The Power of Devotion – Bhagavad Gita, Ch 9, Vs 26-28

“One who offers in devotion to Me, a leaf, a flower, fruit or water, I enjoy that pure-hearted devotee’s offering. Therefore whatever you do, eat, sacrifice or give, and whatever tapas you perform, do that as an offering to Me. In this way, you will be liberated from the bondage of action and its good and evil effects. Thus engaging yourself in Sannyasa Yoga, you will be set free and come to Me.” — Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 9, Verses 26- 28 

In these verses, Lord Krishna defines Sannyasa Yoga—Union (yoga) through renunciation (sannyasa)—as Devotion to God. It is the power of devotion that sets the true seeker on the path to liberation and union with God. For this reason, he seeks a guru with whom he can practice devotion while learning how to practice yoga correctly.

The offering of a leaf, a flower, a fruit or water, is a devotional practice. When the state of the one making the offering is one of pure devotion, the offering is enjoyed.

The Sanskrit word for ‘enjoy’ also means ‘pervade’. The devotee whose offering is given with devotion, is pervaded by God. This is the source of the custom of pranama (bowing down) and placing gifts at the guru‘s feet. This custom is based on the recognition that God, Guru and the real Self are the same.

We have been getting directions for the yoga practice of surrendering ourselves to Absolute God in meditation. This was referred to as ‘sacrifice’. Now our attention moves to the sacrificial offering as a very powerful practice that we can do outside of the meditation room: Whatever we do, we offer to God with loving devotion. This simple form of surrender to God is another form of ‘renunciation’.

“Thus engaging yourself in Sannyasa Yoga, you will be set free and come to Me.”
When you renounce not only the fruits of your action, but the actions themselves, this is ‘renunciation’. It is easily achieved through devotion.

If you cannot or will not renounce your sense of doership of actions, you renounce their results, their fruits. Persons traveling both the path of the will and the path of surrender will benefit from the surrender of the fruits of their actions to God. But for those on the willful path, here is a little known secret: Success in this will take you straight to surrender yoga, for this is what real devotion and renunciation truly are—surrender to God.

It is the Power of Devotion that makes full and complete surrender to God, possible, and it is this that brings about your liberation and ultimate union with God.

NOTE to practitioners of Experiential Surrender Meditation: This practice done during your daily life, will save you from accumulating karma and slowing your progress. Even though you have acted, the renunciation of your actions and/or their fruits with loving devotion, will nip the accumulation of karma in the bud. You may even find that you directly experience God’s pleasure in your offering, a blissful experience you will never forget. 

The specific spheres of action in which this instruction is aimed are “whatever you eat, sacrifice, give in charity, and whatever tapas you perform.” These specific actions are mentioned because they give the best results. All these actions done as acts of your own volition, you offer to God.  

“Whatever you eat” refers to anything you consume, or ingest. This is most obviously food, but applies to anything you intentionally take in—the enjoyment of the music, the fragrance of a flower, the pleasure of a good massage, a day at the gallery. We take in many things in a day, but it is those things we take in of our own volition that are the most effective offerings to God, your chosen ideal or Guru. 

“Whatever you sacrifice” refers to what you offer to God. For instance, you may surrender the food you are about to eat, some difficulty you are having in life, a pleasure you enjoy, a decision you have to make, a desire you want to be rid of.

“Whatever you give” refers to gifts and services to others: to Guru, your church, a charity, persons in need, etc. When you give, give it as if you were giving it to God, because you are.

The chosen tapas (austerity) of this sadhu is to live only on what comes his way and to own nothing, including clothes. His body is smeared with ashes.
The chosen tapas (austerity) of this sadhu is to live only on what comes his way and to own nothing, including clothes.

“Whatever tapas you perform” refers to your efforts toward spiritual progress: meditation, selfless service, mantra, prayer, etc. Tapas (‘austerity’) means ‘to burn’ and refers to purification, a direct effect of this renunciation (surrender).

Living your life this way you not only up the ante on your progress, but your attention will always be on God, so it’s money in the bank. 

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In this way, you will be liberated from the bondage of action (karma) and its good and evil effects. Thus engaging yourself in Sannyasa Yoga, you will be set free and come to Me.

Sannyasa Yoga
Union (yoga) is achieved through renunciation (sannyasa).

  • Renunciation – To commit to, to entrust, lay down, abandon, surrender
  • Yoga – Union with God

The Purpose of Sannyasa Yoga
Committing yourself (devotion) to abandoning self-doing by entrusting all actions and their results to God in order to achieve union with God.

Namaste (I bow to the Divine One that You really are),
Durga Ma
durgama.com


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Addendum to “You Get What You Worship” – Bhagavad Gita, Ch 9, Vs 24-25

25
Those who worship the gods go to the gods. Those who worship the ancestors go to the ancestors. Those who worship the spirits go to the spirits, but those who worship Me (God) assuredly come to Me.

This verse is a reflection of the teachings we got in chapter eight regarding what the mind is fixed on—what is ‘worshipped’—at death that determines what comes after. We know who “Me” is, but what is meant by gods, ancestors and spirits?

Gods could mean the senses, specific deities, or desires one gets obsessed with. Worshipping ancestors could mean placing ‘family’ first, dead or alive. Spirits could mean the dead, ghosts, goblins and things that go bump in the night, even the nice ones, or attaching entities, nice or not nice. Whatever one is attentive to at death, that is where one will go, or what one will become.

The verse refers to the most common things people will place before God. Whether this done consciously or not, is irrelevant. It doesn’t just mean in your mind and heart, but in what you do, how you use your time, your money and your energy. If you place desires before God, if you place family before God, if you place spirits before God, this is what you will get for your trouble.

With the mind, attention, consciousness fixed on God however, you would go to God. This is a certainty, and is the most practical purpose of yoga: It causes one’s mind to be occupied with God rather than the mundane. If this is the only reason you take up yoga, it is worth doing.

You get what you worship.

You Get What You Worship – Bhagavad Gita, Ch 9, Vs 24-25

“I am the enjoyer of all sacrificial worship and the power that impels it, but people do not recognize Me, hence they fall. Those who worship the gods go to the gods. Those who worship the ancestors go to the ancestors. Those who worship the spirits go to the spirits. Those who worship Me assuredly come to Me.” — Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 9, Verses 24-25

24
I am the enjoyer of all sacrificial worship and the power that impels it, but people do not recognize Me. Hence they fall.

Alternate translation:
I am the motivator, the experiencer and the Chief of all sacrifices, but the people do not recognize My True Reality, thus they fall down and return to the mortal world.

“They” refers to those mentioned in the previous verses. “Fall down” refers to the Life Energy in the body, Prana, falling to the lower chakras at death and causing the yogi to relinquish liberation and “return” to mortal existence.

It is God that motivates sacrifice, and God that enjoys it. Put another way, the instigator of the yogi’s surrender is God (Shakti), and the yogi in union with God (yoga) enjoys it.

Worship = Sacrifice = Surrender
The sacrificial offering is yourself

Surrender alone is not the answer. The answer is in what one surrenders to, and how surrendered the ‘worshipper’ is.

One must always surrender only to Absolute God. You will think that it is you who enjoys and experiences this, and that it is you who desires it. But God is the Enjoyer, the Experiencer, and the Desirer—the motivator who impels your surrender to God.

Love is Surrender. Radha loves Krishna. You get what you surrender to.
Love is Surrender. Radha loves Krishna. You get what you surrender to (worship).

Surrendering to anything other than Absolute God, one falls. When one is not surrendered, does not understand what sacrifice really is, does not recognize God, does not experience God, and the Life Energy in the body does not ascend but “falls down”. Only through surrender to Absolute God can the energy ascend and remain ascendant.

You may disagree with this. If you do, you won’t be the first. I have been accused of being elitist because I practice surrender yoga and think it is better than the path of the will, but this is not so. The path of the will is necessary. Not only does it provide many different paths for the many unique individuals that we are, but it always takes one who persists to the path of surrender.

Many people who have left the spiritual path of the will have done so because they came up against a wall and couldn’t get any further. Some became lost and disenchanted and quit altogether. Some dealt with this disappointment by changing gurus…over and over again…hoping to find one that knew what he or she was doing.

Are these seekers reluctant to surrender for fear of losing control? Or do they simply not know that there is something more that can take them where they want to go?

Unknowingly, at a very auspicious point in their practice, they were ready for this phase of yoga sadhana but they didn’t know it existed. This is one reason I speak openly about it. There are those who are ready for it and need it, but they don’t know about it, what it is, or how it is practiced.

Teachers of surrender yoga are hard to find. In my opinion, this is the very reason Vyasa wrote the Bhagavad Gita into his epic Mahabharata: because it is really about surrender yoga.

It is true that the Gita addresses how to live a successful and spiritual life, but in the very places that are translated in willful terms, there are underlying teachings on surrender yoga hidden in the cracks for those who are ready to hear them.

Why not just get straight to the point? Because not everyone is interested in this path. The Gita is written is such a way that anyone can benefit no matter what their path. One who is interested and ready to hear about surrender yoga will, at the very least, realize that there is something more going on and seek to understand it. Their curiosity and longing will naturally lead them to seek someone who can satisfy their interest.

God is the power behind all sacrifices. God is the power behind your surrender to God. God is the desire for God that impels you to surrender to God, and it is God who enjoys the sacrificial offering. It is because of your yoga, your union with God who enjoys your surrender, that you enjoy it. Now are you beginning to get it?

Through surrender to God, Self-realization will fall into your lap and raise you up.

25
Those who worship the gods go to the gods. Those who worship the ancestors go to the ancestors. Those who worship the spirits go to the spirits, but those who worship Me (God) assuredly come to Me.

You get what you worship.

Read the Addendum on this verse > > >

Namaste (I bow to the Divine One that You really are),
Durga Ma
durgama.com


Shaktipat Intensive

Saturday, May 27, Phoenix, Arizona

Experiential Meditation seminar 11:00 AM – 2:00 PM – $50
Shaktipat diksha & initiation 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM – Optional

Registration for this Intensive is now closed.
To be put on the waiting list, contact me through my website, durgama.com/contact.
Watch for the next Intensive here.


Bhagavad Gita with Durga Ma

Messages from God to You About You

Wednesdays, 5:30-7:00 PM

Sign Up Now

Kharma Life Center
700 W. Campbell Ave. Suite 1
(Side Street Campbell, not the light)
Phoenix, AZ 85013
(602) 795-9767