The Bhagavad Gita – Capsule 8

The Bhagavad Gita in Capsules – Chapter 8

The book “The Prasthānatraya – An Introduction” by Revered Swami Harshananda, President of Ramakrishna Math, Bengaluru was published in 2001. The Swami has bestowed on us a summary of the 18 chapters of the Bhagavad Gita of Lord Krishna. I bow my head in reverence and in praise of Swamiji and pray for his blessings in my taking the liberty of retyping the summary from the book and posting it in my blog.

This is the Summary of the eighth chapter, Aksharabrahma Yoga


After explaining a few technical terms like brahma, adhyātma  and  karma,  at the instance of Arjuna, Srīkrishna describes how a person remembering him while passing out of the body will attain him.

In fact, whatever be the deity that a dying person remembers at the last moment, he will attain to it. Hence Arjuna is advised to remember the Lord always and fight his battles of life.

Then he describes abhyāsa yoga or yoga of repeated practice of thinking of the Lord. The yogi who practises it, especially at the last moment of his life, will reach the Supreme Lord. The repetition of the sacred syllable Om at this juncture is a great help. If a person departs from the body in this way, he will not come back to this mundane existence.

Attaining other worlds through meritorious deeds will be of no use since one has to return to this earth once again. Here Srīkrishna mentions about the two sell-known paths – Arcirādimārga (path of light) and Dhoomādhimārga (path of smoke) – mentioned in the earlier works like the Upanishads. The former leads to Brahmaloka (the world of Brahmā) from which there is no return, whereas the latter leads to Pitrloka (the world of manes) from which one returns once again to the mortal world.

A yogi who knows about these paths is never again deluded.


Courtesy: Swami Harshananda  (emphases, if any, are mine. – nytanaya)

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