How to Attain God – Bhagavad Gita, Ch 12, Vs 8

Lord Buddha
Lord Buddha

The Bhagavad Gita appears in the story of the Mahabharata. It is a conversation between Lord Krishna and his devotee and childhood friend, Arjuna. Listening in, we receive the teachings of Lord Krishna as he relates them to Arjuna.

The subject of this chapter is Devotion.

This post addresses mind, thought, buddhi, consciousness and ego, and how to remain in God.


8
With your mind fixed solely on Me, your power of discernment will follow and cause you to stay with Me henceforth. Of this there is no doubt.

When your Attention is fixed on only one thing, your power of discernment (buddhi) will become fixed there, too. With this power anchored in God, your consciousness (citta) is anchored in God.

“Your power of discernment”

Your power of discernment is the part of the mind called buddhi. When you put your Attention on God, this power goes with it. Buddhi knows a good thing when it sees it. In this case, this is God/Truth, Lord Krishna. Once situated in God, buddhi has served its divine purpose. 

  • Buddhi – Intelligence, reason, discernment, judgement, differentiation; the ability to comprehend and understand.
    .
  • Attention – The fluid substance of consciousness that flows from you to things that you can be conscious of.

The mind collects and stores things that you have become conscious of. We call the feature of the mind that does the collecting, Attention. This function usually involves the senses, but here, Lord Krishna is telling Arjuna that it is the Attention itself that is the key. It is by this power that you can know God.

The Four Parts of the Mind

These four parts of the “mind” are not separated by walls. They are forms of consciousness that make up the mind, beginning with the subtlest form of energy, chitta. 

  1. Chitta – Consciousness, the stuff of which the mind is made
  2. Buddhi – Intelligence, reason and discrimination
  3. Manas – Mind, storage and thinking
  4. Ahamkara – Ego, the self taking the role of the doer of action

Consciousness is the subtlest of energies. It is everywhere in everything. Consciousness itself does nothing, but ‘moves’ by means of Attention

Attention is the fluid substance of consciousness (chitta). Where the Attention goes, this energy goes with it.

Buddhi (intelligence) is connected with consciousness (chitta) and therefore, with Attention. It is a manifestation of your power as a Divine Individual to perceive what the Attention delivers, and to know God/Truth. 

Manas is the part of the mind that stores this information and uses it for thinking. Lord Krishna is urging us not to rely on the mind (manas), but to use the Attention for the purpose of bringing the power of consciousness and buddhi, and consequently you, to Him. It’s a free ride.

Anything can get into the mind via Attention, but it is buddhi that judges its worth.

When your Attention is drawn into God, you are also drawn into God. Jesus said, “I and my Father are One.” Now we understand how ‘oneness’ with God takes place. This is what the Buddha achieved by this very means, and why he is called Buddha.Lord Buddha

Buddha means Awake. A buddha is one who is enlightened, has achieved knowledge of Truth, is liberated, and knows and can reveal the means of attaining this state.

Mind

We have come across the word ‘mind’ before, once as buddhi (intelligence) and once as chitta (consciousness), and now we have this new word for mind: manas. Manas is the thinking mind, that part of the mind where all the contents brought in by the senses are stored, and where you go to think about them. Manas is the most superficial part of the mind, the easiest to access. 

Buddhi, the function of the mind that is discriminating and makes judgements, can use these ‘memories’ for its own purposes. Buddhi knows what’s what. Buddhi knows the differences among all things.

By now, you have been meditating for a while, and you may have had perceptions and experiences that were direct. ‘Direct’ means that the senses were not involved because they weren’t needed (you will recall our earlier conversation about pratyahara). Now these experiences are stored in your mind, and buddhi knows the difference between these experiences and the other things in the mind’s memory bank that were not gained directly, but via the senses. In this way, buddhi helps us to move forward and evolve spiritually, even though we may be unaware of it.

Spiritual advancement is conducted by buddhi. If buddhi enters into God, you enter into God. Buddhi knows the difference between mental content and Truth, and now, so do you. You will no longer be interested in all that mental content when you have God/Truth. You will choose God every time. If you want “feel-good” experiences, this is for you.

The world can be very demanding and will constantly disrupt this state. This is why yogis (Buddha was a yogi) head for hermitages and caves. The mind becomes a nuisance. You lose your peace again and again. So what will you do? You will either give in to the world and all that clatter, or you will find a way to live that will protect you from losing this state. (Buddha gave a speech under a tree and took off up the mountain.)

Manas

The thinking mind (manas) is like a little child constantly tugging at its mother and never settling down or becoming quiet. Using the mind (manas) to reach God has to be the most difficult path imaginable. It is almost impossible to quiet the mind. It is a part of nature, so it is always moving. Only the predominance of sattvas (smoothly flowingness) will bring any peace. So we must rely on something more powerful than the mind to reach God. And herein lies a dilemma:

Westerners seem to worship the mind, rely on the mind, believe in the mind, and some even consider it to be God, Spirit, the Divine. (In a way, this is true, but it is non-specific and non-Absolute.) Even in Yoga, the mind is excessively adulated. This is a mistake. Not because the mind is bad, but because it is its nature to be active.

Any technique you use to try to tame the mind, uses the mind, which makes it even busier. However much a person doing this believes that he has succeeded in quieting the mind, the most that can be achieved this way, is to bring the mind into a sattvic state. In this Bhagavad Gita, “intelligent mind” (Drona) is a main character fighting on the side of the enemy, and he was killed. Worshipping the mind will always end in disaster, for it can only lead to more mind!

You get what you worship.

Ahamkara

At the core of the mind is the ego, that unenlightened sense of oneself as the doer of action. This core is called, ahamkara, meaning “I do.” This state of “I do” constitutes the will, for ‘doing’ is always motivated by desire. The entire mind, and all its parts, is built around this core.

Krishna has said over and over again to rely on, resort to, surrender to, only Him: Absolute God. Yet people continue to try to meditate using techniques. Techniques require the use of the mind and the will. Some try surrender sadhana for a while and, more often than not, they either combine it with some willful practice, or abandon it altogether. Their need to feel in control must be overwhelming. The solution is to give it up. Give it to Absolute God in meditation by surrendering only to That. 

You get what you surrender to.

“With your mind fixed on Me only, your buddhi will follow and cause you to stay with Me henceforth. Of this there is no doubt.”

Namaste (I bow to the divine one you really are),
Durga Ma
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Creation, Destruction, Rebirth & The Self – Bhagavad Gita, Ch 10, Vs 32-35

Vishnu Creation

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”):

Creation, Destruction, Rebirth & The Self

32
Of creations, I am the beginning, the middle and the end, and of knowables I am the knower of Adhyatma, the true Self. Of discussions I am the telling.

Alternate translation:
I am the beginning of the rushing forth of creation, as well as its destruction, Arjuna, and I am what lies between. Of knowables, I am the knower of the Supreme Self, and of conversations, I am the conveying of communications.

First He says that He is the beginning, middle and end of all things created, and then He follows with ‘knowables’ — things that can be known — and specifically, that He is the knower of the Supreme Self. By this we understand that the True Self can be known, and that He knows You as You really are. He is also saying that it is He who speaks when information, such as oral teachings, are being conveyed.

Creation, with its beginning, middle and end, is Relative, but the True Self is Absolute. Knowing is relative, but the Truth spoken in oral teachings is the Absolute Truth.

Self-referencing Experiment:
The connection of one individual with another is God. The next time you speak to someone, remember this and allow your attention to take in the Divine presence in your communion or communication with that person, whether you like this person or what is being spoken, or not. Check your own communications against the Yamas so that you are conveying the Divine when you speak. Remember that Absolute God is in you, as You.

33 
Of letters I am the letter A, and of compound words, I am the union of syllables. And I alone am infinite Time, facing in all directions.

The letter “A”. Of the sound of letters (syllables in Sanskrit) of the alphabet, I am the imperishable vowel “A” (akṣara, meaning imperishable, unalterable, absolute). The letter A is the initiation (shakti) of all human speech, and the basis of the sounds of primary vowels (f), without which no consonant (m) can manifest. 

Compound words. Of compound words, I am the union of their parts, and their wholeness as a single word. 

Time, facing in all directions. Of Time, I am its endlessness. Undecaying time goes out, ‘faces’, or exists, in all directions everywhere always. There is in Reality, no end to it. It cannot end because, for the Absolute, there is no end. All time is present all the time. We experience it as linear because, as human beings, we have a point of view.

To expand your point of view, begin by taking different points of view about everything.

I have been heard to say that, in the Absolute, there is no time. This might be better expressed by saying that, in the Absolute there is no time going on. Time is not motion. Time presents changes in Creation that make it appear to be moving, the same way that you feel like you are moving in a stationary car-wash as the equipment cleans your car, or standing on a train platform as a train goes by. It is the train that is moving, not you. It is the car wash that is moving, not your car. 

The basis of Time is pure consciousness which is everywhere in all directions. So Time exists in all directions everywhere, and like consciousness, is also infinite. This teaching is symbolized in murits (material forms) expressing omniscience:

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34-35
I am death and the source of all things to come. Of the feminine, I am beauty, speech, remembered teachings, and also surrender, satisfaction and fortitude. Of the Sama Veda, I am the Brihatsamana and Gayatri meters. Of months, I am the month of harvest, and of seasons, the Spring.

Alternate translation:
I am all-destroying death and the origin of future existences. Of the feminine, I am glory, communication and oral teachings, and also patience, renunciation and fulfillment.
 Of knowledges that can be sung, I am the masculine and rhythmic duple meter (two beats), and the feminine and beguiling triple meter (three beats). Of months I am the harvest month in the Fall, and of the seasons I am the ‘abounding with flowers’, the Springtime.

Namaste (I bow to the divine one you really are),
Durga Ma
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Life Mastery & Authentic Meditation – Bhagavad Gita, Ch 10, Vs 22

Sarasvati, Goddess of Music & Knowledge
Sarasvati, Goddess of Music & Knowledge

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 a Creation that is Relative. Lord Krishna began answering this question in verses 19-20, “God In You”, and continues:

Music, Mind, the Senses and Consciousness

22 
Of the Vedas, I am the Sama Veda. Of the gods, I am Vasava, and of the senses, I am the mind and consciousness of beings.

Alternate translation:
Of the Vedas, which are based on Truth, I am the Sama Veda, the most pertinent of the Vedas. Of the gods, the senses, I am Vasava, the power of perception in beings. And of the senses, I am the mind, consisting of memory and thinking, and the consciousness of which the mind is made.

“Of the Vedas, I am the Sama Veda”
Of true Knowledge, I am Music.”

The Sama (song) Veda (knowledge) contains knowledge of God’s vibhutis (powers, manifestations) in songs and chants.

The word sama also means ‘sameness’, and ‘veda’ means ‘knowledge of Truth’—the knowledge that we are all essentially the same. This can be known through the experience of music. It is no wonder that music is common to all our lives and loved by everyone. Music is the sound of Love. We are all in love with each other, and we don’t even know it.

Sarasvati, Goddess of Music & Knowledge
Sarasvati

Rereading this, I realized with a jolt of joy, what had drawn me so irresistibly to music that I was obsessed with it night and day since I could crawl. Then I discovered a piano in the church basement and longed to play. This love would pull at my heart so strongly that it hurt. The joy of it was bitter-sweet: I longed to hear it, and make it, and hear what I made, but I was too little to do anything about it. Later in my life, I was able to play well and discovered the wonder and joy of the connection of one person with a thousand strangers while performing with an orchestra. Within seconds of beginning, I was in love with all those people.

“Of the gods, I am Vasava”
“Of the senses, I am the power of perception that dwells within beings.”

The senses are gods. Vāsava, from vasu, meaning ‘dwelling within’, is another name of Indra, king of the gods, the powers of perception. There are eight vasus, eight aspects of nature—earth, water, fire, air, ether, moon, sun, and stars—that correlate with their dwelling within beings—smell, taste, sight, touch, hearing, mind, intelligence and self-sense. He is the ability to sense, as opposed to the physical organs of sense. 

“Of the senses, I am the mind and consciousness of beings”
The mind is made of consciousness—not consciousness of, but consciousness itself. 

The word for ‘consciousness’ is chetana, your ability to be conscious, from chitta, meaning ‘to perceive, notice or observe’. The ability to be conscious is inherent in you as a Divine Individual. This ability has manifested in nature as your five sense organs.

Attention and Consciousness
Attention is a flow of consciousness to something other than you.

The job of your senses is to bring you information. Your attention goes out through the senses to perceive things, stores them in the mind and you are conscious of them. This flow of consciousness from you to something other than you, is called “attention”. Thus does God work for you according to your choice.

God is your mind, attention & consciousness

You have ears because you can hear, eyes because you can see, etc. It is not the other way around as western science would have you believe.

According to Your Choice

I say “according to your choice” because you have the ability to determine where your attention goes. Although most of the time we don’t bother making this choice but let it roam around to anything that attracts it, the ability to do so is still ours if we choose to use it.

Attention is a flow of consciousness from the mind to anything other than you that you can be conscious of.

Attention is the reins in Arjuna’s chariot to the horses, the senses. The difference between Arjuna and most of us is that Arjuna has put Lord Krishna in the driver’s seat. This is what is meant by ‘surrender’.

Your attention is always at work, providing you with a constant inflow of information. Either it goes to whatever attracts it, or it goes where you send it. All you have to do is decide, and off it goes, eager to please. It is one hundred percent obliging. It will go wherever you want it to go—in your body, your mind, or any external object you choose. Indeed, the attention is your servant and you are the Master.

Consider this Power! It is a wondrous thing. Attention is not only a Power, but it is something of which you have complete control, without having to exert any effort at all. It just does what you tell it to do. 

The more you notice this in your everyday life, the more you will be amazed by it. Keep it up and you will eventually acknowledge this Power as your own Power serving you at all times. Then you will come to understand the teachings of Yoga around attraction and aversion: what you want, and what you don’t want, has always been up to you. Now this issue of attraction and aversion, which you probably have had some resistance to, is a piece of cake.

Attention is the sweet kitty on your lap, or the feral cat outside—either you engage your power of choice to determine its direction, or it is off and running, looking for things to devour.

If you do not act as the Master but let your attention run free, you will receive all kinds of information, whether you want it or not, whether you like it or not, whether you become desirous of obtaining something it has shown you or not. In this situation, you are vulnerable to desires and attractions running you.

This is not going to lead to happiness. Your mind however, will insist that fulfilling your desires is exactly what you need to do to be happy. But your mind can only work with what it’s got. It is for this reason that correct knowledge is vital to spiritual development and life mastery. Believing your mind is otherwise not a good idea at all, for a mind without correct knowledge will cheat you out of happiness. The solution is to become a Master of Attention. This is done by mastering Meditation and Life, for the foundation of both of these, is Attention.

Master your attention, master your energy, master your Life.

Experiential Surrender Meditation

In Arjuna’s chariot, the reins are in the hands of Lord Krishna.
In Arjuna’s chariot, the reins are in the hands of Lord Krishna.

There is one more option: You can surrender the control of the reins of your chariot, and even the chariot itself, to Absolute God in meditation. In everyday life you continue as stated above, but if you put God in the driver’s seat in meditation, God will manage your meditation for you.

.

Meditation is a steady flow of Attention to a single object.

Within that meditation, you are completely free and relived of all effort and the stress of responsibility, for God has taken the reins. With God in the driver’s seat, you will have amazing experiences, become united with That, prove God for yourself, and achieve true fulfillment and wondrous joy.  

Namaste (I bow to the divine one you really are),
Durga Ma
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