bhaktya yukto yoga-balena caiva
bhruvor madhye pranam avesya samyak
sa tam param purusham upaiti divyam
One who, at the time of death, fixes his life air between the eyebrows and, by the strength of yoga, with an undeviating mind, engages himself in remembering the Supreme Lord in full devotion, will certainly attain to the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
Commentary by Srila Prabhupada
In this verse it is clearly stated that at the time of death the mind must be fixed in devotion to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. For those practiced in yoga, it is recommended that they raise the life force between the eyebrows (to the ajna-cakra). The practice of shat-cakra-yoga, involving meditation on the six cakras, is suggested here. A pure devotee does not practice such yoga, but because he is always engaged in Krishna consciousness, at death he can remember the Supreme Personality of Godhead by His grace. This is explained in verse fourteen.
The particular use of the word yoga-balena is significant in this verse because without practice of yoga—whether shat-cakra-yoga or bhakti-yoga—one cannot come to this transcendental state of being at the time of death. One cannot suddenly remember the Supreme Lord at death; one must have practiced some yoga system, especially the system of bhakti-yoga. Since one’s mind at death is very disturbed, one should practice transcendence through yoga during one’s life.
Commentary by Sri Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakur
(combined commentary for verses 9 and 10)
Without practice of yoga it is difficult to withdraw the mind from sense objects. Without withdrawing the mind from sense objects, it is difficult to constantly think of the Lord. Therefore one should execute bhakti along with some type of yoga practice. The Lord here speaks of such bhakti mixed with astangayoga (yoga misra bhakti) in five verses.
The Lord is omniscient (kavi). But though one may be omniscient, like Sanaka and others, one is not eternal. Therefore, the Lord is described as purana, without beginning. Though he is both omniscient and without beginning, this does not indicate that he becomes the instructor of bhakti as paramatma. Therefore he is called anusasitaram, the teacher, by mercy giving instructions about devotion to himself when he appears as Krishna or Rama. Though he is merciful, he is still a difficult object to know factually: compared to the smallest he is even smaller. Then, is he like the jiva, the size of an atom? No, he is also of the greatest size, spreading everywhere, since everything is contained within him (sarvasya dhataram). Thus he is said to be inconceivable in form (acintya rupam). Though he appears of medium size, as a human being, his manifestation is independent of all others. Thus he has a form (varna), which is like that of the sun (aditya), revealing both himself and others. Thus, though he is the possessor of maya sakti (prakrti), his form is transcendental to prakrti or maya (tamasah parastat).
At the time of death (prayana kale), with unwavering mind, engaged in bhakti with constant remembrance of me as described above, he attains me. How does he attain unwavering mind? He attains it through the strength of his practice of yoga (yoga balena). The yoga process is then described. Fixing his prana in the ajna cakra (bhruvor madhye), he attains me.