III-4 Śrī Bhāshya | Rāmānuja | 14

Topic 14 - In Brih. 3.5.1 meditativeness is enjoined besides scholarship and the childlike state

 Sutra 3,4.47

सहकार्यन्तरविधिः पक्षेण तृतीयं तद्वतो विध्यादिवत् ॥ ४७ ॥

sahakāryantaravidhiḥ pakṣeṇa tṛtīyaṃ tadvato vidhyādivat || 47 ||

sahakāryantaravidhiḥ—Injunction of another auxiliary (to Knowledge); pakṣeṇa—as an alternative; tadvataḥ—for one who possesses it (i.e. Knowledge); tṛtīyaṃ—a third one; vidhyādivat—as in the case of injunctions and the like.

47. (The meditative state is) the in-junction of another auxiliary (to Knowledge), which is a third one (besides the two expressly enjoined), as an alternative (where the knowledge of diversity is persistent) for one who possesses Knowledge; as in the case of injunctions and the like.

'Therefore let a Brāhmaṇa after he has done with learning wish to stand by a childlike state; and after having done with the childlike state and learning (he is) a Muni' (Bri. Up. III, 5). A doubt arises whether this text enjoins Muni-hood in the same way as it enjoins learning and the childlike state, or merely refers to it as something already established.--The Pūrvapakshin holds the latter view on the ground that as 'Muni-hood' and 'learning' both connote knowledge, the word 'Muni' merely refers back to the knowledge already enjoined in the phrase 'after he has done with learning.' For the text presents no word of injunctive force with regard to Muni-hood.--This view the Sūtra controverts. 'For him who is such,' i. e. for those who possess knowledge, 'there is an injunction of a different co-operative factor ' 'in the same way as injunctions and the rest.' By the injunctions in the last clause we have to understand the special duties of the different āśramas, i.e. sacrifices and the like, and also such qualifications as quietness of mind and the like; and by the 'and the rest' is meant the learning of and pondering on the sacred texts. Stated at length, the meaning of the Sūtra then is as follows--in the same way as texts such as 'him Brāhmaṇas seek to know through the reciting of the Veda, through sacrifices and charity, and so on,' and 'Quiet, subdued,' etc. (Bri. Up. IV, 4, 23) enjoin sacrifices and so on, and quietness of mind and the like, as helpful towards knowledge; and as texts such as 'the Self is to be heard, to be pondered upon' (Bri. Up. II, 4, 5) mention hearing and pondering as helpful towards knowledge; thus the text under discussion enjoins learning, a childlike state of mind, and Muni-hood as three further different auxiliaries of knowledge.--'Muni-hood' does not denote the same thing as 'learning'--this the Sūtra intimates by the clause 'alternatively a third,' i.e. as the word muni is observed alternatively to denote persons such as Vyāsa distinguished by their power of profound reflection (manana), the abstract term munihood denotes a third thing different from learning and the 'childlike state.' Hence, although the phrase 'then a Muni' does not contain a word of directly injunctive power, we must all the same understand it in an injunctive sense, viz. 'then let him be or become a Muni'; for Muni-hood is not something previously established. Such munihood is also something different from mere reflection (manana); it is the reiterated representation before the mind of the object of meditation, the idea of that object thus becoming more and more vivid. The meaning of the entire text therefore is as follows. A Brāhmaṇa is at first fully to master knowledge, i.e. he is to attain, by means of hearing and pondering, to the knowledge of Brahman in all its fullness and perfection. This is to be effected through the growth of purity of mind and heart, due to the grace of the Lord; for this Smriti declares, 'Neither by the Vedas nor by austerities, and so on, can I be so seen--; but by devotion exclusive I may be known' (Bha. Gī. XI, 53-54); and Scripture also says, "Who has the highest devotion for God'(Svet. Up. VI, 23), and 'That Self cannot be gained by the study of the Veda,' etc. 'He whom the Self chooses by him the Self is to be attained' (Ka. Up. I, 2, 23). After that 'he is to stand by a childlike state'; what this means will be explained further on. And after that he is to be a Muni, i.e. he is to fix his thoughts so exclusively and persistently on Brahman as to attain to the mode of knowledge called meditation. Having by the employment of these three means reached true knowledge he--the text goes on to say--having done with amauna and mauna is a Brāhmaṇa. Amauna, i.e. non-mauna, denotes all the auxiliaries of knowledge different from mauna: employing these and mauna as well he reaches the highest goal of knowledge. And, the text further says, there is no other means but those stated whereby to become such, i.e. a true Brāhmaṇa. The entire text thus evidently means to enjoin on any one standing within any āśrama learning, a childlike state, and mauna as auxiliary means of knowledge, in addition to sacrifices and the other special duties of the āśramas.--But, an objection is raised, if knowledge, aided by pāṇditya. and so on, and thus being auxiliary to the action of the special duties of the āśramas, is thus declared to be the means of attaining to Brahman; how then are we to understand the Chāṇḍogya declaring that a man. in order to attain to Brahman, is throughout his life to carry on the duties of a householder?--To this the next Sūtra replies.

Sutra 3,4.48

कृत्स्नभावात्तु गृहिणोपसंहारः ॥ ४८ ॥

kṛtsnabhāvāttu gṛhiṇopasaṃhāraḥ || 48 ||

kṛtsnabhāvāt—On account of the householder’s life including all; tu—verily; upasaṃhāraḥ—(the chapter) ends; gṛhiṇā—with the householder.

48. Verily, on account of the householder’s life including (duties from) all (the other stages of life), the chapter ends with the (enumeration of the duties of the) householder.

As knowledge belongs to the members of all āśramas it belongs to the householder also, and for this reason the Upanishad winds up with the latter. This winding up therefore is meant to illustrate the duties (not of the householder only, but) of the members of all āśramas. Analogously in the text under discussion (Bri. Up. III, 5) the clause 'A Brāhmaṇa having risen above the desire for sons, the desire for wealth, and the desire for worlds, wanders about as a mendicant,' intimates duties belonging exclusively to the condition of the wandering beggar, and then the subsequent clause 'therefore let a Brāhmaṇa having done with learning,' etc., enjoins pāṇditya, bālya, and mauna (not as incumbent on the Parivrājaka only, but) as illustrating the duties of all āśramas.--This the next Sūtra explicitly declares.

Sutra 3,4.49

मौनवदितरेषामप्युपदेशात् ॥ ४९ ॥

maunavaditareṣāmapyupadeśāt || 49 ||

maunavar—Even as the state of a Muni (Sannyāsa); itareṣām—of the others; api—even; upadeśāt—on account of scriptural instruction.

49. Because the scripture enjoins the other (stages of life, i.e. Brahmacharya and Vānaprastha) even as it enjoins the state of a Muni (Sannyāsa).

The injunction, on him who has passed beyond all desire, of mauna preceded by parivrajya (wandering about as a mendicant), is meant to illustrate the duties of all āśramas . For the duties of the other āśramas are taught by Scripture no less than those of the Muni (and the householder). Similarly it was shown above that in the text 'There are three branches of sacred duty--he who is founded on Brahman goes to immortality,' the term 'founded on Brahman' applies equally to members of all āśramas .--It therefore remains a settled conclusion that the text under discussion enjoins pāṇditya, bālya, and mauna as being auxiliaries to knowledge in the same way as the other duties of the āśramas, such as sacrifices and the rest.--Here terminates the Adhikaraṇa of 'the injunction of other auxiliaries.'