On this, too, O beautiful one! they relate this ancient story, (which shows) of what description is the institution of the seven sacrificial priests. The nose, and the eye, and the tongue, and the skin, and the ear as the fifth, mind and understanding, these are the seven sacrificial priests separately stationed. Dwelling in a minute space, they do not perceive each other. Do you, verily, O beautiful one! learn about these sacrificial priests, (which are) seven according to (their several) natures.
The Brāhmaṇa's wife said:
How (is it) these do not perceive each other, dwelling (as they do) in a minute space? What are their natures, O venerable sir? Tell me this, O lord!
The Brāhmaṇa said:
Not knowing the qualities (of anything) is ignorance (of it). Knowledge of the qualities is knowledge. And these never know the qualities of each other. The tongue, the eye, the ear likewise, the skin, the mind, and the understanding also, do not apprehend smells, the nose apprehends them. The nose, the eye, the ear likewise, the skin, the mind, and the understanding also, do not apprehend tastes, the tongue apprehends them. The nose, the tongue, the ear likewise,, the skin, the mind, and the understanding also, do not apprehend colours, the eye apprehends them. The nose, the tongue, and next the eye, the ear, the understanding, the mind likewise, do not apprehend (objects of) touch, the skin apprehends them. The nose, the tongue, and the eye, the skin, the mind, and the understanding also, do not apprehend sounds, the ear apprehends them. The nose, the tongue, and the eye, the skin, the ear, and the understanding also, do not apprehend doubt, the mind apprehends it. The nose, the tongue, and the eye, the skin, the ear, and the mind also, do not apprehend final determination, the understanding apprehends it. On this, too, they relate this ancient story,--a dialogue, O beautiful one! between the senses and the mind.
The mind said:
The nose smells not without me, the tongue does not perceive taste, the eye does not take in colour, the skin does not become aware of any (object of) touch. Without me, the ear does not in any way hear sound. I am the eternal chief among all elements. Without me, the senses never shine, like an empty dwelling, or like fires the flames of which are extinct. Without me, all beings, like fuel half dried and half moist, fail to apprehend qualities or objects, even with the senses exerting themselves.
The senses said:
This would be true as you believe, if you, without us, enjoyed the enjoyments (derived from) our objects. If when we are extinct, (there is) pleasure and support of life, and if you enjoy enjoyments, then what you. believe is true; or if when we are absorbed, and objects are standing, you enjoy objects according to their natures by the mere operation of the mind. If again you think your power over our objects is constant, then take in colours by the nose, take in tastes by the eye, take in smells by the ear, take in (objects of) touch by the tongue, and take in sounds by the skin, and also (objects of) touch by the understanding. For those who are powerful have no rules (to govern them); rules are for the weak. You should accept enjoyments unenjoyed before; you ought not to enjoy what has been tasted. (by others). As a pupil goes to a preceptor for Vedic learning, and having acquired Vedic learning from him, performs the directions of the Vedic texts, so you treat as yours objects shown by us, both past and future, in sleep and likewise wakefulness. Besides, when creatures of little intelligence are distracted in mind, life is seen to be supported, when our objects perform their functions. And even after having carried on numerous mental operations, and indulged in dreams, a creature, when troubled by desire to enjoy, does run to objects of sense only. One entering upon enjoyments, resulting from mental operations (alone), and not connected with objects of sense, (which is) like entering a house without a door, always meets death, on the exhaustion of the life-winds, as a fire which is kindled (is extinguished) on the exhaustion of fuel. Granted, that we have connexions with our (respective) qualities, and granted that we have no perception of each other's qualities; still, without us, you have no perception, and so long no happiness can accrue to you.
Footnotes and references:
Arjuna Miśra, says, the last chapter explained Prāṇāyāma, and this explains Pratyāhāra. Prāṇāyāma is the restraint of the life-winds, Pratyāhāra that of the senses, according to the Yoga philosophy (see the quotation in the commentary at Yoga-sūtra III, 1, and see also pp. 141-145). Cf. also Gītā, p. 61. The Saptahotṛ-vidhāna as taught in the Taittirīya-brāhmana and Āraṇyaka is to be found a few pages after the pages referred to for the Dasahotṛ-vidhāna at p. 261 supra. And the other Vidhānas also are to be found in the same parts of those books.
Cf. Kauṣītaki-upaniṣad, p. 93; Chāndogya, p. 297; Maitrī, p. 158; and Bṛhadāraṇyaka, p. 284. The passages in the last two works seem to be identical ones.
I. e. in their respective operations.
The implication, of course, is, as Arjuna Miśra, says, that this is not so, as what is not perceived by the senses cannot be the object of the mind's operations,--a proposition which reminds one of the maxim, 'Nihil est in intellectu quod non fuerit in sensu,' apparently without Leibnitz's limitation of it. Cf. Archbishop Thomson's Laws of Thought, p. 52.
As in sleep, &c.
I. e. if you can enjoy objects independently of the senses, whenever you choose to perform your operations. This, says Arjuna Miśra meets an objection which might be made, that the mind at the time stated does not desire objects.
Sic in original. It comes twice.
Eating what has been tasted by another is a cause of degradation. Cf. Chāndogya, p. 81; Maitrī, p. 103; and p. 363 infra.
You incorrectly attribute to yourself the quality of apprehending them.
I. e. presented before you by us.
This is not quite clear. Arjuna Miśra has, 'not past, not future;' literally, 'not come, not gone.'
Viz. smell, sound, &c.; not by the mere operations of the mind, but by obtaining the objects, is life supported.
The senses are the doors of the house here, as they are among the doors of the city at Gītā, p. 65.
Owing to the want of food, &c. Cf. Maitrī, p. 112, and Chāndogya. p. 422.
Perception of pleasure, says Arjuna Miśra; but he takes the subsequent clause to mean this, 'and without you no pleasure accrues to us either.' The text is here in an unsatisfactory state.