Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 2, Vs 33-36

You have two life purposes. One is the same for everyone, the other is unique to you.

If you will not undertake this rightful challenge, avoiding your own dharma and glory, you will gain only misfortune and harm.

“your own dharma”: svadharma — (sva, one’s own; dharma, natural characteristic). Your svadharma is your natural purpose, ability, talent, gift. Your svadharma is what you are best suited for, and would naturally do best.

In verse 32, Krishna said to Arjuna that, as a Kshatriya (warrior), by taking up the battle he could attain heaven and happiness. Now he is telling him what will happen if he doesn’t: He could come to harm.

In today’s society, many people work a job for someone else to the point of complete dependency, settling for being a servant to someone else’s cause for money and ‘benefits’, doing something that has nothing to do with their svadhama. They are self-deceived, living in denial of their own denial. I think it is safe to say that they are not happy people.

Self-reference: I previously suggested that you self-reference on whether or not you are performing your svadharma in your life. If you haven’t done this, this is a reminder to do so. The idea is to find your way to the best possible conditions for having the best possible life. This begins with determining your svadharam.

34 – 36
Also, everyone will forever speak ill of you, and for a well-respected person, disgrace is worse than death.

Great warriors will think that you withdraw from battle due to fear, and among those by whom you have been held in high esteem, you will be seen as a coward.

Unfit and hostile people will speak ill of you and deride your ability. What greater hardship can there be than this?

The point that Krishna is making is that Arjuna is not going to like his life if he abandons his svadharma

Whatever happens, we should not give up our purpose, our svadharma, because doing so would make us miserable. In the second paragraph of the commentary on verse 33 above, I insulted practically everyone on Earth for doing just that. I was just writing, not thinking much about what I was saying, and as a result, I have proved Lord Krishna’s point!

The subject is the performance our svadharma, but what does that mean? Presumably, what we want and what we have the ability to do well, naturally go together. So figuring this out shouldn’t be all that difficult. But if you are not one of those rare mortals who know this practically from birth, it can be very difficult.

It is easy to say that we all have the same svadharma which is to seek God/Truth. This is certainly true, but in what context do we seek this? This is where our svadharma comes in. If we seek, do spiritual practices, work at something to make a living based on our svadharam, we will do well. Outside of that context, we will probably not do well. So we need to know what it is, for it is said…

Better one’s own dharma done poorly, than another man’s done well.

It is probably fair to assume that your natural abilities and what you want will go hand in hand, so check what you think you want against your natural abilities, then align what you want with what you do so that you can be successful. If this doesn’t work out to your satisfaction, consider that you may not know what you want.

Some of us do not know our svadharma, so how do we find out what that is? We may think we know, because we think we know what we want, but do we really? Having gotten side-tracked by other things we thought we had to do in order to manifest what we want, without realizing it we got led in other directions, over and over again, until we forgot what it was that we wanted to do with our lives in the first place. If you feel this may be the case for you, and if you want to live your life with the most happiness possible, you must get to the bottom of this. I have written the sixth Remote Academy course, Design Your Life, for this purpose. 

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

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Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 2, Vs 28-32

Life and Death and Heaven 

28 – 29 
Beings are such that their beginnings are non-manifest, their middles are manifest and their ends are non-manifest again, so why worry?

Someone experiencing this, amazed and full of wonder, tells another who hears of it and is amazed, but even though he has heard about it he cannot know it.

“Someone experiencing this” — ‘this’ refers to the above and previous verses of this chapter.

Self-reference: You cannot know Truth by hearing about it (or reading about it), but only through your own ‘direct experience‘. Direct experience can be had for a brief moment with the use of certain techniques*, or through spontaneous samadhi attained in Surrender Meditation (shaktipat kundalini yoga, sahaja yoga, natural meditation).

The one in the body is eternally inviolable in the body of all, Bharata. Therefore, you do not deserve to be compelled to lament any born being.

“The one in the body” is the ’embodied one’ as described earlier. It cannot be slain, cannot die, cannot be harmed, and cannot harm.

“in the body of all”:  This has two meanings: (1) What is said is true for everyone, and (2) what you really are is not located somewhere, but is everywhere. As a non-physical individual, you have no limitations, so you are not limited by space or time.

In other writings, I have talked about our connectedness through our sameness as divine, perfect, non-physical individuals, but this verse demonstrates yet another way in which we are all connected: What each of us really is, is this unlimited, all-pervasive individual. We each ‘wear’ a body made up of everyone. And because we each constitute everyone else’s body, everything we think, say, or do, affects them. Conversely, everything everyone else thinks, says or does, affects us. The way this plays out is determined by the order of our original connection, our original conscious awareness of each other.

Bharata — Krishna is once again referring to Arjuna as Bharata, ‘constantly-knowing’ in the sense of knowing Truth. We all already know Truth, whether we are aware of it or not. Enlightenment is simply becoming aware of what we already know.

Self-reference:  Which of these describes you? (1) Constantly engaged in acquiring knowledge, (2) constantly knowing Truth/God but not realizing that you know It, or (3) enlightened.

“you do not deserve to be compelled to lament any born being” — “to be compelled” are my own words interjected to clarify the statement. Otherwise, we would be left with, “you do not deserve to lament any born beings”, but Krishna is trying to spare you of sorrow, not blame you for an error. He is trying to help you to eliminate errors altogether.

Also, considering your own dharma, you deserve not to feel compelled to hesitate. Indeed, anything superior to battle for a Kshatriya is not known.

Once again my interjection, “‘not to feel compelled’ to hesitate” satisfies the Sanskrit meaning. Krishna is urging Arjuna to get on with it and ignore his compulsions.

“Kshatriya” — A warrior. Kshatriya means ‘to give protection from harm’.

“your own dharma”The word dharma means ‘the way things really are’. The Sanskrit is svadharma, which refers to one’s own personal dharma — your own special condition, the way you really are; your essential quality, unique ability or talent, what is good and right for you to utilize in your life. Ultimately, everyone’s svadharma is spiritual in nature. Meanwhile, we do the best we can.

Self-reference:  One does what must be done in life that is in accordance with one’s svadharma. Arjuna is a warrior. What are you? To consider your own dharma, look in these four basic categories: Are you a (1) God-person, (2) a protector or leader, (3) a business person, merchant or artisan, etc., or (4) do you serve someone else.

Better one’s own dharma done poorly than another man’s done well.
— Bhagavad Gita

Which category do you fit best? What is your special gift, talent or ability? Are you honoring that dharma? Or are you an enlightened or liberated God-person living an exclusively spiritual life without exception (without doing other things, such as working a job, running for office, etc.)?

And if by good fortune they should gain the door to heaven, happy are the Kshatriyas to encounter such a battle.

“the door to heaven” — In the battlefield, a king or warrior fighting in defense against another king, is said to achieve heaven upon death. Heaven refers to the paradise where the virtuous are transferred until the time comes for re-entering earthly bodies.

Self-reference:  Do you defend your ‘kingdom’ from being taken over by another? In order to answer this question, ask yourself, What is my ‘kingdom’?. HINT from chapter two, verse 15:

All activities of the mind vanished, I sit happily as the ruler within the city whose gates are nine [the body], not acting at all, nor causing action.
— Lord Krishna, Bhagavad Gita, ch 5, vs 13

This is also a good time to remember what this ‘battle’ is. Do you remember?

Durga Ma

*  “certain techniques”:  Enlightenment Intensives — Click on “Jack Wexler” to see an excellent video on Enlightenment Intensives. To find an intensive near you, click on “Contacts Around the World”. More links can be found here — scroll down to “Enlightenment Intensive Contacts”.

Surrender Meditation — Meditate your way to enlightenment: Schedule a Shaktipat Intensive or apply for Remote Shaktipat.

Bhagavad Gita — All installments of chapter one in one place on your computer. 58 pages, instant download, $10.