VIII: 5-7 At the Moment of Death, Part 1

Last week we learned about our original situation in the Divine Absolute and how we got to where we are now. Now we will learn how to recover this happy state.   

Having abandoned the body at the time of death and thinking only of Me, one achieves My state.
 In this matter there is no doubt.  

Consider that freeing, letting go of, or abandoning the body, also refers to surrendering the body to God in meditation. This is consistent with previous verses. And consider that ‘end-time’ refers to a timeless state resulting from this surrender in which union (yoga) with God is achieved. It all works. 

  • Death – Literally, ‘end-time’. Death of the body, death of the ego, sleep, deep sleep, meditation, samadhi, renunciation. These are some of the ways we can take the idea of death beyond its usual meaning.

When the body is surrendered, whatever one’s thoughts at at end-time, one reaches that, and transitions into that state.

Whether referring to the moment of physical death of the body, or union with God in meditation, whatever you are focused on in that moment of end-time, you transition into that state. This message bears consideration in either case.

For those of you who practice Surrender Meditation, remember that thoughts do not arise as a result of your doing, but as a result of Shakti working in your best interest. So you need not concern yourself with what thoughts are active in your mind when meditating. The cause is Shakti, and no one else, and they cannot cause anything that is not determined by HerSo no matter what transforms into what, it is not your affair. This faith is imperative. Remember that Shakti’s goal is your perfection and eternal happiness, not your immediate comfort. By this practice of giving Her free rein, you will not have to concern yourself with thinking of God at end-time. It will come naturally.

Therefore, always remember and think of Me. Offering your buddhi-mind to Me, fight, and you will certainly attain Me.

Many years ago when I first read this, I valiantly tried to constantly remember and think only of God, and found that, inevitably, I would catch myself thinking about something else. This was especially bothersome because the translations I had read were about death of the physical body, and the idea of transforming into some of the things in my mind was unbearable. But having discovered the value of mantra (repeating Sanskrit names of God) as a means of keeping my attention on God, I applied it in these moments, and was relieved of this concern.

Mantra has the very fine quality of becoming addictive, and after practicing for a while, it will show up on its own when least expected. In the early days of sadhana, outside of meditation I often had recurring visions that were horrible and frightening. But once I had a mantra and had practiced it, I found that it would spontaneously intervene in these visions and send them scampering away. I recommend the practice of mantra to everyone, regardless of their path. At the very least, it will clear the mind. 

One way to understand ‘buddhi-mind’ is to think of it as the mind’s function of differentiation. Another way is to  remember that the body has a mind of its own, and that buddhi-mind refers to the body’s mind. In an earlier chapter on Action, we found the word buddhi used to suggest the action of the instrument of yoga (uniting). So we might take “offering your buddhi-mind to Me” to be referencing this ability of both the mind and the body to sort things out through Action, by offering (surrendering) them both to Krishna (God). 

Remember that the setting in which this conversation between Krishna and Arjuna takes place, is a battleground. The war, though historic, is getting used as a metaphor for hatha-yoga (sun-moon union), the first stage of yoga sadhana in which Kundalini is awakened.

Also remember that Arjuna initially refused to fight. But the clashing together of the two opposing forces (awakening kundalini) must happen in order for Arjuna’s people to take their rightful place as rulers of the kingdom (you’ll catch the metaphor here). So Krishna is encouraging Arjuna to get with the program and ‘fight’—to get on with his sadhana (practice).

Continued next week….

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

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