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Prabhupada. Bhagavad Gita As It Is

RESERVATIONS Bhagavad Gita Online 
  1. Attaining the Supreme
  2. The Most Confidential Knowledge

8 - Attaining the Supreme

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. [8.1]

Who is the Lord of sacrifice, and how does He live in the body, O Madhusudana? And how can those engaged in devotional service know You at the time of death? [8.2]

The Supreme Personality of Godhead said; The indestructible, transcendental living entity is called Brahman, and his eternal nature is called adhyatma, the self. Action pertaining to the development of the material bodies of the living entities is called karma, or fruitive activities. [8.3]

O best of the embodied beings, the physical nature, which is constantly changing, is called adhibhuta [the material manifestation]. The universal form of the Lord, which includes all the demigods, like those of the sun and moon, is called adhidaiva. And I, the Supreme Lord, represented as the Supersoul in the heart of every embodied being, am called adhiyajna [the Lord of sacrifice]. [8.4]

And whoever, at the end of his life, quits his body, remembering Me alone, at once attains My nature. Of this there is no doubt. [8.5]

Whatever state of being one remembers when he quits his body, O son of Kunti, that state he will attain without fail. [8.6]

Therefore, Arjuna, you should always think of Me in the form of Krishna 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. [8.7]

He who meditates on Me as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, his mind constantly engaged in remembering Me, undeviated from the path, he, O Partha, is sure to reach Me. [8.8]

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 He is transcendental, beyond this material nature. [8.9]

One who, at the time of death, fixes his life air between the eyebrows and, by the strength of yoga, with an undeviating mind, engages himself in remembering the Supreme Lord in full devotion, will certainly attain to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. [8.10]

Persons who are 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 briefly explain to you this process by which one may attain salvation. [8.11]

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. [8.12]

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. [8.13]

For one who always remembers Me without deviation, I am easy to obtain, O son of Pritha, because of his constant engagement in devotional service. [8.14]

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. [8.15]

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. [8.16]

By human calculation, a thousand ages taken together form the duration of Brahmas one day. And such also is the duration of his night. [8.17]

At the beginning of Brahmas day, all living entities become manifest from the unmanifest state, and thereafter, when the night falls, they are merged into the unmanifest again. [8.18]

Again and again, when Brahmas day arrives, all living entities come into being, and with the arrival of Brahmas night they are helplessly annihilated. [8.19]

Yet there is another unmanifest 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. [8.20]

That which the Vedantists describe as unmanifest and infallible, that which is known as the supreme destination, that place from which, having attained it, one never returns — that is My supreme abode. [8.21]

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. [8.22]

O best of the Bharatas, I shall now explain to you the different times at which, passing away from this world, the yogi does or does not come back. [8.23]

Those who know the Supreme Brahman attain that Supreme by passing away from the world during the influence of the fiery god, in the light, at an auspicious moment of the day, during the fortnight of the waxing moon, or during the six months when the sun travels in the north. [8.24]

The mystic who passes away from this world during the smoke, the night, the fortnight of the waning moon, or the six months when the sun passes to the south reaches the moon planet but again comes back. [8.25]

According to Vedic opinion, there are two ways of passing from this world — one in light and one in darkness. When one passes in light, he does not come back; but when one passes in darkness, he returns. [8.26]

Although the devotees know these two paths, O Arjuna, they are never bewildered. Therefore be always fixed in devotion. [8.27]

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. Simply by performing devotional service, he attains all these, and at the end he reaches the supreme eternal abode. [8.28]


9 - The Most Confidential Knowledge

The Supreme Personality of Godhead said; My dear Arjuna, because you are never envious of Me, I shall impart to you this most confidential knowledge and realization, knowing which you shall be relieved of the miseries of material existence. [9.1]

This knowledge is the king of education, the most secret of all secrets. It is the purest knowledge, and because it gives direct perception of the self by realization, it is the perfection of religion. It is everlasting, and it is joyfully performed. [9.2]

Those who are not faithful in this devotional service cannot attain Me, O conqueror of enemies. Therefore they return to the path of birth and death in this material world. [9.3]

By Me, in My unmanifested form, this entire universe is pervaded. All beings are in Me, but I am not in them. [9.4]

And yet everything that is created does not rest in Me. Behold My mystic opulence! Although I am the maintainer of all living entities and although I am everywhere, I am not a part of this cosmic manifestation, for My Self is the very source of creation. [9.5]

Understand that as the mighty wind, blowing everywhere, rests always in the sky, all created beings rest in Me. [9.6]

O son of Kunti, at the end of the millennium all material manifestations enter into My nature, and at the beginning of another millennium, by My potency, I create them again. [9.7]

The whole cosmic order is under Me. Under My will it is automatically manifested again and again, and under My will it is annihilated at the end. [9.8]

O Dhananjaya, all this work cannot bind Me. I am ever detached from all these material activities, seated as though neutral. [9.9]

This material nature, which is one of My energies, is working under My direction, O son of Kunti, producing all moving and nonmoving beings. Under its rule this manifestation is created and annihilated again and again. [9.10]

Fools deride Me when I descend in the human form. They do not know My transcendental nature as the Supreme Lord of all that be. [9.11]

Those who are thus bewildered are attracted by demonic and atheistic views. In that deluded condition, their hopes for liberation, their fruitive activities, and their culture of knowledge are all defeated. [9.12]

O son of Pritha, those who are not deluded, the great souls, are under the protection of the divine nature. They are fully engaged in devotional service because they know Me as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, original and inexhaustible. [9.13]

Always chanting My glories, endeavoring with great determination, bowing down before Me, these great souls perpetually worship Me with devotion. [9.14]

Others, who engage in sacrifice by the cultivation of knowledge, worship the Supreme Lord as the one without a second, as diverse in many, and in the universal form. [9.15]

But it is I who am the ritual, I the sacrifice, the offering to the ancestors, the healing herb, the transcendental chant. I am the butter and the fire and the offering. [9.16]

I am the father of this universe, the mother, the support and the grandsire. I am the object of knowledge, the purifier and the syllable om. I am also the Rig, the Sama and the Yajur Vedas. [9.17]

I am the goal, the sustainer, the master, the witness, the abode, the refuge, and the most dear friend. I am the creation and the annihilation, the basis of everything, the resting place and the eternal seed. [9.18]

O Arjuna, I give heat, and I withhold and send forth the rain. I am immortality, and I am also death personified. Both spirit and matter are in Me. [9.19]

Those who study the Vedas and drink the soma juice, seeking the heavenly planets, worship Me indirectly. Purified of sinful reactions, they take birth on the pious, heavenly planet of Indra, where they enjoy godly delights. [9.20]

When they have thus enjoyed vast heavenly sense pleasure and the results of their pious activities are exhausted, they return to this mortal planet again. Thus those who seek sense enjoyment by adhering to the principles of the three Vedas achieve only repeated birth and death. [9.21]

But those who always worship Me with exclusive devotion, meditating on My transcendental form — to them I carry what they lack, and I preserve what they have. [9.22]

Those who are devotees of other gods and who worship them with faith actually worship only Me, O son of Kunti, but they do so in a wrong way. [9.23]

I am the only enjoyer and master of all sacrifices. Therefore, those who do not recognize My true transcendental nature fall down. [9.24]

Those who worship the demigods will take birth among the demigods; those who worship the ancestors go to the ancestors; those who worship ghosts and spirits will take birth among such beings; and those who worship Me will live with Me. [9.25]

If one offers Me with love and devotion a leaf, a flower, fruit or water, I will accept it. [9.26]

Whatever you do, whatever you eat, whatever you offer or give away, and whatever austerities you perform — do that, O son of Kunti, as an offering to Me. [9.27]

In this way you will be freed from bondage to work and its auspicious and inauspicious results. With your mind fixed on Me in this principle of renunciation, you will be liberated and come to Me. [9.28]

I envy no one, nor am I partial to anyone. I am equal to all. But whoever renders service unto Me in devotion is a friend, is in Me, and I am also a friend to him. [9.29]

Even if one commits the most abominable action, if he is engaged in devotional service he is to be considered saintly because he is properly situated in his determination. [9.30]

He quickly becomes righteous and attains lasting peace. O son of Kunti, declare it boldly that My devotee never perishes. [9.31]

O son of Pritha, those who take shelter in Me, though they be of lower birth — women, vaisyas [merchants] and sudras [workers] — can attain the supreme destination. [9.32]

How much more this is so of the righteous brahmanas, the devotees and the saintly kings. Therefore, having come to this temporary, miserable world, engage in loving service unto Me. [9.33]

Engage your mind always in thinking of Me, become My devotee, offer obeisances to Me and worship Me. Being completely absorbed in Me, surely you will come to Me. [9.34]

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