Adi Shankara Bhashya

Principle Upanishads (Mukhya) => Brihadaranyaka Upanishad Bhasya => Topic started by: Commentary on April 06, 2019, 04:51:19 PM

Title: CHAPTER 6 - SECTION 2
Post by: Commentary on April 06, 2019, 04:51:19 PM
6.2.1. Svetaketu, the grandson of Aruna, after being taught by his father, came to the assembly of the Pancalas to display his learning. The Pancalas were famous (for their learning). With the proud idea of conquering first their assembly, and then the royal court, he approached Pravahana, the son of Jivala, and the King of Pancala, 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 (The word ‘Bhoh’ (sir) is used in addressing a Brahmana teacher.).’ Though a Ksatriya 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.’

6.2.2. ‘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 Svetaketu. ‘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) agress with the verb ‘Asrnavam’ (have heard), which is separated by the word ‘Pitrnam.’ --- 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 (The universe as means and end. The routes connect this world with the next world, and departed spirits travel along them to their destination.) 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 Brahmana gives the following explanation of the words: ‘This (earth) is the mother, and that (heaven) is the father’ (S. 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. Svetaketu said, ‘I know not one of this set of questions.’

6.2.3. Then, after he had removed his pride of learning, the King invited him, Svetaketu, 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 boy, Svetaketu, disregarding the inivitation 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 instructied 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 Ksatriya --- lit. an associate of the Ksatriyas; 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.

6.2.4. 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. Aruni, who was descended from the line of Gotama, came to where King Pravahana, the son of Jivala, 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 (An offering consisting of honey, curds, etc.) 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.

6.2.5. Gautama said, ‘You have promised me this boon. Make yourself firm in this promise. Please tell me what you spoke to my boy, or son, about --- those questions. This is my boon.’

6.2.6. The King said, ‘This what you ask, comes under heavenly boons. Please ask some human boon.’

6.2.7. 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 ‘Apattam 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 eles.’ 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 --- Brahmanas seeking instruction from Ksatriyas or Vaisyas, or Ksatriyas seeking it from Vaisyas, 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 Kings’ feet.

6.2.8. 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 Brahmana. It has all along come down through a line of Ksatriya 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?

6.2.9. ‘That world, O Gautama, is fire,’ etc. The fourth question is being answered first. The order of the questions 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 present a pacified state (Space, like cinder, has no heat or lustre.). 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 Brahmanas, is born.
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. 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 Ahavaniya fire (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.), 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 Ahavaniya fire, with the sun as its fuel,’ and so on (S. 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 Ahavaniya 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 oblations 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 Apurva, reappears in its old form at the time of manifestation, by making use of the sky etc. as the Ahavaniya fire and so on as before. The ceremony of the Agnihotra is like that even today.

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 Satapatha Brahmana, 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 Apurva of those oblations. But here the object is to describe the results of the sacrificer’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 Ahavaniya 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 Sruti says, ‘Faith is water’ (Tai. S. I. vi. viii.1).

The question was, ‘Do you know after how many oblations are offered water rises up possessed of a human voice and speaks?’ In order to answer it, the statemennt 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 truth 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.

6.2.10. Parjanya, O Gautama, is fire, the second receptalce 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 commening 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.

6.2.11. 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 (‘This world’ and ‘the earth’ stand to each other in relation of a person and his body.) 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 conctact 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 (Which is caused by a part of the earth obstructing the sun’s rays.). 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 a well-known fact that food, such as rice and barley, is produced from rain.

6.2.12. 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 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.

6.2.13. 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 his body lasts. Then, on the exhaustion of that, when he dies.

6.2.14. 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 oblation; no new fire if 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 riites performed from conception to the funeral ceremony.

6.2.15. 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 Ahavaniya fire,’ etc. Here too there are many points of similarity, as for example the other world is fire, 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 (In the portion dealing with the Agnihotra.), 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 word is fire (There are discrepancies. The sky, for instance, is omitted, and so on.).’

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 Sruti bears out our contention. In a section of the Chandogya Upanisad 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 fiexd as five. Therefore this meditation on the five fires cannot be a part of the Agnihotra (Because in that case the fire in which the first offerings are made would begin the series, thus making the number six.). 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 householers (Representing the second of the four orders of life. The other three orders are represented by students (who come firsts, hermits and monks.), of course. One may object: Is it not the purpose of the Sruti 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 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 Smrti, ‘Eighty-eight thousand sages who led a celibate life attained (relative) immortality through the northern route of the sun’ (cf. Vis. II. viii. 92, 94). Therefore those householders who know as above, that they are born of fire, are childern 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 (See V. iv. 1 and V. v. 1 – 2.), or Hiranyagarbha, 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 agin 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 (Ghatiyantra, 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.) by their comings and goings between this world and the next. But when they know the meditation on the five fires, they are freed from this rotations 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 live 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 dies at night wait for the day, for another Sruti 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 fornight, 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. From 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 Hiranyagarbha, a denizen of his world, comes and conducts them to the worlds of Hiranyagarbha. 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 Hiranyagarbha for a great many superfine years, i.e. many human cycles, which constitute the lifetime of Hiranyagarbha (A human cycle or Kalpa consists of 432 million years and constuites a day of Hiranyagarbha. He lives a hundred years according to this scale.). They, after reaching the world of Hiranyagarbha, no more return to this world, for the word ‘here’ occurs in the Madhyandina recension.

Objection: The word ‘here’ just indicates upon 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 has 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 (Meaning, any day. The question is, the Caturmasya sacrifice being performed on the full-moon day, when is the full-moon sacrifice to be performed? The Sruti 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.). 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.

6.2.16. 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 austerity such as Krcchra and Candrayana (Both these are penances consisting in fasting according to certain rules.) 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 in the fire of heaven and took the form of the moon --- with which a new watery bood 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. 10, 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 (Which leads to gradual liberation, depending on continued spiritual practice of the aspirants.), 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 Sruti 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 which are enjoined by the scriptures and are the means of attaining the southern or the northern way. So it has been stated in another Sruti, ‘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 becomes insects, moths, etc.