Attaining Godhood – Bhagavad Gita, Ch 18, Vs 50-56

Godhood is Home
Godhood is Home

Attaining Godhood, Part 1

50-51
Now learn from Me briefly, how one who has attained perfection also attains Brahman, the Highest State: The senses are restrained, beginning with sound, the buddhi is pure, and attraction and aversion are abandoned.

He is saying that in attaining Perfection, you are attaining the state of Godhood, and that this is the Highest State. He goes on to tell us how this takes place: With the restraint of the senses (pratyahara), sound being the first, attractions and aversions cease and the buddhi is pure.

How It Works

Pratyahara – introversion and withdrawal of the senses. In this state, when the sense faculties are separated from the sense organs and can no longer bring sense objects (sound, sight, etc.) into the mind, then the buddhi is ‘pure’ (nothing is mixed in with it).

Buddhi – intellect, understanding, logic, reasoning, discrimination, judgement, and sorting things out. Buddhi is the part of the mind that knows the difference among things. It differentiates and understands. In pratyahara, the buddhi is ‘pure’ and free to do its job perfectly because it is not disturbed or distracted by objects entering into the mind via the senses. Then one sees only what is Real (God/Truth).

Pure buddhi – your ability to know, understand what you know, and what to do with it, is free. No tantalizing objects of sense can reach the buddhi because there is a disconnect between your organs of sense and your powers of sense.

Attraction and aversion – likes and dislikes. One’s indifference to them is achieved through pratyahara

“Sound being the first” – The experience of pratyahara, withdrawal or introversion, begins with sound because sound is the subtlest and the most all-encompassing of the five ‘sense objects’. It is directly connected to the whole of Creation, including the body itself. In the state of pratyahara this is experienced as Real and can be heard, felt and seen. 

Conditions for Attainment

52-53
Living alone and relishing solitude, taking recourse in the highest yoga meditation and eating moderately, the body, speech and mind under control and one is indifferent to worldly objects. Egotism, force, arrogance, passion, anger and possessiveness are abandoned, and this peaceful one is fit for Union with Brahman (Absolute God/Truth).

“The highest yoga meditation” – the primary practice of nivritti marga (the path going straight to the Goal).

“The body, speech and mind under control” – in life, this is monitoring them; in meditation this is pratyahara.

“Union with Brahman” – in life, this unification is evidenced by the emergence of the Real You; in meditation one is absorbed into Absolute God.

Success!

54-55
One who is absorbed in Brahman neither grieves loss nor desires gain. Propitious and impartial toward all living beings and devoted to Me, he gains the Highest. Devoted to Me, he comes to know Me as great, and also as I am. Upon truly knowing Me, he immediately enters into Me.

“He comes to know Me as great, and also as I am.” Some translators translate ‘great’ to mean all-pervasive, which is certainly true. Lord Krishna is saying to Arjuna that he will not only come to know Him as something bigger than himself, i.e., His Cosmic Form, but also as He is now — appearing as a human being who is Arjuna’s childhood friend and guru, even though He is also the Cosmic lord of all Creation.  

“Devoted to Me” means that, through constant devotion to Krishna/God, you will know Him completely.  

Upon truly knowing Me, he immediately enters into Me” is to be taken literally. You really do enter into Absolute God. This is called nirbija samadhi. (‘merging together un-caused’). 

Nirbija also means ‘without seed’, without anything left in a potential state of ‘becoming’ because all is now revealed. Samadhi means ‘union, joining together’ as well as ‘sameness’. At this point, you as a human being living on this earth, can enter into Absolute God at the drop of a hat. You will find yourself stopping what you’re doing and going there in an instant, whenever you like. 

56
Even though he performs many actions, he is surrendered to Me, thus attaining the realm of the eternal Imperishable Abode, by My Grace.

God's Eternal Abode“By My Grace” means that it is because of Absolute God Itself that you are able to enter into Absolute God. You have surrendered yourself to That, so That is what you get.

“Even though he performs many actions.” You have surrendered yourself to God, so you most certainly are not the doer of any actions that occur — nothing you do is done by you.

“Thus attaining the realm of the eternal Imperishable Abode” means that you can finally go Home to this realm of existence. At death, rather than some weigh-station where you await your next incarnation and start all over again, you will go Home and you won’t be compelled to return. It also means that while you are here in this world, you have contact with this realm of Immortal Masters.

All of this tells us how little is actually required of us to become God-realized. I cannot otherwise imagine how I have managed to reach this point with so much static, so many obstacles, all my worrying about tomorrow, and so much self-talk of unworthiness, not to mention my feeble attempt at succeeding with this yoga. I am not playing humble, I am telling you this in all honesty, because I want you to understand this one thing: If I can do it, you can do it.

God-realization is not different than Self-realization.

This is where all your reticence should end. Now you know that all these verses, in all these eighteen chapters, are telling you the same thing, over and over in different ways, so that you can finally get the message. If Arjuna can do it, you can do it. In chapter one we heard Arjuna stating his reticence only to find that everything he said was true, even though he did not understand his own revelations.

This last chapter is also telling you everything all over again. The question is, do you understand it? If not, get on board the train that goes there, do the work, and you will discover that this work is not only not difficult, but brings enormous satisfaction and the greatest happiness and joy.

The next question is, Do you want it? If you don’t, or if you’re not sure, consider the alternatives. It’s a no-brainer. 

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

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Beyond Bondage, Bhagavad Gita, Ch 14, Vs 21-27

Yogini liberated from bondage of the gunas

21
Arjuna spoke:
What are the signs of those who have gone beyond the three gunas? How do they act? How do they get beyond these three gunas?

Alternate translation:
What are the characteristics of someone who has transcended the three gunas? How do they do it, and what does it look like?

22 – 23
The Blessed Lord spoke:
He neither likes nor dislikes the presence or absence of illumination, passion or ignorance. Situated in the neutrality of sameness, he knows that these are merely the gunas in motion, and unshaken, he stands firm.   

One who has transcended the three gunas has transcended the like or dislike of the enlightenment of sattva, the desire-driven activities of rajas, and the non-enlightenment of tamas. Knowing all this to be merely the gunas in action, one is not fooled by them, but remains firm in the practice of yoga (union). 

24 – 25
He is self-composed and the same in difficulty and ease, equally disposed toward the desirable and the undesirable, and looks upon a clod, a stone, and a piece of gold as the same. He remains the same in pleasant and unpleasant circumstances. He is intelligent, and accepts both praise and blame with equanimity. He remains the same in honor and dishonor, treats both friend and enemy alike, and avoids new undertakings. Thus he is said to have transcended the guṇas. 

Anandamayi Ma
Anandamayi Ma

I can see how people might stop their sadhana when reaching this point. This is not familiar territory. One feels like a failure and is self-critical for being useless and not getting anything done. One feels apathetic, and it seems as if one were steeped in tamas. However, this turns out to be the sameness, or indifference, mentioned in these verses, but it is so unfamiliar that it looks like tamas. So it can take a while to see it for what it really is: the onset of trigunatita (‘three-gunas-gone-beyond’).

Shirdi Sai Baba
Shirdi Sai Baba

Have you ever felt intimidated by God, imagining that seeing God, He would be stoic and immovable, and a little inaccessible? I know what you mean. I think about my lineage and see them this way. And yes, I feel … well, I don’t know whether to say ‘humble’ or ‘overawed’ or a little of both. But it turns out that what I am really seeing is a group of people who have transcended the three gunas. There is a striking difference between stoicism or aloofness and trigunatita — they have ‘gone beyond the gunas‘. Nothing rattles them. They fit the descriptions in these verses.

26 – 27
Serving Me with undeviated devotion and transcending the gunas, he becomes absorbed into Brahman (Absolute God). 
For I stand firmly in immortal imperishable Brahman, and the eternal dharma of unending Happiness.

  • Undeviated devotionbhakti (devotion) yoga (uniting) seva (service to guru, the teacher).
  • I – Lord Krishna
  • Eternal dharma – the way things are in the Absolute
Swami Kripalvananda (Kripalu)
Swami Kripalvanandaji (Kripalu)

These verses tell us how we can become absorbed into Brahman: By singular devotion to God to the extent that everything you do in your life is in service to God and Guru. You are fixed on That, so what other outcome could there possibly be?

You become what you worship.

In this way, you become absorbed into Absolute God, and the activities of the gunas no longer have any effect on you. Then, because Absolute God is beyond the gunas, your absorption into God is inevitable. 

To apply this to your own situation, just remember who Krishna really is: He is Arjuna’s guru, so by devotion and service to your guru you can overpower the influences of the gunas and become absorbed in Brahman (Absolute God). Without taking this road, there is no escaping the gunas for human beings. The best most of us can do is to aspire to become more sattvic overall, for sattva is the guna closest to what we are really like as Divine Individuals.

There is, however, this state of trigunatita (‘three-gunas-gone beyond’) in which one is not in a state produced by any of the gunas. Instead, one’s state is Real rather than phenomenal. This state can be experienced in yoga meditation done correctly: the surrender of oneself to Absolute God in meditation.

All actions are the interactions of the gunas of Nature. 

All action occurs in Nature, but the Real You is not Nature, and is therefore not involved in action. It is the predominance of a guna that causes certain actions, not You. What You really are is an eternal non-doer.

This chapter gives examples of what causes certain actions to take place, and how you can rise above these guna influences. The state that is beyond them all surfaces when the individual is not in a state of doership — when there is no sense of ‘doing’ going on. This takes place in small bites through meditation practiced correctly, and eventually becomes the full and complete state of trigunatita.

Namaste (I bow to the divine one that you really are),
Durga Ma
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The Way of Eternal Truth – Bhagavad Gita, Ch 12, Vs 20

Hanuman & Krishna
Hanuman, the monkey god. His devotion was so complete that he attained supernatural powers and cheated death.

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 perfect devotion and eternal life.


20
Those who faithfully follow this Eternal Dharma as described, regarding Me as the Supreme Goal, these devotees are exceedingly beloved by Me.

Bhakti is said to be the easiest path. This is easy to understand, for when you are in love, you naturally experience surrender to the beloved. Even when making love with someone, there is a moment of surrender that causes a culmination that gives you a short period of bliss. In a similar fashion, because you love God you will surrender to God. In this case, you will get more than a short period of bliss, and a deeper bliss. God is eternal, You are eternal, and your beloved God is eternally loving You. It is a match made in heaven.

  • Bhakti — devotion, love, adoration, affection, faith, trust, commitment, worship, assumption of the form of, loyalty, dedication, fondness for, affection, reverence, homage, making obeisance by bending down in devotion, surrendering to.
Radha and Krishna
Radha and Krishna

If you have ever been in love, you know what it feels like to be surrendered. If you did not experience this, you were not in love. The practice of entering into this devotional state in meditation, and allowing yourself to surrender yourself to God, is the practice of Natural Meditation. Just as you forget everything when you are with your beloved, you forget everything other than God when you surrender to God in meditation — desires, getting experiences, expectations, preconceived notions of all kinds. Now, loving God with no strings attached, you are positioned to experience the bliss of God’s love.

Eternal Life

Eternal Dharma – The Way of Eternal Truth, Sanatana Dharma. The way things really are in the Absolute — not your truth or my truth, but Absolute Truth, Absolute God.

In this verse, the Sanskrit word for Eternal, amṛta, also means ‘immortal, imperishable’. Amṛta also means ‘the collective body of immortals, the world of immortality, eternity, the Immortal Light, the nectar conferring immortality, an antidote against poison (impurities), and the residue of the sacrifice (of surrender).’

Dharma is ‘The Way’. The ingesting of the residue of the sacrifice (chapter 3 vseses 9 and 10) along with tapas (internal heat) is the means of reaching this state. This can only occur when the evolutionary force (kundalini) is in full charge — fully awakened and established at the ajna chakra (sixth energy center in the body). One must be willing and prepared to spend considerable time to attain this state. It will not happen through willful practices, or at a shaktipat intensive.

This awakening is not the same thing as Enlightenment, though Enlightenment can inspire you to begin and will be an additional benefit. Nor is it the same thing as an awakening experience, or even a direct experience of who or what you are. It is a journey that must be taken. It will not happen all at once, because it involves the physical body, not just the mind or feelings. Things that happen in the physical-material realm are naturally slower compared to thought or feeling, but must align with Truth as surely as the mind and feelings. 

Fully Awakened Kundalini at Home

The fully awakened form of the evolutionary force (kundalini) is achieved only through complete surrender of oneself to Absolute God. Willful paths are useless at this point. The use of the will always harnesses the some or all of the energy that must be free for this to take place. Using techniques, which require willpower, will defeat it.

The will is always engaged when using a technique. Anything that you do for any purpose, is a technique. You are probably thinking, “That covers everything! So what am I to do?”

You will need to start with not more than two hours each day (and yes, you can make time for this). And you will need knowledge and guidance. You will not be able to achieve this without both. Do not fool yourself that you can do it on your own. This process is much too simple for the mind to comprehend (minds do not like ‘simple’), and much too complicated for it to unravel alone.

You will have to learn true surrender over time through your own experience in meditation, and it isn’t what you think it is, based on the trendy notions about surrender that are currently in vogue. This is a precise practice involving the science of meditation.

Correct practice requires correct knowledge.
Knowledge without practice is useless.

The first thing you will need is shaktipat, the receiving of Divine Power that initiates the release of the Life Force in the body so it can awaken kundalini. Then you will need a practice to maintain it. At this point you must seek the path of surrender and find a guru who knows the way. You will have to avoid willful spiritual practices altogether. You may be disinclined to take a guru, but you must overcome this stricture and take a chance. It is not doable any other way.

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