Home > Bhagavad Gita > Chapter 8: The Yoga of Absolute Freedom

Chapter 8: The Yoga of Absolute Freedom

11 Jun 2017   Shanti Gowans
Arjuna asked:
What is this absolute freedom (Brahman)?
What is the Self (adhyatma)?
What is the true nature of action (karma)?
What is the nature of beings (Adhibhuta)?
and of gods (Adhidaiva, divine intelligence)? (1)
 
Teach me the way of worship (adhiyajna)
what it is, here, in the body;
And how, at the time of death
can a person be with you in spirit? (2)
 
Freedom (Brahman) is union with the supreme, Indestructible.
One's own self (adhiyatma)
is the essence of all things (visarga),
its creative power, called action (karma) 
causes the whole world to be. (3)
 
About beings (adhibhuta), know that they die,
about gods (adhidaiva), know the Supreme Power (Purusha),
and know that true worship (adhiyajna),
dwelling as the inner witness. 
is I myself, here, in the body. (4)
 
Whoever, if, at the time of death,
when a person drops their body,
departs with their consciousness absorbed in me,
is sure to enter my state of being
once their body is dead, (5)
 
If, nearing the time of death, an ordinary person could see the five elements of consciousness as void; the four physical elements as not constituting a "me"; the real Mind as formless, neither coming or going; his nature as something neither commencing at his birth nor perishing at his death, but as whole and motionless in its very depths; his Mind and environmental objects as One, s/he would be enlightened in that instant. S/he would no longer be entangled by the triple world. S/he would be a world transcender. If s/he should behold the glorious sight of all enlightened beings coming to welcome her/him, surrounded by every kind of gorgeous manifestation, s/he would feel no desire to approach them. If s/he should behold all sorts of horrific forms surrounding her/him, s/he would experience no terror. S/he would just be themself, oblivious of conecptual thought, and one with the absolute. 
 
Whatever the state of being
a person focuses upon at the end,
upon leaving the body at the time of death,
to that state of being they will go. (6)
 
Therefore Arjuna, meditate on me
at all times and fight
with your mind and reason thus set on me,
you will come to me, never doubt it. (7)
 
Strong is the mind disciplined through yoga
and, thinking of nothing else,
constantly engaged in this contemplation, 
you will reach the supremeperson that I am. (8)
 
Meditate on the all-wise guide, 
subtler than the subtle,
possessing form beyond human conception,
the universal sustainer and giver of all,
resplendent as the sun. (9)
 
If you do this at the time of your death,
having by the power of Yoga,
with an unmoving mind, 
firmly drawing your life-breath up
in the space between your eyebrows,
you will reach the supreme, divine Person that I am. (10)
 
I will teach you about the indestructible state
called the eternal, the absolute
which those who strive towards me enter
desireless, freed from attachments. (11)
 
Closing the nine gates of the body,
and firmly keeping the attention in the cavity of the heart,
drawing the life-breath to the forehead,
with the mind steadfast, absorbed, one-pointed. (12)
 
uttering the sacred Om,
which itself is freedom,
focused on me as you leave the body
you reache the supreme goal. (13)
 
For those whose minds are always and constantly
focused on me,
whose love has grown deep through meditation,
I am easy to reach. (14)
 
Reaching me, these great souls 
attain the supreme perfection,
and are no longer reborn
in this fleeting world of sorrow and pain. (15)
 
All the realms, up to the heavenly realm of Brahma,
being conditioned by time, are transitory.
But, those who attain me (who is beyond time)
will never be reborn again. (16)
 
If you know from realisation, 
that one single day or one single night of Brahma
lasts more than four billion years,
you understand the reality about Time. (17)
 
At the coming of the cosmic day,
all embodied beings eminate 
from the depths of unmanifest nature
 
and at the cosmic nightfall,
all things dissolve 
into the same subtle body of Brahma,
known as the unmanifest. (18)
 
These mutitude of beings in an endless,
beginningless cycle, helplessly dissolve
under compulsion of their nature
at the coming of the cosmic night,
and emerge once again
at the commencement of the cosmic dawn. (19)
 
However, beyond the manifest and unmanifest nature
(which concerns phenomenality),
is yet another unmanifest (noumenal) awareness,
a supreme, divine, primal Beingness,
which is eternal and changeless,
and not dissolved
in the general cosmic dissolution. (20)
 
This imperishable, unmanifest awareness
is said to be the highest state of Being.  
Those who reach it, 
are never reborn to this mortal world. (21)
 
In the original state of the phenum, or pure potentiality, awareness is not aware of itself. It is only when the sense of presence, arises on the original primal state of unicity, that consciousness arises as "I am",and concurrently comes into movement and brings forth upon itself the totality of manifestation. The movement of consciousness also simultaneously brings about the concepts of knowledge, vidhya (I am - the sense oif impersonal presence) and ignorance, avidya (when the impersonal consciousness or presence becomes identified with each sentient being as a separate entity). The unicity of the potential plenum, the I-subject, gets dichotomised in the process of manifestation as subject and object, each object considering itself as the pseudo-subject observer vis-a-vis all other observed objects. This itself, the individual entitification, is the conceptual 'bondage' of the individual as a separate identity. And 'liberation' consists in the realisation that our true nature is the impersonal consciousness (I am That; That Thou Art) and not the individual body-mind organism with which consciousness has identified itself. When such a realisation, the transformation, or paravritti occurs, the pseudo-subject ceases to be an object and becomes void by the superimposition of the opposites (subject/object) over each other, and through this void or nothingness, the pseudo-subject returns to the original subjectivity which is the potential plenum.
 
The Absolute noumenon subject cannot be an object to itself or anyone else, and this is the very reason for its primal beingness. It is the eternal subject, the substratum, which manifests itself objectivelyby extending itself in conceptual space-time so that it may become perceptible as phenomenal objects. This total potentiality, The I-subject, cannot offer itself for comprehension because it would then be an object. The eye can see everything else but it cannot see itself!
 
This eternal, unmanifest supreme Person,
in whom all beings reside,
and extends to the limits of all that is 
can be reached by wholehearted devotion. (22)
 
Arjuna I shall now reveal the times (path)
at which departing Yogis
die and must be reborn,
or die never to return. (23)
 
Fire, light, day, the moon's bright fortnight,
and the six months of the northward course of the sun,
dying then, those who are free.
go to absolute freedom. (24)
 
Smoke, gloom, night, the moon's dark fortnight
and the six months of the southward course of the sun,
dying then, the Yogi (devoted to action with an interested motive)
reaches the moon's light
(and enjoying the fruit of his meritorious deeds in heaven)
returns to this material world. (23)
 
These paths, of darkness and light have always existed.
By one a person reaches the ultimate state
from which there is no return;
by the other, he becomes subject
to birth and death once again. (26)
 
Knowing the secret of the two paths,
no Yogi gets deluded.
Therefore, Arjuna, at all times,
be resolute in Yoga in the form of nonattachment. (27)
 
The Yogi realising this profound truth,
transcends all the rewards
ascribed in the scriptures,
to the study of the Vedas,
as well as to the performance of sacriice, austerities and charities.
Dying, s/he reaches the supreme, primordial state. (28)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 


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