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The Bṛhadāraṇyaka Upaniṣad (with the Commentary of Śaṅkarācārya)

Section IV - The Creation and Its Cause

Verse 1.4.1:

आत्मैवेदमग्र आसीत्पुरुषविधः, सोऽनुवीक्ष्य नान्यदात्मनोऽपश्यत्, सोऽहमस्मीत्यग्रे व्याहरत्, ततोऽहंनामाभवत्; तस्मादप्येतर्ह्यामन्त्रितोऽहमयमित्येवाग्र उक्त्वाथान्यन्नाम प्रब्रूते यदस्य भवति; स यत्पूर्वोऽस्मात्सर्वस्मात्सर्वान्पाप्मन अउषत् तस्मात्पुरुषह्; ओषति ह वै स तम् योऽस्मात्पूर्वो बुभूषति य एवं वेद ॥ १ ॥

ātmaivedamagra āsītpuruṣavidhaḥ, so'nuvīkṣya nānyadātmano'paśyat, so'hamasmītyagre vyāharat, tato'haṃnāmābhavat; tasmādapyetarhyāmantrito'hamayamityevāgra uktvāthānyannāma prabrūte yadasya bhavati; sa yatpūrvo'smātsarvasmātsarvānpāpmana auṣat tasmātpuruṣah; oṣati ha vai sa tam yo'smātpūrvo bubhūṣati ya evaṃ veda || 1 ||

1. In the beginning, this (universe) was but the self (Virāj) of a human form. He reflected and found nothing else but himself. He first uttered, ‘I am he.’ Therefore he was called Aham (I). Hence, to this day, when a person is addressed, he first says, ‘It is I,’ and then says the other name that he may have. Because he was first and before this whole (band of aspirants) burnt all evils, therefore he is called Puruṣa. He who knows thus indeed burns one who wants to be (Virāj) before him.

It has been explained that one attains the status of Hiraṇyagarbha through a combination of meditation and rites. That the same result is attained only through meditation on the vital force has also been stated in the passage, ‘This certainly wins the world,’ etc. (I. iii. 28). The present section is introduced in order to describe the excellent results of Vedic meditations and rites by setting forth the independence and other powers of Hiraṇyagarbha,.who is himself the result of his past actions, in the projection, maintenance and dissolution of the universe. The meditations and rites that are prescribed in the ceremonial portion[1] of the Vedas would thereby be extolled by implication. The import, however, is this: The sum total of these results of meditation and rites belongs to the relative world, for Virāj[2] has been described as possessing fear, dissatisfaction, etc., has a body and organs, and consists of gross, differentiated and transient objects. This prepares the ground for what follows, since the knowledge of Brahman alone, which is going to be described, can lead to liberation. For one who is not disgusted with things of the world consisting of a variety of means and ends is not entitled to cultivate the knowledge of the unity of the Self, as one who is not thirsty has no use for a drink. Therefore the delineation of the excellent results of meditation and rites is meant to introduce the succeeding portion. It will also be said later on, ‘Of all these, this Self alone should be realised’ (I. iv. 7), ‘This Self is dearer than a son’ (I. iv. 8), and so on.

In the beginning, before the manifestation of any other body, this universe of different bodies was but the self, was undifferentiated from the body of Virāj, the first embodied being born out of the cosmic egg, who is here meant by the word ‘self.’ He is the product of Vedic theditations and rites. And this self was of a human form, with a head, hands, etc., i.e. Virāj. He, who was born first, reflected on who he wras and what his features were, and found nothing else but himself, consisting of the body and organs. He found only himself, the self of all. And as he had been purified by Vedic knowledge in his past life, he first uttered, ‘I am he,’ the Virāj who is the self of all. And because owing to his past impressions he first declared himself as Aham, therefore he was called Aham (I). That this is his name as given out by the Śruti will be mentioned later: ‘His secret name is Aham’ (V. v. 4). Hence, because this happened with Virāj, the cause, therefore, to this day, among men, his effects, when a person is addressed as, ‘Who are you?’ he first says, ‘It is I,’ describes himself as identified with his cause, Virāj, and then says, to one who inquires about his particular name, the other 'name, the name of his particular body, such as Devadatta or Yajñadatta, that he may have, as given to that particular body by his parents.

And because he, Virāj, in his past incarnation when he was an aspirant, by an adequate practice of meditation and rites was the first of those who wanted to attain the status of Virāj by the same method, and before this whole band of aspirants burnt —what?—all evils, viz. attachment and ignorance, which obstructed his attainment of the státus of Virāj—because it was so, therefore he is called Puruṣa, i.e. one who burnt first. As this Virāj became Puruṣa and Virāj by burning all the obstructing evils, so another person, by the fire of his practice of meditation and rites, or by virtue of meditation alone, burns one—whom?—who wants to be Virāj before him, this sage. The text points him out in the words, ‘Who knows thus.’ It is implied that he has perfected himself in the practice of meditation.

Objection: The desire to attain the status of Virāj must be dangerous, if one is burnt by a sage possessing this knowledge.

Reply: There is nothing wrong in it; for burning here means only the failure to attain the status of Virāj first, due to a deficiency in the practice of meditation. The man who uses the best means attains it first, and the man who is deficient in his means does not. This is spoken of as the former burning the latter. It is not that one who uses the best means actually burns the other. As in the world, when several people are having a running contest, the man who first reaches the destination may be said to burn the others, as it were, for they are shorn of their strength, so is the case here.

In order to show that the results, meant to be extolled here, of meditation and rites enjoined in the ceremonial portion of the Vedas, are not beyond the range of transmigratory existence, the text goes on:


Verse 1.4.2:

सोऽबिभेत्, तस्मादेकाकी बिभेति; स हायमीक्षां चक्रे, यन्मदन्यन्नास्ति, कष्मान्नु बिभेमीति, तत एवास्य भयं वीयाय्, कस्माद्ध्यभेष्यत्? द्वितीयाद्वै भयं भवति ॥ २ ॥

so'bibhet, tasmādekākī bibheti; sa hāyamīkṣāṃ cakre, yanmadanyannāsti, kaṣmānnu bibhemīti, tata evāsya bhayaṃ vīyāy, kasmāddhyabheṣyat? dvitīyādvai bhayaṃ bhavati || 2 ||

2. He was afraid. Therefore people (still) are afraid to be alone. He thought, ‘If there is nothing else but me, what am I afraid of?’ From that alone his fear was gone, for what was there to fear? It is from a second entity that fear comes.

He, Virāj, who has been presented as the first embodied, being of a human form, was afraid, just like us, says the text. Because this being with a human form, possessing a body and organs, was afraid owing to a false notion about his extinction, therefore, being similarly situated, people to this day are afraid to be alone. And the means of removing this false notion that caused the fear, was, as in our case, the right knowledge of the Self. He, Virāj, thought, ‘If there is nothing else but me, no other entity but myself to be my rival, what am I afraid of, for there is nothing to kill me?’ From that right knowledge of the Self alone his, Virāj’s fear was clean gone. That fear of Virāj, being due to sheer ignorance, was inconsistent with the knowledge of the Supreme Self. This is what the text.says: For what was there to fear? That is, why was he afraid, since there could be no fear when the truth was known? Because it is from a second entity that fear comes; and that second entity is merely projected by ignorance. A second entity that is not perceived at all cannot certainly cause fear, for the Śruti says, ‘Then what delusion and what grief can there be for one who sees unity?’ (Iś. 7). That his fear was removed by the knowledge of unity was quite proper. Why? Because fear comes of a second entity, and that notion of a second entity was removed by the knowledge of unity; it was nonexistent.

Here some object: What was Virāj’s knowledge of unity due to? And who instructed him? If it came without any instruction, the same might also be true of us. If, however, it was due to the impressions of his past life, then the knowledge of unity would be useless. As Virāj’s knowledge of unity acquired in his past life, although it was present, did not remove the cause of his bondage, ignorance—for being born with that ignorance, he was afraid—so the knowledge of unity would be useless in the case of everybody. Should it be urged that the knowledge prevailing at the last moment only removes ignorance, our answer is that it cannot be laid down as a rule, since ignorance may appear again just as it did before. Therefore we conclude that the knowledge of unity serves no useful purpose.

Reply: Not so, for, as in the world, his knowledge sprang from his perfected birth. That is to say, as we see that when a person has been born with a select body and organs as a result of his past merits, he excels in knowledge, intelligence and memory, similarly Virāj, having burnt all his evils which produce qualities the very opposite of righteousness, knowledge, dispassion and lordship, had a perfected birth in which he was possessed of a pure body and organs; hence he might well have the knowledge of unity even without any instruction. As the Smṛti says, ‘The Lord of the universe is born with these four virtues—infallible knowledge, dispassion, lordship and righteousness’ (Vā. I. i. 3).

Objection:" If he was born with those virtues, he could not have fear. Darkness never appears with the sun.

Reply: Not so, for the expression, 'He is bom with these virtues,’ means that he is not instructed about them by others.

Objection: In that case qualities like faith, devotion and prostration (to the teacher) cease to be the means of knowledge. The Gītā, for instance, says, ‘One who has faith and devotion and controls one’s senses attains knowledge’ (G. IV. 39), and ‘Know it through prostration’ (G. IV. 34). There are other texts from the Śrutis as well as Smṛtis which prescribe similar means for knowledge. Now, if knowledge is due to the merits of one’s past life, as you say was the case with Virāj, then the above means become useless.

Reply: No, for there may be differences as regards the means such as their alternation or combination, efficacy or inefficacy. We observe in life that effects are produced from various causes, which may operate singly or in combination. Of these causes operating singly or in combination, some may be more efficacious than others. Let us take a single instance of an effect produced from various causes, say, the perception of form or colour: In the case of animals that see in the dark, the connection of the eye with the object alone suffices, even without the help of light, to cause the perception. In the case of Yogins the mind alone is the cause of it. While with us, there is a combination of causes such as the connection of the eye with the object, and light, which again may vary according as it is sunlight or moonlight, and so on. Similarly there would be differences due to that light being of a particular character, strong or feeble, and so on. Exactly in the same way with the knowledge of the unity of the Self. Sometimes the actions of one’s past life are the cause, as in the case of Virāj. Sometimes it is reflection, for the Śruti says, ‘Desire to know Brahman through reflection’ (Tai. III. iii-v. i). Sometimes faith and other things are the only causes of attaining knowledge, as we learn from such Śruti and Smṛti texts as the following: ‘He only knows who has got a teacher’ (Ch. VI. xiv. 2), ‘One who has faith... attains knowledge' (G. IV. 39), ‘Know it through prostration’ (G. IV. 34), ‘(Knowledge received) from the teacher alone (is best)’ (Ch. IV. ix. 3), ‘(The Self) is to be realised through hearing,' etc. (II. iv. 5; IV. v. 6). For the above causes remove obstacles to knowledge such as demerit. And the hearing, reflection and meditation on Vedānta texts have a direct relation to Brahman which is to be known, for they are naturally the causes to evoke the knowledge of Reality when the evils, connected with the body and mind, that obstruct it have been destroyed. Therefore faith, prostration and the like never cease to be the means of knowledge.


Verse 1.4.3:

स व नैव रेमे, तस्मादेकाकी न रमते; स द्वितीयमैच्छत् । स हैतावानास यथा स्त्रीपुमांसौ सम्परिष्वक्तौ; स इममेवात्मानं द्वेधापातयत्, ततः पतिश्च पत्नी चाभवताम्; तस्मातिदमर्धबृगलमिव स्वः इति ह स्माह याज्ञवल्क्यः; तस्मादयमाकाशः स्त्रिया पूर्यत एव; तां समभवत्, ततो मनुष्या अजायन्त ॥ ३ ॥

sa va naiva reme, tasmādekākī na ramate; sa dvitīyamaicchat | sa haitāvānāsa yathā strīpumāṃsau sampariṣvaktau; sa imamevātmānaṃ dvedhāpātayat, tataḥ patiśca patnī cābhavatām; tasmātidamardhabṛgalamiva svaḥ iti ha smāha yājñavalkyaḥ; tasmādayamākāśaḥ striyā pūryata eva; tāṃ samabhavat, tato manuṣyā ajāyanta || 3 ||

3. He was not at all happy. Therefore people (still) are not happy when alone. He desired a mate. He became as big as man and wife embracing each other. He parted this very body into two. From that came husband and wife. Therefore, said Yājñavalkya, this (body) is one-half of oneself, like one of the two hálves of a split pea. Therefore this space is indeed filled by the wife. He was united with her. From that men were born.

Here is another reason why the state of Virāj is within the relative world, because he, Virāj, was not at all happy, I.e. was stricken with dissatisfaction, just like us. Because it was so, therefore, on account of loneliness etc., even to-day people are not happy, do not delight, when alone. Delight is a sport due to conjunction with a desired object. A person who is attached to it feels troubled in mind when he is separated from his desired object; this is called dissatisfaction. To remove. that dissatisfaction, he desired a mate, able to take away that dissatisfaction, i. e; a wife. And as he thus longed for a wife, he felt as if he was embraced by his wife. Being of an infallible will, through that idea he became as big—as what ?—as man and wife, in the world, embracing each other to remove their dissatisfaction. He became of that size. He parted this very body, of that size, into two. The emphatic word ‘very’ used after ‘this’ is for distinguishing between the new body and its cause, the original body of Virāj. Virāj did not become of this size by wiping out his former entity, as milk turns into curd by wholly changing its former substance. What then? fíe remained as he was, but being of an infallible resolve, he projected another body of the size of man and wife together. He remained the same Virāj, as we find from the sentence, ‘He became as big as,’ etc., where ‘he’ is co-ordinate with the complement. From that parting came husband (Pati) and wife (Patnī). This is the derivation of terms denoting an ordinary couple. And because the wife is but one-half of oneself separated, therefore this body is one-half, like one of the two halves of a split pea, before one marries a wife. Whose half? Of oneself. Thus said Yājñavalkya, the son of Yajñavalka, lit. the expounder of a sacrifice, i.e. the son of Devarāta. Or it may mean a descendant of Hiraṇyagarbha (who is the expounder). Since one-half of a man is void when he is without a wife representing the other half, therefore this space is indeed again filled by the wife when he marries, as one-half of a split pea gets its complement When again joined to the other half. He, the Virāj called Manu, was united with her, his daughter called Śatarūpā, whom he conceived of as his wife. From that union men were born.


Verse 1.4.4:

सा हेयमीक्षां चक्रे, कथं नु मात्मान एव जनयित्वा सम्भवति? हन्त तिरोऽसानीति; सा गौरभवत्, ऋषभ इतरः, तां समेवाभवत्, ततो गावोऽजायन्त; वडवेतराभवत्, अश्ववृष इतरः, गर्धभीतरा, गर्दभ इतरः, तां समेवाभवत्, तत एकशफमजायत; अजेतराभवत्, वस्त इतरः, अविरितरा, मेष इतरः, तां समेवाभवत्, ततोऽजावयोऽजायन्त; एवमेव यदिदं किंच मिथुनम्, आ पिपीलिकाभ्यः, तत्सर्वमसृजत ॥ ४ ॥

sā heyamīkṣāṃ cakre, kathaṃ nu mātmāna eva janayitvā sambhavati? hanta tiro'sānīti; sā gaurabhavat, ṛṣabha itaraḥ, tāṃ samevābhavat, tato gāvo'jāyanta; vaḍavetarābhavat, aśvavṛṣa itaraḥ, gardhabhītarā, gardabha itaraḥ, tāṃ samevābhavat, tata ekaśaphamajāyata; ajetarābhavat, vasta itaraḥ, aviritarā, meṣa itaraḥ, tāṃ samevābhavat, tato'jāvayo'jāyanta; evameva yadidaṃ kiṃca mithunam, ā pipīlikābhyaḥ, tatsarvamasṛjata || 4 ||

4. She thought, ‘How can he be united with me after producing me from himself? Well, let me hide myself.’ She became a cow, the other became a bull and was united with her; from that cows were born. The one became a mare, the other a stallion; the one became a she-ass, the other became a he-ass and was united with her; from that one-hoofed animals were born. The one became a she-goat, the other a he-goat; the one became a ewe, the other became a ram and was united with her; from that goats and sheep were born. Thus did he project every-thing that exists in pairs, down to the ants.

Remembering the prohibition made in the Smṛtis of union with one’s daughter, Śatarūpā, ‘How can he do this vile thing—he united with me after producing me from himself? Although he has no abhorrence, well, let me hide myself by changing into another species.’ Thinking thus she became a cow. Impelled by the past work of the creatures that were to be produced, Śatarūpā and Manu had the same thought over and over again. Then the other became a bull and was united with her. The latter portion has been explained. From that cows were born. Similarly the one became a mare, the other a stallion; likewise the one became a she-ass, the other became a he-ass. From that union one-hoofed animals, viz. the three species, horses, mules and asses, were born. Similarly the one became a she-goat, the other became a he-goat; likewise the one became a ewe, the other became a ram and was united with her. The word ‘her’ is to be repeated so as to apply to both she-goat and ewe. From that goats and sheep were born. Thus, through this process, did he project everything that exists in pairs, as male and female, down to the ants. i. e. the whole (animate) world.


Verse 1.4.5:

सोऽवेत्, अहं वाव सृष्टिरस्मि, अहं हीदं सर्वमसृक्षीति; ततः सृष्टिरभवत्; सृष्ट्यां हास्यैतस्याम् भवति य एवं वेद ॥ ५ ॥

so'vet, ahaṃ vāva sṛṣṭirasmi, ahaṃ hīdaṃ sarvamasṛkṣīti; tataḥ sṛṣṭirabhavat; sṛṣṭyāṃ hāsyaitasyām bhavati ya evaṃ veda || 5 ||

5. He knew, ‘I indeed am the creation, for I projected all this.’ Therefore he was called Creation. He who knows this as such becomes (a creator) in this creation of Virāj.

He, Virāj after projecting this whole world ‘I indeed am the creation, i. e. the projected world. The world I have projected not being different from me, I myself am that; it is not something over and above myself. How? For I projected all this, the whole world.’ Because Virāj designated himself by the word ‘creation’, therefore he was called Creation. Like Virāj, he becomes a creator of a world not different from himself, in this creation of Virāj, i. e. in this world. Who? He who, like Virāj, knows this, the world described above, in its threefold division relating to the body, the elements and the gods, as such, as identical with himself.


Verse 1.4.6:

अथेत्यभ्यमन्थत्, स मुखाच्च योनेर्हस्ताभ्यां चाग्निमसृजत; तस्मादेतदुभयमलोमकमन्तरतः, अलोमका हि योनिरन्तरतः । तद्यदिदमाःउः, अमुं यजामुं यजेत्य्, एकैकं देवम्, एतस्यैव सा विसृष्टिः, एष उ ह्येव सर्वे देवाः । अथ यत्किंचेदमार्द्रम्, तद्रेतसोऽसृजत, तदु सोमः; एतावद्वा इदं, सर्वम् अन्नं चैवान्नादश्च; सोम एवान्नम्, अग्निरन्नादः; सैषा ब्रह्मणोऽतिसृष्टिर्यच्छ्रेयसो देवानसृजत, अथ यन्मर्त्यः सन्नमृतानसृजत तस्मादतिसृष्तिः; अतिसृष्ट्यं हास्यैतस्यां भवति य एवं वेद ॥ ६ ॥

athetyabhyamanthat, sa mukhācca yonerhastābhyāṃ cāgnimasṛjata; tasmādetadubhayamalomakamantarataḥ, alomakā hi yonirantarataḥ | tadyadidamāḥuḥ, amuṃ yajāmuṃ yajety, ekaikaṃ devam, etasyaiva sā visṛṣṭiḥ, eṣa u hyeva sarve devāḥ | atha yatkiṃcedamārdram, tadretaso'sṛjata, tadu somaḥ; etāvadvā idaṃ, sarvam annaṃ caivānnādaśca; soma evānnam, agnirannādaḥ; saiṣā brahmaṇo'tisṛṣṭiryacchreyaso devānasṛjata, atha yanmartyaḥ sannamṛtānasṛjata tasmādatisṛṣṭiḥ; atisṛṣṭyaṃ hāsyaitasyāṃ bhavati ya evaṃ veda || 6 ||

6. Then he rubbed back and forth thus, and produced fire from its source, the mouth and the hands. Therefore both these are without hair at the inside. When they t talk of particular gods, saying, ‘Sacrifice to him,’ ‘Sacrifice to the other one,’ (they are wrong, since) these are all his projection, for he is all the gods. Now all this that is liquid, he produced from the seed. That is Soma. This universe is indeed this much—food and the eater of food. Soma is food, and fire the eater of food. This is the super-creation of Virāj that he projected the gods, who are even superior to him. Because he, although mortal himself, projected the immortals, therefore this is a super-creation. He who knows this as such becomes (a creator) in this super-creation of Virāj.

Then, having thus projected this world consisting of pairs, he, Virāj, desiring to project the gods controlling the Brāhmaṇa and other castes, first rubbed back and forth thus. The Words ‘then’ and ‘thus’ show the process by a gesture. Putting his hands into his mouth he went on rubbing back and forth. Having rubbed the mouth with his hands, he produced fire, the benefactor of the Brāhmaṇa caste, from its source, the mouth and the hands. Because the mouth and the hands are the source of fire, which burns, therefore both these are without hair. Is it all over? No, only at the inside. Similarly the Brāhmaṇa also was born from the mouth of Virāj. Because both have sprung from the same source, the Brāhmaṇa is favoured by fire, as a younger brother is by his elder brother. Therefore it is wellknown from the Śrutis and Smṛtis that the Brāhmaṇas have fire as their deity, and their strength lies in their mouth. Similarly from his arms, which are the abode of strength, he manifested Indra and other gods who control the Kṣatriya caste, as well as that caste itself. Therefore we know from the Śrutis and Smṛtis that the Kṣatriyas and physical strength are presided over by Indra. Similarly from his thighs, which are the source of effort, he manifested the Vasus and other gods who control the Vaiśyas, as well as that caste itself. Therefore the Vaiśyas are devoted to agriculture and other such pursuits, and have the Vasus etc. as their deities. Similarly from his feet he manifested Pūṣan, the deity of the earth, and the Śūdras, who have the capacity to serve—as we know from the Śrutis and Smṛtis. The manifestation of the deities of the Kṣatriya etc. has not been described here; it will be described later on.[3] But the text concludes as if they were described, in order to deal with creation as a whole. The real aim of the text is (not to describe creation, but) to indicate that all the gods are but Virāj, as stated here, for manifested objects are not different from the mani-festor, and the gods have been manifested by Virāj.

Now, this being the import of the section, the views of some ignorant people are being put forward as a eulogy on that. The criticism of one serves as a tribute to another. When, in discussing ceremonials, the priests, who know only mechanical rites, talk of particular gods, saying at the time of performing a sacrifice, ‘Sacrifice to him, viz. Fire,’ ‘Sacrifice to the other one, viz. Indra,’ and so on, thinking, on account of differences regarding name, type of hymns recited or sung, function, and the like, that they are separate gods, it should not be understood that way, because these different gods are all his projection, manifestation of Virāj, for he, Virāj,[4] the (cosmic) vital force, is all the gods.

Here there is a difference of opinion. Some say that Hiraṇyagarbha is the Supreme Self, others that he is the transmigrating individual self. The first group says: He must be the Supreme Self, for the Śruti says so, as for instance in the passage, ‘They call It Indra, Mitra, Varuṇa and Fire’ (Ṛ. I. clxiv. 46), and also in, ‘It is Hiraṇyagarbha, It is Indra, It is Virāj and all these gods’ (Ai. V. 3). And the Smṛti too, ‘Some call It Fire, others Manu and Virāj' (M. XII. 123), and ‘That (Supreme Self) which is beyond the organs, imperceptible, subtle, undifferentiated, eternal, consisting of all beings, and unthinkable, manifested Itself’ (M. I. 7). Or, according to the second group: He must be the individual self, for the Śruti says, ‘He burnt all evils’ (I. iv. 1). There can be no question of the burning of evils in the case of the Supreme Self. The Śruti also mentions his having fear and dissatisfaction, and also, ‘That he, although mortal himself, projected the immortals’ (this text), and ‘Behold Hiraṇyagarbha as he is being born’ (Śv. IV. 12; Mn. X. 3). Further, the Smṛti treating of the results of rites says, ‘Sages are of opinion that the attainment of oneness with Virāj, the world-projectors (Manu and others), Yama (the god of justice), Hiraṇyagarbha and the Undifferentiated is the highest result produced by Sattva or pure materials (rites coupled with meditation)’ (M. XII. 50).

Should it be urged that such contradictory statements being inadmissible, the scriptures lose their authority, the answer is: Not so, for they can be harmonised on the ground that different conceptions are possible. That is to say, through his relation to particular limiting adjuncts he can be conceived of as different That the transmigratory character of Hiraṇyagarbha is not real, but due to limiting adjuncts, is known from such Śrthi texts as the following: ‘Sitting, It roams far, and lying, It goes everywhere. Who else but me can know that effulgent entity which is endowed with joy and its absence as well?’ (Ka. II. 21). Essentially he is but the Supreme Self. So Hiraṇyagarbha is one as well as many. The same is the case with all beings, as the Śruti says, ‘Thou art That’ (Ch. V. viii. 7 etc.). But Hiraṇyagarbha, possessing limiting adjuncts of extraordinary purity, is described by the Śrutis and Śmṛtis mostly as the Supreme Self, and seldom as the transmigratory self. While ordinary individuals, owing to an excess of impurity in their limiting adjuncts, are mostly spoken of as the transmigratory self. But when divested of all limiting adjuncts, everyone is spoken of by the Śrutis and Smṛtis as the Supreme Self.

The rationalists, however, who discard the authority of Revelation and rely on mere argument, say all sorts of conflicting things such as that the self exists or does not exist, that it is the agent or is not the agent, and mystify the meaning of the scriptures. This makes it extremely difficult to find out their real import. But those who only follow the scriptures and have overcome their pride find the meaning of the scriptures regarding the gods etc. as definite as objects of perception.

Now the Śruti wishes to tell of one and the same god, Virāj, being differentiated as food and so forth. Fire, which is the eater of food, has already been described. Now Soma, the food, is being described: Now all this that is liquid in the world, he produced from his seed, for the śruti says, ‘From the seed water’ (Ai. I. 4), and Soma is liquid. Therefore whatever liquid was produced out of Virāj’s seed is Soma. This universe is indeed this much, and no more. What is it? Food, i.e. Soma, which being liquid is appeasing, and the eater of food, i.e. fire, ‘because it is hot and dry. Now follows a decision on the point: Soma is food, i.e. whatever is eaten is Soma. (And fire the eater of food)—whoever eats is fire. This decision is based on sense. Sometimes fire too is offered as an oblation, when it falls into the category of Soma (food). And when a sacrifice is made to Soma, it too becomes fire, being the eater. One who thus regards the universe consisting of fire and Soma as oneself is not touched by evil, and becomes Virāj. This is the super-creation of Virāj, i.e. one that is even superior to him. What is it? That he projected the gods, who are even superīor to him. This is why this manifestation of the gods is called a super-creation. How is this creation even superior to him? This is being explained: Because he, although mortal himself, projected the immortals, the gods, by burning all his evils with the fire of meditation and rites, therefore this is a super-creation, i.e. the result of superior knowledge (and rites). Hence he who knows this super-creation of Virāj. which is identical with him (i.e. identifies himself with Virāj, who projected the gods), becomes like him in this super-creation of Virāj, i.e. becomes a creator like Virāj himself.


Verse 1.4.7:

तद्धेदं तर्ह्यव्याकृतमासीत्, तन्नामरूपाभ्यामेव व्याक्रियत, असौनामायमिदंरूप इति; तदिदमप्येतर्हि नामरूपाभ्यामेव व्याक्रियते, असौनामायमिदंरूप इति; स एष इह प्रविष्ट आ नखाग्रेभ्यः, यथा क्षुरः क्षुरधानेऽवहितः स्यात्, विश्वम्भरो वा विश्वम्भरकुलाये; तं न पश्यन्ति । अकृत्स्नो हि सः, प्राणन्नेव प्राणो नाम भवति, वदन् वाक्, पश्यंश्चक्षुः, शृण्वन् श्रोत्रम्, मन्वानो मनः; तान्यस्यैतानि कर्मनामान्येव । स योऽत एकैकमुपास्ते न स वेद, अकृत्स्नो ह्येषोऽत एकैकेन भवति; आत्मेत्येवोपासीत, अत्र ह्येते सर्व एकम् भवन्ति । तदेतत्पदनीयमस्य सर्वस्य यदयमात्मा, अनेन ह्येतत्सर्वं वेद । यथा ह वै पदेनानुविन्देदेवम्; कीर्तिं श्लोकं विन्दते य एवं वेद ॥ ७ ॥

taddhedaṃ tarhyavyākṛtamāsīt, tannāmarūpābhyāmeva vyākriyata, asaunāmāyamidaṃrūpa iti; tadidamapyetarhi nāmarūpābhyāmeva vyākriyate, asaunāmāyamidaṃrūpa iti; sa eṣa iha praviṣṭa ā nakhāgrebhyaḥ, yathā kṣuraḥ kṣuradhāne'vahitaḥ syāt, viśvambharo vā viśvambharakulāye; taṃ na paśyanti | akṛtsno hi saḥ, prāṇanneva prāṇo nāma bhavati, vadan vāk, paśyaṃścakṣuḥ, śṛṇvan śrotram, manvāno manaḥ; tānyasyaitāni karmanāmānyeva | sa yo'ta ekaikamupāste na sa veda, akṛtsno hyeṣo'ta ekaikena bhavati; ātmetyevopāsīta, atra hyete sarva ekam bhavanti | tadetatpadanīyamasya sarvasya yadayamātmā, anena hyetatsarvaṃ veda | yathā ha vai padenānuvindedevam; kīrtiṃ ślokaṃ vindate ya evaṃ veda || 7 ||

7. This (universe) was then undifferentiated. It differentiated only into name and form—it was called such and such, and was of such and such form. So to this day it is differentiated only into name and form—it is called such and such, and is of such and such form. This Self has entered into these bodies up to the tip of the nails—as a razor may be put in its case, or as fire, which sustains the world, may be in its source. People do not see It, for (viewed in Its aspects) It is incomplete. When It does the function of living, It is called the vital force; when It speaks, the organ of speech; when It sees, the eye; when It hears, the ear; and when It thinks, the mind. These are merely Its names according to functions. He who meditates upon each of this totality of aspects does not know, for It is incomplete, (being divided) from this totality by possessing a single characteristic. The Self alone is to be meditated upon, for all these are unified in It. Of all these, this Self alone should be realised, for one knows all these through It, just as one may get (an animal) through its footprints. He who knows It as such obtains fame and association (with his relatives).

All Vedic means consisting of meditation and rites, which depend on several factors such as the agent and culminate in identity with Hiraṇyagarbha, a result achieved through effort, are but co-extensive with this manifested, relative universe. Now the Śruti wishes to indicate the causal state of this manifested universe consisting of means and ends, the state which existed before its manifestation, as the existence of a tree in a seed-form is inferred from its effects such as the sprout, in order that the tree of relative existence, which has one’s actions as its seed and ignorance as the field where it grows, may be pulled up together with its roots. For in the uprooting of it lies the perfection of human achievement. As it has been said in the Upaniṣad as well as the Gītā, ‘With its roots above (i.e. the Undifferentiated) and branches below (Hiraṇyagarbha etc.)’ (Ka. VI. i; G. XV. i). And in the Purāṇa also, ‘The eternal tree of Brahman’ (Mbh. XIV. xlvii. 14; Śi. V. i. 10, 76). This was then: ‘Tat’ (that) refers to the seed-form of the universe before its manifestation. Being remote, it is indicated by a pronoun denoting an object not directly perceived, for the universe that was to emanate from the Undifferentiated is related to past time. The particle ‘ha’ denoting tradition is used to make the meaning easily understood. When it is said, ‘It was then like this,’ one easily comprehends the causal state of the universe, although it is not an object of perception, just as when it is said, ‘There was a king named Yudhiṣṭhira.’ ‘This’ refers to the universe differentiated into name and form, consisting of means and ends, as described above. The co-ordination of the two words ‘that’ and ‘this,’ denoting respectively the remote and present states of the universe, indicates an identity of the universe in these two states, meaning that which was this, and this which was that was undifferentiated. From this it is clear that a nonexistent effect is not produced, nor an existent effect lost. It, this sort of universe, having been undifferentiated, differentiated into name and form. The neuter-passive form of the verb indicates that it differentiated of itself, i.e. manifested itself till it could be clearly perceived in terms of name and form, (Since no effect can be produced without a cause) it is implied that this manifestation took place with the help of the usual auxiliaries, viz. the controller, the agent and the operation of the means. It was called such and such. The use of a pronoun not specifying any particular name indicates that it got some name such as Devádatta or Yajñadatta. And was of such and such form: No particular form such as white or black is mentioned. It had some form, say white or black. So to this day it, an undifferentiated thing, is differentiated into name and form—it is called such and such, and is of such and such form.

This Self, which it is the aim of all scriptures to teach, on which differences of agent, action and result have been superimposed by primordial ignorance, which is the cause of the whole universe, of which name and form consist as they pass from the undifferentiated to the differentiated state, like foam, an impurity, appearing from limpid water, and which is distinct from that name and form, being intrinsically eternal, pure, enlightened and free by nature—this Self, while manifesting undifferentiated name and form, which are a part of It, has entered into these bodies from Hiraṇyagarbha down to a clump of grass, which are the support of the results of people’s actions, and are characterised by hunger etc.

Objection: It was stated before that the undifferentiated universe differentiated of itself. How then is it now stated that the Supreme Self, while manifesting that universe, has entered into it?

Reply: There is nothing wrong in it, for really the Supreme Self was meant as being identical with the undifferentiated universe. We have already said that that universe was necessarily manifested with the help of the controller, the agent and the operation (of the means). This is also borne out by the fact that the word ‘undifferentiated’ has been used co-ordinatively with ‘this.’ Just as this differentiated universe has several distinguishing features like the controller and other factors, which serve as its causes, similarly that undifferentiated universe also must not be without a single one of these distinguishing features. The only difference between them is that the one is differentiated and the other is not. Moreover, we see in the world that people use expressions according to their wish, as for instance, ‘The village has come,’ and ‘The village is deserted.’ Sometimes they mean only a habitation, as when they use the latter expression. Sometimes they mean the inhabitants, as when they use the former expression. Sometimes again the word ‘village’ is used in both the senses, as in the sentence, ‘And one must not enter (Praviś) the village.' Similarly here too, this universe is spoken of as both differentiated and undifferentiated to indicate the identity of the Self and not-Self. Likewise only the (manifested) universe is meant when it is said that this universe is characterised by origin and dissolution. Again, only the Self is meant in such expressions as, ‘(That) great, birthless Self' (IV. iv.. 22, 24, 25), ‘Not gross, not minute’ (III. viii. 8, adapted), ‘This (self) is That which has been described as “Not this, not this,” etc. (III. ix. 26; IV. ii. 4; IV. iv. 22; IV. v. 15).

Objection: The manifested universe is always completely pervaded by the Supreme Self, its mani-festor. So how is It conceived of as entering into it? Only a limited thing can enter into a space that is not occupied by it, as a man can enter into a village etc. But the ether cannot enter into anything, since it is ever present in it.

Tentative answer[5]: The entrance in question may be the assumption of a different feature, as in the case oi a snake born in a rock. To explain: The Supreme Self did not enter into the universe in Its own form, but, while in it, appeared under a different feature[6]; hence It is metaphorically spoken of as having entered it, like the snake that is born in a rock and is within it, or like the water in a cocoanut.

Objection: Not so, for the Śruti says, ‘After projecting it, the Self entered into it’ (Tai. II. vi. 1). This text says that the Creator, after projecting the effect, entered into it unchanged. When it is said, ‘After eating he goes,’ the acts of eating and going, belonging to earlier and later periods, are separate from each other, but the agent is the same. This is an analogous case. It would not be possible if the Self iemains in the universe and changes at the same time. Nor is an entity that has no parts and is unlimited ever seen to enter into something in the sense of leaving one place and being connected with another.

Tentative answer: Well, then, the Self has parts, for the Śruti speaks of Its entrance.

Objection: No, for there are Śruti texts like the following: ‘The Supreme Being is resplendent, formless’ (Mu. II. i. 2), and ‘Without parts, devoid of activity’ (Śv. VI. 19). Also there are Śruti texts denying all particular namable attributes to the Self.

Tentative answer: The entrance may be like that of a reflection.

Objection: No, for it cannot be admitted that the Self is ever removed from anything.

Tentative answer: May it not be like the entrance of an attribute in a substance?

Objection: No, for the Self is not supported by anything. An attribute, which is always dependent on and supported by something else (the substance), is metaphorically spoken of as entering it. But Brahman cannot enter like that, for the Śrutis describe It as independent.

Tentative answer: Suppose we say that the Self has entered into the universe in the same sense as a seed enters into a fruit?

Objection: No, for then It would be subject to such attributes as being possessed of parts, growth and decay, birth and death. But the Self has no such attributes, for it is against such Śruti texts as ‘Birthless, undecaying’ (IV. iv. 25, adapted) as well as against reason.

Tentative answer: Well then, let us say some other entity that is relative and limited has entered into the universe.

Reply (by the Advaitin): Not so, for we find in the Śruti that beginning with, ‘That deity (Existence) thought' (Ch. VI. iii. 2), and ending with, ‘And let me manifest name and form’ (Ibid.), the same deity is spoken of as the agent of entering as well as manifesting the universe. Similarly, ‘After projecting it, the Self entered into it’ (Tai. II. vi. 1), ‘Piercing this dividing line (of the head), It entered through that gate’ (Ai. III. 12), ‘The Wise One, who after projecting all forms names them, and goes on uttering those names’ (Tai, Ā. III..xii. 7), ‘Thou art the boy, and Thou art the girl, Thou art the decrepit man trudging on his staff' (Śv. IV. 3), ‘He made bodies with two feet’ (II. v. 18), ‘He transformed Himself in accordance with each form’ (II. v. 19; Ka. V. ix. 10)—these Śruti texts show that none other than the Supreme Self entered into the universe.

Objection: Since the objects It has entered into mutually differ, the Supreme Self (being identical with them) must be many.

Reply: No, for there are such Śruti texts as the following: 'The same Lord resides in various ways’ (Tai. Ā. III. xiv. 1), ‘Although one, It roamed in many ways’ (Ibid. III. xi. 1), ‘Although one, Thou hast penetrated diverse things’ (Ibid. III. xiv. 3), ‘The one Lord is hidden in all beings, all-pervading and the Self of all’ (Śv. VI. 11).

Objection: Leaving aside the question whether the Supreme Self can or cannot consistently enter, since those objects that have been entered into are subject to transmigration, and the Supreme Self is identical with them, It too comes under transmigration.

Reply: No, for the Śrutis speak of It as being beyond hunger etc.

Objection: It cannot be. for we see that It is happy or miserable, and so on.

Reply: Not so, for the Śruti says, ‘It is not affected by human misery, being beyond it’ (Ka. V. 11).

Objection: This is not correct, for it conflicts with perception etc.

Reply: No, perception and the like have for their object only the particular form (the apparent self) that It takes owing to Its being the support of Its limiting adjunct (mind). Such Śruti texts as, ‘One cannot see the seer of sight’ (III. iv. 2), ‘Through what, O Maitreyī, should one know the knower?’ (II. iv. 14; IV. v. 15), Tt is never known, but is the Knower’ (III. viii. 11), show that the consciousness in question is not of the Self, but that such perceptions as that one is happy or miserable, concern only the reflection of the Self in limiting adjuncts like the intellect, for in the perception, T am this,’ the subject is metaphorically spoken of as co-ordinate with the object (body). Besides, any other self is refuted by the statement. ‘There is no other witness but This’ (III. viii. 11). Happiness or misery, being related to parts of the body, are attributes of the object.

Objection: This is wrong, for the Śruti speaks of their being for the satisfaction of the self, in the words, ‘But it is for one’s own sake (that all is loved), (II. iv. 5; IV. v. 6).

Reply: Not so, for in the words, ‘When there is something else, as it were’ (IV iii. 31), it is taken for granted that the happiness, misery, etc. are for the satisfaction of the self while it is in a state of ignorance. They are not attributes of the Self, for they are denied of the enlightened self, as in such passages as, ‘Then what should one see and through what?’ (II. iv. 14; IV. v. 15), ‘There is no difference whatsoever in It’ (IV. iv. 19; Ka. IV. 11), ‘Then what delusion and what grief can there be for one who sees unity?’ (Iś. 7).

Objection: It is wrong, for it clashes with the system of logic.[7]

Reply: No; from the standpoint of reason too the Self cannot be miserable. For misery, being an object of perception, cannot affect the Self, which is not an object of perception.

Objection: The Self may have misery as the ether has the attribute of sound.

Reply: No, for the two cannot be objects of the same consciousness. The consciousness that perceives happiness and deals with objects of perception only, cannot certainly be supposed to cognise the Self, which is ever to be inferred.[8] If It were so cognised, there would be no subject left, since there is only one Self.

Objection: Suppose we say that the same Self is both subject and object, like a lamp?

Reply: No, for It cannot be both simultaneously. Besides the Self pannot be supposed to have parts.[9] This also refutes the (Buddhist) view that the same consciousness is both subject and object. Moreover, we have no reason to infer that happiness and the Self, which are the objects of perception and inference respectively, stand to each other in the relation of attribute and substance; for misery is always an object of perception and abides in the same substance (body) that has form or colour. Even if the misery of the Self is said to be due to Its contact with the mind,[10] it would make the Self a thing which has parts, is changeful and transitory, for no attribute is ever seen to come or go without making some change in the substance connected with it. And a thing which has no parts is never seen to change, nor is an eternal entity seen to possess transitory attributes. The ether is not accepted as eternal by those who believe in the Vedas, and there is no other illustration.

Objection: Although a thing may change, yet, since the notion of its identity abides, it is eternal.

Reply: No, for change in a thing implies that its parts become otherwise.

Objection: Suppose we say that the same Self is eternal.

Reply: Not so, for a thing that has parts is produced by their combination, hence they may divide again.

Objection: It is wrong, for we do not see this in thunder, for instance.

Reply: Not so, for we can easily infer that it must have been preceded by a combination. Therefore the Self cannot be proved to have transitory attributes like misery.

Objection: If the Supreme Self has no misery, and there is no other entity to be miserable, then it is useless for the scriptures to try to remove misery.

Reply: Not so, for they are meant to remove the false notion of misery superimposed by ignorance. And the Self being admitted to imagine Itself as miserable, the scriptures help to remove that error, as in the case of the failure to count the tenth man, although he was there.[11]

Like the reflection of the sun etc. in water, the entrance of the Self means only Its being perceived like a reflection in the differentiated universe. Before the manifestation of the latter the Self is not perceived, but after it is manifested, the Self is perceived within the intellect, like the reflection of the sun etc. in water and the like. Because It is thus perceived as having entered, as it were, into the universe after manifesting it, It is indicated in such terms as the following: ‘This Self has entered into these bodies’ (this text), ‘After projecting it, the Self entered into it' (Tai. II. vi. i), ‘Ṛiercing this dividing line (of the head), It entered through that gate’ (Ai. III. 12), and ‘That deity (Existence) thought: Well, let me enter into these three gods (Are, water and earth) as this individual self' etc. (Ch. VI. iii. 2). The all-pervading Self, which is without parts, can never be supposed to enter in the sense of leaving a certain quarter, place or time and being joined to new ones. Nor is there, as we have said, any other seer but the Supreme Self, as is testified by such Śruti texts as, ‘There is no other witness but This, no other hearer but This' etc. (III. viii. n). The passages delineating the projection of the universe and the entrance of the Self into it as well as its continuance and dissolution, serve only as aids to the realisation of the Self, for this is described in the Śrutis as the highest end of man. Witness such texts as the following: ‘It knew only Itself.... Therefore It became all’ (I. iv. io), ‘The knower of Brahman attains the highest' (Tai. II. i. i), ‘He who knows that Supreme Brahman becomes Brahman’ (Mu. III. ii. 9), ‘He only knows who has got a teacher' (Ch. VI. xiv. 2), ‘It takes him only so long (as he does not give up the body),' etc. (Ch. VI. xiv. 2).. And the Smṛtis, ‘Then knowing Me truly, he enters into Me' (G. XVIII. 55), ‘That (Self-knowledge) is the chief of all knowledge, for it leads to immortality’ (M. XJI. 85). Besides, since duality has been repudiated, the passages delineating the manifestation etc. of the universe can have the sole aim of helping the realisation of the unity of the Self. Therefore we conclude that the entrance of the Self into the universe is but a metaphorical way of stating that It is perceived in the midst of the latter.

Up to the tip of the nails is the intelligence of the Self perceived. How has the Self entered? This is being explained: As in the world a razor may be put in its case, the barber’s instrument-bag—is perceived as being within it— or as fire, which sustains the world, may be in its source, wood etc.—the predicate is to be repeated with ‘fire’ where it is perceived through friction. As a razor lies in one part of the case, or as fire lies in wood pervading it, so does the Self reside in the body pervading it in a general and particular way. There It is perceived as doing the functions of living as well as sight etc. Therefore people do not see It, realise the Self[12] that has thus entered into the body and does the above functions.

It may be urged that this statement, ‘People do not see It,’ repudiates something for which there was no occasion, for the vision of It is not the topic under consideration. The answer to it is: There is nothing wrong in it, for since the passages delineating the projection etc. of the universe are meant as aids to the realisation of the unity of the Self, the vision of the Self is the subject under consideration. Compare the Śruti, ‘He transformed Himself in accordance with each form; that form of His was for the sake of making Him known’ (II. v. 19). Now the reason is being given why people see It only as doing the functions of the vital force etc. (but not as a whole): For It is incomplete when It does the above functions. Why incomplete? When It does the function of living, It is called the vital force. Because of doing this function only, and none other, the Self is called the vital force, from the derivative meaning of the term, as one is called a cutter or a cook. Therefore, not combining the other aspects doing other functions, It is incomplete. Similarly, when It speaks, the organ of speech (or speaker); when It sees, the eye, or seer; when It hears, the ear, or listener. In the two sentences, ‘When It does the function of living, It is the vital force,’ and ‘When It speaks, the organ of speech,’ the manifestation of its power of action is indicated. While the two sentences, ‘When It sees, the eye’ and ‘When It hears, the ear,’ indicate the manifestation of Its power of knowledge, for this is concerned with name and form. The ear and the eye are the instruments of knowledge, which has name and form as its material, for there is nothing to be known except these two, and the ear and the eye are the instruments to perceive them. And action has name and form as its auxiliaries and inheres in the vital force; the organ of speech is the instrument to manifest this action inherent in the vital force. Likewise the Self is called the hand, the foot and the organs of excretion and generation, which are all suggested by the organ of speech. The whole differentiated universe is this much. It will be said later on, ‘This (universe) indeed consists of three things: name, form and action’ (I. vi. i). And when It thinks, the mind, that which thinks. The word ‘mind’ also means the common instrument of the.different manifestations of the power of knowledge. But here it denotes the Self, the agent who thinks.

These, the vital force etc., are merely Its names according to functions, not describing the Self as It is. Hence they do not express the entity of the Self as a whole. Thus the Self is differentiated by the activities of living etc. into name and form such as the vital force, which are engendered by those different activities, and is manifested at the same time (but not realised as a- whole). He who meditates through his mind upon each of this totality of aspects doing the functions of living etc., qualified as the vital force or the eye, without combining the other aspects doing particular functions—meditates that this is the Self, does not know Brahman. Why? For It, this Self, is incomplete, being divided from this totality of aspects doing the functions of living etc. by possessing a single characteristic, and not including the other characteristics. As long as the man knows the Self as such, as possessed of the natural functions, and thinks that It sees, hears or touches, he does not really know the whole Self.

Through what kind of vision can he know It? This is being explained: The Self alone is to be meditated upon. That which possesses the characteristics such as living that have been mentioned—includes them—is the Self.[13] Combining all the characteristics, It then becomes the whole. It is as the Reality that It includes those characteristics due to the functions of particular limiting adjuncts such as the vital force. As it will be said later on, ‘It thinks, as it were, and shakes, as it were’ (IV. iii. 7). Therefore the Self alone is to be meditated upon. When perceived thus as the Reality, It becomes complete. How is It complete? This is being answered: For all these differences due to the limiting adjuncts such as the vital force, and denoted by names arising from the functions of living etc., as described above, are unified in It, become one with the unconditioned Self, as the different reflections of the sun in water become one in the sun.

‘The Self alone is to be meditated upon'—this is not an original injunction[14] (but a restrictive one), for meditation on the Self is known as a possible alternative.[15] (In fact, neither injunction is necessary on the point, for this meditation is inevitable, in the following way:) The knowledge of the Self has been imparted by such Śruti passages dealing with the subject as, 'The Brahman that is immediate and direct' (III. iv. 1-2; III. v. 1), ‘Which is the Self? This (infinite entity) that is identified with the intellect,’ etc. (IV. iii. 7). The very knowledge of the nature of the Self removes the ignorance about It, consisting in identification with the non-Self, and the superimposing of action, its factors, principal and subsidiary, and its results (on the Self). When that is removed, evils such as desire cannot exist, and consequently thinking of the non-Self is also gone. Hence on the principle of the residuum thinking of the Self follows as a matter of course. Therefore meditation on It, from this point of view, has not to be enjoined, for it is already known (from other sources).

On this some say: Apart from the question whether meditation on the Self is known as just a possible alternative or as something that is always known, the present case must be an original injunction, for knowledge and meditation being the same, this (meditation on the Self) is not something already known. The clause, ‘He does not know,’ introduces knowledge, and the sentence, ‘The Self alone is to be meditated upon,’ coming just after that, indicates that the words ‘knowledge’ and ‘meditation’ have the same meaning. Such Śruti texts as, ‘For one knows all these through It’ (this text), and ‘It knew only Itself’ (I. iv. 10), show that knowledge is meditation. And this, not being familiar to people, requires an injunction. Nor is a man induced to act merely by a statement of the nature of a thing. Therefore this must be an original injunction.

Its similarity to the injunctions about rites also corroborates this view. For instance, ‘One should sacrifice,’ ‘One should offer oblations,' etc., are injunctions about rites, and we do not see any difference between these and the injunctions about meditation on the Self such as, ‘The Self alone is to be meditated upon,’ and ‘The Self, my dear, is to be realised’ ill. iv. 5; IV. v. 6). Besides knowledge is a mental act. Just as mental acts are enjoined by such (ritualistic) texts as, ‘Just before uttering the invocation ending with ‘Vauṣaṭ’ (the invoking priest) should meditate upon the deity to whom the offering is to be made’ (Ai. B. XI. viii.), similarly cognitive acts are enjoined by such texts as, ‘The Self alone is to be meditated upon,’ ‘(The Self) is to be reflected on and meditated upon’ (II. iv. 5; IV. v. 6). And we have said that the words ‘knowledge’ and ‘meditation’ are synonymous. Another reason in support of this view is that the requisite effort (in meditation also) should have its three divisions. That is to say, just as in the effort in connection with the injunction, ‘One should sacrifice,’ we know that in order to satisfy our curiosity about the proposed act, it must have three divisions, viz. ‘What is it?’ ‘Through what means?’ and ‘In what way?’—similarly, in the effort in connection with the injunction, ‘One should meditate,’ in answer to one’s queries regarding what to meditate upon, through what means to meditate, and in what way to meditate, the scriptures themselves support these three divisions by saying that the Self is to be meditated upon, through the mind, and by the practice of renunciation,[16] continence, equanimity, self-control, self-withdrawal,[17] fortitude etc., and so on. And just as the entire section dealing with the new and full moon sacrifices etc. is used as part of the injunction regarding these sacrifices, similarly the section of the Upaniṣads dealing with meditation on the Self must be used only as part of the injunction regarding this meditation. Such passages as ‘Not this, not this’ (II. iii. 6), ‘Not. gross,’ (III. viii. 8), ‘One only without a second’ (Ch. VI. ii. i), ‘Beyond hunger etc.’ (III. v. i, adapted), are to be used as setting forth the particular nature of the Self, the object of meditation. And the result is liberation or the cessation of ignorance.

Others say that meditation generates a new special kind of consciousness regarding the Self, through which the latter is known, and which alone removes ignorance, and not the knowledge due to the Vedic dicta about the Self. And in support of this view they cite such texts as the following: ‘(The aspirant after Brahman) knowing about this alone, should attain intuitive knowledge’ (IV. iv. 21), '(The Self) is to be realised—to be heard of, reflected on and meditated upon’ (II. iv. 5; IV. v. 6), ‘That is to be sought, and That one should desire to realise’ (Ch. VIII. vii. 1, 3).

Both views are wrong, for there is no reference to anything else in the passage in question. To be explicit: The sentence, 'The Self alone is to be meditated upon,’ is not an original injunction. Why? Because except the knowledge that arises from the dictum setting forth the nature of the Self and refuting the non-Self, there is nothing to be done, either mentally or outwardly. An injunction is appropriate only where, over and above the knowledge that arises immediately from hearing a sentence of the nature of an injunction, an activity on the part of a man is easily understood, as in sentences like, ‘One who desires heaven must perform the new and full moon sacrifices.’ The knowledge arising from a sentence enjoining these sacrifices is certainly not the performance of them. This depends on considerations such as whether a person is entitled to perform them. But apart from the knowledge arising from such passages delineating the Self as, ‘Not this, not this,’ there is no scope for human activity as in the case of the new and full moon sacrifices etc., because that knowledge puts a stop to all activity. For a neutral knowledge cannot initiate any activity, since such passages as, ‘One only without a second,’ and ‘Thou art That’ (Ch. VI. vii. 7), merely remove the consciousness of any other entity but the Self or Brahman. And when this is gone, np activity is possible, for they^are contradictory to each other.

Objection: The mere knowledge arising from those passages does not suffice to remove the consciousness of entities other than the Self or Brahman.

Reply: Not so, for such passages as, ‘Thou art 1 That,’ ‘Not this, not this,’ ‘All this is but the Self’ (Ch. VII. xxv. 2), ‘One only without a second,’ ‘This universe is but Brahman and immortal' (Mu. II. ii. n), ‘There is no other witness but This’ (III. viii. n), and ‘Know that alone to be Brahman' (Ke. I. 5-9), describe the Reality alone.

Objection: Do they not supply the object for the injunction about realising the Self?

Reply: No, for we have already answered that point by saying that there is no reference to anything else in those passages. That is to say, since sentences such as, ‘Thou art That,’ which only delineate the nature of the Self, immediately lead to Its realisation, there is no further action to be done with regard to the injunction about that realisation.

Objection: A man does not proceed to know the Self immediately on hearing a statement of the nature of the Self, unless there is an injunction to that effect.

Reply: Not so, for the knowledge of the Self is already attained by hearing the dictum about It. So what is the good of doing It over again?

Objection: He may not even proceed to hear about the Self. (So an injunction is necessary.)

Reply: Not so, for it would lead to a regressus in infinitum. In other words, just as without an injunction he does not proceed to hear the meaning of a passage about the Self, similarly he would not, in the absence of another injunction, proceed to hear the meaning of a passage enjoining this; so another injunction is necessary. Similarly with that injunction too. Hence there would be a regressus in infinitum.

Objection: Is not the train of remembrance of the knowledge of the Self generated by the passage relating to It something different from the knowledge itself arising from the hearing of It (and hence that is to be prescribed)?

Reply: No, for thé remembrance of the Self comes automatically. That is to say, as soon as the knowledge of the Self arises in consequence of hearing a dictum delineating It,' it necessarily destroys the false notion about It. It could not arise otherwise. And when this false notion about the Self is gone, memories due to that, which are natural to man and concern the multitude of things other than the Self, cannot last. Moreover, everything else is then known to be an evil. In other words, when the Self is known, things other than It are realised as evils, being full of defects such as transitoriness, painfulness and impurity, while the Self is contrary to them. Therefore the memories of notions about the non-Self die out when the Self is known. As the only alternative left, the train of remembrance of the knowledge that the Self is one, which comes automatically, is not to be prescribed. Besides, the memory of the Self removes the painful defects such as grief, delusion, fear and effort, for these defects spring from the opposite kind of knowledge. Compare the Śruti texts, ‘Then what delusion can there be?’ (Īś. 7), ‘Knowing (the bliss of Brahman) he is not afraid of anything’ (Tai. II. 9), 'You have attained That which is free from fear, O Janaka' (IV. ii. 4), ‘The knot of the heart is broken’ (Mu. II. ii. 8), and so on.

Objection: Well then, the control of the mind may be something different. In other words, since the control of mental states is something different from the knowledge of the Self arising from the Vedic texts, and since we know this has been prescribed for practice in another system (Yoga), let this be enjoined.

Reply: No, for it is not known as a means of liberation. In the Upaniṣads nothing is spoken of as a means to the attainment of the highest end of man except the knowledge of the identity of the self and Brahman. Witness hundreds of Śruti texts like the following: ‘It knew only Itself.... Therefore It became all’ (I. iv. 10), ‘The knower of Brahman attains the highest (Tai. II. i. 1), ‘He who knows that Supreme Brahman becomes Brahman’ (Mu. III. ii. 9), ‘He only knows who has got a teacher. It takes him only so long (as he does not give up the body)’ (Ch. VI. xiv. 2),’He who knows it as such indeed becomes the fearless Brahman’ (IV. iv. 25; Nr. Ut. VIII). Besides there is no other means for the control of mental states except the knowledge of the Self and the train of remembrance about it. We have said this as a tentative admission; really we know of no other means of liberation except the knowledge of Brahman.

Moreover, there being no curiosity to know, no effort is necessary. To be explicit: You said, in the effort in connection with injunctions such as, ‘One should sacrifice,’ there is the curiosity to know what the sacrifice is about, what its means are, and how it is to be performed, and it is satisfied by the mention of the goal, the means and the method of the sacrifice; similarly here too, in the injunction about the knowledge of the Self, those things are necessary. But you are wrong, for all curiosity is ended as soon as one knows the meaning of such texts as, ‘One only without a second,’ ‘Thou art That,’ ‘Not this, not this,’ ‘Without interior or exterior’ (II. vi. 19; III. viii. 8), and ‘This self is Brahman’ (II. v. 19). And a man does not proceed to know the meaning of those passages, prompted by an injunction. We have already said that if another injunction is needed for this, it would lead to a regressus in infinitum. Nor is an injunction noticed in such sentences as, ‘Brahman is one only without a second,’ for they finish by simply stating the nature of the Self.

Objection: Do they not lose their authority (as Vedas) by being mere statements of the nature of a thing? In other words, just as passages like, ‘He (the deity Fire) cried. That is why he was called Rudra’ (Tai. S. I. v. i. i), being a mere narration of an event,[18] have no authority, so also the passages delineating the Self have none.

Reply: Not so, for there is a difference (between the two sets of passages). The test of the authority or otherwise of a passage is not whether it states a fact or an action, but its capacity to generate certain and fruitful knowledge. A passage that has this is authoritative, ánd one that lacks it, is not. But we want to ask you: Is or is not certain and fruitful knowledge generated by passages setting forth the nature of the Self, and if so, how can they lose their authority? Do you not see the result of knowledge in the removal of the evils which are the root of transmigration, such as ignorance, grief, delusion and fear? Or do you not hear those hundreds of Upaniṣadic texts such as, ‘Then what delusion and what grief can there be for one who secs unity?’ (Īś. 7), ‘I am but a knower of (Vedic) Mantras, not of the Self, so I am tormented with grief, and you, sir, must take me beyond the reach of it’ (Ch. VII. i. 3). Do passages like, ‘He cried,' lead to this kind of Certain and fruitful knowledge? If they do not, they may well be without authority. But how can the fact of their having no authority take away the authority of passages leading to certain and fruitful knowledge? And if these are without authority, what trust can one repose in passages dealing with the new and full moon sacrifices, for instance?

Objection: These have authority because they generate knowledge leading to action on the part of a man. But passages inculcating the knowledge of the Self do not do that.

Reply: True, but it is nothing against them, for there is reason enough for their authority. And that reason is what we have already stated, and none other. It is not a reason to disprove the authority of passages inculcating the Self that they generate knowledge which has the effect of destroying the seeds of all activity, rather it is their ornament. You said (p. 129), sentences like, ‘(The aspirant after Brahman) knowing about this alone should attain intuitive knowledge,’ convey the necessity of meditation in addition to knowing the meaning of the Vedic dicta. It is true, but they do not constitute an original injunction. Since meditation on the Self is already known as a possible alternative, they can only be restrictive.

Objection: How is that meditation already known as a possible alternative, since, as you said, on the principle of the residuum the train of remembrance of the knowledge of the Self is an inevitable fact?

Reply: It is true, but nevertheless, since the resultant of past actions that led to the formation of the present body must produce definite results, speech, mind and the body are bound to work even after the highest realisation, for actions that have begun to bear fruit are stronger than knowledge; as for instance an arrow that has been let fly continues its course for some time. Hence the operation of knowledge, being weaker than they, (is liable to be interrupted by them and) becomes only a possible alternative. Therefore there is need to regulate the train- of remembrance of the knowledge of the Self by having recourse to means such as renunciation and dispassion; but it is not something that is to be originally enjoined, being, as we said, already known as a possible alternative. Hence we conclude that passages such as, ‘(The aspirant after Brahman) knowing about this alone, should attain intuitive knowledge,’ are only meant to lay down the rule that the train of remembrance— already known (as a possible alternative)—of the knowledge of the Self must be kept up, for they can have no other import.

Objection: This should be a meditation on the non-Self, for the particle ‘iti’ (as) has been used. In passages such as, ‘It should be meditated upon as dear’ (IV. i. 3), the meaning is not that features such as dearness are to be meditated upon, but that the vital force etc. possessing these features should be meditated upon. Similarly here also, from the use of the particle ‘iti’ along with the word ‘Self’ it is understood that something other than the Self (i.e. the Undifferentiated) but having the features of the Self is to be meditated upon. Another reason in support of this view is the difference of the passage in question from another where the Self is presented as the object of meditation. For instance, it will be stated later on, ‘One should meditate only upon the world of the Self’ (I. iv. 15). In that passage the Self alone is meant to be the object of meditation, for there is the accusative inflexion in the word ‘Self.’ Here, however, there is no accusative inflexion, but the particle ‘iti’ is used along with the word ‘Self.’ Hence it is understood that the Self is not the object of meditation here, but something else having the features of the Self.

Reply: No, for at the end of this very passage (this text) the Self alone, we find, is presented as the object of meditation, ‘Of all these, this Self alone should be realised,’ (and elsewhere), ‘This Self which is innermost’ (I. iv. 8), and ‘It knew only Itself’ (I. iv 10).

Objection: The Self is not the object of meditation, for the vision of that which entered is negated. In other words, the Śruti precludes the vision of that very Self whose entrance (into the universe) was described, for the words, ‘People do not see It’ (this text), refer to the Self which is under consideration. Hence the Self is certainly not to be meditated upon.

Reply: Not so, for this is because of the defect of incompleteness. In other words, the preclusion of the vision is only to indicate the defect of incompleteness in the Self, not to forbid It as an object of meditation, for It is qualified by possessing the functions of living etc. If the Self were not meant to be the object of meditation, the mention of Its incompleteness when endowed with single functions such as living, in the passage, 'For It is incomplete (being divided) from this totality by possessing a single characteristic' (this text), would be meaningless. Hence the conclusion is that that Self alone which is not possessed of single features is to be meditated upon, for It is complete. The use of the particle ‘iti’ along with the word ‘Self,’ to which you referred, only signifies that the truth of the Self is really beyond the scope of the term and the concept ‘Self.’ Otherwise the Śruti would only say. ‘One should meditate upon the Self.’ But this would imply that the term and the concept ‘Self’ were permissible with regard to the Self. That, however, is repugnant to the Śruti. Witness such passages, as ‘Not this, not this' (II. iii. 6), Through what, O Maitreyī, should one know the Knower?’ (II. iv. 14; IV. v. 15), ‘It is never known, but is the Knower’ (III. viii. 11), and ‘Whence speech returns baffled together with the mind’ (Tai. II. iv. 1 and ix. 1). As for the passage, ‘One should meditate only upon the world of the Self,’ since it is meant to preclude the possibility of meditation on things other than the Self, it does not convey a different meaning from the one we have been discussing.

Objection: Since they are alike incompletely known, the Self and the non-Self are both to be known. Such being the case, why should care be taken to know the Self alone, as is evident from the passage, ‘The Self alone is to be meditated upon,' and not the other?

Reply: Of all these, this entity called Self, which we are considering, alone should be realised, and nothing else. The ‘of’ has a partitive force, meaning ‘among all these.’

Objection: Is the rest not to be known at all?

Reply: Not so. Although it is to be known, it does not require a separate knowledge over and above that of the Self. Why? For one knows all these things other than the Self through It, when the Self is known.

Objection: But we cannot know one thing by knowing another. '

Reply: We shall answer the point while explaining the passage relating to the drum etc. (II. iv. 7).

Objection: How is the Self the one that should be realised?

Reply: Just as in the world one may get a missing. animal that is wanted back, by searching it through its footprints —‘foot’ here means the ground with the print of hoof-marks left by a cow etc.—similarly when the Self is attained, everything is automatically attained. This is the idea.

Objection: The topic was knowledge—when the Self is known, everything else is known. So why is a different topic, viz. attainment, introduced here?

Reply: Not so, for the Śruti uses the words ‘knowledge’ and ‘attainment’ as synonymous. The non-attainment of the Self is but the ignorance of It. Hence the knowledge of the Self is Its attainment. The attainment of the Self cannot be, as in the case of things other than It, the obtaining of something not _ obtained before, for here there is no difference between the person attaining and the object attained. Where the Self has to attain something other than Itself, the Self is the attainer and the non-Self is the object attained. This, not being already attained, is separated by acts such as producing, and is to be attained by the initiation of a particular action with the help of particular auxiliaries. And that attainment of something new is transitory, being due to desire and action that are themselves the product of a false notion, like the birth of a son etc. in a dream. But this Self is the very opposite of that. By the very fact of Its being the Self, It is not separated by acts such as producing. But although It is always attained, It is separated by ignorance only. Just as when a mother-of-pearl appears through mistake as a piece of silver, the non-apprehension of the former, although it is being perceived all the while, is merely due to the obstruction of the false impression, and its (subsequent) apprehension is but knowledge, for this is what removes the obstruction of false impression, similarly here also’ the non-attainment of the Self is merely due to the obstruction of ignorance. Therefore the attainment of It is simply the removal of that obstruction by knowledge; in no other sense it is consistent. Hence we shall explain how for the realisation of the Self every other means but knowledge is useless. Therefore the Śruti, wishing to express the indubitable identity of meaning of knowledge and attainment, says after introducing knowledge, ‘May get,’ for the root ‘vid’ also means ‘to get.’

Now the result of meditation on the characteristic ia being stated: He who knows It as such, knows how this Self, entering into name and form, became famous through that name and form as the ‘Self,’ and got the association of the vital force etc., obtains fame and association with his dear ones. Or, he-who knows the Self as described above obtains Kirti or the knowledge of unity coveted by seekers of liberation, and Śloka or liberation which results from that knowledge —gets these primary results’ of knowledge.


Verse 1.4.8:

तदेतत्प्रेयः पुत्रात्, प्रेयो वित्तात्, प्रेयोऽन्यस्मात्सर्वस्मात्, अन्तरतरं, यदयमात्मा । स योऽन्यमात्मनः प्रियं ब्रुवाणं ब्रूयात्, प्रियं रोत्स्यतीति, ईश्वरो ह, तथैव स्यात्; आत्मानमेव प्रियमुपासीत; स य आत्मानमेव प्रियमुपास्ते न हास्य प्रियम् प्रमायुकम् भवति ॥ ८ ॥

tadetatpreyaḥ putrāt, preyo vittāt, preyo'nyasmātsarvasmāt, antarataraṃ, yadayamātmā | sa yo'nyamātmanaḥ priyaṃ bruvāṇaṃ brūyāt, priyaṃ rotsyatīti, īśvaro ha, tathaiva syāt; ātmānameva priyamupāsīta; sa ya ātmānameva priyamupāste na hāsya priyam pramāyukam bhavati || 8 ||

8. This Self is dearer than a son, dearer than wealth, dearer than everything else, and is innermost. Should a person (holding the Self as dear) say to one calling anything else dearer than the Self, '(What you hold) dear will die'—he is certainly competent (to say so)—it will indeed come true. One should meditate upon the Self alone as dear. Of him who meditates upon the Self alone as dear, the dear ones are not mortal.

Here is another reason why the Self should be known to the exclusion of everything else. This Self is dearer than a son: A son is universally held dear in the world; but the Self is dearer than he. which shows that It is extremely dear. Similarly dearer than wealth such as gold or jewels, and everything else, whatever is admittedly held dear in the world. Why is the Self dearer than those things, and not the organs etc.? This is being explained: And is innermost. The body and the organs are inner and nearer to oneself than a son or wealth, for instance, which are external things. But this Self is nearer than those even. A thing which is extremely dear deserves to be attained by the utmost effort. So is this Self, which is dearer than everything else held dear in the world. Therefore one should make the utmost effort to attain It, evep abandoning that which is imposed as a duty[19] on one, for the attainment of other dear objects. But one may ask, when both Self and non-Self are dear, and the choice of one means the rejection of the other, why should the Self alone be chosen to the exclusion of the other, and not inversely? This is being answered: Should a person holding the Self as dear say to one calling anything else but the Self, such as a son, dearer than the Self, ‘What you hold dear, for instance, the son, will die (lit. will meet with the extinction of life)’—Why does he say like this? Because he is certainly competent to say so. Hence— ii, what he said, will indeed come true, the dear one will die, for he speaks the truth. Therefore he is in a position to say like that. Some say that the word ‘īśvara’ (competent) means ‘swift.’ It might if it was commonly used in that sense. Therefore, giving up all other dear things, one should meditate upon the Self alone as dear. Of him who meditates upon the Self alone as dear, who knows that the Self alone is dear and nothing else, and thinks of It with the full conviction that the other things commonly held dear are really anything but dear—of one possessed of this knowledge the dear ones are not mortal. This is a. mere restatement of a universal fact,[20] for a knower of the Self has nothing else to call dear or the opposite. Or it may be a eulogy on the choice of the Self as dear (in preference to non-Self); or it may be the declaration of a result for one who is an imperfect knower of the Self, if he meditates upon the Self as dear, for a suffix signifying a habit has been used in the word ‘Pramāyuka’ (mortal).[21]


Verse 1.4.9:

तदाहुः, यत् ‘ब्रह्मविद्यया सर्वम् भविष्यन्तः मनुष्या मन्यन्ते, किमु तद्ब्रह्मावेद्यस्मात्तत्सर्वमभवदिति ॥ ९ ॥

tadāhuḥ, yat ‘brahmavidyayā sarvam bhaviṣyantaḥ manuṣyā manyante, kimu tadbrahmāvedyasmāttatsarvamabhavaditi || 9 ||

9. They, say: Men think, Through the knowledge of Brahman we shall become all.[22] Well, what did that Brahman know by which It became all?

In the words, ‘The Self alone is to be meditated upon’ (I. iv. 7), the knowledge of Brahman which it is the aim of the whole Upaniṣad to impart, has been briefly indicated. With a view to explaining this aphorism, the Śruti, in order to state the necessity of this knowledge, makes this introduction: They say. ‘Tat’ (that) is preparatory to what is going to be unfolded in the next clause. ‘They’ refers to- those seekers of Brahman who, on getting a teacher who is like a boat on that boundless ocean which has for its water the painful struggle due to rotation in the cycle of birth, decay and death, desire to cross that ocean, and being disgusted.with thejworld of means and ends consisting or righteousness and unrighteousness, their means and their results, long to attain the eternal, supreme good which is entirely different from the above. What do they say? This is being stated: Men think, ‘Through the knowledge of Brahman or the Supreme Self we shall become all, excluding nothing.’ The use of the word ‘men’ indicates their special aptitude for this as they are specially qualified for the achievement of prosperity and liberation, This is the idea. As those seekers think with regard to rites that they would bring sure results, similarly they think that the knowledge of Brahman is sure to lead to identity with all, for the Vedas are equally the authority for both. Now this seems to be something inconsistent, hence we ask, what did that Brahman by knowing which men think they will become all, know by which It became all? And the Śrutis say that It is all. If It became all without knowing anything, let it be the same with others too, what is the use of the knowledge of Brahman? If, on the other hand, It became all by knowing something, then this identity with all which is the result of the knowledge of Brahman, being the product of knowledge, becomes just like the resuít of an action, and therefore transitory. There would also be a regressus in infinitum, viz. that too had become all by knowing something else, that earlier thing, again, by knowing something else, and so on. We take it for granted that It did not become all without knowing something, for that would be distorting the meaning of the scriptures. But the charge of the result being transitory stands, does it not?—No, none of those charges can be levelled at it, for there is a particular meaning to it.

If indeed that Brahman became(?) all by knowing something, we ask, what was it? T(?) is objection the text gives the following absolutely flawless(?) reply:



Verse 1.4.10:

ब्रह्म वा इदमग्र आसीत्, तदात्मानमेवावेत्, अहम् ब्रह्मास्मीति । तस्मात्तत्सर्वमभवत्; तद्यो यो देवानाम् प्रत्यबुभ्यत स एव तदभवत्, तथार्षीणाम्, तथा मनुष्याणाम्; तद्धैतत्पश्यन्नृषिर्वामदेवः प्रतिपेदे, अहम् मनुरभवं सूर्यश्चेति । तदिदमप्येतर्हि य एवं वेद, अहम् ब्रह्मास्मीति, स इदं सर्वम् भवति, तस्य ह न देवाश्चनाभूत्या ईशते, आत्मा ह्येषां स भवति; अथ योऽन्यां देवतामुपास्ते, अन्योऽसावन्योऽहमस्मीति, न स वेद, यथा पशुरेवम् स देवानाम् । यथा ह वै बहवः पशवो मनुष्यम् भुञ्ज्युः, एवमेकैकः पुरुषो देवान् भुनक्ति; एकस्मिन्नेव पशावादीयमानेऽप्रियम् भवति, किंउ बहुषु? तस्मादेषाम् तन्न प्रियम् यदेतन्मनुष्याविद्युः ॥ १० ॥

brahma vā idamagra āsīt, tadātmānamevāvet, aham brahmāsmīti | tasmāttatsarvamabhavat; tadyo yo devānām pratyabubhyata sa eva tadabhavat, tathārṣīṇām, tathā manuṣyāṇām; taddhaitatpaśyannṛṣirvāmadevaḥ pratipede, aham manurabhavaṃ sūryaśceti | tadidamapyetarhi ya evaṃ veda, aham brahmāsmīti, sa idaṃ sarvam bhavati, tasya ha na devāścanābhūtyā īśate, ātmā hyeṣāṃ sa bhavati; atha yo'nyāṃ devatāmupāste, anyo'sāvanyo'hamasmīti, na sa veda, yathā paśurevam sa devānām | yathā ha vai bahavaḥ paśavo manuṣyam bhuñjyuḥ, evamekaikaḥ puruṣo devān bhunakti; ekasminneva paśāvādīyamāne'priyam bhavati, kiṃu bahuṣu? tasmādeṣām tanna priyam yadetanmanuṣyāvidyuḥ || 10 ||

10. This (self) was indeed brahman in the beginning. It knew only I(?) as. ‘I am Brahmaṇ.’ Therefore It became all. And whoever among the gods knew It all became That; and the same with sages and so on. The sage Vāmadeva, while realising thi(?)elf) as That, knew, ‘I was Manu, and the s(?)’ And to this day whoever in like manner k(?)s It as, ‘I am Brahman,’ becomes all this (?)verse). Even the gods cannot prevail against(?) him, for he becomes their self. While (?)who worships another go(?)hinking, ‘He is one, and I am another,’ d(?) not know. He is like an animal to the god(?)As many animals serve a man, so does each (?)n serve the gods. Even if one animal is t(?)n away, it causes anguish, what should one; (?) of many animals? Therefore it is not liked(?) them that men should know this.

Prima facie view: Brahman here must be the conditioned Brahman,[23] for then only can the identity with all be t(?)roduct of effort. The Supreme Brahman cannot (?)me all as a result of knowledge. But this identity (?) all is spoken of as a result of knowledge: ‘There (?) It became all.’ Hence the Brahman referred to i(?) passage, ‘This was indeed Brahman in the beginn(?) must be the conditioned Brahman.

Or, since(?)n alone are qualified (for this identification with(?)the word ‘Brahman’ may refer to a future knowe(?) Brahman who will be identified with It. For in (?) passage, ‘Men think... we shall become all’ ((?). 9), men have been introduced, and it has alread(?)en said that they alone are specially qualified for (?) practice of the means of prosperity and liberatio(?)neither the Supreme Brahman nor Hiraṇyagarbha(?)he conditioned Brahman. Therefore by the word (?)ahman’ is meant a man who through the knowledge(?) the conditioned Brahman—identified with the who(?)niverse—combined with rites, attained identity with(?)e conditioned Brahman (Hiraṇyagarbha), and (?)ing away from all enjoyments (in that ! state) and having broken his ties of desire and action by attaining everything, sought unity with the Supreme Brahman through the knowledge of It. It is a common occurrence in the world that words are used having reference to future states, as in the sentence, ‘They are cooking rice,’[24] and in the scriptures too, ‘The monk,[25] after performing a sacrifice in which wishing fearlessness to all beings is his fee to the priests,’ etc. (Va. X.). Similarly here also Brahman means a man desiring to know Brahman and aspiring identity with It. This is the view of some.[26]

Reply: Not so, for that kind of identity with all would be open to the charge of transitoriness. There is no such thing in the world that really assumes a different state through some cause and still is eternal. Similarly, if identity with all be due to the knowledge of Brahman, it cannot at the same time be eternal. And if it be transitory, it would be, as we have already said, like the result of an action. But if by identity with all you mean the cessation, through the knowledge of Brahman, of that idea of not being all which is due to ignorance, then it would be futile to understand by the term ‘Brahman’ a man who will be Brahman. Even before knowing Brahman, everybody, being Brahman, is really always identical with all, but ignorance superimposes on him the idea that he is not Brahman and not all, as a mother-of-pearl is mistaken for silver, or as the sky is imagined to be concave, or blue, or the like. Similarly, if you think that here also the idea of not being Brahman and not being all that has been superimposed on Brahman by ignorance, is removed by the knowledge of Brahman, then, since the Vedas speak the truth, it is proper to say that what was really the Supreme Brahman is referred to in the sentence, ‘This was indeed Brahman in the beginning,’ for that is the primary meaning of the word ‘Brahman.’ But one must not think that the word 'Brahman' here means a man who will be Brahman, which would be contrary to the meaning of that term. For it is wrong to give up the plain meaning of a word used in the Śruti and put a new meaning in its place, unless there is a higher purpose behind it.

Objection: But the fact of not being Brahman and not being all exists apart from the creation of ignorance.

Reply: No, for then it cannot be removed by the knowledge of Brahman. This knowledge has never been observed either directly to remove some characteristic of a thing or to create one. But everywhere it is seen to remove ignorance. Similarly here also let the idea of not being Brahman and not being all that is due to ignorance, be removed by the knowledge of Brahman, but it can neither create nor put a stop to a real entity. Hence it is entirely futile to give up the plain meaning of a word used in the Śruti and put a new meaning in its place.

Objection: But is not ignorance out of place in Brahman?

Reply: Not so, for knowledge regarding Brahman has been enjoined. When there has been no superimposition of silver on a motheṛ-of-pearl, and it is directly visible, no one takes the trouble to say it is a mother-of-pearl, and not silver. Similarly, were there no superimposition of ignorance on Brahman, the knowledge of unity regarding Brahman would not be enjoined in such terms as the following: All this is Existence, All this is Brahman,[27] ‘All this is the Self' (Ch. VII. xxv. 2), and This duality has no existence apart from Brahman.[28]

Objection: We do not say that there is no superimposition on Brahman of attributes not belonging to It, as in the case of a mother-of-pearl, but 1hat Brahman is not the cause of the superimposition of these attributes on Itself, nor the author of ignorance.

Reply: Let it be so. Brahman is not the author of ignorance nor subject to error. But it is not admitted that there is any other conscious entity but Brahman which is the author of ignorance or subject tc error. Witness such Śruti texts as, ‘There is no ether knower but Him’ (III. vii. 23), ‘There is no other knower but This' (III. viii. 11), ‘Thou art That’ (Ch. VI. viii. 7), ‘It knew only Itself as, “I am Brahman”’ (this text), and ‘He (who worships another god thinking), “He is one, and I am another,” does not know’ (Ibid.). And the Smṛtis: ‘(Living) the same in all beings’ (G. XIII. 27), ‘I am the self, O Arjuna (dwelling in the minds of all beings)’ (G. X. 20), and ‘(Wise men are even-minded) to a dog as well as a Caṇḍāla’ (G. V. 18). And the Vedic Mantras: ‘He who (sees) all beings (in himself)’ (Iś. 6), and ‘When all beings (have become his self)’ (Iś. 7).

Objection: In that case scriptural instruction is useless.

Reply: Quite so, let it be, when the truth has been known.

Objection: But it is also useless to know the truth.

Reply: No, for we see it removes ignorance.

Objection: If there is unity, this removal of ignorance also is impossible.

Reply: Not so, for it contradicts experience.

We actually see that the knowledge of unity alone dispels ignorance. If you deny an observed fact, saying it is impossible, you would be contradicting experience, a thing which nobody will allow. Nor is there any question of impossibility with regard to an observed fact, because it has actually been observed.

Objection: But this observation also is impossible.

Reply: There also the same logic will apply.

Objection: ‘One indeed becomes good through good work’ (III. ii. 13), ‘It is followed by knowledge, work’ (IV. iv. 2), ‘The individual self, the Puruṣa, is a thinker, knower and doer’ (Pr. IV. 9)—from such Śruti and Smṛti texts as well as from reason we know that there is a transmigrating self other than and distract from the Supreme Self. And the latter is known to be distinct from the former from such Śruti texts as the following: ‘This (self) is That which has been described as “Not this, not this,”’ (III. iv. 26), ‘It transcends hunger etc.,’[29] ‘The Self that is sinless, undecaying, deathless’ (Ch. VIII. vii. 13), and ‘Under the mighty rule of this Immutable’ (III. viii. 9). Again, in the systems of logic (Vaiśeṣika and Nyāya) advocated by Kaṇāda and Gautama, the existence of a God distinct from the transmigrating self is established through argument. That the latter is different from God is clearly seen from its activity due to its desire to get rid of the misery of relative existence. Also from such Śruti and Smṛti texts as: ‘It is without speech and without zeal’ (Ch. III. xiv. 2), and T have no duties, O Arjuna’ (G. III. 32). And from the distinct mention of God as the object of search and the individual self as the seeker, in such (Śruti) passages as: ‘That is to be sought, and That one should desire to realise’ (Ch. VIII. vii. 1, 3), ‘Knowing It one is not touched (by evil action)’ (IV. iv. 23), ‘The knower of Brahman attains the highest’ (Tai. II. i. 1), ‘It should be realised in one form only’ (IV. iv. 20), ‘He, O Gārgī, who without knowing this Immutable’ (III. viii. 10), ‘Knowing It alone the sage’ (IV. iv. 21), and ‘The syllable Om is called the bow, the individual self the arrow, and Brahman the target' (Mu. II. ii. 4). Another reason for the difference is the mention of a journey, particular routes and a destination for a seeker of liberation. If there is no difference, who should make the- journey and how, and in the absence of this, two particular routes, viz. the southern and northern, are meaningless, and the destination as well. But if the individual self is different from the Supreme Self, all this would be consistent. Also they must be different because the scriptures prescribe the two means, viz. rites and knowledge. If the individual self is different from Brahman, the teaching of rites and knowledge as means to prosperity and liberation respectively may aptly apply to it, but not to God, for the objects of His desire are eternally attained. Therefore it is proper to understand the word ‘Brahman’ in the sense of a man aspiring to be Brahman.

Reply: No, for then instruction about Brahman would be useless. If a man subject to transmigration and only aspiring to be identified with Brahman became all by knowing himself to be Brahman, although he was not It, then instruction about the Supreme Brahman is certainly useless, for he attained identity with all as a result of knowing only the transmigrating self, and the knowledge of the Supreme Brahman is never utilised[30] for attaining human ends.

Objection: The instruction is only meant for the man subject to transmigration, so that he may practise the meditation based on resemblance[31] with regard to Brahman as, ‘I am Brahman.’ For if he does not fully know the nature of Brahman, with what can be identify himself in fancy as, ‘I am Brahman’? This meditation based on resemblance is possible only when the characteristics of Brahman are fully known.

Reply: Not so, for we know that the words ‘Brahman’ and ‘self’ are synonymous, being used thousands of times in co-ordination in such texts as the following: ‘This self is Brahman’ (II. v. 19), ‘The Brahman that is immediate and direct’ (III. iv. 1-2; III. v. 1), The Self (that is sinless)’ (Ch. VIII. vii. i, 3), ‘It is truth, It is the Self’ (Ch. VI. viii. 7 etc.) and ‘The knower of Brahman attains the highest’ (Tai. II. i. 1), these last introductory words (to Tai. II.) being shortly after followed by the words, ‘From this Self,’ etc. (Ibid.). The meditation based on resemblance is peiformed when the two things concerned are different, not when they are identical. And the sentence, ‘This all is the Self’ (ii. iv. 6). shows the unity of the Self under consideration that is to be realised. Therefore the Self cannot be regarded as Brahman through the meditation based on resemblance.

Nor do we see any other necessity for instruction about Brahman, for, the Śruti méntions identification with It in the passages, ‘(He who) knows (that Supreme) Brahman becomes Brahman' (III. ii. 9), 'You have attained That which is free from fear, O Janaka’ (IV. ii. 4), and ‘He... becomes the fearless Brahman' (IV. iv. 25). If the meditation based on resemblance were meant, this identity would not take place, for one thing cannot become another.

Objection: On the strength of scriptural statements, even the meditation based on resemblance may lead to identity.

Reply: No, for this meditation is only an idea. And knowledge, as we have said, only removes the false notion, it does not create anything. Nor can a scriptural statement impart any power to a thing. For it is an accepted principle that the scriptures are only informative, not creative.[32] Besides, in the passage, ‘This Self has entered into these bodies,’ etc. (I. iv. 7), it is clear that the Supreme Self alone has entered. Therefore the view that the word ‘Brahman’ means a man who will be Brahman, is not a sound one. Another reason is that it contradicts the intended' meaning. The desired import of this whole Upaniṣad is the knowledge that Brahman is without interior or exterior and homogeneous like a lump of salt, as is known from the assertion made at the end of both Madhu and Muni Kāṇḍas,[33] ‘This is the teaching’ (II. v. 19), and ‘This much indeed is (the means of) immortality, my dear’ (IV. v. 15). Similarly, in the Upaniṣads of all recensions the knowledge of the unity of Brahman (self) is the certain import. If, therefore, the passage in question is interpreted to mean that the transmigrating self, which is different from Brahman, knew itself, the desired meaning of the Upaniṣads would be contradicted. And in that case the scripture, having its beginning and end not tallying with each other, would be considered inconsistent. Moreover, the name would be out of place. In other words, if in the passage, ‘It knew only Itself,’ the word ‘It’ is supposed to refer to the transmigrating self, the name given to the knowledge would not be ‘the knowledge of Brahman’ for then, ‘It knew only Itself,’ should mean that the transmigrating self was the entity that was known.

Objection: Suppose we say that the word ‘Self’ iefers to an entity other than the knower.[34]

Reply: Not so, for there is the specification, ‘I am Brahman,’ If the entity known weie other than the knower, the specification should be, ‘It is Brahman,’ or ‘That is Brahman,’ and not T am Brahman.’ But since it is, ‘I am Brahman,’ and there is the assertion, ‘It knew only Itself,’ we know it for certain that the self is Brahman. And then only the name ‘the knowledge of Brahman’ would be appropriate, not otherwise. In the other case it would be ‘the knowledge of the transmigrating self.’ Nor can the same entity really be both Brahman and not Brahman, just as the sun cannot be both bright and dark, for these are contradictory features. And if both were the cause of the name, there should not be the sure appellation 'the knowledge of Brahman.’ It should then be ‘the knowledge of Brahman and of the transmigrating self.’ Nor in proceeding to expound the knowledge of Truth should one present the reality as an absurdity, like a woman, for instance, being one-half old and one-half young. That will only cause doubt in the mind of the listener. Whereas it is sure knowledge that is regarded as leading to liberation, the goal of human life, as is evidenced by the following Śruti and Smṛti texts: ‘He who really has (the conviction that he will attain the conditioned Brahman after, death) and has no doubt about it (does attain him)’ (Ch. III..xiv. 4), and ‘The doubting man perishes’ (G. IV. 40). Hence one who wishes to do good to others should not use expressions of a doubtful import.

Objection: To think that Brahman, like us, is a seeker of liberation, is not proper, and that is what we see in the passage, ‘It knew only Itself.... Therefore It became all.’

Reply: Not so, for by saying this you will be flouting the scriptures.. It is not our idea, but that of the scriptures Hence your fling hits them. And you who wish to please Brahman should not give up tfie real  meaning of the scriptures by fancying things contrary to it. Nor should you lose your patience over this much only, for all plurality is but imagined in Brahman, as we know from hundreds of texts like the following: ‘It should be realised in one form only' (IV. iv. 20), ‘There is no difference whatsoever in Brahman’ (IV. iv. 19; Ka. IV..11), ‘When there is duality, as it were’ (II. iv. 14; IV. v. 15), and ‘One only without a second’ (Ch. VI. ii. 1). Since the whole phenomenal world is imagined in Brahman alone and is not real, you say very little when you condemn this particular idea as improper.

Therefore the conclusion is that the word ‘Brahman’ refers to that Brahman which projected the universe and entered into it.

This, the Brahman (self) that is perceived as being in this body, was indeed—this word is emphatic—Brahman, and all, in the beginning, even before realisation. But owing to ignorance it superimposes on itself the notion that it is not Brahman, and that it is not all, and consequently thinks, through mistake, that it is an agent, possessed of activity, the experiencer of its fruits, happy or miserable, and transmigrating. But . really it is Brahman different from all the foregoing and is a 11. Being somehow awakened by a merciful teacher who told it that it was not subject to transmigration, ‘It knew only Itself ,’ its own natural Self, that is, which is free from differentiations superimposed by ignorance. This is the meaning of the particle ‘eva’ (only).

Objection: Tell me, what is that natural Self which Brahman knew?

Reply: Do you not remember the Self? It has been pointed out as the one that entering into these bodies does the function of the Prāṇa, Apāna, Vyāna, Udāna and Samāna.[35]

Objection: You are describing It as one would describe a cow or a horse by simply saying, ‘It is a cow,’ or ‘It is a horse.’ You do not show the Self directly.

Reply: Well then, the Self is the seer, hearer, thinker and knower.

Objection: Here also you do not directly point out the nature of that which does the functions of seeing etc. Going is surely not the nature of one who goes, nor editing that of a cutter.

Reply: In that case the Self is the seer of sight, the. hearer of hearing, the thinker of thought and the knower of knowledge.

Objection: But what difference does it make in the seer? Whether it be the seer of sight or of a jar, it is but the seer under all circumstances. By saying ‘The seer of sight’ you are simply stating a difference as regards the object seen. But the seer, whether it be the seer of sight or of a jar, is just the same.

Reply: No, for there is a difference, and it is this: If that which is the seer of sight is identical with that sight, it always visualises the latter, and there is never a time when sight is not visualised by the seer. So the vision of the seer must be eternal. If it were transitory, then sight, which is the object visualised, may sometimes not be seen, as a jar, for instance, may not always be perceived by the transitory vision. But the seer of sight never ceases to visualise sight like that.

Objection: Has the seer then two kinds of vision, one eternal and invisible, and the other transitory and visible?

Reply: Yes. The transitoty vision is familiar to us, for we see some people are blind, and others are not. If the eternal vision were the only one in existence, all people would, be possessed of vision. But the vision of the seer is an eternal one, for the Śruti says, ‘The vision of the witness can never be lost’ (IV. iii. 23). From inference also we know this. For we find even a blind man has vision consisting of the impressions of a jar. etc. in dreams. This shows that the vision of the seer is not lost with the loss of the other kind of vision. Through that unfailing eternal vision, which is identical with It and is called the self-effulgent light, the Self always sees the other, transitory vision in the dream and waking states, as idea and perception respectively, and becomes the seer of sight. Such being the case, the vision itself is Its nature, like the heat of fire, and there is no other conscious (or unconscious) seer over and above the vision, as the Vaiśeṣikas maintain.

It, Brahman, knew only Itself, the eternal vision, devoid of the transitory vision etc. superimposed on It.

Objection: But knowing the knower is self-contradictory, for the Śruti says, ‘One should not try to know the knower of knowledge’ (III. iv. 2).

Reply: No, this sort of knowledge involves no contradiction. The Self is indeed known Ihus, as ‘the seer of sight.’ Also it does not depend on any other knowledge. He who knows that the vision of the seer is eternal, does not wish to see It in any other way. This wish to see the seer automatically stops because of its very impossibility, for nobody hankers after a thing that does not exist. And that sight which is itself an object of vision does not dare to visualise the seer, in which case one might wish to do it. Nor does anybody want to see himself. Therefore the sentence, ‘It knew only Itself,’ only means the cessation of the superimposition of ignorance, and not the actual cognising of the Self as an object.

How did It know Itself? As ‘I am Brahman, the Self that is the seer of sight.’ ‘Brahman’ is That which is immediate and direct, the Self that is within all, beyond hunger and the like, described as ‘Not this, not this,’ neither gross nor subtle, and so on. ‘I am, as you[36] said, That and no other, not the transmigrating self.’ Therefore, from knowing thus, It, Brahman, became all. Since by the cessation of the superimposed notion of not being Brahman, its effect, the notion of not being all, was also gone, therefore It became all. Hence men are justified in thinking that through the knowledge of Brahman they would become all. The question, ‘Well, what did that Brahman know by which It became all?’ has been answered: ‘This was indeed Brahman in the beginning. It knew only Itself as, “I am Brahman.” Therefore It became all.’

And whoever among the gods knew It, the Self, in the manner described above, that awakened self also became That, Brahman. And the same with sages and men. The words ‘gods’ etc. are used froin the conventional point of view, not from that of the vision of Brahman. We have already said that it is Brahman which has entered everywhere, as set forth in the passage, ‘That Supreme Being first entered the bodies’ (II. v. 18). Hence the words ‘gods’ etc. are used from the conventional standpoint determined by the limiting adjuncts such as the body. Really it was Brahman which was in those divine and other bodies even before realisation, being only looked upon as something else. It knew only Itself and thereby became all.

To strengthen the import of the passage that this knowledge of Brahman leads to identity with all, the Śruti quotes some Mantras. How? The sage Called Vāmadeva, while realising this, his own self, as identical with That, Brahman, knew, from this realisation of Brahman, i.e. in that state of realisation of the ideṅtity of the self and Brahman, visualised these Mantras, ‘I was Manu, and the sun,’ etc. (Ṛ. IV. xxvi. i). The expression, ‘While realising this (self) as That’—Brahman—refers to the knowledge of Brahman. And the words, ‘I was Manu, and the sun/ refer to its result, identity with all. By the use of the form,[37] ‘While realising’ It he attained this result, viz. identity with all, the Śruti shows that liberation is attainable through the aid of the knowledge of Brahman, as in the expression, ‘While eating he is getting satisfaction.’ Someone may think that the gods, who are great, attained this identity with all through the knowledge of Brahman because of their extraordinary power, but those of this age, particularly men, can never attain it owing to their limited power. In order to remove this notion the text says: And to this day whoever, curbing his interest in external things, in like manner knows It, the Brahman under consideration which has entered into all beings and is indicated by the functions of seeing etc., i.e. his own Self, as, ‘I am Brahman,’ which is untouched by the attributes of the phenomenal universe, is without interior or exterior and absolute, by discarding the differences superimposed by the false notion created by limiting adjuncts, becomes all this, owing to his notion of incompleteness—the effect of ignorance—being removed by the knowledge of Brahman. For there is no difference as regards Brahman or the knowledge of It between giants like Vāmadeva and the human weaklings of to-day. But, one may suppose, the result of the knowledge of Brahman may be uncertain in the case of the present generation. This is answered as follows: Even the gods, powerful as they may be, cannot prevail against him, the man who has known Brahman in the manner described above—have not the capacity to stop his becoming Brahman and all, much less others.

Objection: Is there any ground for supposing that the gods and others can thwart the attainment of the results of the knowledge of Brahman?

Reply: Yes, beacuse men are indebted to them. The Śruti text, (Every Brāhmaṇa—twice-born—by his very birth is indebted) to the sages in respect of continence, to the gods in respect of sacrifices, and to the Manes in respect of progeny’ (Tai. S. VI. iii. 10. 5), shows that a man by his very birth is under certain obligations. And we know it from the illustration of animals (in this text). There is also the text, ‘Now this self (the ignorant man),’ etc. (I. iv. 16), describing him as an object of enjoyment for all, which shows that it is reasonable to suppose that the gods, in order to maintain their livelihood, may hinder men, who are dependent, jfrom attaining immortality, as creditors do with their debtors. The gods also protect their animals like their own bodies, for the Śruti will show that each man being equivalent to many animals, the gods have a great source of livelihood in the rites performed by him. It will presently be stated, ‘Therefore it is not liked by them that men should know this’ (this text), and ‘Just as one wishes safety to one's body, so do all beings wish safety to him who knows it as such’ (I. iv. 16). From the mention of dislike and safety we understand that the gods think that when a man attains the knowledge of Brahman, he will cease to be their object of enjoyment and their animal, for his dependence will end. Therefore the gods may very well hinder a prospective knower of Brahman from attaining the results of the knowledge of Brahman, for they are also powerful.

Objection: In that case the gods may find it like drinking a beverage to obstruct the fruition of results in other spheres too, viz. rites. Well, it would shake one’s faith in the performance of the means of achieving prosperity and liberation. Similarly God also, being of inscrutable power; can put obstacles, as also time, action, sacred formulae, herbs and austerities, which, as we know from the scriptures as well as experience, can help or hinder the fruition of results. This too would shake one’s faith in the performance of scriptural rites.

Reply: Not so, for all things spring from definite causes, and we also see variety in the universe. Both these will be inconsistent if things happen spontaneously. Since it is the accepted view of the Vedas, Smṛtis, reasoning and tradition that happiness, misery, and the like are the outcome of one’s past work, the gods, or God, or time by no means upset the results of work, for these depend on requisite factors. Work, good or bad, that men do cannot come into being without the help of factors such as the gods, time and God, and even if it did, it would not have the power to produce results, for it is the very nature of work to spring from many causes such as the different factors. Therefore the gods, God and others being auxiliaries to work, there is nothing to shake our faith in the attainment of its results.

Sometimes also (in the matter of thwarting) they have to depend on the past work of men, for its inherent power cannot be checked. And there is no fixity about the relative predominance of past work, time, destiny and the nature of things etc.; it is inscrutable, and hence throws people into confusion. Some, for instance, say that in bringing about results one’s past work is the only factor. Others say it is destiny. A third group mentions time. Still others say if is the nature of things etc. While yet another group maintains it is all these things combined. Regarding this the Vedas and Smṛtis uphold the primacy of past work, as in the passage, ‘One indeed becomes good through good work and evil through evil work’ (III. ii. 13), and so on. Although one or other of these at times gains ascendancy in its own sphere over the rest, whose potential superiority lies in abeyance for the time being, yet there is no uncertainty about work producing results, for the importance of work is decided by the scriptures as well as reason.[38]

Nor (can the gods check the result of knowledge), for the realisation of Brahman, which is this result, consists in the mere cessation of ignorance. It has, been suggested that the gods may thwart the attainment of Brahman, which is the result expected from the knowledge of It; but they do not have that power. Why? Because this result, the attainment of Brahman, immediately follows the knowledge. How? As in the world a form is revealed as soon as the observer’s eye is in touch with light, similarly the very moment that one has knowledge of the Supreme Self, ignorance regarding It must disappear. Hence, the effects of ignorance being impossible in the presence of the knowledge of Brahman, like the effects of darkness in the presence of a lamp, whom should the gods thwart and by what means, for is not the knower of Brahman the self of the gods? This is what the text says: 'For he, the knower of Brahman, becomes their self, the reality of these gods, the object of their meditation, the Brahman that is to be known from all scriptures, simultaneously with the knowledge of Brahman, since, as we have said (p. 140), the only obstruction of ignorance vanishes then and there, like a mother-of-pearl mistaken for a piece of silver becoming itself again. Hence the gods cannot possibly try to stand against their own self. They succeed in their effort to put obstacles only in the case of one who seeks a result uhich is other than the Self and is separated by space, time and causation, but not with regard to this sage, who becomes their self simultaneously with the awakening of knowledge, and is not separated by space, time and causation, for there is no room for opposition here.

Objection: In that case, since there is not a stream of consciousness about knowledge (of Brahman), and since we see that a consciousness of an opposite nature together with its effects persists, let us say that only the last[39] consciousness of the Self removes ignorance, and not the first one.

Reply: No, for your ground of inference will be falsified on account of the first. If the first consciousness of the Self does not remove ignorance, neither will the last, for they are alike consciousness of the Self.

Objection: Well then, let us say, it is not the isolated consciousness that removes ignorance, but that which is continuous.

Reply: Not so, for there cannot be a continuity, since it would be broken by thoughts of self-preservation etc. So long as these crop up, there cannot be an unbroken stream of consciousness about knowledge, for the two are contradictory.

Objection: Suppose the latter continues till death to the exclusion of the former.

Reply: Not so, for the uncertainty about the requisite number of thoughts to make up that stream would be open to the charge of making the meaning of the scriptures indefinite. In other words, there being nothing to determine that so many thoughts would make up a stream that will remove ignorance, it would be impossible to determine the meaning of the scriptures, which is not desirable.

Objection: The meaning is quite definite, for in so far as it is a stream of consciousness, it will remove ignorance.

Reply: No, for there is no difference between the first and the last stream of consciousness. There being nothing to determine whether it is the first stream of consciousness about knowledge that removes ignorance or the last one ending with the moment of death, they too' would be open to those two charges already mentioned with regard to the first and last thoughts.

Objection: Well then, let us say that knowledge does not remove ignorance.

Reply: Not so, for the Śruti says, ‘Therefore It became all,’ as also, ‘The knot of the heart is broken,' etc. (Mu. II. ii. 8), ‘Then what delusion can there be?' (Iś. 7), and so on.

Objection: These may be mere eulogies.

Reply: No, for then the Upaniṣads in all the recensions would be classed as such, for they have just this one aim.

Objection: Suppose we say that they are but eulogies, for they deal with the self which is already known through perception.[40]

Reply: No, for we have already refuted that contention.[41] Also we have said that knowledge produces palpable iesults, viz. the cessation of such evils as ignorance, grief, delusion and fear (p. 134). Therefore there can be no question about knowledge removing ignorance, whether it be first or last, continuous or non-continuous, for knowledge culminates in producing the cessation of ignorance and other evils. Any consciousness that produces this result, whether first or last, continuous or non-continuous, is knowledge according to us. Hence there is no scope whatsoever for any objection.

You said, the first consciousness does not remove ignorance, because we see that a consciousness of an opposite nature to knowledge together with its effects persists. This is wrong, for the residue of Prārabdha work is the cause of the persistence of the bodv after knowledge. In other words, that resultant of past work which led to the formation of the present body (Prārabdha), being the outcome of false notions[42] and the evils (of attachment etc.), is able to bear fruit only as such, i.e. as coupled with those notions and evils; hence until the body falls, it cannot but produce, as part of one’s experience of the results of past work, just so much of false notions and the evils of attachment etc., for the past work that made this body has already begun to bear fruit and must run its course like an arrow that has been shot. Therefore knowledge cannot stop that, for they are not contradictory. What does it do then? It stops the effects of ignorance which are contradictory to it and are about to spring up from (the ignorance lying in) the self, which is the substratum of that knowledge, for they have not yet appeared. But the other is past.

Moreover, false notions do not arise in a man of realisation, for there is then no object for them. Whenever a false notion arises, it does so on account of a certain similarity of something to another, without ascertaining the particular nature of that thing, as when a mother-of-pearl is mistaken for a piece of silver. And this can no more happen to one who has ascertained the particular nature of that thing, for the source of all false notions (that cursory resemblance) has been destroyed; as they no more appear when a right perception of the mother-of-pearl, for instance, has taken place. Sometimes, however, memories due to the impressions of false notions antecedent to the dawning of knowledge, simulating those notions, suddenly appear and throw him into the error of regarding them as actual false notions; as one who is familiar with the points of the compass sometimes all of a sudden gets confused about them. If even a man of realisation comes to have false notions as before, then faith in realisation itself being shaken, no one would care to understand the meaning of the scriptures, and all evidences of knowledge would cease to be such, for then there would be no distinction between things that are valid evidences and those that are not. This also answers the question why the body does not fall immediately after realisation. The destruction of actions done before, after and at the time of realisation as well as those accumulated in past lives—actions that have not yet begun to bear fruit—is proved by the very negation of obstructions to the attainment of results in the present text, as also from such Śruti texts as the following: ‘And his actions are destroyed’ (Mu. II. ii. 8), ‘It takes him only so long (as he does not give up his body)’ (Ch. VI. xiv. 2), ‘All demerits are burnt up’ (Ch. V. xxiv. 3), 'Knowing It one is not touched by evil action’ (IV. iv. 23), ‘He is never overtaken by these two thoughts (of having done good and evil acts)’ (IV. iv. 22), 'Actions done pr omitted do not trouble him’ (Ibid.), ‘(Ṛemorse for doing evil and not doing good) does not trouble him’ (Tai. II. ix.), and ‘He is not afraid of anything’ (Ibid.). Also from such Smṛti texts as the following: ‘The fìre of knowledge reduces all actions to ashes’ (G. IV. 37).

The objection that he is tied up by his obligations (to the gods etc.) is not valid, for they concern an ignorant man. It is he who is under those obligations, for he can be presumed to be an agent and so forth. It will be said later on, ‘When there is something else, as it were, then one can see something’ (IV. iii. 31). These last words show thaf the acts of seeing etc. together with their results, which are dependent on many factors created by ignorance, are possible only in the state of ignorance, when the Self, the Reality that has no second, appears as something else, like a second moon when one has got the disease of double vision (Timira). But the text, ‘Then what should one see and through what?’ (II. iv. 14; IV. v. 15), shows that work is impossible in the state of knowledge, when the illusion of manifoldness created by ignorance has been destroyed. Therefore the indebtedness in question belongs only to an ignorant man, for whom it is possible to work, and to none else. We shall show this at length while dealing with passages that are yet to be explained.

As, for instance, here. While he, one who is not a knower of Brahman, who worships another god, a god different from himself, approaches him in a subordinate position, offering him praises, salutations, sacrifices, presents, devotion, meditation, etc., thinking, ‘He is one, non-self, different from me, and I am another, qualified for rites, and I must serve him like a debtor’—worships him with such ideas, does not know the truth. He, this ignorant man, has not only the evil of ignorance, but is also like an animal to the gods. As a cow or other animals are utilised through their services such as carrying loads or yielding milk, so is this man of use to every one of the gods and others on account of his many services such as the performance of sacrifices. That is to say, he is therefore engaged to do all kinds of services for them.

The scriptural rites, with or without the accompaniment of meditation, which this ignorant man, for whom the divisions of caste, order of life and so forth exist, and who is bound to those rites, performs, lead to progress beginning with human birth and ending with identity with Hiraṇyagarbha. While his natural. activities, as distinguished from those prescribed by the scriptures, lead to degradation beginning with the human birth itself and ending with identity with stationary objects. That it is so we shall explain in the latter part of this chapter beginning with, ‘There are indeed three worlds’ (I. V. 16), and continuing right up to the end. While the effect of knowledge (meditation) has been briefly shown to be identity with all. The whole of this Upaniṣad is exclusively devoted to showing the distinction between the spheres of knowledge and ignorance. We shall show that this is the import of the whole book.

Since it is so, therefore the gods can thwart as well as help an ignorant man. This is being shown: As in the world many animals such as cows or horses serve a man, their owner and controller, so does each ignorant man, equivalent to many animals, serve the gods. This last word is suggestive of the Manes and others as well. He thinks, ‘This Indra and the other gods are different from me and are my masters. I shall worship them like a servant through praises, salutations, sacrifices, etc., and shall attain as results prosperity and liberation granted by them. Now, in the world, even if one animal of a man possessing many such is taken away, seized by a tiger, for instance, it causes great anguish. Similarly what is there to wonder at if the gods feel mortified when a man, equivalent to many animals, gets rid of the idea that he is their creature, as when a householder is robbed of many animals? Therefore it is not liked by them, these gods—what?— that men should somehow know this truth of the identity of the self and Brahman. So the revered Vyāsa writes in the Anugītā, ‘The world of the gods, O Arjuna, is filled with those who perform rites. And the gods do not like that mortals should surpass them’ (Mbh. XIV. xx. 59). Hence as men try to save animals from being seized by tigers etc., so the gods seek to prevent men from attaining the knowledge of Brahman lest they should cease to be their objects of enjoyment. Those, however, whom they wish to set free, they endow with faith and the like; while the opposite class they visit with lack of faith etc. Therefore a seeker of liberation should be devoted to worshipping the gods, have faith and devotion, be obedient (to the gods) and be alert about the attainment of knowledge or about knowledge itself. The mention of the dislike of the gods is an indirect hint at all this.

In the sentence, ‘The Self alone is to be meditated upon’ (I. iv. 7) the gist[43] of the scriptures has been put in a nutshell. In order to explain it, its relation,[44] and utility have also been stated in the eulogistic passage, ‘They say: Men think,’ etc. (I. iv. 9). And that ignorance is the cause of one’s belonging to the relative plane has been stated in the passage, ‘While he who worships another god,’ etc. (I. iv. 10). There it has been said that an ignorant man is indebted and dependent like an animal, having to do duties for the gods etc. What is the cause of their having to do those duties? The different castes and orders of life. The following paragraphs are introduced in order to explain what these castes are, because of which this dependent man is bound to the rites connected with them, and transmigrates. It is to explain this in detail that the creation of Indra and other gods was not mentioned immediately after that of Fire. This last, however, was described to complete the picture of creation by Virāj. It should be understood that this creation of Indra and other gods also belongs to that, being a part of it. It is being described here only to indicate the reason why the ignorant man alone is qualified for the performance of rites.


Verse 1.4.11:

ब्रह्म व इदमग्र आसीदेकमेव; तदेकं सन्न व्यभवत् । तच्छ्रेयोरूपमत्यसृजत क्षत्रम्, यान्येतानि देवत्रा क्षत्राणि—इन्द्रो वरुणः सोमो रुद्रः पर्जन्यो यमो मृइत्युरीशान इति । तस्मात्क्षत्रात्परं नस्ति; तस्मात्ब्राह्मणः क्षत्रियमधस्तादुपास्ते राजसूये, क्षत्र एव तद्यशो दधाति; सैषा क्षत्रस्य योनिर्यद्ब्रह्म । तस्माद्यद्यपि राजा परमताम् गच्छति ब्रह्मैवान्तत उपनिश्रयति स्वाम् योनिम्; य उ एनं हिनस्ति स्वां स योनिमृच्छति, स पापीयान् भवति, यथा स्रेयांसं हिंसित्वा ॥ ११ ॥

brahma va idamagra āsīdekameva; tadekaṃ sanna vyabhavat | tacchreyorūpamatyasṛjata kṣatram, yānyetāni devatrā kṣatrāṇi—indro varuṇaḥ somo rudraḥ parjanyo yamo mṛityurīśāna iti | tasmātkṣatrātparaṃ nasti; tasmātbrāhmaṇaḥ kṣatriyamadhastādupāste rājasūye, kṣatra eva tadyaśo dadhāti; saiṣā kṣatrasya yoniryadbrahma | tasmādyadyapi rājā paramatām gacchati brahmaivāntata upaniśrayati svām yonim; ya u enaṃ hinasti svāṃ sa yonimṛcchati, sa pāpīyān bhavati, yathā sreyāṃsaṃ hiṃsitvā || 11 ||

11. In the beginning this (the Kṣatriya and other castes) was indeed Brahman,[45] one only. Being one, he did not flourish. He specially projected an excellent form, the Kṣatriya—those who are Kṣatriyas among the gods: Indra, Varuṇa, the moon, Rudra, Parjanya, Yama, Death, and Iśāna. Therefore there is none higher than the Kṣatriya. Hence the Brāhmaṇa worships the Kṣatriya from a lower position in the Rājasūya sacrifice. He imparts that glory to the Kṣatriya. The Brāhmaṇa is the source of the Kṣatriya. Therefore, although the king attains supremacy (in the sacrifice), at the end of it he resorts to the Brāhmaṇa, his source. He who slights the Brahmaṇa, strikes at his own source. He becomes more wicked, as one is by slighting one’s superior.

In the beginning this, the Kṣatriya and other castes, was indeed Brahman, identical with that Brahman (Virāj) who after manifesting Fire assumed the form of that. He is called Brahman, because he identified himself with the Brāhmaṇa caste. One only:Then there was no differentiation into other castes such as the Kṣatriya. Being one, i.e. without any protector etc. such as the Kṣatriya, he did not flourish, i.e. could not do his Work properly. Hence he, Virāj, thinking, ‘I am a Brāhmaṇa, and these are my duties,’ in order to create duties pertaining to a Brāhmaṇa by birth—to glorify himself as a performer of rites— specially, pre-eminently, projected an excellent form. What is that? The caste called Kṣatriya. This is being pointed out by a reference to its individuals. Those who are well known in the world as Kṣatriyas among the gods. The plural is used (in ‘Kṣatriyas’), as in grammar a word denoting a caste may be optionally in the plural.[46] Or because there are many individuals in a caste, the difference is figuratively transferred to the group. Who are they? This the text answers by mentioning particularly the anointed ones: Indra, the King of gods; Varuṇa, of the aquatic animals; the moon, of the Brāhmaṇas; Rudra, of the beasts; Parjanya, of lightning etc.; Yama, of the Manes; Death, of disease etc.; and Iśāna, of luminaries. These are some of the Kṣatriyas, among the gods. It should be understood that after them the human Kṣatriyas, Purūravas and others belonging to the Lunar and Solar dynasties, presided over by the Kṣatriya gods, Indra and the rest, were also created. For the creation of the gods is mentioned for this very purpose. Because Virāj created the Kṣatriyas with some special eminence attached to them, therefore there is none higher than the Kṣatriya, who is the controller of the Brāhmaṇa caste even. Hence the Brāhmaṇa, although he is the source of him, worships the Kṣatriya, who has a higher seat, from a lower position. Where? In the Rājasūya sacrifice. He imparts that glory or fame which belongs to him, viz. the title of Brahman, to the Kṣatriya. That is to say, when the king, anointed for the Rājasūya sacrifice, addresses the priest from his chair as ‘Brahman.’ the latter replies to him, ‘You, O King, are Brahman.’ This is referred to in the sentence, ‘He imparts that glory to the Kṣatriya.’ The Brāhmaṇa, who is the topic under consideration, is indeed the source of the Kṣatriya. Therefore, although the king attains supremacy, viz. the distinction of being anointed for the Rājasūya sacrifice, at the end of it, when the ceremony is over, he resorts to the Brāhmaṇa, his source, i.e. puts the priest forward. But he who, proud of his strength, slights or looks down upon the Brāhmaṇa, his own source, strikes at or destroys his own source. He becomes more wicked by doing this. The Kṣatriya is already wicked on account of his cruelty, and he is more so by hurting his own source, as in life one is more wicked by slighting one’s superior.


Verse 1.4.12:

स नैव व्यभवत्, स विशमसृजत, यान्येतानि देवजातानि गणश आख्यायन्ते—वसवो रुद्रा आदित्या विश्वेदेवा मरुत इति ॥ १२ ॥

sa naiva vyabhavat, sa viśamasṛjata, yānyetāni devajātāni gaṇaśa ākhyāyante—vasavo rudrā ādityā viśvedevā maruta iti || 12 ||

12. Yet he did not flourish. He projected the Vaiśya—those species of gods who are designated in groups: The Vasus, Rudras, Adityas, Viśvadevas and Maruts.

Yet, even after projecting the Kṣatriyas, he, Virāj, did not flourish in his work, as before, for want of someone to acquire wealth. He projected the Vaiśya, in order to acquire wealth which is the means of performing rites. Who is that Vaiśya? Those species of gods who are designated in groups. The Vaiśyas abound in groups, for they succeed in acquiring wealth mostly in combination, not singly.—The suffix in the word 'Jāta' does not change the meaning.— The Vasus, a group of eight; similarly the eleven Rudras, the twelve Ādityas, the thirteen Viśvadevas, sons of Viśvā, or the word may mean ‘all the gods,’ and the forty-nine Maruts, in seven groups.


Verse 1.4.13:

स नैव व्यभवत्, स शौद्रं वर्णमसृजत पूषणम्; इयं वै पूषा, इयं हीदं सर्वं पुष्यति यदिदं किंच ॥ १३ ॥

sa naiva vyabhavat, sa śaudraṃ varṇamasṛjata pūṣaṇam; iyaṃ vai pūṣā, iyaṃ hīdaṃ sarvaṃ puṣyati yadidaṃ kiṃca || 13 ||

13. He did not still flourish. He projected the śūdra caste—Pūṣan. This (earth) is Pūṣan. For it nourishes all this that exists.

For want of a servant he did not still flourish. He projected the Śūdra caste. In the word ‘Śaudra’ there is a lengthening of the vowel without any change of meaning. What was this Śūdra caste that was projected? Pūṣan, he who nourishes. Who is this Pūṣan? He is being particularly pointed out: This



Verse 1.4.14:

स नैव व्यभवत्, तत्छ्रेयोरूपमत्यसृजत धर्मम्; तदेतत् क्षत्रस्य क्षत्रं यद्धर्मः, तस्माद्धर्माद्परं नास्ति; अथो अबलीयान् बलीयांसमाशंसते धर्मेण, यथा राज्ञैवम्; यो वै स धर्मः सत्यं वै तत्, तस्मात् सत्यं वदन्तमाहुः, धर्मं वदतीति, धर्मं वा वदन्तम् सत्यं वदतीति, एतद्ध्येवैतदुभयं भवति ॥ १५ ॥

sa naiva vyabhavat, tatchreyorūpamatyasṛjata dharmam; tadetat kṣatrasya kṣatraṃ yaddharmaḥ, tasmāddharmādparaṃ nāsti; atho abalīyān balīyāṃsamāśaṃsate dharmeṇa, yathā rājñaivam; yo vai sa dharmaḥ satyaṃ vai tat, tasmāt satyaṃ vadantamāhuḥ, dharmaṃ vadatīti, dharmaṃ vā vadantam satyaṃ vadatīti, etaddhyevaitadubhayaṃ bhavati || 14 ||

14. Yet he did not flourish. He specially projected that excellent form, righteousness (Dharma).[47] This righteousness is the controller of the Kṣatriya. Therefore there is nothing higher than that. (So) even a weak man hopes (to defeat) a stronger man through righteousness, as (one contending) with the king.[48] That righteousness is verily truth. Therefore they say about a person speaking of truth, ‘He speaks of righteousness,’ or about a person speaking of righteousness,’ He speaks of truth,’ for both these are but righteousness.

Yet, even after projecting the four castes, he did not flourish, fearing that the Kṣatriya, being fierce, might be unruly. He specially projected that excellent form. What is it? Righteousness. This righteousness, the projected excellent form, is the controller of even the Kṣatriya, fiercer than that fierce race even. ‘Yat’ should be changed into ‘Yah.’ Therefore, since it is the controller of even the Kṣatriya, there is nothing higher than that, for it controls all. The text proceeds to explain how it is: So even a weak man hopes to defeat a stronger man than himself through the strength of righteousness, as in life a householder contending even with the king, who is the most powerful of all. Therefore it goes without saying that righteousness, being stronger than everything else, is the controller of all. That righteousness, which is expressed as conduct, being practised by people, is verily truth. ‘Truth’ is the fact of being in accordance with the scriptures. The same thing, when it is practised, is called righteousness, and when it is understood to be in accordance with the scriptures, is truth. Since it is so, therefore bystanders knowing the difference between them say about a person speaking of truth, i.e. what is in accordance with the scriptures, in dealing with another, ‘He speaks of righteousness,’ or well known conventional propriety. Conversely also, about a person speaking of rīghteousness or conventional conduct, they say, ‘He speaks of truth,’ or what is in accordance with the scriptures. For both these that have been described, that which is known and that which is practised, are but rīghteousness. Therefore that righteousness in its double aspect of knowledge and practice controls all, those that know the scriptures as well as those that do not. Therefore it is the ‘controller of the Kṣatriya.’ Hence an ignorant man identified with righteousness, in order to practise its particular forms, identifies himself with one or other of the castes, Brāhmaṇa, Kṣatriya, Vaiśya or Śūdra, which is the pre-condition of that practice; and these are naturally the means that qualify one for the performance of rites.


Verse 1.4.15:

तदेतद्ब्रह्म क्षत्रं विद् शूद्रः; तदग्निनैव देवेषु ब्रह्माभवत्; ब्राह्मणो मनुष्येषु, क्षत्रियेण क्षत्रियो, वैश्येन वैश्यह्, सूद्रेण शूद्रः; तस्मादग्नावेव देवेषु लोकमिच्छन्ते, ब्राह्मणे मनुष्येषु, एताभ्यां हि रूपाभ्यां ब्रह्माभवत् । अथ यो ह वा अस्माल्लोकात्स्वं लोकमदृष्त्वा प्रैति, स एनमविदितो न भुनक्ति, यथा वेदो  वाननूक्तः, अन्यद्वा कर्माकृतम्; यदिह वा अप्यनेवंविन्महत्पुण्यं कर्म करोति, तद्धास्यान्ततः क्षीयत एव; आत्मानमेव लोकमुपासीत; स य आत्मानमेव लोकमुपास्ते, न हस्य कर्म क्षीयते । अस्माद्ध्येवात्मनो यद्यत्कामयते तत्तत्सृजते ॥ १४ ॥

tadetadbrahma kṣatraṃ vid śūdraḥ; tadagninaiva deveṣu brahmābhavat; brāhmaṇo manuṣyeṣu, kṣatriyeṇa kṣatriyo, vaiśyena vaiśyah, sūdreṇa śūdraḥ; tasmādagnāveva deveṣu lokamicchante, brāhmaṇe manuṣyeṣu, etābhyāṃ hi rūpābhyāṃ brahmābhavat | atha yo ha vā asmāllokātsvaṃ lokamadṛṣṭvā praiti, sa enamavidito na bhunakti, yathā vedo  vānanūktaḥ, anyadvā karmākṛtam; yadiha vā apyanevaṃvinmahatpuṇyaṃ karma karoti, taddhāsyāntataḥ kṣīyata eva; ātmānameva lokamupāsīta; sa ya ātmānameva lokamupāste, na hasya karma kṣīyate | asmāddhyevātmano yadyatkāmayate tattatsṛjate || 14 ||

15. (So) these (four castes were projected)— the Brāhmaṇa, Kṣatriya, Vaiśya and Śūdra. He became a. Brāhmaṇa among the gods as Fire, and among then as the Brāhmaṇa. (He became) a Kṣatriya through the (divine) Kṣatriyas, a Vaiśya through the (divine) Vaiśyas and a Śūdra through the (divine) Śūdra. Therefore people desire to attain the results of their rites among the gods through fire, and among men as the Brāhmaṇa. For Brahmaṇ was in these two forms. If, however, anybody departs from this world without realising his own world (the Self), It, being unknown, does not protect him—as the Vedas not studied, or any other work not undertaken (do not). Even if a man who does not know It as such performs a great many meritorious acts in the world, those acts of his are surely exhausted in the end. One should meditate only upon the world of the Self. He who meditates only upon the world called the Self never has his work exhausted. From this very Self he projects whatever he wants.

(So) these four castes were projected— the Brāhmaṇa, Kṣatriya, Vaiśya and Śūdra. They are repeated here together in order to introduce what follows. He, Brahman, the Projector (Virāj), became a Brāhmaṇa among the gods as Fire, and in no other form, and became a Brāhmaṇa among men as the Brāhmaṇa, directly. In the other castes he appeared in a changed form[49]: (He bceame) a Kṣatriya through the

(divine) Kṣatriyas, i.e. being presided over by Indra and other gods; a Vaiśya through the (divine) Vaiśyas[50] and a Śūdra through the (divine) Śūdra.[51] Because Brahman, the Projector, was changed in the Kṣatriya and other castes, and was unchanged in Fire and the Brāhmaṇa, therefore people desire to attain the results of their rites among the gods through fire, i.e. by performing rites connected with it. It is for this purpose that Brahman abides in the form of fire, which is the receptacle in which sacrificial rites are performed. Therefore it stands to reason that people wish to attain results by performing those rites in the fire. And among men as the Brāhmaṇa: If they want human results, there is no need for rites depending on fire etc., but simply by being born as a Brāhmaṇa they attain their life’s ends. And it is only when they desire to attain results that depend on the gods, that they have to resort to rites connected with fire. The Smṛti, too, says, ‘But a Brāhmaṇa may undoubtedly attain perfection through the repetition of sacred formulæ,[52] whether he does other rites (connected with fire) or not. A Brāhmaṇa is one who is friendly to all’ (M. II. 87). Also because the monastic life is open to him only. Therefore people seek to attain the results of their rites, so far as they belong to the human plane, by attaining Brāhmaṇahood. For Brahman, the Projector, was directly in these two forms, the Brāhmaṇa and fire, that are respectively the agent and the receptacle of the rites.

Some[53] explain the passage differently, saying that people wish to realise the world of the Supreme Self by means of fire and the Brāhmaṇa.[54] This is wrong, for the division of castes has been introduced in order to defend the undertaking of rites by people who are under ignorance, and a specification also follows. If the word ‘world’ here refers to the Supreme Self, the specification that follows, viz. ‘Without realising one’s own world (the Self),’ would be meaningless. If the world in question that is prayed for as being dependent on fire, is any other world but the Self, then only the specification by the word ‘own’ would be consistent as refuting that extraneous world. The world that is the Self is always denoted by the words ‘one’s own,’ while those that are created by ignorance can never be ‘one’s own.’ That the worlds attained through rites are not ‘one’s own' is stated by the words, ‘(Those acts) are surely exhausted.’

One may object: Brahman projected the four castes for the sake of ritualistic work. And that work, called righteousness, being obligatory on all, controls all and helps them to achieve their life’s ends. Therefore, if by that work one attains one’s own world called the Supreme Self, although It may be unknown, what is the good of setting It up as the goal? This is being answered: ‘If, however, —the word ‘however’ refutes the prima facie view— anybody, owing to identification with the rites depending on fire, or with the duties belonging to the Brāhmaṇa caste, departs or dies from this transmigratory, adventitious and extraneous world consisting of the taking up of a body and caused by ignorance, desire and work, without realising his own world called the Self—because It is always one’s own Self—as, ‘I am Brahman,’ It —although It is his own world, yet— being unknown, obstructed by ignorance and therefore virtually becoming extraneous to oneself, does not protect him by removing his evils such as grief, delusion and fear—as the man in the story[55] (the conventional ‘self’) fails to protect himself for not knowing that he is the missing tenth man. As the Vedas not studied do not protect a man by enlightening him on the rites etc., or any other, secular, work, e.g. agriculture, not undertaken, not manifested in its own form, does not protect anybody by bestowing its results, similarly the Supreme Self, although It is one’s own world, on account of not being manifested in Its own form as the eternal Self, does not protect one by destroying one’s ignorance etc.

Objection: What is the good of seeking protection through the realisation of one’s own world, the Self? Since the rites are sure to produce results, and there are a great many rites conducive to beneficent results, the protection that they will afford will be everlasting.

Reply: Not so, for anything made is perishable. This is-being stated: Even if a man, a wonderful genius, who does not know It, his own world, the Self, as such, in the manner described above, continuously performs a great many meritorious acts such as the horse sacrifice, producing only beneficent results, in the world, with the idea that through those alone he will attain eternity, those acts of his, of this ignorant man, being due to desire created by ignorance, are surely exhausted in the end, when he has enjoyed their fruits, like the splendour arising from the fantasy of a dream. They are bound to be perishable, for their causes, ignorance and desire, are unstable. Hence there is no hope whatsoever that the protection afforded by the results of meritorious acts will be eternal. Therefore one should meditate only upon the world of the Self, one’s own world. The word ‘Self’ is here used in an identical sense with the last words, for ‘one’s own world’ is the topic, and here the words ‘one’s own’ are omitted. He who meditates only upon the world of the Self —what happens to him?— never has his work exhausted, simply because he has no work. This is a restatement of an eternal fact. That is to say, an ignorant man continuously suffers from the misery of transmigration by way of exhaustion of the results of his work. Not so this sage. As Emperor Janaka said, ‘If Mithilā is ablaze, nothing of mine is burning' (Mbh. XII. clxxvi. 56).

Some say that the ritualistic work itself of a sage who meditates upon the world of his own Self never decays, because of its combination with meditation. And they interpret the word ‘world’ as inseparably connected with rites in a double aspect: One is the manifested world called Hiraṇyagarbha, which is the repository of ritualistic work, and he who meditates upon this manifested, limited world connected with ritualistic work has his work exhausted, for he identifies himself with the result of limited work. But he who meditates upon that very world connected with work by reducing it to its causal form, the undifferentiated state, does not have his work exhausted, as he identifies himself with the result of unlimited work. This is a nice conceit, but not according to the Śruti, for the words 'one's own world’ refer to the Supreme Self which is under consideration. Also, after introducing It in the words ‘one’s own world’ the text again refers to It by dropping the qualifying phrase 'one’s own’ and using the word ‘Self’ in the sentence, ‘One should meditate only upon the world of the Self.’ So there is no scope for conceiving a world connected with ritualistic work. Another reason for this is the qualification further on by words signifying pure knowledge, ‘What shall we achieve through children, we who have attained this Self, this world (result)?’ (IV. iv. 22). The words ‘this Self our world’[56] mark It off from the worlds attainable through a son, ritualistic work and lower knowledge (meditation). Also, ‘His world is not destroyed by any kind of work’ (Kau. III. 1), and ‘This is its highest world’ (IV. iii. 32). The passage in question ought to have the same import as those just quoted, with the qualifying words. For here also we find the specification ‘one's own world.’

Objection: You are wrong, for the sage desires objects through this. That is to say, if ‘one’s own world’ is the Supreme Self, then by meditating upon It one will become That. In that case it is not proper to mention results apart from the attainment of the Self, as in the passage, ‘From this (very) Self he projects whatever he wants’ (this text).

Reply: Not so, for the passage extols meditation on the world of the Self. The meaning is that the world of the Self alone stands for all that is desirable to him, for he has nothing else but It to ask for, since he has already attained all his objects. Just as another Śruti puts it, 'From the Self is the vital force, from the Self is hope’ (Ch. VII. xxvi. 1). Or the passage may indicate that he is identified with all, as before (I. iv. 10). If he becomes one with the Supreme Self, then only it is proper to use the word ‘Self’ in the phrase ‘from this very Self,’ meaning, ‘from one’s own world, the Self,’ which is the topic. Otherwise the text would have specified it by saying, ‘From the world of work in an undifferentiated state,’ to distinguish it from the world of the Supreme Self as well as from work in a manifested state. But since the Supreme Self has already been introduced (as ‘one’s own world’) and been subsequently specified (by the word ‘Self’), you cannot assume an intermediate state not mentioned in the Śruti.

It has been said that an ignorant man identifying himself with his caste, order of life, and so on, and being controlled by righteousness, thinks he has certain duties to the gods and others and is dependent on them like an animal. Now what are those duties that make him so dependent, and who are the gods and others whom he serves through his actions like an animal? To answer this the text deals with both at length:


Verse 1.4.16:

अथो अयं वा आत्मा सर्वेषाम् भूतानां लोकः; स यज्जुहोति, यद्यजते, तेन देवानां लोकः। अथ यदनुब्रूते तेन र्षिणाम्, अथ यत्पितृभ्यो निपृणाति, यत्प्रजामिच्छते, तेन पितृणाम्; अथ यन्मनुष्यान्वासयते, यदेभ्योऽशनं ददाति, तेन मनुष्याणाम्; अथ यत्पशुभ्यस्तृणोदकं विन्दति, तेन पशूनाम्; यदस्य गृहेषु श्वापदा वयांस्या पिपीलिकाभ्य उपजीवन्ति, तेन तेषां लोकः; यथा ह वै स्वाय लोकायारिष्टिमिच्छेत्, एवं हैवंविदे सर्वाणि भूतान्यरिष्टिमिच्छन्ति; तद्वा एतद्विदितम् मीमांसितम् ॥ १६ ॥

atho ayaṃ vā ātmā sarveṣām bhūtānāṃ lokaḥ; sa yajjuhoti, yadyajate, tena devānāṃ lokaḥ. atha yadanubrūte tena rṣiṇām, atha yatpitṛbhyo nipṛṇāti, yatprajāmicchate, tena pitṛṇām; atha yanmanuṣyānvāsayate, yadebhyo'śanaṃ dadāti, tena manuṣyāṇām; atha yatpaśubhyastṛṇodakaṃ vindati, tena paśūnām; yadasya gṛheṣu śvāpadā vayāṃsyā pipīlikābhya upajīvanti, tena teṣāṃ lokaḥ; yathā ha vai svāya lokāyāriṣṭimicchet, evaṃ haivaṃvide sarvāṇi bhūtānyariṣṭimicchanti; tadvā etadviditam mīmāṃsitam || 16 ||

16. Now this self (the ignorant man) is an object of enjoyment to all beings. That he makes oblations in the fire and performs sacrifices is how he becomes such an object to the gods. That he studies the Vedas is how he becomes an object of enjoyment to the Ṛṣis (sages). That he makes offerings to the Manes and desires children is how he becomes such an object to the Manes. That he gives shelter to men as well as food is how he becomes an object of enjoyment to men. That he gives fodder and water to the animals is how he becomes such an object to them. And that beasts and birds, and even the ants, feed in his home is how he becomes an object of enjoyment to these. Just as one wishes safety to one's body, so do all beings wish safety to him who knows it as such. This indeed has been known, and discussed.

Now—this word is introductory—this self, the householder qualified for rites, who is the subject under consideration, and who being ignorant identifies himself with this microcosm consisting of the body, organs, and so on, is an object of enjoyment to all beings, from the gods down to the ants, being helpful to them through the performance of the duties of their caste, order of life, etc. Now, through what particular duties do they help each particular class, for which they are called the objects of enjoyment to them, and what are these particular classes? This is being answered: That he, this householder, makes oblations in the fire and performs sacrifices, etc. The latter is dedicating some of his things to the gods, and the former is finally offering them in the fire. By this twofold imperative duty he is tied to the gods, being dependent on them like animals. Hence he is their object of enjoyment. That he studies the Vedas daily is how he becomes an object of enjoyment to the Ṛṣis. That he makes offerīngs to the Manes, of cakes, water, etc., and desires children, tries to obtain them—‘desire’ here includes the having of them i.e. raises children, is how he becomes such an object to the Manes. Through this bounden duty he is subservient to the Manes as an object of enjoyment. That he gives shelter to men in his house by giving them a place to sit on, water for washing, and so on, as well as food to these people who stay, or to others who do not stay, but ask for food, is how he becomes an object of enjoyment to men. That he gives fodder and water to the animals is how he becomes such an object to them. And that beasts and birds, and even the ants, feed in his home on the crumbs, the offerings made to them, washings of utensils, etc. is how he becomes an object of enjoyment to these.

Because he helps the gods and others by so many services, therefore just as one wishes safety, nondestruction, continuity of the idea of possession, to one’s body, maintains it in all respects by nourishing and protecting it lest one should lose one’s hold on it, so do all beings, the gods and the rest described above, wish safety, non-destruction, to him who knows it as such, who thinks that he is an object of enjoyment to all beings, and that he must discharge his obligations like a debtor as above. That is, they protect him in all respects to safeguard their rights on him, as a householder does his animals. It has been said, ‘Therefore it is not liked by them,’ etc. (I. iv. 10). This, that the above-mentioned duties must be discharged like debts, indeed has been known from the section dealing with the five[57] great sacrifices (Ś. I. vii. 2. 6), and discussed in the section on the sacrificial offerings (Ś. I. vii. 2. 1).

If by knowing Brahman he gets rid of that bondage of duty which makes him an animal, as it were, under what compulsion does he take up the bondage of ritualistic work as if he were helpless, and not the pursuit of knowledge which is the means of freedom from that?

Objection: Has it not been said that the gods guard him?

Reply: Yes, but they too guard only those who, being qualified for rites, are under their authority. Otherwise this would be attaining the results of actions not done and forfeiting those of actions actually done. But they do not guard any and every man not particularly qualified for rites. Therefore there must be something, goaded by which a man becomes averse to one’s own world, the Self, as if he were helpless.

Objection: Is it not ignorance, for only an ignorant man becomes averse to his own self and engages in activity?

Reply: That is not the motive power either, for it merely conceals the true nature of a thing. But it indirectly becomes the root of initiating action, just as blindness is the cause of one’s falling into a a pit etc.

Objection: Well then, say what is the cause of a man’s activity.

Reply: That is being stated here—it is desire. As the Kaṭha Upaniṣad (II. 5) says that fools, being under ignorance which is natural to man, are outgoing in their tendencies and pursue objects of desire. And the Smṛti also says, ‘It is desire, it is anger,’[58] etc. (G. III. 37). And the Manu Saṃhitā (II. 4) also describes all activity as being due to desire. This import is being elaborated here up to the end of the chapter:


Verse 1.4.17:

आत्मैवेदमग्र आसीतेक एव; सोऽकामयत—जाया मे स्यात्, अथ प्रजायेय; अथ वित्तम् मे स्यात्, अथ कर्म कुर्वीयेति; एतावान् वै कामः, नेच्छंश्चनातो भूयो विन्देत्; तस्मादप्येतर्ह्येकाकी कामयते—जाया मे स्यात्, अथ प्रजायेय; अथ वित्तं मे स्यात्, अथ कर्म कुर्वीयेति; स यावदप्येतेषामेकैकम् न प्राप्नोति, अकृत्स्न एव तावन्मन्यते; तस्यो कृत्स्नता—मन एवास्यात्मा, वाग्जाया, प्राणः प्रजा, चक्षुर्मानुषं वित्तम्, चक्षुषा हि तद्विन्दते; श्रोत्रं दैवम्, श्रोत्रेण हि तच्छृणोति; अत्मैवास्य कर्म, आत्मना हि कर्म करोति; स एष पाङ्क्तो यज्ञः, पाङ्क्तः पशुः, पाङ्क्तः पुरुषः, पाङ्क्तमिदं सर्वं यदिदं किञ्च; तदिदं सर्वमाप्नोति य एवं वेद ॥ १७ ॥

ātmaivedamagra āsīteka eva; so'kāmayata—jāyā me syāt, atha prajāyeya; atha vittam me syāt, atha karma kurvīyeti; etāvān vai kāmaḥ, necchaṃścanāto bhūyo vindet; tasmādapyetarhyekākī kāmayate—jāyā me syāt, atha prajāyeya; atha vittaṃ me syāt, atha karma kurvīyeti; sa yāvadapyeteṣāmekaikam na prāpnoti, akṛtsna eva tāvanmanyate; tasyo kṛtsnatā—mana evāsyātmā, vāgjāyā, prāṇaḥ prajā, cakṣurmānuṣaṃ vittam, cakṣuṣā hi tadvindate; śrotraṃ daivam, śrotreṇa hi tacchṛṇoti; atmaivāsya karma, ātmanā hi karma karoti; sa eṣa pāṅkto yajñaḥ, pāṅktaḥ paśuḥ, pāṅktaḥ puruṣaḥ, pāṅktamidaṃ sarvaṃ yadidaṃ kiñca; tadidaṃ sarvamāpnoti ya evaṃ veda || 17 ||

17. This (aggregate of desirable objects) was but the self in the beginning—the only entity. He desired, ‘Let me have a wife, so that I may be born (as the child). And let me have wealth, so that I may perform rites.’ This much indeed is (the range of) desire. Even if one wishes, one cannot get more than this. Therefore to this day a man being single desires, ‘Let me have a wife, so that I may be born. And let me have wealth, so that I may perform rites.’ Until he obtains each one of these, he considers himself incomplete. His completeness also (comes thus): The mind is his self, speech his wife, the vital force his child, the eye his human wealth, for he obtains it through the eye, the ear his divine wealth, for he hears of it through the ear, and the body is its (instrument of) rite, for he performs rites through the body. (So) this sacrifice has five factors—the animals have five factors, the men have five factors, and all this that exists has five factors. He who knows it as such attains all this.

This was but the self in the beginning, before marriage. ‘Self’ here means a natural, ignorant man of the upper three castes identified with the body and organs (i.e. a student). There was nothing different from that self that could be desired, such as a wife, and the self was the only entity in existence, possessed of ignorance which is the root of the desire for a wife and so forth. Being tinged by the impressions of ignorance that are natural to one and consist in a superimposition on the Self of ideas of action, its factors such as the agent, and its results, he desired. How? Let me, the agent, have a wife who will qualify me for the rites. Without her I am not qualified for them. Hence let me have a wife, to confer on me this right. So that I myself may be born, as the child. And let me have wealth such as cattle, which are the means of performing the rites, so that I may perform rites[59] that will give me prosperity and liberation, in order that I may perform rites that will wipe out my indebtedness and help me to attain the worlds of the gods and others, as well as rites that have material ends, such as those leading to the birth of a son, wealth and heaven. This much indeed, i.e. limited to these things only, is desire. Desirable objects are only these—the things comprised by the desire for means, viz. wife, son, wealth and rites. The three worlds, viz. those of men, the Manes and the gods, are but the results of the above. For the desire for means, viz. wife, son, wealth and rites, is for securing these. Therefore the desire for the worlds is the same as the previous one. That one and the same desire assumes a twofold aspect according to ends and means. Hence it will be asserted later on, ‘For both these are but desires’ (III. v. 1; IV. iv. 22).

Since all undertakings are for the sake of results, the desire for the worlds, being implied by the former desire, is taken as mentioned; hence the assertion, ‘This much indeed is desire.' When eating has been mentioned, the resulting satisfaction has not to be separately mentioned, for eating is meant for that. These two hankerings after the ends and means are the desire, prompted by which an ignorant man helplessly enmeshes himself like a silkworm, and through absorption in the path of rituals becomes outgoing in his tendencies and does not know his own worlā, the Self. As the Taittiriya Brāhmaṇa says, ‘Being infatuated with rites performed with the help of fire, and choked by smoke, they do not know their own world, the Self' (III. x. 11. 1). One may ask, how are desires asserted to be so many, for they are infinite? This is being explained: Because even if one wishes, one cannot get more than this, which consists of the results and means. There is nothing in life besides these results and means, either visible or invisible, that can be acquired. Desire is concerning things to be acquired, and since these extend no farther than the above, it is but proper to say, ‘This much indeed is desire.’ The idea is this: Desire consists of the two hankerings after the ends and means, visible or invisible, which are the special sphere of an ignorant man. Hence the wise man should renounce them.

In ancient times an ignorant man possessed of desire wished like this, and others before him had also done the same. Such is the way of the world. This creation of Virāj has been like this. It has been said that he was afraid on account of his ignorance; then, prompted by desire, he was unhappy in being alone, and to remove that boredom he wished for a wife; and he was united with her, which led to this creation. Because it was like this, therefore to this day, in his creation, a man being single, before marriage, desires, ‘Let me have a wife, so that I may be born. And let me have wealth, so that I may perform rites.’ This has already been explathed. Desiring like this and trying to secure a wife and so forth, until he obtains each one of these, the wife and the rest, he considers himself incomplete. As a corollary to this, we understand that he is complete when he secures all of these things. But when he fails to attain this completeness, the Śruti suggests a method to bring this about: His completeness, the completeness of this man who considers himself incomplete, is this—comes about in this way. How? This body with organs etc. is being divided. Since the rest of them follow the mind, it, being their chief, is like the self, hence it is his self. As the head of a family is the self, as it were, of the wife and the rest,[60] for these four follow him, so here also the mind is conceived of as the self of this man for his completeness. Similarly speech is his wife, for speech follows the mind as a wife does her husband. ‘Speech’ here means words conveying an injunction or prohibition, which the mind receives through the ear, understands and uses. Hence speech is like a wife to the mind. These, speech and mind, standing for wife and husband, produce the vital force for performing rites. Hence the vital force is like a child.

These rites, which represent the activity of the vital force etc., are performed with the help of wealth that is visible to the eye. Hence the eye is human wealth. Wealth is of two kinds, human and other than human; hence the qualifying word ‘human’ to keep out the other kind. Human wealth such as cattle, which is used in ceremonies, is seen by the eye. Hence the eye stands for it. Because of this relationship with it, the eye is called human wealth. For he obtains it, the human wealth, through the eye, i.e. sees cows etc. What is the other kind of wealth? The ear is divine wealth, for since meditation is concerning the gods, it is called divine wealth, and here the ear corresponds to that. How? For he hears of it, the divine wealth, or meditation, through the ear. Hence, meditation being dependent on the ear, the latter is called divine wealth. Now in this matter of resemblances what is the rite that is performed by these beginning with the self and ending with wealth? This is being answered: The body is his rite. ‘Ātman’ (self) here means the body. How does the body stand for the rite? Because it is the cause of the rite. How? For he performs rītes through the body. For the man who considers himself incomplete, completeness can be attained in this way through imagination, just as externally it can be brought about by having a wife and so on. Therefore this sacrifice has five factors, and is accomplished only through meditation even by one who does not perform rites. But how can it be called a sacrifice by being merely conceived as having five factors? Because the external sacrifice too is performed through animals and men, and both these have five factors, being connected with the five things described above, such as the mind. This is expressed by the text: The animals such as cows, have five factors, and the men have five factors. Although men also are animals, yet being qualified for rites, they are distinguished from the others, hence they are separately mentioned. In short, all this, the means and the results of rites, that exists has five factors. He who knows it as such, imagines himself to be the sacrifice consisting of five factors, attains all this universe as his own self.

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Footnotes / commentary:


Including the previous sections of this book.


The word used here is ‘Prajāpati,’ which means both Hiraṇyagarbha and Virāj, the subtle and gross forms, respectively, of the same being. Śaṅkara often uses these two terms almost interchangeably. This should be borne in mind to avoid confusion.


In I. iv. 11-13.


See footnote 2 on p. 93.


From now on a set of prima facie views will be presented. The decision will come later.


That is, as the individual sell.


In which the self is supposed to possess fourteen attributes, viz. intelligence, happiness, misery, and so on.


The view of the old school of Nyāya as also the Sāṃkhyas.


As a lamp has, the flame illumining the rest of it.


Vaiśeṣika view.


Ten rustics swam across a stream, and one of them counted their number to see if everyone had safely crossed. To their dismāy one was found missing. Then everyone took his turn at counting, but the lesuît was the same. So they began to lament, when a kind passer-by inquired what it was all about. On being told what had happened, he readily understood the situation, and asked one of them to count again. When he stopped at nine, the new-comer said to him, ‘You are the tenth man.’ This he repeated with the rest of them. Then they saw their mistake and went away happy. Everyone had left himself out in the counting !


As It is in reality, although they see Its conditioned aspect.


The root-meaning of the word ‘Ātman’ is that which pervades everything.


Apūrva-vidhi: It enjoins something totally unknown through any other source. There are two other kinds of injunction. One is the restrictive injunction (Niyama-vidhi), which only specifies which one among the possible known alternatives is to be adopted, and the other is exclusion (Parisariikhyā), or limitation to what is expressly mentioned, so that everything else is excluded.


See p. 135.


Giving up forbidden acts as well as rites with material ends.


Giving up the regular and occasional rites.


And not an injunction, which is the sole test of authority for the Vedas according to the Mīmāṃsakas.


By the scriptures; e.g. marriage, for the sake of having a son. 


Viz. that everybody has dear ones and suffers when they die. Although the knower of Brahman has no such limited vision and therefore does not suffer on that account, yet he is here described in terms that are merely conventional.


Since mortal things cannot be immortal, it only means that they attain longer life by virtue of this meditation.


‘All' here as well as in many subsequent passages means ‘infinite existence.’


The view(?)n earlier commentator (Vṛttikāra).


‘Rice’ here means the cooked grains.


He can be a monk only after the sacrifice.


Bhartṛprapañca, another commentator.


Adapted from Ch. VI. ii. r and Mu. II. ii. 11 respectively.


An echo oí IV. iv. 19.


Adapted from III. v. 1.


By scriptural injunctions, making it a subsidiary part of rites.


This is a kind of meditation known as ‘Sampad,’ in which an inferior thing is thought of as a superior thing


They only give first-hand information about things unknown. They do not produce anything new. See p. 301.


Consisting of chapters I—II and III—V respectively.


Which, according to the opponent, is the individual self. Hence the entity known would be Brahman, thus justifying the name of the knowledge.


See commentary on I. v. 3.


The teacher.


The suffix Śatṛ, denoting concurrence.


The variety that we see in the world can be explained only as the outcome of men’s diverse past work.


The one arising at the moment of death.


As the basis of our ego-consciousness.


The ego-consciousness deals with the individual self, not the Supreme Self, the Witness. See p. 118.


Notions opposed to reality: considering the non-Self to be the Self and vice versa.


The knowledge of Brahman.


To the resulting identification with the universe, and 90 on. The relation here is that of means and end.


Virāj in the form Fire, who was a Brāhmaṇa.


See Pāṇini I. ii. 58.


Meaning an action approved by the scriptures. In II. v. 11 ‘Dharma’ means the unseen result of such action (Apūrva).


The more obvious meaning, as given in the Vārttika, is: ‘As (one does) through the king.’


That is, having first become Fire and the Brāhmaṇa.


Presided over by the Vasus etc.


Presided over by Pūṣan.


This is suggestive also of the duties belonging to his caste.


Bhartrprapañca is meant.


By offering oblations and presents respectively.


See footnote on p. 121.


A paraphrase of a portion of the previous sentence.


Viz. those meant for the gods, the Ṛṣis, the Manes, men and animals. They have been described in the text.


Which is desire thwarted.


The regular and occasional rites.


Son, human wealth and divine wealth.

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