The Darshan of the Self – Bhagavad Gita, Ch 13, Vs 12

Self & Other Than Self

12
It is taught that the purpose of Knowledge is Knowledge of Truth. From That, the darshan of the Eternal Self arises. Knowledge contrary to this is ignorance.

  • Knowledge of Truth – True Knowledge, from tattva (Truth is ‘that’, i.e., Otherness).

The purpose of Knowledge of the Absolute is to know the True Self, the Real You. It is from this Knowledge that Self Realization arises as enlightenment, the absence of ignorance.

In other words, Self Realization attained through Knowledge of Truth is enlightenment. Ignorance, which is contrary to this, is the state of not being enlightened. Knowledge of Truth is attained through experience in meditation, not book-learning. However, learning of it from those who have reached it, sets the stage so that this can take place. This is a reference to both guru and scripture as sources of learning.  

Attaining Self Realization is then accomplished through the darshan of the Self — you see your True Self and realize that this ‘Self’ is Other-than-You.

Darshan – ‘To see’: (1) to see something with the eyes, and (2) to see directly, without eyes, thus knowing with certainty that what you are seeing is Real. 

Darshan of the Self – You see your Real Self by means of your inherent power of sight — directly (without eyes). In this way, you obtain knowledge of the Self as Other-than-self, for if you are seeing the Self this begs the question, “Who’s looking?” Obviously, this Self is not the one doing the looking; the looker is You.

Pranam 1

This description of darshan explains why gurus give darshan for students, disciples, and other people who have come to them. The guru knows that he or she is the same as the one who pranams (bows down before them) in ‘what‘ it is that they both really are: Divine Absolute Imperishable Individuals.

Pranam

Thus is pranam a powerful form of surrender, for it is the key to full surrender of oneself to Absolute God in meditation. This surrender is how Self Realization takes place. If you cannot put your ego on the floor and pranam before this Divine Other, you will not surrender sufficiently in your meditation to attain Self Realization. Pranam is the short cut to the Truth of You.

If you are someone who is seeking Self Realization, this message is for you. If you are going about this pursuit by focusing on yourself, you should consider changing your tactics and instead, seek Absolute God as other than you. Then Self Realization will arise of its own accord in your meditation. 

Self & OtherAs a human being you can only see yourself as if in a mirror, indirectly, whereas Self Realization is direct. Because you are human and have a mind with an ego at its core, the temptation, encited by the ego, is to think that concentrating on yourself is the way to Self Realization. But this will not work, for as a human being, Absolute Truth/God is obviously other-than-you. 

Tattva – Truth as other-than-you, from tat, ‘that’.

By trying to reach Self Realization by concentrating on yourself, you are trying to reach Truth via the ego, so all you will get is ego, however exalted your experience may seem. You get what you worship, what you believe, what you surrender to, what you rely on. Hence the need for correct knowledge and understanding of Truth, and the surrender of yourself to That in meditation.

Many people try to reach Self Realization by means of the ego without realizing it. This is self-indulgence, and it is not going to work. It can’t work because Truth in the Absolute sense is other-than-self. Only from a place of Absolute Truth can one truly say, “I am That.”

Namaste (I bow to the divine one that you really are),
Durga Ma
durgama.com


Spiritual Leadership Voyages

From Durga Ma & Anandi

Your life has a purpose. Do you know what it is?

You have a very important life purpose that will have an impact on the world. This purpose is filled with joy, abundance and happiness, and is literally waiting for you right now.

Put the knowledge of meditation into action to catapult your personal and spiritual growth into Mastery, and share it with the world. Become a Spiritual Leader

The fulfillment of your purpose as a Spiritual Leader will demonstrate your own true nature, and your True Self will emerge. Aligned with your True Self in everyday life, you become a leader who exemplifies the possibility of sustainable joy, abundance and fulfillment. 

  • Discover and live your life purpose
  • Make an impact in the world
  • Stop energy leaks and overwhelm
  • Experience life as joyful, abundant and fulfilling

Questions? Want to know more?

Schedule a complimentary discovery session with Anandi: anandibhagavan@gmail.com or call 860-899-4429

“Every step you take pulls every one of us with you.” —Durga Ma

The Whole World Is One Family

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The Field and the Field Knower – Bhagavad Gita, Ch 13, Vs 8-11

The Field & the Field Knower - The Embodied One & the Being

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The Field and the Field Knower

God is both Absolute and Relative:

Earth, water, fire, air, ether, mind, intelligence and the sense of self as the doer of action, are the eight parts of my Relative nature. Such is My inferior nature. But know this as different from My highest Absolute existence by which this world is sustained. — Bhagavad Gita, Ch 7, vs 4 – 5

When we talk about the Field, we are talking about the Relative, which covers everything we know of this life and this world. It is all Mother God, Prakriti, Other-than-You, Nature. The nature of this Relative Realm is duality in multiple layers.

There are many gods.

When we talk about the Field Knower, we are talking about the Absolute, which covers all of us as Divine Absolute Imperishable Individuals who have taken residence in material bodies. This is Father God, Purusha, the Embodied One (You), Spirit. The nature of the Absolute God is singular and unchanging.

There is only one God.

At the beginning of this chapter, Lord Krishna says to Arjuna, “I consider knowledge of the Field (the world of the body) and the Field Knower (the Real You) to be True Knowledge.” 

You are a god in a body made of God being human.

He also says, “I am the Knower of the Field in all Fields.” So now we are going to hear what He is really like and how this emerges within us as we master the following characteristics.

Verses 8-11 (My input is in parentheses):

(8) Absence of pride (humility), sincerity (honesty), harmlessness (non-violence), forgiveness (liberation), simplicity (effortlessness), service to the Guru (giver of the grace of knowledge and practice), purity (clearness), perseverance (firmness and persistence) and self-control (self-discipline).

(9) Renunciation (letting go of) of sense objects (desires and attachments), non-doership (acting without doing), and realization of the evils and faults of birth, disease, old age and death (you know these to be flawed characteristics of human existence, for they do not conform to the Truth of what you really are).

(10) Indifference (to worldly attractions), non-attachment to spouse, children and home (by which one also becomes better at managing these), and always even-minded amidst the desirable and undesirable (you are neither eager nor upset in these situations).

(11) With no desire for mundane society but having an inclination for solitary places, he practices uniting with Me exclusively, with unfailing devotion.

Solitary places suggests complete privacy for practicing yoga (uniting). Or, for some, this might mean taking time everyday to be alone to meditate. If you are seeking liberation, you should live alone in a quiet place, or with others on the same path as you, but even then, your own living quarters where you will practice, should be for you only.

An aversion to mundane society means that you aren’t a party goer any more, you don’t hang out in over-stimulating places, and you choose your friends and company carefully. You are interested only in being with others who are doing what you are doing. If you are seeking liberation, you will want to avoid unnecessary interaction with most of society (most of society is not interested in liberation and will not be like-minded).

These are the things we need to do in order to live in sync with our True Selves. They are characteristics of us as Divine Individuals who have become embodied in order to do this.

Practical Knowing

Remember that the Field Knower is also the witness within each of us, and that this witness is not only God, but our very Selves.

We are reminded that there are things to do, things we have to learn and practice in order to make genuine progress. These verses show us that instant gratification handed to us by someone else is not useful. We all have work to do. So how do we go about it?

Here is a practice that you can do in your everyday life that won’t take any extra time out of your day:

1. First, copy the above characteristics into your journal as a list, and cross out the ones you think you are already good at (do this in such a way that you can still read them).   

2. Contemplate these good characteristics. You will be surprised at how good you already are with some of them.

3. Now select one of your weaker charactersistics. Pay attention to this quality in your everyday life. Don’t judge yourself, just notice, and see if you can get a little better at it. Do this for a few days before you move on to another of your weaker qualities until you have completed the list.

4. Then go through steps 2 and 3 again and again until you come to understand them better. You will now have built an auto-pilot that will cause you to notice when you need to cultivate necessary changes. 

All of the divine characteristics listed in these verses also represent the Real You living as a human being in everyday life. Living and acting in harmony with them, your Real Self will begin to emerge. This is the key to a good life, happiness, contentment and success in your endeavors.

Living in harmony with your Real Self puts you in an excellent position to finally achieve Self Realization, for your can’t become Self Realized if you are not self-realized. This study of the self and the Self is called svadhyaya, the fourth niyama. Mastery of this niyama will bring about certain siddhis (powers).

“Self Realization is God Realization and God Realization is Self Realization.” — Anandamayi Ma 

Namaste (I bow to the divine one that you really are),
Durga Ma
durgama.com


Spiritual Leadership Voyages

From Durga Ma & Anandi

Your life has a purpose. Do you know what it is?

You have a very important life purpose that will have an impact on the world. This purpose is filled with joy, abundance and happiness, and is literally waiting for you right now.

Put the knowledge of meditation into action to catapult your personal and spiritual growth into Mastery, and share it with the world. Become a Spiritual Leader

The fulfillment of your purpose as a Spiritual Leader will demonstrate your own true nature, and your True Self will emerge. Aligned with your True Self in everyday life, you become a leader who exemplifies the possibility of sustainable joy, abundance and fulfillment. 

  • Discover and live your life purpose
  • Make an impact in the world
  • Stop energy leaks and overwhelm
  • Experience life as joyful, abundant and fulfilling

Questions? Want to know more?

Schedule a complimentary discovery session with Anandi: anandibhagavan@gmail.com or call 860-899-4429

“Every step you take pulls every one of us with you.” — Durga Ma

The Whole World Is One Family

The Field of the Body – Bhagavad Gita, Ch 13, Vs 4-7

Abstract of the Human Body
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The Field of the Body: What It Is and What It Does

4 – 5
Now I shall tell you briefly about the Field: what it is, its characteristics, what and how modifications take place within it, its origin, and who the knower of the Field is, and his powers. 

  • The Field – The body
  • The Knower of the Field – You

Pleasingly sung in many different ways by different sages, with evidence coming from founded proofs as revealed in the scriptures:

  • Founded proofs – direct experience of Truth in meditation
  • Revealed in the scriptures – written texts on founded proofs

All this was known to the sages in ancient times. In those days, when not everyone could read, this information was recorded by means of chant and song and passed down to preserve it and be easily remembered. Once these teachings were written down, they were called shastras, what we westerners would call ‘scriptures’. We read them and are able to understand them to some degree through contemplating them, and prove them to ourselves through meditation. 

6 – Characteristics of the Field
The five great elements, ego, intelligence, the imperceptible, and also the eleven senses and the five objects of sense…

7 Modifications of the Field
A
ttraction and aversion, ease and dis-ease, the body as a whole, consciousness and will, constitute the Field and its modifications. 

The Field

The Body

Five elements are earth, water, energy, air and space.

Ego, the core of the mind, ahamkara in Sanskrit, which means “I do”. 

Intelligence is buddhi, the ability of the mind to differentiate, discriminate and make judgements.

The imperceptible refers to anything that exists that cannot be perceived by means of the senses, and anything in a potential, undeveloped state.  

The eleven senses are the five sense organs (eyes, ears, etc.), the five organs of action (hands, feet, etc.) and the mind.

The five fields of action of the senses are the sense objects (anything you can smell, taste, touch, see or hear).

Modifications of the Field

Changes that take place within the Field of the body

Attraction and aversion – like and dislike.

Ease and dis-ease – happiness and misery.  

The body itself – The actions of the body.  

Consciousness – attention, the ability to perceive, to know. 

Will – intention; using your inherent power of choice to make choices; holding on to something or trying to get or keep it. 

Modifications are changes (actions) within the Field of the body. Today we look to science, but the sages of old knew to keep things simple if they were going to try to talk about it to others. And that is what they did—they taught, and they were not ignorant of science. (There is a word in Sanskrit that can only be translated as discrete, or ‘as small as an atom’.)

Will

The will is always motivated by desire and attachment, creates both good and bad karma, and imbalances the body.

Willpower = grasping

Associating ‘will’ with the body is suggestive of its association with ‘doing’. The Sanskrit word here also means ‘holding, seizing, or keeping’, as well ‘intention, resolution and command’. It is easy to see that they are all connected. 

Willpower‘Will’ is using your inherent power of choice to make choices, resolutions, determinations, decisions, intentions. We make choices in order to make satisfactory determinations based on what we think will fulfill a desire. Desires are always the result of attraction or aversion. You use your will to get or avoid. This is what a desire is and does. 

Desires are always the result of attraction or aversion.
Will is always associated with a desire.

The Field is the body, so we can’t assume that these actions are limited to the mind, so they must be actions that occur with or in the body or the brain. This will make more sense if you remember that you have a brain because you have a mind (it’s not the other way around):

Willpower

As a Divine Individual you have the power of choice, or free will. When this power is engaged you are in a state of choosing to choose. This is ‘will’. The only purpose of will, choosing to choose, is to get or keep something or someone that you are attracted or attached to. You have the intention to do this, and you use resolution and command to succeed at it. It is all “will”. Remember these?:

  • Attraction and aversion, like and dislike.
  • Ease and dis-ease, happiness and misery.

These are what motivate you to engage your power of choice to get what you want so that you can be happy. But here’s the rub: You can’t keep your success in place indefinitely because of the dual nature of this world. Attraction and aversion, and ease and dis-ease, are pairs of opposites and are therefore bound to change.

Surrender

Natural Surrender Meditation is active meditation.

Swami Kripalu in MeditationThrough our efforts to advance spiritually we eventually understand this, and begin to try to rise above this trap. No matter how you phrase it, the only solution is to stop choosing to choose — stop using your will to try to get what you want. You must choose not to chose, and surrender to Absolute God (by any name) in meditation.

Surrender Yoga

I say “in meditation” because you won’t succeed at this on the street (if you think you can, you are kidding yourself), and this isn’t the place for it anyway. So you surrender to God/Truth in meditation, and That will meditate you and gradually bring you out of this trap.

By practicing this for an hour or two a day, you will come to see not only God, but your Real Self, and discover that the bliss you experience is the nature of Absolute God and the Real You. And it is always Good, for Absolute God is Absolute Goodness, and will always make you Happy. The question is: Are you willing to take the time for yourself every day in order to achieve this Happiness? How could you not?

Namaste (I bow to the divine one that you really are),
Durga Ma
durgama.com