57. Option, on account of the non-difference of result.
It has been proved that the meditation on that which truly is, the meditation on the small ether within the heart, and so on--all of which have for their result the attainment to Brahman--are separate meditations. The question now arises whether all these meditations should be combined by each meditating devotee, on account of such combination being useful to him; or whether, in the absence of any use of such combination, they should be
undertaken optionally.--They may be combined, the Pûrvapakshin holds; since it is observed that different scriptural matters are combined even when having one and the same result. The Agnihotra, the Daisapûrnamâsa oblation, and other sacrifices, all of them have one and the same result, viz. the possession of the heavenly world; nevertheless, one and the same agent performs them all, with a view to the greater fulness of the heavenly bliss aimed at. So the different meditations on Brahman also may be cumulated with a view to greater fulness of intuition of Brahman.--This view the Sûtra rejects. Option only between the several meditations is possible, on account of the non-difference of result. For to all meditations on Brahman alike Scripture assigns one and the same result, viz. intuitive knowledge of Brahman, which is of the nature of supreme, unsurpassable bliss. 'He who knows Brahman attains the Highest' (Taitt. Up. II, 1, 1), &c. The intuitive knowledge of Brahman constitutes supreme, unsurpassable bliss; and if such intuition may be reached through one meditation, of what use could other meditations be? The heavenly world is something limited in respect of place, time, and essential nature, and hence a person desirous of attaining to it may cumulate works in order to take possession of it to a greater extent, and so on. But an analogous proceeding cannot be resorted to with regard to Brahman, which is unlimited in every sense. All meditations on Brahman tend to dispel Nescience, which stands in the way of the intuition of Brahman, and thus equally have for their result the attaining to Brahman; and hence there is option between them. In the case, on the other hand, of those meditations which aim at other results than Brahman, there may either be choice between the several meditations, or they may be cumulated--as one may also do in the case of sacrifices aiming at the attainment of the heavenly world;--for as those results are not of an infinite nature one may aim at realising them in a higher degree. This the next Sûtra declares.
58. But meditations aiming at objects of desire
may, according to one's liking, be cumulated or not; on account of the absence of the former reason.
The last clause means--on account of their results not being of an infinite nature.--Here terminates the adhikarana of 'option.'