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The Knower of the Broken Heart
Sundari: Hello, Laura. My apologies, I read your email a while ago and my reply slipped through the cracks, as we have been busy teaching and travelling!
I have addressed a few points below.
Laura: Dear Sundari, these words and support as the self and love are received so graciously.
Sundari: Love is your true nature, it is self-knowledge, and as such we all speak the same language.
Laura: To be honest, I’m feeling the fangs of love right now and I’m not sure whether this is exhausting vasanas and eliciting awareness or only immense sadness and feeding the me (not the self) as “lover.”
Sundari: I deduce you are referring to heartbreak – if so, the loss of love in whatever form it takes is usually the perceived loss of a part of ourselves – meaning the ego/mind which is identified with an object. From the jiva’s perspective this could be vasanas in the form of desire for an object to fulfil or complete you as the jiva – i.e. Laura – being “exhausted” or just brought to the surface for attention. This feeling of loss engenders immense sadness, as it is the ego’s feeling of loss, not the self, as the self is whole and complete, free of all objects and beyond all feelings. As you well know, all thoughts and feelings are totally unreliable, as they are constantly changing and in a state of flux. They also do not originate from you; they are the result of the gunas and as such are impersonal.
You use the words “eliciting awareness”; awareness cannot be elicited. This sounds like awareness is something other than you and must be called forth from where it is in hiding. Awareness is who you are, and it is the only thing that is always present. Awareness is a partless whole and Laura does not exist without it; it can only be revealed to you as your true nature by the removal of ignorance.
I take it that what you mean by “feeding me, not the self as lover” is that the emotions you are experiencing are feeding the “small you,” i.e. Laura – and not the self. Your true nature – awareness – does not need anything – it is the very nature of love, parama prema svarupa, which means limitless, whole and complete – and it can neither be fed, depleted or negated – nothing can be taken from it or added to it. It is purnaha – full. The small self will never be satiated and is a just one big needy idea until such time as self-knowledge removes the ignorance of your true nature.
Laura: At the risk of sounding melodramatic (Ram would certainly not appreciate this), my heart bleeds, and all is in my awareness.
Sundari: It is not that Ram does not appreciate or have feelings, he just knows that they are very bad indicators of what is real, as they are always changing. Whatever you are feeling may be the relative truth about Laura’s situation at the moment, but it is not the truth about you – awareness. The truth is that as awareness Laura and her feelings are objects appearing in you; it is the play of the gunas. You are always free of them, because they are known not to be you and not real.
This is not happening “in your awareness” – observe your language. It is all happening IN you, awareness.
Laura: Pain is strong and the karma yoga attitude prevailing, but with difficulty.
Sundari: Pain belongs to rajoguna, and not to you; the self feels no pain. You are the knower of the pain that the apparent self is apparently suffering. Suffering has a purpose in that it propels the mind to seek an end to it through self-inquiry. Only self-knowledge has the ability to permanently put an end to existential suffering. Karma yoga is the jiva understanding reality from the point of view of awareness. It is consecrating every thought, word and deed on a moment-to-moment basis to Isvara – knowing that the results are not up to Laura – then taking the results that do come as prasad, a gift. This is bhakti, giving thanks to Isvara because you know that you are taken care of by the macrocosmic mind, no matter what is happening in Laura’s life, even through the pain. The pain is a gift too.
At the same time it is pointless to deny the pain; it is natural for the ego to grieve when it experiences loss. Being self-aware does not make Laura incapable of feeling. It just means that she knows that she is the knower of the feelings. The ego cannot help modifying to thoughts and feelings; the self is the knower of the modifications.
Laura: Rereading your touching reflections, I question whether I’m cut out for this and yet can’t turn away from Truth even if I tried.
Sundari: Who is not cut out for this? And what do you mean by “this”? Laura, the jiva, or ego, may think she is “not cut out for this” because she is identified with whatever she is going through, but she is definitely cut out for this, because it is all happening in her, awareness. Laura does not exist without the light of awareness – YOU – shining on her. She is an object in you, and like all other objects she is known to you; she is the self under the spell of ignorance. You definitely cannot turn away from the truth even if you tried, because you are the self and you are the truth.
Laura: Sorry to have emotion sprinkle this note so. Much thanks for the time taken to read it.
~ Love, Laura
Sundari: No apologies are necessary; as jivas we all walk similar paths to truth until we find that we are the path that runs beneath all paths – the self – and there is nowhere to get to.
~ Much love and light to you, Sundari
Laura: Dear Sundari, your delayed response encouraged further self-inquiry and so became the teaching itself. Your words now speak to Me, reaffirming satya. (And you deciphered the cryptic rajasic language of the note so well.) Triguna yoga and endless consecration of action to the Total has served well over the last week.
Sundari: It is always the self talking to itself! I am glad that my response has helped, along with karma yoga. I am also happy for you that triguna vibhava yoga reaffirmed satya for you. Remember that many people feel compelled in their quest for peace of mind to become sattvic. Sattva is not the be-all and end-all even though sat, awareness (of which sattva is the most subtle manifestation), is actually your true nature. Sattva is a state of mind that is experienced by the doer, the subtle body. It is purely experiential and therefore does not last. It will not free you from dependence on objects or end the subtle existential suffering that comes with it. Yet it is a valuable energy for inquiry and should be cultivated. It is the guna springboard for self-knowledge and as such will be of great use to you in dis-identifying with what Laura appears to be going through.
Laura: To clarify: that I suggested Ramji wouldn’t appreciate the melodrama/emotional stuff was more a slight to this subtle body’s inability to assimilate his endless, patient and extensive teachings on this subject and the equally endless study of these. Such words didn’t mean to suggest his insensitivity or any disrespect.
Sundari: No offence was taken, Ramji and I are the self; we see you and everyone as the self and do not take anything personally, because we know we are not the person. I was simply clarifying a point, not in any way being defensive of Ramji, who certainly needs no defending. ☺ Ramji feels as much as anyone else does; he just knows 100% of the time that he is free of his feelings and that they are not his.
Laura: “Cut out for this” perhaps was questioning whether this relative self qualifies for the path of inquiry (held up against the qualifications Ram teaches). And then that question seems silly if I’m the knower of the qualified and the unqualified.
Sundari: Remember that Ram does not teach the qualifications. He teaches Vedanta, and as such self-knowledge requires the qualifications because without them the mind cannot be purified and so self-inquiry cannot take place – thus liberation is unlikely. As you so rightly point out, you are most definitely qualified, because you know that you are the knower of the one who is qualified or unqualified!
Laura: Momentarily I mistook myself for the broken heart. But the heart can bleed and I can still love. I am love regardless. And I am the self-effulgent light illumining, “path” or “no path.”
Sundari: It is fine to mistake yourself to be Laura and forget who you are – because if you know you forgot, did you actually forget? It’s okay to feel pain and remember that you are the knower of the pain. It is natural for the ego to grieve or feel loss and hurt. Pain is inevitable in mithya, but if you know who you are suffering is not unavoidable. This is a tough one for the ego but hearts can’t really bleed, as they are incapable of pain or love; they are inert. Laura and her feelings are objects known to you; they are not conscious. Feelings, positive and negative, are not real; only you are real. They take place in you, awareness, and you are the knower of the feelings. They arise out of you and have a dependent existence on you but you are always free of them.
Freedom means you are free from identification with “your” feelings and believing that Laura and her story are real and happening “to” her. Suffering seems to take place and feels very real to the ego; self-knowledge does not mean that as the apparent person you do not feel. You just know that the feelings are not real and you know that they will pass because all feelings change. Trying to deny that Laura has them is just tamas and a recipe for more pain; let them play out.
You are right, you are always present and your true nature is love regardless of what feelings are being experienced. Love is not a feeling, although it seems to generate feelings. Love loves through you as you. You are the light that makes knowing the light possible – and the pathless path which leads to you, the self.
Laura: It is likely that ignorance is still evidenced through these words, and I appreciate every instance that you throw light on it. Your time and forgiving, tolerant reply helps so greatly. Words hit Home.
~ With deep love, Laura
Sundari: You are doing great, Laura, you are working it out and your understanding is good. Keep up the yogas and remember that, although Laura appears to be suffering, “Water cannot wet you, fire cannot burn you, wind cannot dry you, weapons cannot cleave you…” The self is prior to and the knower of all feelings.
~ Much love to you too, Sundari
Laura: Hi, Sundari. Previously written: “Momentarily I mistook myself for the broken heart…” Instead, momentarily ignorance(?) mistook self for the broken heart… (I am before the forgetting).
Sundari: Yes, correct. Laura, who is the self under the spell of apparent ignorance, mistook Laura to be real because ignorance was operating, thus the heartbreak seems real. This is conditioned superimposition, the mirage on the desert floor. Once self-knowledge reveals Laura’s true nature to be awareness, the mirage still exists even though you know it is not real. So even though Laura still seems to experience the broken heart, she knows it is an apparent broken heart, not a real one. The self is always present and prior to everything.