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

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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
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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.

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The Embodied One and The Being – Bhagavad Gita – Chapter 2: 10-13

The Yoga of Knowledge 

Last week we witnessed Arjuna resisting going into battle and stating his reasons for this, then doing a turn-about, and then asking Krishna what to do “for certain”. Then in one final blow, Arjuna refuses to take Krishna’s instruction, saying “I shall not fight”. Let’s see how Krishna responds to this:

10
At this, Krishna began to laugh, O Descendant of Bharata, as they stood there between the two armies, and to the dejected Arjuna, he spoke these words…

Well good! A little humor in trying times is good medicine.

‘Descendant of Bharata’ refers here to the blind king, Dhritarashthra, to whom his minister Samjaya is speaking as we listen in. ‘Bharata’ refers to Dhritarashtra as a descendent of an early emperor by that name. Bharata means ‘continuously acquiring knowledge’ and is the true name of India, the spiritual center of Earth, where people have endlessly continued to engage in acquiring knowledge of Truth over millennia.

Self-reference:  At this point in the story, that place within you where there is continual acquisition of knowledge is currently under the rule of blind authority governed by ignorance of Truth. But Krishna is about to enlighten us:

The Embodied One and the Being

11
Krishna spoke: You have mourned that which should not be mourned, and yet you speak as if with words of wisdom. Neither for the living nor for the dead do the wise morn.

12
There was never a time when I was not, when you were not, or when these lords of men were not. And there will never be a time when we shall cease to be. All of us exist from this time forward.

13
Just as childhood, adulthood and old age happen to the body of the embodied one, so shall the embodied one acquire another body. In this matter, the wise are not deluded.

This teaching, as with all of Lord Krishna’s teachings, can be understood on more than one level. On the face of it, Krishna is telling us not to concern ourselves with life and death, because life and death doesn’t pertain to the Real You, ‘the embodied one’, and the body you are using will be replaced anyway. These verses are worth contemplating for this alone. But we must also remember who is speaking to whom in this story, and the subject of their conversation.

Arjuna has been mourning the deaths of all his relatives before the battle has even begun, and his guru, Lord Krishna, has responded. But who are Arjuna’s relatives who will be killed in this battle, and whose loss “need not be mourned”? Arjuna’s relatives are the warriors of his own armies as well as those of the enemy. He is literally related to all of them.

Self-reference: “These lords of men”, the warriors of both sides, some of whom are rulers of their only principalities, are your relatives. At this point in your sadhana, the reinstatement of your rightful place as ‘ruler’ of your own entire kingdom is being disputed, and your relatives have taken sides. (By going back to the earlier verses in chapter one up to verse 20, you will discover some of the more prominent ‘lords’.) War or no war, they aren’t going anywhere, for they “exist from this time forward”. These relatives are the genetic material in your own body. They will continue to be, but they are going to change, become transformed. What they are cannot die but will receive new ‘bodies’.

We must also remember what will happen with the activation and ascension of the evolutionary force (kundalini), for this is exactly what is about to happen. This is the Mahabharata war, the ‘battle’, the crashing together of opposing forces. It is Hatha Yoga, the union (yoga) of the sun (ha) and moon (tha) energies in your body, which is the awakening, the quickening, of the evolutionary force within the body.

Now we understand something about Kundaini that is not common knowledge. Like Arjuna, we are going to come to realize that Kundalini is not some mystical “experience”, or some sensation we feel, or a vision we have had. It is a genuine and very real force that has only one objective: evolution. Yours. And it is not interested in whether you like it or not. It is going to win whether you think you are allowing it to win or not—it is a force of nature, and it is Divine. You can go along with it or you can resist it, but it will ultimately win. The only question is, if it is going to win anyway, why do you have to get with the program? You don’t. But since it is going to do what it is going to do anyway, why wouldn’t you? Resisting it only puts things off and causes despair, as chapter one has demonstrated (“Arjuna’s Depression”).

So how does one not resist this, when it seems like we are about to find ourselves in the midst of a ‘war’, and what would be the outcome? The following verses and the remaining chapters will clarify all of this.

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.

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Resistance to Change -Bhagavad Gita – Chapter 2: 1-9

The Yoga of Knowledge 

Arjuna has reached a crisis point and appears to have given up. We are about to witness what the culmination of this will be and what happens next. What will Arjuna do? and what will his guru, Lord Krishna, have to say about it? …

1
Sanjaya spoke:
Seeing Arjuna depressed and overcome with sorrow, his eyes filled with tears and downcast, Lord Krishna spoke these words: 

We listen in as Samjaya relates events to the blind king, Dhritarashthra, using his power of divine sight.

2
Lord Krishna spoke:
Where is this faint-heartedness of yours coming from in this time of danger? It is dishonorable and unacceptable, and does not lead to heaven but to disgrace, Arjuna.

The word for ‘heaven’ refers to that celestial ‘world of light’ where we go between incarnations to await the next earthly body. Apparently, backing down will not get us there, but will engender criticism. 

3
Do not become a coward, it does not suit you. Abandon this cowardliness and stand up, Scorcher of the Foe!”

Scorcher of the Foe is an epitaph of Arjuna. By using it here, Krishna is reminding Arjuna of his purpose as a warrior.

4
Arjuna spoke:
O Slayer of Madhu, how can I kill Bhishma and Drona in battle? How can I fight with arrows against these two revered men, O Slayer of the Foe?

Slayer of Madhu and Slayer the Foe, are epitaphs of Krishna. Arjuna is coming back at Krishna by reminding Him that it was He who put down the enemy of ‘delight’ (Madhu), and yet has urged Arjuna to kill the sons of Dhritarashthra (desires)!

Bhishma* (continence and fidelity) and Drona (intellect and reason) are both highly venerated teachers whom Arjuna has always respected, yet they are fighting on the side of his enemy.

* Bhishma – ‘Terrible’. Fixity, the unwillingness to change.

5
I would rather live in this world as a beggar than slay these gurus out of desire for worldly gain. Anything we might enjoy would be smeared with blood.

Living as a beggar would be demeaning to a warrior.

Arjuna presses his case with this remark. By restating that this battle is for the purpose of gaining the throne, a ‘worldly’ ambition, he is implying that he and Krishna are above this kind of thing.

6
And we do not know whether it would it be better to conquer them, or they us. Having killed all these sons of Dhritarashthra standing here before us, we would not want to live.

Which is better? Defeating them (desires), or being defeated by them? Life would surely be intolerable without desire, for only through their fulfillment can there be any happiness. Or so Arjuna believes.

Self-reference: The enemy is the blind king, ‘ignorance’, and his sons represent ‘desires’. The ‘enemy’, the force that is hostile towards you, is ignorance and desires together.

7
With my own being overcome with depression, my mind is confused as to my duty, so I ask you, which would be better for certain? Tell me, your pupil. Correct me, your suppliant.

Now we see Arjuna doing a turn-about, and resorting to his guru for instruction. However…

8
I do not see what could possibly dispel this sorrow that dries up my senses, even if I were to obtain unrivaled and prosperous royal power,
 and the sovereignty of the gods.

Chapter one was entitled Arjuna’s Depression. Depression is a low energy state, and indeed Arjuna did end that chapter by sitting down on the seat of his chariot, throwing down both his bow and his arrows. Aside from all the biochemical and psychological implications, the bottom line is that Arjuna’s energy has hit bottom.

A low energy state means not only has one’s energy fallen, but there is less energy available, which is indicated in the verse as the drying up of the senses. Depression is a physical phenomena that affects the senses by making it difficult to take things in, think straight, and function normally. One way of countering depressed energy is to fulfill a desire—it feels good, and up you go (albeit temporarily). Hence Arjuna’s many mentions of his resistance to killing ‘desires’.

9
Thus having addressed the Master of the Senses [Krishna], Arjuna said, “I shall not fight,” and Having spoken to Krishna, he became silent.

And here we thought Arjuna was going to heed his guru’s instruction to “stand up and fight!”. We know what Lord Krishna has told Arjuna to do, but now we see that Arjuna will not to do it. Next week we will see what Krishna has to say about this capitulation.

Jaya Bhagavan! (Victory to God!)
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.