III-4 Śrī Bhāshya | Rāmānuja | 7

Topic 7 - Restrictions as regards food may be waived only when life is at stake

 Sutra 3,4.28

सर्वान्नानुमतिश्च प्राणात्यये, तद्दर्शनात् ॥ २८ ॥

sarvānnānumatiśca prāṇātyaye, taddarśanāt || 28 ||

sarva-anna-anumatiḥ—Permission to take all sorts of food; (ca—and;) prāṇātyaye—when life is jeopardized; tat-darśanāt—because the Śruti declares that.

28. (Only) when life is jeopardized (there is) permission to take food indiscriminately, because the Śruti declares that.

In the meditation on prāṇa, according to the Vājasaneyins and the Chāṇḍogya, there is a statement as to all food being allowed to him who knows the prāṇa. 'By him there is nothing eaten that is not food' (Bri. Up. VI, 1, 14; and so on). A doubt here arises whether this permission of all food is valid for him who possesses the knowledge of prāṇa, in all circumstances, or only in the case of life being in danger.--The Pūrvapakshin holds the former view, on account of no special conditions being stated in the text.--This the Sūtra sets aside 'in the case of danger to life'; for the reason that, as the text shows, the eating of food of all kinds is permitted even for those who know Brahman itself--the knowledge of which of course is higher than that of prāṇa--only when their life is in danger. The text alluded to is the one telling how Uṣasta Cākrāyaṇa, who was well versed in the knowledge of Brahman, once, when in great distress, ate unlawful food. We therefore conclude that what the text says as to all food being lawful for him who knows prāṇa, can refer only to occasions when food of any kind must be eaten in order to preserve life.

Sutra 3,4.29

अबाधाच्च ॥ २९ ॥

abādhācca || 29 ||

abādhāc—Because of a non-contradiction (thus); ca—and.

29. And because (thus) (the scriptural statements with respect to food) are not contradicted.

The conclusion above arrived at is confirmed by the consideration that thus only those texts are not stultified which enjoin, for those who know Brahman, purity in matters of food with a view to the origination of knowledge of Brahman. Cp.' when the food is pure the mind becomes pure' (Kh. Up. VII, 26, 2).

Sutra 3,4.30

अपि च स्मर्यते ॥ ३० ॥

api ca smaryate || 30 ||

api ca—Moreover; smaryatethe—Smṛti say so.

30. Moreover the Smṛti (also) say so.

That for those as well who know Brahman, as for others, the eating of food of any kind is lawful only in case of extreme need, Smriti also declares, 'He who being in danger of his life eats food from anywhere is stained by sin no more than the lotus leaf by water.'

Sutra 3,4.31

शब्दश्चातोऽकामकारे ॥ ३१ ॥

śabdaścāto’kāmakāre || 31 ||

śabdaḥ—The scriptural text; ca—and; ataḥ—hence; kāmakāre—prohibiting license.

31. And hence the scriptural text prohibiting license.

The above conclusion is further confirmed by a scriptural passage prohibiting licence of conduct on the part of any one. The text meant is a passage in the Samhitā of the Kathās, 'Therefore a Brāhmaṇa does not drink spirituous liquor, thinking "may I not be stained by sin."'

--Here terminates the Adhikaraṇa of 'the allowance of all food.'