Gita Series – 92: Bhagavad Gita Chapter VIII. Verses 6 – 8:

Arjuna, thinking of whatever entity while leaving his body at the time of death, that alone one attains in his next birth, as he is always absorbed in that thought. Therefore, Arjuna think of Me all the times and fight. With mind and intellect set on Me, you will undoubtedly come to Me. Arjuna, he whose mind is perfected by practicing yoga, thinking nothing else except effulgent Purusha, attains Him.”

Krishna now talks about rebirth. At the time of death, a process associated only with the gross form, soul leaves the body. A body without a soul is like electrical equipment without electricity. A person cannot develop thought of God only at the time of death. Thinking process embeds firm impressions in the mind and such impression are the cause for certain visualizations and afflicted consciousness. Krishna says that at the time of death, if one fixes his thought on anything of his choice, he becomes that, in his next birth. For example, if one dies thinking of wealth, he is born as a wealthy person in his next birth. However, his karma unfolds its quality during all his births. If his karmic account is afflicted, though born as rich person, he is bound to suffer. If, on the other hand, if a person is always thinks about the Lord, even at the time of his death, he thinks about the Lord. Thought about the Lord arises at the time of death, only if his mind has Godly impressions. Having said that, Krishna proceeds to explain, as to how this can be achieved.

Krishna says that one should fight against his mind. Mind, as already discussed, is always prone to sensory influences. If such influences are allowed to cause impressions in the mind, then it becomes difficult to restrain the mind. One has to fight against these impressions to focus his consciousness. If the impressions are allowed to become deep rooted, they begin to act through sensory organs again. This makes a person wicked not only in thoughts but also in actions. Krishna says that in the beginning itself, restrain the mind, before it becomes too late to fight against its impressions. He also gives solution for this normal human tendency. He says that one should always think about the Lord. This does not mean that he should not think anything else. The thought of the Lord should be powerful so as to override sensory influences. As long as senses function, they are bound to cause influences on the mind. Without the help of the mind, no one can function. But, at the same time, if mind is brought under the control of the senses, the mind becomes susceptible to addictions. At that stage, the mind becomes irreparable. A person with an irreparable mind loses the greatest opportunity to effectively utilize the God given opportunity to overcome the pains of rebirths. Both birth and death is always painful. In order to avert too much of sensory influences, one’s attention is to be fixed on the Lord. One’s intellect plays a dominant role here. Intellect is the refined product of mind and has the ability to differentiate between good and bad. It has the ability to discriminate real from illusionary. The mind generates intellect by practicing one pointed attention, which is called meditation. Meditation is called yoga because it paves the way for mentally uniting self with the Self. Unless Self is fully realised and understood, self cannot become one with the Self. By persistent practice of meditation, mind can be conquered. A conquered mind alone has the ability to reach higher levels of consciousness or highly focused awareness. To sum up, the highest level of consciousness can be reached in the arena of mind, where Krishna is realised. It is also called Krishna consciousness or Christ consciousness or whatever name one likes.

How the formless Lord is to be contemplated? Focusing on a formless form is extremely difficult than focusing on a gross form. But, as we know that the Lord is extremely subtle, in conformity with the theory of His omnipresence. For the purpose of liberation, He has to be contemplated as Self illuminating light, His subtle form. But fixing one’s consciousness on the Self effulgence subtle Lord can happen in stages, provided, one takes his practice very seriously. Even when one meditates on a form of God, ultimately, the form gets dissolved into the Self radiating Purusha, the Lord. However, this is subject to one’s knowledge and intensity of practice coupled with his freewill.

Further Readings:

Bhagavad Gita Chapter VIII. 3 - 5

Bhagavad Gita Chapter VIII. 9 - 10

Bhagavad Gita Chapter VIII. 11-14