19. For the same reason also during the southern progress of the sun.
The reasoning stated above also proves that the owner of true knowledge who may happen to die during the southern progress of the sun reaches Brahman. A further doubt, however, arises here. The text 'He who dies during the sun's southern progress reaches the greatness of the Fathers and union with the moon' (Mahânâr. Up. 25) declares that he who dies during the southern progress reaches the moon; and the other text 'when this ceases they return again the same way' (Bri. Up. VI, 2, 16) states that he returns again to the earth. We further know that Bhîshma and others, although fully possessing the knowledge of Brahman, put off their death until the beginning of the northern progress. All this seems to prove that he who dies during the southern progress does not reach Brahman.--This doubt we dispose of as follows. Those only who do not possess true knowledge return from the moon; while he who has such knowledge does not return even after he has gone to the moon. For a complementary clause in the Mahânârâyana Up., 'from there he reaches the greatness of Brahman,' shows that the abode in the moon forms for him, who having died during the southern progress wishes to reach Brahman, a mere stage of rest. And even if there were no such complementary passage, it would follow from the previously stated absence of any
reason for bondage that the going of the wise man's soul to the moon in no way precludes his reaching Brahman. Bhîshma and others who through the power of Yoga were able to choose the time of their death put it off until the beginning of the northern progress in order to proclaim before the world the excellence of that season and thus to promote pious faith and practice.--But we also meet with an authoritative statement made with reference to wise men about to die, as to difference of time of death being the cause of a man either returning or not returning to this world, 'I will declare at which time the Yogins departing return not, and also the time at which they return. The sire, the light, the day, the bright fortnight, the six months of the sun's northern progress--the knowers of Brahman departing there go to Brahman. The smoke, the night, the dark fortnight, the six months of the southern progress--the Yogin departing there having reached the light of the moon returns again. These are held to be the perpetual paths of the world--the white and the black; by the one man goes not to return, by the other he returns again' (Bha. Gî. VIII, 23-26).--To this point the next Sûtra refers.