VI:33-36 Yoga – Sameness in the Midst of Change

There are really only two paths to Realization. Both paths are Yoga by any name, and one is not better than the other. We will all use them both at one time or another.

Arjuna spoke:
I do not see how this Yoga, which you call ‘sameness’, can have any lasting foundation because of instability. 

Arjuna is asking Lord Krishna how one can enter a state of sameness in a situation in which nothing is stable because of the actively changing nature of life.

The mind is unsteady, harassing, powerful and unyielding, Krishna. I think holding it down is, like the wind, extraordinarily difficult to do.

Even the mind is always changing and busy with something or other. It seems impossible to Arjuna that all this activity in the mind can be held in stasis long enough to reach the goal. But Lord Krishna has the solution…..

The Blessed Lord spoke:
Without doubt, the fluctuating mind is difficult to restrain, except by practice and indifference to worldly affairs.

Even though this is true about the mind, there is a solution: the practice of Yoga, and indifference to worldly affairs.

The outcome of the practice of Yoga, is yoga (union). Yoga takes place in the midst of action (change) but culminates in a state of sameness. The yogi experiences happiness in his practice, and gradually becomes indifferent to worldly affairs in favor of yoga.

In order to reach this state of union, one chooses the one thing that is eternally the same—Absolute God—and surrenders to That in meditation.

Equality, equanimity, evenness, homogeneousness,

impartiality, indifference.

Yoga is difficult to attain for one who has no self-control. But if one is self-controlled, it is possible through the proper means by striving. This is my view.

This verse exposes two paths: The path of the will and the path of surrender. This has been the case all along, but this verse was crying out to make it evident. Here are two more translations to demonstrate this, both taken from the Sanskrit:

Yoga is difficult to attain by one who has no self-control. But for one who is self-controlled, it is possible to attain by striving. This is my view.

For one who has no self-control, union (yoga) is difficult to attain, except for one who is submissive (surrendered). This is the proper means. This is my view.

There are two different words being used in this verse that are translated as ‘self-control’. One means ‘attentive, self-contained, subdued’. The other word can mean either ‘subject to the will, desire, or control’, or ‘willing, submissive, subject to or dependent upon’.

Will – Desire based action. Subdued by controlling the attention by means of using one’s willpower.

Surrender – Surrendered action. Willingness to subject oneself and be dependent upon God through surrender.

Translators of Sanskrit mystical texts must settle on something, and are inclined to settle where their training takes them. Some are scholars with little or no personal experience of yoga sadhana to draw from. Those who do practice Yoga will draw from the teachings of their own path, most of which will be technique-oriented (using the will). Both of these make up the published translations of this text with one exception: those practicing non-technique-oriented yoga sadhana, which are few, and which represent my own translations.

The issue of self-control is valid for both the path of the will and the path of surrender. If one has not developed any self-control in life, they are not likely to want to follow the path of surrender anyway, for there would be little to surrender, and the experience would be weak and uninspiring. The path of surrender is really only useful to those who have had enough of control and the responsibilities and repercussions that go with it. 

Whether the path of the will or surrender, self-control is necessary just to get yourself into the meditation room, espceially in the beginning. So we can’t ignore it. But we can look at it closer:


  • Using the will (to try to achieve a goal)
  • Self-discipline (going ahead no matter what)
  • Self-motivation (you don’t need to be told to do something, you just do it)
  • Correctly and honestly monitoring one’s practice of spiritual principles in life (Yama and Niyama)

In the beginning, it is difficult to keep the attention on one thing long enough to reach a state of yoga. This is true of either path. In the path of the will, you will use your will to try to remedy this. In the path of surrender, you will continue to surrender yourself to God in meditation and let Shakti work this out. Both paths require enough self-discipline to meditate regularly.

“The proper means” for the path of the will is to follow the directions of the guru. The proper means for the path of surrender is to follow the directions of the guru to leave everything to God/Shakti and accept what happens or doesn’t happen in your meditation.

The practice of Yoga as it is presented in the previous verses, and verses to come, will deliver you from any concerns. All you have to do to reach a state of sameness (yoga, samadhi) is to follow these teachings.

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


Accessing the Abundance of the Field

We exist within a field of unlimited potential. In this field, anything is possible. 

In This Series:

  1. The Golden Womb
  2. The Field
  3. Great Expectations
  4. Accessing the Abundance of the Field 

Sequel to Great Expectations 

Step 1
Noticing Thoughts 

Start noticing your thoughts. Notice what they are, what they are like, what they feel like, and whether you like them or not. Just watch, and get really, really good at noticing them. If you’re paying attention to your thoughts you will undoubtedly come across some negative ones, but no judgements now, just watch the show for a few days and then go on to step two:

Step 2
Flipping Negative Thoughts

Negative thoughts are thoughts that are inconsistent with the Field.
(See the Characteristics of The Field.)

Notice when a negative thought surfaces, and once you have that negative thought cornered, flip it. Using the principle of opposites, find a positive counterpart to that thought, something that you like that works for you, and dwell on it until it is easy to own.

Flipping is different than using affirmations. Once you get going on noticing negative thoughts, you may discover that there are more than you ever dreamed, and drumming up an affirmation for everything you come across is just not practical. So flip it over and tune in to its positive side. Use positive ideas, feelings, imaging and fantasizing. Anything that works for you.

If this isn’t as easy as pie, you are probably on to one of the culprits in your data bank of negative expectations that is having a negative effect in your life right now. So don’t despair or criticize yourself, pat yourself on the back because, now it’s out in the open and you can do something about it.

Any thought that is not consistent with the
Field is a ‘negative’ thought.

Don’t get concerned about stirring up negatives, because now you know how to flip them, and right now you have bigger fish to catch:

Step 3
Noticing Negative Subconscious Expectations

Our thoughts reflect our subconscious expectations.
(See Subconscious Expectations)

Once you are good at noticing your thoughts, and finding and flipping negative thoughts, start looking for the negative subconscious expectations that lie beneath them.

By noticing negative thoughts, some negative subconscious expectations may automatically get exposed. If this should happen, you may be surprised to find things beginning to shift right away, before you even flip the thought that revealed it.

Any expectation that is not consistent with the
Field is a ‘negative’ expectation.

Negative subconscious expectations are expectations that you don’t like, expectations that you do not want to come to fruition, and of which you have previously been unaware, all or in part. These subconscious negative expectations have been hiding out and influencing your thoughts, and the things that come about in your life. Just noticing them will start to change things, because their primary power to affect your life has been their secrecy, and now they are exposed.

Things that are hidden are far more influential
than things that are not. 

Step 4
Flipping Negative Expectations

Now you can start looking for, and planting, positive expectations to replace the old, negative ones—we don’t want to leave a gaping hole.

Using the same technique you used for flipping negative thoughts, replace any negative expectation you discover, with a positive one. (Notice that I am not calling them ‘subconscious’ any more.)

Once you have determined the new, positive expectation you want to bring to fruition, do something with this positive idea, take some kind of action. Action is always the most effective means of making these things stick. Try affirmations, imagining, fantasizing, tell a friend, write in your journal, talk to yourself about your positive expectation, and even tell your cat or dog. If you come across an expectation that won’t budge, use it to your advantage…

Mary uncoverd a subconscious expectation of poverty. She tracked this back to the poverty in which she was raised, and which coincided with messages from her parents to “Never expect anything good and you’ll never be disappointed,” and to eat everything on her plate, “Just think of all those poor staving children who don’t have enough to eat,” in order to guilt-hook her into, “Don’t ever waste food!”

Mary was so deeply inundated with ‘shoulds’ that, throughout her life, she continued to remain poor, so Mary decided that she would address the Characteristics of The Field, directly…

I expect to have more than enough money, food and anything else I need or want at all times. I expect this of the Field. I should expect this of the Field. It is my duty to expect and receive this from the Field, because if I don’t, I will be negatively affecting everyone else as well as myself.

This last, which she refers to as her ‘duty’, was for Mary, a very useful ‘should’ because it was also an opposite to another negative subconscious expectation: “I should never put myself first, but always take care of the needs of others before my own.” So for Mary, this produced a two-for-one shift.

Stick With It

These four steps offer a good start. Along with the Dharma of Doing, they constitute a foundation for making the changes you want to make. Don’t worry about what comes next, because that will make itself known in the process. Just continue with these foundational steps and let ‘next’ reveal itself.

Utilizing these simple steps will reveal your subconscious mind—which means it won’t be ‘sub’ any longer. Even if you still have a gut reaction to some of your expectations (this will fade), just making them conscious will cause them to lose most of their influence. What this also means is that your consciousness is expanding. So keep it up.

If all this seems to contradict the path of surrender, let me remind you that Surrender Meditation is done in the meditation room so that you can give it your all. Outside of the meditation room, you will be using your will, whether you think you are or not. So how better to use it?

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

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