III-4 Śrī Bhāshya | Rāmānuja | 4-5

Topic 4 - The stories recorded in the Upanishads do not serve the purpose of Pāriplavas and so do not form part of the ritualistic acts. They are meant to glorify the Vidyā taught in them

 Sutra 3,4.23

पारिप्लवार्था इति चेत्, न, विशेषितत्वात् ॥ २३ ॥

pāriplavārthā iti cet, na, viśeṣitatvāt || 23 ||

pāriplavārthāḥ—For the purpose of Pāriplavas; iti cet—if it be said; na—not so; viśeṣitatvāt—on account of (certain stories alone) being specified.

23. If it be said (that the stories that occur in the Upanishads are) for the purpose of Pāriplavas, (we say) not so, because (certain stories alone) are specified (by the Śruti for this purpose).

We meet in the Vedānta-texts with certain stories such as 'Pratardana the son of Divodāsa came to the beloved abode of Indra,' &c., and similar ones. The question here arises whether the stories are merely meant to be recited at the Aśvamedha sacrifice or to convey knowledge of a special kind.--The Pūrvapakshin maintains that as the text' they tell the stories' declares the special connexion of those stories with the so-called pāriplava performance, they cannot be assumed to be mainly concerned with knowledge.--This view the Sūtra negatives, on the ground that not all stories of that kind are specially connected with the pāriplava. The texts rather single out special stories only as suitable for that performance; on the general injunction quoted above there follows an injunction defining which stories are to be told, 'King Manu, the son of Vivasvat,' &c. The stories told in the Vedānta-texts do not therefore form parts of the pāriplava performance, but are connected with injunctions of meditations.

Sutra 3,4.24

तथा चैकवाक्यतोपबन्धात् ॥ २४ ॥

tathā caikavākyatopabandhāt || 24 ||

tathā—So; ca—and; ekavākyataḥ-pabandhāt—being connected as one whole.

24. And so (they are meant to illustrate the nearest Vidyās), being connected as one whole.

That those stories subserve injunctions of meditation is proved thereby also that they are exhibited in textual connexion with injunctions such as 'the Self is to be seen,' and so on. Their position therefore is analogous to that of other stories told in the texts, which somehow subserve injunctions of works, and are not merely meant for purposes of recitation.--Here terminates the Adhikaraṇa of 'the pāriplava.'

Topic 5 - Sannyāsins need not observe ritualistic acts, as Knowledge serves their purpose

 Sutra 3,4.25

अत एव चाग्नीन्धनाद्यनपेक्षा ॥ २५ ॥

ata eva cāgnīndhanādyanapekṣā || 25 ||

ata eva—Therefore; ca—and; agni-indhanādi-anapekṣā—no necessity of lighting fires etc.

25. And, therefore, there is no necessity of lighting fires, and so on.

The Sūtras return, from their digression into the discussion of two special points, to the question as to those whose condition of life involves chastity. The above Sūtra declares that as persons of that class are referred to by Scripture as specially concerned with meditation ('He who is founded on Brahman reaches immortality;' 'those who in the forest,' &c.), their meditation does not presuppose a knowledge of the kindling of fire and so on, i.e. a knowledge of the Agnihotra, the Darśapūrṇamāsa, and all those other sacrifices which require the preliminary establishment of the sacred fires, but a knowledge of those works only which are enjoined for their special condition of life.--Here terminates the Adhikaraṇa of 'the kindling of the fire.'