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p. 256


On this 1, too, O chief of the descendants of Bharata! they relate this ancient story, (in the form of) a dialogue, which occurred, O son of Prithâ! between a husband and wife. A Brâhmana's wife, seeing the Brâhmana her husband, who had gone through all knowledge and experience 2, seated in seclusion, spoke to him (thus): 'What world, indeed, shall I go to, depending on you as (my) husband, you who live renouncing (all) action, and who are harsh and undiscerning 3. We have heard that wives attain to the worlds acquired by (their) husbands. What goal, verily, shall I reach, having got you for my husband?' Thus addressed, that man of a tranquil self, spoke to her with a slight smile: 'O beautiful one! O sinless one! I am not offended at these words of yours. Whatever action there is, that can be caught (by the touch) 4, or seen, or heard, that only do the men of action engage in as. action. Those who are devoid of knowledge only lodge 5 delusion in themselves by means of action. And freedom from action

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is not to be attained in this world even for an instant 1. From birth to the destruction of the body, action, good or bad, by act, mind or speech 2, does exist among (all) beings. While the paths 3 (of action), in which the materials are visible, are destroyed by demons 4, I have perceived by means of the self the seat abiding in the self 5--(the seat) where dwells the Brahman free from the pairs of opposites, and the moon together with the fire 6, upholding (all) beings (as) the mover of the intellectual principle 7; (the seat) for which 8 Brahman and others concentrating (their minds) worship that indestructible (principle), and for which learned men have their senses restrained, and their selfs tranquil, and (observe) good vows. It is not to be smelt by the nose, and not to be tasted by the tongue. It is not to be touched by the sense of touch, but is to be apprehended by the mind. It cannot be

p. 258

conquered by the eyes,, and is entirely beyond the senses of hearing. It is devoid of smell, devoid of taste and touch, devoid of colour and sound, and imperishable 1. (It is that) from which (this whole) expanse 2 (of the universe) proceeds, and on which it rests. From this the Prâna, Apâna, Samâna, Vyâna, and Udâna also proceed, and into it they enter 3. Between the Samâna and the Vyâna, the Prâna and the Apâna moved. When that 4 is asleep, the Samâna and Vyâna also are absorbed 5; and between the Prâna and the Apâna dwells the Udâna pervading (all). Therefore the Prâna and the Apâna do not forsake a sleeping person. That is called the Udâna, as the life-winds are controlled 6 (by it). And therefore those who study the Brahman engage in penance 7 of which I am the goal 8. In

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the interior 1, in the midst of all these (life-winds) which move about in the body and swallow up one another 2, blazes the Vaisvâna fire 3 sevenfold. The nose, and the tongue, and the eye, and the skin, and the ear as the fifth, the mind and the understanding, these are the seven tongues 4 of the blaze of Vaisvânara. That which is to be smelt, that which is to be drunk, that which is to be seen, that which is to be touched, and likewise that which is to be heard, and also that which is to be thought of, and that which is to be understood, those are the seven (kinds of) fuel for me 5. That which smells, that which cats, that which sees, that which touches, and that which hears. as the fifth, that which thinks, and that which understands, these are the seven great officiating priests 6. And mark this always,

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[paragraph continues] O beautiful one! The learned sacrificers throwing (in) due (form) the seven offerings into the seven fires in seven ways, produce them in their wombs 1; (namely), that which is to be smelt, that which is to be drunk, that which is to be seen, that which is to be touched, and likewise that which is to be heard, that which is to be thought of, and also that which is to be understood. Earth, air, space, water, and light as the fifth, mind and understanding, these seven, indeed, are named wombs. All the qualities which stand 2 as offerings are absorbed into the mouth of the fire 3; and having dwelt within that dwelling are born in their respective wombs 4. And in that very (principle), which is the generator of all entities, they remain absorbed during (the time of) deluge. From that 5 is produced smell; from that is produced taste; from that is produced colour; from that touch is produced; from that is produced sound; from that doubt 6 is produced; from that is produced determination. This (is what) they know as the sevenfold production. In this very way was it 7 comprehended by the ancients. Becoming perfected by the perfect sacrifice 8, they were perfectly filled with light.'


256:1 I. e. the questions at p. 252, Nîlakantha; more probably, perhaps, the 'doctrine' mentioned at p. 254 is what is alluded to.

256:2 Cf. Gîtâ, p. 57 and note.

256:3 Nîlakantha says this means 'ignorance that the wife has no other support.' Arguna Misra interprets kînâsa to mean 'indigent' instead of 'harsh.'

256:4 So Arguna Misra. Nîlakantha's reading and his interpretation of the passage are different.

256:5 I follow Arguna Misra; the original literally means 'restrain.'

257:1 Cf. Gîtâ, pp. 52, 53; see also, as to freedom from action, Gîtâ, p. 127.

257:2 I. e. thought, word, and deed. I have in the text kept to a more literal rendering.

257:3 This is Nîlakantha's reading and interpretation. Arguna Misra reads 'actions visible and invisible.'

257:4 Cf. inter alia Kumâra-sambhava II, 46.

257:5 I. e. says Arguna Misra, the safe place, within the body; and says Nîlakantha, the seat called Avimukta, between the nose and the brows; as to which cf. Gîtâ, p. 67. In the Kenopanishad (p. 220) the word âyatana is used to signify a means to the attainment of the Brahman.

257:6 The moon and fire constitute the universe, says Arguna Misra. Cf. Gîtâ, p. 113. Nîlakantha interprets this more mystically as referring to the Idâ and Pingalâ arteries.

257:7 So Nîlakantha, but he takes it to stand for 'vâyu' or wind, as a distinct principle. The sense is by no means clear. But the moon being the deity of the mind also may, perhaps, be described as she is here, on that account.

257:8 This is Arguna Misra's interpretation of the original locative.

258:1 Cf. note  4, p. 247 supra, and p. 253.

258:2 Arguna Misra says this means the five great elements, the eleven organs (active and perceptive, and the mind), the life-wind, and the individual soul.

258:3 The Prâna is at the nose, the Apâna at the arms, the Samâna at the navel, the Vyâna pervades the whole body, and the Udâna is at all the joints; cf. Yoga-sûtra III, 38 seq. Nîlakantha says this explains how the 'expanse' (meaning, he says, the operations of the creation, &c.) 'proceeds' from the Brahman. See on the life-winds, Brihadâranyaka, p. 667; Khândogya, pp. 42-188; Sânkhyatattvakaumudî, p. 96; Vedânta Paribhâshâ, p. 45; p. 271 infra.

258:4 The self, Arguna Misra. Nîlakantha says, the Prâna accompanied by the Apâna.'

258:5 I. e. into the Prâna and Apâna, Arguna Misra.

258:6 Nîlakantha derives the word thus, utkarshena ânayati.

258:7 I. e. the subjugation of the life-winds as indicated at Gîtâ, p. 61.

258:8 The meaning of the passage as a whole is not very clear, and the commentators afford but little help. The sense appears to be this: The course of worldly life is due to the operations of the life-winds which are attached to the self and lead to its manifestations as individual souls. Of these, the Samâna and Vyâna are p. 259 controlled and held under check by the Prâna and Apâna, into which latter the former are absorbed in sleep. The latter two are held in check and controlled by the Udâna, which thus controls all. And the control of this, which is the control of all the five, and which is otherwise called penance, destroys the course of worldly life, and leads to the supreme self.

259:1 I. e. within the body.

259:2 As explained in note  8, p. 258.

259:3 This, says Nîlakantha, explains the word 'I' in the sentence preceding. Vaisvânara is a word often used to denote the self. The Vishamaslokî derives it thus, 'that which saves all beings from hell;' see the Prasna-upanishad, pp. 167-188 (where seven tongues are also referred to); Mundaka, p. 292; Khândogya, p. 364; Mândukya, p. 341.

259:4 Cf. Taittirîya-âranyaka, p. 802.

259:5 I. e. the Vaisvânara. Cf. Taittirîya-âranyaka, p. 803 and gloss.

259:6 These I take to be the powers of hearing, &c., which are presided over by the several deities; or, better, Perhaps, they may mean the soul distinguished as so many with reference to these several powers; cf. Brihadâranyaka, p. 169; Maitrî, p,. 96; Prasna, pp. 214, 215; Kaushîtaki, p. 96; Aitareya, p. 187; Khândogya, p. 616. The latter sense is accepted by Arguna Misra.

260:1 The next clause explains this; that which is to be smelt is earth, and so on throughout. The men who sacrifice all sensuous objects, get such powers that they can create the objects whenever they like. As to 'in their wombs,' see Yoga Bhâshya, p. 108.

260:2 I. e. are so treated in the above allegory.

260:3 I. e. the Brahman.

260:4 I. e. when the sacrificer wishes, as stated in note  1.

260:5 That principle--viz. the Brahman.

260:6 This is the operation of the mind, see Gîtâ, p. 57 note.

260:7 The Brahman, Arguna Misra. Or it may be the 'sevenfold production.'

260:8 The wholesale sacrifice of all sensuous perceptions. The p. 262 root corresponding with perfect occurs three times in the original, hence the repetition of perfect above.

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