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    The institution's main objective is to promote and spread the principles of Sanatana Dharma, the Hindu religion among the general public by publishing Gita, Ramayana, Upanishads, Puranas, Discourses of eminent Saints and other character-building books & magazines and marketing them at highly subsidised prices.   The institution strives for the betterment of life and the well-being of all. It aims to promote the art of living as propounded in the Gita for peace & happiness and the ultimate upliftment of mankind. The founder, Brahmalina Shri Jayadayalji Goyandka, was a staunch devotee and an exalted soul. He was much given to the Gita as the panacea for mankind's plight and began publishing it and other Hindu scriptures to spread good intent and good thought amongst all.
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  • Maha Shiva RatriFebruary 27th, 2014
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    This Blog is an Humble attempt to spread the Divine Message of Pujjya BapuJi & Dedicated at the Lotus feets SHRI CHARANKAMAL Of PARAM PUJYA GURUJI SANT SHRI ASARAM JI BAPU VishwaGuru Of the Age.

    The essence of Bharata lies in Her culture of Self-realization. ParamAtman is not seen as something apart, but as our very essence, the one True Self that resides in the heart of us all. Raising ourselves from ordinary individuals to the heights of Supreme Consciousness is only possible with the guidance of one who is already in that transcendent state. Such a one is called a Satguru, a True Yogi, as in one who has gained mastery over the mind, one who is beyond the mind.

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8: AksharBramha Yoga “The Yoga of Indestructible Brahma’

Sreemadh Bhagavad Gita

The Glories of Chapter Eight of the
Bhagavad Gita from the Padma Purana

Lord Shiva said, “My dear Parvati, now please listen to the glories of the Eighth Chapter of Srimad Bhagavad-gita. After listening to this, you will feel great joy.

In the South is an important town of the name Amardhkapur in which one brahmana of the name Bhavasharma lived, who had taken a prostitute as his wife. Bhavasharma enjoyed eating meat, drinking wine, stealing, going with other’s wives; and hunting. One day, that sinful Bhavasharma was invited to a party, where he drank so much alcohol that it started to come out of his mouth. After the party, he became very sick and suffered from chronic dysentery, and after many days of suffering he died and attained the body of a date-palm-tree.

One day, two brahma-rakshasas (ghosts) came and took shelter under that tree. Their previous life-story was as follows:

There was a brahmana by the name of Kushibal, who was very learned in the Vedas and had studied all branches of knowledge. His wife’s name was Kumati, who was very evil-minded. Although that brahmana was very learned, he was also very greedy. Along with his wife, he used to collect lots of charity everyday, but he would never give charity to any other Brahmana, When their time came to die, they both attained the forms of brahma-rakshasas. As brahma-rakshasas, they continuously wandered here and there over the earth suffering from hunger and thirst.

One day they rested under that date-palm-tree. At that time, the wife inquired from the husband “How can we get free from this curse of being brahma-rakshasas?” He replied, “By knowledge of Brahma, by knowledge of the Self, by knowledge of fruitive activities. Without such knowledge it is not possible to get free from our sinful reactions.”

Upon hearing this, the wife inquired, “Oh, my Lord, what is Brahma, what is the Self? What are fruitive activities?  (him tad brahma kim adhyatmam kim karma purusottama)”‘Completely by accident, the wife happened to chant half of the first shloka of the Eighth Chapter of Srimad Bhagavad-gita. At that time, having heard that half shloka, Bhavasharma broke free from that form as a tree, and again attained a body of a brahmana, completely free from all sin. Suddenly from the sky came a flower-airplane, which took that husband and wife back home, back to Godhead, Vaikuntha.

Afterwards, that Brahmana, Bhavasharma, with great respect, wrote down that half Shloka (kim tad brahma kim adhyatmam-kim karma purusottama) and with the intention of worshipping Lord Krishna, he went to Kashipuri and started performing great austerities, while continuously chanting that half Shloka.

Meanwhile in Vaikuntha, Lakshmi seeing Lord Vishnu, had risen suddenly from taking rest, inquired with folded hands “Why have You risen so suddenly from Your sleep?” Lord Vishnu said, “My dear Lakshmi, in Kashipuri, on the bank of the river Ganges, my devotee is performing great austerities continuously chanting half a Shloka of the Eighth Chapter of Srimad Bhagavad-gita. For a long time I have been thinking how to award his devotion”. Parvati inquired from Lord Shiva, “when Lord Vishnu was so pleased with His devotee, what benediction did He bestow upon him?”

Lord Shiva said, “Bhavasharma went to Vaikuntha, to engage in the eternal service of the lotus-feet of Lord Vishnu. Not only that, but all of his ancestors also attained the lotus feet of Lord Vishnu.

My dear Parvati, I have described to you just a little of the glories of the Eighth Chapter of Srimad Bhagavad-gita.

________________________________________

Chapter 8: AksharBramha Yoga “The Yoga of Indestructible Brahma’

Attaining the Supreme

TEXT 1

arjuna uvaca 
kim tad brahma kim adhyatmam 
kim karma purusottama 
adhibhutam ca kim proktam 
adhidaivam kim ucyate

SYNONYMS

arjunah uvaca–Arjuna said; kim–what; tat–that; brahma–Brahman; kim–what; adhyatmam–the self; kim–what; karma–fruitive activities; purusa-uttama–O Supreme Person; adhibhutam–the material manifestation; ca–and; kim–what; proktam–is called; adhidaivam–the demigods; kim–what; ucyate–is called.

TRANSLATION

Arjuna inquired: O my Lord, O Supreme Person, what is Brahman? What is the self? What are fruitive activities? What is this material manifestation? And what are the demigods? Please explain this to me.

PURPORT

In this chapter Lord Krsna answers these different questions of Arjuna beginning with, “What is Brahman?” The Lord also explains karma, fruitive activities, devotional service and yoga principles, and devotional service in its pure form. The Srimad-Bhagavatam explains that the Supreme Absolute Truth is known as Brahman, Paramatma, and Bhagavan. In addition, the living entity, individual soul, is also called Brahman. Arjuna also inquires about atma, which refers to body, soul and mind. According to the Vedic dictionary, atma refers to the mind, soul, body and senses also. 
Arjuna has addressed the Supreme Lord as Purusottama, Supreme Person, which means that he was putting these questions not simply to a friend but to the Supreme Person, knowing Him to be the supreme authority able to give definitive answers.

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Chapter 8. Attaining the Supreme

TEXT 2

adhiyajnah katham ko ‘tra 
dehe ‘smin madhusudana 
prayana-kale ca katham 
jneyo ‘si niyatatmabhih

SYNONYMS

adhiyajnah–the Lord of sacrifice; katham–how; kah–who; atra–here; dehe–in the body; asmin–in this; madhusudana–O Madhusudana;prayana-kale–at the time of death; ca–and; katham–how; jneyah–be known; asi–You can; niyata-atmabhih–by the self-controlled.

TRANSLATION

How does this Lord of sacrifice live in the body, and in which part does He live, O Madhusudana? And how can those engaged in devotional service know You at the time of death?

PURPORT

The Lord of sacrifice accepts Indra and Visnu. Visnu is the chief of the primal demigods, including Brahma and Siva, and Indra is the chief of the administrative demigods. Both Indra and Visnu are worshiped by yajnaperformances. But here Arjuna asks who is actually the Lord of yajna(sacrifice), and how is the Lord residing within the body of the living entity. 

Arjuna addresses the Lord as Madhusudana because Krsna once killed a demon named Madhu. Actually these questions, which are of the nature of doubts, should not have arisen in the mind of Arjuna because Arjuna is a Krsna conscious devotee. Therefore these doubts are like demons. Since Krsna is so expert in killing demons, Arjuna here addresses Him as Madhusudana so that Krsna might kill the demonic doubts that arise in Arjuna’s mind. 

Now the word prayana-kale in this verse is very significant because whatever we do in life will be tested at the time of death. Arjuna fears that at the time of death, those who are in Krsna consciousness will forget the Supreme Lord because at such a time body functions are disrupted and the mind may be in a panic-stricken state. Therefore Maharaja Kulasekhara, a great devotee, prays, “My dear Lord, may I die immediately now that I am healthy so that the swan of my mind may enter into the stem of Thy lotus feet.” This metaphor is used because the swan often takes pleasure in entering the stem of the lotus flower–similarly, the mind of the pure devotee is drawn to the lotus feet of the Lord. Maharaja Kulasekhara fears that at the moment of death his throat will be so choked up that he will not be able to chant the holy names, so it is better to “die immediately.” Arjuna questions how one’s mind can remain fixed on Krsna’s lotus feet at such times.

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Chapter 8. Attaining the Supreme

TEXT 3

sri-bhagavan uvaca 
aksaram brahma paramam 
svabhavo ‘dhyatmam ucyate 
bhuta-bhavodbhava-karo 
visargah karma-samjnitah

SYNONYMS

sri-bhagavan uvaca–the Supreme Personality of Godhead said;aksaram–indestructible; brahma–Brahman; paramam–transcendental;svabhavah–eternal nature; adhyatmam–the self; ucyate–is called;bhuta-bhava-udbhava-karah–action producing the material bodies of the living entities; visargah–creation; karma–fruitive activities;samjnitah–is called.

TRANSLATION

The Supreme Lord said, The indestructible, transcendental living entity is called Brahman, and his eternal nature is called the self. Action pertaining to the development of these material bodies is called karma, or fruitive activities.

PURPORT

Brahman is indestructible and eternally existing, and its constitution is not changed at any time. But beyond Brahman there is Parabrahman. Brahman refers to the living entity, and Parabrahman refers to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The constitutional position of the living entity is different from the position he takes in the material world. In material consciousness, his nature is to try to be the lord of matter, but in spiritual (Krsna) consciousness, his position is to serve the Supreme. When the living entity is in material consciousness, he has to take on various bodies in the material world. That is called karma, or varied creation by the force of material consciousness. 

In Vedic literature the living entity is called jivatma and Brahman, but he is never called Parabrahman. The living entity (jivatma) takes different positions–sometimes he merges into the dark material nature and identifies himself with matter, and sometimes he identifies himself with the superior spiritual nature. Therefore he is called the Supreme Lord’s marginal energy. According to his identification with material or spiritual nature, he receives a material or spiritual body. In material nature he may take a body from any of the 8,400,000 species of life, but in spiritual nature he has only one body. In material nature he is sometimes manifested as a man, demigod, an animal, a beast, a bird, etc., according to his karma. To attain material heavenly planets and enjoy their facilities, he sometimes performs sacrifices (yajna), but when his merit is exhausted, he returns to earth again in the form of a man. 

In the process of sacrifice, the living entity makes specific sacrifices to attain specific heavenly planets and consequently reaches them. When the merit of sacrifice is exhausted, then the living entity descends to earth in the form of rain, then takes on the form of grains, and the grains are eaten by man and transformed into semen, which impregnates a woman, and thus the living entity once again attains the human form to perform sacrifice and so repeat the same cycle. In this way, the living entity perpetually comes and goes on the material path. The Krsna conscious person, however, avoids such sacrifices. He takes directly to Krsna consciousness and thereby prepares himself to return to Godhead. 

Impersonalist commentators on the Gita unreasonably assume that Brahman takes the form of jiva in the material world, and to substantiate this they refer to Chapter Fifteen, verse 7, of the Gita. But this verse also speaks of the living entity as “an eternal fragment of Myself.” The fragment of God, the living entity, may fall down into the material world, but the Supreme Lord (Acyuta) never falls down. Therefore this assumption that the Supreme Brahman assumes the form of jiva is not acceptable. It is important to remember that in Vedic literature Brahman (the living entity) is distinguished from Parabrahman (the Supreme Lord).

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Chapter 8. Attaining the Supreme

TEXT 4

adhibhutam ksaro bhavah 
purusas cadhidaivatam 
adhiyajno ‘ham evatra 
dehe deha-bhrtam vara

SYNONYMS

adhibhutam–the physical manifestation; ksarah–constantly changing;bhavah–nature; purusah–the universal form; ca–and; adhidaivatam–including all demigods like the sun and moon; adhiyajnah–the Supersoul;aham–I (Krsna); eva–certainly; atra–in this; dehe–body; deha-bhrtam–of the embodied; vara–the Supreme.

TRANSLATION

Physical nature is known to be endlessly mutable. The universe is the cosmic form of the Supreme Lord, and I am that Lord represented as the Supersoul, dwelling in the heart of every embodied being.

PURPORT

The physical nature is constantly changing. Material bodies generally pass through six stages: they are born, they grow, they remain for some duration, they produce some by-products, they dwindle, and then they vanish. This physical nature is called adhibhuta. Because it is created at a certain point and will be annihilated at a certain point, the conception of the universal form of the Supreme Lord that includes all the demigods and their different planets is called adhidaivata. The individual soul (jiva) accompanies the body. The Supersoul, a plenary representation of Lord Krsna, is called the Paramatma or adhiyajna and is situated in the heart. The word eva is particularly important in the context of this verse because by this word the Lord stresses that the Paramatma is not different from Him. The Supersoul, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, seated beside the individual soul, is the witness of the individual soul’s activities and is the source of consciousness. The Supersoul gives the jiva an opportunity to act freely, and He witnesses his activities. The functions of all these different manifestations of the Supreme Lord automatically become clarified for the pure Krsna conscious devotee engaged in transcendental service of the Lord. The gigantic universal form of the Lord calledadhidaivata is contemplated by the neophyte who cannot approach the Supreme Lord in His manifestation as Supersoul. The neophyte is advised to contemplate the universal form whose legs are considered the lower planets and whose eyes are considered the sun and moon, and whose head is considered the upper planetary system.

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Chapter 8. Attaining the Supreme

TEXT 5

anta-kale ca mam eva 
smaran muktva kalevaram 
yah prayati sa mad-bhavam 
yati nasty atra samsayah

SYNONYMS

anta-kale–at the end of life; ca–also; mam–unto Me; eva–certainly;smaran–remembering; muktva–quitting; kalevaram–the body; yah–he who; prayati–goes; sah–he; mat-bhavam–My nature; yati–achieves;na–not; asti–there is; atra–here; samsayah–doubt.

TRANSLATION

And whoever, at the time of death, quits his body, remembering Me alone, at once attains My nature. Of this there is no doubt.

PURPORT

In this verse the importance of Krsna consciousness is stressed. Anyone who quits his body in Krsna consciousness is at once transferred to the transcendental abode of the Supreme Lord. The word smaran(“remembering”) is important. Remembrance of Krsna is not possible for the impure soul who has not practiced Krsna consciousness in devotional service. To remember Krsna one should chant the maha-mantra, Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare, incessantly, following in the footsteps of Lord Caitanya, being more tolerant than a tree, humbler than the grass and offering all respect to others without requiring respect in return. In such a way one will be able to depart from the body successfully remembering Krsna and so attain the supreme goal.

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Chapter 8. Attaining the Supreme

TEXT 6

yam yam vapi smaran bhavam 
tyajaty ante kalevaram 
tam tam evaiti kaunteya 
sada tad-bhava-bhavitah

SYNONYMS

yam yam–whatever; va–either; api–also; smaran–remembering;bhavam–nature; tyajati–give up; ante–at the end; kalevaram–this body; tam tam–similar; eva–certainly; eti–gets; kaunteya–O son of Kunti; sada–always; tat–that; bhava–state of being; bhavitah–remembering.

TRANSLATION

Whatever state of being one remembers when he quits his body, that state he will attain without fail.

PURPORT

The process of changing one’s nature at the critical moment of death is here explained. How can one die in the proper state of mind? Maharaja Bharata thought of a deer at the time of death and so was transferred to that form of life. However, as a deer, Maharaja Bharata could remember his past activities. Of course the cumulative effect of the thoughts and actions of one’s life influences one’s thoughts at the moment of death; therefore the actions of this life determine one’s future state of being. If one is transcendentally absorbed in Krsna’s service, then his next body will be transcendental (spiritual), not physical. Therefore the chanting of Hare Krsna is the best process for successfully changing one’s state of being to transcendental life.

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Chapter 8. Attaining the Supreme

TEXT 7

tasmat sarvesu kalesu 
mam anusmara yudhya ca 
mayy arpita-mano-buddhir 
mam evaisyasy asamsayah

SYNONYMS

tasmat–therefore; sarvesu–always; kalesu–time; mam–unto Me;anusmara–go on remembering; yudhya–fight; ca–also; mayi–unto Me;arpita–surrender; manah–mind; buddhih–intellect; mam–unto Me;eva–surely; esyasi–will attain; asamsayah–beyond a doubt.

TRANSLATION

Therefore, Arjuna, you should always think of Me in the form of Krsna and at the same time carry out your prescribed duty of fighting. With your activities dedicated to Me and your mind and intelligence fixed on Me, you will attain Me without doubt.

PURPORT

This instruction to Arjuna is very important for all men engaged in material activities. The Lord does not say that one should give up his prescribed duties or engagements. One can continue them and at the same time think of Krsna by chanting Hare Krsna. This will free one from material contamination and engage the mind and intelligence in Krsna. By chanting Krsna’s names, one will be transferred to the supreme planet, Krsnaloka, without a doubt.

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Chapter 8. Attaining the Supreme

TEXT 8

abhyasa-yoga-yuktena 
cetasa nanya-gamina 
paramam purusam divyam 
yati parthanucintayan

SYNONYMS

abhyasa–practice; yoga-yuktena–being engaged in meditation;cetasa–by the mind and intelligence; na anya-gamina–without their being deviated; paramam–the Supreme; purusam–Personality of Godhead; divyam–transcendental; yati–achieves; partha–O son of Prtha; anucintayan–constantly thinking of.

TRANSLATION

He who meditates on the Supreme Personality of Godhead, his mind constantly engaged in remembering Me, undeviated from the path, he, O Partha [Arjuna], is sure to reach Me.

PURPORT

In this verse Lord Krsna stresses the importance of remembering Him. One’s memory of Krsna is revived by chanting the maha-mantra, Hare Krsna. By this practice of chanting and hearing the sound vibration of the Supreme Lord, one’s ear, tongue and mind are engaged. This mystic meditation is very easy to practice, and it helps one attain the Supreme Lord. Purusam means enjoyer. Although living entities belong to the marginal energy of the Supreme Lord, they are in material contamination. They think themselves enjoyers, but they are not the supreme enjoyer. Here it is clearly stated that the supreme enjoyer is the Supreme Personality of Godhead in His different manifestations and plenary expansions as Narayana, Vasudeva, etc. 
The devotees can constantly think of the object of worship, the Supreme Lord, in any of His features–Narayana, Krsna, Rama, etc., by chanting Hare Krsna. This practice will purify him, and at the end of his life, due to his constant chanting, he will be transferred to the kingdom of God.Yoga practice is meditation on the Supersoul within; similarly, by chanting Hare Krsna one fixes his mind always on the Supreme Lord. The mind is fickle, and therefore it is necessary to engage the mind by force to think of Krsna. One example often given is that of the caterpillar that thinks of becoming a butterfly and so is transformed into a butterfly in the same life. Similarly, if we constantly think of Krsna, it is certain that at the end of our lives we shall have the same bodily constitution as Krsna.

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Chapter 8. Attaining the Supreme

TEXT 9

kavim puranam anusasitaram 
anor aniyamsam anusmared yah 
sarvasya dhataram acintya-rupam 
aditya-varnam tamasah parastat

SYNONYMS

kavim–one who knows everything; puranam–the oldest;anusasitaram–the controller; anoh–of the atom; aniyamsam–smaller than; anusmaret–always thinking; yah–one who; sarvasya–of everything; dhataram–the maintainer; acintya–inconceivable; rupam–form; aditya-varnam–illuminated like the sun; tamasah–of the darkness;parastat–transcendental.

TRANSLATION

One should meditate upon the Supreme Person as the one who knows everything, as He who is the oldest, who is the controller, who is smaller than the smallest, who is the maintainer of everything, who is beyond all material conception, who is inconceivable, and who is always a person. He is luminous like the sun and, being transcendental, is beyond this material nature.

PURPORT

The process of thinking of the Supreme is mentioned in this verse. The foremost point is that He is not impersonal or void. One cannot meditate on something impersonal or void. That is very difficult. The process of thinking of Krsna, however, is very easy and is factually stated herein. First of all, He is purusa, spiritual, Rama and Krsna, and is described herein askavim; that is, He knows past, present and future and therefore knows everything. He is the oldest personality because He is the origin of everything; everything is born out of Him. He is also the supreme controller of the universe, maintainer and instructor of humanity. He is smaller than the smallest. The living entity is one ten-thousandth part of the tip of a hair, but the Lord is so inconceivably small that He enters into the heart of this particle. Therefore He is called smaller than the smallest. As the Supreme, He can enter into the atom and into the heart of the smallest and control him as the Supersoul. Although so small, He is still all-pervading and is maintaining everything. By Him all these planetary systems are sustained. We often wonder how these big planets are floating in the air. It is stated here that the Supreme Lord, by His inconceivable energy, is sustaining all these big planets and systems of galaxies. The word acintya(inconceivable) is very significant in this connection. God’s energy is beyond our conception, beyond our thinking jurisdiction, and is therefore called inconceivable (acintya). Who can argue this point? He pervades this material world and yet is beyond it. We cannot even comprehend this material world, which is insignificant compared to the spiritual world–so how can we comprehend what is beyond? Acintya means that which is beyond this material world, that which our argument, logic and philosophical speculation cannot touch, that which is inconceivable. Therefore intelligent persons, avoiding useless argument and speculation, should accept what is stated in scriptures like the Vedas, Gita, andSrimad-Bhagavatam and follow the principles they set down. This will lead one to understanding.

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Chapter 8. Attaining the Supreme

TEXT 10

prayana-kale manasacalena 
bhaktya yukto yoga-balena caiva 
bhruvor madhye pranam avesya samyak 
sa tam param purusam upaiti divyam

SYNONYMS

prayana-kale–at the time of death; manasa–by the mind; acalena–without being deviated; bhaktya–in full devotion; yuktah–engaged;yoga-balena–by the power of mystic yoga; ca–also; eva–certainly;bhruvoh–between the two eyebrows; madhye–in; pranam–the life air;avesya–establishing; samyak–completely; sah–he; tam–that; param–transcendental; purusam–Personality of Godhead; upaiti–achieves;divyam–in the spiritual kingdom.

TRANSLATION

One who, at the time of death, fixes his life air between the eyebrows and in full devotion engages himself in remembering the Supreme Lord, will certainly attain to the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

PURPORT

In this verse it is clearly stated that at the time of death the mind must be fixed in devotion on the Supreme Godhead. For those practiced inyoga, it is recommended that they raise the life force between the eyebrows, but for a pure devotee who does not practice such yoga, the mind should always be engaged in Krsna consciousness so that at death he can remember the Supreme by His grace. This is explained in verse fourteen. 
The particular use of the word yoga-balena is significant in this verse because without practice of yoga one cannot come to this transcendental state of being at the time of death. One cannot suddenly remember the Supreme Lord at death unless he is practiced in some yoga system, especially the system of bhakti-yoga. Since one’s mind at death is very disturbed, one should practice transcendence through yoga during one’s life.

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Chapter 8. Attaining the Supreme

TEXT 11

yad aksaram veda-vido vadanti 
visanti yad yatayo vita-ragah 
yad icchanto brahmacaryam caranti 
tat te padam sangrahena pravaksye

SYNONYMS

yat–that which; aksaram–inexhaustible; veda-vidah–a person conversant with the Vedas; vadanti–say; visanti–enters; yat–in which;yatayah–great sages; vita-ragah–in the renounced order of life; yat–that which; icchantah–desiring; brahmacaryam–celibacy; caranti–practices; tat–that; te–unto you; padam–situation; sangrahena–in summary; pravaksye–I shall explain.

TRANSLATION

Persons learned in the Vedas, who utter omkara and who are great sages in the renounced order, enter into Brahman. Desiring such perfection, one practices celibacy. I shall now explain to you this process by which one may attain salvation.

PURPORT

Lord Krsna explains that Brahman, although one without a second, has different manifestations and features. For the impersonalists, the syllableom is identical with Brahman. Krsna here explains the impersonal Brahman, in which the renounced order of sages enter. 

In the Vedic system of knowledge, students, from the very beginning, are taught to vibrate om and learn of the ultimate impersonal Brahman by living with the spiritual master in complete celibacy. In this way they realize two of Brahman’s features. This practice is very essential for the student’s advancement in spiritual life, but at the moment such brahmacari(unmarried celibate) life is not at all possible. The social construction of the world has changed so much that there is no possibility of one’s practicing celibacy from the beginning of student life.

Throughout the world there are many institutions for different departments of knowledge, but there is no recognized institution where students can be educated in the brahmacariprinciples. Unless one practices celibacy, advancement in spiritual life is very difficult. Therefore Lord Caitanya has announced, according to the scriptural injunctions for this Age of Kali, that no process of realizing the Supreme is possible except the chanting of the holy name of Lord Krsna: Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.

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Chapter 8. Attaining the Supreme

TEXT 12

sarva-dvarani samyamya 
mano hrdi nirudhya ca 
murdhny adhayatmanah pranam 
asthito yoga-dharanam

SYNONYMS

sarva-dvarani–all the doors of the body; samyamya–controlling;manah–mind; hrdi–in the heart; nirudhya–confined; ca–also;murdhni–on the head; adhaya–fixed; atmanah–soul; pranam–the life air; asthitah–situated; yoga-dharanam–the yogic situation.

TRANSLATION

The yogic situation is that of detachment from all sensual engagements. Closing all the doors of the senses and fixing the mind on the heart and the life air at the top of the head, one establishes himself in yoga.

PURPORT

To practice yoga, as suggested here, one first has to close the door of all sense enjoyment. This practice is called pratyahara, or withdrawing the senses from the sense objects. Sense organs for acquiring knowledge, such as the eyes, ears, nose, tongue and touch, should be fully controlled and should not be allowed to engage in self-gratification. In this way the mind focuses on the Supersoul in the heart and the life force is raised to the top of the head. In the Sixth Chapter this process is described in detail. But as mentioned before, this practice is not practical in this age. The best process is Krsna consciousness. If one is always able to fix his mind on Krsna in devotional service, it is very easy for him to remain in an undisturbed transcendental trance, or in samadhi.

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Chapter 8. Attaining the Supreme

TEXT 13

om ity ekaksaram brahma 
vyaharan mam anusmaran 
yah prayati tyajan deham 
sa yati paramam gatim

SYNONYMS

om–the combination of letters om (omkara); iti–thus; eka-aksaram–supreme, indestructible; brahma–absolute; vyaharan–vibrating; mam–Me (Krsna); anusmaran–remembering; yah–anyone; prayati–leaves;tyajan–quitting; deham–this body; sah–he; yati–achieves; paramam–supreme; gatim–destination.

TRANSLATION

After being situated in this yoga practice and vibrating the sacred syllable om, the supreme combination of letters, if one thinks of the Supreme Personality of Godhead and quits his body, he will certainly reach the spiritual planets.
PURPORT
It is clearly stated here that om, Brahman, and Lord Krsna are not different. The impersonal sound of Krsna is om, but the sound Hare Krsna contains om. It is clearly recommended in this age that if one quits his body at the end of this life chanting the maha-mantra, Hare Krsna, he will reach the spiritual planets. Similarly, those who are devotees of Krsna enter the Krsna planet or Goloka Vrndavana, whereas the impersonalists remain in the brahmajyoti. The personalists also enter many innumerable planets in the spiritual sky known as Vaikunthas.

Chapter 8. Attaining the Supreme

TEXT 14

ananya-cetah satatam 
yo mam smarati nityasah 
tasyaham sulabhah partha 
nitya-yuktasya yoginah

SYNONYMS

ananya-cetah–without deviation; satatam–always; yah–anyone;mam–Me (Krsna); smarati–remembers; nityasah–regularly; tasya–to him; aham–I am; su-labhah–very easy to achieve; partha–O son of Prtha; nitya–regularly; yuktasya–engaged; yoginah–of the devotee.

TRANSLATION

For one who remembers Me without deviation, I am easy to obtain, O son of Prtha, because of his constant engagement in devotional service.

PURPORT

In this verse the bhakti-yoga of the unalloyed devotees of the Supreme Godhead is described. The proceeding verses mention four different kinds of devotees–the distressed, the inquisitive, those who seek material gain, and the speculative philosophers. Different processes of liberation from material entanglement have also been described: karma-yoga, jnana-yoga, and hatha-yoga. But here bhakti-yoga, without any mixture of these, is mentioned. In bhakti-yoga the devotees desire nothing but Krsna. The pure bhakti devotee does not desire promotion to heavenly planets, nor does he seek salvation or liberation from material entanglement. A pure devotee does not desire anything. In the Caitanya-caritamrta the pure devotee is called niskama, which means he has no desire for self-interest. Perfect peace belongs to him alone, not to them who strive for personal gain. The pure devotee only wants to please the Supreme Lord, and so the Lord says that for anyone who is unflinchingly devoted to Him, He is easy to attain. The devotee can render service to any of the transcendental forms of the Supreme Lord, and he meets with none of the problems that plague the practitioners of other yogas. Bhakti-yoga is very simple and pure and easy to perform. One can begin by simply chanting Hare Krsna. Krsna is very merciful to those who engage in His service, and He helps in various ways that devotee who has fully surrendered to Him so that he can understand Him as He is. The Lord gives such a devotee sufficient intelligence so that ultimately the devotee can attain Him in His spiritual kingdom. 

The special qualification of the pure devotee is that he is always thinking of Krsna without considering the time or place. There should be no impediments. He should be able to carry out his service anywhere and at any time. Some say that the devotee should remain in holy places like Vrndavana or some holy town where the Lord lived, but a pure devotee can live anywhere and create the atmosphere of Vrndavana by his devotional service. It was Sri Advaita who told Lord Caitanya, “Wherever You are, O Lord–there is Vrndavana.” 
A pure devotee constantly remembers Krsna and meditates upon Him. These are qualifications of the pure devotee for whom the Lord is most easily attainable. Bhakti-yoga is the system that the Gita recommends above all others. Generally, the bhakti-yogis are engaged in five different ways: 1) santa-bhakta, engaged in devotional service in neutrality; 2)dasya-bhakta, engaged in devotional service as servant; 3) sakhya-bhakta, engaged as friend; 4) vatsalya-bhakta, engaged as parent; and 5) madhurya-bhakta, engaged as conjugal lover of the Supreme Lord. In any of these ways, the pure devotee is always constantly engaged in the transcendental loving service of the Supreme Lord and cannot forget the Supreme Lord, and so for him the Lord is easily attained. A pure devotee cannot forget the Supreme Lord for a moment, and similarly, the Supreme Lord cannot forget His pure devotee for a moment. This is the great blessing of the Krsna conscious process of chanting the maha-mantra–Hare Krsna.

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Chapter 8. Attaining the Supreme

TEXT 15

mam upetya punar janma 
duhkhalayam asasvatam 
napnuvanti mahatmanah 
samsiddhim paramam gatah

SYNONYMS

mam–unto Me; upetya–achieving; punah–again; janma–birth;duhkha-alayam–a place of miseries; asasvatam–temporary; na–never;apnuvanti–attain; maha-atmanah–the great souls; samsiddhim–perfection; paramam–ultimate; gatah–achieved.

TRANSLATION

After attaining Me, the great souls, who are yogis in devotion, never return to this temporary world, which is full of miseries, because they have attained the highest perfection.

PURPORT

Since this temporary material world is full of the miseries of birth, old age, disease and death, naturally he who achieves the highest perfection and attains the supreme planet, Krsnaloka, Goloka Vrndavana, does not wish to return. The supreme planet is described in Vedic literature as beyond our material vision, and it is considered the highest goal. Themahatmas (great souls) receive transcendental messages from the realized devotees and thus gradually develop devotional service in Krsna consciousness and become so absorbed in transcendental service that they no longer desire elevation to any of the material planets, nor do they even want to be transferred to any spiritual planet. They only want Krsna’s association and nothing else. Such great souls in Krsna consciousness attain the highest perfection of life. In other words, they are the supreme souls.

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Chapter 8. Attaining the Supreme

TEXT 16

abrahma-bhuvanal lokah 
punar avartino ‘rjuna 
mam upetya tu kaunteya 
punar janma na vidyate

SYNONYMS

abrahma–up to the Brahmaloka planet; bhuvanat–from the planetary systems; lokah–planets; punah–again; avartinah–returning;arjuna–O Arjuna; mam–unto Me; upetya–arriving; tu–but; kaunteya–O son of Kunti; punah janma–rebirth; na–never; vidyate–takes to.

TRANSLATION

From the highest planet in the material world down to the lowest, all are places of misery wherein repeated birth and death take place. But one who attains to My abode, O son of Kunti, never takes birth again.

PURPORT

All kinds of yogis–karma, jnana, hatha, etc.–eventually have to attain devotional perfection in bhakti-yoga, or Krsna consciousness, before they can go to Krsna’s transcendental abode and never return. Those who attain the highest material planets or the planets of the demigods are again subjected to repeated birth and death. As persons on earth are elevated to higher planets, people in higher planets such as Brahmaloka, Candraloka and Indraloka fall down to earth. The practice of sacrifice called pancagni-vidya, recommended in the Katha Upanisad,enables one to achieve Brahmaloka, but if, in Brahmaloka, one does not cultivate Krsna consciousness, then he must return to earth. Those who progress in Krsna consciousness in the higher planets are gradually elevated to higher and higher planets and at the time of universal devastation are transferred to the eternal spiritual kingdom. When there is devastation of this material universe, Brahma and his devotees, who are constantly engaged in Krsna consciousness, are all transferred to the spiritual universe and to specific spiritual planets according to their desires.

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Chapter 8. Attaining the Supreme

TEXT 17

sahasra-yuga-paryantam 
ahar yad brahmano viduh 
ratrim yuga-sahasrantam 
te ‘ho-ratra-vido janah

SYNONYMS

sahasra–thousand; yuga–millenniums; paryantam–including; ahah–day; yat–that; brahmanah–of Brahma; viduh–they know; ratrim–night; yuga–millenniums; sahasra-antam–similarly, at the end of one thousand; te–that; ahah-ratra–day and night; vidah–understand;janah–people.

TRANSLATION

By human calculation, a thousand ages taken together is the duration of Brahma’s one day. And such also is the duration of his night.

PURPORT

The duration of the material universe is limited. It is manifested in cycles of kalpas. A kalpa is a day of Brahma, and one day of Brahma consists of a thousand cycles of four yugas or ages: Satya, Treta, Dvapara, and Kali. The cycle of Satya is characterized by virtue, wisdom and religion, there being practically no ignorance and vice, and the yuga lasts 1,728,000 years. In the Treta-yuga vice is introduced, and this yuga lasts 1,296,000 years. In the Dvapara-yuga there is an even greater decline in virtue and religion, vice increasing, and this yuga lasts 864,000 years. And finally in Kali-yuga (the yuga that we have now been experiencing over the past 5,000 years) there is an abundance of strife, ignorance, irreligion and vice, true virtue being practically nonexistent, and this yuga lasts 432,000 years. In Kali-yuga vice increases to such a point that at the termination of theyuga the Supreme Lord Himself appears as the Kalki avatara, vanquishes the demons, saves His devotees, and commences another Satya-yuga. Then the process is set rolling again. These four yugas, rotating a thousand times, comprise one day of Brahma, the creator god, and the same number comprise one night. Brahma lives one hundred of such “years” and then dies. These “hundred years” by earth calculations total to 311 trillion and 40 million earth years. By these calculations the life of Brahma seems fantastic and interminable, but from the viewpoint of eternity it is as brief as a lightning flash. In the Causal Ocean there are innumerable Brahmas rising and disappearing like bubbles in the Atlantic. Brahma and his creation are all part of the material universe, and therefore they are in constant flux. 

In the material universe not even Brahma is free from the process of birth, old age, disease and death. Brahma, however, is directly engaged in the service of the Supreme Lord in the management of this universe–therefore he at once attains liberation. Elevated sannyasis are promoted to Brahma’s particular planet, Brahmaloka, which is the highest planet in the material universe and which survives all the heavenly planets in the upper strata of the planetary system, but in due course Brahma and all the inhabitants of Brahmaloka are subject to death, according to the law of material nature.

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Chapter 8. Attaining the Supreme

TEXT 18

avyaktad vyaktayah sarvah 
prabhavanty ahar-agame 
ratry-agame praliyante 
tatraivavyakta-samjnake

SYNONYMS

avyaktat–from the unmanifest; vyaktayah–living entities; sarvah–all; prabhavanti–come into being; ahah-agame–at the beginning of the day; ratri-agame–at the fall of night; praliyante–are annihilated; tatra–there; eva–certainly; avyakta–the unmanifest; samjnake–called.

TRANSLATION

When Brahma’s day is manifest, this multitude of living entities comes into being, and at the arrival of Brahma’s night they are all annihilated. 

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Chapter 8. Attaining the Supreme

TEXT 19

bhuta-gramah sa evayam 
bhutva bhutva praliyate 
ratry-agame ‘vasah partha 
prabhavaty ahar-agame

SYNONYMS

bhuta-gramah–the aggregate of all living entities; sah–they; eva–certainly; ayam–this; bhutva bhutva–taking birth; praliyate–annihilate;ratri–night; agame–on arrival; avasah–automatically; partha–O son of Prtha; prabhavati–manifest; ahah–during daytime; agame–on arrival.

TRANSLATION

Again and again the day comes, and this host of beings is active; and again the night falls, O Partha, and they are helplessly dissolved.

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Chapter 8. Attaining the Supreme

TEXT 20

paras tasmat tu bhavo ‘nyo 
‘vyakto ‘vyaktat sanatanah 
yah sa sarvesu bhutesu 
nasyatsu na vinasyati

SYNONYMS

parah–transcendental; tasmat–from that; tu–but; bhavah–nature;anyah–another; avyaktah–unmanifest; avyaktat–from the unmanifest;sanatanah–eternal; yah–that; sah–which; sarvesu–all; bhutesu–manifestation; nasyatsu–being annihilated; na–never; vinasyati–annihilated.

TRANSLATION

Yet there is another nature, which is eternal and is transcendental to this manifested and unmanifested matter. It is supreme and is never annihilated. When all in this world is annihilated, that part remains as it is.

PURPORT

Krsna’s superior spiritual energy is transcendental and eternal. It is beyond all the changes of material nature, which is manifest and annihilated during the days and nights of Brahma. Krsna’s superior energy is completely opposite in quality to material nature. Superior and inferior nature are explained in the Seventh Chapter.

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Chapter 8. Attaining the Supreme

TEXT 21

avyakto ‘ksara ity uktas 
tam ahuh paramam gatim 
yam prapya na nivartante 
tad dhama paramam mama

SYNONYMS

avyaktah–unmanifested; aksarah–infallible; iti–thus; uktah–said;tam–that which; ahuh–is known; paramam–ultimate; gatim–destination; yam–that which; prapya–gaining; na–never; nivartante–comes back; tat dhama–that abode; paramam–supreme; mama–Mine.

TRANSLATION

That supreme abode is called unmanifested and infallible, and it is the supreme destination. When one goes there, he never comes back. That is My supreme abode.

PURPORT

The supreme abode of the Personality of Godhead, Krsna, is described in the Brahma-samhita as cintamani-dhama, a place where all desires are fulfilled. The supreme abode of Lord Krsna known as Goloka Vrndavana is full of palaces made of touchstone. There are also trees which are called “desire trees,” that supply any type of eatable upon demand, and there are cows known as surabhi cows which supply a limitless supply of milk. In this abode, the Lord is served by hundreds of thousands of goddesses of fortune (Laksmis), and He is called Govinda, the primal Lord and the cause of all causes. The Lord is accustomed to blow His flute (venum kvanantam). His transcendental form is the most attractive in all the worlds–His eyes are like the lotus petals and the color of His body is like clouds. He is so attractive that His beauty excels that of thousands of Cupids. He wears saffron cloth, a garland around His neck and a peacock feather in His hair. In the Gita Lord Krsna gives only a small hint of His personal abode (Goloka Vrndavana) which is the supermost planet in the spiritual kingdom. A vivid description is given in theBrahma-samhita. Vedic literature states that there is nothing superior to the abode of the Supreme Godhead, and that that abode is the ultimate destination. When one attains to it, he never returns to the material world. Krsna’s supreme abode and Krsna Himself are nondifferent, being of the same quality. On this earth, Vrndavana, ninety miles southeast of Delhi, is a replica of that supreme Goloka Vrndavana located in the spiritual sky. When Krsna descended on this earth He sported on that particular tract of land known as Vrndavana in the district of Mathura, India.

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Chapter 8. Attaining the Supreme

TEXT 22

purusah sa parah partha 
bhaktya labhyas tv ananyaya 
yasyantah-sthani bhutani 
yena sarvam idam tatam

SYNONYMS

purusah–the Supreme Personality; sah–He; parah–the Supreme, than whom no one is greater; partha–O son of Prtha; bhaktya–by devotional service; labhyah–can be achieved; tu–but; ananyaya–unalloyed, undeviating devotion; yasya–whom; antah-sthani–within;bhutani–all of this material manifestation; yena–by whom; sarvam–all;idam–whatever we can see; tatam–distributed.

TRANSLATION

The Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is greater than all, is attainable by unalloyed devotion. Although He is present in His abode, He is all-pervading, and everything is situated within Him.

PURPORT

It is here clearly stated that the supreme destination from which there is no return is the abode of Krsna, the Supreme Person. The Brahma-samhita describes this supreme abode as ananda-cinmaya-rasa, a place where everything is full of spiritual bliss. Whatever variegatedness is manifest there is all of the quality of spiritual bliss–there is nothing material. All variegatedness is expanded as the spiritual expansion of the Supreme Godhead Himself, for the manifestation there is totally of the spiritual energy, as explained in Chapter Seven. As far as this material world is concerned, although the Lord is always in His supreme abode, He is nonetheless all-pervading by His material energy. So by His spiritual and material energies He is present everywhere–both in the material and in the spiritual universes. Yasyantah-sthani means that everything is sustained by Him, whether it be spiritual or material energy. 

It is clearly stated here that only by bhakti, or devotional service, can one enter into the Vaikuntha (spiritual) planetary system. In all the Vaikunthas there is only one Supreme Godhead, Krsna, who has expanded Himself into millions and millions of plenary expansions. These plenary expansions are four-armed, and They preside over the innumerable spiritual planets. They are known by a variety of names–Purusottama, Trivikrama, Kesava, Madhava, Aniruddha, Hrsikesa, Sankarsana, Pradyumna, Sridhara, Vasudeva, Damodara, Janardana, Narayana, Vamana, Padmanabha, etc. These plenary expansions are likened unto the leaves of a tree, and the main tree is likened to Krsna. Krsna, dwelling in Goloka Vrndavana, His supreme abode, systematically conducts all affairs of both universes (material and spiritual) without a flaw by power of His all-pervasiveness.

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Chapter 8. Attaining the Supreme

TEXT 23

yatra kale tv anavrttim 
avrttim caiva yoginah 
prayata yanti tam kalam 
vaksyami bharatarsabha

SYNONYMS

yatra–in that; kale–time; tu–but; anavrttim–no return; avrttim–return; ca–also; eva–certainly; yoginah–of different kinds of mystics;prayatah–one who goes; yanti–departs; tam–that; kalam–time;vaksyami–describing; bharatarsabha–O best of the Bharatas.

TRANSLATION

O best of the Bharatas, I shall now explain to you the different times at which, passing away from this world, one does or does not come back.

PURPORT

The unalloyed devotees of the Supreme Lord who are totally surrendered souls do not care when they leave their bodies or by what method. They leave everything in Krsna’s hands and so easily and happily return to Godhead. But those who are not unalloyed devotees and who depend instead on such methods of spiritual realization as karma-yoga, jnana-yoga, hatha-yoga, etc., must leave the body at a suitable time and thereby be assured whether or not they will return to the world of birth and death. 

If the yogi is perfect, he can select the time and place for leaving this material world, but if he is not so perfect, then he has to leave at nature’s will. The most suitable time to leave the body and not return is being explained by the Lord in these verses. According to Acarya Baladeva Vidyabhusana, the Sanskrit word kala used herein refers to the presiding deity of time.

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Chapter 8. Attaining the Supreme

TEXT 24

agnir jyotir ahah suklah 
san-masa uttarayanam 
tatra prayata gacchanti 
brahma brahma-vido janah

SYNONYMS

agnih–fire; jyotih–light; ahah–day; suklah–white; sat-masah–six months; uttara-ayanam–when the sun passes on the northern side; tatra–there; prayatah–one who goes; gacchanti–passes away; brahma–to the Absolute; brahma-vidah–one who knows the Absolute; janah–person.

TRANSLATION

Those who know the Supreme Brahman pass away from the world during the influence of the fiery god, in the light, at an auspicious moment, during the fortnight of the moon and the six months when the sun travels in the north.

PURPORT

When fire, light, day and moon are as mentioned, it is to be understood that over all of them there are various presiding deities who make arrangements for the passage of the soul. At the time of death, the jiva sets forth on the path to a new life. If one leaves the body at the time designated above, either accidentally or by arrangement, it is possible for him to attain the impersonal brahmajyoti. Mystics who are advanced inyoga practice can arrange the time and place to leave the body. Others have no control–if by accident they leave at an auspicious moment, then they will not return to the cycle of birth and death, but if not, then there is every possibility that they will have to return. However, for the pure devotee in Krsna consciousness, there is no fear of returning, whether he leaves the body at an auspicious or inauspicious moment, by accident or arrangement.

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Chapter 8. Attaining the Supreme

TEXT 25

dhumo ratris tatha krsnah 
san-masa daksinayanam 
tatra candramasam jyotir 
yogi prapya nivartate

SYNONYMS

dhumah–smoke; ratrih–night; tatha–also; krsnah–the fortnight of the dark moon; sat-masah–the six months; daksina-ayanam–when the sun passes on the southern side; tatra–there; candra-masam–the moon planet; jyotih–light; yogi–the mystic; prapya–achieves; nivartate–comes back.

TRANSLATION

The mystic who passes away from this world during the smoke, the night, the moonless fortnight, or in the six months when the sun passes to the south, or who reaches the moon planet, again comes back.

PURPORT

In the Third Canto of Srimad-Bhagavatam we are informed that those who are expert in fruitive activities and sacrificial methods on earth attain to the moon at death. These elevated souls live on the moon for about 10,000 years (by demigod calculations) and enjoy life by drinking soma-rasa.They eventually return to earth. This means that on the moon there are higher classes of living beings, though they may not be perceived by the gross senses.

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Chapter 8. Attaining the Supreme

TEXT 26

sukla-krsne gati hy ete 
jagatah sasvate mate 
ekaya yaty anavrttim 
anyayavartate punah

SYNONYMS

sukla–light; krsne–darkness; gati–passing away; hi–certainly; ete–all these; jagatah–of the material world; sasvate–of the Vedas; mate–in the opinion; ekaya–by one; yati–goes; anavrttim–no return; anyaya–by the other; avartate–comes back; punah–again.

TRANSLATION

According to the Vedas, there are two ways of passing from this world–one in the light and one in darkness. When one passes in light, he does not come back; but when one passes in darkness, he returns.

PURPORT

The same description of departure and return is quoted by Acarya Baladeva Vidyabhusana from the Chandogya Upanisad. In such a way, those who are fruitive laborers and philosophical speculators from time immemorial are constantly going and coming. Actually they do not attain ultimate salvation, for they do not surrender to Krsna.

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Chapter 8. Attaining the Supreme

TEXT 27

naite srti partha janan 
yogi muhyati kascana 
tasmat sarvesu kalesu 
yoga-yukto bhavarjuna

SYNONYMS

na–never; ete–all these; srti–different paths; partha–O son of Prtha; janan–even if they know; yogi–the devotees of the Lord;muhyati–bewildered; kascana–anyone; tasmat–therefore; sarvesu kalesu–always; yoga-yuktah–being engaged in Krsna consciousness;bhava–just become; arjuna–O Arjuna.

TRANSLATION

The devotees who know these two paths, O Arjuna, are never bewildered. Therefore be always fixed in devotion.

PURPORT

Krsna is here advising Arjuna that he should not be disturbed by the different paths the soul can take when leaving the material world. A devotee of the Supreme Lord should not worry whether he will depart either by arrangement or by accident. The devotee should be firmly established in Krsna consciousness and chant Hare Krsna. He should know that concern over either of these two paths is troublesome. The best way to be absorbed in Krsna consciousness is to be always dovetailed in His service, and this will make one’s path to the spiritual kingdom safe, certain, and direct. The word yoga-yukta is especially significant in this verse. One who is firm in yoga is constantly engaged in Krsna consciousness in all his activities. Sri Rupa Gosvami advises that one should be unattached in the material world and that all affairs should be steeped in Krsna consciousness. In this way one attains perfection. Therefore the devotee is not disturbed by these descriptions because he knows that his passage to the supreme abode is guaranteed by devotional service.

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Chapter 8. The Most Confidential Knowledge

TEXT 28

vedesu yajnesu tapahsu caiva 
danesu yat punya-phalam pradistam 
atyeti tat sarvam idam viditva 
yogi param sthanam upaiti cadyam

SYNONYMS

vedesu–in the study of the Vedas; yajnesu–in the performances ofyajna, sacrifice; tapahsu–undergoing different types of austerities; ca–also; eva–certainly; danesu–in giving charities; yat–that which; punya-phalam–the result of pious work; pradistam–directed; atyeti–surpasses; tat–all those; sarvam idam–all those described above;viditva–knowing; yogi–the devotee; param–supreme; sthanam–abode; upaiti–achieved peace; ca–also; adyam–original.

TRANSLATION

A person who accepts the path of devotional service is not bereft of the results derived from studying the Vedas, performing austere sacrifices, giving charity or pursuing philosophical and fruitive activities. At the end he reaches the supreme abode.

PURPORT

This verse is the summation of the Seventh and Eighth chapters, particularly as the chapters deal with Krsna consciousness and devotional service. One has to study the Vedas under the guidance of the spiritual master and undergo many austerities and penances while living under his care. A brahmacari has to live in the home of the spiritual master just like a servant, and he must beg alms from door to door and bring them to the spiritual master. He takes food only under the master’s order, and if the master neglects to call the student for food that day, the student fasts. These are some of the Vedic principles for observing brahmacarya. 
After the student studies the Vedas under the master for a period from five to twenty years, he may become a man of perfect character. Study of the Vedas is not meant for the recreation of armchair speculators, but for the formation of character. After this training, the brahmacari is allowed to enter into household life and marry. When he is a householder, he also has to perform many sacrifices and strive for further enlightenment. Then after retiring from household life, upon accepting the order of vanaprastha, he undergoes severe penances, such as living in forests, dressing with tree bark, not shaving, etc. By carrying out the orders of brahmacarya,householder, vanaprastha and finally sannyasa, one becomes elevated to the perfectional stage of life. Some are then elevated to the heavenly kingdoms, and when they become even more advanced they are liberated in the spiritual sky, either in the impersonal brahmajyoti or in the Vaikuntha planets or Krsnaloka. This is the path outlined by Vedic literatures. 
The beauty of Krsna consciousness, however, is that by one stroke, by engaging in devotional service, one can surpass all rituals of the different orders of life. 
One should try to understand the Seventh and Eighth Chapters of theGita not by scholarship or mental speculation, but by hearing them in association with pure devotees. Chapters Six through Twelve are the essence of the Gita, if one is fortunate to understand the Gita–especially these middle six chapters–in the association of devotees, then his life at once becomes glorified beyond all penances, sacrifices, charities, speculations, etc. One should hear the Gita from the devotee because at the beginning of the Fourth Chapter it is stated that the Gita can only be perfectly understood by devotees. Hearing the Gita from devotees, not from mental speculators, is called faith. Through association of devotees, one is placed in devotional service, and by this service Krsna’s activities, form, pastimes, name, etc., become clear, and all misgivings are dispelled. Then once doubts are removed, the study of the Gita becomes extremely pleasurable, and one develops a taste and feeling for Krsna consciousness. In the advanced stage, one falls completely in love with Krsna, and that is the beginning of the highest perfectional stage of life which prepares the devotee’s transferral to Krsna’s abode in the spiritual sky, Goloka Vrndavana, where the devotee enters into eternal happiness.

Thus end the Bhaktivedanta Purports to the Eighth Chapter of theSrimad Bhagavad-gita in the matter of Attaining the Supreme.