Destroying the Enemy of Yoga through Yoga – Bhagavad Gita, Ch 11, Vs 32


This post addresses Personal Time, Cosmic Time, The Nature of Time and The Secret of Yoga.

In this story of the Mahabharata war, this Bhagavad Gita is a conversation between Lord Krishna and his devotee and childhood friend, Arjuna. Listening in, we discover what Arjuna learns.

32  The Blessed Lord spoke:
I am Time, the destroyer of all beings and all worlds, come to destroy these people in this world. Even without any action on your part, none of these warriors here in the opposing army will be spared.

Let’s take the position that everything in the Gita is about you and God/Truth, whether you are an aspiring yogi or yogini, or someone with an interest in Truth, or an atheist (just tweak “God” to suit).

Consider that “these people” have something to do with you and your objective of realizing and knowing God/Truth. Think of them as they are represented in chapter one, and consider their meaning as it applies to you personally. They are all about to be annihilated to your advantage.

Some of these people seem to be assets, but they are fighting on the side of the bad guys and working against you. They are obstacles in your way and God has come to destroy them for you. You need God, Guru, Truth, Lord Krishna, for this purpose, because you cannot do it yourself, and now the time is right.

(Consider that now is the right time for you. Right now. While you are reading this and making this discovery. Why else would you be reading this right now? Don’t walk away saying, Maybe tomorrow. Tomorrow is not the right time. The right time is right now.)

Personal Time

It is no accident that Lord Krishna (God/Truth) is here when He is. Before this, it was not the right time, but now it is time to destroy all these ‘people’. This destruction pertains not only the bad guys that threaten Arjuna’s objective of reclaiming the throne, but most of the good guys as well. 

(This will not happen all at once, it will take Time and a regular practice for its battleground, but it is beginning right now.)

If you look at these people as representing aspects of yourself, this tells you that, even though there are some very good ones, they are in the way of your further progress. We might think of their destruction as the dissolution of your persona, your mask, making way for the revelation of the Real You that has been behind this mask all along.

  • Time – The Sanskrit (kāle) means, ‘a space of time, the proper time or season for, a fixed or right point of time, and time in general’.

At this time in Arjuna’s life, this must happen: He is in the middle between the two opposing forces, looking things over, and realizing that he is related to everyone on both sides. Chapter one reveals them as things related to him, most of which would hold him back. Lord Krishna is saying that now is the time for them to be destroyed in order to achieve victory—for yoga to destroy the enemies of yoga

Now is the time for Arjuna (and you) to move forward. Lord Krishna is here at this point in time for Arjuna and the coming together of these two opposing forces. Their union (yoga) is the awakening and activation of the evolutionary force (kundalini) within the body. Without this awakening at this time and place (the field of dharma), one does not move forward. With it, this union (yoga) of opposing forces becomes known to the yogi as the Grace of God Herself: Kundalini Shakti.

Things that would hold you back are dissolved through Yoga (union) at the right time and place.

Read my notes on destruction.   

Cosmic Time

Alternate translation:
I, Absolute God, am that point in Time when world-dwelling is fully developed and will be neutralized. With the exception of you, Arjuna, all these warriors gathered here now, will cease to be.

Expanded translation:
I, Absolute God, am that point in Time when world-dwelling is fully developed — the world is fully populated, or on a personal level one is fully developed in readiness for yoga (union). When the world, or the individual, reaches this point, which is Absolute, the world/the body, will neutralize. Neutralization takes place in the body when the two primary forms of the Life Energy, prana and apana, unite. This can occur in meditation as yoga, or in life as death.

Cycles of You

Beyond the kinds of memory known to science, there is another kind of body memory in which a ‘signature’ is left, not in the flesh per se, but in the subtle body that permeates the physical body. These signatures are created by acts and events experienced in one’s life. This karma (action) is what makes you go ’round in cycles.

The subtle body does not die at death, but acts as a ‘soul’ that accompanies the Individual after the death of the physical body. Signatures can no longer be active because the opposing energies that once supported them are neutralized. This is what is meant by “these warriors will cease to be.”

In the future, these signatures may be reactivated by associated triggers encountered in a new cycle of existence. In Yoga, these signatures are called samskaras.

  • Saṃskāras – tendencies or ‘habbit patterns’ imprinted in the subtle body-mind by actions and events experienced in former lifetimes.

The Nature of Time

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Ananta, Time Eternal
Earth turning
The Earth appears to rotate clockwise and counterclockwise depending on your point of view.

The Earth revolves because the nature of Time is to revolve.

Time is like ananta, the snake eating its tail, symbolizing the never-ending cyclical nature of Time. Even when you think you are going forward, you are actually going ‘around’. 

When you die, you die because you have completed the current cycle. It is “your time.” After death, you will begin the next cycle. If you are born again you pass through yet another cycle.

Time is not linear, but cyclical.

If your cycle on earth is interrupted, i.e., accident, war or murder, you go to a happy place unless you try to stick around here as a ‘spirit’, then, when the natural end of your cycle arrives, you can move on to that heavenly place. In Yoga, these transitions are called samsara.

  • Saṃsāra – ‘passing through a succession of states, undergoing transmigration, circuits of mundane existences’.

The primary purpose of Yoga is to give you liberation from the cycling of repeated transitions and incarnations. If you have had sufficient practice of yoga, your form may even transform into its divine form, the template of which is the ananda kosha (the subtle ‘bliss body’), and you would become an Immortal and dwell in the World of Immortals.

The Secret of Yoga

Time is a product of individuals assuming the role of the doer of actions. Worlds come and go based on this identification among beings.

The spontaneous movement of Divine Energy by goddess Shakti, brings about the destruction of the world and beings. When this mudra (seal) becomes unsealed, the world and beings are created anew. This applies to Time as personal (microcosmic) and macrocosmic.

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

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Risk, Efficacy and Victory – Bhagavad Gita, Ch 10, Vs 36-37

Krishna - Arjuna - Victorious

The Power of God & You

The manifestations of God in the world, in you, and in the entire universe.

The eighteen chapters of the Bhagavad Gita is a conversation between Arjuna and his childhood friend and Guru, Lord Krishna. Arjuna has asked Him to explain how He, as Absolute God, exists within Creation (beginning with verses 19-20, “God in You”):

Risk, Efficacy and Victory

Of gamblers I am the risk, and of the noble I am their efficacy. I am the victory of the determined, and the purity and goodness of the resolute.

There are several ways to translate this verse. To keep it down to one, I am using what is most applicable to my own sadhana.

Of gamblers I am the risk. This works for me because I understand from the Mahabharata that the good guys, the Pandavas, were involved in gambling. This kind of behavior is usually looked down on by the religious, but there is a special meaning here:

The Pandavas, Arjuna’s people, were urged over and over again by Lord Krishna Himself, to take up this ‘battle’. He advised this for the purpose of regaining their throne, their inheritance, so they finally acquiesced and surrendered to Lord Krishna and accepted his guidance.

This also applies to us. We have lost our throne, our authority over our own selves and our own lives. Taking a chance and surrendering to Absolute God/Truth will reverse this situation and bring you into your inheritance. Surrender to a God you don’t know yet may seem like a risk, but one takes this risk on faith in order to achieve victory. The end result is union (yoga) with That.

Of the noble, I am their efficacy. Making the choice to engage in this battle and put God in the driver’s seat as Arjuna did, literally, is a noble act that leads to victory. Lord Krishna is saying that He is the effectiveness resulting from Arjuna’s having made this choice.

I am the victory of the determined, and the purity and goodness of the resolute. This tells us that, with resolute determination we will achieve victory, and all that is good and true.

Of the Vrishnis, I am Vasudeva. Of the sons of Pandu, I am the Conqueror of Wealth. Of the munis, I am Vyasa, and of poets, I am Ushana.

Vrishnis. Of the descendants of the Vrishni clan, Krishna is the son of Vasudeva. Vasudeva means ‘indwelling god’ or ‘indwelling divine individual’, the Real Self inside all the packaging. He is saying that His birth as Krishna is the result of what is Real that dwells within. This is consistent with being the avatara of Vishnu (‘all-pervader’), the first divine individual in the Absolute to be self-aware and know Other divine individuals as the same. 

Of the Sons of Pandu. The Pandus, Arjuna’s people, are risker-takers. Not only is getting involved in a war a risk, but it all started with Arjuna’s brother gambling with the enemy and losing everything. Lord Krishna is addressing Arjuna as Dhanañjaya, which means ‘winner of wealth’. He is letting Arjuna know that he can expect success. What this means then, is that we can expect success in this facet of our own practice.

What facet is this? Awakening the sleeping evolutionary force (kundalini) so that we can retake our inheritance as sovereign Self-knowing lords by defeating the enemy represented as the Kurus, the ‘doers’. In other words, we will come to accept ourselves as sovereign non-doing divine individuals, knowing that all action occurs in nature, and what we really is not nature and does nothing.

Of the Munis. A muni is a saint, sage, devotee or hermit, a Brahman (God-person) of the highest order. Krishna is saying that of munis, He is Vyasa.

Now remember that it is Vyasa, the Sage, who is writing this conversation between Krishna (God) and Arjuna (you). Once again he inserts himself into the plot, this time as the greatest of munis, Lord Krishna Himself.

I suspect that there have been many authors called Vyasa (‘compiler and arranger’), but this one has a unique signature: his sense of humor finds it way into the text as he puts himself into the plot. 

Of Poets, Ushana. The keepers of spiritual knowledge were sages who were poets and bards. This not only preserved knowledge, but protected it from corruption. Teachings like this Bhagavad Gita (‘God’s Song’), were preserved in rhythmic verse and meter, making them almost impossible to be tampered with or lost, but easy to remember. These poet-sages were very advanced and enlightened yogis who understood what they were chanting and preserving. Krishna is saying that of these poets he is Ushana, the poet most ‘zealous and impassioned’.

  • Poet (kavi) – “a wise man, sage, seer, prophet, singer, bard” and “insightful, intelligent, knowing, enlightened, wise, sensible, prudent, skillful.”

The other device for preserving teachings was sutras, the use of short phrases, or even single words, which were memorized and used as cues for the remembrance of the associated teachings. One famous example is the Yoga Sutras of the sage Patanjali. Many read these sutras and expect that they are the teachings, but this is not so. They are bell-ringers meant to stimulate the memory of the mysteries they hold, many of which are only orally communicated. Perhaps we will take up the Yoga Sutras once we complete the Bhagavad Gita.

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

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Petitioning God – Bhagavad Gita, Ch 10, Vs 13-18

Arjuna petitions Lord Krishna
Arjuna petitions Lord Krishna

Petitioning God

This Bhagavad Gita of eighteen chapters is a conversation between Arjuna and his childhood friend and Guru, Lord Krishna. Since chapter two, we have been hearing mostly from Lord Krishna. Now Arjuna, petitioning God, his guru, takes these verses to do so:

Arjuna is speaking:
So say all the sages—Devarshi Narada, Asita Devela, and Vyasa—and so you yourself tell me.

This refers to what Arjuna has said in the previous verse—that Lord Krishna is Absolute God, the Highest Abode, the best means of purification, and the Eternal Divine Individual who is Personal God. Here he gives this description its credentials for having been said by these three sages, and even by Lord Krishna Himself.

The three sages mentioned are Devarshi Narada, the ‘god-sage’ and famous blissfully-mad devotee who ‘carries messages from the gods to humans’; Asita Devala, ‘the virtuous and unbound dark one’; and Vyasa himself, the author of the Mahabharata from which this Bhagavad Gita is taken.

The name Vyasa means ‘arranger, or complier’. Vyasa sometimes shows up in his own work. He has a great sense of humor, usually putting himself in a poor light. This cagey fellow, who hides himself inside his own stories, is full of covert messages. For instance, we have a god-sage (Devarshi Narada) who carries messages to folks like us, and another sage (Asita Devala) who is without bounds and is dark but virtuous. Might this indicate that the messages themselves are ‘dark’, hidden, and carrying ‘virtuous’ esoteric teachings? Knowing the author, it is likely.

Vyasa is telling us in this roundabout way, that he is spilling the beans on that secret yoga we talked about earlier, and that we are going to have to learn how to read between the lines to get everything he is telling us. How do we do that? We do yoga sadhana and let experience be our guide in this, and consult guru to either validate our understanding or correct us.

14 – 15
All that You tell me I regard as Divine Truth. Indeed, neither the gods nor the demons understand Your manifestations. 
You know Yourself by Your Self alone, O First and Highest Purusha, Lord of Beings, Lord of Worlds, God of gods.

When Arjuna says “You know Yourself by Your Self alone,” he reveals his understanding of Lord Krishna’s awareness of Himself as Absolute and Self-Knowing.

Speaking of Lord Krishna as the first and highest purusha, he acknowledges Him as the first individual in the Absolute to become Self-aware and knowing Others as the same as Himself. He is therefore Lord of Beings, lord of those individuals like ourselves who have come into being.

Calling Him Lord of Worlds, Arjuna acknowledges Him as Creator. The Illusion of this Creation, this world, is often spoken of in scriptures as awesome and amazing for a reason—it is so powerfully difficult to see beyond because of the Power behind it: Absolute God.

Calling Him God of gods, he acknowledges Him as lord of those individuals who became what we humans think of as ‘gods’. The traditional ‘gods’ are Divine Individuals who, upon becoming self-aware and knowing Others, immediately accepted them all as the same as themselves.

16 – 18
Please describe completely, your divine manifestations by which you pervade and abide in all these worlds. How can I know You by constant meditation, Lord of Yoga, and in what aspects of being are you to be known by me? Please explain to me in complete detail, Your power and manifestations, for there is no end to my desire to hear your nectar-like words.

Arjuna wants to hear more.
Arjuna wants to hear more.

Now look who’s being cagey! Arjuna is covering all the bases. Not only does he not want to miss anything, any detail, and do his practice perfectly, but he has a hidden agenda: He is swimming in loving devotion for his guru and wants to keep him talking, for it is bringing forth a happiness that he wants to sustain as long as possible.

Guru cannot resist this kind of devotion (which is why devotion is so effective), so of course Lord Krishna will accommodate Arjuna with an answer. In our next installment, we will get to listen in as He explains.

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