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No Progress is Lost -Bhagavad Gita- Chapter 2: Vs 40

**The monthly Bhagavad Gita study session with Anandi and Shambu will be Sunday, November 28th @11am EDT. For the Zoom link to join, please email Anandibhagavan@gmail.com **

Do you ever worry about losing the progress you have made? Herein lies a secret in…  

The Science of Yoga 

40 
By undertaking Yoga, no harm will come to you and no progress is ever lost. Even a little of this practice will protect you from great danger. 

Over my nearly forty years of yoga sadhana (practice)I have found this to be literally true. The trick is not to underestimate the human propensity for making mistakes, and learn to accept that as long as you are being human, mistakes will happen. But when you surrender yourself to God/Truth, you will be taken care of by That.

Just when it looks like you are about to sink into oblivion, you will be rescued. Just as you think you have surely failed, you will be presented with proof of your continuing success. And just when you think your struggle will never end, you will find yourself liberated.

I find this verse to be one of the most reassuring in the entire Gita. After being on the path for so long, retrospect has played its part by reminding me of past difficulties and darkness, and how by continuing onward in the face of all of this, no matter how I felt or what I thought, I was pushed forward in spite of myself, in spite of my ignorance, in spite of my resistance, in spite of my negative thinking, and just in the nick of time I was saved. This comfort is the gift of scripture, the Truth passed on to us in words planted in the gardens of our minds, that aids us in the cultivation of trust in the Truth, trust in God. Faith.

Many times I have heard people say, with an air of authority, that bothering to read or study scripture is a waste of time, that it is experience that counts, not what is written in books. They are partly right. Reading scripture will not get you to the goal. Reading it and doing as it teaches, will. By continuing to contemplate it and increase your understanding of it through the experience gained by practicing what it teaches, multiple levels of understanding will be revealed that will take you to the end of the road.

Namaste (I bow to the divine one that you really are),
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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Yoga and Freedom -Bhagavad Gita- Chapter 2: Vs 39

Taking into account everything that can be known and what to do with it. 

39 
What I have imparted to you is the wisdom of Sankhya. Now hear the wisdom of Yoga, by which you can free yourself from the bondage of karma. 

“Sankhya”, one of the major philosophical schools of India, is a reference to the teachings of previous verses in this chapter. The word sankhya means ‘taking into account’. Sankhya philosophy takes into account everything that can be known. It is considered to be a dualistic philosophy in that it deals with opposites in the manner we have been discussing.

“Yoga”, ‘the act of uniting’, takes us beyond what Sankhya has taught us, to putting this knowledge into action. The act of uniting (yoga) requires more than one, otherwise what would be uniting with what? Yoga is a natural partner to Sankhya.

“the bondage of karma” refers to the entrapment produced by the union of ignorance with action. Believing that ‘I do’, the principle of cause and effect is put into play, and the ‘I’ automatically becomes trapped by responsibility for the action, be it good or bad.

“karma” means ‘action’. The root of the word karmakri, meaning ‘to do’, is the basis of the ignorance of the Truth of Self as the eternal non-doer.

Alternate Translations:

• Now that you have this knowledge, taking it together with the understanding of action, you can avoid the bondage of action (karma).

• This wisdom has been presented to you from the standpoint of Jnana Yoga (Knowledge Yoga). Now hear it presented as Karma Yoga (Action Yoga) by which you will be able to throw off the shackles of karma.

• I have explained to you the spiritual knowledge regarding the nature of the soul. Now listen to the science of action, which can completely release you from the bondage of cause and effect.

Previously, we discussed pairs of opposites and bringing them into union. Knowledge, what you think or know, and action, things that happen and things you do, are also opposites. In this verse we are presented with the idea of bringing knowledge and action together as a unit: Sankhya (wisdom-knowledge) and Yoga (the act of union) are one.

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The science of Yoga is the science of action. The word yoga means ‘union’ and consequently also means ‘action’, for one thing uniting with another is an action.

It is one thing to equalize a pair of opposites, but it is quite another thing to bring them together as a single unit. The process of uniting the solar and lunar energies in the body is hatha yoga (sun-moon union). When this is accomplished, this unit takes on the function of furthering one’s evolution and is called kundalini.

Yes, evolution is going on all the time, but it is taking us thousands of lifetimes to complete. Through the natural practice of Yoga, we stand a chance of reaching raja yoga and getting closer to the freedom and eternal (rather than temporal) happiness that we know awaits us.

Hatha Yoga begins after enough sadhana (practice) has been successfully accomplished to get us there, and will take up nearly all of our sadhana from that point on. Then, sun-moon union having been accomplished and the process advanced sufficiently, we move into raja yoga, ‘royal union’, uniting with God, Truth, the Absolute (whatever your word is for That).

This process doesn’t have to be thought of as religious or spiritual. It is what it is: evolution. We tend to think of all this as spiritual because we need a name for it that expresses an experience that we do not know how to talk about. And because we can’t put it in a test tube and prove it. We have no words for it in English. Some try to avoid the word God with its implication of some deity somewhere in the cosmos directing our lives, and try using words like Divine, or Truth. But whatever you like to call It, think of it as Absolute, for it is absolute. Even the relative is absolute.

Everything is Absolutely Relative

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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Attraction, Aversion, and Dispassion -Bhagavad Gita- Chapter 2: 38

Attraction and aversion are opposite sides of the same coin. Attraction is positive desire—you are attracted to things you like and are compelled to pursue them. Aversion is negative desire—you are repelled by things you don’t like and are compelled to avoid them. By achieving ‘dispassion’ you are not compelled. You are free.

38 
Holding pleasure and pain, gain and loss, victory and defeat to be equal, take up the battle and thus incur no misfortune.

Holding opposites to be equal, or the same, is often referred to as ‘dispassion’. By taking up this challenge one can achieve dispassion. When dispassion is achieved regarding any set of opposites, no misfortune is encountered where that set of opposites is concerned.

“misfortune”

The Sanskrit means ‘difficulty’ — being scared, in pain, trouble, hardship, sorrow, and…well, you get the picture.

“equal”
Pleasure and pain, gain and loss, victory and defeat, etc., are pairs of opposites. Opposites being equal is usually understood as not having excess joy or sorrow over either of a pair, i.e., we should not be unhappy about loss or pleased with gain.

But this verse is not telling us what we should not do. Sukhaduhkhe same kritva simply says, “Ease (sukha) and difficulty (duhkha) have the same effect (same kritva)” — one of a pair is not stronger than the other so the effect is equal. This paints a different picture than simply having no effect at all, one way or the other. It is a picture of two opposites becoming equal in value and strength, and in this way, attraction or aversion to either is also equal, so there is no contest.

However one might understand achieving dispassion, it will happen on its own if you have the means. The simplest means is to surrender yourself to God/Truth in a conducive environment that allows this to take place naturally and fully, such as Surrender Meditation; between meditations, Mental Yoga can be practiced.

Find more on how neutralizing opposites works in verse 15, and in “Neutralizing Opposites” in verse 14.

Self-reference:  The next time you find yourself reacting to something, try to identify it, give it a name, and look for its opposite.

Example:

In an attempt to be helpful, a friend says to you, “That outfit you’re wearing looks terrible; you are grossly out of fashion.”

Your internal reaction is that you have been insulted by your friend. You try to identify this feeling and realize that you are angry (even though you have managed not to show it). You quickly contemplate an opposite to anger and decide on happiness — there may be other opposites, but you choose ‘happy’ and try to move into this state, if only temporarily. When you get home, you use this incident to practice moving into the state of ‘angry’ and then into ‘happy’, back and forth, until they are the same and you can move as quickly and easily into one as the other. By using this Mental Yoga*, you have increased your degree of dispassion, and where this pair of opposites is concerned, you will incur no ‘misfortune’.

Namaste,
Durga Ma

*Mental Yoga is a spiritual education and personal development course created and written by Durga Ma. For inquires and download options, please contact 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 Greatest Adventure-Bhagavad Gita- Chapter 2: 37

There is everything to gain and nothing to lose in that most exciting adventure of all: the pursuit of Truth/God. 

37
Having been slain you will attain heaven, or having conquered you will enjoy this world, so stand up, Arjuna, resolved to battle.

According to this and previous verses, you can attain this most desirable of outcomes by following your svadharma (sva – one’s own, dharma – natural characteristic), your own ability, talent, gift, that you would naturally do best. 

You have two life purposes:
(1) one that is the same for everyone, and (2) one that is unique to you.

Some of you are now taking the Design Your Life online course* and will be making this discovery. Bravo to you! It is my hope that, once you have determined your own unique svadharma, you will remember the first purpose of your life and get on with this as well, for it is primary to the fulfillment of the second. Do keep us posted on your progress.

Now let’s see what you will get for your efforts:

“heaven” – traditional
The paradise where one goes to await the next incarnation.

The word for ‘heaven’ is svarga, which means ‘the heavens’. Notice the plural. Is there more than one ‘heaven’ then? Some say there are seven heavens and seven hells, seven levels in either direction from where we are right now.  

“heaven” – in sadhana
Samadhi

There may be a good reason we look up when we talk or think about heaven. When the life energy in the body moves up to the crown chakra through the central channel (sushumna nadi), a loud cacophony of bells can be heard, and divine bliss is experienced. This experience can occur fairly early in sadhana. It is the inspiration behind the bells in church steeples, the ringing of bells at weddings, and the bell rung upon entering a Hindu temple (the temple is heaven).

In the state of sabija samprajnata samadhi, the paradise mentioned above is experienced. You ‘go’ there. Having directly experienced this heavenly place frees you from the fear of death. Later, when nirbija asamprajnata samadhi is achieved, you directly experience the highest heaven of the Absolute, where you are freed from both birth and death.

“heaven” – in life
Happiness

There is also the idea of Heaven on Earth, that lovely dream of a good and happy life, or at least those perfect moments when everything is prosperous and in place, love is given and received, and life is good.

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The point Lord Krishna is making in this verse, is that if Arjuna doesn’t quit and goes forward to take on the battle, he can’t lose — he will either gain ‘heaven’ if he ‘dies’, or have a good life if he doesn’t.

I think you will agree that, with just this short contemplation on one single verse suggesting a heavenly reward as motivation, by putting what we now know into action through the practice of meditation, heaven will naturally follow like a horse follows the groom for the lump of sugar he carries in his pocket.

Self-reference:  If you do well performing your svadharma you will enjoy a good life, or good sadhana, or if you die in the midst of it, you will go to a good place. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

Better one’s own dharma done poorly, than another man’s done well.

If you have forgotten what this ‘battle’ represents for you, you may want to refresh your memory by rereading earlier installments. Also, consider what the idea of ‘dying’ may suggest besides the obvious. And contemplate the phrase, “Our Father who art in Heaven…”

Namaste,
Durga Ma

*Design Your Life is a spiritual education and personal development course created and written by Durga Ma based on the ancient teachings of Pantanjali’s Yoga Sutras. Designed to help you discover your unique svadharma, and align what you do in your life with the truth of who you really are. It is an essential and powerful tool for success and happiness in life, as well as a supplement in sadhana that will assist in supporting and orienting your growth. For inquires and download, please contact 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 Purpose of Life -Bhagavad Gita- Chapter 2: 33-36

You have two life purposes. One is the same for everyone, the other is unique to you.

33
If you will not undertake this rightful challenge, avoiding your own dharma and glory, you will gain only misfortune and harm.

“your own dharma”: svadharma — (sva, one’s own; dharma, natural characteristic). Your svadharma is your natural purpose, ability, talent, gift. Your svadharma is what you are best suited for, and would naturally do best.

In verse 32, Krishna said to Arjuna that, as a Kshatriya (warrior), by taking up the battle he could attain heaven and happiness. Now he is telling him what will happen if he doesn’t: He could come to harm.

In today’s society, many people work a job for someone else to the point of complete dependency, settling for being a servant to someone else’s cause for money and ‘benefits’, doing something that has nothing to do with their svadhama. They are self-deceived, living in denial of their own denial. I think it is safe to say that they are not happy people.

Self-reference: I previously suggested that you self-reference on whether or not you are performing your svadharma in your life. If you haven’t done this, this is a reminder to do so. The idea is to find your way to the best possible conditions for having the best possible life. This begins with determining your svadharam.

34 – 36
Also, everyone will forever speak ill of you, and for a well-respected person, disgrace is worse than death.

Great warriors will think that you withdraw from battle due to fear, and among those by whom you have been held in high esteem, you will be seen as a coward.

Unfit and hostile people will speak ill of you and deride your ability. What greater hardship can there be than this?

The point that Krishna is making is that Arjuna is not going to like his life if he abandons his svadharma

Whatever happens, we should not give up our purpose, our svadharma, because doing so would make us miserable. In the second paragraph of the commentary on verse 33 above, I insulted practically everyone on Earth for doing just that. I was just writing, not thinking much about what I was saying, and as a result, I have proved Lord Krishna’s point!

The subject is the performance our svadharma, but what does that mean? Presumably, what we want and what we have the ability to do well, naturally go together. So figuring this out shouldn’t be all that difficult. But if you are not one of those rare mortals who know this practically from birth, it can be very difficult.

It is easy to say that we all have the same svadharma which is to seek God/Truth. This is certainly true, but in what context do we seek this? This is where our svadharma comes in. If we seek, do spiritual practices, work at something to make a living based on our svadharam, we will do well. Outside of that context, we will probably not do well. So we need to know what it is, for it is said…

Better one’s own dharma done poorly, than another man’s done well.

It is probably fair to assume that your natural abilities and what you want will go hand in hand, so check what you think you want against your natural abilities, then align what you want with what you do so that you can be successful. If this doesn’t work out to your satisfaction, consider that you may not know what you want.

Some of us do not know our svadharma, so how do we find out what that is? We may think we know, because we think we know what we want, but do we really? Having gotten side-tracked by other things we thought we had to do in order to manifest what we want, without realizing it we got led in other directions, over and over again, until we forgot what it was that we wanted to do with our lives in the first place. If you feel this may be the case for you, and if you want to live your life with the most happiness possible, you must get to the bottom of this.  

Namaste (I bow to the divine one that you really are),
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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Life and Death and Heaven -Bhagavad Gita- Chapter 2: 28-32

Life and Death and Heaven 

28 – 29 
Beings are such that their beginnings are non-manifest, their middles are manifest and their ends are non-manifest again, so why worry?

Someone experiencing this, amazed and full of wonder, tells another who hears of it and is amazed, but even though he has heard about it he cannot know it.

“Someone experiencing this” — ‘this’ refers to the above and previous verses of this chapter.

Self-reference: You cannot know Truth by hearing about it (or reading about it), but only through your own ‘direct experience‘. Direct experience can be had for a brief moment with the use of certain techniques*, or through spontaneous samadhi attained in Surrender Meditation (shaktipat kundalini yoga, sahaja yoga, natural meditation).

30
The one in the body is eternally inviolable in the body of all, Bharata. Therefore, you do not deserve to be compelled to lament any born being.

“The one in the body” is the ’embodied one’ as described earlier. It cannot be slain, cannot die, cannot be harmed, and cannot harm.

“in the body of all”:  This has two meanings: (1) What is said is true for everyone, and (2) what you really are is not located somewhere, but is everywhere. As a non-physical individual, you have no limitations, so you are not limited by space or time.

In other writings, I have talked about our connectedness through our sameness as divine, perfect, non-physical individuals, but this verse demonstrates yet another way in which we are all connected: What each of us really is, is this unlimited, all-pervasive individual. We each ‘wear’ a body made up of everyone. And because we each constitute everyone else’s body, everything we think, say, or do, affects them. Conversely, everything everyone else thinks, says or does, affects us. The way this plays out is determined by the order of our original connection, our original conscious awareness of each other.

Bharata — Krishna is once again referring to Arjuna as Bharata, ‘constantly-knowing’ in the sense of knowing Truth. We all already know Truth, whether we are aware of it or not. Enlightenment is simply becoming aware of what we already know.

Self-reference:  Which of these describes you? (1) Constantly engaged in acquiring knowledge, (2) constantly knowing Truth/God but not realizing that you know It, or (3) enlightened.

“you do not deserve to be compelled to lament any born being” — “to be compelled” are my own words interjected to clarify the statement. Otherwise, we would be left with, “you do not deserve to lament any born beings”, but Krishna is trying to spare you of sorrow, not blame you for an error. He is trying to help you to eliminate errors altogether.

31
Also, considering your own dharma, you deserve not to feel compelled to hesitate. Indeed, anything superior to battle for a Kshatriya is not known.

Once again my interjection, “‘not to feel compelled’ to hesitate” satisfies the Sanskrit meaning. Krishna is urging Arjuna to get on with it and ignore his compulsions.

“Kshatriya” — A warrior. Kshatriya means ‘to give protection from harm’.

“your own dharma”The word dharma means ‘the way things really are’. The Sanskrit is svadharma, which refers to one’s own personal dharma — your own special condition, the way you really are; your essential quality, unique ability or talent, what is good and right for you to utilize in your life. Ultimately, everyone’s svadharma is spiritual in nature. Meanwhile, we do the best we can.

Self-reference:  One does what must be done in life that is in accordance with one’s svadharma. Arjuna is a warrior. What are you? To consider your own dharma, look in these four basic categories: Are you a (1) God-person, (2) a protector or leader, (3) a business person, merchant or artisan, etc., or (4) do you serve someone else.

Better one’s own dharma done poorly than another man’s done well.
— Bhagavad Gita

Which category do you fit best? What is your special gift, talent or ability? Are you honoring that dharma? Or are you an enlightened or liberated God-person living an exclusively spiritual life without exception (without doing other things, such as working a job, running for office, etc.)?

32
And if by good fortune they should gain the door to heaven, happy are the Kshatriyas to encounter such a battle.

“the door to heaven” — In the battlefield, a king or warrior fighting in defense against another king, is said to achieve heaven upon death. Heaven refers to the paradise where the virtuous are transferred until the time comes for re-entering earthly bodies.

Self-reference:  Do you defend your ‘kingdom’ from being taken over by another? In order to answer this question, ask yourself, What is my ‘kingdom’?. HINT from chapter two, verse 15:

All activities of the mind vanished, I sit happily as the ruler within the city whose gates are nine [the body], not acting at all, nor causing action.
— Lord Krishna, Bhagavad Gita, ch 5, vs 13
 

This is also a good time to remember what this ‘battle’ is. Do you remember?

Namaste,
Durga Ma

*  “certain techniques”:  Enlightenment Intensives — Click on “Jack Wexler” to see an excellent video on Enlightenment Intensives. To find an intensive near you, click on “Contacts Around the World”. More links can be found here — scroll down to “Enlightenment Intensive Contacts”.

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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 Gita is All About You -Bhagavad Gita- Ch 2: 22-27

You cannot know the Real by means of something that is unReal. 

The Gita Is All About You 

22
Just as after throwing away worn out garments one takes new ones, so after casting away worn out bodies the embodied one takes new ones. 

Self-reference:

You are not going to die. Only your body can die. You are the ’embodied one’, you are not what you are being.

23 – 24
Weapons do not pierce the embodied one, fire does not burn it, water does not wet it, and the wind does not cause it to wither.

It cannot be pierced, burned, saturated or withered. It is fundamental, stationary, all-pervasive, and inactive.

Self-reference:

Not only are you immortal, you are invulnerable, and no element of nature — earth, water, fire, or air — can change this. In nature, every thing is relative to and dependent upon something else. In nature, everything is constantly changing. But you are not nature. You are YOU, the absolute constant in a world of change.

25
The embodied one is non-manifest, unimaginable, and unchanging. Having understood this, you should not grieve.

Self-reference:

The Real You is not manifest nor does it ever change. What you really are is not imaginable to the you that you believe yourself to be. You cannot become aware of this through mind or reason, as these are of nature and the quality of change, so they are not Real either, and you cannot know the Real by means of something that is unReal.

26 – 27
Moreover, even if you think the embodied one eternally born or dead, even then, you should not grieve for it.

For the born, death is certain, and for the dead, birth is certain. So, these things being inevitable, you should not morn.

Self-reference:

There is nothing to gain or lose because You exist in all that Is. Nothing that is Real can be lost because the Real doesn’t come and go, so regret is without foundation.

When feelings of loss, fear, anger or worry arise,
know that they arise within that which you are being,
never in the Real You.

Attaining Enlightenment

Enlightenment — Self-realization, God-realization, Christ Consciousness — is attained outside of the realm of the mind, thinking, intellect, and the senses, which are all relative and always in flux, but You are not. You are Absolute.

Consciousness is a power, an ability, that you have, but not what that power does. Consciousness is the ability, using it is an action. Consciousness is a characteristic of the Real You — You have the ability to be conscious. When you are being conscious, you are being conscious of something other than you. Consciousness is being used to be conscious of something other than you.

Why do I say “other than you”? How can you be conscious of you? How can you be something that you are perceiving? Who or what is doing the perceiving in that case? If you are thinking that you must be able to do this to become self-realized, you are missing the point: you are attempting to use something that is unReal to know the Real.

How Enlightenment Is Attained

Having heard about it from Lord Krishna, we know what enlightenment is. We now have that knowledge. But knowing about something is different than knowing it. This kind of knowing can only occur through ‘direct experience’. The highest form of this is nirbija, or asamprajnata samadhi* — union with the Absolute (raja yoga).

Prior to nirbija samadhi, union involves direct perception — perception without the aid of the senses (sabija, or samprajnata samadhi). Prior to this, there is union of the warming and the cooling energies in the body (hatha yoga), which makes the higher states of union (raja yoga) possible. During this period and prior to it, there may be spikes lasting only a fraction of a second in which one has direct experience of what one really is. That there are degrees of enlightenment is demonstrated by these different experiences.

In the highest samadhi (nirbija, asamprajnata), you are not conscious of anything. There is no knowing going on, no one engaged in knowing, nothing to know, not even the bliss. Your ability to be conscious is not engaged, so you are not self-conscious either. You are just You, this bliss, this wondrous joy: It is You. You and everyone else. This can only be awkwardly expressed after the fact.

* The term 'experience' is insufficient for describing nirbija samadhi. The terms asamprajnata (without a knowable) and nirbija (without a seed) explain that there is nothing to be conscious of. There is absolute union with the Absolute. One is 'merged' with That without any self-sense, and no experiencing is going on.

What you are being, is a being that passes through many changes
in a world of change.

What you Really are never changes,
is never born and never dies.  What you Really are is Absolute.

I bow to the Divine One that You really are,
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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Opposites Neutralized -Bhagavad Gita- Chapter 2: 16-21

Enlightenment, Self-realization, God-realization, Christ Consciousness… 

16  
There is no coming to be of the non-existent. What is not non-existent is Real. These statements are understood by Knowers of Truth*.

The subject is sat — ‘the real; truth, existence; that which is without change, that which really is’.

“There is no coming to be of the non-existent. What is not non-existent is Real.”

• What is not real goes through changes. What is Real never changes.

• The unReal never is. The Real eternally remains.

• With the unReal nothing remains the same. The Real is ever-existent without modification.

• The changeless is what exists and is Real. Anything that can change does not really exist so it is not Real.

* The Knowers of Truth are the enlightened ones, the sages, those who have reached this understanding through direct experience.

17
Understand that that by which this universe is pervaded is imperishable, and that no one can destroy that which cannot be destroyed but endures always.

‘The Real’ is given more descriptors — it is ‘all-pervasive’, unlimited, everywhere always.

Self-reference:  What you really are has no limitations, is not located anywhere, is everywhere. You seem to have limitations and to be located somewhere, due to identification with the unReal.

18
These bodies, inhabited by the eternal, indestructible, immeasurable embodied one, come to an end. So fight, Descendant of Bharata!

“immeasurable” — all-pervasive and unlimited.

‘Descendant of Bharata’:  Krishna uses this epitaph of Arjuna’s to remind him that, having come into being from an original state of ‘continuous knowing’ (Bharata), he already knows all this and just needs to realize it.

Self-reference: God is reminding you that you already know this for the same reason.

19
He who imagines the embodied one to be a slayer, and he who imagines that the embodied one can be slain, does not understand. The embodied one does not slay, nor is it slain.

Krishna subtly weaves in the reality of ‘non-doership’ here:  What Arjuna truly is does nothing, so his arguments in previous verses have no foundation.

Self-reference:  What you really are is invulnerable, and what you really are never harms anyone. This is the basis of the first yama, ahimsa (harmlessness). Hurting others doesn’t work and can only cause your own downfall, because it is not possible for the Real You.

20 – 21
The embodied one is never born, nor does it die at any time. The embodied one is not a being, does not become a being, and will never become a being at any time in the future. It is birthless, eternal, and ever-existent. It is not slain when the body is slain.

How can anyone who knows this embodied one to be indestructible, eternal, birthless, and imperishable, kill or be killed?

Well obviously, this simply cannot happen. We are convinced!

Our bodies come into being, live for a while, and then they die, so by definition they are not Real, nor is anything in the world Real. If you don’t believe this, just try finding something that NEVER changes.

Self reference: The above verses suggest that what is Real is something that is constant. In other words, it is something that is always present no matter what is happening, what is going on around you, in the outside world or within. Think this over and look for this constant. Ask yourself what it is. There is an answer. It is below. Don’t look yet. Think it over and see if you can come up with the answer first, then take a peek.

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Opposites Neutralized

In the unReal, the ‘relative’, everything is relative to and dependent upon everything else. The Real, the ‘absolute’, is unchanging, never-ending, true and constant existence. The relative (non-existent) describes what we are ‘being’, i.e., physical beings in a world of change. The absolute (existent) describes us as we really are.

Realizing this to be true, we can understand now, why polarizing opposites ultimately become neutralized, and why this is inevitable: they are unReal and we seek the Real. During the process, there is a state we can achieve in which opposites do not arise, where heat and cold, pleasure and pain, attraction and aversion, etc., do not arise and therefore do not exert any influence on us. This state is called Yoga (Union).

Namaste — I bow to the Divine One that you really are,
Durga Ma

Self-reference:  That which is constant no matter what, is YOU.

_______________________________

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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Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 2, Vs 15

When the evolutionary force kundalini completes the transformation of the body, Death loses it power. 

15 Considering them common, Arjuna, one who does not waver on account of these and remains resolute, is ready for immortality. 

“these” refers to opposites as mentioned in verse 14:  

It is perception by the senses that produces the sensations of heat and cold, pleasantness and pain. These appear and disappear and are impermanent, so have patience, Arjuna.”

The keyword in verse 15 is ‘ready’. The ultimate outcome is liberation and immortality. In the Bible and other mystical texts of the East, this reference to immortality is literal — the corruptible becomes incorruptible; the yogi cheats death; etc.

When this perishable will have put on the imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then will come about the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting? — 1 Corinthians 15:54-55

Two conditions then, are necessary for this transformation: resolute determination, and indifference to opposites.

When truly indifferent to opposites, such as heat and cold, and pleasure and pain, one is in a state in which opposites have been neutralized through union (yoga). The instant prana and apana* unite within the body, opposition vanishes and the Life Energy takes on an evolutionary function (kundalini), and though this may only last for a moment, in that moment there is absolute indifference to opposites. Attractions and aversions cannot exist where there are no likes or dislikes, and likes and dislikes cannot exist in the complete satisfaction and fulfillment of this moment of union. Thus begins the work of neutralizing the polarized pull of the very things that support ignorance (Dhritarashthra): the desires of the mind (the sons of Dhritarashthra).

* 'prana and apana': The Life Energy moving upward that warms the body is called prana; moving downward and cooling the body it is called apana. When these opposing functions of the Life Energy collide, they are united as one, and the evolutionary force, kundalini, becomes active within the body. This is Yoga ('union').

Self-reference:

Desires of the mind (the sons of Dhritarashthra) appear as things you like as opposed to things you do not like, and visa versa—opposites. Begin by simply noticing these when they arise.

Ignorance refers to non-enlightenment. In the West, this is called ‘ego’, but the Sanskrit word (ahamkara) suggests that what this ‘ego’ is, is the sense of yourself as ‘doing’. This in turn suggests that what you really are is something other than what does things, and begs the question: “What am I?” Begin contemplating this question.

Enlightenment happens when you know through direct experience that what you really are does nothing. This unfolds by degrees.

All activities of the mind having vanished, I sit happily as the ruler within the city whose gates are nine [the body], not acting at all, nor causing action. — Lord Krishna, Bhagavad Gita, ch 5, vs 13

Sensible Spiritual

As a sadhika, I lived in the woods on very little of anything in order to find the time and solitude to practice yoga full time. I had no frills like air-conditioning and often no heat in winter, so I bore up under a great deal of discomfort. I told myself that I was cultivating dispassion and indifference to heat and cold, and pleasure and pain. What was really happening was that I was so miserable, and it took so much will to endure this misery, that I was not only holding myself back, I was getting over-exposed without realizing it. This resulted in the body becoming even more sensitive to heat and cold than it was in the beginning, and I have had to deal with this every day of my life since that time. It was a kind of ‘mortification of the flesh’ that I didn’t realize I was ‘doing’. And it didn’t work. It doesn’t work. It won’t work.

Scriptural injunction insists that we take proper care of the body so that it is fit for sadhana, not beaten down. So now, instead of tents, cars, vacant houses, or huts with quarter-inch cracks between the boards, I live in a simple house with AC and heat, and I do not put up with tolerating anything any more, if I can help it. That’s full circle from an ordinary life, to a determined and devoted spiritual life, and back to where I started from, only now I live a devoted sensible-spiritual life.

Indifference to opposites must come naturally and spontaneously as a result of surrender to God/Truth. You cannot make it happen. If you try, you will pay. The trick is to monitor your own motives as you live sensibly spiritually: Are you taking care of your body for sadhana? or are you using this principle as an excuse for seeking pleasure? And then, when you make a mistake (you will), you must ignore the temptation to put yourself down, forgive yourself, and move on.

I bow to the Divine One that you really are,
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 Baby and the Bathwater -Bhagavad Gita- Chapter 2 :14

Our monthly Bhagavad Gita study session with Anandi and Shambu via Zoom will be Sunday, September 27th @ 11am EDT. For details and link please email anandibhagavan@gmail.com

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.

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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.

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“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


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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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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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 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


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