The Diamond Shloka – Bhagavad Gita, Ch 18, Vs 64-66

Absolute (unconditional) Surrender to Absolute God will get you to Absolute God
God and Me

Absolute God, whether personal God or the abstract Absolute, is Absolute Goodness, Love and Happiness.

64
Now hear Me again, concerning this most profound secret of all. You are certainly loved by Me, so what I speak is for your benefit:

Now, because you are still contemplating this secret teaching, out of love for you, Lord Krishna is going to try again to bring it home and awaken you, because it is for your benefit to know it. 

65
Devoted to Me, always thinking of Me, surrender to Me, and offer pranamas to Me, and you will doubtless come to Me. This is my promise to you, for you are dear to Me.

“Offer pranamas to Me” means ‘to bow down to, to make obeisance to, make reverential salutation and show adoration’. This is pranama, ‘bowing down in respectful salutation to God and Guru. If you are able to do this, you are ready and able to surrender to God in meditation (Surrender Meditation: shaktipat kundalini yoga).

The purpose of pranama is to increase your ability to surrender to God.

The Diamond Shloka

(shloka – verse in duple meter) 

Now we come to the Diamond Shloka. It is so called because it is the verse within this Gita that is the KEY to everything Lord Krishna has been teaching Arjuna (and us), and all of it is contained in this one single verse:

66
Abandon all dharmas and take refuge in Me alone, and I will give you freedom from all evils. Fear not!

  • Evils – misfortunes and sorrows
  • Fear not, also means, ‘grieve not’.
  • Freedom is from the Sanskrit word, moksha, which has to do with being free of recurring cycles of death, rebirth, and the influences of the past (samsara).

SurrenderAlternate translation:
Abandon all ‘shoulds’ and surrender only to Me, and I will liberate you from all misfortunes and sorrows. Fear not!

  • Misfortunes – The word for misfortunes means just about everything from suffering to bad luck.  

“Abandon all dharmas and surrender only to Me.”
In this verse, the word dharma is plural — rules, laws, duties, responsibilities, etc. This suggests that we should take the meaning of dharmas to be concerned with the laws of man, rather than with the singular law of Truth, the Absolute.

Relying on ‘shoulds’ is not surrender, renunciation, or sacrifice, and does not lead to the highest Yoga (Divine Union), or to liberation. It is only through surrender “to Me”, Absolute God, that one can reach God/Truth, become liberated and freed of all misfortunes, sorrows and fears.

SurrenderLord Krishna is also using dharmas to get across the idea of how to meditate correctly by suggesting what not to do: You do not to try to control your meditation or try to do it yourself, but you leave everything to God.

In this kind of meditation, in the secured privacy of your meditation room, you are to abandon all rules and surrender only to Absolute God/Truth.

  • You do not surrender to anything but God. 
  • You do not surrender to anything that comes up in your meditation.
  • You do not concern yourself with what you think your meditation should be like. 
  • You abandon any sense of doing anything yourself, however much it may seem to you that you have caused everything.

Abandon all ‘shoulds’ and surrender to me only, and I will give you freedom and deliver you from all misfortunes, fears and sorrows.

Only

“Only” means that your surrender should never be mixed with anything that is not Absolute God — no matter what your word is for That. 

After forty years of surrender yoga sadhana, I still catch myself falling into this trap. It’s that easy. I will give you an example:

I am in a dither about what is coming, and it isn’t pretty. I can see ahead to it, and find no solution for it. I can either be a worry-wart and get stressed out trying to find some kind of solution, or I can surrender to God completely. I choose God. And here is where it gets interesting:

My mind pictures me dying of some exotic disease in the streets of Phoenix, friendless and alone, with not a penny to my name, and talking to God and asking for help that never comes. It is such a subtle thing, hanging out in the peripheral vision of the mind, that at first I don’t realize what is happening. Then, the minute I look, it slips away as something else takes it place, and I miss its message. But sometimes I miss it because of correct reasoning. Two and two makes four. Who can disregard correct reasoning, right?

No, not right. I have had so many experiences of being at the edge of the abyss and about to fall in, when God steps in saying, “Well, here we are again, my dear,” lifts the situation, parks it on the side of the road, and takes me Home for a visit.

Yet this still small voice of reason continues to try to exert itself. What is happening is that this world is so dense, thick and demanding, that it seems to be the only reality. The mind says, “Well shucks, All is God, so how can I miss?” And even though one understands that this Relative (‘inferior’) aspect of God is something they most certainly should not surrender to, it is easy to miss seeing it for what it is. 

It is possible to surrender to something without meaning to. There is no awareness of having surrendered. No choice was consciously made to surrender. In this case, it is not a matter of tricky reasoning or intention, or even mentally based coercion. I suspect that, in this case, one is so conditioned to adapt to the wishes and demands of other’s, that it is automatic. One just gives in.  

So between tricky reasoning, inappropriate intention, and mentally based coercion, there lies this unconscious giving-in to circumstances. Anyone can fall into any of these, or any combination of them, at any time — in the meditation room, or in daily life.     

These two verses are what has saved me every time:  

Earth, water, fire, air, ether, mind, intelligence and ego constitute the divisions of My eightfold material nature (relative). Such is My inferior nature, but otherwise know My Highest nature (absolute) by which all life is sustained.  — Chapter 7, verses 4-5.

Now do you see why I refer to the God we surrender to in meditation as Absolute God? This distinction is crucial. You do not surrender to the “All Is God” kind of God, but ONLY to Absolute God.

I hope that sharing this with you will help you to remember this critical distinction concerning Absolute God, and surrender ONLY to That. No matter how you think of God, or what name you give It, or whether you conceive of God as personal or impersonal, never, never, never surrender to anything other than Absolute God.

You (absolute) are a god in a body made of God being human (relative).

  • Relative – subject to change; existing only in relation to something else; having characteristics only in comparison to something else; something whose existence is dependent on something else.

This is what you do not surrender to: people, places, things, circumstances, situations, or beings of any kind, even spirits, guides, angles, etc., however divine they may be. 

  • Absolute – unchanging; independent; having unrestricted power; not qualified or diminished in any way; not subject to any limitation; existing independently and not in relation to anything else, or dependent on anything else; Ultimate Reality, God.

This is what you consciously choose to surrender to: Absolute God Only.

Namaste (I bow to the divine one that you really are),
Durga Ma
durgama.com
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Attaining Godhood, Part 2 – Bhagavad Gita, Ch 18, Vs 57-59

Embraced by God

.Attaining Godhood, Part 2

Previously:
Even though he performs many actions, he is surrendered to Me, thus attaining the realm of the eternal Imperishable Abode, by My Grace. — Verse 56

57
Relying on this Knowledge of Yoga, surrender all actions to Me. With Me as the Highest, and always thinking of Me, you will always be absorbed in Me.

“Always thinking of Me”: The word for ‘thinking’ is from the Sanskrit, chitta. Chitta is the stuff the mind is made of — pure consciousness. At this point your consciousness is purified and you begin to think of God all the time.

“Relying on this Knowledge of Yoga” suggests that even merely through rational intelligence (buddhi), one can hold God as the Highest goal, surrender all actions to God, and be absorbed into God (yoga). The teachings given in this Gita have shown us what we must do to reach this point. Now that we are here, it is only natural that we rely on this knowledge of Yoga, because we know it works. 

“With Me as the Highest” means with God as the highest goal. God is Krishna, who is Purushottama, Absolute God, and this is That to which we aspire.

“Surrender all actions to Me” By knowing that all actions are not your own, but are merely Nature in action, you easily and gladly leave everything to God/Truth. 

“You will always be absorbed in Me” Because your consciousness is always absorbed in Krishna, it is always absorbed in God, and your state is the same as That. 

58
Thus always conscious of Me, you will overcome all obstacles by My Grace. But if out of ego (ahamkara) you do not listen, you will perish.

Krishna and Radha“You will overcome all obstacles by My Grace,” means that all obstacles encountered are now God’s to deal with. That God deals with them, is God’s Grace. This is not an action of God’s any more than it is yours, but it is God’s grace, God’s kind benevolence.

The overcoming of obstacles is a matter of getting in sync with God/Truth, so you might say that God/Truth approves and Grace is the result. You don’t deal with obstacles because your state is one in which you are not a doer of actions. So even when it may look like you are involved in an action for the purpose of eliminating an obstacle, it is God’s Grace at work, not you.

God approves and Grace ensues.

“But if out of ego you do not listen, you will perish.” The doer-ego is your nemesis. It will try to take the credit or the blame for any action, however great or small, whether for good or ill. Attending to this will get you nowhere and stop your progress. Then when you leave your body at death, you will find yourself waiting in line for a return performance. You will not achieve that realm of the Eternal. 

  • Ego (ahamkara) – believing that you are the doer of actions.

59
If you resort to ego and rationalize, “I shall not fight,” your resolve will be in vain, for your own nature will compel you.

This is where this Gita began: with Arjuna becoming reluctant, and then adamant, about not fighting this war to regain his rightful place of rulership of his own kingdom … because family and friends might get hurt or go away. And indeed this is something that will come up for any sincere seeker — friends and family will criticize you, call you crazy, accuse you of being selfish and indulgent and hurting them (you’re not; you are actually helping them but they can’t see it). 

During this chapter we found that, although Arjuna was in disagreement with Lord Krishna who had urged him to take up this challenge, all his complaints revealed to us that he was already in possession of True Knowledge without realizing it.

This is like most of us. Every one our reasons for not going forward are loaded with messages suggesting the very opposite of what is being taught in this Gita. We resist these teachings with innumerable and perfectly rational excuses. Then things start coming up that make it impossible for us to go forward with it. 

Once you awaken to your Inherent Knowing, you will realize that these teachings are True. You will notice that they feel somehow familiar to you, and you will stop resisting. At this point you will let go of your concerns about friends, family and society in general, and you will get on with finding your guru and moving forward … no matter what. It is inevitable, “for your own nature will compel you.”

You already know everything. You have but to learn what you know.

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

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

The Road to Success

45
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.
Gandhi
Mahatma Gandhi

46-47
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.

48
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.

49
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
durgama.com