In the Bhagavad Gita – Chapter 2, The Nature of Right Action, Verse 60, Krishna says:
O son of Kunti, Arjuna, even the wise man devoted to self-control may sometimes be swept away by the turbulent senses”.
This is an important warning that Krishna gives Arjuna here. Note the use of the words, he says “the wise man devoted to self-control” – that it’s not enough to just be wise. And Paramhansa Yogananda said that until we reach Nirbikalpa Samadhi we are not free, we are not safe.

So while we grow in wisdom through our experiences, through divine grace and understanding, we need to keep steadfast on the path and especially steadfast in attunement to one that has attained freedom. Because the warning here is in a sense ominous. It says “the wise men devoted to self-control” – that even that unconditional surrender of our desires, our seeming understanding that we have, that I have surrendered unconditionally myself to God and I’m practicing all these austerities of self-control – and this is leading me to freedom. I am free in my heart – while in truth we may not really be free.

That is a staggering thought and we must inwardly remind ourselves again and again that until we are completely in God, we must not delude ourselves with the understanding that “I know”.

He also goes on to say,  even the one that is devoted to self-control may sometimes be swept away by the turbulent senses.

It is interesting to consider what is the turbulence of the senses. We know that Yoganandaji has stated in his teachings that God’s energy (cosmic energy), is always entering our body through the medulla oblongata and he says the electricity of God enters the body, flows into the nervous system and out of the body.

Through the searchlights of the senses, we begin to perceive the world for what it is. If we don’t pause to reverse that flow of energy inward and upward up the spine, if we don’t take this pause again and again,  we begin to lose sight of our native home, which is in spirit.

As we begin to lose our remembrance of where we come from and who we are, we begin to take the testimony of the senses as the reality, as the truth. Patanjali called meditation as remembrance, as smriti – that there is nothing to be learned or unlearned. We simply need to, by undoing our conditioned thoughts and actions, we need to simply remind ourselves of who we are and where we come from.

It’s very important, as we engage in this world, to turn that searchlight of the senses as Yoganandaji would call it, within you, and you will find a new world. Now, what is the turbulence of the senses? Energy flows out through the body. We start perceiving the world through the eyes, through the ears to the other senses and as we know this perception is limited.

As it continues to flow outward, our sense of expansive awareness begins to diminish until it becomes completely limited to the individual body or the form that we have taken and so we begin to think of everything in terms of this individual body, of this individual self, the little self. So we begin thinking, what’s good for me, what’s in it for me, how do I do this? We completely forget the power, the grace of a greater intelligence in God that is necessary to steer this chariot of the senses.

It’s a very beautiful picture of the Bhagavad Gita often that is shown. Krishna driving the chariot and steering the chariot and the horses representing the senses of man that if we don’t have the divine charioting us, our senses can take us into a hundred, thousand, million different directions – that is why we roam for incarnations.

As Yoganandaji would say, souls that have been cast out during the day of Brahma are still roaming at the night of Brahma. That’s a staggering amount of time that the soul roams – but the fact is, we have free will and this free will is such a sacred gift that if we don’t use it in the right way it can also become a curse which continues to take us away from God with each thought, with each action.

So one expression of the turbulence of the senses is through emotional disturbances that you begin to refer everything back to I, to myself and so when anything thwarts that expectation we have towards I, towards myself, we become angry or greedy or attached.

So, when we can learn to control the feeling of our heart up to the point between the eyebrows, the energy begins to become refined and moves towards the quality of peace, of calmness, of divine love – but it is important for us to control that energy of the heart.

Otherwise emotional turbulences  you will see it ultimately in the form of outward circumstances, karma – that one thought, or one action that is not in harmony with the will of God because the ego has now come in the way.

Because our perception of who we are has changed and we think that I am responsible for my life, I am the doer and so keeping God out of the picture what happens is, we move away from God because we don’t have any more perspective of the divine intelligence that is behind us. We create karma.

One wrong thought, one wrong action creates a string of errors and results in karmic disturbances that lead us into incarnation after incarnation. So these are some of the ways in which our senses delude us of the true reality, of the true soul potential and in the process there’s a silent inner turbulence that often is very masked – the inner turbulence of the soul. Of the soul that has been denied its glory in God. Of the tears of the soul in being ignored. Its divine will – that’s the turbulence that we often come to realize, towards the close of many incarnations.

Yoganandaji said Kriya is a very high technique towards self-realization. Often, you have already had to come a long way before you are given the gift of Kriya yoga.

So, often, for us even to recognize or become aware of the turbulence of the soul even through a single thought or a single action takes us incarnations. But when we come to that point of anguishing monotony, that’s when our awareness is helped by the power of divine grace, to recognize that there is something more, that the happiness that I have been seeking through so many outward objects, things, places, circumstances that never gave me any fulfillment or happiness that I was seeking, that it still eludes me and you begin to wonder, to ponder, to explore to become a little more adventurous towards our eternal quest and happiness.

Let us think: why is it that when we close our eyes, this world that we think is substantial disappears. You may have had a troublesome day, you may have lost somebody, you may have lost a job, it must have been a traumatic incidence in your life, however, when you go to sleep we don’t remember any of that.

Yoganandaji would say that is a symbolism that this world is not real, that these suffering of the pains of this world are illusory and they are given supposed potency and power by our imagination, by our identification, by our self-identification with something outside of us and that is what we want to break through the practice of self-control.

But what Krishna is warning us here about is, be humble as we walk this path towards freedom.

Let us remember the love of God above all. That love, which is always forgiving, which is always calling to us through every breath that plays through this body, God is calling us home. God is reminding us of his love for us and he does it very silently and it is for the devotee to recognize, to become aware that the silent power flowing through us, through the breaths, through the energy in the body is the light of God, is the power of God. Hong Sau, I am spirit.

All that we need to do is keep practicing Kriya Yoga. And for us to remember that the separation that we see outwardly through the senses is but a delusion. That behind all these infinitely varied forms is the light of God, is that one light which connects us all together and this is what we want to remind ourselves – that we are light, we are energy, we are children of God.

There was a cesspool being built in the ashram at Mount Washington where Yoganandaji was staying. One day he was just looking at this disciple who kept digging, he kept digging, he kept digging the whole day and suddenly he realized, oh I have dug a long deep well and Yoganandaji said the path is often like that, just keep at it and suddenly you realize you will realize I’m there and so that’s the miracle, that’s the beauty of the path.

Swami Kriyananda was sitting with Paramhansa Yogananda and as he waited, he was gazing longingly, lovingly at master, gratefully telling himself what a blessing it is to be the disciple of such a great master. Master looked with joy, deep joy into Swamiji’s eyes and says “just a bulge of the ocean”, reminding that we are all waves on that one ocean. Yogananda would always say they all belong to God. God is the guru. Also he was reminding us of humility, that we are all instruments, that we are all channels that don’t get carried away by the power, the seeming power of the ego. The ego is powerless and can delude ourselves into thinking we have power.

Simply, be a humble channel for God and gurus, “Just a bulge of the ocean”, remember the ocean behind us always.

One Comment

  1. Wonderful, I loved every word written above fill of clarity and insight. Also inspiring.

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