In a nutshell, the summary of Bhagavad Gita pertaining to salvation / liberation is as follows. Read it sequentially to grasp the gist of it.
Shrimad Bhagavad Gita contains indicative and conclusive knowledge about Supreme God and attainment of salvation. The narrator of Gita has given the knowledge of 2 tiers in Shrimad Bhagavad Gita.
- At one tier, he talks about himself, his own mantra (which is Om), his own salvation (which is of inferior quality) and the never ending cycle of birth, death and rebirth.
- On the second tier, the narrator of Gita talks about some other God who is actually the Supreme God, who is eternal and lives in an everlasting place (ritdhaam).
- He further clarifies that the knowledge of the Supreme God only lies with a Tatvadarshi Saint, and His worship can result in complete salvation whereby the cycle of birth and death can end.
Mentioned below are the crucial verses from Shrimad Bhagavad Gita which clarify this concept of 2 tier knowledge given by the narrator of Gita.
Narrator of Bhagavad Gita asks Arjun to find a Tatvadarshi Saint
In Gita, Adhyay 4, Shlok 34, Shri Krishan ji asks Arjun to find a Tatvadarshi Saint to get complete knowledge about the Supreme God.
This shows that Shri Krishan ji did not possess complete knowledge about the path to salvation. This also proves that in Shrimad Bhagavad Gita complete knowledge about the attainment of Supreme God and complete salvation, which ends the cycle of birth and death is not present.
Bhagavad Gita Adhyay 4 Shlok 34
Tat, viddhi, prnipaaten, pariprshnen, sevya,
Updekshyanti, te, gyaanm, gyaaninH, tatvdarshinH ||34||
God, the narrator of the Holy Gita says - I do not know the path of complete liberation of the Supreme God. Regarding that he says that - Understand that Tatvgyan. By properly prostrating before those saints who know the true knowledge and solution of the Supreme God, by serving them, and by giving up deceit, asking questions with simplicity, they, who know the Supreme God in essence i.e. the Tatvadarshi, knowledgeable Mahatmas, will instruct you in Tatvagyan / True Spiritual Knowledge.
The Identity of a Tatvadarshi Saint has been mentioned in Gita Adhyay 15, Verse 1
He who would give an explanation of an Upside Down Tree in entirety will be a Tatvadarshi Saint.
Bhagavad Gita Adhyay 15 Shlok 1
Oordhvmoolam’, adhHshaakham’, ashvttham’, praahuH, avyyam’,
Chhandaasi, yasya, parnaani, yaH, tam’, ved, saH, vedvit’ ||1||
With the roots above in the form of Purna Parmatma Aadi Purush Parmeshwar (Supreme God) and the branches below in the form of the three gunas i.e. Rajgun-Brahma, Satgun-Vishnu and Tamgun-Shiv, it is an imperishable, extensive Pipal tree, whose divisions, small-small parts, just as there are verses in Vedas, are said to be twigs and leaves. One, who knows that tree of world in detail, is completely knowledgeable i.e. is Tatvadarshi.
Rajgun Brahma, Satgun Vishnu and Tamgun Shiv Ji Bind a Soul to the Human Body
Bhagavad Gita Adhyay 15 Shlok 2
AdhH, ch, oordhvam’, prsritaH, tasya, shaakhaH, gunprvriddhaH,
VishayprvaalaH, adhH, ch, moolaani, anusanttaani, karmaanubandheeni, manushyaloke ||2||
That tree’s three gunas–(Rajgun-Brahma, Satgun-Vishnu, Tamgun-Shiv)–like defects (lust, anger, attachment, greed, arrogance) in the form of shoots and branches – Brahma, Vishnu and Shiv, extended below and above, are the root cause of binding the soul to actions, and in the world of men – Heaven, Hell and Earth, have been arranged below – in hell, 84 lakh births, and above in heaven etc.
Bhagavad Gita Adhyay 14, Shlok 5
Satvam’, rajH, tamH, iti, gunaH, prkritisambhvaaH,
Nibadhanti, mahabaho, dehe, dehinm’, avyyam’ ||5||
Oh Arjun! Satvagun, Rajogun and Tamogun, these three gunas born of Prakriti bind the eternal soul to body.
The Narrator of Gita shows his limitation of Knowledge (during the dialogue of Gita)
The narrator of Gita acknowledges his limitation of knowledge about creation of universe as well.
Bhagavad Gita Adhyay 15 Shlok 3
Na, roopam, asya, ih, tatha, uplabhyate, na, antH, na, ch, aadiH, na, ch,
Samprtishtha, ashvattham, enam, suvirudmoolam, asangshastren, driden, chhitva ||3||
Neither does this creation have a beginning, nor an end, nor is such a form perceived, and here in this discussion i.e. in the knowledge of Gita being imparted by me, even I do not have full information because even I do not adequately know the state of the creation of all the brahmands. With this determined weapon of unsmeared Tatvgyan i.e. pure Tatvgyan which has a strong form and a permanent state, cutting down i.e. considering the bhakti of Niranjan to be short-lived.
The Narrator of Gita also claims to be in the shelter of some other Supreme God who should be Worshipped
Bhagavad Gita Adhyay 15 Shlok 4
TatH, padam, tat, parimaargitvyam, yasmin, gataaH, na, nivartanti, bhooyH,
Tam, ev, ch, aadhyam, purusham, prpadhye, yatH, prvrittiH, prsrita, puraani ||4||
After that one should properly search for the supreme place i.e. Satlok of that Supreme God. Having gone where, devotees do not return to the world, and the Param Akshar Brahm (Supreme God), from whom the ancient creation/nature has originated. I also am in the refuge of that Eternal God. One should only do worship of that Supreme God with full determination.
The Narrator of Gita clearly clarifies about some other Supreme God
Bhagavad Gita Adhyay 15 Shlok 16
Dwau, imau, purushau, loke, ksharH, ch, aksharH, ev, ch,
KsharH, sarvaani, bhootaani, kootasthH, aksharH, uchyate ||16||
In this world, there are two types of Gods, Kshar and Akshar. Likewise, in these two loks, the bodies of all the living beings are said to be perishable and the soul, imperishable.
Bhagavad Gita Adhyay 15 Shlok 17
UttamH, purushH, tu, anyaH, Parmatma, iti, udaahrtH,
YaH, loktryam, aavishya, bibharti, avyyaH, iishwarH ||17||
The Supreme God is, however, someone else other than the two aforesaid Gods, Kshar Purush and Akshar Purush, who by entering the three worlds, sustains everyone and is called as the Eternal God (Immortal Supreme God).
The Narrator of Gita advises Arjun to go in to the refuge of some other God
Bhagavad Gita Adhyay 18 Shlok 62
Tam, ev, sharnm, gachchh, sarvbhaaven, bharat,
Tatprsaadaat, paraam, shaantim, sthaanm, praapsyasi, shaashvatam ||62||
Oh Bharat! You, in every respect, go in the refuge of only that Supreme God. By the grace of that Supreme God only, you will attain the supreme peace and the everlasting place (abode / lok) i.e. Satlok.
The Narrator of Gita says that my mantra is OM but the mantra of that Supreme God is Om Tat Sat
- The narrator of Gita says that mantra for salvation up to my level is Om in Gita Adhyay 8 Shlok 13.
- This salvation has been said to be of a very poor / inferior quality in Gita Adhyay 7 Shlok 18.
- The narrator of Gita says that for complete salvation go in to the refuge of Supreme God in Gita Adhyay 18 Shlok 62, 66.
Bhagavad Gita Adhyay 8 Shlok 13
Om, iti, ekaaksharam, Brahm, vyaaharan, mam, anusmaran,
YaH, pryaati, tyajan, deham, saH, yaati, parmaam, gatim ||13||
Kaal God is saying that in that mantra of three words (Om, Tat, Sat), there is only one word Om / ॐ for me i.e. Brahm, which has to be chanted for doing sumiran. A devotee who while doing sumiran-sadhna unto last breath, gives up his body, attains the supreme state i.e. salvation.
In Gita Adhyay 7 shlok 18, the narrator of Gita has already clarified that his salvation is of an inferior quality.
UdaaraH, sarve, ev, ete, gyaani, tu, aatma, ev, me, matam’,
AasthitH, saH, hi, yuktaatma, mam’, ev, anuttamaam’, gatim’ ||18||
Because in my opinion all these learned souls are noble, but that soul engrossed only in me is dependent only on my very bad salvation. (anuttamaam = very bad)
In Gita Adhyay 8, shlok 5 and 7, the speaker of Gita has said that if one worships me, then they attain me.
Antkaale, ch, mam, ev, smaran, muktva, kalevaram,
YaH, pryaati, saH, madbhaavm, yaati, na, asti, atr, sanshayH ||5||
One who even at the time of death, gives up his body while remembering me alone, he attains the nature of scripture-based bhakti, sadhna upto Brahm. There is no doubt in this.
Tasmaat, sarveshu, kaaleshu, mam, anusmar, yudhya, ch,
Mayi, arpitmanobuddhiH, mam, ev, eshyasi, asanshyam ||7||
Therefore Oh Arjun! You should remember me at all times and fight as well. Thus, possessing the mind and intellect devoted to me, you will undoubtedly come to me i.e. whenever you will have a human birth, you will engage in my worship and will remain with me only.
Up until now it has been clarified that Om jaap pertains to the narrator of Gita.
Mantra 'Om Tat Sat' refers to a God different than the speaker of Gita
Bhagavad Gita Adhyay 17 Shlok 23
ॐ , Tat, Sat, iti, nirdeshH, brahmnH, trividhH, smrtH,
BraahmnaH, ten, vedaH, ch, yagyaaH, ch, vihitaH, pura ||23||
ॐ / Om mantra of Brahm, Tat - this is coded mantra of ParBrahm, Sat - this is coded mantra of Purna Brahm (Supreme God). In this way, there is direction of remembrance of three types of mantras of Purna Parmatma, and in the beginning of nature, based on that very Tatvagyan, the scholars created Vedas and yagya etc. They used to worship according to that.
Here the word 'BraahmnaH' is attributed to Sachchidanandghan Parmeshwar or 'Supreme God'. About this Sachchidanandghan Parmeshwar, the narrator of Gita has elaborated in Bhagavad Gita Adhyay 8 Shlok 8, 9, 10.
Bhagavad Gita Adhyay 8 Shlok 8, 9, 10
Abhyaasyogyukten, chetsa, naanyagaamina,
Parmm, purusham, divyam, yaati, paarth, anuchintyan ||8||
Oh Paarth! Endowed with bhakti in the form of practice of the repetition of mantra (jaap of naam) of the Supreme God i.e. engrossed in the worship of the Supreme God with undeviated attention, a devotee who constantly thinks of God, goes to the Supreme Divine God i.e. to Supreme God only.
Kavim, puraanm, anushaasitaarm, anoH, aniyaansam, anusmaret,
YaH, sarvasya, dhaataarm, achintyaroopam, aadityavarnam, tamasH, parastaat ||9||
Kavirdev i.e. Supreme God Kabir who becomes famous as a poet, He is immemorial, controller of all, subtler than the subtlest, inconceivable, perpetually radiant like the sun. He who (does sumiran of) remembers that Sachchidanandghan Parmeshwar (the true happiness-giving Supreme God) beyond the darkness of ignorance.
Pryaankaale, mansa, achlen, bhaktya, yuktH, yogbalen, ch, ev, bhruvoH,
Madhye, praanm, aaveshya, samyak, saH, tam, param, Purusham, upaiti, divyam ||10||
That worshipper equipped with bhakti, at the time of death, by the effect of the bhakti of the repetition of mantra (jaap of naam) by properly fixing the life-breath in the middle of the eyebrows, then with a steadfast mind goes to the unknown, divine Supreme God only.
In these shlokas the narrator of Gita has clarified that the worshipper of Supreme God, attains that Supreme God (which is different to the narrator of Gita), the mantra of which has been explained in adhyay 17 mantra 23.
Bhagavad Gita Adhyay 18 Shlok 66
Sarvdharmaan, parityajya, maam, ekam, sharnam, vraj,
Aham, tva, sarvpaapebhyaH, mokshyishyaami, ma, shuchH ||66||
Relinquishing all my religious practices in me, you go in the refuge of only that one unique i.e. Complete God. I will release you from all the sins. You do not grieve.
Prior to this what used to happen was that one used to accumulate the earnings of worship (by chanting Om Mantra) on this earth and then consume them by residing in heaven or gaining higher positions (such as kings, rulers etc.) in heaven and then return to this earth to bear the punishment of bad deeds after being reborn, or bear them in hell.
In Gita Adhyay 8 Shlok 16, it has been said that all the loks (places in this universe) are perishable.
Aabrahmbhuvnaat, lokaaH, punraavartinH, Arjun,
Mam, upetya, tu, kauntey, punarjanm, na, vidhyate ||16||
Oh Arjun! All the loks upto Brahmlok are subject to repeated creation and destruction. But oh son of Kunti, those who do not know this, they even after attaining me are reborn.
Now the purport is that the earnings of 'Om' mantra will be given to the narrator of Gita i.e. Kaal, to clear his debt, and then he will let one escape his lok (universe).
To achieve that everlasting place, the earnings of 'Tat' and 'Sat' mantra will be required. 'Tat' will be required to pay the fare to pass through the lok (universe) of Par Brahm. The earnings of 'Sat' Mantra will grant one a place in the everlasting place (Satlok). This is called complete salvation.
- 18.62 - Narrator of Gita asks Arjun to go into the refuge of that Supreme God by whose grace he will attain supreme peace and everlasting place.
- To go there, he has explained the procedure that Supreme God's mantra is "Om Tat Sat" (17.23).
- This 'Om Tat Sat' mantra will be explained or granted by a Tatvadarshi Sant (4.34).
- On basis of this worship granted by a Tatvadarshi Sant, when one wants to go to that Supreme God or achieve that everlasting place, then one has to relinquish the earnings of "Om" mantra (as a means of paying the debt) to the narrator of Gita (i.e. Kaal) (18.66) in whose universe one is living. Only after this will one achieve complete salvation.