UpasanaYoga.org ईशावास्य-उपनिषद् Īśāvāsya Upaniṣad with शाङ्कर-भाष्यम् Translation of Mantras by A.K. Aruna Translation of Bhāṣyam by Swami Gambhirananda
Format by A.K. Aruna, 2022 ver.5.0: UpasanaYoga. If downloaded, requires installed Devanāgarī Siddhanta1.ttf font, downloadable from UpasanaYoga. If run from UpasanaYoga website, it alternatively can use online Web Font. Any Devanāgarī in parentheses () is an alternate reading of text in Red. The Devanagari text source is the Sharada Peetham, Sringeri (advaitasharada.sringeri.net). Īśāvāsya Upaniṣad from the Vājasaneyi Saṃhitā of the Śukla-Yajur Veda, consists of 18 mantras (verses). It shares a similar terminology in teaching as found in the Bṛhad-āraṇyaka Upaniṣad of the same Śukla-Yajur Veda.
by A.K. Aruna
First Update to HTML Jan 2018 with Creative Commons International License:
This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0/, or click the following logo:
‘ईशा वास्यम्’ इत्यादयो मन्त्राः कर्मस्वविनियुक्ताः, तेषामकर्मशेषस्यात्मनो याथात्म्यप्रकाशकत्वात्। The (Veda) mantras (verses) beginning with ‘Īśā vāsyam’ have not been utilized in karma (rituals etc.), for they serve to reveal the true nature of the Self, which is not an appendage to karma.
याथात्म्यं चात्मनः शुद्धत्वापापविद्धत्वैकत्वनित्यत्वाशरीरत्वसर्वगतत्वादि वक्ष्यमाणम्। And the real nature of the Self consists in Its purity, sinlessness, oneness, eternity, incorporeity, omnipresence, etc., which will be indicated later on (IsU.8).
तच्च कर्मणा विरुध्यत इति युक्त एवैषां कर्मस्वविनियोगः। न ह्येवंलक्षणमात्मनो याथात्म्यम् उत्पाद्यं विकार्यम् आप्यं संस्कार्यं वा कर्तृभोक्तृरूपं वा, येन कर्मशेषता स्यात्; सर्वासामुपनिषदामात्मयाथात्म्यनिरूपणेनैवोपक्षयात्, गीतानां मोक्षधर्माणां चैवंपरत्वात्। As that (nature) would conflict with karma, it is but natural that the verses are not applied to karma; for neither is the real nature of the Self, as defined, a thing to be created, transformed, achieved, or purified, nor is it of the nature of an agent or enjoyer, whereby it could become a factor in karma. Moreover, all the Upaniṣads exhaust themselves simply by determining the true nature of the Self, and the Gītā and the scriptures dealing with mokṣa (the emancipation of the soul) have only this end in view.
तस्मादात्मनोऽनेकत्वकर्तृत्वभोक्तृत्वादि च अशुद्धत्वपापविद्धत्वादि चोपादाय लोकबुद्धिसिद्धं कर्माणि विहितानि। यो हि कर्मफलेनार्थी दृष्टेन ब्रह्मवर्चसादिना अदृष्टेन स्वर्गादिना च द्विजातिरहं न काणत्वकुणित्वाद्यनधिकारप्रयोजकधर्मवानित्यात्मानं मन्यते सोऽधिक्रियते कर्मस्विति ह्यधिकारविदो वदन्ति। Accordingly karmas have been enjoined by assuming such qualities for the Self as multiplicity, agentship, enjoyership, etc., and impurity, sinfulness, etc., which common sense takes for granted. For people who are versed in the science dealing with competence (of people treading this path), verily say that that man is qualified for karma when he hankers after the results of karma, be they of this world in the form of spiritual eminence etc., or of the hereafter in the form of heaven etc., and thinks of himself thus: ‘I am a twice-born man and am free from such defects as being one-eyed or hump-backed which stand in the way of one's competence for karma.’
तस्मादेते मन्त्रा आत्मनो याथात्म्यप्रकाशनेन आत्मविषयं स्वाभाविककर्मविज्ञानं निवर्तयन्तः शोकमोहादिसंसारधर्मविच्छित्तिसाधनमात्मैकत्वादिविज्ञानमुत्पादयन्तीति। Therefore these verses remove one’s natural ignorance about the Self through the revelation of the true nature of the Self, and thereby produce the knowledge of the oneness etc. of the Self, which is the means for the uprooting of sorrow, delusion, etc., incidental to mundane existence.
एवमुक्ताधिकार्यभिधेयसम्बन्धप्रयोजनान्मन्त्रान्संक्षेपतो व्याख्यास्यामः – We shall briefly explain these (Veda) verses for which have thus been determined the competent students (adhikārī), the subject matter (abhidheya), the relation (sambandha) between the Veda text and the subject matter, and purpose (prayojana).
īś, vāsya, idam, sarva, yad, kim-ca, jagatī, jagat; tad, tyakta, √bhuj, mā, gṛdha, kim-svid, dhana. All this, whatever comes and goes in the universe, is to be known as pervaded by the Lord (Īś, the all-pervading ātman, self, within all, IsU.4–8). By that renunciation (giving up identity with everything but the Lord) may you enjoy. Do not covet a wealth of anyone or anything (as everything already is the Lord, yourself alone).
All this is to be (known as) pervaded by the Lord (Īś, the all-pervading ātman, self, within all) (ईशा वास्यम् इदं सर्वम्), whatever moves (comes and goes) in the universe (यद् किञ्च जगत्यां जगत्). By that renunciation (giving up identity with everything but the Lord) may you enjoy (तेन त्यक्तेन भुञ्जीथाः). Do not covet a wealth of anyone (or anything) (मा गृधः कस्यस्विद् धनम्).
ईशा ईष्टे इति ईट्, तेन ईशा। ईशिता परमेश्वरः परमात्मा सर्वस्य। स हि सर्वमीष्टे सर्वजन्तूनामात्मा सन् प्रत्यगात्मतया। तेन स्वेन रूपेणात्मना ईशा वास्यम् आच्छादनीयम्। One who lords it over is Īś; [•Īṭ (SG.2.24) is derived from the root √īś, meaning 'to rule' or 'to have power'.•] Īśā, by It, by the Lord. He who is the supreme Ruler and supreme Self of all is the Lord. For as the indwelling soul of all, He is the Self of all beings and as such rules all. (So) Īśā, by that Lord, in His true form as the Self; vāsyam, should be covered.
किम्? इदं सर्वं यत्किंच यत्किंचित् जगत्यां पृथिव्यां जगत् तत्सर्वम्। स्वेनात्मना ईशेन प्रत्यगात्मतया अहमेवेदं सर्वमिति परमार्थसत्यरूपेणानृतमिदं सर्वं चराचरमाच्छादनीयं परमात्मना। What (is to be covered)? Idam sarvam yat kim ca, all this whatsoever; jagat, moves; jagatyām, on the earth. All this is to be covered by one’s own Self, the Lord, through His supreme reality (present in the realization) : ‘As the indwelling Self (of all), I am all this’; all this that is unreal, whether moving or not moving, is to be covered by one’s own supreme Self.
यथा चन्दनागर्वादेरुदकादिसम्बन्धजक्लेदादिजमौपाधिकं दौर्गन्ध्यं तत्स्वरूपनिघर्षणेनाच्छाद्यते स्वेन पारमार्थिकेन गन्धेन, तद्वदेव हि स्वात्मन्यध्यस्तं स्वाभाविकं कर्तृत्वभोक्तृत्वादिलक्षणं जगद्द्वैतरूपं पृथिव्याम्, जगत्यामित्युपलक्षणार्थत्वात्सर्वमेव नामरूपकर्माख्यं विकारजातं परमार्थसत्यात्मभावनया त्यक्तं स्यात्। As the adventitious bad odour of sandal, a-garu, etc., resulting from moisture etc., because of their contact with water etc., is covered up by their natural smells through the process of rubbing those woods themselves, just so, (whatsoever moves on the earth will be abandoned through the contemplation of the Self which is the supreme Truth). ‘Whatever moves‘ means the apparent duality, the effect of ignorance, which is characterized by such ideas as doership, enjoyership, etc., and which is superimposed on one’s own Self; and the phrase ‘on the earth’, having been used illustratively (for all the worlds), it follows that all the bundle of modifications known as name, form, and action will be abandoned through the contemplation of the Self which is the supreme Truth.
एवमीश्वरात्मभावनया युक्तस्य पुत्राद्येषणात्रयसंन्यासे एवाधिकारः, न कर्मसु। He, who is thus engaged in the thought of the Self as God, has competence only for renouncing the three kinds of desire for son etc., [•For son, wealth, and worlds (vide BrhUEng.4.4.22).•] and not for karma.तेन त्यक्तेन त्यागेनेत्यर्थः। न हि त्यक्तो मृतः पुत्रो भृत्यो वा आत्मसम्बन्धिताभावादात्मानं पालयति। अतस्त्यागेनेत्ययमेवार्थः भुञ्जीथाः पालयेथाः एवं त्यक्तैषणस्त्वं मा गृधः गृधिम् आकाङ्क्षां मा कार्षीः धनविषयाम् कस्यस्वित् कस्यचित् परस्य स्वस्य वा धनं मा काङ्क्षीरित्यर्थः स्विदित्यनर्थको निपातः Tena tyaktena, through that detachment. Tyaktena means, through detachment, (and not `by any abandoned thing'); for, a son or a servant, when abandoned or dead, does not protect one, since he has no connection with oneself. So the meaning of the Veda word (tyaktena) is indeed this - `through renunciation'. Bhuñjīthāḥ, protect. You who have thus renounced desires, ma gṛdhaḥ, do not covet, do not cherish any desire for wealth. Do not long for kasya svid, anybody’s – either your own or somebody else’s; dhanam, wealth – this is the meaning. The word svid is a meaningless particle.
अथवा, मा गृधः कस्मात्? कस्य स्विद्धनम् इत्याक्षेपार्थः न कस्यचिद्धनमस्ति, यद्गृध्येत आत्मैवेदं सर्वमितीश्वरभावनया सर्वं त्यक्तम् अत आत्मन एवेदं सर्वम्, आत्मैव च सर्वम् अतो मिथ्याविषयां गृधिं मा कार्षीरित्यर्थः॥ Or the meaning is this: Do not covet. Why? Kasya svid (i.e. kasya-cid) dhanam, whose is wealth? – this (question) is used in the sense of denial, because nobody has any wealth which can be coveted. The idea is this: Everything has been renounced through this thought of the ‘Lord’ – ‘All this is but the Self’ –,so that all this belongs to the Self, and the Self is all. Therefore do not have any hankering for things that are unreal.
एवमात्मविदः पुत्राद्येषणात्रयसंन्यासेनात्मज्ञाननिष्ठतया आत्मा रक्षितव्य इत्येष वेदार्थः So far as the knower of the supreme Self is concerned, the purport of the Veda text (i.e. of the first verse) is this: that the Self is to be saved through firm devotedness to the knowledge of the Self after the renunciation of the threefold desire for sons etc.
अथेतरस्य अनात्मज्ञतयात्मग्रहणाशक्तस्य इदमुपदिशति मन्त्रः – As for the other person who is unable to cognize the Self because of his mental preoccupation with the nonSelf, the Veda text (i.e. the second verse) imparts this instruction:
kurvat, eva, iha, karman, √jīv, śata, samā; evam, yuṣmad, na, anyathā, itas, √as, na, karman, √lip, nara. (Short of that vision) doing just one’s duties (enjoined by the Lord’s scripture) here, one may desire to live a long life. When you are in that way (full of desires) there is no other way than one’s enjoined duties, as that action (enjoined by scripture) does not stick to a person (when performed as an offering to the Lord, it does not pile on more karma into one’s account; it is meant to neutralize the worst affects of past karma, BhG.2.39–51).
(Short of that vision) doing just (one’s) duties (enjoined by the Lord’s scripture) here (कुर्वन् एव इह कर्मा॑णि), one may desire to live a hundred years (a long life) (जिजीविषेत् शतं समाः). When you are in that way (full of desires) there is no other way than this (one’s enjoined duties) (एवं त्वयि न अन्यथा इतः), (as) that action (enjoined by scripture) does not stick to a person (does not add more karma-phala, it is meant to neutralize the worst affects of past karma) (अस्ति न कर्म लिप्यते नरे).
कुर्वन्नेव निर्वर्तयन्नेव इह कर्माणि अग्निहोत्रादीनि जिजीविषेत् जीवितुमिच्छेत् शतं शतसंख्याकाः समाः संवत्सरान् तावद्धि पुरुषस्य परमायुर्निरूपितम् तथा च प्राप्तानुवादेन यज्जिजीविषेच्छतं वर्षाणि तत्कुर्वन्नेव कर्माणीत्येतद्विधीयते Kurvan eva iha, verily by doing here – only by accomplishing; karmāṇi, karmas – Agni-hotra (sacrifice) etc.; jijīviṣet, one should wish to live; śatam samāḥ, a hundred years. That much has been ascertained to be the longest span of human life. So, through a restatement of that well-known fact, it is being enjoined that if one would desire to live a hundred years, one should do so only by performing karma.एवम् एवंप्रकारे त्वयि जिजीविषति नरे नरमात्राभिमानिनि इतः एतस्मादग्निहोत्रादीनि कर्माणि कुर्वतो वर्तमानात्प्रकारात् अन्यथा प्रकारान्तरं नास्ति, येन प्रकारेणाशुभं कर्म न लिप्यते; कर्मणा न लिप्यस इत्यर्थः अतः शास्त्रविहितानि कर्माण्यग्निहोत्रादीनि कुर्वन्नेव जिजीविषेत्। Evam tvayi, for you, such as you who have this kind of hankering for life; nare, for a man – for one identifying oneself only with one’s human personality; na asti, there is not; anyathā, any other mode. itaḥ, other than this – than the present mode of life, viz of performing rituals like Agni-hotra etc., by which method, karma na lipyate, bad karma may not cling, i.e. one may not get attached to karma. Therefore, one should desire to live by doing only such karmas as Agni-hotra etc., which are enjoined by scriptures.कथं पुनरिदमवगम्यते – पूर्वेण मन्त्रेण संन्यासिनो ज्ञाननिष्ठोक्ता, द्वितीयेन तदशक्तस्य कर्मनिष्ठेति? Objection : But how is it known that the previous verse teaches the pursuit of knowledge for the man of renunciation, and the second one (teaches the path of) Karma for one who is unable to renounce?
उच्यते – ज्ञानकर्मणोर्विरोधं पर्वतवदकम्प्यं यथोक्तं न स्मरसि किम्? इहाप्युक्तम् – यो हि जिजीविषेत्स कर्माणि कुर्वन्नेव इति; ‘ईशा वास्यमिदं सर्वम्’, ‘तेन त्यक्तेन भुञ्जीथाः मा गृधः कस्य स्विद्धनम्’ इति च The answer is: Do you not remember what was pointed out (in the introduction) that the antithesis between knowledge and karma is irremovable like a mountain? Here also it has been said: ‘He who would desire to live should do so by performing work’; and ‘All this should be covered by the Lord; protect (the Self) through that detachment; do not covet anybody's wealth.’
‘न जीविते मरणे वा गृधिं कुर्वीतारण्यमियात् इति पदं ततो न पुनरेयात्’ (?) इति च संन्यासशासनात् उभयोः फलभेदं च वक्ष्यति ‘इमौ द्वावेव पन्थानावनुनिष्क्रान्ततरौ भवतः क्रियापथश्चैव पुरस्तात्संन्यासश्च’ (?); तयोः संन्यास एवातिरेचयति – Moreover, the Veda conclusion is this: ‘One should not hanker after life or death, and should repair to the forest.’ Renunciation has been ordained by saying, ‘He shall not return from there (sannyāsa).’ And the difference between the results of these two (paths) will be spoken of (in verses IsU.7 & 18) seriatim. Following on the creation of the cosmos, verily these two paths did emerge – the path of karma being the earlier one, and the other being renunciation, consisting in the giving up of the three kinds of desire (for son etc.), in accordance with the latter path of detachment. Of these, the path of renunciation is the more excellent.
‘न्यास एवात्यरेचयत्’ (तै. नारा. ७८) इति तैत्तिरीयके ‘द्वाविमावथ पन्थानौ यत्र वेदाः प्रतिष्ठिताः प्रवृत्तिलक्षणो धर्मो निवृत्तिश्च विभाषितः’ (मो. ध. २४१-६) इत्यादि पुत्राय विचार्य निश्चितमुक्तं व्यासेन वेदाचार्येण भगवता विभागं चानयोः प्रदर्शयिष्यामः॥ And in the Taittirīya Āraṇyaka it is said, ‘Renunciation did, indeed, excel’. ‘These then are the two paths on which the Vedas are established: the one consists of duty characterized by attachment, and the other is clearly marked out by detachment’ (Mbh. Santiparva, 241.6) – this and similar ideas have been declared, after much, deliberation, as his firm conviction, to his son (Śuka) by Vyāsa, the teacher of the Vedas. The distinction between the two we shall show hereafter.
अथेदानीमविद्वन्निन्दार्थोऽयं मन्त्र आरभ्यते – Now begins this verse for decrying the man who is devoid of knowledge:
(In contrast to the first vision above) inauspicious are all those worlds enveloped by blind darkness (natural ignorance and personal confused projections). Dying, the people who have lost sight of their (limitless) self (the Lord within the heart) go to (remain in) those worlds (within saṃsāra).
(In contrast to the first vision above) inauspicious are (all) those worlds (असुर्याः नाम ते लोकाः) enveloped by blind darkness (natural ignorance and personal confused projections) (अन्धेन तमसा आवृताः). Dying, they go to (remain in) those (worlds, within saṃsāra) (तान् ते प्रेत्य अभिगच्छन्ति), who are people that have lost sight of their (limitless) self (the Lord within the heart) (ये के च आत्म-हनः जनाः).
असुर्याः परमात्मभावमद्वयमपेक्ष्य देवादयोऽप्यसुराः तेषां च स्वभूता लोका असुर्याः नाम नामशब्दोऽनर्थको निपातः ते लोकाः कर्मफलानि लोक्यन्ते दृश्यन्ते भुज्यन्त इति जन्मानि अन्धेन अदर्शनात्मकेनाज्ञानेन तमसा आवृताः आच्छादिताः तान् स्थावरान्तान्, प्रेत्य त्यक्त्वेमं देहम् अभिगच्छन्ति यथाकर्म यथाश्रुतम् ये के च आत्महनः आत्मानं घ्नन्तीत्यात्महनः Asuryāḥ, of devils [•asu-ra, (asyati kṣipati devān) who fights against the deities, or a-sura who is opposed to the deities•]; as compared with the non-dual state of the supreme Self, even gods are asuras, devils; and the worlds belonging to them are asuryāḥ. The word nāma is a meaningless indeclinable. Te, those; lokaḥ (lit. worlds) – (derived) from the root luk – means the births in which the results of karma are perceived (lokyante) or enjoyed; āvṛtāḥ, are covered; andhena, by blinding – characterized by the inability to see–; tamasā, darkness – in the form of ignorance. Tān, to them – that extend up to the motionless (trees etc.); pretya, after departing, giving up this body; gacchanti, go – in accordance with their karma and meditation (on gods etc.); ye ke ca ātma-hanaḥ, those that kill the Self.
के? ते जनाः येऽविद्वांसः Who are they? Janāḥ, (the common people,) those that are ignorant.
कथं ते आत्मानं नित्यं हिंसन्ति? अविद्यादोषेण विद्यमानस्यात्मनस्तिरस्करणात् विद्यमानस्यात्मनो यत्कार्यं फलमजरामरत्वादिसंवेदनादिलक्षणम्, तत् हतस्येव तिरोभूतं भवतीति प्राकृता अविद्वांसो जना आत्महन इत्युच्यन्ते तेन ह्यात्महननदोषेण संसरन्ति ते॥ How do they kill the eternal Self? By keeping concealed through the fault of ignorance the Self which exists. The experience of the Self as free from decrepitude, death, etc. (present in the realization, ‘I am free from decrepitude and death’), that comes as a result of the existence of the Self, remains concealed, as is the consciousness of a person who is killed. So the ordinary ignorant persons are called the killers of the Self. Because of that very fault of slaying the Self, they are subject to birth and death.
यस्यात्मनो हननादविद्वांसः संसरन्ति, तद्विपर्ययेण विद्वांसो मुच्यन्तेऽनात्महनः, तत्कीदृशमात्मतत्त्वमित्युच्यते – What is the nature of the Self by slaying which the ignorant people transmigrate, and contrariwise, the men of knowledge, the non-killers of the Self, become freed? This is being answered:
The self (the Lord within all) does not move (transmigrate, etc.), is one non-dual, and (as all-pervasive consciousness-being itself) is faster than the mind. The senses do not reach it, as it has already pervaded everywhere. Standing still it outstrips those who run. Within it, the wind (prāṇa) sustains all activities (so no activity will make it come to be).
It (the self, ātman, the Lord within all) does not move (transmigrate, etc.), is one non-dual, and (as all-pervasive consciousness-being itself) is faster than the mind (अन्-एजत्, एकं, मनसः जवीयस्). The deities (senses) do not reach it (न एनद् देवाः आप्नुवन्), as it has already pervaded (everywhere) (पूर्वम् अर्षत्). Standing still it outstrips those who run (तद् धावतः अन्यान् अत्येति तिष्ठत्). Within it, the wind (prāṇa, ‘the breath within the Mother’) sustains all activities (ap) (तस्मिन् अपः मातरि-श्वा दधाति).
अनेजत् न एजत् ‘एजृ कम्पने’, कम्पनं चलनं स्वावस्थाप्रच्युतिः, तद्वर्जितम्, सर्वदा एकरूपमित्यर्थः तच्च एकं सर्वभूतेषु मनसः सङ्कल्पादिलक्षणात् जवीयो जववत्तरम् कथं An-ejat, unmoving. The root ejṛ (i.e. √ej), implies shaking. Shaking is motion, deviation from one’s own condition. It is devoid of this, i.e. It is ever of the same form. And It is ekam, one, in all beings. It is javīyaḥ, faster; manasaḥ, than the mind, characterized by volition etc.
विरुद्धमुच्यते – ध्रुवं निश्चलमिदम्, मनसो जवीय इति च? Objection: How can there be such contradictory statements that It is constant and motionless, and yet faster than the mind?
नैष दोषः, निरुपाध्युपाधिमत्त्वेनोपपत्तेः तत्र निरुपाधिकेन स्वेन रूपेणोच्यते – Answer: There is no inconsistency, for this is possible from the standpoint of the states of being conditioned and unconditioned.
अनेजदेकम् इति मनसः अन्तःकरणस्य सङ्कल्पविकल्पलक्षणस्योपाधेरनुवर्तनात् इह देहस्थस्य मनसो ब्रह्मलोकादिदूरस्थसङ्कल्पनं क्षणमात्राद्भवतीत्यतो मनसो जविष्ठत्वं लोकप्रसिद्धम् तस्मिन्मनसि ब्रह्मलोकादीन् द्रुतं गच्छति सति, प्रथमप्राप्त इवात्मचैतन्याभासो गृह्यते अतः मनसो जवीयः इत्याह As such, It is spoken of as ‘unmoving, one’, in respect of Its own unconditioned aspect. And by reason of Its following the limiting adjunct, the mind, the internal organ characterized by volition and doubt, (It appears to be subject to modifications). The mind though encased in the body in this world, is able to reach such distances as the world of Brahmā in a single moment through volition; and hence the mind is well known as the fastest thing in the world. When that (speedy) mind travels fast to the world of Brahmā etc., the reflection of the Self that is consciousness is perceived to have reached there, as it were, even earlier; and hence It is said to be (manaso javīyaḥ) faster than the mind.न एनद् देवाः, द्योतनाद् देवाः चक्षुरादीनीन्द्रियाणि, एनत् प्रकृतमात्मतत्त्वं न अप्नुवन् न प्राप्तवन्तः तेभ्यो मनो जवीयः मनोव्यापारव्यवहितत्वादाभासमात्रमप्यात्मनो नैव देवानां विषयीभवति; Devāḥ, the gods – the senses, the organs of knowledge such as eyes etc. are the devas because of revealing (dyotana) (their objects)-; na apnuvan, could not overtake; enat, It, the reality of the Self that is under discussion. The mind is faster than these (senses). Because of the interposition of the activity of the mind, (between the Self and the senses), even a semblance of the Self does not at all become an object of perception to the senses.
यस्माज्जवनान्मनसोऽपि पूर्वम् अर्षत् पूर्वमेव गतम्, व्योमवद्व्यापित्वात् सर्वव्यापि तदात्मतत्त्वं सर्वसंसारधर्मवर्जितं स्वेन निरुपाधिकेन स्वरूपेणाविक्रियमेव सत्, उपाधिकृताः सर्वाः संसारविक्रिया अनुभवतीवाविवेकिनां मूढानामनेकमिव च प्रतिदेहं प्रत्यवभासत इत्येतदाह (The senses could not overtake It,) since, being all pervasive like space, It pūrvam arṣat, had run ahead – reached the goal even before the swift mind. Though that all-pervasive entity of the Self, in Its real unconditioned state is devoid of all worldly attributes and is subject to no mutation, yet (by reason of following the limiting adjunct, the mind), it appears, to the eyes of the non-discriminating foolish people, to be experiencing all empirical modifications brought about by the limiting adjuncts, and it also appears to be diverse in relation to the individual bodies. Hence the verse said so.
– तत् धावतः द्रुतं गच्छतः अन्यान् आत्मविलक्षणान्मनोवागिन्द्रियप्रभृतीन् अत्येति अतीत्य गच्छतीव इवार्थं स्वयमेव दर्शयति – तिष्ठद् इति, स्वयमविक्रियमेव सदित्यर्थः – Tat, That; atyeti, outruns – as it were; dhāvataḥ anyān, all other fast moving ones (runners), viz the mind, speech, the senses, etc. which are distinct from the Self. The sense ‘as it were’ is suggested by the verse itself by the use of (the expression) – tiṣṭhat, remaining stationary, which implies, ‘Itself remaining unchanged’.तस्मिन् आत्मतत्त्वे सति नित्यचैतन्यस्वभावे, मातरिश्वा मातरि अन्तरिक्षे श्वयति गच्छतीति मातरिश्वा वायुः सर्वप्राणभृत्क्रियात्मकः, यदाश्रयाणि कार्यकरणजातानि यस्मिन्नोतानि प्रोतानि च, यत्सूत्रसंज्ञकं सर्वस्य जगतो विधारयितृ, स मातरिश्वा, अपः कर्माणि प्राणिनां चेष्टालक्षणानि अग्न्यादित्यपर्जन्यादीनां ज्वलनदहनप्रकाशाभिवर्षणादिलक्षणानि, दधाति विभजतीत्यर्थः, Tasmin, It being there – while the entity of the Self endures, which by Its nature is everlasting consciousness; mātari-śva, Air – so called because it moves (śvayati) in space (mātari) – which sustains all life, which is of the nature of activity, on which depend all bodies and senses, in which all inhere, which is called Sūtra [•Hiraṇya-garbha, who is possessed of the twofold power of action and knowledge, is called Sūtra when conceived of as the principle of action.•] (thread), and which holds together the whole world, that Mātari-śva; dadhāti, allots; apaḥ, the activities [•Since the Veda sacrifices are performed with liquids like soma, ghee, milk, etc., and life, too, is dependent on liquids, apaḥ (water) is figuratively used for action – the cause for the effect, i.e. the activities of life.•] – consisting in the efforts of creatures, as well as flaming, burning, shining, raining, etc., in the case of fire, sun, cloud, etc.
धारयतीति वा; ‘भीषास्माद्वातः पवते’ इत्यादिश्रुतिभ्यः सर्वा हि कार्यकरणविक्रिया नित्यचैतन्यात्मस्वरूपे सर्वास्पदभूते सत्येव भवन्तीत्यर्थः॥ Or dadhāti may mean ‘supports’, in accordance with such Veda texts as, ‘From His fear the wind blows,’ etc. (TaitU.2.8.1Tai. II. viii. 1). The meaning is that all these modifications of cause and effects occur so long as the eternally conscious reality of the Self, the source of everything, endures.
न मन्त्राणां जामितास्तीति पूर्वमन्त्रोक्तमप्यर्थं पुनराह – Since the Veda mantras are untiring in their emphasis, the idea imparted by the previous verse is being stated again:
It (as though) moves and does not move (being dimensionless). It (as though) is far and near. It (as though) is within and outside of all this which appears as other.
It (as though) moves and does not move (being dimensionless) (तद् एजति तद् न एजति). It (as though) is far and near (तद् दूरे तद् वन्तिके). It (as though) is within all this (which appears as other) (तद् अन्तरस्य सर्वस्य) and it is outside of all this (तद् उ सर्वस्य अस्य बाह्यतस्).
तद् आत्मतत्त्वं यत्प्रकृतम् एजति चलति तद् एव च नैजति स्वतो नैव चलति, स्वतः अचलमेव सत् चलतीवेत्यर्थः Tat, That, the entity of the Self that is under consideration; That ejati, moves; and That again, by Itself na ejati, does not move. The meaning is that, though in Itself It is motionless, It seems to move.
किञ्च, तद् दूरे वर्षकोटिशतैरप्यविदुषामप्राप्यत्वाद्दूर इव तद् उ अन्तिके समीपे अत्यन्तमेव विदुषाम्, आत्मत्वात् न केवलं दूरे, अन्तिके च तत् अन्तः अभ्यन्तरे अस्य सर्वस्य, ‘य आत्मा सर्वान्तरः’ (BrhU.3.4.1) इति श्रुतेः, अस्य सर्वस्य जगतो नामरूपक्रियात्मकस्य तद् उ सर्वस्य अस्य बाह्यतः; व्यापित्वादाकाशवन्निरतिशयसूक्ष्मत्वादन्तः; ‘प्रज्ञानघन एव’ (BrhU.4.5.13) इति शासनान्निरन्तरं च॥ Moreover, tat dūre, That is far off – That seems to be far away, since It is unattainable by the ignorant even in hundreds of millions of years; tadvantike – split into tat u antike-, That is very near indeed, to the men of knowledge; It being their Self, It is not only far off, but is near too. Tat antaḥ, That is inside; asya sarvasya, of all this – in accordance with the Veda text: "The Self that is within all" (BrhUEng.3.4.1)–, of all this world, consisting of name, form, and activity, Tat, That; u, also; sarvasya asya bāhyataḥ, is outside all this, because It is all-pervasive like space; and It is inside, because It is extremely subtle. Besides, It is without interstices, (It is continuous), in accordance with the Veda text: ‘Pure intelligence alone’ (BrhUEng.4.5.13).
The one who indeed sees in keeping with the teaching all beings as only being within oneself, and sees oneself in all beings, from this vision one would not think to have to protect oneself (as there is no other).
Towards all beings the one who indeed (यः तु सर्वा॑णि भूतानि) sees in keeping (with the teaching) as only being within oneself (आत्मनि एव अनुपश्यति), and (sees) oneself in all beings (सर्व-भूतेषु च आत्मानम्), from this (vision) one would not think to have to protect (oneself, as there is no other) (ततस् न विजुगुप्सते).
यस्तु परिव्राट् मुमुक्षुः सर्वाणि भूतानि अव्यक्तादीनि स्थावरान्तानि आत्मन्येव अनुपश्यति, आत्मव्यतिरिक्तानि न पश्यतीत्यर्थः सर्वभूतेषु तेष्वेव च आत्मानं तेषामपि भूतानां स्वमात्मानमात्मत्वेन – यथास्य देहस्य कार्यकरणसंघातस्यात्मा अहं सर्वप्रत्ययसाक्षिभूतश्चेतयिता केवलो निर्गुणोऽनेनैव स्वरूपेणाव्यक्तादीनां स्थावरान्तानामहमेवात्मेति सर्वभूतेषु चात्मानं निर्विशेषं यस्त्वनुपश्यति, Yaḥ, he who – the mendicant who wants to be freed; anupaśyati, sees; sarvāṇi bhūtāni, all beings – beginning from the Unmanifested and ending with the immobile; (as existing) ātmani eva, in the Self itself – i.e. he does not see them as different from the Self–; sarva-bhūteṣu ca, and in all those very beings; sees ātmānam, the Self – sees the Self even of those beings as his own Self thus: ‘Just as I, the soul of the body which is an aggregate of causes and effects, am the witness of all perceptions, and as such I am the source of its consciousness, and am pure and attributeless, similarly in that very aspect of mine am I the soul of all, beginning from the Unmanifested and ending with the immobile’; – he, who realizes the unconditioned Self in all beings thus,
सः ततः तस्मादेव दर्शनात् न विजुगुप्सते विजुगुप्सां घृणां न करोति प्राप्तस्यैवानुवादोऽयम् सर्वा हि घृणा आत्मनोऽन्यद्दुष्टं पश्यतो भवति; आत्मानमेवात्यन्तविशुद्धं निरन्तरं पश्यतो न घृणानिमित्तमर्थान्तरमस्तीति प्राप्तमेव – ततो न विजुगुप्सत इति॥ Tataḥ, by virtue of that vision; na vijugupsate, feels no hatred, does not hate. This is only a restatement (anuvāda) of a known fact. For, this is a matter of experience that all revulsion comes to one who sees something as bad and different from oneself, but for one who sees only the absolutely pure Self as a continuous entity, there is no other object that can be the cause of revulsion. Therefore he does not hate.
इममेवार्थमन्योऽपि मन्त्र आह – Another verse also expresses this very purport:
When for the one who thus knows oneself is alone all beings, then what confusion, what sorrow could there be for the one who in keeping with the teaching sees the oneness.
When all beings (यस्मिन् सर्वा॑णि भूतानि) oneself alone has become (is), for the one who thus knows (आत्मा एव अभूद् विजानतः), then what confusion, what sorrow (could there be) (तत्र कः मोहः कः शोकः), for the one who in keeping (with the teaching) sees the oneness (एकत्वम् अनुपश्यतः).
यस्मिन्सर्वाणि भूतानि यस्मिन् काले यथोक्तात्मनि वा, तान्येव भूतानि सर्वाणि परमार्थात्मदर्शनात् आत्मैवाभूत् आत्मैव संवृत्तः परमार्थवस्तु विजानतः, Yasmin vijānataḥ, when to the man who has realized the supreme Reality, (or – in the aforesaid Self – of the man who has realized the supreme Reality–,in which); sarvāṇi bhūtāni, all those beings; ātmā eva abhūt, have become the Self alone – as a result of the realization of the supreme Self;तत्र तस्मिन्काले तत्रात्मनि वा, को मोहः कः शोकः शोकश्च मोहश्च कामकर्मबीजमजानतो भवति, न त्वात्मा एकत्वं विशुद्धं गगनोपमं पश्यतः को मोहः कः शोक इति शोकमोहयोरविद्याकार्ययोराक्षेपेणासम्भवप्रकाशनात् सकारणस्य संसारस्यात्यन्तमेवोच्छेदः प्रदर्शितो भवति॥ Tatra, at that time (or, to that Self); kaḥ mohaḥ kaḥ śokaḥ, what delusion and what sorrow can there be? Sorrow and delusion come to the ignorant man who does not perceive the seed of desire and actions, but not anupaśyataḥ ekatvam, to the man who realizes the absolute oneness of the Self which is like that of space. The impossibility of grief and delusion, the effects of ignorance, having been indicated through the question, ‘What delusion and what sorrow can there be?’, the total eradication of worldly existence, with its cause, has been shown ipso facto.
योऽयमतीतैर्मन्त्रैरुक्त आत्मा, स स्वेन रूपेण किंलक्षण इत्याह अयं मन्त्रः – This verse indicates what the Self that was spoken of in the previous verses really is in Its own nature:
That Lord is all-pervading, shining, bodiless, woundless, sinewless, pure, untouched by karma demerit or merit, the all-seer, Lord of the mind, all-manifesting, self-existing, and according to their natures has variously distributed the duties to everyone and thing throughout the perennial years (every cycle of universe manifestation).
That (Lord) is all-pervading, shining, bodiless, woundless (सः पर्यगात्, शुक्रम्, अ-कायम्, अ-व्रणम्), sinewless, pure, untouched by karma demerit (or merit) (अ-स्नाविरं, शुद्धम्, अ-पाप-विद्धम्), the all-seer, Lord of the mind, all-manifesting, self-existing (कविः, मनीषी, परिभूः, स्वयम्-भूः), (and) according to their natures (याथातथ्यतः) has variously distributed the duties (of everyone and thing) throughout the perennial years (every cycle of universe manifestations) (अर्थान् व्यदधात् शाश्वतीभ्यः समाभ्यः).
स पर्यगात्, सः यथोक्त आत्मा पर्यगात् परि समन्तात् अगात् गतवान्, आकाशवद्व्यापीत्यर्थः शुक्रं शुभ्रं ज्योतिष्मत् दीप्तिमानित्यर्थः अकायम् अशरीरं लिङ्गशरीरवर्जित इत्यर्थः Saḥ, He, the aforesaid Self; paryagāt, is all-pervasive, like space – (the word) being derived from pari, on all sides, and agāt, went. He is śukram, pure, bright, i.e. resplendent;
a-kāyam, bodiless, i.e. without a subtle body;अव्रणम् अक्षतम् अस्नाविरम् स्नावाः सिरा यस्मिन्न विद्यन्त इत्यस्नाविरम् अव्रणमस्नाविरमित्येताभ्यां स्थूलशरीरप्रतिषेधः a-vraṇam, without, wound, scatheless; a-snāviram, without sinews – one in whom there is no sinew. By the two expressions, ‘without wound’, and ‘without sinews’, the gross body is negated.शुद्धं निर्मलमविद्यामलरहितमिति कारणशरीरप्रतिषेधः Śuddham, taintless, devoid of the dirt of ignorance; thereby is negated a casual body.अपापविद्धं धर्माधर्मादिपापवर्जितम् शुक्रमित्यादीनि वचांसि पुंलिङ्गत्वेन परिणेयानि, A-pāpa-viddham, untouched by sin in the form of merit and demerit etc. [•The idea is that the Self transcends morality, though a man of knowledge never acts immorally, his past training being a sufficient guarantee against this.•]
स पर्यगात् इत्युपक्रम्य कविः मनीषी इत्यादिना पुंलिङ्गत्वेनोपसंहारात् The expressions beginning with śukram are to be converted into masculine, because the introduction is made with saḥ paryagāt, and the conclusion with kaviḥ manīṣī, in the masculine form.कविः क्रान्तदर्शी सर्वदृक्, ‘नान्योऽतोऽस्ति द्रष्टा’ (BrhU.3.7.23) इत्यादिश्रुतेः Kaviḥ (omniscient) means the seer of the krānta, past, [•By implication, past, present, and future.•] i.e. seer of all, as the Veda text says, ‘There is no other seer but this’ (BrhUEng.3.8.11).मनीषी मनस ईषिता, सर्वज्ञ ईश्वर इत्यर्थः Manīṣī means the ruler of the mind, i.e. the omniscient God.परिभूः सर्वेषां परि उपरि भवतीति परिभूः Paribhūḥ is one who exists above all (transcendent).स्वयंभूः स्वयमेव भवतीति, येषामुपरि भवति यश्चोपरि भवति स सर्वः स्वयमेव भवतीति स्वयंभूः Svayam-bhūḥ means he who exists by himself. He, the all, becomes (bhavati) by Himself (svayam) all that He transcends, and He is also the Transcendental One. In this sense He is svayam-bhūḥ, self-existent.
स नित्यमुक्त ईश्वरः याथातथ्यतः सर्वज्ञत्वात् यथातथाभावो याथातथ्यं तस्मात् यथाभूतकर्मफलसाधनतः अर्थान् कर्तव्यपदार्थान् व्यदधात् विहितवान्, यथानुरूपं व्यभजदित्यर्थः शाश्वतीभ्यः नित्याभ्यः समाभ्यः संवत्सराख्येभ्यः प्रजापतिभ्य इत्यर्थः॥ He, the ever free (all-powerful) Lord, because of His omniscience, vyadadhāt, has allotted, i.e. distributed in the proper way (accroding to individual competence); arthān, the duties; yāthā-tathyataḥ, duly, as it should be, in consonance with actual result and endeavour; śāśvatībhyaḥ samādhyaḥ, to the eternal years, to the Prajā-patis (creators) called the years.
अत्राद्येन मन्त्रेण सर्वैषणापरित्यागेन ज्ञाननिष्ठोक्ता प्रथमो वेदार्थः ‘ईशावास्यमिदं सर्वम्. . . मा गृधः कस्य स्विद्धनम्’ (IsU.1) इति Here, the first purport of the Vedas, viz devotedness to knowledge after renouncing all desires, has been stated by the opening verse, ‘All this should be covered by the Lord....Do not covet anybody’s wealth.’
अज्ञानां जिजीविषूणां ज्ञाननिष्ठासम्भवे ‘कुर्वन्नेवेह कर्माणि जिजीविषेत्’ (IsU.2) इति कर्मनिष्ठोक्ता द्वितीयो वेदार्थः। And where this devotedness to knowledge is impossible for the man of ignorance, continuance in the path of duty – which is the second purport of the Vedas–, has been stated in the second verse thus: ‘By doing karmas, indeed, should one wish to live.’
अनयोश्च निष्ठयोर्विभागो मन्त्रद्वयप्रदर्शितयोर्बृहदारण्यकेऽपि दर्शितः – ‘सोऽकामयत जाया मे स्यात्’ (BrhU.1.4.17) इत्यादिना अज्ञस्य कामिनः कर्माणीति This division of paths of life, as shown in these verses, has also been indicated in the Bṛhad-āraṇyaka Upaniṣad. Thus from the text, ‘He desired, “Let me have a wife”’, etc. (BrhUEng.1.4.17), it can be clearly understood that works are meant for a man who is ignorant and hankers after results.
‘मन एवास्यात्मा वाग्जाया’ (BrhU.1.4.17, 1.5.2) इत्यादिवचनात् अज्ञत्वं कामित्वं च कर्मनिष्ठस्य निश्चितमवगम्यते And from the sentence, 'The mind is his soul, and speech his wife', etc. (BrhUEng.1.4.17), it can be clearly understood that ignorance and desires are the characteristics of a man devoted to work.
तथा च तत्फलं सप्तान्नसर्गस्तेष्वात्मभावेनात्मस्वरूपावस्थानम् So the result of this work is the creation of seven kinds of fruits [•BrhUEng.1.5.1–3: 1). The common human food, 2–3). huta (fire oblation) and prahuta(other offering to the gods) or Darśa (new-moon sacrifice) and Pūrṇa-māsa (full-moon sacrifice), which are food for gods; 4–6) mind, speech, and vital force, which are foods for the soul; and 7). milk, which is food for animals.•] and continuance in a state of identification with them under the idea that they are the Self.
जायाद्येषणात्रयसंन्यासेन चात्मविदां कर्मनिष्ठाप्रातिकूल्येन आत्मस्वरूपनिष्ठैव दर्शिता – ‘किं प्रजया करिष्यामो येषां नोऽयमात्मायं लोकः’ (BrhU.4.4.22) इत्यादिना And by the text, 'What shall we achieve through children, we to whom the Self which we have attained is the goal?' etc. (BrhUEng.4.4.22), it has been shown that for those who have realized the Self by renouncing the threefold desire for wife etc. (i.e. for son, wealth, and heavens), there can only be continuance in the Self Itself, as opposed to the continuance in the path of karma.
ये तु ज्ञाननिष्ठाः संन्यासिनस्तेभ्यः ‘असुर्या नाम ते’ (IsU.3) इत्यादिना अविद्वन्निन्दाद्वारेणात्मनो याथात्म्यम् ‘स पर्यगात्’ (IsU.8) इत्येतदन्तैर्मन्त्रैरुपदिष्टम् ते ह्यत्राधिकृता न कामिन इति After the condemnation of the ignorant man by the verse, 'That worlds of the devils' etc. (IsU.3), the true nature of the Self has been revealed by the verses ending with, 'He is all-pervasive,' etc. (IsU.8) , to those men of renunciation who are steadfast in knowledge, so as to show that they alone are qualified for this and not those who have desires.
तथा च श्वेताश्वतराणां मन्त्रोपनिषदि – ‘अत्याश्रमिभ्यः परमं पवित्रं प्रोवाच सम्यगृषिसंघजुष्टम्’ (SvetU.6.21) इत्यादि विभज्योक्तम् So also in the Śvetāśvatara Upaniṣad (SvetU.6.21VI. 21) this has been separately spoken of thus: 'To those (men of complete renunciation) who had gone beyond all (the four) stages of life, [•The student, the householder, the man who has repaired to the forest, and the formal anchorite, as distinguished from the man who renounces either after or for the sake of God-realization.•] he spoke this holiest of things which is fully adored by the seers as a class.’
ये तु कामिनः कर्मनिष्ठाः कर्म कुर्वन्त एव जिजीविषवः, तेभ्य इदमुच्यते – ‘ अन्धं तमः’ (IsU.9) इत्यादि But the present verse, ‘(Those who worship a-vidyā enter) into blinding darkness,’ (IsU.9) etc. is meant for those men of activity who have desires and want to live only by doing karma.
कथं पुनरेवमवगम्यते, न तु सर्वेषाम् इति? Objection: How is it, again, known thus that it is not meant for all?
उच्यते – अकामिनः साध्यसाधनभेदोपमर्देन ‘यस्मिन्सर्वाणि भूतानि आत्मैवाभूद्विजानतः तत्र को मोहः कः शोक एकत्वमनुपश्यतः’ (IsU.7) इति यत् आत्मैकत्वविज्ञानम्, तन्न केनचित्कर्मणा ज्ञानान्तरेण वा ह्यमूढः The answer is: None but a fool will wish to combine with any work, or with any other knowledge (i.e. meditation), that knowledge of the oneness of the Self that has been imparted to the passionless man after the eradication of the distinction of all ends and means, by the text, ‘When to the man of realization all beings become the very Self, then what delusion and what sorrow can there be for that seer of oneness?’ (IsU.7).
समुच्चिचीषति इह तु समुच्चिचीषया अविद्वदादिनिन्दा क्रियते तत्र च यस्य येन समुच्चयः सम्भवति न्यायतः शास्त्रतो वा तदिहोच्यते तद्दैवं वित्तं देवताविषयं ज्ञानं कर्मसम्बन्धित्वेनोपन्यस्तं न परमात्मज्ञानम्, But the condemnation of the ignorant etc. is done here with a view to achieving a combination (of vidyā, i.e. worship or meditation, and karma). And as to that, not the knowledge of the supreme Self, but the thing – viz the divine possession, (i.e.) the meditation on the gods–, that can possibly be combined with the other factor (viz karma), has been spoken of here, logically and scripturally, as the associate of karma, since for this vidyā (meditation or worship) a result, different from the knowledge of Brahman has been declared thus:
‘विद्यया देवलोकः’ (BrhU.1.5.16) इति पृथक्फलश्रवणात् तयोर्ज्ञानकर्मणोरिहैकैकानुष्ठाननिन्दा समुच्चिचीषया, न निन्दापरैव एकैकस्य, पृथक्फलश्रवणात् – ‘विद्यया तदारोहन्ति’ ‘विद्यया देवलोकः’ (BrhU.1.5.16) ‘न तत्र दक्षिणा यान्ति’ ‘कर्मणा पितृलोकः’ (BrhU.1.5.16) इति न हि शास्त्रविहितं किञ्चिदकर्तव्यतामियात्, तत्र – ‘Through vidyā is attained the world of the gods’ (BrhUEng.1.5.16). The denunciation of the separate pursuit of either of these two – vidyā and karma – is not merely for the sake of denunciation, but for ther sake of bringing them together, for a distinct result is declared for each by the Veda texts: ‘They ascend to this through vidyā’; ‘The world of gods (is attained) through vidyā’ (BrhUEng.1.5.16); ‘The people following the Southern Path do not reach there’; The world of the Manes through rites’ (BrhUEng.1.5.16), and this is so because nothing enjoined by the scriptures can be unworthy of performance. Of these two:
They remain in blind darkness (ignorance of the self), who worship a-vidyā (ritual without meditation on the cosmic deity involved). Others remain in as though greater darkness (ignorance of self, because they think they know), who revel in vidyā (meditation on the cosmic deity alone without doing the ritual).
They enter (remain) in blind darkness (ignorance of the self) (अन्धं तमस् प्रविशन्ति) who worship worship a-vidyā (ritual without meditation on the cosmic deity involved) (ये अविद्याम् उपासते). Others (remain in) as though greater darkness (ignorance of self, because they think they know) (ततः भूयस् इव ते तमस्), who revel in vidyā (meditation on the cosmic deity Virāṭ alone without doing the ritual) (ये उ विद्यायां रताः).
अन्धं तमः अदर्शनात्मकं तमः प्रविशन्ति They praviśanti, enter; into andham tamaḥ, blinding darkness, characterized by absence of perception.
के? ये अविद्याम्, विद्याया अन्या अविद्या कर्मेत्यर्थः, कर्मणो विद्याविरोधित्वात्, तामविद्यामग्निहोत्रादिलक्षणामेव केवलाम् उपासते तत्पराः सन्तोऽनुतिष्ठन्तीत्यभिप्रायः Who? Ye a-vidyām, those who (worship) a-vidyā. A-vidyā is different from vidyā, i.e. it is karma, since karma is opposed to vidyā; (they) upāsate, worship; that a-vidyā in the form of Agni-hotra etc. alone. The import is that they perform this whole-heartedly.ततः तस्मादन्धात्मकात्तमसः भूय इव बहुतरमेव ते तमः प्रविशन्ति के? कर्म हित्वा ये उ ये तु विद्यायाम् एव देवताज्ञाने एव रताः अभिरताः॥ Bhūyaḥ iva tamaḥ, into darkness which is verily greater; tataḥ, than that darkness characterized as blindness; te, they, enter. Who? Ye they, on the other hand, who giving up rites; vidyāyām u ratāḥ, are engaged only in vidyā, are always bent on the meditation on (and worship of) gods.
तत्रावान्तरफलभेदं विद्याकर्मणोः समुच्चयकारणमाह अन्यथा फलवदफलवतोः संनिहितयोरङ्गाङ्गितया जामितैव स्यादिति – With regard to that matter, again, the secondary results of meditation and rites are advanced as reasons for the combination of the two, as otherwise, if one of these two closely associated factors bore fruit, while the other did not, they would be related as a part and the whole, (which is absurd) [•Vidya and karma are very often enjoined to be performed separately by men of different tendencies; and separate results are enjoined for them. This would not have been so, if either formed a part of the other.•]
They say vidyā (meditation for the Northern Path to the highest heaven, brahma-loka) is one thing, and a-vidyā (ritual for the Southern Path to the lower heavens) is another, thus we have heard from the discerning who have explained that to us.
They say vidyā (meditation) is one thing (अन्यद् एव आहुः विद्यया), (and) they say a-vidyā (ritual) is another (अन्यद् आहुः अविद्यया) thus we have heard from the discerning (इति शुश्रुम धीराणाम्) who have explained that to us (ये नः तद् विचचक्षिरे).
अन्यत् पृथग् एव विद्यया क्रियते फलमिति आहुः वदन्ति, अन्यद् आहुः अविद्यया कर्मणा क्रियते फलमिति तथोक्तम् – ‘कर्मणा पितृलोकः, विद्यया देवलोकः’ (BrhU.1.5.16) इति Anyat eva, a really different (thing); is produced as a result; vidyayā, by vidyā (worship of meditation) – this āhuḥ, they say, because of the Veda texts: ‘The world of gods is (won) through meditation’ (BrhUEng.1.5.16). ‘They ascend there through meditation’.
Āhuḥ, they say; anyat a-vidyayā, by a-vidyā, karma, (rites), a different (result) is produced, because of the Veda text: ‘The world of the Manes (is won) through karma’ (BrhUEng.1.5.16).इति एवं शुश्रुम श्रुतवन्तो वयं धीराणां धीमतां वचनम् ये आचार्या नः अस्मभ्यं तत् कर्म च ज्ञानं च विचचक्षिरे व्याख्यातवन्तः, तेषामयमागमः पारम्पर्यागत इत्यर्थः॥ Iti, thus; śuśruma, we have heard; the teaching, dhīrāṇām, of the wise men, those teachers, ye, who; vicacakṣire, explained; naḥ, to us; tat, that – karma and meditation. The purport is that this is their knowledge traditionally received.
The one who knows both vidyā (meditation) and a-vidyā (ritual) are (to be done) together, then by ritual one transcends death (for an ageless time in heaven) and eventually (becoming qualified) by meditation one attains freedom from time (until the end of this time-space manifestation cycle in the highest heaven, brahma-loka).
Vidyā (meditation) (विद्यां च) and a-vidyā (ritual) (अविद्यां च), the one who knows both are (to be done) together (यः तद् वेद उभयं सह), (then) by ritual one transcends death (for an ageless time in heaven) (अविद्यया मृत्युं तीर्त्वा), (and eventually becoming qualified) by meditation one attains freedom from time (until the end of this time-space manifestation cycle in brahma-loka) (विद्यया अमृतम् अश्नुते).
विद्यां च अविद्यां च देवताज्ञानं कर्म चेत्यर्थः यस्तद् एतद् उभयं सह एकेन पुरुषेण अनुष्ठेयं वेद तस्यैवं समुच्चयकारिण एकैकपुरुषार्थसम्बन्धः क्रमेण स्यादित्युच्यते – Vidya and a-vidya, i.e. meditation on the deities and the rites; yaḥ tad veda ubhayam saha, he who knows these together, knows them as things to be performed by the same person; for that man alone, who thus combines (the two), there occurs the successive acquisition of the two goals in the same individual. This is being said:अविद्यया कर्मणा अग्निहोत्रादिना मृत्युम्, स्वाभाविकं कर्म ज्ञानं च मृत्युशब्दवाच्यम्, तदुभयं तीर्त्वा अतिक्रम्य विद्यया देवताज्ञानेन अमृतं देवतात्मभावम् अश्नुते प्राप्नोति तद्ध्यमृतमुच्यते, यद्देवतात्मगमनम्॥ A-vidyayā, through a-vidyā, through rites such as Agni-hotra; mṛtyum, death – rites and meditation induced by one’s nature; [•The impression (created on the mind) by merit, demerit, etc., acquired in a previous birth, as manifested at the time of death, is called ‘nature’ - Saṅkara’s commentary on the Gītā, BhG.17.2.•] tīrtvā, crossing over – over both these which are called death; vidyayā, through vidyā, the meditation on the deities; (one) aśnute, attains; a-mṛtam, immortality, identification with the deities – that very fact of becoming one with gods being called immortality.
अधुना व्याकृताव्याकृतोपासनयोः समुच्चिचीषया प्रत्येकं निन्दोच्यते – Now, with a view to combining the worship of the Manifested and the Unmanifested, each is being denounced separately:
They remain in blind darkness (ignorance), who worship a-sambhūti (the unmanifest). Others remain in as though greater darkness (ignorance, thinking they know Om), who indeed revel in sambhūti (the manifest, here the lower aspect of Om, the total subtle body, Hiraṇya-garbha).
They enter (remain) in blind darkness (ignorance) (अन्धं तमस् प्रविशन्ति), who worship (meditate on) (a-sambhūti (the unmanifest) (ये असम्भूतिम् उपासते). Others (remain in) as though greater darkness (ignorance, thinking they know Om) (ततस् भूयस् इव ते तमस्), who indeed revel in (meditate on) sambhūti (the manifest, here the lower aspect of Om, the total subtle body, Hiraṇya-garbha) (ये उ सम्भूत्यां रताः).
अन्धं तमः प्रविशन्ति ये असम्भूतिम्, सम्भवनं सम्भूतिः सा यस्य कार्यस्य सा सम्भूतिः तस्या अन्या असम्भूतिः प्रकृतिः कारणम् अव्याकृताख्यम्, तामसम्भूतिमव्याकृताख्यां प्रकृतिं कारणमविद्यां कामकर्मबीजभूतामदर्शनात्मिकाम् उपासते ये ते तदनुरूपमेवान्धं तमः अदर्शनात्मकं प्रविशन्ति Ye, those who; (worship) a-sambhūtim: Sambhūti means the fact of being born; an effect, too, that has this (quality of being born) is sambhūti; what is other than that is a-sambhūti, Prakṛti, (the primal material) Cause, a-vidyā (ignorance), called a-vyākṛta (the Unmanifested). Those who upāsate, worship; this a-sambhūti known as the unmanifest Prakṛti, Cause, and a-vidyā, which is the seed of desire and work, and is blinding by nature; te, they; praviśanti, enter into; andham tamaḥ, blinding darkness, which is of a similar nature. Into tamaḥ, darkness;ततः तस्मादपि भूयो बहुतरम् इव तमः ते प्रविशन्ति ये उ सम्भूत्यां कार्यब्रह्मणि हिरण्यगर्भाख्ये रताः॥ Bhūyaḥ, greater; tataḥ, than that; iva, as it were; praviśanti, enter; ye, those who; sambhūtyām ratāḥ, are devoted to sambhūti – to the manifested Brahman called Hiraṇya-garbha.
अधुना उभयोरुपासनयोः समुच्चयकारणमवयवफलभेदमाह – Now in this verse is being stated the difference of the results of the two constituent worships, which (results) necessitate the combination of those worships:
They say sambhūti (the first manifest) is one thing, and a-sambhūti (the unmanifest) is another, thus we have heard from the discerning who have explained that to us.
They say sambhūti (the first manifest) is one thing (अन्यद् एव आहुः सम्भवात्), (and) they say a-sambhūti (the unmanifest) is another (अन्यद् आहुः असम्भवात्), thus we have heard from the discerning (इति शुश्रुम धीराणाम्), who have explained that to us (ये नः तद् विचचक्षिरे).
अन्यदेव पृथग् एव आहुः फलं सम्भवात् सम्भूतेः कार्यब्रह्मोपासनात् अणिमाद्यैश्वर्यलक्षणम् आख्यातवन्त इत्यर्थः Anyat eva, a different result indeed; āhuḥ, they spoke of; sambhavāt, from sambhūti, the Manifested; the idea is that they spoke of the result, comprising supernormal faculties such as becoming subtle (aṇimā) etc., accruing from the worship of the manifested Brahman (Hiraṇya-garbha).
तथा च अन्यदाहुरसम्भवात् असम्भूतेः अव्याकृतात् अव्याकृतोपासनात् यदुक्तम् ‘अन्धं तमः प्रविशन्ति’ (IsU.9) इति, प्रकृतिलय इति च पौराणिकैरुच्यते इति एवं शुश्रुम धीराणां वचनं ये नस्तद्विचचक्षिरे व्याकृताव्याकृतोपासनफलं व्याख्यातवन्त इत्यर्थः॥ Similarly, too, they anyat āhuḥ, spoke of a different result; a-sambhavāt from a-sambhūti, from a-vyākṛta – from the worship of the Unmanifested – that which has been referred to in the text, ‘they enter into blinding darkness’ (IsU.12) and is called absorption into Prakṛti (Primordial Nature) by the paurāṇikas. Iti, thus; śuśruma dhīrāṇām, we have heard the speech of the wise; ye, who; vicacakṣire, explained that; naḥ, to us, i.e. explained the result of the worship of the Manifested and the Unmanifested. [•Māyā, depending on Consciousness and acting as a limiting adjunct of the supreme Lord, is well known in the other Veda text: “Know Māyā as Prakṛti (material cause) and the great Lord as the possessor of Māyā" (SvetU.4.10). That Māyā and not Brahman is spoken of here by the word Unmanifested, for it is not possible for the unchanging Brahman to be directly the material cause.'-A.G.•].
यत एवम्, अतः समुच्चयः सम्भूत्यसम्भूत्युपासनयोर्युक्तः एकैकपुरुषार्थत्वाच्चेत्याह – Since this is so, and since both are meant for the same human goal, it is quite proper to combine the worship of the Manifested and the Unmanifested. This is being said by the verse:
The one who knows both (a-)sambhūti (the unmanifest) and vināśa (i.e., sambhūti, the first manifest that will be destroyed) are to be meditated successively, then by meditation on vināśa (sambhūti, the first manifest) one transcends death (in brahma-loka), and eventually by meditation on a-sambhūti (the unmanifest) attains freedom from time (as the unmanifest).
(A-)sambhūti (the unmanifest) (सम्भूतिं च) and vināśa (i.e., sambhūti, the first manifest that can be destroyed) (विनाशं च), the one who knows both are (to be meditated) together (successively) (यः तद् वेद उभयं सह) (then) by (meditation on) vināśa (sambhūti, the first manifest) one transcends death (in brahma-loka) (विनाशेन मृत्युं तीर्त्वा), (and eventually) by (meditation on) a-sambhūti (the unmanifest) attains freedom from time (as the unmanifest) (असम्भूत्या अमृतम् अश्नुते).
सम्भूतिं च विनाशं च यस्तद्वेदोभयं सह, विनाशेन, विनाशो धर्मो यस्य कार्यस्य स तेन धर्मिणा अभेदेनोच्यते ‘विनाशः’ इति तेन तदुपासनेनानैश्वर्यमधर्मकामादिदोषजातं च मृत्युं तीर्त्वा, हिरण्यगर्भोपासनेन ह्यणिमादिप्राप्तिः फलम्, तेनानैश्वर्यादिमृत्युमतीत्य, असम्भूत्या अव्याकृतोपासनया अमृतं प्रकृतिलयलक्षणम् अश्नुते ‘सम्भूतिं च विनाशं च’ इत्यत्रावर्णलोपेन निर्देशो द्रष्टव्यः, प्रकृतिलयफलश्रुत्यनुरोधात्॥ He who knows these two – the Unmanifested and the Destruction – together; a-mṛtam aśnute, attains immortality – characterized as absorption in Prakṛti; a-sambhūtyā, through the worship of the Unmanifested; mṛtyum tīrtvā, by crossing over death that is the bundle of faults such as non-possession of supernormal faculty, and demerit, desire, etc. – for, through the worship of Hiraṇya-garbha is obtained such results as powers of becoming Subtle etc.–, by crossing over death that consists in the absence of Supernormal faculties; vināśena, through Destruction. Vināśa (destruction), which is an attribute of the product (viz the manifested Brahman or Hiraṇya-garbha), is spoken of as identical with the substantive itself. (By crossing death) through that, (i.e.) by the worship of that (vināśa). It is to be noted that in sambhūtim ca vināśam ca, there is a presentation by omission (lopa) of the letter ‘a’ (before sambhūti) (–which should be a-sambhūti) in conformity with the mention of the fruit, viz absorption in prakṛti (i.e. a–sambhūti – and would be in keeping with the fruit and its means construction found in IsU.11). [•We may also assume an initial ‘a-’ before sambhūti could be due to lopa-sandhi with the preceding mantra, such that we would get ‘...vicacakṣire (a-)sambhūtim...’.•]
मानुषदैववित्तसाध्यं फलं शास्त्रलक्षणं प्रकृतिलयान्तम्; एतावती संसारगतिः अतः परं पूर्वोक्तम् ‘आत्मैवाभूद्विजानतः’ इति सर्वात्मभाव एव सर्वैषणासंन्यासज्ञाननिष्ठाफलम् एवं द्विप्रकारः प्रवृत्तिनिवृत्तिलक्षणो वेदार्थोऽत्र प्रकाशितः It is indicated by the scriptures that absorption into Prakṛti is the highest result attainable through human and divine wealth. [•‘Cattle, land, gold, etc., are human wealth; meditation on gods is divine wealth.’-A.G.•] Up to this is the course of worldly existence. Beyond this is the identification with the Self in all, as indicated earlier in the verse: ‘When to the man of realization all beings become the very Self’ (IsU.7), which is the result of devotion to knowledge after renouncing all desires. Thus has been revealed the twofold purport of the Vedas, consisting in desire for and renunciation of activity.
तत्र प्रवृत्तिलक्षणस्य वेदार्थस्य विधिप्रतिषेधलक्षणस्य कृत्स्नस्य प्रकाशने प्रवर्ग्यान्तं ब्राह्मणमुपयुक्तम् निवृत्तिलक्षणस्य प्रकाशने अत ऊर्ध्वं बृहदारण्यकम् तत्र निषेकादिश्मशानान्तं कर्म कुर्वन् जिजीविषेद्यो विद्यया सहापरब्रह्मविषयया, तदुक्तम् – ‘विद्यां चाविद्यां च यस्तद्वेदोभयं सह अविद्यया मृत्युं तीर्त्वा विद्ययामृतमश्नुते’ (IsU.11) इति, As to this, the (Śata-patha) Brāhmaṇa, ending with the Pravargya ritual, is devoted to the revelation of the whole purport of (that section of) the Vedas which is in the form of injunctions and prohibitions concerning desire for activity. And the Bṛhad-āraṇyaka thereafter is devoted to the revelation of the Veda purport concerning renunciation of activity. In this connection, the verse, ‘He who knows these two – vidyā and a-vidyā – together, attains immortality through vidyā, by crossing over death through a-vidyā (IsU.11), has been cited for the person who wants to live by doing rites – beginning from conception and ending in death – in conjunction with meditation on the lower Brahman.
तत्र सोऽधिकारी केन मार्गेणामृतत्वमश्नुते इत्युच्यते – ‘तद्यत्तत्सत्यमसौ स आदित्यो य एष एतस्मिन्मण्डले पुरुषो यश्चायं दक्षिणेऽक्षन्पुरुषः’ (BrhU.5.5.2) एतदुभयं सत्यं ब्रह्मोपासीनः यथोक्तकर्मकृच्च यः, सोऽन्तकाले प्राप्ते सत्यात्मानमात्मनः प्राप्तिद्वारं याचते – Now, then, the question, ‘By what route will he achieve immortality?’ is being answered. ‘Now, That which is the Truth (Brahman), is that sun – who is the Person in this solar, orb, as also this Person in the right eye’ (BrhUEng.5.5.2) – he who has meditated on both these (Persons) as the Truth – Brahman and performed the rites as mentioned (in the scriptures), prays at the time of death to that (Sun) which is Truth by nature, for the door leading to the Self, in the verse: ‘The face of Truth is concealed with a golden vessel’, etc.
By a golden orb (the bright sun) the face of truth (brahman) is (as though) hidden. O Puṣan the sun deity, please unveil this truth (by impelling and clarifying my mind) for me whose nature is that same truth to behold.
By a golden orb (the bright sun) (हिरण्मयेन पात्रेण) the face of truth (brahman) is (as though) hidden (सत्यस्य अपिहितं मुखम्). O Puṣan (sun deity, the nourisher), please unveil this truth (by impelling and clarifying my mind) (तत्त्वं पूषन् अपावृणु) for (me) whose nature is that same truth to behold (सत्य-धर्माय दृष्टये).
हिरण्मयेन पात्रेण हिरण्मयमिव हिरण्मयम्, ज्योतिर्मयमित्येतत्, तेन पात्रेणेव अपिधानभूतेन सत्यस्य आदित्यमण्डलस्थस्य ब्रह्मणः अपिहितम् आच्छादितं मुखं द्वारम्; तत् त्वं हे पूषन् अपावृणु अपसारय सत्यधर्माय तव सत्यस्योपासनात्सत्यं धर्मो यस्य मम सोऽहं सत्यधर्मा तस्मै मह्यम्; अथवा, यथाभूतस्य धर्मस्यानुष्ठात्रे, दृष्टये तव सत्यात्मन उपलब्धये॥ Hiraṇmaya means golden, appearing as though made of gold, i.e. resplendent; by that, pātreṇa, by the vessel, which is like a lid that hides from view; a-pihitam, is concealed, covered; mukham, the face, the door; satyasya, of Truth, of that very Brahman who is in the solar orb. Tat tvam pūṣan, that thou, O sun; apāvṛṇu, do open, remove. I who have got the quality of Truth, by meditating on you as Truth, am satya-dharma; so satya-dharmāya means, for my sake who am of that kind (truthful); or it means, for the sake of one (i.e. me) who performs the rightful duties. Dṛṣṭaye, so as to be seen; so that you who are Truth by nature may be realized.
O Pūṣan, the single traveler, the controller, the shinning heavenly sun, born of Prajā-pati, remove Your rays, gather up Your blinding brilliance so that this beautiful form of Yours I may behold. Whosoever is that puruṣa (the brahman as though behind Your orb, where my senses cannot go), that I am.
O Pūṣan, the single traveler, the controller, the shinning heavenly sun, born of Prajā-pati (पूषन्, एकर्षे, यम, सूर्य, प्राजापत्य), remove (Your) rays (व्यूह रश्मीन्), gather up (Your) (blinding) brilliance (समूह तेजस्) (so that) this beautiful form of Yours I (may) behold (यद् ते रूपं कल्याणतमं तद् ते पश्यामि). Whosoever is that puruṣa (the brahman as though behind Your orb, where my senses cannot go) (यः असौ असौ पुरुषः), that I am (सः अहम् अस्मि).
हे पूषन् जगतः पोषणात्पूषा रविः तथा एक एव ऋषति गच्छतीत्येकर्षिः हे एकर्षे तथा सर्वस्य संयमनाद्यमः हे यम तथा रश्मीनां प्राणानां रसानां च स्वीकरणात्सूर्यः हे सूर्य प्रजापतेरपत्यं प्राजापत्यः हे प्राजापत्य Pūṣan, O Sun! The Sun is the pūṣā, nourisher, because he nourishes the world. Similarly, he travels alone (eka ṛṣati); hence he is eka-ṛṣi. Ekarṣe, O solitary traveller. So also he is yama, controller, because of controlling (saṃyamanāt) all; O controller. Likewise he is sūrya, acquirer, because of securing to himself (svī-karaṇāt) all rays, vital forces, and liquids; O acquirer. The son of Prajā-pati is prājā-patya; O son of Prajā-pati.
व्यूह विगमय रश्मीन् स्वान् समूह एकीकुरु उपसंहर तेजः तावकं ज्योतिः यत् ते तव रूपं कल्याणतमम् अत्यन्तशोभनम्, तत् ते तवात्मनः प्रसादात् पश्यामि Vyūha, remove; thy own raśmīn, rays; samūha, gather up, withdraw; thy tejaḥ, heat, the oppressive dazzle. Yat te, that which is thy; rūpam kalyāṇatamam, most benign, most graceful, form; tat, that; paśyāmi, I shall see; by te, thy – thy grace, who art the Self.
किञ्च, अहं न तु त्वां भृत्यवद्याचे योऽसौ आदित्यमण्डलस्थः असौ व्याहृत्यवयवः पुरुषः पुरुषाकारत्वात्, पूर्णं वानेन प्राणबुद्ध्यात्मना जगत्समस्तमिति पुरुषः; पुरि शयनाद्वा पुरुषः सोऽहम् अस्मि भवामि॥ Moreover, I do not entreat thee like a servant; yaḥ asau, the Person who is there, in the solar orb – whose limbs are the vyāhṛtis [•Bhūḥ (earth) is his head; bhuvaḥ (sky) his hands; svaḥ (heaven) his feet (BrhUEng.5.5.3-4)•], And who is called a Person (Puruṣa) because he has the figure of a person; or because by him, in the form of the vital forces and intelligence, the whole world is filled (pūrṇam); or because he resides in the city (puri of the heart)–; saḥ aham asmi, that Person am I.
May my life force now merge into the immortal cosmic life force, and this body turn to ashes. Om, O my wisdom, please remember, remember what I have done. O my wisdom, please remember, remember what I have done.
This (my) life force (वायुः) to the immortal cosmic life force (अनिलम् अमृतम्) now (may it merge) (अथ) (and) this body turn to ashes (इदं भस्मान्तं शरीरम्). Om, O (my) wisdom, please remember (ओं क्रतो स्मर), remember what (I) have done (कृतं स्मर). O (my) wisdom, please remember, remember what (I) have done (क्रतो स्मर, कृतं स्मर).
अथ इदानीं मम मरिष्यतो वायुः प्राणः अध्यात्मपरिच्छेदं हित्वा अधिदैवतात्मानं सर्वात्मकम् अनिलम् अमृतं सूत्रात्मानं प्रतिपद्यतामिति वाक्यशेषः लिङ्गं चेदं ज्ञानकर्मसंस्कृतमुत्क्रामत्विति द्रष्टव्यम्, मार्गयाचनसामर्थ्यात् Atha, now; as I am dying, let my vāyuḥ, vital force; give up its physical limitation and attain its divine nature which is the all-pervading, a-mṛtam an-ilam, immortal Air, i.e. the sūtra-ātmānam (Hiraṇya-garbham). The word ‘attain’ has to be supplied to complete the sentence. The idea, ‘And let this subtle body, purified by rites and meditation, ascend’, is also understood, by virtue of the solicitation for the path (to ascend by).अथ इदं शरीरम् अग्नौ हुतं भस्मान्तं भस्मावशेषं भूयात् ओम् इति यथोपासनम् ओंप्रतीकात्मकत्वात्सत्यात्मकमग्न्याख्यं ब्रह्माभेदेनोच्यते हे क्रतो सङ्कल्पात्मक स्मर यन्मम स्मर्तव्यं तस्य कालोऽयं प्रत्युपस्थितः, अतः स्मर एतावन्तं कालं भावितं कृतम् अग्ने स्मर यन्मया बाल्यप्रभृत्यनुष्ठितं कर्म तच्च स्मर क्रतो स्मर कृतं स्मर इति पुनर्वचनमादरार्थम्॥ Atha, now; idam śarīram, this body, being offered as an oblation to fire; bhasmāntam, may be reduced to ashes. Since Brahman has Om as Its symbol, therefore, consonantly with the meditation followed (by the dying man), Brahman, which called Fire and is Truth by nature, is presented here as identical with Om. Krato, O mind, whose characteristic is volition; smara, (you) remember; the time has arrived when all that has to be remembered by me should be remembered; therefore (you) remember all that has been thought of so long. And O Fire, [•In the space of kṛtam agne, another reading is ‘kṛtam agre’, whatever has been done earlier'.•] smara, remember; kṛtam, whatever work has been done from my childhood; that too, do thou remember. Krato smara, kṛtam smara – this repetition implies earnestness.
पुनरन्येन मन्त्रेण मार्गं याचते – He prays for the path again through another verse:
O Agṅi (Fire, the witness of our lives), lead us by the better path to our karma wealth. O Deity, You are knowing all our deeds. Ward off our crooked transgression. We offer You our many salutations.
O Agṅi (Fire, the witness of our lives) (अग्ने), lead us by the good (better) path to (our karma) wealth (नय सुपथा राये अस्मान्). O Deity, (You) are knowing all our deeds (विश्वानि, देव, वयुनानि विद्वान्). Drive away our crooked transgression (युयोधि अस्मद् जुहुराणम् एनस्). We offer You (our) many salutations (भूयिष्ठां ते नमउक्तिं विधेम).
हे अग्ने नय गमय सुपथा शोभनेन मार्गेण सुपथेति विशेषणं दक्षिणमार्गनिवृत्त्यर्थम् निर्विण्णोऽहं दक्षिणेन मार्गेण गतागतलक्षणेन; अतो याचे त्वां पुनः पुनः गमनागमनवर्जितेन शोभनेन पथा नय राये धनाय, कर्मफलभोगायेत्यर्थः अस्मान् यथोक्तधर्मफलविशिष्टान् विश्वानि सर्वाणि हे देव वयुनानि कर्माणि, प्रज्ञानानि वा विद्वान् जानन् Agne, O Fire; deva, O god; vidvān, knowing; viśvāni vayunāni, all deeds or meditations; naya, lead; asmān, us – who are endowed with the aforesaid fruits of virtue; su-pathā, by the good path. The attribute ‘good path’ is used for eschewing the Southern Path (Pitṛ-yāna). I am disgusted with the Southern Path which is characterized by going and coming; hence I entreat thee again and again, ‘Lead by the good path which is free from going and coming.’ Raye means, for the sake of wealth, i.e. for the enjoyment of the fruits of deeds.
किञ्च, युयोधि वियोजय विनाशय अस्मत् अस्मत्तः जुहुराणं कुटिलं वञ्चनात्मकम् एनः पापम् ततो वयं विशुद्धाः सन्तः इष्टं प्राप्स्याम इत्यभिप्रायः किंतु वयमिदानीं ते न शक्नुमः परिचर्यां कर्तुम्; भूयिष्ठां बहुतरां ते तुभ्यं नमउक्तिं नमस्कारवचनं विधेम नमस्कारेण परिचरेम इत्यर्थः। Moreover, yuyodhi, remove, destroy; asmat, (i.e.) asmattaḥ, from us; juhurāṇam, crooked, deceitful; enaḥ, sin. The idea is this: Becoming purified thereby we shall achieve our desired object. But (as) at present we cannot render any service to thee, (so) te, to thee; bhūyiṣṭhām, many; nama-uktim, words of salutation; vidhema, we offer – i.e. we serve thee with salutations.‘अविद्यया मृत्युं तीर्त्वा विद्ययामृतमश्नुते’ (IsU.11) ‘विनाशेन मृत्युं तीर्त्वा असम्भूत्यामृतमश्नुते’ (IsU.14) इति श्रुत्वा केचित्संशयं कुर्वन्ति अतस्तन्निर्धारणार्थं सङ्क्षेपतो विचारणां करिष्यामः तत्र तावत्किंनिमित्तः संशय इति, उच्यते – विद्याशब्देन मुख्या परमात्मविद्यैव कस्मान्न गृह्यते, अमृतत्वं च? (A doubt): Some people are filled with doubt at hearing the texts: ‘Crossing over death through a-vidyā, attains immortality through vidyā' (IsU.11), and ‘Crossing death through Destruction, attains immortality through the Unmanifested’ (IsU.14). Hence to remove that doubt, we shall discuss (the topic) in brief. Now, then, the reason why the doubt arises is being stated: ‘By the word vidyā, why should not the knowledge of the supreme Self itself, in the primary sense, be understood; and so also (why should not) immortality (be taken in the primary sense)?'
ननूक्तायाः परमात्मविद्यायाः कर्मणश्च विरोधात्समुच्चयानुपपत्तिः Answer: Is it not a fact that by reason of the opposition between the aforesaid knowledge of the supreme Self and karma, there is no possibility of combination?
सत्यम् विरोधस्तु नावगम्यते, विरोधाविरोधयोः शास्त्रप्रमाणकत्वात्; यथा अविद्यानुष्ठानं विद्योपासनं च शास्त्रप्रमाणकम्, तथा तद्विरोधाविरोधावपि यथा च ‘न हिंस्यात्सर्वा भूतानि’ इति शास्त्रादवगतं पुनः शास्त्रेणैव बाध्यते ‘अध्वरे पशुं हिंस्यात्’ इति, एवं विद्याविद्ययोरपि स्यात्; विद्याकर्मणोश्च समुच्चयः Objection: True. But the opposition is not comprehended, because opposition or agreement rests on the authority of scriptures. Just as the performance of a-vidyā (karma) and the pursuit of knowledge rest on the authority of the scriptures, so also do their opposition and agreement. Just as the prohibition, ‘Do not kill any living thing’, learnt from scripture, is over ridden by the injunction, ‘One should kill an animal in a sacrifice’, so also it is possible in the case of a-vidyā (karma) and knowledge that karma and knowledge are to be combined.
न; ‘दूरमेते विपरीते विषूची अविद्या या च विद्येति ज्ञाता’ इति श्रुतेः Answer: No (they cannot be combined), because of the Veda text: ‘What are known as vidyā (knowledge) and a-vidyā (karma) are entirely different, and they follow different courses' (KathU.1.2.4).
‘विद्यां चाविद्यां च’ इति वचनादविरोध इति चेत्, Objection: Suppose we say that, on the authority of the text, ‘He who knows vidyā and a-vidyā together’ (IsU.11), there is no antagonism.
न; हेतुस्वरूपफलविरोधात् Answer: No, because of the opposition involved in (their) causes, natures, and results.
विद्याविद्याविरोधाविरोधयोर्विकल्पासम्भवात् समुच्चयविधानादविरोध एवेति चेत्, Objection: Since (on the one hand) the opposition or non-opposition between vidyā (knowledge) and a-vidyā (karma) cannot stand as alternatives, and since (on the other hand) their combination is enjoined (here), may we not argue that there is (really) no contradiction (between them)?
न; सहसम्भवानुपपत्तेः Answer: No, since their co-existence is absurd.
क्रमेणैकाश्रये स्यातां विद्याविद्ये इति चेत्, Objection: Suppose we say that vidyā (knowledge) and a-vidya (karma) may cohere in the same person successively.
न; विद्योत्पत्तौ तदाश्रयेऽविद्यानुपपत्तेः; न हि अग्निरुष्णः प्रकाशश्च इति विज्ञानोत्पत्तौ यस्मिन्नाश्रये तदुत्पन्नम्, तस्मिन्नेवाश्रये शीतोऽग्निरप्रकाशो वा इत्यविद्याया उत्पत्तिः नापि संशयः अज्ञानं वा, Answer: No. [•‘If the succession consists in ignorance (a-vidyā, karma), being earlier and knowledge (vidyā) later, then it is certainly admitted. But if ignorance is later (than knowledge) then it is impossible.’-A.G.•] For when vidyā (knowledge) arises, a-vidyā (karma) vanishes, since in the person in whom there is knowledge, a-vidyā (karma) cannot remain. Indeed, it is a fact that when the knowledge, ‘Fire is hot and effulgent’, has arisen in a person, then in that very person, in whom that knowledge has dawned, cannot arise the ignorance or doubt or error (of the form), 'Fire is cold or non-illuminating’.
‘यस्मिन्सर्वाणि भूतानि आत्मैवाभूद्विजानतः तत्र को मोहः कः शोक एकत्वमनुपश्यतः’ (IsU.7) इति शोकमोहाद्यसम्भवश्रुतेः अविद्यासम्भवात्तदुपादानस्य कर्मणोऽप्यनुपपत्तिमवोचाम On the authority of the text, ‘When to the man of realization all beings become the very Self, then what delusion and what sorrow can there be for that seer of oneness’ (IsU.7), which declares sorrow, delusion, etc., as impossible (for a man of knowledge), we have said that since a-vidyā (ignorance) is impossible (for such a man), karma which originates from ignorance is also impossible.
‘अमृतमश्नुते’ इत्यापेक्षिकममृतम्; विद्याशब्देन परमात्मविद्याग्रहणे ‘हिरण्मयेन’ (IsU.15) इत्यादिना द्वारमार्गयाचनमनुपपन्नं स्यात् तस्मात् यथाव्याख्यात एव मन्त्राणामर्थ इत्युपरम्यते॥ As for the text, ‘He attains immortality’, (IsU.14) the immortality is a relative thing. If the knowledge of the supreme Self is understood by the world vidyā, the prayer for the path etc. in the text, ‘The face of Truth (Brahman) is covered,’ etc. (IsU.15) becomes irreconcilable. [•For there can be no going or coming for a knower of Brahman, who becomes all by becoming Brahman Itself.•] Accordingly, the combination (of a-vidya, karma) is with meditation and not with the knowledge of the supreme Self. Thus, we conclude by remarking that the meaning of the verses is just as we have interpreted.