स होवाचाजातशत्रुः, यत्रैष एतत्सुप्तोऽभूद्य एष विज्ञानमयः पुरुषः, तदेषां प्राणानां विज्ञानेन विज्ञानमादाय य एसोऽन्तर्हृदय आकाषस्तस्मिञ्छेते; तानि यदा गृह्णात्यथ हैतत्पुरुषः स्वपिति नाम; तद्गृहीत एव प्राणो भवति, गृहीता वाक्, गृहीतं चक्षुः, गृहीतं श्रोत्रम्, गृहीतं मनः ॥ १७ ॥
sa hovācājātaśatruḥ, yatraiṣa etatsupto’bhūdya eṣa vijñānamayaḥ puruṣaḥ, tadeṣāṃ prāṇānāṃ vijñānena vijñānamādāya ya eso’ntarhṛdaya ākāṣastasmiñchete; tāni yadā gṛhṇātyatha haitatpuruṣaḥ svapiti nāma; tadgṛhīta eva prāṇo bhavati, gṛhītā vāk, gṛhītaṃ cakṣuḥ, gṛhītaṃ śrotram, gṛhītaṃ manaḥ || 17 ||
17. Ajātaśatru said, ‘When this being full of consciousness is thus asleep, it absorbs at the time the functions of the organs through its own consciousness, and lies in the Ākāśa (Supreme Self) that is in the heart. When this being absorbs them, it is called Svapiti. Then the nose is absorbed, the organ of speech is absorbed, the eye is absorbed, the ear is absorbed, and the mind is absorbed.’
Ajātaśatru, to convey his intended meaning, said: I shall answer the question I asked, viz. ‘When this being full of consciousness was thus asleep, where was it, and whence did it come?’ Listen. When this being full of consciousness is thus asleep, it absorbs at the time the functions of the organs, their capacity to perceive their respective objects, through its own consciousness, the particular manifestation in its limiting adjunct, the mind, caused by its material, ignorance, and lies in the Ākāśa that is in the heart. ‘Ākāśa’ here means the Supreme Self, which is identical with its own self. It lies in that Supreme Self, which is its own nature and transcendent; not in the ordinary ethei. for there is another Śruti in its support: ‘With Existence, my dear, it is then united’ (Ch. VI. viii. 1). The idea is that it gives up its differentiated forms, which are created by its connection with the limiting adjunct, the subtle body, and remains in its undifferentiated, natural, absolute self.
Objection: How do you know that when it gives up the superintendence over the body and organs, it lives in its own self.?
Reply: Through its name being well-known.
Objection: What is that?
Reply: When this being absorbs them, the functions of the organs, it is called Svapiti. Then this is its name that becomes widely known. And this name has reference to a certain attribute of its. It is called Svapiti, because it is merged in its own self.
Objection: True, the fact of this name being well-known tells us of the transcendent character of the self, but there are no arguments in favour of it.
Reply: There are. During sleep the nose (Prāṇa) is absorbed. ‘Prāṇa’ here means the organ of smell, for the context deals with the organs such as that of speech. It is only when it is connected with these organs that the self is seen to have relative attributes, because of those limiting adjuncts. And these organs are then absorbed by it. How? The organ of speech is absorbed, the eye is absorbed, the ear is absorbed, and the mind is absorbed. Therefore it is clear that the organs being absorbed, the self rests in its own self, for then it is no more changed into action, its factors and its results.