|Chapter 8||Attainment of Salvation||Verse 11|
Rudra Vaisnava Sampradaya:
Lord Krishna speaks this verse with a view to instruct how the preceding practice is based on the sacred syllable OM which is the personal, transcendental sound vibration of the Supreme Lord. The utilisation of the sacred OM mantra is a more direct means than the mere practice of directing the life force to the proper place in the physical body. The word aksaram means imperishable. The imperishable condition that adepts of Vedic scriptures describe as in the Brihadaranya Upanisad III.VIII.IX which states: Under the mighty control of this imperishable the sun and the moon are held coursing in their positions. Which aspirants is Lord Krishna referring to? Those aspirants who are striving, who have eradicated all desires, who have dedicated themselves to celibacy and the abstinent life with their spiritual preceptor. These aspirants are qualified to attain the ultimate goal. Lord Krishna speaks the word sangrahena or in summary meaning He will explain these things in brief revealing how to attain them.
Brahma Vaisnava Sampradaya:
The ultimate goal to be attained is explained by Lord Krishna in this verse. Since the aspirants attain that consciousness it is known as padam or state and once that state is reached it is designated by the word visanti meaning to enter. The Narada Purana states: That the ultimate goal to be attained is Lord Krishna is confirmed in the Vedic scriptures. Since that consciousness is achieved by the ascetics, it is known as padam.
Now begins the summation.
Brahmacarya or voluntary celibacy for spiritual purposes denotes attuning one's consciousness in full devotion to the Supreme Lord excluding everything else.
Sri Vaisnava Sampradaya:
Now Lord Krishna explains the other padam or state which is for those aspirants who wish for atma-tattva or realisation of the soul and the secure and permanent destination of moksa or liberation from material existence. This state is aksaram or imperishable. In the Brihadaranya Upanisad V.VIII.VIII beginning sahovacha-itad vai tad explains that this state is not material. It is that which the ascetics of the worlds attempt to gain access to. It is that ardent longing for which men strictly follow the vow of brahmacaryam or voluntary celibacy. Padam is that which one mentally proceeds to achieve the goal of their endeavours. Padyate is non- different from gamyate meaning that which is followed being the method adopted by the mind. The purport is that Lord Krishna is giving a brief description of the methodology by which an aspirant for atma-tattva and moksa must meditate on Him to achieve the ultimate goal they have envisioned. Meditation upon Lord Krishna in His aspect of aksaram or imperishable is described in the Brihadaranya Upanisad V.VIII.VIII-XI.
Kumara Vaisnava Sampradaya:
After presenting the normal practice of meditation Lord Krishna introduces the topmost method designated by the word aksaram meaning imperishable which He promises to reveal in summary how to attain this imperishable, ultimate goal and that once it is attained the Supreme Lord who is saccidananda or the embodiment of eternal truth, knowledge and bliss which the Vaisnavas and Brahmins who are knowers of the Vedic scriptures describe as imperishable and indestructible. The Brhadaranyaka III.IX.VIII states:To this state the Brahmins attribute the term indestructible to that which is not material and that which is not subtle, etc. This state is where determined ascetics free from passion and desire for sense objects strive to enter. This is the state where the enlightened ascetics perceive the experience of the atma or soul as omnipresent and omniscient. Their consciousness resides in the highest substratum and they become totally detached from contact with three dimensional material nature and are incapable as such of performing any action that is in separation from the Supreme Lord. They becoming His own, remain in this state adhering to Him, taking full shelter in Him, desiring to know that for which the brahmacarya's or voluntary celibates remain firm in their vow.