Addendum to “You Get What You Worship” – Bhagavad Gita, Ch 9, Vs 24-25

Those who worship the gods go to the gods. Those who worship the ancestors go to the ancestors. Those who worship the spirits go to the spirits, but those who worship Me (God) assuredly come to Me.

This verse is a reflection of the teachings we got in chapter eight regarding what the mind is fixed on—what is ‘worshipped’—at death that determines what comes after. We know who “Me” is, but what is meant by gods, ancestors and spirits?

Gods could mean the senses, specific deities, or desires one gets obsessed with. Worshipping ancestors could mean placing ‘family’ first, dead or alive. Spirits could mean the dead, ghosts, goblins and things that go bump in the night, even the nice ones, or attaching entities, nice or not nice. Whatever one is attentive to at death, that is where one will go, or what one will become.

The verse refers to the most common things people will place before God. Whether this done consciously or not, is irrelevant. It doesn’t just mean in your mind and heart, but in what you do, how you use your time, your money and your energy. If you place desires before God, if you place family before God, if you place spirits before God, this is what you will get for your trouble.

With the mind, attention, consciousness fixed on God however, you would go to God. This is a certainty, and is the most practical purpose of yoga: It causes one’s mind to be occupied with God rather than the mundane. If this is the only reason you take up yoga, it is worth doing.

You get what you worship.

5 thoughts on “Addendum to “You Get What You Worship” – Bhagavad Gita, Ch 9, Vs 24-25

  1. Julia Peter

    Dear Durga Ma 🙂
    One of Hiroshi Motoyama’ s books lead me here. What is the difference between a Relative God and an Absolute God? It makes sense, i knew it was important, the minute i read it, but i am still missing the point. Who is Relative God?
    Thank you for reading my inexperienced question.
    With gratitude, Julia.


    1. Dear Julia,

      Thank you for your question. It is a good one and deserves an answer. Others are undoubtedly wondering the same thing.

      Relative God is God as all that is here in this world. Absolute God is what is behind it all that never changes, is imperishable and perfect.

      RELATIVE: Everything in this world is changeable and relative to, and dependent upon, something else.

      ABSOLUTE: That which is never changing, independent and not relative to anything.

      This is an important distinction to make. All is truly God, but God has these two aspects. One describes the world and life as we know it, and the other describes what is beyond it and not subject or relative to anything.

      In the Gita, Lord Krishna talks about this in different ways. Here’s one:

      “Earth, water, fire, air, ether, thought, intelligence and ego, 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

      Earlier in the Gita, he talks about the Absolute in a more personal sense as it applies to the individual:

      “The embodied one is not born nor does it die at any time, nor having been, will it again come not to be. Birthless, eternal, perpetual, indivisible, it is not slain when the body is slain.” — Bhagavad Gita, ch 2, vs 20

      If you want more, this post may shed more light::

      Suffice it to say, that when we take refuge in God, we should always take refuge, or surrender, only to Highest God, the Absolute (Absolute God).

      Many blessings to you, Julia,
      Durga Ma


  2. Ritam

    It is true, there is a disparity between what is in my mind and heart (God, Truth, Divine Love, and what I do (is happening) in my daily life. It seems that what is in front of myself to do or accomplish in a day is quite irrelevant when thoughts and desires for God are present or when I am in surrender meditation. Noticing this disparity alerts the mind to choices that could or would bring me closer to the ultimate goal of union with God, yet my daily activities are involved with mundane activities like completing the repairs and restructuring of my abode and other things.
    Sometimes I think, “Well, all is God and therefore since this is the situation God has given me, I must not be quite ready for full-time attention on God, Absolute Truth, and I surrender to the way things are now.” And, “If I were really ready to surrender and give it all to God, that would be happening, and it is not, so what’s to do but surrender and accept what is?” And sometimes I chastise myself for not uprooting and making changes that would eliminate more of the mundane distractions. But I am afraid, even though I think of myself as having great faith in God, when the chips are down, it is I that thinks “I” will fail, or not be able to surrender enough to accept what those changes might bring. I have always loved what St. Theresa of Avila, founder of the Discalced Order of Nuns, told her sisters when things were tough: “God will provide for us, and if he does not it will be for our greater good.” And I have always found this to be true for in my yog sadhana it is revealed what my “greater good” is and then it is easy to surrender more and accept. So, it appears that “attachment” is the culprit, the underlying reason for staying in this situation. Perhaps it is just a matter of continuing meditation until the obstacles fall away…

    Thank you deeply, Durga Ma, for giving us inspiration through your loving devotion to God in the form of this work which makes self/God understanding so much easier. It reminds me of Jnaneshwar, the dear one, and his love of scripture.



    1. Dear Ritam,

      I do understand this situation and have great empathy for it, for I am nearing a situation that, if God DOESN’T provide, will be catastrophic. I find myself ‘worrying’. I catch the worry, look at it, and wonder why I can’t seem to do anything about this situation. Where this has taken me over time is that my worrying is decreasing and my sadhana is moving forward while I sit and write and then go into the meditation room, come out for some food and then repeat the whole thing over and over again. I find that I have stopped trying to work this problem out. I have not stopped worrying, but I’m getting there. Worry is a form of fear, and we have already heard about this is an ‘enemy’ of yoga. (At one point, I even found myself worrying that I was worrying!)

      Now as to what you have said, one thing stands out as vitally important: “I surrender to the way things are now.”

      This is an error. I know this because I have fallen into it myself. It is very easy to do! The way things are now is not Absolute God, it is Relative God. We must always remember this and only surrender to the Absolute. Not making this distinction is the cause of a lot of trouble for those practicing this path. I include myself in this. I suggest you make this change in your surrender and see how things go.

      I think having caught and corrected this kind of error some time ago, is why my worry is decreasing and I am no longer using my time to try to save myself.

      With greatest love and deepest respect,
      Durga Ma

      P.S. I hope I will hear from you more often. I miss you.


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