स एष संवत्सरः प्रजापतिः षोडशकलः, तस्य रात्रय एव पञ्चदश कलाः, ध्रुवैवास्य षोदशि कला; स रात्रिभिरेवा च पूर्यतेऽप च क्षीयते; सोऽमावास्यां रात्रिमेतया षोडस्या कलया सर्वमिदं प्राणभृदनुप्रविश्य ततः प्रातर्जायते; तस्मादेतं रात्रिम् प्राणभृतः प्राणं न विच्छिन्द्यात्, अपि कृकतासस्य, एतस्या एव देवताया अपचित्यै ॥ १४ ॥
sa eṣa saṃvatsaraḥ prajāpatiḥ ṣoḍaśakalaḥ, tasya rātraya eva pañcadaśa kalāḥ, dhruvaivāsya ṣodaśi kalā; sa rātribhirevā ca pūryate’pa ca kṣīyate; so’māvāsyāṃ rātrimetayā ṣoḍasyā kalayā sarvamidaṃ prāṇabhṛdanupraviśya tataḥ prātarjāyate; tasmādetaṃ rātrim prāṇabhṛtaḥ prāṇaṃ na vicchindyāt, api kṛkatāsasya, etasyā eva devatāyā apacityai || 14 ||
14. This Prajāpati (Hiraṇyagarbha) has sixteen digits and is represented by the year. The nights (and days) are his fifteen digits, and the constant one is his sixteenth digit. He (as the moon) is filled as well as wasted by the nights (and days). Through this sixteenth digit he permeates all these living beings on the new-moon night and rises the next morning. Therefore. on this night one should not take the life of living beings, not even of a chameleon, the adoration of this deity alone.
This Prajāpati consisting of the three kinds of food, who is under consideration, is being particularly described as the year. He has sixteen digits or members and is represented by the year, consists of the year, or is Time. The nights and the days, i.e. the lunar days, are the fifteen digits of this Prajāpati consisting of time, and the constant one, which is ever the same, is his sixteenth digit. He is filled as well as wasted by the nights, the lunar days, called the digits. In the bright fortnight the Prajāpati who is the moon is filled by the lunar days beginning with the first, through the gradual increase of digits, i.e. waxes, till he attains the fulness of his orb on the full-moon night, and is also wasted by them in the dark fortnight through the gradual decrease of digits, till only the constant digit is left on the new-moon night. Through this abiding sixteenth digit called the constant one, he, the Prajāpati who is Time, permeates all these living beings by means of the water they drink and the herbs they eat—pervades them in these two forms—on the new-moon night and, staying there overnight, rises the next morning, joined to the second digit.
Thus that Prajāpati consists of five factors: Heaven and the sun as well as mind are the father ; the earth and fire as well as the organ of speech are his wife, the mother ; the vital force is their child ; the lunar days, or digits, are wealth, for they increase and decrease like it ; and the fact that these digits, which are divisions of time, cause changes in the universe is the rite. Thus this Prajāpati, as a whole, emerges as the result of rites with five factors, which is quite in accordance with his desire, ‘Let me have a wife, so that’ I may be born. And let me have wealth, so that I may perform rites ’ (I. iv. 17). It is an accepted principle in life that the effect is commensurate with the cause. Because this moon on this night abides in her constant digit permeating all living beings, therefore on this new-moon night one should not take the life of living beings, not kill them, not even of a chameleon, which is naturally vicious and is killed by people, because the very sight of it is ináuspicious. One may ask: Is not the killing of animals forbidden by the dictum, ‘One must not kill any animal except where it is prescribed by the scriptures’ (Cf. Ch. VIII. xv. 1)? To this we reply: Yes, it is; the present text, however, does not make an exception to that rule about the killing of animals at other times that the new-moon night, or even of the chameleon, but is only (a special prohibition) in adoration of this deity, the moon.