याज्ञवल्क्य किंज्योतिरयं पुरुष इति; आदित्यज्योतिः सम्राडिति होवाच, आदित्येनैवायं ज्योतिषास्ते पल्ययते कर्म कुरुते विपल्येतीति; एवमेवैतद्याज्ञवल्क्य ॥ २ ॥
yājñavalkya kiṃjyotirayaṃ puruṣa iti; ādityajyotiḥ samrāḍiti hovāca, ādityenaivāyaṃ jyotiṣāste palyayate karma kurute vipalyetīti; evamevaitadyājñavalkya || 2 ||
2. ‘Yājñavalkya, what serves as the light for a man?’ ‘The light of the sun, O Emperor,’ said Yājñavalkya, ‘it is through the light of the sun that he sits, goes out, works and returns.’ ‘Just so, Yājñavalkya.’
Yājñavalkya —Janaka addresses him by name to draw his attention —what serves as the light for a man, which he uses in his everyday life? The question is about the ordinary man, with head, hands, etc., identifying himself with the body and organs. Does he use a light extraneous to his body, which is made up of parts, or does some light included in this aggregate of parts serve the purpose of a light for him? This is the question.
Question: What difference does it make if he uses a light extraneous to his body or one forming a part of it?
Reply: Listen. If it is decided that he by his very nature has to use a light extraneous to his body, then with regard to the effects of a light that is invisible we shall infer that they are also due to an extraneous light. If, on the other hand, he acts through a light not extraneous to the body, but part and parcel of himself, then, where the effects of a light are visible, although the light itself is invisible, we can infer that the light in question must be an inner one. If, however, there is no restriction as to whether the light which a person uses is within or without himself, then there is no decision on the matter of the light. Thinking thus Janaka asks Yājñavalkya. ‘What is the light for a man?’
Objection: Well, if Janaka is so clever at reasoning, what is the use of his asking questions? Why does he not decide it for himself?
Reply: True, but here the thing to be inferred, the grounds of inference, and their various relations are so subtle that they are considered a puzzle even for a number of scholars, not to speak of one. It is for this reason that in deciding subtle religious matters deliberation by a conference is sought. A good deal also depends upon individual qualifications. A conference may accordingly consist of ten persons, or three, or one. Therefore, though the Emperor ist skilled in reasoning, yet it is quite proper for him to ask Yājñavalkya, because people may have varying capacities for understanding. Or it may be that the Śruti itself teaches us through the garb of a story, by setting forth a mode of reasoning in conformity with our ways of thinking.
Yājñavalkya too, knowing Janaka’s intention, desired to teach him about the light of the self that is other than the body, and took up a ground of inference that would establish this extracorporeal light. For instance, he said, ‘The light of the well-known sun, O Emperor.’ How? ‘It is through the light of the sun, which is outside his body and helps the function of the eyes, that the ordinary man sits, goes out to the field or forest, and going there works and returns the way he went.’ The use of many specifications is to indicate that the light is well known to be essentially different from the body; and the citing of many external lights is to show that the ground of inference is unfailing. ‘Just so, Yājñavalkya.’