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Arjuna’s Depression – Bhagavad Gita 1:1

The Bhagavad Gita – Chapter 1, Vs 1

ARJUNA’S DEPRESSION

1
Dhirtarashtra said:  O Samjaya, about my sons of the field of doers, and the sons of Pandu of the field of dharma, eager to fight, tell me what they are doing.  

Characters:

Dhritarashtra – Dhritarashtra was the blind king. The name means, ‘one whose empire is firmly held’. 

Samjaya – The king’s minister. The name means, ‘victorious’.

What is going on:

A conflict is about to take place on the battlefield. Dhritarashtra, who was king and is blind, is asking his minister, Samjaya, to tell him what is going on between his son’s army and the opposing army. His son leads the armies of the Kurus. The armies of the Pandavas are lined up against him.

Because Dhritarashtra is blind, he tells his minister, Samjaya, who has the power to see at a distance, to tell him what is going on. The result is that we get to listen in as Samjaya reports events to Dhritarashtra. This is the source of a dialogue that makes up the content of the Bhagavad Gita. The dialogue is between Arjuna, one of the Pandavas, and Krishna, Arjuna’s guru and childhood best friend who has come over from the other side to drive Arjuna’s chariot for him. But this is another story.

The Two Fields
The field of dharma (truth, divine law, virtue)¹ and the field of kuru (doership, will, ‘ego’).

Think of ‘field’ as a scope of influence and action. The field of the Pandavas is dharma, Truth. The field of the Kurus² (from, kri, ‘to do’) is doership. These two, Truth and doership, have come together in one place to contend their right to rule the kingdom, thus implying that Truth and doership do not tend to get along well with one another.

What does all this have to do with you? 

As a king, Dhritarashtra represents a ruler. His blindness represents ignorance—he is unenlightened. Because he cannot ‘see’ and must have his minister relate events to him, we draw the obvious conclusion that this indicates perception that is indirect on the part of the unenlightened, whereas the perception of one who ‘sees’ is direct. So we have ‘ignorance’ as ‘ruler’ of the ‘kingdom’.

What rules you and your kingdom? You will find the answer to this question in what you want. Do you want Truth, or do you want to be in control? Do you want Truth to rule, or do you want to do everything yourself? The setup of this story seems to be telling us that there is no middle ground where this is concerned.

The rightful ruler is Truth, dharma.
Doership (will) has usurped the thrown.
A conflict is inevitable.

The conflict between the Kurus and the Pandavas represents a clash of opposing forces that occurs when attempting to right this situation. The clash is the coming together of two opposing energies in the body of the person engaged in this endeavor. This union of sun-energy and moon-energy (ha-tha yoga) in the body³ awakens the evolutionary force (kundalini). Once awake and active, the evolutionary force begins the process of doing what is necessary to correct the situation. This process is explained by Lord Krishna in His dialogue with Arjuna, his devotee, and makes up the content of the Bhagavad Gita (Song of God).

Ignorance, the state of the unenlightened, is indirect perception. Dhritarashtra represents ignorance as the ruler of one’s kingdom—your perception, actions, and life in general. But there is someone with you who perceives directly, and can ‘see’. This individual knows what’s going on, and will tell you everything if you ask. But it will be up to you to understand what is being conveyed to you by this individual … and by this scripture, for it is this individual who is conveying it.

FOOTNOTES:

¹ dharma means law, the true essence of anything, and Truth in the absolute sense, i.e., sanatana dharma, ‘Eternal Truth’.

² The physical place, Kurukshetra, is located north of Delhi near Pranipat.

³ The Kurus are of the race of the Moon, and the Pandavas are of the race of the Sun.

Jaya Bhagavan(Victory to God!)
Durga Ma

** For those who are participating in the Gita studygroup with Anandi, the first Zoom discussion will be help Sunday, June 28th @ 11amEST.  For assistance and questions please email anandibhagavan@gmail.com


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The Diamond Shloka – Bhagavad Gita, Ch 18, Vs 64-66

Absolute (unconditional) Surrender to Absolute God will get you to Absolute God
God and Me

Absolute God, whether personal God or the abstract Absolute, is Absolute Goodness, Love and Happiness.

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Now hear Me again, concerning this most profound secret of all. You are certainly loved by Me, so what I speak is for your benefit:

Now, because you are still contemplating this secret teaching, out of love for you, Lord Krishna is going to try again to bring it home and awaken you, because it is for your benefit to know it. 

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Devoted to Me, always thinking of Me, surrender to Me, and offer pranamas to Me, and you will doubtless come to Me. This is my promise to you, for you are dear to Me.

“Offer pranamas to Me” means ‘to bow down to, to make obeisance to, make reverential salutation and show adoration’. This is pranama, ‘bowing down in respectful salutation to God and Guru. If you are able to do this, you are ready and able to surrender to God in meditation (Surrender Meditation: shaktipat kundalini yoga).

The purpose of pranama is to increase your ability to surrender to God.

The Diamond Shloka

(shloka – verse in duple meter) 

Now we come to the Diamond Shloka. It is so called because it is the verse within this Gita that is the KEY to everything Lord Krishna has been teaching Arjuna (and us), and all of it is contained in this one single verse:

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Abandon all dharmas and take refuge in Me alone, and I will give you freedom from all evils. Fear not!

  • Evils – misfortunes and sorrows
  • Fear not, also means, ‘grieve not’.
  • Freedom is from the Sanskrit word, moksha, which has to do with being free of recurring cycles of death, rebirth, and the influences of the past (samsara).

SurrenderAlternate translation:
Abandon all ‘shoulds’ and surrender only to Me, and I will liberate you from all misfortunes and sorrows. Fear not!

  • Misfortunes – The word for misfortunes means just about everything from suffering to bad luck.  

“Abandon all dharmas and surrender only to Me.”
In this verse, the word dharma is plural — rules, laws, duties, responsibilities, etc. This suggests that we should take the meaning of dharmas to be concerned with the laws of man, rather than with the singular law of Truth, the Absolute.

Relying on ‘shoulds’ is not surrender, renunciation, or sacrifice, and does not lead to the highest Yoga (Divine Union), or to liberation. It is only through surrender “to Me”, Absolute God, that one can reach God/Truth, become liberated and freed of all misfortunes, sorrows and fears.

SurrenderLord Krishna is also using dharmas to get across the idea of how to meditate correctly by suggesting what not to do: You do not to try to control your meditation or try to do it yourself, but you leave everything to God.

In this kind of meditation, in the secured privacy of your meditation room, you are to abandon all rules and surrender only to Absolute God/Truth.

  • You do not surrender to anything but God. 
  • You do not surrender to anything that comes up in your meditation.
  • You do not concern yourself with what you think your meditation should be like. 
  • You abandon any sense of doing anything yourself, however much it may seem to you that you have caused everything.

Abandon all ‘shoulds’ and surrender to me only, and I will give you freedom and deliver you from all misfortunes, fears and sorrows.

Only

“Only” means that your surrender should never be mixed with anything that is not Absolute God — no matter what your word is for That. 

After forty years of surrender yoga sadhana, I still catch myself falling into this trap. It’s that easy. I will give you an example:

I am in a dither about what is coming, and it isn’t pretty. I can see ahead to it, and find no solution for it. I can either be a worry-wart and get stressed out trying to find some kind of solution, or I can surrender to God completely. I choose God. And here is where it gets interesting:

My mind pictures me dying of some exotic disease in the streets of Phoenix, friendless and alone, with not a penny to my name, and talking to God and asking for help that never comes. It is such a subtle thing, hanging out in the peripheral vision of the mind, that at first I don’t realize what is happening. Then, the minute I look, it slips away as something else takes it place, and I miss its message. But sometimes I miss it because of correct reasoning. Two and two makes four. Who can disregard correct reasoning, right?

No, not right. I have had so many experiences of being at the edge of the abyss and about to fall in, when God steps in saying, “Well, here we are again, my dear,” lifts the situation, parks it on the side of the road, and takes me Home for a visit.

Yet this still small voice of reason continues to try to exert itself. What is happening is that this world is so dense, thick and demanding, that it seems to be the only reality. The mind says, “Well shucks, All is God, so how can I miss?” And even though one understands that this Relative (‘inferior’) aspect of God is something they most certainly should not surrender to, it is easy to miss seeing it for what it is. 

It is possible to surrender to something without meaning to. There is no awareness of having surrendered. No choice was consciously made to surrender. In this case, it is not a matter of tricky reasoning or intention, or even mentally based coercion. I suspect that, in this case, one is so conditioned to adapt to the wishes and demands of other’s, that it is automatic. One just gives in.  

So between tricky reasoning, inappropriate intention, and mentally based coercion, there lies this unconscious giving-in to circumstances. Anyone can fall into any of these, or any combination of them, at any time — in the meditation room, or in daily life.     

These two verses are what has saved me every time:  

Earth, water, fire, air, ether, mind, intelligence and ego constitute the divisions of My eightfold material nature (relative). Such is My inferior nature, but otherwise know My Highest nature (absolute) by which all life is sustained.  — Chapter 7, verses 4-5.

Now do you see why I refer to the God we surrender to in meditation as Absolute God? This distinction is crucial. You do not surrender to the “All Is God” kind of God, but ONLY to Absolute God.

I hope that sharing this with you will help you to remember this critical distinction concerning Absolute God, and surrender ONLY to That. No matter how you think of God, or what name you give It, or whether you conceive of God as personal or impersonal, never, never, never surrender to anything other than Absolute God.

You (absolute) are a god in a body made of God being human (relative).

  • Relative – subject to change; existing only in relation to something else; having characteristics only in comparison to something else; something whose existence is dependent on something else.

This is what you do not surrender to: people, places, things, circumstances, situations, or beings of any kind, even spirits, guides, angles, etc., however divine they may be. 

  • Absolute – unchanging; independent; having unrestricted power; not qualified or diminished in any way; not subject to any limitation; existing independently and not in relation to anything else, or dependent on anything else; Ultimate Reality, God.

This is what you consciously choose to surrender to: Absolute God Only.

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

A Law Unto Yourself – Bhagavad Gita, Ch 9, Vs 29-31

“Toward all living beings I am the same. None is disliked or favored by Me. But those who worship Me with devotion, they are in Me and I am also in them. Even if an evil-doer worships Me exclusively with love and devotion, he is considered to be righteous, for he is certainly rightly resolved. A law unto himself, he goes quickly to everlasting peace and the end of sorrows. So be aware: My devotee is never lost.” — Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 9, Verses 29-31

29
Toward all living beings I am the same. None is disliked or favored by Me. But those who worship Me with devotion, they are in Me and I am also in them.

Alternate translation:
In all living beings I am the same. Any prejudice or judgement would therefore be impossible. But those who practice this yoga with devotion to Me, become united with Me—they are in Me and I am in them. We are as one.

“In all living beings I am the same”
You may remember in chapter two we were taught the difference between the embodied one and the being:  “…we are eternally unified in WHAT we are regardless of what we are BEING, and even as beings, we are still made of the same stuff, for God is all there is. So both in WHO and WHAT we really are and in BEING human, we are eternally united by the commonality of our sameness (WHAT we are), our individuality (WHO we are) and our everlasting existence.”

Worship With Devotion

Those who worship Me with devotion, they are in Me and I am also in them.
Those who worship Me with devotion, they are in Me and I am also in them.

“Those who worship Me with devotion, they are in Me, and I am also in them”

Over the course of these chapters we have come to understand the use of words like ‘worship’ and ‘ritual’ to refer to the practice of the secret yoga as making a ‘sacrificial offering’—we surrender ourselves to that Absolute God that is behind everything.

This ‘ritual’ is done in the context of what we think of as meditation until someday, perhaps years or even lifetimes from now, or maybe even tomorrow, our devotion is absolute and surrender is complete. We are devoted only to God, and the sacrificial offering is not just our bodies, feelings and mind, but our entire lives. We live in God and God lives in us.

I and My Father are One. — Lord Jesus

The beauty of Yoga is that it is not biased and is available to anyone, regardless of religious affiliation. Yoga is universal.

The “secret yoga” is universal. When it is misunderstood it is misused. Its understanding requires that one’s yoga practice (call it what you will) be directed only to Absolute God, so that personal experience in meditation opens the door to reveal it.

One who truly seeks Absolute God, will seek out a guru who knows the way. One who tries to boot-strap it is trying to satisfy the ego (ahamkara – “I can do it myself”) This person is not exclusively devoted to God, but to himself, so by definition he cannot succeed.

30
Even if an evil-doer worships Me exclusively with adoration and devotion, he is considered to be righteous, for he is certainly rightly resolved. 

Consider Jesus on the cross addressing the thief at his side and saying, “Truly I tell you, today you shall be with me in Paradise.”

Anyone with a negative ego strong enough to convince that person that he or she is not worthy of this practice can now let go of this mistaken idea. One need only ‘worship’ God exclusively with undivided love and devotion as it has been spelled out to us in these verses. Then…..

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A law unto himself, he goes quickly to everlasting peace and the end of sorrows, Arjuna. So be aware: My devotee is never lost.

Not some day, not maybe, but certainly and quickly. Such devotion is guaranteed to bring you to God. The only question is, do you want God?

If you want something else more than you want God, then your devotion is not exclusive. The bling of desired objects and objectives, duties and responsibilities, only hold you back from your own joy, the happiness of your own natural state. Yes, you do deserve this. If an “evil-doer” deserves it, you certainly do, no matter what your negative ego tells you. 

A Law Unto Yourself

Whether you are a person who is knowledgable of dharma (divine law) or not, whether you are religious or not, whether you think of God in the same way others do or not…..

A Law Unto Yourself. Ashoka, from cruel king to benevolent Buddhist.
A Law Unto Yourself. Ashoka, from cruel king to benevolent Buddhist.

Even if you have an evil past, if you live in harmony with Truth and practice this yoga with devotion, you are blameless, a law unto yourself. So why should you entertain any idea of unworthiness?

For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves” — Romans 2:14

.

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


Shaktipat Intensive

Saturday, May 27, Phoenix, Arizona

Experiential Meditation seminar 11:00 AM – 2:00 PM – $50
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