13. On the attainment of this, there result the non-clinging and the destruction of later and earlier sins; this being declared.
Having, so far, elucidated the nature of meditation, the Sûtras now begin to consider the result of meditation. Scripture declares that on the knowledge of Brahman being attained a man's later and earlier sins do not cling to him but pass away. 'As water does not cling to a lotus leaf, so no evil deed clings to him who knows this ' (Kh. Up. IV, 14, 3); ' Having known that he is not sullied by any evil deed ' (Bri. Up. IV, 4, 23); ' As the fibres of the Ishîkâ reed when thrown into the fire are burnt, thus all his sins are burnt' (Kh. Up. V, 24, 3); 'All his works perish when He has been beheld who is high and low' (Mu. Up. II, 2, 8).--The doubt here arises whether this non-clinging and destruction of all sins is possible as the result of mere meditation, or not.--It is not possible, the Pûrvapakshin maintains; for Scripture declares, 'no work the fruits of which have not been completely enjoyed perishes even in millions of aeons.' What the texts, quoted above, say as to the non-clinging and destruction of works occurs in sections complementary to passages inculcating knowledge as the means of final Release, and may therefore be understood as somehow meant to eulogize knowledge. Nor can it be said that knowledge is enjoined as an expiation of sins, so that the destruction of sins could be conceived as resulting from such expiation; for knowledge--as we see from texts such as 'He who knows Brahman reaches the Highest,' 'He knows Brahman and he becomes Brahman'--is enjoined as a means to reach Brahman. The texts as to the non-clinging and destruction of sins therefore can only be viewed as arthavâda passages supplementary to the texts enjoining knowledge of Brahman.--This view the Sûtra sets aside. When a man reaches knowledge, the non-clinging and destruction of all sins may be effected through the power of knowledge. For Scripture declares the power
of knowledge to be such that 'to him who knows this, no evil deed clings,' and so on. Nor is this in conflict with the text stating that no work not fully enjoyed perishes; for this latter text aims at confirming the power of works to produce their results; while the texts under discussion have for their aim to declare that knowledge when once sprung up possesses the power of destroying the capability of previously committed sins to produce their own evil results and the power of obstructing that capability on the part of future evil actions. The two sets of texts thus refer to different matters, and hence are not mutually contradictory. There is in fact no more contradiction between them than there is between the power of fire to produce heat and the power of water to subdue such heat. By knowledge effecting the non-clinging of sin we have to understand its obstructing the origination of the power, on the part of sin, to cause that disastrous disposition on the part of man which consists in unfitness for religious works; for sins committed tend to render man unfit for religious works and inclined to commit further sinful actions of the same kind. By knowledge effecting the destruction of sin, on the other hand, we understand its destroying that power of sin after it has once originated. That power consists, fundamentally, in displeasure on the part of the Lord. Knowledge of the Lord, which, owing to the supreme dearness of its object is itself supremely dear, possesses the characteristic power of propitiating the Lord--the object of knowledge--and thus destroys the displeasure of the Lord due to the previous commission of sins on the part of the knowing Devotee; and at the same time obstructs the origination of further displeasure on the Lord's part, which otherwise would be caused by sins committed subsequently to the origination of such knowledge. What Scripture says about sin not clinging to him who knows can however be understood only with regard to such sins as spring from thoughtlessness; for texts such as 'he who has not turned away from evil conduct' (Ka. Up. I, 2, 24) teach that meditation, becoming more perfect day after day, cannot be accomplished without the Devotee having previously broken
himself off from all evil conduct.--Here terminates the adhikarana of 'the reaching of that.'