The Place of No Return – Bhagavad Gita, Ch 15, Vs 5-7

Absolute

5
Those who are free of pride and enslavement by the dark night of attachment, are freed from dualities. Having withdrawn from objects of desire and no longer deluded, they dwell in the True Self, and attain the feet of the Eternal.

  • Pride – self-importance, arrogance, vanity, self-adulation, egotism.
  • Enslavement – bound, attached.
  • Freed from dualities – such as ease and dis-ease, pleasure and pain, etc.
  • True Self – The Real You, a divine, perfect, imperishable individual.

In the previous verse on overcoming Attachment, it was said that one must then seek that place where, once having gone, one will not return again … and surrender at His feet. This verse reveals what happens when you do this: you are free, you are not affected by dualities, and you dwell in your True Self — you are your Real Self, the Real You. That’s what happens when you surrender to God. 

When you “dwell in the True Self,” you will have no desires pulling at you because you will have the very thing you have lived for all these many lifetimes. You have discovered that by surrendering yourself to God, you get God; and when you get God, you get your True Self. This is the easiest way to Self-realization. It happens automatically because God and the Real Self are not different. But trying to get your True Self first, or trying to circumvent God altogether in order to get to your True Self, you will fail. The KEY to Self-realization is God-realization … because God and the Real You are not different.

If you believe that you have achieved Self-realization and did so without first realizing God, you are fooling yourself. Many people start this way, but if they are truly Self-realized, they will be the first to tell you that it was God as other-then-self that made it so. 

The key to Self-realization is God-realization

When you “dwell in the True Self,” dualities, like ease and dis-ease, happiness and unhappiness, like and dislike, good and evil, will become neutralized. “Pride and enslavement by the darkness of attachment” will be a distant memory, and you will wonder how in the world could you ever have been so deluded.

It is not desire itself that binds us, but rather our attachments to our desires.

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Neither the sun nor the moon nor fire illumine that abode of Mine. Once having gone to that place, one does not return again.

Natural light sources of sun, moon and fire do not illumine His Abode. By now in your meditation, you have visited amazing places where everything shone of their own light, so light sources were not present. This was sabija samadhi. But now, because of the mention of non-return, we find that you have graduated to nirbija samadhi, that ‘place’ where there is no light source because there is no-thing to see. The only thing present here is the unending happiness, rolling bliss, and the complete fulfillment of union with Absolute God/Truth. Having reached it, you are liberated from the cycles of death and rebirth — “one does not return again.”

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A small part of My Eternal Self, becoming endowed with life in the world of the living, draws the five senses, with the mind as the sixth, to exist in material nature.

Krishna & Radha
Krishna and Radha as Purusha and Prakriti

A part of God went with You when you became embodied. This caused Your inherent powers of perception and consciousness to become manifest in material nature as five physical sense organs and a brain.

The sense organs are your means of perception (consciousness of), which are received by the brain and mind. These are powers that you have as a living being because they are inherent to the Real You (which is absolute). Here in this world (which is relative), they are the manifestations of your power to Know, drawn into material nature (manifested) by God-in-you: Purushottama.  

While God may seem to be many separate small parts in all of the many separate and different Beings, He is nevertheless what He Is: God, unlimited and Absolute God within each of us here in the Relative Realm of this world.

The powers that you have as a Divine Individual to see, hear, feel, taste, smell and know, become manifest as eyes, ears, skin, tongue, nose and brain. Absolute God’s presence within you makes it so.

Parvati & Shiva
Parvati and Shiva as Prakriti and Purusha

Knowing this, one might be more inclined to put aside trying to using these powers to gratify desires, and instead, reach for the Divine Force that is behind them. This Divine Force is not different than You.

Here in this world, all things known by the mind are obtained by means of the senses.

The ‘Highest Purusha’ is the Divine Individual in the Absolute who first accepted you unconditionally, and as the same as Himself. This relationship you have with Absolute God has caused your ability to Know, to become manifest in the material world as five physical senses so that you can experience it.

Purusha & Prikriti in the Absolute

  • Purusha – a Divine Individual who perceives one or more other Divine Individuals
  • Prakriti – a Divine Individual perceived by one or more other Divine Individuals

Purusha & Prikriti in the Relative Realm

  • Purusha – the Real You 
  • Prakriti – Real Divine Others — all Others that you perceive (even though you erroneously perceive them as Nature)

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

Surrender Meditation

Shaktipat Kundalini Yoga
Spontaneous Experiential Meditation

Slip into a natural state of meditation with ease. Experience the relief of reaching a true meditative state without any effort and without using your will.

Receive shaktipat and become initiated into the original meditation of ancient masters from which meditation techniques were eventually derived.

Increase your knowledge base and begin Shaktipat Kundalini Yoga, Surrender Meditation. Though correct knowledge you will increase your progress by a thousand times, and bring about even deeper meditation and amazing experiences.

Shaktipat Intensives with Durga Ma are held in Phoenix, Arizona


“Every step you take pulls every one of us with you.”

The Whole World Is One Family


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The First Purusha – Bhagavad Gita, Ch 15, Vs 3-4

Purushottama
Purushottama

THOUGHT:  Does not the phrase, “Thou shalt have no other gods before Me,” suggest that there are other gods? And does not the word ‘before’ suggest a secession with one specific god as first? 

CONSIDER THIS:  The first god, a Divine Individual in the Absolute, was the first to accept all other Divine Individuals as the same as Himself. To Us (all the other Divine Individuals), this First Divine Individual is our Personal God known as Purushottama, ‘first and highest god (Divine Individual)’.

NOTE: Him, He, Himself, etc., are not meant to be gender specific. 

3
In this world, the Ashvattha tree’s form is not perceptible — not now, not in the past nor will it become so in the future. This tree, with its well-grown roots, must be cut asunder by the strong axe of detachment.

Our situation symbolized by the Ashvattha tree is not obvious to us. Here in this world, we cannot see the depth of our situation as illustrated by this tree. It is strongly rooted, and we are unaware of it, not realizing the hidden tendencies represented by it, and the power they have over us. 

Step One – Notice

It is not our desires themselves that bind us, but our attachment to them. These attachments keep us in bondage and limit our lives. Just as the world is full of secrets and secret societies because hiding things gives them more power, many of our own attachments are hidden from us. We must ferret them out in order to overcome their influence.

We do this by separating ourselves from the things brought into the mind by the senses. This is where desires, and our attachments to them, originate. The first step for releasing their hold, is to NOTICE them. By this, we detach ourselves from our desires, even though they still exist. By ‘looking’ at them they lose their power, and you are separated from them.

(1) Whatever you see, or look at, is other than you, separate.

(2) You can’t be what you’re looking at (that would beg the question, “Who’s looking?”). 

As long as we are attached to our desires, we are bound by them because we are identified with our attachments to them — we think this is who we are. When attachment is broken, we are set free. The thing we were attached to may remain, but we are no longer its slave. 

Step Two – Surrender

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Then one must seek that place where, once having gone, one will not return again, and approach the haven of that First Purusha from whom activity anciently streamed forth, and surrender at His feet.

Spiritual HeartNext we must surrender to the Divine, to God, by which we go to this place of non-return, where we will experience for ourselves that our desires need not be chased and captured. These desires, which made us vulnerable to enslavement, do not live here. And now that we have experienced this, even though we inevitably fall back into our normal state of consciousness, we know what we are really looking for, and that these old desires don’t hold a candle to it.

When you let it go of something you want, it can come to you.

This surrender is the essence of “detachment”, which turns out to be a simple thing, and has little to do with giving up or keeping all the things our minds tell us we want to have or to keep.

Once you have been to this place yourself, you are liberated from the cycles of death and rebirth. This place, this haven, is where you will find that First Purusha (Divine Individual) who first accepted You as the same as Himself. This is your Personal God.

This First Purusha is Absolute and so are You. His acceptance of You as the same as Himself, united Him with You. When you accept Him as the same as yourSelf, it is a marriage made in heaven, and your entryway into this heavenly abode. This is called Yoga (‘union’).   

For most human beings, a personal God is more appealing than an abstract Absolute. While one way is not better than the other, the idea of approaching your own Personal God may seem easier and more relevant. And by encountering this Personal God, you reach the Absolute anyway.

Seek and Surrender

Pranama, Bowing Down to Guru

Seek God and surrender at his feet. By surrendering to God, you abandon your ego. You effectively give it to God. By placing your ego at God’s feet, you free yourself from the tyranny of the ego, that sneaky deceiver behind all attachments. This is why one bows at the guru’s feet. If you cannot do this, you cannot truly surrender. 

“God and Guru are two names, but the Truth is that they are forever One.” — Guru Gita 

The dissolution of attachment will begin when you sincerely bow down at your guru’s feet. By this gesture, the power of the ego begins to dissolve, taking attachments with it. This is the purpose of this practice. By it, you will come to God, and you will find that haven where once having gone, you will not be compelled to return again.

What you really are is not different from what God really is.

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

Surrender Meditation

Shaktipat Kundalini Yoga
Spontaneous Experiential Meditation

Slip into a natural state of meditation with ease. Experience the relief of reaching a true meditative state without any effort and without using your will.

Receive shaktipat and become initiated into the original meditation of ancient masters from which meditation techniques were eventually derived.

Increase your knowledge base and begin Shaktipat Kundalini Yoga, Surrender Meditation. Though correct knowledge you will increase your progress by a thousand times, and bring about even deeper meditation and amazing experiences.

Shaktipat Intensives with Durga Ma are held in Phoenix, Arizona


“Every step you take pulls every one of us with you.”

The Whole World Is One Family


To Understand Yoga, Stand on Your Head – Bhagavad Gita, Ch 15, Vs 1-2

Ashvattha Tree

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The Blessed Lord spoke:
It is said that the Ashvattha tree has its roots above and its branches below, and that its leaves are the Vedic aphorisms. He who knows this tree, is a knower of the Vedas.

  • Vedic aphorisms, or sutras, are similar to what we would call ‘sayings’, that teach something specific.
  • Vedic, concerning the Vedas. The word veda means ‘sacred knowledge, knowledge of Truth’. The Vedas are a large body of knowledge texts originating in ancient India around 1500 BCE, constituting the oldest layer of Sanskrit literature, and the oldest scriptures of Hinduism.

Yogeshwar was fond of saying, “To understand Yoga, you have to stand on your head.” And here we have an upside down tree! So let’s run with it.

Ashvattha Tree 1The Ashvattha tree represents the upside-down purpose of chasing desires. This action is contrary (upside-down) to Truth, hence its roots are above and its branches are below, signifying moving away from God/Truth and down into the earth, the mundane world. Facing endlessly downwards it represents those persons who misuse their lives by acting solely for the purpose of fulfilling desires. In this respect it appears to be indestructible, and yet, as far as the yogi is concerned, this is not maintained for even a day.

Trying to satisfy desires is upside-down because there is nothing you can desire that you don’t already have. You have but to call it to you.

If we think of this tree as the Tree of Life, the message is that we’re seeing Life upside down. We’ve got our roots in the wind and our branches buried in the ground, the earth, the mundane world.

Every time you use your will to get what you want, you move yourself farther away from God/Truth. Yet realizing God and your Real Self is why you are here!

2
Below and above it spreads, fully developed by the gunas, with the objects of the senses as new branches. Below, the roots keep growing downward, engendering binding action in the world of man.

  • Gunas – The three modes of Nature.
  • Sense objects – Anything perceptible by the senses (sight, sound, taste, touch, and smell).  
  • Binding action – ‘Binding’ (anubandhana) is ‘the state of being a slave’. ‘Action’ (karma) refers to action that binds — acting for self motivated purposes.  

Sense objects are all the things we are made aware of by means of our senses, and which we either like or dislike to varying degrees. We act in order to have the ones we like, and avoid the ones we don’t like. In this way we live in bondage to our senses and our desires, and are constantly collecting more karma that keeps us bound to die and return over and over again, like a merry-go-round that just keeps going around in circles and never gets anywhere.

Acting for the purpose of fulfilling desires is not ‘bad’, it just stops your progress.  

Isn’t happiness what you really want? Isn’t that why you try to fulfill your desires? But your efforts to get desires fulfilled are upside-down — the result is the very opposite of what you want. This is what this verse is trying to tell us.

Remember that what you want or need is already yours. You have but to call it to you.

We are slaves to our desires and the price is bondage. This is upside down from how we really are — it is contrary to our Real Selves, who should properly be situated Above.

  • Aśhvattha – ‘where the horses are’.  Aśhva means ‘horse’, and represents the senses. Tha means ‘stay, stand or dwell’. ‘Where the horses dwell’. The Ashvattha tree is the body and the horses are the physical senses. Submitting to their influence keeps us where we are — we don’t move forward. Why? Because we are acting in opposition to our Real Selves. 

The Real You knows everything.
The Real You has everything.

Thus the Aśhvattha tree is cast in the role of samsara, the bondage of recurring deaths and births, and samskara, the continual resurfacing of previous tendencies. We must cut this tree in order to be free. How do we do this? The remainder of this chapter will tell us how.

What you want or need is already yours. You have but to call it to you.

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

Surrender Meditation

Shaktipat Kundalini Yoga
Spontaneous Experiential Meditation

Slip into a natural state of meditation with ease. Experience the relief of reaching a true meditative state without any effort and without using your will.

Receive shaktipat and become initiated into the original meditation of ancient masters from which meditation techniques were eventually derived.

Increase your knowledge base and begin Shaktipat Kundalini Yoga, Surrender Meditation. Though correct knowledge you will increase your progress by a thousand times, and bring about even deeper meditation and amazing experiences.

Shaktipat Intensives with Durga Ma are held in Phoenix, Arizona


“Every step you take pulls every one of us with you.”

The Whole World Is One Family