Chapter 8 Brahma Yoga Verse 21
Shuklakrishne gatee hyete jagatah shaashwate mate;
Ekayaa yaatyanaavrittim anyayaa’vartate punah.
The bright and the dark paths of the world are verily thought to be eternal;
by the bright path a person goes not to return again, and by the dark path he returns.
After talking about the timing and the day of death which brings a person to this world and makes him attain Godliness, in this sloka He describes the nature of these paths. Lord says that these two paths are called as the bright path and the dark path. He also adds that these two paths are considered as the eternal paths that humans have been taking since years. The difference according to Lord Krishna is that, the person who takes the bright path is not going to return to this world while the one who takes the dark path again returns to this world.
Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!
Why are these paths called as bright and dark paths and why is it that they are considered to be eternal? This is a question that comes into everyone’s mind when they read this sloka. It should never be mistaken that bright path is a good path and the dark path is a bad path. Both are paths that are carved out by a person depending on his nature and his way of thinking. Let us take for example, a person who wants to help people. Then the next question that comes to mind is, why did he choose helping people as his dharma, when there are so many options available to him?
The answer to this is, the person gets satisfied when he helps people. Now this satisfaction can be many fold and multi dimensional and mutli disciplinary. A person can do a many fold help, when he constantly advises people on various aspects of decision making and helps them to succeed. It is Multi dimensional when the goal attached for helping a person differs. Someone helps thinking that they are doing it as directed by God. That is one dimension. Someone might help for name and fame. Someone might help thinking of power and position, someone might help thinking of money. Help here is the same, but the dimensions are many.
Helping a person also is multi disciplinary, as the help can be given in various disciplines. Like someone can be a doctor and help cure diseases, someone can be a teacher and help educate people, someone can be a lawyer and help people who get into troubles. Someone can be an engineer and help people by constructing and designing things, someone can be a scientist and help people by providing them comforts in their lives. All these are multi disciplinary. Now the basic question is how is it bright and dark?
Any help done with an utmost sense of understanding his dharma and not expecting any material, financial, political and personal benefit is the bright path. Here the person does his work because he believes that God has chosen him for it. But there are others who do it for name, fame, power, praise, money and other materialistic benefits. Its not that they are wrong, its just that it is considered as the dark path taken and the person comes back again. When God is in mind and an act is committed without thinking any other thing, that person attains Godliness and never comes back.