The Approaching Clash – Bhagavad Gita – Chapter 1: 20-21

Arjuna’s Depression

The Bhagavad Gita (God Song) is a dialogue in verse and meter between Arjuna and Krishna. Krishna is Arjuna’s childhood friend and guru.

The Characters:

Krishna – ‘Dark blue-black’, the color of the night (moon energy, apana). Divine incarnation (avatar) of Vishnu, God as Sustainer-Maintainer.

Arjuna – ‘Pale yellowish white’, the color of the day (sun energy, prana). A master archer, Arjuna is the greatest archer in all the world, He is married to Draupadi (shakti), who is the wife of all five Pandava brothers.

Having seen the Sons of Dhritarashtra [the blind king], arrayed and drawn up for battle, raising his bow as the clash of weapons began, the Monkey-Bannered Son of Pandu [Arjuna]

Monkey-Bannered Son of Pandu – An epitaph of Arjuna referring to Arjuna’s use of the image of the monkey-god Hanuman on his banner to communicate his intentions to the enemy. Hanuman, Arjuna’s standard, is the ultimate devotee of an earlier (prior to Krishna) incarnation of Vishnu, Lord Rama. Because of his supreme devotion, Hanuman achieved liberation, superhuman powers and immortality. With Hanuman as Arjuna’s standard, the message of this banner is clearly “victory”.

Why a monkey? The image of a human-like monkey attaining the highest state strongly suggests evolution and transformation from the animalness of meat and bones, to the perfection of immortal Divine Body, which is said to be the final achievement of yoga sahdana. This state is spoken of in other Sanskrit texts as “cheating death”, and in the Bible in such phrases as “this corruptible shall have put on incorruption”, “this mortal shall have put on immortality”, and “death is swallowed up in victory”. Arjuna’s standards are high indeed, and reveals the degree of his own devotion, commitment and determination.

Arjuna spoke:
To the Bristling Haired one
[Krishna], [Arjuna] then spoke these words: “Cause my chariot to stand in the middle between the two armies, Imperishable One.

Bristling Haired – An epitaph of Krishna meaning ‘master of the senses’.
Imperishable One – Another epitaph of Krishna meaning ‘permanent, firm, unfailing’.

Arjuna has asked Krishna to position his chariot between the two opposing forces. You will recall that Krishna is driving Arjuna’s chariot. Earlier I said that this was “another story”. Here is that story in short:

After having unrelentingly urged the Pandavas to take back their rightful place as rulers of the kingdom, Krishna took a neutral stance by offering his armies to one side, and himself to the other. But who would get what? To determine this, he said to Arjuna and Duryodhana, the two leaders of the two sides, that the first of them that he saw upon awakening in the morning would get to choose. Duryodhana spent the night stationed at Krishna’s head so that he could know the moment Krishna awoke and be seen immediately. Arjuna arrived before Krishna awakened and stationed himself at his feet, and as a result, was the first to be seen. Oddly, but to Duryodhana’s happy surprise, Arjuna chose Krishna, leaving Krishna’s armies to Duryodhana.

What we see here is Arjuna putting God in the driver’s seat. Even though it appears that he may have given up the victory by losing the opportunity to expand his own forces, Arjuna chose God. He did this by placing himself at his guru’s feet, so guru is now able to effectively serve him. (This scene serves as a teaching that explains the custom of bowing at the guru’s feet: It is not for the benefit of the guru, but for the devotee.) 

Being in the middle between the two opposing forces is significant. Earlier we spoke of these two opposing forces as representing the upward-flowing and downward-flowing energies in the body—sun energy that warms, and moon energy that cools. These two energies are about to come crashing together. This crashing together signals the awakening of the evolutionary force, Kundalini. In fact, the union (yoga) of these two forces is Kundalini. So now we know what this dialogue of eighteen chapters is going to be about.

We already have two opposites in union in order for this to have come about: Krishna (dark), God/guru, and Arjuna (light), devotee/disciple, are unified within the vehicle in which Arjuna takes his position: his chariot, the body.

Being in the middle between the two armies gives Arjuna a vantage point for looking things over, and we have the opportunity to listen in on his conversation with Krishna throughout the eighteen chapters that make up the Bhagavad Gita. So the fun has only just begun.

Durga Ma


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The Silence of Secrets and the Wisdom of the Wise – Bhagavad Gita, Ch 10, Vs 38-39

Lord Krishna
Lord Krishna

The Power of God & You

The manifestations of God in the world, in you, and in the entire universe.

The eighteen chapters of the Bhagavad Gita is a conversation between Arjuna and his childhood friend and Guru, Lord Krishna. Arjuna has asked Him to explain how He, as Absolute God, exists within Creation (beginning with verses 19-20, “God in You”):

The Silence of Secrets and the Wisdom of the Wise

Of sovereign rulers, I am the scepter of power, and of those desirous of victory, I am prudence. And I am the silence of secrets and the wisdom of the wise.

The word sovereign is significant. It refers to independence, the ability to rule ourselves and our lives without having to resort to something outside ourselves. You may remember earlier (ch 3, vs 17, “Heaven Within”) we learned that “one whose delight, satisfaction and contentment is in the self alone,” is not compelled to act. The key word here is “compelled”. This is a place of power, and places victory within reach. We have but to be prudent in how we proceed.

Independence may seem inconsistent with the idea of resorting to God and Guru. But resorting to God or Guru is an act of independence because we act from our inherent power of choice to do so. All good rulers have ministers who guide them, but in the end, it is the ruler who decides the course of action. When one is a master, one is not subject to being mastered, controlled. This is a form of liberation.

Alternate translation:
Of masters, I am their staff of power, and of those who desire victory, I am the proper action. I am the secrets of the mysteries and the wisdom of those who comprehend them.

True independence is the key to mastery. The signpost of genuine independence is that when you are truly independent you will have no compelling desires or attachments. There may be things you would like to have or to keep, but they will not rule you, or commandeer your power of choice.  

The scepter, or staff, is not just a symbol of power, it evidence of it. The Sanskrit also means banner. The banner atop the staff of a warrior depicts the standard of its owner. Arjuna’s staff flew a banner, or standard, with an image of Hanuman, the monkey god.

Hanuman, with his scepter of sovereignty, is seen here with ascended Kundalini, omniscience, omnipresence, omnipotence, and perfect devotion:

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Hanuman is the famous monkey who, due to his undying devotion, became vested with the eight superhuman powers and immortality. The image of Hanuman on Arjuna’s banner signals him as Arjuna’s standard, his determined level of attainment. So he is not someone to mess with. He means business.

Krishna, the Silence of Secrests

“I am the silence of secrets and the wisdom of the wise—the secrets of the mysteries and the knowledge of those who comprehend them.”

On the heels of the last verse, we are again reminded of our power and that we want victory, so Lord Krishna is telling us how to get it: with devotion, carefulness, wisdom and silence.

There are teachings that we will not read in books or blogs, but which are carried through lineages of teachers and imparted directly to disciples according to their needs. In this way, these teachings, and the uninitiated, are protected.

That there are secrets in Yoga is well known. That some people take exception to this, is also well known. The Bhagavad Gita is full of them, and so is the Bible or any other true scripture. Lord Krishna is saying that the restraint of not exposing these ‘secrets’ inappropriately is Him, and that this is in itself, a power. The assuming of power through secrecy is behind the many secret societies that exist into the present day. 

Of those who have been initiated into these teachings because they have reached a point at which they pertain to their sadhana (practice), Lord Krishna is their newfound wisdom. Those who know and comprehend these teachings and carry them in silence within themselves, are carrying God/Truth.

And also, all that has already come into being, whether moving or non-moving, I am the source of that. Nothing can exist without Me.

Arthanaranarisvarara - A form of Lord Shiva depicted as half-male-half-female-god.
Arthanaranarisvarara – A form of Lord Shiva depicted as half-male-half-female-god.

The word for ‘source’ in Sanskrit is bīja. This is almost always translated as ‘seed’ in Yoga texts, making the creative essence of all beings male. But bīja not only means ‘seed’ but ‘germ’, which is more rudimentary than ‘seed’ and makes more sense. In human reproduction, the ‘germ’ is the embryo, and even more fundamentally, the zygote.

A zygote is a fertilized ovum (egg). In humans, this ‘source’ that is Lord Krishna, can only be this egg. Remember Haranyagarbha? This is an egg, not a seed. This came up earlier in chapter three (The Golden Womb and The Ancient Imperishable Teachings of Yoga). 

The fertilized ovum (zygote) then, is the Ardhanaranarishvara (half-male-half-female-god) form of Lord Shiva, which gives rises to an embryo and develops into another human beingThe ancient sages knew that everyone starts life as female.  

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

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