The Means of Reaching God is God – Bhagavad Gita, Ch 9, Vs 16

God: “I am the ritual, the sacrifice, the holder, the medicine, the mantra, and the purified butter. I am the sacrificial fire, and I am the oblation.” — Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 9, Verse 16

Previously Lord Krishna said that when He assumes human form as an avatara, the ignorant and deluded despise or disregard Him, even though His highest state of existence is unborn Absolute God. However, those who have attained Him know Him to be the embodiment of the Imperishable Absolute. 

He goes on to say that it is He who is the entire process of reaching this state—the means of reaching God is God: God is the ritual, the sacrifice, the holder, the medicine, the mantra, the purified butter, the sacrificial fire, and the oblation:The Ritual

The Ritual
The enjoined action

The ritual is the practice of the knowledge we have been receiving: the secret Yoga. He gave us this knowledge and now he is telling us how this yoga unfolds by describing it in terms of action, the basis of which is…

The Sacrifice
The surrender of oneself to God

In the context of ritual (practice), the sacrifice is the full surrender of oneself to Absolute God. To make this easier for us mortals, Lord Krishna has declared Himself to be an avatara, a physical embodiment of the Absolute, giving us a place to begin that is more personal and more comprehensible: We can surrender ourselves to Krishna knowing that He is That: God, Guru, Absolute God, to whom we surrender. 

The HolderThe Holder

The holder of the vessel

The holder is you. You hold the vessel of the sacrificial offering. In an earlier chapter we learned that “one lifts the self by the self.” No one can surrender for us. And because we are mortal and will not achieve the Ultimate in an instant, we must continue this practice unceasingly. It is enjoined, it is our duty before all other duties.

The Medicine
The perfecting power of the ritual

This continually repeated practice purifies, cleanses and clears the body, feelings and mind. It is the medicinal herb to the one who practices this ritual sacrifice.

The Mantra
Spontaneous repetition of sounds heard and expressed during the ritual

The repetition of mantra occurs as a spontaneous effect of the ritual (practice), so it is a part of it. Mantra not only keeps the mind on God, but the repetition of the sacred syllables of the mantra and their vibrational effects clear the mind and swiftly dissolve the debris. 

The Purified Butter
The remainder after purification

Impurities are burned away through the process of the ritual bringing about tapas (heat). The ‘butter’ is melted down, separating the pure from the impure. The impurities are discarded, leaving only what is pure.

The Sacrificial FireThe Sacrificial Fire
The awakening of Kundalini

Fire is energy. The ‘sacrificial fire’ is the intensification of the Life Energy, prana, so that it becomes strong and can awaken kundalini, the evolutionary force. The sacrificial fire accelerates kundalini’s mission to evolve you to the perfect, divine one that you really are.

The Oblation
The offering

The oblation is what you offer into this fire: yourself.

Now try reading this verse again: “I am the ritual, the sacrifice, the holder, the medicine, the mantra, and the purified butter. I am the sacrificial fire, and I am the oblation.” This describes the process of Experiential (Surrender) Meditation: It’s all about YOU — God, the practice and you are one and the same, so success is inevitable.

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

Shaktipat Intensive

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9.4-6 Where is God?

All living beings, visible and invisible, are propagated by Me. All beings abide in Me, but I am not in them.

Alternate translation:
All beings emanate from Me in my invisible material form. All beings are in Me, but I am not in them.

Every living being, all animate life, is created and sustained by God in an invisible but material form: DNA.   

Now you may wonder at this, since it was written before western science was on the scene and DNA was discovered. However, in reading the works of those great sages who reached the fulfillment of perfection and the end of compulsory returns (reincarnation), not to mention an open-minded look through the temples of their ancestors, there is every evidence that they knew these things long before western science upstaged the Wisdom of the East. 

Another alternate translation:
All living beings, visible and invisible, are spread out from Me, and have their existence in Me. But My existence is not dependent on them.

And my existence is non-being. Behold my majestic yoga power! Not a being yet sustaining beings,  I cause all beings to come into existence.

“My existence is non-being”
Lord Krishna, who is standing with Arjuna in the middle between two armies readying themselves for a war and looking as human as everyone else, is saying that He is not a being. He has alluded to this before, many times.

Repeating Himself once again, he gives us another opportunity to catch on to what He really is when He says that He is the cause of the existence of all beings and sustains them with His “majestic yoga power”. The word for ‘power’ is from another word for God, Ishvara, which means ‘ability, mastery, lord, king, queen’. “Yoga power” then is the power of God that is yoga.

Yoga power:  the power of God is yoga (union).

Now obviously, there is some kind of union that produces or is this power, and this is what He is teaching Arjuna. And just to make sure He is understanding Him he goes on to say….

Consider this: 
Like the mighty wind going everywhere is always in space, in the same way, all beings are always in Me.

Space – ākāśha, is ether, air, sky or space. Of the five elements, akasha is the subtlest. Akasha is said to be a universal etheric field in which a record of past events is imprinted. It was once believed to be the medium whose vibrations constituted light and other electromagnetic radiation.

Wind – vāyu, isthe wind of the body, the vital air, the breath’. Vayu is Prana, all forms and functions of the Life Energy in the body. It is also defined as breath because the breath is recognizable as a means of Prana entering and leaving the body.

The root of vāyu is , wind, and is also found in words like nirvāṇa, meaning that this ‘wind’ is not moving but still, and may also suggest the breathless state of yoga which comes about when the vital air in the body (Prana, Life Energy) stops moving by becoming completely concentrated (dharana) in one place.

“Yoga is the cessation of the modifications of the mind-stuff.” — Patanjali, Yoga Sutras

Alternate translation:
Look at it like this: Beings are in Me in the same way the wind is in the air.

Akasha and vāyu are essentially the same thing: Life Energy, the Life Force, and called akasha outside the body, and vāyu is inside the body. Other systems call this energy Shakti when it is outside the body, and Prana inside the body.

Like the mighty wind (vāyu) is everywhere in space (ākāśa), Lord Krishna, incarnation of God as the Sustainer of Life, is everywhere inside and outside your body. When there is no heartbeat or brain activity, one is considered to be dead, but it is when the Prana leaves the body that death truly arrives.

This is one of the reasons that practitioners of Experiential (Surrender) Meditation meditate in complete privacy. When the breathless state ensues one appears to be dead, but in this state, even though nothing is moving, Prana is still in the body and one is very much alive.

After so many years of practice, I have slipped into this state in public places and nearly missed the summoning of EMTs. It is also one of the reasons I have remained in solitude for so long, and why I will not truly “come out” until one or more of my students live nearby. 

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

Shaktipat Intensive
Saturday, May 27, Phoenix, Arizona
Seminar 11:00 AM – 2:00 PM – $50
Initiation 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM – Optional
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VII: 26-28 Shortcut to Freedom…

“I know the living and the dead and those who are yet to be, but no one knows Me. All living beings are born into the deluding power of opposites that arise at birth: attraction and aversion. But those persons who perseveringly perform virtuous action in surrender to Me, get their faults eradicated and are liberated from the delusion of duality.” — Lord Krishna, Bhagavad Gita, ch 7, vs 26-29 

I know the living and the dead, Arjuna, and those who are yet to be, but no one knows Me. 

Lord Krishna knows all of us, and He knows us completely—as we are now, as we have been in previous existences, and as we will exist beyond this lifetime. He has this knowledge because He accepts us unconditionally. One can only truly know someone by accepting them in this way.

Know – recognize, identify, be aware of, experience, accept, be familiar with, experience directly.

All of us are known to God, but we do not know God. To truly know anyone, we must accept them for what they really are: Divine. We do not accept them for what they look like or what they do, but what they truly are underneath all the packagingperfect, eternal, unborn and imperishable: Absolute. Lord Krishna is saying that although He has accepted all of us, we have not accepted Him, and that by accepting Him we can truly know Him.

Knowledge of another is gained by  accepting them unconditionally.

Understanding this, the meaning of “Jesus saves” is proved. He has accepted each and every one of us unconditionally. If we accept Jesus, we accept someone who has already accepted everyone. By accepting Him we are united with Him, and because He has accepted everyone, we have accepted everyone by default.

Whether through the absolute acceptance of Lord Jesus or another like him, we take a short cut to the full acceptance of everyone as divine and the same as ourselves. It is this that saves us. It is the shortcut to the finish line that saves us now and ends the domination of dual conditions such as birth and death, and the suffering and unhappiness that accompanies them.

If you believe that you have accepted Jesus as your savior but you still deny others as Divine and the same as You, you deny Jesus.

This acceptance is full and complete surrender to the Divine, whether to God, a God-person like Jesus or Krishna, or a true Guru. It is how the guru-disciple relationship works, and how, as the Guru Gita states, “God and Guru are but two names; the truth is they are forever One,” and it is how “God, Guru and the true Self are the same.” 

Each of us is a divine individual that is the same as all other individuals in what it is that we really are: divine, perfect, eternally deathless and unborn: imperishable. But we are blind to this. We do not know the nature of our true selves, and we do not know God. The next verse tells us why this is so:

All living beings are born into ignorance due to the deluding power of opposites that arise at birth: attraction and aversion.

Attraction and aversion arise at the moment of birth. Lord Krishna is telling us how this dual phenomenon causes us to become identified with what we have come to understand as illusion, and are therefore unable to know Him. If one were to be born in a state devoid of these two it might be otherwise, but because we are drawn to the things we like and are averse to things we dislike, we are influenced by them from the very beginning, and illusion, as opposed to Reality, is set in place. The next verse will tell us how to remedy this situation:

But those persons who perseveringly perform virtuous action in surrender to Me, get their faults eradicated and are liberated from the delusion of duality.

Impurities, faults, sins, come to an end when one’s actions are pure—when all action is God-action, actions not willfully done for one’s own purposes. Only surrender to God can bring about God-action. All other actions are tainted with desire, self-interest and willful intent. Thus we do not ‘know’ God.

Through union (yoga) this comes to an end and one is liberated from the illusion of duality. In other words, duality is still what it is—an illusion of the human condition—but now you know it for what it is and are no longer subject to the pull of polarities. This comes about through the resolute and persevering practice of God-action in meditation—complete surrender to Absolute God. By this surrender, you will come to know (experience) God directly.

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

P.S.  I have had one experience of an individual who appeared to have been born free of the grip of illusion. This was a young boy still in the crib in Mother Theresa’s orphanage in India. He sat facing into the room, in full lotus, his hands resting on his thighs, his semi-closed eyes meeting mine. I felt blessed by God and offered pranam (bowing and touching the feet) to this child without hesitation. Even the nuns were is awe of him and treated him so.