OM TAT SAT, Continued – Bhagavad Gita, Ch 17 Vs 24-28

Self and Other-than-self

Previously
(23) As recalled from ancient times, it said that OM TAT SAT indicates Absolute God as manifested in Brahmanas (God-people), scriptures and sacrifice (surrender to God).

OM for Divine Union

24
Because of this, according to scriptural injunction, acts of sacrifice, giving and austerity are always begun by uttering the syllable “OM” by those who seek Absolute God.

  • Absolute God (Brahman) – The highest aspect of God as Absolute, which is different than God’s inferior, or relative, nature as earth, water, fire, air, ether, mind, intelligence, and ego.
  • God-people (brahmans) – knowers and practitioners of the Highest Knowledge.

“Because of this” refers to the previous verse on the subject of OM TAT SAT.

Begun by uttering the syllable “OM” because it is the generation of Creation.

OM, the sound of Creation, is heard in meditation. It is the sacred Sanskrit syllable that is the sound of Creation. It is the is the first of the three syllables OM TAT and SAT, and the first aspect of God, so it is used primarily for beginnings.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”

Sacrifice (surrender) is the giving of oneself to Absolute God in meditation. This initiates the process of tapas (warming) that purifies body, mind and feelings, and leads to the Highest Union, union with Absolute God/Truth.

Giving (the offering). When you surrender to God in meditation, WHAT you surrender is what you are giving in offering. Giving to deserving persons such as yogis, the poor, and doing selfless service to the guru, empowers one’s surrender (sacrifice). 

Austerity (tapas) is the result. When you surrender yourself to God/Truth in meditation, tapas will soon begin spontaneously. Tapas, which means ‘warming or heating’, begins after a period of feeling cold in meditation. When it arrives it begins to burn away impurities of body, feelings and mind.

TAT for Liberation

25
With “TAT”, and without any expectation of personal benefit, acts of sacrifice, austerity and giving of various kinds are performed by those seeking liberation (from the cycles of death and rebirth).

Tat means ‘that’, suggesting that this syllable has to do with Others — ‘That which is Other than self’. 

Tat also signifies ‘without aiming for fruits’. ‘Tat’, or Thatness, puts everything apart from self, so that desires, preconceived ideas and expectations are not associated with self, thus making Liberation possible. This is another way of saying…

If you seek Liberation, cut away all attachments to the fruits of actions.


SAT for the Eternally Existent Real & Good

HARI OM TAT SAT

26 – 27
In its meaning of Reality and Goodness, the word “SAT” describes the Absolute as well as those who seek It, and also applies to auspicious action. Unwavering in the performance of sacrifice, austerity and giving, and also any action performed for or relating to this, is SAT.

Sat means ‘that which Truly Exists, is Real and Good’ — God, Truth, the Absolute, the True Self, the Real You. 

Goodness is a quality of the Absolute. The Absolute, being without duality, is thus eternal and unchanging. Thus is Goodness also eternal and unchanging (there is no flip side). 

Auspicious action is action that is performed prompted by one’s longing for Union with the Real, the Good, the Absolute. This is the meaning of ‘God-practice’ as mentioned earlier.

28
Any sacrificial offering, austerity (tapas) or giving performed without faith is called “ASAT” — not Real, not Imperishable, and bears no auspicious results for us here in this world or in the next.

We are being told that not living our lives in this way, and not following these teachings with understanding followed by action, nothing Good can come of it. We will be wasting our lives, and our purpose here will remain unfulfilled. But we are also being told that this is easily and pleasantly remedied.

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

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.

If you would like to know more about this program, please contact me at durgama.com/contact

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

He who hesitates is lost.
Swift and resolute action leads to success.
Self-doubt is a prelude to disaster.
— Joseph Addison


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

The Whole World Is One Family


 

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Food, Sacrifice, Tapas & Giving – Bhagavad Gita, Ch 17, Vs 11-22

Faith

In these verses Lord Krishna is answering Arjuna’s question on Faith. He began His answer with Sacrifice in verses 2 – 10. The following verses are expansions on this answer and include not only sacrifice, but foods, kinds of austerities (tapas) and giving.

Previously:
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?” — chapter 17, verse 1.

Foods

7 – 10
Like sacrifices, austerities and gifts, the foods preferred by all are of three kinds. Now hear of these distinctions:

The kinds of foods mentioned in these three verses have their roots in times before the Indus Valley Civilization.Sattvic Foods

(8) Foods that are sweet, succulent, juicy, nourishing and promote life, energy, strength, health, happiness and satisfaction, are dear to the sattvic.

Foods that are sweet, etc. Refined sugar is not what is meant by ‘sweet’, but is considered to be ‘stale’.

Rajasic Foods(9) Foods that are very bitter, very sour, very salty, very hot, very pungent, very dry and burning, are dear to the rajasic, are unpleasant and cause misery and disease.

Too much bitterness, etc. In moderation, these kinds of foods are anti-inflammatory and healing. The admonition is to not take it too far and cancel their positive effects, as rajasic persons are inclined to do. 

(10) Foods that are stale, tasteless, putrid, rotten, foul, impure, and also the leavings of others, are dear to the tamasic.Tamasic Foods

Stale, etc. You may wonder how anyone could even eat these kinds of foods. Anandamayi Ma insisted that no food be left at the end of the day in Her ashram. On one occasion, She was found in the night eating left over flour to make her point. Old foods are dead foods. 

Sacrifice 

11 – Sattvic Sacrifice
Sacrifice that is offered according to scriptural injunction with the only thought, “this is given.” This sacrifice is sattvic.

Sacrifice offered without the purpose of fruits (without using your will to fulfill desires) is sattvic.

12 – Rajasic Sacrifice
But sacrifice offered out of pride and deceit, with the intent of personal benefit, that sacrifice is rajasic

13 – Tamasic Sacrifice
Sacrifice offered without faith and contrary to scriptural injunction, with no food offered, and with no mantras or giving, that sacrifice is tamasic.

Austerity (Tapas)

Austerity of Body

14
Honoring God, the twice-born (Brahmanas, God-people), gurus and sages, through purity, goodness, continence and non-violence, is austerity (tapas) of the body.

  • Twice-born – ‘born again’ or ‘reborn’.

Today, the usual translation of Brahmanas means priests. However, God-people are those who live in harmony with the Real. It is the purpose of their lives. Brahmanas (or Brahmins, temple priests) have more recently (a few thousand years ago) been set aside as the highest caste, but also rightly include scholars, teachers, gurus and sages.

Purity, goodness, continence and non-violence in all your actions is Tapas of Body. 

Austerity of Speech

15
The practice of reciting sacred texts, and the use of words that do not cause distress and are truthful, inoffensive and beneficial, is austerity (tapas) of speech. 

Tantric yogi reciting mantra then drinking whiskey from a skull.
Tantric yogi reciting mantra and drinking whiskey from a skull.

Reciting sacred texts also means reading and study of sacred texts. This was written at a time when not everyone could read and the memorization and recitation of scriptures was customary.

Tapas refers to purification by fire (energy). This is different than the elimination of impurities.

When you are careful not to cause distress when speaking, reciting or teaching, and being truthful in an inoffensive manner that is also beneficial, this is the Tapas of Speech.

Austerity of Mind

16
Clear-mindedness, gentleness, monitoring speech, self-restraint and pure-heartedness, is austerity of mind.

Clear-minded also means peaceful or serene. Monitoring speech also means silence. Self-restraint is self-control. Pure-heartedness is sincerity and empathy. 

Austerities of Body, Speech and Mind

17 – 19
(17) These three austerities — body, speech and mind — practiced with ardent faith by those without expectation of return benefit, are sattvic austerities that last.

(18) Austerities undergone with pride and for the purpose of gaining honor, respect and adoration, are rajasic, unsteady and impermanent.

(19) Austerities performed out of ignorance that torture oneself, or for the purpose of destroying or overpowering others, are tamasic.

Giving

20 – 22
Feeding the needy(20) Gifts given at the proper time and place, without expectation of reward, to worthy persons who have done no prior favor, with the only idea, “this is given,” is sattvic giving.

(21) But gifts given grudgingly, with the aim of personal benefit or the expectation of reward, is rajasic giving.

(11) Gifts given at the wrong time and place to the unworthy without paying respect, but with contempt, is said to be tamasic giving.

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

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.


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


Absolute God is Absolute Goodness – Bhagavad Gita, Ch 13, Vs 1-3, Continued

Paradise on Earth

Absolute God is Absolute Godness

As human beings, we have to constantly deal with opposites and the shades between their extremities. There is always a downside to every good, and a good side to every bad. Between these extremes there are a multitude of opposites in both directions. In this world, everything is absolutely relative.

Duality

Everyone seeks happiness, but few realize that, in this world, happiness is temporal. It will not last. The dual nature of our physical existence does not allow for it. Everyone runs from unhappiness and misery, but the good news is that this also will pass away.

It seems that the only thing we can do is to stay in the middle as much as possible. But this would mean that we would have to become experts at denial, or be willing to give up dreams of continued prosperity, perfect health, a happy life with a soul mate, and all the other nice things we dream of. Because if we get any them, there is always the probability of a backfire in the form of its opposite. This duality is characteristic of the Relative world we live in as human beings.    

Non-Duality

However, when we contemplate Absolute God, we are contemplating Absolute Goodness. There is no flip side to this Goodness. You might say that Goodness is characteristic of the Absolute. 

Earth, water, fire, air, ether, mind, intelligence and the sense of self as the doer of action, are the eight parts of my Relative nature. Such is My inferior nature. But know this as different from My highest Absolute existence by which this world is sustained. — Bhagavad Gita, Ch 7, vs 4 – 5

Knowing these two aspects of God/Truth is imperative to reaching God Realization, Self Realization. These verses clearly define God as both Absolute and Relative. Grasping and remembering this, you will be able to answer most of your own questions.

The nature of this divine Absolute Goodness far exceeds the ordinary goodness we come across in life. I has no opposite because it is Absolute. It is profound. It is the experience of the Joy we like to call ‘bliss’ on a grand scale. Once you encounter it, you will know that I am correct in saying that it is Eternal, that it never goes away or changes. Even when you have lost contact with it, you know it is there and waiting for you, the prodigal son. Once encountered, you can never forget it or leave your course to reach it once and for all.

But what if you don’t encounter it and you don’t believe in God? Does this mean that you are doomed to be unhappy and without this Divine Goodness that is eternal? No, you need not miss anything. Just change your word for “God”. Try ‘The Absolute’, or “Goodness” with a capital G, and do the practice Lord Krishna has been teaching Arjuna, and you’ll get there. Truth is not dependent upon our beliefs.

So get with the program anyway. You can pretend you do believe in God and not tell anyone what you’re doing. Your secret is safe with us. We won’t tell a soul. I think you will find that we respect your position, and, once met and talked with, you would likely find that we aren’t all that different from you after all. (FYI, my guru was a scientist.)

Next week I will talk to you about ten universal principles you can use to achieve greater happiness, and a clever practice for finding more happiness on an everyday basis.

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

Spiritual Leadership

Are you a spiritual leader in hiding? How would you know? Take this short self-survey and let me know what you think:  

  • Deep down you feel that your life has a purpose, but you struggle with taking action.
  • You get inspired at the possibility of fulfilling your desire to be a spiritual leader, but you struggle with acting on it.
  • You see your relationships as catalysts for mutually beneficial growth, but feel a lack of support and fulfillment while being emotionally drained.
  • You know that you are meant to have a positive impact in the world in a big way, but you aren’t sure how to do this while maintaining your current responsibilities.

I am interested in hearing your story. On this page, under “Subject,” please write “Spiritual Leadership,” and tell me about it.

Durga Ma