Gita Talk #6: And Now for Something Completely Different

Via Bob Weisenberg
on May 24, 2010
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This week let’s try something different.  Let’s go through Chapter 6 stanza by stanza.

For this to work, you have to be willing to jump right in.  Write a comment.  Ask a question. Reply to what someone else has written.  If you’re thinking about it, but are on the fence, JUST DO IT!  I  hope you can see we’re a pretty friendly bunch here, and we’re very receptive to hearing everyone’s thoughts.

Let’s begin by talking about the first six stanzas of Chapter 6:

He who performs his duty
with no concern for results
is the true man of yoga–not
he who refrains from action.

Knowing that right action itself
is renunciation, Arjuna;
in the yoga of action, you first
renounce your own selfish will.

For the man who wishes to mature,
the yoga of action is the path;
for the man already mature,
serenity is the path.

When a man has become unattached
to sense objects or to actions,
renouncing his own selfish will,
then he is mature in yoga.

He should lift up the self by the Self
and not sink into the selfish;
for the self is the only friend
of the Self, and its only foe.

The self is a friend for him
who masters himself by the Self;
but for him who is not self-mastered,
the self is the cruelest foe.

If we were sitting around a room together, I would ask you these questions to get the discussion going:

1) How would you summarize these stanzas in your own words?
2) Give us an example of how you might apply these words to your own life.
3) Which lines of the text are difficult to understand?
4) Tell us anything else that comes to mind when you read these words.

Let’s see what happens.  If this works, then we’ll run through Chapter 6 this way.  If it doesn’t work, then we’ll try something else!

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About Bob Weisenberg

Bob Weisenberg: Editor, Best of Yoga Philosophy / Former Assoc. Publisher, elephant journal / Author: Yoga Demystified * Bhagavad Gita in a Nutshell * Leadership Is Like Tennis, Not Egyptology / Co-editor: Yoga in America (free eBook) / Creator: Gita Talk: Self-paced Online Seminar / Flamenco guitarist: "Live at Don Quijote" & "American Gypsy" (Free CD's) / Follow Bob on facebook, Twitter, or his main site: Wordpress.

Comments

105 Responses to “Gita Talk #6: And Now for Something Completely Different”

  1. Good description, Greg. My only comment would be be that I have a far more positive view of the hapless "self" than you do. It seems to me that once we realize our infinitely wondrous "Selves", we can then look back and see that our "selves" are also an integral part of our wondrous "Selves".

    In later stanzas Krishna makes it clear that absolutely everything is part of the infinitely wondrous universe. Since nothing is left out, ultimately even all our senses, our bodies, every cell in our bodies, and even our very egos are ultimately manifestations of this infinite wonder of the universe (the "divine", if one feels comfortable with that term.)

    Bob Weisenberg

  2. Hi, Greg. Your contention that the Self is anything different than the entire universe and the unfathomable life-force behind it is explicitly contradicted throughout the Gita. But let's wait until we get to those passages to discuss it further.

    Buddhist texts are not particularly helpful in clarifying the Gita. The central difference between Yoga philosophy and Buddhist philosophy is this very concept of Brahman=God="Infinite Unfathomable Life-Force of the Universe".

    It's at the heart of the Gita, but most Buddhist thinking I'm aware of (although not all, and I'm certainly not well versed in Buddhism) seems to avoid this concept, or at least not celebrate it like the Gita does.

    Bob Weisenberg

  3. Greg says:

    These stanzas repeat earlier concepts by pointing out the impermanent nature of the self and the need to come into awareness of our true nature, who we are as Self.

    On the one side we have the impermanent self — our false identity arising from identification with physical phenomena such as bodies — and on the other side the Self — our true nature as a non-material being of pure consciousness.

    The key concept is becoming unattached (stanza #4) or, in other words, achieving detachment. From what do we cease attachment? The impermanent self — our body, our emotions, our monkey mind, our identity in any one life.

    And yet the work is not nihilist, indicating that one who knows Self (consciousness detached from identification with physical phenomenon) still can find a "friend" in the self, which is something (a token, an assumed identity, a doll body) we use in the playing of the collective game.

    The last stanza appears to point out that we can live and master ourselves from the point of view of our true nature as Self or we can muddle about trying to make sense of our false and temporary self as though it had a true essence.

    Yoga allows us to achieve the cessation of attachment to that which is false self and come to know and master ourselves from the point of view of Self, our true nature.

  4. Karen M. says:

    The small self is what stands between us and knowing the happiness of the Spiritual Self. However as we start connecting with the Spiritual Self, we gradually start living our life through the clarity of our true Spiritual Nature and not through the distorted image of the small self. As we continue to embrace the Spiritual Self we start to stop sabotaging ourself. Because we have tasted the higher consciousness of the Self, we can easily let go of selfishness and perform right action…

  5. paramsangat says:

    1) How would you summarize these stanzas in your own words?
    If you "know" then you rejoice in life (automatically).
    And if you don't "know" (or is doubting), then practice action with non-attatchment to find balance for yourself.
    When you know your Inner Self, the world is a pleasant place and anytime you'd come out of balance you can return. If you dont know your Inner Self, you have nowhere to turn when things seem tough – you'll acctually believe in your own struggle/hell as reality.
    2) Give us an example of how you might apply these words to your own life
    Meditation has made me aware of that there is a beautiful calm and blissful place inside, where I can return anytime, anywhere.. as long as I remember that its there, it always is
    3) Which lines of the text are difficult to understand? –
    4) Tell us anything else that comes to mind when you read these words.
    That life is/can be really beautiful and could be viewed and reacted to in so different ways. The choice is upto every single one, focus the mind on what pleases us and relax into it. Enjoy fully meanwhile lasting.

  6. Greg says:

    Bob, I do not have a negative view of the hapless "self." One liability of pointing out its temporary, not-self nature is that it seems one has a negative view of self, which is not the case. Rather it is placing phenomena in their proper perspective. The Gita, as well as my comments, are simply noting the relationship between causes and phenomena. The stanzas do not that once one knows Self the self then become friend rather than foe.

    Where I might nit pick with your response is the idea that "selves" are an integral part of "Selves." This creates the idea that they are of the same nature, of the same properties. When we think of one as an integral part of the other, it is like saying the water in the shallow part of the pool is a part of all the water, which includes the water in the deep end as well.

    But the Gita (and Buddhist texts) counter this idea. They establish the nature and properties of self as being different from the nature and properties of Self. They are making a distinction. They are calling for discernment.

    The Buddhist texts are perhaps clearer on this point though I do not think the Gita lacks clarity. The idea is that fabricated and thus temporary or temporal phenomena have their origin in the Self. Such temporal phenomena are the creation, the emanation, the manifestation of the Self. One is that which is created while the other is that which creates. One gives rise to phenomena while the other is the dependently-arisen phenomena.

    One can have Self without self but one cannot have self without Self. Does that make sense?

    When one substitutes "universe" for Self one obscures and denies the distinction made. The universe is simply a collection of all that which is dependently arisen. Its properties never go beyond that which was created. The Self, on the other hand, stands outside (in the sense of nature and properties) the collection of those things its manifests.

    The easiest metaphor to use is that all phenomena are but a dream in the mind of the Self. And the physical universe is a collective dream of Selves. A co-authored dream.

  7. Thanks, Karen. Good description.

  8. Thanks, paramsangat. Well put.

  9. YogiOne says:

    Not too many folks are attempting to respond to #3 so I'll give it a crack.

    "He who performs his duty" – This assumes we have duties rather than choices. Who says and where is the proof?

    "with no concern for results" – People who act like this cause a lot of damage to others – I want people to think more about the consequences of their actions not less.

    "is the true man of yoga –
    –not he who refrains from action." – Sometimes doing nothing is exactly what is called for. Doing no harm – ahimsa is preferable to doing somthing that causes harm. Rushing into action because a Blue Meany tells you to go kill your family isn't too yogic if you ask me.

    So, while I think I understand the text as it is written here, what I don't understand is how usually reasonable people could swallow such balderdash. I do get the aspect of this that refers to following your own path, but it seems to me that finding your own path is not one of those times when you can defer to the wisdom of others, no matter how powerful or beguiling they may seem.

  10. Greg says:

    The Gita establishes the difference in these first six chapters. Will be interesting to see what it is that you feel erases the first chapters with a new concept later in the text.

    Buddhism addresses the difference between that which is fabricated (all phenomena) and that which gives rise to fabrication (Buddha Mind afflicted with ignorance).

    Both address the issues of attachment to that which is not Self.

    I used to believe there was more difference but am seeing the differences are very minor. As noted before, one possible difference that may not be in the texts but which appear with individual yogis is how the nature of the original "white light universe" is viewed. There are some who see this as "all there is" whereas the Buddha revealed this, too, was a fabrication. From a practice viewpoint, this point may be the most difficult to address.

  11. Thanks for these provocative questions, YogiOne. I have some thought on this, but I'd really like to hold back for awhile and see what other people have to say.

  12. Here's what Eknath Easwaran writes about Chapter 6 in his translation of the Gita:

    This is surely one of the most intriguing chapters of the Gita, for here we are given a detailed explanation of meditation addressed to the layperson. The same meditation techniques are given in more esoteric writings, such as the "Yoga Sutra" of Patanjali, but the Gita does it more simply, without any unnecessary mystery or complexity.

    When was the last time you heard the Gita referred to as less mysterious or complex than the Yoga Sutra? This turns the conventional viewpoint on its head–that the Gita is less read because it's more mysterious and complex than the Sutra.

    My own experience is that the Gita and the Upanishads are just as accessible as the Yoga Sutra, if not more so, once one gets used to their rich metaphorical language. Of course, all three are indispensable.

    Bob Weisenberg

  13. lorraineya says:

    If we carry out right actions without thought of the outcome, then good will come of it (or so I believe). This is what I am getting from it.

  14. integralhack says:

    1) How would you summarize these stanzas in your own words?
    The true "man of yoga" is one who walks the razor's edge of right action: This seems quite similar to the Middle Way of the Buddha. It also indicates that the Yoga of Action calls for renouncing attachment to sense objects and actions–so preparatory steps are required to become a "mature" man and walk the path of serenity.

    2) Give us an example of how you might apply these words to your own life.

    I am trying to apply the correlative Buddhist path in my own life. The similarities are striking!

    3) Which lines of the text are difficult to understand?

    Part of what I still find troubling is that people can think that they have renounced their "selfish wills," but "self" is often a much greater aggregate than people realize. Beyond what they take to be their own wills are affective ideologies, cultural grooming, and what the Buddhists refer to as samskaras–preferences and biases that become part of our psychological makeup. Our small selves are like Russian nesting dolls–there are many layers that go beyond our own skin!

    4) Tell us anything else that comes to mind when you read these words.

    I can't stress the importance of preparation enough for the serious yogi! If you try to take hold of the self too soon, without really connecting with the (big) Self, you may find yourself in trouble. True humility and patience are called for.

  15. lorraineya says:

    You are correct, Bob, there is no concept of "God" in Buddhism. Although it appears to me that Buddhists worship the Buddha as a god as well as many of the Tibetan bodisattvas.

  16. lorraineya says:

    Hey, a passage that I understand with no questions!! 🙂
    This passage is telling me to act consciously without thought of the outcome, meaning I should not care about the result as in whether or not I receive any benefit. If I perform my duties with the right thought, then hopefully I won't hurt anyone in the process. I'm able to wrap my mind around this concept but admit that it's hard for me to act without worrying about the outcome. It's hard to remained detached.

  17. integralhack says:

    This is not completely accurate, but it depends a great deal in what you mean by "God." Buddha didn't deny the existence of Brahma, for example (in fact there are quite a few Brahma references in the Pali Canon). Buddha did, however, change the meaning of connected ideas and focused on practice rather than worship.

    For the real practitioner, Buddha and bodhisattvas are not really objects of worship, but they are meditational focal points and aids to cultivating buddhas in all of us. This is not to say, however, that you won't find sects that do worship "Buddhas."

  18. Greg says:

    Good explanation.

    The subject of God in Buddhism has been simplified and thus misrepresented by those who are attached to the ideas of atheism.

    The Buddha's presentation was quite nuanced and depends for understanding on the practice.

    There is probably no better place to come to a deep understanding of the concept but it is not a place one can go to when carrying a lot of baggage.

  19. Greg says:

    Not sure what I would say to entice you to take another closer look.

    Only you would know what it is that might inspire looking from another vantage point.

    That might be a meditation exercise you could engage — ask what might allow or motivate you to view from another perspective. And consider the opposite as well — what is it that prevents me from considering another perspective? When you alternate between the poles of the dichotomy it can bring about change.

    Back and forth — what would allow me to see from another vantage point? what prevents me from viewing from another vantage point?

  20. Greg says:

    Love your response to #3. There is much in what you have stated to be studied. Very rich.

  21. Thanks for the clarification, Matt. I knew that:

    a) There are big differences between different schools of Buddhism.

    b) It depends on the definition of God, which is why I carefully defined it (as the definition in the Gita–(Brahman=God="Infinite Unfathomable Life-Force of the Universe"), no more, no less than that.

    c) I was not talking about worship at all. Conventional worship makes little sense when each of us is an integral part of God. We'd be worshiping ourselves (which I guess is why some religions feel the Gita is sacrilegious!)

    Your points are also precisely why I threw in the phrase "or at least not celebrate it like the Gita does", but even that might not be true for certain Tantric based schools of Buddhism.

    Bob Weisenberg

  22. Personally I find Yoga to be very different than most Buddhism I have read about (but certainly never practiced). Buddhism to me seems to be preoccupied with deconstructing the self, whereas Yoga just wants us to be able to witness the self clearly from the perspective of the Self, as clearly shown in our passage.

    Buddhism, just to me I'm saying, seems to want to squash the ego, whereas Yoga seems to just want us to be able to watch it and control it. This is one of the reasons that when I was in a fork in the road of my spiritual life some years ago, and could have chosen Yoga or Buddhism, I was personally much more attracted to Yoga, and still am. To me it seems far more psychologically sound and realistic.

    It's just a personal preference, I realize.

    Bob Weisenberg

  23. Very funny, Lorraine!

    Here's a subtle, yet I think vital, nuance to what you just wrote. The Gita tells us to be detached about the outcome, once we decided what to do and are doing it. But it never asks us not to be concerned about the result when making the decision about what to do,or when preparing for battle. Krishna never tells Arjuna, "Don't even bother preparing for battle or drawing your bow because nothing matters anyway." Quite the contrary, he urges Arjuna to fight with all his will and might and passion, just, once things are in motion, detach your ego from the outcome.

    The Gita doesn't recommend wishy-washiness or detachment in making a decision. It expects, in fact, that we put all our passion and caring into whatever decision we make. It just asks us to be less attached to the results, knowing that we've done the best we can, and we are still wondrous in any case.

    To give you an example I think is pretty clear. I try to play tennis according to the teachings of Yoga. I'm still very competitive and my self wants to win. I plan and train and lift weights and do everything I can to get myself in a position to be able to win (just like Arjuna preparing for battle).

    But once I start a match, even though I'm still trying my hardest to win, I completely detach my ego (= my self) from the results. Regardless of what happens, I accept it, enjoy it, congratulate my opponent if he wins, still fee great even if I lose. Then I go back to my plotting and training so I can beat him next time.

    Please tell me if this makes any sense and if not, let's talk about it some more. I think this point is critical. It's why I love Yoga philosophy. It inspires me to do my best but allows me to be far happier and more content along the way. It's not a prescription for not-caring at all, just for freeing my mind from excessive worry about the eventual result.

    Bob Weisenberg

  24. Very funny, Lorraine!

    Here's a subtle, yet I think vital, nuance to what you just wrote. The Gita tells us to be detached about the outcome, once we decided what to do and are doing it. But it never asks us not to be concerned about the result when making the decision about what to do, when "preparing for battle." Krishna never tells Arjuna, "Don't even bother preparing for battle or drawing your bow because nothing matters anyway." Quite the contrary, he urges Arjuna to fight with all his will and might and passion, just, once things are in motion, detach your ego from the outcome.

    The Gita doesn't recommend wishy-washiness or detachment in making a decision. It expects, in fact, that we put all our passion and caring into whatever decision we make. It just asks us to be less attached to the results, knowing that we've done the best we can, and we are still wondrous in any case.

    To give you an example I think is pretty clear. I try to play tennis according to the teachings of Yoga. I'm still very competitive and my self wants to win. I plan and train and lift weights and do everything I can to get myself in a position to be able to win (just like Arjuna preparing for battle).

    But once I start a match, even though I'm still trying my hardest to win, I completely detach my ego (= my self) from the results. Regardless of what happens, I accept it, enjoy it, congratulate my opponent if he wins, still feel great even if I lose. Then I go back to my plotting and training so I can beat him next time.

    Please tell me if this makes any sense and if not, let's talk about it some more. I think this point is critical. It's why I love Yoga philosophy. It inspires me to do my best but allows me to be far happier and more content along the way. It's not a prescription for not-caring at all, just for freeing my mind from excessive worry about the eventual result.

    Bob Weisenberg

  25. integralhack says:

    Ah, I was replying to lorraineya's reply, Bob. Not yours. Not that I particularly had an issue with that response either–I just thought some things needed clarification.

  26. integralhack says:

    Thanks, Greg. I do think that Buddhism provides a useful perspective for looking at the Gita. I'm not saying it is "necessary," of course, but it certainly enriches my reading, as I'm sure it does yours.

  27. Sorry, integral. That was my mistake. I responded too fast before looking at the whole comment stream.

  28. integralhack says:

    Personally, Bob, I don't see why the two practices–Yoga and Buddhism (or Dharma)–have to be exclusive. I think they fit very well together.

    I don't see any difference between "the self that is the foe" and the self the Buddha contended with. Buddha did not deny self (this is a popular misunderstanding), but pointed out what self is not.

  29. I'm sure you're right, Matt. That's why, whenever I get drawn into writing about Buddhism now I always try to make it crystal clear that I'm only describing my personal reactions and decisions, not pretending to express any larger meaning than that. And I certainly didn't mean to imply they are mutually exclusive. They are close cousins no matter how you look at it, influencing each other back and forth over centuries.

    Bob Weisenberg http://YogaDemystified.com

  30. integralhack says:

    Absolutely, and I apologize if we got too focused on Buddhism. Let's return to our regularly scheduled programming: The Bhagavad Gita. 🙂

  31. Hi, YogiOne. I haven't forgotten about you and your tough but highly reasonable questions here. I'm still hoping someone else might step in and start the discussion before I share all my thoughts with you.

  32. lighthasmass says:

    I am subscribing. This is not a comment.

  33. Greg says:

    Sure wish you would define "infinite unfathomable life force of the universe."

    Infinite would mean other than this universe, as this universe is finite.
    Unfathomable would mean unknowable, thus you would be talking about speculation.
    Life force can mean so many different things it must be clearly defined.
    "Of this universe" would mean being restricted to something than in itself is limited.

    Am curious how you would attack the problem of defining this phrase.

  34. svan says:

    Okay, I'll bite.

    I'm not really sure what point you're making off the top — maybe because I define "duty" as a moral or legal responsibility to family and community, so then duties and choices aren't mutually exclusive — we can choose to do our duty or not.

    "no concern for results" can imply a mindless, selfish recklessness, but perhaps not in this context… : ) All our actions have consequences, but those consequences aren't necessarily predictable because the cause and effect relationship is more complicated than we think.

    sometimes, doing nothing can be deadly… the action in "inaction"

    Again, our intention may be to do no harm, but the result may be the very opposite (we are surrounded by some horrendously unintended consequences of many inventions and systems that were designed to improve our lives…) Can any action be completely harmless? We don't really know because of that complicated net of interdependence.

    "rushing into action because a Blue Meany tells you to go kill your family…" well, Arjuna isn't exactly rushing and Krishna isn't exactly Charles Manson… Krishna has to use every tactic in the book to convince him to do his duty, to defend the dharma and fulfill it…. Arjuna is also a warrior, it's his job and I got the impression from the background to the war that it is justified. To not fight would be to let go of basic principles of fairness, honour, justice and so on. Doing nothing would be a tacit acceptance of deceit and corruption.

    If we had true wisdom, maybe we could see the big picture, like the Blue Meany here. Sometimes we have to let go of what we think we know to make room for true wisdom. Maybe this is where faith comes in…

  35. Patrick McMurray says:

    I enjoyed reading stanza #6 right here, thank you to Bob for trying this approach!

    1) How would you summarize these stanzas in your own words?

    It almost seems to me like the "doing" is more important than the "being." In the first stanza, "…not he who refrains from action.." almost seems to me like a challenge to the reader to do something rather than nothing at all, in any situation. I am led to think of the notion of action with (or without) thought. But it seems as though the Gita is telling us "at least do something—don't just sit there!"…

    But also, the first stanza seems to say "do something, anything" but then "don't dwell on it, whatever it is that you do…" The other stanzas sem to bear out the first one by emphasizing that the "yoga of action" is the only true way and that by taking action and not worrying about the outcome you are somehow fulfilling the duty you have to yourself.

  36. Aurora says:

    I just got back from a Satsang and these stanzas are giving me the same message that this whole evening has been ripe with…
    Be present and love ( be open).
    How I might apply it to life? Cut out the analyzation process of thought and dive right into the feeling part of myself and enjoy whatever it is that I'm experiencing. So, listen to someone speak, find the joy in getting stuck in traffic, pet my cats til something else moves me in another direction, eat, meditate, do everything with presence and openness.
    So here I feel the plastic keys below my fingers, I watch the cursor spell out words that I instruct it to, my jaw seems a bit clenched and I'm feeling hungry and tired and it's all what it is:) Time to get more present with my heart as I stroke my cats to sleep.

  37. I like that, Aurora. Thanks for writing.

  38. Hi, Patrick. I wasn't sure what would happen if I just put out a few stanzas for comment. But it's worked out very well, hasn't it. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us.

  39. Sorry, Greg, that's as close as I personally, or the Gita, for that matter, can get to defining God. What's your alternate definition?

  40. Thanks so much for stepping up to the plate, svan. (That's the one thing I'd like to see more of on Gita Talk–in-depth interaction among readers). YogiOne's comment is so interesting and provocative (in a good way) that I'm tempted to copy it over into a new blog all by itself.

    What do you other readers have to say?

  41. YogiOne says:

    Svan, thanks for your reply. Your responses are all very reasonable interpretations. In the context of the actual wars that were going on at the time the Gita was written, I don't think the warriors had much choice regarding which class they belonged to, nor did anyone else. Telling people to accept their fate regardless of their own desires was a way of subjugating the masses. The parallel I see with today is when we have a bad economy and young men aren't very employable because public education has been gutted by the same group of upper class white men who benefit from the endless wars we are fighting, they try to make "doing your duty" see as an honorable alternative to actually following your own path. The Gita is mostly military propaganda.

  42. YogiOne says:

    Let us not forget that there is no actual Blue Meany. This is a construct used by men for a purpose. What men's purpose does it serve? It lends authority and enormous social pressure to an argument that is otherwise questionable. It implies that the rest of us can't think for ourselves because we don't get the whole picture (as if the writers of the gita did). Religion is being used the same way today. God and Country! God is on our side, so you know we are justified in killing brown people all over the world especially if they get in the way of letting our corporations subjugate the poor for their own profits. Oh, let us not forget that if we criticise our corporate masters (BP/Krisna) we are unamerican (and thus not worthy of God, Apple Pie and Chevrolet).

  43. paramsangat says:

    Hey, thanks for the Facebook message, I'm on and reading ahead 🙂 I like the book and I like these excersises we get here to discuss,
    thank you!! 🙂

  44. Greg says:

    Was simply asking you to define the phrase. Was trying to understand what you were saying.

  45. I repeat my counter question? What's your alternate definition of God?

    That will help me answer your question better.

  46. Meaghan says:

    Bob – Thanks for this very clear description of the difference between not caring and detaching from result. Until now I intellectually knew that this was what the Gita proposed – but didn't fully understand. This helps. Thanks!

  47. integralhack says:

    lol. Love the "Blue Meany."

  48. Greg says:

    Okay, will start a new thread and will speak to specific stanzas in the Gita to answer.

  49. Greg says:

    In response to Bob's question to me regarding "what is God?" I will present (piecemeal) stanzas from the Gita that parallel and/or explain what I have in mind…

    Ch 2 p 47

    Never was there a time
    when did not exist, or you.

    This speaks to the timeless nature of God. Not something that is temporal. Not something that partakes of the temporal and therefore not impermanent.

    p 48

    Nonbeing can never be
    being can never not be.

    This further speaks to the idea of timelessness. Not contained or constrained within the temporal.
    (Some will say "eternal" but I believe that is misleading as it may connote being in all time but limited to that which is temporal, as opposed to meaning "stands outside all time.")

    p 48

    The presence that pervades the universe
    is imperishable, unchanging,
    beyond both is and is not;
    how could it ever vanish.

    This, too, speaks to the timeless nature — not stuck within the confines of the material world where things come in and out of existence.

    It also speaks to the God or Self as being a "presence that pervades." This is a critical concept. A presence, a beingness, a consciousness that pervades differs from an identity with all things in the universe. This says that God consciousness can go throughout all space but it does not say that God consciousness is one and the same with the objects it pervades.

    This is perhaps the yogi's greatest challenge… to understand how one pervades spaces and objects but in so pervading one does not become that space or object. We take on the identity of a space or object as a game as a charade but never is our nature identical to that which we pervade.

    More…

  50. No, Greg. I meant I want your single sentence definition of God, not the Gita's. I already can see the Gita's.