III:10 The Golden Womb

Creation having been brought forth by sacrifice, by sacrifice you will evolve and prosper. Sacrifice is the milch cow of your desires. 

My own orientation, Surrender Meditation, is strongly reflected in my commentary on these verses (10 -15), but it is certainly not the only valid perspective. So if your orientation is other otherwise, please draw your own conclusions accordingly with my blessings.

Prajapati, originally Hiranyagarbha (‘golden womb’), having created the world and heaven, and who is the sustainer and protector of all born beings, tells us in these next few verses, how sacrifice is not only what creates, sustains and protects, but how it functions for our good.

The Golden Womb

10
Creation having been brought forth by sacrifice, Prajapati anciently said, “By sacrifice you will evolve and prosper. Sacrifice is the milch cow of your desire.

Well, that’s a relief! But what is all this about Creation being brought about by sacrifice? And who is Prajapati? And a milch cow…?

“Creation having been brought forth by sacrifice”

First we have to consider the characteristics of sacrifice as it was described in verse nine: Sacrifice is an action for which we have no attachment either to getting the credit for doing it, or to getting the results of it.

If we apply this idea to Creation, it looks like nothing and no one made Creation happen. It may have happened because of something or someone, but not by anything. In other words, Creation was/is a spontaneous event brought about because of something but not by it. Let us call this something, “God”.

Prajāpati
‘Lord of born beings’
God as Creator (earlier Hiranyagarbha, later Brahmā)

Prajapati, having created the world and heaven, is the sustainer and protector of all born beings. Originally, this role was attributed to the feminine, Hiranyagarbha, and later devolved to the masculine as the yugas (ages) made their way downward from the Golden Age (satya yuga) through ages of increasing strife. The naturally occurring phenomena of Creation is rooted in sacrifice as it is described in these few verses (10-14).

Hiranyagarbha — hiranya (‘golden’), garbha (‘womb’, ‘to conceive’). Also called the Golden Egg, or Cosmic Egg.

Sacrifice is therefore understood to be a spontaneous action. Spontaneous action is void of attachment to action and to the effects of action. In verse nine, we learned that this is the essence of Karma Yoga (Action Yoga).

“By sacrifice you will evolve and prosper.”

Alternate translation:
“By sacrifice you will evolve or prosper.”

Why the “or”?

Two paths are suggested: one will get you prosperity and posterity (pravritti marga), and the other will bring about your evolution (nirvritti marga).

We may be tempted to think of evolution as ‘spiritual growth’, but this often does not include the physical, and Yoga always includes the physical, though not as evidenced by popular trend. Also, evolution is different from growth in that growth is something getting bigger or better or both, whereas evolution is transformation into an improved version of an original. So while evolution may include bigger and better, more importantly, it suggests transformation. Evolution is going on all the time, so to suggest it here means something more. It implies the completion of a stage of human existence: a higher life form.

“Sacrifice is the milch cow of your desire”

Sacrifice as ‘the milch cow of desire’ is Kamadhenu, the ‘wish fulfilling cow’. She is the miraculous cow of plenty who fulfills all desires.

If you are looking for further understanding of ‘sacrifice’, consider the cow. She continues to give her milk for as long as needed. She does not make this happen, it happens because of her—it comes naturally, it is not self-motivated, and there is no consideration of having done anything to make it happen. The cow is an excellent symbol for what is meant by the word ‘sacrifice’.

Sacrifice
Yajña
Karma Yoga (Action Yoga)
Surrender Meditation

A cow produces milk for as long as it is taken. When the calf stops nursing, her milk dries up, and so it is with Kamadhenu. Hence is sacrifice is not only a privilege, but a duty, for sacrifice as described here is the very thing that causes Kamadhenu’s milk to continue to flow and fulfill all our wants and needs.

Checking Your Understanding

I realize that each of you will understand these ideas concerning sacrifice in your own way. This is as it should be. It is the beauty of Sanskrit scriptural teachings that it supplies answers for any of the many paths to Truth. To determine for yourself if your understanding is correct, there are two guidelines:

(1) See that your understanding is consistent with ahimsa (harmlessness—physically, and in thought and speech) because this is consistent with your natural state as a divine individual.

(2) See that it works in context with the foregoing and forthcoming verses, and the text as a whole.

More next week on ‘sacrifice’ and ‘the milch cow of your desire’.

Namaste (I bow to the Divine One that You really are),
Durga Ma
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Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 2, Vs 39

Taking into account everything that can be known and what to do with it. 

39 
What I have imparted to you is the wisdom of Sankhya. Now hear the wisdom of Yoga, by which you can free yourself from the bondage of karma. 

“Sankhya”, one of the major philosophical schools of India, is a reference to the teachings of previous verses in this chapter. The word sankhya means ‘taking into account’. Sankhya philosophy takes into account everything that can be known. It is considered to be a dualistic philosophy in that it deals with opposites in the manner we have been discussing.

“Yoga”, ‘the act of uniting’, takes us beyond what Sankhya has taught us, to putting this knowledge into action. The act of uniting (yoga) requires more than one, otherwise what would be uniting with what? Yoga is a natural partner to Sankhya.

“the bondage of karma” refers to the entrapment produced by the union of ignorance with action. Believing that ‘I do’, the principle of cause and effect is put into play, and the ‘I’ automatically becomes trapped by responsibility for the action, be it good or bad.

“karma” means ‘action’. The root of the word karmakri, meaning ‘to do’, is the basis of the ignorance of the Truth of Self as the eternal non-doer.

Alternate Translations:

• Now that you have this knowledge, taking it together with the understanding of action, you can avoid the bondage of action (karma).

• This wisdom has been presented to you from the standpoint of Jnana Yoga (Knowledge Yoga). Now hear it presented as Karma Yoga (Action Yoga) by which you will be able to throw off the shackles of karma.

• I have explained to you the spiritual knowledge regarding the nature of the soul. Now listen to the science of action, which can completely release you from the bondage of cause and effect.

Previously, we discussed pairs of opposites and bringing them into union. Knowledge, what you think or know, and action, things that happen and things you do, are also opposites. In this verse we are presented with the idea of bringing knowledge and action together as a unit: Sankhya (wisdom-knowledge) and Yoga (the act of union) are one.

________________________

The science of Yoga is the science of action. The word yoga means ‘union’ and consequently also means ‘action’, for one thing uniting with another is an action.

It is one thing to equalize a pair of opposites, but it is quite another thing to bring them together as a single unit. The process of uniting the solar and lunar energies in the body is hatha yoga (sun-moon union). When this is accomplished, this unit takes on the function of furthering one’s evolution and is called kundalini.

Yes, evolution is going on all the time, but it is taking us thousands of lifetimes to complete. Through the natural practice of Yoga, we stand a chance of reaching raja yoga and getting closer to the freedom and eternal (rather than temporal) happiness that we know awaits us.

Hatha Yoga begins after enough sadhana (practice) has been successfully accomplished to get us there, and will take up nearly all of our sadhana from that point on. Then, sun-moon union having been accomplished and the process advanced sufficiently, we move into raja yoga, ‘royal union’, uniting with God, Truth, the Absolute (whatever your word is for That).

This process doesn’t have to be thought of as religious or spiritual. It is what it is: evolution. We tend to think of all this as spiritual because we need a name for it that expresses an experience that we do not know how to talk about. And because we can’t put it in a test tube and prove it. We have no words for it in English. Some try to avoid the word God with its implication of some deity somewhere in the cosmos directing our lives, and try using words like Divine, or Truth. But whatever you like to call It, think of it as Absolute, for it is absolute. Even the relative is absolute.

Everything is Absolutely Relative

Jaya Bhagavan! (Victory to God!)
Durga Ma
durgama.com

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Bhagavad Gita – Chapter 1, Vs 38-40

Ancient Mystical Writings – Clear and simple translations in plain English from Durga Ma.

Arjuna continues speaking to Krishna:

38 
“Even if they, those whose thoughts are seduced by greed, do not perceive the harm caused by the destruction of family and the crime of treachery to friend,

39
“Why should we not know to turn back from this evil, this wrong caused by the destruction of family, O Agitator of Men?

40
“With the destruction of family, family law is lost; when established family law is lost, lawlessness overpowers all of society.

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“The wrong caused by the destruction of family” and “family law is lost”

The Sanskrit word for ‘family‘ means a number of things from ‘herd, troop, flock, or swarm’, to ‘race, family, community, tribe, or school’.

The first meaning of the word for ‘destruction‘ is ‘dominion’. The second meaning is ‘abiding’ or ‘dwelling’ in an undisturbed residence, especially a secret one. The third meaning is ‘loss, diminution, destruction, or end’. 

The word for ‘wrong‘  means ‘deficiency, disease, impurity, harm, or detrimental effect’.

“The crime of treachery to friend”

The word for ‘crime‘ literally means ‘that which causes to fall’.

______________________________

In the previous installment, we noted that the participants in the war are all related to each other. If the purpose of the war is kingship and the power and pleasures that go with it, there seems to be no point in continuing because everyone will lose everything, even their lives, so who would benefit? But what if this isn’t really a story about a war, but a story about you that is based on a historical event to make it more significant to you? … but now it is a few thousand years later, and here you are living in a different body, in a different time, in a different culture, and this scripture, and the epic of which it is a part, seems strange and confusing…

What is the significance of everyone involved in the war being related?

Every one of us, whether we are ‘enlightened’ or not, are exactly the same as everyone else in what it is that we really are. How could anyone be more closely related than this? And everyone of us is within you and is a star in the sky all at once. God, you, us, is all there is. There is nothing else. 

But what about the Father-In-Heaven God? Is that a myth? No, nor is Divine Mother a myth. God has no limitations, so God can and will be, whatever we need It, Him, Her, to be.

If these statements seem to contradict each other, be reminded that scriptures are full of contradictions and require that we engage in whatever battle we must in order to understand these paradoxes. 

It is not I but the Father in Heaven that does these things.
I and my Father are one.
— Jesus

Know for certain that the true Self and Guru are truly one.
Know for certain that God and Guru are truly one … and for this reason a wise person will seek the Guru who is meant for them.
— The Guru Gita 

Bringing this idea a little closer home, consider that all these relatives, being all there is (it’s your dream, so you’re everyone and everything in it), are what makes up your own body, i.e., as cells in the physical sense, chakras in an energetic sense. The common choice of the word ‘family’ in various translations makes sense because of the reasons given, but at another level it brings to mind a genetic pool. DNA is one way of looking at the evolutionary force (kundalini) in its physical form, so we might assume that this ‘war’ will affect some transformative change (‘destruction’) within ‘the family law of the human body’ (DNA).

Things work a certain way (‘law’) with the ‘family’ that makes up a human body; there is a close relationship between everything of which the body consists and how it all functions as a unit. All of this begins to go through changes once the ‘war’ begins. Under normal circumstances, these changes are unnoticeable as they unfold slowly over many lifetimes, but the Mahabharata war is about the accelerated evolution of the individual who dares to allow the evolutionary force, kundalini, to awaken and become ascendent. This is not normal and is very much noticeable to the individual concerned, and with its advent, “family law is lost”—the old rules no longer apply. A new law is in the making, a new world order is being established within the world of the body for the purpose of replicating the perfect template held by the closest ‘relative’. Using this template, evolution is attempting to cheat death and bring about the divine, immortal body at the end of the current lifetime.

This puts a new perspective on concepts like destruction, dominion, and who or what dwells within an undisturbed hidden place. 

Jaya Bhagavan! (Victory to God!)
Durga Ma
durgama.com

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