IV:18 Will or Surrender?

Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 4 

18 
One who understands correctly sees inaction in action, and action in inaction, and is wise among all of humanity. Such a person performs all actions endowed with Wisdom. 

You are sitting and trying to meditate, and your mind starts wandering around. You try to stop it. This works for a while but off it goes again, and this time it’s all over the place, zooming to one thing and another. So you cleverly imagine in your mind, a huge blackboard and stare at it, and slowly your mind starts to calm down.

Things are going pretty well when you notice a pain in your leg. You ignore it and continue staring at the blackboard, but the pain gets worse and worse until you feel like you have to move and adjust your position. But you have been told that moving the body is a no-no because if you move the body, the prana will move, and when the prana moves, the mind moves. So you just sit there enduring the pain, only to find that you are no longer looking at the blackboard but are trying to make the pain go away. You give up on meditation thinking that you are doing something wrong and that you don’t have the ability to meditate because you can’t still your mind.

Where the attention goes, the energy flows
(and visa versa).

HOT TIP:
The pain was trying to get your attention on your leg. N
ext time just let it go there and see what happens.

Trying to stop action is an action.

Persons undertaking yoga meditation generally begin with learning how to sit correctly so that keeping the body from moving around becomes possible without discomfort. Once one achieves this skill, it is possible to begin to learn another skill: how to stop the mind from moving around. This begins with controlling the attention by putting it on one thing and keeping it there. Because the attention is on only one thing, it isn’t doing anything else and the mind calms down.

Meditation is a steady flow of attention
to one thing.

All of this is work, action, but within this action, there can be a relatively inactive mind. But it is not completely inactive because you are holding it still, which is an action, so the mind is still active. However, eventually, if you persevere, you may one day enter a state in which something else takes over and causes the stillness to last.

At first, this is only murcha, the black nothingness of yogic swoon—unconsciousness. Now, with no knowledge or guidance, you are either disenchanted because of this unconscious state, or you think you have had samadhi and land yourself in the midst of self-deception. But you continue plugging away at meditation anyway, and one day you reach a different kind of stillness that takes you into an early stage of samadhi. But because there are things going on in this state, you think you have made a mistake and just cannot meditate correctly. You have not realized that surrender has inadvertently crept in to produce this state, for it cannot be had with the efforting will engaged.

Trying to stop action is doing something.

It is at this moment that technique changes to non-technique; willful action ceases. Technique (using the will) is one way to get there, but there is a more direct way: forget about stilling your mind, surrender yourself to God from the very beginning knowing that, in the hands of Perfection, success is inevitable.

In Surrender Meditation, one experiences inaction in action, and action in inaction, as Shakti, the life force in the body, with Her infinite intelligence manages all actions, leaving you free of effort and ego. It is a journey of wondrous experiences on the way to freedom.

Will – Doing something deliberately for a purpose; executing a desire.
The agent of action is ego.

Surrender – The cessation of forcing and resisting; entrusting yourself to God, Truth.
The agent of action is God, Truth.

A child stands inside a doorframe, arms rigid, the backs of his hands pressing for all he’s worth against the doorframe to beat his buddy at how long he can hold this position. He presses and presses until he can’t bear it any more and, without thinking, he steps away from the door and his hands and arms rise effortlessly upward, proving themselves immune to gravity.

Try it sometime.

Are you ready to step away from the door? Take shaktipat diksha and learn the uncommon practice of ancient masters:  Shaktipat Kundalini Yoga, Surrender Meditation.

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


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III:38-41 The Lost Teachings

Thank you for all your gurupurnima greetings and gifts. May you be spiritually and prosperously blessed through out the year.  ¶

What is it that hides our inherent power from us? our power to know our true Selves, the entire cosmos, and Truth Itself? It is that our perception is indirect; only direct perception will suffice in this. 

BHAGAVAD GITA, CHAPTER 3, VERSES 38-41 

38
Just as fire is hidden by smoke, a mirror by dust and the fetus by the womb, so by that is this concealed. 

“So by that” refers to the force mentioned in verses 36-37“is this” refers to the Knowledge-teachings of this chapter becoming “concealed”, hidden and lost.

“Just as fire is hidden by smoke, a mirror by dust, and the fetus by the womb”

Why has Lord Krishna chosen these particular items for this metaphor—fire, a mirror, and the womb?

The Fire

The ‘fire’ is referring to a bearer bringing an offering to a sacrificial fire, and in the process becoming enveloped and hidden by its smoke, so the Sanskrit word, vahnir (‘bearer’), is taken as synonymous with ‘fire’. When I see things like this I know there is something more afoot hidden in the cracks, and I go looking around…

Vahnir (‘fire’) is also a name of Soma. You may recall that soma, ‘moon-juice’, is amrita, the nectar of immortality, before it is made viable through purification by the ‘sacrificial fire’ (kundalini). Moon-juice suggests something ‘fluid’ associated with the internal ‘moon’ of the body, the hypothalamus*, where the ‘lake of the moon’ is located, and which is visible to the meditator at a certain stage of sadhana.

*Hypothalamus - A region of the forebrain that coordinates both the autonomic nervous system and the activity of the pituitary, controlling body temperature, thirst, hunger, and other systems, and involved in sleep and emotions.

Who or what is the ‘bearer’ of this fire? Smoke envelops the fire, or smoke envelops the bearer of the fire…which is it?

It is both. The ‘fire’ is the bearer. There are two kinds of fire: Surya and Agni. The ‘fire’ in the body is prana, the fire of the sun, Surya. When prana is in the sushumna nadi, the central channel, it is Agni, the sacrificial fire, kundalini.

The Mirror

In this world, our ability to see requires using our sense of sight, which requires that light reflect off the object we want to see, thus making our perception indirect. When we want to see ourselves, we use a mirror. So when we see our image in a mirror, our perception is doubly indirect, and a mirror covered in dust takes this even further afield.

The dust is ignorance (non enlightenment). The dusty mirror is ignorance of ourselves. Ignorance is how we see when we see by indirect means—the senses pick up data and feed it to the mind, and we ‘know’ of it. The data is then stored in memory, and we are able to revisit it. 

The Fetus

The word for fetus or embryo also means ‘the inside or interior of anything’, even a sanctuary of a temple (the inner sanctum of a temple is called the garbha, ‘womb’). 

Then what is inside? 

I am reminded of Hiranyagarbha, the Golden Womb, Golden Egg, or Cosmic Egg, and that the entire cosmos is what is inside, just as an embryo or fetus, which consists of the entire cosmos, develops into a human body. 

So we conclude that our metaphor is telling us that to achieve a sacrificial fire, Self-realization and cosmic consciousness, the smoke, the dust and the membrane must first be removed. Indirect perception will not do. Our perception must be direct.

Sacrificial Fire > Self-realization > Cosmic Conscious

We can be encouraged in this by noticing that the thing that is hidden is much more substantial than the thing that is hiding it.

We can only see inside with direct perception.

39
By this constant enemy in the form of sensual desire, which is like an insatiable fire, the knowledge of the wisdom-knowers gets obscured.

Here we go again with ‘fire’, and again it is associated with kundalini. So the message here is that sensual desire looks a lot like kundalini, and visa verse, to someone who does not understand the knowledge that has been given, and that this misunderstanding is the very thing that obscures these teachings and causes them to become lost.

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

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Your donations are very much appreciated and make it possible for me to do this work for you, which gives me great joy. Thank you.

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SHAKTIPAT  MEDITATION
Experience the simple elegance of spontaneous meditation
Wednesdays, Aug 26 & Sept 30, 7pm – 8pm
A Peace of the Universe
7000 E Shea Blvd, Suite 1710, Scottsdale, Arizona
$10 love donation
Seating is very limited, so please call or come in to register in advance
480 596 3755

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Shaktipat Intensives
Shaktipat Kundalini Yoga – Surrender Meditation
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III:36-37 Outfoxing the Force

What is it that causes a person to act contrary to what will bring them what they seek? 

BHAGAVAD GITA, CHAPTER 3, VERSES 36-37 

36
Arjuna spoke:
Then by what is one impelled to act so hazardously, even unwillingly, as if compelled by some force?

What is it that causes a person to act contrary to what will bring them what they seek? Even though we take a path best suited to our individual natures (verses 33-35) and do our best to practice these teachings faithfully, we can still be derailed. Why? What causes this?

37
The Blessed Lord spoke:
This force is desire, this force is anger, of which the rajas guna is the source. It is powerfully ravenous and consuming. Know it to be in this matter, the enemy.

Both desire and anger are problematic because of rajas, not because wanting something or feeling angry are inherently evil, but because of the consuming power of rajas, one of the three gunas (modes) of nature. Of the three, rajas is the most compelling—like a hurricane is compelling, or a tornado, or the heat of the desert, or the frozen tundra of the poles. For this reason, one practicing yoga sadhana is always wary of rajas.

“Desire and anger”

Desire (kama) and anger (krodha) are forms of ‘passion’ (rajas). Kama, desire, refers to sensual desire, and krodha, anger, refers to the reaction brought about by thwarted desire. In this way, they go together, anger being instigated by (thwarted) desire.

  • Desire is a function of the senses and the mind, anger is an emotion.
  • Desire is a want, anger is a feeling.
  • Both desire and anger rely on rajas.

Where desire and anger are concerned, rajas, passion, is the enemy, to greater and lesser degrees—with desire, the greater being lust and the lesser being what you want for lunch; with anger, the greater being wrath and the lesser being simple frustration with a task. 

“In this matter, the enemy” 

In this verse, we are talking about the rajasic nature of desire and anger making them “powerfully ravenous and consuming”. Rajas is said to be the source of both desire and anger. In other words, they cannot exist without some degree of rajas, and rajas, being a force of nature that is “powerfully ravenous and consuming”, cannot be suppressed. 

Rajas is not intrinsically bad any more that desire and anger are intrinsically bad. (By themselves, they might only be irritants.) Rajas is, after all, a property of nature and therefore divine in the relative sense. It is desire and anger that are the problem when they are powerful and ravenous. This understanding has led many a seeker to avoid anything of a rajasic nature, including food, people and places. Not a bad idea, really.

The Solution

It is often said that by increasing sattvas, tranquillity, the power of rajas is decreased, and that controlling desires controls lust, and that controlling lust controls anger. This is a logical stream of thought. Such practices can be effective, but require rigid willpower and must be constantly monitored.

The real solution to this dilemma is ‘indifference’. If nothing matters, desire is moot and there is nothing to become angry about. When you don’t care, neither desire nor anger can exist because rajas is not present, and both are dependent upon rajas for their existence.

So how do we get there? We take the teachings given by Lord Krishna seriously, and follow them. Chapters two and three are full of them, and more teachings on action will be coming up in chapter four to give us greater understanding. Their practice will bring us to a state of fulfillment where desires do not live. Once we have had a taste of this satisfying state, we will want more, and the more we experience it, the easier it will come, and desires will die a gradual and natural death.

Until that time, stick with your sadhana. Do not be too hard on yourself regarding desires, and control angry behaviors so as not to hurt or upset others, for it is simply not your inherent nature to do so. Such practices are money in the bank for making your road lighter and more fulfilling.

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

__________________________

SHAKTIPAT  MEDITATION
Experience the simple elegance of spontaneous meditation
Wednesdays, Aug 26 & Sept 30, 7pm – 8pm
A Peace of the Universe
7000 E Shea Blvd, Suite 1710, Scottsdale, Arizona
$10 love donation
Seating is very limited, so please call or come in to register in advance
480 596 3755

__________________________

Shaktipat Intensives
Shaktipat Kundalini Yoga – Surrender Meditation
Music for Relaxation, Meditation & Rejuvenation