III:11 The Heavenly Shining Ones

When we act according to what we are being taught in these verses, we will be acting in unison with our own divinity as Heavenly Shining Ones. What we want will be the same as what we need, and will automatically come to us. 

BHAGAVAD GITA, CHAPTER 3, VERSE 11 

REMINDER: My own orientation of surrender sadhana is strongly reflected in my commentary on these verses, but it is certainly not the only valid perspective. So if your orientation is other than this, you can draw your own conclusions accordingly, with my blessings.

The Golden Womb, 2 of 3 verses 

11
“By sacrifice you will cause to be, the gods will cause to be, each will cause the other to be, attained of the highest happiness, welfare and bliss.

Alternate translation:
Sacrifice is therefore for the good of all, for what you offer the gods comes back to you. This mutually beneficial action is for your highest good—your highest welfare, happiness and bliss.

Sacrifice
Spontaneous, harmless action given to God for which one has no attachment to getting the credit for doing, or to the results. 

There is an interaction going on: your sacrifice pleases the gods who in turn give you what pleases you. Sacrifice illustrates the principle of cause and effect native to our human condition, but what, or who, are the gods?

The Gods
‘Devas’ – Players, the ‘Heavenly Shining Ones’ 

What happened to ‘one God’? What are we to do with this polytheistic concept of gods, if we have been trained to understand that there is only one God?

My suggestion is to take a different point of view long enough to catch on that ‘one God’ and ‘many gods’ are not contradictory. By insisting on some resolution as to which is correct, one misses the message. Both are correct. Contemplate this until you can see how it could be so. Perhaps this will help:

The gods are specific deities, such as Prajapati, who is the one who made these statements (Golden Womb, verses 10-12) and why they are in quotes. The gods are mentioned in scriptures in various ways, either as specific deities, or symbolically, or both.

The gods are the senses. Because we have been led to this verse by way of teachings regarding sense organs, sense faculties, and sense objects, we can assume this interpretation to apply here.

The gods are ‘players’. This also applies here. The gods are players on the stage of life, and everyone is a star, a ‘heavenly shining one’. But how is it that the gods are both the senses and heavenly shining ones? Because the ‘players’ are…..

All of us. The gods make up everything that exists, including bodies and senses. Everything that exists consists of each and every one of us. Each of us is everywhere, so every action of every one of us affects all others, which is why I say that your greatest service to the world is your own progress, and that every step forward you take, pulls every one of us with you.

Because creation is rooted in sacrifice, sacrifice is natural to us as embodied ones. By acting accordingly, we are true to our true selves, and what we want will be the same as what we need, and will automatically come to us.

The Dharma of Doing
(Also see Great Expectations, “The Dharma of Doing”)

You may think that you do something for your own reasons, for your own sake, but whatever you do, whether you call the action yours or not, affects everyone else. If you call it yours, you bind yourself a little more, and hold us back a little as well. If you understand that every action is the result of a natural interaction of the gunas, the modes of nature, and is not of your doing, no matter how it feels or seems to your mind, you free yourself a little more, and move us forward as well.

We are all playing in the same sandbox. In what it is that we really are, we are all Heavenly Shining Ones. We are all one family.

Namaste (I bow to the Divine One that You really are),
Durga Ma
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III:10 The Golden Womb

Creation having been brought forth by sacrifice, by sacrifice you will evolve and prosper. Sacrifice is the milch cow of your desires. 

My own orientation, Surrender Meditation, is strongly reflected in my commentary on these verses (10 -15), but it is certainly not the only valid perspective. So if your orientation is other otherwise, please draw your own conclusions accordingly with my blessings.

Prajapati, originally Hiranyagarbha (‘golden womb’), having created the world and heaven, and who is the sustainer and protector of all born beings, tells us in these next few verses, how sacrifice is not only what creates, sustains and protects, but how it functions for our good.

The Golden Womb

10
Creation having been brought forth by sacrifice, Prajapati anciently said, “By sacrifice you will evolve and prosper. Sacrifice is the milch cow of your desire.

Well, that’s a relief! But what is all this about Creation being brought about by sacrifice? And who is Prajapati? And a milch cow…?

“Creation having been brought forth by sacrifice”

First we have to consider the characteristics of sacrifice as it was described in verse nine: Sacrifice is an action for which we have no attachment either to getting the credit for doing it, or to getting the results of it.

If we apply this idea to Creation, it looks like nothing and no one made Creation happen. It may have happened because of something or someone, but not by anything. In other words, Creation was/is a spontaneous event brought about because of something but not by it. Let us call this something, “God”.

Prajāpati
‘Lord of born beings’
God as Creator (earlier Hiranyagarbha, later Brahmā)

Prajapati, having created the world and heaven, is the sustainer and protector of all born beings. Originally, this role was attributed to the feminine, Hiranyagarbha, and later devolved to the masculine as the yugas (ages) made their way downward from the Golden Age (satya yuga) through ages of increasing strife. The naturally occurring phenomena of Creation is rooted in sacrifice as it is described in these few verses (10-14).

Hiranyagarbha — hiranya (‘golden’), garbha (‘womb’, ‘to conceive’). Also called the Golden Egg, or Cosmic Egg.

Sacrifice is therefore understood to be a spontaneous action. Spontaneous action is void of attachment to action and to the effects of action. In verse nine, we learned that this is the essence of Karma Yoga (Action Yoga).

“By sacrifice you will evolve and prosper.”

Alternate translation:
“By sacrifice you will evolve or prosper.”

Why the “or”?

Two paths are suggested: one will get you prosperity and posterity (pravritti marga), and the other will bring about your evolution (nirvritti marga).

We may be tempted to think of evolution as ‘spiritual growth’, but this often does not include the physical, and Yoga always includes the physical, though not as evidenced by popular trend. Also, evolution is different from growth in that growth is something getting bigger or better or both, whereas evolution is transformation into an improved version of an original. So while evolution may include bigger and better, more importantly, it suggests transformation. Evolution is going on all the time, so to suggest it here means something more. It implies the completion of a stage of human existence: a higher life form.

“Sacrifice is the milch cow of your desire”

Sacrifice as ‘the milch cow of desire’ is Kamadhenu, the ‘wish fulfilling cow’. She is the miraculous cow of plenty who fulfills all desires.

If you are looking for further understanding of ‘sacrifice’, consider the cow. She continues to give her milk for as long as needed. She does not make this happen, it happens because of her—it comes naturally, it is not self-motivated, and there is no consideration of having done anything to make it happen. The cow is an excellent symbol for what is meant by the word ‘sacrifice’.

Sacrifice
Yajña
Karma Yoga (Action Yoga)
Surrender Meditation

A cow produces milk for as long as it is taken. When the calf stops nursing, her milk dries up, and so it is with Kamadhenu. Hence is sacrifice is not only a privilege, but a duty, for sacrifice as described here is the very thing that causes Kamadhenu’s milk to continue to flow and fulfill all our wants and needs.

Checking Your Understanding

I realize that each of you will understand these ideas concerning sacrifice in your own way. This is as it should be. It is the beauty of Sanskrit scriptural teachings that it supplies answers for any of the many paths to Truth. To determine for yourself if your understanding is correct, there are two guidelines:

(1) See that your understanding is consistent with ahimsa (harmlessness—physically, and in thought and speech) because this is consistent with your natural state as a divine individual.

(2) See that it works in context with the foregoing and forthcoming verses, and the text as a whole.

More next week on ‘sacrifice’ and ‘the milch cow of your desire’.

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