The description of transmigration has been introduced. In that connection it has been said, ‘The infinite being, completely detaching himself from the parts of the body,’ etc. (IV. iii. 36). In order to state when that detachment takes place and how, it is necessary to describe the process of transmigration in detail. Hence the present section.
स यत्रायमात्माबल्यं न्येत्य संमोहमिव न्येति, अथैनमेते प्राणा अभिसमायन्ति; स एतास्तेजोमात्राः समभ्याददानो हृदयमेवान्ववक्रामति; स यत्रैष चाक्शुषः पुरुषः पराङ् पर्यावर्ततेऽथारूपज्ञो भवति ॥ १ ॥
sa yatrāyamātmābalyaṃ nyetya saṃmohamiva nyeti, athainamete prāṇā abhisamāyanti; sa etāstejomātrāḥ samabhyādadāno hṛdayamevānvavakrāmati; sa yatraiṣa cākśuṣaḥ puruṣaḥ parāṅ paryāvartate’thārūpajño bhavati || 1 ||
1. When this self becomes weak and senseless, as it were, the organs come to it. Completely withdrawing these particles of light, it comes to the heart. When the presiding deity of the eye turns back from all sides, the man fails to notice colour.
When this self, which is under consideration, becomes weak. Really it is the body that becomes weak, but its weakness is figuratively spoken of as that of the self; for being formless, it can never by itself become weak. Similarly, it becomes senseless, as it were, i.e. fails to discriminate. It cannot by itself be senseless or otherwise, for it is the eternal self-luminous Intelligence; hence the expression ‘as it were.’ The state of helplessness noticeable at the time of death, which is caused by the withdrawal of the organs, is attributed by ordinary people to the self. So they say, ‘Oh, he has become senseless!’
Or the expression ‘as it were’ should be connected with both the adjectives, meaning ‘becomes weak, as it were, and senseless, as it were,’ for both states are alike due to extraneous limiting adjuncts, and both the verbs agree with the same subject. At this time the organs such as that of speech come to it, the self. Then this self that is in the body is detached from the parts of the body. How does this detachment take place, and how do the organs come to the self? This is being answered: Completely withdrawing these particles of light, i.e. the organs such as the eye, so called because they reveal colour etc. The adverb ‘completely’ shows the distinction of this state from a dream, when they are just drawn in, not absolutely, as in this case, as is known from such passages as, ‘The organ of speech is absorbed, the eye is absorbed’ (II. i. 17), ‘He takes away a little of this all-embracing world (the waking state)’ (IV. iii. 9), and ‘Taking the shining functions of the organs with him,’ etc. (IV. iii. 11). It comes to the heart, i.e. the ether in the lotus of the heart; in other words, its intelligence is manifested in the heart. (The withdrawal in question is attributed to the self) simply because the activities of the intellect and so forth are at rest. The Ātman by itself cannot move, or undergo changes such as the stopping of activities, for it has been said, ‘It thinks; as it were, and shakes, as it were’ (IV. iii. 7). It is through its limiting adjuncts such as the intellect that all Changes are attributed to the self. When does it withdraw the particles of light? This is being answered: The presiding deity of the eye—lit. the being associated with the eye—who is a part of the sun, being directed by the experiencer’s past work, goes on helping the functions of the eye as long as he lives, but he ceases to help the eye and is merged in his own self, the sun, when the man is about to die. This has been stated in the passage, ‘When the vocal organ of the £ead man has been merged in fire, the vital force in Vayu, the eye in the sun,’ etc. (III. ii. 13). They will again occupy (their respective places) when the man takes another body. This (dual phenomenon) takes place when a man is fast asleep, and when he wakes up. This is expressed by the text: When the presiding deity of the eye turns hack front all sides, the dying man fails to notice colour. At this time the self completely withdraws the particles of light, the eye and other organs, as in the dream state.