shuklakrishne gatee hyote jagataha shaashvate mate |
ekayaa yaatyanaavrittimanyayaavartate punaha || 26 ||

 
For, bright and dark, both these paths have been known since eternity. By one, the traveller does not have to return, by the other, he has to return again.
 
shuklakrishne : bright and dark
gatee : paths
hi : for
ete : both these
jagataha : worldly
shaashvate : eternal
mate : have been known
ekayaa : one of these
yaati : traveller
anaavrittim : does not have to return
anyayaa : the other
aavartate : has to return
punaha : again
 
Shri Krishna spoke about two paths that the jeeva takes after death: the “bright” path that goes to the abode of Lord Brahma, and the “dark” path that goes to the abode of the moon. He now reaffirms the difference between these two paths by saying that those who travel by the bright path are liberated, whereas those who take the dark path are born again after spending time in the abode of the moon. He also states that these paths have been established since time immemorial.
 
These two paths take care of two categories of people. One category is those who perform good actions as well as single pointed devotion – they attain the abode of Lord Brahma. The other is those who only perform good actions – they attain heaven. But absent from this list are those who perform negative actions that harm others and themselves. What happens to them?
 
Shri Krishna has omitted the path of such people, probably because he assumes that one who is interested in following the path of karma yoga is putting forth effort to eliminate negative and destructive actions from his life. More information on the path taken by such people is provided in the Srimad Bhagavatam.
 
So then, what is the significance of these two paths to us? This is taken up next.

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