by Swami Sivananda
In the previous Section it was shown that one attains Jivanmukti when the Sanchita Karmas or the accumulated works which have not as yet begun to bear fruits are destroyed, and Videhamukti at death when the Prarabdha Karma is destroyed.
This Section is devoted to the mode of departure of the enlightened and the unenlightened souls at the time of leaving the body. The path of the gods, the Devayana, by which the knower of the Saguna Brahman travels after death, is described. The Sutrakara begins by explaining on the basis of scriptural statements the successive steps by which the soul passes out of the body at death. The departure of the soul is the same in the case of him who possesses the lower knowledge and of him who is destitute of all knowledge.
(Sutras 1-2) At the time of death of the knower of Saguna Brahman, the functions of the organs get merged in mind.
(Sutra 3) At the time of death of the knower of Saguna Brahman, the function of the mind is merged in the Prana.
(Sutras 4-6) At the time of death of the knower of Saguna Brahman, the function of Prana is merged in the individual soul or Jiva.
(Sutra 7) The mode of departure from the body up to the way is common to both a knower of Saguna Brahman and an ordinary man. Both pass through the same stages up to the entrance of the soul together with the subtle elements and so on into the Nadis.
(Sutras 8-11) The merging of fire, etc., of death in the Highest Deity is not absolute merging. A complete absorption of the elements takes place only when final emancipation is attained.
(Sutras 12-14) The Pranas of a knower of the Nirguna Brahman do not depart from the body at death.
(Sutra 15) The organs of the knower of the Nirguna Brahman get merged in It at death.
(Sutra 16) The Kalas of the knower of the Nirguna Brahman attain absolute non-distinction with Brahman at death.
(Sutra 17) The soul of the knower of the Saguna Brahman comes to the heart at the time of death and thence goes out through the Sushumna. The soul of the ignorant man goes out by means of some other Nadi.
(Sutras 18-19) The departing soul of a knower of the Saguna Brahman follows the rays of the sun after death which exist at night as well as during day, and goes to Brahmaloka.
(Sutras 20-21) The soul of the knower of the Saguna Brahman goes to Brahmaloka even if he dies during the outhern course of the sun (Dakshinayana).