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 ...
भूमिरन्तरिक्शं द्यौरित्यष्टावक्शराणि; अष्टाक्शरं ह वा एकं गायत्र्यै पदम्, एतदु हैवास्या एतत्; स यावदेषु त्रिषु लोकेषु तावद्ध जयति योऽस्या एतदेवं पदं वेद ॥ १ ॥
bhūmirantarikśaṃ dyaurityaṣṭāvakśarāṇi; aṣṭākśaraṃ ha vā ekaṃ gāyatryai padam, etadu haivāsyā etat; sa yāvadeṣu triṣu lokeṣu tāvaddha jayati yo'syā etadevaṃ padaṃ veda || 1 ||
1. ‘Bhūmi’ (the earth), ‘Antarikṣa' (sky) and ‘Dyaus’ (heaven) make eight syllables, and the first foot of the Gāyatri has eight syllables. So the above three worlds constitute the first foot of the Gāyatri. He who knows the first foot of the Gāyatri to be such wins as much as there is in those three worlds.
The meditation on Brahman as possessed of different limiting adjuncts such as the heart has been stated. Now the meditation on it as possessing the limiting adjunct of the Gāyatri has to be stated; hence the present section. Gāyatri is the chief of the metres. It is called Gāyatri because, as will be said later on, it protects the organs of those who recite it. Other metres have not this power. The verse Gāyatri is identical with the vital force, and the latter is the soul of all metres. The vital force, as has been said, is called the Kṣatra on account of its protecting the body by healing its wounds; (and Gāyatrī saves the organs of its reciters. So) Gāyatrī is identical with the vital force. Hence the meditation on Gāyatrī is being particularly enjoined. There is another reason. It is the cause of the birth of the Brāhmaṇas, the noblest among the twice-born. From the passage, ‘He created the Brāhmaṇa through Gāyatri, the Kṣatriya through Triṣṭubh, and the Vaiśya through Jagatī’ (Va. IV. 3, adapted), we know that the second birth of the Brāhmaṇa is due to Gāyatrī. Therefore it is chief among the metres. The passages, ‘The Brāhmaṇas, renouncing their desires,’ etc. (III. v. 1), ‘The Brāhmaṇas speak of (that Immutable),’ etc. (III. viii. 8), ‘He is a Brāhmaṇa’ (III. viii. 10), ‘He becomes sinless, taintless, free from doubts, and a knower of Brahman’ (IV. iv. 23), show that a Brāhmaṇa attains the highest end of his life; and that Brāhmaṇahood is due to his second birth through Gāyatri. Hence the nature of Gāyatri should be described. Since the best among the twice-born (the Brāhmaṇa) who is created by Gāyatri is entitled to the achievement of his life’s ends without any obstruction, therefore this achievement is due to Gāyatri. Hence with a view to enjoining a meditation on it the text says: ‘Bhūmi,’ ‘Antarikṣa’ and ‘Dyaus’ make eight syllables, and the first foot of the Gāyatrī has eight syllables. The syllable ‘Ya’ (in the word ‘Vareṇya’) should be separated to supply the eighth syllable. The particles ‘ha’ and ‘vai’ indicate some well-known fact. So the above three worlds, the earth etc., constitute the first foot of the Gāyatrī, because both have eight syllables. The result accruing to one who knows the first foot of the Gāyatrī consisting of the three worlds is as follows: He who knows the first foot of the Gāyatrī to be such wins as much as there is to be won in those three worlds.
ऋचो यजूंषि सामानीत्यष्टावक्शराणि; अष्टाक्शरं ह वा एकं गायत्र्यै पदम्; एतदु हैवास्या एतत्; स यावतीयं त्रयी विद्या तावद्ध जयति योऽस्या एतदेवं पदं वेद ॥ २ ॥
ṛco yajūṃṣi sāmānītyaṣṭāvakśarāṇi; aṣṭākśaraṃ ha vā ekaṃ gāyatryai padam; etadu haivāsyā etat; sa yāvatīyaṃ trayī vidyā tāvaddha jayati yo'syā etadevaṃ padaṃ veda || 2 ||
2. ‘Ṛcaḥ,’ ‘Yajūmṣi’ and ‘Sāmāni’ make eight syllables, and the second foot of the Gāyatrī has eight syllables. So the above three Vedas constitute the second foot of the Gāyatrī. He who knows the second foot of the Gāyatrī to be such wins as much as that treasury of knowledge, the three Vedas, has to confer.
Similarly ‘Ṛcaḥ,’ ‘Yajūmṣi,’ and, ‘Sāmāni,’ the syllables of the names of that treasury of knowledge, the three Vedas, are also eight in number, and the second foot of the Gāyatri has likewise eight syllables. So the above three Vedas, Ṛc, Yajus and Sāman, constitute the second foot of the Gāyatrī, just because both have eight syllables. He who knows the second foot of the Gāyatrī to he such, consisting of the three Vedas, wins as much as that treasury of knowledge, the three Vedas, has to confer as result.
प्राणोऽपानो व्यान इत्यष्टावक्शराणि; अष्टाक्शरं ह वा एकं गायत्र्यै पदम्; एतदु हैवास्या एतत्; स यावदिदं प्राणि तावद्ध जयति योऽस्या एतदेवं पदं वेद; अथास्या एतदेव तुरीयं दर्शतं पदं परोरजा य एष तपति; यद्वै चतुर्थं तत्तुरीयम्; दर्शतं पदमिति ददृश इव ह्येष; परोरजा इति सर्वमु ह्येवैष रज उपर्युपरि तपति; एवं हैव श्रिया यशसा तपति योऽस्या एतदेवं पदं वेद ॥ ३ ॥
prāṇo'pāno vyāna ityaṣṭāvakśarāṇi; aṣṭākśaraṃ ha vā ekaṃ gāyatryai padam; etadu haivāsyā etat; sa yāvadidaṃ prāṇi tāvaddha jayati yo'syā etadevaṃ padaṃ veda; athāsyā etadeva turīyaṃ darśataṃ padaṃ parorajā ya eṣa tapati; yadvai caturthaṃ tatturīyam; darśataṃ padamiti dadṛśa iva hyeṣa; parorajā iti sarvamu hyevaiṣa raja uparyupari tapati; evaṃ haiva śriyā yaśasā tapati yo'syā etadevaṃ padaṃ veda || 3 ||
3. ‘Prāṇa,’ ‘Apāna’ and ‘Vyāna’ make eight syllables, and the third foot of the Gāyatrī has eight syllables. So the above three forms of the vital force constitute the third foot of the Gāyatri. He who knows the third foot of the Gāyatrī to be such wins all the living beings that are in the universe. Now its Turīya, apparently visible, supramundane foot is indeed this—the sun that shines. ‘Turīya’ means the fourth. ‘Apparently visible foot,’ because he is seen, as it were. ‘Supramundane,’ because he shines on the whole universe as its overlord. He who knows the fourth foot of the Gāyatrī to be such shines in the same way with splendour and fame.
Similarly ‘Prāṇa,’ ‘Apāna’ and ‘Vyāna,’ these names of the vital force etc., have also eight syllables, and they constitute the third foot of the Gāyatrī. He who knows the third foot of the Gāyatrī to be such wins all the living beings that are in the universe. The Gāyatrī, as consisting of words, has only three feet. Now its fourth foot, which is the import of the verse, is being described: Now the Turīya apparently visible, supramundane foot of that Gāyatri is indeed this, viz. the sun that shines. The Śruti itself explains the meaning of the words in the above passage. The word ‘Turīya’ means what is generally known as the fourth. What is the meaning of the words ‘apparently visible foot’? This is being answered: Because he, the being who is in the solar orb, is seen, as it were; hence he is so described. What is the meaning of the word ‘supramundane’? This is being explained: Because he, this being in the solar orb, shines on the whole universe as its overlord. The word ‘Rajas’ means the universe produced out of Rajas, or activity. The word ‘upari’ (lit. above) has been repeated twice to indicate his suzerainty over the whole universe. It may be urged that since the word ‘whole’ serves that purpose, it is useless to repeat the word ‘upari.’ The answer to this is that it is all right, because the word ‘whole’ may be taken to refer only to those worlds above which the sun is observed to shine, and the repetition of the word ‘upari’ removes this possibility. As another Śruti says, ‘He rules the worlds that are beyond the sun and commands the enjoyments of the gods as well’ (Ch. I. vi. 8). Therefore the repetition serves to include all. As the sun shines with splendour, in the form of suzerainty and fame, so he who knows the fourth, apparently visible foot of the Gāyatrī to he such shines with splendour and fame.
सैषा गायत्र्येतस्मिंस्तुरीये दर्शते पदे परोरजसि प्रतिष्ठिता; तद्वै तत्सत्ये प्रतिष्ठितं; चक्शुर्वै सत्यम्, चक्शुर्हि वै सत्यम्; तस्माद्यदिदानीं द्वौ विवदमानावेयाताम्, अहमदर्शम्, अहमश्रौषमिति, य एवं ब्रूयादहमदर्शमिति, तस्मा एव श्रद्दध्याम; तद्वै तत्सत्यं बले प्रतिष्ठितम्; प्राणो वै बलम्, तत्प्राणे प्रतिष्ठितम्; तस्मादाहुर्बलं सत्यादोगीय इति; एवं वेषा गायत्र्यध्यात्मं प्रतिष्ठिता; सा हैषा गयांस्तत्रे; प्राणा वै गयाः, तत्प्राणांस्तत्रे; तद्यद्गयांस्तत्रे तस्माद्गायत्री नाम; स यामेवामूं सावित्रीमन्वाह, एषैव सा; स यस्मा अन्वाह तस्य प्राणांस्त्रायते ॥ ४ ॥
saiṣā gāyatryetasmiṃsturīye darśate pade parorajasi pratiṣṭhitā; tadvai tatsatye pratiṣṭhitaṃ; cakśurvai satyam, cakśurhi vai satyam; tasmādyadidānīṃ dvau vivadamānāveyātām, ahamadarśam, ahamaśrauṣamiti, ya evaṃ brūyādahamadarśamiti, tasmā eva śraddadhyāma; tadvai tatsatyaṃ bale pratiṣṭhitam; prāṇo vai balam, tatprāṇe pratiṣṭhitam; tasmādāhurbalaṃ satyādogīya iti; evaṃ veṣā gāyatryadhyātmaṃ pratiṣṭhitā; sā haiṣā gayāṃstatre; prāṇā vai gayāḥ, tatprāṇāṃstatre; tadyadgayāṃstatre tasmādgāyatrī nāma; sa yāmevāmūṃ sāvitrīmanvāha, eṣaiva sā; sa yasmā anvāha tasya prāṇāṃstrāyate ॥ 4 ॥
4. That Gāyatrī rests on this fourth, apparently visible, supramundane foot. That again rests on truth. The eye is truth, for the eye is indeed truth. Therefore if even to-day two persons come disputing, one saying, ‘I saw it,’ and another, ‘I heard of it,’ we believe him only who says, ‘I saw it.’ That truth rests on strength. The vital force is strength. (Hence) truth rests on the vital force. Therefore they say strength is more powerful than truth. Thus the Gāyatrī rests on the vital force within the body. That Gāyatrī saved the Gayas. The organs are the Gayas; so it saved the organs. Now, because it saved the organs, therefore it is called the Gāyatrī. The Sāvitrī that the teacher communicates to the pupil is no other than this. It saves the organs of him to whom it is communicated.
That Gāyatrī with three feet which has been described, which comprises the three worlds, the three Vedas and the vital force, rests on this fourth, apparently visible, supramundane foot, because the sun is the essence of the gross and subtle universe. Things deprived of their essence become lifeless and unstable, as wood and so forth are when their pith is burnt. So the three-footed Gāyatrī, consisting of the gross and subtle universe, rests with its three feet on the sun. That fourth foot (the sun) again rests on truth. What is that truth? The eye is truth. How? For the eye is indeed truth —it is a well-known fact. How? Therefore if even to-day two persons come disputing, giving contradictory accounts, one saying, ‘I saw it,’ and another, ‘I heard of it—the thing is not as you saw it,’ of the two we believe him only who says, ‘I saw it,’ and not him who says, ‘I heard of it.’ What a man hears of may sometimes be false, but not what he sees with his own eyes. So we do not believe the man who says, ‘I heard of it.’ Therefore the eye, being the means of the demonstration of truth, is truth. That is to say, the fourth foot of the Gāyatrī with the other three feet rests on the eye. It has also been stated: ‘On what does that sun rest?—On the eye’ (III. ix. 20).
That truth which is the support of the fourth foot of the Gāyatrī rests on strength. What is that strength? The vital force is strength. Truth rests on that strength or the vital force. So it has been stated that everything is pervaded by the Sūtra (III. vii. 2). Since truth rests on strength, therefore they say strength is more powerful than truth. It is also a well-known fact that a thing which supports another is more powerful than the latter. We never see anything weak being the support of a stronger thing. Thus, in the above-mentioned way, the Gāyatrī rests on the vital force within the body. That Gāyatrī is the vital force; hence the universe rests on the Gāyatrī. The Gāyatrī is that vital force in which all the gods, all the Vedas, and rites together with their results are uniñed. So, as the vital force, it is the self, as it were, of the universe. That Gāyatrī saved the Gayas. What are they? The organs such as that of speech are the Gayas, for they produce sound. So it saved the organs. Because it saved the organs (of the priests using them), therefore it is called the Gāyatrī; owing to this saving of the organs it came to be known as the Gāyatri. The Sāvitrī or hymn to the sun that the teacher communicates—first a quarter of it, then half, and finally the whole—to the pupil, after investing him with the holy thread at the age of eight, is no other than this Gāyatrī, which is identical with the vital force, and is the self, as it were, of the universe. What the child receives from him is now explained here. It saves the organs of him, the child, to whom it is communicated, from falling into hell and other dire fates.
तां हैतामेके सावित्रीमनुष्टुभमन्वाहुः; वागनुष्टुप्, एतद्वाचमनुब्रूम इति; न तथा कुर्यात्; गायत्रीमेव सावित्रीमनुब्रूयात्; यदि ह वा अप्येवंविद्बह्विव प्रतिगृह्णाति, न हैव तद्गायत्र्या एकंचन पदं प्रति ॥ ५ ॥
tāṃ haitāmeke sāvitrīmanuṣṭubhamanvāhuḥ; vāganuṣṭup, etadvācamanubrūma iti; na tathā kuryāt; gāyatrīmeva sāvitrīmanubrūyāt; yadi ha vā apyevaṃvidbahviva pratigṛhṇāti, na haiva tadgāyatryā ekaṃcana padaṃ prati ॥ 5 ॥
5. Some communicate (to the pupil) the Sāvitrī that is Anuṣṭubh (saying), ‘Speech is anuṣṭubh; we shall impart that to him.’ One should not do like that. One should communicate that Sāvitrī which is the Gāyatri. Even if a man who knows as above accepts too much as gift, as it were, it is not (enough) for even one foot of the Gāyatrī.
Some, the followers of certain recensions of the Vedas, communicate to the initiated pupil the Sāvitrī that is produced from, or composed in, the metre called Anuṣṭubh. Their intention is being stated: They say, ‘Speech is Anuṣṭubh, and it is also Sarasvatī in the body. We shall impart that speech—Sarasvatī—to the boy.’ One should not do, or know, like that. What they say is totally wrong. What then should one do? One should communicate that Sāvitrī which is the. Gāyatrī. Why? Because it has already been said that the Gāyatrī is the vital force. If the child is taught about the vital force, he will be automatically taught about speech, and Sarasvatī, and the other organs as well. Having stated this incidentally, the text goes on to praise the knower of the Gāyatrī: Even if a man who knows as above accepts too much as gift,as it were—really there is no such thing as too much for him, for he is identified with the universe—it, the whole amount of gift received, is not enough for even one foot of the Gāyatrī.
स य इमांस्त्रीमँल्लोकान्पूर्णान्प्रतिगृह्णीयात्, सोऽस्या एतत्प्रथमं पदमाप्नुयात्; अथ यावतीयं त्रयी विद्या यस्तावत्प्रतिगृह्णीयात्, सोस्या एतद्द्वितीयं पदमाप्नुयात्; अथ यावदिदं प्राणि यस्तावत्प्रतिगृह्णीयात् सोऽस्या एतत्तृतीयं पदमाप्नुयात्; अथास्या एतदेव तुरीयं दर्शतं पदं परोरजा य एष तपति, नैव केन चनाप्यम्; कुत उ एतावत्प्रतिगृह्णीयात् ॥ ६ ॥
sa ya imāṃstrīm̐llokānpūrṇānpratigṛhṇīyāt, so'syā etatprathamaṃ padamāpnuyāt; atha yāvatīyaṃ trayī vidyā yastāvatpratigṛhṇīyāt, sosyā etaddvitīyaṃ padamāpnuyāt; atha yāvadidaṃ prāṇi yastāvatpratigṛhṇīyāt so'syā etattṛtīyaṃ padamāpnuyāt; athāsyā etadeva turīyaṃ darśataṃ padaṃ parorajā ya eṣa tapati, naiva kena canāpyam; kuta u etāvatpratigṛhṇīyāt || 6 ||
6. He who accepts these three worlds replete (with wealth), will be receiving (the results of knowing) only the first foot of the Gāyatrī. He who accepts as much as this treasury of knowledge, the Vedas, (has to confer), will receive (the results of knowing) only its second foot. And he who accepts as much as (is covered by) all living beings, will receive (the results of knowing) only its third foot. While it? fourth, apparently visible, supramundane foot—the sun that shines—is not to be counterbalanced by any gift received. Indeed how could any one accept so much as gift?
He, that knower of the Gāyatri, who accepts these three worlds, the earth etc., replete with wealth such as cattle and horses, will he receiving only the first foot of the Gāyatrī, which has been explained. That acceptance will counterbalance the results of knowing only its first foot, but will not produce any additional sin. He who accepts as much as this treasury of knowledge, the Vedas, (has to confer), will receive only its second foot. It will set off the results of knowing only its second foot. Similarly he who accepts as much as (is covered by) all living beings, will receive only its third foot. It will match the results of knowing only its third foot. All this is said merely as a supposition. Should any one accept gifts equivalent even to all the three feet, it will wipe out the results of knowing only those three feet, but cannot lead to a new fault. Of course there is no such donor or recipient; it is imagined only to extol the knowledge of the Gāyatri. Supposing such a donor and recipient were available, this acceptance of gifts would not be considered a fault. Why? Because there would still be left the knowledge of the fourth foot of the Gāyatri, which is among the highest achievements of a man. This is pointed out by the text: While its fourth, apparently visible, supramundane foot—the sun that shines—is not to be counterbalanced by any gift received, as the other three feet mentioned above are. Even these three are not to be thus counterbalanced. All this has been said as a mere hypothetical proposition. Indeed how could any one accept so much as gift—equivalent to the three worlds, and so on? Hence the Gāyatrī should be meditated upon in this (entire) form.
तस्या उपस्थानम्—गायत्र्यस्येकपदी द्विपदी त्रिपदी चतुष्पद्यपदसि न हि पद्यसे । नमस्ते तुरीयाय दर्शताय पदाय परोरजसे; असावदो मा प्रापदिति; यं द्विष्यात्, असावस्मै कामो मा समृद्धीति वा—न हैवास्मै स कामः समृद्ध्यते यस्मा एवमुपतिष्ठते—अहमदः प्रापमिति वा ॥ ७ ॥
tasyā upasthānam—gāyatryasyekapadī dvipadī tripadī catuṣpadyapadasi na hi padyase | namaste turīyāya darśatāya padāya parorajase; asāvado mā prāpaditi; yaṃ dviṣyāt, asāvasmai kāmo mā samṛddhīti vā—na haivāsmai sa kāmaḥ samṛddhyate yasmā evamupatiṣṭhate—ahamadaḥ prāpamiti vā || 7 ||
7. Its salutation: ‘O Gāyatrī, thou art one footed, two-footed, three-footed and four-footed, and thou art without any feet, for thou art unattainable. Salutation to thee, the fourth, apparently visible, supramundane foot! May the enemy never attain his object!’ (Should the knower of the Gāyatrī) bear hatred towards anybody, (he should) either (use this Mantra): ‘Such and such—may his desired object never flourish!’—in which case that object of the person against whom he thus salutes the Gāyatri, never flourishes—or (he may say), ‘May I attain that (dierished object) of his!’
Its salutation, the salutation of the Gāyatri—literally, the word ‘Upasthāna’ means going near and staying, or saluting—with the following sacred formula: ‘O Gāyatrī, thou art one-footed, with the three worlds as thy first foot, two-footed, with the three Vedas as thy second foot, three-footed, with the three forms of the vital force as thy third foot, and four-footed, with the sun as thy fourth foot. Thus thou art attained or known by the meditating aspirants. Beyond that thou art without any feet, in thy own supreme, unconditioned form. Thou hast no foot (Pada), that is, means of attainment, for thou art unattainable, being the Self described as ‘Not this, not this.’ Hence salutation to thee, the fourth, apparently visible, supramundane foot—in thy relative aspect! May the enemy, the evil that stands in the way of my realisation of thee, never attain his object, of obstructing this realisation! The word ‘iti’ marks the close of the sacred formula. Should the knower of the Gāyatrī himself bear hatred towards anybody, he should either use the following Sacred formula against him in his salutation to the Gāyatrī: ‘Such and such—naming him—may his, Devadatta’s, desired object never flourish!—in which case that object of the person, Devadatta, against whom he thus salutes the Gāyatrī, never flourishes. Or he may salute the Gāyatri saying, ‘May I attain that cherished object of Devadatta.’ Of the three Mantras given above—‘May the enemy never attain,’ etc.—anyone may be used at option according to the intention of the aspirant.
एतद्ध वै तज्जनको वैदेहो बुडिलमाश्वतराश्विमुवाच, यन्नु हो तद्गायत्रीविदब्रूथा अथ कथं हस्तीभूतो वहसीति; मुखं ह्यस्याः सम्राण्न विदांचकारेति होवाच; तस्या अग्निरेव मुखम्, यदि ह वा अपि बह्विवाग्नावभ्यादधति, सर्वमेव तत्संदहति; एवं हैवैवंविद्यद्यपि बह्विव पापं कुरुते, सर्वमेव तत्संप्साय शुद्धः पूतोऽजरोऽमृतः संभवति ॥ ८ ॥
इति चतुर्दशं ब्राह्मणम् ॥
etaddha vai tajjanako vaideho buḍilamāśvatarāśvimuvāca, yannu ho tadgāyatrīvidabrūthā atha kathaṃ hastībhūto vahasīti; mukhaṃ hyasyāḥ samrāṇna vidāṃcakāreti hovāca; tasyā agnireva mukham, yadi ha vā api bahvivāgnāvabhyādadhati, sarvameva tatsaṃdahati; evaṃ haivaivaṃvidyadyapi bahviva pāpaṃ kurute, sarvameva tatsaṃpsāya śuddhaḥ pūto'jaro'mṛtaḥ saṃbhavati || 8 ||
iti caturdaśaṃ brāhmaṇam ||
8. On this Janaka, Emperor of Videha, is said to have told Buḍila, the son of Aśvatarāśva, ‘Well, you gave yourself out as a knower of the Gāyatrī; then why, alas, are you carrying (me) as an elephant?’ He replied, ‘Because I did not know its mouth, O Emperor.’ ‘Fire is its mouth. Even if they put a large quantity of fuel into the fire, it is all burnt up. Similarly, even if one who knows as above commits a great many sins, he consumes them all and becomes pure, cleansed, undecaying and immortal.’
In order to enjoin the mouth of the Gāyatrī an eulogistic story is being narrated in this paragraph.—The particles ‘ha’ and ‘vai’ refer to a past incident.—On this subject of the knowledge of the Gāyatrī, Janaka, Emperor of Videha, is said to have told Buḍila, the son of Aśvatarāśva, 'Well, you gave yourself out as a knower of the Gāyatrī—said you were one—then why are you acting contrary to that statement? If you really were a knower of the Gāyatrī, then why, alas, as a result of your sin in accepting gifts, are you carrying (me) as an elephant?’—The adverb ‘nu’ indicates deliberation.—Thus reminded by the Emperor, he replied, ‘Because I did not know its mouth, O Emperor. My knowledge of the Gāyatrī, being deficient in one part, has been fruitless.’ (The Emperor said), ‘Listen then, fire is its mouth. Even if they, common people, put a large quantity of fuel into the fire, it, that fuel, is all burnt up. Similarly, even if one who knows as above, that fire is the mouth of the Gāyatrī—who himself is identified with the Gāyatri and has fire as his mouth—commits a great many sins such as those due to the acceptance of gifts etc., he consumes all those sins and becomes pure like the fire, cleansed of those sins due to the acceptance of gifts etc., undecaying and immortal,’ because he is identified with the Gāyatri.
Footnotes and references:
Gāyatrī (or Sāvitrī) is the most sacred verse of the Vedas. It reads as follows: Tat saviturvarenyam, bhargo devasya dhīmahi, dhiyo yo naṇ pracodayāt —‘We meditate on the adorable glory of the radiant sun. May he direct our intellect!’ (R. III. Ixii. io). There is also a metre called Gāyatrī which has three feet, of eight syllables each. It will be seen that the verse Gāyatrī is in this metre. Śaṅkara seems to have both these senses in mind.
Because it helps their utterance.
At the time of his initiation into the student life with the holy thread etc.
The plural forms of the names of the three Vedas.
This word must be split so as to make three syllables.
This is primarily true of the vocal organ, but the whole group is named after it.