When you stop chasing happiness you will know joy- Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 2:56

He whose mind is free of the passions of desire, fear and anger is easy of mind in happiness or misfortune, and steady-minded, he is said to be a sage. — Bhagavad Gita, chapter two, verse 56 

Alternate translation:

One who is not overly excited by happiness or unhappiness is free of desire, fear and anger. He is said to be a sage who thus finds his pleasure in equilibrium. 

In this one verse we are told what leads to wisdom and what can undo it.

A person who remains composed in any situation without resorting to suppression is free from the influences of desire, fear and anger, for they are the essential causes of the loss of a steady mind and equilibrium.

NOTE: The verse refers to someone who is never anxious or agitated, but it also applies to anyone in any situation in which they would otherwise be agitated and are not, without resorting to suppression. So one may have moments of wisdom without being a ‘sage’. And these moments can grow and multiply.

When you are not overly excited by happiness or unhappiness, you will not be inclined to chase one or avoid the other. You will be happy at times, and unhappy at times, but if you are not affected by either, they cannot cause agitation and your inherent joy can surface. Therefore it is said that the sage finds pleasure in this state.

Your inherent joy can arise
when you stop chasing happiness.

Being free of desire, one is free of fear and anger, for it is desire that begets these two—if there were nothing to lose, there would be nothing to fear, and if there were nothing to fear, there would be nothing to be angry about. One produces the other in serial order.

Desire is the fuel for fear and anger.

Desire, fear and anger are the Toxic Trio to the seeker of Truth. Fear appears when something you don’t want arises or threatens to arise. Anger appears when something that you have and are attached to is lost or threatened. Both fear and anger revolve around desires (wants and don’t wants). If you don’t care, you won’t have a reaction, and neither fear nor anger will arise.

Attaining Equilibrium

As long as there is a sense of doership at the core of the mind running things, one must contend with the desires of the mind. Though there may be other kinds of desires, these are the ones to look out for if we want to achieve and maintain wisdom and reach yoga samadhi.

The desires of the mind are at the root of the emotions that disturb one’s equilibrium, but it is not the emotions themselves that are the culprits, it is the agitation they can cause, and there is a way to deal with this.

I think it is fair to say that abandoning desires for happiness, and quitting fear and anger, are not easy tasks. So what shall we do?

We must place ourselves in the hands of That which is already free of such disturbances: Absolute God, Absolute Truth, the True and Absolute Self. Surrender to the Absolute in the meditation room puts us in the position of having abandoned the role of ‘doership’, and we can gain experience with this through its practice. Outside the meditation room, we can apply techniques designed to take the charge out of reactions and unwanted feelings. In time, union with God/Truth will overtake us and bring us the freedom and joy that we seek.

In the next installment, we will discuss how to go about distinguishing desires of the mind from other kinds of desires.

Jaya Bhagavan (Victory to That!),
Durga Ma

If you wonder how intuition fits into all this, see Simone Wright’s video on how to sort this out.


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The Divine & the Demonic, Bhagavad Gita, Ch 16, Vs 1 – 5


 Because the Divine has already been given much attention, this chapter focuses mostly on the Demonic. Though it begins and ends with Divine characteristics, it addresses the outcomes of both. 

The Divine

1 – 3
The Blessed Lord spoke:
Fearless, pure-hearted, steadfast and firm in the knowledge and practice of uniting (yoga); generous, self-restrained, sacrificing, studying the scriptures and the self, observing austerities (tapas), sincere; 
non-injurious, truthful, free of anger, renounced, peaceful, non-slanderous; compassionate toward all beings, non-covetous, gentle, modest, dependable; vigorous, patient, content, pure, and free of malice and vanity. These are the characteristics of those endowed with Divine qualities.

Fearless (abhaya, ‘no fear’) also means safe and secure. For those of you who practice Surrender Meditation, your surrender is compromised when you do not feel safe and secure. Without this security there is always the possibility of interruption. At some level, you know this and will restrain your surrender, even subconsciously. Hence the need for complete privacy during surrender sadhana.

Self-restrained (dama) means self-controlled, and also, ‘home’. You need a place to live that is home to you, where you are alone and feel safe from interruptions in order to practice non-static meditation. Outside of your meditation however, self-control, the ability to restrain from actions that are inappropriate, will save you from violations of ahimsa (non-injury) that would otherwise impair your progress. This is difficult if you don’t have a meditation practice that is completely private and allows for the purification of such impulses.

Outside your meditation room you must always be mindful of ahimsa, non-violence of any kind. This requires a degree of self-control that will keep you safe from losing ground. This first universal spiritual principle is the most important principle of all and qualifies the remaining nine. Violating it restricts your progress and can even stop it completely.

Sacrificing is the act of surrendering yourself to Absolute God in meditation and accepting what God brings.

Study of the scriptures and the Self is the practice of self-honest self-study and mindfulness, as well as the study of Yoga scriptures, where you can monitor your progress. Studying the self will lead to the study of the Self and Self Realization. The study of yogic scriptures will lead you to mastery, independent freedom and liberation. 

Observing tapas (‘to melt or burn’) refers to the process of purification by fire (energy). You do not stop this purification process that is brought on by the practice of surrender Yoga. You may find yourself witnessing it, you may even want it to go away, or you may find it fascinating, but you don’t interfere with it. 

Free of Anger. Anger is thought to be a destructive emotion. But we know that suppression of emotions is harmful, so how do we manage this? In Surrender Meditation, we are securely private and we don’t worry about this; it is taken care of by the meditation. In Life however, in our normal state we must be self-controlled and able to not react in anger. We do this by observing our feelings and reactions.

This little trick of observing will cause a separation between you and the anger, and put you in a position of extreme power. By observing the anger, you curtail the compulsion to act on it — because it is impossible to be what you observe. Thus suppression is avoided, you have not violated ahimsa (non-violence), and both the other guy and your own progress are safe.  

You cannot be what you can see.

Renounced means essentially the same thing as sacrifice. What you are renouncing is your body, feelings and mind and the use of your will. You sacrifice these to Absolute God in meditation. Renouncing the role of the doer of action in this way, during this time, you accept whatever happens (or doesn’t happen). 

The Demonic

Deceit, arrogance, conceit, anger, harshness and ignorance, are qualities the Demonic possess.

Destination: Heaven or Hell

Divine qualities lead to liberation, whereas Demonic qualities lead to bondage. Do not worry, Arjuna, for you are born with divine virtues.

We said earlier that Arjuna represents you, so you are also being reassured.

  • Bondage – the state of being a slave
  • Liberation – freedom, including freedom from compulsory rebirths

Jesus and Krishna in heaven
Jesus & Krishna

We in the west have had it very good compared to most people on this planet. Those of you who have had it easy (are educated and not starving or enduring tortures) may opt for returning, believing that you have some control over your next life. So getting free of rebirth may not be of interest to you. But you should think again, and read other chapters, such as chapter fourteen, and clear this up for yourself.

If you insist on believing that you can control the nature of your next life, yes you can, but probably not the way you think. Your control over your future relies solely on your ability and willingness now, in this lifetime, to master the qualities of the Divine as mentioned in this and other chapters, by mastering the ten universal spiritual principles (Ten Keys to Success).

This chapter tells us what we need to know. It clearly says, Divine qualities lead to liberation (you are free), and Demonic qualities lead to bondage (you are a slave). It’s your choice. Saying “I don’t believe in this” is not going to change it.

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

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III:42-43 The Highest Teaching

Teachings that have been lost to the world have been given to us through Lord Krishna’s words to Arjuna. We can either understand and practice them or not. What we do will depend on how much interest we have in Truth. 


It is said that the senses are high, the mind is higher than the senses, and the intelligence is higher than the mind. But that which is higher than the intelligence, is this.

“This” refers to the teachings on Karma Yoga, the Yoga of Action, that Lord Krishna has been passing on to his disciple and friend, Arjuna, in this chapter.

“The senses, the mind and the intelligence” are listed in the order of their importance as well as their function.

The job of the senses is to relay information to the mind; the intelligence (buddhi) makes comparisons, determines significances, discriminates differences and makes judgements. All pretty hot stuff we’re equipped with, but there is something higher and beyond these three: “this”, the teachings we have overheard Lord Krishna give to Arjuna.

In the previous verses, we discovered that these teachings are not only to remain confidential, but that they have been lost to the world and for this reason are not to be given at large, for they can be misunderstood and misused, deliberately or inadvertently, and become diluted and ultimately lost altogether. But we have been fortunate in the extreme to have been able to eavesdrop and hear them for ourselves. Now we can either try to understand and practice them or not. What we do will depend on how much interest we have in Truth.

Thus having learned that which is higher than the intelligence, Mighty Armed One, uplift yourself and destroy the enemy in the form of desire that is so difficult to encounter.

Alternate translation:
Thus having learned that which is beyond the intelligence—these teachings—be encouraged: Compose yourself, and overthrow the enemy in the form of desire.

“Mighty Armed One”  By calling Arjuna by this epithet, Krishna is reminding him of his strength and power, and that he has the ability to do this. In saying this to Arjuna, He says it to us—we can do this. If we do not take this road, we are to understand that we abandon it by our own choice, and not because it is too difficult, or because we do not have the ability to do it.

Now that Arjuna has learned the truth, Krishna is telling him to get on with it and put an end to the enemy that holds him in thrall and hides the Truth from him.

“Destroy the enemy in the form of desire”  We have lately heard Lord Krishna name more than one version of the enemy: attraction and aversion, desire, anger, and rajas. It appears that He is zeroing in on desire as the enemy, for it is directly linked to others.

We want to have something (or someone), and
we want it (or them) to be a certain way.

The reaction to losing or not getting it.

The most active and intense mode of nature that is the source of desire and anger.


In the previous verses, we learned that the force that causes us to act contrary to our best interest consists of desire, anger and rajas, and that this is the enemy “in this matter”, meaning in the context of these teachings. These three are intimately related and are directly connected to this verse’s focus on desire as the enemy, for rajas  (‘passion’) and anger are directly related to desire.

The word for desire is kama, which means sensual desire. This is the context for these warnings, for this is where desire can be the most compelling and the most damaging.

The word for ‘enemy’ in Sanskrit means ‘adversary or overthrower’. What that adversary is, is kāma-rūpaḿ, meaning ‘having the form or appearance of desire’. This is followed by a word that suggests ‘unparalleled danger’; when this word is broken down we have ‘difficult and dangerous’ combined with ‘false, untrue, non-existent’. This makes desire look like a phantom, as if it were something ephemeral but dangerous, and that one must use extreme caution in approaching it…a dangerous ghost. Could it be that it is its diaphanous appearance that makes it so dangerous? 

A desire is an affirmation of lack.

Wanting something declares that you do not have it. With the presence of desire, the mind is reinforced in believing this untruth. You do have it. You are everywhere in all things with no limitations and nothing stopping you…except your own mind. Until you reach full enlightenment, remember who you are:

You are a god in a body made of God being human.
Nothing is impossible for you.

All our earthly desires then, all those ever so important wants we chase on a daily basis, are all libelous illusions. Here we should remind ourselves that the veil that stands between us and our goal is less substantial than what it hides. In this chapter we have been given the means of bringing down these veils that stand in the way of our realization and union with God, Truth, the Absolute. But the question remains: Will we pursue That, or will we continue to chase and be ruled by the ghosts of desire?

End of Chapter Three, The Yoga of Action

In the Chapter Four we will learn more about Karma Yoga and its secrets.

Namaste (I bow to the Divine One that You really are),
Durga Ma

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