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Who Is the Knower of Sattva?
Sanderson: Hi, Sundari. Here are a couple of things I’ve written recently:
October 19, 2014
All day long I’ve been feeling boundless energy, joy and bliss. I’ve been like a dynamo, getting so much done! I can feel the energy throughout my body, but particularly in my feet.
October 27, 2014
This morning I was reading James’ October 2011 satsang “The Glass Ceiling in Action.” I realised that in the statement “I am this,” which I have often thought in meditation, “this” refers to the experience of sattva, which typically arises in me in the morning on reading the satsangs on ShiningWorld. But as the day wears on, sattva gives rise to rajas, for example, in the form of desire (for a partner, etc.). Sometimes sattva returns in the evening, when the rajas is exhausted by action or fantasy. But this morning, I realised that I am the knower of sattva and rajas; I am the one in which this duality is arising and by which it is known, and I am free of it. Sattva and rajas may arise, and continue to arise, but I know that I am free of them, free of this and that, free of all dualities which are known to me. They belong to Isvara, not to me. I can see the alternate arising of sattva and rajas, and also of tamas which is often operating when I wake up in the morning; and in seeing them, I know them to be objects arising in me, the seer. This is like seeing the whole of creation from the top of Mount Olympus.
~ Much love, Sanderson
Sundari: Hello, Sanderson. Your inquiry is progressing and the mind is becoming much clearer. The last thing to negate along the way to moksa is the attachment to sattva. Once you understand this, you indeed have the view from the top of the mountain, metaphorically speaking, that of the non-experiencing witness.
Saguna brahman or the experiencing witness is apparently influenced by sattva. As the nature of the mind is sattva, when sattva predominates the witness is clear. This clarity, or pureness, is what people assume to be holy. One has to drop all these terms though, even nirguna brahman (the non-experiencing witness) because that implies saguna. It would be more appropriate to say that the self, seeing only itself, is that which knows sattva only when maya is operating. The self-aware self appears as a seer of sattva but it never actually is a seer, unless “seeing” refers to its own self. When ignorance is operating the jiva thinks that the seer is different from the seen: the subject and object are different. Self-knowledge resolves the subject-object split. Sattva is an object known to you, awareness.
Isvara is also known as saguna brahman but because it operates maya (the gunas) it is never deluded by them, i.e. it is pure sattva. When tamas and rajas arise in saguna brahman then awareness apparently becomes a jiva and is deluded by maya. Sattva seems to be clear and pure – only with reference to the objects appearing in it, which are impure. Purity and holiness are projected by the jiva when it is under the spell of sattva.
And as your experience confirms, awareness is without parts; being part-less, purity and impurity are moot dualisms. Yes, they are experienced and continue, because the jiva never leaves maya, but they are not real. When avidya is removed and your nature is known to be non-dual, duality is no longer an issue although it still appears in you, until it doesn’t anymore.
This is the collapse of it all which implies (a) a “final” enlightenment and (b) this is an event. As you know, that’s not the case because there isn’t even a collapsing. The self isn’t a doer, so it can’t collapse anything. And Isvara doesn’t rule over the self, because the cause is untouched and subtler than the effect. It’s the simple removal of ignorance by self-knowledge.
The big deal and hype around enlightenment and purity – turning it into a goal – is a very common trap in the spiritual arena. Both are experiential terms.
This is a very important fact and it really is all so simple and easy to miss, the “king of secrets,” as the Gita says. Who knows purity (sattva) and impurity (rajas/tamas)? Who knows the witness? Who is aware that I’m witnessing (or not witnessing)? Who knows all the states of existence, bodies, or koshas? I do – as awareness.
Good for you, Sanderson, keep up the great work. ☺
~ Much love to you, Sundari