|Way to Brahman |
1. O Supreme Lord! What is Brahman (the Absolute)? What is the Spirit (the Adhyatma)?
What is work (Karma)? And what is that which underlies the material manifestations
(Adhibhuta), and what, the divinities (Adhidaiva)?
2. O Slayer of Madhu! Who is the Adhiyajna (the spirit underlying sacrifices) that resides in
this body, and how does he do so? How should a man of a self-restraint meditate on the
Supreme Being at the time of death?
The Blessed Lord said:
3. Brahman is Akshara, the Immutable Being than whom there is none higher. Brahman's
power manifested in every body as the transmigrating self (the Jiva), is the Adhyatma. The
creative act (identified with sacrificial offering), which brings all beings into existence, is
4. O noble one! The perishable Nature is the material aspect (Adhibhuta). The cosmic soul
is the basis of all divine manifestations (Adhidaivata); and I verily form the Adhiyajna, the
one object of all worship which men perform with their body and mind.
5. Whoever thinks of Me alone even at the time of death, attains to My state on abandoning
the body. There is no doubt about this.
6. O son of Kunti! Whatever object a person thinks of at the time of death, having been
absorbed in its thought all through, - he attains to that object alone.
7. Therefore fight, remembering Me always. One who has dedicated his mind and
understanding to Me, shall come to Me alone, undoubtedly.
8. Thinking of Me continuously, with a mind trained in the practice of spiritual
communion and freed from the tendency to stray away to other objects, one attains to the
Divine Spirit Supreme.
9-10. He who, with a mind steady and endued with devotion and strength born of spiritual
practice, fixes his entire life-force between the eye-brows at the time of death, and
contemplates on Him who is all-knowing, primeval, subtler than even an atom, sustainer
and director of all, glorious like the sun, and beyond all darkness of inertia and ignorance -
he verily attains to that Supreme Being.
11. That which Vedic scholars call the Imperishable (Akshara), which Sannyasins devoid of
worldly attachments enter, desiring which men follow the life of continence and asceticism,
- that state I shall declare to you in brief.
12-13. Established in spiritual communion by inhibiting all sensations, concentrating on
the heart centre, and drawing up the vital energies to the head, one should meditate on Me
along with the utterance of the single-syllabled mantra Om denoting Brahman. Departing
from the body in this state, one attains liberation.
14. He who, with a mind undistracted by other things, thinks of Me constantly every day -
to the Yogi thus ever-attuned, I am easy of attainment, O son of Pritha!
15. No more is re-birth, no more this home of transience and misery, for those great-
souled ones who have attained to supreme perfection by realising Me.
16. All the worlds from the realm of Brahma down to the earth, are subject to re-birth. But,
O Arjuna, one who has attained to Me is never reborn.
17. Those who have an understanding of Brahma's day time, which lasts for a thousand
ages, and of his night time, which too is of equal length, - they indeed understand what a
day is and what a night.
18. At the dawn of the day of Brahma this whole universe comes into manifestation from
the Unmanifest (Prakriti). When the night begins, it dissolves in that Unmanifest itself.
19. O son of Pritha! This vast collectivity of beings comes inexorably into manifestation
again and again, dissolving at the commencement of night, and again coming forth at the
dawn of day.
20. Different from this unmanifested state is the supreme and eternal - Unmanifested whose
being remains unaffected even when everything is destroyed.
21. Know that state, which is called the Unmanifested and the Imperishable, to be the
ultimate goal of all. That is My supreme abode. Attaining to that, man is not reborn.
22. That Supreme Purusha, the abode of all beings and the indweller of them all, can be
attained by unswerving and exclusive devotion to Him.
23. I shall now tell you, O noblest of Bharatas, of the circumstances, dying under which a
Yogi never returns to this world and also of the time, dying when he is sure to return.
24. Fire, light, day-time, bright fortnight, six months of the northern course of the sun - the
knowers of Brahman who depart along this path, attain to Brahman.
25. Smoke, night and likewise the black fortnight and the six months of the southern
course of the sun - the Yogi departing by this path attains to the lunar sphere and thence
26. Verily, these two paths - the bright and the dark - are accepted as everlasting verities.
By the one, the aspirant gains Moksha, the state of non-return, while the other leads him to
27. O son of Pritha! Whoever among Yogis know these two paths, they are never deluded.
Therefore, O Arjuna, be steadfast in Yoga at all times.
28. Knowing this, a Yogi transcends all the meritorious rewards that are prescribed for the
study of the Vedas, for the performance of austerities, and for charities too, and attains to
that primeval state, which is the Supreme Being.