Immersed in the Heart: Warnings on Devotion in the Kali Yuga – Part 2
This is a polarity universe and thus even in our spiritual aspirations there is a wide spectrum of frequencies to choose from, discern, and differentiate. They don’t call the Path Home ‘The Razor’s Edge’ without good reason. Devotion has its pitfalls. One danger lies in becoming attached to the ‘image’ you are using to focus your thoughts in Love. Such external attachment and involvement may cause you to forget that God is within you as you displace your focus outside of the Heart. There are stories of people who spend all their time tending an altar and forget that God is everywhere, in them and in everyone.
Perhaps because I was born in the west I have struggled with the idea of worshipping, which is essentially oriental and authoritarian in the sense of accepting hierarchy. It is easy to see how an abundance of abuses can arise from this act of bowing down to worship another. This is why I have chosen the verse from the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad as the backbone and underlying principle of this website.
And to this day, [those] who...know the Self as I am Brahman [IS-ness- ATMAN], become all this universe.
Even the gods [any other dimensional beings] cannot prevent his becoming this, for he has become their Self.
...if a man worships another deity thinking: He is one and I am another, he does not know.
He [who does not know] is like a sacrificial animal to the gods. As many animals serve a man, so does each man serve the gods. Even if one animal is taken away, it causes anguish to the owner; how much more so when many are taken away!
Therefore it is not pleasing to the gods that men should know this [that they are IS-ness]. Brihadaranyaka Upanishad, I.iv.10
This Upanishad verse makes it very clear - the man who does not realize that God is within him will essentially become the property of that which he worships. This is a simple formula every performer knows personally, because they experience absorbing the energies of their audience. A less polite and more graphic phrase to describe this interaction is ‘power vampire’.
Therefore when Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita tells Arjuna to worship him, it is my considered feeling that what he means is that Arjuna should worship Krishna as he personifies the God-within Arjuna and all of us. Krishna says that he dwells in the Heart of each and every man, woman, and child. Another name for Krishna is VASUDEVA, which means the ‘indweller’. Krishna is a man, meaning he is a consciousness dwelling in a human body, who has Become the SELF within him and thus represents is the total Realization of the God-within us all, that which we may also Become through Devotion and Knowledge.
Being ever vigilant, walking the Razor’s Edge, we learn to feel subtle energies that can let us know when we have slipped into the lower frequencies and are in danger of losing our way. It is essential that we surrender the small personality ego-self and its pre-programmed GUNAS up to the God-within us, but this does not mean that we should lose ourselves in ritualistic worship and offer our consciousness to the whims and vagaries of another’s GUNAMAYA.
... if a man worships another deity thinking: He is one and I am another, he does not know.
Rather Krishna tells us to learn how to remain immersed and absorbed in the consciousness of the God-within us. Krishna as the ideal of a totally God-realized man represents the ultimate goal for us all – Remembering who we are and achieving what is often termed Christ Consciousness in the west. Devotion is a way to move into and keep our consciousness fixed on higher frequency waveforms so that the God-within us may reveal Itself to us through the power of Grace.
No one can free himself or herself from the power of GUNAMAYA without the Grace of God. God created the three GUNAS to bind Itself in this temporal illusory holographic universe. Only the God-within you can liberate (moksha) you from these powerful forces, which are designed to enchant, delude, and bind. This is why you need to form a relationship with the God-within you and to transfer over time the focus of your consciousness from the unreal, the small identity self you have always falsely imagined you to be, into the Real, the SELF-ATMAN within you.
This temporal illusory holographic universe is a vast ocean of consciousness. Bhakti Yoga, devotion to SELF, and the words of Krishna Vasudeva in the Bhagavad Gita and the Uddhava Gita are our cosmic lifeboat, which allows us to safely cross over the spectrum of myriad waveforms that toss us around tsunami style, deluding and confusing. This boat can sail us Home back to our original state, in Divine Union to the God-within who waits patiently in our Heart.
Another real danger on this Path is in the trap of the false guru who poses as an object of devotion and steals the energies of the disciples. I would suggest that any person who asks you to worship them is very confused. Also be wary of visionary appearances of entities, light beings, ETs, even angels who promise you quick & easy enlightenment and liberation. These beings usually take more than they give and often leave one feeling exhausted and drained.
God is within you, in your Heart – so why do you need these beings? Are they going to act as go-betweens, like lawyers, to arbitrate your case with the God-within you? Or is it just that you need to tell your friends how special you are?
If these entities are so interested in the process of God Realization, perhaps they should incarnate into the very vulnerable flesh & blood of a human body and take their chances – like you and I are – at overcoming delusion and ignorance here in the Kali Yuga. Only your own efforts can win you Grace and liberation.
Slowly teach yourself how to discern between the Real and the unreal. The Phantasmal Hierarchies are no more real than the temporal illusory hologram. They are all merely the limitless appearances of multiplicity. The ‘darkside’ can be very clever in its attempts to make you stumble and lose your way. Ignore them! The Real is subtle and requires a dedicated, patient, persistent, focused awareness.
If any of you should find yourself having to experience the tyrannies of worshiping a power vampire, then consider the experience as a big and painful learning curve. The Kali Yuga nurtures such beings. Learn what you need to learn, pull yourself up out of the abyss, move on as quickly as you can and don’t look back.
The idea of Bhakti Yoga is to form a fulfilling personal and direct relationship with God. You can envision God as your best friend, your Mother or Father, a dearly beloved Child, or your sweetest lover. Having access to the God-within you frees you from priestcraft. The history of all religions follows a pattern of the emergence of an enlightened being whose teachings are then rewritten, diluted and transformed to suit the needs of the herds of priests, who are always waiting in the wings for their chance at influence, employment, and power.
This is why the tyrannical rulers of this world have worked diligently to suppress the primordial idea that God is within the human Heart. These lackluster parasites would soon be out of a job if everyone on the planet was grounded in a lasting relationship with the God-within them.
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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