Attaining Success, Perfection & Special Powers – Bhagavad Gita, Ch 18, Vs 45-49

The Road to Success

Content in the performance of one’s own innate kind of action, one attains success. Now hear now how one who is contented in his own innate kind of action finds perfection:

One might be successful at many things in a lifetime, but Lord Krishna is saying that the thing that you are naturally inclined to do, have a natural ability or talent and liking for, will bring you true success and happiness. You may do other things well, and even enjoy them, but the real pay-off comes as a result of doing what is consistent with your innate ability. He has given us four broad categories that cover everything imaginable, so that we have something to go by to make this determination for ourselves (verses 40-44).

BusinessmanYou may know people who are successful and are still not satisfied. Often such a person will go after making more money in order to try to satisfy this gaping hole, but it never really works. Or they may be happy with a particular success but unhappy in love, or other things. So this person’s success is not complete in the way it is meant in this verse.  

  • Successful (sansiddhi) – to gain happiness, success, perfection and special powers.
Mahatma Gandhi

When a person performs his own kind of action, he worships That from which all beings come forth, and attains success. Better one’s own dharma done poorly than the dharma of another done well. Performing action according to one’s own innate nature, one is faultless. 

By focusing your efforts on your own innate kind of action in both career and spiritual practice, you will achieve success and happiness and accrue no karmic debt. At the same time you will be reverencing “that from whom all beings have their source.” By sticking to your own dharma in what you do in life, you can’t go wrong, no matter how it may seem otherwise.

In some cases a person’s dharma may change later in life. Such exceptions show up in the Mahabharata, an epic poem that includes this Gita.  

Screen Shot 2018-11-26 at 7.58.47 AMThis represents your secondary life purpose. The first is to find God/Truth and live by That, according to That, and sync yourself and your life with That. This comes quite naturally if you live and work according to your own personal dharma. By doing so, you align with That which is your Source.

It is better to perform one’s own dharma poorly, than to perform someone else’s well.

By following your own kind of action, your own dharma, not only will you live a happy and successful life, but the actions you perform that bring you that success, amounts to worship of God/Truth.

One should not abandon one’s inherent kind of action, even if it be deficient. Indeed, all undertakings are as prone to error as fire is to smoke.

Success!He is saying not to worry about making mistakes, just do it. If you are inclined to indulge in the self-talk of unworthiness or failure, let it go. It is just an obstacle like any other obstacle you would otherwise not hesitate to ignore or break through.

  • Perfection (sansiddhi) – to gain success, perfection and special powers … in that order.

With intelligence detached, self-won indifference everywhere at all times, actionless through sanyasa, one attains the Highest Perfection.

As High as You Can GetCarrying out your own personal dharma, you are free of disturbances caused by attachments. When the ability of the mind to understand and differentiate (buddhi) is free of such disturbances it is devoid of desire. This state is harmonious with the ‘indifference’ of surrender, sanyasa, the state of non-willful action by which one attains the Highest Perfection.

  • Sanyasa – renunciation; the renunciation of action done for the purpose of fulfilling desires; surrender to Absolute God.
  • Non-willful action – action that occurs as a result of the ‘indifference’ of sanyasa. Such action accrues no karma. It is called ‘inaction’, even though action occurs.

Now that we know what to do, and we do it, we naturally become free of attachment, which you may remember is the real obstacle, not the desires themselves. When we are confident in our aim, we are not so easily prone to being affected by attachments and desires. We have experienced things going well. Willfully pushing forward or holding back is not for us. Thus is our daily life led in harmony with our natural dharma, the very thing that leads us to sanyasa, the natural relinquishment of the the state of “I do”. 

“Actionless through sanyasa” – the state of non-doership brought about through the practice of surrender to Absolute God/Truth in meditation, is a state of inaction, regardless of what may be going on. It is called renunciation (sanyasa) because one either realizes, or goes on faith, that he is not the doer of action. This is the meaning of ‘surrender’.

Our success is unaffected by attachments, so the mind is void of desires. This ‘indifference’ is the actionless state of sanyasa (renunciation, surrender to God), by which one attains the Highest Perfection. Now that we have attained success, we can look forward to Perfection and Godhood.

When you follow your dharma, attachments quit and the mind becomes free of desires — they are no longer needed when your have what you want. Then you can live in harmony with the Real You and be happy.  

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

V:14 Continued: How to Mitigate Negative Influences…

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Previously, we learned that each of us is a Master within a city of nine gates, a body, and that we can realize this for ourselves (become Self-realized) by means of the practice and understanding presented in verses 13 and 14.

As the embodied divine eternal perfect one that you really are, the Real You, you do not create action, the means of action, or the effects of action. But what you are being (human) is a different story. A daily dose of experience at putting yourself in sync with the Real You will put you on the fast track to the joy and happiness of the Real You, and mitigate negative influences of other ‘cities’. We call this practice, Surrender Meditation

Whether you practice Surrender Meditation or not, the suggestions below will move you in the right direction. If you practice Surrender Meditation, they will advance you even more quickly.

The Wisdom Teachings of Surrender Meditation, “In the City of Nine Gates”, Continued:

1. Commit yourself to your spiritual development absolutely. 

2. Meditate daily. There is no spirituality without meditation. Meditation is the foundation of spiritual development. Everything else listed here is for the purpose of successful meditation, happier living and the acceptance of Divine Others (other Real You-s) as equally divine and the same as You. 

3. Knowledge and learning have an amazing way of fueling progress and getting results quicker and more effectively, so get more spiritual knowledge and steep yourself in it. Study scriptures. It doesn’t matter which ones, they are all teaching the same things in different ways.

4. Apply the yamas and niyamas to your life. These come in ten fundamental principles in Yoga (Ten Keys to Success), more in Hinduism. I like them because they are teachings that never seem to stop delivering more guidance and wisdom. As you continue on your spiritual path, they will continue to address and reveal new depths at each stage.

5. Practice being honest with yourself about yourself. No more denial, and no more using positive thinking to get away with it. Investigate yourself as a being, and be self-honest, even if it hurts. And investigate your Real Self through contemplation and meditation.

6. Get personal with God. Talk to God. Appeal to God. Listen to God. Although you will undoubtedly think me to be somewhat abstract in my perception of God, I have another, more devotional side: I talk to God all the time, day and night…out loud. I discuss all kinds of things with God. I run all my decisions by God, listen to the responses and act accordingly, knowing that any dissatisfaction with any outcome is due to my own error in understanding, and useful to me in itself as guidance for my own improvement.

7. Take God on faith until you experience God yourself, not just mentally or emotionally but really.

8. See the same in everyone. Treat others with kindness, realizing that what dwells within each person is absolutely the same as You: perfect, divine and filled with joy and goodness. And understand that what you do to another affects everyone, including you.

9. Remind yourself daily that, as the result of accepting Others unconditionally as Divine and the same as You, you move closer to Real Reality and the Real You, a Perfect Absolute Divine Individual of Pure Joy.

If you do all this, your life will change and you will like it better, no matter how good it is now.

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

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IV:12-13 You Get What You Worship

In the last verse we discovered that the way we take refuge in God is how God reciprocates. Put another way: You get what you worship.

Those who desire success in the world worship the gods here in this world. In this world success comes quickly through action.

One might be tempted to think that since all is God, one might just as well worship God any ole way he pleases. If he worships fame he should get fame. If he worships money he should get money. There is truth to this. Such a person, filled with the desire for money, for instance, has his attention fixed on getting it at all times, and deems it the most important thing in existence. He is worshipping it so he will likely get it. Money is his god.

“The gods here in this world”
The word for ‘god’ in Sanskrit is deva, and in this usage means ‘a sense organ, an entitled person, or a person or thing idolized or held in high regard here on earth’.

One ‘worships’ when there is an intense and constant desire or longing for something. What that something is, is the ‘object’ of one’s worship. In worshipping the adored object, the attention is fixed on it with uninterrupted focus. By keeping the attention on something intently enough, and long enough, union with it is achieved—you get what you worship. It is simple cause and effect.

In this world success comes quickly through action.”
The action is ‘sacrifice‘. What is sacrificed yields results according to the nature of the sacrifice. For instance, water evaporates from the oceans (sacrifice) and the result is rain. Sacrifice to ‘the gods here in this world’ is the action by which success is attained here in this world. The sacrificial action that produces success may take the form of energy, time, effort, and/or the act of paying intent, resolute attention to the object of worship here in this world.

The four castes were created by Me according to the divisions of the qualities of nature and their interactions. Although I created them, know Me to be eternally non-doing.

Looking at these categories of people, we discover that they all sacrifice and how they do.

“The four castes were created by Me according to the divisions of the qualities of nature and their interactions.”

The four castes are four broad categories of the kinds of things we humans are inclined to do according to the predominance of certain characteristics of nature (gunas) that we bear. Following the previous verse with this subject, it seems likely that what is being suggested is that the way one worships, or sacrifices, ‘here in this world’ is associated with these traits.


The teacher’s sacrifice is teaching, the scholar’s sacrifice is study, and so forth. By their sacrifices, they succeed in their objectives. By sacrificing to God in this manner (God is the object of their teaching, their study, etc.), they attain God.

You get what you worship.

These categories have transitioned over time from being descriptive to being a system written in stone, however, they are good ways of seeing the different kinds of abilities people generally have.

Any system can become a trap when humans try to regulate and enforce it. Krishna has urged Arjuna to a battle that will end in all this getting mixed up, and while Arjuna sees this as a reason not to fight, Krishna tells him to get on with it.

Although I created them, know Me to be eternally non-doing.
First He says He creates something and in the next breath He says that He never does anything. So He creates something without doing anything…? Non-doership has been the subject throughout this chapter. But how can anything happen without our doing something?

“Created” srishta ( सृष्ट ) – ‘let go, discharged, brought forth, produced, created,’ and ‘firmly resolved’.

The keys to understanding this statement is to keep in mind that…

  • ‘Non-doing’ does not mean that nothing happens.
  • All action occurs in nature.
  • The actions of nature are produced by the interactions of the gunas.
  • God in Its relative form is Nature (i.e., mind, intelligence, ego, earth, water, fire, air and ether).

One achieves the state of ‘non-doership’ upon achieving this understanding experientially. This experience occurs spontaneously through Surrender Meditation (Shaktipat Kundalini Yoga).

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


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