अथो अयं वा आत्मा सर्वेषाम् भूतानां लोकः; स यज्जुहोति, यद्यजते, तेन देवानां लोकः। अथ यदनुब्रूते तेन र्षिणाम्, अथ यत्पितृभ्यो निपृणाति, यत्प्रजामिच्छते, तेन पितृणाम्; अथ यन्मनुष्यान्वासयते, यदेभ्योऽशनं ददाति, तेन मनुष्याणाम्; अथ यत्पशुभ्यस्तृणोदकं विन्दति, तेन पशूनाम्; यदस्य गृहेषु श्वापदा वयांस्या पिपीलिकाभ्य उपजीवन्ति, तेन तेषां लोकः; यथा ह वै स्वाय लोकायारिष्टिमिच्छेत्, एवं हैवंविदे सर्वाणि भूतान्यरिष्टिमिच्छन्ति; तद्वा एतद्विदितम् मीमांसितम् ॥ १६ ॥
atho ayaṃ vā ātmā sarveṣām bhūtānāṃ lokaḥ; sa yajjuhoti, yadyajate, tena devānāṃ lokaḥ. atha yadanubrūte tena rṣiṇām, atha yatpitṛbhyo nipṛṇāti, yatprajāmicchate, tena pitṛṇām; atha yanmanuṣyānvāsayate, yadebhyo’śanaṃ dadāti, tena manuṣyāṇām; atha yatpaśubhyastṛṇodakaṃ vindati, tena paśūnām; yadasya gṛheṣu śvāpadā vayāṃsyā pipīlikābhya upajīvanti, tena teṣāṃ lokaḥ; yathā ha vai svāya lokāyāriṣṭimicchet, evaṃ haivaṃvide sarvāṇi bhūtānyariṣṭimicchanti; tadvā etadviditam mīmāṃsitam || 16 ||
16. Now this self (the ignorant man) is an object of enjoyment to all beings. That he makes oblations in the fire and performs sacrifices is how he becomes such an object to the gods. That he studies the Vedas is how he becomes an object of enjoyment to the Ṛṣis (sages). That he makes offerings to the Manes and desires children is how he becomes such an object to the Manes. That he gives shelter to men as well as food is how he becomes an object of enjoyment to men. That he gives fodder and water to the animals is how he becomes such an object to them. And that beasts and birds, and even the ants, feed in his home is how he becomes an object of enjoyment to these. Just as one wishes safety to one’s body, so do all beings wish safety to him who knows it as such. This indeed has been known, and discussed.
Now—this word is introductory—this self, the householder qualified for rites, who is the subject under consideration, and who being ignorant identifies himself with this microcosm consisting of the body, organs, and so on, is an object of enjoyment to all beings, from the gods down to the ants, being helpful to them through the performance of the duties of their caste, order of life, etc. Now, through what particular duties do they help each particular class, for which they are called the objects of enjoyment to them, and what are these particular classes? This is being answered: That he, this householder, makes oblations in the fire and performs sacrifices, etc. The latter is dedicating some of his things to the gods, and the former is finally offering them in the fire. By this twofold imperative duty he is tied to the gods, being dependent on them like animals. Hence he is their object of enjoyment. That he studies the Vedas daily is how he becomes an object of enjoyment to the Ṛṣis. That he makes offerīngs to the Manes, of cakes, water, etc., and desires children, tries to obtain them—‘desire’ here includes the having of them i.e. raises children, is how he becomes such an object to the Manes. Through this bounden duty he is subservient to the Manes as an object of enjoyment. That he gives shelter to men in his house by giving them a place to sit on, water for washing, and so on, as well as food to these people who stay, or to others who do not stay, but ask for food, is how he becomes an object of enjoyment to men. That he gives fodder and water to the animals is how he becomes such an object to them. And that beasts and birds, and even the ants, feed in his home on the crumbs, the offerings made to them, washings of utensils, etc. is how he becomes an object of enjoyment to these.
Because he helps the gods and others by so many services, therefore just as one wishes safety, nondestruction, continuity of the idea of possession, to one’s body, maintains it in all respects by nourishing and protecting it lest one should lose one’s hold on it, so do all beings, the gods and the rest described above, wish safety, non-destruction, to him who knows it as such, who thinks that he is an object of enjoyment to all beings, and that he must discharge his obligations like a debtor as above. That is, they protect him in all respects to safeguard their rights on him, as a householder does his animals. It has been said, ‘Therefore it is not liked by them,’ etc. (I. iv. 10). This, that the above-mentioned duties must be discharged like debts, indeed has been known from the section dealing with the five great sacrifices (Ś. I. vii. 2. 6), and discussed in the section on the sacrificial offerings (Ś. I. vii. 2. 1).
If by knowing Brahman he gets rid of that bondage of duty which makes him an animal, as it were, under what compulsion does he take up the bondage of ritualistic work as if he were helpless, and not the pursuit of knowledge which is the means of freedom from that?
Objection: Has it not been said that the gods guard him?
Reply: Yes, but they too guard only those who, being qualified for rites, are under their authority. Otherwise this would be attaining the results of actions not done and forfeiting those of actions actually done. But they do not guard any and every man not particularly qualified for rites. Therefore there must be something, goaded by which a man becomes averse to one’s own world, the Self, as if he were helpless.
Objection: Is it not ignorance, for only an ignorant man becomes averse to his own self and engages in activity?
Reply: That is not the motive power either, for it merely conceals the true nature of a thing. But it indirectly becomes the root of initiating action, just as blindness is the cause of one’s falling into a a pit etc.
Reply: That is being stated here—it is desire. As the Kaṭha Upaniṣad (II. 5) says that fools, being under ignorance which is natural to man, are outgoing in their tendencies and pursue objects of desire. And the Smṛti also says, ‘It is desire, it is anger,’ etc. (G. III. 37). And the Manu Saṃhitā (II. 4) also describes all activity as being due to desire. This import is being elaborated here up to the end of the chapter: