The Field of the Body – Bhagavad Gita, Ch 13, Vs 4-7

Abstract of the Human Body
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The Field of the Body: What It Is and What It Does

4 – 5
Now I shall tell you briefly about the Field: what it is, its characteristics, what and how modifications take place within it, its origin, and who the knower of the Field is, and his powers. 

  • The Field – The body
  • The Knower of the Field – You

Pleasingly sung in many different ways by different sages, with evidence coming from founded proofs as revealed in the scriptures:

  • Founded proofs – direct experience of Truth in meditation
  • Revealed in the scriptures – written texts on founded proofs

All this was known to the sages in ancient times. In those days, when not everyone could read, this information was recorded by means of chant and song and passed down to preserve it and be easily remembered. Once these teachings were written down, they were called shastras, what we westerners would call ‘scriptures’. We read them and are able to understand them to some degree through contemplating them, and prove them to ourselves through meditation. 

6 – Characteristics of the Field
The five great elements, ego, intelligence, the imperceptible, and also the eleven senses and the five objects of sense…

7 Modifications of the Field
ttraction and aversion, ease and dis-ease, the body as a whole, consciousness and will, constitute the Field and its modifications. 

The Field

The Body

Five elements are earth, water, energy, air and space.

Ego, the core of the mind, ahamkara in Sanskrit, which means “I do”. 

Intelligence is buddhi, the ability of the mind to differentiate, discriminate and make judgements.

The imperceptible refers to anything that exists that cannot be perceived by means of the senses, and anything in a potential, undeveloped state.  

The eleven senses are the five sense organs (eyes, ears, etc.), the five organs of action (hands, feet, etc.) and the mind.

The five fields of action of the senses are the sense objects (anything you can smell, taste, touch, see or hear).

Modifications of the Field

Changes that take place within the Field of the body

Attraction and aversion – like and dislike.

Ease and dis-ease – happiness and misery.  

The body itself – The actions of the body.  

Consciousness – attention, the ability to perceive, to know. 

Will – intention; using your inherent power of choice to make choices; holding on to something or trying to get or keep it. 

Modifications are changes (actions) within the Field of the body. Today we look to science, but the sages of old knew to keep things simple if they were going to try to talk about it to others. And that is what they did—they taught, and they were not ignorant of science. (There is a word in Sanskrit that can only be translated as discrete, or ‘as small as an atom’.)


The will is always motivated by desire and attachment, creates both good and bad karma, and imbalances the body.

Willpower = grasping

Associating ‘will’ with the body is suggestive of its association with ‘doing’. The Sanskrit word here also means ‘holding, seizing, or keeping’, as well ‘intention, resolution and command’. It is easy to see that they are all connected. 

Willpower‘Will’ is using your inherent power of choice to make choices, resolutions, determinations, decisions, intentions. We make choices in order to make satisfactory determinations based on what we think will fulfill a desire. Desires are always the result of attraction or aversion. You use your will to get or avoid. This is what a desire is and does. 

Desires are always the result of attraction or aversion.
Will is always associated with a desire.

The Field is the body, so we can’t assume that these actions are limited to the mind, so they must be actions that occur with or in the body or the brain. This will make more sense if you remember that you have a brain because you have a mind (it’s not the other way around):


As a Divine Individual you have the power of choice, or free will. When this power is engaged you are in a state of choosing to choose. This is ‘will’. The only purpose of will, choosing to choose, is to get or keep something or someone that you are attracted or attached to. You have the intention to do this, and you use resolution and command to succeed at it. It is all “will”. Remember these?:

  • Attraction and aversion, like and dislike.
  • Ease and dis-ease, happiness and misery.

These are what motivate you to engage your power of choice to get what you want so that you can be happy. But here’s the rub: You can’t keep your success in place indefinitely because of the dual nature of this world. Attraction and aversion, and ease and dis-ease, are pairs of opposites and are therefore bound to change.


Natural Surrender Meditation is active meditation.

Swami Kripalu in MeditationThrough our efforts to advance spiritually we eventually understand this, and begin to try to rise above this trap. No matter how you phrase it, the only solution is to stop choosing to choose — stop using your will to try to get what you want. You must choose not to chose, and surrender to Absolute God (by any name) in meditation.

Surrender Yoga

I say “in meditation” because you won’t succeed at this on the street (if you think you can, you are kidding yourself), and this isn’t the place for it anyway. So you surrender to God/Truth in meditation, and That will meditate you and gradually bring you out of this trap.

By practicing this for an hour or two a day, you will come to see not only God, but your Real Self, and discover that the bliss you experience is the nature of Absolute God and the Real You. And it is always Good, for Absolute God is Absolute Goodness, and will always make you Happy. The question is: Are you willing to take the time for yourself every day in order to achieve this Happiness? How could you not?

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

Protector of the Path – Bhagavad Gita, Ch 9, Vs 18-19

“I am the protector of the path, the power of sight, the dwelling place, the guardian and the good-hearted friend and ally. I am birth, death, continuance and the Imperishable source of origin. I consume by heat and I withhold and send forth the rain. I am immortality and I am death, being and non-being, Arjuna.” — Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 9, Verses 18-19

I am the protector of the path, the power of sight, the dwelling place, the guardian and the good-hearted friend and ally. I am birth, death, continuance and the Imperishable source of origin.

Alternate translation:
I am the path of Action, the protector of its preservation, and the ability to traverse it. I am the ability to perceive, observe and notice. I am house and home, the safe haven, and I am the good-hearted friend and ally. I am birth, death and staying, the three phases of Action, and the seed of imperishability in the northern quarter.

The three phases of actionpuraka, rechaka and kumbhaka, refer to intensified prana, (Life Energy), the freeing of prana, and the natural concentration and cessation of the movement of prana as discussed in the Hatha Yoga Pradipika.

The power of sight is the ability to know another (i.e., “the good-hearted friend and ally”). The ability to see is dependent on there being something to see, to know, something other than the one who sees.

Vishnu and Lakshmi, Life Maintained
Vishnu and Lakshmi, Life Maintained

The Sanskrit for the path of Action is also ‘the way of motion, movement and the manner of movement’, and is also the state or condition of happiness, excellence, goodness and beneficence. The way of the path of Action is the path of Happiness and all good things that come to one practicing this path.

This path is being protected and preserved by God through Lord Krishna, avatara of Lord Vishnu, the sustainer and maintainer of life. And it is God that sees you through this journey according to your wish. (God does not interfere with your power of choice. It is up to you. Your options are death and rebirth, or immortality.)

Vishnu, Sustainer of Life

There is a place where the potential for immortality (amrita) is located in the human body. This “seed of imperishability” is in “the northern quarter”: the pineal gland in the brain. This chapter is telling us the means of bringing forth this amrita so that we can reach immortality.

What you really are is already eternal, unborn and perfect, so we are not talking about your ‘soul’ or your ‘spirit’ or the ‘real you’, but your divine form as the template for your divine immortal body. The release of amrita directs transformation based on the template, the ananda-kosha (bliss-body), which is associated with the fifth chakra, the vishuddha, meaning ‘completely purified’. In other words, when purity is attained, transformation can begin.

Lakshmi, Goddess of Wealth

In verse 16 Lord Krishna described the practice of this secret yoga. In verse 17 He describes Himself as the progenitor, or origin of life. In the second sentence he describes Himself as the means of purification for the living. In verse 18 He is the path to the Highest Goal and its protector and your’s, and goes on to say that He is death and birth, and the Imperishable Absolute.

By taking this path, one automatically comes under the protection of God. There is no one who does not have the ability to traverse and complete this path.   

I consume by heat and I withhold and send forth the rain. I am immortality and I am death, being and non-being, Arjuna.

I consume by fire
I consume by fire

Alternate translation:
I purify by consuming fire, and by withholding and releasing the rain. I am immortality, disease, death and dying, the 
Real and the unreal, the good and the bad, existence and non-existence, action and inaction, right and wrong, and I am Truth and the one who seeks It.

Consuming by fire, and withholding and releasing the rain, are the two forms of purification. The fire (energy) is prana, the warming Life Energy that burns away impurities. The rain is the cooling Life Energy of apana which purifies by elimination.

I withhold and release the rain

When prana and apana become united in the body (kundalini), fire functions as the purifying agent in the body as a whole. The body can become incredibly hot at this point. The rain is the cooling energy in the body, but here, in Raja Yoga, rain refers to soma, the ‘moon-juice’ of the pineal gland. It is withheld until sufficient purification has been reached, at which time it becomes amrita, the nectar of immortality. The amrita is released into the body to direct the transformation process at a cellular level. At this point, the yogi is on his or her way to the Imperishable Absolute.

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

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IV:11 Taking a Chance on God

If you want something from God, surrender it to God. If you want God, surrender yourself to God. 


In whatever way one surrenders to Me, I bestow the same in exactly the same way. Thus is the way each person takes refuge in Me the basis of My way of serving them in return.

I study the Bhagavad Gita as God and these teachings reveal themselves to me. You seek to know the truth of these teachings so you read these posts, and to the degree that the Gita is God to you, Truth is revealed to you.

The way you resort to God
determines how God responds to you.

Arjuna surrendered to Lord Krishna, his Guru, in the beginning of chapter two. He complained a lot, argued, got discouraged and threw in the towel saying, “Just tell me what to do!”. He turned everything over to his Guru and just look at what this got him: Krishna has given him the entire Bhagavad Gita! If one just takes in what we have done up to this chapter alone, it is amazing how much Arjuna has received.

The Guru Gita (Song of the Guru) states that God, Guru and The Self are the same. While teaching us this principle it teaches us about Guru and reveals the nature of the guru-disciple relationship enjoyed by Arjuna and Krishna. It also states that to know God, Guru and The Self, one must find their Guru, that everyone has a Guru to be found. Upon finding the Guru, one takes refuge in Guru with the understanding that the way one does this determines how Guru responds. (This is the principle behind guruseva, selfless service to Guru.)

“Surrender to, take refuge in, resort to”
The Sanskrit for these terms is prapadyante, meaning ‘to throw one’s self down at a person’s feet in surrender’. It is customary to make this gesture upon meeting one’s Guru, or for that matter, any teacher of any subject. Such behavior is frowned upon in the west as we do not have a proper understanding of it as being the means of drawing from the guru/teacher the teachings we want and need for our highest good. This custom is not for the benefit of the teacher/guru, but for the benefit of the student/disciple. This gesture places the heart above the head and the ego, which is what needs to happen to receive teachings that will have the desired effect.

Taking a Chance on God

I have always been amazed at how reactive we are in this country to gurus. You would think they were all evil monsters! By just listening to the news or watching a few documentaries, we find that religion has more of these bad-guys for you to worry about than lineages of gurus. A guru is human and may be susceptible to error, but all in all, this is a much safer route than religion, for the teachings of lineages of gurus are not man-made, as is religion, and have been protected for thousands of years.

In the west, we consider taking a guru to be very risky business. Well, it is, but not taking a chance leaves you with nothing but your own mind, which is certainly a dangerous risk, but it is familiar and feels safe. Still, it is important that a person feels that a guru can be trusted before taking him or her as their own Guru.

Some people have histories and internal programming that make for being very poor judges of character, tendencies to be drawn into questionable circles, few or no boundaries, or programming that causes them to be attracted to people (or they to them) who make all the right moves, look good, say all the right things and generally charm them into becoming devoted followers.

Because most of us have some of these kinds of tendencies within us, I think it is very important to keep this in mind when searching for or submitting to a Guru. You absolutely must understand that no one can take away your power of choice, and you absolutely must never allow anyone to manipulate your choices. Some very charismatic people can charm the socks off of some of the most sane, intelligent and self-assured people on earth. P.T. Barnum made his living with this bit of intelligence: “There’s a sucker born every day.” Just about everyone has a soft spot somewhere. 

What you do in surrender to a guru must come from a place inside that is beyond emotional needs, desires, etc., so you would have to be self-honest enough to know what these are. You must proceed with clear and genuine willingness, and you must know without a doubt that you can always change your mind—even if you never would, you must know that you can. This will also make you strong in your surrender to God and Guru.

In whatever way one surrenders to Me
If you want to hear music, you don’t take out a palette and brushes. If you want cake, you don’t reach for the vegetable drawer. The way you resort to God/Guru determines what will come of it. If you think surrendering to enjoyment, for instance, is the same as surrendering to God because ‘all is God’, you will only get enjoyment in return, and we all know how temporary that is.

If you seek God like a scaredy-cat, your withholding will show up as God withholding from you. If you pray to God to do this or that for you and it doesn’t happen, look inside.

Are you holding back? Is there something you are unwilling to risk for God? What are you afraid you will lose by taking a chance on God?

You cannot become truly Self-realized
if you are not self-realized.

Now you may be thinking to yourself, well, I’ll just go straight to God, I don’t need to complicate things with some guru. So you must submit yourself to God, and to the degree that you are able to do this, you will be served by That. You can try what I do and go around talking to God a lot, meditating, and studying scriptures. This works for me, but I had many years with living gurus before I fully resorted to God in this way.

When I found my Guru, I knew I was taking a chance, but that is how much I wanted God that I would take such a chance knowing that I had some of the above mentioned programming. And though it has not been easy, it has paid off in spades and has truly been the best thing I have ever done for myself in my entire life.

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

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