VIII:23 The Day and Night of the Yogi

Will you continue to become embodied in worlds of temporal happiness and sorrow at death? Or will you rise above this dilemma and reach the Eternal Happiness of the Imperishable Absolute?

In “Brahmā’s World” and “The Day and Night of Brahmā” we learned that those who have not gone beyond worlds of temporal happiness and sorrow at death are subject to reincarnation, and that rising above this dilemma lies in becoming a ‘yogi’, one who unites Day and Night.

The Day and Night of Brahmā refers to ha-tha yoga, ‘sun-moon union’—the warming sun energy and the cooling moon energy unite (yoga) within the body to awaken Kundalini (the evolutionary force is accelerated). Having achieved hatha yoga, one is a yogi, the subject of the next few verses.

It is important to understand that terms like ‘yoga’ and ‘yogi’ should not be limited to the idea of religion. Yoga is a science that is not recognized in the western world, though it does fit the western definition of ‘science’. Yoga is meant as a term for the practices that prove God, Truth, the Imperishable Absolute, or whatever your word is for That. Because you cannot prove it to anyone but yourself in your own ‘lab’ (meditation), the western world does not recognize this science. But its practice is universal. For example, Buddhism, which is now a religion, is based on the teachings of Buddha, who was himself a yogi. The same is true for Jesus, and numerous others.

By the continued practice of hatha yoga, the yogi reaches beyond the worlds of Brahmā, kundalini becomes prominently active above the diaphragm, and union becomes the union of the yogi with God (Brahman). Now the sun is known as kundalini-shakti and the moon as soma.

  • Kundalini-Shakti is the accelerated (awakened) evolutionary force (kundalini), brought about by Shakti, the intelligent instigator of all action.
  • Soma, which is produced by the pineal gland, is precursor to amrita, the nectar of immortality (remember that the goal is now the Imperishable).

Of where and when the yogi goes at end-time, to non-return or to return again, I shall now speak, Bull of the Bharatas:

  • Bull of the Bharatas – an epitaph of Arjuna meaning ‘always seeking knowledge’. The Bhagavad Gita is a dialogue between Lord Krishna, who is now speaking, and his disciple, Arjuna. 
  • End-time – death of the body, or the end of time, i.e., the timeless state of union (yoga) with God.

By taking things to a microcosmic level, we can learn where in the body the evolutionary energy, kundalini, is at death that determines the outcome of rebirth (reincarnation) or non-return for the yogi.

The next verses give the conditions of release or rebirth as per the yogi’s stage of sadhana (practice), and concern Raja Yoga. One has to have reached Raja Yoga in order to be liberated from the cycles of birth and death. One who has fully completed Raja Yoga will reach a higher plane after death than one who has not. 

 To be continued….

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

VIII: 1-4 From the Absolute to the Relative and Back Again…

“Those who seek liberation from old age and death, surrender to Me, know this Absolute God, the Absolute Self, and all about Action…With consciousness fully absorbed in Me at the moment of death, they will truly know Me.” — Bhagavad Gita, chapter 7, verses 29-30  

Arjuna speaks:
What is this Brahman, what is Adhyatma, and what is Action, O Best of Beings, and what are Adhibhuta and Adhidaiva said to be? Who is Adhiyajna in the body, Slayer of Madhu, and how at the time of death can this be known by those who are self-disciplined, devoted and committed?

From the Absolute 

3  Lord Krishna answers:
Brahman is the Imperishable Absolute. Adhyatma is the innate Self. Action is known as the sending forth that causes him to come into a state of being.

Brahman (Absolute God) is the Highest order of God, the Imperishable Absolute situation.

Adhyatma (first individual) is the innate Self, the Divine Individual, the Real You, void of any state of being.

Action (karma) is known as the ‘sending forth’ on the part of Adhyatma in order to know what is other-than-self, the first action of Adhyatma.  

Vibration is the effect of Adhyatma’s inherent ability to be conscious being sent forth to know what is other than himself. The all-pervading sound produced by this vibration, one tone consisting of all tones (one for each of us), resounds throughout all Creation and can be heard in deep meditation.

To the Relative

Lord Krishna continues:

Adhibhuta is Purusha come into perishable being. Adhidaiva is the first other Divine Individual known to Purusha. The Highest Sacrifice here in the body, Adhiyajna, is Myself.

Adhibhuta (first becoming) is Adhyatma in a state of being identified with something other than his true Self that is not absolute, and is therefore perishable. 

Purusha is Adhyatma with a viewpoint, the “embodied one” in a state of being a being (Adhibhuta).

Adhidaiva (first god) is the first other Divine Individual known to Adhyatma.

Adhiyajna (first sacrifice). Engaging his innate power of choice, Adhyatma sacrifices his perfect situation in the Absolute in order to know Another (Adhidaiva). Once this Purusha (Adhyatma with a viewpoint) becomes embodied and seeks to recapture his original, perfect situation, he chooses not to choose and leaves everything to Absolute God by surrendering himself to That. This surrender is Adhiyajna, “the highest sacrifice here in the body”.

Lord Krishna is saying that this sacrifice is actually Himself, and is therefore the Highest Sacrifice here in the body (the word for ‘first’ also means ‘highest’). Sacrifice is how you got here, so it is also what will enable you to return to your original situation of Eternal Happiness.

In the Relative Realm

The sacrifice made by the Real You in the Absolute changed everything. By choosing to know other-than-self (prakriti), a viewpoint was produced, and ultimately a perceptible form. By perceiving another through a viewpoint, you experienced difference, separateness, and perception produced the senses and became indirect. 

Now, when a sense is attracted to its object, knowledge of that object is transmitted and stored in your mind. Every time your attention goes out through one or more of your senses to perceive, you are sacrificing your life—because the Life Energy (prana) in the body always travels with the attention, it leaves the body. 

Attention is a flow of consciousness.

When you want to know something, you ‘send forth’ your attention through one or more of your senses. In the Relative Realm of this world, this is how you learn.

And Back Again

Meditation is a steady flow of attention and prana to one thing, one place. Through the practice of surrender to Absolute God, the attention and prana spontaneously become withdrawn and find a place within the body to accumulate, concentrate and produce pratyahara, the withdrawal of the senses. With this withdrawal, the attention stops going outward because the life energy has stopped going outward, and a meditative state of divine union is attained.

This is Real Surrender, Adhiyajna, the Highest Sacrifice. It is how you got here, and it is how you will return to your natural state of perfection and Eternal Happiness.

“With consciousness fully absorbed in Me at the moment of death, they will truly know Me” — Lord Krishna

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

VI:44 From Failure to Success

Desire, which is an affirmation of lack, ends with fulfillment. This happy state is had when and to the degree one ignores desires and turns everything over to Absolute God/Truth. This works because in That, fulfillment is already complete, and what we surrender to is what we get.  

Continued from “The Wonders of Failure” (verses 40-43): 

Thus, without will, he is carried onward by prior practice. Just by wanting to know Yoga, he transcends Word-Brahman.

“Without will, he is carried onward by prior practice
With his arrival in a new body, the yogi is automatically carried forward by prior practice—he doesn’t have to try to make it so, it is going to happen even if he thinks he is aiming at something else.

The Sanskrit word for ‘without will’ tells us how it happens that he finds the path to which he is drawn: the non-willful path. The word for ‘without will’ also means ‘without desire’. It is through surrender to the Divine Beloved that one becomes desireless. Desirelessness is a natural effect of fulfillment. Through surrender to God/Truth one is fulfilled and desire no longer has a place. 

Desireless = Fulfilled

The Sanskrit for ‘prior’ also means ‘eastern’. The Eastern path is the path of the will, which is where our ‘fallen yogi’ has arrived from. 

The Eastern path is every adult’s prior path. We learn how to use our will throughout childhood. In adulthood we can continue in this manner indefinitely, or we can at some point, choose the path that is “without will”, the Western path.

It is this non-willful path that our yogi has been drawn to. He has had enough of willful practices and their repercussions, and has tasted the honey of surrender and recognizes it as his own. 

“Just by wanting to know Yoga, he transcends Word-Brahman”
Word-Brahman refers to the Vedas, but the word veda also covers any authentic scripture or written text on God/Truth and the means of reaching It. Like many written
spiritual or religious texts, the Vedas read as willful, and our yogi has now transcended this. 

  • The Sanskrit for ‘transcend’ means ‘to pass beyond, surpass, get over, overcome’. Broken into its parts it means ‘beyond’ + ‘turning, revolving’—to get beyond the willful path, beyond the path of going around in circles.
  • The Sanskrit for ‘word’ also means ‘sound, voice, speech, the sacred syllable Om, and oral tradition’.
  • Brahman is Absolute God/Absolute Truth.

Getting Beyond Word-Brahman

Getting beyond the need for explanations of God in words, because now you know God directly.

The Vedas are also called Brahman, God, just as the Bible is God, or the Word, or the Word of God. So we can see there may be more than one interpretation of Word-Brahman.

  • Scriptures, written or spoken
  • The Vedas
  • The sound of God (OM, Amen)
  • Oral tradition

To go beyond the scriptures means that one has had enough experience of yoga (union) to get beyond the literal words they contain to deeper understanding.

To go beyond the Vedas means the same thing, but is also a reference to getting beyond the many rituals and laws of the Vedas to the ‘ritual actions’ (kriyas) of spontaneous, non-willful sadhana.

Sadhana – Spiritual practice. Sanskrit: The means of going straight to the goal. Mastering, cure, completion, perfection.

To go beyond the sound of God, is to get beyond the nada, sound heard directly in meditation, to later stages of sadhana and union with The Absolute (asamprajnata samadhi).

To go beyond oral tradition means that one has received the mysteries, which are only imparted orally by the teacher (guru).

So our yogi has transcended resorting to Vedic rituals for the purpose of obtaining their fruits (fulfilling desires). He has gone beyond the recitation of sacred texts considered to be Brahman. (The primary means of accessing these texts in earlier times was memorization and recitation). Having gone beyond them, he is a knower of them, and because of his advanced state, he also understands them and their hidden meanings through his own experience obtained through yoga practice.

His love for Yoga, which has been reawakened in him, carries him onward towards successfully completing Yoga and attaining liberation and perfection.

Surrender Meditation

Spontaneous, experiential meditation.

This chapter is called The Yoga of Meditation, so this yogi’s practice of Yoga is the practice of meditation. But why meditation rather than other Yoga practices?

Because the yogi is sincerely pursuing union with God/Truth and the freedom of moksha, liberation, he is subject to the forces of accelerated evolution (kundalini). Evolution involves change, change that is deeper and more profound than the changes we make in ourselves and in our lives as normal human beings.

This powerful force often produces effects not sanctioned by society in general. The yogi, being sensitive to the First Principle of Yoga (harmlessness) does not allow these effects to take place among the uninitiated. Instead, he establishes a meditation practice for this purpose. This is his sadhana.

Within the context of his sadhana, other practices of Yoga may also arise spontaneously (‘without will’). Because he is changed by the process, and because he is completely free during this time he has set aside, he slowly finds his way to union (yoga) with God and the true freedom of moksha.

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