Chapter 8

Srimad Bhagavad Gita
Chapter 8
अक्षरब्रह्मयोग – Akshara Brahma Yoga –
The Yoga of the indestructible Brahman

8:01
अर्जुन उवाच |
किं तद् ब्रह्म किमध्यात्मं किं कर्म पुरुषोत्तम |
अधिभूतं च किं प्रोक्तमधिदैवं किमुच्यते || ८ १ ||
Arjuna uvaacha:
kim tad brahma kim adhyaatmam
kim karma purushottama
adhi bhootam cha kim proktam
adhi daivam kimuchyate (SBG 8:01)

Arjuna said:
What is Brahman? What is Adhyaatma (The Self)? What is Karma, O Krishna? What is declared to be Adhibhuta (Material manifestation) and who is declared to be Adhidaiva (the Divine principle)?
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8:02
अधियज्ञः कथं कोऽत्र देहेऽस्मिन्मधुसूदन |
प्रयाणकाले च कथं ज्ञेयोऽसि नियतात्मभिः || ८ २ ||
adhiyajnaha katham ko’tra
dehe’smin madhu soodana
prayaana kaale cha katham
jneyo’si niyataat mabhihi (SBG 8:02)

Who is Adhiyajna here in this body and how, O Krishna and how, at the time of death, are You to be known by the Self-controlled one?
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8:03
श्रीभगवानुवाच |
अक्षरं ब्रह्म परमं स्वभावोऽध्यात्ममुच्यते |
भूतभावोद्भवकरो विसर्गः कर्मसंज्ञितः || ८ ३ ||
Sri Bhagavaan uvaacha:
aksharam brahma paramam
svabhaavo ’dhyaatma muchyate
bhoota bhaavodbha vakaro
visargah karma samjnitaha (SBG 8:03)

Bhagavan Krishna said:

Brahman is Akshara the Ultimate Truth, the Imperishable and the Supreme. There is no one above Him. The power of Brahman, which is manifested in everybody as the transmigrating Self or Jiva, is the Adyaatma. Action, which brings all life into existence and also sustains them is called Karma.

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8:04
अधिभूतं क्षरो भावः पुरुषश्चाधिदैवतम् |
अधियज्ञोऽहमेवात्र देहे देहभृतां वर || ८ ४ ||
adhibhootam ksharo bhaavaha
purushash-chaadhi-daivatam
adhiyajno ’hamevaatra
dehe dehabhrutaam vara (SBG 8:04)

O Arjuna, the constantly changing and perishable nature of the material aspect is Adhibhuta. The Purusha or the cosmic soul, which is the basis of all Divine manifestations, is Adhidaiva. I alone am the Adhiyajna – the One Object of all worship, which people perform with their body and mind.

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8:05
अन्तकाले च मामेव स्मरन्मुक्त्वा कलेवरम् |
यः प्रयाति स मद्भावं याति नास्त्यत्र संशयः || ८ ५ ||
antakaale cha maameva
smaran muktvaa kalevaram
yah prayaati sa madbhaavam
yaati naastyatra samshayaha (SBG 8:05)

And whosoever, at the time of death, leaves the body thinking of Me alone, attains My Being. There is no doubt about this.

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8:06
यं यं वाऽपि स्मरन्भावं त्यजत्यन्ते कलेवरम् |
तं तमेवैति कौन्तेय सदा तद्भावभावितः || ८ ६ ||
yam yam vaapi smaran bhaavam
tyajatyante kalevaram
tam tamevaiti kaunteya
sadaa tadbhaava bhaavitaha (SBG 8:06)

At the time of death, while leaving the body, whatever one thinks of is what they will attain by being constantly absorbed in its thought, O Arjuna.

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8:07
तस्मात्सर्वेषु कालेषु मामनुस्मर युध्य च |
मय्यर्पितमनोबुद्धिर्मामेवैष्यस्यसंशयः || ८ ७ ||
tasmaat sarveshu kaaleshu
maamanu-smara yudhya cha
mayyarpita-manobuddhir
maame-vaishyasya-samshayam (SBG 8:07)

Therefore, think of me at all times and do your duty of fighting the battle. With your mind and intellect offered to Me, you will certainly attain Me.

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8:08

अभ्यासयोगयुक्तेन चेतसा नान्यगामिना |
परमं पुरुषं दिव्यं याति पार्थानुचिन्तयन् || ८ ८ ||
abhyaasa yoga yuktena
chetasaa naanya gaaminaa
paramam purusham divyam
yaati paarthaanu chintayan (SBG 8:08)

With the mind not moving towards any other thing, made steadfast by the method of habitual meditation, and constantly meditating, one goes to the Supreme and Resplendent Being, O Arjuna!

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8:09
कविं पुराणमनुशासितारं
अणोरणीयंसमनुस्मरेद्यः |
सर्वस्य धातारमचिन्त्यरूपं
आदित्यवर्णं तमसः परस्तात् || ८ ९ ||
kavim puraana-manushaa-sitaaram
anora-neeyamsam-anu-smared-yaha
sarvasya dhaataaram achintyaroopam
aaditya-varnam tamasaha parastaat (SBG 8:09)

He who meditates upon the Omniscient, Most Ancient, the Ruler, who is more minute than an atom, has an inconceivable Divine form, is beyond the brightness of the sun and the darkness of ignorance,

8:10
प्रयाणकाले मनसाऽचलेन
भक्त्या युक्तो योगबलेन चैव |
भ्रुवोर्मध्ये प्राणमावेश्य सम्यक्
स तं परं पुरुषमुपैति दिव्यम् || ८ १० ||
prayaana kaale manasaa chalena
bhaktyaa yukto yogabalena chaiva
bhruvor madhye praanamaa veshya samyak
sa tam param purusham upaiti divyam (SBG 8:10)

and at the time of death, with full devotion by the power of Yoga, fixes his mind and his life-breath between his eyebrows, attains the Supreme Being. 

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8:11
यदक्षरं वेदविदो वदन्ति
विशन्ति यद्यतयो वीतरागाः |
यदिच्छन्तो ब्रह्मचर्यं चरन्ति
तत्ते पदं संग्रहेण प्रवक्ष्ये || ८ ११ ||
yadaksharam vedavido vadanti
vishanti yadyatayo veet-raagaaha
yad-cchanto brahmacharyam charanti
tatte padam sangrahena pravakshye (SBG 8:11)

I will explain to you in brief about that which scholars of the Vedas call Akshara the Imperishable, which only those free of all worldly attachments can enter.

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8:12
सर्वद्वाराणि संयम्य मनो हृदि निरुध्य च |
मूर्ध्न्याधायात्मनः प्राणमास्थितो योगधारणाम् || ८ १२ ||
sarvadvaaraani samyamya
mano hridi nirudhya cha
moordhnyaa-dhaayaat-manaha
praana-maasthito yoga-dhaaranaam (SBG 8:12)

Having closed all the gates of the senses, concentrating on the heart, drawing all vital energies to the head, one should meditate on Me.

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8:13
ओमित्येकाक्षरं ब्रह्म व्याहरन्मामनुस्मरन् |
यः प्रयाति त्यजन्देहं स याति परमां गतिम् || ८ १३ ||
omitye-kaaksharam brahma
vyaaharan-maama-nusmaran
yah prayaati tyajan deham
sa yaati paramaam gatim (SBG 8:13)

Uttering the Supreme monosyllable Aum – one must think of Me always. He who leaves the body in this state, attains the Supreme goal.

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8:14
अनन्यचेताः सततं यो मां स्मरति नित्यशः |
तस्याहं सुलभः पार्थ नित्ययुक्तस्य योगिनः || ८ १४ ||
ananya-chetaaha satatam
yo maam smarati nityashaha
tasyaaham sulabhaha paartha
nitya yuktasya yoginaha (8:14)

I am easily attainable by that ever-steadfast Yogi who thinks of Me always with exclusive devotion, O Partha.

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8:15
मामुपेत्य पुनर्जन्म दुःखालयमशाश्वतम् |
नाप्नुवन्ति महात्मानः संसिद्धिं परमां गताः || ८ १५ ||
maamu-petya punar-janma
duhkhaalaya-mashaashvatam
naapnuvanti mahaatmaanaha
samsiddhim paramaam gataaha (SBG 8:15)

Having attained Me, these great souls do not take birth again here on earth, which is the place of pain and is non-eternal. They have reached the Ultimate Perfection.

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8:16
आ ब्रह्मभुवनाल्लोकाः पुनरावर्तिनोऽर्जुन |
मामुपेत्य तु कौन्तेय पुनर्जन्म न विद्यते || ८ १६ ||
aa brahma bhuvanaal-lokaaha
punaraa vartino’rjuna
maamupetya tu kaunteya
punarjanma na vidyate (SBG 8:16)

All the worlds, including the world of Brahma, are subject to return again, O Arjuna. But he who reaches Me, has no rebirth.

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8:17
सहस्रयुगपर्यन्तमहर्यद् ब्रह्मणो विदुः |
रात्रिं युगसहस्रान्तां तेऽहोरात्रविदो जनाः || ८ १७ ||
sahasrayu-gaparyantam-
aharyad brahmano viduhu
raatrim yuga-sahasraantaam
te’horaatra-vido janaaha (SBG 8:17)

By human calculation, one day of Brahma is equal to a thousand cycles (Maha Yuga) of four Yugas each, and the night is also of the same duration. The wise who know this truth know the truth about day and night.

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8:18
अव्यक्ताद् व्यक्तयः सर्वाः प्रभवन्त्यहरागमे |
रात्र्यागमे प्रलीयन्ते तत्रैवाव्यक्तसंज्ञके || ८ १८ ||
avyaktaad vyaktayah sarvaaha
prabha-vantya haraagame
raatryaa game praleeyante
tatrai-vaavyakta-samjnake (SBG 8:18)

When Brahma’s day begins, all other living entities come into being from the unmanifest state and when Brahma’s night arrives, all merge into the unmanifest state.

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8:19
भूतग्रामः स एवायं भूत्वा भूत्वा प्रलीयते |
रात्र्यागमेऽवशः पार्थ प्रभवत्यहरागमे || ८ १९ ||
bhoota graamaha sa evaayam
bhootvaa bhootvaa praleeyate
raatryaa game’vashaha paartha
prabhava tyaharaagame (SBG 8:19)

This vast collectivity of beings is born, again and again, O Arjuna. In the night, it is dissolved and at dawn, it comes into being again.

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8:20
परस्तस्मात्तु भावोऽन्योऽव्यक्तोऽव्यक्तात्सनातनः |
यः स सर्वेषु भूतेषु नश्यत्सु न विनश्यति || ८ २० ||
paras tasmaat tu bhaavo’nyo’-
vyakto’vyaktaat sanaatanaha
yah sa sarveshu bhooteshu
nashyatsu na vinashyati (SBG 8:20)

Yet there exists, higher than the unmanifest, another unmanifest Eternal, who is not destroyed when all beings are destroyed.

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8:21
अव्यक्तोऽक्षर इत्युक्तस्तमाहुः परमां गतिम् |
यं प्राप्य न निवर्तन्ते तद्धाम परमं मम || ८ २१ ||
avyakto’kshara ityukta-
stamaahuh paramaam gatim
yam praapya na nivartante
taddhaama paramam mama (SBG 8:21)

What is called the Unmanifest and the Imperishable, is said to be the highest goal. Those who reach it do not return to this cycle of births and deaths. That is My highest abode.

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8:22
पुरुषः स परः पार्थ भक्त्या लभ्यस्त्वनन्यया |
यस्यान्तःस्थानि भूतानि येन सर्वमिदं ततम् || ८ २२ ||
purushah sa paraha paartha
bhaktyaa labhyas tvanan-yayaa
yasyaantaha sthaani bhootaani
yena sarvamidam tatam (SBG 8:22)

That highest Purusha, O Arjuna, is attainable by unswerving devotion to Him alone within Whom, all beings dwell and by Whom, all this is pervaded.

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8:23
यत्र काले त्वनावृत्तिमावृत्तिं चैव योगिनः |
प्रयाता यान्ति तं कालं वक्ष्यामि भरतर्षभ || ८ २३ ||
yatra kaale tvanaa vrittim
aavrittim chaiva yoginaha
prayaataa yaanti tam kaalam
vakshyaami bharatar-shabha (SBG 8:23)

Now I will tell you, O best of the Bharatas (Arjuna), the times at which the Yogis will return or not return.

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8:24
अग्निर्ज्योतिरहः शुक्लः षण्मासा उत्तरायणम् |
तत्र प्रयाता गच्छन्ति ब्रह्म ब्रह्मविदो जनाः || ८ २४ ||
agni-jyotirahah shuklaha ,
shan-maasaa uttaraayanam
tatra prayaataa gacchanti
brahma brahmavido janaaha (SBG 8:24)

Fire, light, daytime, the waxing fortnight, the six months of the northern path of the sun are the times when those who know Brahman, attain the highest goal.

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8:25
धूमो रात्रिस्तथा कृष्णः षण्मासा दक्षिणायनम् |
तत्र चान्द्रमसं ज्योतिर्योगी प्राप्य निवर्तते || ८ २५ ||
dhoomo raatristathaa krishnaha
shanmaasaa dakshinaayanam
tatra chaandramasam jyotir
yogee praapya nivartate (SBG 8:25)

The Yogi who leaves this world by smoke, in the night, during the waning fortnight and in the six months of the southern path of the sun, attains the lunar sphere and returns.

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8:26
शुक्लकृष्णे गती ह्येते जगतः शाश्वते मते |
एकया यात्यनावृत्तिमन्ययावर्तते पुनः || ८ २६ ||
shuklakrishne gatee hyete
jagataha shaashvate mate
ekayaa yaatya-naavrittim
anyayaa’vartate punaha (SBG 8:26)

As per the Vedas, these two paths of the world – the bright and the dark are considered to be eternal. Through the path of light, one does not return and when one passes away in darkness, he returns.

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8:27
नैते सृती पार्थ जानन्योगी मुह्यति कश्चन |
तस्मात्सर्वेषु कालेषु योगयुक्तो भवार्जुन || ८ २७ ||
naite sritee paartha jaanan-
yogee muhyati kash-chana
tasmaat sarveshu kaaleshu
yoga-yukto bhavaarjuna (SBG 8:27)

Knowing these paths, O Arjuna, no Yogi is deluded. Therefore, at all times be steadfast in Yoga.

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8:28
वेदेषु यज्ञेषु तपःसु चैव
दानेषु यत्पुण्यफलं प्रदिष्टम् |
अत्येति तत्सर्वमिदं विदित्वा
योगी परं स्थानमुपैति चाद्यम् || ८ २८ ||
vedeshu yajneshu tapahsu chaiva
daaneshu yat punya phalam pradishtam
atyeti tatsarvam idam viditvaa
yogee param sthaana-mupaiti chaadyam (SBG 8:28)

The Yogi who knows this transcends all the good results gained through the study of the Vedas, sacrificial ceremonies, ascetic practices and gifts for good deeds, attains the Highest Primordial State.

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ॐ तत्सदिति श्रीमद् भगवद्गीतासूपनिषत्सु
ब्रह्मविद्यायां योगशास्त्रे श्रीकृष्णार्जुनसंवादे
अक्षरब्रह्मयोगो नामाष्टमोऽध्यायः || ८ ||
Hari Om Tat Sat
Iti Srimad Bhagavadgeetaasoopanishatsu Brahmavidyaayaam
Yogashaastre Sri Krishnaarjunasamvaade
Aksharabrahmayogo Naama Ashtamo’dhyaayaha

Thus ends the eighth part of the Bhagavad Gita
“The Yoga of Ultimate Truth”
-The Science of the Eternal, the Scripture of Yoga,
the dialogue between Shri Krishna and Arjuna.


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