The Brihadaranyaka Upanishad
The Bṛhadāraṇyaka Upaniṣad (with the Commentary of Śaṅkarācārya)
Section II - The Process of Rebirth
The connection of the present section beginning with, ‘Śvetaketu, the grandson of Aruṇa, came,’ etc., with the preceding portion of the book is this: This is a supplementary section, and what was left out before is now being stated. At the end of the fifth chapter, the person who combines rites and meditation is begging the fire for a passage: ‘O Fire, lead us along the good way,’ etc. Now the Mantra seems to suggest that there are many ways, for it has specified ‘the good way’; and these ways are the routes by which one obtains the results of one’s deeds. It will be said later on, ‘Doing which,’ etc. (VI. ii. 2). Naturally one may ask how many these routes are. Hence the present section is introduced to bring together all the different ways of transmigration, to show that they are just so many, and that these are the results of one’s natural actions, as well as of rites combined with meditation that are enjoined by the scriptures. Although in the passage, ‘Two classes of Prajāpati’s sons,’ etc. (I. iii. 1), the natural form of evil has been indicated, yet its results have not been particularly pointed out. Only the results of rites performed in accordance with the scriptures have been shown there in the passage concluding with the identification with the three kinds of food; for in commencing the pursuit of the knowledge of Brahman, an, aversion to these also is considered necessary. Even there it has only been said that mere rites lead to the world of the Manes, and meditation as well as rites combined with it leads to heaven. It has not been stated which way leads to the world of the Manes, and which to heaven. That too has to be fully stated in this supplementary section, which is therefore being taken up. It is also desirable to bring all things together at the conclusion of the Upaniṣad.
Moreover, it has been said that ‘this much is (the means of) immortality’ (IV. v. 15, adapted), and that there is no hope of immortality through rites (II. iv. 2 and IV. v. 3, adapted). But no reason has been given for it. For that purpose too the present section is introduced. It suggests a reason through implication. Because such is the goal of rites, which have nothing to do with immortality, therefore this much (i.e. Self-knowledge), alone is the means of attaining it. Besides, it has been stated elsewhere in the portion dealing with the Agnihotra, ‘But certainly you do not know the departure of these two oblations, or their route, or stay, or enjoyment, or return to this world, or the person who is about to depart for the next world’ (Ś. XI. vi. ii. 4). In the answer to them, the effects of the oblations have been described in the words, ‘These two oblations, after being offered, depart,’ etc. (Ibid. 6-7). These are in reality the results of the offering of oblations by the agent, the performer of the Agnihotra; for without being connected with the agent, the act of offering oblations cannot be presumed independently to produce those effects such as departure, since an act produces effects only for the benefit of the agent, and it also depends on certain factors (of which the agent is the chief one). The passage in question being a eulogy on the Agnihotra, the sixfold effect has there been attributed to that. But here all that is stated to belong to the agent, for the topic to be expounded here is the knowledge of the results of rites; and through that the Śruti wishes to enjoin here the meditation on the five fires that are the means of getting access to the northern way. Thus the different ways of transmigration will all be summed up. This is the highest result of rites. Hence with a view to showing these two the Śruti introduces the following story.
श्वेतकेतुर्ह वा आरुणेयः पञ्चालानां परिषदमाजगाम; स आजगाम जैवलिं प्रवाहणं परिचारयमाणम्; तमुदीक्श्याभ्युवाद, कुमारा३ इति; स भो३ इति प्रतिशुश्राव; अनुशिष्टोऽन्वसि पित्रेति; ओमिति होवाच ॥ १ ॥
śvetaketurha vā āruṇeyaḥ pañcālānāṃ pariṣadamājagāma; sa ājagāma jaivaliṃ pravāhaṇaṃ paricārayamāṇam; tamudīkśyābhyuvāda, kumārā3 iti; sa bho3 iti pratiśuśrāva; anuśiṣṭo'nvasi pitreti; omiti hovāca || 1 ||
1. Śvetaketu, the grandson of Aruṇa, came to the assembly of the Pañcālas. He approached Pravāhaṇa, the son of Jīvala, who was being waited on (by his servants). Seeing him the King addressed him, ‘Boy!’ He replied, ‘Yes.’ ‘Have you been taught by your father?’ He said, ‘Yes.’
Śvetaketu, the grandson of Aruṇa, after being taught by his father, came to the assembly ofthe Pañcālas to display his learning. The Pañcālas were famous (for their learning). With the proud idea of conquering first their assembly, and then the royal court, he approached Pravāhaṇa, the son of Jīvala, and the King of Pañcāla, who was being waited on by his servants. The particle ‘ha’ refers to a past incident, and ‘vai’ indicates certainty. The King had already heard of his pride of learning, and wished to teach him a lesson. Seeing him, he addressed him as soon as he arrived, ‘Boy!’ The prolongation of the accent in the address is expressive of censure. Thus addressed, he replied, ‘Yes, sir.’ Though a Kṣatriya is not entitled to this form of address, he used it in anger. The King said, ‘Have you been taught by your father?’ The other said, ‘Yes, I have. If you are in doubt, you can question me.’
वेत्थ यथेमाः प्रजाः प्रयत्यो विप्रतिपद्यन्ता3 इति; नेति होवाच; वेत्थो यथेमं लोकं पुनरापद्यन्ता3 इति; नेति हैवोवाच; वेत्थो यथासौ लोक एवं बहुभिः पुनःपुनः प्रयद्भिर्न संपूर्यता3 इति; नेति हैवोवाच; वेत्थो यतिथ्यामाहुत्यां हुतायामापः पुरुषवाचो भूत्वा समुत्थाय वदन्ती3 इति; नेति हैवोवाच; वेत्थो देवयानस्य वा पथः प्रतिपदं पितृयाणस्य वा—यत्कृत्वा देवयानं वा पन्थानं प्रतिपद्यन्ते, पितृयाणं वा? अपि हि न ऋषेर्वचः श्रुतम्—
द्वे सृती अशृणवं पितृणामहं देवानामुत मर्त्यानाम्,
ताभ्यामिदं विश्वमेजत्समेति, यदन्तरा पितरं मातरं च ॥ इति ।
नाहमत एकं चन वेदेति होवाच ॥ २ ॥
vettha yathemāḥ prajāḥ prayatyo vipratipadyantā3 iti; neti hovāca; vettho yathemaṃ lokaṃ punarāpadyantā3 iti; neti haivovāca; vettho yathāsau loka evaṃ bahubhiḥ punaḥpunaḥ prayadbhirna saṃpūryatā3 iti; neti haivovāca; vettho yatithyāmāhutyāṃ hutāyāmāpaḥ puruṣavāco bhūtvā samutthāya vadantī3 iti; neti haivovāca; vettho devayānasya vā pathaḥ pratipadaṃ pitṛyāṇasya vā—yatkṛtvā devayānaṃ vā panthānaṃ pratipadyante, pitṛyāṇaṃ vā? api hi na ṛṣervacaḥ śrutam—
dve sṛtī aśṛṇavaṃ pitṛṇāmahaṃ devānāmuta martyānām,
tābhyāmidaṃ viśvamejatsameti, yadantarā pitaraṃ mātaraṃ ca || iti |
nāhamata ekaṃ cana vedeti hovāca || 2 ||
2. ‘Do you know how these people diverge after death?’ ‘No,’ said he. ‘Do you know how they return to this world?’ ‘No,’ said he. ‘Do you know how the other world is never filled by so many people dying thus again and again?’ ‘No,’ said he. ‘Do you know after how many oblations are offered water (the liquid offerings) rises up possessed of a human voice (or under the name of man) and speaks?’ ‘No,’ said he. ‘Do you know the means of access to the way of the gods, or that to the way of the Manes—doing which people attain either the way of the gods or the way of the Manes? We have heard the words of the Mantra: “I have heard of two routes for men, leading to the Manes and the gods. Going along them all this is united. They lie between the father and the mother (earth and heaven).”’ He said, ‘I know not one of them.’
‘Well then, do you know how these familiar people diverge after death? The prolongation of the final accent in the verb suggests deliberation. ‘While going along the same route they come to a point where the roads split; some take the one, and some the other; this is the divergence. Do you know how these people are divided?’—this is the idea. ‘No,’ said the other. ‘Then do you know how they return to this world?’ ‘No,’ said Śvetaketu. ‘Do you know how the other world is never filled by so many people dying thus, in the familiar way, again and again?’ ‘No,’ said he. ‘Do you know after how many oblations are offered water rises up, appears perfectly, possessed of a human voice (or under the name of man) and speaks?' This happens when it takes a human form. ‘No,’ said he. ‘Very well. But do you know the means of access to the way of the gods, or that to the way of the Manes—in other words, the kind of (ritualistic) work doing which people attain either the way of the gods or the way of the Manes?’ The latter part of the sentence explains the word ‘Pratipad’ (means of. access). That is to say, do you know the means of attaining the two worlds?
‘We have heard the words of the Mantra that express this sense.’ That is, there is a Mantra too expressing this idea. What is that Mantra? It is this: I have heard of two routes. One of them leads to the Manes, is connected with the world of the Manes; that is, one attains the world of the Manes through that way.—The word ‘Aham’ (I) agrees with the verb ‘Aśṛṇavam’ (have heard), which is separated by the word ‘Pitṛṇām.’—And another is related to the gods; it leads to the gods. Who go by those two routes to the Manes and the gods? This is being answered: For, or relating to, men. That is, men only go by those routes. Going along those two routes all this is united; and those two routes lie between the father and the mother. Who are they? The two halves of the shell of the universe consisting of heaven and earth. The Brāhmaṇa gives the following explanation of the words: ‘This (earth) is the mother, and that (heaven) is the father’ (Ś. XIII. ii. ix. 7; Tai. B. III. viii. ix. 1). These two routes are within the two halves of the universe and hence belong to the relative world. They cannot lead to absolute immortality. Śvetaketu said, ‘I know not one of this set of questions.’
अथैनं वसत्योपमन्त्रयांचक्रे; अनादृत्य वसतिं कुमारः प्रदुद्राव; स आजगाम पितरम्; तं होवाच, इति वाव किल नो भवान्पुरानुशिष्टानवोच इति; कथं सुमेध इति; पञ्च मा प्रश्नान्राजन्यबन्धुरप्राक्शीत्, ततो नैकञ्चन वेदेति; कतमे त इति; इम इति ह प्रतीकान्युदाजहार ॥ ३ ॥
athainaṃ vasatyopamantrayāṃcakre; anādṛtya vasatiṃ kumāraḥ pradudrāva; sa ājagāma pitaram; taṃ hovāca, iti vāva kila no bhavānpurānuśiṣṭānavoca iti; kathaṃ sumedha iti; pañca mā praśnānrājanyabandhuraprākśīt, tato naikañcana vedeti; katame ta iti; ima iti ha pratīkānyudājahāra || 3 ||
3. Then the King invited him to stay. The boy, disregarding the invitation to stay, hurried away. He came to his father and said to him, ‘Well, did you not tell me before that you had (fully) instructed me?’ ‘How (did you get hurt), my sagacious child?’ ‘That wretch of a Kṣatriya asked me five questions, and I knew ṅot one of them.’ ‘Which are they?’ ‘These,’ and he quoted their first words.
Then, after he had removed his pride of learning, the King invited him, śvetaketu, who is being discussed, to stay, saying, ‘Please stay here. Let water be brought for washing your feet, and the customary offering to respected guests be made.’ The hoy, Śvetaketu, disregarding the invitation to stay, hurried away to his father. He came to his father and said to him, ‘Well, did you not tell me before, at the time of my finishing the study, that you had instructed me in every branch of learning?’ Hearing the reproachful words of his son, the father said, ‘How did you get hurt, i.e. come by your grief, my sagacious child?’ He said, ‘Listen what happened to me. That wretch of a Kṣatrīya—lit. an associate of the Kṣatriyas; a term of reproach—asked me five questions, and I knew not one of them. ‘Which are they—those questions asked by the King?’ inquired the father. To which the son replied, ‘These,’ and he quoted the first words of those questions.
स होवाच, तथा नस्त्वं तात जानीथा यथा यदहं किंच वेद सर्वमहं तत्तुभमवोचं; प्रेहि तु तत्र प्रतीत्य ब्रह्मचर्यं वत्स्याव इति; भवानेव गच्छत्विति; स आजगाम गौतमो यत्र प्रवाहणस्य जैवलेरास; तस्मा आसनमाहृत्योदकमहारयांचकार, अथ हास्मा अर्घ्यं चकार; तं होवाच, वरं भगवते गौतमाय दद्म इति ॥ ४ ॥
sa hovāca, tathā nastvaṃ tāta jānīthā yathā yadahaṃ kiṃca veda sarvamahaṃ tattubhamavocaṃ; prehi tu tatra pratītya brahmacaryaṃ vatsyāva iti; bhavāneva gacchatviti; sa ājagāma gautamo yatra pravāhaṇasya jaivalerāsa; tasmā āsanamāhṛtyodakamahārayāṃcakāra, atha hāsmā arghyaṃ cakāra; taṃ hovāca, varaṃ bhagavate gautamāya dadma iti || 4 ||
4. The father said, ‘My child, believe me, whatever I knew I told you every bit of it. But come, let us go there and live as students.’ ‘You go alone, please.’ At this Gautama came to where King Pravāhaṇa, the son of Jīvala, was giving audience. The King gave him a seat, had water brought for him, and made him the reverential offering. Then he said, ‘We will give revered Gautama, a boon.’
The father, to soothe his angry child, said, ‘My child, believe me, whatever of meditations I knew, I told you every bit of it. Who is dearer to me than you, for whom I would withhold anything? I too do not know what the King asked about. Therefore come, let us go there and live as students with the King, to learn it.’ The boy said, ‘You go alone, please, I do not care to see his face.’ At this Gautama, i.e. Āruṇi, who was descended from the line of Gotama, came to where King Pravāhaṇa, the son of Jīvála, was holding a sitting, or giving audience. Or the genitive case in the two words in the text (denoting the King’s name) should be changed into the nominative. The King gave him a respectable seat, had water brought for him, his guest Gautama, through servants, and made him the reverential offering (Arghya) through his priest, as also the Madhuparka with sacred texts uttered. Having thus worshipped him, he said to him, ‘We will give to revered Gautama a boon,’ consisting of cows, horses, etc.
स होवाच, प्रतिज्ञातो म एष वरः, यां तु कुमारस्यान्ते वाचमभाषथास्तां मे ब्रूहीति ॥ ५ ॥
sa hovāca, pratijñāto ma eṣa varaḥ, yāṃ tu kumārasyānte vācamabhāṣathāstāṃ me brūhīti || 5 ||
5. Āruṇi said, ‘You have promised me this boon. Please tell me what you spoke to my boy about.’
स होवाच, दैवेषु वै गौतम तद्वरेषु, मानुषाणां ब्रूहीति ॥ ७ ॥
sa hovāca, daiveṣu vai gautama tadvareṣu, mānuṣāṇāṃ brūhīti || 6 ||
6. The King said, ‘This comes under heavenly boons, Gautama. Please ask some human boon.’
The King said, ‘This, what you ask, comes under heavenly boons. Please ask some human.’
स होवाच, विज्ञायते हास्ति हिरण्यस्यापात्तं गोअश्वानां दासीनां प्रवाराणां परिधानस्य, मा नो भवान्बहोरनन्तस्यापर्यन्तस्याभ्यवदान्यो भूदिति; स वै गौतम तीर्थेनेच्छासा इति; उपैम्यहं भवन्तमिति; वाचा ह स्मैव पूर्व उपयन्ति, स होपायनकीर्त्योवास ॥ ७ ॥
sa hovāca, vijñāyate hāsti hiraṇyasyāpāttaṃ goaśvānāṃ dāsīnāṃ pravārāṇāṃ paridhānasya, mā no bhavānbahoranantasyāparyantasyābhyavadānyo bhūditi; sa vai gautama tīrthenecchāsā iti; upaimyahaṃ bhavantamiti; vācā ha smaiva pūrva upayanti, sa hopāyanakīrtyovāsa || 7 ||
7. Āruṇi said, ‘You know that I already have gold, cattle and horses, maid-servants, retinue, and dress. Be not ungenerous towards me alone regarding this plentiful, infinite and thexhaustible (wealth).’ ‘Then you must seek it according to form, Gautama.’ ‘I approach you (as a student).’ The ancients used to approach a teacher simply through declaration. Āruṇi lived as a student by merely announcing that he was at his service.
Gautama said, ‘You too know that I have them. So the human boon that you propose to give me will do me no good. Because I too already have plenty of gold, cattle and horses, maid-servants, retinue, and dress.’ The words ‘Apāttam asti’ (there is attainment) should be connected with all the terms. ‘And what I already have, neither I should ask of you, nor you should give me. You have promised me a boon. You alone know what is proper under the circumstances—that you should keep your promise. I have also another thing on my mind: Having been generous everywhere, be not ungenerous, stingy, towards me alone regarding this wealth—plentiful, infinite, i.e. producing such results, and inexhaustible, i.e. reaching down to one’s sons and grandsons. You should not deny such wealth to me alone. You will not deny it to anybody else.’ Thus addressed, the King said, ‘Then you must seek to have this learning according to form, that prescribed by the scriptures.’ At this Gautama said, ‘I approach you as a student.’ The ancients—Brāhmaṇas seeking instruction from Kṣatriyas or Vaiśyas, or Kṣatriyas seeking it from Vaiśyas, as a matter of necessity—used to approach a teacher simply through declaration, not by actually approaching his feet or serving him. Hence Gautama lived as a student by merely announcing that he was at his service, without actually approaching the King’s feet.
स होवाच, तथा नस्त्वम् गौतम मापराधास्तव च पितामहा यथ, इयं विद्येतः पूर्वं न कस्मिंश्चन ब्राह्मण उवास; तां त्वहं तुभ्यं वक्श्यामि, को हि त्वैवं ब्रुवन्तमर्हति प्रत्याख्यातुमिति ॥ ८ ॥
sa hovāca, tathā nastvam gautama māparādhāstava ca pitāmahā yatha, iyaṃ vidyetaḥ pūrvaṃ na kasmiṃścana brāhmaṇa uvāsa; tāṃ tvahaṃ tubhyaṃ vakśyāmi, ko hi tvaivaṃ bruvantamarhati pratyākhyātumiti || 8 ||
8. The King said: Please do not take offence with us, Gautama, as your paternal grandfathers did not (with ours). Before this, this learning never rested with a Brāhmaṇa. But I shall teach it to you; for who can refuse you when you speak like this?
When Gautama thus declared his preference for this unavoidable humiliation to ignorance, the King, thinking that he was hurt, said begging his pardon: Please do not take offence with us, Gautama, as your paternal grandfathers did not with ours. That is to say, you should observe that attitude of your grandfathers towards us. Know that before this transmission to you, this learning that you have asked for never rested with a Brāhmaṇa. It has all along come down through a line of Kṣatriya teachers. I too should, if possible, maintain that tradition. Hence I said, ‘This comes under heavenly boons, Gautama. Please ask some human boon’ (VI. ii. 6). But it cannot be maintained any more, for your boon cannot be withheld. I shall teach even this learning to you; for who else even can refuse you when you speak like this? Then why should I not teach it to you?
असौ वै लोकोऽग्निर्गौतम; तस्यादित्य एव समित्, रश्मयो धूमः, अहरर्चिर्, दिशोऽङ्गाराः, अवान्तरदिशो विस्फुलिङ्गास्; तस्मिन्नेतस्मिन्नग्नौ देवाः, श्रद्धां जुह्वति; तस्या आहुत्यै सोमो राजा संभवति ॥ ९ ॥
asau vai loko'gnirgautama; tasyāditya eva samit, raśmayo dhūmaḥ, ahararcir, diśo'ṅgārāḥ, avāntaradiśo visphuliṅgās; tasminnetasminnagnau devāḥ, śraddhāṃ juhvati; tasyā āhutyai somo rājā saṃbhavati || 9 ||
9. That world (heaven), O Gautama, is fire, the sun is its fuel, the rays its smoke, the day its flame, the four quarters its cinder, and the intermediate quarters its sparks. In this fire the gods offer faith (liquid oblations in subtle form). Out of that offering King Moon is born (a body is made in the moon for the sacrificer).
‘That world, O Gautama, is fire,’ etc. The fourth question is being answered first. The order, of the question is broken, because on the solution of this question depends that of the others. That world, heaven, O Gautama, is fire. We are enjoined to look upon heaven, which is not fire, as fire, as in the case of man and woman later on. Of that fire, heaven, the sun is the fuel, because of the kindling, for heaven is illumined by the sun. The rays its smoke, because of the similarity of rising from the fuel, for the rays emanate from the sun, and smoke, as we know, comes out of the fuel. The day its flame, because both are bright. The four quarters its cinder, because both represent a pacified state. The intermediate quarters its sparks, because they are scattered like sparks. In this fire of heaven, possessed of such attributes, the gods, Indra etc., offer faith as an oblation. Out of that offering King Moon, King of the Manes and Brāhmaṇas, is horn.
Now who are the gods, how do they offer oblations, and what is this oblation called faith? We have just touched on this point elsewhere in our introductory remarks on this section (p. 886). In order to ascertain the six things referred to by the words, ‘But certainly you do not know the departure of these two oblations,’ etc., certain things have been stated in the portion dealing with the Agnihotra. These are some of the statements: ‘These two oblations of the Agnihotra, after being offered, depart. They enter the sky, of which they make an Āhavanīya fire, with air as its fuel, and the sun's rays its white oblation. They offer libations to the sky and depart from there. They enter heaven, of which they make an Āhavanīya fire, with the sun as its fuel,’ and so on (Ś. XI. vi. ii. 6-7). Of course these oblations of the Agnihotra depart together with their accessories. Whatever accessories they are known to possess here, such as the Āhavanīya fire, fuel, smoke, cinder, sparks and the articles of oblation, they take along with them as they leave this world for heaven. There, although everything is in an undifferentiated state during the dissolution of the world, those ingredients retain their separate existence in an extremely subtle form—the fire remaining as fire, the fuel as fuel, the smoke as smoke, the cinder as cinder, the sparks as sparks and the articles of oblation as articles of oblation such as milk. That ceremony of the Agnihotra with its accessories, which never ceases to exist, but remains in a subtle form known as the Apūrva, reappears in its old form at the time of manifestation, by making use of the sky etc. as the Āhavanīya fire and so on as before. The ceremony of the Agnihotra is like that even to-day.
Thus the nature of those six things beginning with the departure of the oblations and ending with the departure of the sacrificer for the next world, has been ascertained earlier in the Śatapatha Brāhmaṇa, in the portion dealing with rites, and it has been stated that it is with a view to eulogising those two oblations of the Agnihotra that the whole universe has been described as being the development of the Apūrva of those oblations. But here the object is to describe the results of the sachficer’s rites and to enjoin meditation on the five fires beginning with the fire of heaven, as a means to attaining the northern way, in order that he may enjoy the results of specific rites; hence the meditation on heaven as fire etc. is introduced. It should be noted that those forms of the vital force in the body that serve as priests in the Agnihotra here, become Indra etc. on attaining their form relating to the gods, and they serve as priests there, offering oblations in the fire of heaven. They (as a part of the sacrificer) performed the Agnihotra here with a view to attaining its results, and it is they who, at the time of reaping the results, also become priests in different places in the next world, assuming suitable forms, and being called by the name of gods. The liquid substances too, which, forming a part of the Agnihotra ceremony, are here poured into the Āhavanīya fire and are devoured by it, assume an invisible, subtle form and accompany the agent, the sacrificer, to the other world, going through smoke etc. first to the sky and thence to heaven. When those subtle liquid substances—which are the effects of the act of offering, form a part of the Agnihotra, and are known as ‘faith’—enter heaven with the agent, to construct a new body for him in the lunar sphere, they are said to be offered as oblations. Entering heaven, they produce a body for the agent in the lunar sphere. This is referred to in the passage: The gods offer faith. Out of that offering King Moon is born; for the Śruti says, ‘Faith is water’ (Tai. S. I. vi. viii. i).
The question was, ‘Do you know after how many oblations are offered water rises up possessed of a human voice and speaks?’ (par. 2). In order to answer it, the statement has been made: ‘That world is fire.’ Therefore it is clear that the liquid substances which form a part of the sacrifice and produce the body of the agent are designated as ‘faith.’ ‘Water’ only is mentioned as rising up possessed of a human voice, on account of the preponderance of liquid elements in the body, not that the other four elements are absent in it. The formation of the body is due to the performance of the Agnihotra, and liquid substances are a part of it. Hence water (as typifying liquids) is the most important factor in the formation of the body. This is another reason why it is spoken of as ‘rising up possessed of a human voice,’ for everywhere it is the sacrificer who has a rebirth. So, although in the portion dealing with the Agnihotra the six things such as the departure of the two oblations have been mentioned so as to glorify the oblations of the Agnihotra alone, yet all Vedic rites such as the Agnihotra are meant; for after introducing rites with five factors, which are connected with the wife and fire, it has been said, ‘The world of the Manes (is to be won) through rites’ (I. v. 16.). It will also be stated later on, ‘While those who conquer the worlds through sacrifices, charity and austerity,’ etc. (par. 16).
पर्जन्यो वा अग्निर्गौतम; तस्य संवत्सर एव समित्, अभ्राणि धूमः, विद्युदर्चिः, अशनिरङ्गाराः, ह्रादुनयो विस्फुलिङ्गाः; तस्मिन्नेतस्मिन्नग्नौ देवाः सोमं राजानं जुह्वति; तस्या आहुत्यै वृष्टिः संभवति ॥ १० ॥
parjanyo vā agnirgautama; tasya saṃvatsara eva samit, abhrāṇi dhūmaḥ, vidyudarciḥ, aśaniraṅgārāḥ, hrādunayo visphuliṅgāḥ; tasminnetasminnagnau devāḥ somaṃ rājānaṃ juhvati; tasyā āhutyai vṛṣṭiḥ saṃbhavati || 10 ||
10. Parjanya (the god of rain), O Gautama, is fire, the year is its fuel, the clouds its smoke, lightning its flame, thunder its cinder, and the rumblings its sparks. In this fire the gods offer King Moon. Out of that offering rain is produced.
Parjanya, O Gautama, is fire, the second receptacle of the two oblations in the order of their return. Parjanya is a god identifying himself with the materials of rain. The year is its fuel, for this fire of Parjanya is kindled by that as it revolves with its parts commencing with autumn and ending with summer. The clouds its smoke, being produced from smoke, or because of its cloudy appearance. Lightning its flame, since both are luminous. Thunder its cinder, because both represent a pacified state and are hard. The rumblings of the clouds its sparks, because both scatter and are numerous. In this receptacle of the two oblations the gods, those very priests mentioned above, offer King Moon, who was produced out of the offering of ‘faith’ in the fire of heaven; he is offered in the second fire, that of Parjanya, and out of that offering of the moon rain is produced.
अयं वै लोकोऽग्निर्गौतम; तस्य पृथिव्येव समित्, अग्निर्धूमः, रात्रिरर्चिः, चन्द्रमा अङ्गाराः, नक्शत्राणि विष्फुलिङ्गाः; तस्मिन्नेतस्मिन्नग्नौ देवा वृष्टिं जुह्वति; तस्या आहुत्या अन्नं संभवति ॥ ११ ॥
ayaṃ vai loko'gnirgautama; tasya pṛthivyeva samit, agnirdhūmaḥ, rātrirarciḥ, candramā aṅgārāḥ, nakśatrāṇi viṣphuliṅgāḥ; tasminnetasminnagnau devā vṛṣṭiṃ juhvati; tasyā āhutyā annaṃ saṃbhavati || 11 ||
11. This world, O Gautama, is fire, the earth is its fuel, fire its smoke, the night its flame, the moon its cinder, and the stars its sparks. In this fire the gods offer rain. Out of that offering food is produced.
This world, O Gautama, is fire. ‘This world’ means the abode where all creatures are born and experience the results of their past work, and which consists of action, its factors and its results; it is the third fire. The earth is the fuel of that fire, for this world is kindled by the earth, which is provided with numerous materials for the enjoyment of living beings. Fire its smoke, for both rise from their abode, earth; because fire is produced out of the fuel, which preponderates in earth, and smoke too arises from the same source. The night its flame, because both originate from the contact of fuel. As a flame is produced by the contact of fuel with fire, so is the night by the contact of the fuel of the earth, for the earth’s shadow is called the darkness of night. The moon its cinder, both being produced from flames; for cinder is produced from flames, and so is the moon in the night; or because both represent a pacified state. The stars its sparks, because both scatter. In this, etc.—to be explained as before—(the gods) offer rain. Out of that offering food is produced, for it is well-known fact that food such as rice and bailey is produced from rain.
पुरुषो वा अग्निर्गौतम; तस्य व्यात्तमेव समित्, प्राणो धूमः, वागर्चिः, चक्शुरङ्गाराः, श्रोत्रं विस्फुलिङ्गाः; तस्मिन्नेतस्मिन्नग्नौ देवा अन्नं जुह्वति; तस्या आहुत्यै रेतः संभवति ॥ १२ ॥
puruṣo vā agnirgautama; tasya vyāttameva samit, prāṇo dhūmaḥ, vāgarciḥ, cakśuraṅgārāḥ, śrotraṃ visphuliṅgāḥ; tasminnetasminnagnau devā annaṃ juhvati; tasyā āhutyai retaḥ saṃbhavati || 12 ||
12. Man, O Gautama, is fire, the open mouth is its fuel, the vital force its smoke, speech its flame, the eye its cinder, and the ear its sparks. In this fire the gods offer food. Out of that offering the seed is produced.
Man, O Gautama, is fire. The familiar human being with a head, hands, etc., is the fourth fire. The open mouth is its fuel, for through it a man is kindled (shines) in speech, study of the Vedas, etc., as fire is with fuel. The vital force its smoke, both rising from the same source, for the vital force rises from the mouth. Speech or the word its flame, for both reveal. A flame reveals things, and speech or the word signifies its object. The eye its cinder, because both represent a pacified state, or are the sources of light. The ear its sparks, owing to the similarity of scattering. In this fire (the gods) offer food. One may say, we do not see any gods here offering food. The answer is, that is no objection, for the forms of the vital force can be taken as gods. With reference to the deities, Indra and others are the gods; in the body the same are the forms of the vital force and they put food into a man. Out of that offering the seed is produced, for it is the outcome of food.
योषा वा आग्निर्गौतम; तस्या उपस्थ एव समित्, लोमानि धूमः, योनिरर्चिः, यदन्तः करोति तेऽङ्गाराः, अभिनन्दा विस्फुलिङ्गाः; तस्मिन्नेतस्मिन्नग्नौ देवा रेतो जुह्वति; तस्या आहुत्यै पुरुषः संभवति; स जीवति यावज्जीवति, अथ यदा म्रियते ॥ १३ ॥
yoṣā vā āgnirgautama; tasyā upastha eva samit, lomāni dhūmaḥ, yonirarciḥ, yadantaḥ karoti te'ṅgārāḥ, abhinandā visphuliṅgāḥ; tasminnetasminnagnau devā reto juhvati; tasyā āhutyai puruṣaḥ saṃbhavati; sa jīvati yāvajjīvati, atha yadā mriyate || 13 ||
13. Woman, O Gautama, is fire. In this fire the gods offer the seed. Out of that offering a man is born. He lives as long as he is destined to live. Then, when he dies—
Woman, O Gautama, is fire, the fifth one to serve as the receptacle of the sacrifice. In that fire the gods offer the seed. Out of that offering a man is born. Thus water (liquids), designated as ‘faith,’ being successively offered in the fires of heaven, rain-god, this world, man and woman, in the increasingly grosser forms of faith, moon, rain, food and seed respectively, produce what we call man. The fourth question, ‘Do you know after how many oblations are offered water rises up possessed of a human voice and speaks?’ (par. 2), has been thus answered, viz. that when the fifth oblation is offered in the fire of woman, water, transformed into the seed, becomes possessed of a human voice. He, that man, born in this order, lives. How long? As long as he is destined to live, i.e. as long as the resultant of his past work, which makes him stay in this body, lasts. Then, on the exhaustion of that, when he dies—
अथैनमग्नये हरन्ति; तस्याग्निरेवाग्निर्भवति, समित्समित्, धूमो धूमः, अर्चिरर्चिः, अङ्गारा अङ्गाराः, विस्फुलिङ्गा विस्फुलिङ्गाः; तस्मिन्नेतस्मिन्नग्नौ देवाः पुरुषं जुह्वति; तस्या आहुत्यै पुरुषो भास्वरवर्णः संभवति ॥ १४ ॥
athainamagnaye haranti; tasyāgnirevāgnirbhavati, samitsamit, dhūmo dhūmaḥ, arcirarciḥ, aṅgārā aṅgārāḥ, visphuliṅgā visphuliṅgāḥ; tasminnetasminnagnau devāḥ puruṣaṃ juhvati; tasyā āhutyai puruṣo bhāsvaravarṇaḥ saṃbhavati || 14 ||
14. They carry him to be offered in the fire. The fire becomes his fire, the fuel his fuel, the smoke his smoke, the flame his flame, the cinder his cinder, and the sparks his sparks. In this fire the gods offer the man. Out of that offering the man emerges radiant.
Then the priests carry him, the dead man, to be offered in the fire. The well-known fire becomes his fire, the receptacle for the sacrifice in which he himself is to be tHe oblation; no new fire is to be imagined. The familiar fuel his fuel, the smoke his smoke, the flame his flame, the cinder his cinder, and the sparks his sparks. All these familiar objects are meant. In this fire the gods offer the man as the last oblation. Out of that offering the man emerges radiant, exceedingly bright, having been purified by all the rites performed from conception to.the funeral ceremony.
ते य एवमेतद्विदुः, ये चामी अरण्ये श्रद्धां सत्यमुपासते, तेऽर्चिरभिसंभवन्ति, अर्चिषोऽहः, अह्न आपूर्यमाणपक्शम्, आपूर्यमाणपक्शाद्यान्षण्मासानुदङ्ङादित्य एति; मासेभ्यो देवलोकम्, देवलोकादादित्यम्, आदित्याद्वैद्युतम्; तान्वैद्युतान्पुरुषो मानस एत्य ब्रह्मलोकान् गमयति; ते तेषु ब्रह्मलोकेषु पराः परावतो वसन्ति; तेषां न पुनरावृत्तिः ॥ १५ ॥
te ya evametadviduḥ, ye cāmī araṇye śraddhāṃ satyamupāsate, te'rcirabhisaṃbhavanti, arciṣo'haḥ, ahna āpūryamāṇapakśam, āpūryamāṇapakśādyānṣaṇmāsānudaṅṅāditya eti; māsebhyo devalokam, devalokādādityam, ādityādvaidyutam; tānvaidyutānpuruṣo mānasa etya brahmalokān gamayati; te teṣu brahmalokeṣu parāḥ parāvato vasanti; teṣāṃ na punarāvṛttiḥ || 15 ||
15. Those who know this as such, and those others who meditate with faith upon the Satya-Brahman in the forest, reach the deity identified with the flame, from him the deity of the day, from him the deity of the fortnight in which the moon waxes, from him the deities of the six months in which the sun travels northward, from them the deity identified with the world of the gods, from him the sun, and from the sun the deity of lighthing. (Then) a being created from the mind (of Hiraṇyagarbha) comes and conducts them to the worlds of Hiraṇyagarbha. They attain perfection and live in those worlds of Hiraṇyagarbha for a great many superfine years. They no more return to this world.
Now in order to answer the first question it is being stated: Those who know this meditation on the five fires as such, as described above—the word ‘such’ refers to the five fires described in terms of fire, fuel,, smoke, flame, cinder, sparks, faith (liquid offerings), etc., so the meaning is—those who know these five fires as above.
Objection: Is not this meditation the same as that on the two oblations of the Agnihotra? For there, in the course of the discussion on the six things such as the departure of the two oblations, it has been stated, ‘They make heaven itself the Āhavanīya fire,’ etc. Here too there are many points of similarity, as for example the other world is lire, the sun is the fuel, and so on. Therefore this meditation is just a part of that.
Reply: No, because this is an answer to the question, ‘After how many oblations are offered,’ etc. So the word ‘such’ must refer to that much only which is covered by the answer to this question. Otherwise the question would be useless. Now, since the number of the fires is already known, the fires themselves are to be described here.
Objection: Suppose we say that the fires and so forth are known, but are merely repeated here.
Reply: In that case, they must be repeated as they occur there, not in such terms as, ‘That world is fire.’
Objection: The mention of heaven etc. is suggestive of the remaining items.
Reply: Even then the first and last items should be quoted to suggest the rest. Another Śruti bears out our contention. In a section of the Chāndogya Upaniṣad treating of the same subject there are the words, ‘Those who know the five fires,’ (V. x. 10), which shows that the number of the fires is fixed as five. Therefore this meditation on the five fires cannot be a part of the Agnihotra. The similarity as regards the fire, fuel, etc., to which you referred is, as we have said, only for the sake of extolling the Agnihotra. Therefore a mere knowledge of the six things such as the departure of the oblations will not lead to the attainment of the deities of the flame etc., for this has been enjoined through a knowledge of the five fires that are being discussed, as is evident from the use of the word ‘such’ in the text.
But who are ‘those who know this as such'? The householders, of course. One may object: Is it not the purpose of the Śruti to enjoin that they by means of sacrifices etc. are to attain the southern way characterised by the deity of smoke and so on? The answer is: Not so; for there may be householders not knowing the five fires for whom sacrifices etc. are enjoined as means. Besides, the hermit and the monk have been indirectly mentioned, for they are connected with the forest; and the meditation on the five fires is connected with rites that only a householder can perform. Hence students also are meant by the words, ‘Who know this as such.’ They enter the northern way, as we know on the authority of the Smṛti, ‘Eighty-eight thousand sages who led a celibate life attained (relative) immortality through the northern route of the sun’ (cf. Viṣ. II. viii. 92, 94). Therefore those householders who know as above, that they are born of fire, are children of fire—who know that they have been born out of a number of fires in this order, and are but another form of fire, and those others who meditate with —not upon— faith upon the Satya-Brahman, or Hiraṇyagarbha, in the forest, in other words, the hermits and monks who constantly live in the forest, all reach the deity identified with the flame.
As long as the householders do not know either the meditation on the five fires or the Satya-Brahman, they are born from the fire of woman when the fifth oblation beginning with that of faith (the liquids) has been offered in order, and again perform rites like the Agnihotra, with a view to attaining the other world. Through those rites they again go to the world of the Manes, passing in order the deity of smoke etc., and again return, passing in order the rain-god and so forth. Then they are again born of the fire of woman, again perform rites, and so on, thus rotating constantly like a Persian wheel by their comings and goings between this world and the next. But when they know the meditation on the five ftres, they are freed from this rotation and reach the flame. The ‘flame’ here does not mean a tongue of fire, but the deity identified with the flame and called by that name, who is stationed in the northern route. They reach him, for monks have no direct relation to the flame. Hence the word means the deity of that name. From him the deity of the day. Since there can be no restriction with regard to the time of death, the word 'day’ also means the deity of the day. Death occurs as soon as the term of life is over; one cannot make the rule that a knower of this meditation must die at daytime; so the day cannot be fixed as such time. Nor do those who die at night wait for the day, for another Śruti says, ‘He reaches the sun as quickly as the glance of the mind’ (Ch. VIII. vi. 5).
From him the fortnight in which the moon waxes: That is, being conducted by the deity of the day, they reach the deity of the bright fortnight. From him, being conducted by the deity of the bright fortnight, they reach the six months in which the sun travels northward. The plural in the word ‘months’ indicates that a group of six deities identified with the northward journey of the sun is meant. Front them the world of the gods: Being conducted by this group of deities,
they reach the deity identified with the world of the gods. From him they reach the sun, and from the sun the deity of, or identified with, lightning. As they reach the deity of lightning, a being created from the mind of Hiraṇyagarbha, a denizen of his world, comes and conducts them to the worlds of Hiraṇyagarbha. The plural in the word ‘worlds' indicates that there are higher and lower planes in that world, which is possible, as there may be differences of grade in meditations. Being conducted there by that being, they attain perfection and live in those worlds of Hiraṇyagarbha for a great many superfine years, i.e. many human cycles, which constitute the lifetime of Hiraṇyagarbha. They, after reaching the world of Hiraṇyagarbha, no more return to this world, for the word ‘here’ occurs in the Mādhyandina recension.
Objection: The word ‘here’ just indicates a type, meaning this and similar worlds, as in the passage, ‘The full-moon sacrifice should be performed on the next day.’
Reply: No, for then the qualifying word ‘here' would be redundant. That is to say, if they did not return at all, the use of the word ‘here’ would be meaningless. In the passage cited, the fact that the sacrifice haṣ to be performed on the next day would not be known, were it not mentioned; so the specification is all right. The term ‘next day’ has not been used there superfluously, on the ground (adduced by you) that it represents a type. Only where the relevancy of a qualifying word is not to be found after investigation, is it proper to discard it as redundant; but not where the significance of the word is patent. Therefore we understand that they return after the lapse of the present cycle.
अथ ये यज्ञेन दानेन तपसा लोकाञ्जयन्ति, ते धूममभिसंभवन्ति, धूमाद्रात्रिं, रात्रेरपक्शीयमाणपक्शम्, अपक्शीयमाणपक्शाद्यान्षण्मासान्दक्शिणादित्य एति, मासेभ्यः पितृलोकम्, पितृलोकाच्चन्द्रम्; ते चन्द्रं प्राप्यान्नं भवन्ति, तांस्तत्र देवा यथा सोमं राजानमाप्यायस्वापक्शीयस्वेति, एवमेनांस्तत्र भक्शयन्ति; तेषां यदा तत्पर्यवैत्यथेममेवाकाशमभिनिष्पद्यन्ते, आकाशाद्वायुम्; वायोर्वृष्टिम्, वृष्टेः पृथिवीम्; ते पृथिवीं प्राप्यान्नं भवन्ति, ते पुनः पुरुषाग्नौ हूयन्ते, ततो योषाग्नौ जायन्ते लोकान्प्रत्युथायिनः; त एवमेवानुपरिवर्तन्ते; अथ य एतौ पन्थानौ न विदुस्ते कीटाः पतङ्गा यदिदं दन्दशूकम् ॥ १६ ॥
इति द्वितीयं ब्राह्मणम् ॥
atha ye yajñena dānena tapasā lokāñjayanti, te dhūmamabhisaṃbhavanti, dhūmādrātriṃ, rātrerapakśīyamāṇapakśam, apakśīyamāṇapakśādyānṣaṇmāsāndakśiṇāditya eti, māsebhyaḥ pitṛlokam, pitṛlokāccandram; te candraṃ prāpyānnaṃ bhavanti, tāṃstatra devā yathā somaṃ rājānamāpyāyasvāpakśīyasveti, evamenāṃstatra bhakśayanti; teṣāṃ yadā tatparyavaityathemamevākāśamabhiniṣpadyante, ākāśādvāyum; vāyorvṛṣṭim, vṛṣṭeḥ pṛthivīm; te pṛthivīṃ prāpyānnaṃ bhavanti, te punaḥ puruṣāgnau hūyante, tato yoṣāgnau jāyante lokānpratyuthāyinaḥ; ta evamevānuparivartante; atha ya etau panthānau na viduste kīṭāḥ pataṅgā yadidaṃ dandaśūkam || 16 ||
iti dvitīyaṃ brāhmaṇam ||
16. While those who conquer the worlds through sacrifices, charity and austerity, reach the deity of smoke, from him the deity of the night, from him the deity of the fortnight in which the moon wanes, from him the deities of the six months in which the sun travels southward, from them the deity of the world of the Manes, and from him the moon. Reaching the moon they become food. There the gods enjoy them as the priests drink the- shining Soma juice (gradually, saying, as it were), ‘Flourish, dwindle.’ And when their past work is exhausted, they reach (become like) this ether, from the ether air, from air rain, and from rain the earth. Reaching the earth they become food. Then they are again offered in the fire of man, thence in.the fire of woman, whence they are born (and perform rites) with a view to going to other worlds. Thus do they rotate. While those others who do not know these two ways become insects and moths, and these frequently biting things (gnats and mosquitoes).
While those who do not know as above, who, knowing only the six things such as the departure of the two oblations connected with the Agnihotra, are mere ritualists,. who conquer the worlds—the plural in ‘worlds’ suggests here also varieties of results—through sacrifices such as the Agnihotra, charity, the distribution of gifts among beggars outside the altar, and austerīty such as Kṛcchra and Cāndrāyaṇa without initiation etc.—also outside the altar—reach smoke. Here too, as in the northern route, the words ‘smoke’ etc. refer to deities. That is, they reach the deity of smoke. Here also the deities are conductors, as before. From him the deity of the night, from him the deity of the fortnight in which the moon wanes, from him the deities of the six months in which the sun travels southward, from them the deity of the world of the Manes, and from him the moon. Reaching the moon they become food. There the gods enjoy them, these ritualists who reaching the moon have become food, as masters do their servants— as the priests here drink in sacrifices the shining Soma juice (saying, as it were), ‘Flourish, dwindle.' The words ‘flourish, dwindle’ are not a sacred formula, but simply mean that priests frequently cheer up the Soma juice that is in the bowl, and gradually finish it by drinking—in other words, they drink it at intervals (not all at once). Similarly the gods too enjoy the ritualists who have got new bodies in the moon and have become the materials of their luxury, giving them frequent intervals of rest by rewarding them according to their past work. That is cheering them like cheering the Soma juice. And when their past work—sacrifices, charity, etc., that led them to the moon—is exhausted, they reach this well-known ether. The liquids called faith which were offered iṇ the fire of heaven and took the form of the moon—with which a new watery body was built for the ritualists, in the moon, for their enjoyment—melt on the expiry of the momentum of their past work, like a lump of ice in contact with sunshine. In that state they become fine and look like the ether. This is expressed by the words, ‘They reach this ether.’
Then those ritualists, living with that kind of body in the sky, are blown hither and thither by the east-wind etc. This is what is meant by the words, ‘From the ether air.’ From air they reach rain. This has been stated in the passage, ‘They offer King Moon in the fire of the rain-god’ (par. io, adapted). Then they drop on the earth as rain. Reaching the earth they become food such as rice and barley. This has been expressed in the passage, ‘In the fire of this world‘they offer rain. Out of that food is produced’ (par. 11, adapted). Then they as food are again offered in the fire of man, an adult. Thence as the seed they are offered in the fire of woman, whence they are born, and perform rites such as the Agnihotra, with a view to going to other worlds. Then they move repeatedly between the moon and this world, passing in order the deity of smoke etc. Thus do they, these ritualists, continuously rotate in a circle like the Persian wheel, until they know Brahman so as to attain the northern way, or immediate liberation. As it has been said, ‘Thus does the man who desires (transmigrate)’ (IV. iv. 6).
While those others who do not know these two ways, the northern and southern, i.e. do not practise either meditation or rites to attain the northern or the southern way—what do they become?—become insects and moths, and these frequently biting things, i.e. gnats and mosquitoes. Thus this last transmigratory existence is very painful, and it is extremely difficult for one who has fallen into it to get out of it again. So another Śruti says, ‘They become these tiny creatures that come and go repeatedly, of which it has been said, as it were: Be born and die’ (Ch. V. x. 8). The purport of the entire passage is that we must therefore try our best to give up our natural pursuit of work and knowledge, and practise those rites or meditations whiçh are enjoined by the scriptures and are the means of attaining the southern or the northern way. So it has been stated in another Śruti, ‘The deliverance from this (the state of becoming rice etc.) is indeed much more difficult’ (Ch. V. x. 6). ‘Therefore one should cultivate a disgust (for return to the world)’ (Ibid. 8), i.e. strive for liberation. It is clear that between these two even, greater care should be taken to secure the means of attaining the northern way, for it has been said, ‘Thus do they rotate' (this text).
So all the questions have been answered. The fourth question, ‘After how many oblations,’ etc., has been first answered in the passage beginning with, ‘That world’ (par. 9), and ending with, ‘A man is born’ (par. 13). The fifth question, concerning the means of attaining the way of the gods or the way of the Manes, has been answered next by a description of the means of attaining the northern and southern ways. This has also answered the first question by saying that starting with fire some reach the deity of the flame, and some the deity of smoke, and here is the divergence. The answer to the second question, concerning the return to this world, has been given by the statement that they return to this world, passing successively through the stages of the ether etc.; and that has also dealt with the third question by stating that the other world is not filled up for that very reason, as also owing to the fact that some become insects, moths, etc.
Footnotes and references:
The same topic is also discussed in sections three to ten of the fifth chapter of the Chāndogya Upaniṣad.
The word ‘Bhoḥ’ (sir) is used in addressing a Brāhmaṇa teacher.
Ṛ X. lxxxviii. 15.
The universe as means and end. The routes connect this world with the next world, and departed spirits travel along them to their destination.
An offering consisting of honey, curds, etc.
Space, like cinder, has no heat or lustre.
The chief of the three Vedic sacrificial fires which the upper three castes are regularly required to tend. The oblations to the gods are offered in it.
See footnote on p. 387.
‘This world’ and ‘the earth’ stand to each other in the relation of a person and his body.
Which is caused by a part of the earth obstructing the sun’s rays.
In the portion dealing with the Agnihotra.
There are discrepancies. The sky, for instance, is omitted, and so on.
Because in that case the fire in which the first offerings are made would begin the series, thus making the number six.
Representing the second of the four orders of life. The other three orders are represented by students (who come first), hermits and monks.
See V. iv. 1 and V. v. 1-2.
Ghaṭīyantra, a contrivance for drawing water from a well, in which a series of bowls are fixed to an endless chain which, when pulled, makes each bowl come up filled with water and get emptied at the top.
A human cycle or Kalpa consists of 432 million years and constitutes a day of Hiraṇyagarbha. He lives a hundred years according to this scale.
Meaning, any day. The question is, the Cāturmāsya sacrifice being performed on the full-moon day, when is the full-moon sacrifice to be performed? The śruti decides it by saying that it should be performed on the next day. This applies to all cases. Hence the term ‘next day,’ assuming that it represents a type, demarcates that particular day from all other days, and is therefore not superfluous. Similarly the word ‘here’ is significant, meaning that they return in another cycle.
Both these are penances consisting in fasting according to certain rules.
Which leads to gradual liberation, depending on the continued spiritual practice of the aspirants.