THE BHAGAVAD GITA Chapter 8
Excerpts from God Talks with Arjuna: The Bhagavad Gita
by Paramahansa Yogananda
Beyond the Material World
The Blessed Lord replied:
The Indestructible and Supreme Spirit is Brahman. Its undifferentiated manifestation (as Kutastha Chaitanya and as the individual soul) is called Adhyatma. The Aum (Cosmic Vibration or the Visarga) that causes the birth and sustenance and dissolution of beings and their various natures is termed Karma (cosmic action).
Therefore, remember Me always, and engage thyself in the battle of activity! Surrender to Me thy mind and thine understanding! Thus without doubt shalt thou come unto Me.
At the time of death a yogi reaches the Supreme Effulgent Lord if, with love and by the power of yoga, he fully penetrates his life force between the eyebrows (the seat of the spiritual eye), and if he fixes his mind unwaveringly on the Being who, beyond all delusions of darkness, shines like the sun—the One whose form is unimaginable, subtler than the finest atom, the Supporter of all, the Great Ruler, eternal and omniscient. [—Commentary]
He who closes the nine gates of the body, who cloisters the mind in the heart center, who fixes the full life force in the cerebrum—he who thus engages in the steady practice of yoga, establishing himself in Aum, the Holy Word of Brahman, and remembering Me (Spirit) at the time of his final exit from the body, reaches the Highest Goal.[—Commentary]
Progress Depends on Effort
O Partha (Arjuna)! I am easily reached by that yogi who is single-hearted, who remembers Me daily, continually, his mind intensely focused only on Me. [—Commentary]
But transcending the unmanifested (states of phenomenal being) there exists the true Unmanifested, the Immutable, the Absolute, which remains untouched by the cycles of cosmic dissolution.
Devotion ( Bhakti)
The aforesaid Unmanifested, the Immutable Absolute, is thus called the Supreme Goal. Those who attain it. My highest state, undergo no more rebirth.
By singlehearted devotion, O son of Pritha (Arjuna), that Supreme Unmanifested is reached. He alone, the Omnipresent, is the Abode of all creatures. [—Commentary]
I shall now declare unto thee, O Best of the Bharatas (Arjuna), the path, traversing which at the time of death, yogis attain freedom; and also the path wherein there is rebirth. Fire, light, daytime, the bright half of the lunar month, the six months of the northern course of the sun—pursuing this path at the time of departure, the knowers of God go to God. [—Commentary]