Bhagavadgita !

Chapter 8

Akshara Parabrahma Yoga! Slokas with meanings

Slokas with meanings

Select Sloka Text in Devenagari, Kannada, Gujarati, Telugu, English


|| om tat sat ||
arjuna uvāca:
kiṁ tadbrahma kimadhyātmaṁ kiṁ karma puruṣōttama |
adhibhūtaṁ ca kiṁ prōktaṁ adhidaivaṁ kimucyatē ||

"Oh Purushottama! What is Brahman? What is Adhyatman? What is Karma? What is called as Adhibhuta? What is known as Adhidaiva?"


 Bhagavadgita
Eighth Chapter
Akshara Parabrahma Yoga

In the previous chapter, Vijnyana Yoga, Krishna explained that those who know him as the essence of Adhibhuta, Adhiyagnya and Adidaiva will remember him even in the last moments: "sādibhūtādhi daivaṁ māṁ sādhiyajñaṁ ca yēviduḥ" (7.30). Hearing that, Arjuna wonders about the meanings of Adhibhuta, Adhiyagnya, Adidaiva, and other names of Brahman that describe His attributes. So Arjuna starts the eighth chapter with questions asking Krishna to elaborate on these words. Thus, the eighth chapter is titled “Akshara Parabrahma Yoga,” or the Yoga of the Imperishable Brahman.

Arjuna starts the dialog by asking Bhagavan six questions about the six entities Bhagavan spoke about in chapter 6. Arjuna also asks how one would know Bhagavan or recognize Him.


ślōkamu 1 and 2

arjuna uvāca:
kiṁ tadbrahma kimadhyātmaṁ kiṁ karma puruṣōttama |
adhibhūtaṁ ca kiṁ prōktaṁ adhidaivaṁ kimucyatē ||1||
adhiyajñaḥ kathaṁ kō atra dēhē asmin madhusūdana |
prayāṇakālē ca kathaṁ jñēyō’si niyatātmabhiḥ ||2||

sa|| hē puruṣōttama! tat brahma kiṁ? adhyātmaṁ kiṁ? karma kiṁ? adhibhūtaṁ ca kiṁ prōktaṁ? adhidaivaṁ kimucyatē ? hē madhusūdana! asmin dēhē adhiyajñaḥ kaḥ? atra prayāṇakālēca niyatātmabhiḥ kathaṁ (tvaṁ)  jñēyaḥ asi ||1-2||

Sloka meanings:

tat brahma kiṁ? - what is Brahman?
adhyātmaṁ kiṁ? - what is enquiry into Self?
karma kiṁ? - what is Karma (action)?
adhibhūtaṁ ca kiṁ? - what is called Adhibhuta?
adhidaivaṁ kimucyatē? - what is known as Adhidaivam?
adhiyajñaḥ kaḥ? -  who is Adhiyagnya?
atra prayāṇakālēca niyatātmabhiḥ - at the time of departure of those with Self control
kathaṁ jñēyaḥ asi? - how can You be known?

Sloka summary:

Arjuna says:
"What is Brahman? What is enquiry into Self? What is action? What is called Adhibhuta? What is known as Adhidaivam? Who is Adhiyagnya? At the time of departure of those with Self-control how can you be known?" ||1-2||

Arjuna asks seven questions in chapter 8. Krishna answers them all in the following sloka.


ślōkamu 3

śrī bhagavānuvāca:
akṣaraṁ brahma paraṁ svabhāvō adhyātmamucyatē|
bhūtabhāvōdbhavakarō visargaḥ karmasaṁjñitaḥ ||3||

sa|| paramaṁ akṣaraṁ brahma (ucyatē) | svabhāvaṁ adhyātmaṁ ucyatē | bhūtabhāvōdbhavakaraḥ visargaḥ karmasaṁjñitaḥ ||3||

Sloka meanings:

akṣaraṁbrahma paraṁ - the one who does not perish is Brahman
svabhāvaṁ adhyātmamucyatē - the nature of that imperishable Brahman is called Adhyatman
bhūtabhāvōdbhavakaraḥ- bhūtasya bhāvaḥ udbhavaḥ karati iti bhūtabhāvōdbhavakaraḥ -
that which brings about birth and growth of things
visargaḥ karmasaṁjñitaḥ - that offering termed as Karma (action)

Sloka summary:
 
"The one that does not perish and is Supreme is Brahman.
The nature of that imperishable Brahman that exists in the context of the body is called Adhyatman.
That offering which brings about birth and growth of things is Karma (action)." ||3||

The nature of that imperishable Brahman that exists in the context of the body is the indwelling Self and is called Adhyatman. Here, Krishna is saying that the indwelling Self is Brahman. This is also the gist of Mahavakya in the Vedas, "I am Brahman." We will see more of this in the following slokas.


ślōkamu 4

adhibhūtaṁ kṣarō bhāvaḥ puruṣāścādhidaivatam |
adhiyajñō’hamēvātra  dēhē dēhabhr̥tāṁ vara ||4||


sa|| dēhabhr̥tāṁ vara ( hē arjuna) kṣaraḥ bhāvaḥ adhibhūtaṁ ( iti kathitaḥ) | puruṣaḥ ca | adhidaivaṁ ca | atra dēhē ahamēva adhiyajñaḥ ||4||

Sloka meanings:

kṣaraḥ bhāvaḥ adhibhūtaṁ - the perishable one on the physical plane is Adhibhuta
adhidaivaṁ - puruṣaḥ ca - Purusha, the One who exists on the divine plane is Adhidaivam
 atra dēhē ahamēva  adhiyajñaḥ -
I, the One residing in this body, am called Adhiyagnya, the entity residing in the sacrifice.
 
Sloka summary:

The perishable one on the physical plane is Adhibhuta.
Purusha, the One who exists on the divine plane, is Adhidaivam.
I, the One residing in this body, am called Adhiyagnya, the entity residing in the sacrifice. ||4||

Here the Purusha is in the context of Shruti sayings: "He is verily the first embodied being. He is verily called Purusha, the first creator of the creatures who existed in the beginning" (Brihadaaranyaka Upanishad). The Adhiyagnya, the One who exists in the context of sacrifices, is the bestower of the results of the sacrifices. He is the God Vishnu. Shruti says, “YagnyO vai VishNuh” or "Sacrifice is indeed Vishnu" (Taitreya Samhita). Here, Krishna is virtually saying that Vishnu is none other than Himself.

While elaborating on Svabhava of Brahman as the indwelling One, the Adhyatman, Krishna says in one sentence that the Atman in the body and the Paramatman are one and the same. Many people understand that there is a Self which is not the body, not the organs, not the mind, and not the senses. But most of us continue to see Atman and Paramatman as separate entities. The realization that Paramatman is the same as Self dawns after great experience. Krishna is telling us that very thing as a fact.
 
Krishna answers Arjuna's last question, “kathaṁ jñēyasi,” in Sloka 5: “How are You to be known in those last moments?”


ślōkamu 5

  antakālēca māmēva smaranmuktvā  kaḷēbaram |
yaḥ prayāti sa madbhāvaṁ yāti nāstyatra saṁśayaḥ ||5||

sa|| yaḥ antakālēca māṁ ēva smaran kalēbaraṁ muktvā prayāti saḥ madbhāvaṁ yāti | atra saṁśayaḥ na asthi ||5||

Sloka meanings:

antakālē māmēva  smaran -
in those last moments thinking of Me
kaḷēbaraṁ muktvā prayāti - leaves the body and goes
saḥ madbhāvaṁ yāti - that one will attain My state
atra saṁśayaḥ na asthi - there is no doubt in that

Sloka summary:

"In those last moments, the one that leaves the body and goes thinking of Me will surely attain that state of Mine. There is no doubt in that." ||5||


ślōkamu 6

yaṁ yaṁ vāpi smaranbhāvaṁ tyajatyantē kaḷēbaraṁ |
taṁ tamēvaiti kauntēya sadā tadbhāva bhāvitaḥ ||6||

sa|| hē kauntēya ! antē yaṁ yaṁ vāpi bhāvam smaran kaḷēbaraṁ tyajati (saḥ) sadā tadbhāva bhāvitaḥ taṁ taṁ ēva ēti ||6||

Sloka meanings:

yaṁ yaṁ vāpi smaranbhāvaṁ - whatever entity one thinks of
tyajatyantē kaḷēbaraṁ - antē kaḷēbaraṁ tyajati -
 leaves the body in the end
sadā tadbhāva bhāvitaḥ - having had an inclination towards that thought
taṁ taṁ ( bhāvaṁ) ēva ēti - attains the form of that thought

Sloka summary:

"Whatever entity one thinks of as he leaves the body in the end, having had an inclination towards that form, he attains the same form." ||6||

In this verse, Krishna continues His response to Arjuna’s question regarding how one would know Him in their last moments on this earth. Krishna builds on his answer from Sloka 5 and says that whichever form (Istadevata) one thinks of in those last moments, one will attain that form.

 In that process, Krishna is effectively implying, that for one to concentrate his mind on the Self or Brahman in those last moments, one has to be continuously focused on that thought all through life. He says so in Sloka 7.


ślōkamu 7

tasmāt sarvēṣukālēṣu māmanusmarayudhya ca |
mayyarpita manōbuddhiḥ māmēvaiṣyasyasaṁśayaḥ ||7||

sa|| tasmāt sarvēṣu kālēṣu māṁ anu smara | yudhya ca | mayi arpita manō buddhiḥ māṁ ēva ēṣyasi | asaṁśayaḥ ||7||

Sloka meanings:

tasmāt sarvēṣu kālēṣu - hence at all times
māṁ anu smara - think of Me
yudhya ca - take up fighting (do your duty)
mayi arpita manō buddhiḥ - having dedicated mind and intellect to Me
māṁ ēva ēṣyasi - you will only attain Me
asaṁśayaḥ - without any doubt

Sloka summary:

"Hence at all times, think of Me, take up the fight (do your duty). Having dedicated mind and intellect to Me, you will surely attain Me, without any doubt." ||7||

Here, Krishna exhorts Arjuna to take on the battle of Kurukshetra. It is also an exhortation to Bhaktas to take on the battle of life. For the question of "kathaṁ jñēyasi" or "how are You to be known", Krishna's answer is cryptic: "Keep remembering me, and you will attain Me."

This is not a complete answer, so Krishna elaborates further in Sloka 8.


ślōkamu 8

abhyāsayōgayuktēna cētasā nānyagāminā |
paramaṁ puruṣaṁ divyaṁ yāti pārthānucintayan ||8||

sa|| hē pārtha! abhyāsa yōga yuktēna anya gāminā cētasā divyaṁ paramam puruṣaṁ anucintayan (taṁ brahmaṁ ēva) yāti ||8||

Sloka meanings:

abhyāsa yōga yuktēna - one imbued with practice of Yoga
cētasā nānyagāminā - cētasā na anyagāminā -
with a mind that is unswerving
anucintayan - always thinking of
paramaṁ puruṣaṁ divyaṁ - Supreme Divine Purusha
yāti - attains 

Sloka summary:

"O Partha, meditating with a mind that is unswerving, the one imbued with practice of Yoga, who is always thinking of the Supreme Divine Purusha, attains Him.” ||8||

This Purusha, the Supreme Being, is elaborated in Slokas 9 and 10.


ślōkamu 9

kaviṁ purāṇamanuśāsitāra
manōraṇīyāṁsamanusmarēdyaḥ |
sarvasyadhātāramacintyarūpaṁ
ādityavarṇaṁ tamasaḥ purastāt ||9||

sa|| (yaḥ) kaviṁ purāṇaṁ anuśāsitāraṁ aṇōḥ aṇīyāṁsam sarvasya dhātāram acintya rūpam āditya varṇaṁ tamasaṁ parastāt (anusmarēt, saḥdivyaṁ upaiti) ||9||

Sloka meanings:

kaviṁ - One of unsurpassing vision
purāṇaṁ - the ancient One
anuśāsitāraṁ - One who is the ruler of the whole universe
aṇōḥ aṇīyāṁsam - who is subtler than the subtle
sarvasya dhātāram - who is the supporter of everything
 acintya rūpam - One who is of inconceivable form
āditya varṇaṁ - One who is effulgent like the Sun
tamasaṁ parastāt - One who is beyond darkness
(anusmarēt, saḥ divyaṁ upaiti) -
(one who meditates on Him attains that divine form)

Sloka summary:

One who meditates on the One of unsurpassing vision, who is the ancient One, who is the ruler of the whole universe, who is subtler than the subtle, who is the supporter of everything, who is of inconceivable form, who is effulgent like the Sun, who is beyond darkness (attains that divine form) ||9||


ślōkamu 10

prayāṇakālē manasā’calēna
bhaktyā yuktō yōgabalēna caiva |
bhruvōrmadhyē prāṇamāvēsya samyak
sa taṁ paraṁ puruṣaṁ upaiti divyaṁ ||10||

sa|| (yaḥ) bhaktyā yuktaḥ prayāṇakālē yōgabalēna prāṇaṁ bhr̥vōḥ madhyē samyak āvēśya ca acalēna manasā (taṁ) puruṣaṁ (anusmarēt), saḥ divyaṁ taṁ paraṁ ēva upaiti ||10||

Sloka meanings:

prayāṇakālē manasā’calēna - at the time of final departure, with unswerving mind
bhaktyā yuktō - imbued with devotion
yōgabalēna - with the strength of Yoga
prāṇaṁ bhr̥vōḥ madhyē samyak āvēśya ca  -
fixing the vital force between the eyebrows
  (taṁ) puruṣaṁ (anusmarēt) - who (meditates on that) Purusha
saḥ divyaṁ paraṁ taṁ ēva upaiti -
he will attain the Supreme Divine

Sloka summary:

"At the time of final departure, with unswerving mind, imbued with devotion, with the strength of Yoga, fixing the vital force between the eyebrows, he who meditates on that Purusha will attain the Supreme Divine." ||10||

Krishna now elaborates on the goal of such devotion in Sloka 11.


ślōkamu 11

yadakṣaraṁ vēda vidō vadanti
viśanti yadyatayō vītarāgāḥ|
yadicchantō brahmacaryaṁ caranti
tattē padaṁ saṁgrahēṇa pravakṣyē ||11||

sa|| yat akṣaraṁ vēda vidaḥ vadanti, yat yatayō vītārāgāḥ viśanti, yat icchantō (tē) brahmacaryaṁ caranti, tat padaṁ tē saṁgrahēṇa pravakṣyāmi ||11||

Sloka meanings:

yadakṣaraṁ - that immutable, unperishable
vēda vidō vadanti - the ones who knows the Vedas say
yadyatayō vītarāgāḥ - yat yatayō vītarāgāḥ -
 the diligent ones who are devoid of attachment
yadicchantō - desiring which
brahmacaryaṁ caranti - practice celibacy
tat padaṁ - that Goal
saṁgrahēṇa pravakṣyē - will tell you briefly

Sloka summary:

"I will tell you briefly that Goal, which the ones who know the Vedas say as immutable, desiring which the diligent who are devoid of attachment, practice celibacy." ||11||


ślōkamu 12

sarvadvārāṇi saṁyamya manō hr̥dinirudhyaca |
mūrdhnyādhāyātmanaḥ prāṇamāsthitō yōgadhāraṇām ||12||

sa|| yaḥ sarvadvārāṇi saṁyamya manaḥ hr̥di nirudhya ca mūrdhni prāṇam ādhāya ātmanaḥ yōgadhāriṇām  āsthitaḥ ||12||

Sloka meanings:

sarvadvārāṇi saṁyamya - having controlled all the doors (of sensory organs)
manō hr̥dinirudhyaca - confined the mind in the heart
mūrdhnā ādhāyā prāṇaṁ - having fixed the vital force in the head
ātmanaḥ yōgadhāriṇām āsthitaḥ - continuing in the concentration on Atman

Sloka summary:

 "Having controlled all the doors (of sensory organs), confined the mind in the heart, having fixed the vital force in the head and continuing in the concentration on Atman, (he who departs attains the Supreme Goal) ||12||


ślōkamu 13

ōm ityēkākṣaraṁ brahma vyāharanmāmanusmaran |
yaḥ prayāti tyajan dēhaṁ sayāti paramāṁ gatim ||13||

sa|| brahma ōṁ iti ēkākṣaram vyāharan māṁ anusmaran dēhan tyajan prayāti saḥ paramāṁ gatiṁ yāti ||13||

brahma ōṁ iti ēkākṣaram - single syllable 'Om' which is Brahman
vyāharan - uttering
māṁ anusmaran - always thinking of Me
yaḥ prayāti tyajan dēhaṁ - he who departs leaving the body
sa yāti paramāṁ gatim - that one attains the Supreme Goal

Sloka Summary:

"He, who is always thinking of Me, who departs by leaving the body, while uttering the single syllable Om which is Brahman, attains the Supreme Goal." ||13||

In Slokas 12-13, Krishna elaborates on how one may attain Him.
“The one who having controlled all the doors of the sensory organs, having confined the mind in the heart, having fixed the vital force in the head , continuing in the concentration on the Self, departs while uttering the single syllable Om, which is Brahman thinking of Me attains the Supreme Goal.” ||12-13||

This is an arduous process. It may not be possible for all. Then, what happens to the one who may not be uttering 'Om' in the last breath?
As though answering that question, Krishna continues in Sloka 14.


ślōkamu 14

ananyacētāḥ satataṁ yōmāṁ smarati nityaśaḥ|
tasyāhaṁ sulabhaḥ pārtha nityayuktasya yōginaḥ ||14||

sa|| pārthā | yaḥ ananya cētāḥ māṁ nityaśaḥ satataṁ smarati nityayuktasya tasya ahaṁ sulabhaḥ ||14||

Sloka meanings:

ananyacētāḥ - having single-minded attention
satatam māṁ smarati - always remembers Me
nityayuktasya - throughout his life
yōginaḥ - for that Yogi
tasyāhaṁ sulabhaḥ - I am easily attainable

Sloka summary:

"For a Yogi having single-minded attention on Me, always remembering Me throughout his life, for that Yogi I am easily attainable." ||14||

 So, the one who may not be able to say ‘Om’ while departing this life, can still attain Bhagavan as long as they kept their minds fixed on Him during their entire lives. Again, what is that they get by attaining Him? We hear the answer in Sloka 15.


ślōkamu 15

māmupētya punarjanma duḥkhālayamaśāśvatam |
nāpnuvanti māhātmānaḥ saṁsiddhiṁ paramāṁ gatim ||15||

sa|| paramāṁ saṁsiddim (mōkṣaṁ) gatāḥ mahātmanaḥ māṁ upētya punaḥ duḥkhālayaṁ aśāśvataṁ janma na āpnuvanti ||15||

Sloka meanings:

paramāṁ saṁsiddim (mōkṣaṁ) gatāḥ - those who have reached Me
mahātmanaḥ māṁ upētya - Mahatmas, having attained Me
 duḥkhālayaṁ aśāśvataṁ - the abode of sorrows and impermanence
punaḥ janma na āpnuvanti - again not attain that life

Sloka summary:

 "Those who have reached Me, the Mahatmas, having attained Me will not again attain that life, which is the abode of sorrows and impermanence." ||15||

The noble souls, the Mahatmas who attain Me, will not come back to this life, which is an abode of sorrows. What about others? That is explained in Sloka 16.


ślōkamu 16

ābrahmabhuvanāllōkāḥ punarāvartinō’rjuna |
māmupētyatu kauntēya punarjanma na vidyatē ||16||

sa|| hē arjuna! ābrahma bhuvanāllōkāḥ punarāvartinaḥ māṁ upētya tu kauntēya punarjanma na vidyatē ||16||

Sloka meanings:

ābrahmabhavanāllōkāḥ - all the other worlds including Brahma Loka
punarāvartinō’rjuna - subject to return, O Arjuna
(those who reach these worlds return to have another birth)
māmupētyatu kauntēya - those who attain Me, Kaunteya
punarjanma na vidyatē - have no rebirth

Sloka summary:

"Oh Arjuna, all the other worlds including Brahma Loka are subject to return. Kaunteya, those who attain Me have no rebirth." ||16||

Liberation means escaping the cycle of rebirth. To emphasize that liberation, Krishna elaborates on those lokas (planes of existence) which one goes to and from which one returns to the physical world, this abode of sorrow, again and again. These lokas include "Brahma Loka," "Indra Loka" and "Svarga Loka” (Heaven). 


ślōkamu 17

sahasrayugaparyantaṁ aharyadbrahmaṇō viduḥ |
rātriṁ yugasahasrāntāṁ tē’hōrātravidō janāḥ ||17||

sa|| ē janāḥ brahmaṇaḥ yat ahaḥ (taṁ) sahasrayuga paryantaṁ, yugasahasrāntāṁ rātriṁ ca, viduḥ tē ahōrātravidaḥ ||17||

Sloka meanings:

(yē) janāḥ - the people
brahmaṇaḥ yat ahaḥ - the day of Brahma
(taṁ) sahasrayuga paryantaṁ viduḥ - known as one thousand ages
rātriṁ yugasahasrāntāṁ - night also as the end of one thousand ages
tē ahōrātravidaḥ - they are knowers of Day and Night
.
Sloka summary:

 "The people who know that the Day for Brahma is one thousand ages, and know the Night (for Brahma) as the end of one thousand ages
they are knowers of Day and Night." ||17||

Here, Krishna is elaborating on the Day and Night of Brahma, which span ages of ordinary human time.


ślōkamu 18

avyaktādvyaktayaḥ sarvāḥ prabhavantyaharāgamē |
rātryāgamē pralīyantē tatraivāvyakta saṁjñakē ||18||

sa|| ahaḥ āgamē avyaktāt sarvāḥ vyaktayaḥ prabhavanti | rātri āgamē avyaktasaṁjñakē tatraiva pralīyantē ||18||

Sloka meanings:

avyaktādvyaktayaḥ sarvāḥ - avyaktāt vyaktayaḥ sarvāḥ -
from the imperceptible (emerge) all perceptible beings
prabhavantyaharāgamē - prabhavanti aharāgamē -
emerge with the coming of the Day
rātryāgamē - with the coming of the Night
avyaktasaṁjñakē - into that imperceptible
pralīyantē - they merge.

Sloka summary:

"From the imperceptible emerge all perceptible beings with the coming of the Day. They merge into that imperceptible with the coming of the Night." ||18||


ślōkamu 19

bhūtagrāmaḥ sa ēvāyaṁ bhūtvā bhūtvā pralīyatē |
rātryāgamē’vaśaḥ pārtha prabhavatyaharāgamē ||19||

sa|| hē pārtha! sa ēva ayaṁ bhūtagrāmaḥ avaśaḥ rātri āgamē pralīyatē (punaḥ) ahaḥ āgamē prabhavati ||19||

Sloka meanings:

bhūtagrāmaḥ sa ēvāyaṁ - this multitude of created beings
bhūtvā bhūtvā - again and again
avaśaḥ rātri āgamē pralīyatē - in spite of themselves merge (into the imperceptible) at the approach of the Night
(punaḥ) ahaḥ āgamē prabhavati - again emerge at the coming of the Day

Sloka summary:

"This multitude of created beings again and again, in spite of themselves, merge into the imperceptible at the approach of the Night, and again emerge at the coming of the Day." ||19||


ślōkamu 20

parastasmāttu bhāvō’nyō avyaktō’vyaktāt sanātanaḥ |
yassa sarvēṣu bhūtēṣu naśyatsu na vinaśyati ||20||

sa|| yaḥ bhāvaḥ tasmāt avyaktāt tu anyaḥ paraḥ sanātanaḥ saḥ sarvabhūtēṣu naśyatsu na vinaśyati ||20||

Sloka meanings:

yaḥ bhāvaḥ - that reality (imperishable Brahman)
tasmāt avyaktāt tu - compared to that imperceptible (prakr̥ti kannanū)
anyaḥ - is different
paraḥ - superior
avyaktaḥ - invisible
sanātanaḥ - ancient
saḥ - that imperishable Brahman
sarvēṣu bhūtēṣu naśyatsu - even as all of creation perishes
na vinaśyati - does not perish

Sloka summary:

"That reality (of Brahman), compared to that lower imperceptible nature (Prakruti) is different, superior, invisible, and ancient. That imperishable Brahman does not perish even as all of creation perishes." ||20||

That which does not perish even as everything perishes, that which is ancient, that is the unmanifest and imperishable Brahman. Having attained that state, one does not have a rebirth. That is liberation or Moksha.


ślōkamu 21

avyaktō’kṣara ityuktaḥ tamāhuḥ paramāṁ gatim |
yaṁ prāpya nanivartantē taddhāma paramaṁ mama ||21||

sa|| (yaḥ ) avyaktaḥ akṣara iti uktaḥ taṁparamāṁ gatiṁ āhuḥ | yaṁ prāpya na nivartantē tat mama paramaṁ dhāma ||21||

Sloka meanings:

avyaktō’kṣara ityuktaḥ - avyaktaḥ akṣaraḥ iti uktaḥ -
that reality, imperishable as stated
taṁ paramāṁ gatiṁ āhuḥ - that is said to be the Supreme Goal
yaṁ prāpya  na anivartantē - attaining which nobody returns
tat mama paramaṁ dhāma - that is My supreme abode

Sloka summary:
"That reality is imperishable as stated. That is said to be the Supreme Goal,
My supreme abode is that, attaining which nobody returns." ||21||


ślōkamu 22

puruṣaḥ sa pārtha bhaktyā labhyastvananyayā |
yasyāntaḥsthāni bhūtāni yēna sarvamidaṁ tatam ||22||

sa|| hē pārtha! bhūtāni yasya antaḥ sthāni yēna idaṁ sarvaṁ tatam saḥparaḥ puruṣaḥ ananyayā bhaktyātu labhyaḥ ||22||

Sloka meanings:

yasyāntaḥsthāni bhūtāni - bhūtāni yasya antaḥ sthāni -
beings, in whom they are included
yēna sarvamidaṁ tatam -
by whom the whole world is pervaded
saḥparaḥ puruṣaḥ - that Purusha
ananyayā bhaktyātu labhyaḥ - attained through unswerving devotion

Sloka summary:

"That Purusha, in whom all beings are included, by whom the whole world is pervaded, (that Purusha) is attained through unswerving devotion." ||22||

From Sloka 16 to here in Sloka 22, Krishna has elaborated on the process of creation and dissolution of the universe as one Day and one Night for Brahma, the Creator. This may span thousands of Yugas (ages). Krishna explains that in the beginning of Brahma’s Day, manifested beings emerge from the Unmanifest. And at the end of Brahma’s Day, manifested beings merge into the Unmanifest, to re-emerge again during the next cosmic Day of Brahma (8.17). For those who have not attained liberation, the rebirth cycle continues even across these cycles of Brahma. Even if they have attained the merits to go to Brahma Loka, they will start their next life in the next cycle of Brahma, when again all the manifested beings emerge from the Unmanifest.

In that sense, Moksha (liberation from the cycle of rebirth) is superior to even attaining Brahma Loka because the "manifested keep emerging from the Unmanifest" Day after Day in Brahma Loka. The Unmanifest does not perish even when all others perish. That Unmanifest and imperishable is the highest Goal. That is liberation. That is Moksha (8.20-21).

Hence, to obtain Moksha or that supreme freedom from rebirth, it is all the more necessary to focus on meditation on the Supreme. 


ślōkamu 23

yatrakālē tvanāvr̥ttiṁ āvr̥ttiṁ caiva yōginaḥ |
prayātā yānti taṁ kālaṁ vakṣyāmi bharatarṣabha ||23||

sa|| hē bharatarṣabha! yatrakālē prayātāḥ yōginaḥ anāvr̥ttiṁtu āvr̥ttiṁ ca ēva punarāvr̥ttiṁ yānti taṁ kālaṁ vakṣyāmi ||23||

yatrakālē prayātāḥ yōginaḥ - that time in which the Yogis who depart
anāvr̥ttiṁtu - attain a state of no rebirth
āvr̥ttiṁ ca ēva - the time in which they depart
punarāvr̥ttiṁ yānti - attaining rebirth
taṁ kālaṁ vakṣyāmi - that times I will tell

Sloka summary:

"Bhataratashabha, I will tell you of that time in which the Yogis who depart attain a state of no-rebirth, and also of the time in which Yogis who depart attain rebirth." ||23||
 
Having told what is to be done at the time of departure, Krishna now tells about the times of departure which result in birth or no-birth, in the following Slokas.


ślōkamu 24

agnijyōtirahaśśukla ṣṣaṇmāsā uttarāyaṇam |
tatra prayātā gacchanti brahma brahmavidō janāḥ ||24||

sa|| agniḥ jyōtiḥ ahaḥ śuklaḥ ṣaṇmāsāḥ  uttarāyaṇaṁ (yatra santi) tatra prayātāḥ brahmavidaḥ janāḥ brahma gacchanti ||24||

agnijyōtirahaśśukla - agniḥ jyōtiḥ ahaḥ śuklaḥ -
the fire, light, day, the bright fortnight
ṣaṇmāsā uttarāyaṇam - the six months of northern Solar movement
tatra prayātāḥ brahmavidaḥ - departing by that path, the knowers of Brahman
janāḥ brahma gacchanti - those people attain Brahman

Sloka summary:

"People, departing by that path of the fire, light, day, the bright fortnight,
and the six months of northern Solar movement, the knowers of Brahman, attain Brahman." ||24||


ślōkamu 25

dhūmōrātriḥ tadā kr̥ṣṇa ṣṣaṇmāsā dakṣiṇāyaṇam |
tatra cāndramasaṁ jyōtiryōgī prāpya nivartatē ||25||

sa|| dhūmaḥ rātriḥ tathā kr̥ṣṇa ṣaṇmāsāḥ dakṣiṇāyanam (yatra santi) tatra yōgī cāndramasaṁ jyōtiḥ prāpya (punaḥ) nivartatē ||25||

Sloka meanings:

dhūmaḥ rātriḥ tathā kr̥ṣṇa  - smoke, night, as also dark fortnight
ṣṣaṇmāsā dakṣiṇāyaṇam - six months of southern Solar movement
tatra yōgī - the Yogi following that path
cāndramasaṁ jyōtiḥ - reaches the Lunar light 
prāpya (punaḥ) nivartatē -  having reached returns

Sloka summary:

"The Yogi following that path of smoke, night, as also dark fortnight
and six months of southern Solar movement, reaches the Lunar light. 
And having reached he returns (for a rebirth)." ||25||


ślōkamu 26

śuklakr̥ṣṇē gatī hyētē jagataḥ śāśvatē matē |
ēkayāyatyanāvr̥tim anyayā’vartatē punaḥ ||26||

sa|| śukla kr̥ṣṇē ētē gatī hi jagataḥ śāśvatē matē ēkayā anāvr̥ttiṁ yāti | anyayā punaḥ āvartatē ||26||

Sloka meanings:

śukla kr̥ṣṇē ētē gatī hi - the paths of bright and dark fortnights
jagataḥ śāśvatē matē - are known as eternal
ēkayāyatyanāvr̥tim- ēkayā anāvr̥ttiṁ yāti -
in one he attains the state of no-rebirth
anyayā punaḥ āvartatē - in the other he attains rebirth

Sloka summary:

"The paths of bright and dark fortnights are known as eternal. In one he attains the state of no-rebirth, in the other he attains rebirth." ||26||


ślōkamu 27

naitē sr̥tī pārtha jānanyōgī muhyati kaścana |
tasmātsarvēṣu kālēṣu yōgayuktōbhavārjuna ||27||

sa|| hē arjunā! ētē sr̥tī jānan yōgī kaścana na muhyati | tasmāt arjuna sarvēṣu kālēṣu yōgayuktaḥ bhava ||27||

Sloka meanings:

ētē sr̥tī jānan yōgī - the Yogi who knows these paths
na muhyati kaścana - does not get deluded
tasmāt arjuna sarvēṣu kālēṣu - hence, O Arjuna, at all times
yōgayuktaḥ bhava - be imbued with Yoga

Sloka summary:

"The yogi who knows these paths does not get deluded. Hence, O Arjuna, be imbued with Yoga at all times." ||27||


ślōkamu 28

vēdēṣuyajñēṣu tapassu caiva
dānēṣu yatpuṇyaphalaṁ pradiṣṭhaṁ |
atyēti tatsarvamidaṁ viditvā
yōgī paraṁ sthānamupaiti cādyam ||28||

sa|| yōgī idaṁ viditvā vēdēṣu yajñēṣu dānēṣu tapaḥsu ca yat puṇyaphalam pradiṣṭam tat sarvaṁ atyēti ca ādyaṁ paraṁ sthānam upaiti ||28||

Sloka meanings:

vēdēṣu yajñēṣu tapassu caiva - in the Vedas, sacrifices, penance
dānēṣu - as also charities
yatpuṇyaphalaṁ pradiṣṭhaṁ - whatever merits have been declared
atyēti tatsarvamidaṁ viditvā - transcending all that, knowing This 
yōgī paraṁ sthānamupaiti cādyam - Yogi attains that Supreme state

Sloka summary:

"Whatever merits have been declared in the Vedas, sacrifices, penance and also charities, the Yogi knowing This transcends all that, and attains that Supreme state." ||28||

Moksha, liberation without rebirth, is above all the fruits that can be achieved by the Vedas, penance, and sacrifices. Moksha is that abode attained by not letting the mind waver and always focusing on the imperishable Supreme Being.

This is that imperishable "Akshara Parabrahma Yoga."
 

iti śrīmadbhagavadgītāsūpaniṣatsu brahmavidyāyāṁ yōgaśāstrē
śrīkr̥ṣṇārjuna saṁvādē akṣaraparabrahmayōgōnāma
aṣṭamō’dhyāyaḥ

|| Om tat sat ||