आत्मैवेदमग्र आसीतेक एव; सोऽकामयत—जाया मे स्यात्, अथ प्रजायेय; अथ वित्तम् मे स्यात्, अथ कर्म कुर्वीयेति; एतावान् वै कामः, नेच्छंश्चनातो भूयो विन्देत्; तस्मादप्येतर्ह्येकाकी कामयते—जाया मे स्यात्, अथ प्रजायेय; अथ वित्तं मे स्यात्, अथ कर्म कुर्वीयेति; स यावदप्येतेषामेकैकम् न प्राप्नोति, अकृत्स्न एव तावन्मन्यते; तस्यो कृत्स्नता—मन एवास्यात्मा, वाग्जाया, प्राणः प्रजा, चक्षुर्मानुषं वित्तम्, चक्षुषा हि तद्विन्दते; श्रोत्रं दैवम्, श्रोत्रेण हि तच्छृणोति; अत्मैवास्य कर्म, आत्मना हि कर्म करोति; स एष पाङ्क्तो यज्ञः, पाङ्क्तः पशुः, पाङ्क्तः पुरुषः, पाङ्क्तमिदं सर्वं यदिदं किञ्च; तदिदं सर्वमाप्नोति य एवं वेद ॥ १७ ॥
ātmaivedamagra āsīteka eva; so’kāmayata—jāyā me syāt, atha prajāyeya; atha vittam me syāt, atha karma kurvīyeti; etāvān vai kāmaḥ, necchaṃścanāto bhūyo vindet; tasmādapyetarhyekākī kāmayate—jāyā me syāt, atha prajāyeya; atha vittaṃ me syāt, atha karma kurvīyeti; sa yāvadapyeteṣāmekaikam na prāpnoti, akṛtsna eva tāvanmanyate; tasyo kṛtsnatā—mana evāsyātmā, vāgjāyā, prāṇaḥ prajā, cakṣurmānuṣaṃ vittam, cakṣuṣā hi tadvindate; śrotraṃ daivam, śrotreṇa hi tacchṛṇoti; atmaivāsya karma, ātmanā hi karma karoti; sa eṣa pāṅkto yajñaḥ, pāṅktaḥ paśuḥ, pāṅktaḥ puruṣaḥ, pāṅktamidaṃ sarvaṃ yadidaṃ kiñca; tadidaṃ sarvamāpnoti ya evaṃ veda || 17 ||
17. This (aggregate of desirable objects) was but the self in the beginning—the only entity. He desired, ‘Let me have a wife, so that I may be born (as the child). And let me have wealth, so that I may perform rites.’ This much indeed is (the range of) desire. Even if one wishes, one cannot get more than this. Therefore to this day a man being single desires, ‘Let me have a wife, so that I may be born. And let me have wealth, so that I may perform rites.’ Until he obtains each one of these, he considers himself incomplete. His completeness also (comes thus): The mind is his self, speech his wife, the vital force his child, the eye his human wealth, for he obtains it through the eye, the ear his divine wealth, for he hears of it through the ear, and the body is its (instrument of) rite, for he performs rites through the body. (So) this sacrifice has five factors—the animals have five factors, the men have five factors, and all this that exists has five factors. He who knows it as such attains all this.
This was but the self in the beginning, before marriage. ‘Self’ here means a natural, ignorant man of the upper three castes identified with the body and organs (i.e. a student). There was nothing different from that self that could be desired, such as a wife, and the self was the only entity in existence, possessed of ignorance which is the root of the desire for a wife and so forth. Being tinged by the impressions of ignorance that are natural to one and consist in a superimposition on the Self of ideas of action, its factors such as the agent, and its results, he desired. How? Let me, the agent, have a wife who will qualify me for the rites. Without her I am not qualified for them. Hence let me have a wife, to confer on me this right. So that I myself may be born, as the child. And let me have wealth such as cattle, which are the means of performing the rites, so that I may perform rites that will give me prosperity and liberation, in order that I may perform rites that will wipe out my indebtedness and help me to attain the worlds of the gods and others, as well as rites that have material ends, such as those leading to the birth of a son, wealth and heaven. This much indeed, i.e. limited to these things only, is desire. Desirable objects are only these—the things comprised by the desire for means, viz. wife, son, wealth and rites. The three worlds, viz. those of men, the Manes and the gods, are but the results of the above. For the desire for means, viz. wife, son, wealth and rites, is for securing these. Therefore the desire for the worlds is the same as the previous one. That one and the same desire assumes a twofold aspect according to ends and means. Hence it will be asserted later on, ‘For both these are but desires’ (III. v. 1; IV. iv. 22).
Since all undertakings are for the sake of results, the desire for the worlds, being implied by the former desire, is taken as mentioned; hence the assertion, ‘This much indeed is desire.’ When eating has been mentioned, the resulting satisfaction has not to be separately mentioned, for eating is meant for that. These two hankerings after the ends and means are the desire, prompted by which an ignorant man helplessly enmeshes himself like a silkworm, and through absorption in the path of rituals becomes outgoing in his tendencies and does not know his own worlā, the Self. As the Taittiriya Brāhmaṇa says, ‘Being infatuated with rites performed with the help of fire, and choked by smoke, they do not know their own world, the Self’ (III. x. 11. 1). One may ask, how are desires asserted to be so many, for they are infinite? This is being explained: Because even if one wishes, one cannot get more than this, which consists of the results and means. There is nothing in life besides these results and means, either visible or invisible, that can be acquired. Desire is concerning things to be acquired, and since these extend no farther than the above, it is but proper to say, ‘This much indeed is desire.’ The idea is this: Desire consists of the two hankerings after the ends and means, visible or invisible, which are the special sphere of an ignorant man. Hence the wise man should renounce them.
In ancient times an ignorant man possessed of desire wished like this, and others before him had also done the same. Such is the way of the world. This creation of Virāj has been like this. It has been said that he was afraid on account of his ignorance; then, prompted by desire, he was unhappy in being alone, and to remove that boredom he wished for a wife; and he was united with her, which led to this creation. Because it was like this, therefore to this day, in his creation, a man being single, before marriage, desires, ‘Let me have a wife, so that I may be born. And let me have wealth, so that I may perform rites.’ This has already been explathed. Desiring like this and trying to secure a wife and so forth, until he obtains each one of these, the wife and the rest, he considers himself incomplete. As a corollary to this, we understand that he is complete when he secures all of these things. But when he fails to attain this completeness, the Śruti suggests a method to bring this about: His completeness, the completeness of this man who considers himself incomplete, is this—comes about in this way. How? This body with organs etc. is being divided. Since the rest of them follow the mind, it, being their chief, is like the self, hence it is his self. As the head of a family is the self, as it were, of the wife and the rest, for these four follow him, so here also the mind is conceived of as the self of this man for his completeness. Similarly speech is his wife, for speech follows the mind as a wife does her husband. ‘Speech’ here means words conveying an injunction or prohibition, which the mind receives through the ear, understands and uses. Hence speech is like a wife to the mind. These, speech and mind, standing for wife and husband, produce the vital force for performing rites. Hence the vital force is like a child.
These rites, which represent the activity of the vital force etc., are performed with the help of wealth that is visible to the eye. Hence the eye is human wealth. Wealth is of two kinds, human and other than human; hence the qualifying word ‘human’ to keep out the other kind. Human wealth such as cattle, which is used in ceremonies, is seen by the eye. Hence the eye stands for it. Because of this relationship with it, the eye is called human wealth. For he obtains it, the human wealth, through the eye, i.e. sees cows etc. What is the other kind of wealth? The ear is divine wealth, for since meditation is concerning the gods, it is called divine wealth, and here the ear corresponds to that. How? For he hears of it, the divine wealth, or meditation, through the ear. Hence, meditation being dependent on the ear, the latter is called divine wealth. Now in this matter of resemblances what is the rite that is performed by these beginning with the self and ending with wealth? This is being answered: The body is his rite. ‘Ātman’ (self) here means the body. How does the body stand for the rite? Because it is the cause of the rite. How? For he performs rītes through the body. For the man who considers himself incomplete, completeness can be attained in this way through imagination, just as externally it can be brought about by having a wife and so on. Therefore this sacrifice has five factors, and is accomplished only through meditation even by one who does not perform rites. But how can it be called a sacrifice by being merely conceived as having five factors? Because the external sacrifice too is performed through animals and men, and both these have five factors, being connected with the five things described above, such as the mind. This is expressed by the text: The animals such as cows, have five factors, and the men have five factors. Although men also are animals, yet being qualified for rites, they are distinguished from the others, hence they are separately mentioned. In short, all this, the means and the results of rites, that exists has five factors. He who knows it as such, imagines himself to be the sacrifice consisting of five factors, attains all this universe as his own self.