Howlers, Happiness & Surrender – Bhagavad Gita, Ch 10, Vs 23


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. Lord Krishna began answering this question in verse 19-20, God in You, and continues:

Howlers, Happiness & Surrender

Of the Rudras, I am Shankara, and of Yakshas and Rakshasas I am Vittesha. Of the Vasus I am Pavaka, and of mountains I am Meru.

Alternate translation and expansion:
Of the Storm Gods (Rudras) who run about howling and chasing away depression and anxiety and purifying the body, I am Shankara, the maker of happiness. Of that which acquires and protects what is valuable (Yakshas), and that which preserves it (Rakshasas), I am the leader and king (Vitesha). Of the Vasus who dwell within all beings as earth, water, fire, air, space, sun, moon, and stars, I am Pavaka, the god of Fire, also known as Agni, the energy of the evolutionary force, kundalini. Of mountains, I am Meru, the central channel in the body through which kundalini ascends.

Of the Rudras, I am Shankara
He is Shankara, the original form of Lord Shiva. Shankara means ‘auspicious maker of happiness’. The meaning of Rudra, another name of Shiva, is ‘howling, roaring, and driving away evil and misfortune’. When these less desirable attributes are purified through surrender, one is left with Happiness, their natural state.

Of the Yakṣas and Rakṣasas I am Vitteśa
The Yakṣas and Rakṣasas are semi-divine beings and demons. Vitteśa (from vitta, anything found, acquired, obtained or possessed, i.e., wealth, goods, knowledge and correct understanding’) is their leader and keeper of the treasure.

The Yakṣas are nature-spirits, usually benevolent, who are caretakers of the natural treasures hidden in the earth and tree roots. They are very fond of acquiring wealth and hoarding it. 

The Rakṣasas are physical beings with magical powers, who consume raw flesh. They are said to be cannibals and shape shifters. There are both good and evil Rakṣasas. They are powerful warriors, expert magicians and illusionists. It may surprise you to learn that Rakṣasas fought on the side of the Pandavas, Arjuna’s side, the good guys in the Mahabharata war.

Of the Vasus, I am Pāvaka
The Vasus (‘dwelling in all beings’) are a class of beneficent gods. Pavaka, meaning ‘pure, clear and bright’, is another name of Agni, the god of sacrificial fires (human sacrifice: self-surrender), as well as the digestive faculty (food and impurities). ‘Fire’ is energy and is associated with both Prana, the Life Energy, and Kundalini, the Evolutionary Energy.  

Of mountains, I am Meru
Mount Meru is the central channel (sushumna) through which the fire, or energy, climbs upward in the body when one reaches a sufficient degree of purification.


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Human Sacrifice

In this verse we are taken to the subject of the awakened and ascendent kundalini. Remember where we have come from: The last verse was on the relationship of consciousness, mind and senses. We discussed the fundamental Power that connects them all: With correct understanding of the role of Attention, we make our way to the ascension of Kundalini. Depression, anxiety and misfortune in general will be vanquished, and greater happiness attained.

In the process, we will run into some questionable characters who will turn out to be allies in the journey of the evolutionary force attempting to ascend.

All this is accomplished by human sacrifice.

Human sacrifice has been unfortunately misunderstood. The true meaning of human sacrifice is the sacrifice of oneself as a being, to God. This is practiced in meditation, not in life or on the streets.

Human Sacrifice: Human is what you are being. Sacrifice is the surrender of that to Absolute God in meditation.

This is a very special practice that is mostly unknown, and rarely practiced. It is performed by the initiate surrendering him or herself to God in the context of meditation. Surrender to Absolute God ultimately leads to union with That, the greatest fulfillment possible for any human being. There are a few guidelines that are given by the guru upon initiation. They are very few, but vital.

I have practiced this form of sacrifice for over forty years, and can attest to its veracity and the fulfillment it brings. If you are suspicious about this concept of human sacrifice, you may be assured that it is not at all what you may think. This body is over 75 years old, still alive and kicking.

If you are curious about it, you can get a taste of it. The first initiation into Experiential Meditation will give you a very mild form of it, but you’ll get the idea. Then, if you like, you can go for the gold. You will see a link to this and to its partner practice, Self Emergence, below.

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

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III:13 Leftovers for Saints

Those who absorb the remainder of the sacrifice overcome karma and approach immortality. In this way, Kundalini Shakti, the divine alchemist, transmutes the base into gold—the human you matches the Real You and cheats death. 

Behold, I show you a mystery:  We shall not all sleep, but all be changed. In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump, for the trumpet shall sound, the dead will be raised incorruptible and we will be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, “Death is swallowed up in victory.” O death, where is thy sting?  O grave, where is thy victory?

— Paul, I Corinthians 51-55


REMINDER: My own path of surrender sadhana is strongly reflected in my commentary on these verses, but it is certainly not the only valid perspective. So if your orientation is other than this, you can draw your own conclusions accordingly, with my blessings.

Saints, those who eat the remainder of the sacrifice, get relief from their sins, but the wicked, who act for their own sakes, eat their own sin.

  • “Saints” — Sanskrit, santas – virtuous, good, righteous, true.
  • “Sin” — ‘to miss the mark’. Sanskrit, kilbiṣa – fault, offense, sin, guilt, injustice, injury. Acting out of sync with what one really is (divine) is the native sin ‘original (native) sin’ of mortals.
  • “Sacrifice” — Action for which one has no attachment to being the doer of it, or to its results.

Alternate translation:
Consuming the remnants of the sacrifice, the good are rid of their impurities. But those who eat for their own sakes, ingest their own impurities. 

So, if we are to be ‘good’, we consume the left-overs of a sacrifice? And this will release us from our sins, our karma? And those who do not do this, are wicked? What does it mean that they eat their own sin?

Having sacrificed and accepted the remains of the sacrifice, you consume only what is pure. Otherwise, what you ingest is still in its impure* state. This is another way of saying that by surrendering yourself to God in meditation, what you get is purity. Divine Shakti rids you of impurities, leaving you with the remains of the process which are pure.

* Impure - Corrupt. Something that is out of place. Dust dulling the gleam of a golden object is not bad or evil, it is just out of place and the glory of the gold is hidden.

When in the seclusion of your own meditation room you surrender yourself to God, Shakti activates spontaneous actions (kriyas) for the purpose of purification. The ‘impurities’ that you carry are due to errors of the past. Your surrender to Divine Perfection allows for the release of these impurities of body, feelings and mind, leaving only what is pure,* the ‘remainder of the sacrifice’ which, under the influence of Shakti, is consumed. This is the basis for the custom of ritual offerings of food to deities and accepting the prasadam (‘the remainder’) after it has been offered.

* Pure - Incorruptible. The alchemy of transformation in the hands of kundalini-shakti sweeps away the dust to reveal the glory of the pure gold.

Purification is the reordering things to their natural state of divine order (ritam). In Surrender Meditation, what is not eliminated or burned (tapas) by this process, is prasadam. This remainder is therefore pure and is consumed by the body.

Human Sacrifice – The Sacrifice of Surrender

Sacrifice, as we have come to understand it in these verses, is synonymous with surrender sadhana. Surrendering yourself to the Divine in meditation allows for the purification* process to take place. In Surrender Meditation you are a ‘human sacrifice’—the human is sacrificed to the Divine. Only you as a human mortal can make this sacrifice. This is why you are here—the you that you really are is already perfect. Surrender sadhana is for the purpose of getting the human you to be like the divine, already perfect you, your ‘offering’ transmuted into pure ‘gold’.

Only Perfection Can Effect Perfection

While we are here, we have this opportunity to make genuine evolutionary progress. This progress affects seven generations before us, and seven generations after us, and affects the world and everything in it and on it. The body is not only a part of surrender sadhana, it is instrumental.

* Purification. There is nothing wrong with pepper, but when it is in the salt shaker, it is out of place. The process of purification removes the pepper from the salt shaker to leave the salt in its pure state. This process of returning things to their natural, divine order (ritam) is the Divine Alchemy brought about by Kundalini-shakti.

“The wicked*, who act for their own sakes, eat their own sin”

If on the other hand, if you do not surrender but are meditating for a purpose of your own, you remain polluted with errors and imperfections. They will remain with you no matter how much you meditate, fast, or try to rid yourself of them in other ways. Only the most superficial of impurities can be removed by the use of the will (control).

*The wicked - Sinful, dangerous, impure, suffering. The lot of self-motivated action.

So now we see what all the talk about action and non-attachment has been all about. And we are not done with it yet, if you can imagine any more can possibly be said about it.

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

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