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Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 2, Vs 15

When the evolutionary force kundalini completes the transformation of the body, Death loses it power. 

15 Considering them common, Arjuna, one who does not waver on account of these and remains resolute, is ready for immortality. 

“these” refers to opposites as mentioned in verse 14:  

It is perception by the senses that produces the sensations of heat and cold, pleasantness and pain. These appear and disappear and are impermanent, so have patience, Arjuna.”

The keyword in verse 15 is ‘ready’. The ultimate outcome is liberation and immortality. In the Bible and other mystical texts of the East, this reference to immortality is literal — the corruptible becomes incorruptible; the yogi cheats death; etc.

When this perishable will have put on the imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then will come about the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting? — 1 Corinthians 15:54-55

Two conditions then, are necessary for this transformation: resolute determination, and indifference to opposites.

When truly indifferent to opposites, such as heat and cold, and pleasure and pain, one is in a state in which opposites have been neutralized through union (yoga). The instant prana and apana* unite within the body, opposition vanishes and the Life Energy takes on an evolutionary function (kundalini), and though this may only last for a moment, in that moment there is absolute indifference to opposites. Attractions and aversions cannot exist where there are no likes or dislikes, and likes and dislikes cannot exist in the complete satisfaction and fulfillment of this moment of union. Thus begins the work of neutralizing the polarized pull of the very things that support ignorance (Dhritarashthra): the desires of the mind (the sons of Dhritarashthra).

* 'prana and apana': The Life Energy moving upward that warms the body is called prana; moving downward and cooling the body it is called apana. When these opposing functions of the Life Energy collide, they are united as one, and the evolutionary force, kundalini, becomes active within the body. This is Yoga ('union').

Self-reference:

Desires of the mind (the sons of Dhritarashthra) appear as things you like as opposed to things you do not like, and visa versa—opposites. Begin by simply noticing these when they arise.

Ignorance refers to non-enlightenment. In the West, this is called ‘ego’, but the Sanskrit word (ahamkara) suggests that what this ‘ego’ is, is the sense of yourself as ‘doing’. This in turn suggests that what you really are is something other than what does things, and begs the question: “What am I?” Begin contemplating this question.

Enlightenment happens when you know through direct experience that what you really are does nothing. This unfolds by degrees.

All activities of the mind having vanished, I sit happily as the ruler within the city whose gates are nine [the body], not acting at all, nor causing action. — Lord Krishna, Bhagavad Gita, ch 5, vs 13

Sensible Spiritual

As a sadhika, I lived in the woods on very little of anything in order to find the time and solitude to practice yoga full time. I had no frills like air-conditioning and often no heat in winter, so I bore up under a great deal of discomfort. I told myself that I was cultivating dispassion and indifference to heat and cold, and pleasure and pain. What was really happening was that I was so miserable, and it took so much will to endure this misery, that I was not only holding myself back, I was getting over-exposed without realizing it. This resulted in the body becoming even more sensitive to heat and cold than it was in the beginning, and I have had to deal with this every day of my life since that time. It was a kind of ‘mortification of the flesh’ that I didn’t realize I was ‘doing’. And it didn’t work. It doesn’t work. It won’t work.

Scriptural injunction insists that we take proper care of the body so that it is fit for sadhana, not beaten down. So now, instead of tents, cars, vacant houses, or huts with quarter-inch cracks between the boards, I live in a simple house with AC and heat, and I do not put up with tolerating anything any more, if I can help it. That’s full circle from an ordinary life, to a determined and devoted spiritual life, and back to where I started from, only now I live a devoted sensible-spiritual life.

Indifference to opposites must come naturally and spontaneously as a result of surrender to God/Truth. You cannot make it happen. If you try, you will pay. The trick is to monitor your own motives as you live sensibly spiritually: Are you taking care of your body for sadhana? or are you using this principle as an excuse for seeking pleasure? And then, when you make a mistake (you will), you must ignore the temptation to put yourself down, forgive yourself, and move on.

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

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The Sustainer of Life – Bhagavad Gita, Ch 15, Vs 12-15

Light Illumines Sight

12
The light of the sun that illumines all living beings, and which is also in the moon and fire, know that light to be Me.

  • Light – tejas, the heating and strengthening faculty of the body as a whole. As an energy, it is called Prana (Life Energy).
  • Fire – agni, the faculty of digestion and assimilation of food. As an energy, it is called prana (warming energy).
  • Moon chandra, the cooling and eliminating faculty by which impurities leave the body. As an energy it is called apana (cooling energy).

A faculty is a specific, inherent power.
An energy is the manifestation of the power to act.

Tejas is called ‘the light of the sun’ because the sun makes the body visible in the physical world. As an energy, it is Prana, the Life Energy in the body that maintains and sustains the life of the body. As ‘fire’, it is the prana acting in the capacity of heating to ‘cook’ or digest. As the ‘moon’, it is the cooling and eliminating energy of apana in the body. Lord Krishna, avatara of Vishnu, the Sustainer of Life, is saying that He is all these.

13
Entering the earth and all living beings, I am the energy that sustains all living beings and plants. And I am the fluid essence of the body becoming the juice of life.

  • Energy ojas, the overall physical energy of the body.
  • Fluid essence – rasa, essential fluids of the body related to the tongue and taste, and also affection and feelings.
  • Juice of Life – soma, the ‘fluids’ of certain endocrine glands that, when purified, become amrita, the Nectar of Immortality.

14
I am the digestive fire in all living beings, the Prana in the body as both prana and apana, and I cook four kinds of food.

He is the Life Energy (Prana) in the body as a whole and therefore is also the fire (energy) of digestion, so it is He who cooks (digests) the four kinds of food utilizing both prana to cook, and apana to eliminate the refuse and filter out toxins.

By now we are beginning to see that God is in us, as us, in every way possible! 

The Four Kinds of Food

The “four kinds of foods” are what is taken into the body, and ‘cooked’ by the digestive fire (agni).

1. Bhojya – foods chewed with the teeth, such as bread. Enjoying foods that are digested, or ‘cooked’, in the body.

2. Peya – foods that are swallowed, such as juice. Enjoying drinking certain kinds of fluids that are digested, or ‘cooked’, in the body.

3. Kośhya* – foods that are sucked, such as sugarcane. Kośhya also refers to the vessel for holding certain fluids in the body, and is also known as ‘the treasury’ of the five sheaths encasing the five bodies.

4. Lehya – foods that are licked, such as honey. Lehya is the nectar sipped by the tongue entering the pharynx (khechari mudra) wherein the soma (nectar of the moon) becomes amrita (nectar of immortality)

*Kośhya, from kośha – sheaths or bodies. The five sheaths from grossest to subtlest are the physical body, the energy body, the mental body, the wisdom body, and the bliss body. It is said that being aware of the subtle influences of the elements within each kosha, one can discern the True Self.

This will give you an overall feel for the process that is kicked off in advanced stages of yoga sadhana. For instance, enjoying food (bhojya) has to do with what is ingested into the body; drinking (peya) has to do with the seeping of certain hormones through ductless (endocrine) glands, causing the soma (moon-juice) to ultimately become amrita, the nectar (lehya) of immortality. 

In these verses (12-14) you have been initiated into one of the ‘secrets’ of Yoga, and discovered its ultimate purpose.

15
I am seated in the hearts of all, and from Me come knowledge, memory and forgetfulness. I alone am the knower of the Vedas, and I alone am the author of the Vedanta.

Alternate translation:
I am the feelings (emotions) seated in the heart and the ally of all, and from Me come knowledge, memory and reasoning (understanding). I am known in all the Vedas, and I am the author of Vedanta.

Radha & Krishna in the Moonlight
Radha & Krishna in the Moonlight

  • Vedas – ‘sacred knowledge’, the most ancient Hindu scriptures containing hymns, philosophy, and guidance on ritual for the priests of Vedic religion. The Vedas are believed to have been directly revealed and preserved by oral tradition. The four chief collections are the Rig Veda, Sama Veda, Yajur Veda, and Atharva Veda.
  • Vedanta – ‘Veda-end’, or ‘after the Vedas’, is the name of a division of Hindu philosophy as either teaching the ultimate scope of the Vedas, or as explained in the Upanishads (‘sitting near; sitting at the feet of the guru‘), which came after the Vedas.

Alternate translation:
I am seated in the core of all beings, and from Me come knowledge, the memory of what is known, and the understanding of it. I am known in all the ancient scriptural texts on Truth (the Vedas), and I am the maker of all that came after them (Vedanta).

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

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

Life and Death and Neither, Bhagavad Gita, Ch 14, Vs 14-20

Leaving the Body at Death

How the Gunas of Nature Influence What Happens at Death

What we do in this life not only determines our state of being while living, but also the prevalent guna at death, as well as where we will go after death, and what circumstances we will encounter in the next life.

Death and Rebirth

14 – 15 
When sattva prevails at death, the embodied one (You) reaches the shining world of the Highest Knowers. Meeting death in rajas one is born among those attached to action. Those who die with tamas prevailing are born adrift. 

At Death

16 – 18
It is said that the result of righteous action is sattvic and without sin, but the result of rajasic action is misfortune, and the result of tamasic action is ignorance. From sattva knowledge arises, from rajas, desire, and from tamas, ignorance. Those situated in sattva at death attain the higher realms, those abiding in rajas stay in the middle, and those abiding in tamas go to the lower planes.

Sattva.  Action that is sattvic is righteous action and without error. Such action produces correct knowledge. Sattvic action is meritorious action, so those situated in sattva at death attain the higher realms and are born among the Highest Knowers.

Rajas.  Action that is rajasic results in misery and produces desires, thereby promoting more rajasic action and more misery. Those situated in rajas at death stay in the middle and are born among those attached to fruit-bearing action.

Tamas:  Action that is tamasic is heavy and dark and provides no motivation to overcome ignorance, thus keeping one weighted down by illusion and delusion. Those situated in tamas at death go to the lower planes and are reborn adrift (off course).

Life After DeathYour predominant guna state while living has everything to do with how things will turn out when you die, and will also influence your next life. The guna state predominant while living is likely to be the guna state at death. One’s next life then, is linked to the guṇa that predominated the personality and actions of a person in his life.

The Great Escape

19
When one sees that all actions are nothing more than the gunas, and knows Me as beyond these gunas, he attains My state. 

In the state called trigunatita (‘beyond the three gunas’), which is arrived at by the realization that all actions are really just the gunas interacting, one transends the gunas and attains the same state as Lord Krishna.

Nature is always active, moving and changing due to the interactions of the gunas. They are the cause of all action. No ’embodied one’, no Divine Individual, ever does anything. Realizing this is the highest enlightenment. This is what the Highest Knowers know with complete certainty. It is Lord Krishna’s state, which we seek to attain.  

Immortality

20
When the embodied one transcends the three gunas of the body, he attains immortality and is released from birth, death, old age and misery.

Note that the gunas are “of the body,” reminding us once again that the journey to our natural state of eternal happiness is not some etheric notion, but includes the body.

Life After Death

Alternate translation:
Getting beyond the influence of the three gunas of the body, amrita, the nectar of immortality, is ingested by the body, and one becomes immortal and free of birth, death, old age and misery. 

There has been speculation on when exactly the transition from a mortal body to an immortal form takes place: before, during, or after the death of the physical body. Appearing where it does among verses on what happens at death, this transition appears to take place at or after the death of the body.

It is not that once one gets to the point of ‘tasting the nectar of immortality (amrita)’ that old age and misery go away. But once the embodied one leaves the body at death, this transition will take place and he will never again experience death, old age or misery … because he is freed from rebirth. He is liberated, free, no longer in bondage.

I have encountered people who have known yogis to have made this transition in the middle of the road, so to speak, and from this, they have come to the conclusion that this transition is made while living. However, these appearances, sometimes called ascensions, were made by individuals who had already achieved Divine Form, and the observers were unaware of this. This state is sometimes referred to as “Divine Body”.

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

Surrender Meditation

Shaktipat Kundalini Yoga
Spontaneous Experiential Meditation

Slip into a natural state of meditation with ease. Experience the relief of effortlessly reaching a true meditative state without using your will.

Receive shaktipat and become initiated into the original meditation of ancient masters from which meditation techniques were 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