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Dogma will die to you when you come alive to Truth- Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 2:52

When your understanding surpasses the thick forest of illusion, then you will become indifferent to what you hear and what is to be heard (in the Vedas). — Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 2, Vs 52 

The knowledge we need is not going to be found spelled out for us in some ritual, book, video or blog, but through our own experience. The experience needed is direct experience of Truth. Then we will realize that we must stop investing ourselves in an illusion. We think this is a world, we think it is us, we think it is real, but we have been fooled by a mirage. It is real, but it is not what it seems. We look into a mirror and, pointing at our reflection we say, “That’s me!”. But it is only a mirror. What we need is to understand what the mirror is, and who is looking.

Direct Experience
Experience had without any means.

Literal translation:

When your buddhi (the discriminative faculty of the mind) overcomes impenetrable unconsciousness, you will be disgusted with what you hear about, and will come to hear about.

All the things you hear about concerning the Vedas, Yoga, New Age, New Thought, traditional religions and new ones, create subconscious expectations based on someone else’s mind or experience that may or may not be True, and attract you away from your own realization. These show up in new books and new religions or spiritualities daily, along with a plethora of self-styled gurus attempting to reinvent the wheel. Once you have achieved union and direct experience, all this will bore you to distraction.

Once you have experienced Truth for yourself, you will have gone beyond all this and will become indifferent to these doctrines, belief systems, and spiritual hear-says. You will stop seeking these things out when you have experienced Truth for yourself, and your mind will no longer be held hostage by the beliefs and opinions of the unenlightened. You cannot find Truth if you read every new book on the shelves as they become available, written by yet one more self-proclaimed knower of Truth. These books and sermons often contain partial truths, but you can only know Absolute Truth through your own experience.

Truth can only be reached through union with Truth.

The mind is our means of figuring things out. It collects and stores information brought to it by the senses, and rationally or imaginatively works things out. Direct experience on the other hand, does not rely on the senses, memory, imagination or reason.

The seemingly negative remarks about the Vedas in these verses should not be taken as derogatory, but as a way of telling us that, while the Vedas address the things of the world in which we live, what is being taught here addresses the Absolute. And even though both the Absolute and the Relative are God and coexist, we need to make the distinction in order to understand these teachings.

All Is God

The Relative realm in which we live is God’s inferior nature.

The Absolute is God’s highest nature, the constant, unchanging Real that is ever present in all that is, and upon which this Relative world is strung like pearls on a thread.

We do things all the time and take responsibility for actions. Because we experience ourselves as doing these things, this is inevitable, and so long as we continue to retain this unenlightened state to any degree, to that same degree we we will continue to do so. But the actions being mentioned in these verses as ‘superior action’, come about differently: You do not consider yourself to be the doer of actions when they occur on their own in the context of union (yoga), where it becomes obvious that all action occurs in nature, and that you are not nature.

It should be becoming clear by now why having a context for this is so important: You need to have the ‘superior action’ of yoga separated from ‘ordinary action’ so you can discern the difference through your own experience. By keeping this within the specific context of the meditation room, the distinction comes easier and light-years faster. By continuing, your karma will end and you will be liberated and reach the end of all sorrows. 

Jaya Bhagavan! (Victory to Truth!),
Durga Ma


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This post and text is original research material and is copyrighted. You are allowed to share this material for personal, non-commercial and educational use with the proper citations, references and links / tags back to my website. Clicking ´Share´ on FB or ´Reblog´ on WordPress would be most appropriate.Please obtain written permission from Anandi first if you want to use this material on your workshop, blog, organization, webpage, book, seminar or for any commercial purpose. All information provided, be it through sessions conducted or this post is non-liable and is not intended to replace professional legal, medical, psychological, psychiatric and/or financial counsel. How you choose to act on this information is up to your own free will and is entirely your responsibility.

Faith – Bhagavad Gita, Ch 17

Faith - Screen Shot 2018-10-19 at 7.32.19 AM

Translations of the verses of this chapter often appear to be directed toward the priesthood as given in the Vedas (specific texts on Truth). But we also find imbedded within the Sanskrit, their association with the God-practice Lord Krishna is teaching Arjuna (and us).

Considering the fear of risk, which the idea of faith naturally invokes, it occurs to me that faith is the essence of ‘surrender’, or sacrifice, as defined in this God-practice. This risk is represented in the Mahabharata as the gambling of Yudhishthira, Arjuna’s brother, with the blind king’s son, Duryodhana. Yudhishthira lost the toss, and he and his brothers were caused to live undetected for eleven years.   

  • Duryodhana (‘hard fighter’) represents ego-centered desire — he fights hard for what he wants.
  • Yudhishthira means ‘standing firm in battle’. He is the epitome of ‘discipline’ — determined, and going ahead anyway no matter what.

Faith

śhraddha – faith, having faith in, believing in, trusting in, having confidence in.

For some people, faith is the same as belief, and for others it is not. The Sanskrit for ‘faith’ (śhraddha) includes both belief and trust. I usually make a distinction between belief and genuine faith. Personally, I consider belief to be a mental position. True faith, on the other hand, is the outcome of proof that establishes it.

I also see Faith as a position one might take to determine if the object of Faith is, in fact, reliably true. In this case, Faith is assumed, and whether or not the object of Faith (i.e., a person, belief or teaching) can be trusted would remain to be seen. One would then use this assumed Faith to prove or disprove it.

For instance, you decide to ‘go on faith’ that there is a God (God is the object of faith) in order to prove or disprove the existence of God. This would require taking some kind of action. Such action would be a sustained practice, such as meditation, as a viable means of testing it. Without proof, it is only an opinion or a belief.

  • Opinion – you think something is true.
  • Belief – your are certain something is true (whether it is or not).
  • Faith – you know something is true because it has been proven to you.

With Surrender Meditation, one ‘goes on faith’ that this practice will deliver what it promises. It is tested by the meditation itself and proved soon or over time. During this time, new realizations arise, and faith is gradually established with the culmination of each realization.

  • Realization – the act of becoming fully aware of something as fact.

Belief alone is prone to error. Just because someone believes something is so, doesn’t mean it is. Belief is especially problematic if a person is subject to self-deception (which most people are), or is desperate for personal validation (which most people assiduously seek). One would not need belief if one knew for certain that a given object of faith could be counted on without reservation, because it has proven itself to be so.

In spiritual matters, true Faith comes as the result of direct experience. Direct experience is experience without any means — mental, physical or emotional — and is neither ‘gut instinct’ nor intuition. Through meditation practiced correctly, one can experience Truth/God directly and know the Truth for certain, whereas anything perceived indirectly is subject to error.

Laboratory
Make your meditation your lab.

In practical matters, proof should show itself the same way numerous times under the same conditions before it is accepted as true.  

Determining your faith or certainty regarding something or someone will require a little risk on your part. However, most people are not amenable to taking risks of this kind. Even those who take risks at the blackjack table or invest the family fortune in a questionable venture, are often unwilling to take any risk in order to find Truth

Whether your quest centers on a person, a thing, or a theological premise, such as whether there is a God or not, or if your Guru is the real deal or not, you must first look within yourself and then take the leap. 

Look Inside Yourself

  • Have I seen correctly?
  • Is there anything within my own mind and feelings that is in error?
  • Might I have some kind of agenda of which I am unaware? What is it?
  • Am I avoiding any red flags? Or am I seeing what I want to see?
  • Am I in denial about anything I perceive about this?
  • Do I really understand this, or this person and their actions and motivations?
  • Have I really looked and attempted to understand, or am I waiting for them to understand me?

Acquiring faith will always involve some sense of risk, whether anything is actually at risk or not. But this is a good thing for it can bring you real faith and real validation, and the only real risk is to your ego.

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

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67 – 68 Fixing Bumps In The Road

Bhagavad Gita, chapter two, verse 67 – 68

Verses 67 and 68 are in answer to the dilemma presented in verse 66: “There is no intelligence or meditation for one whose senses are not restrained, and for one who does not meditate there is no serenity. Without serenity how can there be happiness?”

67 – The Bump
When the mind is filled with the acquisitions provided by the roaming senses, it carries away one’s Intelligence, like the wind a ship on the water. 

You’ve made good progress and have some real wisdom, and along comes a bump in the road and you start missing your meditation practice. Not because it is difficult to meditate, but because the ‘roaming senses’ are busy 24/7 and you’ve gotten caught up in things and can’t find the time. You may think it is because you are a responsible person and have so much to do. But this is not why you are not meditating.

You are not meditating because, looking for a little happiness, you get seduced by the things in your mind “provided by the roaming senses”—your thoughts about these things, your thoughts about your thoughts, and the way they make you feel. And the “I-do-stuff” part of your mind (ahamkara) can’t relax, can’t leave these things alone.

Happiness. Verse 66 above very clearly states that you’re not going to get it without meditation. All that rustling around and duty-doing isn’t going to do it. Meditation is.

You have a right to happiness.
It is your natural state.

68 – The Fix
Therefore, Mighty Armed, endeavor to withdraw completely the senses from the objects of sense, thus reestablishing your Intelligence.

This verse is giving us the remedy for the occasional bump in the road when we get caught up in things. ‘Things’ are always sense objects even when they look like ‘shoulds’—the roaming senses pick up on ‘things’ (that’s what senses do) and into the mind they go, and there they work their evil magic and get us all excited and involved again. Now the mind is a whirlwind of activity, “like the wind a ship on the water”… in a storm.

You may think that something that is up in your life doesn’t qualify as a sense object, so let me clarify that. Anything you can perceive, be conscious of, is an ‘object of sense’ because it is a product of what the senses have brought into your mind where you are conscious of it*.

* The exception to this is memory of direct experience.

“Mighty Armed”

By addressing Arjuna as Mighty Armed, Lord Krishna is calling you ‘strong’; He is saying to you, “You can do this, so make the effort.”

Effort? What happened to surrender? Well, that is for the meditation room, so it’s off to the meditation room and away from all the glitter and guts. That is the effort. Now that we’re here in the meditation room, we can breathe a sigh of relief as we take this opportunity to surrender to the Divine, and turn things over to That—It always knows what It’s doing, even when we don’t—and kick back.

Here in the meditation room we know we’re not doing anything, we’ve delegated all that. In here we are completely free. In here the magic of pratyahara will relieve us of our distress by withdrawing the senses from their objects and bring us serenity and happiness.

So if you want to know why you have trouble getting yourself to meditate, this is it: You are living in a storm of things in your mind creating havoc. Make the effort to walk away from it (it only takes a second or two) and get into your meditation room. Once you’re there, you know what to do: NOTHING. Your mind may rebel, but your soul will rejoice.

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