Five Claims That Dispel Myths About the Bhagavad Gita
Last week in the blog post, “Is The Bhagavad Gita Timeless?”, I made five claims to dispel myths about the Bhagavad Gita, and stated I would explain them this week. Maybe you were patiently or anxiously waiting for that explanation. And here we have it!
Each claim depends on how you define the terms and relate to the statements. I believe the intention behind the Bhagavad Gita is to lay a supportive foundation that can be applied to any path and any life. Yet sometimes it felt to me as if it was getting too detailed with too much definition on how life “should” be. As I kept reading I would hit a statement that presented the underlying message I was feeling thus wiping away what was previously stated and taking things up a notch in understanding. These five statements are what I find helpful to focus on for today’s awakened consciousness.
First claim: There is no right and wrong.
Well, actually, there may be, but not in the way you think. What I realized was there is another way to look at the statements the Gita makes about how one “should” be. What it is also doing is telling us how we will most likely act as a human in this world once we have embodied certain states of consciousness. I believe those rules and principles only apply to planet earth, and what is more important is not what we do, but how we do it.
At the beginning of the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna is basically telling Arjuna that murder for a good cause is not considered a sin. In other words, you can’t define murder as bad in all circumstances. What they were trying to do was create an environment where people’s direction of energy is upwards, towards the seat of highest consciousness. The people Arjuna was battling were affecting others by promoting moving away from the laws of unity and love, and making life more unpleasant for everyone. Arjuna winning this battle would help win the freedom for all to live in greatest alignment with source.
Throughout chapter 17 we see details of what the downward, upward, and scattered movement of energy may look like. I was frustrated because that felt like more definition than what would work for all people in all circumstances.
Finally, the last stanza of the chapter states, “(17:28) O Partha (Arjuna)! Whatever sacrifice is offered, gift bestowed, or austerity performed, if (it is done) without devotional faith it is called asat—“untruth.” Both here and in the hereafter, it has no (spiritual) value.” I like to rephrase that as whatever action is not done with intention and awareness is not matching your highest consciousness. Thus it does not matter what you do, but how you do it.
You could tell a friend you love her dress because you are conditioned to saying nice things when actually you do not like it or are jealous of her. Or you could tell her the dress does not look nice out of love because you do not want her to make a fool of herself.
Here's another way to look at this: Imagine life as a pinwheel between being completely in spirit and then manifesting spirit in physical form. That is actually similar to the cycle of the Yugas, which I mentioned in the last blog. However, the Yugas call the physical state the darker age. The reason this can feel darker is because of the difference in awareness one has of the bigger picture of life.
As we get more into the physical state we tend to only perceive reality through our five senses sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch. We start to perceive our physical body as a separate object from other people. Then we start to do all sorts of weird things like violence or saying hateful words to protect our own being. As soon as we drop the body that delusion disappears and the sense of our oneness returns. Quite a few stories of near death experiences, like Anita Moorjani’s, all point to this same experience.
We make a choice to come back into physical form. How amazing it could be if we had the same awareness we have without a body while in the body! So that the physical form becomes no less or more than another, it is just a different form of energy. We can only trust the limited abilities to perceive that come with the physical form, or tap into a more expanded awareness making it easier for everyone to be here on earth.
It is not that one is right or wrong. We are all forms of God. It is just that we have a choice and one version makes it easier to feel happiness than another and causes less harm to others.
According to the cycle of the Yugas, we are coming out of a time when we were most in the physical form as a society. During that time period it was easier to give people clear directives of what actions were right and wrong. Now that we are gaining a more expanded awareness again, instead of looking towards our actions, we can look towards our consciousness behind the actions.
To help you identify if an action is taking you closer or further from your “wrong or right,” you can ask yourself:
Is that moving you in a downward or upward direction? Do you feel attached to certain results, or do you have control over yourself and feel like you have choices? Do you feel fear or love? Do you feel contractive or expansive? Do you feel tight in your body or do you feel energized?
Second claim: Judgement does not equal love.
I was once living in an isolated environment where many people had a lot of judgement about what was right and wrong, and about other people. At a certain point I felt I could not love others and myself if I kept judging and kept myself separate. When we hate others, we are the ones feeling that feeling. We are also forgetting our oneness with all people, and thus hating a piece of ourselves by hating that piece in another.
Another way to perceive judgement is that it comes to tell you what direction to go to match the vibration of the experience you are wanting to have. Environment is often stronger than will. If someone represents something you are not wishing to embody, then it is hard to be around them and maintain the direction you feel inspired to go. Thus there is nothing that needs to be hated, but rather a message to tune into to offer you wisdom about your next steps.
If you feel someone is listening to music that is louder than your taste, imagine they are doing that to have an experience or learn a lesson they were craving. If you feel that is a bad thing to do, it may or may not be but what is more important is to realize you are getting a message that is not the type of experience you are seeking. See how it feels to bless them and their music, and then go find the type of music or silence you crave. You will feel a lot better focusing on what you do want and moving in that direction rather than being concerned with what you do not want.
Third claim: You are God.
Of course the meaning of this statement depends on how you define “God.” Let’s say “God” is the source behind all existence that connects us all. Because of being limited to words for communication, it often sounds as if the Gita may be stating we are something separate from God and need to find God.
If God is all that exists, then aren’t we a part of that? There is nothing to find; only to remember that we are all different forms of God. If you believe God is a being sitting in a chair in the clouds judging you, then it would be a lot harder to say you are God.
We have also defined some things as more spiritual than others. Religious rituals feel more spiritual simply because we called them as such and infused that consciousness within that experience. What if for thousands of years everyone called brushing your teeth the most spiritual thing you can do? I quite love brushing my teeth. I get to dance around my apartment, make funny faces, and sing with weird noises. What if dancing and making funny faces was considered the most spiritual thing you can do? Parents trying to get your kids to brush their teeth may want to consider this.
I believe everything is crying to be treated with the same reverence as your spiritual practice. The difference you may feel in one environment versus another has more to do with the definition offered to it, the intentions set by the people involved, and the direction of energy of the people involved. And then despite how others are relating to their environment, you can make a choice how you want to relate to it and with it.
Fourth Claim: Focusing on overcoming karma, keeps you trapped in karma.
In The Essence of the Bhagavad Gita, as explained by Paramhansa Yogananda, Swami Kriyananda wrote, “Habit born of past actions may give us good karma, but karma itself must be transcended in dedication to the truth.”
If you kicked a friend as a child, why would God wait to punish you for that action as an adult one day when you stub your toe and have forgotten about kicking your friend? Often committing acts that hurt others comes from a delusion of feeling separate from God. Why would God need to hurt you back for making that action due to your own pain versus teaching you how to feel and love the God within you more deeply?
Whatever we focus on, tends to create the pattern of what we will continue to focus on. Karma relates to the past. Do you always want to be stuck in the past? Why not just take off the coat of the past and be free from it? Maybe easier said than done. I believe true connection with source focuses on what is happening right now.
Fifth Claim: One day, meditation will be considered a drug.
Maybe it already is? Doctors are now prescribing meditation. It helps calm and relax people, as well as heal disease. When some meditate they see beautiful color formations or hear intriguing sounds. Some people gain an expanded awareness, as some people claim drugs offer them. But that is not why I brought this point up. Since this blog post is already really long, I’ll explain the rest next week.
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If you want to keep getting to the heart of the matter and figure out how to integrate these principles in your daily life to create more ease, grace, and flow, please join the online Bhagavad Gita in the New Age study group.