Gita Daily Readings

17th June
Chapter VIII: 9-10

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,

At 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.

Commentary

This is the yogi's conscious exit from the body. As a result of continuous and intense practice of yoga (particularly hatha yoga), the yogi attains perfect control over prana, 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 utilizes all these gross substances and maintains the soul's abode, the human body.

That life-force (prana) is spread out and distributed throughout the body to activate its various functions. The hatha yogi gives the same prana various names to indicate the different functions it performs. He designates the force that moves upwards as prana and the force that tends to move downwards as apana. 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 kundalini shakti which is then led by stages from one center of consciousness to the next along the innermost core of the spinal cord, and eventually to the ajna chakra, the center between the eyebrows. With this psychic power, the whole prana is also withdrawn. From the ajna chakra, 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 realization of God's omnipresence, and there is no further movement. He reaches the supreme.

Web Editor's Notes

Copyright 1997
Commercial use of all content without permission is prohibited.