Bhagavad-Gita Summary, Chapter VIII

[For the Disciple—A Guide]


"Devotion to the Omnipresent Spirit named as OM."

Arjuna asks Krishna to further explain the terms and names that he just used. How can these ultimates be in a human body? How do those who meditate fixedly on them, when they die, learn their meaning? (Gita, p. 58)

Krishna states that Brahman, the Supreme, is the ABSOLUTE, the Exhaustless, indescribable back-ground. Adhyatma is Krishna manifesting as the Individual, Higher Self in all creatures. Karma is an emanative force created by the motives of beings that regulates their death and rebirth. Adhibhuta is the Supreme Spirit, dwelling diffused in elemental nature through the power of universal illusion (Maya). Adhidaivata is Purusha, the Spiritual Ego in each man, and Adhiyajna is the embodied self, a reflection of the "Higher Self;" it is the sacrificing, active and intelligent agent in the body. (Gita, pp. 58-9)

Meditation by the spiritual Ego and Buddhi (discriminative mind) on Krishna (the Higher Self) is to be continued throughout life, not merely at death. The power of such meditation enables the Spiritual Ego to rise to the plane of the Supreme Divine Spirit, Krishna, when the body dies.

There is a "path" called "indestructible," which describes the consistent spiritual meditation carried forward from life to life by some devotees. It is chosen by those who, free from earthly attachment, aim to be Brahmacharyas (ascetics devoted to studying the Universe and doing good to all creatures). Krishna describes this special practice as: Closing the "gateways" to sense-perceptions, imprisoning the mind in the heart, and focusing the vital powers in the head. At the time of death, such as one whose soul-Ego is in his firm control, using the word "OM," merging it into his individuality, passes into the state and presence of the Supreme Spirit. Great-souled ones who have attained supreme perfection are no longer bound by the troubles of rebirth and change.

When a Kalpa closes, all creatures merge into the unmanifested and then, on the opening of another Day of Brahma they re-emerge at that point where they "fell asleep." There is, however that, which is not dissolved at that time, it is indivisible, indestructible, unmanifested and exhaustless, "it is called the Supreme Goal." There Krishna abides. (see Gita, p. 106) All creatures are included in this process. True devotion brings the Wise to perceive The Universal Spirit present in all, as their attention is constantly focused on it during life. [see H.P.B.'s Articles, Vol. III, p. 265]

When yogis, die, Krishna states there are favorable times such as:

"...fire, light, day, the fortnight of the waxing moon, six months of the sun's northern course—going then and knowing the Supreme Spirit, men go to the Supreme. But those who depart in smoke, at night, during the fortnight of the waning moon, and while the sun is in the path of his southern journey, proceed for a while to the regions of the moon and again return to mortal birth. These two, light and darkness are the world's eternal ways; by one a man goes not to return, by the other he cometh back again upon earth. No devotee who knoweth these two paths is ever deluded; wherefore, O Arjuna, at all times be thou fixed in devotion." (Gita, pp. 61-2)





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