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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The Great Escape, Bhagavad Gita, Ch 16, Vs 20 – 24

A bat getting out of hell.

20 – 21
The demonic and ignorant, already deluded in the womb, do not attain Me in birth after birth, and go to the most abominable kinds of existences. There are three doors to hell for these self-destructive beings: lust, anger and greed. Therefore, one should abandon all three.

“Already deluded in the womb” refers to being born in ignorance with the unfortunate traits and circumstances mentioned in previous verses.

22 – 23
R
eleased from these doors of darkness, one should practice what is in their best interest and attain the Highest Goal. He who disregards scriptural injunctions and acts under the influence of desire, does not attain perfection, happiness or the Highest Goal.

“One should practice what is in their best interest”
The practice that would be in one’s best interest is the God-practice Lord Krishna is teaching Arjuna (and us) in this Gita.

“The Highest Goal” is your first Life Purpose — the emergence of the Real You, Divine Union and liberation.   

“Lust, anger and greed.” It is lust and greed that give rise to anger. Lust and greed are obvious, but what about anger? Anger is just an emotion, right? True, but a problem emerges when one’s feelings are acted on. There are some who consider restraint to be suppression, but not acting on anger, lust or greed is not suppression, it is self-control. Even in the everyday sense, self-control is prerequisite to having control over your life: Life Mastery.

  • Mastery means not being under the control of influences other than God/Truth. This includes people, circumstances, personal history and karmic debt. 

Anger does not exist for the Real You, which is where we are trying to get, but we are not going to get there if we continue to act on lust, greed and anger. 

It is one thing to feel angry and another thing altogether to act on that feeling. Acting on anger violates ahimsa (non-violence), the first and highest principle, which, when violated, nips your progress in the bud.

Not acting on anger is not suppression, it is self-control.

24
Therefore, accept the scriptures in determining what should be done and what should not be done. Understanding the scriptural injunction herein prescribed by Me, perform action here in the world accordingly.

There are two teachings in this verse: Resort to scripture to determine what is correct action and what is not. Then, by understanding what Lord Krishna has taught us, which is decreed by Lord Krishna in this scripture, we should perform action according to Him. Both are practices that are to be done here in this world, here in this life, on planet Earth. It’s why we’re here.

Lord Krishna’s teachings have revealed righteous action as Arjuna’s (and our) duty. He does not say that this action is permissible, but that it is required. It must be done. But how does this work? It begins with meditation. By ‘meditation’, what I mean is a period of time that you set aside to surrender yourself and your will — body, feelings and mind — to Absolute God, under the proper conditions.

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

Stay by Me and keep quiet. I will do the rest - Shirdi Sai Baba
“Stay by me and keep quiet. I will do the rest.” — Shirdi Sai Baba

In Surrender Meditation (shaktipat kundalini yoga), in the meditation room you are a renunciate, surrendered to Absolute God. Outside of this room, you “accept the scriptures as your standard for determining what should be done, and what should not be done,” e.g., you know right from wrong, what is appropriate and what is not appropriate, based on these teachings and the ten universal spiritual principles, yama and niyama.  

Renunciation and surrender to God are synonymous. Throughout the Gita we have been running into words like ‘worship, resort to, rely on, sacrifice to, and renounce’. These words are different ways of getting across the idea of surrender — specifically, surrender to Absolute God. This is the fundamental practice of Yoga (union) that is decreed in scripture and is being taught by Lord Krishna. 

‘Surrender’ is not about throwing down the towel in defeat, or throwing everything away and begging all your food. When you go into your meditation room, in your own way you say (and mean it), “Thy will be done, O Lord, not mine.” In this room, for this period of time, you are a renunciate and, to the degree that you are surrendered, you are truly free, liberated. As this experience grows you will ultimately go directly to liberation of the highest kind, thus saving you from the ‘hell’ of unfortunate and inauspicious existences in future lifetimes. This Surrender Meditation is where it begins.

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.

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


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

The Whole World Is One Family


To Hell in a Hand Basket, Bhagavad Gita, Ch 16, Vs 12 – 19

Hell in a Handbasket

12
Bound by hundreds of desires driven by lust and anger, the Demonic strive to accumulate hoards of wealth by any means, all for the gratification of their own desires. 

“By any means” also means, “by unjust means.”

12 – 15
“I have acquired so much wealth today so I will now fulfill these desires of mine. All this is mine, and tomorrow I shall have more. I have slain that enemy and I shall slay others, also. I am God. I am the Enjoyer. I am Powerful. I am Happy. I am rich and highborn. Who is equal to me? I will perform sacrifice, give alms, and rejoice!” So say those deluded by ignorance.

This is a look into the minds and self-talk of the ‘demonic’.

16 – 17
Beset by this net of illusions and many confused imaginings, and addicted to sensual pleasures, they descend to a foul hell of torment. Self-conceited and obstinate, full of pride and arrogance for all their wealth, they perform ostentatious sacrifices in name only, with no regard for scriptural injunctions.

“A foul hell of torment” refers to the end result. It also means, ‘inferior states of existence’, which is where this kind of person finds himself here in this life, or in the next.

18 – 19
Blinded by egoism, power, arrogance, desire and anger, the demonic hate Me in their own bodies and in the bodies of others. These hateful, cruel and vile men, I hurl again and again into the cycles of rebirth and demonic forms of existences secured at birth.

“The demonic hate Me” also means “the demonic abuse Me.”

ArrivalBecause of their demonic natures, their lives and deaths are inauspicious. Returning after death, this brings them into situations with unfortunate families of evil people, where they will reap what they have sown.

Some of demonic natures who are not overtly hateful, cruel and vile, take the form of a kind of shallow apathy. They have no real interest in others, the planet, the lives of people or innocent creatures. They say, “There’s nothing we can do about it. We just have to accept these things.” Instead, they indulge in a morass of “many confused imaginings.” Looking for something to do, and trying to make themselves feel something, they seek experiences provided by other people, or they become addicted to sensual pleasures. They are dead inside. Their idea of “deep” is completely superficial and produces nothing of value or merit.

“Let the dead bury the dead.” —  Lord Jesus

The Way of the World in the Kali Yuga

Kali Yuga – the darkest of the four ages

This is the way of our world today. With all the positive things our technology has brought us, it has come at a huge price — an overall disinterest in anything other than self. I have noticed this even with my posts. When a title has the word “self” in it, there are more viewers. When a title has the word “God” in it, there are few.

People seem to be enamored with themselves. We are supposedly adults, but we are really only two years old — with two year old emotions and behaviors (i.e., all or nothing, black or white, etc.). We bonk the other kid over the head who tries to play in our sandbox, and we think we’re hot stuff. We are small children in big bodies. We must grow up. We must grow into our adult bodies and become the mature adults we were meant to be. 

If you think I am just being some kind of religious zealot, think again. I challenge you to look at what is going on around you, and in the world, with an objective eye. Just watch, notice, pay attention, and you will see it, too. And once you have seen it, you will be shocked to the core, and motivated to grow more — for your own sake, and for the sake of everyone else — and be welcomed into the fellowship of those who have seen what you have seen.  

This observation should not be taken up with judgement, or with efforts to change other people. Your own forward growth and enlightenment will take care of them. Free and conscious choice is a power that exists within each person, and should never be violated. To violate this, even with good intentions, can only send us backward. 

There is only one thing you can do to help: Upgrade your present commitment to improve your life (no matter how great it is now), increase your spiritual knowledge and practice and advance yourself.

Everything you do affects everyone else. 

Please enjoy this very good read:  “Gita: The Unparalleled Manual of Social Harmony” by Ved Prakash Saxena.

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