Lord Krishna Returns to His Gentle Human Form – Bhagavad Gita, Ch 11, Vs 47 – 51

Lord Krishna and Radha
Lord Krishna in His gentle form with His beloved Radha

This post addresses the Lord’s affection for Arjuna, spiritual practices that will not produce the vision of His Cosmic Form, the impact of tapas, and Krishna’s return to his gentle human form to pacify Arjuna.

In the story of the Mahabharata war, this Bhagavad Gita is a conversation between Lord Krishna and his devotee and childhood friend, Arjuna. Listening in, we receive the teachings of Lord Krishna as he relates them to Arjuna.

47
The Blessed Lord spoke:

Because I am pleased with you (Arjuna), by means of my Yoga Power I have shown you this glorious and infinite Cosmic Form of Mine, which has never been seen before by anyone but you.

Anyone other than Arjuna? Remember that Arjuna represents You.

48
Not by the knowledge-sacrifice or recitation, not by giving, not even by fearless kriyas or formidable tapas can I be seen in this form in the world of men by anyone other than you, O Hero of the Kurus.

What Krishna is saying is that the vision of the Cosmic Form will not happen as a result of these many well-known practices. These practices are not being faulted, but noted as ineffectual for the purpose of gaining the vision of the Cosmic Form, which, by now, you may be thinking to be a gift you do not especially wish for. However, if you do, the next few posts will be helpful.

Knowledge Sacrifice – the study and teaching of scriptures

Oral recitation – recitation of the scriptures

Giving – charity, imparting, teaching

Kriyas – spontaneous purifying actions occurring in meditation, ‘ritual’

Tapas – the heat that melts away impurities

Knowledge Sacrifice. We have learned that sacrifice is synonymous with surrender as it applies to Yoga, but here it is attached to a word that means ‘true and sacred knowledge’ (veda). These written teachings are scriptures; the ‘sacrifice’ is the study of these texts — one surrenders to Truth as found in these writings, and they in turn present their meanings.

Oral RecitationLong ago, it was customary to memorize scriptures for the purpose of their preservation, learning and teaching, and for contemplation with regard to one’s sadhana (practices) and daily living. The oral recitation of these texts was a common practice.

Giving is a spiritual practice for gaining merit through seva (selfless service) and dana (gifts, donations, charity). With it one acquires positive karma that can be used for improving one’s life and for doing yoga sadhana, and increasing one’s chance of attaining heaven or liberation.

Kriya is often translated as ‘ritual’. Rituals are practiced in temples, in the home, and in meditation, or as meditation.

In surrender yoga, kriya (‘performed action’) refers to actions that arise spontaneously in Natural Surrender Meditation. These actions occur for the purpose of purification, and are performed not by the meditator, but by Shakti Herself: Divine Energy.

This meditation is so profound because it is based entirely on Sanatana Dharma (Eternal Truth, the way things really are): “Even though acting one does nothing.”

In the beginning, the meditator is confused about who or what is performing these actions, but with sufficient practice and the surfacing of amazing new experiences, the meditator gradually comes to understand the source of these actions, these ‘rituals’.

Tapas. As a result of one’s surrender and the occurrence of kriyas, tapas begins automatically. The body leaves behind the coldness that prompted a dozen blankets, and one begins to feel very hot. This is the advent of tapas: ‘to heat, burn or melt’. Now impurities are beginning to get transformed or burned away within the body rather than just getting removed. Over time, the heat is turned up and one’s tapas becomes formidable, heralding the arrival of Kundalini at Her new home at the 6th chakra.

In more recent times, some yogis have taken up tapas as a practice of a most unusual and extreme nature:

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We in the West may see these people as indulging in mortification of the flesh and look down on them and their practices. But we must remember the earlier teachings about thinking only of God/Truth at all times. These men and women have taken this teaching seriously and given up everything for God. They wear no clothes, accept what comes for their sustenance, and maintain tapasya at all times. By living their tapas they live in constant awareness of God. I have the deepest respect for them. Because of our all-inclusive presence within each other as beings, their tapasya is helping to keep this world in tact and your life better than it might otherwise be.  औं नम: शिवाय (Om namah Shivaya).

49
Having seen this terrible form of Mine, be not afraid or bewildered. With your fears dispelled, now see my previous form and be pleased once again! 

  • Terrible form – the Cosmic form described in verses 9-31.

50
Samjaya spoke:
Speaking in this way to Arjuna, the Son of Vasudeva (Krishna) revealed again his gentle two-armed form. The Great Souled One, resuming his previous form of beautiful appearance, pacified the fearful Arjuna.

51
Arjuna spoke:
Seeing this, Your gentle two-armed human form once again, O Agitator of Men, my thoughts are composed and I am restored to my normal consciousness.

Namaste (I bow to the divine one you really are),
Durga Ma
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Obstacles to Yoga – Bhagavad Gita, Ch 11, Vs 34-35

Bishma's Death by 1000 arrows
The death of Bhishma by 1000 arrows.

This post addresses four main characters you had always thought of as your allies but are now fighting on the side of the enemy.

In the story of the Mahabharata war, this Bhagavad Gita is a conversation between Lord Krishna and his devotee and childhood friend, Arjuna. Listening in, we receive the teachings of Lord Krishna as he relates them to Arjuna.

34
Drona, Bhishma, Jayadratha, Karna and the others also, all warrior heroes, will be killed by Me (Krishna). So do not hesitate, but fight. You are destined to conquer the enemy in this battle.

“You are destined” is another allusion to Time.

These great warriors, all of whom are deeply respected by everyone including Arjuna, are obstacles — they are fighting on the side of the enemy:

Drona

Intellect

Drona teaches Arjuna the art of archery
Drona teaches Arjuna the art of archery

Drona, a highly accomplished archer respected by both sides, is archery guru to both Arjuna, our hero, and Duryodhana, the enemy.

The word ‘drona‘ means ‘bucket’ and refers to a bucket used as a measure of capacity (ability). A master of his art, Drona represents the intellect as the reasoning capacity of the mind.

The asset of intelligence can become an obstacle. It has the ability to use logical reasoning to support actions that serve a purpose contrary to one’s natural divinity or ultimate goal, i.e., yoga. Acting on this logic, the individual believes that he is doing the right thing. He acts on this belief without conscious awareness of the mental shenanigans that have judged it a good thing and prompted this action. This increases the distance between himself and his true Self, and he wonders why his life is so unsatisfactory.

Intelligence can also become a tool for self-deception in one’s spiritual path. For instance: You have an experience in meditation that fits what you have heard about samadhi, but it was not samadhi. Nevertheless, you let yourself believe it was, and tell everyone about it, only to discover later that this was not the case. Or perhaps you receive a message in your meditation concerning your status, and intellect misinterprets it as grand when it is not, or failure when it is grand. Or you may have a longing to fulfill a socially conditioned desire, and your mind convinces you that this longing “wouldn’t be there if it wasn’t the right thing to do,” so you mistakenly act on it.

Bhishma

Terrible Vow

Bhishma means ‘terrible vow’, in this case, a vow of celibacy for the duration of his lifetime. Can you think of anything more difficult and requires constant reliance on will power without a break? Yet celibacy is the best way of retaining Life Energy, physical strength, and reaching the profound wisdom within, while simultaneously preserving one’s life. Sexual release on the other hand, deflates the power of the Life Energy, and therefor, one’s life. But it must be possible or it would not be taught by masters. Only guru can get you through this one.

Jayadratha

Victorious Chariot

Jayadratha, whose name means ‘victorious chariot’, might just as well be called “Mr. Goodbody”, for he is surely all about bodily (chariot) awareness and control as exhibited by such men as he — he once abducted Arjuna’s wife! Though Jayadratha may have seen victory in such things, this was his undoing, for Arjuna kills him with his Pashupata Astra during the battle.

An astra is a supernatural weapon presided over by a specific deity, and Arjuna’s weapon was that of Shiva Pashupati, Lord of Yoga. His astra is His trident. Suffice it to say that this hand-held weapon finished Jayadratha.

Identification with the body as yourself is the antithesis of the goal of union with God, liberation and eternal happiness, and will stop you from getting there. 

Karna

Ear

Karna means ‘ear’. Karna is Arjuna’s half-brother and Duryodhana’s closest friend. (Duryodhana is the enemy’s leader; he represents ego-centered desires.)

When someone says, ‘he had so-and-so’s ear’ they are saying that he shared confidences with him. In this case, Duryodhana had Karna’s ear, and many confidences were shared. 

Karna is the only warrior believed to be able to defeat Arjuna in battle. He is one of the greatest warriors in the world. His martial exploits are recorded in the Mahabharata from which this Bhagavad Gita is taken. Karna, and Arjuna and his brothers, all have the same mother, and even though Karna is ‘family’, he is fighting on the side of Duryodhana, the bad guys who are attempting to maintain control of the kingdom.

Arjuna bows before Lord Krishna

35
Samjaya said:

Hearing these words of Lord Krishna, Arjuna, trembling, his hands folded, offering respects and very much afraid, bowed down before Him and spoke in a faltering voice…..

Samjaya, the king’s minster who is narrating all this to the blind king, notes that Arjuna is afraid but bows down before Lord Krishna in spite of his frightened state, and speaks to Him. We will learn what Arjuna has to say to Lord Krishna in our next installment, and also find out what the biggest obstacle to yoga is.

Namaste (I bow to the divine one you really are),
Durga Ma
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Mindful Life Natural Meditation is spontaneous and non-forceful. It will take you on the most amazing journey you will ever experience. Explore shaktipat kundalini yoga meditation in three forms.

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Creation, Destruction, Rebirth & The Self – Bhagavad Gita, Ch 10, Vs 32-35

Vishnu Creation

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 Creation (beginning with verses 19-20, “God in You”):

Creation, Destruction, Rebirth & The Self

32
Of creations, I am the beginning, the middle and the end, and of knowables I am the knower of Adhyatma, the true Self. Of discussions I am the telling.

Alternate translation:
I am the beginning of the rushing forth of creation, as well as its destruction, Arjuna, and I am what lies between. Of knowables, I am the knower of the Supreme Self, and of conversations, I am the conveying of communications.

First He says that He is the beginning, middle and end of all things created, and then He follows with ‘knowables’ — things that can be known — and specifically, that He is the knower of the Supreme Self. By this we understand that the True Self can be known, and that He knows You as You really are. He is also saying that it is He who speaks when information, such as oral teachings, are being conveyed.

Creation, with its beginning, middle and end, is Relative, but the True Self is Absolute. Knowing is relative, but the Truth spoken in oral teachings is the Absolute Truth.

Self-referencing Experiment:
The connection of one individual with another is God. The next time you speak to someone, remember this and allow your attention to take in the Divine presence in your communion or communication with that person, whether you like this person or what is being spoken, or not. Check your own communications against the Yamas so that you are conveying the Divine when you speak. Remember that Absolute God is in you, as You.

33 
Of letters I am the letter A, and of compound words, I am the union of syllables. And I alone am infinite Time, facing in all directions.

The letter “A”. Of the sound of letters (syllables in Sanskrit) of the alphabet, I am the imperishable vowel “A” (akṣara, meaning imperishable, unalterable, absolute). The letter A is the initiation (shakti) of all human speech, and the basis of the sounds of primary vowels (f), without which no consonant (m) can manifest. 

Compound words. Of compound words, I am the union of their parts, and their wholeness as a single word. 

Time, facing in all directions. Of Time, I am its endlessness. Undecaying time goes out, ‘faces’, or exists, in all directions everywhere always. There is in Reality, no end to it. It cannot end because, for the Absolute, there is no end. All time is present all the time. We experience it as linear because, as human beings, we have a point of view.

To expand your point of view, begin by taking different points of view about everything.

I have been heard to say that, in the Absolute, there is no time. This might be better expressed by saying that, in the Absolute there is no time going on. Time is not motion. Time presents changes in Creation that make it appear to be moving, the same way that you feel like you are moving in a stationary car-wash as the equipment cleans your car, or standing on a train platform as a train goes by. It is the train that is moving, not you. It is the car wash that is moving, not your car. 

The basis of Time is pure consciousness which is everywhere in all directions. So Time exists in all directions everywhere, and like consciousness, is also infinite. This teaching is symbolized in murits (material forms) expressing omniscience:

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34-35
I am death and the source of all things to come. Of the feminine, I am beauty, speech, remembered teachings, and also surrender, satisfaction and fortitude. Of the Sama Veda, I am the Brihatsamana and Gayatri meters. Of months, I am the month of harvest, and of seasons, the Spring.

Alternate translation:
I am all-destroying death and the origin of future existences. Of the feminine, I am glory, communication and oral teachings, and also patience, renunciation and fulfillment.
 Of knowledges that can be sung, I am the masculine and rhythmic duple meter (two beats), and the feminine and beguiling triple meter (three beats). Of months I am the harvest month in the Fall, and of the seasons I am the ‘abounding with flowers’, the Springtime.

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

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