Sacred Texts  Hinduism  Index  Previous  Next 

36. Also in the case of those outside, as this is seen.

p. 704

It has been declared that the members of the four âsramas have a claim to the knowledge of Brahman, and that the duties connected with each âsrarna promote knowledge. A doubt now arises whether those men also who, on account of poverty and so on, stand outside the âsramas are qualified for the knowledge of Brahman, or rtot.--They are not, the Pûrvapakshin holds, since such knowledge is to be attained in a way dependent on the special duties of each âsrama; while those who do not belong to an âsrama are not concerned with âsrama duties.--This view the Sûtra rejects. Those also who do not stand within any âsrama are qualified for knowledge, 'because that is seen,' i.e. because the texts declare that men such as Raikva, Bhîshma, Samvarta and others who did not belong to âsrama were well grounded in the knowledge of Brahman. It can by no means be maintained that it is âsrama duties only that promote knowledge; for the text 'by gifts, by penance, by fasting, and so on' (Bri. Up. IV, 4, 22) distinctly declares that charity also and other practices, which are not confined to the âsramas, are helpful towards knowledge. In the same way as in the case of those bound to chastity--who, as the texts show, may possess the knowledge of Brahman--knowledge is promoted by practices other than the Agnihotra and the like, so--it is concluded--in the case of those also who do not belong to any abrama knowledge may be promoted by certain practices not exclusively connected with any âsrama, such as prayer, fasting, charity, propitiation of the divinity, and so on.

Next: 37. Smriti also states this