Chapter 8

Arjuna asks Krishna a volley of most significant questions, ‘What is Brahman? What is the Self, and what is action, O Krishna? What is said to be the basis of the elements? What is called the basis of the gods? What is the basis of sacrifice in this body, and how, art Thou to be known at the time of departure by the self-controlled?’

Krishna answers, ‘he Imperishable Absolute is Brahman. Adhyatma is the self-revealing Knowledge of Brahman’s primeval Nature. Karma is the creative force that brings beings into existence. Adhibhuta or the mutable nature is the basis of all created things; Adhidaiva is the cosmic spirit that is the basis of the divine elements. Adhiyajna is the sacrifice made by Me in order to unite the manifestation of finite forms with My infinite Life.'(8.3-4)

Krishna tells Arjuna that whatever state a person thinks of at the time of death, to that state he reaches. Therefore Krishna instructs Arjuna thus, ‘At all times remember Me and fight. When thy mind and understanding are set on Me, to Me alone shalt thou come without doubt.'(8.7)

Krishna makes it clear to Arjuna that self-realisation must be achieved during life in the body and nowhere else. ‘e who does so, at the time of his departure, with a steady mind, devotion, and strength of yoga, and setting well his life force in the center of the eyebrows – he attains to this Supreme Divine Person.'(8.10) Krishna explains how a yogi enters into the Ultimate or the highest perfection, after leaving his body, ‘is senses are under control. His mind is placed in the heart. Absorbed in Me, he utters the syllable AUM while leaving the body, enters into the ultimate realisation in Me.’ 8.12-13)

Krishna says that there are a thousand ages in one day of Brahman and another thousand ages in one night of Brahman. During the day all manifested things come forth from the Brahman and at night they merge back into the Brahman. Krishna goes on to explain that the Brahman is also not the highest state. He says, ‘here is yet another Unmanifested Eternal Being who does not perish even when all existences perish. This Supreme Status is My Truth absolute. Only through unswerving devotion can one reach this state.'(8.17-22) Sri Chinmoy says:

“The easiest and the most effective way to go up high, higher, highest is to surcharge oneself with pure love and genuine devotion. Doubt, fear, frustration, limitation and imperfection are bound to surrender to devoted love and surrendered devotion. Love and devotion have the power unparalleled to own the world and be owned by the world. Love God’s manifestation; you will find that the cosmic creation is yours. Devote yourself to the cause of the cosmic manifestation; you will see that it loves you and claims you as its very own.’

Chapter 8: The Course of Cosmic Evolution

Arjuna questions

The Blessed Lord said:


Brahman [or the Absolute] is the indestructible,

the Supreme [higher than all else], essential nature is called the Self.

Karma is the name given to the creative force

that brings beings into existence.


He who constantly meditates on Me,

thinking of none else-by him

who is a yogin ever disciplined [or united with the Supreme],

I am easily reached.

The two ways


Light and darkness,

these paths are thought to be the world’s everlasting paths.

By the one he goes not to return,

by the other he returns again.


The yogin, having known all this,

goes beyond the fruits of meritorious deeds

assigned to the study of the Vedas, sacrifices, austerities, and gifts,

and attains to the supreme and primal status.