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Attraction, Aversion, and Dispassion -Bhagavad Gita- Chapter 2: 38

Attraction and aversion are opposite sides of the same coin. Attraction is positive desire—you are attracted to things you like and are compelled to pursue them. Aversion is negative desire—you are repelled by things you don’t like and are compelled to avoid them. By achieving ‘dispassion’ you are not compelled. You are free.

38 
Holding pleasure and pain, gain and loss, victory and defeat to be equal, take up the battle and thus incur no misfortune.

Holding opposites to be equal, or the same, is often referred to as ‘dispassion’. By taking up this challenge one can achieve dispassion. When dispassion is achieved regarding any set of opposites, no misfortune is encountered where that set of opposites is concerned.

“misfortune”

The Sanskrit means ‘difficulty’ — being scared, in pain, trouble, hardship, sorrow, and…well, you get the picture.

“equal”
Pleasure and pain, gain and loss, victory and defeat, etc., are pairs of opposites. Opposites being equal is usually understood as not having excess joy or sorrow over either of a pair, i.e., we should not be unhappy about loss or pleased with gain.

But this verse is not telling us what we should not do. Sukhaduhkhe same kritva simply says, “Ease (sukha) and difficulty (duhkha) have the same effect (same kritva)” — one of a pair is not stronger than the other so the effect is equal. This paints a different picture than simply having no effect at all, one way or the other. It is a picture of two opposites becoming equal in value and strength, and in this way, attraction or aversion to either is also equal, so there is no contest.

However one might understand achieving dispassion, it will happen on its own if you have the means. The simplest means is to surrender yourself to God/Truth in a conducive environment that allows this to take place naturally and fully, such as Surrender Meditation; between meditations, Mental Yoga can be practiced.

Find more on how neutralizing opposites works in verse 15, and in “Neutralizing Opposites” in verse 14.

Self-reference:  The next time you find yourself reacting to something, try to identify it, give it a name, and look for its opposite.

Example:

In an attempt to be helpful, a friend says to you, “That outfit you’re wearing looks terrible; you are grossly out of fashion.”

Your internal reaction is that you have been insulted by your friend. You try to identify this feeling and realize that you are angry (even though you have managed not to show it). You quickly contemplate an opposite to anger and decide on happiness — there may be other opposites, but you choose ‘happy’ and try to move into this state, if only temporarily. When you get home, you use this incident to practice moving into the state of ‘angry’ and then into ‘happy’, back and forth, until they are the same and you can move as quickly and easily into one as the other. By using this Mental Yoga*, you have increased your degree of dispassion, and where this pair of opposites is concerned, you will incur no ‘misfortune’.

Namaste,
Durga Ma

*Mental Yoga is a spiritual education and personal development course created and written by Durga Ma. For inquires and download options, please contact Anandibhagavan@gmail.com

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TERMS OF USE AND SHARING:

This post and text is original research material and is copyrighted. You are allowed to share this material for personal, non-commercial and educational use with the proper citations, references and links / tags back to my website. Clicking ´Share´ on FB or ´Reblog´ on WordPress would be most appropriate.Please obtain written permission from Anandi first if you want to use this material on your workshop, blog, organization, webpage, book, seminar or for any commercial purpose. All information provided, be it through sessions conducted or this post is non-liable and is not intended to replace professional legal, medical, psychological, psychiatric and/or financial counsel. How you choose to act on this information is up to your own free will and is entirely your responsibility.

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The Greatest Adventure-Bhagavad Gita- Chapter 2: 37

There is everything to gain and nothing to lose in that most exciting adventure of all: the pursuit of Truth/God. 

37
Having been slain you will attain heaven, or having conquered you will enjoy this world, so stand up, Arjuna, resolved to battle.

According to this and previous verses, you can attain this most desirable of outcomes by following your svadharma (sva – one’s own, dharma – natural characteristic), your own ability, talent, gift, that you would naturally do best. 

You have two life purposes:
(1) one that is the same for everyone, and (2) one that is unique to you.

Some of you are now taking the Design Your Life online course* and will be making this discovery. Bravo to you! It is my hope that, once you have determined your own unique svadharma, you will remember the first purpose of your life and get on with this as well, for it is primary to the fulfillment of the second. Do keep us posted on your progress.

Now let’s see what you will get for your efforts:

“heaven” – traditional
The paradise where one goes to await the next incarnation.

The word for ‘heaven’ is svarga, which means ‘the heavens’. Notice the plural. Is there more than one ‘heaven’ then? Some say there are seven heavens and seven hells, seven levels in either direction from where we are right now.  

“heaven” – in sadhana
Samadhi

There may be a good reason we look up when we talk or think about heaven. When the life energy in the body moves up to the crown chakra through the central channel (sushumna nadi), a loud cacophony of bells can be heard, and divine bliss is experienced. This experience can occur fairly early in sadhana. It is the inspiration behind the bells in church steeples, the ringing of bells at weddings, and the bell rung upon entering a Hindu temple (the temple is heaven).

In the state of sabija samprajnata samadhi, the paradise mentioned above is experienced. You ‘go’ there. Having directly experienced this heavenly place frees you from the fear of death. Later, when nirbija asamprajnata samadhi is achieved, you directly experience the highest heaven of the Absolute, where you are freed from both birth and death.

“heaven” – in life
Happiness

There is also the idea of Heaven on Earth, that lovely dream of a good and happy life, or at least those perfect moments when everything is prosperous and in place, love is given and received, and life is good.

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The point Lord Krishna is making in this verse, is that if Arjuna doesn’t quit and goes forward to take on the battle, he can’t lose — he will either gain ‘heaven’ if he ‘dies’, or have a good life if he doesn’t.

I think you will agree that, with just this short contemplation on one single verse suggesting a heavenly reward as motivation, by putting what we now know into action through the practice of meditation, heaven will naturally follow like a horse follows the groom for the lump of sugar he carries in his pocket.

Self-reference:  If you do well performing your svadharma you will enjoy a good life, or good sadhana, or if you die in the midst of it, you will go to a good place. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

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

If you have forgotten what this ‘battle’ represents for you, you may want to refresh your memory by rereading earlier installments. Also, consider what the idea of ‘dying’ may suggest besides the obvious. And contemplate the phrase, “Our Father who art in Heaven…”

Namaste,
Durga Ma

*Design Your Life is a spiritual education and personal development course created and written by Durga Ma based on the ancient teachings of Pantanjali’s Yoga Sutras. Designed to help you discover your unique svadharma, and align what you do in your life with the truth of who you really are. It is an essential and powerful tool for success and happiness in life, as well as a supplement in sadhana that will assist in supporting and orienting your growth. For inquires and download, please contact Anandibhagavan@gmail.com.
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TERMS OF USE AND SHARING:

This post and text is original research material and is copyrighted. You are allowed to share this material for personal, non-commercial and educational use with the proper citations, references and links / tags back to my website. Clicking ´Share´ on FB or ´Reblog´ on WordPress would be most appropriate.Please obtain written permission from Anandi first if you want to use this material on your workshop, blog, organization, webpage, book, seminar or for any commercial purpose. All information provided, be it through sessions conducted or this post is non-liable and is not intended to replace professional legal, medical, psychological, psychiatric and/or financial counsel. How you choose to act on this information is up to your own free will and is entirely your responsibility.

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The Purpose of Life -Bhagavad Gita- Chapter 2: 33-36

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

33
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.  

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

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TERMS OF USE AND SHARING:

This post and text is original research material and is copyrighted. You are allowed to share this material for personal, non-commercial and educational use with the proper citations, references and links / tags back to my website. Clicking ´Share´ on FB or ´Reblog´ on WordPress would be most appropriate.Please obtain written permission from Anandi first if you want to use this material on your workshop, blog, organization, webpage, book, seminar or for any commercial purpose. All information provided, be it through sessions conducted or this post is non-liable and is not intended to replace professional legal, medical, psychological, psychiatric and/or financial counsel. How you choose to act on this information is up to your own free will and is entirely your responsibility.