Gita Series – 90: Chapter -VIII. Verses 1 – 2

The eighth chapter of Bhagavad Gita is known as “Akshara (akṣara) Brahma yoga”. In the previous chapter, we have discussed about Brahman without attributes or nirguna Brahman and Brahman with attributes or sagurna Brahman. These two aspects of the Brahman are further discussed in this chapter. Akṣara in this context refers to OM, which is also discussed in this chapter. This chapter has 28 verses.

The chapter begins with Arjuna seeking clarifications from Krishna. “Krishna! What is Brahman? What is adhyātma? What is karma? What is Adhibhūta? What is Adhidaiva? Who is Adhiyajña and where does he dwell in the body? How are You to be realised at the time of death by those who have fixed their consciousness on You?”

The questions that Arjuna poses to Krishna linger in the mind of everyone. Arjuna reaches out to the bottom of spirituality. Unless one knows answers to these fundamental questions, his path of spirituality does not begin on a firm footing. True spirituality always revolves around knowledge and experience. The knowledge of the highest order cannot be attained during the commencement of one’s spiritual journey. Knowledge and experience have to go together. Perfect knowledge leads to true experience and the culmination of knowledge and experience is Realization. Imperfect knowledge leads to falsified experience. Falsified experience is more dangerous than inexperience.

Taking all this into mind, Arjuna poses these questions, not only on his behalf, but also on behalf of true seekers of the Lord. Krishna begins to answer these questions.