Sunday, February 6, 2011

The Bhagavad Gita Interpreted - Part 8

Arjuna said:

—Who is the One transcendent? Who is the One immanent? What is His action? What is the sacrifice, and who makes it? O Krishna, how are you found in the final moment, in the last breath?

Krishna said:

—The One transcendent is the Most High. The One immanent is His nature within you. His action is creation, through which the universe is fashioned. The universe is perishable, but the One is everlasting, within you and beyond you. The perishable body is the sacrifice, though which I make sacrifice.

—In his final moment, in his last breath, the man who thinks of Me, comes to Me. I am his shelter.

—In his final moment, in his last breath, wherever his mind strays, there he remains. His final thought is his final home.

—Therefore, be mindful of Me, detached from all things, and fight. Mindful of Me, you will come to Me.

—If a man’s mind does not stray, but is bound to the Most High, in the practice of detachment and selfless action, he goes to the Most High.

—That man goes to the Most High, the Ancient of Days, the Creator, the Sustainer, the Destroyer of worlds, smaller than an atom, upholding the heavens, blazing like the sun where night never falls.

—He goes to the Most High. In his final moment, if that man restrains his mind, is armed with love and with the strength of My practice, his eyes turned within, he finds shelter in Me.

—This is My path, embodied in scripture, which the wise and devoted, purged of all passion, call eternal. Let me reveal it.

—Bar the doors against the senses, their noise and distraction. Lock away the mind in the four-chambered heart. Pinion the breath of the soul within the head. This way you may embrace My practice.

—He attains his highest end who gives up the body abandoning life while upon his lips is the word of peace, the sound of the heavens. Thinking of Me in that moment, he finds Me at once.

—He finds Me, and there is no more road to take, no better place to go. He finds Me and is never again ensnared by earthly attachments. While the worlds of creation come and go, days and nights ever turning, he is at rest within My eternal shelter.

—You will know days and nights if you know that the Day of Creation is thousands of ages, and the Night that falls is thousands of ages. When the Day of Creation dawns, all creatures appear. When the Night falls, all creatures disappear. Each Day is followed by Night, each Night followed by Day again and again.

—But there is One beyond appearance and disappearance. He is the Most High; His existence is not contingent on creation or destruction for He is beyond Day and Night and transcends all that can be said of Him, never born, never dying.

—He is unseen, eternal, without beginning, without end. The wise say He is the highest end, the best shelter into which souls go and are free forever from the world and its snares. He is the Supreme, to Whom all creatures are devoted, for Whose sake the worlds were fashioned, through Whose grace all things are.

—I am the One determining who shall be ensnared by the world, and who shall be set free. Those whose knowledge brings them into light, in fire or sunshine or brightness of moon, by dawn, by day, by dusk, during the longest days of the seasons, they come to Me and return no more to worldly troubles.

—But those whose knowledge brings them instead into darkness, in smoke or pitch unlit by sun or moon, during the shortest days of the seasons, they remain in the bondage of worldly troubles.

—These are the two roads men take: light or darkness. By light the scholar does not return and his practice has born the sweet fruit of liberation. By darkness the scholar has gathered sour fruits, green and bitter, burning his stomach and he remains in bondage.

—Those who know these two roads know the difference between them. Therefore, be bound only by this wisdom.

—The one who forgoes all worldly rewards earned by merit, by ritual, by scripture, by deprivation, by generosity, he will instead attain the highest end, the best shelter into which souls go and are forever free from the world and its snares.