The Brihadaranyaka Upanishad

The Bṛhadāraṇyaka Upaniṣad (with the Commentary of Śaṅkarācārya)

by Swāmī Mādhavānanda | 1950 | 272,359 words | ISBN-10: 8175051027

This Upanishad is widely known for its philosophical statements and is ascribed to Yajnavalkya. It looks at reality as being indescribable and its nature to be infinite and consciousness-bliss. Ethics revolve around the five Yajnas or sacrifices. This book includes the english translation of the Bhāṣya of Śaṅkara. The Shankara-Bhashya is the most ...

Section IX - Yajnavalkya and Vidagdha

The Brahman that is within all has been indicated by a description of how, in the series of things beginning with earth ranged according to their density, each preceding item is pervaded by the succeeding one. And that Brahman has been described as the Ruler of the diverse forms of the Sūtra (such as earth) which are comprised in the differentiated universe, because in it the indications of this relation are so much more patent. The present section, named after Śākalya, is introduced in order to convey the immediacy and directness of that Brahman by a reference to the contraction and expansion of the different gods who are ruled by It.

 

Verse 3.9.1:

अथ हैनं विदग्धः शाकल्यः पप्रच्छ, कति देवा याज्ञवल्क्येति; स हैतयैव निविदा प्रतिपेदे, यावन्तो वैश्वदेवस्य निविद्युच्यन्ते—त्रयश्च त्री च शता, त्रयश्च त्री च सहस्रेति; ओमिति होवाच, कत्येव देवा याज्ञवल्क्येति; त्रयस्त्रिंशदिति; ओमिति होवाच; कत्येव देवा याज्ञवल्क्येति; षडित्य्; ओमिति होवाच, कत्येव देवा याज्ञवल्क्येति; त्रय इति; ओमिति होवाच, कत्येव देवा याज्ञवल्क्येति; द्वाविति; ओमिति होवाच, कत्येव देवा याज्ञवल्क्येति; अध्यर्ध इति; ओमिति होवाच, कत्येव देवा याज्ञवल्क्येति; एक इति; ओमिति होवाच, कतमे ते त्रयश्च त्री च शता, त्रयश्च त्री च सहस्रेति ॥ १ ॥

atha hainaṃ vidagdhaḥ śākalyaḥ papraccha, kati devā yājñavalkyeti; sa haitayaiva nividā pratipede, yāvanto vaiśvadevasya nividyucyante—trayaśca trī ca śatā, trayaśca trī ca sahasreti; omiti hovāca, katyeva devā yājñavalkyeti; trayastriṃśaditi; omiti hovāca; katyeva devā yājñavalkyeti; ṣaḍity; omiti hovāca, katyeva devā yājñavalkyeti; traya iti; omiti hovāca, katyeva devā yājñavalkyeti; dvāviti; omiti hovāca, katyeva devā yājñavalkyeti; adhyardha iti; omiti hovāca, katyeva devā yājñavalkyeti; eka iti; omiti hovāca, katame te trayaśca trī ca śatā, trayaśca trī ca sahasreti || 1 ||

1. Then Vidagdha, the son of Śakala, asked him. ‘How many gods are there, Yājñavalkya?’ Yājñavalkya decided it through this (group of Mantras known as) Nivid (saying), ‘As many as are indicated in the Nivid of the Viśvadevas—three hundred and three, and three thousand and three.’ ‘Very well,’ said Śākalya, ‘how many gods are there, Yājñavalkya?’ ‘Thirty-three.’ ‘Very well,’ said the other, ‘how many gods are there, Yājñavalkya?’ ‘Six.’ ‘Very well’ said Śākalya, ‘how many gods are there, Yājñavalkya?’ ‘Three.’ ‘Very well,’ said the other, ‘how many gods are there, Yājñavalkya?’ ‘Two.’ ‘Very well,’ said Śākalya, ‘how many gods are there, Yājñavalkya?’ ‘One and a half.’ ‘Very well,’ said the other, ‘how many gods are there, Yājñavalkya?’ ‘One.’ ‘Very well,’ said Śākalya, ‘which are those three hundred and three and three thousand and three?’

Then Vidagdha, the son of Śakala, asked him, ‘How many gods are there, Yājñavalkya?’ Yājñavalkya decided the number asked for by Śākalya through this Nivid that is just going to be mentioned. ‘As many gods as are indicated in the Nivid of the eulogistic hymn on the Viśvadevas.’ The Nivid is a group of verses giving the number of the gods, which are recited in the eulogistic hymn on the Viśvadevas. ‘There are as many gods as are mentioned in that Nivid.’ Which is that Nivid? The words of that Nivid are quoted: ‘Three hundred and three gods, and again three thousand and three gods. So many gods are there.’ ‘Very well,’ said Śākalya, ‘you know their intermediate number correctly.’ He next asks the smaller number of these very gods, ‘How many gods are there, Yājñavalkya?’ (Yājñavalkya answers one by one:) Thirty-three, six, three, two, one and a half, and one. After asking the larger and the smaller number of the gods, he now asks about their identity, ‘Which are those three hundred and three, and three thousand and three?’

 

Verse 3.9.2:

स होवाच, महिमान एवैषामेते, त्रयस्त्रिंशत्त्वेव देवा इति; कतमे ते त्रयस्त्रिंशदिति; अष्टौ वसवः, एकादश रुद्राः, द्वादशादित्याः, ते एकत्रिंशत्, इन्द्रश्चैव प्रजापतिश्च त्रयस्त्रिंशाविति ॥ २ ॥

sa hovāca, mahimāna evaiṣāmete, trayastriṃśattveva devā iti; katame te trayastriṃśaditi; aṣṭau vasavaḥ, ekādaśa rudrāḥ, dvādaśādityāḥ, te ekatriṃśat, indraścaiva prajāpatiśca trayastriṃśāviti || 2 ||

2. Yājñavalkya said, ‘These are but the manifestations of them, but there are only thirty-three gods.’ ‘Which are those thirty-three?’ ‘The eight Vasus, the eleven Rudras and the twelve Ādityas—these are thirty-one, and Indra and Prajāpati make up the thirty-three.’

Yājñavalkya said, ‘These, the three hundred and three etc., are hut the manifestations of them, the thirty-three gods. But really there are only thirty-three gods.’ ‘Which are those thirty-three?’ The reply is being given: ‘The eight Vasus, the eleven Rudras and the twelve Ādityas—these are thirty-one, and Indra and Prajāpati make up the thirty-three.’

 

Verse 3.9.3:

कतमे वसव इति; अग्निश्च पृथिवी च वायुश्चान्तरिक्शं चादित्यश्च द्यौश्च चन्द्रमाश्च नक्शत्राणि चैते वसवः; एतेषु हीदं वसु सर्वं हितमिति तस्माद्वसव इति ॥ ३ ॥

katame vasava iti; agniśca pṛthivī ca vāyuścāntarikśaṃ cādityaśca dyauśca candramāśca nakśatrāṇi caite vasavaḥ; eteṣu hīdaṃ vasu sarvaṃ hitamiti tasmādvasava iti || 3 ||

3. ‘Which are the Vasus?’ ‘Fire, the earth, the air, the sky, the sun, heaven, the moon and the stars—these are the Vasus, for in these all this is placed; therefore they are called Vasus.’

‘Which are the Vasus?’ The identity of each group of the gods is being asked. ‘Fire, the earth,’ etc.—from fire up to the stars are the Vasus. Transforming themselves into the bodies and organs of all beings, which serve as the support for their work and its fruition, as also into their dwelling-places, these gods help every being to live, and they themselves live too. Because they help others to live, therefore they are called Vasus.

 

Verse 3.9.4:

कतमे रुद्रा इति; दशेमे पुरुषे प्राणा आत्मैकादशः; ते यदास्माच्छरीरान्मर्त्यादुत्क्रामन्त्यथ रोदयन्ति; तद्यद्रोदयन्ति तस्माद्रुद्रा इति ॥ ४ ॥

katame rudrā iti; daśeme puruṣe prāṇā ātmaikādaśaḥ; te yadāsmāccharīrānmartyādutkrāmantyatha rodayanti; tadyadrodayanti tasmādrudrā iti || 4 ||

4. ‘Which are the Rudras?’ ‘The ten organs in the human body, with the mind as the eleventh. When they depart from this mortal body, they make (one’s relatives) weep. Because they then make them weep, therefore they are called Rudras,’

Which are the Rudras?’ ‘ten sensory and motor organs in the human body, with the mind as the eleventh. When they, these organs; depart from this mortal body, after a person has completely experienced the results of his past work, they make his relatives weep. Because they then make them weep (Rud), therefore they are called Rudras.’

 

Verse 3.9.5:

कतम आदित्या इति । द्वादश वै मासाः संवत्सरस्य, एत आदित्याः, एते हीदं सर्वमाददाना यन्ति; ते यदिदं सर्वमाददाना यन्ति तस्मादादित्या इति ॥ ५ ॥

katama ādityā iti । dvādaśa vai māsāḥ saṃvatsarasya, eta ādityāḥ, ete hīdaṃ sarvamādadānā yanti; te yadidaṃ sarvamādadānā yanti tasmādādityā iti || 5 ||

5. ‘Which are the Ādityas?’ ‘The twelve months (are parts) of a year; these are the Ādityas, for they go taking all this with them. Because they go taking all this with them, there-fore they are called Ādityas.’

‘Which are the Ādityas?’ ‘It is well known that the twelve months are parts of a year; these are the Ādityas. How? For as they rotate they go taking a person’s longevity and the results of his work with them. Because they go taking (Ādā) all this with them, therefore they are called Ādityas.’

 

Verse 3.9.6:

कतम इन्द्रः, कतमः प्रजापतिरिति; स्तनयित्नुरेवेन्द्रः, यज्ञः प्रजापतिरिति; कतमः स्तनयित्नुरिति; अशनिरिति; कतमो यज्ञ इति; पशव इति ॥ ६ ॥

katama indraḥ, katamaḥ prajāpatiriti; stanayitnurevendraḥ, yajñaḥ prajāpatiriti; katamaḥ stanayitnuriti; aśaniriti; katamo yajña iti; paśava iti || 6 ||

6. ‘Which is Indra, and which is Prajāpati?’ ‘The cloud is Indra, and the sacrifice is Prajāpati.’ ‘Which is the cloud?’ ‘Thunder (strength).’ ‘Which is the sacrifice?’ ‘Animals.’

‘Which is Indra, and which is Prajāpati?’ ‘The cloud is Indra, and the sacrīfice is Prajāpati.’ ‘Which is the cloud?’ ‘Thunder,’ i.e. vigour or strength, which kills others; that is Indra, for it is his function. ‘Which is the sacrīfice?’ ‘Animals,’ for they are the means of a sacrifice. Because a sacrifice has no form of its own and depends on its means, the animals, therefore they are called sacrifice.

 

Verse 3.9.7:

कतमे षडित्य्; अग्निश्च पृथिवी च वायुश्चान्तरिक्शं चादित्यश्च द्यौश्चैते षड्, एते हीदं सर्वं षडिति ॥ ७ ॥

katame ṣaḍity; agniśca pṛthivī ca vāyuścāntarikśaṃ cādityaśca dyauścaite ṣaḍ, ete hīdaṃ sarvaṃ ṣaḍiti || 7 ||

7. ‘Which axe the six (gods)?’ ‘Fire, the earth, the air the sky, the sun and heaven— these are the six. Because all those (gods) are (comprised in) these six.’

‘Which are the six (gods)?’ The same gods, fire and the rest, that are classed as Vasus, leaving out the moon and the stars, become six in number. 'Because all those (thirty-three and other gods) that have been spoken of are these six.’ In other words, the Vasus and others that have been enumerated as details are included in these six.

 

Verse 3.9.8:

कतमे ते त्रयो देवा इति; इम एव त्रयो लोकाः, एषु हीमे सर्वे देवा इति; कतमौ तौ द्वौ देवाविति; अन्नं चैव प्राणश्चेति; कतमो'ध्यर्ध इति; यो'यं पवत इति ॥ ८ ॥

katame te trayo devā iti; ima eva trayo lokāḥ, eṣu hīme sarve devā iti; katamau tau dvau devāviti; annaṃ caiva prāṇaśceti; katamo'dhyardha iti; yo'yaṃ pavata iti || 8 ||

8. ‘Which are the three gods?’ ‘These three worlds, because in these all those gods are comprised.’ ‘Which are the two gods?’ ‘Matter and the vital force.[1]’ ‘Which are the one and a half?’ ‘This (air) that blows.’

‘Which are the three gods?’ ‘These three worlds.’ The earth and ñre taken together make one god, the sky and air make another, and heaven and the sun make a third; these are the three gods. Because in these three gods all the gods are comprised, therefore these are the three gods; this is the view of a certain section of philologists. ‘Which are the two gods?’ ‘Matter and the vital force’—these are the two gods; that is to say, these include all the gods that have been enumerated. ‘Which are the one and a half?’ ‘This air that blows.’

 

Verse 3.9.9:

तदाहुः, यदयमेक इवैव पवते, अथ कथमध्यर्ध इति; यदस्मिन्निदं सर्वमध्यार्ध्नोत्, तेनाध्यर्ध इति; कतम एको देव इति; प्राण इति स ब्रह्म त्यदित्याचक्शते ॥ ९ ॥

tadāhuḥ, yadayameka ivaiva pavate, atha kathamadhyardha iti; yadasminnidaṃ sarvamadhyārdhnot, tenādhyardha iti; katama eko deva iti; prāṇa iti sa brahma tyadityācakśate || 9 ||

9. ‘Regarding this some say, “Since the air blows as one substance, how can it be one and a half?” It is one and a half because through its presence all this attains surpassing glory.’ ‘Which is the one god?’ ‘The vital force (Hiraṇyagarbha); it is Brahman, which is called Tyat (that).’

‘Regarding this some say in objection, “the air blows as one substance, how can it be one and a half?” It is one and a half because through its presence all this attains surpassing glory.’ ‘Which is the one god?’ ‘The vital force it, the vital force, is Brahman, for it is vast, being the sum total of all the gods. And this Brahman is called Tyat (that),’ which is a word denoting remoteness. Thus the gods are one as well as many. The infinite number of gods are included in the limited number mentioned in the Nivid; these again are included in the successive (smaller) numbers, thirty-three and so on, up to the one vital force. It is this one vital force which expands into all those numbers up to the infinite. Thus the vital force alone is one and infinite as well as possessed of the intermediate numbers. That this one god, the vital force, has different names, forms, activities, attributes and powers is due to individual differences of qualification.[2]

Now eight other forms of that same vital force which is a form of Brahman are being set forth:

 

Verse 3.9.10:

पृथिव्येव यस्यायतनम्, अग्निर्लोकः, मनोज्योतिः, यो वै तं पुरुषं विद्यात्सर्वस्यात्मनः परायणम्, स वै वेदिता स्याद्याज्ञवल्क्य । वेद वा अहं तं पुरुषं सर्वस्यात्मनः परायणं यमात्थ; य एवायं शारीरः पुरुषः स एष, वदैव शाकल्य; तस्य का देवतेति; अमृतमिति होवाच ॥ १० ॥

pṛthivyeva yasyāyatanam, agnirlokaḥ, manojyotiḥ, yo vai taṃ puruṣaṃ vidyātsarvasyātmanaḥ parāyaṇam, sa vai veditā syādyājñavalkya | veda vā ahaṃ taṃ puruṣaṃ sarvasyātmanaḥ parāyaṇaṃ yamāttha; ya evāyaṃ śārīraḥ puruṣaḥ sa eṣa, vadaiva śākalya; tasya kā devateti; amṛtamiti hovāca || 10 ||

10. ‘He who knows that being whose abode is the earth, whose instrument of vision is fire, whose light is the Manas, and who is the ultimate resort of the entire body and organs, knows truly, O Yājñavalkya.’ ‘I know that being of whom you speak—who is the ultimate resort of the entire body and organs. It is the being who is identified with the body. Go on, śākalya.’ ‘Who is his deity (cause)?’ ‘Nectar (chyle),’ said he.

He who knows that being or god whose abode is the earth, whose instrument of vision is fire: ‘Loka’ here means that through which one sees; that is to say, who sees through fire. Whose light is the Manas, who considers the pros and cons of a thing through the Manas. In other words, this god has the earth for his body and fire for his eye, weighs things through the mind, identifies himself with the earth, and is possessed of a body and organs. And who is the ultimate resort of the entire body and organs. The idea is this: As the skin, flesh and blood derived from the mother, which stand for the field, he is the ultimate resort of the bone, marrow and sperm derived from the father, which stand for the seed, as well as of the organs. He who knows it as such knows truly, is a scholar. You do not know him, Yājñavalkya, but still pose as a scholar. This is his idea.

‘If knowing him confers scholarship, I know that being of whom you speak—who is the ultimate resort of the entire body and organs Then Śākalya must have said, ‘If you know that being, tell me what his description is.’ ‘Listen what it is,’ says the other, ‘it is the being who is identified with the body, which preponderates in earthy elements, i.e. who is represented by the three constituents of the body, or sheaths, as they are called, derived from the mother—that is the god about whom you have asked, Śākalya. But there is something more to be said about him by way of description; go on, Śākalya, i.e. ask about it.’ Thus challenged, he was furious like a goaded elephant and said, ‘Who is his deity, the deity of that god identified with the body?’ That from which something emanates has been spoken of in this section as the deity of that thing. ‘Nectar,’ said he. ‘Nectar’ here means chyle, or the watery essence of the food that is eaten, which produces the blood derived from the mother; for it generates the blood stored in a woman, and this blood produces the skin, flesh and blood of the foetus, which are the support of its bone, marrow, etc. The common portions of the next seven paragraphs need no explanation.

 

Verse 3.9.11:

काम एव यस्यायतनम्, हृदयं लोकः, मनोज्योतिः, यो वै तं पुरुषं विद्यात्सर्वस्यात्मनः परायणम्, स वै वेदिता स्याद्याज्ञवल्क्य । वेद वा अहं तं पुरुषं सर्वस्यात्मनः परायणं यमात्थ; य एवायं काममयः पुरुषः स एषः, वदैव शाकल्य; तस्य का देवतेति; स्त्रिय इति होवाच ॥ ११ ॥

kāma eva yasyāyatanam, hṛdayaṃ lokaḥ, manojyotiḥ, yo vai taṃ puruṣaṃ vidyātsarvasyātmanaḥ parāyaṇam, sa vai veditā syādyājñavalkya | veda vā ahaṃ taṃ puruṣaṃ sarvasyātmanaḥ parāyaṇaṃ yamāttha; ya evāyaṃ kāmamayaḥ puruṣaḥ sa eṣaḥ, vadaiva śākalya; tasya kā devateti; striya iti hovāca || 11 ||

11. ‘He who knows that being whose abode is lust, whose instrument of vision is the intellect, whose light is the Manas, and who is the ultimate resort of the entire body and organs, knows truly, O Yājñavalkya.’ ‘I know that being of whom you speak—who is the ultimate resort of the entire body and organs. It is the being who is identified with lust. Go on, Śākalya.’ ‘Who is his deity?’ ‘Women,’ said he.

Whose abode is lust,’ or the desire for sex pleasures; that is, who has lust as his body. ‘Whose instrument of vision is the intellect,’ i.e. who sees through the intellect. ‘It is the being identified with lust,’ and the same in the body as well. ‘Who is his deity?’ ‘Women,’ said he, for men’s desire is inflamed through them.

 

Verse 3.9.12:

रूपाण्येव यस्यायतनम्, चक्शुर्लोकः, मनोज्योतिः, यो वै तं पुरुषं विद्यात्सर्वस्यात्मनः परायणम्, स वै वेदिता स्याद्याज्ञवल्क्य । वेद वा अहं तं पुरुषं सर्वस्यात्मनः परायणं यमात्थ; य एवासावादित्ये पुरुषः स एषः, वदैव शाकल्य; तस्य का देवतेति; सत्यमिति होवाच ॥ १२ ॥

rūpāṇyeva yasyāyatanam, cakśurlokaḥ, manojyotiḥ, yo vai taṃ puruṣaṃ vidyātsarvasyātmanaḥ parāyaṇam, sa vai veditā syādyājñavalkya | veda vā ahaṃ taṃ puruṣaṃ sarvasyātmanaḥ parāyaṇaṃ yamāttha; ya evāsāvāditye puruṣaḥ sa eṣaḥ, vadaiva śākalya; tasya kā devateti; satyamiti hovāca || 12 ||

12. ‘He who knows that being whose abode is colours, whose instrument of vision is the eye, whose light is the Manas, and who is the ultimate resort of the entire body and organs, knows truly, O Yājñavalkya.’ ‘I know that being of whom you speak—who is the ultimate resort of the entire body and organs. It is the being who is in the sun. Go on. śākalya.’ ‘Who is his deity?’ ‘Truth (the eye),’ said he.

'Whose abode is colours.’ white, black, etc. ‘It is the being who is in the sun.’ for he is the particular effect of all colours.’[3] ‘Who is his deity?’ ‘Truth.’ said he. ‘Truth’ here means the eye, for the sun among the gods is the product[4] of the eye in one’s body.

 

Verse 3.9.13:

आकाश एव यस्यायतनम्, श्रोत्रं लोकः, मनोज्योतिः, यो वै तं पुरुषं विद्यात्सर्वस्यात्मनः परायणम्, स वै वेदिता स्याद्याज्ञवल्क्य । वेद वा अहं तं पुरुषं सर्वस्यात्मनः परायणं यमात्थ; य एवायं श्रौत्रः प्रातिश्रुत्कः पुरुषः स एष, वदैव शाकल्य; तस्य का देवतेति; दिश इति होवाच ॥ १३ ॥

ākāśa eva yasyāyatanam, śrotraṃ lokaḥ, manojyotiḥ, yo vai taṃ puruṣaṃ vidyātsarvasyātmanaḥ parāyaṇam, sa vai veditā syādyājñavalkya | veda vā ahaṃ taṃ puruṣaṃ sarvasyātmanaḥ parāyaṇaṃ yamāttha; ya evāyaṃ śrautraḥ prātiśrutkaḥ puruṣaḥ sa eṣa, vadaiva śākalya; tasya kā devateti; diśa iti hovāca || 13 ||

13. ‘He who knows that being whose abode is the ether, whose instrument of vision is the ear, whose light is the Manas, and who is the ultimate resort of the entire body and organs, knows truly, O Yājñavalkya.’ ‘I know that being of whom you speak—who is the ultimate resort of the entire body and organs. It is the being who is identified with the ear and with the time of hearing. Go on, Śākalya.’ ‘Who is his deity?’ ‘The quarters,’ said he.

Whose abode is the ether,’ etc. ‘It is the being who is identified with the ear and particularly with the time of hearing.’ ‘Who is his deity?’ ‘The quarters,’ said he, for (the śrutis say) it is from the quarters that this particular being within the body is produced.

 

Verse 3.9.14:

तम एव यस्यायतनम्, हृदयं लोकः, मनोज्योतिः, यो वै तं पुरुषं विद्यात्सर्वस्यात्मनः परायणम्, स वै वेदिता स्याद्याज्ञवल्क्य । वेद वा अहं तं पुरुषं सर्वस्यात्मनः परायणं यमात्थ; य एवायं छायामयः पुरुषः स एषः, वदैव शाकल्य; तस्य का देवतेति; मृत्युरिति होवाच ॥ १४ ॥

tama eva yasyāyatanam, hṛdayaṃ lokaḥ, manojyotiḥ, yo vai taṃ puruṣaṃ vidyātsarvasyātmanaḥ parāyaṇam, sa vai veditā syādyājñavalkya | veda vā ahaṃ taṃ puruṣaṃ sarvasyātmanaḥ parāyaṇaṃ yamāttha; ya evāyaṃ chāyāmayaḥ puruṣaḥ sa eṣaḥ, vadaiva śākalya; tasya kā devateti; mṛtyuriti hovāca || 14 ||

14. ‘He who knows that being whose abode is darkness, whose instrument of vision is the intellect, whose light is the Manas, and who is the ultimate resort of the entire body and organs, knows truly, O Yājñavalkya.' ‘I know that being of whom you speak—who is the ultimate resort of the entire body and organs. It is the being who is identified with shadow (ignorance). Go on, Śākalya.’ ‘Who is his deity?’ ‘Death,’ said he.

‘Whose abode is darkness’ such as that of the night. In the body 'it is the being identified with shadow, or ignorance.’ ‘Who is his deity?’ ‘Death,’ said he. Among the gods this is his cause (according to the Śrutis).

 

Verse 3.9.15:

रूपाण्येव यस्यायतनम्, अक्शुर्लोकः, मनोज्योतिः, यो वै तं पुरुषं विद्यात्सर्वस्यात्मनः परायणम्, स वै वेदिता स्याद्याज्ञवल्क्य । वेद वा अहं तं पुरुषं सर्वस्यात्मनः परायणं यमात्थ; य एवायमादर्शे पुरुषः, स एषः, वदैव शाकल्य; तस्य का देवतेति; असुरिति होवाच ॥ १५ ॥

rūpāṇyeva yasyāyatanam, akśurlokaḥ, manojyotiḥ, yo vai taṃ puruṣaṃ vidyātsarvasyātmanaḥ parāyaṇam, sa vai veditā syādyājñavalkya | veda vā ahaṃ taṃ puruṣaṃ sarvasyātmanaḥ parāyaṇaṃ yamāttha; ya evāyamādarśe puruṣaḥ, sa eṣaḥ, vadaiva śākalya; tasya kā devateti; asuriti hovāca || 15 ||

15. ‘He who knows that being whose abode is (particular) colours, whose instrument of vision is the eye, whose light is the Manas, and who is the ultimate resort of the entire body and organs, knows truly, O Yājñavalkya.’ ‘I know that being of whom you speak—who is the ultimate resort of the entire body and organs. It is the being who is in a looking-glass. Go on, Śākalya.’ ‘Who is his deity?’ ‘The vital force,’ said he.

‘Whose abode is colours.’ In paragraph 12 colours in general were referred to; but here particular colours, those that reflect, are meant. The particular abode ot the god who dwells in these colours is reflecting objects such as a looking-glass. ‘Who is his deity?’ ‘The vital force,’ said he. That being called reflection emanates from the vital force.[5]

 

Verse 3.9.16:

रूपाण्येव यस्यायतनम्, अक्शुर्लोकः, मनोज्योतिः, यो वै तं पुरुषं विद्यात्सर्वस्यात्मनः परायणम्, स वै वेदिता स्याद्याज्ञवल्क्य । वेद वा अहं तं पुरुषं सर्वस्यात्मनः परायणं यमात्थ; य एवायमादर्शे पुरुषः, स एषः, वदैव शाकल्य; तस्य का देवतेति; असुरिति होवाच ॥ १५ ॥

āpa eva yasyāyatanam, hṛdayaṃ lokaḥ, manojyotiḥ, yo vai taṃ puruṣaṃ vidyātsarvasyātmanaḥ parāyaṇam, sa vai veditā syādyājñavalkya | veda vā ahaṃ taṃ puruṣaṃ sarvasyātmanaḥ parāyaṇaṃ yamāttha; ya evāyamapsu puruṣaḥ sa eṣaḥ, vadaiva śākalya; tasya kā devateti; varuṇa iti hovāca ॥ 16 ॥

16. ‘He who knows that being whose abode is water, whose instrument of vision is the intellect, whose light is the Manas, and who is the ultimate resort of the entire body and organs, knows truly, O Yājñavalkya.’ ‘I know that being of whom you speak—who is the ultimate resort of the entire body and organs. It is the being who is in water. Go on, śākalya.’ ‘Who is his deity?’ ‘Varuṇa (rain),’ said he.

‘Whose abode is water’ in general. He specially lives in the water of reservoirs, wells, tanks, etc. ‘Who is his deity?’ ‘Varuṇa (rain).’ Because the water that is (drunk and) forms the body comes from rain; it is again the cause of the water of reservoirs etc.[6]

 

Verse 3.9.17:

रेत एव यस्यायतनम्, हृदयं लोकः, मनोज्योतिः, यो वै तं पुरुषं विद्यात्सर्वस्यात्मनः परायणम्, स वै वेदिता स्याद्याज्ञवल्क्य । वेद वा अहं तं पुरुषं सर्वस्यात्मनः परायणं यमात्थ; य एवायं पुत्रमयः पुरुषः स एषः, वदैव शाकल्य; तस्य का देवतेति; प्रजापतिरिति होवाच ॥ १७ ॥

reta eva yasyāyatanam, hṛdayaṃ lokaḥ, manojyotiḥ, yo vai taṃ puruṣaṃ vidyātsarvasyātmanaḥ parāyaṇam, sa vai veditā syādyājñavalkya | veda vā ahaṃ taṃ puruṣaṃ sarvasyātmanaḥ parāyaṇaṃ yamāttha; ya evāyaṃ putramayaḥ puruṣaḥ sa eṣaḥ, vadaiva śākalya; tasya kā devateti; prajāpatiriti hovāca || 17 ||

17. ‘He who knows that being whose abode is the seed, whose instrument of vision is the intellect, whose light is the Manas, and who is the ultimate resort of the entire body and organs, knows truly, O Yājñavalkya.’ ‘I know that being of whom you speak—who is the ultimate resort of the entire body and organs. It is the being who is identified with the son. Go on, Śākalya.’ ‘Who is his deity?’ ‘Prajāpati (the father),’ said he.

'Whose abode is the seed.’ 'It is the being identified with the son,’ who is the particular abode of the being.who inhabits the seed. ‘The being identified with the son’ here means the bones, marrow and seed derived from the father. 'Who is his deity?’ ‘Prajāpati,’ said he. ‘Prajapati’ here means the father, for from him the son is born.

 

Verse 3.9.18:

शाकल्येति होवाच याज्ञवल्क्यः, त्वां स्विदिमे ब्राह्मणा अङ्गारावक्शयणमक्रता3 इति ॥ १८ ॥

śākalyeti hovāca yājñavalkyaḥ, tvāṃ svidime brāhmaṇā aṅgārāvakśayaṇamakratā3 iti || 18 ||

18. ‘Śākalya,’ said Yājñavalkya, ‘have these Vedic scholars made you their instrument for burning charcoals?"

For the sake of meditation one and the same vital force has been inculcated in eight different forms; each god having three divisions, viz. abode (general form), being (special manifestation) and deity (cause), is but a form of the vital force. The text now goes on to show how the same vital force, divided into five forms according to the different quarters, is unified in the mind. When Śākalya kept silent, Yājñavalkya addressed him, subjecting him to the spell of an evil spirit, as it were. ‘Śākalya,’ said he, ‘have these Vedic scholars made you their instrument for burning charcoals such as fire-tongs?’ The particle ‘svid’ denotes deliberation. He means, ‘They must have done so, but you do not perceive that you are being consumed by me.’

 

Verse 3.9.19:

याज्ञवल्क्येति होवाच शाकल्यः, यदिदं कुरुपञ्चालानां ब्राह्मणानत्यवादीः, किं ब्रह्म विद्वानिति; दिशो वेद सदेवाः सप्रतिष्ठा इति; यद्दिशो वेत्थ सदेवाः सप्रतिष्ठाः ॥ १९ ॥

yājñavalkyeti hovāca śākalyaḥ, yadidaṃ kurupañcālānāṃ brāhmaṇānatyavādīḥ, kiṃ brahma vidvāniti; diśo veda sadevāḥ sapratiṣṭhā iti; yaddiśo vettha sadevāḥ sapratiṣṭhāḥ || 19 ||

19. ‘Yājñavalkya,’ said Śākalya, ‘is it because you know Brahman that you have thus flouted these Vedic scholars of Kuru and Pañcāla?’ 'I know the quarters with their deities and supports.’ ‘If you know the quarters with their deities and supports—

Yājñavalkya,’ said Śākalya, ‘is it because you know Brahman that you have thus flouted these Vedic scholars of Kuru and Pañcāla by suggesting that they themselves were afraid and made me their fìre-tongs?’ Yājñavalkya said, ‘This is my knowledge of Brahman—what is it?—that I know the quarters, i.e. the meditation concerning them; not the quarters alone, but with their presiding deities and supports as well.’ The other said, ‘If you know the quarters with their deities and supports, i.e. if you say you know the meditation with its results—

 

Verse 3.9.20:

किंदेवतोऽस्यां प्राच्यां दिश्यसीति; आदित्यदेवत इति; स आदित्यः कस्मिन् प्रतिष्ठित इति; चक्शुषीति; कस्मिन्नु चक्शुः प्रतिष्ठितमिति; रूपेष्विति, चक्शुषा हि रूपाणि पश्यति; कस्मिन्नु रूपाणि प्रतिष्ठितानीति; हृदय इति होवाच, हृदयेन हि रूपाणि जानाति, हृदये ह्येव रूपाणि प्रतिष्ठितानि भवन्तीति; एवमेवैतद्याज्ञवल्क्य ॥ २० ॥

kiṃdevato'syāṃ prācyāṃ diśyasīti; ādityadevata iti; sa ādityaḥ kasmin pratiṣṭhita iti; cakśuṣīti; kasminnu cakśuḥ pratiṣṭhitamiti; rūpeṣviti, cakśuṣā hi rūpāṇi paśyati; kasminnu rūpāṇi pratiṣṭhitānīti; hṛdaya iti hovāca, hṛdayena hi rūpāṇi jānāti, hṛdaye hyeva rūpāṇi pratiṣṭhitāni bhavantīti; evamevaitadyājñavalkya || 20 ||

20. ‘What deity are you identified with in the east?’ ‘With the deity, sun.’ ‘On what does the sun rest?’ 'On the eye.’ 'On what does the eye rest?’ ‘On colours, for one sees colours with the eye.' ‘On what do colours rest?' ‘On the heart (mind),’ said Yājñavalkya, ‘for one knows colours through the heart; it is on the heart that colours rest.’ ‘It is just so, Yājñavalkya.’

‘What deity are you identified with in the east?—what deity have you who are identified with the quarters?' Yājñavalkya, realising his own heart or mind—divided in five forms according to the quarters and identified with the quarters—and through it the whole universe, as his own self, stood facing the east, with the conviction that he was the quarters. We gather this from his claim that he knew the quarters with their supports. Śākalya according to Yājñavalkya’s statement asks, ‘What deity are you identified with in this quarter?’ Everywhere in the Vedas it is stated that in this very life one becomes identified with and attains the god one meditates upon. It will be stated further on, ‘Being a god, he attains the gods’ (IV. i. 2). The idea is this: You are identified with the quarters; who is your presiding deity in the east?—as the east, which deity are you united with? Yājñavalkya said: ‘With the deity, sun—the sun is my deity in the east.’ This is in substantiation of his claim that he knew the quarters with their deities; the other part, that relating to their supports, remains to be dealt with; so the text goes on: ‘On what does the sun rest?’On the eye,’ for the Vedic Mantras and their explanatory portions—for instance, ‘From the eye the sun was produced’ (R. X. xc. 13, etc.) and ‘From the eye came the sun’ (Ai. I. 4)—say that the sun is produced from the eye that is in the body; and an effect rests on its cause. ‘On what does the eye rest?’ ‘On colours.’ The eye, itself a modification of colours, is directed by them so as to perceive them; it is produced by those very colours that direct it to perceive them. Therefore the eye, together with the sun, and the east, and all that lie in the east, rests on colours; the entire east, together with the eye, is but colours. ‘On what do these colours rest?’On the heart,’ said Yājñavalkya. Colours are made by the heart; it is the heart that is transformed into them, ‘for everybody knows colours through the heart.’ ‘Heart’ here refers to the intellect and Manas taken together (i.e. mind). Therefore ‘it is on the heart that colours rest.’ The idea is that since one remembers colours, lying as impressions, through the heart, therefore colours rest on the heart. ‘It is just so, Yājñavalkya.’

 

Verse 3.9.21:

किंदेवतोऽस्यां दक्शिणायां दिश्यसीति; यमदेवत इति; स यमः कस्मिन्प्रतिष्ठित इति; यज्ञ इति; कस्मिन्नु यज्ञः प्रतिष्ठित इति; दक्शिणायामिति; कस्मिन्नु दक्शिणा प्रतिष्ठितेति; श्रद्धायामिति, यदा ह्येव श्रद्धत्तेऽथ दक्शिणां ददाति, श्रद्धायां ह्येव दक्शिणा प्रतिष्ठितेति; कस्मिन्नु श्रद्धा प्रतिष्ठितेति; हृदय इति होवाच, हृदयेन हि श्रद्धां जानाति हृदये ह्येव श्रद्धा प्रतिष्ठिता भवतीति; एवमेवैतद्याज्ञवल्क्य ॥ २१ ॥

kiṃdevato'syāṃ dakśiṇāyāṃ diśyasīti; yamadevata iti; sa yamaḥ kasminpratiṣṭhita iti; yajña iti; kasminnu yajñaḥ pratiṣṭhita iti; dakśiṇāyāmiti; kasminnu dakśiṇā pratiṣṭhiteti; śraddhāyāmiti, yadā hyeva śraddhatte'tha dakśiṇāṃ dadāti, śraddhāyāṃ hyeva dakśiṇā pratiṣṭhiteti; kasminnu śraddhā pratiṣṭhiteti; hṛdaya iti hovāca, hṛdayena hi śraddhāṃ jānāti hṛdaye hyeva śraddhā pratiṣṭhitā bhavatīti; evamevaitadyājñavalkya || 21 ||

21. ‘What deity are you identified with in the south?’ ‘With the deity, Yama (the god of justice).’ ‘On what does Yama rest?’ ‘On the sacrifice.’ ‘On what does the sacrifice rest?'

‘On the remuneration (of the priests).’ ‘On what does the remuneration rest?’ ‘On faith, because whenever a man -has faith, he gives remuneration to the priests; therefore it is on faith that the remuneration rests.’ ‘On what does faith rest?’ ‘On the heart,’ said Yājñavālkya, ‘for one knows faith through the heart; therefore it is on the heart that faith rests.’ ‘It is just so, Yājñavalkya.’

‘What deity are you identified with in the south?’ etc., should be explained as before: Who is your deity in the south? ‘With the deity, Yama—I am the south, and Yama is my deity.’ ‘On what does Yama rest?’ eOn the sacrifice.’ Yama together with the south rests on the sacrifice, his cause. How can Yama be the effect of a sacrifice? This is being answered: The priests officiate in the sacrifice, and the sacrificer redeems it from them by means of the remuneration, and wins the south together with Yama through that sacrifice. Hence Yama, being its effect, rests on the sacrifice, together with the south. ‘On what does the sacrifice rest?’ ‘On the remuneration (of the priests).’ The sacrifice is redeemed through the remuneration; therefore it is the effect of the remuneration. ‘On what does the remuneration rest?’ ‘On faith.’ ‘Faith’ means liberality—faith in the Vedas coupled with devotion. How does the remuneration rest on faith? ‘Because whenever a man has faith, he gives remuneration to the priests; if he has no faith, he does not give it. Therefore it is on faith that the remuneration rests.’ ‘On what does faith rest?’ ‘On the heart.’ said Yājñavalkya, ‘faith is a modification of the heart, for one knows faith through the heart, and a modification rests on that which has it; therefore it is on the heart that faith rests.’ ‘It is just so, Yājñavalkya.’

 

Verse 3.9.22:

किंदेवतोऽस्यां प्रतीच्यां दिश्यसीति; वरुणदेवत इति; स वरुणः कस्मिन् प्रतिष्ठित इति; अप्स्विति; कस्मिन्न्वापः प्रतिष्ठितेति; रेतसीति; कस्मिन्नु रेतः प्रतिष्ठितेति; हृदय इति, तस्मादपि प्रतिरूपं जातमाहुः, हृदयादिव सृप्तः, हृदयादिव निर्मित इति, हृदये ह्येव रेतः प्रतिष्ठितं भवतीति; एवमेवैतद्याज्ञवल्क्य ॥ २२ ॥

kiṃdevato'syāṃ pratīcyāṃ diśyasīti; varuṇadevata iti; sa varuṇaḥ kasmin pratiṣṭhita iti; apsviti; kasminnvāpaḥ pratiṣṭhiteti; retasīti; kasminnu retaḥ pratiṣṭhiteti; hṛdaya iti, tasmādapi pratirūpaṃ jātamāhuḥ, hṛdayādiva sṛptaḥ, hṛdayādiva nirmita iti, hṛdaye hyeva retaḥ pratiṣṭhitaṃ bhavatīti; evamevaitadyājñavalkya || 22 ||

22. ‘What deity are you identified with in the west?’ ‘With the deity, Varuṇa (the god of rain).’ ‘On what does Varuṇa rest?’ ‘On water.’ ‘On what does water rest?’ ‘On the seed.’ ‘On what does the seed rest?’ ‘On the heart. Therefore do they say of a new-born child who closely resembles (his father), that he has sprung from (his father’s) heart, as it were—that he has been made out of (his father's) heart, as it were. Therefore it is on the heart that the seed rests.’ ‘It is just so, Yājñavalkya.’

‘What deity are you identified with in the west?’ ‘With the deity, Varuṇa—Varuṇa is my presiding deity in that direction.’ ‘On what does Varuṇa rest?’ ‘On water,’ for Varuṇa is the effect of water. Witness the Śrutis, ‘Faith is water’ (Tai. S. I. vi. 8. 1), and ‘From faith he created Varuṇa.’ ‘On what does water rest?’ ‘On the seed,’ for the Śruti says, ‘From the seed was water created’ (cf. Ai. I. i. 4). ‘On what does the seed rest?’On the heart,’ because the seed is the effect of the heart. Lust is a modification of the heart, for the seed issues from the heart of a man under its influence. ‘Therefore do they say of a new-born child, who closely resembles (his father), that he has sprung from his father’s heart, as it were, that he has been made out of (his father’s) heart, as it were, as an earring is made out of gold. Therefore it is on the heart that the seed rests.’ ‘It is just so, Yājñavalkya.

 

Verse 3.9.23:

किंदेवतोऽस्यामुदीच्यां दिश्यसीति; सोमदेवत इति; स सोमः कस्मिन्प्रतिष्ठित इति; दीक्शायामिति; कस्मिन्नु दीक्शा प्रतिष्ठितेति; सत्य इति, तस्मादपि दीक्शितमाहुः सत्यं वदेति, सत्ये ह्येव दीक्शा प्रतिष्ठितेति; कस्मिन्नु सत्यं प्रतिष्ठितमिति; हृदय इति होवाच, हृदयेन हि सत्यं जानाति, हृदये ह्येव सत्यं प्रतिष्ठितं भवतीति; एवमेवैतद्याज्ञवल्क्य ॥ २३ ॥

kiṃdevato'syāmudīcyāṃ diśyasīti; somadevata iti; sa somaḥ kasminpratiṣṭhita iti; dīkśāyāmiti; kasminnu dīkśā pratiṣṭhiteti; satya iti, tasmādapi dīkśitamāhuḥ satyaṃ vadeti, satye hyeva dīkśā pratiṣṭhiteti; kasminnu satyaṃ pratiṣṭhitamiti; hṛdaya iti hovāca, hṛdayena hi satyaṃ jānāti, hṛdaye hyeva satyaṃ pratiṣṭhitaṃ bhavatīti; evamevaitadyājñavalkya || 23 ||

23. ‘What deity are you identified with in the north?’ ‘With the deity, Soma (the moon and the creeper)’ ‘On what does Soma rest?’ ‘On initiation.’ ‘On what does initiation rest?’ ‘On truth. Therefore do they say to one initiated, “Speak the truth”; for it is on truth that initiation rests. ’ ‘On what does truth rest?’ ‘On the heart,’ said Yājñavalkya, ‘for one knows truth through the heart; therefore it is on the heart that truth rests.’ ‘It is just so, Yājñavalkya.’

‘What deity are you identified with in the north?’ ‘With the deity. Soma.’ ‘Soma’ here means both moon and creeper. ‘On what does Soma rest?’ ‘On initiation,’ for the initiated sacrificer purchases the Soma creeper, and sacrificing with that creeper along with meditation, attains (his identity with) the north, presided over by the moon and named after her. ‘On what does initiation rest?’ ‘On truth.’ How? Because initiation rests on truth, ‘therefore do they say to one initiated: Speak the truth,’ lest the cause being spoilt, the effect also be spoilt. Therefore ‘it is on truth that initiation rests.’ ‘On what does truth rest?’ ‘On the heart,’ said Yājñavalkya, ‘for one knows truth through the heart; therefore it is on the heart that truth rests.’ ‘It is just so, Yājñavalkya.’

 

Verse 3.9.24:

किंदेवतो'स्यां ध्रुवायां दिश्यसीति; अग्निदेवत इति; सोऽग्निः कस्मिन्प्रतिष्ठित इति; वाचीति; कस्मिन्नु वाक् प्रतिष्ठितेति; हृदय इति; कस्मिन्नु हृदयं प्रतिष्ठितमिति ॥ २४ ॥

kiṃdevato'syāṃ dhruvāyāṃ diśyasīti; agnidevata iti; so'gniḥ kasminpratiṣṭhita iti; vācīti; kasminnu vāk pratiṣṭhiteti; hṛdaya iti; kasminnu hṛdayaṃ pratiṣṭhitamiti || 24 ||

24. ‘What deity are you identified with in the fixed direction (above)?’ ‘With the deity, fire.’ ‘On what does fire rest?’ ‘On speech.’ ‘On what does speech rest?’ ‘On the heart.’ ‘On what does the heart rest?’

‘What deity are you identified with in the fixed direction?’ Being the same to all who dwell round Mount Meru,[7] the direction overhead is called the fixed direction. ‘With the deity, fire,’ for overhead there is more light, and fire is luminous. ‘On what does fire rest?’ ‘On speech.’ ‘On what does speech rest?’ ‘On the heart.’ Now Yājñavalkya, through his heart extending in all directions, has realised all the quarters as his own self; the quarters, with their deities and supports, are a part and parcel of him, and he is identified with name, colour (form) and action. Of these, colour together with the east is one with his heart. Mechanical rites, the act of procreation and rites combined with meditation, representing the south, west and north respectively, together with their results and presiding deities, are likewise unified in his heart. And all names together with the overhead direction also reach his heart through speech. The whole universe is comprised in these; colour (form), action and name; and all these are but (modifications of) the heart. Therefore Śākalya asks about the heart, which is the embodiment of everything: ‘On what does the heart rest?’

 

Verse 3.9.25:

अहल्लिकेति होवाच याज्ञवल्क्यः, यत्रैतदन्यत्रास्मन्मन्यासै, यद्ध्येतदन्यत्रास्मत्स्यात्, श्वानो वैनदद्युः, वयांसि वैनद्विमथ्नीरन्निति ॥ २५ ॥

ahalliketi hovāca yājñavalkyaḥ, yatraitadanyatrāsmanmanyāsai, yaddhyetadanyatrāsmatsyāt, śvāno vainadadyuḥ, vayāṃsi vainadvimathnīranniti || 25 ||

25. ‘You ghost,’[8] said Yājñavalkya, ‘when you think the heart is elsewhere than in us, (then the body is dead). Should it be elsewhere than in us, dogs would eat this body, or birds tear it to pieces.’[9]

‘You ghost,’ said Yājñavalkya, addressing him by a different name, ‘when you think the heart, or the mind, which is the self[10] of the body, is elsewhere than in us, (then the body is dead). Should it be elsewhere than in us, dogs would then eat this body, or birds tear it to pieces. Therefore the heart rests on me, i.e. the body’—this is the idea. The body also, as consisting of name, colour (form) and action, rests on the heart.

 

Verse 3.9.26:

कस्मिन्नु त्वं चात्मा च प्रतिष्ठितौ स्थ इति; प्राण इति; कस्मिन्नु प्राणः प्रतिष्ठित इति; अपान इति; कस्मिन्न्वपानः प्रतिष्ठित इति; व्यान इति; कस्मिन्नु व्यानः प्रतिष्ठित इति; उदान इति; कस्मिन्नूदानः प्रतिष्ठित इति; समान इति; स एष नेति नेत्यात्मा, अगृह्यो नहि गृह्यते, अशीर्यो न हि शीर्यते, असङ्गो नहि सज्यते, असितो न व्यथते, न रिष्यति । एतान्यष्टावायतनानि, अष्टौ लोकाः, अष्टौ देवाः, अष्टौ पुरुषाः; स यस्तान्पुरुषान्निरुह्य प्रत्युह्यात्यक्रामत्, तं त्वौपनिषदं पुरुषं पृच्छामि; तं चेन्मे न विवक्श्यसि, मूर्धा ते विपतिष्यतीति । तं ह न मेने शाकल्यः; तस्य ह मूर्धा विपपात, अपि हास्य परिमोषिणोऽस्थीन्यपजह्रुरन्यन्मन्यमानाः ॥ २६ ॥

kasminnu tvaṃ cātmā ca pratiṣṭhitau stha iti; prāṇa iti; kasminnu prāṇaḥ pratiṣṭhita iti; apāna iti; kasminnvapānaḥ pratiṣṭhita iti; vyāna iti; kasminnu vyānaḥ pratiṣṭhita iti; udāna iti; kasminnūdānaḥ pratiṣṭhita iti; samāna iti; sa eṣa neti netyātmā, agṛhyo nahi gṛhyate, aśīryo na hi śīryate, asaṅgo nahi sajyate, asito na vyathate, na riṣyati | etānyaṣṭāvāyatanāni, aṣṭau lokāḥ, aṣṭau devāḥ, aṣṭau puruṣāḥ; sa yastānpuruṣānniruhya pratyuhyātyakrāmat, taṃ tvaupaniṣadaṃ puruṣaṃ pṛcchāmi; taṃ cenme na vivakśyasi, mūrdhā te vipatiṣyatīti | taṃ ha na mene śākalyaḥ; tasya ha mūrdhā vipapāta, api hāsya parimoṣiṇo'sthīnyapajahruranyanmanyamānāḥ || 26 ||

26. ‘On what do the body and the heart[11] rest?’ ‘On the Prāṇa.’ ‘On what does the Prāṇa rest?’ ‘On the Apāna.’ ‘On what does the Apāna rest?’ ‘On the Vyāna.’ ‘On what does the Vyāna rest?’ ‘On the Udāna.’ ‘On what does the Udāna rest?’ ‘On the Samāna.’ This self is That which has been described as ‘Not this, not this.’ It is imperceptible, for It is never perceived; undecaying, for It never decays; unattached, for It is never attached; unfettered—It never feels pain, and never suffers injury. ‘These are the eight abodes, the eight instruments of vision, the eight deities and the eight beings. I ask you of that Being who is to be known only from the Upaniṣads, who definitely projects those beings and (again) withdraws them into Himself, and who is at the same time transcendent. If you cannot clearly tell me of Him, your head shall fall off.’ Śākalya did not know Him; his head fell off; and robbers snatched away his bones, mistaking them for something else.

‘You have stated that the body and the heart—the effect and the instrument—rest on each other. I therefore ask you: Onwhat do the body and the heart rest?’ ‘On thePrāna’: The body and the mind rest on the force called Prāṇa.[12] ‘On what does the Prāna rest?’ ‘On the Apāna’: That force called Prāṇa would go out (through the mouth and nostrils), were it not held back by the force called Apāna. ‘On what does the Apāna rest?’ ‘On the Vyāna’: That force called Apāna would also depart (through the lower orifice) as the Prāṇa would (through the mouth and nostrils), were they not both held back by the force called Vyāna, which occupies an intermediate position. ‘On what does the Vyāna rest?’ ‘On the Udāna’: All the three forces would go out in all directions, were they not fixed, as to a post, to the Udāna. ‘On what does the Udāna rest?’ ‘On the Samāna,’ for all these forces rest on the Samāna. The idea is this: The body, mind and the vital forces are interdependent and work together as an orderly aggregate, dominated by the purpose of the individual self. Now that transcendent Brahman, which is immediate and direct, by which all these up to the ether are regulated, on which they rest, and by which they are pervaded, has to be described. Hence the text goes on:

This self is That which has been described in the Madhukānda[13] as ‘Not this, not this’ (II. iii. 6). It is imperceptible, not perceivable. How? Because It is beyond the characteristics of effects, therefore It is imperceptible. Why? For It is never perceived. Only a differentiated object, which is within the range of the organs, can be perceived; but the Self is the opposite of that. Similarly undecaying. What is gross and made up of parts decays, as for instance the body; but the Self is the opposite of that; hence It never decays. Likewise unattached. A gross object, being related to another gross object, is attached to it; but the Self is the opposite of that; hence It is never attached. Similarly unfettered, or free. Whatever is gross becomes bound; but It, being the opposite of that, is free, and for that reason never feels pain. Hence also It never suffers injury. Being beyond such characteristics of effects as perception, decay, attachment and bondage. It never suffers injury, in other words, is never destroyed.

The Śruti, out of eagerness, has set aside the order (of the dialogue), stepped out of the story and described in its own form the Being who is to be known only from the Upaniṣads. Then it resumes the garb of the story and savs (through Yājñavalkya): These are the eight abodes, described above (in paragraphs io to 17) in the words. ‘Whose abode is the earth,’ etc.; the eight instruments of vision, fire etc.; the eight deities, referred to in, ‘“Nectar (chyle),” said he,’ etc. (par. 10); the eight beings, mentioned in, ‘The being who is identified with the body' (Ibid.), etc. I ask you, who are proud of your learning, of that Being devoid of hunger etc. who is to be known only from the Upaniṣads, and through no other means of knowledge, who definitely projects those beings, those identified with the body etc., divided into eight groups of four items[14] each, so as to constitute the universe as it is, and (again) withdraws them through the east etc. into Himself, i.e. into the heart (mind), and who is at the same time transcendent, beyond the attributes of the limiting adjuncts such as identification with the heart. If you cannot clearly tell me of Him, your head shall fall off, said Yājñavalkya. Śākalya did not know that Being who is to be known only from the Upaniṣads; his head fell off. The story is ended. ‘Śākalya did not know Him,’ etc., is the narration of the Śruti.

Further, robbers snatched away even his bones as they were being carried to his home by his disciples for the funeral rites—why?—mistaking them for something else, viz. treasure under transport. A previous anecdote is here referred to. In (Book XI of the Śatapatha Brāhmaṇa entitled) the Aṣṭādhyāī[15] there occurs a dialogue between Yājñavalkya and Śākalya with a similar ending. There Yājñavalkya gave a curse: ‘“You shall die in an unholy place at an inauspicious time, and even your bones shall not reach home.” He died exactly like that; and robbers seized his bones too, mistaking them for something else’ (Ś. XI. vi. 3. 11). The moral of the story is that one should not be disrespectful, but rather obedient to a true knower of Brahman. That story is here referred to in order to teach conduct and also to extol the knowledge of Brahman.

How can that Brahman which has been indicated as ‘Not this, not this’ by the elimination of everything else, be positively indicated? In order to answer this, as also to state the cause of the universe, the Śruti again resorts to the story. The point of the story is that one should take away cattle by defeating Vedic scholars who do not truly know Brahman. In view of the customary procedure[16] Yājñavalkya said:

 

Verse 3.9.27:

अथ होवाच, ब्राह्मणा भगवन्तो यो वः कामयते स मा पृच्छतु, सर्वे वा मा पृच्छत, यो वः कामयते तं वः पृच्छामि, सर्वान्वा वः पृच्छामीति; ते ह ब्राह्मणा न दधृषुः ॥ २७ ॥

atha hovāca, brāhmaṇā bhagavanto yo vaḥ kāmayate sa mā pṛcchatu, sarve vā mā pṛcchata, yo vaḥ kāmayate taṃ vaḥ pṛcchāmi, sarvānvā vaḥ pṛcchāmīti; te ha brāhmaṇā na dadhṛṣuḥ || 27 ||

27. Then he said. ‘Revered Brāhmaṇas, whichsoever amongst you wishes may ask me questions, or all of you may. Or I shall ask questions of whichsoever amongst you wishes, or ask all of you. The Brāhmaṇas did not dare.

Then, after the Brāhmaṇas were silent, he said, addressing them, ‘Revered Brāhmaṇas, whichsoever amongst you wishes to ask me questions, may come forward and ask me questions, or all of you may. Or I shall ask questions of whichsoever amongst you wishes that I should ask him, or ask all of you.’ The Brāhmaṇas, even though thus addressed, did not dare to give any reply whatsoever.

 

Verse 3.9.28:

तान्हैतैः श्लोकैः पप्रच्छ—
यथा वृक्शो वनस्पतिस्तथैव पुरुषोऽमृषा ॥
तस्य लोमानि पर्णानि, त्वगस्योत्पाटिका बहिः ॥ १ ॥

tānhaitaiḥ ślokaiḥ papraccha—
yathā vṛkśo vanaspatistathaiva puruṣo'mṛṣā ||
tasya lomāni parṇāni, tvagasyotpāṭikā bahiḥ || 1 ||

28. He asked them through these verses:

(1) As a large tree, so indeed is a man. (This is) true. His hair is its leaves, his skin its outer bark.

When the Brāhmaṇas were silent, he asked them through the following verses: As in the world is a large tree —the word ‘Vanaspati’ qualifies the word ‘tree’— so indeed is a man. This is true. His hair is its leaves: A man’s hair corresponds to the leaves of a tree. His skin is its outer bark.

 

Verse 3.9.28 (2):

त्वच एवास्य रुधिरं प्रस्यन्दि त्वच उत्पटः ॥
तस्मात्तदतृण्णात्प्रैति रसो वृक्शादिवाहतात् ॥ २ ॥

tvaca evāsya rudhiraṃ prasyandi tvaca utpaṭaḥ ||
tasmāttadatṛṇṇātpraiti raso vṛkśādivāhatāt || 2 ||

(2) It is from his skin that blood flows, and from the bark sap. Therefore when a man is wounded, blood flows, as sap from a tree that is injured.

It is from a man’s skin that blood flows, and it is from the bark of a large tree that sap exudes. Since a man and a large tree thus resemble each other in all respects, therefore when a man is wounded, blood flows, as sap from a tree that is injured or cut.

 

Verse 3.9.28 (3):

मांसान्यस्य शकराणि, किनाट्ं स्नाव, तत्स्थिरम् ॥
अस्थीन्यन्तरतो दारूणि मज्जा मज्जोपमा कृता ॥ ३ ॥

māṃsānyasya śakarāṇi, kināṭṃ snāva, tatsthiram ||
asthīnyantarato dārūṇi majjā majjopamā kṛtā || 3 ||

(3) His flesh is its inner bark, and his sinews its innermost layer of bark; it is tough. His bones lie under, as does its wood; his marrow is comparable to its pith.

Similarly a man’s flesh is the inner bark of a large tree. A man’s sinews are the innermost layer of bark in a tree, that layer which is under the inner bark and attached to the wood; it is tough, or strong, like the sinews. A man’s bones lie under the sinews; similarly under the innermost bark is the wood. A man’s marrow is comparable to the pith of a large tree. There is no difference between the two; they resemble each other.

 

Verse 3.9.28 (4):

यद्वृक्शो वृक्णो रोहति मूलान्नवतरः पुनः ॥
मर्त्यः स्विन्मृत्युना वृक्णः कस्मान्मूलात्प्ररोहति ॥ ४ ॥

yadvṛkśo vṛkṇo rohati mūlānnavataraḥ punaḥ ||
martyaḥ svinmṛtyunā vṛkṇaḥ kasmānmūlātprarohati || 4 ||

(4) If a tree, after it is felled, springs again from its root in a newer form, from what root does man spring forth after he is cut off by death?

If a tree, after it is felled, springs again from its root in a newer form, etc. We have seen that previous to this feature there was complete similarity between a tree and a man. We notice, however, this peculiarity in a tree that it springs again after it is felled, while we do not see that a man cut off by death springs forth again. But there must be a renascence from some source. Therefore I ask you, from what root does man spring forth after he is cut off by death? In other words, whence is a dead man reborn?

 

Verse 3.9.28 (5):

रेतस इति मा वोचत, जीवतस्तत्प्रजायते ॥
धानारुह इव वै वृक्शोऽञ्जसा प्रेत्य सम्भवः ॥ ५ ॥

retasa iti mā vocata, jīvatastatprajāyate ||
dhānāruha iva vai vṛkśo'ñjasā pretya sambhavaḥ || 5 ||

(5) Do not say, ‘From the seed,’ (for) it is produced in a living man. A tree springs also from the seed; after it is dead it certainly springs again (from the seed as well).

If you say that he springs from the seed, do not say (ṣo), you should not say so. Why? Because the seed is produced in a living man, not in a dead man. A tree springs also from the seed, not from the trunk only.—The particle ‘iva’ is expletive.—A large tree, after it is dead, certainly sprīngs again from the seed as well.

 

Verse 3.9.28 (6):

यत्समूलमावृहेयुर्वृक्शं न पुनराभवेत् ॥
मर्त्यः स्विन्मृत्युना वृक्णः कस्मान्मूलात्प्ररोहति ॥ ६ ॥

yatsamūlamāvṛheyurvṛkśaṃ na punarābhavet ||
martyaḥ svinmṛtyunā vṛkṇaḥ kasmānmūlātprarohati || 6 ||

(6) If a tree is pulled out with its root, it no more sprouts, From what root does a mortal spring forth after he is cut off by death?

If a tree is pulled out with its root or its seed, it no more sprouts. Therefore I ask you about the root of the whole universe: From what root does a mortal spring forth after he is cut off by death?

 

Verse 3.9.28 (7):

जात एव; न, जायते, को न्वेनं जनयेत्पुनः ॥
विज्ञानमानन्दं ब्रह्म, रातिर्दातुः परायणम्,
तिष्ठमानस्य तद्विद इति ॥ ७ ॥ २८ ॥
इति नवमं ब्राह्मणम् ॥ इति तृतीयो'ध्यायः ॥

jāta eva; na, jāyate, ko nvenaṃ janayetpunaḥ ||
vijñānamānandaṃ brahma, rātirdātuḥ parāyaṇam,
tiṣṭhamānasya tadvida iti || 7 || 28 ||
iti navamaṃ brāhmaṇam || iti tṛtīyo'dhyāyaḥ ||

(7) If you think he is ever born, I say, no, he is again born. Now who should again bring him forth?—Knowledge, Bliss, Brahman, the supreme goal of the distributor of wealth as well as of him who has realised Brahman and lives in It.

If you think he is ever born. and there is nothing more to ask about him—a question about birth is possible only of one who is yet to be born, andyhot of one who is already born; but a man is ever born, so no question about his birth is admissible —I say, no. What happens then? After death he is again born of a certainty, for otherwise you would be assuming that a man reaps the fruits of actions that he has never done, and fails to obtain those of actions he has actually done. So I ask you, who should again bring him, the dead man, forth?

The Brāhmaṇas did not know that: that root of the universe out of which the dead man is again born was unknown to them. Hence, being the best of the knowers of Brahman, Yājñavalkya defeated the Brāh-manas and took away the cows. The story is finished. The Śruti in its own form now tells us of the root of the universe, about which Yājñavalkya asked the Brāhmaṇas, and gives the words that directly describe Brahman: Knowledge, or Pure Intelligence, which is

also Bliss, not smitten with pain like sense-perception, but serene, beneficent, matchless, spontaneous, ever content and homogeneous. What is that? Brahman, which has both the characteristics (Knowledge and Bliss). The supreme goal, or the bestower of the fruits ot actions, of the distributor of wealth. i.e. of the sacrificer who engages in rites—the word ‘Rāti’ (wealth) has a possessive force— as well as the supreme goal of him who has realised Brahman and lives in It, having renounced all desires and doing no (ritualistic) work.

Here is something to discuss. The word ‘bliss’ is generally known to denote pleasure; and here we find the word ‘bliss’ used as an epithet of Brahman in the expression 'Bliss, Brahman.’ Elsewhere in the Śrutis too we have: ‘He knew bliss to be Brahman’ (Tai. III. 6), ‘Knowing the bliss of Brahman’ (Tai. II. 7), 'If this Supreme Self were not bliss' (Tai. II. 7), ‘That which is infinite is bliss’ (Ch. VII. xxiii. 1), 'This is its supreme bliss,’ etc. (IV. iii. 32). The word ‘bliss’ is also commonly known to refer to pleasure that is cognised. The use of the word ‘bliss’ in the above quotations would be justified if the bliss of Brahman be an object of cognition. It may be urged: On the.

authority of the Śrutis, Brahman is bliss that is cognised; so what is there to discuss? The reply is: Not so, for we notice Śruti texts that are contradictory. It is true that in the Śrutis the word ‘bliss’ refers to Brahman; but there is also the negation of knowledge when there is oneness. For example: ‘But when to the knower of Brahman everything has become the Self, then what should one see and through what,.. what should one know and through what?' (II. vi. 14; IV. v. 15), ‘Where one sees nothing else, hears nothing else, knows nothing else, that is the infinite’ (Ch. VII. xxiv. 1), ‘Being fully embraced by the Supreme Self, he knows neither anything outside of himself,’ etc. (IV. iii. 21). Therefore on account of the contradictory Śruti texts a discussion is necessary. Hence we should discuss in order to ascertain the true meaning of the Vedic passages. Moreover, there is a divergence of opinion among the advocates of liberation. The Sāṃkhya and Vaiáeṣika schools, for instance, while believing in liberation, hold that there is no joy to be cognised in it, thus differing from others, who maintain that there is surpassing joy in it, known only to the person concerned.

Now what is the correct position?

Prima facie view: There is joy to be cognised in liberation, for the Śrutis mention bliss etc. with regard to it, as in the following passages: ‘Laughing (or eating), playing and enjoying’ (Ch. VIII. xii. 3), ‘If he desires to attain the world of the Manes, (by his mere wish they appear)’ (Ch. VIII. ii. 1), ‘That which knows things in a general and particular way’ (Mu. I. i. 9 and XI. ii. 7), ‘Enjoys all desires,’ etc. (Tai. II. v. i).

Objection: But is not knowledge impossible when there is oneness, since the different factors of an action are then absent? Every action depends on a number of factors, and cognition too is an action.

Tentative answer: The objection does not hold. On the authority of the Śrutis we must admit that there is knowledge of the bliss of Brahman. We have already said that such Śruti texts as, ‘Knowledge, Bliss,' etc., would be meaningless if the bliss itself were incapable of being cognised.

Objection: But even a scriptural text cannot make fire cold or water hot, for these texts are merely informative. They cannot tell us that in some other country fire is cold, or that in some inaccessible country water is hot.

Tentative answer: Not so, for we observe bliss and knowledge in the individual self. Texts such as, ‘Knowledge, Bliss,’ etc., do not convey a meaning that clashes with perception and other means of knowledge, as for instance the sentence, ‘Fire is cold,’ does. On the contrary, we feel their agreement with them. One directly knows the self to be blissful, as when one feels, ‘I am happy.’ So the agreement in question with perception etc. is quite clear. Therefore Brahman, which is bliss, being knowledge as well, knows Itself. Thus would the śruti texts cited above, viz. ‘Laughing (or eating), playing, enjoying,’ etc., which prove the existence of bliss in the Self, be found to be consistent.

Advaitin's reply: You are wrong, for there can be no knowledge in the absence of the body and organs. Absolute separation from the body is liberation, and when there is no body there can be no organs, for they will havç no support. Hence too there will be na knowledge, there being no body and organs. If knowledge cduld arise even in the absence of the body and organs, there would be no necessity for any one to possess them. Moreover (if Brahman as Knowledge Absolute cognises the bliss in liberation), it will contradict the oneness of Brahman.[17]

Objection: Suppose we say that the Supreme Brahman, being eternal Knowledge, ever knows Itself as Bliss Absolute?

Reply: No, (this has just been answered). Even the man under bondage, when freed from relative existence, would regain his real nature (Brahman). (So the same argument would apply to him also.) Like a quantity of water thrown into a tank, he does, not retain a separate existence so as to know the blissful Brahman. Hence, to say that the liberated man knows the blissful Self is meaningless. If, on the other hand, the liberated man, being different from Brahman, knows the bliss of Brahman and the individual self as, ‘I am the Bliss Absolute,’ then the oneness of Brahman is contradicted, which would be against all Śrutis; and there is no third alternative. Moreover, if Brahman ever knows Its own bliss, it is superfluous to distinguish between awareness and unawareness. If It is constantly aware of this bliss, then that is Its nature; hence there is no sense in maintaining that It cognises Its own bliss. Such a view would be tenable if ever there was the possibility of Its not knowing that bliss, as for instance a man knows himself and another (by an act of will). There is certainly no sense in distinguishing between a state of awareness and one of unawareness in the case of a man whose mind is uninterruptedly absorbed in an arrow, for instance. If, on the other hand, Brahman or the Self is supposed to be knowing Its bliss interruptedly, then in the intervals when It does not cognise Itself, It must know something else[18]; and the Self would become changeful, which would make It non-permanent. Hence the text, ‘Knowledge, Bliss,’ etc., must be interpreted as setting forth the nature of Brahman, and not signifying that the bliss of the Self is cognised.

Objection If this bliss is not cognised, such Śruti texts as ‘Laughing (or eating), playing/ etc., will be contradicted.

Reply: No, for such texts only describe actions happening normally, because of the identity of the liberated man with all (infinite existence). That is to say, since the liberated man is identified with all, therefore wherever we observe the laughing etc.—in the Yogins or in the gods—the Śrutis merely describe them as they are with regard to the liberated man, simply on account of his identity with all. It is but a eulogy on liberation, which is synonymous with such identity.

Objection: If those passages merely describe what happens normally, then there is the chance of the liberated man’s being affected by misery also. If, in other words, he partakes of the laughing etc., happening normally to the Yogins and others, he may also suffer the misery that (plants and other) stationary existences experience.

Reply: No, all these objections have already (p. 306) been refuted on the ground that the distinctions of happiness, misery, etc., are but superimposed by the delusion created by contact with the limiting adjuncts, the body and organs, which are the products of name and form. We have also stated the respective spheres. of the apparently contradictory Śruti texts (p. 393). Hence all passages containing the word ‘bliss’ should be interpreted like the sentence, ‘This is its supreme bliss’ (IV. iii. 32).

Footnotes and references:

[1]:

The vital force in its cosmic aspect, or Hiraṇyagarbha, is meant. So also in the next paragraph.

[2]:

People perform different kinds of meditation and rites, and acquire different grades of mental culture, thereby attaining identity with fire etc. which are all parts of the cosmic vital force. Hence the above differences.

[3]:

Being produced by them for their own manifestation

[4]:

So says the Śruti (e.g. Ṛ. X. xc. 13).

[5]:

Being dependent on friction etc., which require strength.

[6]:

Through the person who digs them.

[7]:

See footnote on p. 49. The directions east, west, etc., vary according to the relative position of the dwellers around this mountain, the east being that in which they see the sun rise. But the direction overhead is obviously constant to all of them.

[8]:

Lit. that which vanishes at day-time.

[9]:

Lit. churn it.

[10]:

In a figurative sense

[11]:

Lit. you and (your) self.

[12]:

For the functions of these see commentary on I. v. 3.

[13]:

Consisting of chapters I and II.

[14]:

The abode, the instrument of vision, the light and the deity.

[15]:

It treats of rituals and is so named because it consists of eight chapters.

[16]:

That things belonging to Brāhmaṇas must not be taken without their consent.

[17]:

By making It both subject and object.

[18]:

And thereby become finite and mortal (Ch. VII xxiv. 1), or else become unconscious.

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