8:1: Arjuna inquired: What is Brahman? What is the individual self? What is karma? O supreme Soul, what is the objective universe and what are the gods?
8:2: O slayer of the demon Madhu, who is the God of sacrifice and how does that Being dwell in this [material] body? At the time of death, how can You be known by one who is self controlled?
8:3: The Blessed One said: The eternal nature of the living entity is called "supreme imperishable Brahman." The origin of manifest forms is called "the emission of action."
8:4: The objective universe is perishable by nature. Purusha, the Soul of the universe, is the God of the gods. I am the God of sacrifice and I dwell within the body, O best of the embodied beings.
8:5: At the time of death one who leaves the body, remembering Me only, attains My being. Of this there is no doubt.
8:6: Whichever form one remembers when leaving the body, O child of Kunti, that nature will certainly be attained due to that constant conditioning of consciousness.
8:7: Therefore as you fight [or perform your duty], remember Me at all times. With your mind and intellect fixed on Me, you will, without a doubt, come to Me.
8:8: By the yoga of constant meditation, maintaining the mind and intellect without deviation, the Supreme, Transcendental Person is attained, O Pritha, by constant remembrance.
8:9, 10: One who constantly remembers [Me] as the all-knowing, the oldest, the supreme ruler, smaller than the atom, maintainer of all, of inconceivable form, effulgent as the sun yet transcendent as the darkness,
At the time of death, with the mind undeviated and yoked with devotion on the Supreme Person by the power of yoga, and with the breath of life completely placed between the eyebrows, attains the celestial nature.
8:11: I will now explain to you in brief that which the knowers of the Vedas call the Imperishable and which, being entered into by those who practice self control, who desire freedom from attachment and who therefore practice celibacy, set foot on.
8:12: To practice meditative concentration one must restrain all the doors of the body and confine the mind within the heart. Placing the vital life energy of the soul in the head, abide there.
8:13: One who quits the body while uttering the omkara, the one-syllabled form of Brahman, remembering Me, attains the supreme goal.
8:14: For one whose mind is undeviated, who constantly remembers Me and is regularly engaged in yoga, O child of Pritha, I am easy to attain.
8:15: Achieving Me, these great souls never again return to this place of suffering and rebirth, having achieved the highest perfection.
8:16: All the planets up to Brahmaloka require one to return again, O Arjuna, but upon attaining Me, O child of Kunti, [further] rebirths are not produced.
8:17 - 19: According to those who have knowledge, one thousand human ages is the length of Brahma's day; his night is also one thousand years.
From the unmanifest all manifestations spring forth as his day dawns. As his night falls, they dissolve again into that which is called the unmanifest.
O descendent of Partha, the multitude of beings are repeatedly born and dissolved as the night falls, and again they instinctively manifest at daybreak.
8:20, 21: But higher than that unmanifested condition is another Unmanifest; This Unmanifest is eternal and is not extinguished even when all beings are decimated.
Thus it is said that this Being, the imperishable Unmanifest, is the highest objective, achieving Whom one does not return from that supreme abode of Mine.
8:22: O child of Partha, the Supreme Person Who is dwelling within all beings and by Whom all this is pervaded, can only be attained through unalloyed devotion.
8:23 -28: I will now describe the times in which, if a yogi departs the body, he or she will or will not return, O best of the Bharatas.
Those who know Brahman and pass away during the influence of the fire, the light of day, the bright fortnight or the six months when the sun passes to the north go to Brahman.
The yogi who passes away during the influence of smoke, night, the dark fortnight or the six months when the sun passes to the south go to the moon and then return.
Light and dark, these are indeed opinioned to be the ways of the perpetual universe. By one one goes and does not return, by the other the living entity returns again.
O child of Partha, knowing these two paths a yogi is not deluded. Therefore, O Arjuna, at all times, be yoked to the yoga system.
The yogi who knows this transcends whatever fruits of holiness are declared in all the Vedas, in the performance of sacrifices, in austerities or in giving charities and achieves the supreme, primeval abode.
Go to: Chapter Nine.
Go to Notes and References.
Go to: the Beginning.
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