The Diamond Shloka – Bhagavad Gita, Ch 18, Vs 64-66

Absolute (unconditional) Surrender to Absolute God will get you to Absolute God
God and Me

Absolute God, whether personal God or the abstract Absolute, is Absolute Goodness, Love and Happiness.

64
Now hear Me again, concerning this most profound secret of all. You are certainly loved by Me, so what I speak is for your benefit:

Now, because you are still contemplating this secret teaching, out of love for you, Lord Krishna is going to try again to bring it home and awaken you, because it is for your benefit to know it. 

65
Devoted to Me, always thinking of Me, surrender to Me, and offer pranamas to Me, and you will doubtless come to Me. This is my promise to you, for you are dear to Me.

“Offer pranamas to Me” means ‘to bow down to, to make obeisance to, make reverential salutation and show adoration’. This is pranama, ‘bowing down in respectful salutation to God and Guru. If you are able to do this, you are ready and able to surrender to God in meditation (Surrender Meditation: shaktipat kundalini yoga).

The purpose of pranama is to increase your ability to surrender to God.

The Diamond Shloka

(shloka – verse in duple meter) 

Now we come to the Diamond Shloka. It is so called because it is the verse within this Gita that is the KEY to everything Lord Krishna has been teaching Arjuna (and us), and all of it is contained in this one single verse:

66
Abandon all dharmas and take refuge in Me alone, and I will give you freedom from all evils. Fear not!

  • Evils – misfortunes and sorrows
  • Fear not, also means, ‘grieve not’.
  • Freedom is from the Sanskrit word, moksha, which has to do with being free of recurring cycles of death, rebirth, and the influences of the past (samsara).

SurrenderAlternate translation:
Abandon all ‘shoulds’ and surrender only to Me, and I will liberate you from all misfortunes and sorrows. Fear not!

  • Misfortunes – The word for misfortunes means just about everything from suffering to bad luck.  

“Abandon all dharmas and surrender only to Me.”
In this verse, the word dharma is plural — rules, laws, duties, responsibilities, etc. This suggests that we should take the meaning of dharmas to be concerned with the laws of man, rather than with the singular law of Truth, the Absolute.

Relying on ‘shoulds’ is not surrender, renunciation, or sacrifice, and does not lead to the highest Yoga (Divine Union), or to liberation. It is only through surrender “to Me”, Absolute God, that one can reach God/Truth, become liberated and freed of all misfortunes, sorrows and fears.

SurrenderLord Krishna is also using dharmas to get across the idea of how to meditate correctly by suggesting what not to do: You do not to try to control your meditation or try to do it yourself, but you leave everything to God.

In this kind of meditation, in the secured privacy of your meditation room, you are to abandon all rules and surrender only to Absolute God/Truth.

  • You do not surrender to anything but God. 
  • You do not surrender to anything that comes up in your meditation.
  • You do not concern yourself with what you think your meditation should be like. 
  • You abandon any sense of doing anything yourself, however much it may seem to you that you have caused everything.

Abandon all ‘shoulds’ and surrender to me only, and I will give you freedom and deliver you from all misfortunes, fears and sorrows.

Only

“Only” means that your surrender should never be mixed with anything that is not Absolute God — no matter what your word is for That. 

After forty years of surrender yoga sadhana, I still catch myself falling into this trap. It’s that easy. I will give you an example:

I am in a dither about what is coming, and it isn’t pretty. I can see ahead to it, and find no solution for it. I can either be a worry-wart and get stressed out trying to find some kind of solution, or I can surrender to God completely. I choose God. And here is where it gets interesting:

My mind pictures me dying of some exotic disease in the streets of Phoenix, friendless and alone, with not a penny to my name, and talking to God and asking for help that never comes. It is such a subtle thing, hanging out in the peripheral vision of the mind, that at first I don’t realize what is happening. Then, the minute I look, it slips away as something else takes it place, and I miss its message. But sometimes I miss it because of correct reasoning. Two and two makes four. Who can disregard correct reasoning, right?

No, not right. I have had so many experiences of being at the edge of the abyss and about to fall in, when God steps in saying, “Well, here we are again, my dear,” lifts the situation, parks it on the side of the road, and takes me Home for a visit.

Yet this still small voice of reason continues to try to exert itself. What is happening is that this world is so dense, thick and demanding, that it seems to be the only reality. The mind says, “Well shucks, All is God, so how can I miss?” And even though one understands that this Relative (‘inferior’) aspect of God is something they most certainly should not surrender to, it is easy to miss seeing it for what it is. 

It is possible to surrender to something without meaning to. There is no awareness of having surrendered. No choice was consciously made to surrender. In this case, it is not a matter of tricky reasoning or intention, or even mentally based coercion. I suspect that, in this case, one is so conditioned to adapt to the wishes and demands of other’s, that it is automatic. One just gives in.  

So between tricky reasoning, inappropriate intention, and mentally based coercion, there lies this unconscious giving-in to circumstances. Anyone can fall into any of these, or any combination of them, at any time — in the meditation room, or in daily life.     

These two verses are what has saved me every time:  

Earth, water, fire, air, ether, mind, intelligence and ego constitute the divisions of My eightfold material nature (relative). Such is My inferior nature, but otherwise know My Highest nature (absolute) by which all life is sustained.  — Chapter 7, verses 4-5.

Now do you see why I refer to the God we surrender to in meditation as Absolute God? This distinction is crucial. You do not surrender to the “All Is God” kind of God, but ONLY to Absolute God.

I hope that sharing this with you will help you to remember this critical distinction concerning Absolute God, and surrender ONLY to That. No matter how you think of God, or what name you give It, or whether you conceive of God as personal or impersonal, never, never, never surrender to anything other than Absolute God.

You (absolute) are a god in a body made of God being human (relative).

  • Relative – subject to change; existing only in relation to something else; having characteristics only in comparison to something else; something whose existence is dependent on something else.

This is what you do not surrender to: people, places, things, circumstances, situations, or beings of any kind, even spirits, guides, angles, etc., however divine they may be. 

  • Absolute – unchanging; independent; having unrestricted power; not qualified or diminished in any way; not subject to any limitation; existing independently and not in relation to anything else, or dependent on anything else; Ultimate Reality, God.

This is what you consciously choose to surrender to: Absolute God Only.

Namaste (I bow to the divine one that you really are),
Durga Ma
durgama.com
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V:28-29 Real Meditation

In these verses we are preparing for Real Meditation in the next chapter. And we are discovering that there is much more to meditation than we thought.  

Having excluded external contacts, the gaze between the two eyebrows, inhalation and exhalation moving equally within the two nostrils; desire, fear and anger disabled, the senses, mind and intelligence restrained, the muni whose highest aim is liberation is always liberated. Having  known Me, the consumer of sacrificial austerities, Mighty Lord of the World, friend and ally of all beings, the sage ascends to peace and blissful happiness. — Ch. 5, vs. 27-29

28.  Desire, fear and anger gone, the senses, mind and intelligence subdued, the muni whose highest aim is liberation is always liberated.

“Desire, fear and anger gone” and “the senses, mind and intelligence subdued”
Some while back, we learned that desire, fear and anger are the ‘enemies of Yoga’. This verse tells us in one sentence why this is so:

The senses, mind and intelligence cannot become subdued unless desire, fear and anger are out of the picture, and we need the senses, mind and intelligence to become subdued in order to achieve samadhi.

What is meant by subdued? And what is samadhi?

Subdued senses, mind and intelligence (three components of the mind as a whole) means that they are not active and not running the show. If you go back to chapter one, you will find them on the side of the ‘bad-guys’. (They’re not really bad, they’re just misinformed and in the dark about all these things you and I are learning by eavesdropping on this conversation between Arjuna and Lord Krishna.) Samadhi, the highest rung on the ladder, is the state of sameness-of-mind that is the result of their subduction.

“The muni whose highest aim is liberation is always liberated”
For the muni whose highest aim is liberation, this subduction of the senses, mind and intelligence is spontaneous due to his renunciation (self-surrender), and he is headed for samadhi and final liberation.

  • Muni – One who is self-motivated, self-disciplined; an inspired or ecstatic person; a saint, sage, seer, ascetic, monk, devotee, hermit.

You may or may not want what the muni wants. So that is up to you. But if you do, you should start right away to cultivate these characteristics, and to discover his means of ‘renunciation’ (self-surrender to God/Truth).

“Liberated”
Two words are used in this verse for ‘liberation’. One is moksha, which is what the muni is after, and one is mukta, which he will ‘always’ get. Moksha is final liberation from the cycle of rebirths. Mukta is liberation here in this world, meaning that it is conditional and concurrent with the achievement of subduction of the senses, mind and intelligence, and sameness of mind. The muni ‘always’ gets it. Because of his self-surrender, the necessary conditions happen spontaneously. This paves the way for moksha, final liberation.

29
Having  known Me, the consumer of sacrificial austerities, Mighty Lord of the World, friend and ally of all beings, this Sage ascends to peace and blissful happiness.

“Having known Me”
‘Known’ also means ‘understood’. This is not learned knowledge, but personal experience of God in meditation. 

“The consumer of sacrificial austerities
Now Krishna is identifying Himself with the Sacrificial Fire. 
‘Sacrificial austerities’ is the burning of sacrificial offerings in this Fire (energy) of purification.

‘Austerities’ is from tapas, which means ‘to burn, heat or melt’. The sacrifice of self-surrender ignites the Sacrificial Fire of yoga (union) and burns away impurities—anything that doesn’t belong is ‘consumed’, ultimately leaving you with your natural state of lasting happiness.

The word in Sanskrit for ‘consume’ also means ‘to enjoy’, so ‘sacrificial austerities’ takes on new meaning. It takes nothing away from you, but brings you the very thing you seek. 

“Mighty Lord of the World, friend and ally of all beings, this Sage ascends to peace and blissful happiness”
Here Lord Krishna is identifying Himself as Maheshvara, Lord of the World, and friend and ally of all that live there. In other words, He has already accepted everyone and invites us to accept Him.

This would make our surrender complete, because we will have accepted someone who has already accepted everyone. Because we are all connected through our sameness, whether we accept everyone as the same as ourselves, or we take the short-cut and accept someone who has already accepted everyone, we will achieve the pinnacle of our journey. Arrived at either way, this acceptance is surrender to God.

Substitute “accepts me” for “believeth in me” and see what you get:

Jesus said unto her (Martha), I am the resurrection and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?
— 
John 11:25-26 (KJV)

How does this apply to the liberation mentioned in the previous verse?

If we are fully surrendered to God, who is without limitation and is Divine Happiness Itself, how could we not be liberated? We have surrendered to That and now we are like That. We are in cahoots with God, united with God, who loves the World and everyone in it. The whole world is one family, and we are each and all of us together, our own ally and friend.

So we are not to worry about the cost, there isn’t any. There is only a payoff: the ascent to Peace and Blissful Happiness (śānti) in God/Truth, our natural state. 

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

End of Chapter Five
The Yoga of Renunciation