The Prashna Upanishad with Shankara’s Commentary
अथ हैनं कौशल्यष्चाश्वलायनः पप्रच्छ । भगवन्कुत एष प्राणो जायते कथमायात्यस्मिञ्शरीर आत्मानं वा प्रविभज्य कथं प्रतिष्ठते केनोत्क्रमते कथं बह्यमभिधते कथमध्यात्ममिति ॥ १ ॥
atha hainaṃ kauśalyaṣcāśvalāyanaḥ papraccha | bhagavankuta eṣa prāṇo jāyate kathamāyātyasmiñśarīra ātmānaṃ vā pravibhajya kathaṃ pratiṣṭhate kenotkramate kathaṃ bahyamabhidhate kathamadhyātmamiti || 1 ||
1. Then, Kausalya, son of Âsvala questioned him. ‘O Bhagavan! whence is this Prâna born? How does he come into this body? How does he stay dividing himself? By what does he ascend from the body? How does he support all external and how all within the body?
Com.—Then, Kausalya, son of Âsvala questioned him. Though Prânas glory has been thus realized by the prânas, which had ascertained its real nature, it may still be that it is an effect, being a combination (samhata). Therefore, I ask, Oh Bhagavan! whence, i.e., from what cause, Prâna, thus determined, is produced and when produced, by what form of activity does he enter the body? The meaning is, what is the cause of his taking a body and when he has entered the body, how does he, dividing himself, stay? By what form of activity does he ascend from the body? How does he support what is external to the body, i.e., adhi bhûta and adhi daiva, i.e., the totality of elements and powers; and how, what is within the body.