IV-3 Śrī Bhāshya | Rāmānuja | 6
Topic 6 - Only those who have worshipped the Saguṇa Brahman without a symbol attain Brahmaloka
अप्रतीकालम्बनान्नयतीति बादरायणः, उभयथाऽदोषात्, तत्क्रतुश्च ॥ १५ ॥
apratīkālambanānnayatīti bādarāyaṇaḥ, ubhayathā’doṣāt, tatkratuśca || 15 ||
apratīka-ālambanāt—Those who do not use a symbol (of Brahman) in their meditations; nayati—(the superhuman being) leads; iti bādarāyaṇaḥ—so says Bādarāyaṇa; ubhayathā— if this distinction is made; adoṣāt—there being no contradiction; tat-kratuḥ—as is the meditation on that (so does one become); ca—and.
15. Bādarāyaṇa says that (the superhuman being) leads (to Brahmaloka only) those who do not use a symbol (of Brahman) in their meditations, there being no contradiction if this distinction is made, and (it being construed by the principle) as is the meditation on that (so does one become).
Bādarāyaṇa is of opinion that the deities lead those not depending on symbols, i.e. all meditating devotees other than those depending on symbols. That is to say. the view that those are led who meditate on the effected Brahman cannot be upheld; nor is there an exclusive rule that those only should be led on who meditate on the highest Brahman. The truth is that those are led who meditate on the highest Brahman, and also those who meditate on the Self (soul) as different from matter (Prakriti) and having Brahman for its true Self. Souls of both these kinds are led on to Brahman. Those on the other hand whose object of meditation is such things as name and so on, which fall within what is a mere effect of Brahman--such things being viewed either under the aspect of Brahman, just as some valiant man may be viewed under the aspect of a lion (which view expresses itself in the judgment 'Devadatta is a lion '); or by themselves (without reference to Brahman)--all those are not led on to Brahman. Why so?' Because there is a defect in both cases,' i.e. in both the views rejected by Bādarāyaṇa. The view that those are led who meditate on the effected Brahman is in conflict with texts such as ' having risen from this body and reached the highest light' (Kh. Up. VIII, 12, 3)--for the nature of the fruit depends on the nature of the meditation; and the view that those only are led to the highest Brahman who meditate on the highest Brahman, would stultify texts such as the one which expressly declares Agni and the rest of the deities to lead on those who possess the knowledge of the five fires ('Those who know this, viz. the Vidyā of the five fires, and those who in the forest meditate on faith and austerity go to light--there is a person not human, he leads them to Brahman,' Kh. Up. V, 10). Both these views thus being defective, we adhere to the conclusion that the deities lead on to Brahman the two classes of souls mentioned above.--This the Sūtra further declares in the words 'he whose thought is that' (tatkratuh), the sense of which is that he whose thought is that reaches that, i.e. that the nature of what is reached depends on the nature of the meditation. This argument is founded on the text, 'According to what his thought is (yathā-kṛtaḥ) in this world, so will he be when he has departed this life' (Kh. Up. III, 14), which implies the principle that what a soul after death attains is according to its thought and meditation in this life; and moreover we have direct scriptural statements to the effect that those who possess the knowledge of the five fires proceed on the path of the Gods, and that those who proceed on that path reach Brahman and do not return. Analogous reasoning proves that meditation on the soul as free from matter and having Brahman for its true Self also leads to the highest Brahman. In the case of those, on the other hand, who rely on the symbols (in which they meditatively contemplate Brahman), beginning with name and terminating with prāṇa. ('He who meditates on name as Brahman,' Kh. Up. VII, 1 ff.), the meditation is not proved by texts of the two kinds previously mentioned to lead to Brahman; it rather is contaminated by an element not of the nature of intelligence, and hence--according to the principle that the result of a meditation is the same in nature as the meditation itself--the soul of the inferior devotee practising such meditation does not proceed by the path of light and does not reach Brahman.--That this distinction is declared by Scripture itself, the next Sūtra shows.
विशेषं च दर्शयति ॥ १६ ॥
viśeṣaṃ ca darśayati || 16 ||
viśeṣaṃ—Difference; ca—and; darśayati—the scripture declares.
16. And the scripture declares a difference (with respect to meditations on symbols).
The text, 'He who meditates on name as Brahman, for him there is movement as he wishes as far as name extends,' etc. (Kh. Up. VII, 1 ff.), declares that those who meditate on the series of symbols beginning with name and ending with prāṇa attain to a result of limited nature and not depending on any particular path. Those therefore who meditate on the Intelligent either as mixed with the Non-intelligent or by itself, viewing it either under the aspect of Brahman or as separated from Brahman, are not led on by the conducting deities. On the other hand, it remains a settled conclusion that the deities speed on their way those who meditate on the highest Brahman and on the soul as separated from Prakriti and having Brahman for its true Self.
--Here terminates the Adhikaraṇa of 'the effected.'