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Outsmarting Obstacles- Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 2:61

He for whom all the senses are held in restraint, sitting intent on Me with his senses under control, his wisdom stands firm. —  Bhagavad Gita, chapter two, verse 61

Alternate translation:

But submitting to Me according to his wish, when he rests absorbed in devotion to Me all the senses become restrained, and with certainty his wisdom stands firm. 

Throughout our lives and throughout our sadhana, obstacles will arise. We may not be able to change this, but we can outsmart these obstacles. In our last installment, we came up with some solutions to this ever-present dilemma. Now this verse gives us the best solution for that aspect of our lives that is our sadhana, our spiritual practices, the solution to outsmarting all obstacles to reaching union with the Absolute:

Submitting to Me according to his wish”

Surrendering to God by your own choice in the meditation room, the senses will automatically become restrained (pratyahara). 

Translations of mystical texts always take the position of using the will to try to achieve success with each step along the way, no matter what the subject of the text. We humans don’t like to submit. We think it is weak. But this verse is telling you that submission is your greatest strength, your highest choice. It is not telling you to just submit, but to submit specifically to God—this is the key.

When you submit to God, Truth, The Absolute, you have made the ultimate choice and have accessed your ultimate power. You have paved your way to resting absorbed in God. Having chosen God, the senses will come under control, not by you, but automatically they are withdrawn and their activities restrained.

Surrender specifically and ONLY to God
by your own choice
in your meditation room.

“With his senses under control”

Pratyahara, the withdrawal and restraint of the senses, happens in a state of surrender as your awareness leaves the linear world where the senses and their functions are needed. This can happen the way it does because, in this situation, you no longer need anything to bring you information. In the earlier stages you perceive directly. I later stages you don’t perceive at all—you don’t need to perceive; you are beyond being a knower knowing knowable things.

The senses are under control, but you are not doing the controlling. As the lover to the beloved, you have surrendered to That Divine One. The senses are no longer yours to control—you have surrendered them, given them back to God. Thus are pratyahara, meditation (dhyana) and samadhi (merging with God) successfully attained.

Once you have attained samadhi your experience proves this to be so—you know from our own experience that all the senses become spontaneously restrained and under control without any help from you. Until that time comes, you resort to ‘faith’, the assumption that this is so, based on the words of those who have been there. In your meditation room you are free. Once having experienced this freedom, even if only for an hour or two a day, you come to know what freedom is and what it is like to be free. Having had the experience, the way is paved to achieving it fully (moksha, liberation). So the message here is: do your sadhana, meditate.

Reading these verses (from vs 55) as descriptive of a natural sequence of events, one discovers that all this will happen on its own through surrender to God in meditation, where you give up trying to make things happen by using your will.

Jaya Bhagavan! (Victory to God!),
Durga Ma


TERMS OF USE AND SHARING:

This post and text is original research material and is copyrighted. You are allowed to share this material for personal, non-commercial and educational use with the proper citations, references and links / tags back to my website. Clicking ´Share´ on FB or ´Reblog´ on WordPress would be most appropriate.Please obtain written permission from Anandi first if you want to use this material on your workshop, blog, organization, webpage, book, seminar or for any commercial purpose. All information provided, be it through sessions conducted or this post is non-liable and is not intended to replace professional legal, medical, psychological, psychiatric and/or financial counsel. How you choose to act on this information is up to your own free will and is entirely your responsibility.

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Obstacles to Meditation- Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 2:60

The aggressive and tormenting senses forcibly carry away the mind, Kunteya (Arjuna), even of a man of wisdom and understanding. —  Bhagavad Gita, chapter two, verse 60

We have seen ‘what lies beyond’, reached ‘the Highest’, and have become established in wisdom and understanding, but apparently we have not seen the last of this ever-present obstacle, the pesky senses. And to top it off, even though we try to avoid the eventuality of the mind becoming too active to slip into pratyahara, all our efforts appear to be doomed to failure.

Or are we jumping to conclusions here? When we take everything into consideration, we have to admit that under ordinary circumstances the senses are going to continue doing their jobs of bringing information into the mind in the form of images, sounds, smells, etc. This verse is reassuring us that the senses are going to carry on with their business in spite of our continued success.

Now that we have achieved pratyahara and entered the temple of true meditation and samadhi, what the senses have to offer is nothing by comparison. Although our attention will be attracted to objects of sense, we are not compelled to become attached and desirous of having them. If they come, they come. If they are pleasant, enjoyment is inevitable, but whether they are pleasant or unpleasant is irrelevant to us. It’s just another day on the job for the senses.

The mind gets its data from the senses.

The Power of the Senses

After learning that reaching true meditation is not as simple as sitting down like a pretzel and telling your mind to shut up, you find that even when you have ‘seen the Highest’ your mind still gets carried away by the senses.

As the senses continue to do their jobs of keeping you informed, they continue to attract your attention and bring information into the mind. This shows how powerful you really are. You have these five senses because you have these five inherent powers, five powers of perception and knowledge. These powers of yours have manifested on the physical plane to supply you with information that you need to navigate life, but the powers from which they derive are still what they are: powers.

The only problem is that you have identified with your ‘chariot’, your body, which includes the senses. Your power to know by means of your five powers of perception is very real, but the senses themselves are a part of nature. Trying to control them is trying to control nature. If that’s how you are attempting to deal with them, good luck. Try this Solution instead, or try these Backup Solutions which also work as a stand-alone solutions.

The Mind in Meditation

It is a common dilemma that thoughts and desires arise in meditation. We become disturbed by this, wondering if there is something wrong because the mind constantly thinks about desires, the grocery list, and other silly things, and we become disenchanted with meditation or feel like failures. What this verse is saying is, “Don’t worry about it. This is just nature doing its thing. It has nothing to do with you.”

Will and Surrender

It is said in Yoga that to continue to progress, one gives their powers back to the Source, submits them to God. 

Your own willful efforts can take you only so far. Remember the experiment where you pushed your stiffened arms against the insides of a door frame? You can only maintain this for so long, and when you finally let go and walk away, there is a moment of surrender, albeit unintentional, in which you step away from the door and your arms freely and effortlessly float upward. It wasn’t your willful effort that freed your arms to float, it was that moment when you gave up and surrendered.

Using your will outside the meditation room is pushing your arms against the doorframe. When you go into meditation and surrender yourself to God, you step away from the door and your ‘arms’ float upward effortlessly. This is what Arjuna has done. He has put God in the driver’s seat of his chariot.

Jaya Bhagavan! (Victory to Truth!),
Durga Ma

 


TERMS OF USE AND SHARING:

This post and text is original research material and is copyrighted. You are allowed to share this material for personal, non-commercial and educational use with the proper citations, references and links / tags back to my website. Clicking ´Share´ on FB or ´Reblog´ on WordPress would be most appropriate.Please obtain written permission from Anandi first if you want to use this material on your workshop, blog, organization, webpage, book, seminar or for any commercial purpose. All information provided, be it through sessions conducted or this post is non-liable and is not intended to replace professional legal, medical, psychological, psychiatric and/or financial counsel. How you choose to act on this information is up to your own free will and is entirely your responsibility.

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Your Unlimited Power, Joy, and the Truth About Happiness -Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 2:44

** Remote Shaktipat initiation into Surrender Meditation is being offered on January 1st, 2021 on the anniversary of Durga Ma’s own initiation, given by Anandi, her direct disciple charged to carry on the lineage. To be included in this remote event, please email anandibhgavan@gmail.com with your intentions to be considered no later than December 25th.**

You have unlimited power—you have only to access it. You can afford to be desireless because everything you want is already yours—you have only to realize it. 

44
Being attached to enjoyment and power, the consciousness of the unenlightened is stolen away. They do not have the ability be singularly unwavering and cannot attain samadhi

“Being attached to enjoyment and power.” The purpose of this attachment is to fulfill desires. Attachment is itself a desire, a desire to hold on to something. In this case, one wants to hold on to enjoyment and power. So what does this tell you? This tells you that you must already have enjoyment and power or you couldn’t be concerned about keeping them.

“The consciousness of the unenlightened is stolen away — they do not have the ability to remain unwavering … so they cannot attain samadhi.”  Now we come to the point. ‘Consciousness’ refers to the attention—a flow of consciousness to what the mind is being conscious of. Desires keep the mind extroverted and in constant motion, preventing unwavering attention (stealing it away) and therefore, samadhi.

“Samadhi” — Equanimity, ‘equal-mind’. Remember where this started? With the equalization of opposites. And here is the prize: samadhi, ‘a unified state of mind’, whereby you can discover the real You (Self-realization). But samadhi can only be attained through the meditative state (dhyana) where there is an unwavering, uninterrupted flow of consciousness and life energy in one place for a sufficient length of time.

In addition to stealing the attention away and preventing the very thing we desire most, there is another liability inherent in desire:

Desire is an affirmation of lack.

A desire for something can only exist when there is a belief in the mind that you do not have it. A common technique for alleviating this perceived deficiency is to do positive affirmations, but by doing these affirmations you are strengthening the idea in your mind that you do not have what you want. Desires, especially acting on desires, give energy and strength to the (subconscious) belief of lack. Neither belief of lack nor mental agitation are harmonious with enjoyment and power, or samadhi.

This verse is not trying to make you feel guilty for having desires, for wanting power, for wanting those things in life that make you feel good. That is not its purpose. What it is trying to tell you is that you feel hungry for these things because you know their wonder and worth, and that you can only know this through your own experience.

Desiring something says “I want”, but why would you want something you already have? How could you possibly know what it would be like to have a desire fulfilled if you didn’t already know from your own experience? Chasing desires just drives you around in circles and accomplishes nothing.

Bonus Key

This verse is also giving you the key to reestablishing yourself in your true nature, your real Self. Such a beautiful and blissful state, and you know this, and you are hungry for it. It is not power and pleasure you want, but to reveal the You that is already perfect, powerful, and in-joy.

Namaste — I bow to the divine, powerful and joyous one that You really are,
Durga Ma

** Remote Shaktipat initiation into Surrender Meditation is being offered on January 1st, 2021 on the anniversary of Durga Ma’s own initiation, given by Anandi, her direct disciple charged to carry on the lineage. To be included in this remote event, please email anandibhgavan@gmail.com with your intentions to be considered no later than December 25th.**

 

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TERMS OF USE AND SHARING:

This post and text is original research material and is copyrighted. You are allowed to share this material for personal, non-commercial and educational use with the proper citations, references and links / tags back to my website. Clicking ´Share´ on FB or ´Reblog´ on WordPress would be most appropriate.Please obtain written permission from Anandi first if you want to use this material on your workshop, blog, organization, webpage, book, seminar or for any commercial purpose. All information provided, be it through sessions conducted or this post is non-liable and is not intended to replace professional legal, medical, psychological, psychiatric and/or financial counsel. How you choose to act on this information is up to your own free will and is entirely your responsibility.