Perennial Psychology of the Bhagwad Geeta

  • By Swami Rama
  • January 2002
Knowledge of the Royal and Secret Path

1.To you who are free of all intolerance I shall tell this secret-most knowledge together with its realization, knowing which, you will be freed from all that is impure.

2. The royal science, the royal secret, this is the unexcelled purifier, the attainment of which is evident, meritorious, immutable, and very easy to accomplish.

3. The person not having faith in this law (dharma), O Scorcher of Enemies, not finding Me, keep returning on the path of death and the worldly cycles.

In this chapter Sri Krishna expounds the profound knowledge that will help Arjuna understand his internal organization so that he can be free delusion. Sri Krishna first imparts the knowledge of the temporal and real world and then leads Arjuna to the higher knowledge that can only be attained directly and not through any other source. Knowledge of the scriptures and teachings of the sages do inspire us, but direct knowledge alone enables one to attain the highest wisdom.

5. Nor are the beings dwelling within Me. See My yoga of sovereignty. My Self is the bearer of beings, nurturing the beings, yet not dwelling in the beings.

6. As the great wind dwelling in the sky reaches everywhere, so all the beings are dwelling within Me-be certain of this.

That which is self-existent, complete, and full in itself does not need any support. The whole universe has arisen from the unmanifested power of the Lord. The entire administration of this universe is governed efficiently by the Lord. All beings rely on that one power, but that power does not rely on any being, for it is independent in and of itself. It nourishes and protects all beings yet is not bound up in them. Atman is the very cause and source of the activities of all beings. As the air exists in space and moves about in space, so all things have their existence and movement within the Lord.

In an organization there are many administrative officers, but above all these governing authorities there is one who has supreme authority to govern the entire organization. Similarly in the city of life there are many governing powers, but over all is Ishvara. In both the individual and the universe, the highest Self is the presiding divinity that directs and protects the universe and the individual life. The same governing principle is in the individual as is in the universe.

13. The great-souled ones, however, resorting to the divine nature, devote themselves to Me with their minds on no other, knowing Me as the immutable origin of all beings and elements

14. Always glorifying Me and endeavoring with firmness of observance and vows, always bowing with devotion, ever joined in yoga, they worship Me.

15. Others through the sacrificial observances in knowledge, in unity and multiplicity, worship Me in various ways, who am facing in all directions

Great men meditate and contemplate on the divine and thus attain a state of wisdom in which they identify themselves with divinity, and their nature becomes divine. Their minds remain one pointed in the knowledge that the Lord is the first cause of all beings and is imperishable. With one-pointed devotion they dedicate their minds, actions, and speech to the Lord alone, and they serve the Lord through their pure devotion. They have a single desire to attain the goal of human life. All of their energies are thus directed toward the Lord. They are resolute in their disciplined way of living and they practice discipline in all aspects of life. They see the Lord everywhere and in everyone. And they salute everyone because they know that the Lord dwells in every beings.

There are others who perform sacrifices in the form of knowledge. Such a yogi surrenders all that he knows with his limited mind; he empties himself and opens himself to divine wisdom. Knowledge is a means to attain the goal of life. The wealth of a yogi is his knowledge; he has nothing but knowledge. He has no desire, wants, or attachments. In the path of self-surrender, one surrenders all that he has, and the yogi has only knowledge to surrender. Thus the yogi sacrifices his knowledge and becomes one with the Absolute. He realizes the absolute one without a second. He does not go to a state of unconsciousness but remains fully conscious, identifying himself with the center of pure consciousness. That is the most profound state of wisdom and not a state of unconsciousness, as some modern psychologists assume.

There are others who serve the Lord in various ways. Some perform their duties skillfully with full devotion and with an attitude of selfless service. They follow the spiritual path with great determination. Such great people always work for the prosperity of all beings Great men and mahatmas know the power of the Absolute to be the means by which society can prosper. Maintaining harmonious attitudes, they perform selfless actions for the well being of all people, and they are always enthusiastic in the spirit of selfless service. These great people are always modest, saintly, and generous. They always work for the welfare of both the individual and society

20. The master of three sciences (vidyas) who drink soma and whose sin is purified, having performed sacrifices, seek to reach heaven. They, reaching the meritorious world of the king of gods, enjoy the celestial pleasures of gods in heaven.

21. They, having enjoyed that vast, celestial world, upon the exhaustion of merit, enter the world of mortals, thus resorting to the law of threefold existence. Desiring desires, they remain in the cycles of coming and going.

22. Those people, however, who having no other, worship contemplating Me, I bear their prosperity in this world and the next as they are ever joined to Me in yoga.

In ancient times aspirants performed various kinds of sacrifices for the sake of prosperity, for the sake of the common good, or to fulfill desires for earthly enjoyments. Some aspirants performed a special kind of ritual called

soma sacrifice

Those who used to drink soma wanted their mundane desire fulfilled. In ancient times soma sacrifice was performed as a ritual, and the preparations were done with austerities. From the very beginning the ritual was performed with a single motive in mind, which helped the participants to concentrate on the specific motive for which the ritual was performed. Much has been written in the Vedic scriptures about soma: the way it was obtained, prepared, and used while performing sacrifice. It is said that soma is a creeper found in the higher mountains and that when its juice is extracted, it creates a delightful intoxication and stimulation in the mind. The ancients knew a profound way to extract the juice of the soma has the capacity to help the aspirant make his mind concentrated by bringing about a super sensual joy. (To read more about Soma please go to section Questions and Answers Indian Culture, essay What do the Vedas Say?).

The yogic method of drinking soma is entirely different and unique, and only a fortunate few yogis know how to derive soma from within and thus remain elevated in their spiritual endeavors. When the yogi applies khechari mudra by inserting his tongue upward behind the roof of the palate, from there he tastes the soma or nectar that is everflowing from Brahma randhra, a cavity in the crown of the head. With the help of that nectar, the yogi prolongs the span of is life. Those who do not know how to take nectar remain brutish because that ever-flowing nectar is then taken by the kundalini. That is why the primal force in the human body, kundalini, remains intoxicated and asleep. Depriving kundalini of that nectar, the yogi consciously drinks it himself. When the primal force, kundalini, does not receive the nectar, she wakes up and ascends through all the chakras to the final abode at sahasrara chakra. Then all that has been unconscious and unknown comes forward, and one attains the knowledge of unity. This is one of the rarest practices experienced by yogis. It requires an accomplished yogic pose and bandhas (locks) along with khechari mudra.

This method of taking soma leads the yogi to a state of divine intoxication in which he is aware of the Self only

The external way of extracting soma from herbs is far inferior to this method.

The ancient soma has been compared to the natural and synthetic hallucinogenic used today such as mescaline, peyote, and LSD. Though these are different from soma, they may well be in the same family of hallucinogens and may produce similar results. People today take such drugs for various purposes, and their experiences match their purpose as well as vividly brining forth-latent impressions from the unconscious. If one is preoccupied with sensory pleasure, such pleasure is greatly heightened by hallucinogens. And if one is inclined toward spiritual experiences, it is those experiences that are heightened. Except for the use of peyote by American Indians, today there is no systematic ritual to direct the hallucinogenic experience along beneficial lines, though modern experimenters have attempted to develop ritualized and guided hallucinogenic sessions with that purpose in mind.

There is considerable controversy today about whether hallucinogens are beneficial or harmful. Arguments have been putforth for both the positive and negative effects of their use. It is true that psychoactive drugs can lead one to intense concentration on a single object, and that concentration can lead one to a vivid exploration of the unconscious, to altered states of consciousness, to a sense of transcending time, and to the awareness of the illusory nature of one’sordinary mode of experiencing. One then sees that his ordinary reality is insubstantial and only a relative reality. Yet one may ask, as vivid as these experiences might be, are they genuine or merely hallucinations? Are they the same as those experience of the yogis who develop concentration and a one-pointed mind through their own efforts? It seems that hallucinogens merely bring forth that which is already in one'’ unconscious mind. They give one a glimpse of super sensual realms and of the powers and forces that underlie the material world experienced by the senses. But such drug cannot lead one beyond his already developed capacities to know, comprehend, and enjoy the subtle realms and underlying truths. And they cannot lead one beyond manifestation to experience the unmanifest Brahman

26.Whoever offers Me a leaf, flower, fruit, or water, with devotion-that gift of a person of controlled self, offered with devotion, I accept.

27.Whatever you do, sacrifice, or give, whatever austerities you perform, O Son of Kunti, surrender that as an offering unto Me.

28.Thus you will be freed from the bondages of actions whose fruits are beautiful or ugly; your self, united in the yoga of renunciation, liberated, will reach Me.

The Lord accepts any offerings no matter how insignificant even a leaf, flower, fruit, or a small amount of water-if it is given with full devotion. This does not mean that aspirants should use only these objects for worship. It means that which is important is the feeling of devotion. The Lord does not need anything, for everything already belongs to Him. Offerings are only expressions of devotion.

Those who offer the fruits of their actions to others without any selfish motivation., no matter how big or small the fruits, are making offerings to the Lord. Learning to give is a great virtue. It is as good for oneself as it is for others. By offerings fruits, one learns giving and is benefited in two ways: he practices non-attachment and acknowledge the presence of the Lord in others. Thus giving is a step toward non-attachment and at the same time acknowledges the presence of God in all beings.

Verse 26 teaches the aspirant to give or offer whatever he can according to his capacity. Those who acquire this habit cannot stop giving, and finally they give all that they have as an offerings to the Lord. Giving and giving up bring one and same result. These two virtues are the highest of all help the aspirant in self-unfoldment. Any selfish action performed is a devotion to the Lord.

When the aspirant dedicates everything to the Lord and directs all his energy with mind, action, and speech to the Lord alone, his actions and the fruits of his actions no longer bind him. Actions performed as worship to the Lord do not create bondage. Great men solely dedicate their lives and perform all their actions for the selfless service of mankind. They do not ever experience bad or good fruits of their actions because they live for the service of the lord performed through service to mankind.

Here ends the ninth chapter, in which the secret knowledge of the royal path, called raja vidya, is imparted.

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