Chapter 8Attainment of SalvationVerse 5


Sanskrit Vocal





Commentaries of the Four Authorized Vaisnava Sampradayas

as confirmed in the Garga Samhita Canto 10, Chapter 61, Verses 23, 24, 25, 26
Rudra Vaisnava Sampradaya:


Sridhara Swami's Commentary

The means of knowledge at expiration from the physical body and its subsequent result is revealed succinctly by Lord Krishna to answer the question how He is to be known at the time of death. One who remembers and meditates exclusively on Lord Krishna as the Supreme Lord, the ultimate controller internally and externally, the shelter of all living entities while leaving their body at the moment of death attains the Supreme Lord Himself in their spiritual from by their yearning for and identification with Him. This is the key to liberation from the transitory material plane and promotion to the eternal spiritual worlds. Knowledge is the key to remembrance which is the means for attaining Lord Krishna which automatically promotes one to the eternal spiritual without any separate effort.

Brahma Vaisnava Sampradaya:


Madhvacarya's Commentary

The words mad bhavam denotes under the Supreme Lord Krishna's control without any duality in perfect spiritual consciousness and full blissful existence. The Moksa Dharma explains that for the liberated the goal is conceptualised as the Brahman or spiritual substratum pervading all existence which is the spiritual reality of the impersonal conception of the Supreme Lord.

Now begins the summation.

In exact terms the words mad bhavam means under my nature. Only when the nature of Lord Krishna's transcendental qualities and attributes and pastimes are recollected at the time of departing from the physical body at the moment of death will one achieve the cherished goal and attain Him. Otherwise if there is no knowledge of His transcendental nature there can be no remembrance. Naturally one acquires the state of consciousness upon whatever one meditates upon and this is an absolute essential fact applying itself to the destination of one's subsequent lifetime at the moment of death. The remembrance of mundane corporeal things at the time of death assures in the next life a mundane corporeal existence accordingly. But those enlightened and exalted beings who remember Lord Krishna at the moment of death attain Him without fail and the means to this are given by the words mam eva smaran meaning remembering Him alone emphases that by constant remembrance spiritual realisation is attained.

The Sat Tattva states that devotion, knowledge, renunciation of activities prohibited in the Vedic scriptures and performance of recommended activities in the Vedic scriptures, constant remembrance of the Supreme Lord Krishna or any of His Vedically authorised incarnations and non- attachment; all these things combined grant transcendental vision beyond the influence of the senses and not any other way.

Sri Vaisnava Sampradaya:


Ramanuja's Commentary

The process of meditating on Lord Krishna at the time of death is also well known to the three stages of aspirants mentioned previously being arthis, jijnasur and jnanis. One who when their life cycle has the Supreme Lord in their constant remembrance at the moment of departing their body attains the Supreme Lord. The word mad bhavam means like unto the Supreme Lord's nature. Whatever nature of the Supreme Lord is vividly envisioned in one's mind at the moment of death that nature one becomes without fail. Examples are like the history of Jada Bharata and others who were reborn in animal forms. He was attached to a deer he had raised after seeing its mother killed by a tiger and at the exact moment of death looking at this deer he was concerned about its future welfare and hence in his next life he was born as a deer due to this last impression of consciousness. This is because the prominence position of such thoughts and images in one's consciousness automatically direct and transport one to that which one envisions. That reality that whatever ideas and images that are present in one's mind in the very last thought before death is what one absolutely becomes in their next life is further elucidated in the next verse.

Kumara Vaisnava Sampradaya:


Kesava Kasmiri's Commentary

Now Lord Krishna answers the seventh question with the words anta kale meaning at the time of death, one who leaves their body mam eva smaran meaning remembering Him exclusively, He who is the presiding diety over all dieties, the granter of all wishes and the fulfiller of all desires attains his state of sat-chi-ananda or eternal existence, transcendental knowledge and unending bliss. This verse confirms and explains in what manner the Supreme Lord Krishna is to be known at the moment of death.

Thus ends commentaries of chapter 8, verse 5 of the Srimad Bhagavad-Gita.

Verse 5

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