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Transcend Materialism and Be Self-Realized – Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 2:45-46

When you de-identify with nature, the Real You becomes apparent—you come awake to your true Self. 

45
The subject of the Vedas is the material world of the three gunas*. You must rise above this and become Self-realized Arjuna, transcending the gunas, ever of kind disposition, and free of duality and concern for safety.

Think of this as the firm resolve to fearlessly practice Yoga (previous verses), transcend materialism, and become Self-realized.

“Self-realized” — You know who and what you really are. God is constantly in your thoughts. Truth/God constantly pervades your awareness. God/Truth is all you think about. When thoughts of ordinary things arise, they arise within this context. You put this first before all else. Everything is all about God/Truth and your spiritual practice for maintaining union with That.

“Transcending the three gunas* — Getting past being identified with nature. Through meditation (dhyana), one ultimately becomes indifferent to the interactions of the gunas and can remain steadily in union. It is possible to learn how to behave in such a way as to portray this state to the satisfaction of onlookers, but this is not transcendence but very accomplished behavior. To transcend the three gunas of nature is to become truly free of ‘worldliness’. Meditation will naturally move one in this direction over time.

* The Three Gunas — The three qualities, or modes, of nature: Tamas - Fixed, slow-moving. Darkness, ignorance, mindlessness, laziness. Couch potato. Rajas - Intense, fast-moving. Passionate, desirous, lustful. Stimulus junkie. Sattvas - Smooth-flowing, easy-moving. Tranquil, clear, subtle. Easy-going.

One guna is not better than the other. The gunas are simply fundamental characteristics of nature. They affect each other like weather fronts affect climate.

“Ever of kind disposition” — Continuously established in kindness you are harmless, honest, self-honest and at peace. These are qualities of the Real You.

“Free of duality” — Free of concern for the effects of pairs of opposites. Opposites and their effects have no influence. You are truly independent, pure and content. These are qualities of the Real You.

“Free of concern for safety” — When God/Truth is ever present in your awareness, this takes care of itself. You cease to be concerned about acquiring or keeping things in order to feel safe and secure. This doesn’t mean you won’t have or keep things, but that you are not attached to them, distracted by having or getting them, or worrying about keeping them. You are non-possessive and non-attached, and the issue of security is moot—you are invulnerable. These are qualities of the Real You.

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As much value as there is in a well when water is flooding on every side, so much is the value in all the Vedas for a God-person who Knows.

“The Vedas” — Consider this to be a reference to religious doctrines, dogmas, and belief-systems.

“A God-person who Knows” — A person of Wisdom, someone who is enlightened as to the Truth of how things really are. This is a quality of the Real You, a reference to what we have been taught up to this point being absorbed, understood and applied.

Remember my saying, ‘All action occurs in nature’? All action is the result of the interactions of the three gunas. That’s it. That’s all. Get this and your karma is over.

Namaste — I bow to the divine, perfect one that You really are,
Durga Ma


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VI:29-32 The State of Yoga

When you become Self-realized, you are God-realized. When you become God-realized, you are Self-realized. No matter by which door you enter into this sameness, it is the same room. 

Now we take up the subject of sameness again. This began in chapter five, with “In the City of Nine Gates”. This time however, we will see sameness as a state—the state of yoga (union).

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Seeing himself in all beings and all beings in him, he who is constantly engaged in yoga sees the same everywhere. 

Lord Krishna is saying that by continued yoga practice, you will come to realize that Everyone is in Everyone. This is inevitable in Surrender Meditation where your surrender to the Absolute is a surrender to Everyone.

Once again, we are reminded of ‘the embodied one‘, the Real You, which is absolute, eternal and unchanging, and ‘the being’, the physical human role you are playing. It is the ’embodied one’ that the yogi recognizes as the same Absolute in himself as in everyone else, and visa versa.

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Rightly beholding Me in all, and all in Me, I am never forgotten by him, and he is never forgotten by Me.
 

It is not possible for any of us not to be in constant contact with God, for we are not different from That. But because we are being human, we tend to think of God as some human-like figure. Even so, God being what God is, God has no limitations and can be anything we want It to be. Now what does this tell you about yourself? (Think about that.)

When you Realize that Everyone is in Everyone, you are realizing God.

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Established in this union, the yogi worships Me in all beings. In whatever way he acts, he lives in Me.

Because what you really are is present Everywhere in Everyone, when you are surrendered to God, you are worshipping Real Others—you are accepting them as the same as You. And no matter what is going on, nothing you do can affect the Embodied One (God, the Real You and Real Others).

Worship: Surrender

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One who by comparison to himself correctly sees the same everywhere, in all cases, whether pleasant or unpleasant, is the highest of yogis.

“One who by comparison to themself correctly sees”
You are able to see God everywhere, in all cases, in all others and in all things, because God is also in You—it takes one to know one. 

At first, one is able to reach this state of union (yoga) only under conducive circumstances, but as time goes by, one’s practice predominates circumstances, and union is achieved regardless of how pleasant or unpleasant circumstances may be. 

When you know, directly experience, or even simply understand, the truth about yourself as a Divine Individual (the Real You), you will see that we are all exactly the same in what it is that we really are, no matter what the being does or does not do, and regardless of surrounding circumstances.

As beings, we are misidentified with something other than our Real Selves, so we make mistakes. We act in ways that are not consistent with ourselves as Divine Individuals. This interferes with our ability to comprehend our Real Selves, and affects everyone else as well. So it behoves us to remedy this error through continued practice, until we become “the highest of yogis”.

By knowing your Self, you will know God.
By knowing God, you will know your Self.
When you know God or your Self, you will know You, God and Everyone as the same. 

How to Know Your Self

The way to know your true Self, the Real You, is to stop identifying with your body, your feelings, your personality, your mind, and all the things you do and have and want. But this is a tall order, so what can you do?

There can never be too much said about the Yamas and Niyamas. These ten spiritual principles are the key to you knowing You. They will guide you to Self realization. They describe You, tell you what it would look like for you to be demonstrative of them, how to act in order to bring this about, and what the payoff for success will be.

Each Yama and each Niyama is a one-word teaching full of wisdom. The illustration below will provide a quick look, and give you some clues as to the nature of their teachings, their results, and their payoffs. They are worthy of your attention and your efforts to Realize them…for all our sakes.

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

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IV:11 Taking a Chance on God

If you want something from God, surrender it to God. If you want God, surrender yourself to God. 

BHAGAVAD GITA, CHAPTER 4, VERSES 11

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In whatever way one surrenders to Me, I bestow the same in exactly the same way. Thus is the way each person takes refuge in Me the basis of My way of serving them in return.

I study the Bhagavad Gita as God and these teachings reveal themselves to me. You seek to know the truth of these teachings so you read these posts, and to the degree that the Gita is God to you, Truth is revealed to you.

The way you resort to God
determines how God responds to you.

Arjuna surrendered to Lord Krishna, his Guru, in the beginning of chapter two. He complained a lot, argued, got discouraged and threw in the towel saying, “Just tell me what to do!”. He turned everything over to his Guru and just look at what this got him: Krishna has given him the entire Bhagavad Gita! If one just takes in what we have done up to this chapter alone, it is amazing how much Arjuna has received.

The Guru Gita (Song of the Guru) states that God, Guru and The Self are the same. While teaching us this principle it teaches us about Guru and reveals the nature of the guru-disciple relationship enjoyed by Arjuna and Krishna. It also states that to know God, Guru and The Self, one must find their Guru, that everyone has a Guru to be found. Upon finding the Guru, one takes refuge in Guru with the understanding that the way one does this determines how Guru responds. (This is the principle behind guruseva, selfless service to Guru.)

“Surrender to, take refuge in, resort to”
The Sanskrit for these terms is prapadyante, meaning ‘to throw one’s self down at a person’s feet in surrender’. It is customary to make this gesture upon meeting one’s Guru, or for that matter, any teacher of any subject. Such behavior is frowned upon in the west as we do not have a proper understanding of it as being the means of drawing from the guru/teacher the teachings we want and need for our highest good. This custom is not for the benefit of the teacher/guru, but for the benefit of the student/disciple. This gesture places the heart above the head and the ego, which is what needs to happen to receive teachings that will have the desired effect.

Taking a Chance on God

I have always been amazed at how reactive we are in this country to gurus. You would think they were all evil monsters! By just listening to the news or watching a few documentaries, we find that religion has more of these bad-guys for you to worry about than lineages of gurus. A guru is human and may be susceptible to error, but all in all, this is a much safer route than religion, for the teachings of lineages of gurus are not man-made, as is religion, and have been protected for thousands of years.

In the west, we consider taking a guru to be very risky business. Well, it is, but not taking a chance leaves you with nothing but your own mind, which is certainly a dangerous risk, but it is familiar and feels safe. Still, it is important that a person feels that a guru can be trusted before taking him or her as their own Guru.

Some people have histories and internal programming that make for being very poor judges of character, tendencies to be drawn into questionable circles, few or no boundaries, or programming that causes them to be attracted to people (or they to them) who make all the right moves, look good, say all the right things and generally charm them into becoming devoted followers.

Because most of us have some of these kinds of tendencies within us, I think it is very important to keep this in mind when searching for or submitting to a Guru. You absolutely must understand that no one can take away your power of choice, and you absolutely must never allow anyone to manipulate your choices. Some very charismatic people can charm the socks off of some of the most sane, intelligent and self-assured people on earth. P.T. Barnum made his living with this bit of intelligence: “There’s a sucker born every day.” Just about everyone has a soft spot somewhere. 

What you do in surrender to a guru must come from a place inside that is beyond emotional needs, desires, etc., so you would have to be self-honest enough to know what these are. You must proceed with clear and genuine willingness, and you must know without a doubt that you can always change your mind—even if you never would, you must know that you can. This will also make you strong in your surrender to God and Guru.

In whatever way one surrenders to Me
If you want to hear music, you don’t take out a palette and brushes. If you want cake, you don’t reach for the vegetable drawer. The way you resort to God/Guru determines what will come of it. If you think surrendering to enjoyment, for instance, is the same as surrendering to God because ‘all is God’, you will only get enjoyment in return, and we all know how temporary that is.

If you seek God like a scaredy-cat, your withholding will show up as God withholding from you. If you pray to God to do this or that for you and it doesn’t happen, look inside.

Self-referencing:
Are you holding back? Is there something you are unwilling to risk for God? What are you afraid you will lose by taking a chance on God?

You cannot become truly Self-realized
if you are not self-realized.

Now you may be thinking to yourself, well, I’ll just go straight to God, I don’t need to complicate things with some guru. So you must submit yourself to God, and to the degree that you are able to do this, you will be served by That. You can try what I do and go around talking to God a lot, meditating, and studying scriptures. This works for me, but I had many years with living gurus before I fully resorted to God in this way.

When I found my Guru, I knew I was taking a chance, but that is how much I wanted God that I would take such a chance knowing that I had some of the above mentioned programming. And though it has not been easy, it has paid off in spades and has truly been the best thing I have ever done for myself in my entire life.

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

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