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Sattva Is a State of Mind
Arjuna: Pranam, Gurudev, I am blessed to have your guidance. I feel like I got recharged and my mind has become more clear now after reading your answers. I will definitely follow what has been said by you. To summarise it:
1. Earnestness (strong desire for moksa) is what really matters because it drives the entire path of spiritual sadhana.
2. The entire spiritual sadhana is to gradually make the mind free from rajas and tamas so that mind becomes more calm and clear for self-knowledge to take place. And this is not an easy thing, it requires total commitment 24/7. For this I need to constantly observe myself and my progress/status and seek Guru’s guidance.
3. I need to understand that the aim of entire spiritual sadhana is to make mind more clear so that light of self-knowledge becomes evident, and the aim of sadhana is not to just perfect the jiva. Otherwise I will get stuck in path itself and the real aim, i.e. self-knowledge, will not take place.
4. As a jiva I have control/freedom to make my mind more clear, i.e. to perfect myself, but it is indeed Isvara’s grace because of which I will gain self-knowledge. Again, here Isvara will grant that which individual deserves/wants most. So again, here earnestness for self- knowledge and constant application of it are most important.
I will go through the teachings by Swami Ram once more very attentively and will definitely try to apply those teachings per the process you mentioned.
I am getting excited to mention one sentence in Vidya Gita from Tripura Rahasya about earnestness, which follows and as I remember it now: “What is earnestness? The thought/conviction that somehow or the other I will definitely accomplish it.”
No matter what my knowledge is, what my state of mind is, if I have earnestness one day I will definitely accomplish it. And the strange thing is: the moment of earnestness itself is the moment of freedom.
Sundari: Hello, Arjuna. Yes, you have summarised it very well! Moksa is freedom from the jiva, not perfecting the jiva, and it is by Isvara’s grace not only that we come upon Vedanta but also how it unfolds in the mind. Isvara gives the jiva the tools and the teacher. There is nothing more important than this, and in Ram you have found the best teacher!
About your quote, “‘What is earnestness? The thought/conviction that somehow or the other I will definitely accomplish it.’”
“No matter what my knowledge is, what my state of mind is, if I have earnestness one day I will definitely accomplish it. And the strange thing is: the moment of earnestness itself is the moment of freedom.”
Who is it that will “accomplish it” and what is “it”? Moksa is not a doing and not an accomplishment; it is also not a state. It is realising that you are not the doer, that you are moksa. Yes, the burning desire for moksa must be there in the jiva, which is a result of sattva, given by the grace of Isvara. Earnestness is the conviction that moksa will take place and it is also the knowing that it is not the reflected self, or Arjuna, that can accomplish this, because the jiva is an object known to you. Arjuna will never be “enlightened”; self-knowledge will reveal him to be an object known to you, awareness.
Your sadhana is indeed to prepare the mind by exposing it to the scripture, purifying it of rajas and tamas so that self-knowledge can “do the work” of removing ignorance. Self-knowledge is not likely to take place in mind ruled by rajas and tamas, so the “state of mind” is very important. The moment of earnestness is sattva, which is the true nature of the mind and that which self-knowledge reveals to have been there all along once ignorance (rajas and tamas) is removed. However, although a sattvic mind is essential for self-inquiry, it is a state of mind, therefore does not last. It is subject to change, therefore an object known to you, awareness. However, it is the guna springboard for enlightenment, so very important to cultivate.
~ Om and prem, Sundari