The relation of this and the next section to the preceding one is as follows: There a Being, to be known only from the Upaniṣads, has been described as ‘Not this, not this,’ who projects eight beings, viz. the one identified with the body and the rest, and withdraws them into the heart (mind), again projects them in five forms according to the quarters and withdraws them into the heart, then unifies both heart and body, which depend on each other, in the Sūtra, the being identified with the universe, also called Samāna, with its fivefold function such as the Prāṇa, and who transcends the being identified with the universe with his three states—the body, heart and Sūtra. The same Being has been described both directly and as the material cause of the universe in the words, ‘Knowledge, Bliss,’ etc. (III. ix. 28. 7). Some more instruction about Him has to be given by a reference to the deities, that of speech and the rest. Hence this and the next section are being introduced in order to furnish another means of doing this. The story is meant to show the custom to be observed on such occasions.
ॐ । जनको ह वैदेह आसांचक्रे, अथ ह याज्ञवल्क्य आवव्राज । तं होवाच, याज्ञवल्क्य किमर्थमचारीः, पशूनिच्छन्, अण्वन्तानिति । उभयमेव सम्राडिति होवाच ॥ १ ॥
oṃ | janako ha vaideha āsāṃcakre, atha ha yājñavalkya āvavrāja | taṃ hovāca, yājñavalkya kimarthamacārīḥ, paśūnicchan, aṇvantāniti | ubhayameva samrāḍiti hovāca || 1 ||
1. Om. Janaka, Emperor of Videha, took his seat, when there came Yājñavalkya. Janaka said to him, ‘Yājñavalkya, what has brought you here? To have some animals, or to hear some subtle questions asked?’ ‘Both, O Emperor,’ said Yājñavalkya.
Janaka, Emperor of Videha, took his seat, i.e-gave audience to those who wanted to see him, when there came Yājñavalkya, either to have or maintain something of his own, or, in view of the Emperor’s desire for knowledge, to do him a favour. Offering his guest adequate worship, Janaka said to him, ‘Yājñavalkya, what has brought you here? Is it to have some more animals, or to hear some subtle questions asked — to hear from me questions on subtle subjects till decisions are arrived at?’ ‘Both animals and questions O Emperor.’ The word ‘Emperor’ indicates that Janaka must have performed the Vājapeya sacrifice. ‘Emperor’ also means one who rules over territories through his vassals, who obey his commands; or the word may mean, fRuler of all India.’