The Truth about Action, Inaction, and Yoga – Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 2: 47

All action occurs in nature, but you are not nature. Trick question: If what you are is not what causes actions, how can you be responsible for your actions? 

The Yoga of Action
(Karma Yoga) 

Your sphere of action is action itself, not its effects. Never consider yourself to be the cause of action or its effects, or allow effects of action be your motive for action. And never allow yourself to become attached to inaction.

Based on the Sanskrit, I count seven rules, or principles, of action stated in this one verse:

  1. Action is your ‘sphere of action’ (what you are entitled to). You are ‘connected with action’ (karmani) in this way only.
  2. Yoga‘ is action. So your sphere of action is Yoga.
  3. The effects of action are not yours. (Actions are none of your business, but are the business of Yoga.)
  4. You are not the cause of action.
  5. You do not produce the effects of action (action does that).
  6. Do not allow yourself to be motivated to act based on the effects of action.
  7. Do not suppose that these rules mean that you should resist action.

Action happens. It happens, as we learned in the last two verses, because of the interactions of the modes, or qualities, of nature (the three gunas). It is therefore inconsistent with the way things really are (dharma) to consider yourself to be the cause of actions, or a creator of the effects of actions, or to act based on what you expect the outcome of an action will be. It is the nature of nature to move, so trying to stop it is foolish because it is impossible. Action happens. Period.

Your sphere of action is action itself, not its effects. Actions will therefore happen without you. You don’t do anything in the first place. If you try to make something happen and it happens, you will fool yourself into believing that this was you doing something, you making something happen, when in truth, it was just nature doing her thing.

And never allow yourself to become attached to inaction. The same is true of trying to stop something from happening. Trying to stop something from happening is doing something. Trying to not do anything is doing something. You are still attempting to make yourself the actor by trying to stop action from happening. This is the core of the ‘ego’ (ahamkara, ‘I-doer’), and a waste of time.

This verse reveals the scope of the Bhagavad Gita as
a text on Yoga, 
a manual for achieving union with God,
eternal happiness, 
and liberation from rebirth.


The Science of Action

This verse explains Surrender Meditation, how it is practiced, and how it works to free you from sorrows, karma, bondage, and deliver you into the joy of union, Yoga.

Yoga is the science of action. It has roots so old they extend beyond known history into many, many thousands of years ago. The Gita was originally very short and to the point, and later expanded upon to give us what we call the Bhagavad Gita, the Song of God, which was later included into the heart and soul of the Mahabharata, the longest and oldest epic poem ever written. While the Gita is understandable as a text for understanding the nature of life and how to live it well, at its deepest level it is a complete text on achieving Yoga. Its origins are consistent with the origins of authentic meditation, or samadhi, and is pertinent to those who practice it.

Regarding Surrender Meditation

Shakti instigates all action. When you are surrendered to Absolute God in your meditation room, you accept what God brings. You are not invested in what that is — whether actions happen or not, whether you get any certain results or not. Consequently, Shakti is free to give you exactly what you need at any given moment.

You must not try to control the meditation or Shakti cannot work for you. Trying to remain perfectly still and inactive is an attempted action that will stop Shakti in Her tracks. Let go of your preconceived ideas about meditation and surrender to Her. She is God presenting as Divine Energy for your good.

One of the names of this practice is Karma Yoga, ‘the act of uniting with Absolute God’. Trying to make something happen or stop something from happening will prevent this unification (yoga, ‘union’).

Know this, but do not worry about it. Know that you surrender yourself as best you can, and that your surrender will increase over time, that all is well, and no progress is ever lost.

Answer to the Trick Question: You are not.
What you really are does nothing. It is only the ‘you’ that you believe yourself to be that believes it acts and assumes responsibility for actions and their effects (accumulates the karma that holds you in bondage). The Real You knows better. The Real You has always been free and in joy.

Namaste (I bow to the divine one that you really are),
Durga Ma


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Surrender and Self Realization – Bhagavad Gita, Ch 12, Vs 6 – 7

The Splendor of Surrender
The Splendor of Surrender

This post addresses the nature of surrender to God/Truth, how it automatically resolves distinctions such as personal or impersonal God, and how it is practiced to bring one easily to Self Realization.

The Bhagavad Gita appears in the story of the Mahabharata. It is a conversation between Lord Krishna and his devotee and childhood friend, Arjuna. Listening in, we receive the teachings of Lord Krishna as he relates them to Arjuna.

6 – 7
Those who surrender all actions exclusively to Me as the Supreme Absolute, meditating by My yoga, are together with Me. Their consciousness thus absorbed in Me, I quickly extricate them from the ocean of death and transmigration.

  • Surrender – worship, resort to, renounce, abandon, sacrifice. Surrender is not just ‘opening up’, but a specific yoga meditation practice that involves abandoning all the things that prevent or diminish your surrender during meditation.

Swami Kripalu, bringer of the original yoga, Surrender Meditation, to the West.
Swami Kripalu, bringer of the original yoga, Natural Surrender Meditation, to the West.

Natural Meditation

“Those who surrender all actions exclusively to Me as the Supreme Absolute”

The Sanskrit for ‘surrender’ is samnyasa, meaning ‘throwing down, laying aside, giving up, resigning, renouncing, abandoning’. 

To practice Natural Meditation one abandons all desires, attachments, preconceived ideas and expectations for the duration of their meditation, thus fulfilling the conditions for sannyasa. Then all actions that occur in meditation are spontaneous God-actions and not your own. During this time, you are completely free. This paves the way for genuine liberation from samsara (cycles of transmigrations).

The message here is to surrender to Absolute God and nothing else. Period. You should never just surrender. And you should never surrender to a thought, word, phrase, feeling, physical sensation, etc. Such things may occur as a result of your surrender, but they are not what you surrender to. Even though your mind may tell you that a thought, word, feeling, etc. is God because “all is God,” in this meditation we surrender only to Absolute God. Anything else is in the relative realm of this world, and though Divine, not absolute. 

“The Supreme Absolute”

The term ‘Supreme Absolute’ suggests something higher and beyond the distinctions of Personal or Impersonal God. So we can take this literally: Absolute God is Supreme.

In our present age, Yoga has become a willful path. What I mean is, the ‘will’ is employed to carry out certain techniques in order to obtain certain correlating results. But there is another way to reach God/Truth that is much quicker, easier by far, and very satisfying and pleasant to practice. It is surrender to Supreme Absolute God in meditation.

This surrender takes place in meditation under proper conditions, and can last for from one hour to many hours. The reason such long sessions are possible is because you are not working at it. Everything that occurs is carried out by God, because you have surrendered everything to That.

This is what Lord Krishna has been trying to teach Arjuna, and he has finally understood. You will not find this surrender orientation in other translations. This is because they are translated by present-day yogis and scholars who are, like everyone else, oriented to willful action: If you do a certain thing a certain way you can expect a certain result. The desired ‘result’ is the driving force. But Lord Krishna is saying that the Supreme Absolute should be the driving force.

Who do you know that is not invested in one or more certain results from meditation? In addition to holding on to these desires and expectations, with willful practices one can also feel in control. This seems safer, but it is an illusion. Who is better equipped to take you to the goal of union with God, than God? It’s a no-brainer.

And then there is the issue of surrender being a loss of power. But how can surrender to the Ultimate Power make you powerless? First of all, this is not even possible. Your power is innate and can never be taken away from you. Being in control seems like power, but it isn’t. Real power is within you, for God is within you. You can either use this power or not. In Surrender Meditation we do not. It’s that simple.

“Meditating by My Yoga, they are together with Me”

The nature of nature it to move. Therefore, in Natural Meditation actions will occur. But these actions (kriyas) are not of your own doing, however much it may seem that they are. You have surrendered everything to the Supreme Absolute, so you are not involved. God takes care of everything for you.

God – Truth, The Absolute, Goddess, Divine Mother Shakti, the Holy Spirit, and many other names apply.

The highest action of Natural Meditation is yoga (union). At first this union is the coming together of two opposing forces in the body (prana and apana) that unite and awaken Kundalini, the evolutionary force. Later, in advanced stages, union becomes the union of you with God/Truth: Supreme Absolute God. Only then can you say “I AM THAT” with real meaning. You are Self Realized, God RealizedIn the next verse we will learn how this works.

Namaste (I bow to the divine one you really are),
Durga Ma

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Swami Kripalu

Bringer of the original yoga, Natural Meditation, to the West.

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Jaya Gurudeva!

Natural Meditation & Life Mastery

Natural Surrender Meditation is spontaneous and non-forceful. It will take you on the most amazing journey you will ever experience. Explore shaktipat kundalini yoga meditation in three forms.

Life Mastery synchronizes you and your life with your naturally divine characteristics, and the Real You emerges. Attain and maintain success. Gain greater self-awareness and a happier life.

Every step you take pulls every one of us with you.


Lord Krishna Returns to His Gentle Human Form – Bhagavad Gita, Ch 11, Vs 47 – 51

Lord Krishna and Radha
Lord Krishna in His gentle form with His beloved Radha

This post addresses the Lord’s affection for Arjuna, spiritual practices that will not produce the vision of His Cosmic Form, the impact of tapas, and Krishna’s return to his gentle human form to pacify Arjuna.

In the story of the Mahabharata war, this Bhagavad Gita is a conversation between Lord Krishna and his devotee and childhood friend, Arjuna. Listening in, we receive the teachings of Lord Krishna as he relates them to Arjuna.

The Blessed Lord spoke:

Because I am pleased with you (Arjuna), by means of my Yoga Power I have shown you this glorious and infinite Cosmic Form of Mine, which has never been seen before by anyone but you.

Anyone other than Arjuna? Remember that Arjuna represents You.

Not by the knowledge-sacrifice or recitation, not by giving, not even by fearless kriyas or formidable tapas can I be seen in this form in the world of men by anyone other than you, O Hero of the Kurus.

What Krishna is saying is that the vision of the Cosmic Form will not happen as a result of these many well-known practices. These practices are not being faulted, but noted as ineffectual for the purpose of gaining the vision of the Cosmic Form, which, by now, you may be thinking to be a gift you do not especially wish for. However, if you do, the next few posts will be helpful.

Knowledge Sacrifice – the study and teaching of scriptures

Oral recitation – recitation of the scriptures

Giving – charity, imparting, teaching

Kriyas – spontaneous purifying actions occurring in meditation, ‘ritual’

Tapas – the heat that melts away impurities

Knowledge Sacrifice. We have learned that sacrifice is synonymous with surrender as it applies to Yoga, but here it is attached to a word that means ‘true and sacred knowledge’ (veda). These written teachings are scriptures; the ‘sacrifice’ is the study of these texts — one surrenders to Truth as found in these writings, and they in turn present their meanings.

Oral RecitationLong ago, it was customary to memorize scriptures for the purpose of their preservation, learning and teaching, and for contemplation with regard to one’s sadhana (practices) and daily living. The oral recitation of these texts was a common practice.

Giving is a spiritual practice for gaining merit through seva (selfless service) and dana (gifts, donations, charity). With it one acquires positive karma that can be used for improving one’s life and for doing yoga sadhana, and increasing one’s chance of attaining heaven or liberation.

Kriya is often translated as ‘ritual’. Rituals are practiced in temples, in the home, and in meditation, or as meditation.

In surrender yoga, kriya (‘performed action’) refers to actions that arise spontaneously in Natural Surrender Meditation. These actions occur for the purpose of purification, and are performed not by the meditator, but by Shakti Herself: Divine Energy.

This meditation is so profound because it is based entirely on Sanatana Dharma (Eternal Truth, the way things really are): “Even though acting one does nothing.”

In the beginning, the meditator is confused about who or what is performing these actions, but with sufficient practice and the surfacing of amazing new experiences, the meditator gradually comes to understand the source of these actions, these ‘rituals’.

Tapas. As a result of one’s surrender and the occurrence of kriyas, tapas begins automatically. The body leaves behind the coldness that prompted a dozen blankets, and one begins to feel very hot. This is the advent of tapas: ‘to heat, burn or melt’. Now impurities are beginning to get transformed or burned away within the body rather than just getting removed. Over time, the heat is turned up and one’s tapas becomes formidable, heralding the arrival of Kundalini at Her new home at the 6th chakra.

In more recent times, some yogis have taken up tapas as a practice of a most unusual and extreme nature:

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We in the West may see these people as indulging in mortification of the flesh and look down on them and their practices. But we must remember the earlier teachings about thinking only of God/Truth at all times. These men and women have taken this teaching seriously and given up everything for God. They wear no clothes, accept what comes for their sustenance, and maintain tapasya at all times. By living their tapas they live in constant awareness of God. I have the deepest respect for them. Because of our all-inclusive presence within each other as beings, their tapasya is helping to keep this world in tact and your life better than it might otherwise be.  औं नम: शिवाय (Om namah Shivaya).

Having seen this terrible form of Mine, be not afraid or bewildered. With your fears dispelled, now see my previous form and be pleased once again! 

  • Terrible form – the Cosmic form described in verses 9-31.

Samjaya spoke:
Speaking in this way to Arjuna, the Son of Vasudeva (Krishna) revealed again his gentle two-armed form. The Great Souled One, resuming his previous form of beautiful appearance, pacified the fearful Arjuna.

Arjuna spoke:
Seeing this, Your gentle two-armed human form once again, O Agitator of Men, my thoughts are composed and I am restored to my normal consciousness.

Namaste (I bow to the divine one you really are),
Durga Ma

Surrender  Meditation & Life Mastery

Natural Surrender Meditation is spontaneous and non-forceful. It will take you on the most amazing journey you will ever experience. Explore shaktipat kundalini yoga meditation in three forms.

Life Mastery synchronizes you and your life with your naturally divine characteristics and the Real You emerges. Attain and maintain success. Gain greater self-awareness and a happier life.

Every step you take pulls every one of us with you.