आतिवाहिकाः, तल्लिङ्गात् ॥ ४ ॥
ātivāhikāḥ, talliṅgāt || 4 ||
ātivāhikāḥ—(These are) deities conducting the soul; tat-liṅgāt—on account of indicatory marks of that.
4. (These are) deities conducting the soul (on the path of the gods), on account of indicatory marks to that effect.
In the texts cited in the previous Sutras, flame, bright half of the month, year, etc. are the deities identified with these, which receive the departed soul and conduct it on its way to Brahmaloka. That deities are meant here, and not marks or places of enjoyment, is indicated by the text of the Chhandogya, which ends thus: “From the moon to the lightning. Then a being who is not a man leads them to Brahman” (Chh. 4. 15. 5; 5. 10. 1). This text shows that unlike the previous guides who were more or less human, this particular guide is not human in nature.