Horses, Elephants and Nectar – Bhagavad Gita, Ch 10, Vs 27

Airavata, mount of Indra, king of the gods.
Airavata, mount of Indra, king of the gods.

The Power of God & You

The manifestations of God in the world, in you, and in the entire universe.

The eighteen chapters of the Bhagavad Gita is a conversation between Arjuna and his childhood friend and Guru, Lord Krishna. Arjuna has asked Him to explain how He, as Absolute God, exists within Creation (beginning with verses 19-20, “God in You”):

Horses, Elephants and Nectar

27
Of hor
ses, know me as Uccaihshravas, produced of nectar. Of princely elephants, I am Airavata, and of men, I am Lord.

Alternate translation:
Of horses, know me to be the heavenly seven-headed horse born of the nectar of immortality, Uccaihshravas. Of elephants, I am Airāvata, ‘enjoyment and satisfaction’, the vehicle of Indra, lord of the gods in heaven. Of men, I am Lord.

Uccaihshravas. The word uccaihshravas means ‘flying up powerfully’. This refers to the flying up of Kundalini-Prana. Lord Krishna is saying that this ‘flying up powerfully’ is Himself.

Uccaihshravas, the heavenly horse produced by nectar.

This tells us that Kundalini flies up powerfully as a result of amrita, the nectar of immortality—it is not the other way around as might be expected. Amrita is already in action when the strong ascent of Kundalini begins, and Prana is drawn up with it. This takes place in the sushumna nadi, the central channel, but may be experienced as a full body phenomenon when the sushumna has expanded.

The seven heads of Uccaihshravas indicate the seven chakras unified and seated in the head behind the eyebrow center. Initially, the chakras and the nerve centers may not match, and the sushumna and the spine may not match, but the body will ultimately match the ananda kosha, the template of the perfect form for each individual.

The ananda kosha (‘bliss body’) is the subtlest of five sheaths, or subtle bodies. They are the veils of Salome in the Bible. These five sheaths are subtler than the astral (mental) or etheric (emotional) bodies. The ananda kosha is the subtlest of all.

The energy, now established in the head at the sixth chakra, tries to bring the physical into alignment with the ananda kosha in order to transition into an immortal body. People with congenital disabilities and handicaps are not given shaktipat and initiated into surrender sadhana. At this point, it can be too much to bear. 

Airavata is Indra’s vehicle, an elephant whose name means ‘giving enjoyment and satisfaction’. Airavata is derived from the word iravat, meaning ‘one who is produced from water’, and is closely connected to ida, the name of the channel for the cooling and downward flowing energy in the body (apana). But Airavata lives in heaven (the head), so here is another connection to water similar to apana, but in the head. Water represents the fluid nature of hormones seeping through endocrine (ductless) glands. This is a reference to amrita, the nectar of immortality.

When Indra defeated Vritra*, Airavata reached down into the watery underworld (below the 3rd chakra) with his trunk, sucked up the water and sprayed it into the clouds. Indra then caused cool water to rain down, thereby linking the waters to those of the underworld (sky and earth from the point of view of heaven). The downward flowing of  this ‘water’ creates hormonal changes in the body brought on by, and further producing, ‘flying up powerfully’.

*Vritra – A ‘demon of darkness and drought’ who takes possession of the clouds, causing them to obstruct the rain. Indra battles with this evil influence and shatters the pent up clouds with his thunderbolt in order to open them and release the rain.

‘Flying up powerfully’ occurs naturally through natural, surrender meditation. This Experiential Surrender Mediation is called ‘sacrifice’ in the Bhagavad Gita. It is a ‘sacrifice’ to surrender oneself to Absolute God/Truth in meditation. We take what we get, and accept whatever happens or doesn’t happen—our attachments and desires have been left at the door.

We are saying, in effect, “Thy will be done O Lord, not mine.” And we mean it. We are more and more motivated to become more and more surrendered over time, ultimately caring only for union (yoga) with Absolute God. If a divine immortal body is the end result, fine. If it isn’t, fine. We are not doing this sadhana to get physical immortality, but for liberation and union with Absolute God. So that’s what we surrender to.

You get what you surrender to.

Namaste (I bow to the divine one you really are),
Durga Ma
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