Sacred Texts  Hinduism  Index  Previous  Next 

16. A lighting up of the point of the abode of that; having the door illuminated by that (the soul), owing to the power of its knowledge and the application of remembrance of the way which is an element of that (viz. of knowledge), being assisted by him who abides within the heart, (passes out) by way of the hundred and first artery.

So far it has been shown that, up to the beginning of the journey, the souls of them as well who possess true knowledge as of those who do not, pass out of the body in the same way. Now a difference is stated in the case of those who have true knowledge. We have on this point the following text: 'There are a hundred and one arteries of the heart; one of them penetrates the crown of the head; moving upwards by that a man reaches immortality; the others serve for departing in different directions' (Kh. Up. VIII, 6, 5). The doubt here arises whether he who knows departs by this hundred and first artery in the top of the head, while those who do not know depart by way of the other arteries; or whether there is no definite rule on this point.--There is no definite rule, the Pûrvapakshin holds. For as the arteries are many and exceedingly minute, they are difficult to distinguish, and the soul therefore is not able to follow any particular one. The text therefore (is not meant to make an original authoritative statement as to different arteries being followed by

p. 739

different souls, but) merely refers in an informal way to what is already settled (viz. by the reason of the thing), i.e. the casual departure of any soul by any artery.--This view the Sûtra rejects 'By way of the hundred and first.' The soul of him who possesses true knowledge departs only by way of the hundred and first artery in the crown of the head. Nor is that soul unable to distinguish that particular artcry. For, through the power of his supremely clear knowledge which has the effect of pleasing the Supreme Person, and through the application of remembrance of the way--which remembrance is a part of that knowledge--the soul of him who knows wins the favour of the Supreme Person who abides within the heart, and is assisted by him. Owing to this the abode of that, i.e. the heart which is the abode of the soul, is illuminated, lit up at its tip, and thus, through the grace of the Supreme Soul, the individual soul has the door (of egress from the body) lit up and is able to recognise that artery. There is thus no objection to the view that the soul of him who knows passes out by way of that particular artery only.--Here terminates the adhikarana of 'the abode of that.'

Next: 17. Following the rays