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Bhagavad Gita: Chapter 8 – Attainment of Salvation (Akshara Brahma Yoga)

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Chapter 8 – Attainment of Salvation (Akshara Brahma Yoga)

In the Chapter 8 Lord Krishna emphasizes the science of yoga. Revealing that one attains whatever one remembers at the end of one’s life. Lord emphasizes utmost importance of very last thought at the moment of death. Also Lord Krishna gives information on creation of material worlds as well as establishing a distinction between them and spiritual world. Here Lord Krishna explains the path of darkness and enlightenment with regards to leaving this material existence, the destination to which they each lead to and the reward received by each.

  • Section-1 (Shloka 1-7)
    • Seven spiritual questions of Arjuna answered
  • Section-2 (Shloka 8-22)
    • Bhakti yoga; the easy method for God-Realization
  • Section-3 (Shloka 23-28)
    • Condemnation of men of demonical nature and praise of devotees

8.1 Arjuna said “Krishna, what is that Brahma (Absolute) what is adhyatma (spirit), what is karma (action) ? What is called adhibhuta (matter), and what is termed as adhidaiva (Divine intelligence)?

8.1 Arjuno uvaach “kim tad brahma kim-adhyaatamam kim karma puroshotama; adhibhootam cha kim proktam-adhidaivam kim-uchyate

8.2 Krishna, who is adhyajana here and how does he dwell in the body ? and how are You to be realized at the time of death by those of steadfast mind?

8.2 adhiyagyam katham ko-atra dehe-asmin-madhusoodhana; pryaan-kaale cha katham gye-o-asi neeyatmabhi

8.3 Shree Bhagwan said “The Supreme Indestructible is Brahma; one’s own self (the individual soul) is called adhyatma; and the discharge of spirits, (visarga),which brings forth the existence of beings, is called karma (action)”

8.3 ShreeBhagwanovaach “akkhsharam brahm parmam swabhavo-adhyatmam-uchyate; bhoot-bhaavo-udhbhav-karo visargah karma-sanjitah”

8.4 All perishable objects are called adhibhuta; The shining Purusha (Brahma) is Adhidaiva; and in this body I Myself, dwelling as the inner witness, am Adhiyajna,O Arjuna!

8.4 adhibhootam khshro-bhaavah purshashchaadhi-daivtam; adhi-yagyo -aham-aiv-aatra dehe dehbhritaam vara

8.5 He who departs from the body, thinking of Me alone even at the time of death, attains My state: there is no doubt about it.

8.5 ant-kale cha mamev smaran-muktva kalevaram; yah pryati sa mad-bhaavam yaati naastiyatra sanshya

8.6 Arjuna, thinking of whatever entity one leaves the body at the time of death, that and that alone one attains, being ever absorbed in its thoughts.

8.6 yam yam vapi smarna-bhaavam tyajti-ante kalevram; tam tamaivaiti kauntey sadaa tad-bhaav-bhavitah

8.7 Therefore, Arjuna, think of Me at all times and fight. With mind and reason thus set on Me, you will doubtless come to Me.

8.7 tasmaat sarveshu kaaleshu maam-anusmara yudhya cha; mayi-arpit-mano-budhir-maam-aivashyasi-asanshyam

8.8 Arjuna, he who with his mind disciplined through yoga in the form of practice of meditation and thinking of nothing else, is constantly engaged in contemplation of God attains the supremely effulgent Divine Purusha (God)

8.8 abhyaas-yogen-yukten chetsaa naa-anya-gaaminaa; paramam purusham divyam yati paartha-anu-chintyan

8.9 He who contemplates on all-wise, ageless Being, the Ruler of all, subtler than the subtle, the universal sustainer, possessing a form beyond human conception, refulgent like the sun and far beyond the darkness of ignorance.

8.9 kavim puraanim anushaa-sitaaram-araon-ariaansam-anu-samredyah; sarvasya dhaataaram-achintya-rupam-aaditya-varnam tamsaah parastaata

8.10 Having by the power of yoga firmly held the life-breath in the space between the two eyebrows even at the time of death, and then contemplating on God with a steadfast mind, full of devotion, he reaches verily that Supreme Divine Purusha (God).

8.10 pryan-kale mansa-achalen bhaktya-yukto yoga-balen chaiv; bhruvo-madhye praanam-avaishya samyak sa tam param purusham-upeti divyam

8.11 I shall tell you briefly about that Supreme goal (viz., God who is embodiment of truth, knowledge and bliss), which the knowers of Vedas term as the Indestructible; which striving recluses free from passion enter, and desiring which the celibates practice Brahmacharya.

8.11 yad-aksharam ved-vido vadanti vishanti yat-yatyo veetraagaa; yadichchanto brahmacharyam charanti tatte padam sangrhen pravakhshaye

8.12 Having closed all the doors of senses, and firmly holding the mind in the cavity of heart, and then fixing the life breath in the head and thus remaining steadfast in yogic concentration on God, (cont.)

8.12 sarva-dvarani san-mey mano hridi nirudhya cha; moordhanyaadhaay-aatmaanaah praanam-astitho yog-dhaarnaam

8.13 (cont.)he who leaves the body and departs uttering the one indestructible Brahma, OM, and dwelling on Me in My absolute aspect, reaches the Supreme goal.

8.13 om-itiek-aaksharam brahma vyaaharan-maam-anusmaran; ya prayaati tyajanti-deham sa yaati parmaam gatim

8.14 Arjuna, whosoever always and constantly thinks of Me with undivided mind, to that yogi ever absorbed in Me I am easily attainable.

8.14 ananya-cheta sat-tam yo maam smarti nityashah; tasyaam sulabhah paartha nityayuktasya-yoginah

8.15 Great souls, who have attained the highest perfection, having come to Me, are no more subjected to rebirth, which is the abode of sorrow, and transient by nature.

8.15 maam-upetya punarjanam dukhaalayam-ashwashattam; naapnuvanti mahaatmanah sansidhim parmaam gatah

8.16 Arjuna, all the worlds from Brahmaloka ( the heavenly realm of the Creator, Brahma) downwards are liable to appear and reappear. But, O son of Kunti, on attaining Me there is no rebirth. ( for while I am beyond time, regions like Brahmaloka, being conditioned by time, are transitory.)

8.16 aa-brahmbhuvaan-lokaah punraavartino-arjuna; maam-upetya tu kaunteya punarjanam na vidyte

8.17 Those yogis who know from realization Brahma’s day as covering a thousand mahayugas, and so his night as extending to another thousand mahayugas know the reality about time.

8.17 sahstra-yug-paryantam-aharyad-brahmno vidu; ratrim yug sahstraataam te-aho-ratra-vido janaah

8.18 All embodied beings emanate from the Un manifest (i.e. Brahma’s subtle body) at the coming of the cosmic day; at the cosmic nightfall they merge into the same subtle body of Brahma, known as the Un manifest.

8.18 avyaktaad-avyaktayah sarvah prabhvanty-ehraagme; raatriyaagme praleeyante tatraiv-avyakta-sangyake

8.19 Arjuna, this multitude of beings, being born again and again, is dissolved under compulsion of its nature at he coming of cosmic night, and rises again at the commencement of cosmic day.

8.19 bhoot-graamah sa aivayam bhutwa bhutwa praleeyate; ratriyaagme-avashah partha prabhavty-ehraagme

8.20 Far beyond even this un manifest, there is yet another un manifest Existence, that Supreme Divine Person, who does not perish even though all beings perish.

8.20 parastasmaatu bhavo-anyo-avyakto-avyaktaat-sanaatanah; ya sa sarveshu bhuteshunashyatsu na vinshyati

8.21 The same un manifest which has been spoken as the Indestructible is also called the supreme Goal; that again is My supreme Abode, attaining which they return not to this mortal world.

8.21 avyaktoakshara iti-yukstamaahu parmaam gatim; yam praapya na nivartante tad-dhaam parmam mama

8.22 Arjuna, that eternal un manifest supreme Purusha in whom all beings reside and by whom all this is pervaded, is attainable only through exclusive devotion.

8.22 purushah sa parah paartha bhaktyaa labhyas-twananya-yaa; yasyantah-sthaani bhutaani yen sarvam-idam tatam

8.23 Arjuna, I shall now tell you the time (path) departing when yogis do not return, and also the time (path) departing when they do return.

8.23 yatr kale tvanaavritam-aavritam chaiv yoginah; pryaata yanti tam kaalam vakshyami bhartarshabha

8.24 (Of the two paths) the one is that in which are stationed the all-effulgent fire-god and the deities presiding over the day light, the bright fortnight, and the six months of the northward course of the sun respectively; proceeding along it after death yogis, who have known Brahma, being successively led by the above gods, finally reach Brahma.

8.24 agni-jyotirhah shuklah shanmaasaa utaraayanam; tatra prayaataa gachchanti brahma brahma-vido janaah

8.25 The other path is that wherein are stationed the gods presiding over smoke ,night, the dark fortnight, and the six months of the southward course of the sun; the yogi (devoted to action with an interested motive) taking to this path after death is led by above gods, one after another, and attaining the luster of moon (and enjoying the fruit of his meritorious deeds in heaven ) returns to this mortal world.

8.25 dhumo ratristathaa krishnah shanmaasaa dakshinaayanam; tatra chaandramsam jyotiryogee prapya nivartate

8.26 For these two paths of the world, the bright and the dark, are considered to be eternal. Proceeding by one of them, one reaches the supreme state from which there is no return; and proceeding by the other, one returns to the mortal world i.e. becomes subject to birth and death once more.

8.26 shukla-krishne gati hote jagatah shaashwate mate; ekya yaatyanaavrittam-anya-aavartate punah

8.27 Knowing thus the secret of these two paths, O son of Kunti no yogi gets deluded. Therefore, Arjuna, at all times be steadfast in yoga in the form of equanimity. (i.e. strive constantly for My realization.)

8.27 naite sriti paaratha jaananyogi muhyati kanchana; tasmaat sarveshu kaaleshu yogyukto bhavaarjuna

8.28 The yogi realizing this profound truth, doubtless transcends all the rewards, ascribed in the scriptures, to the study of Vedas, as well as to the performance of sacrifices, austerities and charities, and attains the beginning less Supreme state.

8.28 vedeshu yagyeshu tapahsu chaiv daaneshu yat-punya-phalam pradishtam; atyeti tat-sarvam-idam viditvaa yogee param sthaanam-upaiti chaadyam

end
Thus in the Upanishad sung by the Lord, the Science of Brahma, the scripture of Yoga, the dialogue between Shree Krishna and Arjuna, ends the eighth chapter entitled “The Yoga of Akshara Brahma”

iti
om tat-sat-iti shree-mad-bhagwat-geetasupnishatsu brahm-vidyaayaam yog-shastre
shree-krishna-arjun-samvade
akhshar-brahma-yogo
naam ashtamo adhyayh ||8||

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