|Chapter 8||Attainment of Salvation||Verse 26|
Rudra Vaisnava Sampradaya:
The explanation of the two paths: the path of light characterised by jyotih or illumination and the path of darkness characterised by dhumah or smoke is now being concluded by Lord Krishna. The path of light is for those qualified by knowledge and the path of darkness is for those qualified by actions both paths are eternal without beginning; but of the two by the path of light one returns not to samsara the perpetual cycle of birth and death and by the path of darkness one must return and be reborn in material existence.
Brahma Vaisnava Sampradaya:
Sri Vaisnava Sampradaya:
The path of light is the archi-adi being illuminating and the path of darkness is the dhumadi or smoke. One who at death is guided on the path of light does not return to the worlds of mortals; but one who is at death guided on the path of darkness does return and must be reborn again. The path of light is dual for two types of aspirants being: the jnani the god seeker and the jijnasuh the soul seeker. The path of darkness is singular is for the atharthi or fruitive seeker who performs meritorious activities with the desire to reap the benefits and rewards in the hereafter. Thus two paths are given for the three types of aspirants. The Chandogya Upanisad V.X.I-III states: Those aspirants who have realized the atma or soul and those who in seclusion meditate with faith and devotion on the omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent Supreme Lord enter the archi-adi path of light and do not return. Those aspirants who in their daily affairs devote themselves to Vedic rituals, public works, charity and philanthropic activities as well as other pious acts, all enter the dhumo the path of darkness and must return.
Kumara Vaisnava Sampradaya:
Lord Krishna describing the two paths as eternal concludes by reiterating that those who practice the path of knowledge take the route of light presided over by the all effulgent Agni the demigod of fire and those who practice the path of action take the route of darkness presided over by the demigod of smoke. Both are eternal and beginingless. Preceding by the route of light the qualified yogi or one perfecting the individual consciousness attaining communion with the ultimate consciousness is not reborn again in the world of mortals but eventually achieves moksa or liberation from material existence. The aspirant who performs meritoious activities with the desire for rewards in this life and the hereafter must return to material existence and take birth again.