Freedom or Heaven? Bhagavad Gita, Ch 9, Vs 20-22

“Those familiar with the Vedas, drink the soma to be free of sin and misfortunes, and worship Me with sacrifices desiring to go to Indra’s world and enjoy the pleasures of the gods in heaven. Having enjoyed the extent of heaven, when their merit is exhausted they enter the world of mortals once again, thus conforming to the edicts of dharma. With desire after desire, they come and go. But those who worship Me by constantly engaging in yoga with their attention not directed elsewhere, I unite them with their goal.” — Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 9, Verses 20-22

20
Those familiar with the Vedas, drink the soma to be free of sin and misfortunes, and worship Me with sacrifices desiring to go to Indra’s world and enjoy the pleasures of the gods in heaven.

Indra's World of Heaven
Indra, king of the gods
  • Sin – evil, misfortune, bad luck, trouble, harm, guilt
  • Indra’s world  the heaven of the gods

Freedom or Heaven?

We in the West are used to thinking of sin as doing bad things, but the Sanskrit expands this to include the ramifications of bad behavior: it comes back to us in the form of trouble.

The word for ‘sin’ in the Bible means ‘to err’. Combining these two concepts of sin gives us a more complete picture. It inspires us to not make mistakes, and to know when we are making a mistake and turn to the yamas and niyamas, the first teachings and practices for doing anything completely and successfully. Anything done that is not consistent with them is ‘sin’ and backfires as ‘trouble’.

NOTE to initiates: Some of you who have come to understand surrender to God in practice, write to me about what to do in life outside the meditation room. This is my answer: Notice, observe and practice yama and niyama in your daily life.

To Do or Not To Do

The deepest meaning of sin is assuming the role of the doer of actions. It is a sin, a mistake, because it is an action that is not consistent with Truth—that what you really are never does anything in the first place. This error limits spiritual progress and leads to return (reincarnation). So performing actions in order to be free of sin cannot get one to God and liberation but only leads to heaven and return. To reach Absolute God, one resorts to sacrificing oneself, surrendering oneself, to Absolute God. But this is not everyone’s objective.  

For most, the highest objective is heaven. That there is something higher than heaven is beyond their comprehension. Laying the responsibility for sins on someone or something else, or performing ritual acts in order to reach heaven, is the goal of the majority.  

Drinking the Soma

The real soma is not an herbal concoction of the priesthood, but a biochemical product of the pineal gland, and is not even consumable under ordinary circumstances. It is naturally consumed by the body without any help from us when it is in its purified state as amrita, the nectar of immortality. This cannot happen by the use of one’s will, for acting willfully only takes us back to the ‘sin’ of taking the role of the doer, and keeps karmic bondage in place.

References to soma: The ch 9, vs 9-10ch 8, vs 24-25, ch 9, vs 2-3, and the previous verse.

21
Having enjoyed the extent of heaven, when their merit is exhausted they enter the world of mortals again, thus conforming to the edicts of dharma. With desire after desire, they come and go.

  • The edicts of dharma – Spiritual injunction. Duties enjoined by scripture. 
  • Dharma – Actions, behaviors and practices consistent with Truth. 

Those who follow the duties and practices of scriptural knowledge for the purpose of ridding themselves of sin and impurity in order to go to heaven when they die, follow the edicts for reaching this goal. Because they act in good faith and are virtuous, they attain their goal. Even so, their actions are motivated by desire, so they can only reach this temporary situation called heaven (svarga loka, the world of heaven). When their merit is exhausted, they will be returned to physical embodiment again. And around and around it goes.

But the yogi has a different goal  The yogi seeks liberation, freedom, and union with God. So the yogi’s injunctions are somewhat different. The yogi follows the ten yamas and niyamas (Ten Keys to Success) first and foremost, as the foundation for everything that comes next in his path so that he can traverse it successfully, reach union with Absolute God and become liberated.

22
But those who worship Me by constantly engaging in yoga with their attention not directed elsewhere, I unite them with their goal. 

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


Shaktipat Intensive

Saturday, May 27, Phoenix, Arizona

Experiential Meditation seminar 11:00 AM – 2:00 PM – $50
Shaktipat diksha & initiation 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM – Optional

Registration for this Shatipat Intensive is now closed. To be put on the waiting list, please contact me through my website, durgama.com/contact.
Watch for the next Intensive here.


Bhagavad Gita with Durga Ma

Beginning April 12
Wednesdays, 5:30-7:00 PM

Sign Up Now

Kharma Life Center
700 W. Campbell Ave. Suite 1
(Side Street Campbell, not the light)
Phoenix, AZ 85013
(602) 795-9767
Sign Up Now

What You Really Are Does Nothing – Bhagavad Gita, Ch 9, Vs 9-10

“And these actions do not bind Me, Conquerer of Wealth, for I am like one sitting apart, unattached to these actions. I observe Prakriti flawlessly creating all moving and nonmoving things spontaneously. From this cause, the world turns.” — Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 9, Verses 9-10

9
And these actions do not bind Me, Conquerer of Wealth, for I am like one sitting apart, unattached to these actions.

“And” – He is continuing from the previous verses.

In saying that He is not attached to these actions, Lord Krishna is saying that He is not identified with the actions of Creation as His own, even though Creation goes out from Him. 

Again our attention is drawn to the idea that action causes bondage when we assume the role of the actor, the doer of the action, but does not cause bondage when we do not. This isn’t a mental idea, or an attempt at denial, but a self-known Reality: What we really are does nothing. This is exactly what Lord Krishna is talking about as it applies not only to Himself, but to us.

When in surrender yoga one experiences action, one comes to realize that this action is not done by oneself, but by nature (prakriti). It is the very nature of nature to move, urged into action by Shakti, Divine Goddess, instigator of all action. When in Experiential (Surrender) Meditation one does not suppress the urge to move, the body, which is a part of nature, will move. Correctly understanding this, no karma is incurred. In this way, surrender yoga frees one from the bondage of karma, liberating one from the cycles of death and rebirth.

The nature of nature is to move.

10
I observe Prakriti flawlessly creating all moving and nonmoving things spontaneously. From this cause, the world turns.

The world turns, the universe turns, the cosmos revolves, cycling through the ages, coming into being again and again. Stars die, and stars are born. Everything comes and goes.

Here, the Sanskrit word for ‘creating’ also indicates soma, the precursor of amrita, the nectar of immortality, implying that immortality is inherently present in all of us. 

We are all divine individuals who are never born and never die, abiding in the bodies of the beings that we now experience as ourselves, and which come and go. But it is the being that goes through these changes, not our real Selves—our immortality is absolute and cannot be changed. This is Lord Krishna’s Reality. With this teaching, He teaches us something that we already know but have forgotten.

Alternate translation:
Prakriti produces both the animate and inanimate spontaneously (without will), effortlessly and without error, as I watch. Thus the cycle of Life revolves.

“Effortlessly…as I watch”
So Prakriti, another Divine Individual, is also not bound by these actions. As far as that Individual is concerned, you are Prakriti and she is Purusha. So Prakriti is in the same position of not-doing-anything for all this creation come to be, effortlessly and without error, as You watch.

You are Purusha, the seer. Prakriti, seen by you, is the cause (but not the willful maker) of creation, nature. This is the source of Personal God, God as other than self.

Prakriti Creates

Sarasvati, Goddess of Music and Learning. It is Her music that does it.
Sarasvati, Goddess of Music and Learning. It is Her Music that Creates the World.

Is it any wonder that liberation is so difficult to attain? Somewhere deep inside, we know that all this is going to end…someday. But we are identified with “all this”, and we are identified with our physical bodies which are a part of it.

We tell ourselves that we are not afraid to die. We can say this and mean it because, deep inside, we know (without knowing that we know it) that what we really are cannot die. But our bodies are afraid of death. They are built to put survival first and we are identified with them. In order to handle this dichotomy we resort to our minds and tell ourselves what to believe and what not to believe.

Thus we live self-deceived, shunning the liberation we came here to obtain as we chase after the fluff of illusion, trying to make ourselves feel good, look good, be liked, do the right thing. We know deep inside what will happen if we seriously take this road to Truth. We will become disinterested in the fluff and lose the approval of others because we will become unable to keep up appearances and play the game any more.

It is not a matter of trying. It just happens when you begin to change inside. Not seeing yourself as a doer of action, the ego begins to dry up. You begin to hear the thoughts of others, and now you are living a different mystery. Nothing of your previous ‘reality’ makes sense anymore. It’s not that you disapprove or are unwilling to participate, it is a matter of familiarity—familiarity is gone and you don’t know how to do that anymore. So you don’t. This describes what in earlier chapters was called “indifference”, which is said to be the key to liberation. It is a journey for the brave rebel with an adventurous spirit.      

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


Shaktipat Intensive

Saturday, May 27, Phoenix, Arizona

Experiential Meditation Seminar 11:00 AM – 2:00 PM – $50
Shaktipat Diksha & Initiation 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM – Optional

Register NOW
Space is very limited

Location:
Creative Living Fellowship, Emerson Room
6530 North 7th Street, Phoenix, AZ 85014
Read more >>>


Bhagavad Gita & Mindfulness Classes

Monday evening classes with Durga Ma beginning March 13

Reserve or take a chance and drop-in.
Click a class for reservations and more information.
Bhagavad Gita – Messages from God to You about You
6:30-7:30 PM
Mindfulness – Life Mastery and Meditation
7:30-8:30
$10 per class

Location:
Creative Living Fellowship, Emerson Room
6530 North 7th Street, Phoenix, AZ 85014


VIII:24-25 The Day and Night of the Yogi, Continued

Will you continue to become embodied in worlds of temporal happiness and sorrow at death? Or will you rise above this dilemma and reach the Eternal Happiness of the Imperishable Absolute?

24
The bright fire of day, the bright half of the moon, the upper-going of the sun, departing then, those who know Brahman go forth to Brahman.

  • Brahman – God in the absolute sense. 

The bright fire (agni jyoti)kundalini flowing through the central channel of the body, the sushumna nadi (‘gracious and kind flow channel’), is day. Departing then, the yogi who knows Brahman (God) is liberated from rebirth and goes to Brahman.   

Upper-going of the sun, the six months of the sun’s northern course, refers to the ascendant flow of kundalini within the central channel (‘north’ is ‘up’). 

The bright half of the lunar month is a reference to soma. The moon is the pineal gland which, when ‘full’, produces soma. When drunk by the body, the soma becomes purified. Once pure, it is called amrita, the nectar of immortality. 

Departing – ‘dead, passed away’ (macrocosm), and also ‘arrived at, advanced to’ (microcosm).  

Those who know Brahman, Absolute God, the Imperishable: To ‘know’ Brahman is to have experienced Brahman. This event is known as nirvikalpa, nirbija or asamprajnata samadhi. By merely recalling this experience, the life energy flows in the direction of That—where the attention goes, the energy flows. In this case, that direction is upward and inward, pulled by the upward-going of kundalini. This is the meaning of  ‘knowing Brahman’, or ‘thinking only of God’. Thought, remembering, takes place in the brain and mind, and this is just where kundalni is going—into the head.

At this stage (Raja Yoga), sun and moon are related to the brain: The sun is kundalini-shakti initiating the flow of soma from the pineal gland, the Moon, and into the body to be purified.

When we reach this stage, Kundalini is stationed in the north at the sixth chakra. Before this, She made Her home at the first chakra, returning there after many ventures into higher places. Now, from the ajna chakra, She is able to use the life energy (Prana) to suit Her, and sends it into every cell of the body to deliver the amrtia and make the necessary changes. The evolutionary force, Kundalini, seated above the throat is now called Maruti (Goddess of the Wind). At this point, one has completed yoga sadhana.

25
With the misty darkness of night, the dark half of the moon, the right-hand going of the sun, the yogi attains the lunar light and is born again.

The misty darkness of night – Kundalini is seated below the throat at the first chakra.

The dark half of the lunar month – The moon, the pineal gland, is not ‘full’.

Right-hand going of the sun, the six months of sun’s southern course, refers to Kundalini moving in the chakras below the sixth chakra (‘south’ is ‘down’).

The yogi attains the lunar light (cāndra jyoti), the light of the moon, and is born again.

Once Raja Yoga is achieved, Kundalini is seated at the ajna chakra and Her sphere of action is above the throat, but before this, Her sphere of action is from the first to the fifth chakra. During this phase of sadhana, the yogi gets the moonlight (jyoti) of Hatha Yoga, but not the moon juice (soma) of Raja Yoga.

Moonlight is the precursor of the moon juice. The moonlight, or moon-lightening, occurs in meditation during Hatha Yoga as it tries to stimulate the soma. This lightening is experienced in spontaneous (without will) meditation, or Experiential (Surrender) Meditation. It cannot be made to happen.

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