A Law Unto Yourself – Bhagavad Gita, Ch 9, Vs 29-31

“Toward all living beings I am the same. None is disliked or favored by Me. But those who worship Me with devotion, they are in Me and I am also in them. Even if an evil-doer worships Me exclusively with love and devotion, he is considered to be righteous, for he is certainly rightly resolved. A law unto himself, he goes quickly to everlasting peace and the end of sorrows. So be aware: My devotee is never lost.” — Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 9, Verses 29-31

29
Toward all living beings I am the same. None is disliked or favored by Me. But those who worship Me with devotion, they are in Me and I am also in them.

Alternate translation:
In all living beings I am the same. Any prejudice or judgement would therefore be impossible. But those who practice this yoga with devotion to Me, become united with Me—they are in Me and I am in them. We are as one.

“In all living beings I am the same”
You may remember in chapter two we were taught the difference between the embodied one and the being:  “…we are eternally unified in WHAT we are regardless of what we are BEING, and even as beings, we are still made of the same stuff, for God is all there is. So both in WHO and WHAT we really are and in BEING human, we are eternally united by the commonality of our sameness (WHAT we are), our individuality (WHO we are) and our everlasting existence.”

Worship With Devotion

Those who worship Me with devotion, they are in Me and I am also in them.
Those who worship Me with devotion, they are in Me and I am also in them.

“Those who worship Me with devotion, they are in Me, and I am also in them”

Over the course of these chapters we have come to understand the use of words like ‘worship’ and ‘ritual’ to refer to the practice of the secret yoga as making a ‘sacrificial offering’—we surrender ourselves to that Absolute God that is behind everything.

This ‘ritual’ is done in the context of what we think of as meditation until someday, perhaps years or even lifetimes from now, or maybe even tomorrow, our devotion is absolute and surrender is complete. We are devoted only to God, and the sacrificial offering is not just our bodies, feelings and mind, but our entire lives. We live in God and God lives in us.

I and My Father are One. — Lord Jesus

The beauty of Yoga is that it is not biased and is available to anyone, regardless of religious affiliation. Yoga is universal.

The “secret yoga” is universal. When it is misunderstood it is misused. Its understanding requires that one’s yoga practice (call it what you will) be directed only to Absolute God, so that personal experience in meditation opens the door to reveal it.

One who truly seeks Absolute God, will seek out a guru who knows the way. One who tries to boot-strap it is trying to satisfy the ego (ahamkara – “I can do it myself”) This person is not exclusively devoted to God, but to himself, so by definition he cannot succeed.

30
Even if an evil-doer worships Me exclusively with adoration and devotion, he is considered to be righteous, for he is certainly rightly resolved. 

Consider Jesus on the cross addressing the thief at his side and saying, “Truly I tell you, today you shall be with me in Paradise.”

Anyone with a negative ego strong enough to convince that person that he or she is not worthy of this practice can now let go of this mistaken idea. One need only ‘worship’ God exclusively with undivided love and devotion as it has been spelled out to us in these verses. Then…..

31
A law unto himself, he goes quickly to everlasting peace and the end of sorrows, Arjuna. So be aware: My devotee is never lost.

Not some day, not maybe, but certainly and quickly. Such devotion is guaranteed to bring you to God. The only question is, do you want God?

If you want something else more than you want God, then your devotion is not exclusive. The bling of desired objects and objectives, duties and responsibilities, only hold you back from your own joy, the happiness of your own natural state. Yes, you do deserve this. If an “evil-doer” deserves it, you certainly do, no matter what your negative ego tells you. 

A Law Unto Yourself

Whether you are a person who is knowledgable of dharma (divine law) or not, whether you are religious or not, whether you think of God in the same way others do or not…..

A Law Unto Yourself. Ashoka, from cruel king to benevolent Buddhist.
A Law Unto Yourself. Ashoka, from cruel king to benevolent Buddhist.

Even if you have an evil past, if you live in harmony with Truth and practice this yoga with devotion, you are blameless, a law unto yourself. So why should you entertain any idea of unworthiness?

For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves” — Romans 2:14

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


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VI:37-39 Falling from Yoga

Self-control is just as necessary in Yoga as it is in daily life. In the path of the Will, one uses their willpower to succeed in their practice. In the path of Surrender, one abandons control in meditation by surrendering to God/Truth. But what happens if you fall from Yoga? 

Continuing from the last verses in which Arjuna (you) asked Lord Krishna (God/Guru) some questions… 

37
Arjuna spoke:
If one has faith but is not controlled and falls away from Yoga without achieving success, where does one go?

Here we find yet one more Sanskrit word for ‘control’ within the word ‘uncontrolled’. The meaning of ‘uncontrolled’ here is that he is ‘not an ascetic’. Other definitions of this word consider that it is synonymous with ‘not making necessary efforts’ because one is ‘unrestrained, uncontrolled, undisciplined’ and therefore unable to achieve success—even if he has faith in these teachings of Lord Krishna.

In other words, he is not a true seeker if he is not making an effort. He cannot otherwise achieve restraint of the senses, and therefore the mind and life energy, and we need this to happen or we cannot get past the throat chakra and enter into a true meditative state. So we must be self-disciplined enough to at least maintain a regular practice and not fall from Yoga.

Ultimately, restraint, or control, has nothing to do with you at all, but with the senses, mind and prana (Life Energy). What we are seeking is their restraint—when the senses withdraw, the mind becomes still and prana concentrates in one place. This is called pratyahara. It will happen automatically in Surrender Meditation—the senses will spontaneously withdraw from their objects and ultimately separate from their faculties, and you will find yourself in the deepest possible state of real meditation.

When the senses are busy, the mind is busy. When the mind is busy, the life energy is busy. When the senses, the mind and the life energy are not busy (restrained), all are still and at peace (and so are you), and Real Meditation begins.

You have taken a road that is not generally practiced by others, with the promise of true and lasting happiness. But what if you have faith in the truth of these teachings but your self-discipline is a little shaky? And what if you find yourself skipping your meditation, or not finding the time for it? What if you ultimately give up on it altogether? What happens if you fall from yoga? This is Arjuna’s question.

A resolution to the possibility of failure is found in the verb root of the word for ‘controlled, or restrained’. It means ‘to be loyal to’ and ‘to give one’s self up to’—to commit yourself to surrender yourself to God.

Sounds rather pleasant, doesn’t it? This has indeed been my own experience (do you imagine I would have practiced yoga sadhana for forty years otherwise?). When something is pleasant, we like it. When we like something we are inclined to seek and find more of it, and self-discipline, self-control, is no longer an issue.

38
If he does fall from Yoga and has no solid ground, does he not come to nothing, like a thunder cloud torn asunder, and deprived of both ?

Arjuna wants to know what will happen to him if he is unsuccessful in ascending to yoga, but falls from Yoga, and expresses some of his fears about failure. He worries that if he continues but fails, he will not fit in anywhere—he won’t be able to return to the normal life he had before, and he won’t have achieved God-realization, either.

Arjuna’s previous orientation was to use his willpower to succeed at any undertaking, but Lord Krishna has suggested he surrender to Him, and now Arjuna’s orientation is forever changed. 

This conversation between God (Krishna, the guru) and You (Arjuna, the disciple) is on a battle field for a reason: It is a really Big Deal. It all sounds rather scary, but your certainty of its importance has caused you to make this huge investment. 

39
You are the only one who can completely eradicate my doubts, Krishna. Other than You, no remover of this doubt of mine exists.

What does one do in this situation if one has no guru? Not only is this a big investment, but it is likely to change you to the point that you find yourself on the outside of your usual social circles, and out of the groove for hitting the fast-lane to make a living. On top of that, you have only one place to go if you need help: guru.

Arjuna trusts Krishna and accepts that what He has been teaching him is True, but he also knows from what he has been taught (as have you and I), that he is his own means of success and can’t point the finger at anyone or anything else if he doesn’t make it. So now he is calling on his guru-disciple relationship with Krishna to put his mind at rest, and is no doubt hoping for some reassurance.

In the next verses, Lord Krishna alleviates Arjuna’s discomfort—and ours—with the hoped for reassurance.

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

VI:5-9 The Means of Ascension to Yoga

We are each our own means of ascension to union with the Divine. Having attained it, we see the same in everyone and, strangely, we are different. 

5
One is one’s own instrument of ascension, and should not be the cause of their own defeat. Indeed, one is one’s own friend or one’s own enemy.

You are the instrument of your ascension to Yoga, or your defeat. You are your own best friend or your own worst enemy. You are a friend to yourself when you are ascended to Yoga, but you are like an enemy to yourself if you perform actions for self-motivated purposes (with the intention of fulfilling desires, i.e.,  previous verses).

6
By winning this victory, one is truly a friend to oneself. If one does not, one will remain like an enemy to themself.

No one can do this for you. The previous verses told us how to go about this (verses 1-2 and 3-4): we surrender ourselves to Truth/God, and Shakti, Divine Energy, plays us like a flute and brings it about with no effort on our part. But only you can surrender yourself to God/Truth. 

7
Having won this victory, passions are subdued, and one is united in sameness with their Higher Self, and dualities, such as heat and cold, difficulty and ease, honor and dishonor, are all the same.

“Passions subdued” – Fulfillment

Complete satisfaction is a state of dispassion. In this state, you are the same as your Higher Self. Your Higher Self, being beyond all dualities such as difficulty and ease, they are all the same to you. In this moment of dispassion, the you that you thought yourself to be, has become the same as the You that you really are—you and the Real You are the same. The Real You was always in this state of sameness and non-duality, and you have become the same as That.

8
Through this fulfillment, higher wisdom is correctly comprehended. Therefore, thus established through experience, one is said to be a yogi in a state of sameness, the highest state in which the senses are subdued, and a lump of clay, a stone, and gold are all the same.

The previous verse described a state in which you are essentially the same as your Higher Self. Verses 1-2 and 3-4 told us how this union is achieved. This verse indicates that we come to this point through knowledge and understanding of the mysteries (teachings incomprehensible to the uninitiated and unexperienced), which we have been getting from Lord Krishna by eavesdropping on His conversation with His disciple, Arjuna.

“Through this fulfillment, higher wisdom is correctly comprehended”
Once a desire is fulfilled it no longer exists. When the desire is for Truth, its fulfillment is complete indifference and sameness in all things, because Truth is everything that is. Even if this fulfillment lasts for only a short time, during this time, understanding inevitably appears; one understands the wisdom-knowledge he has been given. 

“Therefore, thus established through experience, one is said to be a yogi in a state of sameness, the highest state in which the senses are subdued
For as long as he remains in this state, the senses are inactive—what have they to do when all has been accomplished? The senses are withdrawn from their corresponding objects, so desire and passion cannot exist, leaving the yogi in a state in which everything is equal, the same. 

9
Impartial toward friend, companion and enemy, neutral in the midst of enemies and relations, the righteous and the unrighteous, discerning the same in everyone, one is distinguished among others.

In verse 7, we saw the same in subtle things, like difficulty and ease. In verse 8 we saw the same in material things, like a stone and gold. Now we see the same in each other, this last, being the most important, and which makes us distinguished among others—we are different. 

It is an interesting phenomenon that by seeing the same, we are different. The Sanskrit also means that we are ‘taught differently’ and ‘in a different direction’. 

The same day went Jesus out of the house and sat by the sea side.

And great multitudes were gathered together unto him, so that he went into a ship and sat, and the whole multitude stood on the shore.

And he spake many things unto them in parables, saying, “Behold, a sower went forth to sow.

“And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up.

“Some fell upon stony places where they had not much earth, and forthwith they sprung up because they had no deepness of earth,

“And when the sun was up they were scorched, and because they had no root, they withered away.

“And some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprung up and choked them.

“But others fell into good ground and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold.

“Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.”

And the disciples came, and said unto him, “Why speakest thou unto them in parables?”

He answered and said unto them, “Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.”

Matthew 13:1-11, KJV

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