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The Truth about Action, Inaction, and Yoga – Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 2: 47

All action occurs in nature, but you are not nature. Trick question: If what you are is not what causes actions, how can you be responsible for your actions? 

The Yoga of Action
(Karma Yoga) 

47
Your sphere of action is action itself, not its effects. Never consider yourself to be the cause of action or its effects, or allow effects of action be your motive for action. And never allow yourself to become attached to inaction.

Based on the Sanskrit, I count seven rules, or principles, of action stated in this one verse:

  1. Action is your ‘sphere of action’ (what you are entitled to). You are ‘connected with action’ (karmani) in this way only.
  2. Yoga‘ is action. So your sphere of action is Yoga.
  3. The effects of action are not yours. (Actions are none of your business, but are the business of Yoga.)
  4. You are not the cause of action.
  5. You do not produce the effects of action (action does that).
  6. Do not allow yourself to be motivated to act based on the effects of action.
  7. Do not suppose that these rules mean that you should resist action.

Action happens. It happens, as we learned in the last two verses, because of the interactions of the modes, or qualities, of nature (the three gunas). It is therefore inconsistent with the way things really are (dharma) to consider yourself to be the cause of actions, or a creator of the effects of actions, or to act based on what you expect the outcome of an action will be. It is the nature of nature to move, so trying to stop it is foolish because it is impossible. Action happens. Period.

Your sphere of action is action itself, not its effects. Actions will therefore happen without you. You don’t do anything in the first place. If you try to make something happen and it happens, you will fool yourself into believing that this was you doing something, you making something happen, when in truth, it was just nature doing her thing.

And never allow yourself to become attached to inaction. The same is true of trying to stop something from happening. Trying to stop something from happening is doing something. Trying to not do anything is doing something. You are still attempting to make yourself the actor by trying to stop action from happening. This is the core of the ‘ego’ (ahamkara, ‘I-doer’), and a waste of time.

This verse reveals the scope of the Bhagavad Gita as
a text on Yoga, 
a manual for achieving union with God,
eternal happiness, 
and liberation from rebirth.

____________________

The Science of Action

This verse explains Surrender Meditation, how it is practiced, and how it works to free you from sorrows, karma, bondage, and deliver you into the joy of union, Yoga.

Yoga is the science of action. It has roots so old they extend beyond known history into many, many thousands of years ago. The Gita was originally very short and to the point, and later expanded upon to give us what we call the Bhagavad Gita, the Song of God, which was later included into the heart and soul of the Mahabharata, the longest and oldest epic poem ever written. While the Gita is understandable as a text for understanding the nature of life and how to live it well, at its deepest level it is a complete text on achieving Yoga. Its origins are consistent with the origins of authentic meditation, or samadhi, and is pertinent to those who practice it.

Regarding Surrender Meditation

Shakti instigates all action. When you are surrendered to Absolute God in your meditation room, you accept what God brings. You are not invested in what that is — whether actions happen or not, whether you get any certain results or not. Consequently, Shakti is free to give you exactly what you need at any given moment.

You must not try to control the meditation or Shakti cannot work for you. Trying to remain perfectly still and inactive is an attempted action that will stop Shakti in Her tracks. Let go of your preconceived ideas about meditation and surrender to Her. She is God presenting as Divine Energy for your good.

One of the names of this practice is Karma Yoga, ‘the act of uniting with Absolute God’. Trying to make something happen or stop something from happening will prevent this unification (yoga, ‘union’).

Know this, but do not worry about it. Know that you surrender yourself as best you can, and that your surrender will increase over time, that all is well, and no progress is ever lost.

Answer to the Trick Question: You are not.
What you really are does nothing. It is only the ‘you’ that you believe yourself to be that believes it acts and assumes responsibility for actions and their effects (accumulates the karma that holds you in bondage). The Real You knows better. The Real You has always been free and in joy.

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


TERMS OF USE AND SHARING:

This post and text is original research material and is copyrighted. You are allowed to share this material for personal, non-commercial and educational use with the proper citations, references and links / tags back to my website. Clicking ´Share´ on FB or ´Reblog´ on WordPress would be most appropriate.Please obtain written permission from Anandi first if you want to use this material on your workshop, blog, organization, webpage, book, seminar or for any commercial purpose. All information provided, be it through sessions conducted or this post is non-liable and is not intended to replace professional legal, medical, psychological, psychiatric and/or financial counsel. How you choose to act on this information is up to your own free will and is entirely your responsibility.



 

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Yoga and Freedom -Bhagavad Gita- Chapter 2: Vs 39

Taking into account everything that can be known and what to do with it. 

39 
What I have imparted to you is the wisdom of Sankhya. Now hear the wisdom of Yoga, by which you can free yourself from the bondage of karma. 

“Sankhya”, one of the major philosophical schools of India, is a reference to the teachings of previous verses in this chapter. The word sankhya means ‘taking into account’. Sankhya philosophy takes into account everything that can be known. It is considered to be a dualistic philosophy in that it deals with opposites in the manner we have been discussing.

“Yoga”, ‘the act of uniting’, takes us beyond what Sankhya has taught us, to putting this knowledge into action. The act of uniting (yoga) requires more than one, otherwise what would be uniting with what? Yoga is a natural partner to Sankhya.

“the bondage of karma” refers to the entrapment produced by the union of ignorance with action. Believing that ‘I do’, the principle of cause and effect is put into play, and the ‘I’ automatically becomes trapped by responsibility for the action, be it good or bad.

“karma” means ‘action’. The root of the word karmakri, meaning ‘to do’, is the basis of the ignorance of the Truth of Self as the eternal non-doer.

Alternate Translations:

• Now that you have this knowledge, taking it together with the understanding of action, you can avoid the bondage of action (karma).

• This wisdom has been presented to you from the standpoint of Jnana Yoga (Knowledge Yoga). Now hear it presented as Karma Yoga (Action Yoga) by which you will be able to throw off the shackles of karma.

• I have explained to you the spiritual knowledge regarding the nature of the soul. Now listen to the science of action, which can completely release you from the bondage of cause and effect.

Previously, we discussed pairs of opposites and bringing them into union. Knowledge, what you think or know, and action, things that happen and things you do, are also opposites. In this verse we are presented with the idea of bringing knowledge and action together as a unit: Sankhya (wisdom-knowledge) and Yoga (the act of union) are one.

________________________

The science of Yoga is the science of action. The word yoga means ‘union’ and consequently also means ‘action’, for one thing uniting with another is an action.

It is one thing to equalize a pair of opposites, but it is quite another thing to bring them together as a single unit. The process of uniting the solar and lunar energies in the body is hatha yoga (sun-moon union). When this is accomplished, this unit takes on the function of furthering one’s evolution and is called kundalini.

Yes, evolution is going on all the time, but it is taking us thousands of lifetimes to complete. Through the natural practice of Yoga, we stand a chance of reaching raja yoga and getting closer to the freedom and eternal (rather than temporal) happiness that we know awaits us.

Hatha Yoga begins after enough sadhana (practice) has been successfully accomplished to get us there, and will take up nearly all of our sadhana from that point on. Then, sun-moon union having been accomplished and the process advanced sufficiently, we move into raja yoga, ‘royal union’, uniting with God, Truth, the Absolute (whatever your word is for That).

This process doesn’t have to be thought of as religious or spiritual. It is what it is: evolution. We tend to think of all this as spiritual because we need a name for it that expresses an experience that we do not know how to talk about. And because we can’t put it in a test tube and prove it. We have no words for it in English. Some try to avoid the word God with its implication of some deity somewhere in the cosmos directing our lives, and try using words like Divine, or Truth. But whatever you like to call It, think of it as Absolute, for it is absolute. Even the relative is absolute.

Everything is Absolutely Relative

Jaya Bhagavan! (Victory to God!)
Durga Ma
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TERMS OF USE AND SHARING:

This post and text is original research material and is copyrighted. You are allowed to share this material for personal, non-commercial and educational use with the proper citations, references and links / tags back to my website. Clicking ´Share´ on FB or ´Reblog´ on WordPress would be most appropriate.Please obtain written permission from Anandi first if you want to use this material on your workshop, blog, organization, webpage, book, seminar or for any commercial purpose. All information provided, be it through sessions conducted or this post is non-liable and is not intended to replace professional legal, medical, psychological, psychiatric and/or financial counsel. How you choose to act on this information is up to your own free will and is entirely your responsibility.

The Greatest Secret of All – Bhagavad Gita, Ch 18, Vs 67-71

Scripture - a book of secrets
Read It Here!

The Diamond Shloka

Abandon all dharmas and take refuge in Me alone, and I will give you freedom from all misfortunes. Grieve not. — Shloka 66

Alternate translation:
Abandon all ‘shoulds’ and surrender only to Me, and I will give you liberation and the end of all sorrows. Fear not!

Requirements

67
This is never to be spoken of by you to one who is without austerity, never to one who is not devoted to Me or neglects seva at any time, never to one who is averse to practice and study, and never to one who does not love Me and protect this teaching.

1.  Austerity (tapasis the purification process brought about by yoga; the melting away of impurities, including one’s karma.

Tapas, usually translated as ‘austerity’, means ‘to burn, heat, melt or warm’. Tapas is brought about by yoga (union) for the purpose of burning away impurities, and putting things not in sync with God and the Real You where they belong. This applies to body, feelings, mind and karma.  

2. Devotion and seva exemplify love and respect for the guru.

Devotion (bhakti, ‘love, respect, commitment’) is love and commitment to God, and the performance of guru seva

Seva is selfless service, service without expectation of return benefits.

Guru’s Grace refers to receiving the initiations of the guru’s lineage. To the degree that one is devoted to guru and performs seva, one gets Guru’s Grace. Seva diminishes one’s karma and protects the guru and the guru’s oral teachings.

3. Study and practice refers to learning and putting the knowledge gained into practice on a regular basis.

Study means learning through the study of scriptures, the words of the Guru, and contemplation of scripture and the guru’s teachings. Study also refers to the study of oneself and one’s Self with self-honesty.

Practice is putting the knowledge gained through Study into action. The form this takes is determined by the Guru. Different gurus have different practices, all of which include meditation.

4. Love Me and protect this teaching means that one does not reveal this teaching to those who do not fit these requirements.

Protection refers to both the teachings and the guru. “Love Me and protect the teaching.” If you love God you also love everyone, and will therefore protect this secret from misunderstandings and misuse in order to protect them. This is achieved by abiding by the requirements.

Now that Lord Krishna has given Arjuna the meaning of the Diamond Shloka (verse 66 above), He tells him to keep it secret. But we have just read it! What can this mean?

A secret written in a book

A secret is something that is not understood. 

Now, having heard this secret, we can’t help wondering if we have missed something. Unless we can honestly say that we fit the above requirements ourselves, we will have missed it, and its meaning will remain hidden to us until we do. When we do meet these requirements, we will come to understand it.

Abandon all ‘shoulds’ and surrender only to Me, and I will give you liberation and the end of sorrows. Fear not! — Shloka 66

68-69
One who teaches this supreme secret to My devotees, performs the highest act of devotion to Me, and surely comes to Me without a doubt. There is no one in the world who is dearer to Me than that one, and never will there be anyone on earth dearer to Me than that one who teaches this Greatest Secret.

Arjuna receives the secret

After all this hoo-hah about keeping this teaching a secret, He is telling Arjuna that teaching it is the biggest way to His heart! He says that “he who teaches this supreme secret to My devotees performs the highest act of devotion to Me.” He has even given Arjuna the standards for determining devotees who are qualified to received it (verse 67).

Once again we are faced with a paradox. If this teaching is secret, how can it be written down for anyone to read? Obviously it is written in such a way that only someone who has met the above criteria will be able to understand it. So have another look at these requirements, and decide for yourself how close you are to meeting them.

In these verses, Lord Krishna is also revealing the power of teaching as a part of one’s sadhanaOnce one has reached the stage in which he or she has received this teaching and gained adequate experience, the guru may appoint them to teach others. 

The best way to learn is to teach.

Such a devotee will ultimately become a teacher of the guru’s lineage and find themself in the Heart of God:

“There is no one in the world who is dearer to Me than that one, and never will there be anyone on earth dearer to Me than that one who teaches this Greatest Secret.”— Verse 69

70-71
And one who hears this sacred teaching with faith, by that one I am loved with the Knowledge Sacrifice.
It is certain that, free of ill-will and scoffing, the man who assimilates this knowledge is liberated and reaches the auspicious worlds of the righteous.

“The man” Though we usually see the word purusha to indicate a male person, here the word is nara, indicating a person who has reached an advanced stage of Yoga. This tells us that this stage is fundamental to the requirements for receiving the secret.

“Assimilates” Takes it in, understands and internalizes it.

“Without ill-will or scoffing” This is mentioned to point out the reaction of someone who hears this secret without meeting the four Requirements mentioned above. Unable to understand it, he may ridicule it and causing harm to those he tells. This further emphasizes the need to protect it in order to protect others from the harm caused by misunderstanding and derision.

“Liberated” Free. By using the word mukti instead of moksha, he is saying that, , even though one is liberated from the cycles of death and rebirth, this liberation is not the final liberation. This suggests that there are stages of liberation and other realms of which we may be unaware.

“The righteous” ‘Those whose actions are pure’; auspicious skill in actionvirtuous, pious’.

I have translated these last two verses (70-71) as the culmination of the teachings concerning the Diamond Shloka. In the next post, these same two verses will reveal another layer of intrigue, and become the prelude to the final verses of this chapter.

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