Krishna says that the safest and surest way of reaching Home in the Kali Yuga, our current cycle of time, is Bhakti Yoga, Union through Devotion. This form of God Realization would not be appropriate to or efficacious in the previous cycles of time. In the Satya or Krita Yuga, the Golden Age, we would not have the need to make God into any form or ideal - we still possessed the Remembrance (smarana) that God is within us.
As Rene Guenon says so perfectly in his book, Studies in Hinduism:
… the ‘supports’ by virtue of which ‘realization’ remained possible became more and more ‘materialized’ from one period to another in conformity with the descending course of cyclical development.
Here in the Kali Yuga it is almost impossible for us to control the mind and the wild horse gunas, and thus Krishna offers the safe and effective path of Devotion. Being immersed in the Heart does have its own unique rewards. The joyous and sublime experience of the subtle sweet nectar of Divine Love is said to draw many souls into a Kali Yuga just to be able to enjoy God Realization and Union through the unparalleled and extraordinary approach of Bhakti Yoga.
What follows are my own personal interpretations of a selection of Krishna’s words. I do this with considerable humility as this is only my current understanding, and because doing so makes me really happy! Most of us will read the Bhagavad Gita and the Uddhava Gita (which is within the Bhagavata Purana) again and again over the course of our lives. Every time we read these lines we will find something new in them, because we will have evolved and changed in our experiential and inner understanding. Perhaps one day we simply Become their meaning.
Bhagavad Gita XV, Verse 15
SARVASYA CAHAM HRDI SAMNIVISTO
I dwell in the Heart of everyone...
In the Gita Krishna identifies himself with the universal ATMAN. The Atman-Self lies within the Heart of every man, woman and child. It is the Source and Home of all of us. The term for universal Heart in Sanskrit is HRDAYA and is ‘the very core of the consciousness underlying and permeating the entire universe’ (B. Marjanovic).
Bhagavad Gita XI, Verse 53-54
BHAKTYA TV ANANYAYA
By Devotion alone, Love and worship undistracted…
Krishna tells Arjuna that the Atman in its Totality, as he had revealed to Arjuna, can be known, seen and entered into not by study, or austerities, or sacrifice, or charity – but by exclusive and undistracted and focused devotion alone.
The etymology of the English word devotion refers to a vow, a consecrated purpose. That which is consecrated is rendered sacred and holy. The word holy comes from the Middle English ‘hool’ which mean whole. Thus devotion will bring you back to your original state of wholeness – the One.
Remaining immersed in the Heart and therefore in the frequencies of purifying Love will bring you Home more effectively than reading 100s of spiritual texts, or performing the most arduous physical yoga or fasting, or even acts of charity. Devotion focuses your consciousness into the waveform from which you emerged and therefore gets you there - direct.
Jesus: … the greatest of these is Love.
I Corinthians 13:13
VASUDEVAH SARVAM ITI
Vasudeva is All…
The Sanskrit term VASUDEVA means the ‘indweller’. Vasudeva dwells within the Heart of each man, woman & child and simultaneously permeates all the universes. Vasudeva-Isness-Atman has no form and is all forms. It is forever both the unmanifest and the manifest, the myriad apparent multiplicities and that which is ‘beneath the curtain of each atom’ (Mahmud Shabistari, 14th century Sufi poet).
Therefore whatever ideal you hold in consciousness and choose to focus on, as the object of your devotion will lead you Home.
But if you devote yourself to one ideal, as in one religion or deity or even a philosophical paradigm, you may go through life not realizing and remembering that God is within ALL. In thinking that only this, your ideal is the ‘one’ and the others are not, you indulge in the ignorance of prejudice and critical argument against other beliefs, holding your faith superior and above the others. Thus you will magnetize only the correlate frequencies of your limited consciousness, and you will find yourself in the transient and temporal illusory hologram of that particular waveform.
When you pass over and leave you body, your consciousness will be holding the frequencies of your chosen religion or deity, and thus will draw you into and limit you to like frequency waveforms in the Phantasmal Hierarchies. These realms are not eternal. They are the endless temporal illusory regions of heavens and hells that correlate to the thoughts of humankind over the Manvantaras.
Bhagavad Gita VII, Verse 23
DEVAN DEVAYAJO YANTI
To the gods the god worshippers go…
Those who worship in this limited way are those who have ‘little understanding’ (alpamedhasam). While those who worship the Atman will come Home, meaning those who devote themselves to the purpose of becoming immersed in the Oneness of the Atman-Self. To return to your original state of Being, you Realize that God is in everything and everyone. You experience and Become the Totality.
YO MAM PASHYATI SARVATRA
He who sees me everywhere, in everything…
Whoever sees God, the Atman-Self, everywhere and in everyone will not be lost to the God-within him nor will he be lost to that eternal presence in the Heart, our Source and Home.
The Atman-Self that is within you is also within every other person and everything in the universe. In Abhinavagupta’s Commentary on the Bhagavad Gita, the translator B. Marjanovic reveals that according to Ramanuja, there comes a time in your spiritual evolution when you begin to see that ‘all beings are your own Atman. Not only are they you, but their Atman has the same form as yours.’ Thus you realize through such a powerful inner experience that you have seen all that is Atman when you have seen one Atman. There is only The One.
The entire temporal illusory holographic universe is nothing but God, Atman-Self. The All is in God and there is nothing beyond that. The Void is not empty – it is an infinite plenitude of pulsating potential, which eternally manifests as endless waveforms enfolded within the apparent multiplicities of the temporal illusory hologram.
Bhagavad Gita VI, Verse 31
Abiding in all beings…
Those who have come to Know see God in every eye and recognize their own Atman-Self in every being. Thus they treat others with respect and compassion regardless of their status, appearance, race, or sex. They treat all others as if they were their own SELF, the God-within them, their own Atman and the object of their devotion. This state of consciousness would naturally resolve all the conflicts in the world.
Uddhava Gita Dialogue 15, Verse 29
All the desires of the heart will be destroyed –
For I, the Self, dwell in the heart.
When you are world-weary, you will know it is time to come Home. The desires that once ensnared you, no longer hold any interest for you. You somehow feel that you know what everyone is going to say even before they say it. Neither praise nor criticism has influence over you. You seem to know the ending to every story. You’ve heard it all before too many times. This is not depression, as the current propaganda would have you believe so they can sell you some quick fix. This is the soul’s natural evolution to a higher consciousness. Your soul is talking to you, perhaps telling you that you have been here in exactly this same moment 454 times! Your soul is urging you to turn inward and come Home.
It is as if all the world’s promises and illusions no longer have their power over you. Prakriti’s Maya is weakening, heading for her last performance. You are drawn to solitude, to the silence of your own interior place. The noise of the crowd is just noise and a bore that no longer compels. Preferring to be alone, you seek your Source in quiet places.
Using your natural inclination to express love, Devotion keeps your consciousness focused on the God-within you. Such continuing devotion (madbhakto) will purify your mind and Heart (hrdaya). Krishna compares it to the elements wind and fire moving through the Heart leaving it clean. The desires that once cluttered your consciousness are blown away by the wind and burned to ash by fire – for only the Self dwells in the Heart.
Jesus: Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.
The focus of your consciousness shifts from the temporal illusory hologram and all its endless multiplicities – as if a switch had been silently gently touched – into the inner realms that were always there, always waiting, waiting patiently for you to simply turn and Become aware of the only Real once again.
You experience Home and with time you begin to learn how to keep your consciousness there, and remain immersed in the Heart.
Studies in Hinduism
Rene Guenon, 1966
Sophia Perennis, 2001, Ghent NY
The BHAGAVATA PURANA
Translated and Annotated by Ganesh Vasudeo Tagare, M.A., PhD
Motilal Banarsidass Publishers, 1976/1992; Delhi, India
BHAKTI, The Religion of Love
UBS Publishers’ Distributors Pvt. Ltd., 2003; New Delhi, India
The Concise SRIMAD BHAGAVATAM
State University of NY Press, 1989; Albany NY
Abhinavagupta’s Commentary on the Bhagavad Gita
Translated from Sanskrit with Introduction & Notes by Boris Marjanovic
Indica Books; 2004, Varanasi India
The Bhagavadgita in the Mahabharata
A Bilingual Edition
Translated & Edited by J.A.B. van Buitenen
The University of Chicago Press, 1981
The Bhagavad Gita
Translated from the Sanskrit with Notes, Comments & Introduction By Swami Nikhilananda, 1944
Ramakrishna-Vivekananda Center, 1992
The Bhagavad Gita
Translated by Winthrop Sargeant
State University of New York Press, 1994
The Uddhava Gita, The Final Teaching of Krishna
Translated by Swami Ambikananda Saraswati
Ulysses Press, 2002
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