Bhagavad Gita: Chapter 8, Verse 11

यदक्षरं वेदविदो वदन्ति
विशन्ति यद्यतयो वीतरागा: |
यदिच्छन्तो ब्रह्मचर्यं चरन्ति
तत्ते पदं संग्रहेण प्रवक्ष्ये || 11||

yad akṣharaṁ veda-vido vadanti
viśhanti yad yatayo vīta-rāgāḥ
yad ichchhanto brahmacharyaṁ charanti
tat te padaṁ saṅgraheṇa pravakṣhye

yatwhich; akṣharamImperishable; veda-vidaḥscholars of the Vedas; vadantidescribe; viśhantienter; yatwhich; yatayaḥgreat ascetics; vīta-rāgāḥfree from attachment; yatwhich; ichchhantaḥdesiring; brahmacharyamcelibacy; charantipractice; tatthat; teto you; padamgoal; saṅgraheṇabriefly; pravakṣhyeI shall explain

yad aksharam veda-vido vadanti
vishanti yad yatayo vita-ragah
yad ichchhanto brahmacharyam charanti
tat te padam sangrahena pravakshye


BG 8.11: Scholars of the Vedas describe Him as Imperishable; great ascetics practice the vow of celibacy and renounce worldly pleasures to enter into Him. I shall now explain to you briefly the path to that goal.


In the Vedas, God is referred by many names: Brahman, Bhagwan, Deva, Paramātmā, Praṇa, Puruṣh, Sat, etc. In some places, while referring to His formless aspect, God is said to be Akshar, which means imperishable. The Bṛihadāraṇyak Upaniṣhad states:

etasya vā akṣharasya praśhāsane gārgi
sūryāchandramasau vidhṛitau tiṣhṭhataḥ   

“Under the mighty control of the Imperishable, the sun and the moon are held on their course.”

Shree Krishna mentions in this verse the word sangraheṇa, which means “in brief.” He says that this path is very difficult to follow and not suitable for everyone. Therefore, He will not elaborate much and briefly describe this path of yog-miśhrā bhakti; that leads to attaining the formless aspect of God. It demands living a life of rigid continence and perform severe austerities. Renouncing worldly desires and practicing brahmacharya, a vow of celibacy. As was previously detailed in verse 6.14, the practice of celibacy conserves a person’s physical energy. This energy, when channelized through sadhana, gets transformed into spiritual energy. It also enhances the intellect and memory power of the sādhaks (spiritual aspirants) and helps them comprehend the spiritual subjects better.