69 – 72 The Awakened State Reveals the Real

Bhagavad Gita, chapter two, verses 69 – 72

69
That which is night to all beings is day for the sage. That which is day to all beings, is night for the sage.

Alternate translation:
The awakened state of the Sage is but a dream to everyone else; what is real to them is the dream to the Sage.

The awakened state reveals the Real. Our everyday sense of life and this world is the dream. The several verses leading up to this one have been teaching us how to attain this state that exposes the Real.

“The Sage”
Samyami

Samyami – ‘having restraint’, from samyama, meaning ‘holding together, restraining, binding, tying up’. The root is yama, meaning ‘reined, curbed, bridled, restrained’.

The Samyami is the Sage for whom something is being held together, restrained. What is restrained for him is his senses. You will recall that this is pratyahara, the state in which the senses become restrained, withdrawn from their objects. We are being reminded of this yet again, so reaching this state must be very important for revealing the Truth about how things really are.

Samyama

In Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, the last three steps of yoga (union)—concentration (dharana), meditation (dhyana), and the equanimity of union (samadhi)—taken together as one state, is called samyama.

The state of samyama can only be reached through pratyahara (restraint of the senses), the fifth step of yoga, which is reached through the fourth step, pranayama (life-force restraint). This is a natural sequence of events that occurs as one advances, and describes the Samyami, the Sage, for whom life is but a dream.

8 Steps of Yoga - Screen Shot - no shadow

70
Like an ocean becoming filled with water yet remaining unmoved, one for whom all desires enter while remaining unmoved, attains peace. This is not the case for one who longs for his desires. 

71
But that person who remains indifferent to desires, acts desirelessly. Indifferent and non-doing, he attains peace. 

Alternate translations:

Just as an ocean remains unmoved when water enters it, one who remains unmoved as all desires enter him, attains serenity, but not one who yearns for the fulfillment of his desires. 

That person who remains indifferent to all desires, acts desirelessly. Disinterested, without the sense of doership, he attains serenity.

Desires will continue to arise within us as the senses continue making contact with desirable objects, but by remaining indifferent to these desires we are not motivated to act on them. Thus we end-run our egos (‘I do’), and as ‘non-doers’ we find peace.

‘Indifference’ does not mean that we have no desires, but that we are not excited by them to the point that we mentally linger on them and become compelled to chase after them. Not being under the sway of the senses is consistent with the Truth that (1) we already have/are everything, and (2) what we really are does nothing (nirahańkāraḥ, ‘I am not the doer of actions’). Until this truth is realized within us, we cultivate its arrival by not allowing our desires to control us.

Self-referencing: Note the difference between the object of desire and the desire itself.

During your day, whenever you think of it, without self-criticism, try making this distinction when you are confronted by something you find desirable, by separating your perception of the object, from your perception of the desire for it. This simple exercise will help you to overcome the tyranny of the senses. Because you cannot be what you perceive, you will separate yourself both from the senses, and from desire itself.

This is the culmination of what this chapter started with. It presents us with the concept of ‘ego’ as acting from the assumption that we are the ones doing things (ahamkara, ‘I do’), and that this assumption is incorrect.

What we truly are already ‘has’ everything, is everything, is everywhere without limitation. Every desire we take so seriously that we feel compelled to act, ‘to do’ something, in order to obtain it, contradicts this truth. Conversely, in the state of samyama we are one with Truth.

72
Fixed in this God-state, Arjuna, never again does one become confused or unconscious. Situated in it even at the hour of death, God-Nirvana is assured.

“God-Nirvana is assured”

God Nirvana is Divine Beatitude, the eternal happiness and highest bliss that is God. We are being assured of this. Even if we only reach this state of ‘disinterested non-doership’ at the last minute of the hour of death, we are assured Brahma-Nirvana. Seems like something worth cultivating, don’t you think?

” Having renounced all actions precipitated by the mind, not acting nor causing action, the Embodied One (you) sits happily as the ruler within the city whose gates are nine (the body).”

— Lord Krishna, Bhagavad Gita, chapter five, verse 13

End of Chapter Two
The Yoga of Knowledge

________________________

This chapter is called the Yoga of Knowledge and yet we have long been discussing action, so I think we can safely say that we have gained some knowledge about action. What we have learned about action in this chapter has to do with enlightenment and Self-realization. With this knowledge, we can understand it and cultivate it until it’s a done deal. In chapter three we will learn more about what action really is.

Namaste (I bow to the Divine One that You really are),
Durga Ma
durgama.com
phoenixmetaphysical.com

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SURRENDER MEDITATION 
Through shaktipat diksha and initiation into this meditation, you will put God in the driver’s seat. Surrender to the Absolute will do all the work for you, and Kundalini will awaken naturally and safely. Schedule a Shaktipat Intensive.

REMOTE SHAKTIPAT
If you can’t manage a Shaktipat Intensive in Phoenix, you will be glad to learn that Remote Shaktipat is back with a new program that provides as much information, teachings, and guidance as a person could ever want, need, or expect to get online.  

PRACTICAL MEDITATION
This link will take you to nine progressive courses in authentic meditation for both beginning and experienced meditators. I have designed these courses to provide basic essentials for anyone on any path (or no path), and so that the meditation that is most natural and comfortable for you becomes apparent to you.

67 – 68 Fixing Bumps In The Road

Bhagavad Gita, chapter two, verse 67 – 68

Verses 67 and 68 are in answer to the dilemma presented in verse 66: “There is no intelligence or meditation for one whose senses are not restrained, and for one who does not meditate there is no serenity. Without serenity how can there be happiness?”

67 – The Bump
When the mind is filled with the acquisitions provided by the roaming senses, it carries away one’s Intelligence, like the wind a ship on the water. 

You’ve made good progress and have some real wisdom, and along comes a bump in the road and you start missing your meditation practice. Not because it is difficult to meditate, but because the ‘roaming senses’ are busy 24/7 and you’ve gotten caught up in things and can’t find the time. You may think it is because you are a responsible person and have so much to do. But this is not why you are not meditating.

You are not meditating because, looking for a little happiness, you get seduced by the things in your mind “provided by the roaming senses”—your thoughts about these things, your thoughts about your thoughts, and the way they make you feel. And the “I-do-stuff” part of your mind (ahamkara) can’t relax, can’t leave these things alone.

Happiness. Verse 66 above very clearly states that you’re not going to get it without meditation. All that rustling around and duty-doing isn’t going to do it. Meditation is.

You have a right to happiness.
It is your natural state.

68 – The Fix
Therefore, Mighty Armed, endeavor to withdraw completely the senses from the objects of sense, thus reestablishing your Intelligence.

This verse is giving us the remedy for the occasional bump in the road when we get caught up in things. ‘Things’ are always sense objects even when they look like ‘shoulds’—the roaming senses pick up on ‘things’ (that’s what senses do) and into the mind they go, and there they work their evil magic and get us all excited and involved again. Now the mind is a whirlwind of activity, “like the wind a ship on the water”… in a storm.

You may think that something that is up in your life doesn’t qualify as a sense object, so let me clarify that. Anything you can perceive, be conscious of, is an ‘object of sense’ because it is a product of what the senses have brought into your mind where you are conscious of it*.

* The exception to this is memory of direct experience.

“Mighty Armed”

By addressing Arjuna as Mighty Armed, Lord Krishna is calling you ‘strong'; He is saying to you, “You can do this, so make the effort.”

Effort? What happened to surrender? Well, that is for the meditation room, so it’s off to the meditation room and away from all the glitter and guts. That is the effort. Now that we’re here in the meditation room, we can breathe a sigh of relief as we take this opportunity to surrender to the Divine, and turn things over to That—It always knows what It’s doing, even when we don’t—and kick back.

Here in the meditation room we know we’re not doing anything, we’ve delegated all that. In here we are completely free. In here the magic of pratyahara will relieve us of our distress by withdrawing the senses from their objects and bring us serenity and happiness.

So if you want to know why you have trouble getting yourself to meditate, this is it: You are living in a storm of things in your mind creating havoc. Make the effort to walk away from it (it only takes a second or two) and get into your meditation room. Once you’re there, you know what to do: NOTHING. Your mind may rebel, but your soul will rejoice.

Namaste (I bow to the Divine One that You really are),
Durga Ma
durgama.com
phoenixmetaphysical.com


SURRENDER MEDITATION 
Through shaktipat diksha and initiation into this radical meditation, you will put God in the driver’s seat. Surrender to the Absolute will do all the work for you, and Kundalini will awaken naturally and safely. Schedule a Shaktipat Intensive.

REMOTE SHAKTIPAT
If you can’t manage a Shaktipat Intensive in Phoenix, you will be glad to learn that Remote Shaktipat is back with a new program that provides as much information, teachings, and guidance as a person could ever want, need, or expect to get online.  

PRACTICAL MEDITATION
This link will take you to nine progressive courses in authentic meditation for both beginning and experienced meditators. I have designed these courses to provide basic essentials for anyone on any path (or no path), and so that the meditation that is most natural and comfortable for you becomes apparent to you.


66 The Secret to Happiness, Part 2

There is no wisdom for one who is not yoked. And there is no meditation for one who is not yoked. Without meditation there is no serenity. Without serenity, where is happiness? — Bhagavad Gita, chapter two, verse 66

“Wisdom”
Buddhi

The word for “wisdom” is buddhi, meaning ‘understanding’, ‘comprehension’. Buddhi is that function of the mind that differentiates, is intuitive, makes judgements, and generally sorts things out, and it is that feature of nature that knows what to do and where to go, right down to every single cell and function of your body. The basis of buddhi is duality.

The basis of duality is you as a Divine One having exercised your ability to be conscious. To be conscious, there must be something to be conscious of, so there is you and other-than-you: duality. There is no consciousness without two—you and what you perceive—which brings us back to your means of perception, the senses, which, for the purpose of meditation, must be ‘yoked’.

There is no consciousness without two:
you and what you perceive.

“Yoked”
Yukta

Yukta is usually translated as ‘controlled’. What is to be controlled is the senses. We’re after a quiet mind, which is necessary to enter into a meditative state. So the key is control of the senses since it is they that keep the mind stimulated. But there’s a hitch to this idea of controlling them.

To control your senses you will have to use your will, which means using your mind. But using the mind keeps the mind active and defeats the purpose! So what is one to do? The obvious solution is to submit yourself to That Which Is Already Perfect-Pure-Absolute-Unchanging-Truth (shall we just call it “God”?), and That will do the controlling for you. These are your options: will or surrender, do it yourself or delegate God.

The meaning of yukta is essentially the same as yoga which has the same root, yuj, ‘to yoke together’, ‘to harness’. The senses become harnessed through pratyahara. The mind becomes calm, and you slip into meditation. There is no true meditation without it. Once the senses are harnessed, the concentration (dharana) of prana and attention yokes you and the-divine-other-than-you, and you experience union (yoga).

Attention – a flow of consciousness
Prana – life energy

Where the attention goes, the energy flows.
And visa versa.

“Meditation”
Bhavana.

This broad term speaks more to the experience of meditation than the act of meditating—the effect of being benefited in many ways and how this feels, the feeling of the devotion it fosters, and with direct experience we have this to remember and to call upon as well. Bhavana is a different state altogether than what we are familiar with on a day to day basis, but it begins to affect us on a daily basis, making it more interesting to be meditating than driving the fast lane. 

“Serenity”
Shanti

The word shanti not only means ‘peace, tranquillity and serentiy’, but some things that we have talked about before: ‘the absence of passion’, ‘indifference’. This harkens back to verse 62 where we learned how to get what we want without trying. Now we learn that shanti is instrumental in getting this little trick to work. It tells us that (1) there is no shanti without meditation and that (2) we need shanti in order to achieve…..

“Happiness”
Sukham

This one is rather fun. The word means ‘having a good axle hole’. If your bullock-cart has a good axel hole it will run smoothly and easily, so sukham means ‘ease, comfort, prosperity, pleasure, joy, delight, and happiness’.

(It is tempting to compare the bullock cart with the body, as it is needed for everything in this life, as is the bullock-cart to the farmer. This would lead to the idea that the complete well-being of the body would rely on serenity, shanti, which relies on meditation. I am still playing with this, but it’s looking good. What do you think?)

Here’s the recipe in a nutshell:

Get ‘yoked’
to access wisdom, achieve meditation and serenity,
and
 be happy.

Pratyahara keeps coming up, doesn’t it? It is the turning point where we begin to experience true meditation (dhyana) and its overall effects (bhavana) in our lives. And to get there, all we have to do is meditate. There are different ways to do this, but my personal favorite is to submit to God in Surrender Meditation.

Namaste (I bow to the Divine One that You really are),
Durga Ma
durgama.com
phoenixmetaphysical.com


SURRENDER MEDITATION 
Through shaktipat diksha and initiation into this radical meditation, you will put God in the driver’s seat. Surrender to the Absolute will do all the work for you, and Kundalini will awaken naturally and safely. Schedule a Shaktipat Intensive.

REMOTE SHAKTIPAT
If you can’t manage a Shaktipat Intensive in Phoenix, you will be glad to learn that Remote Shaktipat is back with a new program that provides as much information, teachings, and guidance as a person could ever want, need, or expect to get online.  

PRACTICAL MEDITATION
This link will take you to nine progressive courses in authentic meditation for both beginning and experienced meditators. I have designed these courses to provide basic essentials for anyone on any path (or no path), and so that the meditation that is most natural and comfortable for you becomes apparent to you.


64-65 The Secret to Happiness, Part 1

If you’re on the spiritual yoga party line you will have heard that you should strive to not have attachments. But I’ll bet you haven’t heard that it isn’t you that is attached, but your senses. They are the culprits, not you. They’re the ones that throw out a line like the fishers they are, latching on to something and getting you all excited about what they’ve caught. And then you get attached to having (or keeping) these things.

Well, you can always ignore them instead of wanting them and trying to figure out how to get them for yourself. We have learned that the outcome of chasing these things is that it revs up your mental energy and causes the mind to become turbulent, making deeper states of meditation and samadhi impossible. So watch the show, but don’t take a role in the play.

Bhagavad Gita, chapter two, verse 64-65

Set free from the attractions of the mighty force of the wandering senses by having oneself employed self-submission, one obtains serenity. (64)

In tranquillity the cessation of all sorrows is born. For the tranquil-minded the intelligence definitely becomes steady immediately. (65)

Alternate translations:

With the elimination of like and dislike, even though engaging the objects of the senses, one who is susceptible of control by the self by self-restraint attains serenity. (64)

In serenity one finds the cessation of all miseries. For this happy-minded person, the mind definitely becomes steady quickly, and one’s wisdom not only stands firm, but is at its highest. (65)

“Having oneself employed self-submission”

In other words, we submit ourselves by our own choice, to God. Because of this surrender, we are no longer at the mercy of the senses because now we are not involved—we have turned everything over to God.

Only one who is ready to give up control can manage this surrender. But one can practice it in meditation where it can be done fearlessly, and soon it will become familiar and easy. By this means, one comes to the lovely experience of what it is like to be in this surrendered state, and not at the mercy of the many attractions ‘out there’ that cause us to become entangled and the mind too ‘busy’ to settle down. And the more this is experienced, the more easily it comes.

By this means, “even though engaging the objects of the senses,” we are free from the domination of the senses themselves. This is a reference to a stage of yoga in which objects are engaged by the sense faculties but not the sense organs, as one perceives sights, sounds, etc., while viewing and experiencing the higher realms directly.

The sense faculties are your powers of perception. The sense organs are physical manifestations of these powers. The faculties and the organs become separated from each other when the attention and life energy (prana) become withdrawn—the sense faculties disengage from their corresponding organs (pratyahara)—and concentrated in one place (dharana) to bring about the meditative state (dhyana) and samadhi (equanimity).

After some experience with this, freedom from the domination of the senses begins to spill over into ordinary states outside of meditation. We begin to lose our strong attachments to the things of this world. By this detachment a peaceful mind and tranquillity are achieved. It is the secret to happiness.

It is easy to be happy and serene when we’re not miserable. How can there be anything but happiness in this state, where turbulence of the mind, longings and sorrows have departed? Even though the senses are engaged with objects of sense, control is in the hands of God, restraint is automatically achieved, and serenity naturally follows. What could be simpler?

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


RADICAL MEDITATION
Through shaktipat diksha and initiation into Surrender Meditation you will put God in the driver’s seat. Surrender to the Absolute will do all the work for you, and Kundalini will awaken naturally and safely. Schedule a Shaktipat Intensive with Durga Ma.

REMOTE SHAKTIPAT
If you can’t manage a Shaktipat Intensive with Durga Ma in Phoenix, you will be glad to learn that Remote Shaktipat is back with a new program that provides as much information, teachings, and guidance as a person could ever want, need, or expect to get online.  

PRACTICAL MEDITATION
This link will take you to nine progressive courses in authentic meditation for both beginning and experienced meditators. I have designed these courses to help you sort out the road you want to take, and to provide basic essentials for anyone on any path…..or no path.