IV-4 Śrī Bhāshya | Rāmānuja | 6

Topic 6 - The released soul which has attained the Saguṇa Brahman can animate several bodies at the same time

 Sutra 4,4.15

प्रदीपवदावेशः, तथा हि दर्शयति ॥ १५ ॥

pradīpavadāveśaḥ, tathā hi darśayati || 15 ||

pradīpavat—Like a flame; āveśaḥ—animating; tathā—so; hi—because; darśayati—the scripture shows.

15. (The released soul’s) animating (different bodies) is like that of a flame, because so the scripture shows.

Just as a lamp, although abiding in one place only, enters through the light proceeding from it into connexion with many places; so the soul also, although limited to one place, may through its light-like consciousness enter into several bodies. It may do this as well as in this life the soul, although abiding in one spot of the body only, viz. the heart, pervades the whole body by means of its consciousness and thus makes it its own. There is however the following difference between the two cases. The non- released soul has its intellectual power contracted by the influence of Karman, and hence is incapable of that expansive pervasion without which it cannot identify itself with other bodies. The released soul, on the other hand, whose intellectual power is non-contracted is capable of extending as far as it likes, and thus to make many bodies its own. For Scripture declares, 'That living soul is to be known as part of the hundredth part of the point of a hair divided a hundred times, and yet it is capable of infinity' (Svet. Up. V, 9). The non-released soul is ruled by Karman, the released one only by its will--this is the difference.-- But, a new difficulty is raised, Scripture declares that when the soul reaches Brahman all its inner and outer knowledge is stopped: 'Embraced by the highest Self the soul knows nothing that is without, nothing that is within ' (Bri. Up. IV, 3, 21). How then can it be said to know all things?--To this the next Sūtra replies.

Sutra 4,4.16

स्वाप्ययसंपत्त्योरन्यतरापेक्षम्, आविष्कृतं हि ॥ १६ ॥

svāpyayasaṃpattyoranyatarāpekṣam, āviṣkṛtaṃ hi || 16 ||

svāpyaya-saṃpattyoḥ—Of deep sleep and absolute union (with Brahman); anyatara-apekṣam—having in view either of these two; āviṣkṛtaṃ—this is made ciear (by the Śruti); hi—for.

16. (The declaration of absence of all cognition is made) having in view either of the two states, i.e. deep sleep and absolute union (with Brahman), for this is made clear (by the scriptures).

Texts as the one last quoted do not refer to the released soul, but either to deep sleep or to 'union' (Sampattī), i.e. the time of dying; the latter in accordance with the text 'then his speech is united (sampadyate) with his mind,--heat with the highest divinity' (Kh. Up. VI, 15, 1). In both those states the soul attains to the highest Self and is unconscious. That in the states of deep sleep and dying the soul is unconscious and that the released soul is all-knowing, Scripture reveals. The text 'In truth he thus does not know himself that he is I, nor does he know anything that exists. He is gone to utter annihilation. I see no good in this' (Kh. Up. VIII, 11, 1) declares that the soul is unconscious in the state of deep sleep; and a subsequent text in the same section declares the released soul to be all-knowing, 'He seeing these pleasures with the divine eye, i.e. the mind, rejoices' (VIII, 12, 5). The same is clearly stated in the text,'He who sees this sees everything, and obtains everything everywhere' (VII, 2, 6, 2). That at death there is unconsciousness appears from the text, 'having risen from these elements he vanishes again in them. When he has departed there is no more knowledge ' (Bri. Up. IV, 5, 13). From all this it follows that the text as to the soul being held in embrace by the prājña Self refers either to deep sleep or death.

--Here terminates the Adhikaraṇa of 'non- being.'