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Ch 8. Taraka Brahma Yoga

Yoga with Parabrahma

Only the ekantika bhaktas of Shri Krishna can know tattvas such as brahma-tattva, karma tattva, adhibuta tattva, etc. Ekantika bhaktas can easily attain Krishna (Gita 8.14). Bhaktas of Shri Bhagavan never take rebirth (Gita 8.16). One can only attain Bhagavan by ananya bhakti (Gita 8.22).

The Glories of Chapter Eight (Mahatmya)

Lord Siva said, “My dear Parvati, now please listen to the glories of the Eighth Chapter of Shrimad 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? (kim tad brahma kim adhyatmam kim karma purusottama)”Completely by accident, the wife happened to chant half of the first sloka of the Eighth Chapter of Shrimad Bhagavad-gita. At that time, having heard that half sloka, 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 sloka (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 sloka.

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 sloka of the Eighth Chapter of Shrimad Bhagavad-gita. For a long time I have been thinking how to award his devotion”. Parvati inquired from Lord Siva, “when Lord Vishnu was so pleased with His devotee, what benediction did He bestow upon him?”
Lord Siva 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 Shrimad Bhagavad-gita.

Ch 8 Verse 1

arjuna uvaca
kim tad brahma kim adhyatmam / kim karma purushottama
adhibhutan ca kim proktam / adhidaivam kim ucyate

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arjuna uvaca---Arjuna said; purushottama---O Supreme Person; kim---what (is)?; tat brahma---that (known as) spirit; kim---what (is)?; adhyatmam---the principle of the jivatma; kim---what (is)?; karma---the principle of action and reaction; kim---what (is)?; adhibhutam---the basis of the gross material elements; proktam--- said to be; ca---and; kim---what (is)?; adhidaivam---the principle underlying the celestial deities; ucyate---said to be.

Arjuna inquired: O Purushottama, what is brahma (Absolute Reality)? What is adhyatma (the pure self)? What is karma (the principle of action)? What is adhibhuta, the basis of this material manifestation, and what is adhidaiva, the principle underlying the devas?


In the first two shlokas of this chapter, Arjuna raises seven questions. Six of those questions relate to the factual meanings of the six words mentioned at the end of the last chapter: brahma, adhyatma, karma, adhibhuta, adhidaiva and adhiyajna. The seventh question is, "How does a man whose senses are controlled know You at the time of death?. In this chapter, Bhagavan Shri Krishna explains these topics in detail, answering all of Arjuna's questions.

Ch 8 Verse 2

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

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kah---who (is)?; adhiyajnah---the Lord of sacrifice; katham---how (does He exist)?; atra---here; asmin---in this; dehe---body; madhusudana---O killer of the demon Madhu; ca---and; katham---how?; asi---are You; jneyah---to be known; prayanak ale---at the time of death; niyata-atmabhih---by those of selfdisciplined mind.

Who is adhiyajna, the presiding deity of yajna, and how is He dwelling in this body, O Madhusudana? And by what means are You to be known at the time of death by a self-controlled person?


In the Eighth Chapter, Bhagavan Shri Krishna explains yoga in response to Partha's questions. Within this topic, He also explains yoga-mishra bhakti, shuddha-bhakti and the destinations of both.

Bhagavan spoke on seven topics such as brahma at the end of the last chapter. Now, in this chapter, Arjuna is inquiring about those topics in this and the previous shloka, beginning with the words kim tad. Who is adhiyajna (the presiding deity of yajna), who resides in this body, and how can He be known?

Ch 8 Verse 3

shri-bhagavan uvaca
aksharam paramam brahma / svabhavo .dhyatmam ucyate
bhuta-bhavodbhava-karo / visargah karma-samjnitah

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shri-bhagavan uvaca---the illustrious, all-opulent Lord said; aksharam---the imperishable; paramam---Supreme Truth; brahma---(is) spirit; svabhavah---the nature of the jiva; ucyate--- is known as; adhyatmam---adhyatma, the self; visargah---the creation; udbhava-karah---which brings about; bhava---the thread of existence through successive births; bhuta---for the living beings; karma-samjnitah---is known as karma.

Shri Bhagavan said: The eternal, imperishable parama-tattva is indeed brahma. The jiva in his pure state is called adhyatma, and the principle of yajna in this material world, whereby the development of the jivas. material bodies and their expansions take place, is known as karma.


While answering Arjuna's questions, Shri Bhagavan says that brahma is that which is imperishable and eternally supreme. "O Gargi, the learned brahmanas call it akshara" (Brihad- aranyaka Upanishad 3.8.8).

Svabhavah: Those who create material bodies because they identifiy their atma with the body (sva-bhavayati) are called svabhavah, or jivas (in the conditioned state). The word svabhavah also means "jivas in their constitutional state," and refers to those who situate themselves in their pure state by cultivating bhakti, and attain svam (Paramatma). Here svabhavah does not refer to the conditioned jiva but to the unalloyed entity, the shuddha-jiva, who is also known as adhyatma. Visarga, or the jiva's samsara, results in bhutabh ava-udbhava-karah, the gross and subtle elements which create human and other bodies according to the consciousness of the jiva. Samsara (the cycle of material existence) is created by the karma (action) of the jiva, so here the word karma indicates the material existence of the jiva.


Brahma means that which does not perish. It is called akshara because it is infallible. Akshara-tattva is free from destruction and transformation and is also called parabrahma. Here it should be understood that only savishesha-maya Bhagavan Shri Krishna, the Conscious Reality who possesses all transcendental attributes, is parabrahma, not nirvisheshabrahma, His featureless impersonal aspect. Although the word akshara refers to all three features of the Supreme, namely brahma, Paramatma and Bhagavan, here it only indicates parabrahma, Svayam Bhagavan. One should deliberate on Gita (15.16-18) for a detailed understanding of this subject. This is also established in the prayers of Lord Brahma (Shrimad-Bhagavatam 10.14.32): yan-mitram paramanandam / purnam brahma sanatanam. "Shri Krishna, who is the complete, eternal brahma, and whose form is composed of supreme bliss, is their friend." This is also cited in Chaitanyacarit amrita (Madhya-lila 19.96): aham iha nandam vande / yasyalinde param brahma. "I forever worship that Nanda Maharaja in whose courtyard parabrahma is playing as Nandanandana."

Adhyatma means svabhavah, or the shuddha-jiva situated in his unalloyed state, free from any contact with inert matter. Svam bhavayati means that one maintains the conception, "I am this gross body," due to contact and identification with the body. There is another meaning of svabhavah, or svam bhavayati. The jiva who realises Paramatma is called svabhavah. Shripada Baladeva Vidyabhushana also translates the word svabhavah as the jivatma: jivatmanah sambandhi yo bhavo. "Bhava, or existence, in relationship with the jivatma is called svabhavah." That same jivatma who has taken shelter of the body considers himself to be the enjoyer of sense objects. Therefore, the word adhyatma refers to the jiva. Visarga means yajna which is performed by offering material ingredients for the pleasure of the devatas. This gives rise to the gross and subtle elements, which in turn create the material world in the form of the jivas. gross bodies. This should be understood as visarga, the material existence of the jiva.

Ch 8 Verse 4

adhibhutam ksharo bhavah / purushash cadhidaivatam
adhiyajno 'ham evatra / dehe deha-bhritam vara

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vara---O best; deha-bhritam---of embodied beings; ksharah---the perishable; bhavah---nature; (is called) adhibhutam---adhibhuta; ca---and; purushah---the universal form; (is known as) adhidaivatam---adhidaiva; eva---indeed; aham---I (am); adhiyajnah---the Lord of sacrifice; atra---here; dehe---within the material body.

O Arjuna, best among embodied beings, that which is perishable is called adhibhuta, and the universal form is adhidaiva, the presiding Lord of all devatas. I alone am adhiyajna, situated in the body as Antaryami, and I inspire a person to perform activities, such as yajna.


Adhibhuta refers to perishable objects such as pots and cloth which exist by taking the support of the living entities. According to the Nirukta (Vedic dictionary), adhidaiva refers to the virat-purusha, who has authority over the devatas such as Surya. "I inspire activity such as yajna by My partial expansion as Antaryami; hence I am adhiyajna.. Anticipating the doubt, .How are You situated as adhiyajna?"

Bhagavan speaks the words aham eva (only I). "Only I am to be known in My non-different expansion of Antaryami. Unlike the jivas (adhyatma), My portion (amsha) Antaryami is non-different from Me. The jivatma is My separated part (vibhinnamsha), and Paramatma Antaryami, who is non-different from Me, is My svamsha. As My friend, you are dehabh ritam vara, the best among the embodied beings."


Here Shri Bhagavan is answering three of Arjuna.s questions: Adhibhuta: Gross articles such as pots or cloth, which are perishable and which change at every moment, exist by taking support of the living entities, and are thus called adhibhuta. Adhidaiva: The complete cosmic being or virat-purusha is called adhidaiva because He has sovereignty over the devatas. Adhiyajna: The word adhiyajna refers to the purusha who is situated in the bodies of the jivas as all-pervading Antaryami, who inspires action (karma) such as yajna, and who gives the results of karma. Antaryami is svamsha-tattva, a plenary portion of Bhagavan Shri Krishna. It is said in the Shvetashvatara Upanishad (4.6):

dva suparna sayuja sakhaya / samanam vriksham parishasvajate
tayor anyah pippalam svadv atty / anashnann anyo 'bhicakashiti

Kshirodakashayi-purusha and the jiva live as two friendly birds on the branch of a banyan tree, which is likened to this temporary material body. The jiva tastes the fruits of the tree according to his karma, while the other bird, Paramatma, is not engaged in enjoying the fruits, but simply witnesses the jiva.s activities. In Shrimad-Bhagavatam (2.2.8) Shri Sukadeva Gosvami also says:

kecit sva-dehantar-hridayavakashe
pradesha-matram purusham vasantam

Some yogis remember the pradesha-matra purusha who is situated within the cave of their hearts. The word pradesha-matra has been translated by Shrila Shridhara Svami as the distance from the thumb to the tip of the first finger. Shrila Cakravarti Thakura says, "By His acintya-shakti, He is situated within that area as a fifteenyear- old kishora." Moreover, it is said in Katha Upanishad (2.1.12): angushtha-matrah purusho madhya atmani tishthati. "Antaryami purusha is the size of a thumb and is situated in the middle part of the body, the heart."

All this evidence proves that Antaryami Paramatma is situated within the heart of the ordinary jiva, and occupies a space the size of the thumb. For His special bhaktas, however, Krishna Himself is situated in their hearts in His kishora form as a fifteen-year-old. For example, that Antaryami situated within the heart of Bilvamangala is none other than the transcendental kishora, Shri Krishna Himself. As he says in Krishna-karnamrita (1): cintamanir jayati somagirir gurur me / shiksha-gurush ca bhagavan shikhipiccha- maulih. "All glories to Cintamani, whom I consider to be my guru, and who has fulfilled all desires. All glories to my guru, Somagiri, and to my shiksha-guru, Bhagavan Shri Krishna, who has a peacock feather in His hair and who is situated in my heart."

The Antaryami situated in the heart of Arjuna is the same kishora Krishna Himself, who is situated on his chariot.

Ch 8 Verse 5

anta-kale ca mam eva / smaran muktva kalevaram

yah prayati sa mad-bhavam / yati nasty atra samshayah

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ca---and; sah yah---he who; anta-kale---at the time of death; muktva---giving up; kalevaram---the body; smaran---remembering; mam---Me; eva---alone; prayati yati---certainly attains; matbh avam---My nature; asti---there is; na---no; samshayah---doubt; atra---on this point.

Whoever, at the time of death, leaves his body while remembering Me alone surely attains My nature. Of this there is no doubt.


"How can one know You at the time of leaving the body?" In answer to Arjuna's question, Shri Bhagavan says, "By remembering Me, one is in knowledge of Me, but one can never know Me fully in the same way that one may know material objects such as pots and cloth." How many types of jnana are there by which to remember Shri Bhagavan? This is explained in the following four shlokas.

Ch 8 Verse 6

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

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yam yam---whatever; va api---possible; bhavam---contemplation; smaran---one remembers; ante---at the last moment when; tyajati---one gives up; kalevaram---the body; kaunteya---O son of Kunti; eva---certainly; eti---one attains; tam tam---that very same state; sada bhavitah---because he is always absorbed in; tadbh ava---that contemplation.

Whatever one remembers at the time of death, O Kaunteya, he is sure to attain that same state, due to being always absorbed in such contemplation.


"Just as one attains Me by remembering Me only, similarly, one also attains the state corresponding to whatever or whoever else he remembers." To explain this, Shri Bhagavan is speaking these words yam yam. People are absorbed in a particular state of existence due to remembrance and continuous meditation on it.


By remembering Bhagavan at the time of death, one attains His nature. Similarly, one attains a nature corresponding to the other beings and objects one remembers. Bharata Maharaja thought of a young deer at the time of death and in his next life he received the body of a deer. For this reason, one must not think of anything except Bhagavan at the time of death. To attain such consciousness, it is imperative to endeavour in this direction from the very beginning of one.s life. Although Bharata Maharaja was a bhakta of high calibre and was situated on the platform of bhava, he was reborn as a young deer by the will of the Lord to set an example for humanity. Because he had remembrance of his past life, he completely avoided the association of materialistic persons in his next and subsequent births, and remained engaged in the cultivation of bhakti.

The ordinary jivas, who are bound by the results of their karma, should take a good lesson from the example of Bharata Maharaja, and should not commit offences at his feet, thinking that he was bound by the result of karma as they are. Furthermore, the story of Puranjana described in the Bhagavatam shows how he attained the body of a woman in his next life, because he was thinking of a woman at the time of death. Actually, whatever we do during the course of our lives influences our consciousness at the time of death, and we take another birth accordingly. This is why sadhakas should perform hari-nama and practise shuddhabhakti in this life, so that at the time of death they will be able to remember Bhagavan intensely, and their path to eternal auspiciousness will become blessed.

Ch 8 Verse 7

tasmat sarveshu kaleshu / mam anusmara yudhya ca
mayy arpita-mano-buddhir / mam evaishyasy asamshayah

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tasmat---therefore; sarveshu---at all; kaleshu---times; anusmara--- remember; mam---Me; ca---while; yudhya---fighting; manobuddhi h---with mind and intelligence; arpita---offered; mayi--- unto Me; eva eshyasi---you shall certainly attain; mam---Me; asamshayah---without doubt.

Therefore, you should always remember Me, and at the same time perform your prescribed duty of fighting. With your mind and intellect devoted to Me, you will attain Me without doubt.


The mind is sankalpatmaka, meaning that it can concentrate on a particular motivation and can also oscillate. Buddhi means intelligence and vyavasayatmika means that which is resolute.


"Thus, by constantly remembering My parabrahma-bhava, My eternal beautiful form as Krishna, act according to your own svabhava, your acquired nature as a kshatriya, and fight. When your mind is concentrated in this way, your intelligence is resolute and you are surrendered unto Me, you will surely attain Me."

Ch 8 Verse 8

abhyasa-yoga-yuktena / cetasa nanya-gamina
paramam purusham divyam / yati parthanucintayan

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partha---O son of Pritha; (one who is) abhyasa-yoga-yuktena--- engaged in yoga practice; cetasa---with mind; na anya-gamina--- undeviating; anucintayan---while contemplating (Him); yati--- one attains; paramam---that supreme; divyam---divine; purusham---person.

O Partha, one who is engaged in constant yoga practice with undeviated attention, and who continuously thinks of parama-purusha (the Supreme Person), will surely attain Me.


"In this way, he who practises remembering Me during his life will naturally remember Me at the time of death, and in this way he will achieve Me. Thus, remembrance of Me alone is the supreme yoga of the mind." To explain this, Shri Bhagavan is speaking this shloka beginning with the words abhyasa-yoga. "Abhyasa means to practise continuous remembrance of Me, and yoga means to fix the mind in such practice, not hankering for different sense objects. When one constantly remembers Me with such undeviated attention, he will be able to conquer the nature of the mind."


It is necessary to engage in abhyasa-yoga in order to attain unbroken continuity in bhajana (like the flow of a stream which cannot be checked). One will be able to engage the mind in remembering Shri Bhagavan by the performance of abhyasa-yoga and by withdrawing it from other sense objects. By continually practising remembrance of Shri Krishna throughout one's life, one will be able to conquer the distracted mind, thus enabling one to remember Krishna at the time of death. This is also stated in Shrimad-Bhagavatam (11.20.18): abhyasenatmano yogi / dharayed acalam manah. "A yogi should make his mind steady by practise." One may refer to Gita (12.9) to study this topic further.


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

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prayana-kale manasa'calena
bhaktya yukto yoga-balena caiva
bhruvor madhye pranam aveshya samyak
sa tam param purusham upaiti divyam

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(one) anusmaret---can remember; param divyam purusham---that divine person; puranam---the ancient; kavim---sage; anushasitaram---who is the controller; aniyamsam---smaller; anoh---than the smallest; dhataram---the maintainer; sarvasya--- of everyone; acintya-rupam---whose form is inconceivable; aditya-varnam---who is coloured like the sun; (and is) parastat--- transcendental; tamasah---to the darkness; sah yah---he who; prayana-kale---at the time of death; aveshya---fixing; pranam--- his life air; samyak---completely; madhye---between; bhruvoh--- the eyebrows; yoga-balena---by the power of yoga; ca---and; eva--- indeed; yuktah---engaging; acalena---with undeviating; manasa---mind; (and) bhaktya---with devotion; upaiti---attains; tam---(Him).

One should remember that Person who is omniscient and eternal, who is the Supreme Controller, who is smaller than the smallest, who is the maintainer of everyone, whose form is inconceivable, who is self-effulgent like the sun and who is transcendental to this material nature. One who, at the time of death, fully fixes his life air between the eyebrows by the strength of yoga, and concentrates with undeviating attention and full bhakti, certainly attains Him.


It is impossible to withdraw the mind from sense-objects without yogabhyasa. Without continuous practise of yoga, it is impossible to remember Shri Bhagavan. Bhakti which is mixed with any type of yoga is called yoga-mishra bhakti. Shri Bhagavan is explaining this in the next four shlokas beginning here with kavim. Kavim means omniscient. Rishis such as Sanaka are sarva-jna (omniscient), but their omniscient nature is not unlimited. This is why Shri Bhagavan is using the word puranam, without beginning. Although Antaryami is omniscient and beginningless, He does not give instructions in bhakti, so Bhagavan is saying anushasitaram, meaning that He mercifully gives instructions on bhakti through His svarupa-avataras such as Shri Rama and Shri Krishna. The tattva of such a merciful personality is very difficult to understand. He says that He is more subtle than the most subtle. Does this mean that He is atomic like the jiva? To clarify this, He says: sarvasya dhataram. "I am the sustainer of everything, and because I am all-pervading, I am of unlimited size, therefore I am acintya (inconceivable)." Although He has a human- like form, He is explaining His manifestations who are non-different from Him. Aditya-varnam means that, like Surya, He illuminates both Himself and others. He is beyond material nature (tamasah) and, although He is the master of maya shakti, He is beyond maya. At the time of death, yogis remember Him with undeviated minds. They are blessed with the potency of continuous remembrance of Him that they have practised during their lives. How does one attain this stability of mind? Bhagavan says, "He attains it on the strength of yogabhyasa." What type of yoga? He answers, "The yoga in which the life air is fixed between the eyebrows (ajna-cakra)."


In the previous shloka, the process of remembering Shri Bhagavan at the time of death was mentioned, and now it is explained in this shloka.

Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura quotes Krishna as saying, "Please listen as I explain the process of meditation on the Supreme Person (parama purusha). He is omniscient, beginningless and inconceivable to mundane intelligence. He is the smallest, yet He is also the Supreme Controller who maintains everyone. He exists eternally in His beautiful, human-like Shyamasundara form. His tattva is beyond material nature and, because He is self-illuminating like the sun, His bodily hue illuminates His form. One who leaves his body having made his mind steady by bhakti, and who fixes the life air between the eyebrows by the power of yogabhyasa, attains that Supreme Person. This yoga system has been instructed to ensure that one's attention is not distracted from the parama purusha by suffering and pain at the time of death."

Ch 8 Verse 11

yad aksharam veda-vido vadanti
vishanti yad yatayo vita-ragah
yad icchanto brahmacaryam caranti
tat te padam sangrahena pravakshye

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pravakshye---I shall describe; te---to you; sangrahena---in summary; tat---that; padam---state; yat---which; veda-vidah---those conversant with the Vedas; vadanti---speak of; (as) aksharam--- imperishable; yat---into which; yatayah---ascetics; vita-ragah--- who are free from attachment; vishanti---enter; (and) yat--- which; caranti---they who practise; brahmacaryam---celibacy; icchantah---desire (it).

I will now tell you in brief about that ultimate goal, which the Vedic panditas describe as aksharam (imperishable). Ascetics who are free from all desires enter there, as well as those who observe the principle of celibacy and have a desire to attain that goal.


One may ask, "Can He be known simply by fixing the life air on the ajna-cakra? What type of yoga is this? What is japa? What is the object of meditation? What is the ultimate goal? Please explain these in brief." Anticipating these questions, Shri Bhagavan speaks this shloka beginning with the word yad and the next two shlokas. "Omkara, the sound manifestation of brahma, is akshara (imperishable) and is identical with brahma. The knowers of the Vedas proclaim this. The ascetics enter this syllable om, the sound manifestation of brahma, that imperishable reality. Please listen as I explain what this goal is and how it can be achieved."

Ch 8 Verses 12-13

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

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

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(he) prayati yati---certainly attains; paramam---the supreme; gatim---destination; samyamya---disciplining; sarva-dvarani--- all the gates of the body (senses); ca---and; nirudhya---confining; manah---the mind; hridi---within the heart; adhaya---fixing; pranam---the life air; murdhni---at the top of the head; (this is) asthitah---the situation; yoga-dharanam---for the trance of selfrealisation; atmanah---of the soul; vyaharan---uttering;; iti---thus; eka-aksharam---the one complete, imperishable syllable; (which is the sound form of) brahma---brahma; sa yati--- he who; tyajan---giving up; deham---the body; anusmaran mam.

remembers Me according to the guidance of guru. The yogi attains the supreme destination by controlling all the senses, confining the mind within the heart, fixing the life-breath between the eyebrows, being deeply absorbed in samadhi by the practise of yoga, repeating the syllable om . which is a manifestation of brahma . and giving up his body while meditating on Me.


While explaining this type of yoga, Shri Bhagavan is speaking the above two shlokas beginning with sarva-dvarani. "A person attains the supreme destination of salokya-mukti and comes to My planet by restraining all his senses, such as the eyes, from their external sense objects; confining the mind to the heart, not desiring any sense object; fixing the life air between the eyebrows; performing yoga-dharanam, taking shelter of My Deity form by meditating on the Deity from His feet to His head; chanting omkara (om), which is identical with brahma; and giving up his body while continuously meditating on the meaning of om, Myself."


Om is the sound manifestation of brahma. It is also said in Shrimad-Bhagavatam (2.1.17): abhyasen manasa shuddham / trivrid-brahmaksharam param. "One should practise by repeating in his mind the pure form of brahma-akshara, the sound manifestation of brahma (pranava), made of three letters: 'a', 'u' and 'm'." Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu has said in Chaitanya-caritamrita:

pranava ye maha-vakya-ishvarera-murti
pranava haite sarva-veda, jagate-utpatti
Madhya-lila 6.174
and also:
pranava se maha-vakya vedera nidana
ishvara-svarupa pranava sarva-vishva-dhama
Adi-lila 7.128

Pranava is the essence of all the Vedas and is the maha-vakya, the greatest syllable (sound vibration). All other mantras have limitations. Pranava is identical with the shri-murti of Jagadisha. All the Vedas as well as this universe are generated from pranava. The essence of the Vedas is indeed this maha-vakya in the form of pranava. It is the svarupa of Bhagavan and the basis of the whole universe.

Ch 8 Verse 14

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

Click here to read Shrila Prabhupada's Bhagavad Gita As It Is 8.14 <>

partha---O son of Pritha; tasya---for that; nitya-yuktasya---constantly engaged; yoginah---transcendentalist; yah---who; nityashah---regularly; (and) satatam---continuously; smarati--- remembers; mam---Me; ananya-cetah---with an undistracted mind; aham---I (am); su-labhah---easy to achieve.

O Partha, for one who is constantly absorbed in bhakti-yoga and who continuously remembers Me with an undistracted mind, I am easily attainable.


Karma-mishra bhakti has been explained in Gita (7.29), and yoga-mishra bhakti and pradhani-bhuta bhakti, along with their dominant factors (karma, jnana and yoga), have been explained in Gita (8.13). Now, in this shloka beginning with the words ananya-cetah, Shri Bhagavan is explaining kevalabhakti, which is superior to all other types of yoga and is nirguna. "I am easily attainable for such a bhakta who continuously remembers Me without considering the purity of time, place or circumstance, whose mind is not attracted to the practices of karma, jnana and yoga, who does not worship the devatas or strive to achieve any other goal such as Svarga and mukti. That bhakta will not have to undergo the misery experienced while practicing yoga, jnana and so on. The words nitya-yuktasya refer to he who is always hankering for union with Me." If one doubts that Bhagavan will also be easily attainable in the future, He responds, .I am always easily attainable for him.. The word yoginah means one who is endowed with bhakti-yoga, that is, one who is connected to Shri Krishna in a relationship such as dasya or sakhya.


Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura quotes Krishna as saying, "I have explained bhakti mixed with karma and jnana from Gita (7.16) which discusses artta (the distressed), jijnasu (the inquisitive), artharthi (those desirous of wealth) and jnani (men of knowledge) up to Gita (7.29), wherein birth, death and moksha are explained. In other words, I have instructed you about the nature of karma-jnana-pradhani-bhuta bhakti, or bhakti which predominates over karma and jnana. From the shloka: kavim puranam (Gita 8.9), I have explained yoga-mishra bhakti or the nature of yogapradh ani-bhuta bhakti. I have given some hints about kevala-bhakti between these shlokas just to give you a taste. Now, please listen as I explain the nature of kevala-bhakti. I am easily attainable for such a bhakti-yogi who is ever united with Me, who remembers Me with his mind restrained from attraction to all other objects, and who is exclusively devoted. In other words, it is very difficult to achieve Me by performing pradhani-bhuta bhakti. This is to be understood."

Ch 8 Verse 15

mam upetya punar janma / duhkhalayam ashashvatam
napnuvanti mahatmanah / samsiddhim paramam gatah

Click here to read Shrila Prabhupada's Bhagavad Gita As It Is 8.15 <>

mahatmanah---the great souls; upetya---having attained; mam---Me; na apnuvanti---do not take; punah janma---rebirth (in samsara); duhkha-alayam---which is the abode of misery; (and is) ashashvatam---transitory; gatah---having attained; paramam---the highest; samsiddhim---perfection.

The mahatmas, having attained Me, do not take birth again in this temporary world which is the abode of misery, for they have attained the highest perfection.


"What becomes of those who attain You?" In response, Shri Bhagavan speaks this shloka beginning with the word mam. "They do not have to take another birth which is temporary and full of misery. Instead, they attain a birth like Mine which is eternal and full of bliss." According to the Amara-kosha dictionary, the words shasvata, dhruva, nitya, sadatana and sanatana are all synonymous. "When I take My blissful, eternal and transcendental birth in the house of Vasudeva, My eternal associates (My bhaktas) also take birth. They do not take birth at any other time." The word paramam has special significance. "Other types of bhaktas attain samsiddhi (perfection), but those who are ananya-cetah, who have fixed their minds solely on Me, attain paramam samsiddhim, that is, they become associates in My lila." Hence, it has been established that the bhaktas who are ananya-cetah are superior to the bhaktas who were described previously.


Those who have become indifferent to karma, jnana, yoga and so forth, and who have not taken shelter of the various devas, but who worship only Krishna with ananya-bhakti, surely attain only Him. They do not have to take another miserable, temporary birth, but become eternally absorbed in Krishna.s service, being freed from the bondage of birth and activities (karma). As it is said in the Padma-Purana (quoted in Hari-bhakti-vilasa 10.113): na karma-bandhanam janma vaishnavanan ca vidyate vishnor anucaratvam hi moksham ahur manishinah. "For the Vaishnavas, the bondage of karma does not exist. Since the Vaishnavas have become the associates of Vishnu, they are called mukti-bhajana (qualified for mukti) by those who know tattva." By performing kevala or raganuga bhakti, the ananyabhaktas of Bhagavan attain supreme perfection. That is, by attaining svarupa-siddhi and vastu-siddhi, they are counted among the associates of Shri Krishna in His pastimes and engage in His service. When it is time for His appearance they, like Him, also appear in order to nourish and enhance His manifest lila.

Ch 8 Verse 16

a-brahma-bhuvanal lokah / punar avarttino 'rjuna
mam upetya tu kaunteya / punar janma na vidyate

Click here to read Shrila Prabhupada's Bhagavad Gita As It Is 8.16 <>

arjuna---O Arjuna; kaunteya---son of Kunti; lokah---the planets; a-brahma-bhuvanat---up to Brahma-loka; punah avarttinah---are places of repeated birth and death; tu---but; upetya---having attained; mam---Me; vidyate---there is; na---no; punah---further; janma---rebirth.

O Arjuna, all planets in this universe up to Brahma-loka are places of repeated birth and death, but one who attains Me, O Kaunteya, never takes birth again.


"Indeed, all jivas, even those who have great sukriti, take birth, but My bhaktas do not." To explain this, this shloka beginning with a-brahma is spoken. The jivas who live on all of the planets up to Satya-loka, the planet of Lord Brahma, must take birth again.


Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura quotes Krishna as saying, "From Brahma-loka or Satya-loka down to the lowest planet, all are temporary. The jivas from those planets may take another birth, but one who takes shelter of Me as the object of kevalabhakti does not take birth again." It is not said that there is no rebirth for karma-yogis, ashtanga-yogis and those who take shelter of pradhani-bhuta bhakti. This implies that kevalabhakti is the ultimate fruit or the perfection of all these processes and one can become free from the cycle of rebirth by gradually attaining this stage of kevala-bhakti.

Ch 8 Verse 17

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

Click here to read Shrila Prabhupada's Bhagavad Gita As It Is 8.17 <>

te---those; janah---persons; ahah-ratra-vidah---who know his day and night; viduh---understand; (that period) yat---which; paryantam---comprises; sahasra-yuga---a thousand ages (one age equals 4,320,000 years); (is) ahah---one day; brahmanah---of Brahma; ratrim---his night; (also) yuga-sahasra-antam---lasts a thousand ages.

Those who know the truth about Brahma.s day and night understand that his day lasts for one thousand cycles of the four yugas, and that his night is also of the same duration.


One may doubt what is said in the Second Canto of Shrimad- Bhagavatam (2.6.19), "Above the three planetary systems (bhur, bhuvah and svah) is Maha-loka and above Maha-loka are the three planets Jana, Tapa and Satya. These three are immortal, contain all the requirements for one's maintenance, and are free from fear." Some say that Brahma-loka is free from fear, and that even sannyasis desire to dwell there. Does this mean that those residing on that planet will never die?. Anticipating this question, Shri Bhagavan states, "No, it is not true. Brahma, the master of that planet, himself dies, so what to speak of others." To clarify this further, He speaks this shloka beginning with sahasra, which says that those who know shastra understand that Brahma's one day equals one thousand cycles of the four yugas (totalling 4,320,000,000 years) and his night is of the same duration. After Brahma.s great life span of one hundred years of these days and nights, fortnights and months, he falls and dies, but that Brahma who is a Vaishnava attains mukti.


Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura says, "According to the calculation of human beings, one day of Brahma is equal to one thousand cycles of four yugas, and his night is of the same period. In this way, Brahma falls or dies after living for one hundred such years. However, those Brahmas. who are devoted to Shri Bhagavan achieve mukti. If this is Brahma.s situation, then how can the fearlessness of sannyasis who have attained his planet be eternal? It cannot be. They are also bound to take birth again."

Ch 8 Verse 18

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

Click here to read Shrila Prabhupada's Bhagavad Gita As It Is 8.18 <>

sarvah---all; vyaktayah---the individual embodied jivatmas; prabhavanti---become manifest; avyaktat---from the unmanifest; ahah-agame---when the day comes; (and) praliyante---they merge; avyakta-samjnake---into that (state) known as the unmanifest; tatra eva---at that very time; ratri-agame---when the night comes.

All jivas manifest from the unmanifest cause at the beginning of Brahma's day, and become merged into the same unmanifest cause upon the arrival of his night.


Those who are residents of the lower three planets, bhur, bhuvah and svah, must die in every day of Brahma. For this reason, Shri Bhagavan speaks this shloka beginning with the word avyaktad. Shripada Madhusudana Sarasvati says, "In the cycle of the creation and annihilation of Brahma.s day, the element sky exists daily." Therefore, the word avyakta in this shloka does not refer to the pradhana but indicates Brahma.s night. From that unmanifest cause, namely Brahma's night, comes his day, which manifests the field for enjoyment in the form of the body, sense objects and so forth. The whole world becomes actively manifest in this way. Then, at the approach of his night, it is again dissolved into the unmanifest cause while he sleeps.

Ch 8 Verse 19

bhuta-gramah sa evayam / bhutva bhutva praliyate
ratry-agame 'vashah partha / prabhavaty ahar-agame

Click here to read Shrila Prabhupada's Bhagavad Gita As It Is 8.19 <>

partha---O son of Pritha; sah ayam---that very; eva---same; bhutagr amah---host of beings; bhutva bhutva---having repeatedly taken birth; praliyate---is dissolved; ratri-agame---on the arrival of his night; (and) avashah---helplessly; prabhavati---springs up; ahah- agame---on the arrival of his day.

O Partha, that very host of jivas, both moving and non-moving, who come into being at the approach of Brahma's day are again helplessly dissolved on the arrival of his night. They repeatedly manifest at the approach of Brahma.s day, under the strict law of karma.


In this way, all moving and non-moving jivas come into being and are again annihilated.

Ch 8 Verse 20

paras tasmat tu bhavo 'nyo / 'vyakto 'vyaktat sanatanah
yah sa sarveshu bhuteshu / nashyatsu na vinashyati

Click here to read Shrila Prabhupada's Bhagavad Gita As It Is 8.4 <>

tu---but; parah---superior; tasmat---to that; avyaktat---unmanifest state; (there is) anyah---another; avyaktah---unmanifest; bhavah--- nature; (which is) sanatanah---eternal; sah---that (nature); yah--- which; na vinashyati---is not destroyed; sarveshu---when all bhuteshu---living beings; nashyatsu---are destroyed.

Yet, superior to that unmanifest state, there exists another unmanifest nature, which is eternal and wonderful and which is not destroyed, even at the time of the great dissolution, when all of this world is annihilated.


Superior to the unmanifest principle of the prajapati Hiranyagarbha Brahma, there is another unmanifest nature, which is eternal and without beginning, and is the cause of this Hiranyagarbha.

Ch 8 Verse 21

avyakto 'kshara ity uktas / tam ahuh paramam gatim
yam prapya na nivarttante / tad dhama paramam mama

Click here to read Shrila Prabhupada's Bhagavad Gita As It Is 8.21 <>

avyaktah---he unmanifest (nature); uktah---is described; iti---as; aksharah---imperishable; (sages) ahuh---call; tam---that; paramam--- the supreme; gatim---destination; prapya---having attained; yam---which; na nivarttante---they (the jivatmas) do not return; tat---that; (is) mama---My; paramam---supreme; dhama---abode.

That eternal unmanifest nature is known as akshara and is the supreme destination. Having attained that dhama, they never return to this world. It is My eternal abode and My eternal nature .


The word avyakta, mentioned in the previous shloka, is being explained in this shloka beginning with avyaktah. That which is imperishable or indestructible is called akshara. The Narayana-shruti says: eko narayana asin na brahma na ca shankarah. "In the beginning there was only Shri Bhagavan Narayana; neither Brahma nor Shiva existed." "My supreme abode is eternal. Akshara-parama-dhama means that My abode is brahma, and it possesses an effulgent form."


Having described the temporary existence of all moving and non-moving beings, Shri Bhagavan now explains the eternality of parameshvara-tattva (the supreme controlling principle). In the present two shlokas, He explains the sanatana-purusha, who is superior to the unmanifest Hiranyagarbha, and who is inaccessible to the mind and senses. This unmanifest reality is also called akshara-brahma, and is alone the supreme destination of the jivas. Upon attaining that parama-dhama, there is no possibility of ever again returning to this material world.

Ch 8 Verse 22

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

Click here to read Shrila Prabhupada's Bhagavad Gita As It Is 8.22 <>

partha---O son of Pritha; (it is I) sah---that; parah---supreme; purushah---person; yasya---whose (expansion); (is) antah-sthani--- situated in the heart; bhutani---of all living beings; (and) yena--- by whom; idam---this; sarvam---entire (universe); tatam---is pervaded; labhyah---is attained; tu---indeed; ananyaya---through unalloyed; bhaktya---devotion.

O Partha, I am that Supreme Person in whom all beings are situated, and by whom, as Antaryami, this whole world is pervaded. I am attained only by ananya-bhakti.


"That parama-purusha (Supreme Person), who is My amsha (Antaryami Paramatma), is attained only by ananya-bhakti. Ananya means that bhakti in which there is no trace of karma, jnana, yoga, worldly desire and so on. This is the meaning of My earlier statement in Gita (8.14): ananya-cetah satatam."


That purusha described in the previous shloka, who is situated in the unmanifest stage, is the sva-amsha (plenary portion) of Shri Krishna. All jivas are situated in Him and, because He is also situated within all jivas, He is Antaryami. He can be attained only by ananya-bhakti which is devoid of karma, jnana, yoga, etc.

Ch 8 Verse 23

yatra kale tv anavrittim / avrittin caiva yoginah
prayata yanti tam kalam / vakshyami bharatarshabha

Click here to read Shrila Prabhupada's Bhagavad Gita As It Is 8.23 <>

bharatarshabha---O best of Bharata's line; vakshyami---I shall describe; tam---that; kalam---time; yatra---at which; kale---according to dictates of the deity of time; (there is) eva---certainly; anavrittim---no return; ca---and; avrittim---return; (thus) yoginah---yogis; prayatah---having passed from the body; tu--- indeed; yanti---attain (their desired destination).

O best of the Bharatas, I shall now explain the different paths protected by the presiding devas of time, by which yogis who pass away from this world either come back again or do not return.


"Previously You said, "After attaining My parama-dhama, the jiva never returns." By this statement, You established that, after attaining Your abode, Your bhaktas never return. Yet, You have not given any instruction about that special path and how to attain it. The path of Arci (the deva of the sunrays) is in sattva-guna, but that special path of which You now speak must be beyond the gunas, since Your bhaktas are also beyond the gunas. For now, however, I am inquiring about the path which is followed by karmis, jnanis and yogis." Anticipating Arjuna's question, Shri Bhagavan speaks this shloka beginning with yatra. "A person returns or does not return to this world depending on the path that is indicated by the exact time at which he leaves his body. I will now explain that time or path."


The ananya-bhaktas of Bhagavan easily attain His abode, unlike the karmis, jnanis and yogis, and they do not have to undergo the miserable path which is in sattva-guna. Since the bhaktas who follow nirguna-bhakti are also nirguna, their paths and the time of their passing are also nirguna. The bhaktas do not have to depend on time, considering whether or not the sun is in the northern hemisphere. The time at which they enter Shri Krishna.s aprakrita-lila is always nirguna.

Ch 8 Verse 24

agnir jyotir ahah shuklah / shan-masa uttarayanam
tatra prayata gacchanti / brahma brahma-vido janah

Click here to read Shrila Prabhupada's Bhagavad Gita As It Is 8.24 <>

janah---persons; brahma-vidah---conversant with brahma; prayatah---who depart from the body; (by the path of the gods of) agnih--- fire; jyotih---light; ahah---the day; (of) shuklah---the moon's waxing fortnight; shat-masah---the six months; uttarayanam---of the sun's northern course; tatra---then; gacchanti---they enter; brahma---the Absolute.

Those who know brahma and who depart from this world during the influence of the presiding devas of fire, the light, auspicious days, the fortnight of the waxing moon and the six months of the sun's northern course, attain brahma.


Here, Shri Bhagavan is explaining how to follow the path from which there is no return. It is said in Chandogya Upanishad: te .rcisham abhisambhavanti. "They attain the presiding deva of arci (the sunrays)." Therefore, the words agnih and jyotih indicate the presiding deva of arci. The word ahah refers to the presiding deva of the day, and the word uttarayanam refers to its presiding deva of the six months of the northern course of the sun. The jnanis, or those who are brahma-vid (who know brahma), attain brahma by following this path. In this regard, the shrutis say that they attain the deva presiding over arci, and then the devas of the day, the fortnight and month in that order. From the deva of the month, they attain the deva of the year, and then Aditya, the sun-god.


Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura says, "Those who are brahmavid, who give up their bodies at the times of the presiding devas of fire and light, on an auspicious day, and when the sun is in the northern course, attain brahma. The words agnih and jyotih refer to the presiding deva of arci (light), and the word ahah refers to the presiding deva of the day. The word shukla refers to the presiding deva of the bright fortnight, and uttarayana refers to the deva presiding over the six months of the sun.s northern course. The only course for a yogi desiring to attain brahma is to successively pass through the presiding devas of arci, the day, the bright fortnight and so forth, at a particular time when the mind and the senses are satis- fied and joyful. Yogis who die at these times never return."

Ch 8 Verse 25

dhumo ratris tatha krishnah / shan-masa dakshinayanam
tatra candramasam jyotir / yogi prapya nivarttate

Click here to read Shrila Prabhupada's Bhagavad Gita As It Is 8.25 <>

yogi---the mystic; (who departs by the path of the devas of) dhumah---smoke; ratrih---night; tatha---and; krishnah---the moon.s dark fortnight; shat-masah---the six months; dakshinayanam---of the sun's southern course; prapya---after attaining; candramasam---the moon; (and) jyotih---celestial delights; tatra---then; nivarttate---he returns.

The karma-yogi, who departs by the path of the devas who preside over the times of smoke, the night, krishna-paksha (the dark half of the month) and the six months of the sun.s southern course, attains Svarga . After enjoying celestial pleasures there, he again returns to this material world .


Now, Shri Bhagavan is explaining the return path of the karmis. As before, the words smoke, night and so on refer to the presiding devas of those times. A karma-yogi, who passes through the paths of these devas, attains Svarga (the moon) and enjoys the result of his karma there. He returns to this material world when the results of his karma are exhausted.


Karmis who pass through the path of smoke, night, the dark fortnight, the sun's six-month course in the southern hemisphere and the light of the moon, or who engage in fruitive acts with their senses, return to this material world upon attaining the particular presiding devas of these times.

Ch 8 Verse 26

shukla-krishne gati hy ete / jagatah shashvate mate
ekaya yaty anavrittim / anyayavarttate punah

Click here to read Shrila Prabhupada's Bhagavad Gita As It Is 8.26 <>

shashvate---in the eternal; mate---opinion (of the sages); hi---certainly; ete---these two; gati---paths; (exist) jagatah---throughout the cosmic manifestation; shukla---by light; krishne---and by darkness; ekaya---by one; yati---one enters; anavrittim---the state of no return; anyaya---by the other; avarttate---one returns; punah---again.

In departing from this world, only two paths, shukla and krishna, are considered to be eternal . Passing through shukla-paksha (the bright path) one attains moksha, and by passing through krishna-paksha (the dark path), one returns to this world.


Now Shri Bhagavan is concluding the topic of the abovementioned two paths in this shloka beginning with the words shukla-krishna. Shashvat means that there are two eternal paths in this world of beginningless samsara. One is shukla-paksha, by which one attains moksha, and the other is krishna-paksha, by which one returns to the material world.


The above mentioned paths of arci, etc., or deva-yana (voyage through the paths of the devas) are the illuminators of knowledge, and are well known by the name shukla-gati (the bright path). The path of smoke, etc., or pitri-yana (voyage through the path of the forefathers), is full of darkness and ignorance, and is called krishna-gati (the dark path). From time immemorial, these two paths have functioned in this world. Those yogis who are brahma-vid take shelter of the bright path, and passing through the planets of arci and so forth in the paths of the devas, they gradually attain moksha. On the other hand, those yogis who engage in karma to satisfy their own desires take shelter of krishna-gati through pitri-yana (the path of the forefathers). They enjoy the heavenly pleasures of Svarga, having passed through the paths of the presiding devas of darkness and so on, and finally return to this material samsara. A detailed description of deva-yana and pitri- yana is given in Chandogya Upanishad. 

Ch 8 Verse 27

naite sriti partha janan / yogi muhyati kashcana
tasmat sarveshu kaleshu / yoga-yukto bhavarjuna

Click here to read Shrila Prabhupada's Bhagavad Gita As It Is 8.27 <>

partha---O son of Pritha; yogi---the transcendentalist; janan--- knowing; ete---these; sriti---paths; na kashcana muhyati---is never bewildered; tasmat---therefore; arjuna---O Arjuna; sarveshu---at all; kaleshu---times; bhava---be; yoga-yuktah---connected in yoga.

O Partha, the bhakti- yogis who have perfect knowledge of these two paths are never bewildered. Therefore, O Arjuna, be always fixed in yoga.


Knowledge of these two paths gives rise to discrimination; thus in this shloka beginning with naite, such a jnani is glorified. Shri Bhagavan says to Arjuna, "Become a bhakti-yogi." In other words, "Become a person of composed mind."


Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura quotes Krishna as saying, "Bhaktas are never deluded, because they remain fixed in bhakti-yoga with knowledge based on tattva. Therefore, they know the real distinction between these two paths, and they take shelter of the path of bhakti, which transcends both. That is, they take shelter of ananya-bhakti-yoga, knowing both paths to be miserable. Therefore, O Arjuna, you should take shelter of that yoga only."

Ch 8 Verse 28

vedeshu yajneshu tapahsu caiva
daneshu yat punya-phalam pradishtam
atyeti tat sarvam idam viditva
yogi param sthanam upaiti cadyam

Click here to read Shrila Prabhupada's Bhagavad Gita As It Is 8.28 <>

yogi---a yogi; eva atyeti---certainly surpasses; tat---that; punyaphalam ---pious benefit; yat---which; pradishtam---is allotted; vedeshu---for Vedic studies; yajneshu---sacrificial performances; tapahsu---austerities; ca---and; daneshu---charitable deeds; ca--- and; viditva---becoming aware; sarvam---of all; upaiti---attains; idam---this; param---the supreme; adyam---original and superexcellent; sthanam---realm of the Lord.

A bhakti-yogi surpasses all the pious results of studying the Vedas and of performing yajna, tapasya, dana, karma and so on. Acquiring the knowledge which I have spoken to you, he attains the supreme, transcendental abode.


The benefit attained by acquiring jnana as described in this chapter is explained in this shloka beginning with vedeshu. Tat sarvam atyeti means that, by surpassing the results of all these activities, the bhakti-yogi attains a superior place which is eternal and aprakrita, transcendental.

The superiority of a bhakti-yogi was also described earlier, but here it is clarified further. In this chapter, the supremacy of the ananya-bhaktas has been established.

Thus ends the Bhavanuvada of the Sarartha-Varshini Tika, by Shrila Vishvanatha Cakravarti Thakura, on the Eighth Chapter of Shrimad Bhagavad-gita, which gives pleasure to the bhaktas and is accepted by all saintly persons .


Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura says, "If you follow bhakti-yoga, you will not be denied the results of any other activity. You will attain whatever results may come from yajna, tapasya, dana, or any type of jnana or from studying the Vedas, and you will reach My supremely transcendental and eternal realm." In Shrimad-Bhagavatam (11.20.32-33) it is stated:

yat karmabhir yat tapasa / jnana-vairagyatash ca yat
yogena dana-dharmena / shreyobhir itarair api
sarvam mad-bhakti-yogena / mad-bhakto labhate 'njasa
svargapavargam mad-dhama / kathancid yadi vanchati

Through bhakti-yoga My devotee can easily attain whatever a sadhaka achieves by performing karma, tapasya, jnana, vairagya and so on.

In the Mahabharata there is a statement pertaining to moksha: ya vai sadhana-sampattih purushartha-catushtaye / taya vina tadapnoti naro narayanashrayah. "A bhakta who has taken shelter of Shri Bhagavan Narayana, attains all the opulence one attains from the four goals of human life (dharma, artha, kama and moksha) without undergoing any misery."

Shrila Vishvanatha Cakravarti Thakura also says that one attains all auspiciousness by performing kevala-bhakti, and without bhakti one cannot attain anything. Thus, bhakti is established as the supreme auspicious process in both ways, by the direct and indirect statements of shastra. This is also stated in Narada-pancaratra: hari-bhakti-maha-devyah sarva muktyadi sidhyah bhuktayash cadbhutas tasyash cetakavad anuvratah." Brahma-vidya and the eight types of perfection, such as anima, appear in their personified form like devoted servants before an ananya-bhakta. even when they are not desired."

In his Vidvat-ranjana-bhashya, Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura writes, "Faith turns into nishtha, or exclusive absorption in My service, when the anarthas of a devotee who has single onepointed faith are removed by bhajana, in the association of My bhaktas. All sins are removed by bhajana in saintly association (sadhu-sanga), even though shraddha may not have fully developed yet, an understanding of tattva may be lacking, and doubts about the worshipable Deity may still linger as impurities."

Moods of devotion that are mixed with jnana (jnanami shra-bhava) and yoga (yoga-mishra-bhava), and polluted by bhukti and mukti are anarthas that prevent one from understanding bhajana-tattva. One's bhajana becomes purified of these anarthas, to the extent that the tendency of one.s bhakti becomes kevala (one-pointed) and he takes shelter of vishuddha-tattva, the pure, Absolute Reality of Shri Bhagavan. This is the essence of the Eighth Chapter.

Thus ends the Sarartha-Varshini Prakashika-vritti, by Shri Shrimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja, on the Eighth Chapter of Shrimad Bhagavad-gita.