Bhagavad Gita- Chapter 8 (Part-1) Akshara Brahma Yogah- Yoga of Imperishable Brahman


yadaksharam vedavido vadanti
    vishanti yadyatayo veetaraagaah
    yadicchanto brahmacharyam charanti
    tatte padam samgrahena pravakshye   // 8.11 //

What the knowers of the Vedas  speak of as Imperishable, what the self-controlled (Sannyaasins) freed from  attachment enter and to gain which goal they live the life of a Brahmachari,  that state I shall declare to you in brief.

Sri Krishna now starts giving  guidance for meditating upon the monosyllable ` OM 'or the Pranava which is the  ultimate goal for man. Worship of the syllable OM  is advised in almost all the Upanishads as a prelude to the meditation for an  easier concentration of the mind. OM is  considered as an expression of the Supreme Self or Its symbol like an idol.

Freed from attachment means  detachment from the world of objects with full understanding of the goal of  life. Men of least desires will have the maximum success in traveling the Path  of Knowledge. Brahmachari is a religious student who takes the vow of  continence etc. Every moment of this stage is one of hard discipline and  asceticism.

sarvadwaaraani samyamya mano  hridi nirudhya cha
    moordhnyaadhaayaatmanah praanamaasthito yogadhaaranaam // 8.12 //

Having closed all the gates  (controlled all the senses), having confined the mind in the heart, having  fixed the life-breath in the `head', engaged in the practice of concentration,

Omityekaaksharam brahma vyaaharan maamanusmaran
    yah prayaati tyajan deham sa yaati paramaam gatim // 8.13 //

Uttering the monosyllable OM-the Brahman-and remembering Me, he who so departs,  leaving the body, attains the supreme goal.

The conditions to be fulfilled in  the meditator for achieving effective concentration are narrated in these  verses in the same order in which they are to be practiced.

Closing all the gates - The sense  organs Viz. skin, ear, nose, eyes and the tongue are the five entry points  through which the external stimuli reach the mind and cause agitations in it.  To close these five entrances through discrimination and detachment means  controlling all the senses.

Confining the mind in the heart -  Although  external stimuli can be prevented  through controlling senses , it is always possible for the mind to get  disturbed on account of the accumulation of past impressions gathered from the  external world of change and pleasure.   It is therefore advised that the mind which is the tool for emotion and  feeling should be confined to the heart. Here heart does not mean the physical  part of the body but an imaginary centre of the mind from which all positive  thoughts like love, kindness, devotion, surrender etc. emanate which means the  mind whose functions are checked.

Drawing Prana into the Head and  occupied in the practice of concentration - The mental condition wherein the  intellect is withdrawn from its identification with all the perceptions and  engaging it in the total contemplation of the Self. In this condition of mental  and intellectual equipoise the seeker is fit for meditating upon the  monosyllable OM.

He who departs, leaving the body  - This does not mean `at the time of death'. While chanting and meditating on OM, the seeker gets so much detached from his  identification with the world of objects that the ego gets tuned towards a  higher objective. This is called death - leaving the body - when he attains the  Supreme goal.


ananyachetaah satatam yo maam smarati nityashah
    tasyaaham sulabhah paartha nityayuktasya yoginah // 8.14 //

I am easily attainable by that  ever-steadfast yogi who constantly and daily remembers Me not thinking of  anything else, O Partha.

Ever-steadfast, Constantly: One  who does not allow his mind wanders freely among sense objects. The meditator  who constantly keeps himself aware of the Self is the successful practitioner.

Daily: One has to remember The  Lord daily till the end of his life and not merely at fixed times of the day or  on fixed days of the week. No part-time behaviorism or weekly engagements in  religion are advised. Divine consciousness must be maintained by the seeker  constantly and continuously like a 24 hour TV channel.

Not thinking of anything else:  One is not to think of any other object except his Deity. If these conditions  are negated none can hope for an easy success in Meditation

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