III-3 Śrī Bhāshya | Rāmānuja | 18

Topic 18 - All the worshippers of the Saguṇā Brahman go after death by the path of the gods to Brahmaloka, and not merely those who know the Panchāgni Vidyā etc., wherein such a path is specifically mentioned

Sutra 3,3.31

अनियमः सर्वासाम्, अविरोधः शब्दानुमानाभ्याम् ॥ ३१ ॥

aniyamaḥ sarvāsām, avirodhaḥ śabdānumānābhyām || 31 ||

aniyamaḥ—(There is) no restriction; sarvāsām—(Devayâna applies equally) to all (Vidyās of the Saguṇā Brahman); avirodhaḥ—there is non-contradiction; śabda-anumānābhyām—as is seen from the Śruti and Smriti.

31. (The passage of the soul by the path of the gods) is not restricted (only to certain Vidyās of the Saguṇā Brahman); (it applies equally) to all (Vidyās of the Saguṇā Brahman). There is no contradiction, as is seen from the Śruti and Smriti.

The question here is whether Brahman is to be reached on the path of the gods by those only who take their stand on those meditations which, like the Upakosala-vidyā, describe that path, or by all who practise any of the meditations on Brahman. The Pūrvapakshin holds the former view, since there is no proof to show that in other vidyās the going on that path is not mentioned, and since those other vidyās- such as the texts 'and those who in the forest meditate on faith and austerities, ‘and' those who in the forest worship faith, the True' (Kh. Up. V, 10, 1; Bri. Up. VI, 2, 15)--suggest to the mind the idea of the knowledge of Brahman. This the Sūtra negatives. There is no restriction to that limited class of devotees, since all who carry on meditations have to go on that path. For on this latter assumption only text and inference, i.e. scripture and authoritative tradition, are not contradicted. As to scripture, the Chāṇḍogya and the Vājasaneyi alike, in the Panchāngī-vidyā, declare that all those who practise meditation go on that path. In the Vājasaneyi the words 'who know this' refer to those who practise the meditation on the five fires, while the following words 'those who in the forest meditate on faith and the True' refer to those who meditate on Brahman; and the text then goes on to say that all those devotees go to Brahman, on the path of the gods. Texts such as 'the True, knowledge, infinite is Brahman,' and 'the True must be enquired into,' prove that the term 'the True' denotes Brahman; and as in the Chāṇḍogya the term 'tapas ' occurs in the corresponding place, we conclude that both these terms, viz. the True and tapas, denote nothing else but Brahman. Meditation on Brahman, preceded by faith, is mentioned elsewhere also; in the text which begins 'The True must be enquired into' we read further on 'Faith must be enquired into' (Kh. Up. VII, 18, 16; 19). Smriti also declares that all those who know Brahman proceed on the path of the gods, 'Fire, the light, the day, the bright fortnight, the six months of the sun's northern progress--proceeding by that road those who know Brahman go to Brahman' (Bha. Gī. VIII, 24). And there are many other Śruti and Smriti passages of this kind. The conclusion therefore is that the Upakosala-vidyā and similar texts merely refer to that going of the soul which is common to all vidyās.

--Here terminates the Adhikaraṇa of 'non-restriction.'