Transcend Materialism and Be Self-Realized – Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 2:45-46

When you de-identify with nature, the Real You becomes apparent—you come awake to your true Self. 

The subject of the Vedas is the material world of the three gunas*. You must rise above this and become Self-realized Arjuna, transcending the gunas, ever of kind disposition, and free of duality and concern for safety.

Think of this as the firm resolve to fearlessly practice Yoga (previous verses), transcend materialism, and become Self-realized.

“Self-realized” — You know who and what you really are. God is constantly in your thoughts. Truth/God constantly pervades your awareness. God/Truth is all you think about. When thoughts of ordinary things arise, they arise within this context. You put this first before all else. Everything is all about God/Truth and your spiritual practice for maintaining union with That.

“Transcending the three gunas* — Getting past being identified with nature. Through meditation (dhyana), one ultimately becomes indifferent to the interactions of the gunas and can remain steadily in union. It is possible to learn how to behave in such a way as to portray this state to the satisfaction of onlookers, but this is not transcendence but very accomplished behavior. To transcend the three gunas of nature is to become truly free of ‘worldliness’. Meditation will naturally move one in this direction over time.

* The Three Gunas — The three qualities, or modes, of nature: Tamas - Fixed, slow-moving. Darkness, ignorance, mindlessness, laziness. Couch potato. Rajas - Intense, fast-moving. Passionate, desirous, lustful. Stimulus junkie. Sattvas - Smooth-flowing, easy-moving. Tranquil, clear, subtle. Easy-going.

One guna is not better than the other. The gunas are simply fundamental characteristics of nature. They affect each other like weather fronts affect climate.

“Ever of kind disposition” — Continuously established in kindness you are harmless, honest, self-honest and at peace. These are qualities of the Real You.

“Free of duality” — Free of concern for the effects of pairs of opposites. Opposites and their effects have no influence. You are truly independent, pure and content. These are qualities of the Real You.

“Free of concern for safety” — When God/Truth is ever present in your awareness, this takes care of itself. You cease to be concerned about acquiring or keeping things in order to feel safe and secure. This doesn’t mean you won’t have or keep things, but that you are not attached to them, distracted by having or getting them, or worrying about keeping them. You are non-possessive and non-attached, and the issue of security is moot—you are invulnerable. These are qualities of the Real You.

As much value as there is in a well when water is flooding on every side, so much is the value in all the Vedas for a God-person who Knows.

“The Vedas” — Consider this to be a reference to religious doctrines, dogmas, and belief-systems.

“A God-person who Knows” — A person of Wisdom, someone who is enlightened as to the Truth of how things really are. This is a quality of the Real You, a reference to what we have been taught up to this point being absorbed, understood and applied.

Remember my saying, ‘All action occurs in nature’? All action is the result of the interactions of the three gunas. That’s it. That’s all. Get this and your karma is over.

Namaste — I bow to the divine, perfect one that You really are,
Durga Ma


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13 thoughts on “Transcend Materialism and Be Self-Realized – Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 2:45-46

    1. I believe that in a sense, they are the same. Yet the “key” is that equanimity is realized – meaning it is a reality, not simply an idea in the mind. Meditation is what gets one there. Over time meditation stabilizes and becomes dhyana, this is when our definition of meditation goes beyond the idea of a practice that is done for a period of time each day, and transforms into the “state” one is in predominately (this is directly related to the activity of prana becoming concentrated – look at the surrender meditation manual or go to shaktipat roundtable for the eight steps (limbs) of yoga). If you recall, dhyana is the 7th limb/step/stage of yoga, but this concentration begins in the 6th (dharana), all of which are the realm of Raja Yoga.

      At times throughout our practice we will experience periods and various degrees of this equanimity. Durga ma liked to refer to these as “previews of coming attractions.” It is the promise of our continued efforts and commitment to sadhana this will continue to come about until we enter into actual dhyana (concentration) and beyond that- equanimity comes about naturally and permanently. Then we become invulnerable to the musings of nature, culminating in the highest forms of invulnerability (see the corresponding siddhis to the yama and niyama).

      The memory of these previews serves as a powerful anchor in continuing through the arduous years of Hatha Yoga. The challenge, as I mentioned above and as Durga Ma points to is the non-attachment, and non-possessiveness. The memory, belief, and understanding of equanimity are versions of the reality… not reality. Get it? 🙂

      With Love,


        1. Just do the work, yes. But notice and watch the way the mind gets involved and how. Sometimes there’s a nugget simply in the process of looking at how the mind the relating to the concept.


  1. Dear Galen and Bhima — I apologize for not getting back to you on this. My computer has been in the shop and I am behind. If you do not find the answers to your questions in today’s post, please let me know and I’ll come back here and try to give you a better answer.


  2. galen

    How can a person differentiate between ego and nature? If all is divine in nature and nature is divine then why isn’t ego divine it falls within nature how can it be otherwise? I am the doer, is that so different then I am not the doer? There is more to this then I can comprehend.


    1. The ego is the core of the mind. Whether you think of yourself as a doer or a non-doer, you are doing it in your mind. A genuine non-doer doesn’t think about it.

      Yes, all is God. The essence of God, the Highest, Parabrahman, is The Absolute, The Absolute is behind everything secondary to It, the inferior, or secondary classification of God, Brahman—relative God as opposed to Absolute God. When we surrender in meditation we surrender to Absolute God/Truth.


  3. galen

    what sense are senses creates a “desire” for self realization? Are not our senses reactive to what the mind perceives appropriate to that given sense? If I go into a slaughter house my sense of smell (subjective) is going to relate to my mind and it is the mind that will categorize the experience as desirable or undesirable not the senses. I don’t think that the senses create desire but flamed by our mind will state ah yes this is desirable or not. Skunk smells good and roses do not.


    1. Galen — I was kinda waiting to see if you would ask this question. Bravo for you!

      “I am the strength of the strong, the might of the mighty. I am that desire in humankind that is not contrary to dharma (the way things really are)” — Bhagavad Gita. This desire is beyond the domination of the senses, and is the “desire” for Self-realization you mention, and the desire that propels one into Hatha Yoga (sun-moon union).


  4. John Halliburton

    Thank you, something clicked on this one. Know that I carefully read every “tidbit” you send although I seldom respond.

    John (Bhīma)


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