VIII:24-25 The Day and Night of the Yogi, Continued

Will you continue to become embodied in worlds of temporal happiness and sorrow at death? Or will you rise above this dilemma and reach the Eternal Happiness of the Imperishable Absolute?

24
The bright fire of day, the bright half of the moon, the upper-going of the sun, departing then, those who know Brahman go forth to Brahman.

  • Brahman – God in the absolute sense. 

The bright fire (agni jyoti)kundalini flowing through the central channel of the body, the sushumna nadi (‘gracious and kind flow channel’), is day. Departing then, the yogi who knows Brahman (God) is liberated from rebirth and goes to Brahman.   

Upper-going of the sun, the six months of the sun’s northern course, refers to the ascendant flow of kundalini within the central channel (‘north’ is ‘up’). 

The bright half of the lunar month is a reference to soma. The moon is the pineal gland which, when ‘full’, produces soma. When drunk by the body, the soma becomes purified. Once pure, it is called amrita, the nectar of immortality. 

Departing – ‘dead, passed away’ (macrocosm), and also ‘arrived at, advanced to’ (microcosm).  

Those who know Brahman, Absolute God, the Imperishable: To ‘know’ Brahman is to have experienced Brahman. This event is known as nirvikalpa, nirbija or asamprajnata samadhi. By merely recalling this experience, the life energy flows in the direction of That—where the attention goes, the energy flows. In this case, that direction is upward and inward, pulled by the upward-going of kundalini. This is the meaning of  ‘knowing Brahman’, or ‘thinking only of God’. Thought, remembering, takes place in the brain and mind, and this is just where kundalni is going—into the head.

At this stage (Raja Yoga), sun and moon are related to the brain: The sun is kundalini-shakti initiating the flow of soma from the pineal gland, the Moon, and into the body to be purified.

When we reach this stage, Kundalini is stationed in the north at the sixth chakra. Before this, She made Her home at the first chakra, returning there after many ventures into higher places. Now, from the ajna chakra, She is able to use the life energy (Prana) to suit Her, and sends it into every cell of the body to deliver the amrtia and make the necessary changes. The evolutionary force, Kundalini, seated above the throat is now called Maruti (Goddess of the Wind). At this point, one has completed yoga sadhana.

25
With the misty darkness of night, the dark half of the moon, the right-hand going of the sun, the yogi attains the lunar light and is born again.

The misty darkness of night – Kundalini is seated below the throat at the first chakra.

The dark half of the lunar month – The moon, the pineal gland, is not ‘full’.

Right-hand going of the sun, the six months of sun’s southern course, refers to Kundalini moving in the chakras below the sixth chakra (‘south’ is ‘down’).

The yogi attains the lunar light (cāndra jyoti), the light of the moon, and is born again.

Once Raja Yoga is achieved, Kundalini is seated at the ajna chakra and Her sphere of action is above the throat, but before this, Her sphere of action is from the first to the fifth chakra. During this phase of sadhana, the yogi gets the moonlight (jyoti) of Hatha Yoga, but not the moon juice (soma) of Raja Yoga.

Moonlight is the precursor of the moon juice. The moonlight, or moon-lightening, occurs in meditation during Hatha Yoga as it tries to stimulate the soma. This lightening is experienced in spontaneous (without will) meditation, or Experiential (Surrender) Meditation. It cannot be made to happen.

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

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VIII:19-21 The Day and Night of Brahmā, Part 2

Having come to be again and again in the Day of God, all beings are reabsorbed into the Night of God, only to become manifest again at the arrival of the Day. But there is something beyond all this that is eternal, where one is relieved of the trials of death and rebirth, and never parishes. This is the Highest Goal. 

19
Having come into manifestation again and again, the multitude of beings are spontaneously reabsorbed at the arrival of night, Son of Pritha, arising again at the arrival of day.

  • Beings: The word for ‘beings’ also means ‘existences, occurrences, material existences’.

In addition to our discussion on Day and Night in the previous installment, another meaning is this: Day is when the Life Energy’s warming aspect is predominant, and night is when its cooling aspect is predominant. 

  • Sunprana, the upward warming cycle of the Life Energy, usually translated as ‘ingoing breath’. 
  • Moonapana, the downward cooling cycle of the Life Energy, usually translated as ‘outgoing breath’. 

You may notice that, at any given time, one nostril is more open than the other to greater and lesser degrees. When the the right nostril is predominantly open, the warming sun is up. When the left nostril is predominantly open, the cool of the moon predominates and it is night.

If “reabsorbed at the arrival of night” puts you in mind of doomsday, consider another meaning of this as the spectacular union of these two energies, prana and apana. When these two energies come clashing together in the body, the evolutionary force, Kundalini, is awakened. Arjuna, who is listening to all this as Krishna speaks, is positioned at this very point and having a hard time of it. It is doomsday alright. It is the beginning of the end of life as he has known it up to this point.

20
But beyond this un-manifest state, there is another, different non-manifest that is higher and eternal in which, when all beings perish, does not perish.

Ah. So there is another non-manifest that is always there and always has been. It doesn’t come and go or come to an end. This non-manifest is different from the “night of Brahmā” which comes to an end with the “day of Brahmā”.   

21
This non-manifest is called the Imperishable, and is considered to be the Highest Goal. By attaining it, one does not return. This is My Highest Abode.

Rather than returning to other worlds, it is possible to reach this non-manifest that doesn’t come to an end. This successfully ends the cycles of death and rebirth into lesser, more difficult, worlds. 

This other non-manifest state that exists eternally is called the ‘Imperishable’ for a reason. Imperishable means ‘enduring forever, indestructible, deathless’. This chapter, continuing from the last verses of chapter seven, is providing us with what we need to know in order to reach this deathless state, ourselves.

Equanimity (samadhi) can only be achieved through the union of day and night by “day and night knowing people [previous post].” This is yoga—the union of prana and apana, the sun and the moon, the day and the night—the activation and acceleration of the evolutionary force (Kundalini awakens) within the individual.

This stage of spiritual development is called Hatha Yoga, ‘sun-moon union’. But the show is not over at this point, for there is another stage beyond this that is attained through the union of you and Kundalini, you and God. At this stage, Kundalini fully awakens, and the Imperishable Absolute can now be reached. This is Raja Yoga, royal union. 

These teachings on The Day and Night of Brahmā are presented in apocalyptic terms in some scriptures, and interpreted as armageddon and the end of the world. But there is another interpretation that does not require the usual doomsday scenario:

The Imperishable, Krishna’s Highest Abode, is reached, liberation attained, and the world as you have known it ends. You dwell with Lord Krishna and others like Him, in the Eternal Happiness of the Imperishable. 

  • Apocalypse – Revelation, the disclosure of knowledge of something hidden.
  • Armageddon – The full awakening of Kundalini:

    From the Hebrew: ‘Hill of Megiddo’, a Canaanite city. The verb root (gad) indicates cutting with the distinct purpose of revealing a treasure. This is khechari mudra, ‘flying through the air seal’, which evolves from jalandhara bandha (‘throat lock’) and awakens the evolutionary force, kundalini, in a full and accelerated manner.

    From the dictionary: “The last battle between good and evil before the Day of Judgment and the termination of life.” Meaning: At the last clashing together of sun and moon energies before the dawning of Kundalini when She fully asserts Herself, the past will be dead and you’ll never be the same again.

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

VI:40-43 The Wonders of Failure

Ultimate failure is not possible, for it is necessary for achieving success.

In answer to Arjuna’s questions, Lord Krishna speaks…

40
The Blessed Lord spoke:
Dear One, no one of virtuous action is ever overcome by misfortune, nor is there ever found to be the destruction of this yogi, here or in the next world.

“Here or in the next world”

  • Here: here on earth, now, in this lifetime.
  • The next world: another existence—heaven, another planet, plane, dimension or another lifetime.

Lord Krishna is answering Arjuna’s questions of the previous verses concerning what happens to someone who falls from Yoga, and what will become of him. Using a reassuring endearment, He tells Arjuna that because of the virtuous action of yoga practice, he will not come to harm.

Lord Krishna is glorifying this Yoga to Arjuna with the term, “virtuous action”, which is explained in previous verses (15 and 27). The Sanskrit word for ‘virtuous’ also means ‘fortunate, noble, excellent, beneficial, auspicious, right’.

41 – 42
One who has fallen away from Yoga always reaches the worlds of the virtuous and illustrious, and abides with them for many years, and is born again in the house of prosperous and venerable people, or in a house of wise yogis, a birth which, in this world, is very rare.

This verse seems to indicate that, in spite of the multitudes of people claiming to be yogis, or the equivalent, there must really be very few on earth at any given time. This would suggest that common knowledge of Yoga, religious beliefs and alternative spirituality, is incorrect.

“Born again in the house of prosperous and venerable people, or wise yogis”
Here the issue of yogis having and raising children may arise in our minds. People who have children are considered ‘householders’. It is difficult enough for a yogi to find the right conditions for Yoga practice, but it is nearly impossible for a householder.

This leads us to consider that this is only a rule-of-thumb, and that because there is such a rarity of genuine yogis, there must be an occasional exception. Or we may come to understand ways in which such a hard line between these two modes of life is softened and penetrable, giving our yogi a better chance of winning a house of yogis in his next incarnation.

“Such a birth in this world is very rare”
It is a current trend to assume that one chooses one’s own parents. I find this to be presumptuous, especially when considering that this yogi, who has come so far, is not even assured of getting the best conditions in his next life. Looked at in a certain way, this belief can be gotten away with so some degree, for it is the choices that one makes that determine future lives. But this still does not signify that one can pick and choose parents.

43
There he awakens to the knowledge derived from his former life as a yogi, and once more strives toward success, Arjuna.

“He awakens to the knowledge derived from his former life”
In his new life, this fallen yogi recognizes the knowledge and experience derived from his former life, is automatically attracted to Yoga again, and takes up where he left off. 

Sameness

What stood out to me in this verse was the term buddhi samyoga. The usual translations simply state that the yogi regains the knowledge derived from previous births, with buddhi as knowledge, and samyoga as being reunited with that knowledge.

The word yoga means ‘union’. There are two kinds of union: one is to merge, like water and milk, and the other is coming together, like marriage or an alliance. The meaning of samyoga, “direct material contact”, is the latter of the two.

The basis of buddhi is duality, opposites (this and that, self and other, etc.). It means, ‘to observe, discriminate, perceive, know, understand.’ So it should come as no surprise that buddhi is also the name of one of the four parts of the mind, the part that differentiates one thing from another among the myriad paris of opposites of which it is composed. 

Where the mind is concerned, buddhi becomes samyoga by means of the second kind of union (‘coming together’), suggesting that the opposites that make up the mind take on a state of sameness while retaining their individuality—hot is still hot and cold is still cold, but as far as the mind is concerned there is no difference—they are not merged but are married, and have equal value while performing different functions.

If we look at hatha yoga with this in mind, the union of prana and apana is seen both as united but retaining individuality … and merged as one. Merged as one, they function in an accelerated evolutionary capacity (kundalini). But if they were always fully merged, their special functions would be cancelled and the body could not survive.

This reminds us of the story of Rama (prana) and Sita (apana) in the Ramayana. Rama and Sita are united in marriage, but they are still who they are as individuals—they retain their individuality as prana and apana and continue to perform their individual functions, and merged as one, kundalini activates and tries to ascend.

Married, this royal couple go to the North, and Raja Yoga (‘Royal Union’) begins. So yoga, ‘union’, is understood differently in different stages of sadhanaIngmar Bergman’s production of Mozart’s opera, The Magic Flute, also illustrates this.

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