Cosmic Evenness & Union Within Allows You to See God in Every Eye
The Supreme Soul desired: May I be many, may I be born.
... Having created all this the Creator entered into it. Having entered into it, the Creator became both the manifest and the unmanifest ... both the real and the unreal.
-Taittiriya Upanishad II.6
The Creator is undivided (avibhaktam) among beings and yet appears to be existing as if divided (vibhatam).
-The Bhagavad Gita XIII.16
Yoga means union and through the experience of Union with the God-within, the enlightened realize the subtle and shocking truth that we are not the gunas that have ruled us all our lives. The enlightened see clearly that what was falsely perceived as personal identity was little more than the proclivities, tendencies, and compulsions of the DNA contained within the current body.
The body is holographically generated by its DNA. Each soul is drawn into a specific body based on the cumulative thoughts and actions of previous lives. These thoughts and actions, particularly what we are thinking in the last moments before our death, draw us like a magnet to the next bodily form and our next incarnation into Time and Space.
In Union with the Self
The enlightened identify fully with the God-within as the Self - and no longer with the small personality ego-self. This identity in Union gives us the power to conquer the temporal ego. Subduing the small self brings the peace that is composed, steadfast, and devoted in the face of heat and cold, pleasure and pain (sukha-duhkha), honor and dishonor (VI.7).
The Return to Union with the Eternal within, makes us strong. We find that we are no longer attached to the ever-changing polarities of this world. We understand that fame and praise, along with disrepute and vicious gossip, are both a part of the cycles all beings endure sooner or later.
The Imperishable - Akshara
Nothing in the temporal illusory hologram lasts. The external is transient and fluctuates between the extremes of all polarities - light & dark, heat & cold, pleasure & pain. The eternal, the imperishable (akshara) dwells within waiting for you to Recognize the Real.
The enlightened integrate this Knowledge into their awareness and use it to discriminate between what is unchanging and what is temporal. The enlightened remain unconcerned with these cyclically produced polarities. This detachment gives the power to act more effectively in the world; for having conquered (vijita) and subdued the five senses and guna-maya, the enlightened possess Cosmic Evenness. For those who see the God within All, a lump of clay or a rock or a piece of gold are all the same (VI.8).
See God in every Eye
The enlightened see God in every Eye. They see the Creator dwelling in all forms in every conceivable state of exalted success, beauty, and intelligence. They see God dwelling within the entire spectrum of the poor, the wretched, even evil tyrants, thieves, and fools. God dwells within All. There is not one man, woman, or child who does not have God within them - and consequently there is not one who does not have within their reach the free will to choose to Recognize this Truth and Remember who they are.
The enlightened are therefore even and impartial towards both friends and enemies, the righteous and the evil because they know that all these beings are God in a myriad of disguises (VI.9).
Only In Solitude - Rahasi
Krishna now gives Arjuna some guides to follow and the first and foremost is solitude (VI.10). One who seeks enlightenment must do so alone in solitude. The Kashmir Saivite Abhinavagupta confirms this with his flat statement that there is no other way (B.Marjanovic).
The process of calming the mind and mastering the whirlwind gunas requires that you be alone. Solitude gives you the utmost opportunity to concentrate. When we are with others, their holographic guna-maya is constantly bombarding our consciousness with their thoughts and feelings as waveform frequencies. Anyone with the smallest psychic ability will verify this. Even when people are not speaking, their innermost thoughts and feelings of hope and despair, the grocery list or their real opinion of you, are always seeping and bleeding into your hologram whether you are aware of it or not.
You must learn to be alone and to meditate alone. Krishna recommends a firm seat in a clean place (VI.11) - meaning a place with a purity of consciousness. It is helpful to create such a place and return there, but it does not matter as you can make any location pure through your own effort. Krishna’s suggestion of kusha grass covered by an antelope skin is possibly more relevant to his times. I must say with a bit of humor that I have never been able to find any kusha grass for myself to sit upon --- but perhaps this advice does convey the idea that you need to be seated on something firm that is not so cushy as to lull you into sleep.
In solitude you direct your consciousness to a one-pointedness (VI.12). Endeavor to keep the mind from wandering. One ancient technique is to see your thoughts as clouds crossing the sky of your mind - clouds produced by Prakriti’s guna-maya. These temporal clouds are not the Real. Know they are not the real you. In this manner you will purify your consciousness. Practice!
In solitude you sit with a focused awareness; erect and motionless, your gaze is turned inward (VI.13). It is important to train yourself to remove your attention from the external hologram and instead become accustomed to the world within you. The world within is amazing!
In solitude and fearless, you remain concentrated on the God within you. Krishna tells Arjuna that the one who aspires to Union and liberation (moksha) must be brahmacarin, which means that you are celibate. Think this out for yourself and realize that if being in a group of people leaves you vulnerable to their thoughts and feelings as invisible waveforms, then imagine the power of sexual intimacy between two lovers.
The choice of celibacy (brahmacarin) for one who is seeking Union has nothing to do with any moral judgment, nor is there an implication that sex is wrong. It is simply that when the time comes that you are filled with the desire to Become One with the God-within, union with another will bring confusion and distraction. You’ve done sex, now you have moved on to realize the God-within.
Abhinavagupta taught Tantra Yoga as a path to enlightenment. However I suggest that you read his Kula Ritual (translated by John R. Dupuche), wherein Abhinavagupta proposes the most arduous ritual of intense concentration perhaps ever conceived. Any who are deluded about the nature of tantra and who are expecting a more ‘physical’ experience will be humorously disappointed.
Devoted to Me
My understanding of Krishna is that he is God realized in man. Thus when he tells Arjuna to sit, concentrated, and remain ‘devoted to Me,’ I interpret this to mean devoted to the God within us all. The word devotion is used here in the sense that devotion expresses our consciousness completely focused on what we love most. The Oxford Etymological Dictionary defines devotion as a vow or a sacred purpose; and a vow as a solemn promise. When we are devoted to the God-within there is nothing and no one more important to us.
I have written extensively on this website about Bhakti Yoga and will go into the Yoga of Devotion more in Book XII of the Bhagavad Gita. As human beings who are always seeking love, who are more often than not a bit lonely, directing our love and devotion to God is surely the short cut to a focused concentration. Examples of this in western faith are Saint Teresa of Avila and Saint John of the Cross, whose lovely poem ‘The Dark Night of the Soul’ reflects the timeless practice of Hinduism’s Bhakti Yoga in such phrases as:
‘O night that has united the Lover with his beloved, transforming the beloved in her Lover’ and ‘I abandoned and forgot myself, laying my face on my Beloved; all things ceased; I went out from myself.’
Krishna tells Arjuna that the one who practices discipline and who has subdued the mind attains Union with Him, meaning the God-within (VI.15). He then advocates a path of moderation, warning against the excesses of eating and sleeping either too much or not at all (VI.16-17).
Vyasa as the highest authority
In Abhinavagupta’s commentary on the Bhagavad Gita (B.Marjanovic), the great Kashmir Saivite expresses his respect for Vyasa the poet-author of the text. Abhinavagupta says that Vyasa’s writing should be considered, like the Vedas, as ‘the highest authority.’ The Mahabharata is called the Fifth Veda and Vyasa’s deep knowledge of the four Vedas - the Rig, Sama, Yajur, and Atharva - and other sacred texts is evident throughout the epic, which in my view is not merely the greatest of all adventure stories, but also a source of authentic primordial metaphysics and wisdom.
Contentment in Union
Krishna compares the yogin who has controlled the mind to a candle shining in a windless place (VI.19). When you have firmly established your consciousness in the Self, you will no more be tossed about in the external waveforms that swirl around the temporal illusory hologram. Your happiness will come from the God within you and you are content (VI.20).
The sustained experience of contentment (tusyati) in Union with the Creator will over time make you simply lose interest in the old habits of seeking pleasure and possessing happiness in the external. Your contentment transcends the transmissions of the five senses and their objects (VI.21-22). You realize there is nothing in the external that is greater than your contentment in the Self. For the Self is the Source of All.
The contentment in Union opens your eyes to see that all worldly desires and endeavors, for example temporal power and wealth, are the products of Prakriti’s guna-maya. They are reflections of their source - and not Source Its Self (VI.24). Why settle for a photograph of the one you love when you can embrace your beloved? The experience of Liberation (moksha) not only allows you to embrace the Beloved - but with discipline and practice, you Become in similitude (sadharmya) the Beloved.
Sarvabhutastham: Present in All Beings
You will never be lost to God when you see God in the All. Just as the Self dwells within you, that same Self dwells within All. Everything is sacred. The Creator is present everywhere. Seeing God everywhere in everything will keep your consciousness in Union with the Creator and you will never feel the pain of the illusion of separation again. You will never be lost again (VI. 29-30).
सर्वभूतस्थमात्मानं सर्वभूतानि चात्मनि .
ईक्षते योगयुक्तात्मा सर्वत्र समदर्शनः .. ६- २९..
sarvabhūtastham ātmānaṃ sarvabhūtāni cātmani
īkṣate yogayuktātmā sarvatra samadarśanaḥ 6.29
Mother Teresa saw Jesus in the face of every human being and thus fueled by her love of God and with a full heart, she helped so many who were lost, sick and destitute. When we truly begin to look into the eyes of others and recognize the Self dwelling there, then we cannot help but feel Love and Compassion for those pieces of God who are in various phases of their veiled Self, who are in disguise. All people are always at some point in the cyclical process of moving towards a peak, or sliding down into a trough. When you Love the God-within, you cannot hate any of Its transient forms (VI.31-32).
On the Soul level, we all have the same form
In his translation of Abhinagupta’s comments on the Gita, Boris Marjanovic includes the most interesting footnote (p.300). He shares an observation made by Ramanuja that when you see your own Soul, the Atman, you will also see the Souls of others, and your will see that on that level of being, we all have the same form. We all are, after all, the God that permeates the All.
Catch the Wind
Arjuna then tells Krishna that he knows the mind to be obstinate, compelled to wander, and harassing; he sees that it will be as arduous to control the mind as it would be to harness the winds (IV.33-34).
Krishna affectionately addresses Arjuna as the ‘Mighty Armed One’ (mahabaho) and agrees that yes, the mind is restless; but with practice and by the realization that the objects out in the world, that are perceived via the five senses, are temporal illusions, one becomes indifferent to them. For those who abide in Union with the Creator of this universe, the mind is restrained (VI.35-36).
I see this difficulty of controlling the mind as natural. God is all powerful and created the guna-maya that binds It in the ‘appearance’ of Separation into the temporal illusory hologram. Therefore these illusions in the form of attachments and the tendency of the mind to behave like the spin-cycle are, of course, intensely challenging to subdue. Surely God would not have created such a complex universe with such an enormous spectrum of experiences, from every kind of pleasure (sukha) to equal numbers of heinous pains (duhkha), if the Realization of the illusion of our Separation were going to be little more than a cake walk!
You can Fall ...
Arjuna then asks Krishna what happens to a yogin who falls. What happens to one who, even after experiences of enlightenment, becomes once again enmeshed in the spidery webs of the temporal illusory hologram (VI.37-38). Abhinavagupta, speaking as one who did achieve enlightenment, is quite clear about the effects of losing your faith (sraddha) and says that if you allow the mind to become contaminated by its fluctuations, your knowledge will be reduced to ashes like a ‘pile of cotton destroyed by fire’ (B.Marjanovic).
Once again I say that this is not a couch-potato sport. As long as you are in a corporeal body, there can be no resting on your laurels. Becoming in similitude (sadharmya) to the Creator within requires eternal vigilance. Just as God never goes ‘unconscious’ - because God only knows what the ramifications of that would be - the enlightened must remain in a state of heightened awareness, ever watchful of falling into the webs of Maya.
The Blessed One, Krishna, tells Arjuna that one who falls in consciousness is never lost - just as those who are virtuous are not directed into misfortune (VI.41).
Rebirth in a Family of the Wise
Krishna is very specific about the fate of the fallen yogin. Upon leaving the body, the fallen ones dwell in the world of the virtuous (punyakrtam lokan) for a period of what must feel like ‘endless’ (sasvatis) years (VI.41). When their earned merit has been used up in this world of the good-doing, the fallen one is fortuitously born into a family of the wise and learned (dhimatam). This kind of birth in a family of a pure consciousness, Krishna says, is very difficult to attain in this world (VI.42).
My imagination balks at this image, for here in our current days of the Kali Yuga the family is disintegrating and is portrayed by the media as humorously dysfunctional at best. Perhaps we are able to find families not so ideal, but who nevertheless retain qualities of integrity and honesty that would serve to guide us in our quest for the Real.
Krishna reveals that in such a family the fallen will regain the knowledge that was achieved by their own efforts through the former incarnation. This explains why some seem to Know more than others, or be further along the Path, even at a very young age. From the experience of Remembering what was learned in the previous birth, the fallen begin once more to strive for perfection (samsiddhau) in Union (VI.43).
The Force of previous Knowledge
Krishna now says something I find particularly interesting. The force of enlightened consciousness attained in previous lives will carry the fallen back into a thirst for Knowledge of the Real, even if it is seems to go against their will (VI.44).
The Call of the Heart
Perhaps many of us have experienced trying to attach our consciousness to the temporal illusory hologram, find some fleeting happiness, and get lost in whatever current day ‘normality’ surrounds us. But no matter how hard we try to forget the Call of the Heart, which often shows up as a painful longing for something that totally eludes us - no matter how we try to believe that the illusion is all there is, we are drawn back time and time again into the Search for Knowledge and Freedom (jivan mukti).
This time we will not fall. This time through our own efforts to control the mind and an adamantine perseverance, we will find and sustain that purity of Union in God and go to Param Gatim, the Supreme Goal (IV.45). Yoga means Union, and Union with God is better than asceticism, ritual, and mere learning. Krishna therefore urges his friend Arjuna to be a Yogin. The one who merges the inner Self (antaratmana) into the God-within and who is full of faith (sraddhavan) is considered by Krishna to be yuktatmas - the most devoted (IV.46).
The Taittiriya Upanishad
Translated by Swami Nikhilananda 1959
Volume Four of The Upanishads
Ramakrishna-Vivekananda Center, 1994, New York,
Abhinavagupta: The Kula Ritual
As Elaborated in Chapter 29 of the Tantraloka
Translated by John R. Dupuche
Motilal Banarsidass, 2003, Delhi