The Praśnopaniṣat – Part 8
तस्मै स होवाच यथा गार्ग्य मरीचयोऽर्कस्यास्तं गच्छतः सर्वा एतस्मिंस्तेजोमण्डल एकीभवन्ति ताः पुनः पुनरुदयतः प्रचरन्त्येवं ह वै तत्सर्वं परे देवे मनस्येकीभवति । तेन तर्ह्येष पुरुषो न शृणोति न पश्यति न जिघ्रति न रसयते न स्पृशते नाभिवदते नादत्ते नानन्दयते न विसृजते नेयायते स्वपितीत्याचक्षते ॥ २ ॥
तस्मै to him स he Pippalāda ह indeed उवाच said यथा just as गार्ग्य O Gārgya मरीचयः rays अर्कस्य of the sun अस्तं गच्छतः set सर्वाः all एतस्मिन् in this तेजोमण्डले luminous orb एकीभवन्ति gather ताः they पुनः पुनः again and again उदयतः rise प्रचरन्ति go forth एवं so too ह indeed वै verily तत् that सर्वं all परे in the supreme देवे god मनसि in the mind एकीभवति gather तेन therefore तर्हि then एष this पुरुषः man न शृणोति does not hear न पश्यति does not see न जिघ्रति does not smell न रसयते does not taste न स्पृशते does not touch न अभिवदते does not speak न आदत्ते does not take न आनन्दयते enjoys not न विसृजते emits not न ईयायते moves not स्वपिति he sleeps इति thus आचक्षते people say
2 To him Pippalāda replied: O Gārgya, as the rays of the sun, when it sets, are gathered in that luminous orb and again go forth when it rises, even so, verily, all these—the objects and the senses—become one in the superior god, the mind. Therefore at that time a man hears not, sees not, smells not, tastes not, touches not, speaks not, grasps not, enjoys not, emits not and does not move about. He sleeps—that is what people say.
When Sauryāyaṇī the disciple posed the question, Ācārya Pippalāda replied: ‘Listen, O Gārya, the reply to your question. Upon setting, the rays recede back to the luminous orb of the Sun, their source, thereby becoming unidentifiable, having attained oneness with the Sun. And whenever the Sun rises the rays too rise and scatter throughout the space. Analogous to this is the becoming one with the luminous mind, the superior god, of the sense and other organs during sleep. The mind is called the ‘superior god’ since the sense and other organs derive their power to function only from the mind. They become indistinguishable from the mind. When again the embodied jīva intends to wake up (from sleep) these organs emerge from the luminous mind and scatter into the observed world with a view to grasp the worldly objects. This is because during the sleep mode these organs do not grasp their respective objects. They have retired from their respective activity. This is detailed: when in sleep the sense organs are free of their respective activity and merge their identities with the mind. The ear, etc. employed in the knowing of sound, etc., do not function. The jīva, does not engage in any activity such as hearing, seeing, smelling, tasting, touching, and conversing. Nor is there the activity of reproduction, emitting and moving. Observing this, the people of the world say: he is asleep.
प्राणाग्नय एवैतस्मिन्पुरे जाग्रति । गार्हपत्यो ह वा एषोऽपानो व्यानोऽन्वाहार्यपचनो यद्गार्हपत्यात्प्रणीयते
प्रणयनादाहवनीयः प्राणः ॥ ३ ॥
प्राणाग्नयः the prāṇa-fires एव alone एतस्मिन् in this पुरे body-city जाग्रति awake गार्हपत्यः the gārhapatya fire ह indeed वा verily एषः this अपानः apāna व्यानः vyāna अन्वाहार्यपचनः the anvāhārya pacana यत् that गार्हपत्यात् resembles gārhapatya प्रणीयते taken प्रणयनात् taken from आहवनीयः āhavanīya प्राणः the prāṇa
- 3. The prāṇa fires remain awake in this city. Apāna is the Gārhapatya Fire and vyāna, the Anvāhāryapachana Fire. And prāṇa is the Āhavanīya Fire, so called from being taken—since it is taken from the Gārhapatya Fire.
In the previous mantra it was said that the sense organs that are active during the waking state, become latent in the deep sleep state. In that state it is the prāṇa that remains awake. The mantra compares the prāṇa with all its five modifications to five fires. The similarity with fire is stated: The ‘apāṇa’ air is the ‘gārhapatya’ fire. How? During the agnihotra ritual the ‘āhavanīya’ fire is extracted from the ‘gārhapatya’ fire. Since it is extracted, praṇiyate, from the gārhapatya, the source, it, the latter, is called praṇayana. Similarly, from the sleeping person’s apāna is extracted the prāṇa that moves through the mouth and nostrils, thereby making up the similarity with the āhavanīya being extracted from the gārhapatya. The prāṇa is comparable to the āhavanīya. The vyāna, however, because of emerging from the heart through the right hole and being connected to the southern quarter, is called dakṣīṇāgni, also known as anvāhārya pachana.
It may be noticed that the sacrificial fire that a householder maintains and worships takes three forms: gārhapatya, āhavanīya and dakṣiṇāgni. The prāṇa in the body is also thereby compared to correspond to the three thus: Apāna is the gārhapatya, prāṇa is the āhavanīya and vyāna is the dakṣiṇāgni.
यदुच्छ्वासनिःश्वासावेतावाहुती समं नयतीति स समानः । मनो ह वाव यजमान इष्टफलमेवोदानः स एनं
यजमानमहरहर्ब्रह्म गमयति ॥ ४ ॥
यत् that उच्छ्वासनिःश्वासौ the exhalation and inhalation एतौ these two आहुती oblations समं equally नयति distributes इति thus स it is समानः the samāna मनः the mind ह indeed वाव verily यजमानः the sacrifice इष्टफलम् the desired fruit एव alone उदानः udāna स he एनं him यजमानम् sacrificer अहरहः every day ब्रह्म to brahman गमयति leads
- Samāna is so called because it strikes a balance between the two oblations, namely, the exhalation and the inhalation; it is the priest. The mind, verily, is the sacrificer. Udāna is the fruit of the sacrifice because it leads the sacrificer every day, in deep sleep, to Brahman.
Taking forward the simile with the agnihotra sacrifice, the mantra teaches that the samāna-air is the hotṛ, the priest, who sees that the exhalation and inhalation pair, just as the pair of oblations in the agnihotra, is always kept in balance to maintain the body. For this reason also the sleep of the knower, brahma jñānī, is akin to the agnihotra sacrifice. Therefore, the knower ought not to be thought of as a non-performer of rites. The Vājasaneyaka says that all the components of the body of the knower are always engaged in the act of sacrifice, even while asleep. At the time of sleep the outer organs (sense and motor organs) are offered as oblations by the mind into prāṇa-fires that are awake. The mind is the sacrificer of the ‘agnihotra’ and as a result of that, the mind, as though, desires to reach heaven, svarga. The purpose behind comparing the mind to the sacrificer is that the mind, like the sacrificer, is the leader who engages the other entities in the sacrifice and performs the rite. And it is the mind that seeks out to reach Brahman (during deep sleep) just as the yajamāna, the sacrificer, seeks to reach heaven through the sacrifice. The ‘iṣṭaphalam’, the fruit desired, is the udāna vāyu. This is because the attainment of the desired fruit is dependent on the udāna vāyu. How is this? This is evident from the fact that the udāna-vāyu leads the mind, the sacrificer, by letting it give up its own action every day (during sleep) to the desired end, the svarga, as though, verily Brahman. Hence it is held that the udāna vāyu is akin to the fruit of the sacrifice.
अत्रैष देवः स्वप्ने महिमानमनुभवति । यद्दृष्टं दृष्टमनुपश्यति श्रुतं श्रुतमेवार्थमनुशृणोति देशदिगन्तरैश्च प्रत्यनुभूतं पुनः पुनः प्रत्यनुभवति दृष्टं चादृष्टं च श्रुतं चाश्रुतं चानुभूतं चाननुभूतं च सच्चासच्च सर्वं पश्यति सर्वः पश्यति ॥ ५ ॥
अत्र here एष he देवः god स्वप्ने in dream महिमानम् glory अनुभवति experiences यत् that दृष्टं seen दृष्टम् अनुपश्यति sees again श्रुतं heard श्रुतम् एव heard alone अर्थम् thing अनुशृणोति hears again देशदिगन्तरैः in various places and quarters च too प्रत्यनुभूतं experienced पुनः पुनः again and again प्रत्यनुभवति experiences दृष्टं seen च and अदृष्टं not seen च and श्रुतं heard च and अश्रुतं not heard च and अनुभूतं experienced च and अननुभूतं not experienced च and सत् real च and असत् unreal च too सर्वं all पश्यति sees सर्वः himself being all पश्यति sees
- 5. There, in dreams, that god, the mind, experiences glory. Whatever has been seen he sees again; whatever has been heard he hears again; whatever has been experienced in different countries and quarters, he experiences again and again. Whatever has been seen or not seen, heard or not heard and whatever is perceived and not perceived, whatever is real or not real—he sees it all. He sees all, himself being all.
Thus by saying that the sleep, characterized by the cessation of the activity of the organs such as the ear, of the enlightened person is, up to the waking, essentially the experiencing of the entire fruits of sacrifice, and not a source of evil, as in the case of the ignorant, the Upaniṣad is engaging in a eulogy of knowledge. It is so because it is not just in the case of the enlightened man the organs such as the ear sleep and the prāṇa-fires keep awake. Having experienced freedom in the waking and dream, the mind attains the sleep state every day. This cyclical triad of states is common to all living beings and hence it is but proper to conclude that it is a mere eulogy of enlightenment.
(Coming soon….Part 9)