Faith – Bhagavad Gita, Ch 17

Faith - Screen Shot 2018-10-19 at 7.32.19 AM

Translations of the verses of this chapter often appear to be directed toward the priesthood as given in the Vedas (specific texts on Truth). But we also find imbedded within the Sanskrit, their association with the God-practice Lord Krishna is teaching Arjuna (and us).

Considering the fear of risk, which the idea of faith naturally invokes, it occurs to me that faith is the essence of ‘surrender’, or sacrifice, as defined in this God-practice. This risk is represented in the Mahabharata as the gambling of Yudhishthira, Arjuna’s brother, with the blind king’s son, Duryodhana. Yudhishthira lost the toss, and he and his brothers were caused to live undetected for eleven years.   

  • Duryodhana (‘hard fighter’) represents ego-centered desire — he fights hard for what he wants.
  • Yudhishthira means ‘standing firm in battle’. He is the epitome of ‘discipline’ — determined, and going ahead anyway no matter what.

Faith

śhraddha – faith, having faith in, believing in, trusting in, having confidence in.

For some people, faith is the same as belief, and for others it is not. The Sanskrit for ‘faith’ (śhraddha) includes both belief and trust. I usually make a distinction between belief and genuine faith. Personally, I consider belief to be a mental position. True faith, on the other hand, is the outcome of proof that establishes it.

I also see Faith as a position one might take to determine if the object of Faith is, in fact, reliably true. In this case, Faith is assumed, and whether or not the object of Faith (i.e., a person, belief or teaching) can be trusted would remain to be seen. One would then use this assumed Faith to prove or disprove it.

For instance, you decide to ‘go on faith’ that there is a God (God is the object of faith) in order to prove or disprove the existence of God. This would require taking some kind of action. Such action would be a sustained practice, such as meditation, as a viable means of testing it. Without proof, it is only an opinion or a belief.

  • Opinion – you think something is true.
  • Belief – your are certain something is true (whether it is or not).
  • Faith – you know something is true because it has been proven to you.

With Surrender Meditation, one ‘goes on faith’ that this practice will deliver what it promises. It is tested by the meditation itself and proved soon or over time. During this time, new realizations arise, and faith is gradually established with the culmination of each realization.

  • Realization – the act of becoming fully aware of something as fact.

Belief alone is prone to error. Just because someone believes something is so, doesn’t mean it is. Belief is especially problematic if a person is subject to self-deception (which most people are), or is desperate for personal validation (which most people assiduously seek). One would not need belief if one knew for certain that a given object of faith could be counted on without reservation, because it has proven itself to be so.

In spiritual matters, true Faith comes as the result of direct experience. Direct experience is experience without any means — mental, physical or emotional — and is neither ‘gut instinct’ nor intuition. Through meditation practiced correctly, one can experience Truth/God directly and know the Truth for certain, whereas anything perceived indirectly is subject to error.

Laboratory
Make your meditation your lab.

In practical matters, proof should show itself the same way numerous times under the same conditions before it is accepted as true.  

Determining your faith or certainty regarding something or someone will require a little risk on your part. However, most people are not amenable to taking risks of this kind. Even those who take risks at the blackjack table or invest the family fortune in a questionable venture, are often unwilling to take any risk in order to find Truth

Whether your quest centers on a person, a thing, or a theological premise, such as whether there is a God or not, or if your Guru is the real deal or not, you must first look within yourself and then take the leap. 

Look Inside Yourself

  • Have I seen correctly?
  • Is there anything within my own mind and feelings that is in error?
  • Might I have some kind of agenda of which I am unaware? What is it?
  • Am I avoiding any red flags? Or am I seeing what I want to see?
  • Am I in denial about anything I perceive about this?
  • Do I really understand this, or this person and their actions and motivations?
  • Have I really looked and attempted to understand, or am I waiting for them to understand me?

Acquiring faith will always involve some sense of risk, whether anything is actually at risk or not. But this is a good thing for it can bring you real faith and real validation, and the only real risk is to your ego.

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

Make a Difference

Have a Positive Impact on the World

Spiritual Leadership will take you where you want to go while you advance spiritually and improve your life. In the process, you will influence the advancement of everyone on Earth, and even the Earth itself.

Spiritual Leadership is not a replacement for anything you may already be doing, but will augment any spiritual avenues you already travel, and open up new vistas.

Please contact me at durgama.com/contact if you would like to know more about this program.

Helping you advance spiritually is my mission.
Saving the world is the result of our success.


The Fast Track

Surrender Meditation

Shaktipat Kundalini Yoga
Spontaneous Experiential Meditation

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

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


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Characteristics of the Demonic, Bhagavad Gita, Ch 16, Vs 6 – 11

Ravana, demon king
Ravana, the ten-headed demon king

6
Of created beings in the world there are two kinds: the divine and the demonic. The divine has been explained at great length. Now hear from Me about the demonic:

7
Those persons possessing demonic characteristics cannot comprehend action and inaction, nor do they understand purity or righteous action. Truth is not found in them.

  • Action, pravṛitti – ‘to turn, revolve, go around in circles’; using the will to act for self-motivated purposes (i.e. desires), thus causing one to remain caught in the cycles of death and rebirth.
  • Inaction, nivṛitti – ‘inaction’; abandoning self-motivated (willful) actions in surrender to God/Truth) and escaping the cycles of death and rebirth.
  • Purity – clearness; everything in its natural, divine order.
  • Righteous action – action in accordance with scriptural injunction; actions consistent with the Real You that emerge from your surrender to Absolute God in meditation.
  • Truth – Absolute God — whether personal God or abstract God, and regardless of what you call It.

8
The Demonic say that the world is without Truth, without a God, without any solid basis, but is brought about by desire alone. How else!  

Alternate translation:
The Demonic say that the universe has no real basis, that there is no God, no Truth, and is created by nothing other than the commingling of the two sexes, and has no purpose other than sexual gratification.

The Rakshasa demons of Ravana go after the good guys.
King Ravana’s Rakshasa demons go after the good guys.

9
Holding fast to these views, these men who have lost themselves, are of small intelligence and cruel acts. They arise as enemies of the world, threatening its destruction.

This leaves the preservation of the world up to those of us willing to grow spiritually. When we do, we are benefited, and everyone else is also benefited. This is the ONLY way that the world can be saved from this destruction.

The world and its inhabitants will not be saved by campaigns for eliminating pollution, global warming, etc., but by a sufficient number of individuals increasing their spiritual advancement. Surely, you would want to be one of these heroes?

We must take up this purpose by means of increased personal and spiritual growth. We must advance ourselves. This is not only going to bring us more happiness, but it will have a positive effect on everyone else, and even the planet itself.

ONLY YOU can save the world.

What we have to do is to get in sync with our Real Selves as described in verses 1-3 and the yamas and niyamas, the Ten Keys to Success, ten universal spiritual principles. Without this knowledge, practice and ultimate mastery, all efforts to advance will eventually fail, but with it, success is guaranteed

With every success you achieve, the world takes a step forward. When you are happy and content in your life, the world sighs in relief. When you as a human being exemplify the Real You, the world is massively brought forward along with everyone in it.

Everything you do affects everyone else. 

10
Attached to insatiable desires and filled with deceit, pride and lust, they accept such false notions through delusion, and proceed with impure intentions.

11
Obsessed with endless anxieties that can end only end in death, maintaining with complete assurance that fulfilling desires is the highest aim possible, they are convinced that this is all there is.

There is nothing we can do about these people other than get on with our own spiritual advancement. Not only can this save the world, but it can make significant changes in the lives of others, and may even save them as well. So let’s up the ante!

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

Make a Difference

Have a Positive Impact on the World

Become a Spiritual Leader

Spiritual Leadership will take you where you want to go while you advance and improve your life. In the process, you will influence the advancement of everyone on Earth, and even the Earth itself. 

Spiritual Leadership is not a replacement for anything you may already be doing, but will augment any spiritual avenues you already travel, and open up new vistas.

Please contact me at durgama.com/contact if you would like to know more about this program.

Helping you advance spiritually is my mission.
Saving the world is the result of our success.
Durga Ma


The Fast Track

Surrender Meditation

Shaktipat Kundalini Yoga
Spontaneous Experiential Meditation

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

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


The Divine & the Demonic, Bhagavad Gita, Ch 16, Vs 1 – 5

Heaven

 Because the Divine has already been given much attention, this chapter focuses mostly on the Demonic. Though it begins and ends with Divine characteristics, it addresses the outcomes of both. 


The Divine

1 – 3
The Blessed Lord spoke:
Fearless, pure-hearted, steadfast and firm in the knowledge and practice of uniting (yoga); generous, self-restrained, sacrificing, studying the scriptures and the self, observing austerities (tapas), sincere; 
non-injurious, truthful, free of anger, renounced, peaceful, non-slanderous; compassionate toward all beings, non-covetous, gentle, modest, dependable; vigorous, patient, content, pure, and free of malice and vanity. These are the characteristics of those endowed with Divine qualities.

Fearless (abhaya, ‘no fear’) also means safe and secure. For those of you who practice Surrender Meditation, your surrender is compromised when you do not feel safe and secure. Without this security there is always the possibility of interruption. At some level, you know this and will restrain your surrender, even subconsciously. Hence the need for complete privacy during surrender sadhana.

Self-restrained (dama) means self-controlled, and also, ‘home’. You need a place to live that is home to you, where you are alone and feel safe from interruptions in order to practice non-static meditation. Outside of your meditation however, self-control, the ability to restrain from actions that are inappropriate, will save you from violations of ahimsa (non-injury) that would otherwise impair your progress. This is difficult if you don’t have a meditation practice that is completely private and allows for the purification of such impulses.

Outside your meditation room you must always be mindful of ahimsa, non-violence of any kind. This requires a degree of self-control that will keep you safe from losing ground. This first universal spiritual principle is the most important principle of all and qualifies the remaining nine. Violating it restricts your progress and can even stop it completely.

Sacrificing is the act of surrendering yourself to Absolute God in meditation and accepting what God brings.

Study of the scriptures and the Self is the practice of self-honest self-study and mindfulness, as well as the study of Yoga scriptures, where you can monitor your progress. Studying the self will lead to the study of the Self and Self Realization. The study of yogic scriptures will lead you to mastery, independent freedom and liberation. 

Observing tapas (‘to melt or burn’) refers to the process of purification by fire (energy). You do not stop this purification process that is brought on by the practice of surrender Yoga. You may find yourself witnessing it, you may even want it to go away, or you may find it fascinating, but you don’t interfere with it. 

Free of Anger. Anger is thought to be a destructive emotion. But we know that suppression of emotions is harmful, so how do we manage this? In Surrender Meditation, we are securely private and we don’t worry about this; it is taken care of by the meditation. In Life however, in our normal state we must be self-controlled and able to not react in anger. We do this by observing our feelings and reactions.

This little trick of observing will cause a separation between you and the anger, and put you in a position of extreme power. By observing the anger, you curtail the compulsion to act on it — because it is impossible to be what you observe. Thus suppression is avoided, you have not violated ahimsa (non-violence), and both the other guy and your own progress are safe.  

You cannot be what you can see.

Renounced means essentially the same thing as sacrifice. What you are renouncing is your body, feelings and mind and the use of your will. You sacrifice these to Absolute God in meditation. Renouncing the role of the doer of action in this way, during this time, you accept whatever happens (or doesn’t happen). 

The Demonic

4
Deceit, arrogance, conceit, anger, harshness and ignorance, are qualities the Demonic possess.

Destination: Heaven or Hell

5
Divine qualities lead to liberation, whereas Demonic qualities lead to bondage. Do not worry, Arjuna, for you are born with divine virtues.

We said earlier that Arjuna represents you, so you are also being reassured.

  • Bondage – the state of being a slave
  • Liberation – freedom, including freedom from compulsory rebirths
Jesus and Krishna in heaven
Jesus & Krishna

We in the west have had it very good compared to most people on this planet. Those of you who have had it easy (are educated and not starving or enduring tortures) may opt for returning, believing that you have some control over your next life. So getting free of rebirth may not be of interest to you. But you should think again, and read other chapters, such as chapter fourteen, and clear this up for yourself.

If you insist on believing that you can control the nature of your next life, yes you can, but probably not the way you think. Your control over your future relies solely on your ability and willingness now, in this lifetime, to master the qualities of the Divine as mentioned in this and other chapters, by mastering the ten universal spiritual principles (Ten Keys to Success).

This chapter tells us what we need to know. It clearly says, Divine qualities lead to liberation (you are free), and Demonic qualities lead to bondage (you are a slave). It’s your choice. Saying “I don’t believe in this” is not going to change it.

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

The Fast Track

Surrender Meditation

Shaktipat Kundalini Yoga
Spontaneous Experiential Meditation

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

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


Make a Difference

Have a Positive Impact on the World

Become a Spiritual Leader

Spiritual Leadership will take you where you want to go while you advance and improve your life. In the process, you will influence the advancement of everyone on Earth, and even the Earth itself.

Spiritual Leadership is not a replacement for anything you may already be doing, but will augment any spiritual avenues you already travel, and open up new vistas.

If you would like to know more about this program, please contact me at durgama.com/contact 

Helping you advance spiritually is my mission.
Saving the world is the result of our success.
Durga Ma

He who hesitates is lost.
Swift and resolute action leads to success.
Self-doubt is a prelude to disaster.
Joseph Addison


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

The Whole World Is One Family