughts and actions-will shape our future. This is the key principle governing personality development.

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