The First Purusha – Bhagavad Gita, Ch 15, Vs 3-4

Purushottama
Purushottama

THOUGHT:  Does not the phrase, “Thou shalt have no other gods before Me,” suggest that there are other gods? And does not the word ‘before’ suggest a secession with one specific god as first? 

CONSIDER THIS:  The first god, a Divine Individual in the Absolute, was the first to accept all other Divine Individuals as the same as Himself. To Us (all the other Divine Individuals), this First Divine Individual is our Personal God known as Purushottama, ‘first and highest god (Divine Individual)’.

NOTE: Him, He, Himself, etc., are not meant to be gender specific. 

3
In this world, the Ashvattha tree’s form is not perceptible — not now, not in the past nor will it become so in the future. This tree, with its well-grown roots, must be cut asunder by the strong axe of detachment.

Our situation symbolized by the Ashvattha tree is not obvious to us. Here in this world, we cannot see the depth of our situation as illustrated by this tree. It is strongly rooted, and we are unaware of it, not realizing the hidden tendencies represented by it, and the power they have over us. 

Step One – Notice

It is not our desires themselves that bind us, but our attachment to them. These attachments keep us in bondage and limit our lives. Just as the world is full of secrets and secret societies because hiding things gives them more power, many of our own attachments are hidden from us. We must ferret them out in order to overcome their influence.

We do this by separating ourselves from the things brought into the mind by the senses. This is where desires, and our attachments to them, originate. The first step for releasing their hold, is to NOTICE them. By this, we detach ourselves from our desires, even though they still exist. By ‘looking’ at them they lose their power, and you are separated from them.

(1) Whatever you see, or look at, is other than you, separate.

(2) You can’t be what you’re looking at (that would beg the question, “Who’s looking?”). 

As long as we are attached to our desires, we are bound by them because we are identified with our attachments to them — we think this is who we are. When attachment is broken, we are set free. The thing we were attached to may remain, but we are no longer its slave. 

Step Two – Surrender

4
Then one must seek that place where, once having gone, one will not return again, and approach the haven of that First Purusha from whom activity anciently streamed forth, and surrender at His feet.

Spiritual HeartNext we must surrender to the Divine, to God, by which we go to this place of non-return, where we will experience for ourselves that our desires need not be chased and captured. These desires, which made us vulnerable to enslavement, do not live here. And now that we have experienced this, even though we inevitably fall back into our normal state of consciousness, we know what we are really looking for, and that these old desires don’t hold a candle to it.

When you let it go of something you want, it can come to you.

This surrender is the essence of “detachment”, which turns out to be a simple thing, and has little to do with giving up or keeping all the things our minds tell us we want to have or to keep.

Once you have been to this place yourself, you are liberated from the cycles of death and rebirth. This place, this haven, is where you will find that First Purusha (Divine Individual) who first accepted You as the same as Himself. This is your Personal God.

This First Purusha is Absolute and so are You. His acceptance of You as the same as Himself, united Him with You. When you accept Him as the same as yourSelf, it is a marriage made in heaven, and your entryway into this heavenly abode. This is called Yoga (‘union’).   

For most human beings, a personal God is more appealing than an abstract Absolute. While one way is not better than the other, the idea of approaching your own Personal God may seem easier and more relevant. And by encountering this Personal God, you reach the Absolute anyway.

Seek and Surrender

Pranama, Bowing Down to Guru

Seek God and surrender at his feet. By surrendering to God, you abandon your ego. You effectively give it to God. By placing your ego at God’s feet, you free yourself from the tyranny of the ego, that sneaky deceiver behind all attachments. This is why one bows at the guru’s feet. If you cannot do this, you cannot truly surrender. 

“God and Guru are two names, but the Truth is that they are forever One.” — Guru Gita 

The dissolution of attachment will begin when you sincerely bow down at your guru’s feet. By this gesture, the power of the ego begins to dissolve, taking attachments with it. This is the purpose of this practice. By it, you will come to God, and you will find that haven where once having gone, you will not be compelled to return again.

What you really are is not different from what God really is.

Namaste (I bow to the divine one that you really are),
Durga Ma
durgama.com

Surrender Meditation

Shaktipat Kundalini Yoga
Spontaneous Experiential Meditation

Slip into a natural state of meditation with ease. Experience the relief of reaching a true meditative state without any effort and without using your will.

Receive shaktipat and become initiated into the original meditation of ancient masters from which meditation techniques were eventually derived.

Increase your knowledge base and begin Shaktipat Kundalini Yoga, Surrender Meditation. Though correct knowledge you will increase your progress by a thousand times, and bring about even deeper meditation and amazing experiences.

Shaktipat Intensives with Durga Ma are held in Phoenix, Arizona


“Every step you take pulls every one of us with you.”

The Whole World Is One Family


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States, Bhagavad Gita, Ch 14, Vs 6 – 9

States of Mind

In the next verses we learn how we get stuck in ignorance (non-enlightenment) based on the effect each guna has on us. In the last post we found that it is the gunas that bind us to our bodies and the physical-material world. In these next verses, we will look more closely at the gunas to better understand the states we get into — states of mind, emotional states, states of being in general — and the role the gunas play in these states, and how they bind us to continuing cycles of death and rebirth. 

6
Among these, sattva is pleasant, pure and illuminating. It binds by attachment to happiness and knowledge.

Sattva - cartoon

“Among these” refers to the three gunas (modes of action) of Nature.

The guna called sattva is easy-going and pleasant, and satisfies our desire to feel good. It is illuminating, meaning that it is enlightening, intellectually or spiritually. Sattva is the guna closest to the characteristics of our True Selves.

In several places throughout the Gita, I have commented on seekers who require that their spirituality make them feel good. Now we know why this is inappropriate — their attachment to this guna keeps them in bondage, and there’s nothing pleasant about bondage (except for its familiarity).

There is nothing wrong with feeling good. Feeling good is not the enemy. The enemy is the attachment to feeling good.

The nature of bondage is that it keeps you in the Relative Realm where everything, including feeling good, is temporary. A siddha guru will lead you to the Real, where Goodness is Absolute and unending, and will bring you to liberation from bondage.  

Under the influence of sattva, the illusion of happiness and the safety of living from the ‘mind’, fool the seeker into believing that the mind is the key to enlightenment. But enlightenment happens when the mind has switched off!  

7
Know that rajas is passion, which arises from desire and binds the embodied one through attachment to actions that bear fruit.Rajas

  • Passion: Intensity. Think of it as very compelling. 
  • Desire: The Sanskrit word for ‘desire’ also means ‘thirst’. This suggests desires that feel more like needs (but aren’t). 

Under the influence of rajas, actions that bear fruit are passionately pursued in order to fulfill desires. This keeps one’s sense of doing (ego) in tact, thus stifling enlightenment, Divine Union and liberation.

8
Know that tamas is responsible for ignorance in all embodied beings. It binds them through lack of knowledge, illusion and lassitude.Tamas

The guna called tamas makes it impossible to grasp Truth because of the state of being identified with the body. This identification is normal. It is how all humans, with very few exceptions, go through their entire lives and remain in bondage lifetime after lifetime. When there is no interest or willingness to rise above this, one is under the control of tamas.  

Tamas is usually translated as ‘ignorance’ or ‘darkness’ because it causes mental delusion, illusion and error due to apathy and laziness, especially where Knowledge is concerned — one doesn’t see well in the dark. This state of ignorance stifles Divine Union and nips liberation in the bud.

9
Sattva binds one to happiness, rajas binds one to fruit-bearing action, and tamas binds one to ignorance through lack of knowledge.

In all three cases, the word ‘binds’ also means ‘captured, ensnared, and overpowered’. As an unconscious response to being completely controlled by the gunas, one to tries to control everything else, including other people. This demonstrates how and why our entire world seems be out of control and under the control of something else: it is. What it is, is the gunas.

Sattva binds one to happiness. Happiness is a state, a state we all like. We either want it or, if we already have it, we want to keep it. In other words, happiness ensnares us. The trap is Attachment.

The Sanskrit word for happiness actually means ‘a well-oiled axel wheel’. In other words, we get snared by the comfort of everything going smoothly. This word for ‘happy’ also means: ‘pleasant, comfortable, prosperous and virtuous’. All these things we see as being good things, can be a trap … if we let them. Remember that the key to getting out from under this, is to not be attached to them, or to the states they produce within us.

It is not happiness that binds, but our attachment to having or keeping it. 

Rajas binds us to fruit-bearing action, actions we do in order to get something we want. When the action is successful, we keep doing it. We’re captivated by doing things and getting the results we want. So we remain in bondage and lose our opportunity for freedom, liberation. 

Tamas binds one to ignorance, the absence of correct Knowledge and enlightenment. This suggests an attachment to the status quo and the reluctance to do the work of changing this situation. But we get complacent and remain captured, ensnared and overpowered by our own lack of enthusiasm for the Knowledge that would set us free.

The implication is that we have the power to obtain the Highest Knowledge mentioned in verses 1 and 2, and that there is a way out of this trap. We can either go for the gold, or remain trapped in an illusory world of phenomena and wait it out while everyone else does all the work. Then we can cash in at the end — that point at which enough of us have moved forward and achieved liberation that everyone else is also freed.

The question is, are you the former or the latter? Are you satisfied to just cruise along, do nothing about advancing yourself and letting everyone else do all the dirty work? Or are you interested enough in getting to the bottom of this God business to get off your duff, do the work, and be a part of the trend toward self-improvement and conscious evolution? If this is you, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. 

Namaste (I bow to the divine one that you really are),
Durga Ma
durgama.com

Surrender Meditation

Shaktipat Kundalini Yoga
Spontaneous Experiential Meditation

Slip into a natural state of meditation with ease. Experience the relief of effortlessly reaching a true meditative state without using your will.

Receive shaktipat and become initiated into the original meditation of ancient masters from which meditation techniques were derived.

Increase your knowledge base and begin Shaktipat Kundalini Yoga: Surrender Meditation. Though correct knowledge you will increase your progress by a thousand times, and bring about even deeper meditation and amazing experiences.

Shaktipat Intensives with Durga Ma are held in Phoenix, Arizona


“Every step you take pulls every one of us with you.”

The Whole World Is One Family