तदोकोऽग्रज्वलनं तत्प्रकाशितद्वारः, विद्यासामर्थ्यात्
तच्छेषगत्यनुस्मृतियोगाच्च हार्दानुगृहीताः शताधिकया ॥ १७ ॥
tadoko’grajvalanaṃ tatprakāśitadvāraḥ, vidyāsāmarthyāt
taccheṣagatyanusmṛtiyogācca hārdānugṛhītāḥ śatādhikayā || 17 ||
tat-okaḥ-agrajvalanam—The illumining of the top of its (soul’s) abode (the heart); tat-prakāśitat-hāraḥ—with the passage illumined by this light; vidyā-sāmarthyāt—owing to the efficacy of knowledge; tat-śeṣa-gati-anusmṛti-yogāt—because of the appropriateness of constant meditation of the way which is a part of that knowledge; ca—and; hārdānugṛhītāḥ—being favoured by Him who resides in the heart; śatādhikayā—by the one that is beyond the hundred.
17. (When the soul of a knower of the Saguna Brahman is about to depart from the body, there is) the illumining of the top of its abode (the heart); with the passage (for the exit of the soul) illumined by this light (the soul departs), being favoured by Him who resides in the heart, along that nerve which is beyond the hundred (i.e. the hundred and first nerve or the Sushumna) owing to the efficacy of the knowledge and the appropriateness of his constant meditation on the way which is a part of that knowledge.
This Sutra describes the exit from the body of a knower of the Saguna Brahman. It has already been stated in Sutra 7 that till the soul’s entering on the path, the mode of departure of a knower of the Saguna Brahman and an ignorant man is the same. The Brihadaranyaka text describing the death of a person says, “When this self becomes weak and senseless, as it were, the organs come to it … it comes to the heart” (Brih. 4. 4. 1); again, “The top of the heart brightens. Through that brightened top the self departs, either through the eye, or through the head, or through any other part of the body” (Brih. 4. 4. 2). These texts show that at the time of death the soul together with the organs comes to the heart. At that moment the departing soul, on account of its past works, has a peculiar consciousness picturing to it its next life, and goes to the body which is revealed by that consciousness. This is what is referred to as the illumining of the top of the heart. With this particular consciousness the soul goes out, along one of the nerves that issue from the heart, to the eyes, or ears, or the skull, or other parts of the body, which it finally leaves through that particular exit. The question now is whether this departure is the same for a knower of the Saguna Brahman and an ordinary man. This Sutra says that though the illumining of the top of the heart is common to both, yet the knower of the Saguna Brahman, through the grace of the Lord who abides in the heart, departs through the skull only, while others depart through other parts. This is consistent with his knowledge and constant meditation on the way out through the hundred and first nerve, the Sushumna. The following text elucidates it: “There are a hundred and one nerves of the heart; one of them penetrates the head; going up along that, one attains Immortality; the others serving for departure in various directions” (Chh. 8. 6. 6.).