Three Kinds of Faith – Bhagavad Gita, Ch 17, Vs 1-10

 

Faith

1
Arjuna spoke:
What is the status of those who sacrifice without consideration of scriptural injunctions but sacrifice with
faith? Is it sattva, rajas or tamas?

  • Sacrifice – surrender; letting go of something and giving it to God.
  • Sattva, rajas or tamas – the three gunas of material Nature: sattva – ease, light, peace; rajas – excitement, color, passion; tamas – dullness, darkness, ignorance.

2 – 3
The Blessed Lord spoke:
The faith of embodied beings is of three kinds according to their nature as sattvic, rajasic or tamasic. Of this now hear: All beings have some kind of faith according to their nature. 
What one wants to believe, is what he has faith in, and who he is.

“What one wants to believe, is what he has faith in, and who he is.” Lord Krishna is saying that faith ordinarily comes from what one wants to believe, and marks the nature of the individual. In this way, it can be said that everyone has some kind of faith according to their predominant guna — sattva, rajas or tamas.

“According to their nature.” The nature of each of us is most inclined toward one of the three gunas, and that this colors our characteristics, personality and actions, and consequently, our beliefs will also be of this nature.

“What one wants to believe is what he has faith in.” He becomes identified with, and invested in, what he believes to be true. He is uncomfortable outside of this, and only comfortable within it. He sees this as “who he is.”

“Who he is” is what he identifies himself to be as a human being according to his predominant guna — his mind, body, personality and behaviors are predominantly sattvicrajasic or tamasic.

Considering what you now know about faith, Lord Krishna is saying that your essential nature as a human being will be predominately sattivic, rajasic or tamasic, and as such, will reflect your nature as a human being.

The following verses address this by explaining how your predominate guna affects what you surrender (sacrifice), open up to, or let go of, in life or meditation, and what you sacrifice it to.

4
Those who are sattvic sacrifice to the gods, the rajasic to the yakṣhas and rākṣhasas, and others, the tamasic, sacrifice to ghosts and departed spirits.Offerings to the gods 

  • Gods – I think we can take the word ‘gods’ to mean Divine Individuals who have not come into being in this world, but exist on a higher plane than our human selves.
  • Yakṣhas – demigods; those who covet power and great wealth.
  • Rākṣhasas – demigods; those who passionately embody great power, sensual pleasure and wrath.

Sattvic Sacrifice. Sattva is the guna that is the easy-going characteristic of purity and goodness. This guna is closest to your Real Self, so it gets ranked as the best of the three qualities. Sattvic sacrifice then, is the best sacrifice (surrender), until one reaches Absolute God and attains God-realization.

5  Rajasic Sacrifice
Those who perform severe austerities not enjoined by the scriptures, do so out of pride and egoism, impelled by the force of desire and attachment.

Rajas is the guna of passion, and actions done for the purpose of fulfilling desires. It is taught in scriptures that these self-motivated actions must be abandoned in order to reach Divine Union, for they are the backbone of attachment, the real obstacle. These kinds of sacrifices are not in accordance with scripture, for they do not allow for Divine Union and Liberation, the ultimate purpose of Life.

Egoismahamkara in Sanskrit, literally means, “I do,” or “I am the doer.” But what you really are is not a doer of action, but a Divine Individual entity. So as a rajasic human being, you are not aligned with the Divine Individual that you really are, and your sacrifice, your surrender, is made from this position.

Enlightenment. There are those who deem the realization of WHO they are to be the ultimate enlightened state. But the realization of non-doership, which stems from knowing WHAT you really are, is the highest enlightenment. 

6  Tamasic Sacrifice
Ascetics who imprudently cause torment and emaciation of the physical body, also torment Me within the body. Know them to be demonically resolved.

In other words, when you force or resist (that’s what it would take to do these things), you are not only not being nice to yourself, you are also not being very nice to God. The only practical solution is to surrender yourself to God, and let That deal with everything.

Mortification of the flesh is not in accordance with any scriptural injunction, and is thus considered ‘demonic’ and tamasic

Demonic. The word in Sanskrit is āsura. Asuras are powerful superhuman demigods with both good and bad qualities, who battle constantly with the devas (gods). They are sometimes regarded as nature spirits.

Tamas is the state of darkness. In this case, darkness is meant as ignorance. Actions that are harmful to oneself or others are also tamasicTamasic sacrifices are done from a position of doership and motivated by evil or misguided purposes: “demonically resolved.”

Imprudently. The word in Sanskrit for ‘imprudent’ also means ‘unconscious’, or the ‘subconscious actions of the unenlightened, the ignorant’. 

The way you can resolve the effects of the gunas running your life and determining who you are, is by surrendering yourself and your will to Absolute God with complete abandon, and leaving everything to That during this time. This is the ultimate leap of faith that will produce the ultimate pay-off.

As risky as this may seem, I can personally attest to the veracity of this surrender when done correctly under the proper conditions. As Yogeshwar used to say…

“God is not a cheat.” — Yogeshwar Muni

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

The Fast Track

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


Make a Difference

Have a Positive Impact on the World

Spiritual Leadership will take you where you want to go while you advance spiritually and improve your life. In the process, you will influence the advancement of everyone on Earth, and even the Earth itself.

Spiritual Leadership is not a replacement for anything you may already be doing, but will augment any spiritual avenues you already travel, and open up new vistas.

Please contact me at durgama.com/contact if you would like to know more about this program.

Helping you advance spiritually is my mission.
Saving the world is the result of our success.


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

The Whole World Is One Family


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To Hell in a Hand Basket, Bhagavad Gita, Ch 16, Vs 12 – 19

Hell in a Handbasket

12
Bound by hundreds of desires driven by lust and anger, the Demonic strive to accumulate hoards of wealth by any means, all for the gratification of their own desires. 

“By any means” also means, “by unjust means.”

12 – 15
“I have acquired so much wealth today so I will now fulfill these desires of mine. All this is mine, and tomorrow I shall have more. I have slain that enemy and I shall slay others, also. I am God. I am the Enjoyer. I am Powerful. I am Happy. I am rich and highborn. Who is equal to me? I will perform sacrifice, give alms, and rejoice!” So say those deluded by ignorance.

This is a look into the minds and self-talk of the ‘demonic’.

16 – 17
Beset by this net of illusions and many confused imaginings, and addicted to sensual pleasures, they descend to a foul hell of torment. Self-conceited and obstinate, full of pride and arrogance for all their wealth, they perform ostentatious sacrifices in name only, with no regard for scriptural injunctions.

“A foul hell of torment” refers to the end result. It also means, ‘inferior states of existence’, which is where this kind of person finds himself here in this life, or in the next.

18 – 19
Blinded by egoism, power, arrogance, desire and anger, the demonic hate Me in their own bodies and in the bodies of others. These hateful, cruel and vile men, I hurl again and again into the cycles of rebirth and demonic forms of existences secured at birth.

“The demonic hate Me” also means “the demonic abuse Me.”

ArrivalBecause of their demonic natures, their lives and deaths are inauspicious. Returning after death, this brings them into situations with unfortunate families of evil people, where they will reap what they have sown.

Some of demonic natures who are not overtly hateful, cruel and vile, take the form of a kind of shallow apathy. They have no real interest in others, the planet, the lives of people or innocent creatures. They say, “There’s nothing we can do about it. We just have to accept these things.” Instead, they indulge in a morass of “many confused imaginings.” Looking for something to do, and trying to make themselves feel something, they seek experiences provided by other people, or they become addicted to sensual pleasures. They are dead inside. Their idea of “deep” is completely superficial and produces nothing of value or merit.

“Let the dead bury the dead.” —  Lord Jesus

The Way of the World in the Kali Yuga

Kali Yuga – the darkest of the four ages

This is the way of our world today. With all the positive things our technology has brought us, it has come at a huge price — an overall disinterest in anything other than self. I have noticed this even with my posts. When a title has the word “self” in it, there are more viewers. When a title has the word “God” in it, there are few.

People seem to be enamored with themselves. We are supposedly adults, but we are really only two years old — with two year old emotions and behaviors (i.e., all or nothing, black or white, etc.). We bonk the other kid over the head who tries to play in our sandbox, and we think we’re hot stuff. We are small children in big bodies. We must grow up. We must grow into our adult bodies and become the mature adults we were meant to be. 

If you think I am just being some kind of religious zealot, think again. I challenge you to look at what is going on around you, and in the world, with an objective eye. Just watch, notice, pay attention, and you will see it, too. And once you have seen it, you will be shocked to the core, and motivated to grow more — for your own sake, and for the sake of everyone else — and be welcomed into the fellowship of those who have seen what you have seen.  

This observation should not be taken up with judgement, or with efforts to change other people. Your own forward growth and enlightenment will take care of them. Free and conscious choice is a power that exists within each person, and should never be violated. To violate this, even with good intentions, can only send us backward. 

There is only one thing you can do to help: Upgrade your present commitment to improve your life (no matter how great it is now), increase your spiritual knowledge and practice and advance yourself.

Everything you do affects everyone else. 

Please enjoy this very good read:  “Gita: The Unparalleled Manual of Social Harmony” by Ved Prakash Saxena.

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

Make a Difference

Have a Positive Impact on the World

Become a Spiritual Leader

Spiritual Leadership will take you where you want to go while you advance and improve your life. In the process, you will influence the advancement of everyone on Earth, and even the Earth itself.

Spiritual Leadership is not a replacement for anything you may already be doing, but will augment any spiritual avenues you already travel, and open up new vistas.

Please contact me at durgama.com/contact if you would like to know more about this program.

Helping you advance spiritually is my mission.
Saving the world is the result of our success.
— 
Durga Ma


The Fast Track

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


 

God, Guru and the Self are the Same – Bhagavad Gita, Ch 15, Vs 16-20

Purushottama, the first and highest purusha
Purushottama

16
It is said that there are two kinds of Purushas in this world — the perishable and the imperishable — and that beings are perishable, but the highest are the perfected ones who are unchanging and imperishable.
 

  • Purusha – a Divine Individual (like You)
  • Imperishable (akṣhara unchanging and indestructible 
  • Unchanging (kūṭastha– ‘the Absolute, the Highest; the highest position in the midst of the multitude’, those who are ‘perfected and liberated’.  

As embodied beings, we are subject to change and are perishable. The highest in our world however, are not Beings in this sense. They are those living among us who, even though they may appear as human beings in every way, have achieved the highest. They are the avatars and immortal masters who have graced us with their presence on our world, to add a much needed dose of Enlightenment and Reality into the mix of adharma, superficiality, suffering and self-interest.

God In You

17
Thus, the first Purusha, who is another highest Self and is said to enter and support the three worlds, is known as the indestructible Ishvara.

  • Purusha – A Divine Individual in the Absolute who perceives other Divine Individuals
  • The First and Highest Purusha was the first purusha to awaken to his own existence (asmita, ‘I am’). This first purusha is called Purushottama, but he is known as Ishvara when seated in a body with the embodied one (You).
  • The Three Worlds – the body with its three divisions: the world of Brahmā, the Creator, the world of Vishnu, the Sustainer, and the world of Shiva, the Transformer. 

Now we see that there is one Purusha who is the highest of all. You experience this Purusha, who is other than you, as your Highest Self. This Divine Other is Purushottama, known to you as Ishvara, God in you, the witness within.

Ishvara can be seen and recognized in meditation practiced correctly (see “The Darshan of the Self“). Ishvara, with whom you are united and who experiences what you experience, is your Highest Self (paramatma).

God the Father

18
Because I transcend the perishable, and am higher than the imperishable, I am known in the World and in the Vedas as Purushottama (‘First and Highest Purusha’).

He is beyond all Others. He is higher than all other Divine Individual entities of all kinds, simply because he was the first Individual to awaken to his own existence, and to accept all other Individuals as the same, and as the same as Himself. Because He was the first to do this, He was the first one not compelled to come into Being as human, a god, or other kinds of beings including the many demigods, angels, etc.

When we pray or invoke God thinking of God in a personal way, we are addressing this First and Highest Purusha: Purushottama.

  • Purushottama – ‘First and Highest Purusha’. Purushottama is Personal God, who has accompanied you into embodiment, and is known to you as Ishvara, your Highest Self. He is also known as Vishnu (all-pervasive), whose avatara is Lord Krishna, Arjuna’s guru.

19
Thus one who is without confusion or doubt and knows Me as Purushottama, is all-knowing. He surrenders only to Me with his whole being.

In the sadhana of Surrender Meditation, we surrender to this Absolute God, and nothing else.

20
Thus is this secret teaching disclosed by Me, O Faultless One. Comprehending it, one is enlightened, and all that is to be accomplished gets accomplished.

A secret is something that is hidden.

“One is enlightened” One who understands what Lord Krishna has revealed is enlightened. Now that Arjuna has received and understood Lord Krishna’s teachings, he is enlightened and everything that has to be done in order to reach the final goal, will get done.

Enlightenment must come about. It is not the end of the road, but it paves the road. The end is within sight, but without enlightenment, it is not. 

A secret is something that is not understood.

In the Guru Gita (Song of the Guru), it is stated that God and Guru and Self are to be thought of with the same devotion, for they are truly connected in this way — they are the same, and they are other-than-you.

One who is enlightened can see the secrets.

God the Mother

Parvati & Shiva
Parvati (prakriti) and Shiva (purusha)

From the Guru Gita (The Guru’s Song):
Lord Shiva is responding to Parvati’s questions: “Know for certain that the conscious Self and the Guru are truly one, and for this reason, one who is wise will seek his Guru. Because of the darkness within the mind, the secret knowledge of Truth is concealed, but by Her light and the Guru’s word, the Mother of all comes to be revealed.”

Commentary of Swami Narayananda:
God, Guru & Self“Teachers (gurus) derive the maximum joy and happiness when eager seekers ask pertinent questions. The heart of the Guru always seeks for sincere students. This is the reason for their joy. It is but natural that one gets joy when he gets what he wants. A thirsty man is satisfied with water, the hungry man with food. But teachers are satisfied when they get suitable and deserving students to whom they can unburden their knowledge. Without a deserving student the teacher feels the burden of his knowledge, and considers his efforts fruitful when the students eagerly question and eagerly practice the teachings.”

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