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Meditation Isn’t What You Think- Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 2:59

(Yes, it’s a double entendre.)

Last week we discovered that there is something that comes before meditation and that without it there can be no true meditation, and without meditation there can be no samadhi (merging with God). This ‘something’ is pratyahara, the internalization of the attention through the withdrawal of the senses from their objects. Previously we looked at this withdrawal and what the experience of it is like. Now we will look at how it comes about.

STAGES of PRATYAHARA

1. You begin to lose interest in sense objects. (Sense objects are anything the senses can perceive.) Once you have begun to make real progress in your sadhana you soon find that you are more attracted to it than to the things of this world. (This happens soon and effortlessly for people doing SKY* for more than an hour or two a day.) 

2. The mind becomes inactive in sadhana. There are no desires, no likes and dislikes, no sensory input, nothing to be conscious of. You have traded your cravings for fulfillment and you are about to get it.

3. The powers of sense separate from the physical sense organs. This allows you to sense (see, hear, feel, taste and smell) without the use of the sense organs. You perceive directly, as clearly and definitely as you do under ordinary circumstances only more and better—you see things for what they really are, you see things other people can’t see with their ordinary sight (ditto with the other four senses). This sounds like psychic stuff when put into words, but that is a different experience.

4. You become disinterested in the things of the world in and out of sadhana. This stage sets in in a very real way after much experience with Stage Three and samadhi which is dependent upon it. At this point, you are not only disinterested in the things of the world, but you find them irritating, lacking, overstimulating, and a poor substitute for the real thing, which you have by now seen for yourself. This is when you will never give up your sadhana no matter how difficult it gets, however hopeless you think you are at it, no matter what it costs you to continue.

With the withdrawal of the senses there is true meditation. With true meditation, there is samadhi, merging with God/Truth and the ultimate fulfillment. 

*SKY — Shaktipat Kundalini Yoga, the sadhana (practice) of Surrender Meditation.

Read another person’s experience of pratyahara.

CHAPTER TWO, VERSE 59
In this verse we find that pratyahara is not easily attained, but hidden within it is the secret to attaining it.

The objects of sense turn away from the fasting embodied one, except for taste. But even taste turns away from one who has seen the Highest. — Bhagavad Gita, chapter two, verse 59

Delving deeper into the Sanskrit . . .

The influence of sense objects will cease for one who doesn’t feed them even though cravings for them persist. But even the cravings for them cease for one who has beheld what lies beyond.

Avoidance is the usual means of not ‘feeding’ the senses, i.e., the sense of sight: a man intent on avoidance who sees a beautiful woman walks the other way. This technique is why we find spiritual commentaries naming ‘woman’ as poison and the downfall of man. It isn’t woman that is the problem, it is the craving stimulated by the sense of sight coming into contact and becoming attached to a desirable sight. So a woman would walk the other way to avoid the sight of a beautiful man for the same reason. It is not sense objects themselves that are the problem but the influence they have on the mind (vs. 57).

Even though this technique is useful, the relish for sense objects remains intact. Faced with this, we suddenly remember ‘indifference’ and are taken into the realm of non-attachment.

Non-Attachment
It is not you that is attached but the senses.

 

Because you are identified with your body and mind, you mistakenly believe that you have desires, but this is just the senses becoming attached to attractive objects. For as long as this misidentification is in place however, you deal with desires as if they were your own, so remember this: It is the nature of the senses to attach themselves to their objects. It is their job. But you are not nature, and you are not the senses.

RENUNCIATION

Non-attachment comes about naturally as a result of Stage Three pratyahara and the deep meditation of samadhi. This is what renunciation (sanyasa) really is. 

Having experienced Truth directly, you have beheld ‘what lies beyond’—the Highest, God, Truth—and nothing in this world can touch it or even come close. You no longer have an issue with the senses becoming attached to their objects, for acquiring these objects could never satisfy you now. Only God is enough. And when something is enough, we are fulfilled.

Jaya Bhagavan! (Victory to Truth!),
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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When you stop relying on beliefs you can experience God- Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 2:53

**Our monthly Gita study group will be on saturday, February 27th @ 11am EDT. This is a free virtual gathering. Please contact Anandi for more information anandibhagavan@gmail.com**

Disregarding ritual-centered doctrines (belief-systems), when your intelligence (buddhi) stands unmoving in deep meditation (samadhi), you will attain union (yoga). — Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 2, Vs 53

Alternate translations:

Free of the conflicting opinions concerning ritual-centered doctrines, the motionless mind can enter into samadhi and become established in yoga. 

When conflicting belief systems are discarded and the mind remains unmoving in samadhi, you have attained yoga.

It is not enough to read and study, to listen to guru’s teachings, or even to believe your own experience. All three must agree. Until that time, one resorts to faith and determination.

A belief is a mental construct of absolute certainty about something. There is only one exception to this.

Belief is a feature of the mind in which there is certainty of the truth about something, whether it is true or not. The mind is active when it is engaged in sorting out discrepancies among belief systems, but samadhi can only be attained when the mind is inactive. The mind is made motionless through union (yoga). Union begins with the union of prana and apana. The highest union is the union of you with God/Truth.

Yoga is the cessation of the fluctuations of the mind-stuff
— Patanjali, Yoga Sutras

Samadhi and Yoga.

The words samadhi and yoga are nearly synonymous. Yoga means ‘yoking together’. Samadhi means ‘combining together into a whole’.

Both samadhi and yoga refer to union with the Absolute, but for this to take place, there must first be union of the sun and the moon (ha-tha yoga). The sun and moon, prana and apana, which keep the body alive, unite at the first chakra, and kundalini, the evolutionary force, is awakened. We get to this by …

Disregarding ritual-centered doctrines (beliefs).”

Krishna might just as well have said, “Arjuna, just take my word for it and save yourself the trouble. I am, after all, God incarnate.”

A doctrine is a set of beliefs based on certain ideals and taught as principles that, when acted upon, bring about specific outcomes. In other words, a doctrine is a belief system; acting on it is a technique, or ‘ritual’. We are being asked to abandon both to attain yoga samadhi.

The only exception to ‘belief’ as a mental construct is the memory of God/Truth experienced directly.

Our attention is being called to notice that belief systems keep the mind busy and consequently prevent Divine Union. Belief-systems (‘doctrines’) require techniques (‘rituals’) for the purpose of getting something to be a certain way. This is what a technique is for. This is its sole purpose. But now we understand that what will get us to samadhi yoga requires that we abandon this approach.

Where religion and spirituality are concerned, doctrines are numerous and are not in complete agreement. Constantly fretting over these discrepancies keeps the mind active, as the intelligence is constantly being asked to take up the business of sorting all this out. But keeping the mind busy is the very thing that prevents us from experiencing God for ourselves. For this reason, the disciple relies on guru and saves him/herself the trouble (Krishna is Arjuna’s guru).

Truth can only be reached through union with Truth.

“When your intelligence (buddhi) stands unmoving in deep meditation (samadhi), you will attain union (yoga).

Divine Union is where we are all headed. We are all going to get there eventually, but some of us are ready to stop walking and fly. We all have a choice: we can not bother with any of this, or we can try to make it happen, or we can acquiesce to It through surrender to the Divine.

The difficulty with the last option is that we don’t know how to let go of trying to control everything. We are trained to control things, to make things happen. We don’t know otherwise because it is not our norm. We have experienced little pieces of letting go, but how do we improve our ability to let go, to surrender, to acquiesce without ending up getting into trouble? The answer is simple: we practice it. I think of this as “the road less travelled”, for few are those who take it. I call it, Surrender Meditation.

Jaya Bhagavan! (Victory to God!),
Durga Ma

Surrender Meditation (Shaktipat Kundalini Yoga) is the sadhana Durga Ma both practiced and taught while she was here in her physical life. For more information and opportunities for shaktipat initiation, please contact Anandi anandibhagavan@gmail.com


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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Dogma will die to you when you come alive to Truth- Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 2:52

When your understanding surpasses the thick forest of illusion, then you will become indifferent to what you hear and what is to be heard (in the Vedas). — Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 2, Vs 52 

The knowledge we need is not going to be found spelled out for us in some ritual, book, video or blog, but through our own experience. The experience needed is direct experience of Truth. Then we will realize that we must stop investing ourselves in an illusion. We think this is a world, we think it is us, we think it is real, but we have been fooled by a mirage. It is real, but it is not what it seems. We look into a mirror and, pointing at our reflection we say, “That’s me!”. But it is only a mirror. What we need is to understand what the mirror is, and who is looking.

Direct Experience
Experience had without any means.

Literal translation:

When your buddhi (the discriminative faculty of the mind) overcomes impenetrable unconsciousness, you will be disgusted with what you hear about, and will come to hear about.

All the things you hear about concerning the Vedas, Yoga, New Age, New Thought, traditional religions and new ones, create subconscious expectations based on someone else’s mind or experience that may or may not be True, and attract you away from your own realization. These show up in new books and new religions or spiritualities daily, along with a plethora of self-styled gurus attempting to reinvent the wheel. Once you have achieved union and direct experience, all this will bore you to distraction.

Once you have experienced Truth for yourself, you will have gone beyond all this and will become indifferent to these doctrines, belief systems, and spiritual hear-says. You will stop seeking these things out when you have experienced Truth for yourself, and your mind will no longer be held hostage by the beliefs and opinions of the unenlightened. You cannot find Truth if you read every new book on the shelves as they become available, written by yet one more self-proclaimed knower of Truth. These books and sermons often contain partial truths, but you can only know Absolute Truth through your own experience.

Truth can only be reached through union with Truth.

The mind is our means of figuring things out. It collects and stores information brought to it by the senses, and rationally or imaginatively works things out. Direct experience on the other hand, does not rely on the senses, memory, imagination or reason.

The seemingly negative remarks about the Vedas in these verses should not be taken as derogatory, but as a way of telling us that, while the Vedas address the things of the world in which we live, what is being taught here addresses the Absolute. And even though both the Absolute and the Relative are God and coexist, we need to make the distinction in order to understand these teachings.

All Is God

The Relative realm in which we live is God’s inferior nature.

The Absolute is God’s highest nature, the constant, unchanging Real that is ever present in all that is, and upon which this Relative world is strung like pearls on a thread.

We do things all the time and take responsibility for actions. Because we experience ourselves as doing these things, this is inevitable, and so long as we continue to retain this unenlightened state to any degree, to that same degree we we will continue to do so. But the actions being mentioned in these verses as ‘superior action’, come about differently: You do not consider yourself to be the doer of actions when they occur on their own in the context of union (yoga), where it becomes obvious that all action occurs in nature, and that you are not nature.

It should be becoming clear by now why having a context for this is so important: You need to have the ‘superior action’ of yoga separated from ‘ordinary action’ so you can discern the difference through your own experience. By keeping this within the specific context of the meditation room, the distinction comes easier and light-years faster. By continuing, your karma will end and you will be liberated and reach the end of all sorrows. 

Jaya Bhagavan! (Victory to Truth!),
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.