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The Baby and the Bathwater -Bhagavad Gita- Chapter 2 :14

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Enlightenment 

14
It is perception by the senses, Son of Kunti, that produces the sensations of winter and summer, difficulty and ease. These appear and disappear and are impermanent, so just put up with them, Descendant of Bharata.

Winter and Summer.  The sensations of cold and heat.

Difficulty and Ease.  The meanings of the words for ‘difficulty’ and ‘ease’ include their effects: unhappiness, discomfort, misfortune, and pain (‘difficulty’), and happiness, comfort, prosperity, and pleasure (‘ease’).

Son of Kunti.  Arjuna is the ‘Son of Kunti’ (kunti – ‘lance’). Kunti* is the daughter of a Yadava prince, a descendant of Yadu (‘embracing’), named Shura (‘hero’), who gave her to his childless cousin Kunti, from which her name derives. Favored by Durvasas, an irascible sage thought to be an incarnation of Shiva, he taught her a mantra by which she could have a child by any god she wished to invoke. Arjuna was born to her of the god Indra, lord of the gods of the sky, the senses. Both Arjuna’s mother, Kunti, and Lord Krishna, are descendants of Prince Yadu.

Self-reference:  You can invoke any god you wish, in order to achieve a desired effect. All you need is the mantra. For that, you need the goodwill of the Sage.

Descendant of Bharata.  In earlier verses, we came across the epitaph, ‘Descendant of Bharata’ as that of the blind king, Dhritarashthra. So why is Lord Krishna addressing Arjuna in this manner? By calling Arjuna ‘Descendant of Bharata’, Krishna is not only pointing to Arjuna as being directly related to the king, but He is ranking Arjuna as the king’s equal.

Self-reference: Dhritarashthra represents ‘ignorance’ (unenlightened), but you are equal to the challenge of attaining enlightenment.

* Kunti is also a name of the god of love, often depicted carrying bow and arrow or lance.

Neutralizing Opposites

The example of the opposites of winter and summer are given in this verse. Here the word for ‘senses’ is specifically related to ‘tangibility’ and the sense of touch, and the effect of contact of the skin with temperature, wind, and other tangible things, and the way those sensations feel.

If we want to get esoteric about this, it is not much of a leap to associate the feeling of the warmth of summer and the coolness of winter with the functions of prana (warming Life Energy) and apana (cooling Life Energy). Knowing what we do about these two, we could conclude that by simply putting up with them, the union of the two will occur without any help from us, through surrender sadhana. United as one, their opposition is neutralized and brings forth the evolutionary functions of kundalini.

It has been suggested in previous verses that the polarizing effects of opposites are detrimental to our sadhana and stand in the way of our enlightenment. We have discussed some of the resolutions to this dilemma that will occur spontaneously through our sadhana, but meanwhile what do we do? Apparently, we just have to put up with them and consider them ‘common’, as if one were no better or worse than the other. But this is not so easy to accomplish. Perhaps with a little more understanding, and some conscious personal experience of this phenomenon, we will have better luck.

Equalizing Opposites

The first thing to realize, is that everything that gets into the mind, gets there through the senses moving outward to pick up sights, sounds, tactile sensations, tastes and odors, and storing the information in memory. The difficulty arises due to our like or dislike of what is picked up. If we were indifferent, the stored information would have little or no influence. But everything in this world, and therefore everything in the mind, has a flip side, an opposite—hot and cold, good and bad, black and white, pleasure and pain, and so on—and due to the pull of the polarity of these opposites, we find ourselves favoring one or the other.

If we were to try to do something about this, it would have to involve equalizing opposites, so that one has no more pull than the other. I wrote the Mental Yoga course for this purpose. This is the first step, a step that can be taken and continued outside of meditation, regardless of what kind of meditation you practice.

Many people who are drawn to Yoga leave it when they hear things about abandoning desires, and becoming indifferent to the appealing effects of pleasure, enjoyment, and success, etc., but they misunderstand. The gradual process of Surrender Meditation will take care of this, but we must do the sadhana, maintain the body for its practice, put ourselves in a conducive place for it, and pay attention and be self-honest. Outside of our Surrender Meditation, we can speed up the process with the practice of Mental Yoga. Then, when things begin to change within us, we will find that the results are not quite what we had expected—we do not lose anything, but we gain everything.

So don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater.

Namaste,
Durga Ma
______________________________________________________________________________

TERMS OF USE AND SHARING:

This post and text is original research material and is copyrighted. You are allowed to share this material for personal, non-commercial and educational use with the proper citations, references and links / tags back to my website. Clicking ´Share´ on FB or ´Reblog´ on WordPress would be most appropriate.Please obtain written permission from Anandi first if you want to use this material on your workshop, blog, organization, webpage, book, seminar or for any commercial purpose. All information provided, be it through sessions conducted or this post is non-liable and is not intended to replace professional legal, medical, psychological, psychiatric and/or financial counsel. How you choose to act on this information is up to your own free will and is entirely your responsibility.

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The Embodied One and The Being – Bhagavad Gita – Chapter 2: 10-13

The Yoga of Knowledge 

Last week we witnessed Arjuna resisting going into battle and stating his reasons for this, then doing a turn-about, and then asking Krishna what to do “for certain”. Then in one final blow, Arjuna refuses to take Krishna’s instruction, saying “I shall not fight”. Let’s see how Krishna responds to this:

10
At this, Krishna began to laugh, O Descendant of Bharata, as they stood there between the two armies, and to the dejected Arjuna, he spoke these words…

Well good! A little humor in trying times is good medicine.

‘Descendant of Bharata’ refers here to the blind king, Dhritarashthra, to whom his minister Samjaya is speaking as we listen in. ‘Bharata’ refers to Dhritarashtra as a descendent of an early emperor by that name. Bharata means ‘continuously acquiring knowledge’ and is the true name of India, the spiritual center of Earth, where people have endlessly continued to engage in acquiring knowledge of Truth over millennia.

Self-reference:  At this point in the story, that place within you where there is continual acquisition of knowledge is currently under the rule of blind authority governed by ignorance of Truth. But Krishna is about to enlighten us:

The Embodied One and the Being

11
Krishna spoke: You have mourned that which should not be mourned, and yet you speak as if with words of wisdom. Neither for the living nor for the dead do the wise morn.

12
There was never a time when I was not, when you were not, or when these lords of men were not. And there will never be a time when we shall cease to be. All of us exist from this time forward.

13
Just as childhood, adulthood and old age happen to the body of the embodied one, so shall the embodied one acquire another body. In this matter, the wise are not deluded.

This teaching, as with all of Lord Krishna’s teachings, can be understood on more than one level. On the face of it, Krishna is telling us not to concern ourselves with life and death, because life and death doesn’t pertain to the Real You, ‘the embodied one’, and the body you are using will be replaced anyway. These verses are worth contemplating for this alone. But we must also remember who is speaking to whom in this story, and the subject of their conversation.

Arjuna has been mourning the deaths of all his relatives before the battle has even begun, and his guru, Lord Krishna, has responded. But who are Arjuna’s relatives who will be killed in this battle, and whose loss “need not be mourned”? Arjuna’s relatives are the warriors of his own armies as well as those of the enemy. He is literally related to all of them.

Self-reference: “These lords of men”, the warriors of both sides, some of whom are rulers of their only principalities, are your relatives. At this point in your sadhana, the reinstatement of your rightful place as ‘ruler’ of your own entire kingdom is being disputed, and your relatives have taken sides. (By going back to the earlier verses in chapter one up to verse 20, you will discover some of the more prominent ‘lords’.) War or no war, they aren’t going anywhere, for they “exist from this time forward”. These relatives are the genetic material in your own body. They will continue to be, but they are going to change, become transformed. What they are cannot die but will receive new ‘bodies’.

We must also remember what will happen with the activation and ascension of the evolutionary force (kundalini), for this is exactly what is about to happen. This is the Mahabharata war, the ‘battle’, the crashing together of opposing forces. It is Hatha Yoga, the union (yoga) of the sun (ha) and moon (tha) energies in your body, which is the awakening, the quickening, of the evolutionary force within the body.

Now we understand something about Kundaini that is not common knowledge. Like Arjuna, we are going to come to realize that Kundalini is not some mystical “experience”, or some sensation we feel, or a vision we have had. It is a genuine and very real force that has only one objective: evolution. Yours. And it is not interested in whether you like it or not. It is going to win whether you think you are allowing it to win or not—it is a force of nature, and it is Divine. You can go along with it or you can resist it, but it will ultimately win. The only question is, if it is going to win anyway, why do you have to get with the program? You don’t. But since it is going to do what it is going to do anyway, why wouldn’t you? Resisting it only puts things off and causes despair, as chapter one has demonstrated (“Arjuna’s Depression”).

So how does one not resist this, when it seems like we are about to find ourselves in the midst of a ‘war’, and what would be the outcome? The following verses and the remaining chapters will clarify all of this.

Namaste,
Durga Ma


TERMS OF USE AND SHARING:

This post and text is original research material and is copyrighted. You are allowed to share this material for personal, non-commercial and educational use with the proper citations, references and links / tags back to my website. Clicking ´Share´ on FB or ´Reblog´ on WordPress would be most appropriate.Please obtain written permission from Anandi first if you want to use this material on your workshop, blog, organization, webpage, book, seminar or for any commercial purpose. All information provided, be it through sessions conducted or this post is non-liable and is not intended to replace professional legal, medical, psychological, psychiatric and/or financial counsel. How you choose to act on this information is up to your own free will and is entirely your responsibility.

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Resistance to Change -Bhagavad Gita – Chapter 2: 1-9

The Yoga of Knowledge 

Arjuna has reached a crisis point and appears to have given up. We are about to witness what the culmination of this will be and what happens next. What will Arjuna do? and what will his guru, Lord Krishna, have to say about it? …

1
Sanjaya spoke:
Seeing Arjuna depressed and overcome with sorrow, his eyes filled with tears and downcast, Lord Krishna spoke these words: 

We listen in as Samjaya relates events to the blind king, Dhritarashthra, using his power of divine sight.

2
Lord Krishna spoke:
Where is this faint-heartedness of yours coming from in this time of danger? It is dishonorable and unacceptable, and does not lead to heaven but to disgrace, Arjuna.

The word for ‘heaven’ refers to that celestial ‘world of light’ where we go between incarnations to await the next earthly body. Apparently, backing down will not get us there, but will engender criticism. 

3
Do not become a coward, it does not suit you. Abandon this cowardliness and stand up, Scorcher of the Foe!”

Scorcher of the Foe is an epitaph of Arjuna. By using it here, Krishna is reminding Arjuna of his purpose as a warrior.

4
Arjuna spoke:
O Slayer of Madhu, how can I kill Bhishma and Drona in battle? How can I fight with arrows against these two revered men, O Slayer of the Foe?

Slayer of Madhu and Slayer the Foe, are epitaphs of Krishna. Arjuna is coming back at Krishna by reminding Him that it was He who put down the enemy of ‘delight’ (Madhu), and yet has urged Arjuna to kill the sons of Dhritarashthra (desires)!

Bhishma* (continence and fidelity) and Drona (intellect and reason) are both highly venerated teachers whom Arjuna has always respected, yet they are fighting on the side of his enemy.

* Bhishma – ‘Terrible’. Fixity, the unwillingness to change.

5
I would rather live in this world as a beggar than slay these gurus out of desire for worldly gain. Anything we might enjoy would be smeared with blood.

Living as a beggar would be demeaning to a warrior.

Arjuna presses his case with this remark. By restating that this battle is for the purpose of gaining the throne, a ‘worldly’ ambition, he is implying that he and Krishna are above this kind of thing.

6
And we do not know whether it would it be better to conquer them, or they us. Having killed all these sons of Dhritarashthra standing here before us, we would not want to live.

Which is better? Defeating them (desires), or being defeated by them? Life would surely be intolerable without desire, for only through their fulfillment can there be any happiness. Or so Arjuna believes.

Self-reference: The enemy is the blind king, ‘ignorance’, and his sons represent ‘desires’. The ‘enemy’, the force that is hostile towards you, is ignorance and desires together.

7
With my own being overcome with depression, my mind is confused as to my duty, so I ask you, which would be better for certain? Tell me, your pupil. Correct me, your suppliant.

Now we see Arjuna doing a turn-about, and resorting to his guru for instruction. However…

8
I do not see what could possibly dispel this sorrow that dries up my senses, even if I were to obtain unrivaled and prosperous royal power,
 and the sovereignty of the gods.

Chapter one was entitled Arjuna’s Depression. Depression is a low energy state, and indeed Arjuna did end that chapter by sitting down on the seat of his chariot, throwing down both his bow and his arrows. Aside from all the biochemical and psychological implications, the bottom line is that Arjuna’s energy has hit bottom.

A low energy state means not only has one’s energy fallen, but there is less energy available, which is indicated in the verse as the drying up of the senses. Depression is a physical phenomena that affects the senses by making it difficult to take things in, think straight, and function normally. One way of countering depressed energy is to fulfill a desire—it feels good, and up you go (albeit temporarily). Hence Arjuna’s many mentions of his resistance to killing ‘desires’.

9
Thus having addressed the Master of the Senses [Krishna], Arjuna said, “I shall not fight,” and Having spoken to Krishna, he became silent.

And here we thought Arjuna was going to heed his guru’s instruction to “stand up and fight!”. We know what Lord Krishna has told Arjuna to do, but now we see that Arjuna will not to do it. Next week we will see what Krishna has to say about this capitulation.

Jaya Bhagavan! (Victory to God!)
Durga Ma


TERMS OF USE AND SHARING:

This post and text is original research material and is copyrighted. You are allowed to share this material for personal, non-commercial and educational use with the proper citations, references and links / tags back to my website. Clicking ´Share´ on FB or ´Reblog´ on WordPress would be most appropriate.Please obtain written permission from Anandi first if you want to use this material on your workshop, blog, organization, webpage, book, seminar or for any commercial purpose. All information provided, be it through sessions conducted or this post is non-liable and is not intended to replace professional legal, medical, psychological, psychiatric and/or financial counsel. How you choose to act on this information is up to your own free will and is entirely your responsibility.

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The Doorway to Truth – Bhagavad Gita – Chapter 1: 45-47

Arjunas Despair

First, open the door to your mind and walk away leaving the door open. Then read from your heart and listen from this source of inner wisdom. You can always go back to your mind and read it a again and try using logic and reason to understand, but it will always sell you short.

45
“Ah alas! We are resolved to do a great evil, being intent upon killing our own people out of desire for royalty and ease.

46
“I would feel easier if the armed Son’s of Dhritarashthra were to kill me in battle while I was unresisting and unarmed.”

47
Having thus spoken of the conflict, Arjuna sat down upon the seat of his chariot, throwing down both bow and arrow, with a heart overcome by sorrow.

In these few verses, we see Arjuna finally giving in to his despair and giving up. Convinced that the whole affair is unnecessary, destructive and wrong, he steps beyond simply emphasizing his position to Krishna, and says that he would rather die than continue—he would rather die at the hands of his enemy while unresisting and unarmed.

End of Chapter One
The Despondency of Arjuna

_______________

The author (Vyasa) of the Mahabharata from which the Bhagavad Gita is taken, put his vast knowledge of yoga into an epic framework to make it more engaging and available to more of the population than would otherwise have been possible as a scripture for many in those times. Consequently, those who wish to accelerate their evolutionary journey now have this information in a form that illuminates yoga, the way of eternal Truth, Sanatana Dharma.

The story of the Mahabharata war is a story about your own evolutionary journey. This journey, normally long and slow, is now picking up its pace because you have put God in the driver’s seat—you have surrendered yourself to That, even if only for an hour or two a day—and God has taken you up on it: “You want to move forward with this? Then let’s get with the program. If I’m the one driving we’ll make way better time.” So off you go, and next thing you know you are questioning everything—God, Guru, Yoga, surrender, even your own experience.

This is understandable considering what you’re used to as compared to what you are up against now that things are picking up. But it is good to know about this beforehand, to know that this event, this despair, is expected in the normal course of your sadhana. With this knowledge you will be relieved of it earlier due to having known about it—forewarned is forearmed. And you will be relieved of the burden of questioning your own worth, your deservedness, and can choose not to be guided by your mind. But are you a warrior? Or are you going to play it safe and try to maintain the status quo?

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A Marvelous Mystery

I would call your attention to something rather marvelous about this chapter: You will have noticed that Arjuna is the predominant speaker, not Krishna. But everything Arjuna says pertains directly to yoga sadhana and the awakening and ascension of the evolutionary force, and even though Arjuna may be unaware of it, everything he says is true.

The essence of the characters of Arjuna and Krishna is Nara and Narayana. Arjuna is Nara, the ‘eternal spirit that pervades the universe’, who is always associated with Narayana, ‘son of the primeval man’, Krishna. Together they are the union of law, visible form, and harmlessness (dharma, murti, and ahimsa). Arjuna is you, and Krishna is your soul, that divine one who is just like you, and for whom you live, who reflects back to you, your true Self. We see this in the relationship of Arjuna as the disciple and Krishna as the guru. So you will find that in trying to understand the Gita, you can identify with both Arjuna and Krishna, for they are both you.

If all you ever do with the Bhagavad Gita is to tackle chapter one, you will have everything you need to know … if you can understand it. Arjuna doesn’t even understand it, and he’s the one speaking. He thinks he is telling Krishna why the war should not go on, but in doing so, and in giving his reasons, we learn the truth about yoga and how it unfolds. It is one of those beautifully drawn mysteries found in scripture that tells you that you already know everything, even though you may not realize it or understand what you know. Revealing this is what scriptures are for, and why they are worthy of our complete and loving attention.

In the remaining seventeen chapters, Krishna presents this knowledge in several different ways until Arjuna finally understands.

Jaya Bhagavan! (Victory to God!)
Durga Ma

Happy Guru Purnima

LakulishaPict1

Dadaji, Sri Bhagavan Lakulisha

Kripalu9

Baupji, Swami Sri Kripalvanandaji

Jaya Gurudeva!

Beautiful Krishna Images courtesy of rajbgm.wordpress.com


TERMS OF USE AND SHARING:

This post and text is original research material and is copyrighted. You are allowed to share this material for personal, non-commercial and educational use with the proper citations, references and links / tags back to my website. Clicking ´Share´ on FB or ´Reblog´ on WordPress would be most appropriate.Please obtain written permission from Anandi first if you want to use this material on your workshop, blog, organization, webpage, book, seminar or for any commercial purpose. All information provided, be it through sessions conducted or this post is non-liable and is not intended to replace professional legal, medical, psychological, psychiatric and/or financial counsel. How you choose to act on this information is up to your own free will and is entirely your responsibility.

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The End of Patriarchy -Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 1: 41-44

41
“Because of this [see previous verses], the family women are defiled. When the family women are defiled, caste becomes intermixed.

“The family women are defiled”

The word for ‘woman‘ here is stri, which means, ‘bearer of children’. There are other words for women, but women are mentioned specifically in this verse as the bearers of children. There is concern regarding the progeny of the male leaders of society who would lose control over the continuation of their line (‘family law’) if they were to lose control of the women. A woman knows who her children are, but a man can only know this if he controls the woman. This takes us back to the previous installment and the mention of “the destruction of family” causing the “family laws to be lost”. What would be lost is a clear male family line.

(Ladies: For an interesting interpretation of this, read this Translation and the Purport. Scroll down to page 83, and fasten your seat belts.)

42
“This intermixture is hell for the destroyers of the family and for the family as well, and indeed, the ancestors also fall, deprived of offerings of rice and water.

43
“By these wrongs of the family-destroyers, producing mixed caste, caste dharma disappears along with family dharma.

Dharma – laws, customs, traditions.

The word for caste means ‘race, species, kind, sort, character, nature, property, or quality’ and can be applied to people or things. Here it is referring to social classes into which the characteristics and abilities of people can be generally categorized, and which eventually became fixed and determined by birth, as was the case in the time of the Mahabharata war. The four castes are, Brahmin (God-people), Kshatriya (warriors and leaders), Vaishya (farmers, merchants, businessmen), and Shudra (servers).

In this verse, Arjuna is saying that the loss of family dharma (‘family laws’) would cause confusion about an individual’s caste. Because the caste system has become fixed and is determined by birth, this system would no longer be reliable with the destruction of controlled family lines based on male lineage.

44
“Men whose family laws have been obliterated, O Agitator of Men [Krishna], dwell indefinitely in hell, thus we have heard repeatedly.

We are to understand that this situation would be an unending hell for a man whose male family line has been destroyed. Another translation of this verse is, “Thus men whose family lines have been destroyed always live in hell, subordinate to women (literally, ‘one who waits on a child’, mothers).”

Maintaing ‘family laws’ has been a means of keeping society righteous, prosperous, and spiritually and morally virtuous. However, it is assumed that this can only happen in a patriarchy, but, much to Arjuna’s distress, here we have Krishna urging a war that will end all this.

__________________________

Once again, unaware of the significant departure from the norm that this war represents for him, Arjuna resorts to what he has been taught. What he has been taught was valid and adequate when he learned it in the past, but he doesn’t realize that it is not sufficient for what he is up against now. What he sees as he looks upon the two opposing forces, is the destruction of those he holds dear, and the destruction of the proper order of things, a destruction that he believes will bring only suffering.

To understand these verses as they pertain to surrender yoga sadhana, we must begin to think beyond the concepts of ‘family’, hereditary ‘caste’, and ‘ancestors’ in the usual way. Considering the similarity of these, this statement from the previous installment reminds us of their place in understanding yoga: “…at another level ‘family’ (including caste and ancestors) brings to mind a genetic pool. DNA is one way of looking at the evolutionary force (kundalini) in its physical form, so we might assume that this ‘war’ will affect some transformative change (‘destruction’) within ‘the family law of the human body’ (DNA).”

We are being told that once the evolutionary force that Arjuna is about to deal with gets its way, things are going to change. As a result of this, there will be a new order, and the body is going to go through some interesting changes to get there.

Jaya Bhagavan,
Durga Ma


TERMS OF USE AND SHARING:

This post and text is original research material and is copyrighted. You are allowed to share this material for personal, non-commercial and educational use with the proper citations, references and links / tags back to my website. Clicking ´Share´ on FB or ´Reblog´ on WordPress would be most appropriate.Please obtain written permission from Anandi first if you want to use this material on your workshop, blog, organization, webpage, book, seminar or for any commercial purpose. All information provided, be it through sessions conducted or this post is non-liable and is not intended to replace professional legal, medical, psychological, psychiatric and/or financial counsel. How you choose to act on this information is up to your own free will and is entirely your responsibility.

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The War Within -Bhagavad Gita – Chapter 1: 38-40

The Bhagavad Gita studygroup, led by Anandi and Shambhu is held the fourth Sunday of each month @ 11am EST for one hour via Zoom. If you are interested in joining, please email anandibhagavan@gmail.com for information.

 

Arjuna continues speaking to Krishna:

38 
“Even if they, those whose thoughts are seduced by greed, do not perceive the harm caused by the destruction of family and the crime of treachery to friend,

39
“Why should we not know to turn back from this evil, this wrong caused by the destruction of family, O Agitator of Men?

40
“With the destruction of family, family law is lost; when established family law is lost, lawlessness overpowers all of society.

______________________________

“The wrong caused by the destruction of family” and “family law is lost”

The Sanskrit word for ‘family‘ means a number of things from ‘herd, troop, flock, or swarm’, to ‘race, family, community, tribe, or school’.

The first meaning of the word for ‘destruction‘ is ‘dominion’. The second meaning is ‘abiding’ or ‘dwelling’ in an undisturbed residence, especially a secret one. The third meaning is ‘loss, diminution, destruction, or end’. 

The word for ‘wrong‘  means ‘deficiency, disease, impurity, harm, or detrimental effect’.

“The crime of treachery to friend”

The word for ‘crime‘ literally means ‘that which causes to fall’.

______________________________

In the previous installment, we noted that the participants in the war are all related to each other. If the purpose of the war is kingship and the power and pleasures that go with it, there seems to be no point in continuing because everyone will lose everything, even their lives, so who would benefit? But what if this isn’t really a story about a war, but a story about you that is based on a historical event to make it more significant to you? … but now it is a few thousand years later, and here you are living in a different body, in a different time, in a different culture, and this scripture, and the epic of which it is a part, seems strange and confusing…

What is the significance of everyone involved in the war being related?

Every one of us, whether we are ‘enlightened’ or not, are exactly the same as everyone else in what it is that we really are. How could anyone be more closely related than this? And everyone of us is within you and is a star in the sky all at once. God, you, us, is all there is. There is nothing else. 

But what about the Father-In-Heaven God? Is that a myth? No, nor is Divine Mother a myth. God has no limitations, so God can and will be, whatever we need It, Him, Her, to be.

If these statements seem to contradict each other, be reminded that scriptures are full of contradictions and require that we engage in whatever battle we must in order to understand these paradoxes. 

It is not I but the Father in Heaven that does these things.
I and my Father are one.
— Jesus

Know for certain that the true Self and Guru are truly one.
Know for certain that God and Guru are truly one … and for this reason a wise person will seek the Guru who is meant for them.
— The Guru Gita 

Bringing this idea a little closer home, consider that all these relatives, being all there is (it’s your dream, so you’re everyone and everything in it), are what makes up your own body, i.e., as cells in the physical sense, chakras in an energetic sense. The common choice of the word ‘family’ in various translations makes sense because of the reasons given, but at another level it brings to mind a genetic pool. DNA is one way of looking at the evolutionary force (kundalini) in its physical form, so we might assume that this ‘war’ will affect some transformative change (‘destruction’) within ‘the family law of the human body’ (DNA).

Things work a certain way (‘law’) with the ‘family’ that makes up a human body; there is a close relationship between everything of which the body consists and how it all functions as a unit. All of this begins to go through changes once the ‘war’ begins. Under normal circumstances, these changes are unnoticeable as they unfold slowly over many lifetimes, but the Mahabharata war is about the accelerated evolution of the individual who dares to allow the evolutionary force, kundalini, to awaken and become ascendent. This is not normal and is very much noticeable to the individual concerned, and with its advent, “family law is lost”—the old rules no longer apply. A new law is in the making, a new world order is being established within the world of the body for the purpose of replicating the perfect template held by the closest ‘relative’. Using this template, evolution is attempting to cheat death and bring about the divine, immortal body at the end of the current lifetime.

This puts a new perspective on concepts like destruction, dominion, and who or what dwells within an undisturbed hidden place. 

Jaya Bhagavan! (Victory to God!)
Durga Ma


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Words of Wisdom – Bhagavad Gita – Chapter 1: 32-37

Arjuna speaks to Krishna:

Krishna and Arjuna
Krishna and Arjuna

32
“O Chief of Cowherds [Krishna was a cowboy in his youth], I have no desire to win this war for the sake of kingship and happiness. What to us is kingly power and the pleasures it brings?

In these verses we see how Arjuna has begun to view this war. He assumes that it is all about having rulership of a kingdom, and having the power and the perks that go with it—pleasure and enjoyment.

33
“Those for whose sake we desire these things—kingship, pleasure and enjoyment—they are all here ready to do battle, willingly abandoning their lives and riches:

34
“Teachers, fathers, sons, grandfathers, maternal uncles, fathers in law, grandsons, brothers in law, thus kinsmen.

We read this list before in the previous issue, but now Arjuna is now getting a reality check on who is on this roster. He is coming to realize that the major players on both sides are descended from the same ancestors—everyone is related to everyone else, and every reason they have for getting into this war in the first place is going to leave no one to enjoy the spoils. They are going to kill each other.

35
“I have no desire to kill them for a kingdom, even though they are bent on killing us, Slayer of Madhu*, not even for the sovereignty of the three worlds.

* Slayer of Madhu – An epitaph of Krishna who is an incarnation of Vishnu, the Sustainer, who killed the demon Madhu (‘destroyer of delight’).

“For the Sovereignty of the Three Worlds”

Arjuna uses this statement to emphasize his opposition to the war, for most would willingly fight for this alone, but Arjuna says no, “not even for the sovereignty of the three worlds”. What is the significance of the ‘three worlds’, and why would anyone covet rulership over them?

The sovereignty of the three worlds refers to rulership, or control, of the body, the emotions and the mind. I think we would agree that most people would see this as a desirable goal worth fighting for, but Arjuna is saying that not even for this will he go forward with this terrible war. This is how affected he is by the realization of who and what he is up against.

Three Worlds

The three worlds are earth, sky and heaven, the worlds of humans, ancestors and gods.

The earth is the body. The sky, or atmosphere, is emotions. Heaven is mind-no-mind.

In the body, the earth is below the diaphragm, the sky is above the diaphragm, and heaven is above the third eye.

The body is the physical plane, the earth. The feelings are the atmosphere, the astral, or emotional body, which permeates and extends beyond the physical body. Mind-no-mind is heaven, the etheric, or causal body that permeates the head and brain.

These are some of the different ways the concept of the ‘three worlds’ is thought of.

36
“What joy would there be for us in striking down the sons of Dhritarashthra, Krishna? Misfortune would surely cling to us by having killed them.

37
“Therefore we are not justified in killing the sons of Dhritarashthra, our own kinsmen, O Janardana*. How, having killed our own people, can we be happy?

* Janardana – ‘Agitator of Men’, an epitaph of Krishna, an incarnation of Vishnu, the divine sustainer, maintainer and protector of life. Arjuna is throwing it in Krishna’s face in this verse—Krishna is the Sustainer of Life, yet he is urging a war.

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In a very short time, Arjuna has talked himself out of going forward with the war against his enemies. He cannot justify it. He sees it in terms of his own history, what he knows, and what he has been taught, and it just doesn’t add up. He sees it as logically wrong—remember Drona (‘reasoning’)? He was Arjuna’s teacher, but he is fighting on the side of Arjuna’s enemies.

You will recall that the “sons of Dhritarashthra”, the “enemies”, represent the desires of the mind. Arjuna has begun to doubt the wisdom of doing away with them. After all, if there are no desires to fulfill, whence comes happiness?

Faith

The enemy armies outnumber Arjuna’s, and Krishna’s army is among them. But Arjuna has chosen to have Krishna drive his chariot over having the use of His armies—Arjuna has put God in the driver’s seat.

Love,
Durga Ma

Beautiful Krishna Images courtesy of rajbgm.wordpress.com


TERMS OF USE AND SHARING:

This post and text is original research material and is copyrighted. You are allowed to share this material for personal, non-commercial and educational use with the proper citations, references and links / tags back to my website. Clicking ´Share´ on FB or ´Reblog´ on WordPress would be most appropriate.Please obtain written permission from Anandi first if you want to use this material on your workshop, blog, organization, webpage, book, seminar or for any commercial purpose. All information provided, be it through sessions conducted or this post is non-liable and is not intended to replace professional legal, medical, psychological, psychiatric and/or financial counsel. How you choose to act on this information is up to your own free will and is entirely your responsibility.

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Family Feud -Bhagavad Gita – Chapter 1: 26-31

Arjuna’s Depression

26
Standing there, the Son of Pritha* [Arjuna] saw fathers, grandfathers, teachers, maternal uncles, brothers, sons, grandsons, brothers in law,

27
Fathers in law and dear companions among both of the two armies. Contemplating all of them, all his kinsmen, standing before him, he, the Son of Kunti* [Arjuna],

28
Was filled with profound despair and said to Krishna, “Having seen these my own kinsmen, all standing right here ready to fight,

29
“My limbs are weak, my mouth is dry, my body trembles, and my hair stands on end.

30
“Gandiva falls from my hand, my skin burns, I am unable to remain standing, and my mind is going around in circles.

31
“I perceive inauspicious omens, O handsome-haired One [Krishna], and I see inauspicious omens in destroying my own kinsmen in this battle.”

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*  In verses 26 and 27 Arjuna is referred to as the “son of Kunti” (spear or lance, sometimes associated with the god of love) and the “son of Pritha”. Pritha is another name of Kunti. The word pritha refers to the palm of the hand extended and used as a means of measuring, which makes this name similar in meaning to ‘Ma’ (‘to measure’), which is often used to refer to the Divine Mother. The idea of measuring, which implies time and space, puts us in the relative realm of this world. Interestingly, both Kunti, Arjuna’s mother, and Lord Krishna are descendants of the same Yadava Prince (Prince Yadu – heroism; valiant warrior, champion; strong, heroic, brave).

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These verses clarify the title of this chapter, “Arjuna’s Depression”. Arjuna’s state is one of despair. He has come to realize that he knows everyone in both armies, that he is related to all of them, and that all of these relatives are about to kill each other. He cannot see why this should be. It was Krishna himself who urged this war in order that Arjuna and his brothers could take their rightful place as rulers, but Arjuna can see only “inauspicious omens” in this situation.

We are given an account of the participants in this war as “fathers, grandfathers, teachers, maternal uncles, brothers, sons, grandsons, brothers in law, fathers in law, dear companions”. For the most part, this seems to just about cover everyone in Arjuna’s life, but there is one group of people mentioned here that I find interesting: maternal uncles. Why not just uncles? Or for that matter, paternal uncles? Why maternal uncles? This has long been a question of mine. Clearly there is something being implied here. Is there something about DNA the sages knew that we don’t (don’t laugh, it’s possible)? If you think you know the answer, please share it with us.

“Gandiva falls from my hand, my skin burns, I am unable to remain standing, and my mind is going around in circles.”:

Gandiva is the name of Arjuna’s bow. This bow was owned by a succession of gods. It was first passed on by Soma (holder of immortality) to Varuna (god of heaven), by him to Agni (god of fire), and by Agni to Arjuna, the son of Kunti (earth) and Indra (god of the gods). It is also said to have belonged to Prajapati, lord of embodied beings, Brahma, the Creator, and Shiva, the destroyer-transformer (evolution). Whew! See what you can do with all these symptoms to come to an understanding of the importance of this bow, Gandhiva, especially to Arjuna, who has just lost his grip.

Now let’s look at the symptoms of Arjuna’s state: weakness, dry mouth, trembling, hackles (fear), burning skin (the word for this also means ‘fully consumed by pain or grief’), instability, and a mind wildly vacillating with confusion. It appears that a combination of sorrow, fear and self-doubt all mixed together are the cause of Arjuna’s depression.

The physical state of depression is lowered energy—directionally or qualitatively or both. A low energy state of the body often causes a low moods, even without a person’s awareness of what is triggering it mentally or emotionally. Just look at what Arjuna is going to lose, even if he wins the war. It’s no wonder he’s in trouble and seemingly throwing in the towel, telling Krishna that this war business is not a good thing and that he can’t bring himself do it.

The Bhagavad Gita is a scripture. At one level it is a manual of yoga. So what are we being taught or told in this section? It is safe to say that in the process of yoga sadhana, all is not roses…or so we think…and we will experience this depression-confusion ourselves at some point. We will say to ourselves, “Hummmm. I don’t know about all this. Doesn’t seem right to me. Must be something wrong with what my guru (Krishna in Arjuna’s case) is telling me.” Well, this is just chapter one, so I think we are going to find out what will happen if we can just get through chapter one of our sadhana. More on this next time.

Jaya Bhagavan! (Victory to God!),
Durga Ma

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TERMS OF USE AND SHARING:

This post and text is original research material and is copyrighted. You are allowed to share this material for personal, non-commercial and educational use with the proper citations, references and links / tags back to my website. Clicking ´Share´ on FB or ´Reblog´ on WordPress would be most appropriate.Please obtain written permission from Anandi first if you want to use this material on your workshop, blog, organization, webpage, book, seminar or for any commercial purpose. All information provided, be it through sessions conducted or this post is non-liable and is not intended to replace professional legal, medical, psychological, psychiatric and/or financial counsel. How you choose to act on this information is up to your own free will and is entirely your responsibility.

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A View of the Battle -Bhagavad Gita – Chapter 1: 22-25

22 – 23
“I [Arjuna] would look upon these battle-hungry warriors with whom I must fight, to see those who have come together here to do battle in service to the evil-minded son of Dhritarashtra.”

The “evil-minded son of Dhritarashtra” is Duryodhana. Duryodhana, who is the son of the blind king, ignorance, represents the ego.

Arjuna has asked Krishna to draw his chariot between the two facing armies so that he can look things over to see what his own armies will be facing in the upcoming battle.

24 – 25
Samjaya spoke:
O Descendant of Bharata
, thus the Master of the Senses [Krishna], having caused the chief chariot to stand in the middle between the two armies, was addressed by the Thick Haired One [Arjuna], while standing in front of Bhishma and Drona and all the rulers of the earth. To the Son of Pritha [Arjuna] He [Krishna] said, “Behold all these Kurus assembled here.”

The “Descendant of Bharata” is Dhritarashtra, the blind king to whom Samjaya, his minister, is narrating events using his clairvoyant powers from afar.

The “Master of the Senses” is Lord Krishna, who is driving Arjuna’s chariot, implying that the devotee’s (Arjuna’s) state at this point is pratyahara.

The “Thick Haired One” is Arjuna, devotee of Krishna. This epitaph (Gudakesha) also means, “preserver of one whose lord is Prajapati (‘lord of creatures’, ‘protector of life’)”.

Krishna is calling Arjuna’s attention to the “rulers of the earth”, and He does it while they are parked right in front of both Bhishma and Drona. What does He what Arjuna to see, to notice, to pay attention to? And why has He brought them to this particular place in front of Bhishma and Drona? The answer is in what these two Kurus represent.

Bhishma – Absolute loyalty to Ignorance and ego. The word Bhishma means ‘terrible’. When Bhishma decides something, it is final; he holds on to it for all he is worth. Bhishma is known for his vow of lifetime celibacy, his wisdom, bravery, keeping his word, and his absolute loyalty. But his loyalty is to the Kurus.

Drona – Intellect and reason. Drona taught archery to the major players on both sides. The name means ‘bucket’. He is called Drona because he was born in a bucket, in other words, outside of the womb. He represents intellect, the neutral power of the mind to discern and differentiate.

Galen, this is for you; you asked the question:

Intellect is not dependent on the birth of a body for its existence; it is not born of the womb. We tend to think of intellect as a function of the brain, because we think of the mind and the brain as the same. They are associated with each other, but they are not the same thing. The brain is the gross, physical instrument, and the mind is the subtle, non-physical, instrument.

The basis of the mind is chitta, ‘piled up, collected’, as in a bucket, from the root chit, ‘knowing, understanding, perception, comprehension, consciousness’. Consciousness comes into play when a non-physical individual first becomes aware of another non-physical individual. This creates a dual situation—self and other-than-self—by which the ‘sense of self’ (asmita) becomes the core of a developing ‘mind’, and differentiation becomes a feature of this ‘mind’, called buddhi. Buddhi is the power of discernment, the ability to make distinctions, judgement, intellect, and reason. Buddhi uses the contents of the mind, which arrive there via the senses, to make these determinations. Hence, Drona is ‘intellect’, which is by nature neutral, though in this case has taken its place in support of the Kurus.

The Kurus – The verb root of the word kuru is kri, meaning ‘to do’, so you can think of the Kurus as ‘doers’. While the scope of action of the Pandavas is dharma, Truth, for the Kurus it is doership. These two, Truth and doership, are contending their right to rule. The winner will be in charge. What they will be in charge of is you. Remember that this is all about you, your life, your sadhana. (This might be a good place to review the post on the subject of Surrender and Non Doership.)

The Pandavas – The root of the word Pandu is pan, which is a stake in a game, the prize, the bet, so you can think of the Pandavas as the willingness to take chances in order to win the prize, and equate this with surrendering to God in meditation to win union with God—you don’t know what will happen and you accept that. The Kurus on the other hand, are all about control.

By placing their chariot in front of Bhishma and Drona, Krishna is showing Arjuna that what he is primarily up against is determined loyalty to the ego (this would be Bhishma), and the full support of this by the Intellect (Drona). These are his most powerful enemies. They are the mightiest “rulers of the earth”.

The ‘earth’ is the body, our chariot, and our life in this world. So we realize now that it is not just ego, but our absolute loyalty to it, that rules our personal ‘world’, and that it is intellect that supports and maintains this alliance by means of judgement and reasoning. These are the greatest enemies of graduation from the world of the will, to the world of surrender.

This gives us some idea of the kinds of things Krishna wants us to be aware of. As we consider these verses, and the previous verses and the ones to come, we will find this same teaching reiterated in many different ways in this song in verse and meter, the Bhagavad Gita, ‘the song of God’.

Love,
Durga Ma

BHAGAVAD GITA STUDY GROUP: Our monthly study gathering is tomorrow, July 26th @ 11am EDT on Zoom with Anandi and Shambu. If you need the link to join, or are interested in joining our study group, please email Anandi directly anandibhagavan@gmail.com
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TERMS OF USE AND SHARING:

This post and text is original research material and is copyrighted. You are allowed to share this material for personal, non-commercial and educational use with the proper citations, references and links / tags back to my website. Clicking ´Share´ on FB or ´Reblog´ on WordPress would be most appropriate.Please obtain written permission from Anandi first if you want to use this material on your workshop, blog, organization, webpage, book, seminar or for any commercial purpose. All information provided, be it through sessions conducted or this post is non-liable and is not intended to replace professional legal, medical, psychological, psychiatric and/or financial counsel. How you choose to act on this information is up to your own free will and is entirely your responsibility.

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The Approaching Clash – Bhagavad Gita – Chapter 1: 20-21

Arjuna’s Depression

The Bhagavad Gita (God Song) is a dialogue in verse and meter between Arjuna and Krishna. Krishna is Arjuna’s childhood friend and guru.

The Characters:

Krishna – ‘Dark blue-black’, the color of the night (moon energy, apana). Divine incarnation (avatar) of Vishnu, God as Sustainer-Maintainer.

Arjuna – ‘Pale yellowish white’, the color of the day (sun energy, prana). A master archer, Arjuna is the greatest archer in all the world, He is married to Draupadi (shakti), who is the wife of all five Pandava brothers.

20
Having seen the Sons of Dhritarashtra [the blind king], arrayed and drawn up for battle, raising his bow as the clash of weapons began, the Monkey-Bannered Son of Pandu [Arjuna]

Monkey-Bannered Son of Pandu – An epitaph of Arjuna referring to Arjuna’s use of the image of the monkey-god Hanuman on his banner to communicate his intentions to the enemy. Hanuman, Arjuna’s standard, is the ultimate devotee of an earlier (prior to Krishna) incarnation of Vishnu, Lord Rama. Because of his supreme devotion, Hanuman achieved liberation, superhuman powers and immortality. With Hanuman as Arjuna’s standard, the message of this banner is clearly “victory”.

Why a monkey? The image of a human-like monkey attaining the highest state strongly suggests evolution and transformation from the animalness of meat and bones, to the perfection of immortal Divine Body, which is said to be the final achievement of yoga sahdana. This state is spoken of in other Sanskrit texts as “cheating death”, and in the Bible in such phrases as “this corruptible shall have put on incorruption”, “this mortal shall have put on immortality”, and “death is swallowed up in victory”. Arjuna’s standards are high indeed, and reveals the degree of his own devotion, commitment and determination.

21
Arjuna spoke:
To the Bristling Haired one
[Krishna], [Arjuna] then spoke these words: “Cause my chariot to stand in the middle between the two armies, Imperishable One.

Bristling Haired – An epitaph of Krishna meaning ‘master of the senses’.
Imperishable One – Another epitaph of Krishna meaning ‘permanent, firm, unfailing’.

Arjuna has asked Krishna to position his chariot between the two opposing forces. You will recall that Krishna is driving Arjuna’s chariot. Earlier I said that this was “another story”. Here is that story in short:

After having unrelentingly urged the Pandavas to take back their rightful place as rulers of the kingdom, Krishna took a neutral stance by offering his armies to one side, and himself to the other. But who would get what? To determine this, he said to Arjuna and Duryodhana, the two leaders of the two sides, that the first of them that he saw upon awakening in the morning would get to choose. Duryodhana spent the night stationed at Krishna’s head so that he could know the moment Krishna awoke and be seen immediately. Arjuna arrived before Krishna awakened and stationed himself at his feet, and as a result, was the first to be seen. Oddly, but to Duryodhana’s happy surprise, Arjuna chose Krishna, leaving Krishna’s armies to Duryodhana.

What we see here is Arjuna putting God in the driver’s seat. Even though it appears that he may have given up the victory by losing the opportunity to expand his own forces, Arjuna chose God. He did this by placing himself at his guru’s feet, so guru is now able to effectively serve him. (This scene serves as a teaching that explains the custom of bowing at the guru’s feet: It is not for the benefit of the guru, but for the devotee.) 

Being in the middle between the two opposing forces is significant. Earlier we spoke of these two opposing forces as representing the upward-flowing and downward-flowing energies in the body—sun energy that warms, and moon energy that cools. These two energies are about to come crashing together. This crashing together signals the awakening of the evolutionary force, Kundalini. In fact, the union (yoga) of these two forces is Kundalini. So now we know what this dialogue of eighteen chapters is going to be about.

We already have two opposites in union in order for this to have come about: Krishna (dark), God/guru, and Arjuna (light), devotee/disciple, are unified within the vehicle in which Arjuna takes his position: his chariot, the body.

Being in the middle between the two armies gives Arjuna a vantage point for looking things over, and we have the opportunity to listen in on his conversation with Krishna throughout the eighteen chapters that make up the Bhagavad Gita. So the fun has only just begun.

Love,
Durga Ma
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This post and text is original research material and is copyrighted. You are allowed to share this material for personal, non-commercial and educational use with the proper citations, references and links / tags back to my website. Clicking ´Share´ on FB or ´Reblog´ on WordPress would be most appropriate.Please obtain written permission from Anandi first if you want to use this material on your workshop, blog, organization, webpage, book, seminar or for any commercial purpose. All information provided, be it through sessions conducted or this post is non-liable and is not intended to replace professional legal, medical, psychological, psychiatric and/or financial counsel. How you choose to act on this information is up to your own free will and is entirely your responsibility.

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The Weapon of Meditation -Bhagavad Gita 1:14-19

The Bhagavad Gita – Chapter 1, Vs 14-19

ARJUNA’S DEPRESSION – THE WEAPON OF MEDITATION

In case you are beginning to feel a little overwhelmed with all these names, don’t worry, it won’t go on much longer. Meanwhile, take it seriously. All these folks and their weapons and horns, etc., are aspects of you and what you have to work with. Do consider this as you read. For guidance on how to understand what you read and how to apply it to yourself, see this issue and scroll down to just after verse 6.

14
Standing in a great chariot with yoked white horses, the Descendant of Madhu [Krishna] and the Son of Pandu [Arjuna] sounded their divine conch horns.

Great Chariot – The body, the vehicle we humans use.

White Horses – The senses, our means of perception.

Descendant of Madhu – An epitaph of Krishna, ‘sweet effect of springtime.’

Son of Pandu – Arjuna, one of the five Pandava brothers.

Conch horns – A horn made from a conch shell; an instrument of sound used to intimidate the enemy when going into battle.

15
The Bristling Haired One [Krishna] blew Pancajanya, the Conqueror of Wealth [Arjuna] blew Devadatta, and the Wolf-bellied [Bhima] blew the great conch Paundra;

Characters and Conch Horns:

Bristling Haired One – An epitaph of Krisha, meaning ‘master of the senses’. Conch horn Pancajanya, meaning ‘being of five’—being of all five elements (the body), and/or all five classes of beings. The five classes of beings are gods, men, ancestors, and gandharvas (divine musicians) and apsaras (divine dancers)—we would call these last two angels.

Conquerer of Wealth – An epitaph of Arjuna, meaning ‘winner of wealth’. Conch horn Devadatta, meaning ‘God-given’; the vital air exhaled by yawning; God’s Breath.

Wolf-bellied – An epitaph of Bhima (‘formidable strength’), meaning ‘voracious eater’. Conch horn Paundra—finding a definition of this word has given me a merry chase, but I cannot help but notice its correlation with the word ‘Pandu’, the family name of the ‘good guys’ in this story. One definition says paundra is a mark of distinction, and since Bhima is indeed being distinguished in this verse as someone who does ferocious deeds and eats like a wolf, maybe we will just go with that.

16
The [rightful] king, the son of Kunti, Yudhishthira, blew Anantavijaya, [and] Nakula and Sahadeva blew Sughosha and Manipushpaka.

Characters and Conch Horns:

Yudhishthira – ‘Standing firm in battle’. He is the son of Kunti (lance) and the god Dharma. His conch horn is called Anantavijaya, ‘always victorious’.

Nakula and Sahadeva are the twin Pandu princes, the sons of the twin gods, the Ashvins, and Madri (joy), the second wife of Pandu. The Ashvins (‘possessed of horses’) are ‘The Two Charioteers’, two divinities who appear in the sky before the dawn in a golden carriage drawn by horses. They bring treasures to men and avert misfortune and sickness, and are considered to be the physicians of Heaven. 

Nakula means ‘night’, and is also the mystical name of the sound ‘ha’. Sahadeva’s name means ‘with the gods’, and is the mystical name of the sound ‘sa’. These two, ‘ha’ and ‘sa’, represent the outgoing and ingoing breaths, the moon (night, cooling) and sun (day, warming) energies in the body associated with healing and purification. When joined together (‘saha’) they mean ‘together’, ‘joined together’, ‘natural’, ‘innate’.

Nakula’s and Sahadava’s conch horns are called respectively, Sughosha, ‘making a loud pleasant sound’ and Manipushpaka, ‘jewel-flower’, or ‘jewel-lotus’.

17
The King of Kashi (the splendid) a mighty archer, and Shikhandin the great chariot warrior, Dhrishtadyumna and Virata, and Satyaki the invicible,

Shikhandin – ‘Having a peacock as an emblem’, signifying emancipation from social restrictions—Shikhandin was once a woman who was later changed into a man.

Drishtadyumna – ‘Daring, confident and powerful’.

Virata – ‘One who has many arrows’.

Satyaki – ‘One whose nature is Truth’.

18
Drupada [quick step], and the Sons of Draupadi [the daughter of Drupada], and the strong-armed Son of Subhadra [Abhimanu, ‘fearless and wise’], all blew their conches simultaneously, O Lord of the Earth [Sanjaya, who has divine sight, is narrating all this to the blind king].

19
The noise burst asunder, and the tumult caused the sky and the earth to resonate and the hearts of the Sons of Dhritarashtra to tremble.

The sky and the earth are the lower and central areas of the body.

____________________________

The conch shell resembles the cochlea, the spiral cavity of the inner ear that produces nerve impulses in response to sound vibrations. It is associated with yawning. The response to sound vibrations here refers to the onset of meditation. Notice when your meditation time comes around and you start yawning!

If you have ever heard a conch being blown, you will know that the sound it makes is not noise, but tone. Tones are made of regular vibrations, and noise of irregular vibrations. If you have ever tried using earplugs to block sound, you may have noticed that they block noise fairly well, but they don’t entirely block tone. This is because of the regularity of the vibrations of tones cutting through the barrier like a corkscrew penetrates the cork. Tone is effective. Noise is clutter.

Tone is linked with the meditative state due to its association with nada (divine sound), which is associated with ether, the subtlest element, and the fifth chakra, where the life energy (prana) concentrates to produce pratyahara and generate a true meditative state. The ego and its supporters—Dhritarashtra and his ninety-nine brothers, doership and desires—are always threatened by meditation. So when you think you will just skip your meditation today, think of this and who is winning.

In the story of the Mahabharata war, with all this tumultuous racket, we are being notified that things are about to get dicey. You’ll see why in the next issue.

Namaste,
Durga Ma


TERMS OF USE AND SHARING:

This post and text is original research material and is copyrighted. You are allowed to share this material for personal, non-commercial and educational use with the proper citations, references and links / tags back to my website. Clicking ´Share´ on FB or ´Reblog´ on WordPress would be most appropriate.
Please obtain written permission from Anandi first if you want to use this material on your workshop, blog, organization, webpage, book, seminar or for any commercial purpose. All information provided, be it through sessions conducted or this post is non-liable and is not intended to replace professional legal, medical, psychological, psychiatric and/or financial counsel. How you choose to act on this information is up to your own free will and is entirely your responsibility.

 

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The Dark Hero – Bhagavad Gita 1:7-13

The Bhagavad Gita – Chapter 1, Vs 7-13

ARJUNA’S DEPRESSION & MORE CHARACTERS

Characters:

Duryodhana – King and chief of the Kuru army, the eldest of one hundred brothers. The name means, ‘dirty fighter, wicked, sneaky, a cheat’. He represents the ego.

Drona – The archery guru who taught the art of war to the major players on both sides of the conflict. The name means ‘wooden bucket’ (it is said that he was born outside of the womb in a bucket). He represents the neutral aspects of the mind and its contents (manas), and its ability to judge (buddhi). Drona represents the intellect.

7
Also know, O best of the twice-born, the leaders of our own army. I will name those who are most distinguished that you may recognize them all.

Duryodhana is speaking to his archery guru, Drona, whom he refers to as ‘twice-born’ (brahmin, ‘God-person’), signifying his high standing. Duryodhana now moves from pointing out all those he is up against among his enemies in the previous verses, to noting the warriors fighting on his own side.

8
You [Drona] and Bhishma (the terrible vow), and Karna (having ears), and Kripa (pity) who is victorious in battle, and Ashvatthama (strength of a horse; he is Drona’s son), and Vikama (without passion), and the son of Somadatta (soma-giver),

The terrible vow — celibacy for life.

Somadatta — giver of the nectar (soma) of immortality. Soma is identified with the moon (the pineal gland) which produces (gives) the soma. Somadatta’s son, whose name is Bhurishrava (bhuri – earth, shrava – glory = glorification of the earth, the body), is his progeny, immortality.

9
And many other heroes are here who will risk their lives for me. All of them are armed with many weapons and all are well skilled in war.

These fellows are risking their lives to save the ego (Duryodhana) in order to win the war so ego can maintain control.

10
Inadequate is this army of ours protected by Bhishma (terrible vow), while the army led by Bhima (formidable strength) is indeed adequate for victory.

So the fellows in verse eight who are risking their lives to save the ego may be experts, but in this verse, even though Duryodhana’s forces are greater in number than his enemy, he finds them wanting. However, he has noticed something important: He has identified what is protecting his own army, Bhishma, the ‘terrible vow’, and he has also identified the biggest threat from the enemy army: Bhima, ‘formidable strength’.

11
Therefore, stationed in your respective strategic positions and formations, you must now support and protect Bishma on all fronts!

12
To Duryodhana’s great joy, the old Kuru, the Grandsire [Bishma], powerfully blew his conch horn like the roaring of a lion.

13
Immediately, conches, kettledrums, cymbals, trumpets and horns all sounded simultaneously, with a tremendous uproar.

___________________________

Duryodhana and Drona are Kurus of the lunar race. The Pandavas, their enemy, are of the race of the sun. While it is only natural to see this as the Bad Guys versus the Good Guys, or the Dark Side versus the Light, let us not forget that Krishna (God/Guru), the main speaker and star of the show throughout the Bhagavad Gita, is of the lunar race. Krishna drives Arjuna’s chariot, placing himself in the position of serving Arjuna. In other words, Arjuna has put God in the driver’s seat.

So these two, sun and moon, have come together on the field of dharma, creating a huge tumult with the sounding of their various instruments. This tells us that this epic concerns hatha yoga (sun-moon union) for the purpose of taking back the throne of authority, raja yoga (royal union), and it all begins in earnest with a loud confusion of sound.

We see here that yoga is of two kinds, one leading to the next, and that, even though the players are all well versed in spiritual and religious teachings and practices, this ‘battle’ is really just the beginning.

Contemplate the Sun and the Moon 

SUN

MOON

day

night

light

darkness

visibility

invisibility

obvious

hidden

conscious

sub/un-conscious

manifest

non/un-manifest

seen by means of direct light

seen by means of indirect light

warm

cool

earth

water

star

satellite

central

peripheral

independent

relative

___________________________

For ideas on how to understand these verses and relate them to yourself and your own sadhana, consult the last portion of the previous installment on the Bhagavad Gita, the Song Of God

Namaste,
Durga Ma


TERMS OF USE AND SHARING:

This post and text is original research material and is copyrighted. You are allowed to share this material for personal, non-commercial and educational use with the proper citations, references and links / tags back to my website. Clicking ´Share´ on FB or ´Reblog´ on WordPress would be most appropriate.
Please obtain written permission from Anandi first if you want to use this material on your workshop, blog, organization, webpage, book, seminar or for any commercial purpose. All information provided, be it through sessions conducted or this post is non-liable and is not intended to replace professional legal, medical, psychological, psychiatric and/or financial counsel. How you choose to act on this information is up to your own free will and is entirely your responsibility.

 

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The Characters – Bhagavad Gita 1:2-6 

The Bhagavad Gita – Chapter 1, Vs 2-6

ARJUNA’S DEPRESSION CONTINUES – THE CHARACTERS

Characters:

Dhritarashtra – The blind king. The name means ‘one whose empire is firmly held’. He represents ignorance.

Samjaya – Minister to Dhritarashtra. The name means, ‘victorious’. He has divine sight.

Duryodhana – The present king, eldest of the one hundred sons of Dhritarashtra. The name means, ‘dirty fighter’, dirty in the sense of wicked, sneaky, and not playing fair. He represents the will and ‘ego’.

Drona – The archery guru who taught the art of war to the major players on both sides of the conflict. The name means ‘bucket’; it is said that he was born in a bucket, outside of a human womb. He represents the neutral aspects of the mind and its contents (manas), and its ability to judge (buddhi), the intellect.

Drupada – From dru, ‘to make flow’, and pad, ‘to stand fast’. He represents ‘quick, unconstrained action’. He is also called Quick Step, but this is yet another story.

Drishtadyumna – Son of Drupada and disciple of Drona. The name means, ‘daring, confident and powerful’.

2
Samjaya said
(he is relating this to Dhritarashtra by means of divine sight; they are not on the battlefield):
Seeing the army of the Pandavas drawn up and ready for battle, Duryodhana approached his teacher, Drona, and said:

3
Just look at the mighty army of the sons of Pandu, so expertly arrayed by your intelligent disciple, Drishtadyumna, the son of Drupada.

You may wonder at the acerbic tone Duryodhana uses when addressing his archery guru, Drona. Upon looking over the opposing army, he becomes angry with Drona for having taught the art of war to his enemies along with himself, with no attention given to having expertly armed the very people he was bound to fight.

4  —  The Bowmen
Here in this army are many heroic bowmen, such as Yuyudhana (vanquisher), Virata (of manifold arrows) and Drupada (quick step), equal to Bhima (formidable strength)  and Arjuna (the greatest archer) in their ability to fight,

When you mull all this over in your mind, notice things like the inclusion of Bhima, one of the five Pandava brothers and therefore a major player throughout the Mahabharata, with other apparent lesser players. This is not by accident. Bhima is named here among them, thus hiding his significance, which is of great importance in later stages of sadhana. It is also significant that he is noted among the bowmen even though his own weapon is a club…or his bare hands!  So Bhima bears watching.

5 — Heros
Fighters like Dhishtaketu (the standard for bravery), Cekitana (intelligent), Kashiraja (celebrated royalty), Purujit (conquering many), Kuntibhoja (granting protection) and Shaibya (generousity),

6  —  Chariot Fighters
The mighty Yudhamanyu (cagey fighter), powerful Uttamauja (dauntless), the son of Subhadra (auspicious), and the sons of Draupadi (shakti), all great chariot fighters.

___________________________

A good way to approach a scriptural text, especially when it is story based, is to try to unravel the meanings it contains the same way you would try to understand a dream you have had. One of the best ways to do this is to consider all the players as different aspects of yourself. Never mind whether you like the players or not, just go with it.

Also attend to the relationships you find among the players. For instance, Duryodhana is the son of Dhritarashtra. This tells us that ego is a product of ignorance, so we naturally want to contemplate what ‘ignorance’ is, and what this means for us. Drishtadyumna (power, confidence and daring) was taught the art of war by the same person as Duryodhana (the ego). This tells us that both ego (Duryodhana) and power (Drishtadyumna) are equal in their abilities to fight this battle, having been schooled equally by the intellect (Drona). So we conclude that we can’t count on intellect to win this war, as it is a neutral force; and we can’t rely entirely on our own power, self-confidence and daring (Drishtadyumna) to defeat the ego. Something more is needed to tip the scale.

Now you must also ask yourself such questions as, what is archery? who is this teacher of archery, Drona? what is his story? and how does all this relate to you? and to your own sadhana?

The first draft of these verses was a more comprehensive article, and it was ready to go, but it mysteriously disappeared. When I think of having lost it, I have to wonder if I was being stopped from spoiling all the fun you’re going to have figuring these things out for yourselves. The consolation prize is that I leave you with a mystery. That is, after all, the meaning of the word ‘mystical’, and you are only getting a ‘tidbit’.

Happy sleuthing!
Durga Ma


TERMS OF USE AND SHARING:

This post and text is original research material and is copyrighted. You are allowed to share this material for personal, non-commercial and educational use with the proper citations, references and links / tags back to my website. Clicking ´Share´ on FB or ´Reblog´ on WordPress would be most appropriate.
Please obtain written permission from Anandi first if you want to use this material on your workshop, blog, organization, webpage, book, seminar or for any commercial purpose. All information provided, be it through sessions conducted or this post is non-liable and is not intended to replace professional legal, medical, psychological, psychiatric and/or financial counsel. How you choose to act on this information is up to your own free will and is entirely your responsibility.
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Arjuna’s Depression – Bhagavad Gita 1:1

The Bhagavad Gita – Chapter 1, Vs 1

ARJUNA’S DEPRESSION

1
Dhirtarashtra said:  O Samjaya, about my sons of the field of doers, and the sons of Pandu of the field of dharma, eager to fight, tell me what they are doing.  

Characters:

Dhritarashtra – Dhritarashtra was the blind king. The name means, ‘one whose empire is firmly held’. 

Samjaya – The king’s minister. The name means, ‘victorious’.

What is going on:

A conflict is about to take place on the battlefield. Dhritarashtra, who was king and is blind, is asking his minister, Samjaya, to tell him what is going on between his son’s army and the opposing army. His son leads the armies of the Kurus. The armies of the Pandavas are lined up against him.

Because Dhritarashtra is blind, he tells his minister, Samjaya, who has the power to see at a distance, to tell him what is going on. The result is that we get to listen in as Samjaya reports events to Dhritarashtra. This is the source of a dialogue that makes up the content of the Bhagavad Gita. The dialogue is between Arjuna, one of the Pandavas, and Krishna, Arjuna’s guru and childhood best friend who has come over from the other side to drive Arjuna’s chariot for him. But this is another story.

The Two Fields
The field of dharma (truth, divine law, virtue)¹ and the field of kuru (doership, will, ‘ego’).

Think of ‘field’ as a scope of influence and action. The field of the Pandavas is dharma, Truth. The field of the Kurus² (from, kri, ‘to do’) is doership. These two, Truth and doership, have come together in one place to contend their right to rule the kingdom, thus implying that Truth and doership do not tend to get along well with one another.

What does all this have to do with you? 

As a king, Dhritarashtra represents a ruler. His blindness represents ignorance—he is unenlightened. Because he cannot ‘see’ and must have his minister relate events to him, we draw the obvious conclusion that this indicates perception that is indirect on the part of the unenlightened, whereas the perception of one who ‘sees’ is direct. So we have ‘ignorance’ as ‘ruler’ of the ‘kingdom’.

What rules you and your kingdom? You will find the answer to this question in what you want. Do you want Truth, or do you want to be in control? Do you want Truth to rule, or do you want to do everything yourself? The setup of this story seems to be telling us that there is no middle ground where this is concerned.

The rightful ruler is Truth, dharma.
Doership (will) has usurped the thrown.
A conflict is inevitable.

The conflict between the Kurus and the Pandavas represents a clash of opposing forces that occurs when attempting to right this situation. The clash is the coming together of two opposing energies in the body of the person engaged in this endeavor. This union of sun-energy and moon-energy (ha-tha yoga) in the body³ awakens the evolutionary force (kundalini). Once awake and active, the evolutionary force begins the process of doing what is necessary to correct the situation. This process is explained by Lord Krishna in His dialogue with Arjuna, his devotee, and makes up the content of the Bhagavad Gita (Song of God).

Ignorance, the state of the unenlightened, is indirect perception. Dhritarashtra represents ignorance as the ruler of one’s kingdom—your perception, actions, and life in general. But there is someone with you who perceives directly, and can ‘see’. This individual knows what’s going on, and will tell you everything if you ask. But it will be up to you to understand what is being conveyed to you by this individual … and by this scripture, for it is this individual who is conveying it.

FOOTNOTES:

¹ dharma means law, the true essence of anything, and Truth in the absolute sense, i.e., sanatana dharma, ‘Eternal Truth’.

² The physical place, Kurukshetra, is located north of Delhi near Pranipat.

³ The Kurus are of the race of the Moon, and the Pandavas are of the race of the Sun.

Jaya Bhagavan(Victory to God!)
Durga Ma

** For those who are participating in the Gita studygroup with Anandi, the first Zoom discussion will be help Sunday, June 28th @ 11amEST.  For assistance and questions please email anandibhagavan@gmail.com


TERMS OF USE AND SHARING:

This post and text is original research material and is copyrighted. You are allowed to share this material for personal, non-commercial and educational use with the proper citations, references and links / tags back to my website. Clicking ´Share´ on FB or ´Reblog´ on WordPress would be most appropriate.
Please obtain written permission from Anandi first if you want to use this material on your workshop, blog, organization, webpage, book, seminar or for any commercial purpose. All information provided, be it through sessions conducted or this post is non-liable and is not intended to replace professional legal, medical, psychological, psychiatric and/or financial counsel. How you choose to act on this information is up to your own free will and is entirely your responsibility.