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Arjuna’s Depression – Bhagavad Gita 1:1

The Bhagavad Gita – Chapter 1, Vs 1

ARJUNA’S DEPRESSION

1
Dhirtarashtra said:  O Samjaya, about my sons of the field of doers, and the sons of Pandu of the field of dharma, eager to fight, tell me what they are doing.  

Characters:

Dhritarashtra – Dhritarashtra was the blind king. The name means, ‘one whose empire is firmly held’. 

Samjaya – The king’s minister. The name means, ‘victorious’.

What is going on:

A conflict is about to take place on the battlefield. Dhritarashtra, who was king and is blind, is asking his minister, Samjaya, to tell him what is going on between his son’s army and the opposing army. His son leads the armies of the Kurus. The armies of the Pandavas are lined up against him.

Because Dhritarashtra is blind, he tells his minister, Samjaya, who has the power to see at a distance, to tell him what is going on. The result is that we get to listen in as Samjaya reports events to Dhritarashtra. This is the source of a dialogue that makes up the content of the Bhagavad Gita. The dialogue is between Arjuna, one of the Pandavas, and Krishna, Arjuna’s guru and childhood best friend who has come over from the other side to drive Arjuna’s chariot for him. But this is another story.

The Two Fields
The field of dharma (truth, divine law, virtue)¹ and the field of kuru (doership, will, ‘ego’).

Think of ‘field’ as a scope of influence and action. The field of the Pandavas is dharma, Truth. The field of the Kurus² (from, kri, ‘to do’) is doership. These two, Truth and doership, have come together in one place to contend their right to rule the kingdom, thus implying that Truth and doership do not tend to get along well with one another.

What does all this have to do with you? 

As a king, Dhritarashtra represents a ruler. His blindness represents ignorance—he is unenlightened. Because he cannot ‘see’ and must have his minister relate events to him, we draw the obvious conclusion that this indicates perception that is indirect on the part of the unenlightened, whereas the perception of one who ‘sees’ is direct. So we have ‘ignorance’ as ‘ruler’ of the ‘kingdom’.

What rules you and your kingdom? You will find the answer to this question in what you want. Do you want Truth, or do you want to be in control? Do you want Truth to rule, or do you want to do everything yourself? The setup of this story seems to be telling us that there is no middle ground where this is concerned.

The rightful ruler is Truth, dharma.
Doership (will) has usurped the thrown.
A conflict is inevitable.

The conflict between the Kurus and the Pandavas represents a clash of opposing forces that occurs when attempting to right this situation. The clash is the coming together of two opposing energies in the body of the person engaged in this endeavor. This union of sun-energy and moon-energy (ha-tha yoga) in the body³ awakens the evolutionary force (kundalini). Once awake and active, the evolutionary force begins the process of doing what is necessary to correct the situation. This process is explained by Lord Krishna in His dialogue with Arjuna, his devotee, and makes up the content of the Bhagavad Gita (Song of God).

Ignorance, the state of the unenlightened, is indirect perception. Dhritarashtra represents ignorance as the ruler of one’s kingdom—your perception, actions, and life in general. But there is someone with you who perceives directly, and can ‘see’. This individual knows what’s going on, and will tell you everything if you ask. But it will be up to you to understand what is being conveyed to you by this individual … and by this scripture, for it is this individual who is conveying it.

FOOTNOTES:

¹ dharma means law, the true essence of anything, and Truth in the absolute sense, i.e., sanatana dharma, ‘Eternal Truth’.

² The physical place, Kurukshetra, is located north of Delhi near Pranipat.

³ The Kurus are of the race of the Moon, and the Pandavas are of the race of the Sun.

Jaya Bhagavan(Victory to God!)
Durga Ma

** For those who are participating in the Gita studygroup with Anandi, the first Zoom discussion will be help Sunday, June 28th @ 11amEST.  For assistance and questions please email anandibhagavan@gmail.com


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The Appearance of Lakulisha

Yesterday, I chanced to come upon an old book I had been looking for a while back and had given up on finding, thinking it was surely lost for good. This book has no author’s name or other information, just a cover with the title, Giver of Grace, and the sub-title, Stories From The Lineage. It just starts right out and goes on for a hundred pages or so.

Giver of Grace is the English translation of my sadguru’s name, Kripalu, so it is clear that these stories come from him. His gracious and powerful legacy has been the greatest boon of my life. So that I can share this with you in some small way, I have decided to share some of these stories with you with the occasional comment or observation.

Jaya Gurudeva!

The Appearance of Lakulisha

While attempting to end his life, Kripalu had his first meeting with Lakulisha. Lakulisha intervened, coming to him in the form of an old sanyasi. For one and a quarter years, he taught Kripalu at an ashram in Bombay. During that time, Lakulisha remained in the form of the old sanyasi, and never told Kripalu his name. However, he assured Kripalu that after Kripalu became a swami, he would appear to him in his true form.

Kripalu did indeed take swami vows, and in the Himalayas ten years later, Lakulisha came to Kripalu again. This time Lakulisha came in his true form, his immortal Divine Body.

Kripalu continued to live a life of service, and in 1950, Lakulisha came to him again and told him it was time to begin meditating ten hours a day.

In 1955, through another divine ‘accident’, the true name of Lakulisha was revealed to him. How this happened is the subject of this story.

Kripalu has written many bhajans (songs to God). His way of sharing his experiences was to sing the bhajan, then tell the story and spiritual principles contained in the song. This story of Lakulisha comes from the bhajan, “To Appear”. Kripalu called it an historical bhajan because it tells the history of the appearance of the statue (murti) of Lord Lakulisha, Kripalu’s beloved gurudeva. Historically, according to the Puranas, Lakulisha first appeared on earth two thousand years ago. He was a great yogi and was later recognized as the twenty-eighth reincarnation of Lord Shiva.

END OF CHAPTER 1

Shiva is one of the Hindu trinity, Brahma (creator), Vishnu (sustainer) and Shiva (transformer), which are often seen as mythological characters. However, according to my lineage, both Shiva and Vishnu were living persons of long, long ago who reached the highest yoga (though I don’t know if the word yoga was in use at that time or not, but you get the drift).

This highest of accomplishments ends the necessity for further incarnations in this world, through ascension if one is going to carry on in some another plane of existence, or Divine Body if one is going to stick around to give us struggling mortals a boost. For Lakulisha, it was Divine Body, the “true form” mentioned in the story.

For most of us, the concept of Divine Body gives immortality new meaning, yet it is spoken of by Paul in his own terms in his letters to the Corinthians, with Christ as its ultimate demonstration. It is mentioned in other places in the Bible as well, but I am not one who has the kind of memory needed to spout book and verse, so you’re on you own here.

If you would like to do a little sleuthing on an excerpt from I Corinthians, read the post, Sleuthing Scripture 2 – Decoding Scriptural Teachings. To add to your sleuthing adventure, consider the meaning of the name, Lakulisha. Lakulisha means “master-bearer of the club”. You’ll have to think esoterically about this club business, so I’ll leave you to it.

Love,
Durga Ma

Come visit me here:
durgama.com

Come visit the family here and see what we’re up to:
phoenixmetaphysicalinstitute.com

The Code of Pashupati – Part 3

The Five Stages of Pashupat Shaivism

There are said to be five stages in Pashupat sadhana. I do not know if this has been arrived at by latter day scholars and practitioners, or whether it was originally intended. I do not see anything definitive regarding five stages within the sutras themselves, although there are prayers at certain junctures that separate five sets of sutras. Still, the first of these five sets appears to be an overall synopsis of the sadhana. On the other hand, with an overview of the complete text, it is possible to identify five teachings on the subjects of residence, sustenance, practices and actions, and gains, that can be summed up something like this:

Stage 1

Residence: a house.

Sustenance: begging alms.

Practices and actions: strength-celibacy, eight-limbs practice [see Yoga Sutras of Patanjali], actions like laughter, song, dance, etc., and bath in ashes.

Gains: removal of impurities and attainment of wisdom.

Stage 2

Residence: the world at large.

Sustenance: whatever is offered.

Practices and actions: appearing foolish, eccentric, and a lunatic.

Gains: merit, demerit destroyed, purification, withdrawal of the senses from objects of sense.

Stage 3

Residence: a vacant house or a cave.

Sustenance: alms while living like a cow or a deer.

Practices and actions: remembrance, surrender to God.

Gains: purification, complete introversion of the senses and the mind.

Stage 4

Residence: a cremation ground.

Sustenance: accepting whatever comes or can be obtained as chance provides.

Practices and actions: purification of states that cause one’s constant remembrance to slip.

Gains: direct contact with God.

Stage 5

Residence and Sustenance: the mode of living like a rishi (sage).

Practices and Actions: carefulness and grace of God.

Gains: the end of sorrows.

I leave it to you to try to convert this wisdom into present day understanding that is both useful and true to the original teachings. I believe this can be done, for this is a scripture and it is the nature of scripture to be timeless.

Love,
Durga Ma
durgama.com