SrI: SrImathE SatakOpAya nama: SrImathE rAmAnujAya nama: SrImath varavaramunayE nama:
śukla-kṛṣṇe gatī hy ete
jagataḥ śāśvate mate
ekayā yāty anāvṛttim
‘Verily are these Paths —the White and the Black— permanently ordained for the Kosmos. By the one, the non-returning (state) is reached, by the other, there is return again.’
The White Path is the archir-ādi, the Black is the dhūm-ādi. He who goes, by the White Path, goes to that, from which he returns not; but by the Dark Path, he turns back. The White is for the two kinds of the jñānis (the God-seeker, and the ātma-seeker), and the Black is for the man who does meritorious work (entitling him to reap material pleasures). These two Paths for the three kinds of devotees (wealth-seeker, soul-seeker and God-seeker), are thus declared in the Śruti:—
‘(1) Those who understand it (ātma) thus, and (2) those who in forest (retired place) meditate on Śraddhā-Tapas (or Mother-Father aspect of God), join the Archi(= the Bright Path). Then, those who in their own place (or village) devote themselves to sacrifices (=ishti), public works (=pūrtam=constructing tanks, wells etc)., charities (=dattam), and other pious acts (iti), join the Dhūma (= the Smoky Path)’[1. Chh: Up: V-10-1 and 3 ‘Tad Ya itthan vidur ye ch-eme `ranye Śraddhā-Tapa ity upāsate te `rchi-sham abhisambhavanti; atha ya ime grāma ishtā-pūrte dattam ity upāsate dhūmam abhisambhavanti’.].
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