III-4 Śrī Bhāshya | Rāmānuja | 10-11

Topic 10 - One who has taken the vow of lifelong celibacy (Sannyāsa) cannot revert back to his former stages of life

 Sutra 3,4.40

तद्भूतस्य तु नातद्भावः, जैमिनेरपि, नियमातद्रूपाभावेभ्यः ॥ ४० ॥

tadbhūtasya tu nātadbhāvaḥ, jaiminerapi, niyamātadrūpābhāvebhyaḥ || 40 ||

tadbhūtasya—For one who has attained that (the highest Āśrama); tu—but; na—no; atadbhāvaḥ—ceasing from that; jaimineḥ—of Jaimini (is this opinion); api—also; niyama-atadrūpa-abhāvebhyaḥ—on account of restrictions prohibiting such reversion.

40. But for one who has risen to the highest Āśrama (i.e. Sannyāsa) there is no reverting (to the preceding ones), on account of restrictions prohibiting such reversion. Jaimini also (is of this opinion).

The doubt here arises whether those also who have fallen from the state of life of a Naishthika, Vaikhānasa or Parivrājaka are qualified for the knowledge of Brahman or not.--They are so, since in their case, no less than in that of widowers and the like, the growth of knowledge may be assisted by charity and other practices not confined to āśramas.--This primā facie view the Sūtra sets aside. 'He who has become that,' i.e. he who has entered on the condition of a Naishthika or the like 'cannot become not that,' i.e. may not live in a non-āśrama condition; since scriptural texts restrain men who once have entered the Naishthika, &c., state 'from the absence of the forms of that,' i.e. from the discontinuance of the special duties of their āśrama. Compare texts such as 'He is to go into the forest, and is not to return from thence'; 'Having renounced the world he is not to return.' And hence persons who have lapsed from their āśrama are not qualified for meditation on Brahman. This view of his the Sūtrakāra strengthens by a reference to the opinion of Jaimini.--But cannot a Naishthika who, through some sin, has lapsed from his duties and position, make up for his transgression by some expiatory act and thus again become fit for meditation on Brahman?--To this point the next Sūtra refers.

Topic 11 - Expiation for one who transgresses the vow of lifelong celibacy

 Sutra 3,4.41

न च आधिकारिकमपि, पतनानुमानात्, तदयोगात् ॥ ४१ ॥

na ca ādhikārikamapi, patanānumānāt, tadayogāt || 41 ||

na—Not; ca—and; ādhikārikam—(expiation) mentioned in the chapter dealing with the qualification; api— even; patana-anumānāt—because a fall (in his case) is inferred from the Smriti; tadayogāt—and because of its inefficacy(in his case).

41. And (the expiation), although mentioned in the chapter dealing with qualifications (in Pūrva Mīmāṃsā), is not (with reference to one who has taken the vow of lifelong celibacy), because a fall (in his case) is inferred from the Smriti, and because of its (of the expiatory ceremony) inefficacy (in his case).

Those expiatory performances which are described in the chapter treating of qualification (Pū. Mī. Sū. VI) are not possible in the case of him who has lapsed from the condition of a Naishthika; since such expiations do not apply to him, as is shown by a Smriti text referring to such lapse, viz. 'He who having once entered on the duties of a Naishthika lapses from them, for such a slayer of the Self I do not see any expiatory work by which he might become clean.' The expiatory ceremony referred to in the Pūrva Mimāṁsa therefore applies to the case of other Brahmachārins only.

Sutra 3,4.42

उपपूर्वमपि तु, एके भावमशनवत्, तदुक्तम् ॥ ४२ ॥

upapūrvamapi tu, eke bhāvamaśanavat, taduktam || 42 ||

upapūrvam—Prefixed with ‘Upa’, i.e. an Upapâtaka or a minor sin; api tu—but; eke—some; bhāvam—the existence; aśanavat—as in the case of eating; tat—this; uktam—is explained in Purva Mimâmsâ.

42. But some (consider this transgression on the part of the Naishthika) a minor sin (and therefore claim) the existence (of expiation for it), as in the case of eating (prohibited food by ordinary Brahmachārins). This is explained in Pūrva Mīmāṃsā.

This has been explained. Some teachers are of opinion that even on the part of Naishthikas and the rest the lapse from chastity constitutes only a minor offence which can be atoned for by expiatory observances; in the same way as in the case of the eating of forbidden food the same Prāyaśchitta may be used by the ordinary Brahmachārin and by Naishthikas and the rest. This has been stated by the Smriti writer, 'For the others also (i.e. the Naishthikas and so on) the same (rules and practices as those for the Upakurvāna) hold good, in so far as not opposed to their āśrama.'