The Place of No Return – Bhagavad Gita, Ch 15, Vs 5-7

Absolute

5
Those who are free of pride and enslavement by the dark night of attachment, are freed from dualities. Having withdrawn from objects of desire and no longer deluded, they dwell in the True Self, and attain the feet of the Eternal.

  • Pride – self-importance, arrogance, vanity, self-adulation, egotism.
  • Enslavement – bound, attached.
  • Freed from dualities – such as ease and dis-ease, pleasure and pain, etc.
  • True Self – The Real You, a divine, perfect, imperishable individual.

In the previous verse on overcoming Attachment, it was said that one must then seek that place where, once having gone, one will not return again … and surrender at His feet. This verse reveals what happens when you do this: you are free, you are not affected by dualities, and you dwell in your True Self — you are your Real Self, the Real You. That’s what happens when you surrender to God. 

When you “dwell in the True Self,” you will have no desires pulling at you because you will have the very thing you have lived for all these many lifetimes. You have discovered that by surrendering yourself to God, you get God; and when you get God, you get your True Self. This is the easiest way to Self-realization. It happens automatically because God and the Real Self are not different. But trying to get your True Self first, or trying to circumvent God altogether in order to get to your True Self, you will fail. The KEY to Self-realization is God-realization … because God and the Real You are not different.

If you believe that you have achieved Self-realization and did so without first realizing God, you are fooling yourself. Many people start this way, but if they are truly Self-realized, they will be the first to tell you that it was God as other-then-self that made it so. 

The key to Self-realization is God-realization

When you “dwell in the True Self,” dualities, like ease and dis-ease, happiness and unhappiness, like and dislike, good and evil, will become neutralized. “Pride and enslavement by the darkness of attachment” will be a distant memory, and you will wonder how in the world could you ever have been so deluded.

It is not desire itself that binds us, but rather our attachments to our desires.

6
Neither the sun nor the moon nor fire illumine that abode of Mine. Once having gone to that place, one does not return again.

Natural light sources of sun, moon and fire do not illumine His Abode. By now in your meditation, you have visited amazing places where everything shone of their own light, so light sources were not present. This was sabija samadhi. But now, because of the mention of non-return, we find that you have graduated to nirbija samadhi, that ‘place’ where there is no light source because there is no-thing to see. The only thing present here is the unending happiness, rolling bliss, and the complete fulfillment of union with Absolute God/Truth. Having reached it, you are liberated from the cycles of death and rebirth — “one does not return again.”

7
A small part of My Eternal Self, becoming endowed with life in the world of the living, draws the five senses, with the mind as the sixth, to exist in material nature.

Krishna & Radha
Krishna and Radha as Purusha and Prakriti

A part of God went with You when you became embodied. This caused Your inherent powers of perception and consciousness to become manifest in material nature as five physical sense organs and a brain.

The sense organs are your means of perception (consciousness of), which are received by the brain and mind. These are powers that you have as a living being because they are inherent to the Real You (which is absolute). Here in this world (which is relative), they are the manifestations of your power to Know, drawn into material nature (manifested) by God-in-you: Purushottama.  

While God may seem to be many separate small parts in all of the many separate and different Beings, He is nevertheless what He Is: God, unlimited and Absolute God within each of us here in the Relative Realm of this world.

The powers that you have as a Divine Individual to see, hear, feel, taste, smell and know, become manifest as eyes, ears, skin, tongue, nose and brain. Absolute God’s presence within you makes it so.

Parvati & Shiva
Parvati and Shiva as Prakriti and Purusha

Knowing this, one might be more inclined to put aside trying to using these powers to gratify desires, and instead, reach for the Divine Force that is behind them. This Divine Force is not different than You.

Here in this world, all things known by the mind are obtained by means of the senses.

The ‘Highest Purusha’ is the Divine Individual in the Absolute who first accepted you unconditionally, and as the same as Himself. This relationship you have with Absolute God has caused your ability to Know, to become manifest in the material world as five physical senses so that you can experience it.

Purusha & Prikriti in the Absolute

  • Purusha – a Divine Individual who perceives one or more other Divine Individuals
  • Prakriti – a Divine Individual perceived by one or more other Divine Individuals

Purusha & Prikriti in the Relative Realm

  • Purusha – the Real You 
  • Prakriti – Real Divine Others — all Others that you perceive (even though you erroneously perceive them as Nature)

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

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If You Can’t Do That, Do This – Bhagavad Gita, Ch 12, Vs 9 – 10

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The mind is made of consciousness. You have a brain because you have a mind.
The mind is made of consciousness. You have a brain because you have a mind.

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 what to do if you are unable to practice as taught in the previous verses in order to reach Self Realization as described in verse 8.


Previously in verse 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.

Now we begin a string of what are usually considered to be different ways of proceeding if you can’t do as taught in verse 8. But they can also be seen additional practices. Or you might consider them as different ways to understand the same thing. Those of you who practice surrender sadhana will find that they represent different forms your meditation will naturally take with the arising of kriyas.

9
If you are not able to keep your attention fixed on Me, practice Yoga with your desire to reach Me.

Alternate translation:
If you are unable to be firm, fix your attention on your desire for Me and then practice Yoga.

Your Attention flows from you to Other-than-you so you can be conscious of it.
Your Attention flows from you to what is other-than-you so you can be conscious of it.

“Keep your attention fixed on Me”

The Sanskrit for Attention is chitta. The root (cit) is the same as for ‘consciousness’.

The sole purpose of Yoga is to reach God/Truth, and liberation from the cycles of birth and death. This is accomplished by establishing a steady flow of Attention on Absolute God/Truth. This is also the definition of ‘meditation’, and reveals the dependence on meditation for successful spiritual development and self-improvement.

  • Attention is a flow of consciousness to anything you can be conscious of.
  • Meditation is a steady flow of attention to one thing..

Meditation

Your perception is dependent on your Attention flowing to something that can be perceived, so you may see in some translations, “Meditate on Me.” This is saying that your Attention must become established on only one thing—”Me”, God—so that only God/Truth is what you are conscious of.  

The simple expedient of surrendering to Absolute God/Truth is the obvious shortcut. By surrendering yourself to God in meditation, the attention becomes established on God without you having to do anything to make it so.

We westerners like to think that all we need to do to meditate is to think about something, even if it is the the now, the silence, the void. Even dictionaries define meditation as ‘thinking things over’. But “meditate on Me” does not mean that you should think about God and try to sustain that thought. Well, this is close, but the Attention must be anchored and established exclusively on God, not on a thought. Attention is the key.

Attention is consciousness moving from the mind to perceive things so that you are conscious of them. In this verse, you are being asked to choose Absolute God/Truth instead of other things, and if you can’t do that, to allow your attention be drawn to, and fixed on, your desire for God/Truth.

Desire

“Practice Yoga with your desire to reach Me”

The practice of yoga has been described over and over again, most recently in verses 6 – 7. This verse is telling you what to do if and when you can’t keep your attention on God: Let your Attention go to your desire for God, and allow your Attention to stay on that desire. This is a tricky little subterfuge, for with your Attention on your desire for God/Truth, your Attention is on God. You are using desire, which can otherwise be troublesome, to bring you into union with God. In this case, desire is not the enemy. Instead, it will save you. 

This desire is the key to yoga. In another place in the Gita, Lord Krishna says, “I am that desire in man which is not contrary to dharma (Truth).” So by letting your mind become fixed on your desire for God, on the fulfillment of this desire for God, and your feelings of devotion for God, you will get God because this desire IS God.

Your desire for God is God

10
If you try repeatedly and still cannot keep your attention on Me, hold My action as the Highest Action and assume My state. Thus by performing action you will attain success.

Alternate translation:
If you try repeatedly and still cannot do this, then hold My Highest Action as My state, and assuming My state, perform action anyway, and you will attain success.

In Meditation

Lord Krishna is calling this meditation His ‘Highest Action’. Everything He is saying is in this context. There is a saying among those of us who practice this yoga, that one acts “as if” until it is so. So if you are not successful practicing according to the former instructions, act as if you were—assume His state as a non-doer, and perform actions anyway.

“Mentally renouncing one’s sense of being the doer of actions (you surrender yourself to God), the embodied one (You) sits happily as the Master within the city of nine gates (the body), not acting or causing action.” Ch 5, Vs 13By following this instruction, actions will occur spontaneously on their own.

He is saying in effect, “Don’t worry about it, just go ahead anyway. Don’t get caught up in trying to figure out who or what is doing these actions, just let action take care of itself.” If you assume His state you won’t interfere with actions that want to take place. So in your meditation, act as if actions are happening on their own and that you are doing nothing, even if it seems like you are.

The reason this works is because you really are not doing it. All action occurs in Nature, and you are not Nature. So taking this position will get you to a place where all doubt and confusion about who or what is doing or causing action, will disappear.

This Highest Action refers to this spontaneous action that occurs as a result of surrendering yourself to God in meditation. When you approach yoga with this surrender, you are guaranteed success. How could it be otherwise?

In Everyday Life

You may not always find yourself in a situation where this yoga can be practiced. In this case, whatever you do in your daily life, do it for God. You can think of this in more than one way: You can offer whatever you do, whatever you have, whatever you enjoy, to God. You can offer the results of what you do to God. Or you can see God as the actor and yourself as the instrument for God’s purposes rather than your own. This easy practice is very clever, for it will serve to keep your Attention on God, even in the midst of chaos!

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

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Commentary on the Terrifying Vision of Krishna’s Cosmic Form

Destruction of the World

Bhagavad Gita, ch 11, vs 9 – 31

All this began in verse three, with Arjuna acknowledging Lord Krishna as Absolute God, and asking Him to show him His true form. To make this possible for Arjuna, Krishna gives him Divine Sight, the ability to perceive without the senses.

The key to understanding what happens to Arjuna next is in the word ‘form’.

Krishna has identified Himself as Purushottama, First Purusha, the first Divine Individual in the Absolute to know Other-than-Self. The beginning of everything is in this dynamic of Self and Other. Thus is all of Creation compelled to unfold as a manifestation of duality. So when Arjuna asks to see Lord Krishna’s Cosmic Form, what he doesn’t realize is that he has asked to see this dual phenomenon, and that is what he gets.

At first, he sees the Lord’s beautiful and glorious appearance, but this quickly becomes terrifying. Krishna has complied with Arjuna’s request literally—Absolute God has revealed His form, which, by its very nature, is Relative. 

This revelation amounts to being able to perceive the extraordinary and amazing beauty of the world, and then to find oneself fully aware of the horrifying realities endured by those who inhabit it. This aspect is given more time than the fun part, the beauty, and reveals to us that these unhappy features of this world are its prominent features. If we haven’t been motivated to seek Absolute God before now, surely this should do the job. 

Everything Is Absolutely Relative

“Earth, water, fire, air, ether, mind, intelligence and individual self-sense, are the eight parts of my relative nature—such is My inferior nature. But know this as different from My highest absolute existence by which this world is sustained.” — Lord Krishna, Bhagavad Gita, Ch 7, vs 4 – 5

I have spoken of the Absolute and the Relative many times. It answers so many questions, including the many queries I have received asking such questions as, “Why does God let there be so much suffering in the world?” or “How can people do such terrible things to each other?” “If God is all there is, how can this be?” “Why does God not stop all this suffering?” These are good questions, and their answers are essentially the same.

We live in a dualistic world. Here, everything is dependent upon everything else. It is a world of interdependence and constant change. Everything that exists, exists along with its opposite and everything in between: good and evil, black and white, male and female, stop and go, up and down, do and don’t, etc. 

Destruction of the World

In this world, suffering, as well as joy and everything in between, is the result of all of us and the choices we make. The Real Self of each of us is Absolute and completely harmless, but as beings who make choices, we often make choices that are not aligned with this Real Self. The result is unhappiness and suffering, and it contaminates everyone. So the answer to this question is, “God is not responsible for this. People are.”

‘People’ is what we are Being, but we are really Divine Individuals. Everything else is packaging that encloses and hides the Real Self, even from ourselves. 

As Divine Individuals, we all have absolute and unlimited power, the fundamental power of which is the power of choice. This power is intrinsic to our divine nature as Absolute Individuals. If it were possible for this power to leave us, this world cease to exist, for Creation and this world are the effects of our having engaged it.

Destruction of the World

Being human gives us the opportunity to comprehend the Divine Absolute, the highest nature of God/Truth, and the Divine Relative, the inferior nature of God/Truth. We can then comprehend the Relative existence of the world in both its glorious and terrible aspects, and play our part in mitigating the suffering of its inhabitants. We do this by moving our human selves closer to our Real Selves. This requires that we also see the truth about ourselves.

This is not easy because we all have things about ourselves that we are ashamed of and don’t want to see. But we must become self-honest about everything. We cannot expect to face Truth until we can face the truth about ourselves—all those embarrassing things along with the good. Only then will we allow ourselves to know ourselves as we truly are: Divine Absolute Individuals. By knowing what we really are and acting accordingly, we automatically mitigate the suffering of others.

All actions in this world are the result of choices made. Even making a choice is itself an action. This power to choose is the power to act, and is inherent in of each of us as Divine Individuals. It sometimes appears that we have no power, or have lost our power, but this is not so. Our power can never go away. It is the loss of options that makes it seem that we have lost, or never had, power.

Because we feel powerless, we are afraid of losing good things, and we are afraid of death. But there is no escaping this without letting go of all our attachments to life, to good things, to not getting bad things, and all the everyday desires that rule our lives. But it is not the desires themselves, but their rulership that must be overcome, so that they do not rule the choices we make.

What we really are is not found in our attachments and desires, or in their acquisition. Nor is it to be found in all the time we spend trying to make them happen. What we really are is found only in the Absolute.

Self Realization

Lord Krishna has tried to give us some idea of how He exists within this world, but this is very difficult to comprehend. Once having truly comprehended it though, one may be said to be Self-realized, which is not really any different than God-realized. Only the means of reaching it is different, in the same way that going into a room through a different door can make the room appear to be different.

Two Doors

Door Number One 

The first door has to do with a deeply personal practice that is done in complete privacy: Meditation. Its purpose is to bring freedom and personal experience of God/Truth. In this meditation you surrender to Absolute God/Truth and let That manage your meditation.

With meditation practiced in this manner, actions happen but are not of your doing. You are not responsible for actions occurring during this time, in this private place. You have surrendered yourself to Absolute God/Truth and effectively gotten your ego (“I do”) out of the way. 

Surrendering yourself to Absolute God/Truth in meditation is easier, and by far the most promising expedient, as opposed to the willful practice of using techniques. Lord Krishna has taught this many times, in many ways, and will undoubtedly do so again. 

You get what you surrender to

Door Number Two 

This door has to do with practices outside of meditation. In your everyday life, you employ practices that have to do with your true Self as it exists within the context of life in this world. You do this by learning, following and practicing universal principles based on the nature of the divine Real You.

These practices are done throughout your day. You don’t have to set aside extra time. By practicing them, you train yourself to be more like the Divine Individual that you really are, until one day, you realize how effortless this is. It has become effortless because you are now acting more in sync with the real divine You. As you progress in this, you will naturally become happier and more satisfied with your life.

Mindful Life Meditation & Mastery

Now you will understand why I have developed programs for accommodating both of these Doors. Because as Divine Individuals we are all the same, every step forward any one of us takes will pull all of us forward. This is inevitable. In this way…..

You can be happy and save the world.

For more on how this works, read “The Net” in “The Cosmic Form of Lord Krishna”.

Your own efforts toward your own Self-realization, or God-realization, is a service to the world and everyone in it. Your own happiness makes the world a happier place.

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

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