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Theosophical Encyclopedia

Sattva

A Sanskrit term meaning, literally, “being,” “existence,” or “reality,” from the root as (be, exist). However, in Sankhya philosophy, especially, as well as in some other Indian philosophic systems and the Bhagavad- Gita, it refers to one of the three attributes or gunas of matter. It is used by Helena P. BLAVATSKY in The Secret Doctrine to refer to the basic reality of the universe, “The Root” or “unconditioned reality” or “Parabrahman,” and is translated by her as “pure knowledge” (SD I:68-69). She also relates it — in relation to the preponderance of the other gunas — to our concept of ourselves, our sense of “I” or ahamkara (SD I:335 fn).

See GUNA(S); TRIGUNA.

R.W.B.

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