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.


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.

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

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Surrender Meditation

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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.

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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.

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

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Self & Other-Than-Self, Continued – Bhagavad Gita, Ch 13, Vs 22

Half Male Half Female God
Half Male Half Female God

Three modes of action in nature come into play because You originally perceived Others like YourSelf as different than You. 

Purusha seated in Prakriti experiences the gunas of Nature. This causes attachment to the gunas and results in fortunate and unfortunate births.

  • Purusha (m) – Spirit, You, a Divine Individual
  • Prakriti (f) – Another Divine Individual
  • Gunas – The three modes of action in Nature: easy-going (sattva), fast or excited (rajas), and still or slow-moving (tamas)

Attachment 1The gunas come into play when Purusha experiences Prakriti as Nature. When you see Prakriti as Nature you see it as one or the other of these three gunas. The gunas are the building blocks of illusion, and their seductiveness get us attached to all kinds of things.

All things are energy in its various conditions, such as hard like a stone (tamas), soft like a pillow (sattva) or excited like the wind (rajas). In the same way we experience Nature in general as one or more of these three.

Once you (purusha) are embodied (prakriti) you experience prakriti as Nature in these three modalities—tamas (slow or dense), sattva (easy-going) and rajas (fast or excited)—individually or in various combinations, usually with one more prominent than the others.

The moment you want to experience something—to enjoy, be happy, etc.—the gunas accommodate you. Our desires have much to do with what guna predominates at any given time. In other words, your desire to be happy produces the means of getting happiness … and its opposite.

The three gunas can be seen in how we feel emotionally: sattva – indifferent, peaceful, relaxed and feeling good; rajas – exuberant, angry, wild, fast-moving, intense and passionate; tamas – still or slow-moving, lazy, quiet, withdrawn, gloomy, depressed, dark.

When you think about it, this is an amazing power that you have, that you probably don’t realize, or know how to use. But before you try to figure out how to use it, read the next paragraph:

The desire to experience is what gets you attached to the gunas. Once attached, you are compelled to be reborn, whether into good or bad situations. Liberation is lost. It’s your choice. 

Attachment - cuttingIn moments of genuine indifference, even though looking out onto “Nature” (prakriti), the gunas have no affect. This state disappears the moment you want to experience something. Thus has Lord Krishna repeatedly spoken of ‘indifference’ as the means of reaching His state. This state is called trigunatita, ‘free of the three gunas‘. One who has attained this state has transcended, or gone beyond, the three gunas and reaches Godhood.

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

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Divine Sound

The Sixth Chakra, Continued. 

One of the most exciting, inspiring and reassuring things that can happen to you in Surrender Meditation is the experience of Divine Sound.

The experience of Divine Sound (nada, in Sanskrit) is an experience of direct perception that occurs spontaneously in Surrender Meditation when your inherent power manifests as your ability to perceive without the aid of the senses. Through this experience you discover something important: you begin to understand that you really do have power and can access it, and that the sense organs that you have thus far been limited to and dependent upon are the result of this power—you have eyes because you can see, ears because you can hear, and so forth with all five senses. Scientific tradition will tell you that this is backwards, but you will come to know the truth through your own experience of nada.

Normally, it is the vibrations of a medium, such as air, water or earth, that produce audible sound. With nada however, there is no medium, yet sound is heard. There is no medium because you are perceiving directly. 

With the experience of nada there is the perceiver, you, and there is something to perceive, something other than you. If you think of this as you in relationship to another individual, you have a situation in which there is something happening between the two of you. What is happening is energy, energy in a state of motion—vibration, oscillation—producing subtle sound that cannot be heard with the physical ears.

The Word of God

“In the beginning is the Word…”. The Word is OM (aum), the fundamental Divine Sound that manifests all forms. The vibrations of energy flowing between each of us is the Word, is this created world and everything in it. This is why the world is said to be an illusion (maya)—because we see it as stuff when what it really is is us and our relationship. And it all began with a song. The song is OM.

The Sound of OM
From Living the Mysteries, © 1999, Durga Ma and Terry Anne Preston, Ph.D.

While meditating in my hut, I sometimes heard groups of people walking by. This disturbed my solitude, so, one day I  decided to end my meditation and have a look to see what was  going on. There was no one there. Only the sound of people passing. Their voices trailed off as they went on into the  distance. I don’t know what that was. It was very strange. Perhaps groups of people had once walked that trail before and left residuals of their passing. I got used to it and  eventually it no longer disturbed my meditation.

One day when I was meditating and in a very deep meditative state, I heard what I assumed was this ghostly sound, so I didn’t really pay much attention to it at first. But  the sound changed.  

I perceived the vibrations of the sound at the base of my spine and ‘heard’ the sound in every cell of my body, even though the sound seemed to be coming from outside at the  same time. It became very loud and rumbled like the lowest note you could imagine on a big pipe organ in a big  cathedral. This rumbling sound turned into a tone of definite, but very, very low pitch. It shook my very foundations—literally. 

As it continued, the tone became more and more refined as it made its way up the central core of my body. This was  very real. I could ‘feel’ it, though not in the same way we feel the body being touched by something. The vibrations of the  sound were quite perceptible and changed as they rose higher and higher in my body at higher and higher frequencies. I  went from surprise, to fascination, to delight.  

I could hear it, I could feel it, and I could even see it. As its color finally changed into a pale, light-bright violet blue, the sound began to cease being a sound. The vibrations flat-lined and then complete silence prevailed. The colors became pure light. Delight turned to joy and then to ecstasy. 

What was remarkable was that, while all this was going on, I was again experiencing the paradox of Divine Sound … only this time it was in its pure form—all  pitches simultaneously (a ‘pitch’ is the highness or lowness of a tone), no single one more than any other, and yet, only a  single tone.


The next time you see something in one of my blogs, or a mystical text, having to do with sound, words, music, etc., remember nada, Divine Sound, the Song of God. See the “Resources” below.

Namaste (I bow to the Divine One that you really are),
Durga Ma


“On Music & Dance” by Swami Kripalu”
A search on this site for “OM” will get you several more articles.

Mystical Text:
Start with something simple and easy to read and digest: The original Bhagavad Gita, “The Song of God”.

Surrender Meditation:
Shaktipat Kundalini Yoga Meditation — Apply for Remote Shaktipat
Shaktipat Kundalini Yoga Meditation — Book a Shaktipat Intensive

Go to the list of posts on KUNDALINI and the chakras.