Three Kinds of Happiness – Bhagavad Gita, Ch 18, Vs 36-39

Happiness & Inner Peace

Now hear from Me, Best of the Bharatas, the three kinds of happiness that are enjoyed through the repeated practice by which one reaches the end of sorrows.

  • Happiness (sukha) – ‘having a good axel hole’; easy, auspicious, pleasant, agreeable, gentle, mild, comfortable, happy, prosperous, virtuous.

This verse is saying that by the repeated God-practice Lord Krishna is teaching Arjuna (and us), one not only finds happiness and enjoyment, but reaches the end of sorrows.

Now He will tell us of three forms of happiness that arise as a result of this practice. In addition to the increased happiness one experiences in everyday life, it also applies specifically to the practice itself.

Those of you who are already engaged in surrender sadhana will be relieved to learn that states of unhappiness arising in your meditation are the overall effect of the purification this practice entails, and leads to a deeper, more lasting happiness. By knowing this, it is hoped that you will understand and stop worrying that you are doing something wrong, or that there is something amiss with the sadhana. Understanding this, your sadhana, and your happiness in everyday life, can only grow.  

37 — Sattvic Happiness
That which is like poison in the beginning and changes to nectar, that happiness is the tranquillity of one’s own self-knowing, and is sattvic.

Get to know yourself. You may be surprised!
Have a close look at yourself. You may be pleasantly surprised!

When in the God-practice of Surrender Meditation you begin looking inside yourself, it may be painful and even embarrassing. If you don’t experience this, you are holding yourself back from self-discovery. Even sages and seers have been through this; it is what got them where they are. But once you begin self-study with complete self-honesty, it won’t take long to get past it. Then you are on your way to realizing your True Self as divine, perfect and imperishable, and reaching that real happiness that is “the tranquillity of your own self-knowing.”

Your joy will be so much greater than your embarrassment, that you will wonder why it took you so long to get here, when this happiness is what you were looking for all along. Now you know where it is (in You), and how to access it.

38 — Rajasic Happiness

Get excited about yourself.
Get excited about yourself

That happiness which, through the union of the senses with their objects, is like nectar in the beginning and like poison in the end, is rajasic.

When your senses present you with nice things that you like, you feel happy. But this does not last, for while the Real You is eternal, all objects of sense in this physical-material world are temporal and subject to change. Even the sense organs themselves are in this world of life and death, whereas the Real You is beyond this, and eternal. So stop looking for happiness in the world, and instead, look inside.

With the regular practice of Surrender Meditation (God-practice), this will become clear to you, as your senses become introverted and separated from their organs and you behold miraculous things directly (without the aid of your mind or sense organs). This happens as a result of the passionate and exciting repetition of this God-practice. 

39 — Tamasic Happiness
That happiness which, from beginning to end, is self-deceptive and arises from avoidance and negligence, is tamasic.

One who does not care to look for the Real, and do what needs to be done in order to realize and attain it, is tamasic.

Kick back, chill out and pig-out
Kick back, chill out and pig-in.

The tamasic person never has any real happiness because he is self-deceived, a pretender, and content to remain so. He continues to avoid taking the trouble to wake up and seek Truth. He avoids this troublesome venture at all costs.

I have met a few people who have come to me for shaktipat because they had begun thinking about this, and sought to find someone who would take them to the end with one touch. No real shaktipat guru would do this. Such a thing would be a grave disservice to the seeker.

No one can take your journey for you. There is no way around it. You have to do the work. 

You may delude yourself into thinking that you already have happiness, but if you have not walked this road, you do not have happiness that will last. This is the prize awaiting you for taking this journey. It will keep you happily expectant and inspired with small bites of genuine happiness along the way. It is an adventurous journey that, no matter what arises, you will come to love. And you will thank the powers that be for getting you on this road to Happiness that never wanes.

When you have become truly enlightened, you will realize that you still have to walk the road to the finish line.

The Highest Happiness of Tamas

Another meaning of tamasic happiness for advanced practitioners of surrender sadhana is the sleep of Yoga (yoga nidra), and later, the darkness of the Absolute in nirbija samadhi. In both cases tamas has become the highest of the three gunas. (Remember that upside-down tree in chapter 15 ? This gives it a whole new meaning!).

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


Characteristics of the Demonic, Bhagavad Gita, Ch 16, Vs 6 – 11

Ravana, demon king
Ravana, the ten-headed demon king

Of created beings in the world there are two kinds: the divine and the demonic. The divine has been explained at great length. Now hear from Me about the demonic:

Those persons possessing demonic characteristics cannot comprehend action and inaction, nor do they understand purity or righteous action. Truth is not found in them.

  • Action, pravṛitti – ‘to turn, revolve, go around in circles’; using the will to act for self-motivated purposes (i.e. desires), thus causing one to remain caught in the cycles of death and rebirth.
  • Inaction, nivṛitti – ‘inaction’; abandoning self-motivated (willful) actions in surrender to God/Truth) and escaping the cycles of death and rebirth.
  • Purity – clearness; everything in its natural, divine order.
  • Righteous action – action in accordance with scriptural injunction; actions consistent with the Real You that emerge from your surrender to Absolute God in meditation.
  • Truth – Absolute God — whether personal God or abstract God, and regardless of what you call It.

The Demonic say that the world is without Truth, without a God, without any solid basis, but is brought about by desire alone. How else!  

Alternate translation:
The Demonic say that the universe has no real basis, that there is no God, no Truth, and is created by nothing other than the commingling of the two sexes, and has no purpose other than sexual gratification.

The Rakshasa demons of Ravana go after the good guys.
King Ravana’s Rakshasa demons go after the good guys.

Holding fast to these views, these men who have lost themselves, are of small intelligence and cruel acts. They arise as enemies of the world, threatening its destruction.

This leaves the preservation of the world up to those of us willing to grow spiritually. When we do, we are benefited, and everyone else is also benefited. This is the ONLY way that the world can be saved from this destruction.

The world and its inhabitants will not be saved by campaigns for eliminating pollution, global warming, etc., but by a sufficient number of individuals increasing their spiritual advancement. Surely, you would want to be one of these heroes?

We must take up this purpose by means of increased personal and spiritual growth. We must advance ourselves. This is not only going to bring us more happiness, but it will have a positive effect on everyone else, and even the planet itself.

ONLY YOU can save the world.

What we have to do is to get in sync with our Real Selves as described in verses 1-3 and the yamas and niyamas, the Ten Keys to Success, ten universal spiritual principles. Without this knowledge, practice and ultimate mastery, all efforts to advance will eventually fail, but with it, success is guaranteed

With every success you achieve, the world takes a step forward. When you are happy and content in your life, the world sighs in relief. When you as a human being exemplify the Real You, the world is massively brought forward along with everyone in it.

Everything you do affects everyone else. 

Attached to insatiable desires and filled with deceit, pride and lust, they accept such false notions through delusion, and proceed with impure intentions.

Obsessed with endless anxieties that can end only end in death, maintaining with complete assurance that fulfilling desires is the highest aim possible, they are convinced that this is all there is.

There is nothing we can do about these people other than get on with our own spiritual advancement. Not only can this save the world, but it can make significant changes in the lives of others, and may even save them as well. So let’s up the ante!

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

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Spiritual Leadership will take you where you want to go while you advance and improve your life. In the process, you will influence the advancement of everyone on Earth, and even the Earth itself. 

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Helping you advance spiritually is my mission.
Saving the world is the result of our success.
Durga Ma

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Risk, Efficacy and Victory – Bhagavad Gita, Ch 10, Vs 36-37

Krishna - Arjuna - Victorious

The Power of God & You

The manifestations of God in the world, in you, and in the entire universe.

The eighteen chapters of the Bhagavad Gita is a conversation between Arjuna and his childhood friend and Guru, Lord Krishna. Arjuna has asked Him to explain how He, as Absolute God, exists within Creation (beginning with verses 19-20, “God in You”):

Risk, Efficacy and Victory

Of gamblers I am the risk, and of the noble I am their efficacy. I am the victory of the determined, and the purity and goodness of the resolute.

There are several ways to translate this verse. To keep it down to one, I am using what is most applicable to my own sadhana.

Of gamblers I am the risk. This works for me because I understand from the Mahabharata that the good guys, the Pandavas, were involved in gambling. This kind of behavior is usually looked down on by the religious, but there is a special meaning here:

The Pandavas, Arjuna’s people, were urged over and over again by Lord Krishna Himself, to take up this ‘battle’. He advised this for the purpose of regaining their throne, their inheritance, so they finally acquiesced and surrendered to Lord Krishna and accepted his guidance.

This also applies to us. We have lost our throne, our authority over our own selves and our own lives. Taking a chance and surrendering to Absolute God/Truth will reverse this situation and bring you into your inheritance. Surrender to a God you don’t know yet may seem like a risk, but one takes this risk on faith in order to achieve victory. The end result is union (yoga) with That.

Of the noble, I am their efficacy. Making the choice to engage in this battle and put God in the driver’s seat as Arjuna did, literally, is a noble act that leads to victory. Lord Krishna is saying that He is the effectiveness resulting from Arjuna’s having made this choice.

I am the victory of the determined, and the purity and goodness of the resolute. This tells us that, with resolute determination we will achieve victory, and all that is good and true.

Of the Vrishnis, I am Vasudeva. Of the sons of Pandu, I am the Conqueror of Wealth. Of the munis, I am Vyasa, and of poets, I am Ushana.

Vrishnis. Of the descendants of the Vrishni clan, Krishna is the son of Vasudeva. Vasudeva means ‘indwelling god’ or ‘indwelling divine individual’, the Real Self inside all the packaging. He is saying that His birth as Krishna is the result of what is Real that dwells within. This is consistent with being the avatara of Vishnu (‘all-pervader’), the first divine individual in the Absolute to be self-aware and know Other divine individuals as the same. 

Of the Sons of Pandu. The Pandus, Arjuna’s people, are risker-takers. Not only is getting involved in a war a risk, but it all started with Arjuna’s brother gambling with the enemy and losing everything. Lord Krishna is addressing Arjuna as Dhanañjaya, which means ‘winner of wealth’. He is letting Arjuna know that he can expect success. What this means then, is that we can expect success in this facet of our own practice.

What facet is this? Awakening the sleeping evolutionary force (kundalini) so that we can retake our inheritance as sovereign Self-knowing lords by defeating the enemy represented as the Kurus, the ‘doers’. In other words, we will come to accept ourselves as sovereign non-doing divine individuals, knowing that all action occurs in nature, and what we really is not nature and does nothing.

Of the Munis. A muni is a saint, sage, devotee or hermit, a Brahman (God-person) of the highest order. Krishna is saying that of munis, He is Vyasa.

Now remember that it is Vyasa, the Sage, who is writing this conversation between Krishna (God) and Arjuna (you). Once again he inserts himself into the plot, this time as the greatest of munis, Lord Krishna Himself.

I suspect that there have been many authors called Vyasa (‘compiler and arranger’), but this one has a unique signature: his sense of humor finds it way into the text as he puts himself into the plot. 

Of Poets, Ushana. The keepers of spiritual knowledge were sages who were poets and bards. This not only preserved knowledge, but protected it from corruption. Teachings like this Bhagavad Gita (‘God’s Song’), were preserved in rhythmic verse and meter, making them almost impossible to be tampered with or lost, but easy to remember. These poet-sages were very advanced and enlightened yogis who understood what they were chanting and preserving. Krishna is saying that of these poets he is Ushana, the poet most ‘zealous and impassioned’.

  • Poet (kavi) – “a wise man, sage, seer, prophet, singer, bard” and “insightful, intelligent, knowing, enlightened, wise, sensible, prudent, skillful.”

The other device for preserving teachings was sutras, the use of short phrases, or even single words, which were memorized and used as cues for the remembrance of the associated teachings. One famous example is the Yoga Sutras of the sage Patanjali. Many read these sutras and expect that they are the teachings, but this is not so. They are bell-ringers meant to stimulate the memory of the mysteries they hold, many of which are only orally communicated. Perhaps we will take up the Yoga Sutras once we complete the Bhagavad Gita.

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

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As your True Self emerges, your Life becomes more satisfying, and the Lives of others are benefited. 
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Every step you take pulls every one of us with you—we ride the slipstream of your spiritual progress.

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