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Yoga and Freedom -Bhagavad Gita- Chapter 2: Vs 39

Taking into account everything that can be known and what to do with it. 

39 
What I have imparted to you is the wisdom of Sankhya. Now hear the wisdom of Yoga, by which you can free yourself from the bondage of karma. 

“Sankhya”, one of the major philosophical schools of India, is a reference to the teachings of previous verses in this chapter. The word sankhya means ‘taking into account’. Sankhya philosophy takes into account everything that can be known. It is considered to be a dualistic philosophy in that it deals with opposites in the manner we have been discussing.

“Yoga”, ‘the act of uniting’, takes us beyond what Sankhya has taught us, to putting this knowledge into action. The act of uniting (yoga) requires more than one, otherwise what would be uniting with what? Yoga is a natural partner to Sankhya.

“the bondage of karma” refers to the entrapment produced by the union of ignorance with action. Believing that ‘I do’, the principle of cause and effect is put into play, and the ‘I’ automatically becomes trapped by responsibility for the action, be it good or bad.

“karma” means ‘action’. The root of the word karmakri, meaning ‘to do’, is the basis of the ignorance of the Truth of Self as the eternal non-doer.

Alternate Translations:

• Now that you have this knowledge, taking it together with the understanding of action, you can avoid the bondage of action (karma).

• This wisdom has been presented to you from the standpoint of Jnana Yoga (Knowledge Yoga). Now hear it presented as Karma Yoga (Action Yoga) by which you will be able to throw off the shackles of karma.

• I have explained to you the spiritual knowledge regarding the nature of the soul. Now listen to the science of action, which can completely release you from the bondage of cause and effect.

Previously, we discussed pairs of opposites and bringing them into union. Knowledge, what you think or know, and action, things that happen and things you do, are also opposites. In this verse we are presented with the idea of bringing knowledge and action together as a unit: Sankhya (wisdom-knowledge) and Yoga (the act of union) are one.

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The science of Yoga is the science of action. The word yoga means ‘union’ and consequently also means ‘action’, for one thing uniting with another is an action.

It is one thing to equalize a pair of opposites, but it is quite another thing to bring them together as a single unit. The process of uniting the solar and lunar energies in the body is hatha yoga (sun-moon union). When this is accomplished, this unit takes on the function of furthering one’s evolution and is called kundalini.

Yes, evolution is going on all the time, but it is taking us thousands of lifetimes to complete. Through the natural practice of Yoga, we stand a chance of reaching raja yoga and getting closer to the freedom and eternal (rather than temporal) happiness that we know awaits us.

Hatha Yoga begins after enough sadhana (practice) has been successfully accomplished to get us there, and will take up nearly all of our sadhana from that point on. Then, sun-moon union having been accomplished and the process advanced sufficiently, we move into raja yoga, ‘royal union’, uniting with God, Truth, the Absolute (whatever your word is for That).

This process doesn’t have to be thought of as religious or spiritual. It is what it is: evolution. We tend to think of all this as spiritual because we need a name for it that expresses an experience that we do not know how to talk about. And because we can’t put it in a test tube and prove it. We have no words for it in English. Some try to avoid the word God with its implication of some deity somewhere in the cosmos directing our lives, and try using words like Divine, or Truth. But whatever you like to call It, think of it as Absolute, for it is absolute. Even the relative is absolute.

Everything is Absolutely Relative

Jaya Bhagavan! (Victory to God!)
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.

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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.