The Means of Reaching God is God – Bhagavad Gita, Ch 9, Vs 16

God: “I am the ritual, the sacrifice, the holder, the medicine, the mantra, and the purified butter. I am the sacrificial fire, and I am the oblation.” — Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 9, Verse 16

Previously Lord Krishna said that when He assumes human form as an avatara, the ignorant and deluded despise or disregard Him, even though His highest state of existence is unborn Absolute God. However, those who have attained Him know Him to be the embodiment of the Imperishable Absolute. 

He goes on to say that it is He who is the entire process of reaching this state—the means of reaching God is God: God is the ritual, the sacrifice, the holder, the medicine, the mantra, the purified butter, the sacrificial fire, and the oblation:The Ritual

The Ritual
The enjoined action

The ritual is the practice of the knowledge we have been receiving: the secret Yoga. He gave us this knowledge and now he is telling us how this yoga unfolds by describing it in terms of action, the basis of which is…

The Sacrifice
The surrender of oneself to God

In the context of ritual (practice), the sacrifice is the full surrender of oneself to Absolute God. To make this easier for us mortals, Lord Krishna has declared Himself to be an avatara, a physical embodiment of the Absolute, giving us a place to begin that is more personal and more comprehensible: We can surrender ourselves to Krishna knowing that He is That: God, Guru, Absolute God, to whom we surrender. 


The HolderThe Holder

The holder of the vessel

The holder is you. You hold the vessel of the sacrificial offering. In an earlier chapter we learned that “one lifts the self by the self.” No one can surrender for us. And because we are mortal and will not achieve the Ultimate in an instant, we must continue this practice unceasingly. It is enjoined, it is our duty before all other duties.

The Medicine
The perfecting power of the ritual

This continually repeated practice purifies, cleanses and clears the body, feelings and mind. It is the medicinal herb to the one who practices this ritual sacrifice.

The Mantra
Spontaneous repetition of sounds heard and expressed during the ritual

The repetition of mantra occurs as a spontaneous effect of the ritual (practice), so it is a part of it. Mantra not only keeps the mind on God, but the repetition of the sacred syllables of the mantra and their vibrational effects clear the mind and swiftly dissolve the debris. 

The Purified Butter
The remainder after purification

Impurities are burned away through the process of the ritual bringing about tapas (heat). The ‘butter’ is melted down, separating the pure from the impure. The impurities are discarded, leaving only what is pure.


The Sacrificial FireThe Sacrificial Fire
The awakening of Kundalini

Fire is energy. The ‘sacrificial fire’ is the intensification of the Life Energy, prana, so that it becomes strong and can awaken kundalini, the evolutionary force. The sacrificial fire accelerates kundalini’s mission to evolve you to the perfect, divine one that you really are.

The Oblation
The offering

The oblation is what you offer into this fire: yourself.

Now try reading this verse again: “I am the ritual, the sacrifice, the holder, the medicine, the mantra, and the purified butter. I am the sacrificial fire, and I am the oblation.” This describes the process of Experiential (Surrender) Meditation: It’s all about YOU — God, the practice and you are one and the same, so success is inevitable.

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


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