63 Knowledge of the Mysteries

From anger arises delusion. From delusion, the wandering of memory. From the wandering of memory, the destruction of intelligence. From the destruction of intelligence, one is lost. — Bhagavad Gita, chapter two, verse 63

Words

The word for anger also means ‘wrath’ and ‘passion'; delusion, ‘loss of consciousness, error, ignorance, misunderstanding, misinterpretation'; wandering, ‘disturbance, confusion, error, mistake, illusion'; memory, ‘remembrance of the whole body of sacred oral tradition remembered by human teachers'; destruction of intelligence, the disappearance or loss of (1) the ability to ‘discern or discriminate’ on the part of the seeker, and (2) ‘the loss of remembered sacred oral teachings’.

The Cause of Death

This verse winds down with the news that we are all going to die: “one is lost”. The word for ‘lost’ means ‘falls down’ and ‘death’—prana falls down so one dies (prana’s pathway in the body is upward). We should all be stunned to realize that this verse is actually implicating immortality. So many wonders there are, and we know so little! Perhaps the Fountain of Youth, the Holy Grail, is hidden somewhere within us?

Alternate translation:

Anger causes turbulence of the mind, which in turn causes remembered oral teachings to become lost through error, misunderstanding and misinterpretation, leading to the decline and loss of sacred oral teachings. Having been lost through the destruction of intelligence, these teachings fall into ruin, and death becomes inescapable.

Sacred Oral Teachings

Sacred oral teachings are passed down through lineages of masters. These teachings are not found in religions. The teacher passes them down orally only to students who have reached stages in their sadhana that will make their knowledge understandable and beneficial to them.

In this verse, Krishna describes how these oral teachings are periodically lost to future generations by being passed down to those who are not qualified to receive them. With the loss of intelligent discernment and the subsequent loss of correct understanding of these oral teachings, the world falls apart. It ‘dies’, as does the individual seeker.

At the end of an age, when the path to Truth has been lost, God incarnates to rectify the situation. The period of this Mahabharata war* is a case in point. God has incarnated as Krishna, Arjuna’s guru, in order to save the world.

* The setting of the Bhagavad Gita is the Mahabharata war, an historical event of another age used by the author to interject practical and esoteric spiritual teachings.

Anger

Anger can take many forms, from simple annoyance and displeasure to jealousy, hostility and rage. The Sanskrit word for anger also means passion. The energy of passionate anger is the kind of energy that makes us insensible and vulnerable to error. This is the issue here, not anger per se, but the energy of anger.

Try this Self-referencing experiment on Anger

According to the Sanskrit, kroda, the passion of anger produces wrong thinking, error, and misunderstanding. Thus are the mysteries lost, and seekers as well. Krishna is forewarning Arjuna of the importance of not sharing everything He has taught him with just anyone. In chapter eighteen, Krishna gives specific qualifications for determining who can receive these teachings:

Qualifications for Receiving the Mysteries

“This shall not be spoken of by you to anyone who is without austerity (tapas, the ‘heat or warmth’ of purification), nor to one who is not devoted to Me at all times (devotion and obedience to Krishna, God/Guru), nor to one who does not desire to hear what is to be said (‘the obedient and attentive student reaches the proper stage of sadhana and is desirous of hearing it’), nor to one who speaks ill of Me or demonstrates ill-feelings toward Me.” — Vs. 67

Lord Krishna goes on to say:

“He who shall set forth this Supreme Secret to My devotees, having performed this highest devotion to Me, shall certainly come to Me.” — Vs. 68 

Now you know why I practice this Yoga and teach it.

“And no one shall do more pleasing service to Me than this one, and no other on earth shall be dearer to Me.” — Vs. 69 

Now you know why I write of these teachings to you.

“And one who studies this sacred dialogue of ours, by that one I am loved with the knowledge sacrifice. Such is my thought.” — Vs. 70 

Now you know why I continually study this scripture.

“One who hears it with faith, not scoffing, will be liberated and attain the happy worlds of those whose actions are pure.” — Vs. 71 

Now you know why you are drawn to listen.

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


RADICAL MEDITATION
Through shaktipat diksha and initiation into Surrender Meditation you will learn how to put God in the driver’s seat of your own chariot. Surrender to the Absolute will do all the work for you, and Kundalini will awaken naturally and safely. Schedule your Shaktipat Intensive.

PRACTICAL MEDITATION
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62 How To Get What You Want Without Trying

When a man dwells on an object of sense, attraction to that object is born. From attraction, a desire to have it is born, and from this desire anger is born. — Bhagavad Gita, chapter two, verse 62. 

Desire is generated when a man dwells on an object of sense. Inherent in the attraction of a sense object is the desire to have it—you see it, you like it, you want it. The verse goes on to say that for this man anger arises, and that the source of his anger is this desire.

The Sanskri for ‘attraction’ means ‘worldly or selfish attachment, clinging, addiction, desire, greed’. These desires are called ‘desires of the mind’ because they have been acquired by the senses and placed in the mind. That is the job of the senses—to provide us with information. The sense organs (ears, eyes, skin, tongue, nose) are responsible for this indirect perception of objects that can be seen, heard, felt, tasted or smelled.

The ‘desires of the mind’ are the desires we have been warned about as being the culprits that keep the mind active and make deep meditation and samadhi impossible. A desire in the mind alone would just be an idea in the mind, but along with a desire comes a feeling, the experience of a moving configuration of energy in the body. The mind however, is constructed of a subtler energy called citta, the energy of consciousness. This energy connects the mind with the feelings even though they are different things—you know it in your mind, you feel it in your body.

It is not desires per se that disturb the equilibrium of the mind, but the agitation of the energy of the mind (chitta) caused by the the intensity of feeling that accompanies desires.

It is the nature of nature to move.
Energy is a part of nature, ergo, it is the nature of energy to move.

The key to understanding this phenomena is in the words ‘desire’ and ‘anger’. Both desire and anger have one thing in common: passion.

The Sanskrit word for desire also means lust and passion.
The Sanskrit word for anger also means wrath and passion.
Passion is defined as an intense, uncontrollable feeling, or emotion.

Passion is intensely moving (rajas) energy.

The verse is describing how things transpire to cause the mind to become disturbed, but liking something does not have to mean that the desire to have it is inevitable. In fact, indifference to the object is what will allow it to come to you. As an old sage once said,

Do not do what you want
and then you may do as you like.

Or as someone I once knew used to say, “When you can give it up, you’ll get it.” Sage advice for getting what you want without trying.

_____________________

THOUGHTS

It is interesting to note that the word for ‘man’ in this verse specifically means a male person as opposed to the more common word for ‘man’ used in the Gita that would be more universal. I do not believe this is artistic license. Could this be because the verse is making a point of directing it specifically to men? And that the reference to anger is directed to men in the situation it describes? I will let you contemplate this for yourself:

For a man (puḿsaḥ, male person) dwelling on (dhyaa, thinking or meditating on) an object of sense (vishayaa, objects of sense as influential), an attachment (sanga, clinging) to them is born (jaa, born, produced); from attachment, desire (kaama, passionate desire) is born; from desire, anger (krodha, passionate anger) is born.

It is a known fact that scriptures were written by men for men, so women must take this into consideration as they read them. Women were considered to be only half human (unless they were married), not entitled to enter heaven when they die (unless they were married), or were merely ‘children’ and therefore untrustworthy, and were excluded from most groups teaching yoga sadhana. But the great sages knew better. For many of them, their closest disciples were and are women. I include Padmasambhava, Jesus Christ, and Sadguru Swami Shri Kripalvanandaji in this, to mention a few. 

This very text, the Bhagavad Gita, is the central feature of the Mahabharata, which was written by the sage Vyasa as an ‘epic poem’ as if to say, anyone, even women, could read it. Very clever. But there was one hitch: only women of the highest cast would be educated and able to read it. But this was in another age, although we are still in a similar age—the kali yuga, or dvapara yuga, depending upon whom you talk to.

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

RADICAL MEDITATION
Through shaktipat diksha and initiation into Surrender Meditation you will learn how to put God in the driver’s seat of your own chariot. Surrender to the Absolute will do all the work for you, and Kundalini will awaken naturally and safely. Schedule your Shaktipat Intensive.

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.

61 Outsmarting Obstacles

He for whom all the senses are held in restraint, sitting intent on Me with his senses under control, his wisdom stands firm. —  Bhagavad Gita, chapter two, verse 61

Alternate translation:

But submitting to Me according to his wish, when he rests absorbed in devotion to Me all the senses become restrained, and with certainty his wisdom stands firm. 

Throughout our lives and throughout our sadhana, obstacles will arise. We may not be able to change this, but we can outsmart these obstacles. In our last installment, we came up with some solutions to this ever-present dilemma. Now this verse gives us the best solution for that aspect of our lives that is our sadhana, our spiritual practices, the solution to outsmarting all obstacles to reaching union with the Absolute:

Submitting to Me according to his wish”

Surrendering to God by your own choice in the meditation room, the senses will automatically become restrained (pratyahara). 

Translations of mystical texts always take the position of using the will to try to achieve success with each step along the way, no matter what the subject of the text. We humans don’t like to submit. We think it is weak. But this verse is telling you that submission is your greatest strength, your highest choice. It is not telling you to just submit, but to submit specifically to God—this is the key.

When you submit to God, Truth, The Absolute, you have made the ultimate choice and have accessed your ultimate power. You have paved your way to resting absorbed in God. Having chosen God, the senses will come under control, not by you, but automatically they are withdrawn and their activities restrained.

Surrender specifically and ONLY to God
by your own choice
in your meditation room.

“With his senses under control”

Pratyahara, the withdrawal and restraint of the senses, happens in a state of surrender as your awareness leaves the linear world where the senses and their functions are needed. This can happen the way it does because, in this situation, you no longer need anything to bring you information. In the earlier stages you perceive directly. I later stages you don’t perceive at all—you don’t need to perceive; you are beyond being a knower knowing knowable things.

The senses are under control, but you are not doing the controlling. As the lover to the beloved, you have surrendered to That Divine One. The senses are no longer yours to control—you have surrendered them, given them back to God. Thus are pratyahara, meditation (dhyana) and samadhi (merging with God) successfully attained.

Once you have attained samadhi your experience proves this to be so—you know from our own experience that all the senses become spontaneously restrained and under control without any help from you. Until that time comes, you resort to ‘faith’, the assumption that this is so, based on the words of those who have been there. In your meditation room you are free. Once having experienced this freedom, even if only for an hour or two a day, you come to know what freedom is and what it is like to be free. Having had the experience, the way is paved to achieving it fully (moksha, liberation). So the message here is: do your sadhana, meditate.

Reading these verses (from vs 55) as descriptive of a natural sequence of events, one discovers that all this will happen on its own through surrender to God in meditation, where you give up trying to make things happen by using your will.

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.
Shaktipat Intensive February 28 – March 1, Phoenix, AZ. 

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.

 

60 Obstacles to Meditation

The aggressive and tormenting senses forcibly carry away the mind, Kunteya (Arjuna), even of a man of wisdom and understanding. —  Bhagavad Gita, chapter two, verse 60

We have seen ‘what lies beyond’, reached ‘the Highest’, and have become established in wisdom and understanding, but apparently we have not seen the last of this ever-present obstacle, the pesky senses. And to top it off, even though we try to avoid the eventuality of the mind becoming too active to slip into pratyahara, all our efforts appear to be doomed to failure.

Or are we jumping to conclusions here? When we take everything into consideration, we have to admit that under ordinary circumstances the senses are going to continue doing their jobs of bringing information into the mind in the form of images, sounds, smells, etc. This verse is reassuring us that the senses are going to carry on with their business in spite of our continued success.

Now that we have achieved pratyahara and entered the temple of true meditation and samadhi, what the senses have to offer is nothing by comparison. Although our attention will be attracted to objects of sense, we are not compelled to become attached and desirous of having them. If they come, they come. If they are pleasant, enjoyment is inevitable, but whether they are pleasant or unpleasant is irrelevant to us. It’s just another day on the job for the senses.

The mind gets its data from the senses.

The Power of the Senses

After learning that reaching true meditation is not as simple as sitting down like a pretzel and telling your mind to shut up, you find that even when you have ‘seen the Highest’ your mind still gets carried away by the senses.

As the senses continue to do their jobs of keeping you informed, they continue to attract your attention and bring information into the mind. This shows how powerful you really are. You have these five senses because you have these five inherent powers, five powers of perception and knowledge. These powers of yours have manifested on the physical plane to supply you with information that you need to navigate life, but the powers from which they derive are still what they are: powers.

The only problem is that you have identified with your ‘chariot’, your body, which includes the senses. Your power to know by means of your five powers of perception is very real, but the senses themselves are a part of nature. Trying to control them is trying to control nature. If that’s how you are attempting to deal with them, good luck. Try this Solution instead, or try these Backup Solutions which also work as a stand-alone solutions.

The Mind in Meditation

It is a common dilemma that thoughts and desires arise in meditation. We become disturbed by this, wondering if there is something wrong because the mind constantly thinks about desires, the grocery list, and other silly things, and we become disenchanted with meditation or feel like failures. What this verse is saying is, “Don’t worry about it. This is just nature doing its thing. It has nothing to do with you.”

Will and Surrender

It is said in Yoga that to continue to progress, one gives their powers back to the Source, submits them to God. 

Your own willful efforts can take you only so far. Remember the experiment where you pushed your stiffened arms against the insides of a door frame? You can only maintain this for so long, and when you finally let go and walk away, there is a moment of surrender, albeit unintentional, in which you step away from the door and your arms freely and effortlessly float upward. It wasn’t your willful effort that freed your arms to float, it was that moment when you gave up and surrendered.

Using your will outside the meditation room is pushing your arms against the doorframe. When you go into meditation and surrender yourself to God, you step away from the door and your ‘arms’ float upward effortlessly. This is what Arjuna has done. He has put God in the driver’s seat of his chariot.

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

SHAKTIPAT INTENSIVE 
February 28 – March 1, Phoenix, AZ

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.

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.

59 Meditation Isn’t What You Think

(Yes, it’s a double entendre.)

Last week we discovered that there is something that comes before meditation and that without it there can be no true meditation, and without meditation there can be no samadhi (merging with God). This ‘something’ is pratyahara, the internalization of the attention through the withdrawal of the senses from their objects. Previously we looked at this withdrawal and what the experience of it is like. Now we will look at how it comes about.

STAGES of PRATYAHARA

1. You begin to lose interest in sense objects. (Sense objects are anything the senses can perceive.) Once you have begun to make real progress in your sadhana you soon find that you are more attracted to it than to the things of this world. (This happens soon and effortlessly for people doing SKY* for more than an hour or two a day.) 

2. The mind becomes inactive in sadhana. There are no desires, no likes and dislikes, no sensory input, nothing to be conscious of. You have traded your cravings for fulfillment and you are about to get it.

3. The powers of sense separate from the physical sense organs. This allows you to sense (see, hear, feel, taste and smell) without the use of the sense organs. You perceive directly, as clearly and definitely as you do under ordinary circumstances only more and better—you see things for what they really are, you see things other people can’t see with their ordinary sight (ditto with the other four senses). This sounds like psychic stuff when put into words, but that is a different experience.

4. You become disinterested in the things of the world in and out of sadhana. This stage sets in in a very real way after much experience with Stage Three and samadhi which is dependent upon it. At this point, you are not only disinterested in the things of the world, but you find them irritating, lacking, overstimulating, and a poor substitute for the real thing, which you have by now seen for yourself. This is when you will never give up your sadhana no matter how difficult it gets, however hopeless you think you are at it, no matter what it costs you to continue.

With the withdrawal of the senses there is true meditation. With true meditation, there is samadhi, merging with God/Truth and the ultimate fulfillment. 

*SKY — Shaktipat Kundalini Yoga, the sadhana (practice) of Surrender Meditation.

Read another person’s experience of pratyahara.

CHAPTER TWO, VERSE 59
In this verse we find that pratyahara is not easily attained, but hidden within it is the secret to attaining it.

The objects of sense turn away from the fasting embodied one, except for taste. But even taste turns away from one who has seen the Highest. — Bhagavad Gita, chapter two, verse 59

Delving deeper into the Sanskrit . . .

The influence of sense objects will cease for one who doesn’t feed them even though cravings for them persist. But even the cravings for them cease for one who has beheld what lies beyond.

Avoidance is the usual means of not ‘feeding’ the senses, i.e., the sense of sight: a man intent on avoidance who sees a beautiful woman walks the other way. This technique is why we find spiritual commentaries naming ‘woman’ as poison and the downfall of man. It isn’t woman that is the problem, it is the craving stimulated by the sense of sight coming into contact and becoming attached to a desirable sight. So a woman would walk the other way to avoid the sight of a beautiful man for the same reason. It is not sense objects themselves that are the problem but the influence they have on the mind (vs. 57).

Even though this technique is useful, the relish for sense objects remains intact. Faced with this, we suddenly remember ‘indifference’ and are taken into the realm of non-attachment.

Non-Attachment
It is not you that is attached but the senses.

Because you are identified with your body and mind, you mistakenly believe that you have desires, but this is just the senses becoming attached to attractive objects. For as long as this misidentification is in place however, you deal with desires as if they were your own, so remember this: It is the nature of the senses to attach themselves to their objects. It is their job. But you are not nature, and you are not the senses.

RENUNCIATION

Non-attachment comes about naturally as a result of Stage Three pratyahara and the deep meditation of samadhi. This is what renunciation (sanyasa) really is. 

Having experienced Truth directly, you have beheld ‘what lies beyond’—the Highest, God, Truth—and nothing in this world can touch it or even come close. You no longer have an issue with the senses becoming attached to their objects, for acquiring these objects could never satisfy you now. Only God is enough. And when something is enough, we are fulfilled.

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

SURRENDER MEDITATION
Take a Shaktipat Intensive. Initiation into Surrender Meditation, the ‘meditation room’ of ancient masters, where surrender to the Absolute will naturally do all the work for you. NEXT INTENSIVE: February 28 – March 1, Phoenix, AZ. Seating is limited: http://phoenixmetaphysical.com/shaktipat-3/shaktipat-intensives/

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.