The Bhagavad Gita – Chapter 8
The Yoga of the Imperishable Brahman
1. What is that Brahman?
What is the original self?
What is action (karma), O Best of Men?
What is said to be the higher and what the lower domain?
2. How and what is the sacrifice here in this body, O Slayer of Madhu?
And how are you to be cognized by those of disciplined self
At the time of death?
The Blessed One said:
3. The imperishable is Brahman, the supreme;
The higher self is called its very essence (svabhāuah):
And karman is the creative force that causes creatures to exist.
4. A perishable condition is the basis of the lower domain;
The purusa (vision) is the basis of the higher domain;
I am the ground of all sacrifice here in the body, O best of the embodied ones.
5. And at the time of death,
Whoever, leaving the body remembers me alone,
He attains my being: of this there is no doubt.
6. Whatever is in his mind at the time of death, O Son of Kuntī,
Only that he becomes; embodied in that state.
7. Therefore, think on me at all times and fight;
With mind and understanding joined to me,
Without doubt you will come to me alone.
8. He who is disciplined by the effort of yoga, not wandering elsewhere,
And concentrates on the supreme shining vision (purusa),
He goes to him, O Son of Prthā.
9. He who meditates on the ancient seer, the ruler,
Who is more minute than minute, the supporter of all,
Incomprehensible in form, sun-colored and beyond darkness:
10. He, engaged in devotion with an immovable mind
And having succeeded by virtue of this disciplined effort (yoga)
In making his life-breath go to the mid-point between his eyebrows,
He, at the time of death, attains shining fullness of vision (purusa).
11. That which the Veda-knowers designate as the imperishable,
Which the restrained ones free of passion enter,
And desiring which they undertake a life of chastity:
That abode, I will declare to you briefly.
12. He who controls all the gates of the body
And confines the mind to the heart,
Has set his breath in the head
And established himself in concentration by yoga,
13. He who utters Om, which is Brahman,
Meditates on me as he goes forth and abandons his body,
He reaches the highest goal.
14. He whose thought is never on anything but me,
Who constantly remembers me:
For that man of disciplined effort ever disciplined,
I am easily reached, O Son of Prthā.
15. Having come to me,
Those men of great self do not go to rebirth
The place of pain and impermanence,
But have reached the supreme fullness.
16. The worlds from the realm of Brahma down,
Are subject to rebirth, O Arjuna;
But having come to me, O Son of Kuntī,
There is no rebirth.
17. The men who know the day of Brahma, long as a thousand ages,
And the night of Brahma, equally as long,
Are knowers of what day and night are.
18. All apparent things arise from the non-apparent at the coming of day,
And at the coming of night they are dissolved there,
In this so-called nonapparent.
19. This very same multitude of beings,
Coming forth repeatedly,
Dissolve helplessly at the coming of night, O Son of Prthā,
And arises at the coming of day.
20. Higher than this nonapparent state is another nonapparent state,
Which does not perish even with the perishing of all beings.
21. It is called the imperishable, and the supreme destination,
Those who reach it do not return.
This is my supreme dwelling place.
22. This is the fullness of vision,
By whom all this is pervaded, In whom all beings stand.
It is to be gained by unswerving dedication.
23. O Best of the Bhāratas,
I will declare that time at which men of discipline, |
Depart, go and do not return,
And when they depart, but do return.
24. Fire, light, day, the bright half of the lunar cycle,
The six months of the sun’s northerly course:
Departing then, men who are knowers of Brahman
Go to Brahman.
25. Smoke, night, the dark half of the lunar period,
The six months of the sun’s southerly course:
Departing then, the man of discipline
Reaches the light of the moon and returns.
26. These bright and dark paths of the world
Are thought to be everlasting:
By one, man goes and does not return,
By the other, man returns.
27. The man of discipline who knows these paths, O Son of Prthā, Is not deluded.
Therefore, at all times be engaged in disciplined effort, O Arjuna.
28. The yogin who knows all this,
Transcends the fruit of deeds assigned in the Veda,
In sacrifices, austerities and alms-giving,
And goes to the supreme and primal place.
This is the end of the eighth chapter, entitled “The Yoga of the Imperishable Brahman” akṣara-brahma-yoga.