Chapter 8: Attaining the Supreme
agnir jyotir ahah suklah
tatra prayata gacchanti
brahma brahma-vido janah
agniḥ—fire; jyotiḥ—light; ahaḥ—day; śuklaḥ—white; ṣaṭ-māsāḥ—six months; uttarāyaṇam—when the sun passes on the northern side; tatra—there; prayātāḥ—one who goes; gacchanti—passes away; brahma—the Absolute; brahma-vidaḥ—one who knows the Absolute; janāḥ—person.
Those who know the Supreme Brahman pass away from the world during the influence of the fiery god, in the light, at an auspicious moment, during the fortnight of the moon and the six months when the sun travels in the north.
When fire, light, day and moon are mentioned, it is to be understood that over all of them there are various presiding deities who make arrangements for the passage of the soul. At the time of death, the jīva sets forth on the path to a new life. If one leaves the body at the time designated above, either accidently or by arrangement, it is possible for him to attain the impersonal brahmajyoti. Mystics who are advanced in yoga practice can arrange the time and place to leave the body. Others have no control-if by accident they leave at an auspicious moment, then they will not return to the cycle of birth and death, but if not, then there is every possibility that they will have to return. However, for the pure devotee in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, there is no fear of returning, whether he leaves the body at an auspicious or inauspicious moment, by accident or arrangement.