International Forum for NeoVedantins

Gita for the Beginners: Part 10
Chapter VIII

In the last verse of chapter VII Lord Krishna had introduced three new words - adhibhuta, adhidaiva, and adhiyajna - which were new to Arjuna. Therefore, at the beginning of chapter VIII Arjuna inquires of Krishna, "O Lord, please tell me what is Brahman, What is adhyatma, and what is karma? Also let me know what is called adhibhuta, adhidaiva, and adhiyajna." Arjuna also wants to know how at the time of death a person of steadfast mind is to realize Highest Truth.

To these questions, the Lord replies that the Supreme indestructible or imperishable Principle of Consciousness is Brahman, while individual self is called adhyatma. The conditions and compulsions, which bring forth the existence of beings is called karma.

The name and form, which are sure to perish, are called adhibhuta, while what remains after name and form are removed is Brahman known as adhidaiva in those manifest forms. And lastly, the Lord Himself dwells as adhiyajna in every heart as the inner witness.

And very important and apparently simple solution to realize the God is given in the verse 5, when the Lord says, "He who departs from the body, thinking of me alone, even at the time of death, attains My State; there is no doubt about it."

This may appear too simplistic. We may say, "Ok, I shall remember Him at the time of death. What is so difficult about it! It is a very easy way to Liberation!"

But this is not so simple as it appears. Because, one thinks of only those thoughts in which one's life is immersed. A lawyer would remember court cases, a doctor his success and failure in medical profession, a businessman is sure to be mentally busy in his accounts of loss and profit! An ordinary worldly man, like most of us are, would invariably be afraid of death and would think of security of his wife (spouse) and children. Insurance and taxes; car and bungalow, marriage and births, success and failure all crowd his/her mind at the time of final departure. God would be the last thing in his mind at that time of grief and fear.

What is the solution?

Thinking of whatever object one leaves the body at the time of death, that and that alone he attains, being over-absorbed in its thought. Generally, at the time of death, one is haunted by the thought of that object or tendency alone that ha mostly engaged his mind during his lifetime. And as a rule, it is the predominating thought of this moment that determines his future destiny.

"Therefore, O Arjuna," says the Lord, "Think of Me at all times and fight. With mind and reason thus surrendered to Me, you will doubtless come to Me." ch. 8/7.

This is achieved by practice of Yoga, meditation, and contemplation right from the early age! This is very important; one must take to spiritual disciplines from the very young age itself when the mind is pure and not affected by delusory effect of lust and greed. Celibacy, truthfulness, non-injuring others, non-covetousness, non-jealousy simplicity and similar virtues should be inculcated in our character to seek realization of higher Self, the Supreme Truth.

"Such souls, who have attained highest perfection, having come to me are no more subjected to rebirth, which is the abode of sorrow and is of transitory nature." All those who do not reach the final Destiny of knowing Me, even though religious and virtuous, have to come back to earth again and again to attain Final Liberation. Thus, charity, selfless work, and austerities are the means to the ends, and not end in themselves. This is because they are still in the field of Prakriti; it is the transcendental journey beyond the three-fold nature of Prakriti - viz. sattva rajas, and tamas, that leads the sadhaka to get established in the Highest Truth.

People with selfless motives, non-attachment and desire for total renunciation come to Me. while people of actions with motives to get something go to heaven and higher worlds. After spending their gains they have to born again on the earth to complete the forward journey.
Continued Next Part 11 ...

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