Royal Yoga, Bhagavad Gita, Ch 14, Vs 21-27, Continued

From left to right: Kali (darkness), tamas. Lakshmi (wealth and pleasure), ramas. Saraswati (music and learning), sattva.
Trinity of Goddesses from left to right:  Kali (destroyer of darkness and dissolution, tamas). Lakshmi (bringer of wealth and pleasure, rajas). Saraswati (giver of music and learning, sattva).

All action occurs in Nature. The gunas are the active influences of Nature, but you are not Nature. The Real You is not involved in action at all.

The varying degrees of predominance of the gunas cause certain kinds of actions. This chapter has given examples of the influence of each guna. The state of trigunatita (‘three-gunas-gone beyond’) surfaces when the individual is not in a state of assuming doership. This takes place over time through meditation, and eventually becomes the full and complete state of trigunatita.

Three Gunas of Nature (Prakriti) holding people down, with Lord Krishna above it all.
The Three Gunas of Nature (Prakriti) ensnaring people, with Lord Krishna above it all, trigunatita.

When trigunatita has been achieved, the three gunas continue to cause action in Nature, but they do not affect you. You are not influenced by them.

For the Embodied One, even though actions occur in Nature, he is not the doer of actions. All actions are the interactions of the gunas of Nature, and nothing else.

“All action occurs in Nature, but You are not Nature.” If this statement concerning non-doership causes you to wonder what is, this is your answer: the gunas.

Sitting here writing this for you, action is taking place. If I am trigunatita, this action is not taking place under the influence of any guna. Instead, it is under the influence of God, Truth itself, for That is my surrender.

Any action occurring after trigunatita has been achieved, is influenced by Truth Itself.


Approaching the End of the Journey

“Thy will be done, O Lord, not mine.” — Lord Jesus

In the body from the sixth chakra up is Rudra Loka, the world of Rudra (Rudra is another name for Shiva). This is the realm of the storm gods, where Kundalini takes a new name: Maruti, ‘wind’. The name Rudra means ‘roaring, terrifying, wild, fierce’ and also ‘auspicious and kind’. This is where Raja Yoga takes place. It is the last frontier of the journey Home.

Awaking Kundalini
Sun-Moon Union Awakens Kundalini

In this phase of Yoga, the guna of tamas (darkness), the least active of the three gunas, ushers in the onset of  trigunatita  (‘three-gunas-gone beyond’).

This is one of those places where everything seems to be upside-down and one becomes confused. But this is only because, as a human being, you find yourself once again in unfamiliar territory. But this time it is so different that it may seem down right scary. Tamas, darkness, has gotten a bad rap before this, but now it is the star player. Instead of being a word for delusion and ignorance, it is the literal absence (darkness) of delusion and ignorance, and the doorway to the Absolute at the crown chakra.

Three Gunas: States of Mind and Stages of Yoga

Rudra Loka

Rudra is the agent of the dissolution of delusion and ignorance. It is here in Rudra’s World that nirbija samadhi appears. In this samadhi, no-thing exists but Absolute God/Truth, so there is no light, for it would serve no purpose. All is revealed, and one now understands that it is Lord Shiva in the form of Rudra who defeats evil, impurities and fear, leaving only Truth.

Ascent of Kundalini
Royal Union is Ascendent Kundalini

Raja Yoga means ‘Royal Union’, the union of you and Absolute God. Before this, union was ‘sun-moon union’, Hatha Yoga, the awakening of Kundalini. This phase was centered in the body below the sixth chakra, but in the stage of Raja Yoga, most of the work is going on in the head where endocrine glands take the leading role.

In the Absolute there is nothing, not even light. Having reached this place and trying to describe it to others, it may seem to them that you are dealing with a great darkness. So you learn not to talk about it. But for you, this darkness is the rolling bliss of certain Truth and non-stop Happiness. Later, all you have to do is to remember this and it’s right there.

Obstacles to Yoga

Non-achievement refers to not reaching a state or stage that one believes is imminent. It may be that one does not reach the expected stage. Or it may be that one has expectations as to how the that stage will look, and because his experience does not match his expectations, he assumes non-achievement when achievement is starring him in the face. Or he may assume the worst and stop his sadhana in defeat. Or, if he is persistent, he continues his sadhana and the Truth is revealed.

Bhrānti darśana means ‘incorrect seeing’. One might be fooled into thinking he has reached a higher state or stage than he has. He may assume that he has reached sainthood, for instance, or even godhood. He may believe he is the incarnation of a god, or even that he is Jesus Christ returned. This stops his sadhana and he makes no further progress, unless he comes to realize his mistake and moves forward.

Kundalini Fully Awakened
Fully Awakened Kundalini

It is because of these two obstacles that your guru will insist that you continue your sadhana no matter what. If you are devoted (committed) to your guru, you will take his or her advice, for this is the only way you will get past these two walls. Then…

You will enter into Brahman, Absolute God. And because Absolute God is Immortal and of unending Happiness, this is now Your state.

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

Surrender Meditation

Shaktipat Kundalini Yoga
Spontaneous Experiential Meditation

Slip into a natural state of meditation with ease. Experience the relief of effortlessly reaching a true meditative state without using your will.

Receive shaktipat and become initiated into the original meditation of ancient masters from which meditation techniques were derived.

Increase your knowledge base and begin Shaktipat Kundalini Yoga: Surrender Meditation. Though correct knowledge you will increase your progress by a thousand times, and bring about even deeper meditation and amazing experiences.

Shaktipat Intensives with Durga Ma are held in Phoenix, Arizona


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

The Whole World Is One Family

Beyond Bondage, Bhagavad Gita, Ch 14, Vs 21-27

Yogini liberated from bondage of the gunas

21
Arjuna spoke:
What are the signs of those who have gone beyond the three gunas? How do they act? How do they get beyond these three gunas?

Alternate translation:
What are the characteristics of someone who has transcended the three gunas? How do they do it, and what does it look like?

22 – 23
The Blessed Lord spoke:
He neither likes nor dislikes the presence or absence of illumination, passion or ignorance. Situated in the neutrality of sameness, he knows that these are merely the gunas in motion, and unshaken, he stands firm.   

One who has transcended the three gunas has transcended the like or dislike of the enlightenment of sattva, the desire-driven activities of rajas, and the non-enlightenment of tamas. Knowing all this to be merely the gunas in action, one is not fooled by them, but remains firm in the practice of yoga (union). 

24 – 25
He is self-composed and the same in difficulty and ease, equally disposed toward the desirable and the undesirable, and looks upon a clod, a stone, and a piece of gold as the same. He remains the same in pleasant and unpleasant circumstances. He is intelligent, and accepts both praise and blame with equanimity. He remains the same in honor and dishonor, treats both friend and enemy alike, and avoids new undertakings. Thus he is said to have transcended the guṇas. 

Anandamayi Ma
Anandamayi Ma

I can see how people might stop their sadhana when reaching this point. This is not familiar territory. One feels like a failure and is self-critical for being useless and not getting anything done. One feels apathetic, and it seems as if one were steeped in tamas. However, this turns out to be the sameness, or indifference, mentioned in these verses, but it is so unfamiliar that it looks like tamas. So it can take a while to see it for what it really is: the onset of trigunatita (‘three-gunas-gone-beyond’).

Shirdi Sai Baba
Shirdi Sai Baba

Have you ever felt intimidated by God, imagining that seeing God, He would be stoic and immovable, and a little inaccessible? I know what you mean. I think about my lineage and see them this way. And yes, I feel … well, I don’t know whether to say ‘humble’ or ‘overawed’ or a little of both. But it turns out that what I am really seeing is a group of people who have transcended the three gunas. There is a striking difference between stoicism or aloofness and trigunatita — they have ‘gone beyond the gunas‘. Nothing rattles them. They fit the descriptions in these verses.

26 – 27
Serving Me with undeviated devotion and transcending the gunas, he becomes absorbed into Brahman (Absolute God). 
For I stand firmly in immortal imperishable Brahman, and the eternal dharma of unending Happiness.

  • Undeviated devotionbhakti (devotion) yoga (uniting) seva (service to guru, the teacher).
  • I – Lord Krishna
  • Eternal dharma – the way things are in the Absolute
Swami Kripalvananda (Kripalu)
Swami Kripalvanandaji (Kripalu)

These verses tell us how we can become absorbed into Brahman: By singular devotion to God to the extent that everything you do in your life is in service to God and Guru. You are fixed on That, so what other outcome could there possibly be?

You become what you worship.

In this way, you become absorbed into Absolute God, and the activities of the gunas no longer have any effect on you. Then, because Absolute God is beyond the gunas, your absorption into God is inevitable. 

To apply this to your own situation, just remember who Krishna really is: He is Arjuna’s guru, so by devotion and service to your guru you can overpower the influences of the gunas and become absorbed in Brahman (Absolute God). Without taking this road, there is no escaping the gunas for human beings. The best most of us can do is to aspire to become more sattvic overall, for sattva is the guna closest to what we are really like as Divine Individuals.

There is, however, this state of trigunatita (‘three-gunas-gone beyond’) in which one is not in a state produced by any of the gunas. Instead, one’s state is Real rather than phenomenal. This state can be experienced in yoga meditation done correctly: the surrender of oneself to Absolute God in meditation.

All actions are the interactions of the gunas of Nature. 

All action occurs in Nature, but the Real You is not Nature, and is therefore not involved in action. It is the predominance of a guna that causes certain actions, not You. What You really are is an eternal non-doer.

This chapter gives examples of what causes certain actions to take place, and how you can rise above these guna influences. The state that is beyond them all surfaces when the individual is not in a state of doership — when there is no sense of ‘doing’ going on. This takes place in small bites through meditation practiced correctly, and eventually becomes the full and complete state of trigunatita.

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

Surrender Meditation

Shaktipat Kundalini Yoga
Spontaneous Experiential Meditation

Slip into a natural state of meditation with ease. Experience the relief of effortlessly reaching a true meditative state without using your will.

Receive shaktipat and become initiated into the original meditation of ancient masters from which meditation techniques were derived.

Increase your knowledge base and begin Shaktipat Kundalini Yoga: Surrender Meditation. Though correct knowledge you will increase your progress by a thousand times, and bring about even deeper meditation and amazing experiences.

Shaktipat Intensives with Durga Ma are held in Phoenix, Arizona


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

The Whole World Is One Family

Life and Death and Neither, Bhagavad Gita, Ch 14, Vs 14-20

Leaving the Body at Death

How the Gunas of Nature Influence What Happens at Death

What we do in this life not only determines our state of being while living, but also the prevalent guna at death, as well as where we will go after death, and what circumstances we will encounter in the next life.

Death and Rebirth

14 – 15 
When sattva prevails at death, the embodied one (You) reaches the shining world of the Highest Knowers. Meeting death in rajas one is born among those attached to action. Those who die with tamas prevailing are born adrift. 

At Death

16 – 18
It is said that the result of righteous action is sattvic and without sin, but the result of rajasic action is misfortune, and the result of tamasic action is ignorance. From sattva knowledge arises, from rajas, desire, and from tamas, ignorance. Those situated in sattva at death attain the higher realms, those abiding in rajas stay in the middle, and those abiding in tamas go to the lower planes.

Sattva.  Action that is sattvic is righteous action and without error. Such action produces correct knowledge. Sattvic action is meritorious action, so those situated in sattva at death attain the higher realms and are born among the Highest Knowers.

Rajas.  Action that is rajasic results in misery and produces desires, thereby promoting more rajasic action and more misery. Those situated in rajas at death stay in the middle and are born among those attached to fruit-bearing action.

Tamas:  Action that is tamasic is heavy and dark and provides no motivation to overcome ignorance, thus keeping one weighted down by illusion and delusion. Those situated in tamas at death go to the lower planes and are reborn adrift (off course).

Life After DeathYour predominant guna state while living has everything to do with how things will turn out when you die, and will also influence your next life. The guna state predominant while living is likely to be the guna state at death. One’s next life then, is linked to the guṇa that predominated the personality and actions of a person in his life.

The Great Escape

19
When one sees that all actions are nothing more than the gunas, and knows Me as beyond these gunas, he attains My state. 

In the state called trigunatita (‘beyond the three gunas’), which is arrived at by the realization that all actions are really just the gunas interacting, one transends the gunas and attains the same state as Lord Krishna.

Nature is always active, moving and changing due to the interactions of the gunas. They are the cause of all action. No ’embodied one’, no Divine Individual, ever does anything. Realizing this is the highest enlightenment. This is what the Highest Knowers know with complete certainty. It is Lord Krishna’s state, which we seek to attain.  

Immortality

20
When the embodied one transcends the three gunas of the body, he attains immortality and is released from birth, death, old age and misery.

Note that the gunas are “of the body,” reminding us once again that the journey to our natural state of eternal happiness is not some etheric notion, but includes the body.

Life After Death

Alternate translation:
Getting beyond the influence of the three gunas of the body, amrita, the nectar of immortality, is ingested by the body, and one becomes immortal and free of birth, death, old age and misery. 

There has been speculation on when exactly the transition from a mortal body to an immortal form takes place: before, during, or after the death of the physical body. Appearing where it does among verses on what happens at death, this transition appears to take place at or after the death of the body.

It is not that once one gets to the point of ‘tasting the nectar of immortality (amrita)’ that old age and misery go away. But once the embodied one leaves the body at death, this transition will take place and he will never again experience death, old age or misery … because he is freed from rebirth. He is liberated, free, no longer in bondage.

I have encountered people who have known yogis to have made this transition in the middle of the road, so to speak, and from this, they have come to the conclusion that this transition is made while living. However, these appearances, sometimes called ascensions, were made by individuals who had already achieved Divine Form, and the observers were unaware of this. This state is sometimes referred to as “Divine Body”.

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

Surrender Meditation

Shaktipat Kundalini Yoga
Spontaneous Experiential Meditation

Slip into a natural state of meditation with ease. Experience the relief of effortlessly reaching a true meditative state without using your will.

Receive shaktipat and become initiated into the original meditation of ancient masters from which meditation techniques were derived.

Increase your knowledge base and begin Shaktipat Kundalini Yoga: Surrender Meditation. Though correct knowledge you will increase your progress by a thousand times, and bring about even deeper meditation and amazing experiences.

Shaktipat Intensives with Durga Ma are held in Phoenix, Arizona


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

The Whole World Is One Family