Lord Krishn has also taken up the problem of rebirth and said that the whole world, from Brahma himself to the lowest of creatures, repeats itself. But even after all of them are destroyed, his (Lord Krishn’s) sublime, unmanifest being and the steady devotion to him never come to an end.
A man who is initiated into yog is provided with two ways by which he may proceed. On the first of these two paths, blessed with the radiance of perfect knowledge, possessed of six fold excellence (discrimination, renunciation, restraint, tranquility, courage and intellect) , in a state of upward motion, and absolutely free from any blemish, the worshiper is assured of redemption. But if there is even the least imperfection about him, and he departs from the body in such a state, he has to undergo yet another birth.
However, since he has been a worshiper, instead of being for ever enmeshed in the vicious web of birth and death, after his new birth he sets himself a new to the task of completing his unaccomplished worship.
Thus, following the path of action in his next birth, the imperfect worshiper too can reach the supreme goal. Lord Krishn has also said that even a partial accomplishment of worship does not cease until it has brought about liberation from the great fear of life and death. Both the ways are eternal and indestructible. The man who understands this is ever steady and in repose.
So Arjun is advised to be a yogi, for yogi transcend even the sacred rewards of study of the Ved, penance, yagya, and charity, and so attain to ultimate liberation.
Lord Krishn sings in Bhagavad Gita:
“All the worlds from Brahmlok downwards are,
O Arjun, of a recurrent character, but, O son of Kunti,
the soul which realizes me is not born again.”
The conception of different worlds ( lok ) in sacred books is an exercise in the creation of metaphor. There is no dark pit in the nether world in which we are stung and tortured by venomous creatures called hell, nor is there a domain in the sky which we call heaven. Man himself is a god when he is imbued with pious instincts and he, too, is a demon when overtaken by impious impulses.
Lord Krishn’s own kinsmen such as Kans, Shishupal, and Banasur were cursed with demoniacal temperament. Gods, men, and sub-humans constitute the three metaphorical worlds. Lord Krishn insists that the Self, carrying with himself the mind and the five senses, assumes new bodies according to the sanskar earned over innumerable lives.
Embodiments of virtue, gods whom we call immortal, are also subject to death. And there can be no greater loss than the destruction of piety in this mortal world. What is the use of this godlike body if it works for the destruction of the earned righteousness? All the worlds, from the highest to the lowest, are worlds of suffering. Man alone can shape the action by which he achieves the supreme goal, after which there is no recurrence of birth and death. By the ordained action man can become God and even achieve the position of Brahma himself, the first deity of the sacred Hindu Trinity to whom is entrusted the task of creation. And yet he will not be spared from rebirth until, with restraint and dissolution of the mind, he perceives God and merges into him. The Upanishads reveal the same truth.
According to the Kathopanishad, the mortal human is capable of being immortal and, within this physical body and in this world itself, he can achieve direct perception of the Supreme Spirit by the destruction of all attachments of the heart.
Is Brahma, creator of the world, himself mortal? Lord Krishn has said in Bhagavad Gita that the mind of Prajapati Brahma is a mere tool and God is manifested through him. It is such great souls who have devised yagya. But it is now revealed that even one who attains to the status of Brahma has to be reborn. After all, what does Lord Krishn really intend to say?
In truth, the realized sages, through whom God is manifested, do not have a Brahma-like mind, but they are addressed as Brahma because they teach and do good. They are not Brahma in themselves, for their mind is at last dissolved, but their mind existing in the course of worship before that stage is Brahma. This mind, constituted of ego, intellect, thought, and feeling, is truly vast and Brahma-like.
But the mind of an ordinary man is not Brahma. Brahma begins to be shaped from the moment when the mind commences approaching the worshiped God. Scholars of great erudition have ascribed four stages to this process.They are brahmvitt, brahmvidwar, brahmvidwariyan, and brahmvidwarisht.
Brahmvitt is the mind that is embellished with knowledge of the Supreme Spirit (brahmvidya). Brahmvidwar is that which has achieved excellence in such knowledge. Rather than just achieving distinction in the knowledge of God, brahmavidwariyan is the mind that has turned into a medium for the dissemination of the knowledge and for guidance to others who wish to go along the way. Brahmawidwarisht represents that last stage in which it is flooded with consciousness of the adored God.
The mind has its existence until this stage, because the God who irradiates it is yet removed from it.The worshiper is yet within the bounds of nature and, although in an elevated state, he is still subject to recurrent birth and death.
When the mind (Brahma) dwells in celestial radiance, the whole being and its current of thought are awake and alert. But they are unconscious and inert when they are beset by spiritual ignorance. This is what has been described as brightness and darkness or day and night. These are but figurative renderings of different states of mind.
Even in this superior, Brahma-like state, blessed with knowledge of God and overflowing with his radiance, the relentless succession of the day of spiritual knowledge (which unites the Self with the Supreme Spirit) and the night of ignorance, of light and darkness, persists. Even at this stage maya is still in command. When there is resplendence of knowledge, insensate beings come to consciousness and they begin to see the supreme goal.
On the other hand, when the mind is submerged in darkness, beings are in a state of nescience (the lack of knowledge). The mind cannot then ascertain its position and the progress towards God comes to a standstill. These states of knowledge and ignorance are Brahma’s day and night. In the light of day the numerous impulses of mind are lit up by God’s effulgence, whereas in the night of ignorance the same impulses are buried under the impenetrable gloom of insensibility.
Realization of the immutable, unmanifest God, who is indestructible and much beyond the unmanifest mind, is effected when the inclinations to both good and evil, to knowledge and ignorance, are perfectly hushed, and when all the currents of will-the sensible as well as the insensible-that disappear from view in the darkness of night and emerge in the light of day are obliterated.
An accomplished Soul is one who has gone beyond these four stages of the mind. There is no mind within him because it has turned into a mere instrument of God. Yet he appears to have a mind because he instructs others and prompts them with firmness. But, in truth, he is beyond the sway of the mind’s operation, because he has now found his place in the ultimate unmanifest reality and won freedom from rebirth.
But prior to this, when he is still in possession of his mind, till he is Brahma, he is subject to rebirth.
~Revered Gurudev Swami Adgadanand Jee Paramhans~