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The Dark Hero – Bhagavad Gita 1:7-13

The Bhagavad Gita – Chapter 1, Vs 7-13

ARJUNA’S DEPRESSION & MORE CHARACTERS

Characters:

Duryodhana – King and chief of the Kuru army, the eldest of one hundred brothers. The name means, ‘dirty fighter, wicked, sneaky, a cheat’. He represents the ego.

Drona – The archery guru who taught the art of war to the major players on both sides of the conflict. The name means ‘wooden bucket’ (it is said that he was born outside of the womb in a bucket). He represents the neutral aspects of the mind and its contents (manas), and its ability to judge (buddhi). Drona represents the intellect.

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Also know, O best of the twice-born, the leaders of our own army. I will name those who are most distinguished that you may recognize them all.

Duryodhana is speaking to his archery guru, Drona, whom he refers to as ‘twice-born’ (brahmin, ‘God-person’), signifying his high standing. Duryodhana now moves from pointing out all those he is up against among his enemies in the previous verses, to noting the warriors fighting on his own side.

8
You [Drona] and Bhishma (the terrible vow), and Karna (having ears), and Kripa (pity) who is victorious in battle, and Ashvatthama (strength of a horse; he is Drona’s son), and Vikama (without passion), and the son of Somadatta (soma-giver),

The terrible vow — celibacy for life.

Somadatta — giver of the nectar (soma) of immortality. Soma is identified with the moon (the pineal gland) which produces (gives) the soma. Somadatta’s son, whose name is Bhurishrava (bhuri – earth, shrava – glory = glorification of the earth, the body), is his progeny, immortality.

9
And many other heroes are here who will risk their lives for me. All of them are armed with many weapons and all are well skilled in war.

These fellows are risking their lives to save the ego (Duryodhana) in order to win the war so ego can maintain control.

10
Inadequate is this army of ours protected by Bhishma (terrible vow), while the army led by Bhima (formidable strength) is indeed adequate for victory.

So the fellows in verse eight who are risking their lives to save the ego may be experts, but in this verse, even though Duryodhana’s forces are greater in number than his enemy, he finds them wanting. However, he has noticed something important: He has identified what is protecting his own army, Bhishma, the ‘terrible vow’, and he has also identified the biggest threat from the enemy army: Bhima, ‘formidable strength’.

11
Therefore, stationed in your respective strategic positions and formations, you must now support and protect Bishma on all fronts!

12
To Duryodhana’s great joy, the old Kuru, the Grandsire [Bishma], powerfully blew his conch horn like the roaring of a lion.

13
Immediately, conches, kettledrums, cymbals, trumpets and horns all sounded simultaneously, with a tremendous uproar.

___________________________

Duryodhana and Drona are Kurus of the lunar race. The Pandavas, their enemy, are of the race of the sun. While it is only natural to see this as the Bad Guys versus the Good Guys, or the Dark Side versus the Light, let us not forget that Krishna (God/Guru), the main speaker and star of the show throughout the Bhagavad Gita, is of the lunar race. Krishna drives Arjuna’s chariot, placing himself in the position of serving Arjuna. In other words, Arjuna has put God in the driver’s seat.

So these two, sun and moon, have come together on the field of dharma, creating a huge tumult with the sounding of their various instruments. This tells us that this epic concerns hatha yoga (sun-moon union) for the purpose of taking back the throne of authority, raja yoga (royal union), and it all begins in earnest with a loud confusion of sound.

We see here that yoga is of two kinds, one leading to the next, and that, even though the players are all well versed in spiritual and religious teachings and practices, this ‘battle’ is really just the beginning.

Contemplate the Sun and the Moon 

SUN

MOON

day

night

light

darkness

visibility

invisibility

obvious

hidden

conscious

sub/un-conscious

manifest

non/un-manifest

seen by means of direct light

seen by means of indirect light

warm

cool

earth

water

star

satellite

central

peripheral

independent

relative

___________________________

For ideas on how to understand these verses and relate them to yourself and your own sadhana, consult the last portion of the previous installment on the Bhagavad Gita, the Song Of God

Namaste,
Durga Ma


TERMS OF USE AND SHARING:

This post and text is original research material and is copyrighted. You are allowed to share this material for personal, non-commercial and educational use with the proper citations, references and links / tags back to my website. Clicking ´Share´ on FB or ´Reblog´ on WordPress would be most appropriate.
Please obtain written permission from Anandi first if you want to use this material on your workshop, blog, organization, webpage, book, seminar or for any commercial purpose. All information provided, be it through sessions conducted or this post is non-liable and is not intended to replace professional legal, medical, psychological, psychiatric and/or financial counsel. How you choose to act on this information is up to your own free will and is entirely your responsibility.

 

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The Characters – Bhagavad Gita 1:2-6 

The Bhagavad Gita – Chapter 1, Vs 2-6

ARJUNA’S DEPRESSION CONTINUES – THE CHARACTERS

Characters:

Dhritarashtra – The blind king. The name means ‘one whose empire is firmly held’. He represents ignorance.

Samjaya – Minister to Dhritarashtra. The name means, ‘victorious’. He has divine sight.

Duryodhana – The present king, eldest of the one hundred sons of Dhritarashtra. The name means, ‘dirty fighter’, dirty in the sense of wicked, sneaky, and not playing fair. He represents the will and ‘ego’.

Drona – The archery guru who taught the art of war to the major players on both sides of the conflict. The name means ‘bucket’; it is said that he was born in a bucket, outside of a human womb. He represents the neutral aspects of the mind and its contents (manas), and its ability to judge (buddhi), the intellect.

Drupada – From dru, ‘to make flow’, and pad, ‘to stand fast’. He represents ‘quick, unconstrained action’. He is also called Quick Step, but this is yet another story.

Drishtadyumna – Son of Drupada and disciple of Drona. The name means, ‘daring, confident and powerful’.

2
Samjaya said
(he is relating this to Dhritarashtra by means of divine sight; they are not on the battlefield):
Seeing the army of the Pandavas drawn up and ready for battle, Duryodhana approached his teacher, Drona, and said:

3
Just look at the mighty army of the sons of Pandu, so expertly arrayed by your intelligent disciple, Drishtadyumna, the son of Drupada.

You may wonder at the acerbic tone Duryodhana uses when addressing his archery guru, Drona. Upon looking over the opposing army, he becomes angry with Drona for having taught the art of war to his enemies along with himself, with no attention given to having expertly armed the very people he was bound to fight.

4  —  The Bowmen
Here in this army are many heroic bowmen, such as Yuyudhana (vanquisher), Virata (of manifold arrows) and Drupada (quick step), equal to Bhima (formidable strength)  and Arjuna (the greatest archer) in their ability to fight,

When you mull all this over in your mind, notice things like the inclusion of Bhima, one of the five Pandava brothers and therefore a major player throughout the Mahabharata, with other apparent lesser players. This is not by accident. Bhima is named here among them, thus hiding his significance, which is of great importance in later stages of sadhana. It is also significant that he is noted among the bowmen even though his own weapon is a club…or his bare hands!  So Bhima bears watching.

5 — Heros
Fighters like Dhishtaketu (the standard for bravery), Cekitana (intelligent), Kashiraja (celebrated royalty), Purujit (conquering many), Kuntibhoja (granting protection) and Shaibya (generousity),

6  —  Chariot Fighters
The mighty Yudhamanyu (cagey fighter), powerful Uttamauja (dauntless), the son of Subhadra (auspicious), and the sons of Draupadi (shakti), all great chariot fighters.

___________________________

A good way to approach a scriptural text, especially when it is story based, is to try to unravel the meanings it contains the same way you would try to understand a dream you have had. One of the best ways to do this is to consider all the players as different aspects of yourself. Never mind whether you like the players or not, just go with it.

Also attend to the relationships you find among the players. For instance, Duryodhana is the son of Dhritarashtra. This tells us that ego is a product of ignorance, so we naturally want to contemplate what ‘ignorance’ is, and what this means for us. Drishtadyumna (power, confidence and daring) was taught the art of war by the same person as Duryodhana (the ego). This tells us that both ego (Duryodhana) and power (Drishtadyumna) are equal in their abilities to fight this battle, having been schooled equally by the intellect (Drona). So we conclude that we can’t count on intellect to win this war, as it is a neutral force; and we can’t rely entirely on our own power, self-confidence and daring (Drishtadyumna) to defeat the ego. Something more is needed to tip the scale.

Now you must also ask yourself such questions as, what is archery? who is this teacher of archery, Drona? what is his story? and how does all this relate to you? and to your own sadhana?

The first draft of these verses was a more comprehensive article, and it was ready to go, but it mysteriously disappeared. When I think of having lost it, I have to wonder if I was being stopped from spoiling all the fun you’re going to have figuring these things out for yourselves. The consolation prize is that I leave you with a mystery. That is, after all, the meaning of the word ‘mystical’, and you are only getting a ‘tidbit’.

Happy sleuthing!
Durga Ma


TERMS OF USE AND SHARING:

This post and text is original research material and is copyrighted. You are allowed to share this material for personal, non-commercial and educational use with the proper citations, references and links / tags back to my website. Clicking ´Share´ on FB or ´Reblog´ on WordPress would be most appropriate.
Please obtain written permission from Anandi first if you want to use this material on your workshop, blog, organization, webpage, book, seminar or for any commercial purpose. All information provided, be it through sessions conducted or this post is non-liable and is not intended to replace professional legal, medical, psychological, psychiatric and/or financial counsel. How you choose to act on this information is up to your own free will and is entirely your responsibility.

VI:13-15 The Meditation of Yoga

When your consciousness is fastened onto God/Truth, desire, fear and anger are disabled and you see the same everywhere, in everyone, yourself in God and God in You, and the mind is as motionless as a lake on a windless day. 

13
The body, head and neck aligned, motionless and steady, gazing at the point of the nose and not elsewhere… 

The point of origin of the nose is in the north, the uppermost part of the body. The word for point means ‘where the nose is fastened’. Its origin is in the head, in the middle between the two eyebrows—at the ‘third eye’, the 6th (ajna) chakra, the energy center of wisdom-consciousness. While many meditators try to force the energy into this center by focusing their attention there, for the yogi practicing as described before, this occurs spontaneously.

The body, head and neck are in alignment. This can be accomplished with a posture perpendicular to the ground, or by lying down. If you are a Westerner and prefer sitting, you will first need to train your body so that it can remain balanced in this position without causing discomfort. Otherwise, you will either slouch, or be constantly moving around trying to get comfortable. With movement of the body there is movement of the life energy which in turn keeps the mind active.

14
Calm, fearless, firmly resolved in brahmacharya, the mind restrained by consciousness focused on Me, the yogi abides absorbed in devotion to Me.

Now you know how to get your mind into a peaceful state: Concentrate your attention on one thing: Lord Krishna—God/Truth. Then, because you are calm, composed and fearless, you will not be in contention with things like brahmacharya, and can remain absorbed in That.

You are not be susceptible to fear or other distractions when your consciousness is fully occupied with only one thing: God/Truth.

The usual translation of brahmacharya is celibacy, the source of the ‘fear’ mentioned in this verse—one becomes afraid of failing.

Brahmacharya is the most powerful means of achieving the required self-control mentioned earlier. If you can succeed in brahmacharya you can succeed at anything. Mastering it will give you physical strength and charisma. Professional athletes and fighters often refrain form sexual activity for months before an event for this very reason.

Brahmacharya is the sublimation of sexual energy. It is usually practiced by using one’s will-power, which only suppresses it. But sublimation comes naturally through surrender sadhana. Without this sublimation, one is always having to deal with a turbulent mind, brought about by the turbulent energy of sexual desire, and prevents one from achieving yoga. But Lord Krishna gives us the key:

“With the mind restrained by consciousness focused on Me, the yogi abides absorbed in devotion to Me.”

If you take the word apart, Brahma (God) + charya (practice, going, going about, wandering or roaming, visiting, behavior or conduct) you can come up with all kinds of interpretations. But when you don’t break it up you get, ‘The state of an unmarried religious student, a state of continence and chastity’. 

If you don’t like the idea of celibacy, or your life is not arranged in such a way as to make it possible, you can look at these other alternatives and see if you can understand their meanings:

God-going:  Going to God
God-wandering:  Walking with God
God-visiting:  Hanging out with God
God-behavior:  Acting the way God would act (try a search for ahimsa).
God-practice:  God-meditation: divine purifying action (kriya) yoga.

Or you can practice restraining sexual activity as best you can. (You don’t have to give in to it, you know. Giving in to something suggests that it has power over you, the very opposite of brahmacharya no matter how you want to interpret it.)

If you are calm and composed you are not in a state of passion. Desire, fear and anger are disabled and brahmacharya isn’t an issue. This is what the ‘sameness’ discussed in chapter five was trying to teach us. Seeing the same everywhere, in others, in ourselves and in God, took us to samadhi, where the mind is in a state of unity, or sameness.

Samadhi
The subtle energy of consciousness (citta), of which the mind is composed, is as motionless as a lake on a windless day.

15
Practice performed in this manner, the mind withdrawn within, the good and virtuous yogi happily goes to the Highest Nirvana in union with Me.

Nirvana
The ultimate happiness of union with God,
your natural state.

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