9: The Majesty of God-Consciousness : 3.
The Teachings of the Bhagavadgita :
Anything can happen to the soul after death. One can be reborn into this world, one can rise to a higher level, a higher region or superior plane of existence, and if we are to follow the trend of the thought given to us in the Upanishad, one can go to heaven and hell also. One can go to Brahmaloka, one can move along the Uttaramarga or Dakshinamarga, the Aksharadipatha – the path of light, or the path of smoke – as the Bhagavadgita puts it. We need not go into minor details of these eschatological studies.
The point that we may bear in mind is that we have to be very cautious in thinking, feeling, and willing. We should not be fools when we start thinking through our minds, under the impression that we are masters in this world. No individual can be a supreme master here, because of the very fact of a different type of relationship that seems to obtain between ourselves and the whole creation into which we had a peep when we studied the cosmological processes. But, however, we are given a solacing message in the end –
"Whoever contemplates the Supreme Being, God Himself, that soul will enter God." There is no need of exit – that soul, which is in permanent communion with the Supreme Master of the Universe, the Sovereign of the Cosmos, the Absolute, Parabrahma, Ishvar – that consciousness which is in union by yoga with the Eternal Reality will melt into the ocean of existence, here and now. Atra brahma sama?nute(Katha 2.3.14); na tasya pr??? utkr?manti (Brihad. 4.4.6): There is no movement of the prana in any external direction to such a soul, and there is no Uttaramarga, Dakshinamarga or any kind of marga – it is a dissolution of the drop in the ocean, there itself, at the very location of it. Such a liberation is called Sadyo-mukti – instantaneous liberation.
Otherwise there is a progressive salvation, a graduated ascent through the paths which are described in the Bhagavadgita and the Upanishads. But God is more than all these things that have been told us. The power of God and the jurisdiction of God's operation is so vast that everything that we have said up to this time seems to pale into almost an airy nothing before the glory, the resplendence, the majesty and omnipresence of the Almighty. Nothing is there outside God, nothing is superior to God, nothing external. The absoluteness of the Infinite Being, who no more remains as an extra-cosmic creator but is an immanent reality, is the theme of the chapters to come, so that we seem to be in a more friendly, parental relation with God than a judicial relation or a very distant, remote, unreachable relation with God.
In the earlier stages it appears that God is far away – infinite is the distance between us and God. Often there is doubt whether it is possible for us at all to come in contact with Him. But this doubt is dispelled when the religious consciousness deepens, and it realises that the very being of God is the being of infinitude, eternity, and therefore there is no distance between the soul and God. He is not an unreachable potentate – the monarch ruling in high heavens, but an immediate presence, such that His presence is inseparable from our deepest self, and His language is spoken by our own inner conscience. The language of the Eternal is the voice of our conscience, and our Atman is Brahman.