तस्मिञ्छुक्लमुत नीलमाहुः पिङ्गलं हरितं लोहितं च ।
एष पन्था ब्रह्मणा हानुवित्तः, तेनैति ब्रह्मवित्पुण्यकृत्तैजसश्च ॥ ९ ॥
tasmiñchuklamuta nīlamāhuḥ piṅgalaṃ haritaṃ lohitaṃ ca |
eṣa panthā brahmaṇā hānuvittaḥ, tenaiti brahmavitpuṇyakṛttaijasaśca || 9 ||
9. Some speak of it as white, others as blue, grey, green, or red. This path is realised by a Brāhmaṇa (knower of Brahman). Any other knower of Brahman who has done good deeds and is identified with the Supreme Light, (also) treads this path.
Seekers after liberation are at variance regarding this path leading to liberation. How? Some aspirants speak of it as white, pure or limpid, others as blue, others as grey, green, or red, according to their experience. In reality, however, they are the nerves Suṣumnā and so forth, filled with phlegm and other liquids, for they have been mentioned in the words, ‘(Filled) with white, blue, grey,’ etc. (IV. iii. 20). Or they consider the sun to be this path of liberation, because of the reference in another Śruti, ‘He is white, he is blue,’ etc. (Ch. VIII. vi. 1). Besides, the path of realisation cannot have any colour, white or any other. In either case these white and other colours refer to some other path than that of knowledge of Brahman, which is the one under consideration.
It may be urged that the word ‘white’ refers to the pure monistic path. To this we reply: Not so, for it is enumerated along with the words, ‘blue,’ ‘yellow,’ etc., denoting colour. The white and other paths that the Yogins designate as the paths of liberation, are not really such, for they fall within the range of relative existence. They merely lead to the world of Hiraṇyagarbha and so on, for they relate to the exit through particular parts of the body: ‘Through the eye, or through the head, or through any other part of the body’ (IV. iv. 2). Therefore the path of liberation is the absorption of the body and the organs such as the eye in this very life, like the going out of a lamp—when transmigration is impossible, owing to the exhaustion of all desires through their attainment by the transformation of all objects of desire as the Self. This path of knowledge is realised by a Brāhmaṇa who has given up all his desires, and become one with the Supreme Self. Any other knower of Brahman also treads this path of the knowledge of Brahman. What kind of knower of Brahman? Who first of all has done good deeds and then given up the desire for children etc., and is identified with the Supreme Light—by connecting himself with the Light of the Supreme Self, is metamorphosed into that, that is, has become the Ātman in this very life. Such a knower of Brahman treads this path.
One who combines good work with knowledge is not meant here, for we have said that these are contradictory. The Smṛti too says, ‘Salutation to that Embodiment of Liberation whom serene monks, fearless about rebirth, attain after the cessation of the effects of their good and bad deeds’ (Mbh. XII. xlvi. 56). There is also the exhortation to relinquish merit and demerit: ‘Give up doing good and evil’ (Mbh. XII. cccxxxvii. 40). And there are the following Smṛti passages: ‘The gods consider him a knower of Brahman who has no desires, who undertakes no work, who does not salute or praise anybody, and whose work has been exhausted, but who himself is unchanged’ (Mbh. XII. cclxix. 34), and ‘For a knower of Brahman there is no wealth comparable to unity, sameness, truthfulness, virtue, steadfastness, noninjury, candour, and withdrawal from all activities’ (Mbh. XII. clxxiv. 37). Here also the Śruti, a little further on, after giving the reason why work will be unnecessary, in the passage, ‘This is the eternal glory of a knower of Brahman: it neither increases nor decreases through work’ (IV iv. 23), will advise the giving up of all activities in the words, ‘Therefore he who knows it as such becomes self-con trolled, calm,’ etc.. (Ibid.). Therefore the clause, ‘Who has done good deeds,’ should be explained as we have done. Or the sentence may mean: The knower of Brahman who treads this path is a doer of good deeds and a Yogin who has controlled his senses. Thus it is a eṇlogy on the knowledge of Brahman. A doer of good and a Yogin of this type are considered highly fortunate people in the world. Hence these two epithets serve to glorify the knower of Brahman.