Bhawat Geeta Class 114: Chapter 8, Verses 12 to 18
Shloka # 12:
सर्वद्वाराणि संयम्य मनो हृदि निरुध्य च।
मूर्ध्न्याधायात्मनः प्राणमास्थितो योगधारणाम्।।8.12।।
Controlling all gateways of the senses, confining the mind in the heart, fixing the life breath in the crown and intent on the maintenance of Yoga.
Continuing his teaching Swamiji said, from shloka # 6 onwards, of chapter # 8, Sri Krishna has been answering Arjuna’s questions regarding the method, significance and benefits of remembering god at time of death. Ishwara smaranam at time of death requires a person to be a Nishkama upasaka; upasaka means the one who practices meditation on Ishwara with attributes; therefore we say saguna upasaka.
Upasaka is a meditator on god who recognizes that his highest goal is Ishwara alone. Finite form Ishwara symbolizes infinite God. Symbol is representation of god. We know symbol is finite. Facing this finite symbol he considers the infinite god as goal of life. God alone is Sat. Everything else is Tamas.
He considers that infinite God as the primary goal of life. Thus we have the shloka:
Asatoma sad gamaya;
everything else other than God
is asat, God alone is Sat;
everything other than God is tamas; God alone is jyothihi; and
Mrythoma amrutham gamaya;
everything other than God is mruthyu means mortality; God alone represents immortality.
Such a person is a nishkaama upasaka. He remembers god at time of death. As a person thinks so he becomes. Nishkama Upasaka thinks of god and he becomes one with god. This Upasaka then goes to Brahma loka and gets nirguna upasana gyanam. This is known as Krama Mukti.
Even though infinite god is one, the symbols representing him are finite and can be many. Scriptures give us many symbols such as Rama Krishna etc. There are also Pratika symbols such as fire, lingam, Omkara etc. Omkara is a Pratika alambanam. Upasaka through Omkara remembers God. At time of death too he remembers Om and dies. Some others may remember Rama or Krishna as well at time of death.
Citing a story, a man was about to die. Goddess Parvati wanted to help him. She requested God Shiva to help him. Shiva said that man did not need any help. But upon Parvati’s insistence Shiva agreed to help. He said if man remembers amma, it would mean he remembered parvati and if he remembers appa it will mean he remembered Shiva. Unfortunately at time of death the man said Ayyo and died. Shiva told parvathi that human beings are like that. Even if you want to rescue them they wont allow it.
Shloka # 13:
ओमित्येकाक्षरं ब्रह्म व्याहरन्मामनुस्मरन्।
यः प्रयाति त्यजन्देहं स याति परमां गतिम्।।8.13।।
Uttering the monosyllable AUM representing Brahman and remembering Me, whoso goes forth leaving the body, he proceeds to the highest goal.
What does this Nishkama Omakra Upasaka do at the time of death? Since he has not come to Vedanta Gyanam, Vedanta considers him an Agyani.
Even though he is a very informed person, with regard to all other things, even though he is well informed with regard to upasana, he is ignorant with regard to the essential oneness between the jivatma and paramatma. And if he has that knowledge, he need not bother about krama mukthi at all; because with this knowledge itself liberation is guaranteed here and now.
This Agyani Nishkama Upasaka uses Omkara to remember God. He remembers Om the Ekaksharam (one syllable), the word revealing Brahman.
Everyone does not have to remember Om; other names such a Rama or Krishna will also do. Through this word he remembers not any finite thing but god alone. Finite things wont accompany him after death only god will. The one who travels with God, nishkama Upasaka, upon death he takes the Shukla Gathi. Sthula sharira is dropped, atma does not travel, and therefore, what travels is the subtle and causal body in which all the punya papa karmas are stored. It is that one which travels, which alone we call the soul or jivaha and therefore this jivaha consisting of sukshma shariram and of course the reflected Consciousness, it travels. And it, the jivatma travels towards the highest goal of life; so the travel is towards krama mukthi. Krama mukti means one goes to brahma loka, and gains knowledge and liberation there.
Shloka # 14:
अनन्यचेताः सततं यो मां स्मरति नित्यशः।
तस्याहं सुलभः पार्थ नित्ययुक्तस्य योगिनः।।8.14।।
To the single-minded Yogin in perpetual communion, who constantly remembers Me, I am easily accessible, O Arjuna.
Question comes up how all these things are possible especially at time of death? Sri Krishna says, it is possible by sheer abhyasa or practice. Everything I am associated with belongs to God alone.
This life is a field, an exercising field, to learn loving other people. Not to get security from them; not for taking anything from them; we will only be training in giving care, love, and compassion; and through my training I have been given a nice opportunity.
Shastras say, at time of death hand over everything to God then mind will not dwell on them.
Suppose a person remembers me all the time, and remembers God represents the totality. Personal God is only for convenience, but the personal God also represents the totality. The one who remembers this fact that there is no individual separate from the total, that there is no wave separate from ocean, reaches Me. If wave claims I have a separate existence, it is ignorance on the part of the wave; enlightened wave never claims individuality; it knows that there is nothing separate from ocean; with this awareness, one who remembers regularly this fact is an upasaka. That is why I repeatedly tell this example: a wave is always permanently related to the ocean alone; because it rises from the ocean; it exists in the ocean; and it resolves into the ocean. And not only in this birth; if the wave takes a punarjanma, again it is born out of the ocean; and therefore, wave’s permanent relationship is with the ocean alone. The relationship between any two waves is temporary and incidental. In my preoccupation with incidental relationships, I should not loose sight of the fundamentals.
The fundamental relationship makes me a bhaktha; incidental relationships make me a husband, wife, father, mother, brother, sister, in laws, etc. So, all the roles that you play are incidental; and you have to play those roles, you need not deny them. But remember, that fundamental relationship is with the Lord, the one who remembers this without being distracted by the incidental roles that he plays, the one who remembers this fact in the background like a tampura sruti reaches Me. Just as a musician does not lose sight of tampura sruti, the moment tampura sruti is lost sight of, apa sruti comes; then the music will not be music anymore. And, therefore, in the background, the one who remembers Me, for such a Nishkama upasaka, O Partha, I am the easiest person to remember. Just as a person who is attached to money always remembers money, similarly, if I know the value of god, remembrance is easier. Your mind remembers what you value most in your life. And in shloka nityayukta means who is ever integrated; ever balanced, ever clear about his priorities in life; and yoginah means one who is a seeker; a upasaka yogi.
Shloka # 15:
मामुपेत्य पुनर्जन्म दुःखालयमशाश्वतम्।
नाप्नुवन्ति महात्मानः संसिद्धिं परमां गताः।।8.15।।
Reaching Me and winning supreme perfection, magnanimous sages no longer suffer re-birth-this ephemeral abode of all sufferings.
With previous shloka Sri Krishna has concluded his answer to Shloka # 7 about remembering god at time of death. Now he discusses some related topics. Till Shloka # 22 he wants to discuss two types of human goals. They are:
- God, infinite and spiritual.
- World, finite and material.
For an intelligent person God is primary goal. For an indiscriminate person, world is the goal. With respect to finite goals there are three defects or doshas.
- Dukha mishritatvam: It means pleasure is mixed with pain of acquisition, preservation and ultimate loss. Each of these steps is a cause of pain.
- Atriptikaratvam: One never gets total satisfaction as he feels there is something greater out there. Thus, he has no satisfaction at all. With all the money I still feel I am middle class.
- Bandhatvam: Once I depend on external factors I become enslaved by them.
Sri Krishna says God alone represents purnatvam or independence. Because when you choose God as your goal; ultimately you are going to discover God not outside but as tat tvam asi; therefore ultimately God dependence is going to become self-dependence, because God is not going to be away from me. Therefore God represents tripthi; God represents security; God represents fulfillment. So, he is a wiser choice.
Now, a comparison is provided between two goals of God and world. He says: If a person attains Me, the Lord, then what is the advantage?
If one attains Me such a mahatma won’t come to finitude or mortality; he will have no ups or downs in life. I am on top of world. He is a like a floating log. Finitude represents a temple of sorrow. In Ramalaya, Rama is permanently placed in temple, as is Shiva in shivalaya. In world, dukham is permanent placed. Dukham is a source of dissatisfaction that is fleeting and impermanent.
This samsara is not for wise person. They have accomplished the much higher goal of moksha.
Shloka # 16:
मामुपेत्य तु कौन्तेय पुनर्जन्म न विद्यते।।8.16।।
Worlds upto and including Brahma’s are repeatedly won and lost, O Arjuna! but, on reaching Me, there is no more rebirth.
What about heaven?
In some religions heaven is called eternal. Sri Krishna says heaven is also a finite goal. Scriptures say there are six heavens: bhuvar loka, suvar loka, mahar loka, jana loka, tapo loka, and satya loka. In each higher loka the pleasure goes higher and higher. Brahmaloka is place of highest pleasure. But even Brahmaloka cannot assure Security. You can go there enjoy and come back to the world. All 14 lokas exist within time and space. There is only one beyond time and space, and that is Ishwara. He is un-located. That is the reason you have to travel to Lokas. Even Brahmaji is not permanent. It is only a name of a post. Even he will have to vacate. He too depends on Gyanam for security. O Arjuna, if you come to Me, who is beyond time and space, there is no question of the infinite becoming finite again, therefore, that alone will give you permanent security.
Shloka # 17:
रात्रिं युगसहस्रान्तां तेऽहोरात्रविदो जनाः।।8.17।।
Men who know about day and night hold that a day of Brahma consists of a thousand ages, and that night also is of a thousand ages.
In these shlokas Sri Krishna talks of Brahmaji’s longevity. Brahmaji is different from Brahman. Brahman is timeless God. Brahmaji is finite husband of Goddess Saraswathi. Brahman is nirguna while Brahmaji is saguna.
One Brahmaji day is 2000 human chatur yugas. One Yuga is a measurement of time like a month or year. We have four yugas. They are: krita yuga; threta yuga; dvapara yuga and kaliyugah.
We are in kali yuga. Its duration is 432,000 human years.
Dwapara yuga was double of Kali yuga or 864,000 human years.
Tretayuga was three times kaliyuga or 1,296,000 human years.
Krita Yuga was four times kaliyuga or 1,728,000
Therefore one chatur yuga is a combination of all four yugas or 4,320,000 years.
One day of Brahmaji is 2000 chatyr yugas. After 2000 chatur yugas Brahmaji will tear off his one day. He has 365 days in a year as well. He has 100 years to live. Brahmaji is now 51 years old. We are in first day of his 51 st year. This is 27th or 28th chatur yuga. We can estimate chatur yugas years left.
For 1000 chatur yugas Brahmaji is awake. For 1000 chatur yugas Brahmaji will sleep. In shloka yuga means chatur yuga.
In shloka ahaha means day time or half a day. Those people who have studied scriptures alone know these details. What happens to a day and night of Brahmaji is detailed in next Shloka.
Shloka # 18:
अव्यक्ताद्व्यक्तयः सर्वाः प्रभवन्त्यहरागमे।
रात्र्यागमे प्रलीयन्ते तत्रैवाव्यक्तसंज्ञके।।8.18।।
At break of day, all individuals are born of the Unmanifest; when night falls, they are dissolved in the same Unmanifest.
Brahmaji’s day and night is similar to our day and night. When our day begins our interactions begin. It is an active world of space, time, people interactions, consequences and responses as well. The moment I go to sleep my world of plurality is resolved for me. Emotions are resolved. It is Nirvikapla avastha or undifferentiated state. In my sleep, only my world is resolved. My private world rises and resolves. For Brahmaji it happens at macro level. When I sleep it is called Laya, at micro level. When Brahmaji sleeps it is called Pralaya, at a macro level. In Pralaya whole creation goes to sleep.
When I sleep my private world goes into dormancy. In Brahmaji it goes into Avyakta avastha. Here all individuals are resolved into unmanifest condition. As per science, matter cannot be created or destroyed. In atomic explosion matter becomes energy; or visible become invisible; like water to vapor. So, too, visible universe becomes an un-manifest condition or it becomes prakriti or Maya. When he wakens, energy becomes matter. Non-duality becomes duality and activity begins again. Out of unmanifest they become manifest. Thus the world goes in a cyclic form of manifestation and un-manifestation; expansion-contraction; evolution-involution. Thus, the whole universe continues in a cyclic form, eternally.
Your mind remembers what you value most in your life.
Asatoma sad gamaya;
Mrythoma amrutham gamaya;