The Great Escape, Bhagavad Gita, Ch 16, Vs 20 – 24

A bat getting out of hell.

20 – 21
The demonic and ignorant, already deluded in the womb, do not attain Me in birth after birth, and go to the most abominable kinds of existences. There are three doors to hell for these self-destructive beings: lust, anger and greed. Therefore, one should abandon all three.

“Already deluded in the womb” refers to being born in ignorance with the unfortunate traits and circumstances mentioned in previous verses.

22 – 23
R
eleased from these doors of darkness, one should practice what is in their best interest and attain the Highest Goal. He who disregards scriptural injunctions and acts under the influence of desire, does not attain perfection, happiness or the Highest Goal.

“One should practice what is in their best interest”
The practice that would be in one’s best interest is the God-practice Lord Krishna is teaching Arjuna (and us) in this Gita.

“The Highest Goal” is your first Life Purpose — the emergence of the Real You, Divine Union and liberation.   

“Lust, anger and greed.” It is lust and greed that give rise to anger. Lust and greed are obvious, but what about anger? Anger is just an emotion, right? True, but a problem emerges when one’s feelings are acted on. There are some who consider restraint to be suppression, but not acting on anger, lust or greed is not suppression, it is self-control. Even in the everyday sense, self-control is prerequisite to having control over your life: Life Mastery.

  • Mastery means not being under the control of influences other than God/Truth. This includes people, circumstances, personal history and karmic debt. 

Anger does not exist for the Real You, which is where we are trying to get, but we are not going to get there if we continue to act on lust, greed and anger. 

It is one thing to feel angry and another thing altogether to act on that feeling. Acting on anger violates ahimsa (non-violence), the first and highest principle, which, when violated, nips your progress in the bud.

Not acting on anger is not suppression, it is self-control.

24
Therefore, accept the scriptures in determining what should be done and what should not be done. Understanding the scriptural injunction herein prescribed by Me, perform action here in the world accordingly.

There are two teachings in this verse: Resort to scripture to determine what is correct action and what is not. Then, by understanding what Lord Krishna has taught us, which is decreed by Lord Krishna in this scripture, we should perform action according to Him. Both are practices that are to be done here in this world, here in this life, on planet Earth. It’s why we’re here.

Lord Krishna’s teachings have revealed righteous action as Arjuna’s (and our) duty. He does not say that this action is permissible, but that it is required. It must be done. But how does this work? It begins with meditation. By ‘meditation’, what I mean is a period of time that you set aside to surrender yourself and your will — body, feelings and mind — to Absolute God, under the proper conditions.

“Thy will be done O Lord, not mine.” — Lord Jesus

Stay by Me and keep quiet. I will do the rest - Shirdi Sai Baba
“Stay by me and keep quiet. I will do the rest.” — Shirdi Sai Baba

In Surrender Meditation (shaktipat kundalini yoga), in the meditation room you are a renunciate, surrendered to Absolute God. Outside of this room, you “accept the scriptures as your standard for determining what should be done, and what should not be done,” e.g., you know right from wrong, what is appropriate and what is not appropriate, based on these teachings and the ten universal spiritual principles, yama and niyama.  

Renunciation and surrender to God are synonymous. Throughout the Gita we have been running into words like ‘worship, resort to, rely on, sacrifice to, and renounce’. These words are different ways of getting across the idea of surrender — specifically, surrender to Absolute God. This is the fundamental practice of Yoga (union) that is decreed in scripture and is being taught by Lord Krishna. 

‘Surrender’ is not about throwing down the towel in defeat, or throwing everything away and begging all your food. When you go into your meditation room, in your own way you say (and mean it), “Thy will be done, O Lord, not mine.” In this room, for this period of time, you are a renunciate and, to the degree that you are surrendered, you are truly free, liberated. As this experience grows you will ultimately go directly to liberation of the highest kind, thus saving you from the ‘hell’ of unfortunate and inauspicious existences in future lifetimes. This Surrender Meditation is where it begins.

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

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Embraced by God – Bhagavad Gita, Ch 11, Vs 52 – 55

Ascension to Godhood

Embraced by God

Entering into God, being embraced by the divine surrounder, suggests that God is other than you. This is important. It does not mean that the your Real Self is not God, but that you will find the joy you have always wished for, the fulfillment and happiness that you so desperately seek, by entering into God. In these verses, Lord Krishna tells you how to do this:

Stop thinking about “self” and devote yourself solely to God as other than you. Do this as your meditation for a period of time, preferably on a day-to-day basis, or do it every day, all day long. All the practices mentioned below have merit, but this shortcut is a gift to you from God.

52 – 53
Krishna spoke:
This form of Mine that you have seen is difficult to behold, even for the gods, who are constantly wishing to see it. Not through the study of scriptures, austerities (tapas), gifts, or making sacrificial offerings to gods and ancestors, can I be seen as you have seen Me.

54 – 55
But by devotion not directed elsewhere, I can be known, truly seen and entered into. One who does My highest action with devotion to Me, with all attachments abandoned and free of enmity toward any being, comes to Me, Son of Pandu.

Seeing, knowing and entering into God, is to be embraced by the Divine Surrounder. This is made possible through sole devotion, trust, faith and love of God in the performance of the Highest Action (God-practice) with non-attachment and non-enmity toward all beings. 

These prerequisites for Godhood are specifically mentioned for a reason. This ‘highest action’ taught by Lord Krishna has been misused for various purposes, such as seeking power or fame, and Lord Krishna wants us to know that, even if such a goal were to succeed, it will not last, and it will not lead us to Him — to seeing, knowing and entering into His state of Godhood.

Son of Pandu

Arjuna is the son of Pandu, which means ‘pale, white’. He is fair-skined, and of the race of the Sun, whereas Krishna, which means ‘dark blue-black’ is of the race of the Moon. These two together, along with their position in the middle between two armies, suggest that the Bhagavad Gita is an exposition on Hatha Yoga.

Hatha Yoga is the union of Sun (prana) and Moon (apana). This union takes place in the middle, between the these two opposing forces in the body. This union is the awakening of the evolutionary force: kundalini.

Taking a Chance on God

Taking into account the gambling that got the Pandus into their present situation (a war), we also think of the Pandus as risk-takers. This suggests that Hatha Yoga is advanced by our being willing to take a chance.

Risk suggests that we are not in control. This lands us in the world of surrender, and taking a chance on God. But we are not going to just surrender, we are going to take Lord Krishna’s teachings seriously and surrender only to Absolute God as the ultimate form of Devotion. And now ‘risk’ is turned into faith, trust, love, and surrender to God as the most expedient means of attaining union with That.

You get what you surrender to.

There are conditions to this Highest Action: (1) devotion to Absolute God, (2) all attachments abandoned, and (3) freedom from enmity toward any being.

We might say that this Highest Action is one’s determination to surrender to Absolute God, and this works, for once having done so, that Highest Action will begin to materialize in meditation in the form of kriyas (spontaneous purifying actions). At first these kriyas are mostly mental, but they soon begin to include the physical, and one experiences spontaneous movements of the body.

The spontaneous movements of the mind are no surprise to anyone, but when movements of the body begin, the practitioner begins to doubt his or her surrender: “I had the thought in my mind of the body moving before it actually moved, so was my mind making it happen?” By continuing the practice, these kinds of doubts will all be washed away.

Absolute Devotion to Absolute God

Here I would remind those of you who are engaged in surrender sadhana, of the importance of differentiating between surrendering to Relative God (God in general, including the Cosmic Form) and Absolute God, God’s “highest nature.” You must resort to, surrender to, only the Absolute, whether Personal or Impersonal.

Godhood“Earth, water, fire, air, ether, mind, intelligence and the sense of self as the doer of action (ego), are the eight parts of my relative nature—such is My inferior nature. But know this as different from My highest absolute existence by which this world is sustained.” — Bhagavad Gita, Ch 7, vs 4 – 5

If you feel you don’t know God well enough to know what you are surrendering to, contemplate the word “absolute”. Look it up in a dictionary. All you need is an idea of God as Absolute for surrender to work for you. Lord Krishna has given us tons of defining characteristics of both Relative and Absolute God in this chapter alone, and there are more in other chapters.

With All Attachments Abandoned

Most of you will be flinching at this. You are attached to people and things you have desired and acquired, and the idea of not being attached to them in order to keep them is understandably uncomfortable to contemplate.  Let me reassure you that you can easily “abandon all attachments” once you realize that no one wants to take anything away from you, and that this non-attachment is only for the duration of your meditation. If you stay with this meditation, non-attachment will begin to spill over into your life over time, to the degree that you let it.

Freedom!

Ultimately, you will discover that being attached to something is a form of bondage, no matter how sweet it is, and you will come to like the idea of letting attachments go. You will also discover that this doesn’t mean that the person or thing you are attached to must go away. It is your attachment to that person or thing that goes away.

  • When you can enjoy something without being attached to it, you will enjoy it more.
  • When you can love someone without being attached to them, you will be giving them the gift of freedom, and your love will grow deeper.

An attachment is wanting to keep something you already have. A desire is the want of something you don’t have. It is worthy of note that abandonment of desire is not mentioned as requisite for entering into God.

I am that desire in man that is not contrary to Truth” — Lord Krishna

Free of Enmity Toward Any Being

Tapas - sweet and kindThis is the first step of the first step of Yoga. You may know it as ahimsa, non-injury, non-killing, non-violence. This includes bearing malice (mental), hurtful speech (emotional), and physical or material harm. This applies to all beings, including yourself. The minute you violate ahimsa, you instantly move yourself further away from God/Truth, and Self-realization becomes even more illusive.

Embraced by God

So keep these things in mind when you walk into your meditation room: “I am completely harmless. I am lovingly devoted to Absolute God. I am not attached to anything.” Then surrender to Absolute God with singular devotion. Trust God and don’t worry. God is now in charge of everything, and preparing you to enter into, and become embraced, by God.

When your alarm sounds, give yourself some down-time before returning to other activities. Your sadhana can continue at other times by practicing non-attachment and non-injury in daily life.

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

Surrender  Meditation & Life Mastery

Natural Surrender Meditation is spontaneous and non-forceful. It will take you on the most amazing journey you will ever experience. Explore shaktipat kundalini yoga meditation in three forms.

Life Mastery synchronizes you and your life with your naturally divine characteristics and the Real You emerges. Attain and maintain success. Gain greater self-awareness and a happier life.

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

 

VII:15-19 The Good, the Bad and the Wise

Previously, we learned that to comprehend, transcend and get beyond illusion to God/Truth, we must surrender to That. Now we will learn about the four steps experienced on the way to this surrender. 

15
Those foolish wrong-doers who do not surrender to me are the lowest of men. Carried away by illusion, they are bereft of wisdom and resort to erroneous states of being.

Surely it is fair to say that we have all made mistakes. But to willingly live one’s life in a state of ignorance is another matter entirely. Yet most people are willing to do this, to do most anything, to other people and to themselves, in order to hide themselves from themselves and not have their errors exposed.

But you are different or you wouldn’t be taking an interest in the Bhagavad Gita. You may have short moments of these states, but when they do arise, you can notice them and take refuge in meditation, the haven of Truth and Self-awareness.

It is very easy to fall into doing something wrongly from time to time, and very difficult to avoid. But we unwittingly violate ahimsa (harmlessness) and other yamas to greater or lesser degrees. Even when we try to do the right thing, we make mistakes (sin, ‘to miss the mark’).

By not taking refuge in God, we remain stuck on the bottom rung of the ladder and are left in ignorance and detrimental states of being. Such states are dangerous because we identify with them as who we are. Hanging onto these false identities can only lead to more errors and more repercussions. We are being informed that the resolution to this situation is to surrender ourselves to God.

16
Four kinds of benevolent people worship Me: (1) the suffering and afflicted, (2) those desiring wisdom, (3) those who seek accomplishment, and (4) the man of wisdom.

  • Worship – surrender to, adore, venerate.

This list tells us that all devotees of God fit into one of these four categories. See if you can determine which is the best fit for you.

These four kinds of people listed in order, also imply a natural sequence of four stages that anyone would naturally experience and motivate them to seek God/Truth, and lead them to the ultimate discovery of yoga (union).

From the Sanskrit:

Four Steps to Wisdom

1. The suffering and afflicted – ‘Struck by calamity, in pain, oppressed, suffering, unhappy’.

2. Those who desire knowledge – ‘Desirous of knowing’.

3. Those whose purpose is accomplishment – ‘The most effective means of accomplishing the Goal’. Accomplishing is an action word—now that one has knowledge, one is motivated to put this knowledge into action until he ultimately becomes…

4. The Man of Wisdom – ‘One who knows correctly’. One has succeeded in putting knowledge into action, and is now in possession not only of the Highest Knowledge, but of the Highest Wisdom acquired through personal experience in meditation.

17
Of these, the man of wisdom, constantly engaged in Yoga with singular devotion, is superior. Truly, I am exceedingly fond of the man of wisdom, as he is of Me.

Singular devotion – One is surrendered to God and only God. Thus one’s attention is singularly concentrated and causes the life energy in the body to become concentrated in one place. The fulfilling effects of this devotion causes one to constantly think only of God, and the yoga practice that brought it about, always.

Constantly – Always when in meditation; always at any time; always it is all one thinks about; anything one thinks about or is intent upon is always God.

18
Of these great ones, I consider the man of wisdom to be Myself. He is intent on Me, and abides in Me, the Supreme Goal.

If God sees you as God, who are you to argue? Abiding in God, God is where you live.

Intent on – Sanskrit: ‘committed, insistent, determined, resolved, persistent. Attentive, absorbed, engrossed, fascinated, enthralled, focused, concentrated’.

19
After many births, the man of wisdom, throwing himself down at My feet, knows Me as dwelling in all beings. Such a great soul is difficult to find. 

In four verses we have traveled from utter ignorance and despair to the full joy of union with God. We are being shown how one finally comes to Real Yoga, and the delightful pleasure of surrendering oneself to God in meditation. 

One who has reached this stage is a “great soul” (mahatma) who is difficult to find, yet every day, a new saint is announced as a fully enlightened master or an avatara, and public conjecture begins: Who is the best? Who is the most enlightened? Etcetera. At the end of the day, it usually amounts to fame, for we westerners venerate fame and fortune and use it to validate things and people and raise our social standing. And we are right back where we started from: “bereft of wisdom”. 

But it should be obvious that, unless one fits the bill themself, one does not have the means to know a true master or an avatara when they see one. In the next installment we will learn how this unfortunate state comes about.   

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