The Bhagavad Gita appears in the story of the Mahabharata. It is a conversation between Lord Krishna and his devotee and childhood friend, Arjuna. Listening in, we receive the teachings of Lord Krishna as he relates them to Arjuna.
The subject of this chapter is Devotion.
This post addresses another option in case you were unable to practice as described in verses 8, 9 or 10.
(8) With your mind fixed solely on Me, your power of discernment will follow and cause you to stay with Me henceforth. Of this there is no doubt. (9) If you are not able to keep your attention fixed on Me, practice Yoga with your desire to reach Me. (10) Or if you try repeatedly and still cannot keep your attention on only Me, then hold My action as the Highest Action, and assume that state for Me. Thus by performing actions you will attain success.
If you are unable to do this, take refuge in Me and practice My Yoga with self-restraint by abandoning the fruits of action.
- Self-restraint – Abandoning desires and expectations for the results of actions.
By restraining yourself from trying to get what you want for yourself in your meditation, you are abandoning the fruits of action and are correctly practicing Yoga. Then actions can arise on their own.
If you are invested in the outcome of your practice for reasons of your own, you stifle the energy and spontaneous actions (kriyas), and other experiences are also stifled.
These spontaneous actions in meditation (kriyas) have to do with purification in all its meanings, and at all levels. When you stifle the energy, you stop the process. This is not the Yoga Lord Krishna has taught us. You are making it your Yoga when your own purposes are put before God’s. The result of this is that you stay where you are, you don’t move forward.
- Purification – eliminating or burning away toxins (mental, physical and emotional); getting things in their natural order and not mixed with other things.
An impurity is something that is not natural to the body, feelings or mind, even if it is something that is not toxic. For instance, when there is pepper in the salt, the salt is not pure. There is nothing wrong with pepper, but it is out of place in the salt, because it is not salt.
The process of Yoga is a process of purification. When Yoga gets things sorted out, the body, feelings and mind will be pure.
Yoga will also sort You out from your sense of yourself as a body, as a personality, as a person who does this or that, and likes or dislikes other people or things. What remains after purification is complete, is your True Self.
“Practice My Yoga with self-restraint by abandoning the fruits of action”
If you can’t do what He has suggested previously, give up trying to get certain results, especially where your meditation (“My Yoga”) is concerned. Such desires are usually based on preconceived ideas that are faulty anyway.
Until you have done enough of this Yoga to have proved this to yourself, you will have ideas of how you think things work, what should happen next, and what it will be like. But this can only be known after the fact. Even if you have heard it from guru, until you have experienced it for yourself in your meditation, and realized that this is what guru meant, you are operating on preconceptions. This is why we give up preconceptions. They are just thoughts in the mind that have no foundation in Truth.
In surrender sadhana, Natural Surrender Meditation, self-restraint means to get out of your own way — don’t try to make anything be a certain way during the period of your meditation practice. This requires that you abandon your desires for results of any kind during this time.
When you try to make something (or someone) be a certain way, your actions are being motivated by your attachment to this desire. But this will only drive what you want away, because you are actively affirming that you don’t have it. To get what you want, you must surrender your attachments to your desires. Then what you want will come to you.
- Attachment – the desire to get or keep something that you feel you must have.
In Everyday Life
This is something you can also practice in everyday life. For instance, when you sit for a meal, first offer the food to God. When you notice that you are enjoying something, offer it to God. When you are hurting or depressed, offer it to God. These are all effects, fruits. It doesn’t really matter whether they are experienced as physical, mental or emotional, or whether they feel good or not.
By abandoning the results of actions, you have acted with ‘self-restraint’. You have restrained yourself from claiming the fruits, the effects, as your own. Then the fruits of your meditation will begin to fulfill you in ways you never imagined. All the things you thought you wanted are trumped.
Then you will be lead to the realization of what you really are, and that what you really are does nothing and never has. Imagine the freedom!
Namaste (I bow to the divine one you really are),
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