Brahman in Beyond Manifest-Unmanifest & Time-Space (69)


Lesson 69 revises 2 possible human goals: Finite & Infinite. The finite is defined as anything which manifests/unmanifests and is bound by time (maya). Logic how you (consciousness) are beyond finite. Then 2 paths non-liberated soul (jivatma) travels after physical death and which devatas they meet. EG: Thousands of NDE cases report “traveling & seeing entities”.

Source: Srimad Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 8 – verse 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28


  • Krishna broadly classifies all possible goals in life (dharma, artha, kāma, mokṣa) into 2 varieties.
    • Producing either: Infinite results (Goal 1) OR Finite results (Goal 2). Can’t imagine 3rd category.

      • Other names:
        • Goal 1: Spiritual/ātma/Bhagavān.
        • Goal 2: Materialistic/anātma.
      • EG:
        • Dharma (virtues / morality) has finite results (puṇyam) – because any ACTION to attain virtue is finite.
        • Any amount of artha (wealth) acquired is finite, because ACTION to acquire was finite.
  • Scriptures initially present God as person in loka (vaikuṇṭha, kailāsa, heaven).
    • This idea must be REMOVED when intellect purified. Else Īśvara also becomes finite goal BOUND by time/space / matter.
    • Also Īśvara is NOT energy because all energy transforms/changes, which requires time. Also can’t be energy because thought of “God is energy” itself BEGAN in time when spoken.
  • Then what is Īśvara? Changeless-formless-consciousness-principle (caitanya tatvam), beyond manifest/unmanifest. V20-22 discusses nature of nirguṇa Īśvara.


Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 8 – Verse 20:

parāstasmāt tubhāvo'nyo'vyakto'vyaktātsanātanaḥ |
yaḥ sa sarveṣu bhūteṣu naśyatsu na vinaśyati ||

However, beyond that unmanifest there is another unmanifest being which is eternal. It does not perish when all beings perish.


  • In V15-19 last session, Krishna spoke of finite results (Goal 2) which produces rebirth.
    • Finite means matter has 2 conditions: manifest & unmanifest. Both bound by time. EG: Oak/Acorn.
    • Finite manifest/unmanifest also called māyā. Therefore māyā becomes world. And world becomes māyā. Because both are just matter existing within time.
      • kāraṇa / vyakta prapañca = Īśvara (Unmanifest #1: Discussed below.)
      • kārya / avyakta prapañca = Māyā (Unmanifest #2. Spoken of in V18)
    • For clarity, we call: Unmanifest #2. (spoken in V18; pralayam)
  • Krishna now speaks of Infinite Brahman, which we’ll call Unmanifest #1 (V20). And is BEYOND Unmanifest #2 (V18).
    • What is Unmanifest #1? Consciousness witnessing manifest/unmanifest matter.
      • Because to say manifest/unmanifest, we need a 3rd (eye) principle that is independent/FREE of manifest/unmanifest.
      • In waking/dream state, “I am experiencing MANIFEST time/space/world”.
      • In deep sleep, time/space/world goes UNMANIFEST. Total blankness.
        • But “I” still pervade UNMANIFEST. How we know? When wake up, able to talk about BLANKNESS.
      • Meaning: I was continuing-unchanged, during manifest world AND
      • Meaning: I can REPORT change of 3 states AND content of each, only because: I AM Consciousness witnessing manifest/unmanifest matter.
    • Reason scientists are struggling to understand Consciousness as laws bound by time/space. Because consciousness does not fall within time/space, thus can’t be measured nor located.
  • What is this witness Consciousness (Unmanifest #1)? Formless Īśvara. Satyam. Parā-prakṛti (CH7), Akṣaram Brahman (CH8).
  • What about Īśvara with ATTRIBUTES? Given initially, because gross/unprepared mind can’t appreciate subtlest Consciousness, beyond time/space.
  • What is nature of Unmanifest #1? Sanātanaḥ, never affected by time. Unmanifest #1 (Consciousness) witnesses arrival of time (eg: waking), and disappearance of time (eg: sleep). Thus immortal.
  • WHERE is Consciousness/God (Unmanifest #1)? Question based on misconception that God is IN space.
  • HOW does Consciousness/God (Unmanifest #1) FUNCTION? Implies Īśvara is a cause/effect (again with time/space boundaries).
  • Thus can’t ask: How, Why, Where.


Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 8 – Verse 21:

avyakto'kṣara ityuktastamāhuḥ parāmāṃ gatim |
yaṃ prāpya na nivartante taddhāma parāmaṃ mama ||

The manifest (Being) is said to be the imperishable one. (Scriptures) declare that (Being) to be the supreme goal. That is the supreme abode of Mine attaining which they do not return.


  • Krishna speaks more of Unmanifest #1 (caitanyam; consciousness). Also called akṣara, imperishable. Doesn’t mean “remains permanently in time”. Means, timeless. Therefore: colorless, formless, smell-less, tasteless, touchless.
  • Tam āhuḥ paramām gatim: accomplishing Brahman is the highest goal, only then will one go beyond time/space limitation. “Reaching”, which one doesn’t return.
    • How does one “reach” Brahman? Traveling better world/loka? No, because within time/space.
      • Only way, through wisdom.
        • “Brahman has never been away from me, never will be. Brahman is consciousness principle which happen to be I.”
      • Thus one “reaches” Brahman by claiming Brahman as self.
    • Will one reach Brahman through Knowledge?
      • You already ARE Brahman. Only by DROPPING notion that Brahman is AWAY.
      • How does one drop a notion about something? Inquire. HOMEWORK.
  • Dhāma: abode, meaning Consciousness / parā-prakṛti. Don’t take “abode” literally, else time/space.
    • Start with aparā-prakṛti (worshipping Īśvara with form). As mind purified, SWITCH to parā-prakṛti (inquiry related to Awareness). Else will never “enter the abode”.


Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 8 – Verse 22:

puruṣaḥ sa parāḥ pārtha bhaktyā labhyastvananyayā |
yasyāntaḥsthāni bhūtāni yena sarvamidaṃ tatam ||

Oh Arjuna! Indeed, that supreme Lord can be attained by undivided devotion. All beings are in Him (and) all this is pervaded by Him.


  • Consciousness-principle OR Unmanifest #1 OR Brahman (absolute truth) is called: paraḥ puruṣaḥ (Supreme/Highest Puruṣa/Lord).
    • Puruṣa: Indweller of everyone, fills up whole creation.
  • yasya antaḥ sthāni bhūtāni: in Brahman, rest all beings. Meaning Brahman doesn’t exist within creation. But creation rests in Brahman.
  • yena sarvam idaṃ tatam: Whole creation (time/space/objects) is pervaded by Consciousness/Brahman (paraḥ puruṣa).
    • LOGIC: If talk about existence of anything, then Consciousness MUST be present.
      • EG: To talk about existence of TREE, must be AWARE of tree.
      • Existence of __ (presupposes) > Knowledge (presupposes) > Consciousness (Brahman).
  • How can we PERMANENTLY identify with paraḥ puruṣaḥ (Consciousness)? bhaktyā labhyaḥ ananyayā, by your undivided devotion by MEANS of Niṣkāma bhakti. (Devotion on God alone).
    • Who is a Niṣkāma bhakta (mumukṣu)? Who understood tyranny of time, thus sincerely voted for paraḥ puruṣaḥ.
  • How to ‘ATTAIN’ paraḥ puruṣaḥ? Continue saguṇa bhakti (devotion on Īśvara with attributes) > mind qualified > nirguṇa bhakti (inquiring on; all that is here is One without a second).
  • Krishna has now CONCLUDED paraḥ puruṣaḥ being highest goal & world being lower goal.
  • NEXT TOPIC: 2 heavenly routes jīvātma takes AFTER dying.
    • Understand: Ajñāni after death won’t go to Īśvara’s lap for a while and have a deep convo (EG: Conversations with God).
    • Because idea limits Īśvara to time/space/form.
    • Jīvātma goes to DIFFERENT saṃsāra-loka. All beings met in-between jīvātma travels, are devatās.


Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 8 – Verse 23:

yatra kāle tvanāvṛttimāvṛttiṃ caiva yoginaḥ |
prayātā yānti taṃ kālaṃ vakṣyāmi bharatarṣabha ||

Oh! Arjuna I shall speak about those paths departing by which path, the yogis attain the world of non-return and the world of return.


  • Krishna talks of 2 types of paths (mārgās), which lead to 2 different DESTINATIONS after physical death.
  • Yoginaḥ: seekers of Goal 1 (niṣkāma upāsakās) reach anāvṛttim āvṛttim ca eva.
    • anāvṛttim: Infinite goal from where there is no return to time/space. One way ticket to Brahmaloka to gain krama mukti, leading to mokṣa.
    • āvṛttim: returnable goal. Go to heaven (svarga-loka). But must return to Earth. Called: loka prāptiḥ (goal/achievement).
  • vakṣyāmi: Arjuna, I shall speak about:
    • Śukla mārga / gati (also called deva yānaḥ; vehicle): Bright path / way.
      • Leads to Brahmaloka > krama mukti > gains knowledge “aham brahmāsmi” > mokṣa
    • Kṛṣṇa mārga / gati: Dark/gloomy path / way.
      • Heaven > pleasures > puṇya (merits) exhausted > come back earth.
      • Also called pitṛ-loka: world of departed ancestors.
  • NEXT: Krishna explains both paths, starting with Bright (V24) and Dark (V25).


Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 8 – Verse 24:

agnirjotirahaḥ śuklaḥ ṣaṇmāsā uttarāyaṇam |
tatra prayātā gacchanti brahmavido janāḥ ||

Departing by that (bright) path (which is presided over by the deities of) fire, flame, day, the bright fortnight, and the six months of the sun’s northern course, those people who meditate on (Saguṇa) Brahman attain Brahman.


  • What is nature of TWO paths? (śukla / kṛṣṇa mārga)
    • Discussed in 10 Upaniṣads, Brahma Sūtra and across Vedas.
    • After death, guides help jīvātma because jīvātma doesn’t know what is ahead/behind. NO map.
      • Hence guides (devatās) are ASSIGNED to WELCOME and GUIDE jīvātma up to particular DISTANCE. Then handover to next devata guide.
  • Which 5 devatās guide jīvātma on śukla mārga (bright path)?
    • Agniḥ (fire), jyotiḥ (brightness/light), ahaḥ (day), śuklaḥ (bright lunar fortnight. Lunar phase in month.)
    • Uttarāyaṇa: northern phase of sun. 15 Jan – 15 July.
  • What is a devata?
    • EG:
      • Lord governing law of protecting IMMUNE SYSTEM from diseases: White blood cell for example.
      • Lord governing law of sun movement: sūrya devata.
    • Meaning “devata” is intelligent principle GOVERNING law of __ (gravity, day, fire, rain, electricity, etc).
    • Thus every law in universe is PRESIDED by corresponding intelligent principle, called devata.
    • All devatās put together = Hiraṇyagarbha (macrocosmic subtle body; all-knowledge).
  • Who is entitled for śukla mārga? Brahmavidaḥ janāḥ; The saguṇa upāsaka who meditates/contemplates upon Īśvara WITH attributes/form.
    • Meaning performing rituals, charity, service, dharma… won’t get śukla ticket, only kṛṣṇa mārga ticket.
      • Kṛṣṇa mārga EG: Nelson Mandela, Mark Luther King, Bill Gates (Focus is on goodness of world).
  • What about jñāni? No ticket to krama mukti, because attained jīvanmukti while living.
  • CONCLUSION: śukla mārga not for karmi’s nor jñāni’s. Only for: saguṇa Īśvara upāsakās.
  • NEXT: Dark path…


Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 8 – Verse 25:

dhūmo rātristathā kṛṣṇaḥ ṣaṇmāsā dakṣiṇāyanam |
tatra cāndramasaṃ jyotiryogī prāpya nivartate ||

(Departing) by that (dark) path (which is presided over by the deities of) smoke, night, the dark fortnight, and the six months of the sun’s southern course, the yogi attains the lunar light (of the heavens) and returns.


  • Speaks of those who go to kṛṣṇa-mārga (darker/gloomy path).
  • Who are they? Here ‘yogi’ refers to physical oriented karma-yogi. Ritualistic people. Not practicing mental upāsana.
    • Do worldly duties well. Lot of service. Pūjās.
    • Also get puṇya (merits). But lower quality then saguṇa Īśvara upāsaka.
      • Reason “lower quality” is because MENTAL spiritual practice (upāsana) is harder then PHYSICAL.
        • Mental: Hard. Mind management.
        • Physical: Easy. Done fast. Mind can be anywhere.
  • Dark Path only reach svarga loka (also candra loka). Svarga loka means all lokas between Earth (bhu-loka) & Brahmaloka.
  • Which 4 devatās guide jīvātma to kṛṣṇa mārga (dark/gloomy path)?
    • Dhūmaḥ: Rātriḥ: night. Kṛṣṇaḥ: dark fortnight.
    • Dakṣiṇāyana: Southern phase of sun. 15 July – 15 Jan.
  • Why call “gloomy” going to svarga loka (heaven)? Krishna says, prāpya nivartate, will go and enjoy. Once puṇya exhausted, comes back, more miserable.
    • EG: In heaven, life quality = sublime. But Earth = heaviness, scars, hunger, etc.
  • NEXT: Krishna summarizes 2 paths (24/25)…


Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 8 – Verse 26:

śuklakṛṣṇe gatī hyete jagataḥ śāśvate mate |
ekayā yātyanāvṛttimanyayā”vartate punaḥ ||

These two paths of the world (known as) the bright path and the dark path are indeed considered to be eternal. By the former one attains the world of non- return; by the latter one comes back again.


  • śuklakṛṣṇe gatī hyete: two paths called śukla gatiḥ & kṛṣṇa gatiḥ (way).
  • When were 2 paths created? jagataḥ śāśvate mate, created along with Universe. Eternal. Not Bhagavān’s after-thought.
    • Along with creation, Veda came (total knowledge) and humans came.
    • Thus 2 paths included to ACCOMMODATE 2 types of sādakās (who perform duties & pursue infinite God).
    • 2 paths unmanifest during pralayam, and manifest next creation (sṛṣṭi).
  • CONTROVERSY CLARIFICATION: One may think TIME of death determines śukla/kṛṣṇa mārga.
    • Examples to demonstrate the silliness of such thinking:

      • Bright 6 months (15 Jan – 15 July; uttarāyaṇa) OR DAY time: Criminal dies, goes to Brahmaloka.
      • Dark 6 months (15 July – 15 Jan; dakṣiṇāyana) OR NIGHT time: Saint dies, goes to svarga loka.
    • CONCLUSION: Brahma Sūtras analysed and concluded: Time of death doesn’t determine direction/journey after death. But quality of life does.


Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 8 – Verse 27:

naite sṛtī pārtha jānan yogī muhyati kaścana |
tasmāt sarveṣu kāleṣu yogayukto bhavārjuna ||

Oh Arjuna! having known these two paths, no yogi gets deluded. Therefore be committed to meditation at all times. Oh Arjuna.


  • Having understood significance of 2 paths,
    • upāsana path leading to krama mukti, and
    • karma (doing duties / rituals / dharma / puṇyam) leading to heaven > earth,
    • the intelligent seeker (yogi) has no doubt WHICH is SUPERIOR.
  • 2nd line (tasmāt sarveṣu kāleṣu yogayukto bhavārjuna): Therefore Arjuna, choose saguṇa Īśvara upāsana (thinking about God with features), WHILE PERFORMING karmās / duties.
  • CAUTION: In CH8, Arjuna is asked to choose between karma and upāsana. And should choose superior upāsana.
    • In CH9, niṛguna Īśvara jñānam (self-knowledge) is superior to saguṇa Īśvara upāsana.
    • This is misfortune of prematurely leaving B.Gita program. One gets incomplete vision, hindering growth.
  • NEXT: Krishna concludes by glorifying krama mukti, accomplishment of Īśvara. Good as jīvanmukti (direct), except it’s a “stop over” at Brahmaloka for mokṣa.


Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 8 – Verse 28:

vedeṣu yajñeṣu tapaḥsu caiva
dāneṣu yat puṇyaphalaṃ pradiṣṭam |
atyeti tatsarvamidaṃ viditvā
yogī parāṃ sthānamupaiti ca”dyam ||

Having known (and practised) this the yogi goes beyond all that puṇyaphala which is promised with regard to (the study of) the Vedās (the performance of) Yajñās, (the practice of) austerities and also (the distribution of charity). He attains the supreme and primal abode.


  • The yogi knowing significance of FOLLOWING saguṇa Īśvara upāsana (thinking God with features), parām sthānam upaiti; votes for krama mukti, and attains supreme BEGININGLESS abode, highest reality Īśvara.
  • Meaning upāsana benefit is GREATER then infinite karma/dharma benefits, such as:
    • vedeṣu: puṇyam studying Vedas / Bible / etc.
    • yajñeṣu: performance of rituals.
    • tapaḥ su: practice of austerities / vows / mandates.
    • dāneṣu: charity.
  • CONCLUSION: Meditation/inquiry on Īśvara (upāsana) with features is SUPERIOR to all karma/dharma. Because:
    • Upāsana = infinite result.
    • Karma/Dharma = finite results.
    • Thus Arjuna, remember Īśvara at all times and time of death, and attain Brahman.


Keywords: agni devata, aha devata, aham brahmasmi, ajnani, aksara, aksharam, anatma, anatman, anavrittim, anavrttim, apara prakriti, atma, avrttim, bhagavan, bhoo-loka, brama sutras, dakshinayana, daksinayana, daneshu, deva yana yanah, devatas, dhama, dhuma devata, hiranyagarbha, ishvara, isvara, jivanmukti, jnani, jyoti devata, kailasa, kama, karana, karya, krama mukti, kramamukti, krishna devata, krishna gati marga, krsna devata, krsna marga gati, marga, margas, maya, mumukshu, mumuksu, nirguna, nirguna ishvara jnana, nishkama, niskama, para-prakriti, para-prakrti, paramam, pitr loka, prapanca, prapancha, punya, purusa, purusha, ratri devata, sadakas, saguna, saguna ishvara upasana, samsara, shukla devata, shukla marga, sukla gati, surya devata, upanishads, upasakas, uttarayana, vaikuntha, vedeshu, yajneshu


  • HOMEWORK to be done by next class: How does one drop a notion (false value, belief, idea, untrue perspective) about something? Write out 17 ways/methods/techniques according to your own inquiry and research, because this helps us master our own minds which deny us from permanent knowledge of self as self.


Credit for help in Bhagavad Gita teaching given to Chinmaya Int. Foundation & Swami Paramarthananda

Recorded 8 Oct, 2019



  1. Are these different destinations in death metaphors for different states that your correct practices can achieve in life? The small deaths in each moment of life being a “microcosm” of the “large” “macrocosm” of actual death? So you can actually “die” a permanent death with Moksha “while” you live?

    1. No. They are not metaphors. But literal destinations based on jīva’s puṇya/pāpa mixture while on earth. They are expounded in Veda/purāṇās.

      As for mokṣa, it is not equated to death, as this idea is not a Vedic teaching, but pseudo-spirituality. If mokṣa is death (even if metaphorical/figurative), then who would even pursue such goal! Imagine class 1 “Welcome. I’m going to show you how to die!”. Drop this notion of death.

      “So you can actually “die” a permanent death with Moksha “while” you live?”

      The same “I” awares the thought “I don’t know who I am” and “I know who I am”.

      While “I” remains independent of both thoughts.

      Thus if Ben is saying now “I am not liberated”, then that is a thought, known to “I”.

      If Ben says, “There is clarity now!”, then that is a thought, known to “I”.

      “I” remains free of any thought which is born, sustained and dies.

      Hence there’s no question of death here.

  2. Excellent. yes off course death does not exist it is a “dependent” concept. good point.


    More importantly there is no “state” that you can “learn” or “get” that is correct and one that is not.

    Ill think on this….

  3. Hi Andre

    Brahman alone is. It is the witness principle. However, it remains in its own glory and cannot experience itself as an object of experience. This means it is always witnesses unmanifest and unmanifest states. Only upon identifying as jiva does this world of samsara occur. My question is this: if we remove identification with every possible thing/notion/state etc. What is the highest abode so to speak since it cannot be Brahman itself? Brahman stands alone. I guess my question is the final state or result of moksha. Is it the unmanifested state, I.e. deep sleep? And is this permanent? Never again to become identified with any aspect of the manifested state? Thanks

    1. ===================
      …This means it is always witnesses unmanifest and unmanifest states.
      …since it cannot be Brahman itself

      Both are valid doubts to bring up. Common too.

      Would this question be asked; would this world even exist if Brahman was not wearing Rov’s body? No.

      Only because I (Brahman) have a body, is there witnessing of the manifest world. No body, no world.

      Upon moksha (removing the errnouneous association between body-mind and Brahman by means of knowledge; which is purpose of this course), there continues witnessing of the manifest world for a short while, until the body is dropped. Then no more body, no more world.

      As for Brahman witnessing the unmanifest, that is an erroneous statement. Unmanifest means, in potential. There’s nothing to say, since it hasn’t arisen. Tonight’s dream is in potential/unmanifest. Are you witnessing it NOW; is the dream bothering? No.

      Brahman is always stuck witnessing something other than itself because it cannot witness itself.

      See above answer. This can only be asked in reference to being given a body-mind through which experience of world takes place; witnessed by Self. No body, no world, no things to witness. Only one limitless being, full, complete, whole.

  4. Can you confirm this?

    Brahman is always stuck witnessing something other than itself because it cannot witness itself. Like a camera cannot take a picture of itself so the only way to reach Brahman (even though you are Brahman) is to claim that you are Brahman, and this can only be done with knowledge.

    1. Brahman alone IS. Meaning there’s no second substance to witness. Hence Brahman can’t be stuck witnessing.

      “only way to reach Brahman (even though you are Brahman) is to claim that you are Brahman, and this can only be done with knowledge.”

      Correct. Only way to reach Brahman is by understanding that if everything is Brahman, that means, I (the entity who is claiming it), am also Brahman.

      One can’t exclude themselves from the WHOLE.

  5. Beings such as Anandamayi Maa, who appeared fully realized, do they return to earth because of previous desires/karma to help humanity realize? Or is it just they obtained moksha early in life and people just naturally flock to them? Or are they a form of devata, avatara?

    1. The idea of coming back to help humanity is a notion within a specific sect of Buddhism.

      Vedanta says that logic is flawed. And impossible to come back after liberation. Because WHO is coming back? It can’t be Self, because Self is not a thinker/desirer who has capacity to think or desire returning to earth.

      And if body-mind comes back, then the individual was never liberated in previous life. Because body-mind is born, only because of ignorance.

      Therefore, there’s no coming back for a liberated being. Meaning, after the Anandamayi Maa body physically dies, I (Brahman) do not wake up again associated with another form. I remain as I, just without the body-mind superimposition.

  6. Thank you. I see there has been some conflation of different teachings/tradition that I had picked from somewhere/someone over the years. Appreciating more and more this system of logic.

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