Bhagvad-Gita: Treatise of self-help
by BS Murthy
to Chapter 7
This chapter of 28 slokas, known as
akshara parabrahma yoga, The Indestructible Brahman, emphasizes the
need of un-wavered devotion to the Supreme so as to attain Him. It also
describes the science of meditation to reach the Supreme by understanding
the nature of the Brahman. And s 22 is a seemingly concluding statement of
the Lord that only through un-swerved devotion the Supreme could be reached
from which there is no return (s 21).
Then appear s23 to s28 which if literally
taken would imply that if one dies when the moon is on the ascent he would
go to heaven and, to hell if itís other way round. Needless to say, these
slokas spelling superstition in an otherwise thought-elevating treatise
are but interpolations. It is worth noting that Sir Edwin Arnold dismissed
these as the work of some vedanti and thought it fit, justifiably at
that, not to include them in his ĎSong Celestialí. In this connection it may
be noted that the relationship between the state in which a person
dies and his imminent rebirth is
covered in s 14 and s15 of c14, which seem to be authentic.
It can be seen that s5, places the cart
before the horse. Besides, s9-s14 too are interpolations going by their
content thatís out of context. It is worth noting that s1-s4,s6-s8 and
s15-s22, if read together would bear an unmistakable continuity of argument
that the interpolations deprive.
Thus spoke Arjuna:
O Lord appraise whatís Brahman
Lies what within ín backs action
Nature of deities besides the beings.
What is that guides bodily acts,
What makes yogis realize Thee?
Thus spoke the Lord:
Self Imperishable is Brahman
But dwells it yet there in beings
Brings that forth is Act Supreme.
Perish as beings all in time
Spirit that lasts of them is Me.
In the end the way one tends
Charts that future course he takes.
If thou act with this in mind
In the end thou gain Me true,
By My word now opt for war
With thy strength ín skill I gave.
Me they reach whoso keep
On Me focus as they work.
Having come to stay with Me
Get they rid of births and deaths.
Journey to Brahman holds return ticket
Journeys back none abode from Mine.
Wise all realize days Brahman
Ages thousands make with nights.
By day as He brings beings
Un-manifests He all by night.
Itís all rebirths through His day
But with nightfall cease they all
As He wakes up puts He back.
My State Supreme that never ends
Un-manifested itís above Brahman.
Itís My Abode that Supreme
For man to reach not to leave.
Itís through devotion that thee gain
State Supreme that pervades worlds.
Cycle of Creation,
The Eighth Chapter
Treatise of self-help
to Chapter 7