Are highest yogic teachings secret?

The following is an excerpt of the commentary on the Bhagavad Gita by Radhikaji from her forthcoming book to be published in 2017. This article summarizes verses 1-19 from Chapter 9 of the Bhagavad Gita. 

Chapter 9 is known as Raja Vidya. Raja means King, royalty or the royal. Vidya means science or knowledge. Thus chapter is about the Royal Sciences, the King of Sciences or the Supreme Science.

Verses 1-3: Are there secret teachings?

What is the secret of secrets? Many seekers believe that their teacher is not telling them the “rahasya” or secret. There are those who believe that the secret is only revealed to the sannyasis or renunciate and that this secret is not shared with householders. The people, who think that there are some secrets that are being kept from them want to know more. When the teacher tells them a practice or techniques, they want more practices or techniques. They think that their problems will be mysteriously solved, if they would somehow get to know the secret that is being kept from them. 

It may sound amazing, but it is really true, there no secrets. All the practices and techniques that you need to know in order to go beyond all suffering and misery and witness everything is already available to you. 

It is true that many of these practices or techniques, as well as scriptures were earlier kept secret. It is true that for millennia these practices and scriptures were handed down from teacher to student in a lineage. The teacher did not have to be a swami or sanyasi, neither did the student. In fact the great sages of the Upanishads were householders. Sannyasis only taught other sannyasis.  Householders only taught other householders. There were 2 lineages, one was the lineage of those who had renounced, who had taken up tyaga and those and the other who were following the yogic path but did not have to take up tyaga. When the British came to India they found all these texts and they were  translate it into English. All the secret scriptures that were in the safe keeping of a lineage have since been printed, and are now available in the Internet. Nothing is being kept concealed from anybody. 

However we still say, “Na datavyam, na datavyam, na datavyam.” This means “Don't impart, don't impart, don't impart.” You can do as many techniques as you want, but you will not attain deeper understanding, if you have not able to train your mind. It is very easy to learn techniques or to get a mantra, but to go beyond suffering means to go beyond the dualities. This requires a burning desire, a willingness to change and transform, sharp buddhi and a good mentor who knows the treacherous terrain of the mind from direct experience. 

A good teacher from an authentic tradition will not impart to those who are not prepared. If the student is not ready because he is still very attached to the perishable, his buddhi is not developed or his desire is not really strong enough, then the teacher will not train the student on how to go beyond the mind and establish oneself as a Witness. The unprepared seeker has believing that there are secrets even though there are none. 

You should remember however, that the teacher has the prerogative to whether deciding to give further or not. If a school student has not understand the subjects in his class he cannot be promoted to the next class. The subjects of the higher class are not secret, it is the student who is unprepared. The school student cannot decide if he is suitable for the next class because he does not have the overview. The teacher has the overview. 

Similarly a spiritual teacher who has been through the process of meditation, has gone through all these pitfalls of an untrained manas and dangers of a strong ahamkar, has seen the power of chitta and knows how buddhi can overcome all these. With this kind of experience, it is a prerogative of the teacher to decide, who is prepared to receive further training. The idea of “Don't impart” must be understand  from the perspective of someone who is more experienced and mature. 

There are students, who are very modest and they hesitate to do more and even though they are able to do more. On the other hand there are students who overestimate themselves and keep asking for more. They are impatient and do not allow time for integration of new ideas and life changes. These impatient students start imagining that secrets are being kept from them.

Verses 4-6: The seed and the mirror

The entire world is a manifestation, which emerges from Pure Consciousness or the Cosmic Self. Just like a huge tree that emerges out of a very tiny seed on germination. How is it possible for such a huge tree to be contained in such a tiny little seed! The tree existed in the seed in its unmanifest form.

What do you see when you look in the mirror,? It looks like you,  moves like you but is it you? No, it is not you. It is your reflection.

What is the reflection of Pure Consciousness? The world, the universe is it’s reflection. Just like your reflection in the mirror is an illusion though it appears to be real, the world too is an illusionary reflection. We mistake the illusionary world for reality, but the reality is deeper. Like the tree hidden in the seed, the real essence of the universe is hidden.

Verses 7-10: The nature of Time

These verses are talking about pralay, they are speaking of the macrocosm, the macrocosm or the universe itself is similar to the individual self, had a greater magnitude and the idea of time is cyclical, if you imagine nature, 

Nature is cyclical. There is day and night, followed by day again. This cycle of day and night is caused by the rotation of the earth. Then there the lunar cycle. The moon waxes, it becomes a full moon and it wanes until you have a dark night then again it starts waxing again until full moon. This is the lunar cycle and is approximately equal to 2 fortnights, the dark fortnight known as Krishna and the bright fortnight known as Shukla. The seasons follow each other, winter, spring, summer, autumn and finally winter again. Our minds as well as bodies are influenced by these cycles since they gave us a sense of time. 

Similar to these cycles there is a greater cycle, that has been discovered lately by modern physics. The Universe emerges from the cosmic egg and has since been expanding. A long long time from now the universe is going to start contracting back into the cosmic egg, according to the physicists.  This is one kalpa. At the end of the cycle or kalpa everything returns to that potential form in the seed or the egg. Eventually the cosmic egg explodes again to restart the entire process and the world illusions start again, all the beings emerge, the play of consciousness unfolds. Until it is time once again to return back to that potential form of energy in the seed or egg. So everything comes through this process, all things animate or inanimate come through this process, the world changes, evolves, grows and then turns back to its source.

Verses 11-12: Who am I?

Imagine you looking for someone in a house of mirrors. There are so many reflections of him in the house of mirrors that you mistake a reflection to be the person, but very soon you realise, this is a reflection. You know that the real person is 3-dimensional, not flat. 

The world illusion is however so deep and mysterious that we cannot spot the reflection so easily. Only the sharp and discerning mind asks, Where is the real one, who is hidden? What is my true nature? The rest get caught up in this illusion, they are hypnotised and lost in this maya. Those who are lost in this maya and do not have sharp and discerning mind are known as asuras and have a tamasic or demonic nature.

The one who does not know the nature of the true Self and cannot distinguish between true Self and material manifestation is ignorant or tamasic. This is known as avidya. There are 3 kinds of seekers or minds, tamasic, rajasic and sattvic. These are stages of our spiritual evolution.

Verses 13-15: The divine or sattvic seeker

Those having tamasic nature do not know the real nature of the world. Those having a sattvic or divine nature allow their minds to rest in the unity within the multiplicity, the oneness in manifold. The divine or divya worship by knowing the unchanging.

Verses 16-19: Everything is Consciousness

These verses list all sort of things, some are not related, some are related. All this is Pure Consciousness, that is why seeming unrelated or even contradictory things been all put together. Immortality and death or existent and non-existent, all dualities are encompassed by this divinity. All is Consciousness. Aham brahmasmi. Nothing is excluded.