How to Attain God – Bhagavad Gita, Ch 12, Vs 8

Lord Buddha
Lord Buddha

The Bhagavad Gita appears in the story of the Mahabharata. It is a conversation between Lord Krishna and his devotee and childhood friend, Arjuna. Listening in, we receive the teachings of Lord Krishna as he relates them to Arjuna.

The subject of this chapter is Devotion.

This post addresses mind, thought, buddhi, consciousness and ego, and how to remain in God.


8
With your mind fixed solely on Me, your power of discernment will follow and cause you to stay with Me henceforth. Of this there is no doubt.

When your Attention is fixed on only one thing, your power of discernment (buddhi) will become fixed there, too. With this power anchored in God, your consciousness (citta) is anchored in God.

“Your power of discernment”

Your power of discernment is the part of the mind called buddhi. When you put your Attention on God, this power goes with it. Buddhi knows a good thing when it sees it. In this case, this is God/Truth, Lord Krishna. Once situated in God, buddhi has served its divine purpose. 

  • Buddhi – Intelligence, reason, discernment, judgement, differentiation; the ability to comprehend and understand.
    .
  • Attention – The fluid substance of consciousness that flows from you to things that you can be conscious of.

The mind collects and stores things that you have become conscious of. We call the feature of the mind that does the collecting, Attention. This function usually involves the senses, but here, Lord Krishna is telling Arjuna that it is the Attention itself that is the key. It is by this power that you can know God.

The Four Parts of the Mind

These four parts of the “mind” are not separated by walls. They are forms of consciousness that make up the mind, beginning with the subtlest form of energy, chitta. 

  1. Chitta – Consciousness, the stuff of which the mind is made
  2. Buddhi – Intelligence, reason and discrimination
  3. Manas – Mind, storage and thinking
  4. Ahamkara – Ego, the self taking the role of the doer of action

Consciousness is the subtlest of energies. It is everywhere in everything. Consciousness itself does nothing, but ‘moves’ by means of Attention

Attention is the fluid substance of consciousness (chitta). Where the Attention goes, this energy goes with it.

Buddhi (intelligence) is connected with consciousness (chitta) and therefore, with Attention. It is a manifestation of your power as a Divine Individual to perceive what the Attention delivers, and to know God/Truth. 

Manas is the part of the mind that stores this information and uses it for thinking. Lord Krishna is urging us not to rely on the mind (manas), but to use the Attention for the purpose of bringing the power of consciousness and buddhi, and consequently you, to Him. It’s a free ride.

Anything can get into the mind via Attention, but it is buddhi that judges its worth.

When your Attention is drawn into God, you are also drawn into God. Jesus said, “I and my Father are One.” Now we understand how ‘oneness’ with God takes place. This is what the Buddha achieved by this very means, and why he is called Buddha.Lord Buddha

Buddha means Awake. A buddha is one who is enlightened, has achieved knowledge of Truth, is liberated, and knows and can reveal the means of attaining this state.

Mind

We have come across the word ‘mind’ before, once as buddhi (intelligence) and once as chitta (consciousness), and now we have this new word for mind: manas. Manas is the thinking mind, that part of the mind where all the contents brought in by the senses are stored, and where you go to think about them. Manas is the most superficial part of the mind, the easiest to access. 

Buddhi, the function of the mind that is discriminating and makes judgements, can use these ‘memories’ for its own purposes. Buddhi knows what’s what. Buddhi knows the differences among all things.

By now, you have been meditating for a while, and you may have had perceptions and experiences that were direct. ‘Direct’ means that the senses were not involved because they weren’t needed (you will recall our earlier conversation about pratyahara). Now these experiences are stored in your mind, and buddhi knows the difference between these experiences and the other things in the mind’s memory bank that were not gained directly, but via the senses. In this way, buddhi helps us to move forward and evolve spiritually, even though we may be unaware of it.

Spiritual advancement is conducted by buddhi. If buddhi enters into God, you enter into God. Buddhi knows the difference between mental content and Truth, and now, so do you. You will no longer be interested in all that mental content when you have God/Truth. You will choose God every time. If you want “feel-good” experiences, this is for you.

The world can be very demanding and will constantly disrupt this state. This is why yogis (Buddha was a yogi) head for hermitages and caves. The mind becomes a nuisance. You lose your peace again and again. So what will you do? You will either give in to the world and all that clatter, or you will find a way to live that will protect you from losing this state. (Buddha gave a speech under a tree and took off up the mountain.)

Manas

The thinking mind (manas) is like a little child constantly tugging at its mother and never settling down or becoming quiet. Using the mind (manas) to reach God has to be the most difficult path imaginable. It is almost impossible to quiet the mind. It is a part of nature, so it is always moving. Only the predominance of sattvas (smoothly flowingness) will bring any peace. So we must rely on something more powerful than the mind to reach God. And herein lies a dilemma:

Westerners seem to worship the mind, rely on the mind, believe in the mind, and some even consider it to be God, Spirit, the Divine. (In a way, this is true, but it is non-specific and non-Absolute.) Even in Yoga, the mind is excessively adulated. This is a mistake. Not because the mind is bad, but because it is its nature to be active.

Any technique you use to try to tame the mind, uses the mind, which makes it even busier. However much a person doing this believes that he has succeeded in quieting the mind, the most that can be achieved this way, is to bring the mind into a sattvic state. In this Bhagavad Gita, “intelligent mind” (Drona) is a main character fighting on the side of the enemy, and he was killed. Worshipping the mind will always end in disaster, for it can only lead to more mind!

You get what you worship.

Ahamkara

At the core of the mind is the ego, that unenlightened sense of oneself as the doer of action. This core is called, ahamkara, meaning “I do.” This state of “I do” constitutes the will, for ‘doing’ is always motivated by desire. The entire mind, and all its parts, is built around this core.

Krishna has said over and over again to rely on, resort to, surrender to, only Him: Absolute God. Yet people continue to try to meditate using techniques. Techniques require the use of the mind and the will. Some try surrender sadhana for a while and, more often than not, they either combine it with some willful practice, or abandon it altogether. Their need to feel in control must be overwhelming. The solution is to give it up. Give it to Absolute God in meditation by surrendering only to That. 

You get what you surrender to.

“With your mind fixed on Me only, your buddhi will follow and cause you to stay with Me henceforth. Of this there is no doubt.”

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

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Accessing the Abundance of the Field

We exist within a field of unlimited potential. In this field, anything is possible. 

In This Series:

  1. The Golden Womb
  2. The Field
  3. Great Expectations
  4. Accessing the Abundance of the Field 

ACCESSING THE ABUNDANCE OF THE FIELD
Sequel to Great Expectations 

Step 1
Noticing Thoughts 

Start noticing your thoughts. Notice what they are, what they are like, what they feel like, and whether you like them or not. Just watch, and get really, really good at noticing them. If you’re paying attention to your thoughts you will undoubtedly come across some negative ones, but no judgements now, just watch the show for a few days and then go on to step two:

Step 2
Flipping Negative Thoughts

Negative thoughts are thoughts that are inconsistent with the Field.
(See the Characteristics of The Field.)

Notice when a negative thought surfaces, and once you have that negative thought cornered, flip it. Using the principle of opposites, find a positive counterpart to that thought, something that you like that works for you, and dwell on it until it is easy to own.

Flipping is different than using affirmations. Once you get going on noticing negative thoughts, you may discover that there are more than you ever dreamed, and drumming up an affirmation for everything you come across is just not practical. So flip it over and tune in to its positive side. Use positive ideas, feelings, imaging and fantasizing. Anything that works for you.

If this isn’t as easy as pie, you are probably on to one of the culprits in your data bank of negative expectations that is having a negative effect in your life right now. So don’t despair or criticize yourself, pat yourself on the back because, now it’s out in the open and you can do something about it.

Any thought that is not consistent with the
Field is a ‘negative’ thought.

Don’t get concerned about stirring up negatives, because now you know how to flip them, and right now you have bigger fish to catch:

Step 3
Noticing Negative Subconscious Expectations

Our thoughts reflect our subconscious expectations.
(See Subconscious Expectations)

Once you are good at noticing your thoughts, and finding and flipping negative thoughts, start looking for the negative subconscious expectations that lie beneath them.

By noticing negative thoughts, some negative subconscious expectations may automatically get exposed. If this should happen, you may be surprised to find things beginning to shift right away, before you even flip the thought that revealed it.

Any expectation that is not consistent with the
Field is a ‘negative’ expectation.

Negative subconscious expectations are expectations that you don’t like, expectations that you do not want to come to fruition, and of which you have previously been unaware, all or in part. These subconscious negative expectations have been hiding out and influencing your thoughts, and the things that come about in your life. Just noticing them will start to change things, because their primary power to affect your life has been their secrecy, and now they are exposed.

Things that are hidden are far more influential
than things that are not. 

Step 4
Flipping Negative Expectations

Now you can start looking for, and planting, positive expectations to replace the old, negative ones—we don’t want to leave a gaping hole.

Using the same technique you used for flipping negative thoughts, replace any negative expectation you discover, with a positive one. (Notice that I am not calling them ‘subconscious’ any more.)

Once you have determined the new, positive expectation you want to bring to fruition, do something with this positive idea, take some kind of action. Action is always the most effective means of making these things stick. Try affirmations, imagining, fantasizing, tell a friend, write in your journal, talk to yourself about your positive expectation, and even tell your cat or dog. If you come across an expectation that won’t budge, use it to your advantage…

Mary uncoverd a subconscious expectation of poverty. She tracked this back to the poverty in which she was raised, and which coincided with messages from her parents to “Never expect anything good and you’ll never be disappointed,” and to eat everything on her plate, “Just think of all those poor staving children who don’t have enough to eat,” in order to guilt-hook her into, “Don’t ever waste food!”

Mary was so deeply inundated with ‘shoulds’ that, throughout her life, she continued to remain poor, so Mary decided that she would address the Characteristics of The Field, directly…

I expect to have more than enough money, food and anything else I need or want at all times. I expect this of the Field. I should expect this of the Field. It is my duty to expect and receive this from the Field, because if I don’t, I will be negatively affecting everyone else as well as myself.

This last, which she refers to as her ‘duty’, was for Mary, a very useful ‘should’ because it was also an opposite to another negative subconscious expectation: “I should never put myself first, but always take care of the needs of others before my own.” So for Mary, this produced a two-for-one shift.

Stick With It

These four steps offer a good start. Along with the Dharma of Doing, they constitute a foundation for making the changes you want to make. Don’t worry about what comes next, because that will make itself known in the process. Just continue with these foundational steps and let ‘next’ reveal itself.

Utilizing these simple steps will reveal your subconscious mind—which means it won’t be ‘sub’ any longer. Even if you still have a gut reaction to some of your expectations (this will fade), just making them conscious will cause them to lose most of their influence. What this also means is that your consciousness is expanding. So keep it up.

If all this seems to contradict the path of surrender, let me remind you that Surrender Meditation is done in the meditation room so that you can give it your all. Outside of the meditation room, you will be using your will, whether you think you are or not. So how better to use it?

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

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Great Expectations

What you expect is what you get.

Relevant verse: “Creation having been brought forth by sacrifice, by sacrifice you will evolve and prosper. Sacrifice is the milch cow of your desires.” — Verse 10  

You and the Field are everywhere. You are ‘in’ everything. Nothing exists that you are not ‘in’. Everything that exists, including you and everyone else, is ‘in’ this Field that has no bounds, no limitations—so neither do you.

In This Series:

  1. The Golden Womb
  2. The Field
  3. Great Expectations
  4. Accessing the Abundance of the Field

Characteristics of The Field 

The Field is Truth Itself. The Field is perfectly harmless in all ways at all times. The Field is without limitation. The Field is everywhere. The Field can provide all you need or want. The Field is accessible to everyone equally. The Field is plentiful and never runs out of anything. The Field will supply us as long as we avail ourselves of its bounty.

Foundations for Success

I am of the belief that there are certain things that act as foundations, and like a house, anything you build without a foundation will come tumbling down. The following ideas on accessing the bounty of the Field will supply some of these practical foundations for this purpose.

The Dharma of Doing

The setting of this dialogue between Krishna and Arjuna that makes up the Bhagavad Gita, is a geographical area known by two names: Kurukshetra and Dharmakshetra.

Why not just call this Field by one name? We could do this, but we would miss an important hint that is being given to us with the use of these two names: Kurukshetra, ‘the field of doing’ and Dharmakshetra, ‘the field of dharma’. Both represent this same Field.

Dharma — Right, good, true, the way things Really are.
Doing — Performing action.

A field can be a place or the scope or context of something. The two names of our Field indicate a twofold context: dharma and doing. Sacrifice, the key to accessing the bounties of the Field, happens in this Field. In other words, sacrifice happens in the context of righteousness (dharma) and the performance of action (kuru).

Sacrifice has been explained to us as spontaneous action devoid of attachment to the doing of it, and to the results of it. True sacrifice can only happen where this kind of action is being performed where the action is consistent with dharma*.

* Dharma - The first principle of dharma is harmlessness, hence the characteristic of the Field that says, "The Field is perfectly harmless in all ways at all times."

Sacrifice on the Field of Dharma and Doing

Spontaneous action performed (‘doing’) devoid of attachment to the action and the results of it (‘sacrifice’), that causes no harm (dharma).

This kind of dharmic action is consistent with the Field and with You. When, as human beings, we act in sync with sanatana dharama, the way of eternal Truth, we are acting in sync with our true Selves, and what we want and need will come to us with greater ease. It is also the key to attaining and maintaining success in any undertaking. So what’s stopping us?

SUBCONSCIOUS EXPECTATIONS*

Conscious Thoughts and SubConscious Data

Your conscious thoughts reflect your subconscious. Your thoughts and the data stored in your subconscious are not the same thing, but your thoughts are influenced by subconscious data*. In fact, I think it is fair to say that your thoughts are what they are because of the data stored in your subconscious.

*Subconscious data - memories stored within your body and mind of which you are unaware.

Logically, by consciously noticing your thoughts, you should be able to uncover your subconscious. This is particularly important if you want to un-do what I take to be the most powerful obstacle to accessing the bounty of the Field.

Subconscious Expectations

Some of the contents in the subconscious are expectations of things to come. These expectations are most likely unpleasant and unwanted, otherwise, they would have no reason to hide. But fortunately, because our conscious thoughts reflect them, it is possible to discover what they are. This is important because… When subconscious expectations are inconsistent with the characteristics of the Field, they diminish our capacity to access it. We will call these kinds of subconscious expectations, ‘negative’. We must bring these unwanted, negative expectations out of hiding. To do this, we first need to pay attention to our thoughts, because…

Our thoughts reflect our subconscious expectations.

In a forthcoming post, I will give you a four-step process for dealing with negative subconscious expectations so you can bring them out into the light of day and either change them altogether, or tweak them into something useful and far more pleasant.

Will or Surrender?

Now, obviously, we are talking about ‘will’ here, because we are talking about doing something with a desirable outcome in mind, so those of you who practice Surrender Meditation will have to forego this in the meditation room (though revelations may present themselves there), but outside of the meditation room, it is not inappropriate for you to utilize the Field. By all means, do. 

In this country, if you should someday want to take surrender sadhana all the way, you will need to have all your ducks in a row. You can take it from me—I didn’t have this advantage—this is a really good idea, and it will save you from some serious struggles when that time comes. And it will also put you in a better position for reaching the stage of not-giving-a-hoot sooner by having accessed in your meditation, even greater wonders than what your desiring mind can ever imagine.

* Subconscious Expectations, Sanskrit, samskara संस्कार — The faculty of memory, mental impression or recollection. An impressions in the mind of acts done in a former state of existence.

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

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