Horses, Elephants and Nectar – Bhagavad Gita, Ch 10, Vs 27

Airavata, mount of Indra, king of the gods.
Airavata, mount of Indra, king of the gods.

The Power of God & You

The manifestations of God in the world, in you, and in the entire universe.

The eighteen chapters of the Bhagavad Gita is a conversation between Arjuna and his childhood friend and Guru, Lord Krishna. Arjuna has asked Him to explain how He, as Absolute God, exists within Creation (beginning with verses 19-20, “God in You”):

Horses, Elephants and Nectar

27
Of hor
ses, know me as Uccaihshravas, produced of nectar. Of princely elephants, I am Airavata, and of men, I am Lord.

Alternate translation:
Of horses, know me to be the heavenly seven-headed horse born of the nectar of immortality, Uccaihshravas. Of elephants, I am Airāvata, ‘enjoyment and satisfaction’, the vehicle of Indra, lord of the gods in heaven. Of men, I am Lord.

Uccaihshravas. The word uccaihshravas means ‘flying up powerfully’. This refers to the flying up of Kundalini-Prana. Lord Krishna is saying that this ‘flying up powerfully’ is Himself.

Uccaihshravas, the heavenly horse produced by nectar.

This tells us that Kundalini flies up powerfully as a result of amrita, the nectar of immortality—it is not the other way around as might be expected. Amrita is already in action when the strong ascent of Kundalini begins, and Prana is drawn up with it. This takes place in the sushumna nadi, the central channel, but may be experienced as a full body phenomenon when the sushumna has expanded.

The seven heads of Uccaihshravas indicate the seven chakras unified and seated in the head behind the eyebrow center. Initially, the chakras and the nerve centers may not match, and the sushumna and the spine may not match, but the body will ultimately match the ananda kosha, the template of the perfect form for each individual.

The ananda kosha (‘bliss body’) is the subtlest of five sheaths, or subtle bodies. They are the veils of Salome in the Bible. These five sheaths are subtler than the astral (mental) or etheric (emotional) bodies. The ananda kosha is the subtlest of all.

The energy, now established in the head at the sixth chakra, tries to bring the physical into alignment with the ananda kosha in order to transition into an immortal body. People with congenital disabilities and handicaps are not given shaktipat and initiated into surrender sadhana. At this point, it can be too much to bear. 

Airavata is Indra’s vehicle, an elephant whose name means ‘giving enjoyment and satisfaction’. Airavata is derived from the word iravat, meaning ‘one who is produced from water’, and is closely connected to ida, the name of the channel for the cooling and downward flowing energy in the body (apana). But Airavata lives in heaven (the head), so here is another connection to water similar to apana, but in the head. Water represents the fluid nature of hormones seeping through endocrine (ductless) glands. This is a reference to amrita, the nectar of immortality.

When Indra defeated Vritra*, Airavata reached down into the watery underworld (below the 3rd chakra) with his trunk, sucked up the water and sprayed it into the clouds. Indra then caused cool water to rain down, thereby linking the waters to those of the underworld (sky and earth from the point of view of heaven). The downward flowing of  this ‘water’ creates hormonal changes in the body brought on by, and further producing, ‘flying up powerfully’.

*Vritra – A ‘demon of darkness and drought’ who takes possession of the clouds, causing them to obstruct the rain. Indra battles with this evil influence and shatters the pent up clouds with his thunderbolt in order to open them and release the rain.

‘Flying up powerfully’ occurs naturally through natural, surrender meditation. This Experiential Surrender Mediation is called ‘sacrifice’ in the Bhagavad Gita. It is a ‘sacrifice’ to surrender oneself to Absolute God/Truth in meditation. We take what we get, and accept whatever happens or doesn’t happen—our attachments and desires have been left at the door.

We are saying, in effect, “Thy will be done O Lord, not mine.” And we mean it. We are more and more motivated to become more and more surrendered over time, ultimately caring only for union (yoga) with Absolute God. If a divine immortal body is the end result, fine. If it isn’t, fine. We are not doing this sadhana to get physical immortality, but for liberation and union with Absolute God. So that’s what we surrender to.

You get what you surrender to.

Namaste (I bow to the divine one you really are),
Durga Ma
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You Get What You Worship – Bhagavad Gita, Ch 9, Vs 24-25

“I am the enjoyer of all sacrificial worship and the power that impels it, but people do not recognize Me, hence they fall. Those who worship the gods go to the gods. Those who worship the ancestors go to the ancestors. Those who worship the spirits go to the spirits. Those who worship Me assuredly come to Me.” — Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 9, Verses 24-25

24
I am the enjoyer of all sacrificial worship and the power that impels it, but people do not recognize Me. Hence they fall.

Alternate translation:
I am the motivator, the experiencer and the Chief of all sacrifices, but the people do not recognize My True Reality, thus they fall down and return to the mortal world.

“They” refers to those mentioned in the previous verses. “Fall down” refers to the Life Energy in the body, Prana, falling to the lower chakras at death and causing the yogi to relinquish liberation and “return” to mortal existence.

It is God that motivates sacrifice, and God that enjoys it. Put another way, the instigator of the yogi’s surrender is God (Shakti), and the yogi in union with God (yoga) enjoys it.

Worship = Sacrifice = Surrender
The sacrificial offering is yourself

Surrender alone is not the answer. The answer is in what one surrenders to, and how surrendered the ‘worshipper’ is.

One must always surrender only to Absolute God. You will think that it is you who enjoys and experiences this, and that it is you who desires it. But God is the Enjoyer, the Experiencer, and the Desirer—the motivator who impels your surrender to God.

Love is Surrender. Radha loves Krishna. You get what you surrender to.
Love is Surrender. Radha loves Krishna. You get what you surrender to (worship).

Surrendering to anything other than Absolute God, one falls. When one is not surrendered, does not understand what sacrifice really is, does not recognize God, does not experience God, and the Life Energy in the body does not ascend but “falls down”. Only through surrender to Absolute God can the energy ascend and remain ascendant.

You may disagree with this. If you do, you won’t be the first. I have been accused of being elitist because I practice surrender yoga and think it is better than the path of the will, but this is not so. The path of the will is necessary. Not only does it provide many different paths for the many unique individuals that we are, but it always takes one who persists to the path of surrender.

Many people who have left the spiritual path of the will have done so because they came up against a wall and couldn’t get any further. Some became lost and disenchanted and quit altogether. Some dealt with this disappointment by changing gurus…over and over again…hoping to find one that knew what he or she was doing.

Are these seekers reluctant to surrender for fear of losing control? Or do they simply not know that there is something more that can take them where they want to go?

Unknowingly, at a very auspicious point in their practice, they were ready for this phase of yoga sadhana but they didn’t know it existed. This is one reason I speak openly about it. There are those who are ready for it and need it, but they don’t know about it, what it is, or how it is practiced.

Teachers of surrender yoga are hard to find. In my opinion, this is the very reason Vyasa wrote the Bhagavad Gita into his epic Mahabharata: because it is really about surrender yoga.

It is true that the Gita addresses how to live a successful and spiritual life, but in the very places that are translated in willful terms, there are underlying teachings on surrender yoga hidden in the cracks for those who are ready to hear them.

Why not just get straight to the point? Because not everyone is interested in this path. The Gita is written is such a way that anyone can benefit no matter what their path. One who is interested and ready to hear about surrender yoga will, at the very least, realize that there is something more going on and seek to understand it. Their curiosity and longing will naturally lead them to seek someone who can satisfy their interest.

God is the power behind all sacrifices. God is the power behind your surrender to God. God is the desire for God that impels you to surrender to God, and it is God who enjoys the sacrificial offering. It is because of your yoga, your union with God who enjoys your surrender, that you enjoy it. Now are you beginning to get it?

Through surrender to God, Self-realization will fall into your lap and raise you up.

25
Those who worship the gods go to the gods. Those who worship the ancestors go to the ancestors. Those who worship the spirits go to the spirits, but those who worship Me (God) assuredly come to Me.

You get what you worship.

Read the Addendum on this verse > > >

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


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VIII:15-16 Brahmā’s World

In the previous verses we learned that through the practice of uniting (yoga) by resorting to God, surrendering ourselves to God, cycles of death and rebirth can be avoided. Now we will learn about the conditions under which this becomes possible.

15 – 16
Having come to Me, those great souls who have accomplished the highest are not born again into this impermanent place of suffering and unhappiness. Worlds up to
 Brahmā‘s World are subject to successive rebirths, Arjuna, but in approaching Me, rebirth is not found, Son of Kunti
.

In this chapter, Lord Krishna has taken to calling Arjuna by epitaphs referring to his mother, Kunti, also known as Pritha, who represents Earth. The name Kunti derives from a root meaning ‘spear or lance’, and Pritha, from ‘battle and strife’, suggesting the difficulties of this world, and urging Arjuna to get on with it.

We who are more fortunate and cannot see this world in these terms, are mistaken. This world is indeed a place of suffering and unhappiness, but we don’t like to hear things like this. We prefer to think that if we can just do better we can find fulfillment here on earth. We believe we can change things if we try harder. Evidence to the contrary is right before our eyes, but we refuse to see it.

I have always said that everyone has two life purposes, one that is unique to each individual, and one that is the same for everyone. Union with God and liberation from repeated births and deaths is the purpose that is the same for everyone. By not putting this first, we waste precious time and the opportunity to accomplish this release, while simultaneously effecting the remission of suffering for the world and those who inhabit it (truly, this is so). We make this mistake by constantly trying for a better part in the play of Life. But happiness is always temporal here. If we open our eyes to the Truth, we can attain happiness that is unending, and benefit everyone in the process. 

The worlds of Brahmā are subject to successive rebirths
There are many worlds of death and rebirth, some better and some worse than our own. These worlds are the worlds of Brahmā, God as Creator. In the larger scheme of things, Brahmā’s World consists of these worlds where we arrive upon rebirth. But there is another meaning here that translates to something more personal and immediate.

Brahmā’s World

At a personal level, Brahmā’s World of death and rebirth is up to the diaphragm, and encompasses the first three chakras: the first chakra, muladhara, ‘root holder’, the second chakra, svathishthana, ‘one’s own place’, and the third chakra, manipura, ‘jewel city’.

In this diagram, seven chakras are numbered from the bottom up on the left, and three granthis on the right:

Chakras & Granthis

Chakras & Granthis

To become liberated from death and rebirth, the escalating evolutionary force, kundalini, must rise above Brahmā’s World. The World of Brahmā lies in the region of the first first three chakras, and is delineated by the brahmagranthi, the ‘knot of Brahmā’. To get past this boundary between Brahmā’s World and the next, this knot must be pierced so that the evolutionary force can ascend through the central channel (sushumna) to the higher worlds. First, however, this force must be activated within the individual—kundalini must be awakened. But there is a catch: 

Kundalini is for yogis seeking liberation, and the fettering of fools. — Hatha Yoga Pradipika

Awakening Kundalini is not a simple matter. Those who are not interested in liberation should not disturb Her. One who awakens Her for anything other than this purpose is asking for trouble. But for the yogi (one who has achieved yoga), She is the respected and venerated Divine Mother, and the yogi wants this Divine Goddess on his side, for it is She who will deliver him.

“The worlds of Brahmā are subject to successive rebirths, Arjuna. But in approaching Me, rebirth is not found.”
Brahmā’s World, everything up to and including the brahmagranthi, is associated with the things in life and in ourselves that will cause us to be reborn into another physical world of suffering and temporal happiness. But if we get with the program and resort to God, surrender to God, in the constant practice of yoga (uniting), we are headed in the right direction. We are approaching God. With kundalini ascending to realms above the World of Brahmā, we are positioned to become “great souls who have accomplished the highest,” free of the cycles of death and rebirth.

These two verses are describing the longest part of the journey to liberation and unending happiness. In the next verses we will learn more about how this is accomplished.

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