Bhagavadgita: 8. The Yoga of Impersihable Brahman

Krishna and Arjuna in the Bhagavadgita

Translated by Jayaram V

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Summary: This Chapter deals with the nature of Self and Supreme Self, what happens to souls upon death, who will go to the world and ancestors to return again and who will go to the world of Brahman and become immortal. Those who practice austerities, purity, contemplative practices and worship of God attain Brahman in the end.


Akshara Brahma Yoga

1. Said Arjuna, O Purushottama, what is that Brahman, What is Adhyatma (inner Self) and what is karma? What is said to be Adhibhuta (the primeval being ) and what is referred to as Adhidaiva (the Supreme Deity)?

2. O Madhusudhana, who is Adhiyagna (master of sacrifices) in this body? And at the time of the final journey how the practitioners of self-control can realize You?

3. Said Lord Supreme, Indestructible and beyond all is Brahman. Ones own self is called Adhyatma. The cause behind the creation of all the beings is called karma.

4. Adhibhuta (elemental Self) is by nature destructible. The Purusha (the individual Self) is Adhidaiva. And certainly I am Adhiyagna (Lord of the Sacrifice) in the body, O best of the embodied.

5. At the time of death, he who, remembering Me, leaves the body, attains My State. There is no doubt about this.

6. O Son of Kunti, whatever a person thinks of at the time of leaving his body , he attains that alone remembering it.

7. Therefore, all the time keep remembering Me and engage in the battle. By offering your mind and intelligence to Me, you will undoubtedly attain Me.

8. Through the practice of Yoga and meditation with the mind not moving in other directions, one can attain the Supreme Purusha , O Partha.

9. Always thinking of the Creator, the Ancient, the Ordainer, One who is smaller than the atom, the upholder of all, the unthinkable (beyond thought), whose form is of the color of Aditya (golden color), and who is beyond the darkness.

10. At the time of death, with unwavering mind, engaged in devotion, by the strength of Yoga, establishing the prana (breath) completely between the two eye brows, he attains the Divine and transcendental Personality of Brahman.

11. Now, I will explain to you briefly that word which the knowers of Vedas call the Word, which the great sages desire to attain by practicing celibacy and renouncing all passions.

12. Controlling all the openings of the body, with the mind established in the heart, fixing the prana in the self at the top of the head establishing oneself in the Yoga.

13. Uttering the monosyllable AUM, which is Brahman, who leaves the body, remembering Me, he achieves the highest goal.

14. To the constantly busy devotee who remembers Me without engaging his mind elsewhere, to him I am very easily attainable, O Partha.

15. On attaining Me, the great souls are no more subjected to rebirth, suffering and transience, for they have attained the highest perfection.

16. Arjuna, all worlds up to Brahma loka are subject to rebirth. But O Kaunteya, on reaching Me there is no rebirth.

17. Those who know that the day of Brahman consists of thousands of Yugas and similarly His nights also, are the knowers of day and night.

18. From the unmanifested are manifested all the beings at the beginning of the day, and are dissolved again into the unmanifested upon the arrival of the night.

19. All the living entities O Partha, after taking birth again and again, are automatically dissolved as the night arrives and are manifested again upon the arrival of the day.

20. But beyond the state of unmanifested there is yet another state of unmanifested which is eternal and which can never be annihilated even when all entities are annihilated

21. It is declared as the unmanifested and undiminishing, which is also known as the ultimate goal by attaining which one) never returns. That is My Supreme Abode.

22. O Partha, that Supreme Being in whom are situated all the elements and by whom all this is pervaded can be attained only through bhakti (devotion).

23. O eminent among the Bharatas, now I will explain to you the time when the Yogis depart but never to return, and also the time when they depart but come back again.

24. Fire, light, day time, the waxing period of the moon, uttarayanam (the summer solstice) - those who depart then, knowers of Brahman, go to the Absolute straight away.

25. Smoke, night, the waning period of the moon, the winter solstice, those passing away during these attain the moon and return.

26. The light and darkness are the two permanent modes of departing from this material world. By the former a man goes never to return and by the latter he goes only to come back.

27. The Yogi who knows these two paths is not deluded. Therefore O Arjuna, establish yourself in the Yoga all the time.

28. Knowing thus, the Yogi goes beyond the rewards attained by the study of the Vedas, performance of sacrifices, austerities, charitable works and attains the Supreme Abode.

Thus ends the eighth chapter named Yoga of Imperishable Brahman in the Upanishad of the divine Bhagavad-Gita , the knowledge of the Absolute, the yogic scripture, and the debate between Arjuna and Lord Krishna.

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