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When you stop chasing happiness you will know joy- Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 2:56

He whose mind is free of the passions of desire, fear and anger is easy of mind in happiness or misfortune, and steady-minded, he is said to be a sage. — Bhagavad Gita, chapter two, verse 56 

Alternate translation:

One who is not overly excited by happiness or unhappiness is free of desire, fear and anger. He is said to be a sage who thus finds his pleasure in equilibrium. 

In this one verse we are told what leads to wisdom and what can undo it.

A person who remains composed in any situation without resorting to suppression is free from the influences of desire, fear and anger, for they are the essential causes of the loss of a steady mind and equilibrium.

NOTE: The verse refers to someone who is never anxious or agitated, but it also applies to anyone in any situation in which they would otherwise be agitated and are not, without resorting to suppression. So one may have moments of wisdom without being a ‘sage’. And these moments can grow and multiply.

When you are not overly excited by happiness or unhappiness, you will not be inclined to chase one or avoid the other. You will be happy at times, and unhappy at times, but if you are not affected by either, they cannot cause agitation and your inherent joy can surface. Therefore it is said that the sage finds pleasure in this state.

Your inherent joy can arise
when you stop chasing happiness.

Being free of desire, one is free of fear and anger, for it is desire that begets these two—if there were nothing to lose, there would be nothing to fear, and if there were nothing to fear, there would be nothing to be angry about. One produces the other in serial order.

Desire is the fuel for fear and anger.

Desire, fear and anger are the Toxic Trio to the seeker of Truth. Fear appears when something you don’t want arises or threatens to arise. Anger appears when something that you have and are attached to is lost or threatened. Both fear and anger revolve around desires (wants and don’t wants). If you don’t care, you won’t have a reaction, and neither fear nor anger will arise.

Attaining Equilibrium

As long as there is a sense of doership at the core of the mind running things, one must contend with the desires of the mind. Though there may be other kinds of desires, these are the ones to look out for if we want to achieve and maintain wisdom and reach yoga samadhi.

The desires of the mind are at the root of the emotions that disturb one’s equilibrium, but it is not the emotions themselves that are the culprits, it is the agitation they can cause, and there is a way to deal with this.

I think it is fair to say that abandoning desires for happiness, and quitting fear and anger, are not easy tasks. So what shall we do?

We must place ourselves in the hands of That which is already free of such disturbances: Absolute God, Absolute Truth, the True and Absolute Self. Surrender to the Absolute in the meditation room puts us in the position of having abandoned the role of ‘doership’, and we can gain experience with this through its practice. Outside the meditation room, we can apply techniques designed to take the charge out of reactions and unwanted feelings. In time, union with God/Truth will overtake us and bring us the freedom and joy that we seek.

In the next installment, we will discuss how to go about distinguishing desires of the mind from other kinds of desires.

Jaya Bhagavan (Victory to That!),
Durga Ma

INTUITION
If you wonder how intuition fits into all this, see Simone Wright’s video on how to sort this out.


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JoJo Rabbit and God – A contemplation on non-duality in the modern world.

I apologize in advance for anyone that this may offend. It is not my usual approach to writing here, but it is at the forefront of my mind.

In an effort to continue the weekly postings on Mystical Tidbits and the evolution of Durga Ma’s work, I found myself in a pickle. She had the gift of the shastras. Every morning Durga Ma would study scripture, translate sanskrit and write commentary that became the wealth of knowledge that you find here.

My gifts are, well… unusual and undecided at this point. But we do share the sincere desire for people to become inspired to act, to wake-up, and to seek Truth. I want to write about the beauty and glory of Truth, but sometimes that comes in a less than desirable package. So here we go…

Yesterday I went with some friends to see JoJo Rabbit. Probably not what most people expect a yogi to do, but I love a good film and a controversial topic to sink my teeth into for contemplation.

All is THAT. download

This is the aim of the yogi. To realize, to make real the truth that there is none other in existence than One/God/Truth/Divine through the process of unbecoming everything else to the final dawning of pure consciousness. We give our lives and efforts to the path of Self-Realization for the purpose of liberation from suffering and ultimately, the suffering of the world.

So sitting in a theatre watching real documented footage of people pining to touch Adolf Hitler was a challenge. The heart is a fickle thing, just like the mind, and just like the human self. It’s a lot easier to move into a transcended state of consciousness when I am alone, or with people I get along with, or while teaching. But how does enlightenment stack up when we are face to face with a phenomenon like Adlof Hitler?

There is a reason yogi’s go to caves and live in solitude. That is not my path this time around, so here I am in the world… seeking Truth with unceasing devotion and increasing fervor, while in a movie theatre watching a young boy in Nazi Germany negotiating a very real situation.

You should know that everything becomes a contemplation of Truth in my world, and on my way home I found myself swept away reflecting on the condition of our modern world in relationship to the striking similarities of those in JoJo Rabbit.

I can’t help but think of my own child, nearly 8 years old, and other children… leading ultimately to the world which, in a not so distant past was in the middle of WWII. I thought of the coincidence that this film is out now, during an administration that is arguably in place through the efforts of preying on people’s fear. We live in a world that is at war with itself on more than one level, fueled largely by the fear of what we do not know and do not understand, and are too afraid to confront honestly.

But perhaps the most significant thought which arose, is that it takes something as catastrophic as the Holocaust to awaken the human heart. While only a few decades to forget, and for some to deny all together.

More often than not it is the pain of suffering, and the loss of all hope that brings a human to the level of humility needed to finally open to real love. A fundamental desire of the human experience, and a necessity for survival that seems to persist in the modern world more as a threat than as an accessible reality.

By this point in my contemplation the tears were streaming uncontrollably and I felt the overwhelming suffering that is our collective ignorance. Between the sobs I looked for a way out that would satisfy the mind’s desire to confirm that all is THAT, and to release me from the grip of witnessing the power of fear. Fear for my son, for the world, for my self,  of being gobbled up in the illusion of feeling powerless, peppered with unwillingness to do differently, to do better.

But it didn’t come. Because the mind can’t give you freedom. True freedom comes from the heart.

Rumi wrote, “keep breaking your heart until, finally, it breaks completely open.”

Truth sometimes comes in a tear-drenched, snot-filled realization that our greatest power is in our capacity to love. Our ability to remain vulnerable to an exploration of self, without the premature transcendence into the “thought” that everything is perfect just as it is. That pivotal point where we give up out of cowardice or misunderstanding and pretend that it’s ok. We must go beyond the limits of where we feel comfortable and be willing to dip into a deeper reservoir of our reality.

What is waiting in the darkest recesses of the heart? Truth.

Everything is THAT, pure and perfect omnipotent one-ness of Divinity.

What is required of us to embody that reality is the dedication and commitment to realizing it. We do better by being willing to encounter ourselves with self-honesty, and others with less judgement and more acceptance. We exercise our power by choosing not to empower fear, or to condone violence as an excuse for it.

Durga Ma told me (on more than one occasion)

“The greatest gift you can give the world is your own awakening.”

So this experience became a reminder of personal revelation and the importance of remaining available to the infinite manifestations of love (which sometimes is nothing more than fear parading as a boundary of our true potential), as well as a personal recommendation for a tremendous film. A captivating journey, which, I think beautifully captured the essence of the human heart to rescue us from the perils of our own misunderstanding. The world is inherently unstable by nature and constantly reinventing itself in the reflection of the inhabitants who best capture our attention, so we should take great care in where we place ours.

It also served as a reminder of why I continue my practice and my work. We are far from free and all we have is time, so the question is… how will you spend yours?

With Love,

Anandi

1008 Pranams to Durga Ma and all the Masters who have gone before in the quest of Knowledge and Truth, who have left a blazing trail to follow. My many heartfelt thanks to you who read this all the way through an entertained my otherwise child-like fascination of finding Truth through experiencing life in the world.

My deepest heartfelt gratitude to Taika Waititi and all of the people and efforts that brought this film to life. It was an important act of courage and an incredible use of creative vision and skill, blended with the perfect amount of levity to an otherwise heavy subject. May we all learn from the grace of those who are willing to confront the dimensions of humanity that threaten freedom when left unattended.

 

 

 

The Divine & the Demonic, Bhagavad Gita, Ch 16, Vs 1 – 5

Heaven

 Because the Divine has already been given much attention, this chapter focuses mostly on the Demonic. Though it begins and ends with Divine characteristics, it addresses the outcomes of both. 


The Divine

1 – 3
The Blessed Lord spoke:
Fearless, pure-hearted, steadfast and firm in the knowledge and practice of uniting (yoga); generous, self-restrained, sacrificing, studying the scriptures and the self, observing austerities (tapas), sincere; 
non-injurious, truthful, free of anger, renounced, peaceful, non-slanderous; compassionate toward all beings, non-covetous, gentle, modest, dependable; vigorous, patient, content, pure, and free of malice and vanity. These are the characteristics of those endowed with Divine qualities.

Fearless (abhaya, ‘no fear’) also means safe and secure. For those of you who practice Surrender Meditation, your surrender is compromised when you do not feel safe and secure. Without this security there is always the possibility of interruption. At some level, you know this and will restrain your surrender, even subconsciously. Hence the need for complete privacy during surrender sadhana.

Self-restrained (dama) means self-controlled, and also, ‘home’. You need a place to live that is home to you, where you are alone and feel safe from interruptions in order to practice non-static meditation. Outside of your meditation however, self-control, the ability to restrain from actions that are inappropriate, will save you from violations of ahimsa (non-injury) that would otherwise impair your progress. This is difficult if you don’t have a meditation practice that is completely private and allows for the purification of such impulses.

Outside your meditation room you must always be mindful of ahimsa, non-violence of any kind. This requires a degree of self-control that will keep you safe from losing ground. This first universal spiritual principle is the most important principle of all and qualifies the remaining nine. Violating it restricts your progress and can even stop it completely.

Sacrificing is the act of surrendering yourself to Absolute God in meditation and accepting what God brings.

Study of the scriptures and the Self is the practice of self-honest self-study and mindfulness, as well as the study of Yoga scriptures, where you can monitor your progress. Studying the self will lead to the study of the Self and Self Realization. The study of yogic scriptures will lead you to mastery, independent freedom and liberation. 

Observing tapas (‘to melt or burn’) refers to the process of purification by fire (energy). You do not stop this purification process that is brought on by the practice of surrender Yoga. You may find yourself witnessing it, you may even want it to go away, or you may find it fascinating, but you don’t interfere with it. 

Free of Anger. Anger is thought to be a destructive emotion. But we know that suppression of emotions is harmful, so how do we manage this? In Surrender Meditation, we are securely private and we don’t worry about this; it is taken care of by the meditation. In Life however, in our normal state we must be self-controlled and able to not react in anger. We do this by observing our feelings and reactions.

This little trick of observing will cause a separation between you and the anger, and put you in a position of extreme power. By observing the anger, you curtail the compulsion to act on it — because it is impossible to be what you observe. Thus suppression is avoided, you have not violated ahimsa (non-violence), and both the other guy and your own progress are safe.  

You cannot be what you can see.

Renounced means essentially the same thing as sacrifice. What you are renouncing is your body, feelings and mind and the use of your will. You sacrifice these to Absolute God in meditation. Renouncing the role of the doer of action in this way, during this time, you accept whatever happens (or doesn’t happen). 

The Demonic

4
Deceit, arrogance, conceit, anger, harshness and ignorance, are qualities the Demonic possess.

Destination: Heaven or Hell

5
Divine qualities lead to liberation, whereas Demonic qualities lead to bondage. Do not worry, Arjuna, for you are born with divine virtues.

We said earlier that Arjuna represents you, so you are also being reassured.

  • Bondage – the state of being a slave
  • Liberation – freedom, including freedom from compulsory rebirths

Jesus and Krishna in heaven
Jesus & Krishna

We in the west have had it very good compared to most people on this planet. Those of you who have had it easy (are educated and not starving or enduring tortures) may opt for returning, believing that you have some control over your next life. So getting free of rebirth may not be of interest to you. But you should think again, and read other chapters, such as chapter fourteen, and clear this up for yourself.

If you insist on believing that you can control the nature of your next life, yes you can, but probably not the way you think. Your control over your future relies solely on your ability and willingness now, in this lifetime, to master the qualities of the Divine as mentioned in this and other chapters, by mastering the ten universal spiritual principles (Ten Keys to Success).

This chapter tells us what we need to know. It clearly says, Divine qualities lead to liberation (you are free), and Demonic qualities lead to bondage (you are a slave). It’s your choice. Saying “I don’t believe in this” is not going to change it.

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

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