Ch 9.1 The Most Profound Secret of All Secrets

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Because I know you will not belittle it, I shall tell you the most profound secret knowledge which having understood, will free you of unrighteousness. 

This dialogue between Krishna and his disciple Arjuna began as the result of Arjuna’s perception of what he was being asked to do as wrong. Lord Krishna is telling him that, if he understands what He is going to tell him now, he will be relieved of this concern.  

  • The Sanskrit for ‘unrighteous’ also means ‘unpleasant, inauspicious and unfortunate.’

“Because I know you will not belittle it” 
Because Arjuna is well-disposed toward Lord Krishna, considers Him as Guru and will believe Him, Lord Krishna trusts him with this knowledge because he has the qualities that demonstrate his readiness to hear it.

  • These qualities are (from the Sanskrit), respectful and devoted to Guru (Krishna), trustworthy and not of a jealous, covetous, begrudging or resentful nature.

I will explain to you the most profound secret knowledge”
Lord Krishna is saying that He will explain it, tell it in a way that Arjuna can understand it. We like hearing this, because we will also be able to understand what he is saying … if we have the qualities mentioned above.

“Profound secret knowledge”
Other translations of ‘profound knowledge’ are ‘highest knowledge’ and ‘knowledge of the true nature of God’. With the word ‘secret’ we conclude that we are in the dark about something important. But we are about to hear this secret because Krishna is going to explain it to Arjuna as we listen in (we will have to listen very carefully). 

  • Secret – Something that is hidden, unknown, or not correctly understood.

Additional clues as to the nature of this secret are found in the Sanskrit. For instance, the word ‘profound’, modifier of the word ‘secret’, also means ‘an ascending node intensified to a high degree’. 

A node is a point at which the amplitude of vibration in a standing wave system is zero. Or you can think of it as the point at which a path intersects with another path, suggesting that this zero-point is neutral—not positive and not negative.

Remember the see-saw you used to play on when you were a child? When one person was up the other person was down, and in the very center of all this activity of going up and down, was a pivotal point from which all this activity emanated and was supported without being in it (not going up and down). 

The Power of Neutral

When I was doing Readings at the bookstore, I was sometimes asked to balance chakras (those energy centers along the spine). I always thought this was strange, this balancing business, because anything that has to be balanced is inevitably going to go out of balance again anyway.

But I would do this in my own way, which was to not try to get them all going around in clockwise rotation as expected, but to move both clockwise and counterclockwise motions to this zero point. This left people with a happy, pleasant and relaxed feeling. If someone was looking for something specific, I would then get the chakra associated with that activity to spin clockwise and they left feeling enthusiastic, inspired and happy.

Much of written Sanskrit teachings on spiritual science are stated in double negatives to suggest this neutrality, rather than ‘positive’. For example, “That which is not non-existent constitutes the Real.”

“Which having understood, will free you of unrighteousness”
Remember that Arjuna has been worried about not doing the right thing by engaging in this battle against the Kurus (‘doers’). Lord Krishna is saying that when he correctly understands what He is telling him, he will be free of this misconception.

The Secret

Now to return to this secret, which has to do with a highly intensified ascending node, which must have to do with something going up in a highly intensified manner…

The node being referred to here is the central energy channel in the body (suṣumṇa nādī, kind and gracious river’) through which the united prana and apana try to rise. Normally, these two polarized energies (positive and negative) are upward and downward flowing respectively, but when they are united (yoga), they are neutralized as opposites and function together as the intensified evolutionary force, kundalini. Kundalini is awake and eager to ascend, from the lowest chakra to the highest, transforming the human you to the perfect and imperishable individual that you really are.

Lord Krishna is telling this secret to Arjuna in an easy to understand manner. Next he will tell him how this is accomplished.

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

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).

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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
durgama.com

VI:13-15 The Meditation of Yoga

When your consciousness is fastened onto God/Truth, desire, fear and anger are disabled and you see the same everywhere, in everyone, yourself in God and God in You, and the mind is as motionless as a lake on a windless day. 

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The body, head and neck aligned, motionless and steady, gazing at the point of the nose and not elsewhere… 

The point of origin of the nose is in the north, the uppermost part of the body. The word for point means ‘where the nose is fastened’. Its origin is in the head, in the middle between the two eyebrows—at the ‘third eye’, the 6th (ajna) chakra, the energy center of wisdom-consciousness. While many meditators try to force the energy into this center by focusing their attention there, for the yogi practicing as described before, this occurs spontaneously.

The body, head and neck are in alignment. This can be accomplished with a posture perpendicular to the ground, or by lying down. If you are a Westerner and prefer sitting, you will first need to train your body so that it can remain balanced in this position without causing discomfort. Otherwise, you will either slouch, or be constantly moving around trying to get comfortable. With movement of the body there is movement of the life energy which in turn keeps the mind active.

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Calm, fearless, firmly resolved in brahmacharya, the mind restrained by consciousness focused on Me, the yogi abides absorbed in devotion to Me.

Now you know how to get your mind into a peaceful state: Concentrate your attention on one thing: Lord Krishna—God/Truth. Then, because you are calm, composed and fearless, you will not be in contention with things like brahmacharya, and can remain absorbed in That.

You are not be susceptible to fear or other distractions when your consciousness is fully occupied with only one thing: God/Truth.

The usual translation of brahmacharya is celibacy, the source of the ‘fear’ mentioned in this verse—one becomes afraid of failing.

Brahmacharya is the most powerful means of achieving the required self-control mentioned earlier. If you can succeed in brahmacharya you can succeed at anything. Mastering it will give you physical strength and charisma. Professional athletes and fighters often refrain form sexual activity for months before an event for this very reason.

Brahmacharya is the sublimation of sexual energy. It is usually practiced by using one’s will-power, which only suppresses it. But sublimation comes naturally through surrender sadhana. Without this sublimation, one is always having to deal with a turbulent mind, brought about by the turbulent energy of sexual desire, and prevents one from achieving yoga. But Lord Krishna gives us the key:

“With the mind restrained by consciousness focused on Me, the yogi abides absorbed in devotion to Me.”

If you take the word apart, Brahma (God) + charya (practice, going, going about, wandering or roaming, visiting, behavior or conduct) you can come up with all kinds of interpretations. But when you don’t break it up you get, ‘The state of an unmarried religious student, a state of continence and chastity’. 

If you don’t like the idea of celibacy, or your life is not arranged in such a way as to make it possible, you can look at these other alternatives and see if you can understand their meanings:

God-going:  Going to God
God-wandering:  Walking with God
God-visiting:  Hanging out with God
God-behavior:  Acting the way God would act (try a search for ahimsa).
God-practice:  God-meditation: divine purifying action (kriya) yoga.

Or you can practice restraining sexual activity as best you can. (You don’t have to give in to it, you know. Giving in to something suggests that it has power over you, the very opposite of brahmacharya no matter how you want to interpret it.)

If you are calm and composed you are not in a state of passion. Desire, fear and anger are disabled and brahmacharya isn’t an issue. This is what the ‘sameness’ discussed in chapter five was trying to teach us. Seeing the same everywhere, in others, in ourselves and in God, took us to samadhi, where the mind is in a state of unity, or sameness.

Samadhi
The subtle energy of consciousness (citta), of which the mind is composed, is as motionless as a lake on a windless day.

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Practice performed in this manner, the mind withdrawn within, the good and virtuous yogi happily goes to the Highest Nirvana in union with Me.

Nirvana
The ultimate happiness of union with God,
your natural state.

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