The Diamond Shloka – Bhagavad Gita, Ch 18, Vs 64-66

Absolute (unconditional) Surrender to Absolute God will get you to Absolute God
God and Me

Absolute God, whether personal God or the abstract Absolute, is Absolute Goodness, Love and Happiness.

64
Now hear Me again, concerning this most profound secret of all. You are certainly loved by Me, so what I speak is for your benefit:

Now, because you are still contemplating this secret teaching, out of love for you, Lord Krishna is going to try again to bring it home and awaken you, because it is for your benefit to know it. 

65
Devoted to Me, always thinking of Me, surrender to Me, and offer pranamas to Me, and you will doubtless come to Me. This is my promise to you, for you are dear to Me.

“Offer pranamas to Me” means ‘to bow down to, to make obeisance to, make reverential salutation and show adoration’. This is pranama, ‘bowing down in respectful salutation to God and Guru. If you are able to do this, you are ready and able to surrender to God in meditation (Surrender Meditation: shaktipat kundalini yoga).

The purpose of pranama is to increase your ability to surrender to God.

The Diamond Shloka

(shloka – verse in duple meter) 

Now we come to the Diamond Shloka. It is so called because it is the verse within this Gita that is the KEY to everything Lord Krishna has been teaching Arjuna (and us), and all of it is contained in this one single verse:

66
Abandon all dharmas and take refuge in Me alone, and I will give you freedom from all evils. Fear not!

  • Evils – misfortunes and sorrows
  • Fear not, also means, ‘grieve not’.
  • Freedom is from the Sanskrit word, moksha, which has to do with being free of recurring cycles of death, rebirth, and the influences of the past (samsara).

SurrenderAlternate translation:
Abandon all ‘shoulds’ and surrender only to Me, and I will liberate you from all misfortunes and sorrows. Fear not!

  • Misfortunes – The word for misfortunes means just about everything from suffering to bad luck.  

“Abandon all dharmas and surrender only to Me.”
In this verse, the word dharma is plural — rules, laws, duties, responsibilities, etc. This suggests that we should take the meaning of dharmas to be concerned with the laws of man, rather than with the singular law of Truth, the Absolute.

Relying on ‘shoulds’ is not surrender, renunciation, or sacrifice, and does not lead to the highest Yoga (Divine Union), or to liberation. It is only through surrender “to Me”, Absolute God, that one can reach God/Truth, become liberated and freed of all misfortunes, sorrows and fears.

SurrenderLord Krishna is also using dharmas to get across the idea of how to meditate correctly by suggesting what not to do: You do not to try to control your meditation or try to do it yourself, but you leave everything to God.

In this kind of meditation, in the secured privacy of your meditation room, you are to abandon all rules and surrender only to Absolute God/Truth.

  • You do not surrender to anything but God. 
  • You do not surrender to anything that comes up in your meditation.
  • You do not concern yourself with what you think your meditation should be like. 
  • You abandon any sense of doing anything yourself, however much it may seem to you that you have caused everything.

Abandon all ‘shoulds’ and surrender to me only, and I will give you freedom and deliver you from all misfortunes, fears and sorrows.

Only

“Only” means that your surrender should never be mixed with anything that is not Absolute God — no matter what your word is for That. 

After forty years of surrender yoga sadhana, I still catch myself falling into this trap. It’s that easy. I will give you an example:

I am in a dither about what is coming, and it isn’t pretty. I can see ahead to it, and find no solution for it. I can either be a worry-wart and get stressed out trying to find some kind of solution, or I can surrender to God completely. I choose God. And here is where it gets interesting:

My mind pictures me dying of some exotic disease in the streets of Phoenix, friendless and alone, with not a penny to my name, and talking to God and asking for help that never comes. It is such a subtle thing, hanging out in the peripheral vision of the mind, that at first I don’t realize what is happening. Then, the minute I look, it slips away as something else takes it place, and I miss its message. But sometimes I miss it because of correct reasoning. Two and two makes four. Who can disregard correct reasoning, right?

No, not right. I have had so many experiences of being at the edge of the abyss and about to fall in, when God steps in saying, “Well, here we are again, my dear,” lifts the situation, parks it on the side of the road, and takes me Home for a visit.

Yet this still small voice of reason continues to try to exert itself. What is happening is that this world is so dense, thick and demanding, that it seems to be the only reality. The mind says, “Well shucks, All is God, so how can I miss?” And even though one understands that this Relative (‘inferior’) aspect of God is something they most certainly should not surrender to, it is easy to miss seeing it for what it is. 

It is possible to surrender to something without meaning to. There is no awareness of having surrendered. No choice was consciously made to surrender. In this case, it is not a matter of tricky reasoning or intention, or even mentally based coercion. I suspect that, in this case, one is so conditioned to adapt to the wishes and demands of other’s, that it is automatic. One just gives in.  

So between tricky reasoning, inappropriate intention, and mentally based coercion, there lies this unconscious giving-in to circumstances. Anyone can fall into any of these, or any combination of them, at any time — in the meditation room, or in daily life.     

These two verses are what has saved me every time:  

Earth, water, fire, air, ether, mind, intelligence and ego constitute the divisions of My eightfold material nature (relative). Such is My inferior nature, but otherwise know My Highest nature (absolute) by which all life is sustained.  — Chapter 7, verses 4-5.

Now do you see why I refer to the God we surrender to in meditation as Absolute God? This distinction is crucial. You do not surrender to the “All Is God” kind of God, but ONLY to Absolute God.

I hope that sharing this with you will help you to remember this critical distinction concerning Absolute God, and surrender ONLY to That. No matter how you think of God, or what name you give It, or whether you conceive of God as personal or impersonal, never, never, never surrender to anything other than Absolute God.

You (absolute) are a god in a body made of God being human (relative).

  • Relative – subject to change; existing only in relation to something else; having characteristics only in comparison to something else; something whose existence is dependent on something else.

This is what you do not surrender to: people, places, things, circumstances, situations, or beings of any kind, even spirits, guides, angles, etc., however divine they may be. 

  • Absolute – unchanging; independent; having unrestricted power; not qualified or diminished in any way; not subject to any limitation; existing independently and not in relation to anything else, or dependent on anything else; Ultimate Reality, God.

This is what you consciously choose to surrender to: Absolute God Only.

Namaste (I bow to the divine one that you really are),
Durga Ma
durgama.com
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Three Kinds of Intelligence – Bhagavad Gita, Ch 18, Vs 29-32

Intelligence - rajas, tamas, sattva

Intelligence (buddhi) – intellect, reason, differentiation, discernment, judgement; buddhi is the power of the mind that forms ideas, imaginations, conceptions, and knows how to figure things out.

Resolve (dhṛtes) – standing firm in the course of your practice; holding, resolute, courageous, determined and unwavering. You don’t quit when the going gets rough, or when you aren’t getting what you think you want.

29
Now hear the three kinds of intelligence and resolve, together and separately, according to the gunas, Conqueror of Wealth:

Intelligence

Buddhi – Reason, Discernment and Judgment

30 — Sattvic Intelligence (correctly discerning)
That intelligence which knows willful action from non-willful action, what is one’s duty and what is not, what is to be feared and what is not to be feared, and what is binding and what is liberating, is sattvic intelligence.

  • Willful action (pravṛitti) – acting to fulfill desires
  • Non-willful action (nivṛitti) – renunciation of action as one’s own doing
  • Duty (kārya) – required action
  • Not duty (ākārya) – action that is not required

Two Paths

Two Paths

There are two fundamental paths of spiritual advancement: pravritti marga and nivritti marga (marga means ‘path’).

The first of these, pravritti marga, the path of the will, is the first path you follow from childhood into adulthood, under the guidance of Guru (your parents are your first gurus, and later your teachers are your gurus). 

Ideally, during this time, your spiritual path, your career path and your life path work together. You learn and practice universal spiritual principles that act as the foundation for sustained success in all three — spiritual, career and life in general. During this time, you practice these principles in daily life, find and implement your career, have a family, and practice the teachings of Guru (a teacher that knows the way and can guide you in this). This prepares you for nivritti marga.

Nivritti marga, the path of non-willful action, is called the path of renunciation. What is being renounced is your sense of action as your own doing. This is not a path in which one remains involved with worldly duties and responsibilities. The only required action is the practice of a teaching lineage in which surrender (by any name) to Absolute God (by any name) is the main practice. This God-practice, which Lord Krishna has been teaching Arjuna, is your only ‘required’ action.

Old man meditatingThis new lifestyle begins around the age of 50, or when your first grandchild is born, which ever comes first. Because the main practice needs proper conditions, you seek out a proper place and go to that place to live. You are not necessarily estranged from your family, but your Guru and your practice are your first and most important priorities.

Once some headway is gained in your practice, you become experienced and Guru may ask you to teach others. When one will be ready for this path varies from person to person. The age of 50 is a rule of thumb based on what is natural for most people. Here I would cite the exception of Jesus, who began at a very early age. 

31 — Rajasic Intelligence (prone to flaw or confusion)
Intelligence that is incorrect in the distinction between righteousness and unrighteousness, what is right and what is wrong, is rajasic intelligence, Son of Prita.

  • Righteousness (dharma) – what is considered to be proper action; right or correct action (kārya).
  • Unrighteousness (adharma) – that which is considered to be improper action; wrong or incorrect action (ākārya).

32 — Tamasic Intelligence (incorrect, backwards)
Intelligence that is enveloped in darkness and imagines unrighteousness to be righteousness and has everything backwards, is tamasic intelligence.

When one understands righteousness and unrighteousness backwards and the opposite of Truth, one’s intelligence is tamasic.


You are probably wondering which of these three kinds of intelligence applies to you. But in truth, we all have a little bit of all three, though one will probably be more prominent than the others. Suffice it to say that we can all profit by aiming at complete sattvic intelligence until that time as we attain full enlightenment, which comes by means of the God-practice Lord Krishna is teaching. 

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

 

Renunciation – Bhagavad Gita, Ch 18, Vs 12

Renunciation

Many people are confused about renunciation, and take it to mean that one must not act at all. Some take it to mean that they must not move a single muscle during their meditation. Others believe that renunciation requires poverty, having nothing and begging your food. Some even become couch potatoes in the name of spirituality. But our world is a place where change and movement are endless. Action is the nature of Nature — it will take place without any help from us, and without the ego attempting to cast itself as the cause of it.

“It is indeed impossible for embodied beings to abandon actions entirely.” — Verse 11

Surrender to Absolute God in meditation (Surrender Meditation) produces active meditation, as opposed to the usual static meditation that is taught in modern times. Active meditation is superior, for it is not possible for human beings not to act; those who try to master inaction are ultimately defeated.

During the practice of Surrender Meditation, one is a renunciate, and truly free. Because this is so, continued practice automatically leads one to the realization of non-doership and Liberation. Surrender to Absolute God in meditation is the highest and most efficient practice for attaining this joyous state. This is the God-practice that is being taught by Lord Krishna in this Gita.

The realization of non-doership is the highest form of enlightenment. Surrender to Absolute God in meditation is the highest form of practice.

Destinations

12
The results of the actions of non-abandoners when they die is of three kinds: desirable, undesirable and mixed. But for renouncers, there are none.

Renouncing the World
A seeker renouncing the seductions of a worldly existence.

“The results of actions of non-abandoners when they die” is a crapshoot. You cannot know what is going to happen at death or in the next life.

“But for renouncers there are none,” because the enjoined action for the renouncer is the surrender of himself to Absolute God, all actions are natural (not created by him) and therefore lead to Liberation (non-return).

The three fruits of action, “desirable, undesirable and mixed,” do not apply to one who is a renunciate, for the renunciate is situated in the knowledge that he is not the actor, the doer of actions. Indifferent to actions and their results, he is headed for Liberation and higher realms upon leaving the body at death.

How to Become a Renouncer

‘Abandonment’ is the abandonment of the results of actions. ‘Renunciation’ is the abandonment of oneself as the doer of actions. 

First, Practice Abandonment in Life

Abandon the Fruits of Action 

A renunciate's house may be a cave
This renunciate’s house is a cave.

The practice of Abandonment is to let go of attachments to desired resultsFor some, it is easier to begin with the practice of Abandonment by abandoning the fruits of action in everyday life. This is easy to practice and doesn’t demand any extra time.

Start by simply noticing those times when a certain result or outcome is important to you, and allow yourself to let go of your attachment to the results being any certain way.

One of the things you may notice as a result of this practice, is that outcomes — ‘fruits’, results — often turn out to be better than originally hoped for or expected. New vistas open up, and you will be inspired to continue this practice.

Another outcome of this practice is that you may make your own discovery that it is when you let go of an attachment to getting something you want, the desired object or objective that you were previously attached to, appears without any effort on your part.

When you give it up, you’ll get it. 

Step 1 — Notice when you are doing something for the purpose of getting a certain result.

Step 2 — Decide to let go of your attachment to the results of what you are doing.

Step 3 — Let go of your attachment to getting this result.

Then Practice Renunciation in Life

Abandon Desire-motivated Actions

Whereas Abandonment has to do with abandoning the results of actions, Renunciation has to do with action itself. 

The practice of Renunciation is to abandon self-motivated actions — acting for the purpose of getting desires fulfilled. Desire drives all actions for anyone who does not take up this simple practice, and can only lead to uncertainty in death and rebirth.

In Surrender Meditation, when actions occur without desire for certain outcomes, they are not considered to be actions. Because you have surrendered yourself to Absolute God, all actions that occur are not yours (even if it seems to you that you have acted) and therefore called ‘inaction’. Such actions are spontaneously carried out by Goddess Shakti during your meditation.

  • Shakti – female God who instigates all actions.

To experiment with this concept, follow these five steps: 

Step 1:  Notice when you are doing something for the purpose of getting a certain result.

Step 2:  Notice what this hoped-for result is, and have a good look at it.

Step 3:  Now let go of your attachment to getting this result. 

Step 4:  “Go on faith” that it is true that WHAT you really are does nothing.

Step 5:  No matter what result the action produces, or whether you like it or not, give it as an offering to Absolute God/Truth (what ever your name is for That). 

Some prefer to begin their journey to Renunciation by first practicing Abandonment, and then practicing Renunciation. Others prefer to do both by practicing Abandonment in daily life, and practicing Renunciation in the meditation room with Surrender Meditation.

Surrender Meditation is the fast track that covers both Abandonment and Renunciation. In this context, Surrender is synonymous with Renunciation and is easy to practice. The only thing that may be difficult at first is getting yourself to do it. You will need to carve out some time every day for it, even if you are profoundly busy. But if you are truly interested in advancing yourself, you will find a way.

Even without specifically practicing Abandonment in life, Surrender Meditation will bring it on anyway, spontaneously, and advance you quickly. It is known as the ‘spiritual jet’ for a reason. 

In either case — Abandonment or Renunciation — through the practice of one, one ultimately comes to both. So it doesn’t really matter where you start, for in either case, you will ultimately be lead to the realization of non-doership, Self realization and Liberation. 

Knowledge is useless if you don’t understand what you know.
Knowledge can only be understood by putting it into action and keeping watch.

Be willing to be right.
Be willing to be wrong.
Be willing to take different points of view about anything.

Make Surrender Meditation your lab and personally experience what you think you know and understand, and then it will be proved to you … one way or another.

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