III-4 Śrī Bhāshya | Rāmānuja | 8

Topic 8 - The duties of the Āśrama are to be performed by even one who is not desirous of Knowledge

 Sutra 3,4.32

विहितत्वाच्चाश्रमकर्मापि ॥ ३२ ॥

vihitatvāccāśramakarmāpi || 32 ||

vihitatvāt—Because they are enjoined; ca—and; āśrama-karma—duties of the Āśrama (order of life); api—also.

32. And; the duties of the Āśrama (are to be performed) also (by him who does not desire Liberation), because they are enjoined (on him by the scriptures).

It has been said that sacrifices and other works are auxiliary to the knowledge of Brahman. The doubt now arises whether those works are to be performed by him also who merely wishes to fulfil the duties of his āśrama, without aiming at final Release, or not. They are not, the Pūrvapakshin holds, for that things auxiliary to knowledge should stand in subordinate relation to a certain state of life would imply the contradiction of permanent and non-permanent obligation.--Of this view the Sūtra disposes, 'The works of the āśramas also.' The works belonging to each āśrama have to be performed by those also who do not aim at more than to live according to the āśrama; for they are specifically enjoined by texts such as as long as life lasts he is to offer the Agnihotra'; this implies a permanent obligation dependent on life. And that the same works are also to be performed as being auxiliary to knowledge appears from the texts enjoining them in that aspect, 'Him they seek to know by the study of the Veda' (Bri. Up. IV, 4, 22); this the next Sūtra declares.

Sutra 3,4.33

सहकारित्वेन च ॥ ३३ ॥

sahakāritvena ca || 33 ||

sahakāritvena—As a means to Knowledge; ca—and.

33. And (the duties are to be performed also) as a means to Knowledge.

These works are to be performed also on account of their being co-operative towards knowledge in so far, namely, as they give rise to the desire of knowledge; and their thus being enjoined for a double purpose does not imply contradiction any more than the double injunctions of the Agnihotra, which one text connects with the life of the sacrificer and another text with his desire to reach the heavenly world.-- Nor does this imply a difference of works--this the next Sūtra declares.

Sutra 3,4.34

सर्वथापि त एव, उभयलिङ्गात् ॥ ३४ ॥

sarvathāpi ta eva, ubhayaliṅgāt || 34 ||

sarvathā api—In all cases; te eva—the same duties (have to be performed); ubhaya-liṅgāt—because of the twofold indicatory mark.

34. In all cases the same duties (have to be performed), because of the twofold indicatory mark.

There is no radical difference of works; but in any case, i.e. whether they be viewed as duties incumbent on the āśrama or as auxiliary to knowledge, sacrifices and other works are one and the same. For Scripture, in enjoining them in both these aspects, makes use of the same terms, so that we recognise the same acts, and there is no means of proof to establish difference of works.

Sutra 3,4.35

अनभिभवं च दर्शयति ॥ ३५ ॥

anabhibhavaṃ ca darśayati || 35 ||

anabhibhavaṃ—Not being overpowered; ca—and; darśayati—the scripture shows.

35. And the scripture shows (that one endowed with Brahmacharya) is not overpowered (by anger etc.).

Texts such as 'By works of sacred duty he drives away evil' declare that sacrifices and similar works have the effect of knowledge 'not being overpowered,' i.e. of the origination of knowledge not being obstructed by evil works. Sacrifices and similar works being performed day after day have the effect of purifying the mind, and owing to this, knowledge arises in the mind with ever increasing brightness. This proves that the works are the same in either case.--Here terminates the Adhikaraṇa of 'the being enjoined' (of sacrifices, and so on).