Akshara Brahma Yoga
(The Philosophy of the Imperishable Brahman)
1. Arjuna said: "O Purushottama, what is that Brahman?
What is Adhyatma? What is Karma? What is called Adhibhuta? And, what
2. "O Madhusudana, who is Adhiyajna, and how does He dwell here
in the body? And how, at the time of death, art Thou to be known by
3. The Blessed Lord said: "The Supreme and the Imperishable is Brahman;
Its manifestation in the individual body is Adhyatma; and the
creative process whereby beings are created is Karma.
4. "Adhibhuta is My perishable form; Adhidaiva is the Supreme
Divine Agent 39;
and here in this body, I am Adhiyajna40
- I am all in all.
5. "Whosoever remembers Me at the time of death, merges in Me; of
that there is no doubt.
6. "O Kaunteya, whatever state of being a man is immersed in at
the time of death, that very state he attains.
7. "Therefore, at all times remember Me and fight. With mind and
intelligence thus fixed on Me, thou shalt surely come to Me.
8. "With thoughts steadied by constant practice and mind not
wandering aimlessly, he who meditates on the Supreme Being goes to
9. "He who contemplates the Omniscient One, the Ancient One, the
Supreme Ruler, the One minuter than an atom, the Ordainer of all, in
form unthinkable, effulgent like the Sun and beyond all
10. "And, [he who], with a steadfast mind, meditates on this
Resplendent and Supreme One at the time of his death, verily reaches
that Divine Being.
11. "That which those who know the Vedas call the Imperishable
and into which ascetics freed from desires and steeped in
self-control enter - that I shall now briefly describe.
12-13. "All the gates of the body closed, mind locked in the heart
, vital energy confined to the head and rapt in Yogic meditation,
and thinking of Me - he who so departs, leaving the body, attains
the Supreme Destination.
14. "I am easily attainable, O Partha, by that ever-steadfast
Yogi who constantly remembers Me with undivided mind.
15. "These great souls that have reached the highest perfection
come to Me and are no more subject to rebirth in this world, which
is transitory and the abode of misery.
16. "The dwellers in all the worlds, from the realm of Brahma
downward, are subject to rebirth, O Arjuna; but for those who reach
Me, O son of Kunti, there is no further return to embodiment [for I
am beyond TIME].
17. "Those who comprehend that the Cosmic day and the Cosmic
last a thousand cycles of Yugas, they truly know what is Day and
what is Night.
18. "From the Unmanifest issue forth at the dawn of each Day all
the manifested beings and at Night dissolve back into It43.
19. "O Partha, the same multitude of beings come to birth again
and again; and, at the coming of Night, whether they will or not,
they are dissolved only to remanifest again next [Cosmic]
20. "But higher than this Unmanifest [into which all beings
dissolve at Night], is yet another Unmanifest Being, everlasting,
and which perisheth not even when all creatures are destroyed.
21. "Called the Imperishable, this Superior Unmanifest is the
Ultimate Goal. For those who reach It, there is no return 44
. That [Imperishable, Superior Unmanifest] is My Supreme
22. "That Supreme Being can be attained by unswerving devotion to
Him. In Him dwell all beings and by Him is all pervaded.
23. "Now I will tell thee, O Bharatanshabha, of the time at
which, passing away from this world the yogis depart never to
return, and also of the time at which they depart to return..
24. "The knowers of Brahman
depart during the six months when the Sun blazes through the
northern sky; and to Brahman
25. "The lesser mortals who necessarily have to take rebirth die
during the six months of the southern passage of the Sun.
26. "Thee two paths - the bright and the dark - are deemed to be
the eternal paths of the world; by the one man goes never to return,
and by the other he goes only to return.
27. "Knowing these two paths, O Partha, no Yogi is deluded.
Therefore, O Arjuna, be steadfast in Yoga at all times.
28. "The Wise One who knows this transcends all merits accruing,
for example, from the study of the scriptures, from the performance
of prescribed rituals and from the offering of charity, and finally
reaches the Supreme Primal Abode."
Thus in the Bhagavad Gita, the Essence of the Upanishads,
the Science of Brahman,
the Scripture of Yoga, the Dialogue between Sri Krishna and Arjuna,
ends the eighth chapter, entitled:
AKSHARA BRAHMA YOGA
40The spirit of sacrifice.
42i.e., the day and the night of Brahma, the
44To the manifested Universe.