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

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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

Protector of the Path – Bhagavad Gita, Ch 9, Vs 18-19

“I am the protector of the path, the power of sight, the dwelling place, the guardian and the good-hearted friend and ally. I am birth, death, continuance and the Imperishable source of origin. I consume by heat and I withhold and send forth the rain. I am immortality and I am death, being and non-being, Arjuna.” — Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 9, Verses 18-19

18
I am the protector of the path, the power of sight, the dwelling place, the guardian and the good-hearted friend and ally. I am birth, death, continuance and the Imperishable source of origin.

Alternate translation:
I am the path of Action, the protector of its preservation, and the ability to traverse it. I am the ability to perceive, observe and notice. I am house and home, the safe haven, and I am the good-hearted friend and ally. I am birth, death and staying, the three phases of Action, and the seed of imperishability in the northern quarter.

The three phases of actionpuraka, rechaka and kumbhaka, refer to intensified prana, (Life Energy), the freeing of prana, and the natural concentration and cessation of the movement of prana as discussed in the Hatha Yoga Pradipika.

The power of sight is the ability to know another (i.e., “the good-hearted friend and ally”). The ability to see is dependent on there being something to see, to know, something other than the one who sees.

Vishnu and Lakshmi, Life Maintained
Vishnu and Lakshmi, Life Maintained

The Sanskrit for the path of Action is also ‘the way of motion, movement and the manner of movement’, and is also the state or condition of happiness, excellence, goodness and beneficence. The way of the path of Action is the path of Happiness and all good things that come to one practicing this path.

This path is being protected and preserved by God through Lord Krishna, avatara of Lord Vishnu, the sustainer and maintainer of life. And it is God that sees you through this journey according to your wish. (God does not interfere with your power of choice. It is up to you. Your options are death and rebirth, or immortality.)

screen-shot-2017-03-01-at-8-20-20-am
Vishnu, Sustainer of Life

There is a place where the potential for immortality (amrita) is located in the human body. This “seed of imperishability” is in “the northern quarter”: the pineal gland in the brain. This chapter is telling us the means of bringing forth this amrita so that we can reach immortality.

What you really are is already eternal, unborn and perfect, so we are not talking about your ‘soul’ or your ‘spirit’ or the ‘real you’, but your divine form as the template for your divine immortal body. The release of amrita directs transformation based on the template, the ananda-kosha (bliss-body), which is associated with the fifth chakra, the vishuddha, meaning ‘completely purified’. In other words, when purity is attained, transformation can begin.

screen-shot-2017-03-01-at-8-29-34-am
Lakshmi, Goddess of Wealth

In verse 16 Lord Krishna described the practice of this secret yoga. In verse 17 He describes Himself as the progenitor, or origin of life. In the second sentence he describes Himself as the means of purification for the living. In verse 18 He is the path to the Highest Goal and its protector and your’s, and goes on to say that He is death and birth, and the Imperishable Absolute.

By taking this path, one automatically comes under the protection of God. There is no one who does not have the ability to traverse and complete this path.   

19
I consume by heat and I withhold and send forth the rain. I am immortality and I am death, being and non-being, Arjuna.

I consume by fire
I consume by fire

Alternate translation:
I purify by consuming fire, and by withholding and releasing the rain. I am immortality, disease, death and dying, the 
Real and the unreal, the good and the bad, existence and non-existence, action and inaction, right and wrong, and I am Truth and the one who seeks It.

Consuming by fire, and withholding and releasing the rain, are the two forms of purification. The fire (energy) is prana, the warming Life Energy that burns away impurities. The rain is the cooling Life Energy of apana which purifies by elimination.

screen-shot-2017-03-01-at-9-12-21-am
I withhold and release the rain

When prana and apana become united in the body (kundalini), fire functions as the purifying agent in the body as a whole. The body can become incredibly hot at this point. The rain is the cooling energy in the body, but here, in Raja Yoga, rain refers to soma, the ‘moon-juice’ of the pineal gland. It is withheld until sufficient purification has been reached, at which time it becomes amrita, the nectar of immortality. The amrita is released into the body to direct the transformation process at a cellular level. At this point, the yogi is on his or her way to the Imperishable Absolute.

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


Shaktipat Intensive

Saturday, May 27, Phoenix, Arizona

Experiential Meditation seminar 11:00 AM – 2:00 PM – $50
Shaktipat diksha & initiation 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM – Optional

Register NOW
Space is very limited

Location:
Creative Living Fellowship, Emerson Room
6530 North 7th Street, Phoenix, AZ 85014
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