Krishna.com Spring Fundraising Drive: Krishna.com is a non-profit organization that depends on your donations to operate. It takes (only) $6,500 each month to run Krishna.com's web department, with a dedicated staff of 5 people and dozens of volunteers, reaching more than 7 million households in 194 countries. Please join our family of supporters and give a donation to support this important project.

BG Chap 8 - The paths by which one leaves the world

The jñānīs, who know Brahman, who depart on the path presided over by the deities of fire, light, day, the waxing fortnight, and the northern progress of the sun, attain Brahman. On dying such persons, who worship Brahman without interruption, whether they undergo cremation rites or not, go to the deity of light. From the deity of light, they go the deity of the day. From the deity of the day they go to the deity of the waxing fortnight. From the deity of the waxing fortnight they go to the deity of the six months leading to the summer solstice. From there they go to the deity of the year. From the deity of the year, they go the deity of air, then to the deity of the sun, then to the deity of the moon, then to the deity of lightning, then to the deity of water, then Indra and then Brahmā. Finally a non-human form (an eternal associate of the Supreme Lord) takes them to Brahman. This is the path of the devas, the path of Brahman. The devas hand the soul over to the next deva until he finally reaches Brahman. Those who go by this path do not return to repeated human birth.

The karma-kāṇḍīs, departing on the path presided over by the deities of smoke, the night, the waning fortnight, and the southern course of the sun, reaches the moon but again comes back. The householders who perform sacrifices, social work and charities go thru the deities of smoke, night, waning fortnight, the six months leading to the winter solstice, and reach Pitṛloka. From there they go to ether, and from ether to the deity of the moon. They become food for the deities, and the deities enjoy them. Having exhausted their puṇyas there, they return to earth.
These two paths of passing in light (enlightenment) by which one does not return, and passing in darkness (ignorance) by which one returns, are accepted as without beginning by those who are qualified for jñāna and karma because saṁsāra itself has no beginning.

The devotee is beyond the guṇas and his path is also beyond the guṇas, not a sāttvika path such as going thru the sun planet.

'deva bhaksayanti'

"They become food for the deities, and the deities enjoy them."

Only figuratively (as servants) as per Govinda Bhasya 3.1.6-7.

Hari Hari
ys Jan

harekrishna

chant hare krishna maha mantra and be happy
hare krishna hare krishna krishna krishna hare hare
hare rama hare rama rama rama hare hare

Chandogya Upanisad

Hare Krishna Jan Prabhu.

Thank you for taking the time to read and comment.

I was also thinking about this quote from Chandogya and was wondering what does becoming food for the deities mean. I had asked HH Bhanu Swami about a similar quote from the same Upanisad - how the jiva falls back as rain and becomes food etc. He had replied the acaryas do not comment whether such statements should be taken literally.

Thanks for clarifying quoting from Govinda Bhasya.

Radhikesh das

jiva from svarga to earth

Hare Krsna Prabhu,
you're welcome. GBh commentaries to following sutras deal with this. See also 1.1.12, 3.1.1, 3.1.23-28.
Imho, if that wouldn't be literal, I don't see other way for the jiva to enter the human body.

Hari Hari
ys Jan

Thank you...

for the references. I will go thru them.

Hare Krishna

Radhikesh das