Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 2, Vs 44

You have unlimited power—you have only to access it. You can afford to be desireless because everything you want is already yours—you have only to realize it. 

44
Being attached to enjoyment and power, the consciousness of the unenlightened is stolen away. They do not have the ability be singularly unwavering and cannot attain samadhi

“Being attached to enjoyment and power.” The purpose of this attachment is to fulfill desires. Attachment is itself a desire, a desire to hold on to something. In this case, one wants to hold on to enjoyment and power. So what does this tell you? This tells you that you must already have enjoyment and power or you couldn’t be concerned about keeping them.

“The consciousness of the unenlightened is stolen away — they do not have the ability to remain unwavering … so they cannot attain samadhi.”  Now we come to the point. ‘Consciousness’ refers to the attention—a flow of consciousness to what the mind is being conscious of. Desires keep the mind extroverted and in constant motion, preventing unwavering attention (stealing it away) and therefore, samadhi.

“Samadhi” — Equanimity, ‘equal-mind’. Remember where this started? With the equalization of opposites. And here is the prize: samadhi, ‘a unified state of mind’, whereby you can discover the real You (Self-realization). But samadhi can only be attained through the meditative state (dhyana) where there is an unwavering, uninterrupted flow of consciousness and life energy in one place for a sufficient length of time.

In addition to stealing the attention away and preventing the very thing we desire most, there is another liability inherent in desire:

Desire is an affirmation of lack.

A desire for something can only exist when there is a belief in the mind that you do not have it. A common technique for alleviating this perceived deficiency is to do positive affirmations, but by doing these affirmations you are strengthening the idea in your mind that you do not have what you want. Desires, especially acting on desires, give energy and strength to the (subconscious) belief of lack. Neither belief of lack nor mental agitation are harmonious with enjoyment and power, or samadhi.

This verse is not trying to make you feel guilty for having desires, for wanting power, for wanting those things in life that make you feel good. That is not its purpose. What it is trying to tell you is that you feel hungry for these things because you know their wonder and worth, and that you can only know this through your own experience.

Desiring something says “I want”, but why would you want something you already have? How could you possibly know what it would be like to have a desire fulfilled if you didn’t already know from your own experience? Chasing desires just drives you around in circles and accomplishes nothing.

Bonus Key

This verse is also giving you the key to reestablishing yourself in your true nature, your real Self. Such a beautiful and blissful state, and you know this, and you are hungry for it. It is not power and pleasure you want, but to reveal the You that is already perfect, powerful, and in-joy.

Namaste — I bow to the divine, powerful and joyous one that You really are,
Durga Ma
durgama.com

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Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 2, Vs 42-43

Do you want to settle for what you think you want? Or do you want to have what you really want?

42 
The flowery discourses of the ignorant proclaim delight in Vedic doctrine saying, “There is nothing else”.

Sound familiar? Our way is the only way?

Although this verse refers to the Vedas, the message is about religious absolutes in general, and also applies to ‘belief systems’, including those belief systems hidden in our own subconscious minds that were imprinted early in life and are now running on auto pilot.

43
Being of desirous natures, intent on heaven and rebirth as the fruit of action, they are addicted to many specific rites aimed at the goal of enjoyment and power.

Alternate translation (42-43):
The grandiose chatter of the unenlightened proclaim the beliefs of their religions to be exclusively correct. They are of desirous natures, intent on heaven or rebirth as the result of their good works. They are addicted to many specific activities and ceremonies to this end, but these actions are aimed at power for the purpose of attaining desires and the experience of enjoying them. 

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Spiritual paths that rely on beliefs may get you what you think you want for the short term, but they will not get you what you really want in the long term, the ultimate and lasting prize. Even Yoga itself is often misused in this way, but this is not true Yoga science.

Everyone’s primary life purpose is the same:
Union with God/Truth, liberation from rebirth, and eternal happiness.

Many spiritually-minded people are intent on the fulfillment of desires rather than union with God/Truth, which is the primary aim in life we all share (see verses 33-36 on life purpose). Many have even convinced themselves that because ‘all is God’, their desires must also be God, and that the pursuit of these desires is therefore a spiritual pursuit. But what they are chasing is just mental content. Desires are ideas in the mind acquired by the senses that have been judged as being desirable because of a corresponding experience of pleasure. Chasing them is chasing a phantom, and one cannot catch a phantom.

But one can reach union with the Absolute and endless joy. So I ask you: Why would anyone trade That for the endless task of trying to fulfill desires.

Please do not read into this that you should not have desires. Desires are inevitable. The issue is not about having desires, it is about pursuing them. In Surrender Meditation desires are turned over to God to either fulfill or eliminate.

As to power, you should understand that you already have unlimited power, so pursuing it is a waste of time anyway. If you feel powerless, it is because this is how you are experiencing life, not because you don’t have power. The feeling of powerlessness is not a lack of power but the experience of obstacles in the way of accessing it. This is also dealt with in Surrender Meditation. As to control, which is different than power, you can use self-control outside the meditation room to practice dharma

I am that desire in humankind that is not contrary to
the Truth of how things really are (dharma).
— Bhagavad Gita

Jaya Bhagavan! (Victory to God!)
Durga Ma
durgama.com

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Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 2, Vs 41

By undertaking this Yoga, no harm will come to you and no progress is ever lost. Even a little of it will protect you from great danger. 

The Science of Yoga 

41 
One must be singularly resolved in this, Arjuna, unlike the irresolute who have many branches flowing in every direction. 

Alternate Translation:
Being determined and focused is necessary to accomplish yoga (union with the Divine). The mind and intelligence of an indeterminate person wanders all over the place in every direction. While Yoga is specific and directly aimed by a determined person, others bounce around from one path to another thinking that they are wise for being so universal.

How would you dig for gold and expect to find it?
Many small holes and keep searching? Or look for the
right conditions and dig deeply?
 

Remember verse 40? “By undertaking Yoga, no harm will come to you and no progress is ever lost. Even a little of this practice will protect you from great danger”?  To avail yourself of this consolation, you must reach a point in which you understand that your primary purpose in life is the pursuit of God/Truth/Self-realization, and stick to your practice at all costs. You won’t be cheated.

It is imperative that each of us find the path that is meant for us, and the teacher that goes with it. If you insist on boot-strapping it, you will not reach the ultimate goal. Being of a tolerant nature, though at times a little impatient, it is not like me to say something like this, but I realize some of you think you can do this, so I have decided not to soft-pedal it and enable your ego, but to tell it like it is: you are wrong.

If you are sincerely seeking Truth, Self-realization, God, Eternal Happiness, the End of the Road, you are going to need a teacher, a guru. You should find your guru early on. Don’t wait until you find yourself in need of one at some crucial point in your self-directed practice, because you will not get what you need from any guru worth his or her salt until you have established a proper long-standing relationship. Really! Take the advice of scripture and find your teacher.

Self-reference:  Self-inspect your ability to commit. How important is it that you achieve your spiritual aim? Are you willing to commit to a spiritual path/teacher to that same degree?

Your commitment to your path, whatever it is, must be equal to your determination to find and know Truth directly and become Self-realized. Paths that are lineage-based come with a teacher (guru). They require more courage than belief systems (i.e., religions), but such a path may also come with the gold. So you must begin by finding the teacher.

The teachings of the guru constitute the path.
If you follow the path, the path will follow you.

You will find what you need in order to pursue this in the Surrender Meditation course (scroll to number 4 on this page). It has a good section on “Shopping for a Teacher”. This course does not give initiation into my own path of Surrender Meditation, but it does give information about it along with some experiments that you will find useful. You can use this course for the purpose of learning how to find your teacher. It is free to my Followers who apply (below) within the week. 

Jaya Bhagavan! (Victory to God!)
Durga Ma
durgama.com

Surrender Meditation course description — Free for one week to my Followers. Apply here.

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Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 2, Vs 40

Do you ever worry about losing the progress you have made? Herein lies a secret in…  

The Science of Yoga 

40 
By undertaking Yoga, no harm will come to you and no progress is ever lost. Even a little of this practice will protect you from great danger. 

Over my nearly forty years of yoga sadhana (practice)I have found this to be literally true. The trick is not to underestimate the human propensity for making mistakes, and learn to accept that as long as you are being human, mistakes will happen. But when you surrender yourself to God/Truth, you will be taken care of by That. Just when it looks like you are about to sink into oblivion, you will be rescued. Just as you think you have surely failed, you will be presented with proof of your continuing success. And just when you think your struggle will never end, you will find yourself liberated.

I find this verse to be one of the most reassuring in the entire Gita. After being on the path for so long, retrospect has played its part by reminding me of past difficulties and darkness, and how by continuing onward in the face of all of this, no matter how I felt or what I thought, I was pushed forward in spite of myself, in spite of my ignorance, in spite of my resistance, in spite of my negative thinking, and just in the nick of time I was saved. This comfort is the gift of scripture, the Truth passed on to us in words planted in the gardens of our minds, that aids us in the cultivation of trust in the Truth, trust in God. Faith.

Many times I have heard people say, with an air of authority, that bothering to read or study scripture is a waste of time, that it is experience that counts, not what is written in books. They are partly right. Reading scripture will not get you to the goal. Reading it and doing as it teaches, will. By continuing to contemplate it and increase your understanding of it through the experience gained by practicing what it teaches, multiple levels of understanding will be revealed that will take you to the end of the road.

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

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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
durgama.com

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