Chapter 8 – Attaining the Absolute

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Arjuna said, Krishna, would you please explain what spirit is. What is the soul? What is karma and what is the material world? How does the Lord of sacrifice live in the body and how can the self-controlled know you at the time of death?

Lord Krishna said, Spirit is the imperishable, eternal and absolute. The soul is the living being’s eternal spiritual nature. Karma, or fruitive action, is action in connection with these material bodies, which repeatedly binds the soul to this material world of suffering.

The material world consists of the perishable and the endlessly changeable. I am the Lord of sacrifice present as the Supersoul in the heart of every living being, witnessing, sanctioning and rewarding all actions.

Those who remember me at the time of death attain to my divine nature. There is no doubt about this. Whatever you remember when you leave your body, you will certainly attain.

Therefore, always remember me and fight as your natural duty. With your activities, your mind and your intelligence dedicated to me, you will certainly come to me.

Anyone who practices meditation with an undiverted mind, constantly remembering the Supreme Person, will certainly come to me.

The Supreme Person knows everything and has no beginning. Although he is more subtle than the atom, he supports and maintains everything.

He illuminates like the sun and he transcends illusion and the material world. Those who remember and meditate on the Supreme Lord at the time of death will surely reach him.

Those who abandon sensual desires and are conversant with the Vedas attain the spiritual realm. The devout seekers aspiring to reach such perfection take a vow of celibacy.

Those who shut the gateways of the senses, hold the mind steady, vibrate the divine syllable Om and leave their body absorbed in consciousness of me, will undoubtedly attain the spiritual realm.

Anyone who remembers me in all circumstances and constantly aspires for my divine association easily reaches me. The great souls who reach me have attained the highest perfection.

They never return to this transitory material world, which is full of suffering. From the highest sphere in the material world down to the lowest, all living beings are subject to repeated birth and death. But there is no rebirth for anyone who reaches my abode.

The duration of the demigod creator Lord Brahma’s day is 4,320,000 years. And his night is the same duration. With the coming of Brahma’s day, the living beings are born of Lord Brahma and at the arrival of his night, they are all absorbed into Lord Brahma. All the living beings are repeatedly born at the dawn of Lord Brahma’s day and when Brahma’s night falls they are all dissolved.

Superior to this temporary material world is my supreme abode, which is eternal and never destroyed. When this entire material world is obliterated, my abode remains unchanged.

That supreme abode is concealed and perfect and it transcends the perceptions of the living beings. It is the supreme destination. Whoever goes there never returns to this material world.

The Supreme Person pervades the entire universe and all beings are situated within him. You can only reach him by exclusive devotion.

A person who knows my glories and the glories of devotion to me surpasses the results obtained by studying the Vedas, performing sacrifice and austerity and giving charity.

By performing devoted service to me, they achieve the results of all these and reach my supreme home.

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