Chapter 8: Attaining the Supreme

Bhaktivedanta VedaBase: Bhagavad-gita As It Is 8.16

a-brahma-bhuvanal lokah

punar avartino 'rjuna

mam upetya tu kaunteya

punar janma na vidyate


a-brahma-bhuvanat -- up to the Brahmaloka planet; lokah -- the planetary systems; punah -- again; avartinah -- returning; arjuna -- O Arjuna; mam -- unto Me; upetya -- arriving; tu -- but; kaunteya -- O son of Kunti; punah janma -- rebirth; na -- never; vidyate -- takes place.


From the highest planet in the material world down to the lowest, all are places of misery wherein repeated birth and death take place. But one who attains to My abode, O son of Kunti, never takes birth again.


All kinds of yogis -- karma, jnana, hatha, etc. -- eventually have to attain devotional perfection in bhakti-yoga, or Krishna consciousness, before they can go to Krishna's transcendental abode and never return. Those who attain the highest material planets, the planets of the demigods, are again subjected to repeated birth and death. As persons on earth are elevated to higher planets, people on higher planets such as Brahmaloka, Candraloka and Indraloka fall down to earth. The practice of sacrifice called pancagni-vidya, recommended in the Chandogya Upanishad, enables one to achieve Brahmaloka, but if, on Brahmaloka, one does not cultivate Krishna consciousness, then he must return to earth. Those who progress in Krishna consciousness on the higher planets are gradually elevated to higher and higher planets and at the time of universal devastation are transferred to the eternal spiritual kingdom. Sridhara Svami, in his commentary on Bhagavad-gita, quotes this verse:

brahmana saha te sarve

samprapte pratisancare

parasyante kritatmanah

pravisanti param padam

"When there is devastation of this material universe, Brahma and his devotees, who are constantly engaged in Krishna consciousness, are all transferred to the spiritual universe and to specific spiritual planets according to their desires."

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His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Founder Acarya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness