Gita Series – 95: Bhagavad Gita Chapter VIII. Verses 15 – 19:

Those who are highly perfected merge with Me and are not subjected to rebirth, which is the abode of sorrow and perishable. All the worlds from Brahmaloka downwards are impermanent. But those who reach Me are not reborn. Yogis know that Brahma’s day time is several times longer than human day time and Brahma’s night time is several times longer than human night time. At the dawn of Brahma’s day all, the beings emanate from the Unmanifest and at the time of Brahma’s night all the beings merge into the Unmanifest. Arjuna, the innumerable beings, in accordance with their intrinsic nature, is being born again and again during the day of Brahma and repeatedly gets dissolved during Brahma’s night.”

Krishna continues to talk about rebirths. He says that the completely perfected souls merge unto Him and are not reborn. Transmigration is only for the souls. Gross forms that hold the souls within are not transmigratory in nature. Once the gross forms perish, they perish for good. During the next birth, the soul attains a different physical form, not necessarily a human form. If the soul’s karmic account is highly contaminated, it undergoes several quick transmigrations and experiences the pains of birth and death more frequently. Insects and moths have short duration of life. Those who remain ignorant do not understand the theory of transmigration and continue to indulge in evil thoughts and actions. Evil thoughts are worse than evil actions. Krishna says that any type of existence is full of sorrows and is always painful.

Krishna proceeds to say that those who are unable to attain the Brahman but reach any world up to Brahmaloka are reborn. It is important to understand lokas from its original perspective. Loka means world. Lokas in this context mean different levels of one’s consciousness. Different worlds represent different levels of consciousness. The lowest level of consciousness is one’s active state, when the mind is most active. Brahmaloka is the penultimate state of consciousness, say level of turyātīta. The state of turyātīta can be explained as the state of one’s consciousness where differentiation is completely dissolved and the whole universe appears as the Self. Even at this stage, one is subjected to transmigration. Beyond turyātīta, there is the ultimate level known as kaivalya. This is where one merges with the Brahman and further transmigrations of the soul comes to an end. Kaivalya is known as Krishna consciousness. Only in the kaivalya stage, one merges with the Brahman. Again, the merger with the Brahman does not happen by entering kaivalya stage off and on. Entry into kaivalya stage has to be perpetual for the cessation of transmigration. Therefore, Brahmaloka downwards mean the level of consciousness from turyātīta to normal active state. If one fixes his consciousness in any of these states, he is bound to be reborn. For the ultimate merger with the Brahman, however one has to transcend all these states.

The day and night of Brahma refers to the cosmic cycle. Day means action and night means inertia. Day means knowledge and night means ignorance. The Holy Bible also says “In the morning it flourisheth, and groweth up; in the evening it is cut down, and withereth.” (Psalms 90:6). Both Krishna and Christ have said this not without reasoning. It is said that one celestial day is equivalent to 360 terrestrial days. One human year is equivalent to one day and one night in the Brahma loka. This is with reference to time and space. When a yogi crosses time and space, he is not affected by terrestrial days and nights. Several celestial years form a yuga. There are four such yugas. At the end of yugas, the entire universe up to Brahmaloka gets annihilated. For the next yuga, creation is made afresh by the Brahman. Except Brahman and His cosmic energy, everything else gets annihilated. The expansion and contraction of the universe is directly related to light and darkness. Expansion happens during light and contraction happens during darkness. The Bible also unravels this process in Genesis.

Krishna says that all the beings, due to their inherent nature of ignorance, deluded by darkness are unable to attain wisdom. Such ignorant men continue to dwell in darkness and subject themselves to innumerable transmigrations and undergo pains and miseries. Krishna says that knowledge is a prerequisite to transcend time and space to merge with the Brahman. When knowledge is attained, the mind is cleansed and the process of Self realization begins. The duration of this process purely depends upon one’s perseverance and dedication.

Further Readings:

Bhagavad Gita Chapter VIII. 11-14

Bhagavad Gita Chapter VIII. 20-22

Bhagavad Gita Chapter VIII. 9 - 10