IV:4-6 The Supernatural Power of an Avatar

It is said that in each age, God manifests Itself in the Relative realm of this world. How and why this happens is revealed in the next few verses. 

BHAGAVAD GITA, CHAPTER 4, VERSES 4 – 6

4
Arjuna spoke:
Your birth was recent, the birth of Vivasvat, earlier. How do I understand that you declared all this to Vivasvat in ancient times?

5
The Blessed Lord spoke:
Many of my births have passed, and also the births of you, Arjuna. I know all of them, but you do not know them, Scorcher of the Foe.

Krishna knows what He knows because of what He is, and He has initiated Arjuna into a mystical path of yoga that can get him to this same state. But Arjuna is uncertain how Krishna could have taught this to someone thousands of years ago, so Krishna explains.

_____________________

Most people in the world believe in reincarnation. In the West, not so much, our most predominant religion being Christianity with a scripture that has had this concept, and others, edited out to satisfy the political interests of the time (312 AD). But vestiges of it have slipped through the cracks and can be seen by the neutral, uninvested eye seeking the Truth. Unfortunately however, most theologians have a vested interest in their own established belief systems.

Yoga, not being a religion, is not a system of beliefs, but a spiritual science uninvested in hanging on to beliefs. This is partially due to its understanding of the mind as the believer, and the individual as not being a mind. Yoga is about union with Absolute Truth, and in this it finds a soul-mate in true Christianity and the teachings of Jesus, who, along with John, had been reincarnated, their earlier births appearing in the old testament.

6
Although I am birthless, imperishable and immutable, and although I am the Lord of all born beings, by governing my inherent supernatural power, I come into being in this world.

“I come into being in this world”
Lord Krishna spells it out: “I am birthless, imperishable and immutable”, “I manifest myself” “by governing my inherent supernatural power”.

Whether you concur with the concept of reincarnation or not, surely these characteristics of Lord Krishna, Jesus, and other masters, are indisputable. They have no limitations, so how is it that they could not come again wherever and whenever they please?

“The Lord of all born beings”
The word for ‘Lord’ is Ishvara. Ishvara means ‘the power to act’, and ‘steward, master, lord, king, queen, or God’. Ishvara is another name of Shiva, and of Durga and other Shaktis.

A Shakti is the power behind male deities. Goddesses, being Shaktis, are independent. Although Ishvara is generally considered male, 'power' has always been female.

Krishna means, ‘dark blue’. Darkness in general suggests something materially imperceptible, such as Prana, the Life Energy, which is blue, and which is obvious but not perceptible to the eye any more than the air we breathe.

Krishna is an avatara (one who has descended to earth) of Vishnu, the Sustainer All-pervader, as is Prana, the Life Energy. Vishnu, known to be female in earlier times, is the male personification of Prana in our time. An avatara comes into being here on earth through his or her own means, i.e., “inherent supernatural power”.

Our ability to understand the state of such beings is not within the capabilities of the human mind. What they have accomplished is beyond our comprehension. The compassion they must possess to be willing to descend into our violent and cruel world is nothing short of amazing.

Now that we have some idea of how God manifests on earth, in our next two installments, we will find out why and when, as well as the state of the avatar and how it is achieved.

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

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Shaktipat Meditation events introduce you to a form of this meditation that can easily be practiced and used by anyone. You can make it your own, use it to relax and rejuvenate, or increase the effectiveness of an existing meditation practice. Shaktipat Meditation will elevate your consciousness and increase your access to inner guidance and self-awareness. Details > > >

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IV:1-3 The Ancient Imperishable Teachings of Yoga

At the end of the last chapter, The Yoga of Action, we discovered that everything Lord Krishna taught Arjuna had been around for a long time and had become lost, but we have listened in and now have these teachings for ourselves. 

This chapter begins where the last chapter left off, with Lord Krishna explaining the circumstances surrounding the subject of Karma Yoga, the Yoga of Action.

BHAGAVAD GITA, CHAPTER 4, VERSES 1 – 3

1
The Blessed Lord spoke:
I anciently taught this imperishable Yoga to Vivasvat, who then communicated it to Manu, and he later to Ikshvaku.

I anciently taught this imperishable Yoga”  Krishna recalls the universal and eternal nature of the teachings of Yoga (union) that He has just given to Arjuna.

To achieve yoga, one practices yoga. This takes place in stages. First, there is union of two opposing forces in the body that awakens Kundalini. When this evolutionary force is sufficiently advanced, there is union with the Absolute. The first union is sun-moon union (hatha yoga), or Karma Yoga (‘action union’). The second form of union is royal union (raja yoga), or Knowledge Yoga (‘wisdom union’).

Then why was Knowledge Yoga taught in chapter two before Action Yoga in chapter three?

In Eastern writings, the highest teaching comes first, so Knowledge Yoga was taught first because it is the highest union, union with the Absolute. However, it is Karma Yoga that gets you to Raja Yoga, and it is not successfully bypassed. It is one thing to speak of Raja Yoga as ‘knowledge yoga’ and tuck yourself in with books and contemplations, and quite another to actually achieve it. One cannot place Karma Yoga on a back burner, for it is vital for reaching Raja Yoga and consumes nearly all of one’s practice (sadhana) for many years.

Raja Yoga (‘royal union’)
Knowledge Yoga, Jnana Yoga

Hatha Yoga (‘sun-moon union’)
Action Yoga, Karma Yoga

“Vivasvāt, Manu and Ikṣvāku”

Here we have the first recipients of these teachings from Lord Krishna at the beginning of our present time period, which goes back many thousands of years. Lord Krishna taught it to Vivasvat, who taught it to his son, Satyavrata, the Manu of that time, and he to his son and king, Ikshvaku.

Vivasvat, or Vivasvan (‘the Brilliant One’), is Surya (‘the sun’). Aside from our usual interpretation of the sun as the Life Energy in the body, prana, let us also consider the possibility that every divine individual (i.e., the Real You) is or has an actual sun around which worlds revolve, and that this individual in our own galaxy was known as Vivasvan, or Surya.

Manu stems from the root man, meaning ‘to think’, the same as the root for manas, ‘mind’, and is connected to the English word ‘man’ (humanity). As an entity, Manu is ‘the thinking one’ and considered to be the progenitor of humanity. He is also another version of Noah, with remarkably similar stories about him. The name of the Manu of our time period is Satyavrata, meaning ‘living in Truth’.

A Manu is the progenitor of humanity during the time-period of a manvantara (manu-antara). The duration of a manvantara is the duration of the Manu’s life span:  

Each Manvantara is created and ruled by a specific Manu, who in turn is created by Brahma, the Creator himself*. Manu creates the world, and all its species during that period of time, each Manvantara lasts the lifetime of a Manu, upon whose death, Brahma creates another Manu to continue the cycle of Creation.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manvantara

* Brahma, the Creator himself - Originally Hiranyagarbha in the Golden Age, also called the Golden Egg or Cosmic Egg. Creation was later attributed to the masculine, Prajapati, and then Brahma, as the ages made their way downward through ages of increasing strife and the decline of higher consciousness.

Ikṣvāku is the name of the king of the solar dynasty in the earliest times in India. The word ikṣvāku is interesting. It derives from the word for ‘sugarcane’ and vak, or vach, meaning ‘to speak’. I can’t help but giggle at the idea of this wisdom-knowing-king being a sweet-talker, and sincerely hope that I do not offend. But there it is. Perhaps it is the knowledge that has been passed down to him that is sweet to hear.

2
Thus received by succession, the royal seers knew this yoga, but after a long time here on this earth, it was lost, Scorcher of the Foe.

“Royal seers”  In earlier, more enlightened times, a royal was a sage, and a keeper and practitioner of this knowledge which has continued to be passed down to successors, creating lineages of knowers. As time passed, however, this knowledge became lost for the reasons given in the previous verses. But Arjuna, the ‘Scorcher of the Foe’, now carries the torch, having been given it by God in the form of Lord Krishna.

3
Today, I have taught you this ancient Yoga because you are My devotee and friend. This mystery is definitely the most important of all.

Lord Krishna points out the value of this ancient, secret yoga-knowledge He has given to Arjuna, and why he has had the good fortune to receive it: because Arjuna is His devotee and his friend. This tells us that if we want this knowledge, and want to understand it, we must be the same—His devotee and friend—lest it remain to us an unrevealed secret.

It is true that we have been given these teachings by overhearing the conversation between Krishna and Arjuna. To understand them however, we must practice them with persistence until understanding reveals itself. This practice is called Karma Yoga, the Yoga of Action, and is known to us as Sahaja Yoga, Surrender Meditation or Shaktipat Kundalini Yoga (SKY).

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

|| DONATIONS are tax-deductible ||
Your donations are very much appreciated and make it possible for me to do this work for you, which gives me great joy. Thank you.

__________________________

SHAKTIPAT  MEDITATION
Experience the simple elegance of spontaneous meditation.
Shaktipat Meditation events introduce you to a form of this meditation that can easily be practiced and used by anyone. You can make it your own, use it to relax and rejuvenate, or increase the effectiveness of an existing meditation practice. Shaktipat Meditation will elevate your consciousness and increase your access to inner guidance and self-awareness. Details > > >

__________________________

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III:42-43 The Highest Teaching

Teachings that have been lost to the world have been given to us through Lord Krishna’s words to Arjuna. We can either understand and practice them or not. What we do will depend on how much interest we have in Truth. 

BHAGAVAD GITA, CHAPTER 3, VERSES 42 – 43

42
It is said that the senses are high, the mind is higher than the senses, and the intelligence is higher than the mind. But that which is higher than the intelligence, is this.

“This” refers to the teachings on Karma Yoga, the Yoga of Action, that Lord Krishna has been passing on to his disciple and friend, Arjuna, in this chapter.

“The senses, the mind and the intelligence” are listed in the order of their importance as well as their function.

The job of the senses is to relay information to the mind; the intelligence (buddhi) makes comparisons, determines significances, discriminates differences and makes judgements. All pretty hot stuff we’re equipped with, but there is something higher and beyond these three: “this”, the teachings we have overheard Lord Krishna give to Arjuna.

In the previous verses, we discovered that these teachings are not only to remain confidential, but that they have been lost to the world and for this reason are not to be given at large, for they can be misunderstood and misused, deliberately or inadvertently, and become diluted and ultimately lost altogether. But we have been fortunate in the extreme to have been able to eavesdrop and hear them for ourselves. Now we can either try to understand and practice them or not. What we do will depend on how much interest we have in Truth.

43
Thus having learned that which is higher than the intelligence, Mighty Armed One, uplift yourself and destroy the enemy in the form of desire that is so difficult to encounter.

Alternate translation:
Thus having learned that which is beyond the intelligence—these teachings—be encouraged: Compose yourself, and overthrow the enemy in the form of desire.

“Mighty Armed One”  By calling Arjuna by this epithet, Krishna is reminding him of his strength and power, and that he has the ability to do this. In saying this to Arjuna, He says it to us—we can do this. If we do not take this road, we are to understand that we abandon it by our own choice, and not because it is too difficult, or because we do not have the ability to do it.

Now that Arjuna has learned the truth, Krishna is telling him to get on with it and put an end to the enemy that holds him in thrall and hides the Truth from him.

“Destroy the enemy in the form of desire”  We have lately heard Lord Krishna name more than one version of the enemy: attraction and aversion, desire, anger, and rajas. It appears that He is zeroing in on desire as the enemy, for it is directly linked to others.

Desire
We want to have something (or someone), and
we want it (or them) to be a certain way.

Anger
The reaction to losing or not getting it.

Rajas
The most active and intense mode of nature that is the source of desire and anger.

Desire

In the previous verses, we learned that the force that causes us to act contrary to our best interest consists of desire, anger and rajas, and that this is the enemy “in this matter”, meaning in the context of these teachings. These three are intimately related and are directly connected to this verse’s focus on desire as the enemy, for rajas  (‘passion’) and anger are directly related to desire.

The word for desire is kama, which means sensual desire. This is the context for these warnings, for this is where desire can be the most compelling and the most damaging.

The word for ‘enemy’ in Sanskrit means ‘adversary or overthrower’. What that adversary is, is kāma-rūpaḿ, meaning ‘having the form or appearance of desire’. This is followed by a word that suggests ‘unparalleled danger’; when this word is broken down we have ‘difficult and dangerous’ combined with ‘false, untrue, non-existent’. This makes desire look like a phantom, as if it were something ephemeral but dangerous, and that one must use extreme caution in approaching it…a dangerous ghost. Could it be that it is its diaphanous appearance that makes it so dangerous? 

A desire is an affirmation of lack.

Wanting something declares that you do not have it. With the presence of desire, the mind is reinforced in believing this untruth. You do have it. You are everywhere in all things with no limitations and nothing stopping you…except your own mind. Until you reach full enlightenment, remember who you are:

You are a god in a body made of God being human.
Nothing is impossible for you.

All our earthly desires then, all those ever so important wants we chase on a daily basis, are all libelous illusions. Here we should remind ourselves that the veil that stands between us and our goal is less substantial than what it hides. In this chapter we have been given the means of bringing down these veils that stand in the way of our realization and union with God, Truth, the Absolute. But the question remains: Will we pursue That, or will we continue to chase and be ruled by the ghosts of desire?

End of Chapter Three, The Yoga of Action

In the Chapter Four we will learn more about Karma Yoga and its secrets.

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

|| DONATIONS are tax-deductible ||
Your donations are very much appreciated and make it possible for me to do this work for you, which gives me great joy. Thank you.

__________________________

SHAKTIPAT  MEDITATION
Experience the simple elegance of spontaneous meditation
Shaktipat Meditation events introduce you to a form of this meditation that can easily be practiced and used by anyone. You can make it your own, use it to relax and rejuvenate, or increase the effectiveness of an existing meditation practice. Shaktipat Meditation will elevate your consciousness and increase your access to inner guidance and self-awareness. Details > > >

__________________________

Shaktipat Intensives
Shaktipat Kundalini Yoga – Surrender Meditation
Music for Relaxation, Meditation & Rejuvenation

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III:38-41 The Lost Teachings

Thank you for all your gurupurnima greetings and gifts. May you be spiritually and prosperously blessed through out the year.  ¶

What is it that hides our inherent power from us? our power to know our true Selves, the entire cosmos, and Truth Itself? It is that our perception is indirect; only direct perception will suffice in this. 

BHAGAVAD GITA, CHAPTER 3, VERSES 38-41 

38
Just as fire is hidden by smoke, a mirror by dust and the fetus by the womb, so by that is this concealed. 

“So by that” refers to the force mentioned in verses 36-37“is this” refers to the Knowledge-teachings of this chapter becoming “concealed”, hidden and lost.

“Just as fire is hidden by smoke, a mirror by dust, and the fetus by the womb”

Why has Lord Krishna chosen these particular items for this metaphor—fire, a mirror, and the womb?

The Fire

The ‘fire’ is referring to a bearer bringing an offering to a sacrificial fire, and in the process becoming enveloped and hidden by its smoke, so the Sanskrit word, vahnir (‘bearer’), is taken as synonymous with ‘fire’. When I see things like this I know there is something more afoot hidden in the cracks, and I go looking around…

Vahnir (‘fire’) is also a name of Soma. You may recall that soma, ‘moon-juice’, is amrita, the nectar of immortality, before it is made viable through purification by the ‘sacrificial fire’ (kundalini). Moon-juice suggests something ‘fluid’ associated with the internal ‘moon’ of the body, the hypothalamus*, where the ‘lake of the moon’ is located, and which is visible to the meditator at a certain stage of sadhana.

*Hypothalamus - A region of the forebrain that coordinates both the autonomic nervous system and the activity of the pituitary, controlling body temperature, thirst, hunger, and other systems, and involved in sleep and emotions.

Who or what is the ‘bearer’ of this fire? Smoke envelops the fire, or smoke envelops the bearer of the fire…which is it?

It is both. The ‘fire’ is the bearer. There are two kinds of fire: Surya and Agni. The ‘fire’ in the body is prana, the fire of the sun, Surya. When prana is in the sushumna nadi, the central channel, it is Agni, the sacrificial fire, kundalini.

The Mirror

In this world, our ability to see requires using our sense of sight, which requires that light reflect off the object we want to see, thus making our perception indirect. When we want to see ourselves, we use a mirror. So when we see our image in a mirror, our perception is doubly indirect, and a mirror covered in dust takes this even further afield.

The dust is ignorance (non enlightenment). The dusty mirror is ignorance of ourselves. Ignorance is how we see when we see by indirect means—the senses pick up data and feed it to the mind, and we ‘know’ of it. The data is then stored in memory, and we are able to revisit it. 

The Fetus

The word for fetus or embryo also means ‘the inside or interior of anything’, even a sanctuary of a temple (the inner sanctum of a temple is called the garbha, ‘womb’). 

Then what is inside? 

I am reminded of Hiranyagarbha, the Golden Womb, Golden Egg, or Cosmic Egg, and that the entire cosmos is what is inside, just as an embryo or fetus, which consists of the entire cosmos, develops into a human body. 

So we conclude that our metaphor is telling us that to achieve a sacrificial fire, Self-realization and cosmic consciousness, the smoke, the dust and the membrane must first be removed. Indirect perception will not do. Our perception must be direct.

Sacrificial Fire > Self-realization > Cosmic Conscious

We can be encouraged in this by noticing that the thing that is hidden is much more substantial than the thing that is hiding it.

We can only see inside with direct perception.

39
By this constant enemy in the form of sensual desire, which is like an insatiable fire, the knowledge of the wisdom-knowers gets obscured.

Here we go again with ‘fire’, and again it is associated with kundalini. So the message here is that sensual desire looks a lot like kundalini, and visa verse, to someone who does not understand the knowledge that has been given, and that this misunderstanding is the very thing that obscures these teachings and causes them to become lost.

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

|| DONATIONS are tax-deductible ||
Your donations are very much appreciated and make it possible for me to do this work for you, which gives me great joy. Thank you.

__________________________

SHAKTIPAT  MEDITATION
Experience the simple elegance of spontaneous meditation
Wednesdays, Aug 26 & Sept 30, 7pm – 8pm
A Peace of the Universe
7000 E Shea Blvd, Suite 1710, Scottsdale, Arizona
$10 love donation
Seating is very limited, so please call or come in to register in advance
480 596 3755

__________________________

Shaktipat Intensives
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Music for Relaxation, Meditation & Rejuvenation

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III:36-37 Outfoxing the Force

What is it that causes a person to act contrary to what will bring them what they seek? 

BHAGAVAD GITA, CHAPTER 3, VERSES 36-37 

36
Arjuna spoke:
Then by what is one impelled to act so hazardously, even unwillingly, as if compelled by some force?

What is it that causes a person to act contrary to what will bring them what they seek? Even though we take a path best suited to our individual natures (verses 33-35) and do our best to practice these teachings faithfully, we can still be derailed. Why? What causes this?

37
The Blessed Lord spoke:
This force is desire, this force is anger, of which the rajas guna is the source. It is powerfully ravenous and consuming. Know it to be in this matter, the enemy.

Both desire and anger are problematic because of rajas, not because wanting something or feeling angry are inherently evil, but because of the consuming power of rajas, one of the three gunas (modes) of nature. Of the three, rajas is the most compelling—like a hurricane is compelling, or a tornado, or the heat of the desert, or the frozen tundra of the poles. For this reason, one practicing yoga sadhana is always wary of rajas.

“Desire and anger”

Desire (kama) and anger (krodha) are forms of ‘passion’ (rajas). Kama, desire, refers to sensual desire, and krodha, anger, refers to the reaction brought about by thwarted desire. In this way, they go together, anger being instigated by (thwarted) desire.

  • Desire is a function of the senses and the mind, anger is an emotion.
  • Desire is a want, anger is a feeling.
  • Both desire and anger rely on rajas.

Where desire and anger are concerned, rajas, passion, is the enemy, to greater and lesser degrees—with desire, the greater being lust and the lesser being what you want for lunch; with anger, the greater being wrath and the lesser being simple frustration with a task. 

“In this matter, the enemy” 

In this verse, we are talking about the rajasic nature of desire and anger making them “powerfully ravenous and consuming”. Rajas is said to be the source of both desire and anger. In other words, they cannot exist without some degree of rajas, and rajas, being a force of nature that is “powerfully ravenous and consuming”, cannot be suppressed. 

Rajas is not intrinsically bad any more that desire and anger are intrinsically bad. (By themselves, they might only be irritants.) Rajas is, after all, a property of nature and therefore divine in the relative sense. It is desire and anger that are the problem when they are powerful and ravenous. This understanding has led many a seeker to avoid anything of a rajasic nature, including food, people and places. Not a bad idea, really.

The Solution

It is often said that by increasing sattvas, tranquillity, the power of rajas is decreased, and that controlling desires controls lust, and that controlling lust controls anger. This is a logical stream of thought. Such practices can be effective, but require rigid willpower and must be constantly monitored.

The real solution to this dilemma is ‘indifference’. If nothing matters, desire is moot and there is nothing to become angry about. When you don’t care, neither desire nor anger can exist because rajas is not present, and both are dependent upon rajas for their existence.

So how do we get there? We take the teachings given by Lord Krishna seriously, and follow them. Chapters two and three are full of them, and more teachings on action will be coming up in chapter four to give us greater understanding. Their practice will bring us to a state of fulfillment where desires do not live. Once we have had a taste of this satisfying state, we will want more, and the more we experience it, the easier it will come, and desires will die a gradual and natural death.

Until that time, stick with your sadhana. Do not be too hard on yourself regarding desires, and control angry behaviors so as not to hurt or upset others, for it is simply not your inherent nature to do so. Such practices are money in the bank for making your road lighter and more fulfilling.

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

__________________________

SHAKTIPAT  MEDITATION
Experience the simple elegance of spontaneous meditation
Wednesdays, Aug 26 & Sept 30, 7pm – 8pm
A Peace of the Universe
7000 E Shea Blvd, Suite 1710, Scottsdale, Arizona
$10 love donation
Seating is very limited, so please call or come in to register in advance
480 596 3755

__________________________

Shaktipat Intensives
Shaktipat Kundalini Yoga – Surrender Meditation
Music for Relaxation, Meditation & Rejuvenation