Gita Series – 94: Bhagavad Gita Chapter VIII. Verses 11 – 14:

I shall declare in brief, what the knowers of Vedas say as Immutable, That, into which ascetics wish to enter for which celibacy is practiced. Having closed all the doors of the senses, holding the mind in the heart, fixing prana in the head and remaining steadfast in yoga, he who leaves the body uttering OM, the symbol of the Brahman, remembering Me in My attribute less form, attains the Supreme Goal. Arjuna, I am easily attainable by those, who constantly think of Me with focused mind.”

Krishna further explains about what one should do at the time of his death. After all, every one’s ambition is to merge with the Lord, not be born again to undergo the miseries. The sufferings of humanity increases as the days go by. The only available way to avoid transmigration is to merge with the Brahman. This process becomes not possible unless one transforms himself more or less as the Brahman. Shiva Sutras explains this state as ‘just like Shiva’. In the previous verses, we have seen that a soul gets purified at ajna chakra, when it is ripe enough for the merger with the Brahman. When it comes to the merger with the Brahman, a soul has to be totally pure. Divine purification of the soul happens at ajna chakra, only if the soul is already purified by human efforts. Krishna explains about human efforts.

First, one has to practice celibacy. Procreation is one of the acts of God, which he executes through a male and a female. If everyone abstains from sex, the first and primary act of the Lord would be defeated. A man has several duties while he advances in age. As a student, he acquires worldly knowledge. As a grown up man he earns to sustain himself and his family. Later, he gets married and begets children. After certain age, when his duties are over to his parents and to his family, he is set to commence his spiritual journey. He meditates more and tries to explore the Lord. Only at this time, he refrains from sex. This is for the common man who carries out his normal duties. Sages and saints do not carry the responsibility of procreation, as the God sends them to propagate spirituality. Their assignment in the world is totally different.

At the time of commencement of spiritual journey, a religious man gradually gets transformed into a spiritual man and his real quest for the Brahman begins. When he begins his this journey, he has to renounce his desires and attachments. These two will never allow a person to advance in his spiritual journey, as they are associated with senses. That is why Krishna advises to shut the door for senses. There are nine sensory openings in our body. They are two eyes, two ears, two nostrils, organ of excretion, organ of procreation and mouth. When Krishna advises to shut the door for senses, he means that usage of these nine senses should not cause any impressions in the mind. These senses should not be put into excessive usage, beyond what they are meant for.

When Krishna refers to death, it is meant that the process of death occurring at the ripe age. It is said that a person is quite aware when the process of death is initiated in his body. His mind is already purified because he is already practicing celibacy. At the time of death, he has to fix his entire awareness in his heart, where the soul is said to reside and getting ready to leave the body. He has to fix his prana in the head, through which the soul makes its exit from the body. When prana is fixed in the head between ajna chakra and sahasrara or the crown chakra, the awareness fixed in the heart is also automatically drawn towards prana. Soul and prana join together at this place to make a peaceful and painless exit from the body through brahmarandhra, the orifice at the top of the head. Soul and prana always exit together. While this process is happening still within his body, the person should mentally chant the sacred OM, the Brahman in the form of sound, contemplating not on the form of Krishna, but on His nirguna form, His form without any attributes. Such a person attains the Brahman. Unless a person has advanced very significantly, he cannot contemplate on the Lord at the time of his death. This also depends upon one’s karma. Krishna declares that such a process is available to humanity. But if one’s karmic account does not permit, an aspirant will not even come across this verse of Bhagavad Gita. Naturally, if one is not aware of what is to be done at the time of death, he loses the opportunity of this birth.

Krishna says that attaining the Brahman is easier. It depends upon the depth of one’s devotion and ability to concentrate on the Brahman and Brahman alone. If the mind is subjected to oscillation, ability to focus does not become perfect.

Further Readings:

Bhagavad Gita Chapter VIII. 9 - 10

Bhagavad Gita Chapter VIII. 15-19

Bhagavad Gita Chapter VIII. 6 - 8