Karma and Bhaktiyoga, understanding cycle of birth and death and achieving liberation
Karma and Bhaktiyoga, understanding cycle of birth and death and achieving liberation
Humans are the most intelligent species created by God who are given the intelligence to enquire about their temporary existence in the material world and why are they suffering the fourfold miseries of birth, death, old age and disease and also the threefold miseries caused by the modes of material nature. This enquiry made by our ancestors and forefathers to get rid of repeated cycle of birth and death and for having eternal life in the spiritual world made them worship the all pervading, omnipresent, omnipotent, almighty Supreme God who possesses many transcendental qualities and opulences and is the cause of all causes and we as part and parcels of the Supreme God should remain surrendered to him in devotional service is the essence of human existence for getting liberation.
The ancient most religion on the earthly planet was Sanatan Dharma which was a mixture of races chief among them the Vedic Aryans who had settled north of the Vindhyas and Dravidians who were Vedic Aryan that had settled south of Vindhyas and mixed with non-Aryan negrito-austric races staying south of the Vindhyas in Tretayuga. Both Vedic Aryans and Dravidians belonged to the same Aryan race, the only difference is that the Dravidians whose ancestors were Vedic Aryans mixed themselves with other races of Southern India since Tretayuga. Bharat or India also had Kirata settlements or Mongol race people settled in the forests and hills of eastern India who adopted Vedic Aryan culture while retaining their own customs. So the world’s ancient most religion was an assimilation of many diverse cultural and racial groups and not found by any particular prophet. Sanatan Arya Vedic Varnashram Dharma assimilated the knowledges it received from its invaders and the cultural influences they brought while retaining its own unique identity till the present time which was shaped by its Vedic knowledges contained in the 4 Vedas, 6 Vedangas, 18 Puranas, Ramayan, Mahabharat, 108 Upanishads, Bhagvad Gita, 6 schools of philosophy, 4 Upavedas which are the scientific part of Vedas for many centuries and is the oldest surviving culture in the world even after the fall of the glorious Gupta Empire in 6th cent AD which was the last standing Hindu Empire in northern India after which Buddhism gradually vanished from India and Bharat faced land route invaders from northwest who pronounced the river Sindhu as Hindu and the people settled east of the river Sindhu as Hindus.
The Vedic Aryans developed the world’s oldest civilization and organized religion known as Sanatan dharma which was conceived by highly advanced Sages or Rishis for the benefit of mankind by which humans can attain eternal life in the spiritual world by transcending the modes of material nature. We get descriptive explanation about various Sages mentioned in the Vedic Aryan histories known as Puranas such as Bhrigu, Vashishta, Angiras, Atri, Pulaha, Pulastya, Kashyapa and many other Sages or Rishis who received revealed knowledges regarding transcendental and spiritual subjects in deep meditation from Supreme God and the administrative Demigods maintaining the various universal affairs. These revealed scriptures for the betterment and advancement of mankind materially and spiritually were known as Vedas and were considered to be unborn or Apaurusheya which guided the civilized Vedic Aryans to form the world’s oldest organized religion known as Sanatan Dharma on the north Indian plains of Saraswati river and its tributaries and the Gangetic plains until the demise of Saraswati river which was the main cause for the extinction of Indus Valley culture that occurred after the disastrous Mahabharat War at the end of Dwaparyuga. The Vedic Aryans developed the world’s first agrarian society based on agriculture, cow protection and hunting of wild animals was restricted only to the elite Kshatriyas and other forest dweller tribes living in the forests. The remaining world a that remote time in history was devoid of any culture, civilization, religion and language as compared to the oldest Vedic civilization that existed in Bharat.
In Varnashram Dharma a Vedic Aryan decided his Varna based on his profession and his Gunakarma (qualities and characteristics) in the previous 3 Yugas of Satya, Treta and Dwapar. The 4 Varnas that existed in Varnashram Dharma were the
Bramhins (priestly and scholarly class), Kshatriyas (administrative and ruler class), Vaishyas (traders and commercial class) and Shudras (labourer and farming class). Varna was based on profession which is now based on birth during the present age of Kaliyuga which started 5000 years ago after the Mahabharat war.
The Vedic Aryans in order to attain salvation or Moksha from temporary material life divided their life into 4 stages known as Ashram – Bramhacharya – where under a Guru or spiritual master a student used to learn and attain Vedic knowledges which contained both material and spiritual subjects, after completing Bramcharya stage a student used to get married to enter Grihastashram wherein a Vedic Aryan fulfilled his desires (Kama), gain wealth for himself and his family (Artha) by observing his Dharma (codes, conduct and moral occupation of his Varna) which contribute to the overall wellbeing and the growth of his nation by observing his Swadharma, Kuldharma, Rajdharma and Manavdharma which means by following one’s own duties or Dharma, following one’s own family obligations and traditions, serving the king and kingdom with loyalty and duties performed for the welfare of humanity, a Vedic Aryan lead a successful Grihasta life. After Grihasta life in the next 2 stages of Vanaprastha i.e retired life followed by Sanyasashram – forest life, a Vedic Aryan in search of Moksha or salvation which is the main aim of human life practices Yoga or the process to link with the Supreme God to escape repeated cycle of birth and death by meditating upon the Supreme God Vishnu who is situated within our heart known as Parmatma who neutrally follows the individual Spirit Soul or Aatma in each of his birth and is the representative of Lord Krishna in this material world that neutrally monitors the fallen conditioned individual Spirit Soul in each of his birth until the Spirit Soul achieves liberation by the process of Self-realization which is possible only in human form of life. The SuperSoul or Parmatma who is four-handed Kshirdokshayi Vishnu form situated within every Jivatma is also present within every atom in this material world. Self realization is achieved when the individual Soul establishes link with the SuperSoul or Parmatma that eternally exists within him through the process of Yoga. The Yogi by controlling his vital life-air by breathing process from the position of his heart where the SuperSoul is eternally situated and bringing it upwards between the eyebrows by concentrating his mind and intellect by uttering the transcendental sound OM merges himself in the Bramhan effulgence of the supreme Lord that pervades the spiritual sky wherein he achieves Moksha by merging in the Bramhajyoti of the Supreme Lord which is the destination of Yogis, Gyanis and impersonalists. One who is really self-realized amongst the Yogis, Gyanis and Advaitins or impersonalists and considers Supreme God to be a person having diving name, features and qualities is transferred to the eternal, self-effulgent and blissful Vaikuntha planets where they eternally associate with the Supreme Lord because of the Personal God consciousness and is not subjected to repeated birth and death.
The personal worshippers of Supreme God Vishnu or Krishna known as Bhaktas or devotees do not want impersonal liberation or Moksha as like the Yogis, Gyanis and Advaitins since they want to serve the Supreme God in loving devotion by performing Bhaktiyoga their entire life and at the time of death by remembering the Supreme God Kishna or his Vishnu incarnations, the Bhaktas or devotees attain Mukti which is beyond Bramhan effulgence eternally associate with Supreme God Vishnu or Krishna in the Spiritual world or Vaikuntha planets by eternally attaining spiritual bodies as per the spiritual desire or Bhava a devotee develops for serving the Supreme Lord such as Shanta Rasa or neutral state, Dasya Rasa (servitude), Sakhya (friendliness with the Supreme Lord), Vatsalya (parental affection) and Madhurya (Conjugal lover) – which is the highest form of spiritual service and devotion to the Supreme Lord Krishna which is achieved by the Gopis of Vrindavan.
The Supreme Lord gives 4 types of liberation to his devotees as per their consciousness, those who are impersonal worshippers of Supreme God merge in his impersonal Bramhan effulgence which is known as Sayujya Mukti and is not desired by Vaishnavas as they want to eternally associate with All attractive 2-handed Lord Krishna in Krishnaloka or Goloka Vrindavan and serve him with loving devotion as per their Bhava or devotional service while other Vaishnavas as per their devotion to a particular 4-handed Vishnu name and form amongst the many 4-handed Vaikuntha planets that exists in the spiritual sky lead an eternal, transcendental and blissful life that is beyond the constraint of time, space and matter and were every thing is divine and self-effulgent. The spiritual world is also known as Para-jagat where the Supreme God awards 3 types of liberation to his devotees who worship his Personal form with faith and devotion never again to return in the temporary material world which is full of miseries which should be the main aim of human form of life as stated by Lord Krishna in Bhagvad Gita. The Supreme Lord Krishna due to his Personal God worship consciousness of his Vaishnava devotees that worship him with faith and devotion awards 3 types of Mukti based on the devotee’s consciousness to Lord Krishna which are Samipya Mukti – to be with the Supreme Lord on the same planet, Salokya Mukti – to achieve same planet as like the Supreme Lord in the spiritual world and Sarishtya Mukti – to achieve same bodily like features as like the Supreme Lord.
It is only Lord Vishnu or Bhagvan Krishna who can give us relief from repeated cycle of birth and death to be with him eternally in the spiritual world for which devotional service is very essential because Bhakti acts against Supreme Lord’s illusory energy Maya. Maya makes the Spirit Soul conditioned and deluded and subjects him to take repeated birth and death which makes the Spirit Soul embodied into various species according to his Karmic bondage and desires from previous birth. It is only possible in human form of life to either attain Moksha or Mukti based upon the worshippers impersonal God consciousness (Nirakar Nirgun) worship or Personal God consciousness (Sakar Sagun form) worship because a Jivatma in his human life either worships Supreme God with faith and devotion in his Person form to attain Personal God consciousness and at the time of death remembers Supreme God based on his faith and consciousness to eternally associate with the Supreme God in Vaikuntha as a Self-realized devotee and if the human being has developed impersonal God consciousness in his entire life his Spirit Soul at the time of death will merge in the impersonal Bramhan effulgence of the Supreme Lord Krishna in the spiritual world or Vaikuntha wherein the Spirit Soul will not get embodied in the spiritual sky that emanates from the spiritual effulgent body of Supreme Lord Krishna and will remain suspended as a Spirit Soul in the spiritual light of impersonal Bramhan by not getting chance to serve the Supreme Lord Krishna or Vishnu in their Person form because of his impersonal God consciousness in the Spiritual world or Vaikuntha planets. The impersonal conscious Spirit Soul or Jivatma due to not being embodied is once again subjected under the jurisdiction of Lord Shiva who governs the impersonal conscious Souls from his Sadashivloka which is situated between the Spiritual and material world. The Spirit Soul is then embodied in one of the 8400000 species as per his free will and desire in the material world that is governed by Shiva’s consort Durga or Shakti who is also known as Maya or the illusory energy of the Supreme Lord which compels the Spirit Soul to take repeated birth and death and keeps him away from the path of devotional service and Self-realization. The Jivatma or Spirit Soul who after many lifetimes achieves Personal God consciousness and practices devotional service by surrendering to Lord Krishna or Vishnu with faith and devotion attains Mukti or liberation and becomes eligible to return back to Vaikuntha or spiritual world wherein the Spirit Soul associates eternally with the Supreme God.
Thus by following Varnashram Dharma a Vedic Aryan performs 4 Purusharthas of Dharma (Religiosity), Artha (Economic Development), Kama (fulfilling desires) and Moksha (liberation) and the Personal God worshippers of Vishnu or Krishna perform Bhakti or devotion for achieving Mukti to eternally associate with Supreme God Krishna in the spiritual world.
Thus the Vedic Aryans of Northern India had developed a God-centric culture known as Sanatan Arya Vedic Daivi Varnashram Dharma which was an advanced culture and had conquered many lands by spreading Vedic culture to many lands outside Bharat such as Europe, Mediterranean, Middle East, Central Asia, East Asia, South East Asia and the islands of Indonesia until the Mahabharat period. Digvijay Samrat or Vedic Aryan Emperors belonging to Suryavamsa and Chandravamsa dynasties made conquests of distant lands situated far away from Bharat or India which during Tretayuga and Dwaparyuga by performing Rajasuya and Ashwamedha sacrifices and compelled other non-Aryan or Aryan kings to accept the leadership of AryaBharat and were able to rule the entire earthly planet of known Aryan lands under one emperor thus spreading Aryan culture and Sanskrit language before the Mahabharat War. The world before the Mahabharat War was not complex with many languages, religions, small and large nations competing with each other and philosophical differences between various cultures did not exist because people throughout the world only followed Sanatan dharma, spoke Sanskrit language, studied Vedic literatures and followed Vedic culture.
Self-realized Sages received Vedic knowledges from Supreme God in meditation who passed it orally to their descendants – the Bramhin Varna in the form of Shruti in Satyayuga who preserved and imparted these knowledges in various Vedic texts and were responsible for the cultural, spiritual and philosophical growth of Vedic civilization that shaped Bhartiya culture which is the world’s oldest and advanced culture that is still continued by the present day Bramhin descendants that are connected to their Vedic Aryan Sages by their family Rishi Gotra or lineage from a Vedic Sage proving that the Bramhin Varna have remote historical existence in Bharat from their Vedic Sages who contributed to the cultural, spiritual, intellectual and scholarly advancement of Sanatan Vedic religion. Thus the Bramhins came to be considered as scholarly and intellectual class and the bearer and respected member of the social order in Vedic religion. However the Bramhin Varna in the present age of Kali after the Mahabharat War became puffed up of their high position and knowledge in the Vedic society which gave birth to caste system because caste became hereditary as per family tradition and person’s birth and not by his Varna or quality.
Vedic civilization continued in Tretayuga where Vedic Aryans in northern India performed elaborate Yagyas or fire sacrifices done by well-qualified Bramhins or priestly class under the supervision of Sages for the betterment of mankind, good harvest, protection from enemies and to gain benedictions from natural deities. In Southern India the Dravidians performed Deity worship by building temples and establishing deities of the Supreme God by offering flowers, leafs, food and fruit offerings and lighting lamps. The Dravidians also uttered mantras while glorifying the Supreme God while performing Deity worship as like the Vedic Aryans of Northern India who performed Yagyas while pouring ghee offerings to Fire God. During Tretayuga while visiting Draviddesh Lord Ram witnessed the Deity worship performed by sages like Atri, Agastya and many others with faith and devotion along with Yagyas for attaining spiritual world. From Tretayuga onwards due to mixture of Vedic Aryans settled north of Vindhyas and Dravidians settled to south of Vindhyas, a unified composite Sanatan Dharma was born whose recorded history and description is mentioned in the 18 Puranas wherein the Vedic Aryans worshipped Demigods through fire-sacrifices and fought against Demons which disrupted the growth of Vedic culture in Bharat and conquered these uncivilized miscreants by defeating and driving them out of Bharat as was done in 21 times Kshatriya annihilations by Lord Parshuram and then again by Lord Ram alongwith the help of Ape like humans defeated and vanquished the impious Demons under Ravana after which there was Dravidian dominance over Southern India who worshipped Nagas or serpents since Lord Vishnu slept on a serpentine bed and also his carrier bird Garuda, the Ape like Hanuman was worshipped in Sanatan dharma from Tretayuga. Thus Sanatan Dharma is the world’s ancient most advanced culture that was practiced on a vast geographical area from Central Asia till Indonesia and from present day Iran till Vietnam or Champa and further spread in Dwaparyuga or the age of Vaishyas to far away lands and continents when Vedic Aryans established trade and commerce which developed contacts with non-Aryans and assimilated them into Vedic culture.
Thus Deity worship which started in south India during Tretayuga spread to northern India during Dwaparyuga due to the assimilation of Aryan and Dravidian cultures as it was the age of Vaishyas were new trade routes and commerce between distant lands developed. It also helped in spreading Vedic culture through many foreign lands where people worshipped Supreme God in the form of deities and also through Yagyas. It was during Dwaparyuga that Vedic Aryans of northern India adopted Dravidian deity form of worship and the Dravidians incorporated Yagya worship of Vedic Aryans. Thus it was in Dwaparyuga that the assimilation of 2 distinct cultures separated by geography took place in Bharat i.e. the Vedic Aryans of Northern India and Dravidians of Southern India in which both cultures accepted each others modes of worship ie Yagyas and Deity worship that was followed as a unified culture throughout India and helped in the spread of Sanatan Dharma outside Bharat which also formed the mainstay of present day Hindu religion and culture.
However after the Mahabharat War which occurred in 3169 BC present day Sanatan dharma or Hinduism adopted the Dravidian form of temple and deity worship than the Yagya form of fire sacrifices. This happened during Latter Vedic Age which started after the Mahabharat War until the appearance of Lord Buddha in 6th century BC. In the Latter Vedic period the 2 groups Puranics and Vedics in Sanatan Vedic Dharma were in competition with Jainism and Buddhism. The Puranics composed 6 Puranas of Bramha, 6 Puranas of Vishnu, chief among SrimadBhagvat Purana and 6 Puranas of Shiva. From latter Vedic period in Sanatan dharma due to the composition of Puranas people worshipped deities of Lord Krishna, Vishnu and its incarnations were known as Vaishnavas, worshippers of Shiva were known as Shaivas and those who worshipped feminine deities such as Durga, Kali, Devi were known as Shaktas The Vedic form of Yagyas remain confined to certain rites and rituals in certain ceremonies while Deity worship and temples where many people gathered to perform Supreme God’s worship gained prominence in Hindu culture and deity worship also became widespread in the personal home worship of people to attain the mercy of Supreme God with faith and devotion were they established deity altar and worshipped the Deity with devotional paraphernalia as mentioned in Agama Sutras and Bhakti Sutras of Narada.
At the end of Dwaparyuga and start of Kaliyuga a great war happened at Kurukshetra where the impious Kauravas and the 5 Pandavas alongwith their armies assembled to fight. Lord Krishna sided with the pious Pandavas and became his dear friend Arjuna’s charioteer to end the rule of the miscreant Kauravas and establish the rule of Dharma by installing Yudhisthira on the rightful throne of Hastinapur. The Supreme God Krishna appears only once in a day of Bramha which consists of 1000 Mahayuga cycles that consists of 14 Manvantars or Manu epochs.
Lord Krishna appeared 5000 years ago from the Spiritual world at the end of Dwaparyuga with all his potencies in order to establish principles of religion on earth, destroy the miscreants and protect his devotees by performing loving pastimes with them. Lord Krishna instructed his dear most friend Arjuna on the battlefield of Kurukshetra the transcendental and spiritual message of Bhagvad Gita which appears in Bhisma Parva of the epic Mahabharat written by VedVyas who is the literary incarnation of Lord Krishna.
Just before the start of Mahabharat War, Arjuna after seeing his own friends and relatives standing before him to fight became heartbroken and morose and put down his bow and arrow as he could not kill his own kinsmen out of compassion and kindness for them. Lord Krishna then started his transcendental narration by making Arjuna understand that his duty as a Kshatriya is to fight and regain their lost kingdom from the Kurus who had cunningly taken their kingdom and were all irreligious and of immoral character, so Lord Krishna instructed Arjun that you have to just execute his orders and this war is as per the Supreme Lord’s plan for destroying the miscreants and reinstate Dharma by guiding Arjun as a charioteer to win the war and regain their lost kingdom.
Lord Krishna then explains to Arjuna the temporary material body which is comprised of 8 elements the Panchmahabhutas (Sky, Air, Fire, Water and Earth) and the subtle elements of Mind, Intellect and False Ego. The Jivatma’s material body is mortal and perishes at the time of death, what remains is the eternal Soul which is part and parcel of SuperSoul. Lord Krishna explains that the material body keeps on changing from boyhood, to youth, to oldage, similarly at the time of death it passes onto another body based on the Karmic thoughts or desire at the time of death by which the Spirit Soul once again becomes embodied into new body after death and this is the cycle of reincarnation which is governed by Laws of Karma which are subtle and work on Jivatma’s Karma, desires, destiny, false ego and the illusory material energy or Maya which comprises of 3 modes i.e. goodness, passion and ignorance (Sattva, Rajo, Tamo) which makes a Spirit Soul perform many types of Karmic actions that make him bound to take rebirth as the Spirit Soul forgets about his eternal Self and the path to achieve Self-realization wherein the fallen conditioned Soul can revive and establish his relationship with Supreme God through the process of Yoga. Lord Krishna therefore explains Arjuna in the Bhagvad Gita the various Yogic processes such as Karma, Gyan, Hathayoga, Dhyanyoga and Bhaktiyoga by which a human can achieve his eternal abode.
Lord Krishna starts explaining the nature of Spirit Soul which is indestructible, unborn, eternal, non-changeable and constant which remains unaffected by the changes caused by the modes of material nature and the changes that occur within the body. It cannot be killed by any weapon, nor dried by wind and nor it can be burnt by fire. The Spirit Soul is embodied in a particular material body or specie as per the free will and desire of the individual Soul to lord it over the material nature and enjoy separately from the Supreme Lord in the Spiritual Lord and so achieves fallen state in the material world wherein he is subjected to repeated birth and death and keeps on changing bodies until the Spirit Soul achieves Self-realization i.e. the Spirit Soul surrenders to the SuperSoul present within by which he can eternally associate in the Spiritual world with the Supreme Lord because the Jivatma is part and parcel of Parmatma and the Jivatma’s only duty is to serve Bhagvan in loving devotion or Parmatma in Vaikuntha or spiritual world. Therefore when a Jivatma falls from the spiritual world since he wants to enjoy separately due to his free will, Lord Krishna as the compassionate Supreme father of all fallen Souls is eternally present as Parmatma or SuperSoul within every individual Spirit soul to neutrally monitor the activities of the fallen conditioned Soul in the material world who is being subjected to repeated birth and death caused by the Jivatma’s own false ego and the illusory material nature or Maya which makes Jivatma deluded and forgetful in achieving Self-realization through devotion unto the Supreme God. The Spirit Soul is part and parcel of SuperSoul and both the SuperSoul i.e. the Supreme Lord and individual Spirit Soul which eternally belongs to the spiritual world possesses Satchidanand form which is full of eternity, bliss and knowledge. Thus the Supreme Lord Krishna in his Bhagvan feature eternally exists in Goloka Vrindavan in spiritual world with his liberated devotees that serve him and who appeared 5000 years ago on the earthly planet to perform his Vrindavan, Mathura and Dwarka pastimes and to help Pandavas win their lost kingdom and once again the Supreme Lord Krishna appeared as Lord Chaitanya in the form of Radharani to experience the love of Krishna 500 years ago alongwith his associates and to spread the Sankirtan movement of chanting the holy names by which the fallen Souls of Kaliyuga can attain the Spiritual world by purifying their consciousness and reviving their eternal relationship by the mercy of the Supreme Lord. Lord Krishna is eternally present as Parmatma within every Jivatma or fallen conditioned Spirit Souls of all material universes who are subjected to repeated birth and death and the sum-total impersonal Bramhan which pervades the spiritual sky has its source from Lord Krishna’s transcendental eternal body which pervades the Spiritual sky and the localized Bramhan or Aatma is part and parcel of the SuperSoul or Parmatma which is the representative of Supreme Lord Krishna. Thus Bhagvan is ever-existing in the spiritual world and is transcendental eternal and possessing 64 qualities and 6 opulences in totality. While the individual Spirit Soul is given independence to either stay eternally with the Supreme Lord in the spiritual world or due to his free will the Jivatma enjoys separately in the material world wherein the Supreme Lord Krishna as a compassionate father is present as Kshirdokshayi Vishnu form known as Parmatma within every Jivatma for neutrally monitoring the activities of the fallen individual Spirit soul in his every birth until he achieves Self-realization and liberation.
The Supreme Lord Krishna then explains Arjuna about Karma or action, Action in Krishna consciousness, Renunciation of work or Karma, Karma or Work in Devotion. All these topics regarding action and reaction are very important for a Krishna conscious devotee or a normal person to know while performing their duties and is explained in 3rd , 4th and 5th chapters of Bhagvad Gita. Lord Krishna explains 3 types of Karma.
Vikarma means sinful Karma which leads a person to bondage that leads to repeated birth and death in this material world due to fruition of bad Karma in the future that affects a living entity. This Vikarma is caused by bad habits such as meat eating, illict sex, gambling and intoxication, bad behavior and its resultant Karma caused by lust, anger, greed, envy, false pride and illusion punishes a humans in hellish and lower planetary systems.
Sukarma – Good Karma which gives good results or heavenly planets but no liberation to the Jivatma has to once again take birth on earthly planet after completion of enjoying the fruits of Good Karma in the heavenly planets until Bramhaloka.
Akarma or Naishkarmya – Actions in Krishna consciousness which means to surrender the fruits of our actions to Krishna and not thinking about its results that will give us liberation and not lead to bondage of work.
Lord Krishna says that Work in Devotion is far more better than Renunciation of work for a person remains devoted to Krishna while performing his prescribed occupation and daily engages his mind in devotional service to Lord Krishna while at work through remembering the Supreme Lord while renunciation of work is not prescribed by the Supreme Lord for it leads to Markata Vairagya wherein we leave everything and go to forest by taking Sanyasa which is not required by Lord Krishna while performing his devotional service.
Arjuna asks Lord Krishna while quitting this material body many people cannot remember your holy names due to the accumulation of mucus in their throat, some have difficulty in breathing, while some are in unconscious state. So Lord Krishna in the 8th chapter titled – attaining the Supreme states that whoever at the time of death remembers him at once attains his eternal nature or spiritual world provided they should have followed Bhaktiyoga the entire life to remember him at the time of death. Here the Supreme Lord especially speaks about Bhakti or devotion to those persons whose consciousness are fixed upon him and who regularly chant his holy names – the Hare Krishna Mahamantra will attain him without fail. Lord Krishna explains the destination of Demigod worshippers and of the impersonalists who want to merge in the Bramhan effulgence cannot come to him because of their consciousness. It is only the devotees which will attain his spiritual abode Vaikuntha and after coming to his spiritual abode the devotees eternally associate and serve the Supreme God with loving devotion by never again returning to this material world which is full of miseries.
Lord Krishna says that those who have faith in my transcendental appearance and disappearance and my transcendental activities never return to this material world again and call as fools to those who consider him as a human being who have taken birth within them and are unaware of his transcendental form and pastimes are subjected to repeated birth and death in this material world. Lord Krishna here makes difference between devotees and non-devotees, the faithful and the faithless in Krishna consciousness. Lord Krishna declares that my devotees never perish and assures that whoever worships him with faith and devotion, the Supreme Lord takes care of all his needs and will take care of what his devotee lacks.
In the 10th chapter of Bhagvad Gita the Supreme Lord Krishna mentions about his many opulences to Arjuna which proves that he is the Supreme Personality of Godhead himself and everything which is great, magnaminous and wonderful is part of his own creation and represents him, he is the cause of causes and is the governing time.
In the 11th chapter to elaborate more on his opulences the Supreme Lord showed Arjuna his universal form wherein Arjuna could see the Supreme Lord’s opulent Cosmic manifestation which contained million heads with million hands and million legs and Arjun could see the various planetary system with the entire cosmic manifestation in one place proving that the Supreme Lord Krishna is the source of his creation, sustenance and destruction of the cosmic manifestation and still the Supreme Lord remains unaffected by it and possesses an eternal beautiful Shyamsundar form which is 2 handed which is liked by Arjun and his other devotees and is the source of his four handed Vishnu form holding the Conchshell, Club, Disc and the lotus flower in each of his 4 hands. The Supreme Lord Krishna after showing his Unversal form, then his 4 handed Vishnu form and his original Krishna form which is liked by devotees tells Arjun the importance of devotional service and says that one can attain him by the performance of devotion and lead an eternal life with him in the spiritual world.
Bhagvad Gita Chapters 12, 13, 15 and 18 gives us the final conclusion of Krishna’s teaching to mankind who are in search of salvation through Bhaktiyoga and the Supreme Lord in 12th Chapter explains 2 types of devotees, the Personalists and the impersonalists. The Supreme Lord Krishna mentions the destination of the Personal form of devotees and of the impersonal form of devotees due to their consciousness and how it is difficult for his impersonal devotees to gain liberation and even after getting liberation the impersonalists once again become embodied in the material world, Lord Krishna explains the 36 qualities of his devotees which are ideal in progressing in devotional service to him.
In the 13th chapter Lord Krishna gives us the knowledge of Nature, Enjoyer and Consciousness by knowing which a person gets Self-realized and to get liberation from material world. It states that a person understands that he is not this material body but eternal Spirit Soul and is part and parcel of SuperSoul which eternally resides within his SpiritSoul in each of his birth the living entity achieves liberation as the SuperSoul is the representative of Supreme Lord. Through the process of knowledge a person knows that the Supreme Person is Purusa, the Supreme Enjoyer and as a part and parcel of Purusa we as Jivatma are being born into Prakriti to enjoy material nature as per desires. From this chapter the human understands Prakriti or material nature, his position to serve the supreme Lord who is the Supreme Enjoyer in loving devotion and that his consciousness should be Krishna consciousness by which he becomes eligible for liberation from repeated birth and death.
In the 15th chapter the Yoga of the Supreme Person, the Supreme Lord instructs that the ultimate purpose of Vedic knowledge is to detach oneself from the entanglement of the material world and to understand Lord Krishna’s supreme identity by surrendering unto him and engage in his devotional service. This surrender to Lord Krishna is acheived by surrendering our ego to Lord Krishna by performing Bhakti and thinking that everything belongs to the Supreme Lord and whatever is happening is as per the Supreme Lord’s will, thus by getting detached from sense gratification and following devotional service unto the Supreme Lord is the essence of Bhagvad Gita to mankind if they want relief from repeated birth and death for achieving the spiritual world by the mercy of Lord Krishna. To achieve the mercy of Lord Krishna who not only fulfills all our needs but also gives us liberation at the time of death in this human form of life our duty is to know Lord Krishna by hearing about his pastimes, chanting and remembering and worshipping his deity form with loving devotion. Just as a king is served by his subjects by following rules and regulations, similarly for going back to the eternal kingdom of Supreme God Krishnaloka in Vaikuntha and for having eternal life Lord Krishna himself instructed us the gemlike 700 shlokas of BhagvadGita by explaining different Yogic processes but especially stressed to mankind to perform Bhaktiyoga which is the most easiest and sublime way to achieve his divine mercy and compassion. Thus Bhagvad Gita is a rule book which should be followed by mankind and especially devotees if they want to achieve the mercy of Krishna and achieve eternal life in Krishnaloka which is the topmost planet in the Spiritual world.
In the 18th chapter of Bhagvad Gita the Supreme Lord instructs final message to Arjun for making him fight which Arjuna obeys by explaining him the real meaning of Renunciation which is based on the modes of ignorance, passion and goodness. Lord Krishna explains the divisions of 4 social orders based on qualities and characteristics. Lord Krishna finally explains Arjuna devotional service in a nutshell wherein a devotee who with faith and devotion is always immersed in thinking, worshipping and performing sacrifices as a remembrance to the Supreme Lord is very dear to the Supreme Lord and the Supreme Lord accepts his devotion. In this the Supreme Lord explains devotional service to his devotees which is 9 types of devotional service beginning with hearing, chanting, remembering, worshipping, Archanam, Dasyam, Sakhyam, Pada-sevanam and Atma-nivedanam,
By performing all of these devotional activities or any one of them a devotee achieves the mercy of Lord Krishna who in the very next verse which is the gist of Bhagvad Gita says Arjuna to abandon all types of religion and surrender unto his lotus feet by which the Supreme Lord shall deliver him from all sinful reactions and assures him by saying that do not fear. The Supreme Lord Krishna who is supreme and is source of the spiritual and material worlds and on whom everything rests and he is present in everything instructs mankind to surrender their false ego unto him since the Spirit soul is part and parcel of SuperSoul and the SuperSoul is representative of Lord Krishna in the material world for the fallen Souls. Therefore a fallen Spirit Soul who surrenders his ego and his status or acquired religion or Dharma in loving devotional service to the Supreme Lord will be delivered from the repeated cycle of birth and death and will be relieved of all his past sinful reactions, while doing the Spirit Soul is assured of not to fear because the Supreme Lord is their for the Spirit Soul’s protection for which the only pre-requisite for the Spirit Soul is to surrender the SuperSoul or Lord Krishna in devotion.
Actual Bhaktiyoga or Krishna consciousness starts when a person surrenders to Lord Krishna in loving devotion and obeys the instructions of his spiritual master who guides him in bhaktiyoga unto the path of liberation into the eternal Goloka planet of Lord Krishna in Vaikuntha to be one of the eternal associates of the Supreme Lord wherein a liberated Soul eternally serves the Supreme Lord in loving devotion in the spiritual world. In order to have spiritual elevation into the Spiritual world one should accept spiritual initiation from one of the 4 bonafide Vaishnav sampradayas which trace their lineage from Lord Bramha, Goddess Laxmidevi, Lord Shiva and the 4 Kumars. MadhvaGauda sampradaya has its origin from Lord Bramha in which Madhvacharya appeared in 12th century in Udipi and was instructed by VedVyas to present his real Vedanta to the world by refuting monistic view of Shankaracharya or Mayavada impersonalism and established devotional service unto Lord Krishna or Bhakti movement in Southern India. Chaitanya Mahaprabhu appeared as a devotee of Lord Krishna in the form of Radharani 500 years ago in Bengal to spread the chanting of Hare Krishna Mahamantra through Sankirtan movement in order to deliver the fallen Souls of Kaliyuga.
Thus Karma will lead us to repeated birth due to Jivatma’s unfulfilled desires from his present birth and will lead to miseries and sufferings in his present birth as well as next due to his desires that are caused by the 3 modes of material nature.
A person who is seeking eternal life in the spiritual world or Vaikuntha which is full of eternity, bliss and knowledge must perform Bhaktiyoga which is the easiest and sublime method to eternally get connected to the source of our creation which is all pervading and is the Supreme controller and is present within everyone heart as the Parmatma or SuperSoul. A fallen conditioned Spirit Soul in the material world can awaken love for Godhead as demonstrated by Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu through the process of chanting of holy names as the Supreme Lord has invested all his energies and potencies in his holy names. The Supreme Lord Krishna’s holy names are non-different from his eternal and transcendental names, fame, qualities and pastimes and a devotee who regularly chants the holy names with faith and devotion is eligible to attain eternal life in the spiritual world. A person who gradually becomes Krishna conscious by devotional service gives up bad things and association in his present life and accepts devotional principles by changing his lifestyle which are conducive to the growth of his Bhakti. Regular chanting gradually washes accumulated sins from many births which is their in his heart of a devotee and helps the devotee in attaining Self-realization and also awaken within him pure love of Godhead through the process of surrendering in loving devotion which should be the real aim of human form of life to escape the repeated cycle of birth and death. In Bhaktiyoga a devotee along with chanting also worships the deity of the Supreme Lord with love and devotion by establishing a Deity altar and daily offering Deities with faith and devotion flowers, water, Tulsi leaves and offerings of fruits and prasadam by reciting of mantras and prayers and then performing Archana Bhakti before the Deity altar with fragrant incense sticks, Dhoop and Diyas. A devotee bows in Dandavats before Lord Krishna and Vishnu temples and visits temples on festivals and Ekadashis to associate with devotees which contributes in the devotee’s progress of devotional service and increases his Bhakti towards the Supreme God. In the present age of Kaliyuga chanting is prescribed as Yugdharma and performance of deity worship everyday by a devotee will make him disciplined in the execution of devotional service. Thus a Bhaktiyogi throughout his entire life by daily chanting holy names, performance of deity worship and under the guidance of his Spiritual master a disciple gets initiated by submissively rendering service and enquiring about Supreme truth, the Spiritual master guides the disciple into the science of Krishna consciousness or Bhaktiyoga by which a Bhakta or devotee remembers the Supreme Lord at the time of death and becomes eligible to eternally associate with the Supreme Lord in the Spiritual world whereby escaping repeated cycle of birth and death which should be the real aim of human life.
The Vishnudutas or messengers of Vishnu from Vaikuntha or spiritual world take Vaishnavas or devotees of Krishna or Vishnu incarnations to their desired planet in the Spiritual world based on the devotee’s consciousness at the time of death. The gross materialist or Karmis who are indulged in sinful activities and sense gratification are taken by Yamadutas – the messengers of Yamaraj to the hellish world for punishment by Yamaraj or God of death for their sinful Karmas or activities in their entire life for not following the principles of Dharma. In SrimadBhagvatam Purana 36 types of different hells are mentioned in which a sinful person is subjected and punished by the Yamadutas according to the particular sinful act or Vikarma or Dushkarma that a Karmi performs.
Good Karmas are those by which a person is elevated to the heavenly planets for performing good deeds after death such as giving charity, digging wells and tanks for social cause, feeding the poor and by performing Demigod worship and various fire-sacrifices to elevate to the heavenly planets of the Demigods where the lifespan is long as compared to earth and a person enjoys his stay in the heavenly planets as long as the fruits of his good actions are not finished after which he is once again compelled to take birth on the earthly planet since none of the Demigods can award liberation to a Spirit Soul as like the Supreme Lord Krishna or his Vishnu incarnations like Rama, Narsimha, Parshurama, Vaman etc which are eternally existing in Vaikuntha or spiritual world. All the upper planetary system from Bramhaloka down to the lower planetary system including the earthly planet are all places of misery and repeated birth and death. Even those who merge in the impersonal Bramhan of the supreme Lord which is controlled by Lord Shiva known as Sadashivloka are denied liberation into the Spiritual world for having eternal life due to the Spirit Soul’s impersonal God consciousness and the impersonal God conscious Spirit Soul once again takes birth in the material world. The living conditions and the lifespan of the residents of heavenly planets are more advanced and much longer than on earth, however there is no eternal life in the heavenly planets as like in the spiritual world of Supreme Lord. A person achieves the various heavenly planets by performing good Karma on the earthly planet by following the Vedic sacrifices as mentioned in the KarmaKanda section of the Vedas and by following the rules and regulations of his occupation or Dharma and becomes eligible to be elevated to the planets of the various Demigods based on the consciousness a person acheives at the time of death to be elevated to a planet of a particular Demigod such as Chandraloka, Suryaloka, Swargaloka until Bramhaloka wherein lifespan is very long as compared to earth and where a person enjoys the fruits of his Good Karma or actions in the form of Godly delights and comforts after the completion of which the Jivatma or person falls from that upper planetary system and once again takes birth on the earthly planet. This cycle of repeated birth and rebirth of Demigod worshippers on the earthly planet continues until the person or Jivatma realizes that the various Demigods are parts and parcels of the Supreme Lord Krishna and if he develops faith on the Supreme Lord Krishna who is the cause of all causes and who maintains the Universal affairs by surrendering to Supreme Lord Krishna in loving devotion will make him devotee of the Supreme Lord and transcend the modes of material nature and achieving the spiritual world by the mercy of Lord Krishna.
It is Aryama, the ruler of Pitraloka who decides the faith and destination of our forefathers except Bhaktiyogis who transcend the modes of material nature by the mercy of Lord Krishna which is not based on the devotee’s Karma since Krishna conscious activity or Naishkarmya leads one to liberation and not Karmic bondage. Therefore people on earth observe the Shraddha ceremony for the departed Souls after death and observe a mourning period of 13 days during which a departed Soul achieves another body as per his Karma and also observe the 15 day fortnight of Pitrupaksha period every year after the 10 day Ganesh festival in the second paksha of Bhadrapad in which the earthly people remember the departed Souls or Pitras or forefathers who could not get safe passage after death for not being embodied into their next birth safely. The Karmi for his sinful Karmas is punished by Aryama and send to Yamloka where the Yamdutas torment the Spirit Soul for his sinful activity. Aryama decides the destination of the Spirit Souls that perform Good Karma on the earthly planet and about their elevation into upper planetary system where they enjoy life as per their Good Karma. The Spirit Soul after enjoying the good fruits of his Karma in heavenly planets falls down from his position to once take birth on earthly planet either takes birth as a human or in a lower species is based on the desire of fallen Spirit Soul which is neutrally monitored by Aryama from Pitraloka. In Pitraloka the Spirit Souls after getting punished from Yamaraj are send by Aryama to get themselves reformed on earthly planet after their accumulated bad Karma is washed and are not transferred to a lower species but are given a chance to be born as a human in which liberation and God-realization is achieved by performing Naishkarmya or actions in Krishna consciousness that lead to Bhakti or devotional service to the Supreme Lord by which a Krishna conscious person by the Supreme Lord’s mercy after many lifetimes becomes eligible to escape repeated cycle of birth and death by the Supreme Lord’s mercy to associate eternally with him in the Spiritual world.