18. Should it be said, not in the night; we say, no; because the connexion persists as long as the body does. Scripture also declares this.
It is now enquired into whether the soul of him who, while having true knowledge, dies at night reaches Brahman or not. Although, as solar rays exist at night, the soul may move on at night also following those rays; yet, since dying at night is spoken of in the Sûtras as highly objectionable, we conclude that he who dies at night cannot accomplish the highest end of man, viz. attainment to Brahman. The Sûtras eulogize death occurring in daytime and object to death at night-time: 'Day-time, the bright half of the month and the northern progress of the sun are excellent for those about to die; the contrary times are unfavourable.' According to this, their different nature, dying in day-time may be assumed to lead to a superior state of existence, and dying at night to an inferior state. He who dies at night cannot therefore ascend to Brahman.--This view the Sûtra refutes: 'Because, in the case of him who knows, the connexion with works exists as long as the body does.' This is to say--since those works which have not yet begun to produce their results and which are the cause of future inferior states of existence are destroyed by the contact with knowledge, while at the same time later works do not
[paragraph continues] 'cling' (also owing to the presence of true knowledge), and those works which have begun to act come to an end with the existence of the last body; there is no reason why he who knows should remain in bondage, and hence he reaches Brahman even if dying at night-time. Scripture also declares this, 'for him there is delay only as long as he is not freed from the body, then he will be united.' The text which praises the advantages of night-time, the light half of the month, &c., therefore must be understood as referring to those who do not possess true knowledge.--Here terminates the adhikarana of 'night.'