24. At the Treshold
In that insight you realise the interaction between purusa and prakrti, which gives rise to the so-called creation, which is nothing more than the realisation of this consciousness of its own inherent nature.
When the infinite is activated, and becomes aware of its own nature, all this infinite variety is formed - including what is called 'you', 'me', 'I'.
All these millions of 'I's are the sprouts in this infinite garden.
You arrive at this insight, not through a technique or a process, but not without a technique.
Self-realisation is not something which you can pick up from a guru or scripture, but it is not had if you do not have any of these.
It is not very easy to understand this insight, because the observer is part of the observation itself!
The observer is not independent of the observed until the observation itself becomes the observer, or the fact is realised that observation is the observer, like sleep is the sleeper.
There is no being, independent of sleep, who is asleep, who thinks 'I am asleep'.
There is sleep, and nothing else.
Similarly, can there be an observation without an observer?
That is insight, that is jnana.
In that jnana there may arise a polarity, but that polarity does not divide this jnana.
It is like the two ends of the handkerchief.
You cannot cut a handkerchief into two, hoping to get only one end.
Merely see it is one handkerchief, and there are no two ends.
Still there are two ends if you want to see them as two ends!
It is important to remain aware of the arising of the idea 'This is mine', whether it is related to an external object, called the body, or to another external object, called a good thought, a bad thought, a feeling of happiness or unhappiness, of brilliance or dullness and stupidity, of excitement.
Where do they arise?
When the attention is focused in this manner, then one is in a state of pratyahara.
Some, by meditation, behold the self in the self by the self, others by the yoga of action. (13:24)
It is a very enigmatic statement.
How can one see one's self?
You cannot see the self.
But when the attention has thus returned to its own source, there is no external flow of attention.
There is insight.
It is not my insight, it is not your insight, it is insight.
Is that the ultimate truth? No.
Krsna calls it sattva.
When through every gate (sense) in this body, the wisdom-light shines, then it may be known that sattva is predominant. (14:11)
What does it mean?
There is an insight into all psychological functions.
There is nothing concerning the body or the mind that is unclear to you.
Sattva is fairly close to self-realisation.
You are still aware that your mind is calm.
If the mind is calm, the 'me' looking at the mind and at the calmness is still there.
There is still a foolish idea that this is 'my' calmness, this is 'my' mind.
When you are in some such state of mind, considering yourself a great saint, immediately stand near one of these boisterous children and ask yourself: "Where does my mind end and his mind start? The child is excited and I am peaceful."
Look carefully to see if you can find from where your mind starts.
When there is no such division in space, 'my' calmness is not 'my' calmness.
It so happens that in this particular area of this room there is a little bit of calmness for the time being.
It may be disturbed in fifteen minutes time.
Spiritual glory is useless deception.
Greed, activity, the undertaking of actions, restlessness, longing - these arise when rajas is predominant, O Arjuna. (14:12)
Wait a little bit more, then lust, anger and greed start.
That is rajas.
When there is tamas, you feel fatigued and sleepy.
Krsna warns us that all three of these can be fetters.
Sattva, rajas and tamas are part of this universal nature.
What was described as prakrti or ksetra are subject to these three states of being.
There is nothing in the entire universe which is totally free from one or the other of the three guna.
If tamas was not there at all, a person would not be stupid or foolish - but perhaps he would not be thinking.
If rajas was totally absent, then there would be no motion, no activity.
Sattva cannot be completely absent.
These three constitute the very substance of creation of every living organism.
Sattva, rajas and tamas - these qualities, O Arjuna, born of the divine nature, bind fast in the body, the embodied, the indestructible. (14:5)
These three qualities bind the embodied being in the body.
And therefore as long as you and I consider that 'this body is mine' (or not mine) it is not possible to get out of this clutch, except through grace. As falling asleep is an experience which arises when the 'me' comes to an end, possibly this experience of that which is beyond these three guna will arrive when the 'me' comes to an end. That is purely a matter of grace. So it is possible for you to become completely and totally free of the sense of possession and end all psychological relationship, but it is not so easy to end the relationship to this body and come to the clear understanding that this 'body is not I'.
Of these, sattva which from its stainlessness, is luminous and healthy, binds by attachment to happiness and by attachment to knowledge, O sinless one. (14:6)
Even sattva will bind you by an experience of happiness independent of the objects.
Still it is an experience, and therefore it is fragmented, divided.
Any experience that is experienced as if it were separate from the experiencer, is fragmented experience, and therefore likely to come to an end.
To be devoted to what you regard as jnana, as wisdom, is another contact, another attachment, another bondage. There is one way out of this.
When the seer beholds no agent other than the guna and knows that which is higher than them, he attains to my being.(14:19)
If there is intelligence, what is its source?
If there is restlessness, dullness, stupidity, activity, what is the source?
Why is it that you can only sleep when sleep comes to you; you can only be active when there is energy in you; you are intelligent, clear and wise only on certain occasions and not on certain other occasions?
Obviously because these are beyond 'me', the ego.
When those states prevail, they manifest their own characteristics which you assume to be 'mine'.
All these activities, whether they are called sattvika, rajasa or tamasa, belong to this cosmic nature.
When you come face to face with this, you are at the threshold, knocking.
What is beyond that?
Is there something beyond that?
And the beyond reveals itself to itself!

The Bhagavad Gita - Introduction | EN

Swami Venkatesananda

The Song of God - Introduction - Swami Venkatesananda - enlarged 4th edition – 1984 - published by The Chiltern Yoga Trust, Cape Town, South Africa
1998 - 2017