tasmāt sarveṣu kāleṣu
mām anusmara yudhya ca
mām evaiṣyasy asaḿśayaḥ
Translation of Bhagavad Gita 8.7
Therefore, Arjuna, you should always think of Me in the form of Krishna and at the same time carry out your prescribed duty of fighting. With your activities dedicated to Me and your mind and intelligence fixed on Me, you will attain Me without doubt.
Commentary by Sri A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada of Gaudiya Sampradaya:
This instruction to Arjuna is very important for all men engaged in material activities. The Lord does not say that one should give up his prescribed duties or engagements. One can continue them and at the same time think of Krishna by chanting Hare Krishna. This will free one from material contamination and engage the mind and intelligence in Krishna. By chanting Krishna’s names, one will be transferred to the supreme planet, Krishnaloka, without a doubt.
Commentary by Sri Vishvanatha Chakravarthi Thakur of Gaudiya Sampradaya:
The mind creates the decision to think of me. The intelligence creates the determination to do so.
Commentary by Sri Ramanuja of Sri Sampradaya:
8.7 Therefore, at all times, until your departure, remember Me, day after day. Engage yourself in actions appropriate to your station and stage in life, which would make you remember Me. These actions are prescribed by the Srutis and Smrtis and comprise the periodical and occasional rites. Thus, by this means, with your mind and intellect set on Me, you will remember Me at the time of death and thus attain to Me in the manner desired by you. There is no doubt about this. Thus, having laid down the common principle that the attainment of one’s end is dependent on one’s last thought, Sri Krsna proceeds to describe different modes of contemplation (Upasana) to be practised by the three groups of devotees for acquiring their objectives. Of these, he first speaks about the modes of contemplation to be adopted by the seekers of enjoyments and power and the type of the last thought consistent with their contemplation.
Commentary by Sri Sridhara Swami of Rudra Sampradaya:
It is natural that the aggregate impressions previously enacted in one’s life will be the points of remembrance at the time of death; and as it is impossible for a catatonic, moribund person to make a special effort for recollecting the Supreme Lord. Lord Krishna is thus compassionately advising to always remember Him in everything one does meditating on Him within. But as it is a reality that constant meditation is not possible without purity of mind then one must first performed their prescribed duties according to varnashram or ones position and rank in society. In Arjuna’s case being a ksatriya or warrior, it was his duty to fight battles for protecting righteousness and so Lord Krishna advises him to fight with his mind devoted to the Supreme Lord and in this way he will attain purity of mind. Thus by surrendering one’s mind which is reflective and one’s intellect which is determinative both in devotion to Lord Krishna exclusively one will attain Him without fail.
Commentary by Sri Madhvacharya of Brahma Sampradaya:
Sri Madhvacharya did not comment on this sloka.
Commentary by Sri Keshava Kashmiri of Kumara Sampradaya:
So the reality being that the attainment of a particular cherished goal in the next life is determined and destined by constant contemplation upon it has been duly revealed by Lord Krishna. As Arjuna is a worthy aspirant for moksa or liberation from material existence he is being instructed to judiciously think of the Supreme Lord Krishna with every action he performs. This is what is being indicated by the word tasmat meaning therefore. The reason is that whatever thoughts the mind is set upon due to habituation it remains fixed to at the moment when death arises. Therefore one should set their mind on Lord Krishna, the Supreme controller and bestower of all boons at all times. At the same time one should carefully avoid all sins in the form of neglecting to perform one’s obligatory duties and occasional duties ordained by the injunctions of the Vedic scriptures according to varnasrama or ones position and rank in society. Arjuna was a ksatriya or warrior who was from the royal class and it was his duty to protect righteousness in the world. With our minds and will being free from impurity by performing natural occupational duties accordingly being unconditionally devoted to the Supreme Lord, we will attain Him without a doubt.
Commentary by Sri Adi Shankaracharya of Advaita Sampradaya:
8.7 Tasmat, therefore; anusmara, think of; mam, Me, in the way prescribed by the scriptures; sarvesu kalesu, at all times; and yudhya, fight, engage your-self in war, which is your own (caste) duty. Asamsayah, there is no doubt in this matter; that arpita-mano-buddhih, by dedicating your mind and intellect; mayi; to Me; esyasi, you-you who have thus dedicated our mind and intellect to Me, Vasudeva-will attain; mam eva, Me alone, as I shall be remembered. [When the Lord instructs Arjuna to think of Him, and at the same time engage in war, it may seem that He envisages a combination of Knowledge and action. But this is not so, because when one thinks of all actions, accessories and results that come within the purview of the mind and the intellect as Brahman, it is denied that actions etc. have any separate reality apart from Brahman. Therefore no combination is involved here.] Besides,
Commentary by Sri Abhinavagupta of Kaula Tantra Sampradaya:
8.5-7 Antakale etc., upto asamsayam. At the time of departure also : i.e., not only as longs as [one is] in the healthy and unmolested condition. Me alone : Me, with all attributes undistinguished. But at the time of unhealthy state (at the time of death) of a person, how cloud the Bhagavat enter the path of his memory, when all the activities of the senses of that person have totally ended ? Hence [to achieve this result the Lord] teaches also the means or device by ‘Therefore’ etc.: The Bhagavat surely, on His own accord, becomes [even at the time of death] the object of memory of that person from whose heart (mind) the Bhagavat has never gone away in any cirucumstance connected with the mundane life also; who has [thus] renounced all his actions to the Bhagavat alone; and who is full of (fully absorbed in) the Bhagavat. For this end, the means is to remain constantly absorbed in the thought of the Bhagavat. That is why He Says : ‘With whatever object the internal organ of a person is filled up always, that object alone is remembered by him at the time of death, and the state of that being alone is attained [by him]. Hence, let a person, by all means, have Me alone as his goal and be desirous of attaining Me’. This is the idea here. The idea [intended here] is certainly not ‘What is remembered, without fail, at the last moment that being alone is attained by him’. Because in that case the attainment of the man of wisdom would also be just like that of an ignorant man. For, the former too [at the time of death] gets [complete] dulness of mind that is benumbed by the disorder (or defect) of he elements existing in his entire body. Certainly it is not proper to accept this here. For, it would go agains the authority of the scriptures. For, the fact is- ‘He who has attained liberation simultaneously with realisation [of the Self], and whose sorrows [therefore] have been destroyed – he attains completely unity [with the Absolute] even though [at the time of death] he has lost his memory and abandons his body in a sacred place or in the house of a dog-cooker (i.e., man of a low tribe)’. (PS, 83). Therefore the matter-of-fact statement (or explanation) and injunction [that are meant here] are the following : If a person’s internal organ is absorbed incessantly in the thought of a particular being, the same being is attained by him at end after departure. It is immaterial whether [at the time of departure] that being is remembered or not. This secondary importance [of the remembrance] is indicated by the word api ‘also’. The word va ‘or’ makes it clear that the rememberance does not exist in each and every case. The Sage (Vyasa) himself clarifies his idea ‘Let a man always remain by all means keeping Me (the Absolute Lord) as his supreme goal’. Since the Sage says : ‘Therefore at all times keep Me (the Absolute) in your mind’. Therefore, the following is the combination of words [of the verse intended here] : If a person, remembering always, or at the last moment – the use of or denotes ‘or not remembering [at the last moment]’ – a particular being, leaves his body, he attains that particular being alone. For, he is always absorbed in the thought of that being. But others [interpret the verses as follows] : When one leaves his body as the end, just at the moment of leaving the body i.e., at that moment which is not cognizable to the perceivers like relatives, sons etc. [standing nearby]; at that moment that comes last after the limb-movements, like [heavy] breathing, exertion, hiccup, convulsive utterance etc., [have endred]; at that fraction of time when the bondage of pleasure, pain and bewilderment is weakened as a result of the weakening of the control of the bodily strength; at that time that goes by the term dehatyajana ‘the moment of casting the body off’; at that moment whatsoever being a person remembers, his nature becomes entriely identical with that being, favoured (taken as an object) by the First Consiousness. the cause for remembering [the Lord] at that moment is to remanin ever absorbed in the thought of Him. The word tyajati [of verse 6] is to be construed as the seventh case [meaning ‘at the time of abandoning’]. Hence, the purport [of the passage] is only what has been said above. What is the use of such a remembrance of Him at the last moment ? But, who told that [there] is a use [for it] ? But, the remembrance is certainly brought about as a natural course at the last moment. But this [proposition] would lead to an undersirable consequence. For, it has been observed that a person [usually] remberances at the last moment either the maintenance of his children, wife and relatives, or drinking of cold water and so on. So, he would become identical with those things. It is not so. The moment, you speak of, is not the last moment. For, at that moment the existence of body is being clearly felt. Really that last moment, which we would like to speak of, can’t be perceived by persons like you. In what form alone the remembrance should be there at the last moment is decided by [its cause], a potential mental impression certainly arising at that time – even though it is far off – according to the general principle : ‘The remembrance and the potential mental impression [that causes it] being identical in form, there should be a sequential immediacy [between them], even though they are removed [from one another] by many births, by long distance and by long passage of time’. (YS, IV, 9). Thus, depending on the potential mental impression, there arises remembrance of a particular being, and becuase of its remembrance one attains the identity of that being. However in the case of certain body the same [process] is accidentally indicated even at the stage of healthy body-condition. See for example, the remembrance of a deer etc., [both in the healthy conditions and in the dying moment] and the consequential attainment of the deerhood, as described in the Puranic literature. That is why api ca ‘and also’ is employed in [the statement] like ‘and also at the time of journey.’ Therefore, those who constantly think of the Bhagavat with intention ‘Let us become this Being’; they attain [in the following order] the identity with Absolute Lord, of the exclusive nature of Consciousness : [First] there arises the thought (smarana) of the Lord at the moment when the bodily existence is felt; then at that unperceivable last moment the potential mental impression, born of the said thought, gives rise to the remembrance of the Lord by striking down all the other potential mental impressions, according to the principle : ‘The potential mental impression, born therefrom , make all other potential mental impressions powerless (YS., I, 50). Then only at the moment of the fall of the body, because at that time the mental impression created by [the sense of] time has come to an end and because the differences of the objects like ‘this’, ‘that’ etc., are not felt-at that moment he attains identity with the Lord. This much of discussion is enough. Without doubt (verse 7) : one should not entertain any doubt in this regard.
Sanskrit Shloka Without Transliteration Marks:
tasmat sarvesu kalesu
mam anusmara yudhya ca
mam evaisyasy asamsayah
Sanskrit to English Word for Word Meanings:
tasmāt — therefore; sarveṣu — at all; kāleṣu — times; mām — Me; anusmara — go on remembering; yudhya — ﬁght; ca — also; mayi — unto Me; arpita — surrendering; manaḥ — mind; buddhiḥ — intellect; mām — unto Me; eva — surely; eṣyasi — you will attain; asaḿśayaḥ — beyond a doubt.