Brahma Sutras
by Swami Sivananda


CHAPTER FOUR: PHALA ADHYAYA

Section 2: Asrityupakramadhikaranam: Topic 4 (Sutra 7)

The mode of departure from the body up to the way is common to both the knower of the Saguna Brahman and an ordinary man.


Samana chasrityupakramadamritatvam chanuposhya IV.2.7 (503)

And common (is the mode of departure at the time of death for both the knower of the Saguna Brahman and the ignorant) up to the beginning of their ways; and the immortality (of the knower of the Saguna Brahman is only relative) without having burnt (ignorance).

Samana: common; Cha: and; Asrityupakramat: up to the beginning of their ways; Amritatvam: immortality; Cha: and; Anuposhya: without burning, without dissolution.

There is no departure for the knower of Nirguna Brahman. His Pranas are absorbed in Brahman.

The Purvapakshin maintains that the mode of departure from the body for the knower of Saguna Brahman and the ignorant or the ordinary man ought to be different, because they attain different abodes after death. The knower of Saguna Brahman goes to Brahmaloka while the ordinary man is reborn in this world.

The present Sutra says that the knower of the Saguna Brahman enters the Sushumna Nadi at death and then goes out of the body and then enters the Devayana or the path of the gods while the ordinary ignorant man enters some other Nadi and goes by another way to have rebirth.

But the mode of departure at death is common to both till they enter on their respective ways.

Chhandogya Upanishad VIII.6.6 and Kathopanishad II.3.16 declare "There are a hundred and more Nadis in the interior of the heart, of which only one leads from the heart to the head; by that, progressing upwards, the departing soul attains immortality, i.e., emancipation; all the other Nadis are for the egress of the ordinary people for undergoing bondage of frequent births and deaths."