The Object of Knowledge – Bhagavad Gita, Ch 13, Vs 13-19

Cosmic Form 10

13 – 14
I shall now tell you about the Object of Knowledge. With this knowledge you can attain immortality. It is the beginningless Supreme Brahman, which is said to be neither existent nor non-existent, with hands and feet everywhere, with eyes, mouths and faces everywhere, and hearing everywhere in the world. Brahman surrounds all. 

  • Brahman – Absolute God/Truth.
  • The Object of Knowledge – Brahman (Absolute God) is the object, or objective, of Knowledge.
  • Beginningless Supreme Brahman (Absolute God), which is said to be neither existent nor non-existent  That which is not non-existent constitutes the Real.

“With hands and feet everywhere.” Lord Krishna is demonstrating that all the physical-material world is surrounded by Brahman, Absolute God. Not only the senses and their powers (i.e. ears and hearing, eyes and seeing), but the ‘organs of action’ as well (i.e. hands and feet).

“Everywhere” and “surrounds.”  By specifically suggesting the physical aspects of the senses and the mind, we are being reminded that, even though what we really are is not our bodies, Brahman is behind this physical-material phenomena that we all share as human beings. Now we wonder why this is so important to know, so we look at their functions:

  • hands – doing
  • feet – going
  • eyes – seeing
  • ears – hearing
  • mouths – speaking
  • heads – thinking

The five organs of perception, the five organs of action and the brain, have become manifest in the material world from powers we already have as Divine Individuals.

You have eyes because you can see, you have hands because you can act, you have a brain because you have a mind, and you have a mind because you have the ability to be conscious.

All these physical-material aspects of our bodies have functions that they perform. They all do something: The organs of sense, perceive. The organs of action, act. The mind knows, remembers and thinks. An now we are back to the eleven senses as physical manifestations: five organs of sense, five organs of action, and the brain.

The Sanskrit is sarva (all) āvṛitya (enclosing or hiding, and turning or cycling) and tiṣhṭhati (continuing). The meaning of this is that it is Brahman, Absolute God, that is hidden to us, and is behind the continuing cycles of this phenomenon we call Life and the World. Brahman is not making this happen; it spontaneously flows from the Absolute because of our relationship with each other.

As Beings, we are all going around in circles because Absolute God is hidden from us, and yet what is hidden, is hidden because of Absolute God. So what are we to do?

The very thing we are after is hiding itself from us by its being right here — it seems illusive but it is staring us in the face.

Cosmic Form 1

15  Even though It appears as the senses, It is devoid of senses. Indifferent to everything, It maintains everything, and although devoid of gunas, It experiences the gunas. 

Alternate translation:
It perceives sense objects without any senses, is not attached to anything even while maintaining everything, and though free of gunas, it rules the gunas.

Put like this, what we see is self-mastery: “You perceive sense objects without their organs, you are not attached to anything even while maintaining everything, and though you are free of the gunas, you rule the gunas (they no longer rule you).”

  • Gunas – the three modes, or qualities, of Nature that influence us: goodness (sattva), passion (rajas) and darkness (tamas).

16  It is inside and outside of all beings, whether moving or still. It is remote and also near, and It is incomprehensible because of its subtlety.

This is also true of You. You are in your body and outside it, and even in the bodies of other beings.

  • Subtlety – ‘so delicate or precise as to be difficult to comprehend; arranged in an ingenious and elaborate way.’

17  Maintaining and pervading beings, invisible and yet abiding in beings as if divided, It is the Object of Knowledge.  

As a Being, you seem to be separate from other Beings, but the Real You is not.

  • Object of Knowledge – the object, or objective, that ought to be known: Brahman, Absolute God.

18  Just as the sun and the light of the sun are said to be beyond darkness, it is the knowledge of the Object of Knowledge that is attainable through the True Knowledge residing in the hearts of all.

What you really are knows everything.

  • Heart – hṛidi, the heart as the seat of feelings and emotions, the interior, or core, of the being.

19  Thus is described in brief, the Field, Knowledge, and the Object of Knowledge. My devotee for whom this is realized, attains My state. 

Lord Krishna concludes this string of several verses by reminding us that this knowledge is the Highest Knowledge, and if we can grasp it, it will bring us into realization of, and identity with, His state. This state is what He called in the beginning of this chapter, Immortality.

  • My state – Lord Krishna’s state of divinity as Imperishable Absolute God, Absolute Goodness.

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

Spiritual Leadership

From Durga Ma and Anandi

Your life has a purpose. Do you know what it is?

You have a very important life purpose that will have an impact on the world. This purpose is filled with joy, abundance and happiness, and is literally waiting for you right now.

Put the knowledge of meditation into action to catapult your personal and spiritual growth into Mastery, and share it with the world. Become a Spiritual Leader

The fulfillment of your purpose as a Spiritual Leader will demonstrate your own true nature, and your True Self will emerge. Aligned with your True Self in everyday life, you become a leader who exemplifies the possibility of sustainable abundance, fulfillment and joy. 

Anandi
Anandi
  • Discover and live your Life Purpose
  • Make an impact in the world
  • Stop energy leaks and overwhelm
  • Experience life as joyful, abundant and fulfilling

Questions? Want to know more?

Schedule a complimentary discovery session with Anandi: anandibhagavan@gmail.com or call 860-899-4429

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

The Whole World Is One Family

Avatara – Bhagavad Gita, Ch 9, Vs 11-14

“When I assume human form, the ignorant deride Me, not knowing My highest existence as Maheśhvara. The ignorant, whose hopes, actions and knowledges are ineffectual, are harmful, as they cling like demons to whatever enthralls them. But those Great Souls who have attained My divine nature through their singleminded devotion to Me, know Me as the origin of all creation, the Imperishable Absolute. Always engaged in yoga, their continuous practice and devotion glorifies Me. Worshipping Me thus, they are united with Me.” — Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 9, Verses 11-14 

Lord Krish
Lord Krishna, Avatara of Vishnu, Sustainer of LIfe

11
When I assume human form, the ignorant deride Me, not knowing My highest existence as Maheśhvara.  

  • Ignorant – at a loss about, stupefied, bewildered, perplexed, confused, a fool.
  • Deride – treat as unworthy of serious consideration, dismiss, despise, disesteem, treat with contempt, look down on. 

Lord Krishna is an avatara, a temporary human manifestation of an eternally existent God. As a manifestation, an avatar looks and acts like a human being, but by calling Himself Maheshvara, Lord Krishna is telling us that He is actually Absolute God, even though He has taken up residence in a human body in the relative realm of this world.

  • Maheśhvara – Great God, great lord, sovereign. From maha (great, mighty, strong) and ishvara (another name of God meaning master or lord). Maheśhvara is God in the highest sense, Absolute God (See “God is One and Two” regarding the nature of God).

The Absolute is the source of creation but not an acting agent. Absolute God does nothing at all, yet an avatara comes to earth from time to time to take bodily form for a reason. According to the Gita, the purpose of an avatara is to mitigate the prevalence of suffering. Aside from any specific mission, an avatara’s mere presence alone is a tonic to the world. 

“The ignorant deride Me”
An avatara is usually not known for what he or she is, but is hated, insulted, completely missed by the ordinary person. The ordinary person sees only the body and is thus unable to recognize an avatara.  

No one who isn’t one can recognize one.

There are descriptions of avataras, but they are not correct but apply to the Divine Bodies of yogis who have succeeded in Yoga. An avatara will fit all of the following descriptions, even though they are not always easy to see:

  • Unusual circumstances surround their birth
  • They are born with an unusual degree of awareness of their surroundings
  • They are born with an identifying mark on the body
  • They do not see the body as the self, but as a place to be
  • An avatara has genius and multiple talents and abilities
  • An avatara has strong empathy, awareness of the suffering in the world, and takes on that suffering to mitigate it
  • They remember coming to this world, and they remember the experience
  • They come with a mission
  • They have special powers not possessed by most humans, but rarely expose them

12
The ignorant, whose hopes, actions and knowledges are ineffectual, are harmful, as they cling like demons to whatever enthralls them.

Lord Krishna is shedding some light on the ordinary person’s inability to discern an avatara by further describing ignorance: Even though what they want, what they do and what they know are ineffectual and harmful, they continue to cling to them. 

Alternate translation
The ignorant, those whose hopes, actions and knowledges are useless, are seduced by attaching demonic entities that delude them and cause harm.

There are thought to be many levels of existence, some better than our own, and some worse. Entities of the lower worlds are considered to be demonic in nature, and have a vested interest in bringing us down to their own level.

I’m not talking about ghouls and ghosts that go bump in the night, but entities that can attach themselves to humans and cause trouble. They particularly like deterring people from any spiritual progress toward liberation and knowing God/Truth. They do this primarily by seducing humans to chase after the glitter of the attractions the senses provide. They have enough knowledge to know that this will work.

This is not a subject that should be dwelt upon, but it should also not be ignored or denied, for secrecy only gives a thing more power.

13-14
But those Great Souls who have attained My divine nature through their singleminded devotion to Me, know Me as the origin of all creation, the Imperishable Absolute. 
Always engaged in yoga, their continuous practice and devotion glorifies Me. Worshipping Me thus, they are united with Me.

Now it appears that not every one of us is ignorant or chasing after glitter that is not gold. There are Great Souls among us. These two verses give us a picture of these Great Souls: They know the Absolute to be the origin of creation, and they are single-mindedly devoted to the Absolute and to the constant God-practice of yoga. Glorifying God through this practice, they are with God, sitting at the right hand of God.

  • Glorify – to make clear by one’s actions; to venerate, worship, and be grateful to, etc. 

What Lord Krishna has taught Arjuna, this ‘profound secret’, glorifies God, making God/Truth more clear to Arjuna (and to us). This ‘secret yoga‘ is a demonstration of gratitude that goes beyond the norm, and is the worship that brings one into union with the worshipped: God, Truth, the Absolute. It is the tonic of the avatara mitigating the sorrows of the world.

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


Shaktipat Intensive

Saturday, May 27, Phoenix, Arizona

Experiential Meditation Seminar 11:00 AM – 2:00 PM – $50
Shaktipat Diksha & Initiation 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM – Optional

Register NOW
Space is very limited

Location:
Creative Living Fellowship, Emerson Room

6530 North 7th Street, Phoenix, AZ 85014
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Bhagavad Gita & Mindfulness Classes

Monday evening classes with Durga Ma beginning March 13

Reserve or take a chance and drop-in.
Click a class for reservations and more information.
Bhagavad Gita – Messages from God to You about You
6:30-7:30 PM
Mindfulness – Life Mastery and Meditation
7:30-8:30
$10 per class

Location:
Creative Living Fellowship, Emerson Room

6530 North 7th Street, Phoenix, AZ 85014


VII:4-7 God is One and Two

God is One and Two, and herein lies a paradox (or two): There is only one God. God is manifold. God is both Relative and Absolute. But such opposites do co-exist without conflict. Lord Krishna explains… 

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

I have quoted these two verses before in other articles because they answer so many questions and resolve so much confusion about God, Truth, Creation, ourselves and others. In the previous verses, Lord Krishna introduced these teachings as being the Highest Wisdom. 

Our human perspective causes us to think of God as if God were some superior Being that is better and more powerful than any of us. We hear that God created the earth and are awed at such power.

While it is entirely possible that there is such an individual (God has no limitations), or even that there is a Divine Individual for every star in Cosmos that could be logically called “God” or “a god”, this isn’t the whole of the story. The whole story is much bigger, and may be difficult to comprehend. For this reason, we have myths, legends and stories, such as the Adam and Even story. There are multiple versions of these stories, all teaching the same things.

God is One and Two. When you understand that there are two aspects of God/Truth, things begin to clear up. In chapter two this was explained at a personal level as ‘the embodied one’ and ‘the being’. For you personally, the embodied one is you as you Really are: a Divine Individual that is never born and never dies. What you are being however, is human. The first of these two is Absolute, the second is Relative.

  • Absolute – Unchanging, complete, not subject to any limitation, unconditional, unlimited power, independent, not relative to anything.
  • Relative – Existing in relationship to something else, comparable, subject to limitations, dependent.

In these two verses, verse 4 defines the Relative, which is what we humans are able to perceive—earth, water, fire, air, ether, mind, intelligence and ego. Verse 5 then defines the Absolute, which is beyond all these, and not so easily understood, even conceptually. It is this Absolute God that we are driven to seek, whether we realize it or not. And it is our destiny to find It.

6-7
(6) Understand this: I am the womb of all living beings. I am their coming to be and their coming not to be. (7) Nothing superior to Me exists, Arjuna. On Me all of creation is strung like pearls on a thread.

These two verses continue with the description of the Absolute, as the Highest nature of God. In verse 6, Lord Krishna is saying that He is the cause of life as we know it, and that He is also what ends it (the Relative). Verse 7 is reassuring—there is something Higher that is behind it all that is eternal (the Absolute). 

Remember this?  Earlier, we learned that the womb, or source, of Creation and the dissolution of it, was female, Hiranyagarbha (‘Golden Womb’). Later, after leaving the remnants of the Golden Age behind, the source of Creation became known as male: Brahmā, and later Prajāpati (‘Lord of born beings’).

You as human, with a body, thoughts and feelings, consisting of earth, water, fire, air, ether, mind, intelligence and ego, is you as a being (Relative).

When you cease being a being, the Real You in all your Divine Glory is revealed. And ultimately, as the sainted Paul says in First Corinthians, you attain incorruptible perfection—“the corruptible becomes incorruptible” (Absolute).

Hence, God is One and Two.

This state cannot be accomplished by belief, by any kind of mental effort, learned knowledge, immense intelligence, insight, direct experience or realization. From chapter three through six, we have Lord Krishna driving home to us that it is the action of yoga (Karma Yoga) that gets us to this point. So now we have chapter seven reminding us of this ultimate aim of yoga.

All that is, is God. Anything that looks like something else is an illusion (not what it seems). This includes the entire relative world we call home. But we are to understand that there is something higher than this that is behind all of creation, a higher aspect of God/Truth that we are missing if we only take it this far—The Absolute, the home of eternal happiness. 

Now we are beginning to see how the Gita teaches us. These concepts are not new, we’ve read them before, but now, as Lord Krishna restates them in different words for his disciple, Arjuna, along with more clues to help him understand, we listen in so we can understand. And we are about to hear more.

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