Brahma Sutras
by Swami Sivananda


Section 2: Rasmyadhikaranam: Topic 10 (Sutras 18-19)

The soul of one who knows Saguna Brahman follows the rays of the sun after death and goes to Brahmaloka.

Rasmyanusari IV.2.18 (514)

(The soul of a knower of the Saguna Brahman when he dies) follows the rays (of the sun).

Rasmi: the rays; Anusari: following.

The description of the progress of the released soul is continued.

Chhandogya Upanishad declares "When he thus departs from this body, then he departs upwards by those very rays. By that moving upwards he reaches immortality" (Chh. Up. VIII.6.5).

From this we understand that the soul passing out by the hundred and first Nadi (Sushumna) follows the rays of the sun.

A doubt here arises as to whether the soul of one who dies by night as well as of him who dies by day follows the rays, or the soul of the latter only.

As scripture mentions no difference, the Sutra teaches that the souls follow the rays in both cases.

Nisi neti chenna sambandhasya yavaddehabhavitvaddarsayati cha IV.2.19 (515)

If it be said (that the soul does) not (follow the rays) in the night, we say (not so) because the connection (of Nadis and rays) continues as long as the body lasts; the Sruti also declares (this).

Nisi: at night, in the night; Na: not; Iti: so; Chet: if (if it be objected); Na: not (the objection is not valid); Sambandhasya: of the relation; Yavaddehabhavitvat: as long as the body lasts; Darsayati: the Sruti shows or declares (this); Cha: and, also. (Yavad: as long as; Bhavitvat: because of the existence.)

An objection to Sutra 17 is raised and refuted.

This Sutra consists of two parts, namely an objection and its reply. The objection portion is ‘Nisi neti chet’ and the reply portion is ‘Na sambandhasya yavaddehabhavitvad darsayati cha’.

It might perhaps be said that the Nadis and rays are connected during the day, and so the soul of a person who dies during the day may follow those rays but not the soul of one who dies by night, when the connection of the Nadis and the rays broken.

But this is an erroneous notion, for the connection of rays and Nadis lasts as long as the body exists. Hence it is immaterial whether the soul passes out by day or by night.

Further we observe that the rays of the sun continue to exist in the nights of the summer season, because we feel their warmth and other effects. During the nights of the other seasons they are difficult to perceive, because then few only continue to exist, just as during the cloudy days of the cold season. The Sruti also declares, "Even by night the sun sheds his rays."

We cannot predetermine the movement of death. If such departure to the supreme abode is denied to the person dying in the night, no one will take to Upasana. The result of knowledge cannot be made to depend on the accident of death by day or night.

If again a man dying at night should wait for the dawn to mount upwards, it might happen that, owing to the action of the funeral fire etc., his body would at the time of day-break, not be capable of entering into connection with the rays. The scripture moreover expressly declares that he does not wait. "As quickly as he sends off the mind he goes to the sun" (Chh. Up. VIII.6.5).

For all these reasons the soul follows the rays by night as well as by day.