III:12 Gifts of the Gods

When we act in unison with the truth of what we really are, what we want and need will be the same, and will automatically come to us. 

BHAGAVAD GITA, CHAPTER 3, VERSE 12 

The Golden Womb, 3 of 3 verses 

12
“By sacrifice, the gods give sought after enjoyments. He who enjoys these gifts without offering to them, is really a thief.” 

REMINDER: My own orientation, Surrender Meditation, is strongly reflected in my commentary on these verses, but it is certainly not the only valid perspective. So if your orientation is other than this, you can draw your own conclusions accordingly, with my blessings.

Sacrifice

Sacrifice is spontaneous action not motivated by self-interest. Because the action is not motivated by self-interest, there is no attachment to its outcome and consequently does not create any karma (verses 9 and 10).

So ‘sacrifice’ has an entirely different meaning than what we probably thought. It is ‘food’ for the gods, and causes their favor to be spontaneously returned. Sacrifice is therefore in our mutually beneficial interest. 

So how do we go about making this sacrifice?

Practical Application

We are offering to the gods every time we act in unison with our true nature as God-like beings. The characteristics of our true nature can be found in the following:

Great Expectations, “Characteristics of the Field” –  Blog post
Dharma – Blog post
The Dharma of Karma, “Divine Law” – Blog post
Ten Keys to Success, a Remote Academy, New Moon online course

Spiritual Application

Earlier I said that Surrender Meditation is sacrifice, the sacrifice of offering oneself to God in meditation and accepting what happens as the work of Divine Energy (shakti), and not of one’s own doing. This ‘non-doership’ is the key to ending karma and reaching liberation and union with God/Truth. It moves you forward quickly, and it takes everyone else with you. Because it is without self-interested investments either in actions that occur or in their results, it is sacrifice.

So we see that sacrifice can be made in both ordinary circumstances, and extraordinary circumstances.

The Gods
The Players (Us), Heavenly Shining Ones.

Every one of us is in two states at once. We have a dual existence: we are gods, and we are humans. As gods, there is nothing to be accomplished. We have no wants or needs. As humans we are imperfect, we have wants and needs and we make mistakes. We do not always live in sync with our god-selves. We make mistakes because we are gods with free will being human, and as human beings we don’t always get things right. Still, what we really are is the same as God. In the words of Lord Krishna…

Earth, water, fire, air, ether, mind, intelligence and ego (ahamkara, ‘I do’), constitute my eight-fold, inferior nature.
But know that beyond this, My highest nature is the
living souls by which this world is sustained.*
— Bhagavad Gita, Ch 7, vs 4 – 5

* Living souls by which this world is sustained - Embodied ones such as yourself. The Real You being human. You are a god in a body made of all the gods, being human.

“By sacrifice, the gods give sought after enjoyments.”

The Sanskrit word for ‘sought after’ also means ‘wished for, desired, good’. What these sought after things are is suggested by the word bhoga, which means ‘enjoyment, pleasure, feeling, prosperity, and happiness’. And as a wise yogi once said, “You can’t have yoga without bhoga.” This principle is illustrated by the story of Rama and Sita in the Ramayana.

“He who enjoys these gifts without offering to them is really a thief”

Many “sought after enjoyments” come to us in our lives to greater and lesser degrees. When they do come, we accept them without a second thought, and even though it is true that we have a right to happiness because it is our natural state, considering the rarity of such good fortune among the whole of humanity, we would be benefited if we knew how to offer these gifts to the gods instead of just grasping them for ourselves. This is the principle behind the offering plate in churches, tithing, sponsoring pujas and the offering of food, etc., to deities. Ignoring this, we rob everyone else and, according to this verse, this makes us ‘thieves’.

So how do we go about offering our good fortune to the ‘gods’? According to these verses quoting Prajapati, the answer is ‘sacrifice’.

Whether you see ‘gods’ as divine others, or as aspects of one God, or in some other way, it is spontaneous, non-self-motivated action that counts. You let go of, give up, sacrifice, your self-interest—you give up acting to control things for your own sake. Furthermore, you let go of taking the credit for being the doer of actions. Just as the waters of the earth are sacrificed to the heavens and the earth receives rain in return, sacrifice is a natural, mutually beneficial cycle: you to the gods, they to you.

The rewards of sacrifice are monumental, though we don’t always notice this because it is natural. You never lose anything. On the contrary, you benefit yourself and everyone else. Sacrifice can be an everyday affair, or you can sacrifice more fully through Surrender Meditation.

Surrender Meditation

The sacrifice of offering oneself to God in meditation through surrender to God satisfies ‘the gods’—everyone benefits. Because you have gotten yourself out of the way by giving up your control over events in meditation through your surrender, something very interesting happens: you begin your journey of spiritual evolution. Shakti takes over, activating whatever needs activating, and moving whatever needs moving. She always knows what to do and when to do it. Left to our own devices, we would make mistakes. Shakti makes no mistakes. 

Contrary to what one might fear, from this surrender, nothing is lost, for the process of accelerated evolution has begun. 

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

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