Attaining Godhood, Part 2 – Bhagavad Gita, Ch 18, Vs 57-59

Embraced by God

.Attaining Godhood, Part 2

Previously:
Even though he performs many actions, he is surrendered to Me, thus attaining the realm of the eternal Imperishable Abode, by My Grace. — Verse 56

57
Relying on this Knowledge of Yoga, surrender all actions to Me. With Me as the Highest, and always thinking of Me, you will always be absorbed in Me.

“Always thinking of Me”: The word for ‘thinking’ is from the Sanskrit, chitta. Chitta is the stuff the mind is made of — pure consciousness. At this point your consciousness is purified and you begin to think of God all the time.

“Relying on this Knowledge of Yoga” suggests that even merely through rational intelligence (buddhi), one can hold God as the Highest goal, surrender all actions to God, and be absorbed into God (yoga). The teachings given in this Gita have shown us what we must do to reach this point. Now that we are here, it is only natural that we rely on this knowledge of Yoga, because we know it works. 

“With Me as the Highest” means with God as the highest goal. God is Krishna, who is Purushottama, Absolute God, and this is That to which we aspire.

“Surrender all actions to Me” By knowing that all actions are not your own, but are merely Nature in action, you easily and gladly leave everything to God/Truth. 

“You will always be absorbed in Me” Because your consciousness is always absorbed in Krishna, it is always absorbed in God, and your state is the same as That. 

58
Thus always conscious of Me, you will overcome all obstacles by My Grace. But if out of ego (ahamkara) you do not listen, you will perish.

Krishna and Radha“You will overcome all obstacles by My Grace,” means that all obstacles encountered are now God’s to deal with. That God deals with them, is God’s Grace. This is not an action of God’s any more than it is yours, but it is God’s grace, God’s kind benevolence.

The overcoming of obstacles is a matter of getting in sync with God/Truth, so you might say that God/Truth approves and Grace is the result. You don’t deal with obstacles because your state is one in which you are not a doer of actions. So even when it may look like you are involved in an action for the purpose of eliminating an obstacle, it is God’s Grace at work, not you.

God approves and Grace ensues.

“But if out of ego you do not listen, you will perish.” The doer-ego is your nemesis. It will try to take the credit or the blame for any action, however great or small, whether for good or ill. Attending to this will get you nowhere and stop your progress. Then when you leave your body at death, you will find yourself waiting in line for a return performance. You will not achieve that realm of the Eternal. 

  • Ego (ahamkara) – believing that you are the doer of actions.

59
If you resort to ego and rationalize, “I shall not fight,” your resolve will be in vain, for your own nature will compel you.

This is where this Gita began: with Arjuna becoming reluctant, and then adamant, about not fighting this war to regain his rightful place of rulership of his own kingdom … because family and friends might get hurt or go away. And indeed this is something that will come up for any sincere seeker — friends and family will criticize you, call you crazy, accuse you of being selfish and indulgent and hurting them (you’re not; you are actually helping them but they can’t see it). 

During this chapter we found that, although Arjuna was in disagreement with Lord Krishna who had urged him to take up this challenge, all his complaints revealed to us that he was already in possession of True Knowledge without realizing it.

This is like most of us. Every one our reasons for not going forward are loaded with messages suggesting the very opposite of what is being taught in this Gita. We resist these teachings with innumerable and perfectly rational excuses. Then things start coming up that make it impossible for us to go forward with it. 

Once you awaken to your Inherent Knowing, you will realize that these teachings are True. You will notice that they feel somehow familiar to you, and you will stop resisting. At this point you will let go of your concerns about friends, family and society in general, and you will get on with finding your guru and moving forward … no matter what. It is inevitable, “for your own nature will compel you.”

You already know everything. You have but to learn what you know.

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

Advertisements

Three Kinds of Resolve – Bhagavad Gita, Ch 18, Vs 33-35

Determined

Previously:
Now hear the three kinds of intelligence and resolve, together and separately, according to the gunas, Conqueror of Wealth — Verse 29

Conqueror of Wealth – By calling Arjuna Conqueror of Wealth, Lord Krishna is saying to Arjuna that intelligence and resolve are forms of wealth that he possesses.

Intelligence (buddhi) – intellect, reason, the ability to differentiate, discern and judge. Buddhi is the power of the mind that forms ideas, imaginations, conceptions, and knows how to differentiate and figure things out.

Resolve (dhṛtes) – standing firm in the course of your practice; courageously holding resolute determination without wavering. You don’t quit when the going gets rough, or when you aren’t getting what you think you want.

Resolve

Determination

33 — Sattvic Resolve
That resolve by which the functions of the mind, the vital breath and the senses are held unwaveringly in yoga, is sattvic.

  • Mind (manas) – the part of the mind that receives perceptions.
    • Attention – the flow of consciousness to perceptible ‘objects’.
  • Vital breath (prana) – the Life Energy that keeps you alive.
    • Attention and Life Energy always travel together.
  • The senses (indriyas) – the abilities that you have to hear, see, touch, taste and smell.
  • Held (avyabhicharin, ‘steady’) – withdrawn, stilled and concentrated in one place in the body . When the senses are withdrawn from external objects and steadily concentrated at the throat chakra without wavering, the mind and Prana follow suit. When this is accomplished, one experiences pratyāharā.
  • Yoga (divine union) – the equanimity of samadhi (sameness) and direct experience (experience without any via). Pratyāharā is the turning point of Yoga.
  • In verse 30, we discussed the two fundamental paths (pravṛitti and nivṛitti) in which the first, the use of the will is applied, and in the second it is not. We can look at sattvic resolve either way. This verse is generally translated for the path of the will (pravṛitti marga). Now let’s see what it looks like in terms of nivṛitti marga, the path of non-willful action, surrender to Absolute God:

Determined RenunciateWith the path of the will (pravṛitti marga), to meditate you use your will to (1) withdraw your attention internally, (2) hold your mind still, (3) and hold the Life Energy still.

In the non-willful path (nivṛitti marga), you do none of these. You don’t have to. You have realized through your experience with non-willful meditation that, if you truly surrender yourself to God, God will manage your meditation and take care of all this, and the senses, the mind and Life Energy will spontaneously stop moving.

When this happens you have turned a corner in your meditation. This is known as pratyahara, the magical moment in deep meditation when the door to samadhi opens. In the early stages of samadhi there are journeys filled with unimaginable adventures, places and beings, all wondrous to behold.

  • Samadhi – joining together, uniting (yoga), a unified state of mind, equanimity.

34 — Rajasic Resolve
But the firm hold to duty, desire and wealth, with attachment and desire for the results of actions, is rajasic.

Desire produces willful action. I have said this before, but be reminded that this is not necessarily a bad thing. It is what most people do. It is the norm. Everyone likes to be part of the norm in order to be accepted. But this comes at a cost … you don’t move on to the next phase of life in which your norm becomes the non-willful path of nivṛitti marga. If you do not move on to this, your progress will come to an end. If you do, you will regard your previous phase of pravṛitti marga as a blessing that got you to this place.

I have been accused of being elitist in my teaching of surrender yoga. But it is not a matter of one path being better than the other. It is a matter of one coming after the other, and which is most suitable for each individual according to their personal dharma and their stage of live (see verse 30 for more on this subject). 

35 — Tamasic Resolve
That resolve by which one holds on to the intoxication of imaginings, fears, grief and despair, is tamasic.

Described in this way, tamasic resolve seems to exclude any spiritual path at all. One is encumbered with cravings and sorrows to the point of being so completely distracted by them, that it is almost impossible to see anything else. This is a hard place to be. But one can use imagination to counter fears, sorrows and despair. The problem is that the tamasic person often has little or no contact with others other than those who are also living in this dark place, and so does not make this simple discovery.

A cave for a home is sheer determination!
A cave for a home.

Most people I have come across who are in this bind, cannot allow themselves to get out of it. Just finding a small interlude between traumas is difficult. They are ‘attached’ to this state of darkness. It is ‘who they are’. Identified with this state as who they are, they cannot imagine it changing or disappearing, for this would mean that they would disappear and cease to exist.    

Attachment is not only applicable to desires for likable things, but one may be attached to something not in their best interest and not even realize it. 

Perhaps you have had times like this and can identify with it to some degree. If so, try to imagine what it would be like to live in this state all the time, and allow your empathy to go to these suffering people with the love and compassion they so badly need.

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

To Understand Yoga, Stand on Your Head – Bhagavad Gita, Ch 15, Vs 1-2

Ashvattha Tree

1
The Blessed Lord spoke:
It is said that the Ashvattha tree has its roots above and its branches below, and that its leaves are the Vedic aphorisms. He who knows this tree, is a knower of the Vedas.

  • Vedic aphorisms, or sutras, are similar to what we would call ‘sayings’, that teach something specific.
  • Vedic, concerning the Vedas. The word veda means ‘sacred knowledge, knowledge of Truth’. The Vedas are a large body of knowledge texts originating in ancient India around 1500 BCE, constituting the oldest layer of Sanskrit literature, and the oldest scriptures of Hinduism.

Yogeshwar was fond of saying, “To understand Yoga, you have to stand on your head.” And here we have an upside down tree! So let’s run with it.

Ashvattha Tree 1The Ashvattha tree represents the upside-down purpose of chasing desires. This action is contrary (upside-down) to Truth, hence its roots are above and its branches are below, signifying moving away from God/Truth and down into the earth, the mundane world. Facing endlessly downwards it represents those persons who misuse their lives by acting solely for the purpose of fulfilling desires. In this respect it appears to be indestructible, and yet, as far as the yogi is concerned, this is not maintained for even a day.

Trying to satisfy desires is upside-down because there is nothing you can desire that you don’t already have. You have but to call it to you.

If we think of this tree as the Tree of Life, the message is that we’re seeing Life upside down. We’ve got our roots in the wind and our branches buried in the ground, the earth, the mundane world.

Every time you use your will to get what you want, you move yourself farther away from God/Truth. Yet realizing God and your Real Self is why you are here!

2
Below and above it spreads, fully developed by the gunas, with the objects of the senses as new branches. Below, the roots keep growing downward, engendering binding action in the world of man.

  • Gunas – The three modes of Nature.
  • Sense objects – Anything perceptible by the senses (sight, sound, taste, touch, and smell).  
  • Binding action – ‘Binding’ (anubandhana) is ‘the state of being a slave’. ‘Action’ (karma) refers to action that binds — acting for self motivated purposes.  

Sense objects are all the things we are made aware of by means of our senses, and which we either like or dislike to varying degrees. We act in order to have the ones we like, and avoid the ones we don’t like. In this way we live in bondage to our senses and our desires, and are constantly collecting more karma that keeps us bound to die and return over and over again, like a merry-go-round that just keeps going around in circles and never gets anywhere.

Acting for the purpose of fulfilling desires is not ‘bad’, it just stops your progress.  

Isn’t happiness what you really want? Isn’t that why you try to fulfill your desires? But your efforts to get desires fulfilled are upside-down — the result is the very opposite of what you want. This is what this verse is trying to tell us.

Remember that what you want or need is already yours. You have but to call it to you.

We are slaves to our desires and the price is bondage. This is upside down from how we really are — it is contrary to our Real Selves, who should properly be situated Above.

  • Aśhvattha – ‘where the horses are’.  Aśhva means ‘horse’, and represents the senses. Tha means ‘stay, stand or dwell’. ‘Where the horses dwell’. The Ashvattha tree is the body and the horses are the physical senses. Submitting to their influence keeps us where we are — we don’t move forward. Why? Because we are acting in opposition to our Real Selves. 

The Real You knows everything.
The Real You has everything.

Thus the Aśhvattha tree is cast in the role of samsara, the bondage of recurring deaths and births, and samskara, the continual resurfacing of previous tendencies. We must cut this tree in order to be free. How do we do this? The remainder of this chapter will tell us how.

What you want or need is already yours. You have but to call it to you.

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

Surrender Meditation

Shaktipat Kundalini Yoga
Spontaneous Experiential Meditation

Slip into a natural state of meditation with ease. Experience the relief of reaching a true meditative state without any effort and without using your will.

Receive shaktipat and become initiated into the original meditation of ancient masters from which meditation techniques were eventually derived.

Increase your knowledge base and begin Shaktipat Kundalini Yoga, Surrender Meditation. Though correct knowledge you will increase your progress by a thousand times, and bring about even deeper meditation and amazing experiences.

Shaktipat Intensives with Durga Ma are held in Phoenix, Arizona


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

The Whole World Is One Family