18. A reference (only) Gaimini (holds them to be), on account of absence of injunction; for (Scripture) forbids.
The argument for the three stages of life, founded on their mention in Vedic texts, has no force, since all those references are only of the nature of anuvâda. For none of those texts contain injunctive forms. The text 'There are three branches of sacred observance,' &c. (Kh. Up. II, 23, 1), is meant to glorify the previous meditation on Brahman under the form of the pra«ava, as appears from the concluding clause 'he who is firmly grounded in Brahman obtains immortality'; it therefore cannot mean to enjoin the three conditions of life as valid states. In the same way the text 'And those who in the forest practise penance and faith' refers to the statements previously made as to the path of the gods, and cannot therefore be meant to make an original declaration as to another condition of life. Scripture moreover expressly forbids that other condition, 'a murderer of men is he who removes the fire,' &c. There are therefore no conditions of life in which men are bound to observe chastity. This is the opinion of the teacher Gaimini.