The Prashna Upanishad with Shankara’s Commentary
आत्मन एष प्राणो जायते । यथैषा पुरुषे छायैतस्मिन्नेतदाततं मनोकृतेनायात्यस्मिञ्शरीरे ॥ ३ ॥
ātmana eṣa prāṇo jāyate | yathaiṣā puruṣe chāyaitasminnetadātataṃ manokṛtenāyātyasmiñśarīre || 3 ||
3. This Prâna is born of the âtman. As this shadow in the man, so is this in the âtman. By the act of the mind, this comes into this body.
Com.—This Prâna spoken of is born of the âtman, i.e., of the highest purusha, undecaying and true. As regards the how of it, the following illustration (is offered). As in this world, when the figure of the man consisting of the head, hands, etc., is the cause, his shadow is produced as the effect; so in this Brahman the true purusha, is this principle named Prâna analogous to the shadow and falls in its nature recognized as the shadow in the body. It comes into this body by the act of the mind, i.e., through the karma, arising from volition, wish, etc., of the mind; for, it will be said later on ‘By virtue, virtuous world, etc.’ Another sruti also says, ‘Intent on that fruit he reaches it with his karma.’