The Means of Reaching God is God – Bhagavad Gita, Ch 9, Vs 16

God: “I am the ritual, the sacrifice, the holder, the medicine, the mantra, and the purified butter. I am the sacrificial fire, and I am the oblation.” — Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 9, Verse 16

Previously Lord Krishna said that when He assumes human form as an avatara, the ignorant and deluded despise or disregard Him, even though His highest state of existence is unborn Absolute God. However, those who have attained Him know Him to be the embodiment of the Imperishable Absolute. 

He goes on to say that it is He who is the entire process of reaching this state—the means of reaching God is God: God is the ritual, the sacrifice, the holder, the medicine, the mantra, the purified butter, the sacrificial fire, and the oblation:The Ritual

The Ritual
The enjoined action

The ritual is the practice of the knowledge we have been receiving: the secret Yoga. He gave us this knowledge and now he is telling us how this yoga unfolds by describing it in terms of action, the basis of which is…

The Sacrifice
The surrender of oneself to God

In the context of ritual (practice), the sacrifice is the full surrender of oneself to Absolute God. To make this easier for us mortals, Lord Krishna has declared Himself to be an avatara, a physical embodiment of the Absolute, giving us a place to begin that is more personal and more comprehensible: We can surrender ourselves to Krishna knowing that He is That: God, Guru, Absolute God, to whom we surrender. 


The HolderThe Holder

The holder of the vessel

The holder is you. You hold the vessel of the sacrificial offering. In an earlier chapter we learned that “one lifts the self by the self.” No one can surrender for us. And because we are mortal and will not achieve the Ultimate in an instant, we must continue this practice unceasingly. It is enjoined, it is our duty before all other duties.

The Medicine
The perfecting power of the ritual

This continually repeated practice purifies, cleanses and clears the body, feelings and mind. It is the medicinal herb to the one who practices this ritual sacrifice.

The Mantra
Spontaneous repetition of sounds heard and expressed during the ritual

The repetition of mantra occurs as a spontaneous effect of the ritual (practice), so it is a part of it. Mantra not only keeps the mind on God, but the repetition of the sacred syllables of the mantra and their vibrational effects clear the mind and swiftly dissolve the debris. 

The Purified Butter
The remainder after purification

Impurities are burned away through the process of the ritual bringing about tapas (heat). The ‘butter’ is melted down, separating the pure from the impure. The impurities are discarded, leaving only what is pure.


The Sacrificial FireThe Sacrificial Fire
The awakening of Kundalini

Fire is energy. The ‘sacrificial fire’ is the intensification of the Life Energy, prana, so that it becomes strong and can awaken kundalini, the evolutionary force. The sacrificial fire accelerates kundalini’s mission to evolve you to the perfect, divine one that you really are.

The Oblation
The offering

The oblation is what you offer into this fire: yourself.

Now try reading this verse again: “I am the ritual, the sacrifice, the holder, the medicine, the mantra, and the purified butter. I am the sacrificial fire, and I am the oblation.” This describes the process of Experiential (Surrender) Meditation: It’s all about YOU — God, the practice and you are one and the same, so success is inevitable.

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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Bhagavad Gita & Mindfulness Classes

Monday evening classes with Durga Ma beginning March 13

Reserve or take a chance and drop-in.
Click a class for reservations and more information.
Bhagavad Gita -Messages from God to You about You
6:30-7:30 PM
Mindfulness – Life Mastery and Meditation
7:30-8:30
$10 per class

Location:
Creative Living Fellowship, Emerson Room

6530 North 7th Street, Phoenix, AZ 85014

Omniscience – Bhagavad Gita, Ch 9, Vs 15

“Those who engage in sacrifice by offering wisdom, are worshipping Me and are together with Me as the one, the many, and facing in all directions.” — Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 9, Verse 15

Four Faces - The ability to see in all directions simultaneously. Unlimited consciousness, perception, knowing. Omniscience.
Four Faces – The ability to see in all directions simultaneously. Unlimited consciousness, perception, knowing. Omniscience.

First we know and then we do, but the Divine has no limitations concerning either, but sees everywhere (the faces) and performs all actions (the arms). This state is indicative of the final form of our journey to God/Truth and liberation from the cycles of death and rebirth.

The wisdom sacrifice has many forms, and all are forms of worship. They differ in their practice, but they all lead to the Ultimate. One obvious form is the passing of the teachings of one’s lineage to others who will in turn, pass them on to their own disciples. This was discussed in earlier chapters as the means of protecting the teachings from loss and misunderstanding. Anyone who reaches a certain point of advancement will naturally experience this “wisdom sacrifice” as a necessary and significant part of their own journey. 

As Bhgavan Jnaneshvara said in answer to the question of why he taught, he replied, “A teacher teaches for their own reasons.”

Alternate translation:
By the wisdom sacrifice, they worship Me as the Absolute formless One, and as the Many and diverse, omniscient, omnipresent and not different than themselves.

Whether one or many, God is essentially Absolute. The practitioner of yoga is not disturbed by this apparent dichotomy, but recognizes it as Truth. God, whatever your word is for That, has no limitations and cannot be confined to the either-or philosophies and belief systems of mortals.

Remember that ‘sacrifice’ is the offering of oneself wholly to Absolute God—it is a spiritual practice, a ‘worship’. The form this worship takes is the subject of this chapter.

“As the one, the many, and facing in all directions”
This teaching is seen in murtis (statues of gods) whose heads have faces on all sides—they are “facing in all directions”. This is a reference to their omniscience. They are individuals with unlimited perception. Their consciousness is not limited to a body or a form. They know all, they are everywhere, they know everyone and know themselves to be not different than That (all Others).

God (the one) and the Many (everyone) are all the same (not different). That this teaching is given in the context of revealing The Secret of Yoga implies that yoga is the action that brings one to this Reality through experience. The trick here is to remember that, however it may seem, this action is not of your own doing, but is the provenance of Shakti, the power of God/Truth.

One cannot successfully take this position without the absolute privacy and seclusion afforded by Experiential (Surrender) Meditation, by any name. In the privacy of your own meditation room, when you offer yourself to God in surrender, actions will happen and you will come to understand that what you always thought of as your own doing has been Shakti all along.

But what about everything you do outside of the meditation room? The world is called an “illusion” for a reason. However, being a divine individual at the core, you have the power of choice. The only limitation to this is that you have only two basic options regarding this power: you can either use it or not. Outside the meditation room you use it all the time. This is called “will”.

In the meditation room, you delegate God to run everything and get out of the way by giving yourself to God. This is called “surrender”, and it is this that prevents and eradicates karma and brings about liberation. The best you can hope to gain through the use of the will is some good karma for the future. (There is one exception to this that is coming up in this chapter, verses 26-28)

As long as you are using your will, you are creating karma, but in your meditation room, you are liberated. In the outside world, however much you may believe that you are surrendering in the midst of life, you are living in bondage every single moment. Only after many years of surrender yoga will this begin to change.

You will know when the time comes through the experience of seeing in all directions simultaneously. You will literally have the experience of seeing equally in all directions even with your eyes closed, in the midst of a crowd, or talking with friends. It is a definite, non-mental experience that is the herald of a new stage. Your life is about to change…again.

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
Read more >>>


Bhagavad Gita & Mindfulness Classes

Monday evening classes with Durga Ma beginning March 13

Click a class for reservations and more information:
Bhagavad Gita -Messages from God to You about You
6:30-7:30 PM
Mindfulness – Life Mastery and Meditation
7:30-8:30
$10 per class. Reserve or take a chance and drop-in.

Location:
Creative Living Fellowship, Emerson Room

6530 North 7th Street, Phoenix, AZ 85014


VIII: 5-7 At the Moment of Death, Part 1

Last week we learned about our original situation in the Divine Absolute and how we got to where we are now. Now we will learn how to recover this happy state.   

5
Having abandoned the body at the time of death and thinking only of Me, one achieves My state.
 In this matter there is no doubt.  

Consider that freeing, letting go of, or abandoning the body, also refers to surrendering the body to God in meditation. This is consistent with previous verses. And consider that ‘end-time’ refers to a timeless state resulting from this surrender in which union (yoga) with God is achieved. It all works. 

  • Death – Literally, ‘end-time’. Death of the body, death of the ego, sleep, deep sleep, meditation, samadhi, renunciation. These are some of the ways we can take the idea of death beyond its usual meaning.

6
When the body is surrendered, whatever one’s thoughts at at end-time, one reaches that, and transitions into that state.

Whether referring to the moment of physical death of the body, or union with God in meditation, whatever you are focused on in that moment of end-time, you transition into that state. This message bears consideration in either case.

For those of you who practice Surrender Meditation, remember that thoughts do not arise as a result of your doing, but as a result of Shakti working in your best interest. So you need not concern yourself with what thoughts are active in your mind when meditating. The cause is Shakti, and no one else, and they cannot cause anything that is not determined by HerSo no matter what transforms into what, it is not your affair. This faith is imperative. Remember that Shakti’s goal is your perfection and eternal happiness, not your immediate comfort. By this practice of giving Her free rein, you will not have to concern yourself with thinking of God at end-time. It will come naturally.

7
Therefore, always remember and think of Me. Offering your buddhi-mind to Me, fight, and you will certainly attain Me.

Many years ago when I first read this, I valiantly tried to constantly remember and think only of God, and found that, inevitably, I would catch myself thinking about something else. This was especially bothersome because the translations I had read were about death of the physical body, and the idea of transforming into some of the things in my mind was unbearable. But having discovered the value of mantra (repeating Sanskrit names of God) as a means of keeping my attention on God, I applied it in these moments, and was relieved of this concern.

Mantra has the very fine quality of becoming addictive, and after practicing for a while, it will show up on its own when least expected. In the early days of sadhana, outside of meditation I often had recurring visions that were horrible and frightening. But once I had a mantra and had practiced it, I found that it would spontaneously intervene in these visions and send them scampering away. I recommend the practice of mantra to everyone, regardless of their path. At the very least, it will clear the mind. 

“Buddhi-mind” 
One way to understand ‘buddhi-mind’ is to think of it as the mind’s function of differentiation. Another way is to  remember that the body has a mind of its own, and that buddhi-mind refers to the body’s mind. In an earlier chapter on Action, we found the word buddhi used to suggest the action of the instrument of yoga (uniting). So we might take “offering your buddhi-mind to Me” to be referencing this ability of both the mind and the body to sort things out through Action, by offering (surrendering) them both to Krishna (God). 

“Fight”
Remember that the setting in which this conversation between Krishna and Arjuna takes place, is a battleground. The war, though historic, is getting used as a metaphor for hatha-yoga (sun-moon union), the first stage of yoga sadhana in which Kundalini is awakened.

Also remember that Arjuna initially refused to fight. But the clashing together of the two opposing forces (awakening kundalini) must happen in order for Arjuna’s people to take their rightful place as rulers of the kingdom (you’ll catch the metaphor here). So Krishna is encouraging Arjuna to get with the program and ‘fight’—to get on with his sadhana (practice).

Continued next week….

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