अथातः संप्रत्तिः—यदा प्रैष्यन्मन्यतेऽथ पुत्रमाह, त्वं ब्रह्म, त्वं यज्ञः, त्वं लोक इति; स पुत्रः प्रत्याह, अहं ब्रह्म, अहं यज्ञः, अहं लोक इति; यद्वै किंचानूक्तं तस्य सर्वस्य ब्रह्मेत्येकता । ये वै के च यज्ञस्तेषां सर्वेषां यज्ञ इत्येकता; ये वै के च लोकास्तेषां सर्वेषां लोक इत्येकता; एतावद्वा इदं सर्वम्; एतन्मा सर्वं सन्नयमितोऽभुनजदिति, तस्मात् पुत्रमनुशिष्ठं लोक्यमाहुः, तस्मादेनमनुसशाति; स यदैवंविदस्माल्लोकात्प्रैति, अथैभिरेव प्राणैः सह पुत्रमाविशति । स यद्य् अनेन किंचिदक्ष्णयाऽकृतम् भवति, तस्मादेनं सर्वस्मात्पुत्रो मुञ्चति, तस्मात्पुत्रो नाम; स पुत्रेणैवास्मिंल्लोके प्रतिष्ठति, अथैनमेते दैवाः प्राणा अमृता आविशन्ति ॥ १७ ॥
athātaḥ saṃprattiḥ—yadā praiṣyanmanyate’tha putramāha, tvaṃ brahma, tvaṃ yajñaḥ, tvaṃ loka iti; sa putraḥ pratyāha, ahaṃ brahma, ahaṃ yajñaḥ, ahaṃ loka iti; yadvai kiṃcānūktaṃ tasya sarvasya brahmetyekatā | ye vai ke ca yajñasteṣāṃ sarveṣāṃ yajña ityekatā; ye vai ke ca lokāsteṣāṃ sarveṣāṃ loka ityekatā; etāvadvā idaṃ sarvam; etanmā sarvaṃ sannayamito’bhunajaditi, tasmāt putramanuśiṣṭhaṃ lokyamāhuḥ, tasmādenamanusaśāti; sa yadaivaṃvidasmāllokātpraiti, athaibhireva prāṇaiḥ saha putramāviśati | sa yady anena kiṃcidakṣṇayā’kṛtam bhavati, tasmādenaṃ sarvasmātputro muñcati, tasmātputro nāma; sa putreṇaivāsmiṃlloke pratiṣṭhati, athainamete daivāḥ prāṇā amṛtā āviśanti || 17 ||
17. Now therefore the entrusting: When a man thinks he will die, he says to his son, ‘You are Brahman, you are the sacrifice, and you are the world.’ The son replies, I am Brahman, I am the sacrifice, and I am the world.’ (The father thinks:) ‘Whatever is studied is all unified in the word “Brahman.” Whatever sacrifices there are, are all unified in the word ” sacrifice.” And whatever worlds there are, are all unified in the word “world.” All this (the duties of a householder) is indeed this much. ‘He, being all this, will protect me from (the ties of) this world.’ Therefore they speak of an educated son as being conducive to the world. Hence (a father) teaches his son. When a father who knows as above departs from this world, he penetrates his son together with the organ of speech, the mind and the vital force. Should anything be left Undone by him through any slip the son exonerates him from all that. Therefore he is called a son. The father lives in this world through the son. Divine and immortal speech, mind and vital force permeate him.
Thus the three means called the son, rite and meditation have been connected with their respective results, the three worlds. A wife, being an aid to the obtaining of a son and the performance of rites, is not a separate means, and has therefore not been separately mentioned. Wealth too, being an aid to the performance of rites, is not a separate means. It is a well-known fact that meditation and rites lead to the winning of the worlds by merely coming into existence. But one does not know how a son, not being of the nature of an activity, can help to win them. This has to be explained. Now therefore follows the entrusting. This is the name of the rite which is going to be described. It is called ‘entrusting,’ because a father in this manner entrusts his own duties to his son. When should this be done? This is being stated: When a man, a father, on account of some omen or otherwise, thinks he will die, he says to his son, calling him, ‘You are Brahman, you are the sacrīfice, and you are the world.’ The son, thus addressed, replies,‘Iam Brahman, I am the sacrifice, and I am the world.’ Having already been instructed, he knows what to do; so he says these three sentences.
Thinking the meaning of these sentences to be hidden, the Śruti proceeds to explain them. Whatever is studied has been or remains to be studied, is all unified in the word ‘Brahman.’ That is, let the study of the Vedas which so long was my duty, be’henceforth done by you, for you are Brahman. Similarly whatever sacrifices there are, that were to be performed by me, whether I have performed them or not, are all unified in the word ‘sacrifice,’ That is, let whatever sacrifices I used to perform, be henceforth performed by you, for you are the sacrifice. And whatever worlds there are, that were to be won by me, whether I have won them or not, are all unified in the word ‘world,’ Henceforth you should win them, for you are the world. From now on I entrust to you the resolve which was mine of dutifully undertaking study, sacrifices and the conquest of the worlds, and I am freed from the resolve concerning these ties of duty. All this the son accepted as it was, having been instructed to that effect.
Guessing this intention of the father, the Śruti says: All this, the whole duty of a householder, is indeed this much, viz. that he must study the Vedas, perform sacrifices and win the worlds. He, being all this, taking all this load of mine off me and putting it on himself, will protect me from this world. The past tense has been used in the sense of the future, there being no restriction about tense in the Vedas. Because a son who is thus trained will free his father from this world, i.e. from the tieá of duty on earth, therefore Brāhmaṇas speak of an educated son as being conducive to the world for his father. Hence a father teaches his son, hoping he will be conducive to his attainment of the world. When a father who knows as above, who has entrusted his resolve about his duties to his son, departs from this world,,he penetrates or pervades his son together with the organ of speech, the mind and the vital force, which are under consideration. Owing to the cessation of the cause (false notion etc.) which limited them to the body, the father’s organ of speech, mind and vital force pervade everything in their cosmic form as the earth, fire and so on, like the light of a lamp within a jar when the latter is broken. The father too pervades everything along with them, for he is identified with the organ of speech, the mind and the vital force. He thinks, I am the infinite organ of speech, mind and vital force, whose manifestations have various aspects such as that relating to the body.’ Therefore it has been rightly said, ‘He penetrates his son together with the organ of speech, the mind and the vital force,’ for he follows these. He becomes the self of all including the son. The idea is this: A father who has a son instructed in this wāy remains in this very world as that son; that is, he should not be considered to be dead. Witness another Śruti, ‘This other self of his is his substitute for the performance of meritorious rites’ (Ai. IV. 4, adapted).
Now the derivation of the word ‘Putra’ (son) is being given: Should anything, any dúty, be left undone by him, the father, through any slip or slight omission in the middle, the son exonerates him from all that unfulfilled duty of his standing as an obstacle to his attainment of the world, by fulfilling it himself. Therefore, because he saves his father by fulfilling his duties, he is called a son. This is the derivative meaning of the word ‘Putra’—one who ‘saves’ the father by ‘completing’ his omissions. The father although dead, is immortal and lives in this world through such a son. Thus he wins this world of men through his son. The world of the Manes and that of the gods are not won in that way, but simply by the fact of existence of meditation and rites. These help to attain the worlds not by undertaking some other activity like the son, but by simply coming into existence. Divine and immortal speech, mind and vital force, those pertaining to Hiraṇyagarbha, permeate him, this father who has entrusted his duties to his son.