Freedom or Heaven? Bhagavad Gita, Ch 9, Vs 20-22

“Those familiar with the Vedas, drink the soma to be free of sin and misfortunes, and worship Me with sacrifices desiring to go to Indra’s world and enjoy the pleasures of the gods in heaven. Having enjoyed the extent of heaven, when their merit is exhausted they enter the world of mortals once again, thus conforming to the edicts of dharma. With desire after desire, they come and go. But those who worship Me by constantly engaging in yoga with their attention not directed elsewhere, I unite them with their goal.” — Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 9, Verses 20-22

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Those familiar with the Vedas, drink the soma to be free of sin and misfortunes, and worship Me with sacrifices desiring to go to Indra’s world and enjoy the pleasures of the gods in heaven.

Indra's World of Heaven
Indra, king of the gods
  • Sin – evil, misfortune, bad luck, trouble, harm, guilt
  • Indra’s world  the heaven of the gods

Freedom or Heaven?

We in the West are used to thinking of sin as doing bad things, but the Sanskrit expands this to include the ramifications of bad behavior: it comes back to us in the form of trouble.

The word for ‘sin’ in the Bible means ‘to err’. Combining these two concepts of sin gives us a more complete picture. It inspires us to not make mistakes, and to know when we are making a mistake and turn to the yamas and niyamas, the first teachings and practices for doing anything completely and successfully. Anything done that is not consistent with them is ‘sin’ and backfires as ‘trouble’.

NOTE to initiates: Some of you who have come to understand surrender to God in practice, write to me about what to do in life outside the meditation room. This is my answer: Notice, observe and practice yama and niyama in your daily life.

To Do or Not To Do

The deepest meaning of sin is assuming the role of the doer of actions. It is a sin, a mistake, because it is an action that is not consistent with Truth—that what you really are never does anything in the first place. This error limits spiritual progress and leads to return (reincarnation). So performing actions in order to be free of sin cannot get one to God and liberation but only leads to heaven and return. To reach Absolute God, one resorts to sacrificing oneself, surrendering oneself, to Absolute God. But this is not everyone’s objective.  

For most, the highest objective is heaven. That there is something higher than heaven is beyond their comprehension. Laying the responsibility for sins on someone or something else, or performing ritual acts in order to reach heaven, is the goal of the majority.  

Drinking the Soma

The real soma is not an herbal concoction of the priesthood, but a biochemical product of the pineal gland, and is not even consumable under ordinary circumstances. It is naturally consumed by the body without any help from us when it is in its purified state as amrita, the nectar of immortality. This cannot happen by the use of one’s will, for acting willfully only takes us back to the ‘sin’ of taking the role of the doer, and keeps karmic bondage in place.

References to soma: The ch 9, vs 9-10ch 8, vs 24-25, ch 9, vs 2-3, and the previous verse.

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Having enjoyed the extent of heaven, when their merit is exhausted they enter the world of mortals again, thus conforming to the edicts of dharma. With desire after desire, they come and go.

  • The edicts of dharma – Spiritual injunction. Duties enjoined by scripture. 
  • Dharma – Actions, behaviors and practices consistent with Truth. 

Those who follow the duties and practices of scriptural knowledge for the purpose of ridding themselves of sin and impurity in order to go to heaven when they die, follow the edicts for reaching this goal. Because they act in good faith and are virtuous, they attain their goal. Even so, their actions are motivated by desire, so they can only reach this temporary situation called heaven (svarga loka, the world of heaven). When their merit is exhausted, they will be returned to physical embodiment again. And around and around it goes.

But the yogi has a different goal  The yogi seeks liberation, freedom, and union with God. So the yogi’s injunctions are somewhat different. The yogi follows the ten yamas and niyamas (Ten Keys to Success) first and foremost, as the foundation for everything that comes next in his path so that he can traverse it successfully, reach union with Absolute God and become liberated.

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But those who worship Me by constantly engaging in yoga with their attention not directed elsewhere, I unite them with their goal. 

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

Registration for this Shatipat Intensive is now closed. To be put on the waiting list, please contact me through my website, durgama.com/contact.
Watch for the next Intensive here.


Bhagavad Gita with Durga Ma

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Origin and Transformation – Bhagavad Gita, Ch 9, Vs 17

“Of all Life I am the origin, the father, the mother and the ancestors. I am the means of purification, sacred knowledge, the sacred syllable OM, mantras, songs and rituals.” — Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 9, Verse 17 

Stop and think about what in all life is the father and mother, the cause of life, and the ancestors. Then think about how this relates to a means of purification, sacred knowledge, the sound of Om, mantras, songs and rituals. 

Thought it over? Now read this version of the same verse, also from the Sanskrit:

Alternate translation:
I am the bestower of life, the mother, the father and those who came before them, the ancestors. I am the means of purification in sacred knowledge and the sacred sound of creation, OM, in mantras, hymns and sacred practices.

Self and other-than self bestows life, yours and the lives of the ancestors who came before you, and live in you as genetic information (DNA). Connected with this is purification, the reordering of this information to get things where they belong or destroy them. This process is instigated and carried out by the Divine Goddess, Kundalini-Shakti and Prana acting as one. 

Origin

The vibrations of the sound of OM form the mantras (repetitive sounds), hymns (tone and rhythm) in rituals (practices) that effect this purification. This is known in sacred wisdom passed down through lineages of teachers.OMkara, the sounding of OM

  • OM (omkara, OM-doing) – the origin of creation, the sounding of OM.

Sound is the effect of vibration, so you could say that to hear the sound of OM would be to hear the vibrations of Creation. We don’t hear this sound with our ears because these sound-vibrations are too subtle. Or to put it another way, we do hear it—we hear it all the time, but we can’t separate it from all the other sounds in our world, including our own electrical substations in the brain. However, it can be heard clearly and distinctly in meditation because, in that state, one is not dependent on the ears to hear.

OMkara is the sounding of OM, the power of hearing and the ability to speak.

Anything perceptible as sound is so because of OMkara, the sound of OM. All sounds have their source in OMkara as variations (tones) or mutations (noise).

You and Other-than-You
(Purusha and Prakriti)

soundcreates1

Akasha (ether > perception by hearing) initiates air (atmosphere > perception by sight), which initiates fire (energy > perception by touch), which initiates water (fluid substance > perception by taste), which initiates earth (material substance > perception by smell).

Transformation

Hearing, seeing, and feeling the blissful sound of OM in meditation marks the beginning of transformation. This process is slowed down by three things:

Attachments to the things of this world, to your own body or anything about it, to people, to being liked, to getting or holding on to things, to responsibilities, to  trying to do the right thing, to chasing desires, etc.

Resistance to change (even unknowingly), self-doubt, non-conducive conditions, the lack of privacy and peace, and other limiting situations in life that cause one to resist, doubt and misunderstand what is really going on.

Misunderstanding what is happening. If one gets to this point, another stage will begin in which changes are being made at a deeper level, in the DNA. During this time, some, but not all, glitches will surface as they are being worked out. Misinterpreting these events can cause self-doubt—Gee, what’s wrong with me!? I must not be fit for Yoga. I should probably quit. But this is not a good place to try to get off the bus. If you do, you may get stuck with glitches that were in the midst of being corrected!     

It is because of these obstacles that earlier chapters had much to say about ‘faith’. Faith is especially needed during these phases. Even if faith is only pretended (one must do what one must). The use of pretending to yourself to have faith (consciously, of course) is amazingly effective. I speak from experience.

Because of so much emphasis on Truth, and speaking only the truth, we sometimes get so serious that we forget the magic of childhood when pretend was not telling a lie, but was a form of play. Some say that the task of childhood is survival, but I disagree. I believe that the only task that should be expected of a child is play. Children are closer to our natural state of happiness than we are, and they engage in pretending all the time. We should all take a lesson from them. Imagination will keep the mind flexible. A mind that is not flexible is neither strong nor bright.

One must be like a little child to enter the kingdom of heaven.

 screen-shot-2017-02-23-at-5-44-20-pm

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


Shaktipat Intensive

Saturday, May 27, Phoenix, Arizona

Experiential (Surrender) 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

Ongoing classes on Monday evenings with Durga Ma

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

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
Read more >>>


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