कस्मिन्नु त्वं चात्मा च प्रतिष्ठितौ स्थ इति; प्राण इति; कस्मिन्नु प्राणः प्रतिष्ठित इति; अपान इति; कस्मिन्न्वपानः प्रतिष्ठित इति; व्यान इति; कस्मिन्नु व्यानः प्रतिष्ठित इति; उदान इति; कस्मिन्नूदानः प्रतिष्ठित इति; समान इति; स एष नेति नेत्यात्मा, अगृह्यो नहि गृह्यते, अशीर्यो न हि शीर्यते, असङ्गो नहि सज्यते, असितो न व्यथते, न रिष्यति । एतान्यष्टावायतनानि, अष्टौ लोकाः, अष्टौ देवाः, अष्टौ पुरुषाः; स यस्तान्पुरुषान्निरुह्य प्रत्युह्यात्यक्रामत्, तं त्वौपनिषदं पुरुषं पृच्छामि; तं चेन्मे न विवक्श्यसि, मूर्धा ते विपतिष्यतीति । तं ह न मेने शाकल्यः; तस्य ह मूर्धा विपपात, अपि हास्य परिमोषिणोऽस्थीन्यपजह्रुरन्यन्मन्यमानाः ॥ २६ ॥
kasminnu tvaṃ cātmā ca pratiṣṭhitau stha iti; prāṇa iti; kasminnu prāṇaḥ pratiṣṭhita iti; apāna iti; kasminnvapānaḥ pratiṣṭhita iti; vyāna iti; kasminnu vyānaḥ pratiṣṭhita iti; udāna iti; kasminnūdānaḥ pratiṣṭhita iti; samāna iti; sa eṣa neti netyātmā, agṛhyo nahi gṛhyate, aśīryo na hi śīryate, asaṅgo nahi sajyate, asito na vyathate, na riṣyati | etānyaṣṭāvāyatanāni, aṣṭau lokāḥ, aṣṭau devāḥ, aṣṭau puruṣāḥ; sa yastānpuruṣānniruhya pratyuhyātyakrāmat, taṃ tvaupaniṣadaṃ puruṣaṃ pṛcchāmi; taṃ cenme na vivakśyasi, mūrdhā te vipatiṣyatīti | taṃ ha na mene śākalyaḥ; tasya ha mūrdhā vipapāta, api hāsya parimoṣiṇo’sthīnyapajahruranyanmanyamānāḥ || 26 ||
26. ‘On what do the body and the heart rest?’ ‘On the Prāṇa.’ ‘On what does the Prāṇa rest?’ ‘On the Apāna.’ ‘On what does the Apāna rest?’ ‘On the Vyāna.’ ‘On what does the Vyāna rest?’ ‘On the Udāna.’ ‘On what does the Udāna rest?’ ‘On the Samāna.’ This self is That which has been described as ‘Not this, not this.’ It is imperceptible, for It is never perceived; undecaying, for It never decays; unattached, for It is never attached; unfettered—It never feels pain, and never suffers injury. ‘These are the eight abodes, the eight instruments of vision, the eight deities and the eight beings. I ask you of that Being who is to be known only from the Upaniṣads, who definitely projects those beings and (again) withdraws them into Himself, and who is at the same time transcendent. If you cannot clearly tell me of Him, your head shall fall off.’ Śākalya did not know Him; his head fell off; and robbers snatched away his bones, mistaking them for something else.
‘You have stated that the body and the heart—the effect and the instrument—rest on each other. I therefore ask you: Onwhat do the body and the heart rest?’ ‘On thePrāna’: The body and the mind rest on the force called Prāṇa. ‘On what does the Prāna rest?’ ‘On the Apāna’: That force called Prāṇa would go out (through the mouth and nostrils), were it not held back by the force called Apāna. ‘On what does the Apāna rest?’ ‘On the Vyāna’: That force called Apāna would also depart (through the lower orifice) as the Prāṇa would (through the mouth and nostrils), were they not both held back by the force called Vyāna, which occupies an intermediate position. ‘On what does the Vyāna rest?’ ‘On the Udāna’: All the three forces would go out in all directions, were they not fixed, as to a post, to the Udāna. ‘On what does the Udāna rest?’ ‘On the Samāna,’ for all these forces rest on the Samāna. The idea is this: The body, mind and the vital forces are interdependent and work together as an orderly aggregate, dominated by the purpose of the individual self. Now that transcendent Brahman, which is immediate and direct, by which all these up to the ether are regulated, on which they rest, and by which they are pervaded, has to be described. Hence the text goes on:
This self is That which has been described in the Madhukānda as ‘Not this, not this’ (II. iii. 6). It is imperceptible, not perceivable. How? Because It is beyond the characteristics of effects, therefore It is imperceptible. Why? For It is never perceived. Only a differentiated object, which is within the range of the organs, can be perceived; but the Self is the opposite of that. Similarly undecaying. What is gross and made up of parts decays, as for instance the body; but the Self is the opposite of that; hence It never decays. Likewise unattached. A gross object, being related to another gross object, is attached to it; but the Self is the opposite of that; hence It is never attached. Similarly unfettered, or free. Whatever is gross becomes bound; but It, being the opposite of that, is free, and for that reason never feels pain. Hence also It never suffers injury. Being beyond such characteristics of effects as perception, decay, attachment and bondage. It never suffers injury, in other words, is never destroyed.
The Śruti, out of eagerness, has set aside the order (of the dialogue), stepped out of the story and described in its own form the Being who is to be known only from the Upaniṣads. Then it resumes the garb of the story and savs (through Yājñavalkya): These are the eight abodes, described above (in paragraphs io to 17) in the words. ‘Whose abode is the earth,’ etc.; the eight instruments of vision, fire etc.; the eight deities, referred to in, ‘“Nectar (chyle),” said he,’ etc. (par. 10); the eight beings, mentioned in, ‘The being who is identified with the body’ (Ibid.), etc. I ask you, who are proud of your learning, of that Being devoid of hunger etc. who is to be known only from the Upaniṣads, and through no other means of knowledge, who definitely projects those beings, those identified with the body etc., divided into eight groups of four items each, so as to constitute the universe as it is, and (again) withdraws them through the east etc. into Himself, i.e. into the heart (mind), and who is at the same time transcendent, beyond the attributes of the limiting adjuncts such as identification with the heart. If you cannot clearly tell me of Him, your head shall fall off, said Yājñavalkya. Śākalya did not know that Being who is to be known only from the Upaniṣads; his head fell off. The story is ended. ‘Śākalya did not know Him,’ etc., is the narration of the Śruti.
Further, robbers snatched away even his bones as they were being carried to his home by his disciples for the funeral rites—why?—mistaking them for something else, viz. treasure under transport. A previous anecdote is here referred to. In (Book XI of the Śatapatha Brāhmaṇa entitled) the Aṣṭādhyāī there occurs a dialogue between Yājñavalkya and Śākalya with a similar ending. There Yājñavalkya gave a curse: ‘“You shall die in an unholy place at an inauspicious time, and even your bones shall not reach home.” He died exactly like that; and robbers seized his bones too, mistaking them for something else’ (Ś. XI. vi. 3. 11). The moral of the story is that one should not be disrespectful, but rather obedient to a true knower of Brahman. That story is here referred to in order to teach conduct and also to extol the knowledge of Brahman.
How can that Brahman which has been indicated as ‘Not this, not this’ by the elimination of everything else, be positively indicated? In order to answer this, as also to state the cause of the universe, the Śruti again resorts to the story. The point of the story is that one should take away cattle by defeating Vedic scholars who do not truly know Brahman. In view of the customary procedure Yājñavalkya said: