Featured

Attraction, Aversion, and Dispassion -Bhagavad Gita- Chapter 2: 38

Attraction and aversion are opposite sides of the same coin. Attraction is positive desire—you are attracted to things you like and are compelled to pursue them. Aversion is negative desire—you are repelled by things you don’t like and are compelled to avoid them. By achieving ‘dispassion’ you are not compelled. You are free.

38 
Holding pleasure and pain, gain and loss, victory and defeat to be equal, take up the battle and thus incur no misfortune.

Holding opposites to be equal, or the same, is often referred to as ‘dispassion’. By taking up this challenge one can achieve dispassion. When dispassion is achieved regarding any set of opposites, no misfortune is encountered where that set of opposites is concerned.

“misfortune”

The Sanskrit means ‘difficulty’ — being scared, in pain, trouble, hardship, sorrow, and…well, you get the picture.

“equal”
Pleasure and pain, gain and loss, victory and defeat, etc., are pairs of opposites. Opposites being equal is usually understood as not having excess joy or sorrow over either of a pair, i.e., we should not be unhappy about loss or pleased with gain.

But this verse is not telling us what we should not do. Sukhaduhkhe same kritva simply says, “Ease (sukha) and difficulty (duhkha) have the same effect (same kritva)” — one of a pair is not stronger than the other so the effect is equal. This paints a different picture than simply having no effect at all, one way or the other. It is a picture of two opposites becoming equal in value and strength, and in this way, attraction or aversion to either is also equal, so there is no contest.

However one might understand achieving dispassion, it will happen on its own if you have the means. The simplest means is to surrender yourself to God/Truth in a conducive environment that allows this to take place naturally and fully, such as Surrender Meditation; between meditations, Mental Yoga can be practiced.

Find more on how neutralizing opposites works in verse 15, and in “Neutralizing Opposites” in verse 14.

Self-reference:  The next time you find yourself reacting to something, try to identify it, give it a name, and look for its opposite.

Example:

In an attempt to be helpful, a friend says to you, “That outfit you’re wearing looks terrible; you are grossly out of fashion.”

Your internal reaction is that you have been insulted by your friend. You try to identify this feeling and realize that you are angry (even though you have managed not to show it). You quickly contemplate an opposite to anger and decide on happiness — there may be other opposites, but you choose ‘happy’ and try to move into this state, if only temporarily. When you get home, you use this incident to practice moving into the state of ‘angry’ and then into ‘happy’, back and forth, until they are the same and you can move as quickly and easily into one as the other. By using this Mental Yoga*, you have increased your degree of dispassion, and where this pair of opposites is concerned, you will incur no ‘misfortune’.

Namaste,
Durga Ma

*Mental Yoga is a spiritual education and personal development course created and written by Durga Ma. For inquires and download options, please contact Anandibhagavan@gmail.com

 _____________________________________

TERMS OF USE AND SHARING:

This post and text is original research material and is copyrighted. You are allowed to share this material for personal, non-commercial and educational use with the proper citations, references and links / tags back to my website. Clicking ´Share´ on FB or ´Reblog´ on WordPress would be most appropriate.Please obtain written permission from Anandi first if you want to use this material on your workshop, blog, organization, webpage, book, seminar or for any commercial purpose. All information provided, be it through sessions conducted or this post is non-liable and is not intended to replace professional legal, medical, psychological, psychiatric and/or financial counsel. How you choose to act on this information is up to your own free will and is entirely your responsibility.

Featured

The Greatest Adventure-Bhagavad Gita- Chapter 2: 37

There is everything to gain and nothing to lose in that most exciting adventure of all: the pursuit of Truth/God. 

37
Having been slain you will attain heaven, or having conquered you will enjoy this world, so stand up, Arjuna, resolved to battle.

According to this and previous verses, you can attain this most desirable of outcomes by following your svadharma (sva – one’s own, dharma – natural characteristic), your own ability, talent, gift, that you would naturally do best. 

You have two life purposes:
(1) one that is the same for everyone, and (2) one that is unique to you.

Some of you are now taking the Design Your Life online course* and will be making this discovery. Bravo to you! It is my hope that, once you have determined your own unique svadharma, you will remember the first purpose of your life and get on with this as well, for it is primary to the fulfillment of the second. Do keep us posted on your progress.

Now let’s see what you will get for your efforts:

“heaven” – traditional
The paradise where one goes to await the next incarnation.

The word for ‘heaven’ is svarga, which means ‘the heavens’. Notice the plural. Is there more than one ‘heaven’ then? Some say there are seven heavens and seven hells, seven levels in either direction from where we are right now.  

“heaven” – in sadhana
Samadhi

There may be a good reason we look up when we talk or think about heaven. When the life energy in the body moves up to the crown chakra through the central channel (sushumna nadi), a loud cacophony of bells can be heard, and divine bliss is experienced. This experience can occur fairly early in sadhana. It is the inspiration behind the bells in church steeples, the ringing of bells at weddings, and the bell rung upon entering a Hindu temple (the temple is heaven).

In the state of sabija samprajnata samadhi, the paradise mentioned above is experienced. You ‘go’ there. Having directly experienced this heavenly place frees you from the fear of death. Later, when nirbija asamprajnata samadhi is achieved, you directly experience the highest heaven of the Absolute, where you are freed from both birth and death.

“heaven” – in life
Happiness

There is also the idea of Heaven on Earth, that lovely dream of a good and happy life, or at least those perfect moments when everything is prosperous and in place, love is given and received, and life is good.

_______________________________

The point Lord Krishna is making in this verse, is that if Arjuna doesn’t quit and goes forward to take on the battle, he can’t lose — he will either gain ‘heaven’ if he ‘dies’, or have a good life if he doesn’t.

I think you will agree that, with just this short contemplation on one single verse suggesting a heavenly reward as motivation, by putting what we now know into action through the practice of meditation, heaven will naturally follow like a horse follows the groom for the lump of sugar he carries in his pocket.

Self-reference:  If you do well performing your svadharma you will enjoy a good life, or good sadhana, or if you die in the midst of it, you will go to a good place. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

Better one’s own dharma done poorly, than another man’s done well.

If you have forgotten what this ‘battle’ represents for you, you may want to refresh your memory by rereading earlier installments. Also, consider what the idea of ‘dying’ may suggest besides the obvious. And contemplate the phrase, “Our Father who art in Heaven…”

Namaste,
Durga Ma

*Design Your Life is a spiritual education and personal development course created and written by Durga Ma based on the ancient teachings of Pantanjali’s Yoga Sutras. Designed to help you discover your unique svadharma, and align what you do in your life with the truth of who you really are. It is an essential and powerful tool for success and happiness in life, as well as a supplement in sadhana that will assist in supporting and orienting your growth. For inquires and download, please contact Anandibhagavan@gmail.com.
 _____________________________________

TERMS OF USE AND SHARING:

This post and text is original research material and is copyrighted. You are allowed to share this material for personal, non-commercial and educational use with the proper citations, references and links / tags back to my website. Clicking ´Share´ on FB or ´Reblog´ on WordPress would be most appropriate.Please obtain written permission from Anandi first if you want to use this material on your workshop, blog, organization, webpage, book, seminar or for any commercial purpose. All information provided, be it through sessions conducted or this post is non-liable and is not intended to replace professional legal, medical, psychological, psychiatric and/or financial counsel. How you choose to act on this information is up to your own free will and is entirely your responsibility.

Featured

The Baby and the Bathwater -Bhagavad Gita- Chapter 2 :14

Our monthly Bhagavad Gita study session with Anandi and Shambu via Zoom will be Sunday, September 27th @ 11am EDT. For details and link please email anandibhagavan@gmail.com

Enlightenment 

14
It is perception by the senses, Son of Kunti, that produces the sensations of winter and summer, difficulty and ease. These appear and disappear and are impermanent, so just put up with them, Descendant of Bharata.

Winter and Summer.  The sensations of cold and heat.

Difficulty and Ease.  The meanings of the words for ‘difficulty’ and ‘ease’ include their effects: unhappiness, discomfort, misfortune, and pain (‘difficulty’), and happiness, comfort, prosperity, and pleasure (‘ease’).

Son of Kunti.  Arjuna is the ‘Son of Kunti’ (kunti – ‘lance’). Kunti* is the daughter of a Yadava prince, a descendant of Yadu (‘embracing’), named Shura (‘hero’), who gave her to his childless cousin Kunti, from which her name derives. Favored by Durvasas, an irascible sage thought to be an incarnation of Shiva, he taught her a mantra by which she could have a child by any god she wished to invoke. Arjuna was born to her of the god Indra, lord of the gods of the sky, the senses. Both Arjuna’s mother, Kunti, and Lord Krishna, are descendants of Prince Yadu.

Self-reference:  You can invoke any god you wish, in order to achieve a desired effect. All you need is the mantra. For that, you need the goodwill of the Sage.

Descendant of Bharata.  In earlier verses, we came across the epitaph, ‘Descendant of Bharata’ as that of the blind king, Dhritarashthra. So why is Lord Krishna addressing Arjuna in this manner? By calling Arjuna ‘Descendant of Bharata’, Krishna is not only pointing to Arjuna as being directly related to the king, but He is ranking Arjuna as the king’s equal.

Self-reference: Dhritarashthra represents ‘ignorance’ (unenlightened), but you are equal to the challenge of attaining enlightenment.

* Kunti is also a name of the god of love, often depicted carrying bow and arrow or lance.

Neutralizing Opposites

The example of the opposites of winter and summer are given in this verse. Here the word for ‘senses’ is specifically related to ‘tangibility’ and the sense of touch, and the effect of contact of the skin with temperature, wind, and other tangible things, and the way those sensations feel.

If we want to get esoteric about this, it is not much of a leap to associate the feeling of the warmth of summer and the coolness of winter with the functions of prana (warming Life Energy) and apana (cooling Life Energy). Knowing what we do about these two, we could conclude that by simply putting up with them, the union of the two will occur without any help from us, through surrender sadhana. United as one, their opposition is neutralized and brings forth the evolutionary functions of kundalini.

It has been suggested in previous verses that the polarizing effects of opposites are detrimental to our sadhana and stand in the way of our enlightenment. We have discussed some of the resolutions to this dilemma that will occur spontaneously through our sadhana, but meanwhile what do we do? Apparently, we just have to put up with them and consider them ‘common’, as if one were no better or worse than the other. But this is not so easy to accomplish. Perhaps with a little more understanding, and some conscious personal experience of this phenomenon, we will have better luck.

Equalizing Opposites

The first thing to realize, is that everything that gets into the mind, gets there through the senses moving outward to pick up sights, sounds, tactile sensations, tastes and odors, and storing the information in memory. The difficulty arises due to our like or dislike of what is picked up. If we were indifferent, the stored information would have little or no influence. But everything in this world, and therefore everything in the mind, has a flip side, an opposite—hot and cold, good and bad, black and white, pleasure and pain, and so on—and due to the pull of the polarity of these opposites, we find ourselves favoring one or the other.

If we were to try to do something about this, it would have to involve equalizing opposites, so that one has no more pull than the other. I wrote the Mental Yoga course for this purpose. This is the first step, a step that can be taken and continued outside of meditation, regardless of what kind of meditation you practice.

Many people who are drawn to Yoga leave it when they hear things about abandoning desires, and becoming indifferent to the appealing effects of pleasure, enjoyment, and success, etc., but they misunderstand. The gradual process of Surrender Meditation will take care of this, but we must do the sadhana, maintain the body for its practice, put ourselves in a conducive place for it, and pay attention and be self-honest. Outside of our Surrender Meditation, we can speed up the process with the practice of Mental Yoga. Then, when things begin to change within us, we will find that the results are not quite what we had expected—we do not lose anything, but we gain everything.

So don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater.

Namaste,
Durga Ma
______________________________________________________________________________

TERMS OF USE AND SHARING:

This post and text is original research material and is copyrighted. You are allowed to share this material for personal, non-commercial and educational use with the proper citations, references and links / tags back to my website. Clicking ´Share´ on FB or ´Reblog´ on WordPress would be most appropriate.Please obtain written permission from Anandi first if you want to use this material on your workshop, blog, organization, webpage, book, seminar or for any commercial purpose. All information provided, be it through sessions conducted or this post is non-liable and is not intended to replace professional legal, medical, psychological, psychiatric and/or financial counsel. How you choose to act on this information is up to your own free will and is entirely your responsibility.