The Secret of Yoga – Bhagavad Gita, Ch 9, Vs 7

Bhagavad Gita, chapter 9, verse 7:
All beings go into My prakṛiti at the end of a kalpa. At the beginning of a kalpa, I send them forth. 

All beings go into the same state (prakriti) as Lord Krishna at the end of a kalpa. The end of a kalpa could be death. This is in keeping with previous verses, but may also mean something else as well.

If we consider the subject of this chapter, The Yoga of the Royal Secret Science, we must consider this verse in that context and take a look at “prakriti” and “kalpa” with new eyes.

Prakṛti

The original or natural condition of anything; cause, original source, origin, nature, characteristic.

All beings go into their original state, which is the same as Lord Krishna’s state, at the end of a kalpa. Beings, on the other hand, are on the merry-go-round of life and death and are not in Krishna’s state. But He is saying that they go into their original state “at the end of a kalpa.” 

Kalpa

A sacred precept, law, rule or practice. A rule or practice to be observed before any other as one’s first duty. Resolve, determination. Treatment of sickness, manner of curing; the art of medicine. A fabulous period of time  (‘fabulous’ also means ‘wonderful’). A kind of dance. The tree of paradise.

Kalpa is usually translated as ‘a fabulous period of time’. It was used this way earlier in “The Day and Night of Brahma” in reference to the cycle of Ages. At a personal level, and associated with one’s yoga practice, a kalpa is a time period that is small by comparison. Just as the cycle of Ages gradually moves from the iron age to the golden age, so does the yogi experience this microcosmically in his yoga practice. 

kalpa experientially reveals how yoga unfolds as it brings one into this state. For one whose practice is the first duty before any other, a kalpa reveals this knowledge, is healing, and through purification the body becomes a ‘tree of paradise’. 

We must remember that this verse is a continuation of the subject of the Highest Secret, and begin to contemplate it. Here is one way to look at it:

Swami Kripalu, in the dance of surrender, Experiential Meditation
Swami Kripalu in the dance of Surrender Experiential Meditation

All beings go into their original state at the end of a kalpa.

kalpa is a period of time in which, by following one’s first duty to practice yoga constantly with determination, God/Truth is revealed at its culmination, and fulfillment is attained.

This practice, which is a kind of dance, brings about healing, acts as preventative medicine and purifies the body.

Through its repeated practice, the body ultimately becomes a tree of paradise. 

The Secret

The secret of yoga is a practice that brings about all the good things mentioned earlier: it is pleasant, easy to practice and always at hand. It is secret because it is obvious but not understood. In a word, it is Sacrifice, the complete surrender of oneself to God. Through this surrender, all these things come about automatically.

You get what you surrender to.

You may think that you know what surrender is. You may think of it as throwing in the towel, loosing control, even failure. Or you may think of it as letting go, going with the flow, kicking back and relaxing. But these ideas are short of the mark. True surrender as it is meant here, is surrender only to Absolute God, abandoning the role of the doer of actions, and letting God run everything—your body, your mind, your feelings, your personality, your attachments, desires, preconceived ideas, etc.

The secret to successful spiritual practice by any name, is this complete surrender to God. This is a spiritual practice, not an attitude or a belief. It is not practiced in public or in group meditations. It is radical. It is private, secret, hidden. This is because you are not perfect until you are perfect: realigned to the Divine One that you really are. Until then you protect yourself from the imperfections of others, and others from your imperfections. 

This true Surrender is Real Yoga. It naturally and effortlessly brings about the true meditative state (samadhi), union with the Absolute, and liberation from the cycles of death and rebirth. 

All mystical texts have two things in common, one of which is the cloaking of this secret in willful terms. You will not find these teachings on Surrender in other translations.

Why am I revealing this secret now? Because I am guided to do so by those immortal masters I call my Board of Directors, and because Yogeshwar told me to bring back the worship of the Goddess. The masters of this lineage understood the Divine Power of the Feminine, for it is She who initiates this journey. 

I may at some point write more on this subject. Meanwhile, to learn more about this exquisite practice, read Real SurrenderTo get it straight from the horse’s mouth, take the Shaktipat Intensive below.

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

Shaktipat Intensive

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Experiential Meditation Seminar 11:00 AM – 2:00 PM – $50
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Space is very limited

Location:
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6530 North 7th Street, Phoenix, AZ 85014
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Location:
Creative Living Fellowship, Emerson Room

6530 North 7th Street, Phoenix, AZ 85014

9.2-3 Royal Knowledge of the Royal Secret

These translations and commentaries on the Bhagavad Gita unfold from here.

2
This Highest Knowledge is the Highest Secret. It is the greatest means of purification on earth. It is easy to practice, virtuous, pleasant, and imperishable.

Alternate translation:
This Royal Knowledge is the Royal Secret. It is the best means of purification of the body. It is easy to practice, righteous and always at hand.

  • Royal (raja) – The highest authority, the highest teaching.
  • Secret (guhya) – Concealed, hidden or kept secret; private, mysterious, mystical.
  • Imperishable (avyaya) – Always there and unchanging. Also, ‘a woolen soma strainer’. When the soma is purified, it is amrita, the nectar of immortality. The sheep is a non-predatory animal who grazes on what is at hand. This is the standard of the yogi—he is harmless and he accepts what is available. He has surrendered himself to God, is constant in this and doesn’t work for a living, but accepts what comes as God’s grace. This is how the yogi reaches this point.    

One often hears about “yogic secrets”, teachings that are given to very few. Yet here we are, listening to Lord Krishna telling them to Arjuna, one by one—and this isn’t the first time we’ve been made aware of this. But this time Arjuna is going to get the king of all secrets (so of course we are very interested to hear it).

How is this a secret since we are reading it in plain English?

Obviously, all these secrets are not secrets at all in the usual sense, but things that we either take for granted and don’t realize their significance, understand incorrectly, or wouldn’t believe if it was starring us in the face. In this way, they are hidden from us, secret.

No one is trying to hide anything from us. On the contrary, Vyasa went to all the trouble of making this God-Song (Bhagavad Gita) the central jewel of his eighteen-volume epic Mahabharata so that we could read it and discover what we need to truly know the Truth/God.

Now it follows that, if we are to understand what we are reading, we may have to stand on our heads and take new points of view that are unfamiliar to us. If you just try to fit your already existing beliefs and opinions into what you read, you are obviously going to miss the point and not realize the message…the secret. So I will repeat the opening statement in many of my books and courses:

Be willing to be wrong.
Be willing to be right.
Be willing to take different points of view about anything.

If you can do this, you can discover the “secret” that Lord Krishna intends for Arjuna to understand, and get the same perks Arjuna is meant to get.  

3
Those who hold no faith in the dharma of this teaching do not attain Me, but take the path of death and transmigration and are born again, Scorcher of the Foe (Arjuna).

Alternate translation:
Those who have no faith in the rightness of this truth and do not believe Me do not attain Me, but take the deadly rut of successive transmigrations and are made to return, Scorcher of the Foe.

Scorcher of the Foe”
Krishna has said that this (secret) is the greatest purifier on earth, the body, and now calls Arjuna, Scorcher of the Foe, or Parantapa, meaning ‘a high degree of purification by fire’. This purifying fire is prana, as opposed to apana. Normally, purification is managed primarily by apana, the cooling, downward flowing energy in the body. But this is the path of Night, which at death promises return to another mortal life. This is about to change for our hero, Arjuna. 

Lord Krishna is saying that there are those who would not believe what Arjuna is hearing because they are not ready to hear it. In verse 1, He mentions the characteristics of one who is…

Respectful and devoted to Guru, trustworthy, and not of a jealous, covetous, begrudging or resentful nature.

This is a strong statement. If we don’t get with the program we’re going to die and have to come back here again and again until we do. We will not be united with God, but subject to the the fate of our karma. But sooner or later we will all get it and get off this merry-go-round, and be united with God, with each other, in the Imperishable Absolute.

Now, I don’t know about you, but I’m going for it now

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

Ch 9.1 The Most Profound Secret of All Secrets

1
Because I know you will not belittle it, I shall tell you the most profound secret knowledge which having understood, will free you of unrighteousness. 

This dialogue between Krishna and his disciple Arjuna began as the result of Arjuna’s perception of what he was being asked to do as wrong. Lord Krishna is telling him that, if he understands what He is going to tell him now, he will be relieved of this concern.  

  • The Sanskrit for ‘unrighteous’ also means ‘unpleasant, inauspicious and unfortunate.’

“Because I know you will not belittle it” 
Because Arjuna is well-disposed toward Lord Krishna, considers Him as Guru and will believe Him, Lord Krishna trusts him with this knowledge because he has the qualities that demonstrate his readiness to hear it.

  • These qualities are (from the Sanskrit), respectful and devoted to Guru (Krishna), trustworthy and not of a jealous, covetous, begrudging or resentful nature.

I will explain to you the most profound secret knowledge”
Lord Krishna is saying that He will explain it, tell it in a way that Arjuna can understand it. We like hearing this, because we will also be able to understand what he is saying … if we have the qualities mentioned above.

“Profound secret knowledge”
Other translations of ‘profound knowledge’ are ‘highest knowledge’ and ‘knowledge of the true nature of God’. With the word ‘secret’ we conclude that we are in the dark about something important. But we are about to hear this secret because Krishna is going to explain it to Arjuna as we listen in (we will have to listen very carefully). 

  • Secret – Something that is hidden, unknown, or not correctly understood.

Additional clues as to the nature of this secret are found in the Sanskrit. For instance, the word ‘profound’, modifier of the word ‘secret’, also means ‘an ascending node intensified to a high degree’. 

A node is a point at which the amplitude of vibration in a standing wave system is zero. Or you can think of it as the point at which a path intersects with another path, suggesting that this zero-point is neutral—not positive and not negative.

Remember the see-saw you used to play on when you were a child? When one person was up the other person was down, and in the very center of all this activity of going up and down, was a pivotal point from which all this activity emanated and was supported without being in it (not going up and down). 

The Power of Neutral

When I was doing Readings at the bookstore, I was sometimes asked to balance chakras (those energy centers along the spine). I always thought this was strange, this balancing business, because anything that has to be balanced is inevitably going to go out of balance again anyway.

But I would do this in my own way, which was to not try to get them all going around in clockwise rotation as expected, but to move both clockwise and counterclockwise motions to this zero point. This left people with a happy, pleasant and relaxed feeling. If someone was looking for something specific, I would then get the chakra associated with that activity to spin clockwise and they left feeling enthusiastic, inspired and happy.

Much of written Sanskrit teachings on spiritual science are stated in double negatives to suggest this neutrality, rather than ‘positive’. For example, “That which is not non-existent constitutes the Real.”

“Which having understood, will free you of unrighteousness”
Remember that Arjuna has been worried about not doing the right thing by engaging in this battle against the Kurus (‘doers’). Lord Krishna is saying that when he correctly understands what He is telling him, he will be free of this misconception.

The Secret

Now to return to this secret, which has to do with a highly intensified ascending node, which must have to do with something going up in a highly intensified manner…

The node being referred to here is the central energy channel in the body (suṣumṇa nādī, kind and gracious river’) through which the united prana and apana try to rise. Normally, these two polarized energies (positive and negative) are upward and downward flowing respectively, but when they are united (yoga), they are neutralized as opposites and function together as the intensified evolutionary force, kundalini. Kundalini is awake and eager to ascend, from the lowest chakra to the highest, transforming the human you to the perfect and imperishable individual that you really are.

Lord Krishna is telling this secret to Arjuna in an easy to understand manner. Next he will tell him how this is accomplished.

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