7. Or it is metaphorical, on account of their not knowing the Self. For thus Scripture declares.
He who performs sacrifices, and so on, and thus does not know the Self, is here below and in yonder world a mere
means of enjoyment for the devas. He serves them here, by propitiating them with sacrifices, and so on; and when the gods, pleased with his service, have taken him up into yonder world, he there is a common means of enjoyment for them (since they are gratified by the presence of a faithful servant). That those not knowing the Self serve and benefit the gods, Scripture explicitly declares, 'He is like a beast for the devas' (Bri. Up. I, 4, 10). Smriti also declares, that while those who know the Self attain to Brahman, those who do not know it are means of enjoyment for the devas, 'To the gods go the worshippers of the gods, and they that are devoted to me go to me' (Bha. Gî. VII, 23). When Scripture speaks of the soul being eaten by the gods, it therefore only means that the soul is to them a source of enjoyment. That eating the soul means no more than satisfaction with it, may also be inferred from the following scriptural passage, 'The gods in truth do not eat nor do they drink; by the mere sight of that amrita they are satisfied.'--It thus remains a settled conclusion that the soul moves enveloped by the subtle rudiments of the elements.--Here terminates the adhikarana of 'the obtaining of another body.'