OM TAT SAT, Continued – Bhagavad Gita, Ch 17 Vs 24-28

Self and Other-than-self

Previously
(23) As recalled from ancient times, it said that OM TAT SAT indicates Absolute God as manifested in Brahmanas (God-people), scriptures and sacrifice (surrender to God).

OM for Divine Union

24
Because of this, according to scriptural injunction, acts of sacrifice, giving and austerity are always begun by uttering the syllable “OM” by those who seek Absolute God.

  • Absolute God (Brahman) – The highest aspect of God as Absolute, which is different than God’s inferior, or relative, nature as earth, water, fire, air, ether, mind, intelligence, and ego.
  • God-people (brahmans) – knowers and practitioners of the Highest Knowledge.

“Because of this” refers to the previous verse on the subject of OM TAT SAT.

Begun by uttering the syllable “OM” because it is the generation of Creation.

OM, the sound of Creation, is heard in meditation. It is the sacred Sanskrit syllable that is the sound of Creation. It is the is the first of the three syllables OM TAT and SAT, and the first aspect of God, so it is used primarily for beginnings.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”

Sacrifice (surrender) is the giving of oneself to Absolute God in meditation. This initiates the process of tapas (warming) that purifies body, mind and feelings, and leads to the Highest Union, union with Absolute God/Truth.

Giving (the offering). When you surrender to God in meditation, WHAT you surrender is what you are giving in offering. Giving to deserving persons such as yogis, the poor, and doing selfless service to the guru, empowers one’s surrender (sacrifice). 

Austerity (tapas) is the result. When you surrender yourself to God/Truth in meditation, tapas will soon begin spontaneously. Tapas, which means ‘warming or heating’, begins after a period of feeling cold in meditation. When it arrives it begins to burn away impurities of body, feelings and mind.

TAT for Liberation

25
With “TAT”, and without any expectation of personal benefit, acts of sacrifice, austerity and giving of various kinds are performed by those seeking liberation (from the cycles of death and rebirth).

Tat means ‘that’, suggesting that this syllable has to do with Others — ‘That which is Other than self’. 

Tat also signifies ‘without aiming for fruits’. ‘Tat’, or Thatness, puts everything apart from self, so that desires, preconceived ideas and expectations are not associated with self, thus making Liberation possible. This is another way of saying…

If you seek Liberation, cut away all attachments to the fruits of actions.


SAT for the Eternally Existent Real & Good

HARI OM TAT SAT

26 – 27
In its meaning of Reality and Goodness, the word “SAT” describes the Absolute as well as those who seek It, and also applies to auspicious action. Unwavering in the performance of sacrifice, austerity and giving, and also any action performed for or relating to this, is SAT.

Sat means ‘that which Truly Exists, is Real and Good’ — God, Truth, the Absolute, the True Self, the Real You. 

Goodness is a quality of the Absolute. The Absolute, being without duality, is thus eternal and unchanging. Thus is Goodness also eternal and unchanging (there is no flip side). 

Auspicious action is action that is performed prompted by one’s longing for Union with the Real, the Good, the Absolute. This is the meaning of ‘God-practice’ as mentioned earlier.

28
Any sacrificial offering, austerity (tapas) or giving performed without faith is called “ASAT” — not Real, not Imperishable, and bears no auspicious results for us here in this world or in the next.

We are being told that not living our lives in this way, and not following these teachings with understanding followed by action, nothing Good can come of it. We will be wasting our lives, and our purpose here will remain unfulfilled. But we are also being told that this is easily and pleasantly remedied.

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