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The Brâhmana said:

I do not smell smells, I perceive no tastes, I see no colour, and I do not touch, nor yet do I hear various sounds, nor even do I entertain any fancies 5. Nature desires objects which are liked; nature hates all (objects) which are hateful 6. Desire and hatred are born from nature 7as the upward and

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downward life-winds, after attaining to the bodies of living creatures. Apart from them, and as the constant entity underlying them, I see the individual self in the body. Dwelling in that (self), I am in no wise attached 1 (to anything) through desire or anger, or old age, or death. Not desiring any object of desire, not hating any evil, there is no taint on my natures 2, as there is no (taint) of a drop of water on lotuses 3. They are inconstant things appertaining to this constant (principle) which looks on various natures. Although actions are performed, the net of enjoyments does not attach itself to it, as the net of the sun's rays does not attach itself to the sky 4. On this 5, too, they relate an ancient story, (in the shape of) a dialogue between an Adhvaryu priest and an ascetic. Understand that, O glorious one! Seeing an animal being sprinkled 6 at a sacrificial ceremony, an ascetic who was sitting (there) spoke to the Adhvaryu, censuring (the act) as destruction of life. The Adhvaryu

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answered him (saying), this goat will not be destroyed. (This) creature will obtain welfare, since the Vedic text is such. For that part of him which is of the earth will go to the earth; whatever in him is produced from water, that will enter water. His eye (will enter) the sun, (his) ear the quarters, and his life-winds likewise the sky 1. There is no offence on my part, adhering (as I do) to the scriptures 2.

The Ascetic said:

If you perceive (that) good (will) result upon his life being severed (from him), then the sacrifice is for the goat, what benefit (is it) to you? Let the brother, father, mother, and friend (of the goat) give you their consent 3; take him (to them) and consult (them), especially as he is dependent. You ought to inquire of those who can give their consent thus. After hearing their consent, (the matter) will be fit for consideration 4. The life-winds 5, too, of this goat have gone to their sources, and I think only his unmoving body remains. To those who wish to derive enjoyment from the slaughter (of a living creature), the unconscious body being comparable to fuel, that which is called an animal becomes

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the fuel 1. The teaching of the elders 2 is, that refraining from slaughter (of living creatures) is (the duty) among all duties. We maintain that that action should be performed which involves no slaughter. (Our) proposition is no slaughter (of living creatures). If I spoke further, it would be possible to find fault with your proceedings in many ways 3. Always refraining from the slaughter of all beings is what we approve. We substantiate (this) from what is actually visible 4, we do not rely on what is not visible.

The Adhvaryu said:

You enjoy the earth's quality of fragrance, you drink watery juices, you see the colours of shining bodies, you touch the qualities of the air, you hear the sound produced in space, you think by the mind (on the objects of) mental operations. And all these entities, you believe, have life. You have not (then) abstained from taking life. You are (engaged) in the slaughter (of living creatures) 5. There is no movement 6 without slaughter (of living creatures). Or what do you think, O twice-born one?

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The Ascetic said

The indestructible and the destructible, such is the double manifestation of the self. Of these the indestructible is the existent 1, the manifestation as an individual 2 (entity) is called the destructible 3. The life-winds, the tongue, the mind, and (the quality of) goodness, together with (the quality of) passion 4, (these make up) the manifestations as individual entities. And to one who is free from these manifestations, who is free from the pairs of opposites, who is devoid of expectations, who is alike to all beings, who is free from (the thought that this or that is) mine, who has subdued his self, and who is released on all hands 5, there is no fear anywhere 6.

The Adhvaryu said:

O best of talented men! one should in this (world)

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dwell in company of good men only 1. For having heard your opinion, my mind is enlightened. O venerable sir! I approach you, in the belief (that you are) the Lord; and I say (to you), O twice-born one! there is no fault (attaching) to me, performing (as I have done) the rites performed by others 2.

The Brâhmana said:

With this explanation, the ascetic thereafter remained silent, and the Adhvaryu also proceeded with the great sacrifice, freed from delusion. Thus Brâhmanas understand the very subtle emancipation to be of this nature, and understanding it, they act (accordingly), being directed by the Kshetragña.


288:1 Literally, 'lean.'

288:2 I. e. the body in the soul, Arguna Misra.

288:3 Knowledge is Brahman, which is described as a forest here, Arguna Misra.

288:4 Cf. Gîtâ, p. 70.

288:5 This is the name for the operations of the mind.

288:6 The sense is similar to that at Gîtâ, p. 55. The self has nothing to do with these feelings; the qualities deal with the qualities.

288:7 Cf. Gîtâ, p. 65. The meaning of nature here, as in the Gîtâ, is in substance the result of all previous action with which the self has been associated, which result, of course, exists connected not with the self, but with the developments of nature, in the form of body, p. 289 senses, &c. The comparison appears to mean that the feelings of desire &c. are, like the life--winds, unconnected with the self, though associated with it, and are both alike manifestations of nature.

289:1 Nîlakantha compares Brihadâranyaka, p. 770. Arguna Misra has a different reading, meaning 'liable (to be subjugated).'

289:2 The plural. which is in the original, is unusual. The various aspects of the 'result' stated in p. 288, note  7, being looked at separately, are described as 'natures,' like the leaves of a lotus, which in their ensemble make one lotus.

289:3 Lalita Vistara, p. 2, and p. 64 supra.

289:4 The figure seems to be somewhat like that at Gîtâ, p. 82, about the atmosphere and space, which latter remains untainted by the former. Looking on various natures, i. e. as distinct from the self.

289:5 Viz. the remaining untainted.

289:6 I. e. with water, preparatory to its being offered up for the sacrifice.

290:1 Cf. Brihadâranyaka, p. 542, and p. 337 below.

290:2 Cf. Khândogya-upanishad, p. 627, and also Sârîraka Bhâshya on Sûtra III, 1, 25, p. 774.

290:3 I. e. for his slaughter, which is to bring welfare to the goat. Arguna Misra says that this is a sort of reductio ad absurdum, as the sacrifice is in truth not in the interests of the goat at all.

290:4 Viz. whether the goat should be killed. Without their consent he ought not to be slaughtered; with their consent, it becomes a matter for consideration, Arguna Misra.

290:5 It may also mean the senses, as in the Khândogya, p. 297.

291:1 This is not very clear, but the meaning seems to be that the slaughter is committed for the enjoyment of the sacrificer; the sacrificer only requires fuel, and the slaughtered animal is then used for that purpose.

291:2 Cf. Khândogya, p. 627, and next note; and Gîtâ, inter alia, p. 114, and p. 348 infra.

291:3 See Sânkhyatattvaktumudi, p. 7.

291:4 I. e. a rule expressly laid down. What is not visible means what is not expressly stated, but is to be derived by inference, and so forth (cf. Âpastamba I, 1, 4, 8). The express text is the famous one, 'Na himsyâtsarvâ bhûtâni.' Himsâ, which is rendered slaughter here, may mean also 'giving pain' generally.

291:5 This is the tu quoque argument. The sustentation of life requires some sort of slaughter.

291:6 I. e. the support of the body, says Arguna Misra.

292:1 Arguna Misra takes it otherwise, 'the true nature of the Sat, the self.' Nîlakantha renders the original by sadrûpam without further explanation. This indestructible seems to correspond to that mentioned at Gîtâ, p. 113, which should be considered in connection with Gîtâ, pp. 73, 74. The note at the former page is, perhaps, not quite accurately expressed, as the word 'material cause' conveys some inadmissible associations. Perhaps 'underlying principle' might be a nearer approach to the correct idea. The existent will thus be that which really exists, as it is indestructible.

292:2 Cf. Gîtâ, p. 77.

292:3 See Sânti Parvan (Moksha), ch. 240, st. 31.

292:4 Arguna Misra says, 'The life-winds here are indicative of the operations of the organs of action (as to which see p. 290, note  5 supra), the tongue of the perceptive senses, the mind of the internal activities, the quality of goodness of all sources of pleasure, and passion of all sources of pain,' the last two apparently covering the external world, the previous ones the human activities, internal and external.

292:5 Released scil. from piety or impiety, &c.,--Arguna Misra, who says 'Self' in the phrase preceding means mind.

292:6 Because, says Arguna Misra, according to the very authority which says there is sin in slaughter, all sin is destroyed by knowledge. Cf. Gîtâ, p. 64.

Next: Chapter XIV