Chapter 8 - Akshara
by Sri Adi Sankaracharya, Translated by Swami Gambhirananda
In the text, '...they know that Brahman, everything (about the individual Self)' (7.29) etc., the Lord has created scope for Arjuna's questions. Consequently, by way of raising those questions-
1. O supreme person, what is that Brahman? What is that which exists in the individual plane? What is action? And what is that which is said to exist in the physical plane? What is that which is said to be existing in the divine plane?
2. O Madhusudana, how, and who, is the entity existing in the sacrifice here in this body? And at the time of death, how are You to be known by people of concentrated minds?
In order to settle these questions seriatim-
The Blessed Lord said:
3. The Immutable is the supreme Brahman; self-hood is said to the entity present in the individual plane. By action is meant the offerings which bring about the origin of the existence of things.
Aksaram means that which does not perish (na ksarati), the supreme Self. This agrees with the Upanisadic text, 'Under the mighty rule of this Immutable, O Gargi...' (Br. 3.8.9). And (the letter) Om is not accept here [as the meaning of aksara (lit. letter)], because of its being mentioned (as a letter) later on in, 'The single letter Om, which is Brahman' (13). Besides, the adjective 'supreme' is more apporpriate with regard to the absolute, immutable Brahman.
By svabhava, self-hood, is meant the eixtence of that very supreme Brahman in every body as the indwelling Self. Svabhavah ucyate, self-hood is said to be, is referred to by the word; adhyatmam, the entity which, as the indwelling Self, exists in the body (atma) by making it its habitat (adhikrtya), and which in the ultimate analysis is the supreme Brahman.
Visargah, the offerings, the giving away to gods of things like porridge [Caru: An oblations of rice, barley and pulse boiled-together to be offered to gods.], cake, etc.; bhuta-bhava-udbhava-karah, which bring about the origin of the existence of things; is karma-sanjnitah, meant by action. This sacrifice consisting in pouring of oblations is called action. The existence (bhava) of (moving and nonmoving) things (bhuta) is bhuta-bhava. The coming into being (udbhava) of that (existence) is bhuta-bhava-udbhavah. That which causes (karoti) this is bhuta-bhava-udbhava-karah, i.e. the originator of existing things. It is needed from this source that all bengs, moving and non-moving, originate thorugh the successive processes of railfall etc. (see 3.14-15).
4. The which exists in the physical plane is the mutable entity, and what exists in the divine plane is the Person. O best among the embodied beings, I Myself am the entity that exists in the sacrifice in this body.
Adhibhutam, that which exists in the physical plane, i.e. that which exists by comprising all creatures;-what is it?-it consists of the ksarah bhavah, mutable entity. Ksarah is that which is mutable, which is destructible; bhavah means anything whatsoever that has orgination. This is meaning.
Purusah means the Person, derived in the sense of he by whom all things are pervaded; or, he who lies in every heart. He is Hiranyagarbha, who resides in the Sun and sustains the organs of all creatures. He is adhi-daivatam, the entity existing in the divine plane.
Deha-bhrtam-vara, O best among the embodied beings; adhiyajnah, the entity existing in sacrifices, is the Deity, called Visnu, presiding over all sacrifices-which agrees with the Vedic text, 'Sacrifice is indeed Vishu' (Tai, Sam. 1.7.4). Aham eva, I Myself, who am that very Visnu; am adhiyajnah, the entity existing in the sacrifice; which is going on atra dehe, in this body. Since a sacrfice is performed with body, therefore it is closely associated with the body. In this sense it is said to be going on in the body.
5. And at the time of death, anyone who departs by giving up the body while thinking of Me alone, he attains My state. There is no doubt about this.
Ca, and ; anta-kale, at the time of death; yah, anyone who; prayati, departs; muktva, by giving up; the kalevaram, body; smaran, while thinking; mam eva, of Me alone, who am the supreme Lord Visnu; sah, he; yati, attains; madhavam, My state, the Reality that is Vishu, Asti, there is; na, no; samsayah, doubt; atra, about this, in this regard, as to whether he attains (Me) or not.
'This rule does not apply in relation to me alone.' 'What then?'
6. O son of Kunti, thinking of any entity whichever it may be one gives up the body at the end, he attains that very one, having been always engrossed in its thought.
O Son of Kunti, smaran, thinking of; bhavam, any entity, any particular deity; yam yam va api, which ever it may be; tyajati, one gives up; the kalevaram, body; ante, at the end, at the time of the departure of life; eti, he attains; tam tam eva, that very one, that very entity which is remembered-none else; having been sada, always; tadbhava-bhavitah, engrossed in its thought. Engrossment in it is tad-bhavah; one by whom that is remembered as a matter of habitual recollection is tadbhava-bhavitah.
Since the last thought is thus the cause of acquiring the next body-
7. Therefore, think of Me at all times and fight. There is no doubt that by dedicating your mind and intellect to Me, you will attain Me alone.
Tasmat, therefore; anusmara, think of; mam, Me, in the way prescribed by the scriptures; sarvesu kalesu, at all times; and yudhya, fight, engage your-self in war, which is your own (caste) duty. Asamsayah, there is no doubt in this matter; that arpita-mano-buddhih, by dedicating your mind and intellect; mayi; to Me; esyasi, you-you who have thus dedicated our mind and intellect to Me, Vasudeva-will attain; mam eva, Me alone, as I shall be remembered. [When the Lord instructs Arjuna to think of Him, and at the same time engage in war, it may seem that He envisages a combination of Knowledge and action. But this is not so, because when one thinks of all actions, accessories and results that come within the purview of the mind and the intellect as Brahman, it is denied that actions etc. have any separate reality apart from Brahman. Therefore no combination is involved here.]
8. O son of Prtha, by meditating with a mind which is engaged in the yoga of practice and which does not stray away to anything else, one reaches the supreme Person existing in the effulgent region.
Partha, O son of Prtha; anu-cintayan, by meditating, i.e. contemplating in accordance with (anu) the instruction of teachers and scriptures; cestasa, with a mind; abhyasa-yogayuktena, engaged in the yoga of practice-abhyasa, practice, consists in the repetition of the same kind of thought, uninterupted by any contrary idea, with regard to Me who am the object of concentration of the mind; that practice itself is yoga; the mind of a yogi is engrossed (yuktam) in that itself; with a mind that is such, and na anya-gamina, which does not stray away to anything else which is not inclined to go away to any other object; yati, one reaches; the paramam, supreme, unsurpassed; purusam, Person; divyam, existing in the effulgent region (divi), in the Solar Orb.
And, to what kind of a Person does he go? This is being stated:
9. He who meditates on the Omniscient, the Anceint, the Ruler, subtler than the subtle, the Ordainer of everything, of inconceivable form, effulgent like the sun, and beyond darkness-(he attains the supreme Person).
Yah, he who, anyone who; anusmaret, meditates on; kavim, the Omniscient, the Knower of things past, present and future; puranam, the Ancient, the Eternal; anusasitaram, the Ruler, the Lord of the whole Universe; aniyamsam, subtler; anoh, than the subtle; dhataram, the Ordainer; sarvasya, of every-thing-one who grants the fruits of actions, in all their varieties, individually to all creatures; acintya-rupam, who is of inconceivable form-His form, though always existing, defies being conceived of by anybody; aditya-varnam, who is effulgent like the sun, who is manifest as eternal Consciousness like the effulgence of the sun; and parastat, beyond; tamasah, darkness-beyond the darkness of delusion in the form of ignorance-(he attains the supreme Person). This verse is to be connected with the earlier itself thus: 'by meditating (on Him)....he attains Him.'
10. At the time of death, having fully fixed the Prana (vita force) between the enebrows with an unswering mind, and being imbued with devotion as also the strength of concentration, he reaches that resplendent supreme person.
Prayana-kale, at the time of death; after first brining the mind under control in the lotus of the heart, and then lifting up the vital force-through the nerve going upward-by gradually gaining control over (the rudiments of nature such as) earth etc. [Space, air, fire, water and earth.] and after that, samyak, avesya, having fully fixed; pranam, the Prana (vital force); madhye, between; the bhruvoh, eye-brows, without losing attention; acalena manasa, with an unwavering mind; he, the yogi possessed of such wisdom, yuktah, imbued; bhaktya, with devotion, deep love; ca eva, as also; yoga-balena, [Yoga means spiritual absorption, the fixing of the mind on Reality alone, to the exclusion of any other object.] with the strength of concentration-i.e; imbued with that (strength) also, consisting in steadfastness of the mind arising from accumulation of impressions resulting from spiritual absorption; upaiti, reaches; tam, that; div yam, resplendent; param, supreme; purusam, Person, described as 'the Omniscient, the Ancient,' etc.
The Lord again speaks of Brahman which is sought to be attained by the process going to be stated, and which is described through such characteristics as, 'What is declared by the knowers of the
11. I shall speak to you briefly of that immutable Goal which the knowers of the Vedas declare, into which enter the deligent ones free from attachment, and aspiring for which people practise celibacy.
Pravaksye, I shall speak; te, to you; samgrahena, briefly; tat, of that; which is called the aksaram, immutable-that whch does not get exhausted, which is indestructible; padam, Goal to be reached; yat, which; veda-vidah, the knowers of the Vedas, the knowers of the purport of the Vedas; vedanti, declare, speak of It as opposed to all qualifications-'It is neither gross nor minute' (Br. 3.8.8) etc.-, in accordance with the Upanisadic text, 'O Gargi, the knowers of Brahman say this Immutable (Brahman) is that' (ibid); and further, yat, into which, after the attainment of complete realization; visanti, enter; yatayah, the diligent ones, the monks; who have become vita-ragah, free from attachment; and icchantah, aspiring to know (-to know being supplied to complete the sense-); yat, which Immutable; people caranti, practise; brahmacaryam, celibacy-at the teacher's house.
Commencing with, '"O venerable sir, which world does he really win thereby who, among men, intently meditates on Om in that wonerful way till death?" To him he said, "O Satyakama, this very Brahman that is (known as) the inferior and superior is but this Om"' (pr.5.1-2), it has been stated, 'Again, anyone who meditates on the supreme Purusa with the help of this very syllable Om, as possessed of three letters,...he is lifted up to the world of Brahma (Hiranyagarbha) by the Sama-mantras,' (op.cit.5) etc. Again, beginning with '(Tell me of that thing which you see as) different from virtue, different from vice,' it has been stated, 'I tell you briefly of that goal which all the Vedas with one voice propound, which all the austerities speak of, and wishing for which people practise Brahmacarya: it is this, viz Om' (Ka.1.2.14-15), etc.
In the above quotations, Om which is going to be spoken of is presented as a name of this supreme Brahman, and also as Its symbol like an image. This has been done as a means to meditation on it (Om) for the attainment of the supreme Brahman by poeple of low and mediocre intellect, in as much as this leads to Liberation in course of time. Here also that very meditation on Om in the manner stated above-which is the means of attaining the supreme Brahman introduced in, '(He who meditates on) the Omniscient, the Ancient,' and in, '(I shall speak to you birefly of that immutable Goal) which the knowers of the Vedas declare,' and which (meditation) leads to Liberation in due course [Realization of Brahman leads to immediate Liberation (sadyomukti, whereas meditation (contemplation, upasana) leads to gradual Liberation (krama-mukti).-Tr.]-has to be spoken of along with 'adherence to yoga' as also whatever is connected directly or indirectly with it. For this purpose the following text is begun:
12. Having controlled all the passages, having confined the mind in the heart, and having fixed his own vital force in the head, (and then) continuing in the firmness in yoga;
Samyamya, having controlled; sarva-dvarani, all the passages, the doors of perception; niruddhya, having confined; the manah, mind; hrdi, in the heart-not allowing it to spread out; and after that, with the help of the mind controlled therein, rising up through the nerve running upward from the heart, adhaya, having fixed; atmanah, his own; pranam, vital force; murdhni, in the lead; (and then) asthitah, continuing in; yogadharanam, the firmness in yoga-in order to make it steady-.
And while fixing it there itself,
13. He who departs by leaving the body while uttering the single syllable, viz Om, which is Brahman, and thinking of Me, he attains the supreme Goal.
Yah, he who; prayati, departs, dies; tyajan, by leaving; deham, the body-the phrase 'leaving the body' is meant for qualifying departure; thereby it is implied that the soul's departure occurs by abandoning the body, and not through the destruction of its own reality, having abandoned thus-; vyaharan, while uttering; the eka-adsaram, single syllable; om iti brahma, viz Om, which is Brahman, Om which is the name of Brahman; and anusmaran, thinking; mam, of Me, of God who is implied by that (syllable); sah, he; yati, attains; the paramam, supreme, best; gatim, Goal.
14. O son of Prtha, to that yogi of constant concentration and single-minded attention, who remembers Me uninterruptedly and for long, I am easy of attainment.
Partha, O son of Prtha, tasya yoginah, to that yogi; nitya-yuktasya, of constant concentration, who is ever absorbed (in God); and ananya-cetah, of single-minded attention, a yogi whose mind is not drawn to any other object; yah, who; smarati, remembers; mam, Me, the supreme God; satatam, uninteruptedly; and nityasah, for long-.
By satatam, uninterrupteldy, is meant 'without any break'. By niryasah, is meant along duration. Not six months, nor even a year! What then? The meaning is: He who remembers Me for his whole life, continuously.
To that yogi aham, I; am sulabhah, easy of attainment. Since this is so, therefore one should remain ever absorbed in Me, with mind given to nothing else.
'What follows from Your being easy of attainment?' This is being answered: 'Hear what follows from My being easy of attainment.'
15. As a result of reaching Me, the exalted ones who have attained the highest perfection do not get rebirth which is an abode of sorrows and which is impermanent.
Upetya mam, as a result of reaching Me who am God-as a result of realizing My nature; mahatmanah, the exalted ones, the monks; gatah, who have attained; the paramam, highest; samsiddhim, perfection, called Liberation; na, do not; apnuvanti, get; this kind of punarjanama, rebirth. As to what kind of rebirth they do not get, the Lord states its characteristics-duhkhalayam, which is an abode of sorrows, a resort of physical and other sorrows, i.e. a birth to which sorrows adhere. It is not merely an abode of sorrows, but also asavatam, impermanent, having no fixity of nature.
On the other hand, those who do not reach Me, they come again.
Again, 'Is it that those who attain someone other than You return?' This is being answered:
16. O Arjuna, all the worlds together with the world of Brahma are subject to return. But, O son of Kunti, there is no rebirth after reaching Me.
O Arjuna, all the lokah, worlds; abrahma-bhuvanat, together with the world of Brahma-bhuvana is that (place) in which creatures are born, and brahma-bhuvana means the world of Brahma; punah avartinah, are subject to return, are by nature liable to come again; Tu, but; kaunteya, O son of Kunti, na vidyate, there is no; punarjanma, rebirth; upetya, after reaching; mam, Me alone.
Why are all the worlds together with the realm of Brahma subject to return? Becuase they are limited by time. How?
17. Those poeple who are knowers of what day and night are, know the day of Brahma which ends in a thousand yugas [The four yugas (in the human worlds), viz Satya, Treta, Dwapara, and Kali are made up of 4,320,000 years. This period multiplied by a thousand constitutes one day of Brahma. His night also extends over an equal period. See M.S. and V.S.A.], and His night which ends in a thousand
Viduh, they know; that ahah, day; brahmanah, of Brahma, of Prajapati, of Virat; yat, which; sahasra-yuga-paryantam, ends in a thousand yugas; and also the ratirm, night; yuga-sahasra-antam, which ends in a thousand yugas, having the same duration as the day. Who knows (these)? In reply the Lord says: Te, they; janah, poeple; ahoratra-vidah, who are the knowers of what day and night are, i.e. the people who know the measurement of time. Since the worlds are thus delimited by time, therefore they are subject to return.
What happens during the day and the night of Prajapati is being stated:
18. With the coming of day all manifested things emerge from the Unmanifest and when night comes they merge in that itself which is called the
Ahar-agame, with the coming of day, at the time when Brahma wakes; sarvah vyaktayah, all manifested things, all things that get manifested, all creatures characterized as moving and non-moving; prabhavanti, emerge, become manifested; avyaktat, from the Unmanifested-avyakta (Unmanifested) is the state of sleep of Prajapati; from that avyakta. Similarly, ratri-agame, when night comes, at the time when Brahma sleeps; praliyante, they, all the manifested things, merge; tatra eva, in that itself; avyakta-sanjnake, which is called the Unmanifested referred to above.
In order to obviate the defect of the emergence of some unmerited result and the destruction of merited results; [The following verse says that the very same multitude of beings continues in the different cycles of creation, and there-fore these two defects do not arise.] for pointing out the meaningfulness of the scriptures [For the earlier reason the scriptures do not lose their validity.] dealing with bondage and Liberation; and with a view to propounding detachment from the world on the ground that the helpless multitude of beings perishes after being born again and again under the influence of accumulated results of actions that have for their origin such evils as ignorance etc. [The five evils are: ignorance, egoism, attachment, aversion and clinging to life. (See P. Y. Su. 2.3)], the Lord says this:
19. O son of Prtha, after being born again and again, that very multitude of beings disappears in spite of itself at the approach of night. It comes to life at the approach of day.
O son of Prtha, bhutva, after being born again and again at the approach of day; sah eva, that very-not any other; bhutagramah, multitude of beings, consisting of the moving and the non-moving objects that existed in the earlier cycle of creation; praliyate, disappears repeatedly; avasah, in spinte of itself, [For they are impelled by their own defects] without any independence whatever; ratri-agame, at the approach of night, at the close of the day. Prabhavati, it comes to life, verily in spite of itself; ahar-agame, at the approach of day.
The means for the attainment of that Immutable which was introduced has been pointed out in, 'He who departs by leaving the body while uttering the single syllable, viz Om, which is Brahman, ' etc. (13). Now, with a vies to indicating the real nature of that very Immutable, this is being said-that It is to be reached through this path of yoga:
20. But distinct from that Unmanifested is the other eternal unmainfest Reality, who does not get destroyed when all beings get destroyed.
He is parah, distinct, different;-From what?-tasmat, from that aforesaid
The word tu, but, is meant for showing the distinction of the Immutable that is going to be spoken of from the Unmanifested.
He is bhavah, the Reality, the supreme Brahman called the Immutable.
Even though different, there is the possibility of similarlity of characteristics. Hence, for obviating this the Lord says: anyah, the other, of a different characteristic, and He is the Immutable which is beyond the range of the organs. It has been said that He is distinct from that. From what, again is He distinct? Avyaktat, from the Unmaifested spoken of earlier, which is the seed of the multitude of beings, and which is characterized as ignorance (avidya) [Ast. adds, 'anyah vilaksanah, bhavah ityabhiprayah: The meaning is that the Reality is different and distinct (form that Unmanifested).-Tr.] He is sanatnah, eternal.
Bhavah, the Reality; yah sah, who is such; na, does not; vinasyati, get destroyed; when sarvesu bhutesu, all beings, beginning from Brahma; nasyatsu, get destroyed.
21. He who has been mentioned as the Unmanifested, the Immutable, they call Him the supreme Goal. That is the supreme abode of Mine, reaching which they do not return.
He Himself who has been uktah, meantioned; as avyaktah, Unmanifest; the aksarah, Immutable; ahuh, they call; tam, Him-that very unmanifest Reality which is termed as the Immutable; the paramam, supreme; gatim, Goal. Tat, That; is the paramam, supreme; dhama, abode, i.e. the supreme State; mama, of Mine, of Visnu; yam prapya, reaching which Reality; na nivartante, they do not return to the worldly state.
The means for gaining That is being stated:
22. O son of Prtha, that supreme Person-in whom are included (all) the beings and by whom all this is pervaded-is, indeed, reached through one-pointed devotion.
O son of Prtha, sah, that; parah purusah, supreme, unsurpassable Person-(the word purusa) derived in the sense of 'residing in the heart' or 'all-pervasiveness'; that Person, compared to whom there is nothing superior-; yasya, in whom, in which Person; antahsthani, are included; bhutani, (all) the beings which are Its products-for a product remains inherent in its cause; and yena, by whom, by which Person; tatam, is pervaded; sarvam, all; idam, this, the Universe, as pot etc. are by space; is tu, indeed; labhyah, reached; through ananyaya, one-pointed; bhaktya, through devotion, characterized as Knowledge; ananyaya, which is one pointed, which relates to the Self.
The Northern Path meant for the attainment of Braman by the yogis under discussion, who have superimposed the idea of Brahman on the syllable Om and who are destined to get Liberation in due course, has to be stated. Hence, in order to present the intended idea the verse, '(O best of the Bharata dynasty) of that time...at which,' etc. is being recited. The description of the Path of Return (in verse 25) is by way of praising the other Path (of Departure, in verse 24):
23. O best of the Bharata dynasty, I shall now speak of that time by departing at which the yogis attain the State of Non-return, and also (of the time by departing at which they attain) the State of Return.
Bharatarsabha, O best of the Bharata dynasty; vaksyami, I shall speak; tu, now; tam, of that; kalam, time; prayatah, by departing, by dying; (-these words are to be which time; yoginah, the yogis; yanti, attain; anavrttim, the State of Non-return, of nonrebirth; ca eva, and also; of the time by departing at which they attain its opposite, avrttim, the State of Return.
By 'Yogis' are implied both the yogis (men of meditation) and the men of acitons (rites and duties).
But the men of action are yogis by courtesy, in accordance with the description, 'through the Yoga of Action for the yogis' (3.3).
The Lord speaks of that time: [This is Ast.'s reading.-Tr.]
24. Fire, light, daytime, the birght forrnight, the six months of the Northern solstice-by following this Path, persons who are knowers of Brahman attain Brahman when they die.
Agnih, fire-is a deity presiding over a period of time; similarly, jyotih, light-also is a deity presiding over a period of time. Or fire and light are the well-known Vedic deities.
As the expression 'mango grove' is used with regard to a place where mango trees are more numerous, similarly, the expressions 'at which time' and 'that time' (in the earlier verse) are used in view of the predominance (of the deities presiding over time). [If the first two (fire and light) are taken as Vedic deities, then the remaining three are the only deities of time. Still, the latter being numerically greater, all the five deities are referred to as deities of time. The deities of both the Paths-of gods and manes, or of the Northern and the Southern Paths as they are called-who are gods of time, are referred to here as 'time' by such words as day, fortnight, six months, etc.]
So also, ahah, daytime, means the deity of daytime. Suklah, the bright fortnight, implies the deity presiding over the bright fortnight. Sanmasah uttarayanam, the six months of the Northern solstice-here, too, is understood the deity presiding over the Path. This is the principle (of interpretation followed elsewhere (in the Upanisads also).
Tatra, following this Path; janah, persons; who are brahma-vidah, knowers of Brahman, those engaged in meditation on (the qualified) Brahman; gacchanti, attain; brahma, Brahman; prayatah, when they die. It is understood that they attain Brahman through stages. Indeed, according to the Upanisadic text, 'His vital forces do not depart' (Br. 4.4.46), there is neither going nor coming back for those established in full realization, who are fit for immediate Liberation. Having their organs merged in Brahman, they are suffused with Brahman, they are verily identified with Brahman.
25. Smoke, night, as also the dark fortnight and the six months of the Southern solstice-following this Path the yogi having reached the lunar light, returns.
Dhuman, smoke; and ratrih night, are the deities presiding over smoke and night. Similarly, krsnah, the dark fornight, means the deity of the dark fortnight. Just as before, by sanmasah daksinayanam the six months of the Southern solstice, also is verily meant a deity. Tatra, following this Path; yogi, the yogi who performs sacrifices etc., the man of actions; prapya, having reached; candramasam jyotih, the lunar light-having enjoyed the results (of his actions); nivartate, returns, on their exhaustion.
26. These two courses of the world, which are white and black, are verily considered eternal. By the one a man goes to the State of Non-return; by the other he returns again.
Ete, these two; gati, courses; jagatah, of the world; which are sukla-krsne, white and black [The Northern Path (the path of the Gods), and the Southern Path (the Path of the Manes) respectively.]-white because it is a revealer of Knowlege, and black because there is absence of that (revelation); are hi, verily; mate, considered; sasvate, eternal, because the world is eternal. These two courses are possible for those who are qualified for Knowledge and for rites and duties; not for everybody. This being so, ekaya, by the one, by the white one; yati, a man goes; anavrttim, to the State of Non-return; anyaya, by the other; avartate, he returns; punah, again.
27. O son of Prtha, no yogi [One steadfast in meditation.) whosoever has known these two courses becomes deluded. Therefore, O Arjuna, be you steadfast in yoga at all times.
O son of Prtha, na kascana yogi, no yogi whosoever; janan, has known; ete srti, these two courses as described-that one leads to worldly life, and the other to Liberation; muhyati, becomes deluded. Tasmat, therefore; O Arjuna, bhava, be you; yoga-yuktah, steadfast in Yoga; sarvesu kalesu, at all times.
Here about the greatness of that yoga:
28. Having known this, the yogi transcends all those results of rigtheous deeds that are declared with regard to the Vedas, sacrifices, austerities and also charities, and he reaches the primordial supreme State.
Viditva, having known; idam, this-having fully ascertained and practised what was spoken in the course of determining the answers to the seven questions (put by Arjuna in verse 1 and 2); the yogi atyeti, transcends, goes beyond; tat sarvam, all those; punya-phalam, results of righteous deeds, aggregate of rewards; yat, that are; pradistam, declared by the scriptures; with regard to these,viz vedesu, with regard to teh Vedas which have been properly [Sitting facing eastward after having washed one's hands, face, etc.] studied; yajnesu, with regard to sacrifices performed together with their accessories; tapahsu, with regard to austerities practised correctly [With concentrated mind, intellect, etc.]; ca eva, and also; danesu, with regard to charities rightly [Taking into consideration place, time and fitness of the recipient.] given; and upaiti, he reaches; the param, supreme; sthanam, State of God; adyam, which is primordial, the Cause that existed in the beginning, i.e. Brahman.