Surrender and Self Realization – Bhagavad Gita, Ch 12, Vs 6 – 7

The Splendor of Surrender
The Splendor of Surrender

This post addresses the nature of surrender to God/Truth, how it automatically resolves distinctions such as personal or impersonal God, and how it is practiced to bring one easily to Self Realization.

The Bhagavad Gita appears in the story of the Mahabharata. It is a conversation between Lord Krishna and his devotee and childhood friend, Arjuna. Listening in, we receive the teachings of Lord Krishna as he relates them to Arjuna.

6 – 7
Those who surrender all actions exclusively to Me as the Supreme Absolute, meditating by My yoga, are together with Me. Their consciousness thus absorbed in Me, I quickly extricate them from the ocean of death and transmigration.

  • Surrender – worship, resort to, renounce, abandon, sacrifice. Surrender is not just ‘opening up’, but a specific yoga meditation practice that involves abandoning all the things that prevent or diminish your surrender during meditation.
Swami Kripalu, bringer of the original yoga, Surrender Meditation, to the West.
Swami Kripalu, bringer of the original yoga, Natural Surrender Meditation, to the West.

Natural Meditation

“Those who surrender all actions exclusively to Me as the Supreme Absolute”

The Sanskrit for ‘surrender’ is samnyasa, meaning ‘throwing down, laying aside, giving up, resigning, renouncing, abandoning’. 

To practice Natural Meditation one abandons all desires, attachments, preconceived ideas and expectations for the duration of their meditation, thus fulfilling the conditions for sannyasa. Then all actions that occur in meditation are spontaneous God-actions and not your own. During this time, you are completely free. This paves the way for genuine liberation from samsara (cycles of transmigrations).

The message here is to surrender to Absolute God and nothing else. Period. You should never just surrender. And you should never surrender to a thought, word, phrase, feeling, physical sensation, etc. Such things may occur as a result of your surrender, but they are not what you surrender to. Even though your mind may tell you that a thought, word, feeling, etc. is God because “all is God,” in this meditation we surrender only to Absolute God. Anything else is in the relative realm of this world, and though Divine, not absolute. 

“The Supreme Absolute”

The term ‘Supreme Absolute’ suggests something higher and beyond the distinctions of Personal or Impersonal God. So we can take this literally: Absolute God is Supreme.

In our present age, Yoga has become a willful path. What I mean is, the ‘will’ is employed to carry out certain techniques in order to obtain certain correlating results. But there is another way to reach God/Truth that is much quicker, easier by far, and very satisfying and pleasant to practice. It is surrender to Supreme Absolute God in meditation.

This surrender takes place in meditation under proper conditions, and can last for from one hour to many hours. The reason such long sessions are possible is because you are not working at it. Everything that occurs is carried out by God, because you have surrendered everything to That.

This is what Lord Krishna has been trying to teach Arjuna, and he has finally understood. You will not find this surrender orientation in other translations. This is because they are translated by present-day yogis and scholars who are, like everyone else, oriented to willful action: If you do a certain thing a certain way you can expect a certain result. The desired ‘result’ is the driving force. But Lord Krishna is saying that the Supreme Absolute should be the driving force.

Who do you know that is not invested in one or more certain results from meditation? In addition to holding on to these desires and expectations, with willful practices one can also feel in control. This seems safer, but it is an illusion. Who is better equipped to take you to the goal of union with God, than God? It’s a no-brainer.

And then there is the issue of surrender being a loss of power. But how can surrender to the Ultimate Power make you powerless? First of all, this is not even possible. Your power is innate and can never be taken away from you. Being in control seems like power, but it isn’t. Real power is within you, for God is within you. You can either use this power or not. In Surrender Meditation we do not. It’s that simple.

“Meditating by My Yoga, they are together with Me”

The nature of nature it to move. Therefore, in Natural Meditation actions will occur. But these actions (kriyas) are not of your own doing, however much it may seem that they are. You have surrendered everything to the Supreme Absolute, so you are not involved. God takes care of everything for you.

God – Truth, The Absolute, Goddess, Divine Mother Shakti, the Holy Spirit, and many other names apply.

The highest action of Natural Meditation is yoga (union). At first this union is the coming together of two opposing forces in the body (prana and apana) that unite and awaken Kundalini, the evolutionary force. Later, in advanced stages, union becomes the union of you with God/Truth: Supreme Absolute God. Only then can you say “I AM THAT” with real meaning. You are Self Realized, God RealizedIn the next verse we will learn how this works.

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

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Swami Kripalu

Bringer of the original yoga, Natural Meditation, to the West.

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Jaya Gurudeva!

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Personal & Impersonal God – Bhagavad Gita, Ch 12, Vs 1

Ascension to Godhood

The Bhagavad Gita appears in the story of the Mahabharata. It is a conversation between Lord Krishna and his devotee and childhood friend, Arjuna. Listening in, we receive the teachings of Lord Krishna as he relates them to Arjuna.

The subject of this chapter is Devotion.

This post addresses the nature of Personal God, the nature of Impersonal God, and which might be the most advantageous.

Arjuna spoke:
Of those who are constantly engaged in worshipping You, and those who worship the Imperishable Absolute, which of these has the best knowledge of Yoga?

“You” is Lord Krishna, an incarnation of God. Embodied and in visible form, He is Personal God. The “Imperishable Absolute” however, being non-manifest and imperceptible, is Impersonal God. Arjuna wonders which best knows Yoga. 

Personal God

There have long been discussions on the idea of God as Personal. This is prevalent in the West in Christianity. Impersonal God on the other hand, is abstract and mostly referred to as Truth or The Absolute, etc.

  • Personal God – God as a divine individual entity.

There is nothing abstract about Jesus, but “the Father”? That’s a little abstract, but only because we can’t get a good look at Him. In the East, this entity is called Purushottama, meaning first and highest God, and is also considered male.

Purushottama, the first Divine Individual in the Absolute to know and unconditionally accept all other Divine Individuals as the same, is considered male.  Everything that is other than Purusha that Purusha can be conscious of, is called Prakritti, and considered female. So here we have God as both male and female. 

From Purushottama we extract the word Purusha. Purusha, a Divine Individual with a viewpoint, seems to have been arbitrarily assigned male status even though, in the Absolute, one would not be either male or female. Prakritti is all the other individuals in the Absolute — nothing else, because there isn’t anything else.

So Purusha and Prakriti both refer to all of us in the Absolute sense, with Purusha as the individual viewing, or knowing, others, and Prakriti as an individual being viewed, or known.

From your point of view, you are Purusha and I am Prakritti. From my point of view, I am Purusha and you are Prakriti. 

Now let’s say there is something happening because of all this knowing of Others. What is happening is called Creation. And it all began because of (but not by) the first One, Purushottama. Now we have a world and people and things and we wonder where it all came from, and what it’s for, and why.

We are living lives as human beings, and as we look out on Creation we see Otherness as people and things that are different from ourselves and call it Nature. Prakritti, Divine Otherness, gets the dubious title of “Mother Nature”, and “God” is institutionalized as “Him”. 

The word Purusha has long sense become used as a term meaning ‘a man’ in general. Purushottama is known as the god Vishnu, a male, whose avatar is Krishna, also male. Personal God is also “the Father” whose son is Jesus, also male. We have now taken this assigned gender for one’s own viewpoint to mean a man, a human male, who is thus Superior. What is viewed by Purusha is secondary to Purusha, an illusion, and female. But really, is the viewpoint superior to the view?

One wonders how it would be if someone took the time to rewrite everything and switch genders. Then how would we look at things, the world, and God? God and Vishnu would be female. I was told by my guru that in the very distant past, this was indeed the case: Vishnu was a woman, God was female, and with the descent into the present age, Personal God became male. He then charged me to do my part in turning this around and to “Bring back the worship of the Goddess.”

Impersonal God

If you have been following Mystical Tidbits, you will have noticed that I mostly don’t use the word “God” by itself unless it has been preceded by suggesting both Personal and Impersonal God with “God/Truth.” Personal and Impersonal can both work together.  

  • Impersonal God – God in the abstract sense as the Absolute, or Truth, thus doing away with gender altogether. 

Some of us don’t like the idea of some old guy with a beard and a staff hanging out in a corner of the universe directing traffic. It’s just too absurd. But that’s where the idea of a Personal God has taken many of us because of our religious associations.

Of those who, as children, picked up this idea of God, many eventually left religion and rejected God altogether. Some though, discovered another way of understanding that God might really mean Truth in the Absolute sense. They became involved in more peripheral religious groups who postulated this idea.

Others like myself just got so mad at God for all the trouble and suffering in the world (including mine), and ranted at Him for doing such a lousy job with His traffic gig. I liked the idea of Personal God if He would just get His act together, but that didn’t happen, so I left. For about ten years, I drowned my sorrows and tried my best to figure everything out on my own. Those ten years, while everyone else was partying and having a good time, were the worst years of my ‘adult’ life.

Near the end of all of this, I had a visitation from an Immortal and everything changed. Instantly. I was driven to search for a “spiritual master” to teach me, and eventually found Kripalu. (At this point I had never heard of Yoga.) I couldn’t speak Gujarati so I studied with his disciple, Yogeshwar Muni, who had formerly been a scientist. This greatly appealed to me — no woo-woo nonsense here! 

This changed my perspective drastically to one that embraced both the personal and the impersonal: God and Truth, one God and many gods, and even more beautiful paradoxes. 

Approaching Impersonal God can open doors you couldn’t otherwise jar loose with a hammer. Behind these doors are answers to questions you haven’t even thought of yet, but you will think of them when the answer is starring you in the face (once you have opened the door to the Impersonal). On the other hand, it feels really good to have a personal God. So why limit yourself to one or the other? I enthusiastically recommend both. 

In our next post we will consider how to go about this.

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

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VII:29-30 Divine Body…

“Those who seek liberation from old age and death by surrendering to Me, know this Absolute God, the Divine Absolute Individual, and all about action…With consciousness fully absorbed in Me at the moment of death, they will surely know Me.” — Lord Krishna, Bhagavad Gita, ch 7, vs 29-30 

Those who seek liberation from old age and death by surrendering to Me, they know this Brahman, Adhyatma, and all about action…..

  • Me – Lord Krishna, incarnation of Vishnu, God as the Sustainer of Life
  • Adhyatma – The Divine Individual, the Real You
  • Brahman – Absolute God

Lord Krishna is identifying Himself as Absolute (Brahman) and goes on to point out that the Real You is also Absolute and Divine (Adhyatman). And if you want release from old age and death, you will surrender to and come to know Absolute God, your Real Self, and all there is to know about Action.

NOTE: Instead of stating this process as cheating death as it does in some texts, it is stated here as liberation from old age and death, inferring eternal youth. This is consistent with other texts and the teachings of my own lineage on the subject of Divine Body.

…As well as Adhibhuta, Adhidaiva and Adhiyajña. With consciousness fully absorbed in Me at the moment of death, they will surely know Me.

  • Know – Accept unconditionally

Lord Krishna, Sustainer of Life, is telling you that if you want to be relieved of old age and death, this is the way to go about it: Accept and surrender yourself to Lord Krishna, the Divine-other-than-you, and become absorbed in That. Then, when at the moment of death you are absorbed in God, you will ‘know’ God.

  • Death – Death of the body, death of the ego, sleep, deep sleep, meditation, renunciation.

What your religion is, what you believe in, what it is called, your name for God, all this is irrelevant. Just surrender yourself to Absolute Truth and the rest will take care of itself.

“As well as AdhibhutaAdhidaiva and Adhiyajña

  • Adhibhuta – The first coming into being of the Divine Individual
  • Adhidaiva – The first other Divine Individual known to Adhyatma
  • Adhiyajña – The acceptance of the first other Divine Individual by Adhyatma

A Short Lesson in Yoga Cosmology


The Divine Individual
The Real You. 


First Coming-into-being
The Real You (atman), having become aware of your own existence (asmita), engage your inherent power to know what is other than You, and you are now in a state of being (ahamkara).

Your state: Actor.

The effect of the first act of the Divine Individual engaging Its inherent power to choose, is shakti, the power that instigates all action. 

This first action of the Divine Individual seeking knowledge of otherness is the basis all action, as well as the buddhi function of the mind which is based on self-and-other-than-self: duality.

The core of the mind, brought about by the first action, the choice to know another, is the sense of self as different, separate, and the doer of action (ahamkara, ‘ego’).

The ultimate result of the first action is that the Divine Individual enters a state of being and ultimately encounters a body (‘the Embodied One‘), the state of being human.


The First Divine Other
The first other Divine Individual known to You (Adhyatma), and who becomes your Personal God.

Your state: Knower


The First Sacrifice
Your first acceptance (sacrifice) of another Divine Individual as the same as You.

Your state: Surrendered.

Because of this first acceptance, as an embodied being your surrender to Absolute God, the Divine Other-Than-You, accelerates your evolution (awakens kundalini) and begins your journey toward recapturing your original state—eternally birthless, deathless, imperishable—only now with full awareness (“fully absorbed in Me”). 

In all of this, we find the source of all the differing concepts of God: personal and impersonal, Supreme Being and abstract Truth, relative and absolute. Now we see that all these are correct and have their sources in our own progression from the Absolute situation to the embodiment we now experience.

It appears that these two verses are telling us that, under the prescribed conditions, a transformation takes place at death, and as Paul has stated it in 1 Corinthians, “Death is swallowed up in victory,” and one attains immortal, divine body.

Now is a good time to revisit the lyrics of Kripalu’s Song on surrender and non-duality.

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

End of Chapter Seven
The Yoga of Truth