Brahma Sutras – According to Shankara 3-3-15

Topic 15 - The statement made in one of the texts that the good and evil deeds of a person who has attained Knowledge go to his friends and enemies respectively, is valid for all texts where discarding of good and, evil Karma by such a person is mentioned

Sutra 3,3.26

हानौ तु, उपायनशब्दशेषत्वात् कुशाच्छन्दःस्तुत्युपगानवत्, तदुक्तम् ॥ २६ ॥

hānau tu, upāyanaśabdaśeṣatvāt kuśācchandaḥstutyupagānavat, taduktam || 26 ||

hānau–Where (only) the discarding (of good and evil) is mentioned; tu—but; upāyana-śabdaśeṣatvāt—on account of the word ‘receiving’ being supplementary (to the word ‘discarding’); kuśā-cchandaḥ-stuti-upagānavat—as in the case of Kusas (sticks for keeping count of hymns) metres, praise, and recitation; tat—that; uktam—has been stated (by Jaimini).

26. But where (only) the discarding (of good and evil) is mentioned, (the receiving of this good and evil by others has to be included), on account of this word ‘receiving’ being supplementary (to the word ‘discarding’), as in the case of Kusas, metres, praise, and recitation. That (i.e. that it should be so done) has been stated (by Jaimini in Pūrva Mīmāṃsā).

Having dealt with the combination of particulars with respect to similar Vidyās, the author now proceeds to deal with the combination of the effects with respect to the Upāsaka.

Jaimini has said that statements with respect to Kusas, metres, praise, and hymns have to be completed from other texts.

In some places Kusas are simply mentioned, but another text specifies that they are to be made of fig wood. The first Śruti will have to be completed in the light of the other. Similarly with respect to metres, praise, and recitation.

This principle is here applied to the effects of the Upāsakas actions in connection with the Vidyās mentioned in the Upanishads.

We find certain texts mention the discarding of good and evil by a person attaining Knowledge. Vide Chh. 8. 13. Another text not only mentions this, but also adds that the good and evil are obtained by his friends and enemies respectively. Vide Kau. 1. 4.

This Sutra says that the obtaining of the good and evil by his friends and enemies has to be inserted in the Chāṇḍogya text, according to Jaimini principle explained above.

This Sutra may also be explained in another way if the discussion on ‘discarding’ is different:

It may be argued that the verb ‘Dhu’ in the text of the Chāṇḍogya and Kaushitaki may be interpreted as trembling and not as getting rid of,

in which case it would mean that good and evil still cling to a person who attains Knowledge, though their effects are retarded owing to the Knowledge.

This Sutra says that such a meaning is not correct, for the subsequent portion of the text in the Kaushitaki shows that others get this good and evil, and this is not possible unless the person who attains Knowledge discards them.