Wednesday, January 29, 2014

VIII: 25

Chapter 8, Verse 25

"There is also the path of night and smoke,
The path of the Moon's dark fortnight.
The one who takes this path reaches the lunar light,
Leading back to human birth."

Mahatma Gandhi:

I do not understand the meaning of these verses.  They do not seem to be consistent with Krishna's teaching.  Krishna teaches that he whose heart is meek with devotion, who is devoted to non-attached action and has seen the Truth will win salvation, no matter what the time of death.  These verses seem to run counter to this.

They may perhaps be stretched to mean broadly that a man of devotion, a man of light, a man who knows Brahm finds release from birth and death if he retains that enlightenment at the time of death and that, on the contrary, the one does not have those attributes goes to the world of the Moon and returns to birth.  The Moon, after all, shines with borrowed light.

Sri Krishna Prem:

Sri Shankaracharya affirms that the path taken after death depends upon Gyan (knowledge of the Self) alone, that the time of death makes no difference whatsoever, and that the various "times" mentioned here are only symbolic.

These "times" are stages on the path that all will tread.  The former is the bright path of consciousness, the path beyond, trodden by those who see Krishna in all.  The latter is the dark path of matter, trodden by the ignorant, a path of gloom and sorrow.  On this path, the only light is that reflected by the Moon of matter.  The traveler under that pale radiance loses himself in forms which are illusory and goes back and forth between birth and death.

Paramahansa Yogananda:

"Smoke" refers to the ignorance, or delusion, that obscures clear perception, holding even the aspiring Yogi in body consciousness.  "Night" is the state of darkness caused by ignorance.  Jesus says, "The (spiritual) eye is the lamp of the body.  If your eye is sound, your whole body shall be full of light; but if your inner eye is not sound, your whole body will be full of darkness."

The path of the Moon's dark fortnight is the out-flowing life and consciousness from the Chakras in spiritually slumbering people, causing them to engage in delusive activity in the night-time of their ignorance.

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