Bhagavad Gita-Chapter 8 (Part-2) Akshara Brahma Yogah- Yoga of Imperishable Brahman


avyaktaadvyaktayah sarvaah prabhavantyaharaagame
    raaatryaagame praleeyante tatraivaavyaktasamjnake // 8.18 //

At the approach of the day all  manifest objects come forth from the unmanifested and at the approach of the  night they merge again into that which is called the unamanifest.

bhootagraamah sa evaayaam bhootwaa bhootwaa praleeyate
    raatryaagamevashah paartha prabhavatyaharaagame // 8.19 //

The same multitude of beings,  coming forth again and again, merge in spite of themselves, O Partha, at the  approach of the night and remanifest themselves at the approach of the day.

How the Creator keeps Himself  occupied during His day and night each of which is of long duration is  explained. It is indicated that the Creator creates during His day and the  entire creation ends during His night by merging itself in the unmanifested.  Creation is the crystallization of the unmanifested dormant existence into the  manifested existence with names, forms and qualities.  That is, creation is only the production of a  name, form with some specific qualities, out of the raw material in which the  same name, form and quality already exist in an unmanifested condition. When a  pot is created out of the mud the potness is already prevalent in the mud  because no other thing than a pot can be created out of mud.

The thought impressions in the  mind (vasanas) which lie unmanifested to the sense-organs and the mental and  intellectual perceptions become manifested as gross actions, thoughts and words  making the life either tough or smooth depending on the quality of the thoughts  manifested. A doctor, advocate and a criminal are all same as human beings  while they are asleep which is their unmanifested state (Pralaya) but when they  wake up their respective qualities as a doctor, advocate or criminal get  manifested which in philosophy is called creation.

In the cosmic process of creation  and dissolution the Creator or the total mind during the waking hours of long  ages project out the already existing vasanas and at the night they merge into  the unmanifested. The declaration that the very same beings are born again and  again and merge in spite of themselves shows that Hinduism does not believe in  a creation preceded by the condition of absolute non-existence.

The same multitude meant that  which comprised of the moving and non-moving who existed in the preceding cycle  or age and who did not attain liberation. They repeatedly come forth and  dissolve by the effect of their own karma. “In spite of themselves” implies the  law of karma is inexorable. In this world of Maya there is no freedom as long  as one is caught in the wheel of karma. The only way of liberation is to free  oneself from Maya.

parastasmaat tu bhavo'nyo'vyakto’vyaktaatsanaatanah
    yah sa sarveshu bhooteshu nashyatsu na vinashyati // 8.20 //

But beyond this unmanifested,  there is yet another Unmanifested Eternal Being, who does not perish when all  beings perish.

This unmanifested means the seed  state of the whole multitude of created things; the night of Brahma. Another  unmanifested eternal Being refers to the imperishable Brahman, which is  imperceptible to senses and which is altogether of a different kind. It is  supra-cosmic and beyond ignorance. It does not perish because it is beyond  time, space and causality. All beings perish implies that everything from  Brahma downwards all beings.

That which is The Truth, the  ignorance of which projects the manifested, is the factor that is changeless  substratum. The idea is that the Ultimate Reality, the Self, is that which lies  beyond the delusory experiences of creation, dissolution and repeated  re-creations.

avyaktokshara ityuktastamaahuh paramaam gatim
    yam praapya na nivartante taddhaama paramam mama // 8.21 //

The unmanifested is called the  imperishable; It is said to be the ultimate Goal from which those who reach it  never come back. That is My Supreme abode.

What has been indicated in the  previous verse as `the other Unmanifest - which is the Eternal Existence -  which does not persish’ is explained here as the Imperishable mentioned in  Verses 3 & 13 of this Chapter.  The  Imperishable was defined therein as the Brahman, the substratum for the entire  universe and that we should meditate on `OM' as the symbol of this  Imperishable.

The Self which is Pure Awareness  gives existence and dynamism to the unmanifested vasanas and makes them to  project out to form the manifested world of activities and behaviors. This  eternal Unmanifested Factor, the Imperishable Self, is the highest goal for man  to achieve.

The knower of such Imperishable,  Eternal Brahman never again falls under the spell of Maya or ignorance (never  comes back). The abode of Brahman is called Supreme because the relative  universe is the inferior manifestation of Brahman.

The ultimate goal referred to in  the text does not indicate any state or condition but the Imperishable Brahman  Itself, Existence-Knowledge-Bliss absolute, sat-chit-ananda.

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