Bondage of the Gunas, Bhagavad Gita, Ch 14, Vs 5

Michael Angelo - Creation

5
O Long Armed One, it is the gunas of Prakriti (Nature) — sattva, rajas and tamas — that bind the Imperishable Embodied One to the body.

  • Gunas – modes of Nature
  • Mode – the way or manner in which something occurs

  • Bondage – limited, enslaved, fettered, held, restrained
  • The Imperishable Embodied One – the Real You

The gunas bind You to the body in two ways: (1) they keep you in life as a Being being something you are not, and (2) they keep you in ignorance (unenlightened) by leaving you bound by their seductive attractions so that you miss the obvious: what you really are. It’s a case of bondage verses freedom. Which would you choose? Do you want to remain in bondage, or do you want freedom and the unending happiness of your True Self?

Freedom & Happiness

It isn’t that we look because there is something to see, but that there is something to see because we look. What an extraordinary power we have! We ‘create’ in every moment.

We have eyes because we can see, so we ‘see’ Nature, all the while ‘looking’ at Prakriti and perceiving Her as the world and its activities in varying modes (gunas). When we originally ‘looked’ to see if there was anyone else out there like ourselves, we ‘looked’ and Creation began.

It isn’t that we look because there is something to see, but that there is something to see because we look.

Our power as Divine Individuals to perceive, to know, is inherent.

We can create, but we have been told that creation is an illusion (not what it seems), so what’s the point? The point is, if we can create, we can also see what creation really is — we can see and know each other. To see is to know, and this is what we’ve been after all along, but we’ve been buying the illusion. We’ve become attached to it thinking that if it goes away, we will lose everything. But remember who we are — remember who and what You really are. You say you want to become Self Realized, to know the Real You. Well here’s your chance. But the Real will not come forth if you are hanging on to the un-real and are afraid to let it go.

Embracing the illusion hides the Real 

You, like most people, are attached to this phenomena of life and the world as we know it, and you can’t imagine anything else. But surprise! Nothing is going to go away. What is going to happen is that your own reality will shift and you will know it for what it really is … and you will know yourself for what You really are. Only then, can you truly know Others.

When you embrace the Real you will know Everyone

This power you have, this power to create, isn’t going to go away either. It can’t. It is inherent to the Real You. And if you can create this mirage, you can certainly un-create it and reveal the Real. 

It is at this point that the Real You emerges

Coming Together

We are all looking for each other in this mirage. In it, we have bodies with five senses and a mind, five ways to see what is other than ourselves, and a mind to comprehend these perceptions and store them. But what we don’t realize is that every time we engage our senses, we distance ourselves further from each other. Not in miles or meters, but in reaching the Real Others we seek to know. This happens because what we see is not seen for what it really is, so we never really get to the bottom of it. And this is the tie that binds us: we don’t want to stop looking; we believe that we need our sense organs to do it. But we are wrong — “we have eyes because we can see…”

‘Looking’ separates us because looking is what separated us in the first place.  

We have forgotten what we are: Divine Individuals that can never perish. We each have enormous power. Take your five senses for instance. You have been taught that you can see because you have eyes, that you can hear because you have ears, etc. But you have been taught incorrectly. It is the other way around. It is because you have power that you have the power to see, the power to hear, etc. These powers have merely manifested in this physical-material world of creation.

All you can perceive with your sense organs will always be only the mirage of the physical-material world in which they exist.

All of Us Coming TogetherIf you can imagine all of Us as divine, sovereign individuals that never die and are one big family, you are imagining Absolute God. If you can imagine yourself surrendering yourself to this Absolute God, every day in the privacy and seclusion of your meditation room, and if you can stick to it, you will discover that your imagination is not imagination at all, but the Truth you have been seeking all along.

When this ignites the divine joy and happiness of revelation, you will never turn back. It is a matter of Life and Death played over an over again until it drives you nuts and you finally pull the plug and are utterly free for good. And amazingly, the world is still there! But now you truly know it for what it is, and you are no longer bound.

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

Surrender Meditation

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“Every step you take pulls every one of us with you.”

The Whole World Is One Family

Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 14 – The Gunas of Nature

 

The Gita has continually addressed the subject of Action. This chapter is an expansion on Action, revealing its subtler components, called gunas.

The nature of Nature is to move. There are three characteristics of Nature’s movements, three ways that Nature moves, called gunas.  

In Sanskrit literature one often finds things described in twos or threes. Twos tend to be used to present the extremes of opposites. Threes tend to be used to suggest a middle between opposites. An example of twos might be good and evil, like and dislike, or attraction and aversion. Threes might be beginning, middle and end; gross, subtle and subtlest; good, better and best; or slow, easy-moving and rapid. These last three are one way to describe the gunas, or modes, of Nature. 

Hurry-up Rajas
Hurry-up Rajas
  • Still – tamas, slow, dark, unenlightened
  • Easy-movingsattva, easy-going, sunny, pleasant
  • Rapid rajas, fast, passionate, intense

Nature seems like something separate from us, but this is not so. Nature is all of Us, as seen by all of Us. It is a manifestation of Divine Individuals seeing other Divine Individuals as different than themselves — not the same. But as Divine Individuals, we are all the same. This discrepancy is the root cause of Creation.

Look out your window. What do you see?

What you are looking at is Divine Individuals who do not see Others as the same as themselves. They do not see what others, or themselves, really are — absolute, perfect, happy, sovereign, imperishable, individual entities. Instead, they see others as different than themselves. Nature is that difference manifested. 

Now what if you became enlightened as to the Truth of this Creation that you behold with your eyes? Would the trees go away? the people? the roads? the houses? No, because everyone else is still in the dark. You will continue to experience life as a human being, while knowing what all this world really is.

Gloomy Tamas
Gloomy Tamas

The three gunas are the three ways Nature moves to varying degrees, and in different combinations. Like weather fronts that cause various kinds of actions in subtle and gross matter when they interact, the gunas cause various kinds of actions in the world and in people. All action occurs in Nature; the three ways Nature moves are called gunas. For instance, when a cold front meets a warm front there will be rain. In the same way, the interaction of the gunas produce certain effects in beings. This is the subject of this chapter. 

The gunas are all about action, but the Real You is not involved in action. It is the varying degrees of predominance of the gunas that cause all action, not You. This chapter gives examples of how the gunas keep us enslaved, influence us and our states of being, and how all this affects our life, death and afterlife.

Lastly, we are shown how to rise above the gunas. The state in which one surpasses the gunas can only arise when the individual is not in the role of doership — when there is no sense of action as one’s own doing. This takes place over time through complete surrender of oneself to Absolute God in meditation.

Sunny Sattva
Sunny Sattva

It is not possible to reach this state any way other than through this surrender, regardless of your path. If you have surrendered yourself to God, during that time, you are obviously not the one doing anything. 

Short of this surrender, there is no escaping the gunas for human beings. The best we can do is to aspire to become more sattvik overall, for sattva is the guna closest to what we really are as Divine Individuals, from a human point of view.

There is, however, a state called trigunatita (‘three-gunas-gone beyond’) in which one is not in a state characterized by any of the gunas; one’s state is Real rather than phenomenal. Attaining this state, we are freed from the bondage and influence of the gunas and can finally reach the Highest Goal of our journey: Home, freedom and the eternal happiness of Divine Union.

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

Surrender Meditation

Shaktipat Kundalini Yoga
Spontaneous Experiential Meditation

Slip into a natural state of meditation with ease. Experience the relief of reaching a true meditative state without any effort and without using your will.

Receive shaktipat and become initiated into the original meditation of ancient masters from which meditation techniques were eventually derived.

Increase your knowledge base and begin Shaktipat Kundalini Yoga, Surrender Meditation. Though correct knowledge you will increase your progress by a thousand times, and bring about even deeper meditation and amazing experiences.

Shaktipat Intensives with Durga Ma are held in Phoenix, Arizona


“Every step you take pulls every one of us with you.”

The Whole World Is One Family

 

What You Really Are Does Nothing – Bhagavad Gita, Ch 9, Vs 9-10

“And these actions do not bind Me, Conquerer of Wealth, for I am like one sitting apart, unattached to these actions. I observe Prakriti flawlessly creating all moving and nonmoving things spontaneously. From this cause, the world turns.” — Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 9, Verses 9-10

9
And these actions do not bind Me, Conquerer of Wealth, for I am like one sitting apart, unattached to these actions.

“And” – He is continuing from the previous verses.

In saying that He is not attached to these actions, Lord Krishna is saying that He is not identified with the actions of Creation as His own, even though Creation goes out from Him. 

Again our attention is drawn to the idea that action causes bondage when we assume the role of the actor, the doer of the action, but does not cause bondage when we do not. This isn’t a mental idea, or an attempt at denial, but a self-known Reality: What we really are does nothing. This is exactly what Lord Krishna is talking about as it applies not only to Himself, but to us.

When in surrender yoga one experiences action, one comes to realize that this action is not done by oneself, but by nature (prakriti). It is the very nature of nature to move, urged into action by Shakti, Divine Goddess, instigator of all action. When in Experiential (Surrender) Meditation one does not suppress the urge to move, the body, which is a part of nature, will move. Correctly understanding this, no karma is incurred. In this way, surrender yoga frees one from the bondage of karma, liberating one from the cycles of death and rebirth.

The nature of nature is to move.

10
I observe Prakriti flawlessly creating all moving and nonmoving things spontaneously. From this cause, the world turns.

The world turns, the universe turns, the cosmos revolves, cycling through the ages, coming into being again and again. Stars die, and stars are born. Everything comes and goes.

Here, the Sanskrit word for ‘creating’ also indicates soma, the precursor of amrita, the nectar of immortality, implying that immortality is inherently present in all of us. 

We are all divine individuals who are never born and never die, abiding in the bodies of the beings that we now experience as ourselves, and which come and go. But it is the being that goes through these changes, not our real Selves—our immortality is absolute and cannot be changed. This is Lord Krishna’s Reality. With this teaching, He teaches us something that we already know but have forgotten.

Alternate translation:
Prakriti produces both the animate and inanimate spontaneously (without will), effortlessly and without error, as I watch. Thus the cycle of Life revolves.

“Effortlessly…as I watch”
So Prakriti, another Divine Individual, is also not bound by these actions. As far as that Individual is concerned, you are Prakriti and she is Purusha. So Prakriti is in the same position of not-doing-anything for all this creation come to be, effortlessly and without error, as You watch.

You are Purusha, the seer. Prakriti, seen by you, is the cause (but not the willful maker) of creation, nature. This is the source of Personal God, God as other than self.

Prakriti Creates

Sarasvati, Goddess of Music and Learning. It is Her music that does it.
Sarasvati, Goddess of Music and Learning. It is Her Music that Creates the World.

Is it any wonder that liberation is so difficult to attain? Somewhere deep inside, we know that all this is going to end…someday. But we are identified with “all this”, and we are identified with our physical bodies which are a part of it.

We tell ourselves that we are not afraid to die. We can say this and mean it because, deep inside, we know (without knowing that we know it) that what we really are cannot die. But our bodies are afraid of death. They are built to put survival first and we are identified with them. In order to handle this dichotomy we resort to our minds and tell ourselves what to believe and what not to believe.

Thus we live self-deceived, shunning the liberation we came here to obtain as we chase after the fluff of illusion, trying to make ourselves feel good, look good, be liked, do the right thing. We know deep inside what will happen if we seriously take this road to Truth. We will become disinterested in the fluff and lose the approval of others because we will become unable to keep up appearances and play the game any more.

It is not a matter of trying. It just happens when you begin to change inside. Not seeing yourself as a doer of action, the ego begins to dry up. You begin to hear the thoughts of others, and now you are living a different mystery. Nothing of your previous ‘reality’ makes sense anymore. It’s not that you disapprove or are unwilling to participate, it is a matter of familiarity—familiarity is gone and you don’t know how to do that anymore. So you don’t. This describes what in earlier chapters was called “indifference”, which is said to be the key to liberation. It is a journey for the brave rebel with an adventurous spirit.      

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


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