Chapter 8

  1. Arjuna said:
    What is Brahman? What is the self? What is karma, greatest of beings? What is it to be alive? And what are the beings called the spirits?
  2. Who is the lord of devotion and how is he here, in this very body, great warrior? And how can you be known at the time of death by those who are not unfocused?
  3. The Blessed One said:
    The highest infinite is called Brahma, it is the eternal self. It is the source of all life, and its creations are called karma.
  4. Its physical form has an ever-changing nature. It is the universe, and all the spirits. I am certainly part of this supersoul, incarnated in this body, great one.
  5. At the end of this life, he who leaves his body remembering me will go into my being. Of this achievement there is no doubt.
  6. At the end of your life, whatever you are remembering, that will be the state of being you achieve, son of Kunti.
  7. Thus, at all times, remember me. Fight for me. Surrender your mind and awareness unto me, and you will attain with no doubt.
  8. By the practice of yoga, without distracting the mind, through constantly thinking of it the supreme and divine individuality will be attained.
  9. Always focus on the all knowing, the most ancient, the master of all, smaller than an atom, the maintainer of all things, beyond intellectual understanding, whose form is brighter than the sun and overcomes all darkness.
  10. At the time of death, without being distracted by the mind, in full devotion, practicing the mystic yoga, focusing all life-energy on the space between the eyebrows, one will achieve the transcendent individuality in the divine.
  11. That which the priests call the OM, entered into by the great sages, the hermits; that which is practiced by those who desire innocence, that which they struggle for in their lives, I will explain to you now very simply.
  12. Controlling all the doors of the body, securing the mind inside one's heart, fixing the life-energy of your soul on the top of your head, this is how to practice yoga.

  13. "OM"
  14. Thus this one word, OM, becomes Brahma. Anyone who leaves their body while remembering me and vibrating this word will achieve the great goal.
  15. Without distracting the mind, anyone who regularly remembers me will very easily reach my state, scion of Partha, by regularly practicing yoga.
  16. Achieving me, being reborn, the great souls will not return to this plane of the temporary, this place of miseries. They have achieved the great power.
  17. They are raised up to the world of Brahma-being. Arjuna, they return to me, they arrive, but will never take birth again.
  18. They know that one day of Brahma is like a thousand ages. Those who understand know also that at the end of one thousand ages of night, there comes the day.
  19. All living beings are born from the unborn, at the beginning of the day. At the coming of the night, all is once more absorbed into that which is called unborn.
  20. This is the sum of all living beings, being born and born again and also inevitably destroyed at the coming of the night, son of Partha, being born once more at the arriving of the dawn.
  21. But in that great nature, there is the uncreated behind all that is created. It is eternal. As all that is created is destroyed, that which is uncreated is never destroyed.
  22. That which is said to be the uncreated and perfect is known as the ultimate goal. Which, once gained, one never returns from. This is my supreme home.
  23. It is the greatest individuality, son of Partha, which can be achieved by absolute devotion. For it is located within this very life that surrounds all that we see.
  24. Different kinds of mystics return and do not return at different times, depending on the time that they have left. I shall explain this to you, greatest of the Bharatas.
  25. Fire, the light of day, under the waxing moon, during the six months that the sun is in the north; in these times, those who leave the body will go to Brahma, if they know Brahma.
  26. In smoke, at night, under the waning moon, during the six months that the sun is in the south; in these conditions the mystic will achieve the light of the moon, and will return.
  27. There are certainly these two ways of passing, in light and darkness; such is the opinion written in the scriptures of the world. Going by the one, you will never return, but going by the other you will come back again.
  28. Son of Partha, even if he is not aware of these things, the true mystic is never confused. Thus, just be constantly focused on yoga, Arjuna.
  29. Studying the scriptures, performing rituals, practicing self-denial, giving charity, and performing other works that show your faith; all of these things are surpassed by the learned yogi, who just naturally achieves the highest resting place.