Bondage, Continued, Bhagavad Gita, Ch 14, Vs 5

The Three Gunas with Men Ensnared
Personification of the Three Gunas with Men Ensnared

Previously:
O Long Armed One, the gunas of Prakriti (Nature) — sattva, rajas and tamas — bind the Imperishable Embodied One to the body.”

  • Nature – All things visible and invisible, including people, that exist in the created world and the cosmos — the phenomena of the physical world collectively, including humans and human creations, plants, animals, the landscape and other features and products of the earth.

The gunas of Prakriti are the ways Nature acts that keep the partnership of our Selves and our bodies intact. We live in bondage to these three gunas, but we wouldn’t be here without them. Later we are going to learn how to free ourselves from these gunas while continuing to be in life, but first we need to understand their place in life and in this world. 

Like a house that is made of bricks but when we look at it what we see is a house, in the same way, Nature is made up of gunas but when we look at it what we see is Nature. We think of Nature as having gunas, but like the house, Nature doesn’t just have gunas, it is gunas. It’s a package deal.

What Are Gunas?

Characteristics of the Three Gunas
Characteristics of the Three Gunas

There are three characteristics of Nature’s movements, three ways that Nature acts. The three gunas are the three ways Nature acts in varying degrees and 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 those who inhabit it.

You (purusha) experiencing Another (prakriti) and not seeing the Other as the same as yourSelf, but as different than you, create a dual situation. This moves you, a Divine Individual, from the Absolute to the Relative, and into being something other than what you really are. In this new situation in which you are being a Being, you can begin to find your way back to the Absolute situation, only now, with full consciousness.

Before, you realized your own existence, and now, after a journey through the relative realm of beings, you have the means to return with full consciousness: the Highest Knowledge of the Highest Yoga, and the Highest Action “by which all the sages have gone from here to param siddhi, the highest possible accomplishment.” You can go Home as your real Self, with full consciousness of everything.

  • parāṁ siddhi – the highest and ultimate perfection, the highest state

The Nature of Nature is to Move

All action occurs in Nature

I often say, “All action occurs in Nature,” but it might be more correct to say, “All action is intrinsic to Nature.” The gunas are three characteristics of actions, changes, or ways that occur in Nature. All action is, is gunas.

Nature with its gunas are Prakriti misperceived. If you take action out of the picture, the only thing remaining is Prakriti as She really is: God, You and Other Divine Individuals just like You. And now we have Brahman, the Absolute, all of Us. 

Action is intrinsic to Nature. The gunas are the different modes of Nature’s actions.

Transcending the Gunas

So now it is time to remember that, because you have power (you are a ‘god’, after all), you have the power to perceive, to know. This power has manifested as your senses. When your senses work without their organs your perception is direct and you perceive only the Real. This is something that becomes obvious through the correct practice of meditation.

Once you engage in ‘looking’, you have duality and action (looking is an action). When you have action, you have time (from a human perspective). So by transcending the gunas, you transcend all these modes of the mirage, and all that remains is Brahman, Absolute God, Prakriti, all of Us and your Real Self. Time continues but you have gone beyond it, and for this reason, you “do not experience dissolution, and are not born again at the time of creation” (verse 2). All these features of the mirage, these gunas, must be transcended to reach the Real.

When we (purusha) view prakriti (others), what we see is Nature with its gunas (modes of action). All action in Creation bears all three of these characteristic modes in varying degrees and combinations. Thus are sattva, rajas and tamas not only the modes of Nature, they’re a package deal, but they bind the Imperishable Embodied One (You) to the body. They were there for your embodiment in Nature, and now you’re stuck with them.

  • Transcend – to go beyond the range of something; to surpass.

This binding by the gunas is the only obstacle to liberation — one wants a body because of the influence of the gunas. Because we are still erroneously ‘looking’ for each other by means of the body and the senses, we keep this cycle going. It is our identity with these gunas of Nature that hooks us.

When you despair of ever being able to abandon desires (which is impossible), think instead of abandoning attachment to desired objects.

When you think you must somehow rid yourself of the gunas (which is impossible), think instead of ridding yourself of their influences, by abandoning your identity with them (casting yourself as the doer of actions).

In Nature there is always action. The fundamental characteristic of You however, is non-doing. And once again we are reminded, “What you really are does nothing.”

This realization is most effectively accomplished in meditation in which spontaneous action occurs and you realize that it happened without you — without will, for any purpose of your own, and therefore not creating any kind of karmic debt to hold you back. In that moment, you experience liberation. And even though you lose it later, you know what it’s like. And because you know what it’s like, it can continue to increase until you are truly free and united with Absolute God. You will have achieved Lord Krishna’s state, just as He said you would.

The bottom line is this: We find God and each other by not trying, by not using the will (choosing to choose). Using the will always stops things cold in the midst of the mirage. But we are looking for the Real, so we surrender our will to That (we choose not to choose), to Absolute God in meditation, in order to bring us to Absolute God, where we rediscover our Real Selves. 

Your Fundamental Inherent Power is to Choose or Not to Choose

To Be, or not to Be. That is the question.

  • Will – choosing to choose; to continue being the chooser.
  • Surrender to God – choosing not to choose; surrendering your will to God.

Thy will be done, O Lord, not mine.

Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

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 effortlessly reaching a true meditative state without using your will.

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

 

The Self is the Same in All Beings – Bhagavad Gita, Ch 13, Vs 27-31

Spontaneous Creation - Shakti

The Self is the Same In All Beings

27
Know that anything that comes into being, whether standing still or moving, exists due to the union of the Field and the Field Knower.

“The union of the Field and the Field Knower” is a reference to a previous verse in which the Field Knower is said to be the Real You (a Divine Individual, purusha), and the Field is said to be the body (Nature, prakriti).

It is fair to say that both Prakriti and Purusha are God. All Divine Individuals are God. All of Us are God as both Purusha and Prakriti, the Seer and the Seen. We are each who we are as Individuals who can know, or see, Others like ourSelves. And we are each Individuals who can be known, or seen, by Others like ourSelves. All that truly exists is Us — All Is God.

To understand this, you must consider it in the context of The Absolute, that Reality in which there are no mirages, no things, and nothing going on but eternal bliss — imperishable Us in our natural state of divinity, eternal happiness and joy. From this Absolute God came spontaneous Creation. And so it is said, “All Is God.” 

In the Absolute before Creation, once we each became aware of our existence, it was inevitable that we consider the possibility that we were not the only ones in existence. The process of making this discovery is the first cause of Creation, and is the first cause of our Liberation now. Now we must follow the string we unrolled behind us, back the way we came. When we finally get Home, one thing will be different: we will be conscious of it all. We will be conscious of our True Selves, and our relationship with eachOther, existing in mutual Eternal Love and Happiness. Because this is our Natural State.

Spontaneous Creation 1When in The Absolute (before Creation) you perceived Another, you might either have accepted this Other or not. 

Your first acceptance of Another Individual who also accepted You, united You with that Other. This first Other that you accepted is called IshvaraThis union brought about your coming into Being. There is no identifiable difference between you and Ishvara, and yet your sense-of-self is singular (asmita, ‘I am’).

The subtle, intuitive sense of this truth is what is behind your pursuit of a loving relationship in your life, a soul-mate if you will. One expects to find that divine one here on Earth, but it is already found. This divine one is within you as the witness experiencing everything, when all the while you have believed this to be you.

I am That I am

28
One who sees that Great Ishvara as the same in all beings, imperishable among the perishable, truly sees.

The Field & the Field Knower - The Embodied One & the Being“One who sees that Great Ishvara as the same in all beings”
You see that everyone in a body is in the same situation as you: This Great Ishvara is the first Divine Individual in the Absolute that you accepted as the same as you, and who has also accepted you. Both are equally unlimited in their presence. This situation is the same for all embodied beings.  

“Imperishable among the perishable” refers to You and your Ishvara as you really are: Divine Individuals that are imperishable, living as One Being that is perishable.

When you see that WHAT you really are is a Divine Imperishable Individual residing in a body, and that this situation with Ishvara is the same for all of us, you see Truly.

Every Divine Individual is an individual just like You.

29
Seeing this Great Ishvara as the same in everyone, one does not degrade himself and reaches the Highest State.

When you harm or degrade yourself, hurt or put yourself down, you do the same to Ishvara. Now remember who this is, and you will see how important it is that you become enlightened about this situation, so that you never harm or degrade yourself in any way. Ishvara, whom you love, is your ‘witness within’ who experiences everything you experience, and will also experience any harm you do to yourself or others. 

Our attention is being called to how degrading or harming ouselves affects everyone else. Both you and Ishvara are also present in everyone else, so what you do affects not only Ishvara, but everyone else as well. By knowing and understanding this, you can reach the Highest State, the basis of which is the first Universal Spiritual Principle (the first yama), ahimsa — harmlessness toward all beings, including yourself, physically, mentally (not bearing malice) and emotionally (through speech). In this Highest State, one knows the Self to be the same in all Beings.

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 effort or stress, 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, Natural 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.” — Durga Ma

The Whole World Is One Family

Sanatana Dharma, the Way of Eternal Truth


Self & Other-Than-Self, Continued – Bhagavad Gita, Ch 13, Vs 22

Half Male Half Female God
Half Male Half Female God

Three modes of action in nature come into play because You originally perceived Others like YourSelf as different than You. 

22
Purusha seated in Prakriti experiences the gunas of Nature. This causes attachment to the gunas and results in fortunate and unfortunate births.

  • Purusha (m) – Spirit, You, a Divine Individual
  • Prakriti (f) – Another Divine Individual
  • Gunas – The three modes of action in Nature: easy-going (sattva), fast or excited (rajas), and still or slow-moving (tamas)

Attachment 1The gunas come into play when Purusha experiences Prakriti as Nature. When you see Prakriti as Nature you see it as one or the other of these three gunas. The gunas are the building blocks of illusion, and their seductiveness get us attached to all kinds of things.

All things are energy in its various conditions, such as hard like a stone (tamas), soft like a pillow (sattva) or excited like the wind (rajas). In the same way we experience Nature in general as one or more of these three.

Once you (purusha) are embodied (prakriti) you experience prakriti as Nature in these three modalities—tamas (slow or dense), sattva (easy-going) and rajas (fast or excited)—individually or in various combinations, usually with one more prominent than the others.

The moment you want to experience something—to enjoy, be happy, etc.—the gunas accommodate you. Our desires have much to do with what guna predominates at any given time. In other words, your desire to be happy produces the means of getting happiness … and its opposite.

The three gunas can be seen in how we feel emotionally: sattva – indifferent, peaceful, relaxed and feeling good; rajas – exuberant, angry, wild, fast-moving, intense and passionate; tamas – still or slow-moving, lazy, quiet, withdrawn, gloomy, depressed, dark.

When you think about it, this is an amazing power that you have, that you probably don’t realize, or know how to use. But before you try to figure out how to use it, read the next paragraph:

The desire to experience is what gets you attached to the gunas. Once attached, you are compelled to be reborn, whether into good or bad situations. Liberation is lost. It’s your choice. 

Attachment - cuttingIn moments of genuine indifference, even though looking out onto “Nature” (prakriti), the gunas have no affect. This state disappears the moment you want to experience something. Thus has Lord Krishna repeatedly spoken of ‘indifference’ as the means of reaching His state. This state is called trigunatita, ‘free of the three gunas‘. One who has attained this state has transcended, or gone beyond, the three gunas and reaches Godhood.

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

Natural Meditation

Shaktipat Kundalini Yoga
Spontaneous meditation through surrender

Slip into a natural state of meditation with ease. Discover the release and relief of reaching a true meditative state without the effort or stress of using your will.

Learn the science and practice of Natural Meditation and experience a simple form of this meditation. Reach deeper states of meditation though correct knowledge. Such knowledge will naturally increase your progress by a thousand times, and bring about deeper meditation and amazing experiences.

Receive shaktipat and become initiated into the full form of Natural Meditation, the original meditation of ancient masters from which meditation techniques were eventually derived. Increase your knowledge base and begin Shaktipat Kundalini Yoga, the full form of Natural Surrender Meditation. 

Shaktipat Intensives with Durga Ma are held in Phoenix, Arizona