ऊर्ध्वरेतःसु च, शब्दे हि ॥ १७ ॥
ūrdhvaretaḥsu ca, śabde hi || 17 ||
ūrdhvaretaḥ su—To those who observe continence; ca—and; śabde—(this Asrama is mentioned) in the scriptures; hi—because.
17. And (Knowledge belongs) to those who observe continence (i.e. to Sannyasins); because (this fourth Asrama is mentioned) in the scriptures.
The scriptures declare that Knowledge is gained in that stage of life in which continence is prescribed, i.e. the fourth stage or Sannyasa Asrama. To a Sannyasin there is no work prescribed except discrimination. So how can Knowledge be subservient to work? That there is a stage of life called Sannyasa we find from the scriptures themselves in texts like: “There are three branches of duty; sacrifice, study and charity are the first; . . . All these attain to the worlds öf the virtuous; but only one who is firmly established in Brahman attains immortality” (Chh. 2. 23. 7-2); “Desiring this world (the Self) alone monks renounce their homes” (Brih. 4. 4. 22). See also Mu. 1. 2. 11 and Chh. 5. 10. 1. Everyone can take to this life without being a householder etc., which shows the independence of Knowledge.