Every individual being remains as vasanas, unmanifest desires, in deep sleep at night. His vasanas manifest at daybreak upon awakening. This cycle of dissolution and emanation continues until the individual completely exhausts his vasanas, reaching the state of Self-realization. A similar phenomenon takes place at the macrocosmic level. The entire macrocosm manifests during the day of Lord Brahma (a God of Hindu Trinity as distinguished from Brahman, the Supreme Reality). Brahama’s celestial day consists of 4.32 billion terrestrial years. Similarly, the macrocosm folds back into the unmanifest state during the night of Lord Brahma, covering an equal period as his day. Beyond this unmanifest lies the Supreme Unmanifest, Brahman. Humans reach Brahman through spiritual disciplines culminating in single-pointed meditation.
The Path of Sun, Uttarayana and the Path of Moon, Dakshinayana are discussed. The Path of Sun takes a seeker to Brahmaloka, the heaven of Lord Brahma wherefrom he goes to the supreme Brahman. Whereas the Path of Moon takes the individual to pitrloka, only to enjoy heavenly pleasures and return to the cycle of birth and death in this world. The latter path provides only temporary pleasures of heaven for meritorious deeds done here. The former, however, takes the seeker to Brahman, through heaven because of having mixed meritorious deeds with his spiritual practice. But the true yogi, through his determined effort on the path of yoga of meditation goes directly from here to the abode of supreme Brahman.
RESULT OF THE ACCESSIBILITY OF THE LORD
maamupetya punarjanma duhkhaalayamashaashwatam
naapnuvanti mahaatmaanah samsiddhim paramaam gataah // 8.15 //
Having attained Me, these great souls are no more subject to rebirth (herein this mortal world) which is the abode of pain and transitory for they have reached the highest perfection (liberation).
The question why should one struggle so hard to realize the Self is answered. The benefit accruing on realization of the Self is that having attained Me, The Lord, the Mahatmas are no more subject to rebirth because the world of rebirth is the starting point for all pains and miseries and also impermanent .
Those who die without realizing the Lord come back again to the earth. Life on earth, in spite of many moments of happiness, is intrinsically painful. On account of the intense love of God, the devotees do not experience suffering on earth and after death they attain Him.
maamupetya tu kaunteya punarjanma na vidyate // 8.16 //
The dwellers in all the worlds, O Arjuna , including the realm of Brahma, are subject to return to rebirth, but for those who reach Me, O Son of Kunti, there is no rebirth.
Even after reaching the Brahmaloka, the realm of the Creator, all cannot achieve total liberation because of their remaining Vasanas for exhausting which they have to take rebirth. But to those who rediscovered their Essential Eternal Nature and realized themselves to be the One, All Pervading Self (after attaining Me) there is no rebirth, the Samsar, the plane of limited existence.
Complete liberation, attended by cessation of birth and death, is possible only for a man who has realized his identity with Brahman. All other worlds, whether sub-human or super-human, are places of transitory enjoyments, where men departing from earth, experience the fruit of their actions and after exhausting such fruits are re-born on this earth.
But one can directly attain liberation from re-birth through love of God alone without waiting till the end of the cosmic cycle.
ALL THESE WORLDS ARE LIMITED BY TIME
sahasrayugaparyantam aharyad brahmano viduh
raatrim yugasahasraantaam te'horaatravido janaah // 8.17 //
Those who know that the day of Brahma lasts for thousand Yugas (ages) and that the night of Brahma lasts thousand Yugas again, are indeed people who know day and night.
Brahma is the first manifestation of the Absolute, Brahman in time and space. He is also known as Prajapati and Viraj.
Day means evolution or projection of the universe. It is the period of cosmic manifestation. Night means cosmic involution or dissolution of the universe. It is the period of non-manifestation. According to the Hindu philosophy time is the measurement of interval between two different experiences.
In a given single experience there is no perception of time just as in one point there is no concept of distance for distances can be measured between two points only.
The worlds are conditioned by time and hence they manifest again and again although the duration of their cycles vary and are very long - each cycle lasting for crores of years (in terms of our present understanding of 365 days). A thousand such cycles makes a day of Brahma and another such cycle is the night of Brahma. Those who can see and live through the day and night of Brahma can really know what a day is and what a night is meaning thereby that such yogis can visualize many Brahmas arising and disintegrating in the Ocean of great Cause. Thus they do not feel any attachment even to the happiness of the highest heaven, how much less to that of earth.
In this and the following two verses Gita points out the life of the Cosmic Man and his concept of time. It points out the non-distinction between microcosm (vyashti) and macrocosm (samashti).
The God principle (Hiranyagarbha - the source of all objects) is a concept which represents the total mind and intellect of all the living creatures living at any given point of time in the world. To understand the ways of the mind projecting the world of its own objects is to understand not only the all powerful nature but also the limitations of God-principle as conceived to be a Creator, Sustainer and Annihilator. Sri Krishna brings out this subtle idea clearly in the mind of Arjuna in these three verses.