IV-2 Śrī Bhāshya | Rāmānuja | 3

Topic 3 - The function of the vital force gets merged in the individual soul

 Sutra 4,2.4

सोऽध्यक्षे, तदुपगमादिभ्यः ॥ ४ ॥

so’dhyakṣe, tadupagamādibhyaḥ || 4 ||

saḥ—That (Prāṇa); adhyakṣe—in the ruler (Jīva); tat-upagamādibhyaḥ—on account of (statements expressing) approach to that etc.

4. That (Prāṇa) is merged in the ruler (Jīva) on account of (statements expressing) approach to that etc.

As from the statements that speech becomes united with mind and mind with breath it follows that speech and mind are united with mind and breath only; so we conclude from the subsequent clause 'breath with fire' that breath becomes united with fire only.--Against this primā facie view the Sūtra declares 'that breath becomes united with the ruler of the organs, i.e. the individual soul, on account of the going to it, and so on.' That breath goes to the individual soul, the following text declares, 'At the time of death all the Prāṇas go to the Self of a man about to expire ' (Bri. Up. IV, 3, 38), Similarly Scripture mentions the departure of Prāṇa together with the soul, 'after him thus departing the prāṇa departs'; and again its staying together with the soul, 'What is that by whose departure I shall depart, and by whose staying I shall stay?' (Pr. Up. VI, 3). We therefore conclude that the text 'breath with fire' means that breath joined with the individual soul becomes united with fire. Analogously we may say in ordinary life that the Yamuna is flowing towards the sea, while in reality it is the Yamuna joined with the Gangā which flows on.--Here terminates the Adhikaraṇa of 'the ruler.'

Sutra 4,2.5

भूतेषु, तच्छ्रुतेः ॥ ५ ॥

bhūteṣu, tacchruteḥ || 5 ||

bhūteṣu—In the elements; tat-śruteḥ—from the Śruti texts to that effect.

5. In the elements (is merged) (the Jīva with the Prāṇas), as it is seen from the Śruti.

There arises the further question whether breath joined with the soul unites itself with fire only or with all the elements combined.--With fire, so much only being declared by Scripture!--This view the Sūtra sets aside. Breath and soul unite themselves with all the elements; for Scripture declares the soul, when moving out, to consist of all the elements--'Consisting of earth, consisting of water, consisting of fire.'-- But this latter text explains itself also on the assumption of breath and soul uniting themselves in succession with fire and the rest, one at a time!--This the next Sūtra negatives.

Sutra 4,2.6

नैकस्मिन्, दर्शयतो हि ॥ ६ ॥

naikasmin, darśayato hi || 6 ||

na—Not; ekasmin—in one; darśayataḥ—(both) declare so; hi—for.

6. (The soul with Prāṇa is merged) not in one (element only), for both (the Śruti and Smriti) declare so.

Not with one; because each element by itself is incapable of producing an effect. Such incapability is declared by Scripture and tradition alike. The text 'Having entered these beings with this Jīva soul let me reveal names and forms--let me make each of these three tripartite' (Kh. Up. VI, 3) teaches that the elements were rendered tripartite in order to be capable of evolving names and forms; and of similar import is the following Smriti text, 'Possessing various powers these (elements), being separate from one another, were unable to produce creatures without combining. But having entered into mutual conjunction they, from the Mahat down to individual beings, produce the Brahma egg.' From this it follows that in the clause 'breath is united with fire' the word fire denotes fire mixed with the other elements. Breath and soul therefore are united with the aggregate of the elements.

-- Here terminates the Adhikaraṇa of 'the elements.'