The Greatest Secret of All – Bhagavad Gita, Ch 18, Vs 67-71

Scripture - a book of secrets
Read It Here!

The Diamond Shloka

Abandon all dharmas and take refuge in Me alone, and I will give you freedom from all misfortunes. Grieve not. — Shloka 66

Alternate translation:
Abandon all ‘shoulds’ and surrender only to Me, and I will give you liberation and the end of all sorrows. Fear not!


This is never to be spoken of by you to one who is without austerity, never to one who is not devoted to Me or neglects seva at any time, never to one who is averse to practice and study, and never to one who does not love Me and protect this teaching.

1.  Austerity (tapasis the purification process brought about by yoga; the melting away of impurities, including one’s karma.

Tapas, usually translated as ‘austerity’, means ‘to burn, heat, melt or warm’. Tapas is brought about by yoga (union) for the purpose of burning away impurities, and putting things not in sync with God and the Real You where they belong. This applies to body, feelings, mind and karma.  

2. Devotion and seva exemplify love and respect for the guru.

Devotion (bhakti, ‘love, respect, commitment’) is love and commitment to God, and the performance of guru seva

Seva is selfless service, service without expectation of return benefits.

Guru’s Grace refers to receiving the initiations of the guru’s lineage. To the degree that one is devoted to guru and performs seva, one gets Guru’s Grace. Seva diminishes one’s karma and protects the guru and the guru’s oral teachings.

3. Study and practice refers to learning and putting the knowledge gained into practice on a regular basis.

Study means learning through the study of scriptures, the words of the Guru, and contemplation of scripture and the guru’s teachings. Study also refers to the study of oneself and one’s Self with self-honesty.

Practice is putting the knowledge gained through Study into action. The form this takes is determined by the Guru. Different gurus have different practices, all of which include meditation.

4. Love Me and protect this teaching means that one does not reveal this teaching to those who do not fit these requirements.

Protection refers to both the teachings and the guru. “Love Me and protect the teaching.” If you love God you also love everyone, and will therefore protect this secret from misunderstandings and misuse in order to protect them. This is achieved by abiding by the requirements.

Now that Lord Krishna has given Arjuna the meaning of the Diamond Shloka (verse 66 above), He tells him to keep it secret. But we have just read it! What can this mean?

A secret written in a book

A secret is something that is not understood. 

Now, having heard this secret, we can’t help wondering if we have missed something. Unless we can honestly say that we fit the above requirements ourselves, we will have missed it, and its meaning will remain hidden to us until we do. When we do meet these requirements, we will come to understand it.

Abandon all ‘shoulds’ and surrender only to Me, and I will give you liberation and the end of sorrows. Fear not! — Shloka 66

One who teaches this supreme secret to My devotees, performs the highest act of devotion to Me, and surely comes to Me without a doubt. There is no one in the world who is dearer to Me than that one, and never will there be anyone on earth dearer to Me than that one who teaches this Greatest Secret.

Arjuna receives the secret

After all this hoo-hah about keeping this teaching a secret, He is telling Arjuna that teaching it is the biggest way to His heart! He says that “he who teaches this supreme secret to My devotees performs the highest act of devotion to Me.” He has even given Arjuna the standards for determining devotees who are qualified to received it (verse 67).

Once again we are faced with a paradox. If this teaching is secret, how can it be written down for anyone to read? Obviously it is written in such a way that only someone who has met the above criteria will be able to understand it. So have another look at these requirements, and decide for yourself how close you are to meeting them.

In these verses, Lord Krishna is also revealing the power of teaching as a part of one’s sadhanaOnce one has reached the stage in which he or she has received this teaching and gained adequate experience, the guru may appoint them to teach others. 

The best way to learn is to teach.

Such a devotee will ultimately become a teacher of the guru’s lineage and find themself in the Heart of God:

“There is no one in the world who is dearer to Me than that one, and never will there be anyone on earth dearer to Me than that one who teaches this Greatest Secret.”— Verse 69

And one who hears this sacred teaching with faith, by that one I am loved with the Knowledge Sacrifice.
It is certain that, free of ill-will and scoffing, the man who assimilates this knowledge is liberated and reaches the auspicious worlds of the righteous.

“The man” Though we usually see the word purusha to indicate a male person, here the word is nara, indicating a person who has reached an advanced stage of Yoga. This tells us that this stage is fundamental to the requirements for receiving the secret.

“Assimilates” Takes it in, understands and internalizes it.

“Without ill-will or scoffing” This is mentioned to point out the reaction of someone who hears this secret without meeting the four Requirements mentioned above. Unable to understand it, he may ridicule it and causing harm to those he tells. This further emphasizes the need to protect it in order to protect others from the harm caused by misunderstanding and derision.

“Liberated” Free. By using the word mukti instead of moksha, he is saying that, , even though one is liberated from the cycles of death and rebirth, this liberation is not the final liberation. This suggests that there are stages of liberation and other realms of which we may be unaware.

“The righteous” ‘Those whose actions are pure’; auspicious skill in actionvirtuous, pious’.

I have translated these last two verses (70-71) as the culmination of the teachings concerning the Diamond Shloka. In the next post, these same two verses will reveal another layer of intrigue, and become the prelude to the final verses of this chapter.

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

Knowledge, Action and the Gunas – Bhagavad Gita, Ch 18, Vs 17

Kripalu, eternal non-doer.
Swami Kripalu – Spontaneous Action in Surrender to Absolute God

For one who is free of the doer ego, his intelligence is untainted. Even though he kills these warriors, he does not kill, and is therefore not bound.

KriyasIt is not desires that are the problem, but rather the attachment to them. What is ‘killed’ as a result of your realization of non-doership is your attachment to desires. 

Your karma is written into the script of your life based on the dictates of your ego. Free of the sense of doership, your script is swept clean and you attain Freedom and unending Happiness.

  • the doer ego (ahamkara) – “I do”; casting oneself in the role of the doer of action 
  • intelligence (buddhi) intellect, understanding, logic, reasoning, discrimination
  • tainted (lipyate) – attached, polluted
  • not bound (nanibadhyate) – free, not enslaved, fettered, tied or restrained

“His intelligence is untainted” Intelligence is buddhi, the faculty of intellect, reason and discrimination. When your intellect is ‘untainted’, you can tell the difference between things and know the truth. But because we have so many desires, buddhi gets tainted by our attachments to them.

Kriyas“For one who is free of the doer ego”
Ego in Sanskrit is ahamkara, which means, “I do”. This should give you some idea of how surrender to God in meditation works to free you from this bondage and bring you to the highest enlightenment.

What you surrender (yourself), and what you surrender it to (Absolute God), are the two keys to this practice in which you are not a doer of action. No matter what you think, experience, see, or understand, all action is the gunas of Nature interacting, and you are not Nature. 

You must take this on faith until you experience it for yourself as fact. Your mind, with its doer-ego at its core, will try to contradict this new realization, but now, through complete surrender to Absolute God, you have the evidence right before your very eyes!

“Now we see through a glass, darkly, but then, face to face; now I know in part, but then shall I know even as also I am known.” — Paul: 1 Corinthians 13:12

“Even though he kills these warriors, he does not kill, and is therefore not bound.” The key is in what your dharma is (this is discussed in more detail later in verses 40-45). You may know intuitively, or you may be self-deluded. It is up to each individual to seek the Truth with pure sincerity and self-honesty, and arrive at the correct answer.

Then, once you have this worked out, if you find that your dharma is to be a warrior for instance, you must understand, even if only intellectually at first, that the Real You does not kill, and take this on faith. Then, and only then, are you in a position to proceed without creating more bondage for yourself. With this enlightened understanding, you will quell the fear of death and be the hero you were meant to be. 

Begin contemplating what the Real You and God/Truth are really like by following the “Ten Keys to Success.” Mastery of these universal principles will insure your success at anything, and deliver special powers. 

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

Bondage of the Gunas, Bhagavad Gita, Ch 14, Vs 5

Michael Angelo - Creation

O Long Armed One, it is the gunas of Prakriti (Nature) — sattva, rajas and tamas — that bind the Imperishable Embodied One to the body.

  • Gunas – modes of Nature
  • Mode – the way or manner in which something occurs

  • Bondage – limited, enslaved, fettered, held, restrained
  • The Imperishable Embodied One – the Real You

The gunas bind You to the body in two ways: (1) they keep you in life as a Being being something you are not, and (2) they keep you in ignorance (unenlightened) by leaving you bound by their seductive attractions so that you miss the obvious: what you really are. It’s a case of bondage verses freedom. Which would you choose? Do you want to remain in bondage, or do you want freedom and the unending happiness of your True Self?

Freedom & Happiness

It isn’t that we look because there is something to see, but that there is something to see because we look. What an extraordinary power we have! We ‘create’ in every moment.

We have eyes because we can see, so we ‘see’ Nature, all the while ‘looking’ at Prakriti and perceiving Her as the world and its activities in varying modes (gunas). When we originally ‘looked’ to see if there was anyone else out there like ourselves, we ‘looked’ and Creation began.

It isn’t that we look because there is something to see, but that there is something to see because we look.

Our power as Divine Individuals to perceive, to know, is inherent.

We can create, but we have been told that creation is an illusion (not what it seems), so what’s the point? The point is, if we can create, we can also see what creation really is — we can see and know each other. To see is to know, and this is what we’ve been after all along, but we’ve been buying the illusion. We’ve become attached to it thinking that if it goes away, we will lose everything. But remember who we are — remember who and what You really are. You say you want to become Self Realized, to know the Real You. Well here’s your chance. But the Real will not come forth if you are hanging on to the un-real and are afraid to let it go.

Embracing the illusion hides the Real 

You, like most people, are attached to this phenomena of life and the world as we know it, and you can’t imagine anything else. But surprise! Nothing is going to go away. What is going to happen is that your own reality will shift and you will know it for what it really is … and you will know yourself for what You really are. Only then, can you truly know Others.

When you embrace the Real you will know Everyone

This power you have, this power to create, isn’t going to go away either. It can’t. It is inherent to the Real You. And if you can create this mirage, you can certainly un-create it and reveal the Real. 

It is at this point that the Real You emerges

Coming Together

We are all looking for each other in this mirage. In it, we have bodies with five senses and a mind, five ways to see what is other than ourselves, and a mind to comprehend these perceptions and store them. But what we don’t realize is that every time we engage our senses, we distance ourselves further from each other. Not in miles or meters, but in reaching the Real Others we seek to know. This happens because what we see is not seen for what it really is, so we never really get to the bottom of it. And this is the tie that binds us: we don’t want to stop looking; we believe that we need our sense organs to do it. But we are wrong — “we have eyes because we can see…”

‘Looking’ separates us because looking is what separated us in the first place.  

We have forgotten what we are: Divine Individuals that can never perish. We each have enormous power. Take your five senses for instance. You have been taught that you can see because you have eyes, that you can hear because you have ears, etc. But you have been taught incorrectly. It is the other way around. It is because you have power that you have the power to see, the power to hear, etc. These powers have merely manifested in this physical-material world of creation.

All you can perceive with your sense organs will always be only the mirage of the physical-material world in which they exist.

All of Us Coming TogetherIf you can imagine all of Us as divine, sovereign individuals that never die and are one big family, you are imagining Absolute God. If you can imagine yourself surrendering yourself to this Absolute God, every day in the privacy and seclusion of your meditation room, and if you can stick to it, you will discover that your imagination is not imagination at all, but the Truth you have been seeking all along.

When this ignites the divine joy and happiness of revelation, you will never turn back. It is a matter of Life and Death played over an over again until it drives you nuts and you finally pull the plug and are utterly free for good. And amazingly, the world is still there! But now you truly know it for what it is, and you are no longer bound.

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

Surrender Meditation

Shaktipat Kundalini Yoga
Spontaneous Experiential Meditation

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“Every step you take pulls every one of us with you.”

The Whole World Is One Family