IV-4 Śrī Bhāshya | Rāmānuja | 2

Topic 2 - The relation of the released soul with Brahman is one of non-separation

 Sutra 4,4.4

अविभागेन, दृष्टत्वात् ॥ ४ ॥

avibhāgena, dṛṣṭatvāt || 4 ||

avibhāgena—As inseparable; dṛṣṭatvāt—for it is so seen from the scriptures.

4. (The Jīva in the state of Liberation exists) as inseparable (from Brahman), for it is so seen from the scriptures.

Is the soul, when it has reached the highest light and freed itself from all bondage, conscious of itself as separate from the highest Self or as non-separate in so far as being a mere 'mode' (prakāra) of that Self?-- The former view is the right one. For Scriptural and Smriti texts alike declare that the released soul stands to the highest Self in the relation of fellowship, equality, equality of attributes, and all this implies consciousness of separation. Compare 'He attains all desires together with the all-knowing Brahman' (Taitt. Up. II, 1, 1); 'When the seer sees the shining maker, the Lord, the Person who has his source in Brahman; then, possessing perfect knowledge, and shaking off good and evil, free from all passions he reaches the highest equality' (Mu. Up. III, 1, 3); 'Taking their stand upon this knowledge they, attaining to an equality of attributes with me, are neither born at the time of a creation nor are they agitated when a pralaya takes place' (Bha. Gī. XIV, 2).--Against this view the Sūtra declares itself 'in non-division.' The released soul is conscious of itself as non-divided from the highest Brahman. 'For this is seen,' i.e. for the soul having reached Brahman and freed itself from the investment of Nescience sees itself in its true nature. And this true nature consists herein that the souls have for their inner Self the highest Self while they constitute the body of that Self and hence are modes (prakāra) of it. This is proved by all those texts which exhibit the soul and Brahman in co-ordination--'Thou art that' 'this Self is Brahman'; 'In that all this has its Self; 'All this in truth is Brahman'; and by other texts, such as 'He who dwells within the Self, whom the Self does not know, of whom the Self is the body,' etc.; and 'He who abides within, the ruler of creatures, he is thy Self; as explained by us under Sūtra I, 4, 22. The consciousness of the released soul therefore expresses itself in the following form: 'I am Brahman, without any division.' Where the texts speak of the soul's becoming equal to, or having equal attributes with, Brahman, the meaning is that the nature of the individual soul--which is a mere mode of Brahman--is equal to that of Brahman, i.e. that on putting off its body it becomes equal to Brahman in purity. The text declaring that the soul 'attains all its desires together with Brahman' intimates that the soul, together with Brahman of which it is a mode, is conscious of the attributes of Brahman. The different texts are thus in no conflict. Nor, on this view of the soul being non-divided from Brahman in so far as being its mode, is there any difficulty on account of what is said about the soul under Sū. IV, 4, 8; or on account of the doctrines conveyed in II, 1, 22; III, 4, 8.

--Here terminates the Adhikaraṇa of 'non-division, on account of its being seen.'