Daily Readings from the Works of Swami Venkatesananda

Bhagavad Gita - Song of God - Chapter VIII: 9-10

June 17, 2024


™kaviṁ purāṇam anuśāsitāram
aṇor aṇīyāṁsam anusmared yaḥ
sarvasya dhātāram acintyarūpam
ādityavarṇaṁ tamasaḥ parastāt (VIII-9)

™prayāṇakāle manasā ’calena
bhaktyā yukto yogabalena cai ’va
bhruvor madhye prāṇam āveśya saṁyak
sa taṁ paraṁ puruṣam upaiti divyaṁ (VIII-10)

VIII/9. Whosoever meditates on the omniscient,
the ancient, the ruler of the whole universe,
minuter than an atom, the supporter of all,
of inconceivable form, effulgent like the sun
and be­yond the darkness of ignorance,

VIII/10. t the time of death, with unshaken
mind, endowed with devotion by the power of
yoga, fixing the whole life-breath in the middle of
the two eyebrows, he reaches that resplendent,
supreme person.

Swamiji's Commentary

     This is the yogi's conscious exit from the body. As a result of continuous and intense practice of yoga (par­ticularly haṭha yoga), the yogi attains perfect control over prāṇa, the life-force - not just the breath that flows in the nostrils, nor even the oxygen in the air, but the extremely subtle divine power that utilises all these gross substances and maintains the soul's abode, the human body.

     That life-force (prāṇa) is spread out and distributed throughout the body to activate its various functions. The haṭha yogi gives the same prāṇa various names to indicate the different functions it performs. He designates the force that moves upwards as prāṇaand the force that tends to move downwards as apāna. The former is positive and the latter negative. By a process of regulated breathing, the yogi brings them together, reversing their course. Their fusion gives him power similar, say, to high-voltage electricity. With this he awakens the dormant psychic power in him, the kuṇdalinī śakti,which is then led by stages from one centre of consciousness to the next along the innermost core of the spinal cord, and eventually to the ājñā cakra, the centre between the eyebrows. With this psychic power, the whole prāṇa is also withdrawn. From the ājñā cakra, he merges his self in God-consciousness and is liberated.

In the case of the yogi, as the body is dropped, handed over to the elements, as it were, the entire being is totally saturated with the realisation of God's omni­presence, and there is no further movement. He reaches the supreme.


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