Madhu Bazaz Wangu | The Eighth Teaching
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The Eighth Teaching

The Eighth Teaching

The Immortal Spirit

1-2
Arjuna
What is the infinite freedom, Krishna? What is the Self? What is the nature of action, the nature of beings and of divinities?

How does one worship? What is it here in the body? And at the time of death how can a man be with you in spirit?

3-10
Krishna
Infinite freedom is union with deathless;
The Self is the essence of all beings; its creative force known as action is the source of all existence.

True worship is myself here in the body. Know that beings die. Know that among gods I am the Supreme and know that true worship is I myself, here, in this body.

At the time of death if a man thinks of me, without doubt, he enters my state of being.

Whatever the state of being at the time of death a man focuses upon, when he leaves his body, that is a state of being he goes into.

Therefore at all times meditate upon me and fight.
With your mind fixed on me, you will come to me, no doubt.

Disciplined in yoga, with a meditative mind that is rooted in me, you will reach the Supreme Person that I am.

Meditate on the Guide, the Giver of all, the Primordial Poet, smaller than an atom, inconceivable, brilliant as the sun.

If you do this at the time of your death with an unmoving mind, focusing your vital breath between your eyebrows, you will attains the Supreme Person that I am.

11-16
I will teach you about the state called the eternal, the absolute that the ascetics enter desireless, freed from attachments.

Closing the body’s nine gates, keeping the attention to the heart, drawing the breath to the forehead, with the mind absorbed in concentration,

Uttering the sacred syllable Aum, which itself is freedom, if you focus on me as you leave the body you reach the ultimate goal.

For those whose minds are focused on me, whose love has grown deep through meditation, I am easy to reach, Arjuna.

Reaching me these great souls do not undergo rebirth, free from the ephemeral realm of suffering, they attain absolute perfection.

Even in Brahma’s cosmic world evolves in incessant cycles but man who reaches me suffers no rebirth, Arjuna.

17-22
When you know that one single day or one single night of Brahma lasts more than four billion years, you understand day and night.

At break of Brahma’s day all things emerge from unmanifest nature; when night falls all dissolve into the unmanifest again.

These throngs of beings, in an endless, beginningless cycle, helplessly dissolve at Brahma’s nightfall and emerge once more at his daybreak

Beyond this unmanifest nature is another unmanifest state, a timeless existence that does not perish when all things dissolve.

This is the eternal unmanifest and is called the ultimate goal; men who reach this my supreme realm, are never reborn.

This Supreme Person, Arjuna, in whom all beings rest and the whole universe extends, can be reached by wholehearted devotion.

23-28
Arjuna, I will tell you the time when men of yoga die and must be reborn or die never to return.

Fire, light, day, the lunar brightness, the sun’s six-month northward course: dying then, men who are free go to absolute freedom.

Smoke, gloom, night, the lunar darkness, the sun’s six-month southward course: dying then the men of yoga reach the moon’s light and return.

These bright and dark pathways have always existed;
by one a man escapes rebirth; by the other, he is born again.

Knowing these two paths, Arjuna, the man of yoga, at all times resolute in his nonattachment, goes far beyond the merit gained from the knowledge of the scriptures, from acts of worship or control or charity; dying he reaches the supreme, primordial place.
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As I Understand It

Arjuna asks Krishna how can a person who has realized his Self enter the supreme state of immortality at the time of death. Krishna says that if a realized man remembers God at the time of death he enters the realm of immortality.

The content of the mind at the hour of death influences the soul. The mental substance of a man’s mind directs his journey to rebirth. His deepest motivations and desires continue into his next life. If a man does not make it a habit to remember God throughout his life, amidst the chaos of death he loses his way.

At the time of death a realized person leaves his body at will. He directs his consciousness step by step through the ordeal of death when soul is leaving the body. His consciousness withdraws from the senses. The dying person can no longer smell, hear or see. The consciousness/soul is consolidated in his heart. It moves upwards towards the head and leaves the body through fontanel. Thus the realizes person enters the Samadhi.

This chapter underlines the Hindu belief that the cosmic time is cyclical. According to this belief the entire universe undergoes cycle of creation, death and new birth. The chapter describes the days and nights of Brahma, the god of creation. As the Day of Brahma dawns the cosmos comes into being. When the Day of Brahma comes to an end, the entire creation dies and ceases to exist. Only a subtle unmanifest form continues to exist. When the night is over the cosmos is reborn. The new universe dawns and Brahma once again moves into his creative Day.

There is a state of being that is higher than the perishable cosmos, which is not born and does not die the cosmic death. It is the Unmanifest, it is cosmic and in human. It is Krishna’s home. The soul enters to its final resting place, into immortal bliss and is not reborn.
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Recommended Reading:
The Bhagavad Gita, Translated for the Modern Reader with general introduction by Eknath Easwaran, chapter introductions by Diana Morrison. Nilgiri Press, Blue Mountain Center of Meditation, California.1996 (1st Pub. 1985).

The Bhagavad-Gita: Krishna Counsel in Time of War, Translation and Introduction by Barbara Stoler Miller. Bantam Doubleday Dell Group, Inc. New York. Bantam Books, 1986.

Bhagavad Gita: A New Translation, Stephen Mitchell, Three Rivers Press, New York, 2000.

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Recommended Reading:
The Bhagavad Gita, Translated for the Modern Reader with general introduction by Eknath Easwaran, chapter introductions by Diana Morrison. Nilgiri Press, Blue Mountain Center of Meditation, California.1996 (1st Pub. 1985).

The Bhagavad-Gita: Krishna Counsel in Time of War, Translation and Introduction by Barbara Stoler Miller. Bantam Doubleday Dell Group, Inc. New York. Bantam Books, 1986.

Bhagavad Gita: A New Translation, Stephen Mitchell, Three Rivers Press, New York, 2000.

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