We can then now turn to chapters 8, 9, 10. I want to do all these chapters together, because they are all interconnected.
Chapter n°8, we have already started because we have explained to ourselves the meaning of those difficult words namely: brahman, svabhāva, karma, adhibhūta, adhidaiva, and adhiyājña. The rest of the chapter is less difficult; it simply says basically that if you know the Reality as it is, if you know the totality of the world and the origin of the world, if you know adhiyajña… adhiyajña is the lord of sacrifice: the subject who receives all the objective offerings, that is adhiyajña. If you know that this is the secret of the world, then, the only thing that remains for you to do is as I told you namaskuru: the only thing that remains for you to do is do namaskāra. This is the basic message of the rest of the chapter n°8.
Once you know what is Reality, once you know what is the world, once you know that Reality has got two natures, lower and higher, and that you are here by method of Karma to rise yourself to do your svabhāva, and attain to the highest condition in which you can reach, then the only thing that you need to do is: Bhakti. That is how whereas the Bhagavad Gita was speaking in the beginning of Karmayoga and of Jnanayoga, and in the first 6 chapters there was a synthesis of Jnanayoga and Karmayoga, now, when the whole knowledge is expounded, then, the result is: Bhakti. This is how Bhakti and Jnanayoga are now synthesised.
Now, if you read the 8th chapter you will see constantly one word: smara. This is a constant message; smara is a very important word in the process of Bhakti. Bhakti is a very simple process of Yoga as distinguished from Jnanayoga and Karmayoga. In Karmayoga and in Jnanayoga there are many stages, and many processes. In Bhaktiyoga there are only 4 simple movements. Straining of your emotions towards the Divine: that is the first step of Bhaktiyoga. Straining yourself: that is when you are trying to lift your head from the ground to the upper fronting of the Divine; that is the straining. Then there is the pain of love. The next step is the return of love. And the fourth is ‘unceasing delight’; unceasing delight of the possession of the beloved. It never ceases, it is infinite Pranam to the Divine, it possesses the Divine and there is no end of it. These are the simple processes of Bhaktiyoga.
But Sri Krishna tells you first that this Bhaktiyoga becomes much easier once you know: that is why He says: ‘Jnani is my ??? Bhakta’. The real Bhakti arises when you really know what is the secret of the world; then Bhakti becomes automatic. And then Sri Krishna says that, ‘if you remember the Divine at the time of your death then you will surely come to Me’. Now, very often this is misunderstood, and people think at the time of death you take the name of God as if that will give you ‘passport’ to God; but that is not true. Sri Krishna says: ‘in order that you remember Me at the end of your life, you should constantly remember in your life; you remember Me and even, yudhya ca, remember Me even while you are doing fight, I mean the battlefield; that is the one time when you can forget God because you are engaged in fighting and so much of activity and pressure of work in fight; even at that time if you can remember, then what is said is true, at that time you will automatically come to the stage where there will be remembrance of the Divine.’
And then, what is stated is that normally, there are ‘good times’ when you can live the body, there are not so many good times when you can live the body. Now, this is a kind of an exposition of a mystic tradition: there is a mystic knowledge in India which says that if you are walking properly on your path, then certain things will happen at a given time. This is also connected with the knowledge of astrology: astronomy and astrology in India are very closely connected. Astrology is the study of time; astronomy is the study of the movement of planets and it is also the study of time because movements of planets take place within time limits. So, having seen that there is in astronomy a study of time and in astrology also there is a kind of a movement of time, the two are correlated.
And it is then said that time itself is not something mechanical: time itself is a vibration of the Divine, you might say breathing of the Divine: the whole time movement is the breath of the Divine, it is the pulsation of the Divine. In that pulsation whatever happens at a given time is significant, and if you are a good student of this movement, you can read from the mere breathing, and the mode of breathing, and the time of the breathing as to what is intended.
This is the fundamental philosophy behind some of the statements that you find in this chapter namely that there are moments which are called moments of uttarāyaṇa; there is a whole period of 6 months which is called uttarāyaṇa. And there is a period which is called dakṣiṇāyana. In astronomy we know what is solstice: solstice is the time when either the day is longest, or the night is longest. On December 21 the night is longest and the day is shortest. On June 23 the day is longest and the night is shortest.