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

11
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

|| DONATIONS are tax-deductible ||
Your donations are very much appreciated and make it possible for me to do this work for you, which gives me great joy. Thank you.

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SHAKTIPAT  MEDITATION
Experience the simple elegance of spontaneous meditation.
Durga Ma introduces you to a form of non-technique meditation that can easily be practiced and used by anyone. You can make it your own, use it to relax and rejuvenate, or to increase the effectiveness of an existing meditation practice. Shaktipat Meditation will elevate and expand your consciousness, increase self-awareness, and give you greater access to inner guidance. Details>>>

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Shaktipat Intensives
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What Is Attachment?

Attachment is of two kinds: (1) attachment to action—you take the role of the doer of action (ahamkara), and (2) attachment to the fruits of action (phalāsańgaḿ)—what you do is for the purpose of getting the results you want. 

ATTACHMENT
Sańgaḿ – “Sticking or clinging to something, especially the addiction to selfish worldly attachment; desire, wish, greed.”

Attachment to Action — The Player Takes the Role of Doer

Let’s be honest. We are all attached to action, for we all see ourselves as doing the things that we do every day. We take this role because we want things to be a certain way. This is the desire behind the continued role of doership that we become inadvertently attached to.

When you act for the purpose of getting a certain result, you are taking the role of the doer.

Accepting this role as your own reinforces the sense of doership, but it is the ego that is taking this role, obscuring the Real You.

Self-referencing:
Throughout your day, whenever you think of it, begin to notice when you are engaged in an action and ask yourself, “Who or what is doing this?” Over time, regardless of the answers that arise, noticing this phenomenon will cause a separation between you and the action, and you will discover the one that asked the question.

Attachment to the Fruits of Action — The Player Acts for His Own Purpose

Attachment begins with wanting something to be a certain way. This desire is accompanied by the belief that something has to be done to make it so, and action then gets performed for the purpose of getting the desired result. This is realistic, logical—of course A and B have to take place for the desired effect to result, how can it be otherwise? We learned this from childhood.

Two things are happening here: (1) your desire says that you don’t have what you want. This places the object of desire at a distance—it is ‘over there’ somewhere, not within your grasp, and (2) trying to figure out how to get it puts it in time and space, i.e., the future, thereby distancing it from you even further. But the Reality is…

You Are Everywhere Always
What you truly are is omnipresent and without limitations. 

What we learned was not true but we continue to reenact it, slowing or stopping our progress and our ability to manifest what we need. At one level, this is precisely why we are being warned about desires.

Everything is within your grasp because everything is in You, and You are in everything.

The truth is that nothing has to be done. You have only to name it to claim it. All this dancing around with what to do, how to go about doing it, when to do it, is what is slowing you down, stopping you, stopping the very thing you want from landing in your lap.

Name it to claim it.

With regard to yoga sadhana, I think we compound this by obsessing over it, chiding ourselves for having desires, and we miss seeing our continued efforts for what they are: misguided attempts to bring desires to fruition. Again, the key to changing this is Noticing.

Noticing engages the Attention, the flow of consciousness between you and other-than-you.

Noticing is the key to putting distance between you and something else, in this case, desires. Just notice them. That’s really all you can effectively do (pardon the word), for so long as you have a mind you have an ego (ahamkara, ‘I do’, is the core of the mind), and even though it likes running the show, you have the power to choose—you don’t have to bow down to desires (ahamkara) and the compulsion to get them fulfilled (phalāsańgaḿ).

Self-referencing:
Throughout your day, whenever you think of it, find the desire behind what you are doing by revealing why you are doing it. You will probably find your motivations several layers deep. For example:

You realize that you are going to work even though you would rather stay home. Why? Because you need the money. So you are motivated my money. Why? To pay the bills. But why do you want to pay the bills? You want to pay the bills because you don’t want the electricity turned off. Why? Because you want the house to be warm, to cook food for your meals, and to heat hot water for showers, etc. Why? Because you want a certain level of comfort. Why?…
Read more >>>

By doing this exercise you can uncover the motivation behind any action that you do. It will be at the bottom of a tall stack of answers. The trick is not to judge it, just Notice it.

It is always better to know the truth about yourself, even if you think you should be some other way. Otherwise you will go through life pretending and never knowing what you are doing, why you are doing it, how to change the things you want to change, and how to manifest what you need.

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

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

|| DONATIONS are tax-deductible ||
Your donations are very much appreciated and make it possible for me to do this work for you, which gives me great joy. Thank you.

__________________________

SHAKTIPAT  MEDITATION
Experience the simple elegance of spontaneous meditation.
Durga Ma introduces you to a form of non-technique meditation that can easily be practiced and used by anyone. You can make it your own, use it to relax and rejuvenate, or to increase the effectiveness of an existing meditation practice. Shaktipat Meditation will elevate and expand your consciousness, increase self-awareness, and give you greater access to inner guidance. Details>>>

__________________________

Shaktipat Intensives
Shaktipat Kundalini Yoga – Surrender Meditation
Music for Relaxation, Meditation & Rejuvenation

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III:28-29 Fast Track to Freedom, Conclusion

By persisting with the practice of the teachings as prescribed by Lord Krishna, enlightenment begins as simple knowledge that you trust to be true, but do not entirely experience. Continuing with your practice, you come to experience and understand it. Over time it becomes so obvious that it seems ludicrous to have ever thought otherwise. 

BHAGAVAD GITA, CHAPTER 3, VERSES 28-29

28
Having understood the truth about action and the gunas—that all actions are the gunas acting among themselves—one is not attached (stuck, bound).

“All actions are the gunas acting among themselves”

All action is the interaction of the primary properties of prakriti (f. Nature), the original producer, or power, of Creation. The three primary properties of prakriti are:

Rajas – very active, fast moving
Sattvas – smooth-flowing, easy-going
Tamas – very slow or still

It is these three modes of nature acting among themselves that is the cause of all action. This is encouraging—to divest yourself of ‘ego’ (ahamkara, ‘I do’) you have only to unconditionally accept this to be true. 

All action is the interaction of these three gunas and not of your doing no matter how it seems to your mind, or how you experience it or feel about it. It is not you. So when in Surrender Meditation you wonder if you made some kriya happen and begin to coubt your surrender, remember this: ALL ACTION is the interaction of the gunas.

29
Not understanding this, people become intoxicated by the gunas and attached to the actions of the gunas. These unhappy people who do not understand the whole of it, the complete knower should not disturb.

Confused and bewildered by the properties of nature, non-knowers fully engage themselves in actions and become attached to them as their own. Stuck in this belief, they cling to their investments—convinced of having done these actions themselves, they believe the fruits of these actions to be their own as well. This makes letting go very difficult and creates karma that continues to hold them in the bondage of good and bad actions. Still, people cling to this mode of living when simply understanding and accepting the truth about action could put them on the fast track to freedom.

This verse is not telling you that you have to be a fully enlightened sage. You have but to accept these teachings about action as the truth. This is not so very difficult. It is certainly easier than living in bondage just to be able to keep an ego in tact.

Self-reference:  As you go about your usual day, think about this from time to time, e.g., you pick up a file folder from a desk, you notice this action and remind yourself of this teaching: “This is Nature’s doing.” Have fun and see what happens. Make a few notes to remind yourself of your observations, and let us hear from you. (Click “Leave a Reply” below.)

Having given you this simple exercise, I do hope I have not overly “disturbed” your mind. If I have, I am fairly certain that you will pass over this self-referencing bit and ignore the whole thing, no harm done. On the other hand, if your mind is not too “disturbed” and you give it a go, you are probably on your way to a subtle but very powerful shift within yourself and your life.

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

Shaktipat Intensives
Shaktipat Kundalini Yoga – Surrender Meditation
Music for Relaxation, Meditation & Rejuvenation