Three Kinds of Resolve – Bhagavad Gita, Ch 18, Vs 33-35

Determined

Previously:
Now hear the three kinds of intelligence and resolve, together and separately, according to the gunas, Conqueror of Wealth — Verse 29

Conqueror of Wealth – By calling Arjuna Conqueror of Wealth, Lord Krishna is saying to Arjuna that intelligence and resolve are forms of wealth that he possesses.

Intelligence (buddhi) – intellect, reason, the ability to differentiate, discern and judge. Buddhi is the power of the mind that forms ideas, imaginations, conceptions, and knows how to differentiate and figure things out.

Resolve (dhṛtes) – standing firm in the course of your practice; courageously holding resolute determination without wavering. You don’t quit when the going gets rough, or when you aren’t getting what you think you want.

Resolve

Determination

33 — Sattvic Resolve
That resolve by which the functions of the mind, the vital breath and the senses are held unwaveringly in yoga, is sattvic.

  • Mind (manas) – the part of the mind that receives perceptions.
    • Attention – the flow of consciousness to perceptible ‘objects’.
  • Vital breath (prana) – the Life Energy that keeps you alive.
    • Attention and Life Energy always travel together.
  • The senses (indriyas) – the abilities that you have to hear, see, touch, taste and smell.
  • Held (avyabhicharin, ‘steady’) – withdrawn, stilled and concentrated in one place in the body . When the senses are withdrawn from external objects and steadily concentrated at the throat chakra without wavering, the mind and Prana follow suit. When this is accomplished, one experiences pratyāharā.
  • Yoga (divine union) – the equanimity of samadhi (sameness) and direct experience (experience without any via). Pratyāharā is the turning point of Yoga.
  • In verse 30, we discussed the two fundamental paths (pravṛitti and nivṛitti) in which the first, the use of the will is applied, and in the second it is not. We can look at sattvic resolve either way. This verse is generally translated for the path of the will (pravṛitti marga). Now let’s see what it looks like in terms of nivṛitti marga, the path of non-willful action, surrender to Absolute God:

Determined RenunciateWith the path of the will (pravṛitti marga), to meditate you use your will to (1) withdraw your attention internally, (2) hold your mind still, (3) and hold the Life Energy still.

In the non-willful path (nivṛitti marga), you do none of these. You don’t have to. You have realized through your experience with non-willful meditation that, if you truly surrender yourself to God, God will manage your meditation and take care of all this, and the senses, the mind and Life Energy will spontaneously stop moving.

When this happens you have turned a corner in your meditation. This is known as pratyahara, the magical moment in deep meditation when the door to samadhi opens. In the early stages of samadhi there are journeys filled with unimaginable adventures, places and beings, all wondrous to behold.

  • Samadhi – joining together, uniting (yoga), a unified state of mind, equanimity.

34 — Rajasic Resolve
But the firm hold to duty, desire and wealth, with attachment and desire for the results of actions, is rajasic.

Desire produces willful action. I have said this before, but be reminded that this is not necessarily a bad thing. It is what most people do. It is the norm. Everyone likes to be part of the norm in order to be accepted. But this comes at a cost … you don’t move on to the next phase of life in which your norm becomes the non-willful path of nivṛitti marga. If you do not move on to this, your progress will come to an end. If you do, you will regard your previous phase of pravṛitti marga as a blessing that got you to this place.

I have been accused of being elitist in my teaching of surrender yoga. But it is not a matter of one path being better than the other. It is a matter of one coming after the other, and which is most suitable for each individual according to their personal dharma and their stage of live (see verse 30 for more on this subject). 

35 — Tamasic Resolve
That resolve by which one holds on to the intoxication of imaginings, fears, grief and despair, is tamasic.

Described in this way, tamasic resolve seems to exclude any spiritual path at all. One is encumbered with cravings and sorrows to the point of being so completely distracted by them, that it is almost impossible to see anything else. This is a hard place to be. But one can use imagination to counter fears, sorrows and despair. The problem is that the tamasic person often has little or no contact with others other than those who are also living in this dark place, and so does not make this simple discovery.

A cave for a home is sheer determination!
A cave for a home.

Most people I have come across who are in this bind, cannot allow themselves to get out of it. Just finding a small interlude between traumas is difficult. They are ‘attached’ to this state of darkness. It is ‘who they are’. Identified with this state as who they are, they cannot imagine it changing or disappearing, for this would mean that they would disappear and cease to exist.    

Attachment is not only applicable to desires for likable things, but one may be attached to something not in their best interest and not even realize it. 

Perhaps you have had times like this and can identify with it to some degree. If so, try to imagine what it would be like to live in this state all the time, and allow your empathy to go to these suffering people with the love and compassion they so badly need.

Namaste (I bow to the divine one that you really are),
Durga Ma
durgama.com

Life Mastery & Authentic Meditation – Bhagavad Gita, Ch 10, Vs 22

Sarasvati, Goddess of Music & Knowledge
Sarasvati, Goddess of Music & Knowledge

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 a Creation that is Relative. Lord Krishna began answering this question in verses 19-20, “God In You”, and continues:

Music, Mind, the Senses and Consciousness

22 
Of the Vedas, I am the Sama Veda. Of the gods, I am Vasava, and of the senses, I am the mind and consciousness of beings.

Alternate translation:
Of the Vedas, which are based on Truth, I am the Sama Veda, the most pertinent of the Vedas. Of the gods, the senses, I am Vasava, the power of perception in beings. And of the senses, I am the mind, consisting of memory and thinking, and the consciousness of which the mind is made.

“Of the Vedas, I am the Sama Veda”
Of true Knowledge, I am Music.”

The Sama (song) Veda (knowledge) contains knowledge of God’s vibhutis (powers, manifestations) in songs and chants.

The word sama also means ‘sameness’, and ‘veda’ means ‘knowledge of Truth’—the knowledge that we are all essentially the same. This can be known through the experience of music. It is no wonder that music is common to all our lives and loved by everyone. Music is the sound of Love. We are all in love with each other, and we don’t even know it.

Sarasvati, Goddess of Music & Knowledge
Sarasvati

Rereading this, I realized with a jolt of joy, what had drawn me so irresistibly to music that I was obsessed with it night and day since I could crawl. Then I discovered a piano in the church basement and longed to play. This love would pull at my heart so strongly that it hurt. The joy of it was bitter-sweet: I longed to hear it, and make it, and hear what I made, but I was too little to do anything about it. Later in my life, I was able to play well and discovered the wonder and joy of the connection of one person with a thousand strangers while performing with an orchestra. Within seconds of beginning, I was in love with all those people.

“Of the gods, I am Vasava”
“Of the senses, I am the power of perception that dwells within beings.”

The senses are gods. Vāsava, from vasu, meaning ‘dwelling within’, is another name of Indra, king of the gods, the powers of perception. There are eight vasus, eight aspects of nature—earth, water, fire, air, ether, moon, sun, and stars—that correlate with their dwelling within beings—smell, taste, sight, touch, hearing, mind, intelligence and self-sense. He is the ability to sense, as opposed to the physical organs of sense. 

“Of the senses, I am the mind and consciousness of beings”
The mind is made of consciousness—not consciousness of, but consciousness itself. 

The word for ‘consciousness’ is chetana, your ability to be conscious, from chitta, meaning ‘to perceive, notice or observe’. The ability to be conscious is inherent in you as a Divine Individual. This ability has manifested in nature as your five sense organs.

Attention and Consciousness
Attention is a flow of consciousness to something other than you.

The job of your senses is to bring you information. Your attention goes out through the senses to perceive things, stores them in the mind and you are conscious of them. This flow of consciousness from you to something other than you, is called “attention”. Thus does God work for you according to your choice.

God is your mind, attention & consciousness

You have ears because you can hear, eyes because you can see, etc. It is not the other way around as western science would have you believe.

According to Your Choice

I say “according to your choice” because you have the ability to determine where your attention goes. Although most of the time we don’t bother making this choice but let it roam around to anything that attracts it, the ability to do so is still ours if we choose to use it.

Attention is a flow of consciousness from the mind to anything other than you that you can be conscious of.

Attention is the reins in Arjuna’s chariot to the horses, the senses. The difference between Arjuna and most of us is that Arjuna has put Lord Krishna in the driver’s seat. This is what is meant by ‘surrender’.

Your attention is always at work, providing you with a constant inflow of information. Either it goes to whatever attracts it, or it goes where you send it. All you have to do is decide, and off it goes, eager to please. It is one hundred percent obliging. It will go wherever you want it to go—in your body, your mind, or any external object you choose. Indeed, the attention is your servant and you are the Master.

Consider this Power! It is a wondrous thing. Attention is not only a Power, but it is something of which you have complete control, without having to exert any effort at all. It just does what you tell it to do. 

The more you notice this in your everyday life, the more you will be amazed by it. Keep it up and you will eventually acknowledge this Power as your own Power serving you at all times. Then you will come to understand the teachings of Yoga around attraction and aversion: what you want, and what you don’t want, has always been up to you. Now this issue of attraction and aversion, which you probably have had some resistance to, is a piece of cake.

Attention is the sweet kitty on your lap, or the feral cat outside—either you engage your power of choice to determine its direction, or it is off and running, looking for things to devour.

If you do not act as the Master but let your attention run free, you will receive all kinds of information, whether you want it or not, whether you like it or not, whether you become desirous of obtaining something it has shown you or not. In this situation, you are vulnerable to desires and attractions running you.

This is not going to lead to happiness. Your mind however, will insist that fulfilling your desires is exactly what you need to do to be happy. But your mind can only work with what it’s got. It is for this reason that correct knowledge is vital to spiritual development and life mastery. Believing your mind is otherwise not a good idea at all, for a mind without correct knowledge will cheat you out of happiness. The solution is to become a Master of Attention. This is done by mastering Meditation and Life, for the foundation of both of these, is Attention.

Master your attention, master your energy, master your Life.

Experiential Surrender Meditation

In Arjuna’s chariot, the reins are in the hands of Lord Krishna.
In Arjuna’s chariot, the reins are in the hands of Lord Krishna.

There is one more option: You can surrender the control of the reins of your chariot, and even the chariot itself, to Absolute God in meditation. In everyday life you continue as stated above, but if you put God in the driver’s seat in meditation, God will manage your meditation for you.

.

Meditation is a steady flow of Attention to a single object.

Within that meditation, you are completely free and relived of all effort and the stress of responsibility, for God has taken the reins. With God in the driver’s seat, you will have amazing experiences, become united with That, prove God for yourself, and achieve true fulfillment and wondrous joy.  

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

Every step you take pulls every one of us with you—we ride the slipstream of your spiritual progress.

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