स यो मनूष्याणां राद्धः समृद्धो भवत्यन्येषामधिपतिः, सर्वैर्मानुष्यकैर्भोगैः सम्पन्नतमः, स मनुष्याणां परम आनन्दः; अथ ये शतं मनुष्याणामानन्दाः स एकः पितृणां जितलोकानामानन्दः; अथ ये शतं पितृणां जितलोकानामानन्दाः स एको गन्धर्वलोक आनन्दः; अथ ये शतं गन्धर्वलोक आनन्दाः स एकः कर्मदेवानामानन्दः—ये कर्मणा देवत्वमभिसम्पद्यन्ते; अथ ये शतं कर्मदेवानामानन्दाः स एक आजानदेवानामानन्दः, यश्च श्रोत्रियोऽवृजिनोऽकामहतः; अथ ये शतमाजानदेवानामानन्दाः स एकः प्रजापतिलोक आनन्दः, यश्च श्रोत्रियोऽवृजिनोऽकामहतो; अथ ये शतं प्रजापतिलोक आनन्दाः स एको ब्रह्मलोक आनन्दः, यश्च श्रोत्रियोऽवृजिनोऽकामहतः; अथैष एव परम आनन्दः, एष ब्रह्मलोकः सम्राडिति होवाच याज्ञवल्क्यः; सोऽहं भगवते सहस्रं ददामि, अत ऊर्ध्वं विमोक्शायैव ब्रूहीति; अत्र ह याज्ञवल्क्यो बिभयांचकारः, मेधावी राजा सर्वेभ्यो मान्तेभ्य उदरौत्सीदिति ॥ ३३ ॥
sa yo manūṣyāṇāṃ rāddhaḥ samṛddho bhavatyanyeṣāmadhipatiḥ, sarvairmānuṣyakairbhogaiḥ sampannatamaḥ, sa manuṣyāṇāṃ parama ānandaḥ; atha ye śataṃ manuṣyāṇāmānandāḥ sa ekaḥ pitṛṇāṃ jitalokānāmānandaḥ; atha ye śataṃ pitṛṇāṃ jitalokānāmānandāḥ sa eko gandharvaloka ānandaḥ; atha ye śataṃ gandharvaloka ānandāḥ sa ekaḥ karmadevānāmānandaḥ—ye karmaṇā devatvamabhisampadyante; atha ye śataṃ karmadevānāmānandāḥ sa eka ājānadevānāmānandaḥ, yaśca śrotriyo’vṛjino’kāmahataḥ; atha ye śatamājānadevānāmānandāḥ sa ekaḥ prajāpatiloka ānandaḥ, yaśca śrotriyo’vṛjino’kāmahato; atha ye śataṃ prajāpatiloka ānandāḥ sa eko brahmaloka ānandaḥ, yaśca śrotriyo’vṛjino’kāmahataḥ; athaiṣa eva parama ānandaḥ, eṣa brahmalokaḥ samrāḍiti hovāca yājñavalkyaḥ; so’haṃ bhagavate sahasraṃ dadāmi, ata ūrdhvaṃ vimokśāyaiva brūhīti; atra ha yājñavalkyo bibhayāṃcakāraḥ, medhāvī rājā sarvebhyo māntebhya udarautsīditi || 33 ||
33. He who is perfect of body and prosperous among men, the ruler of others, and most lavishly supplied with all human enjoyments, represents the greatest joy among men. This human joy multiplied a hundred times makes one unit of joy for the Manes who have won that world of theirs. The joy of these Manes who have won that world multiplied a hundred times makes one unit of joy in the world of the celestial minstrels. This joy in the world of the celestial minstrels multiplied a hundred times makes one unit of joy for the gods by action—those who attain their godhead by their actions. This joy of the gods by action multiplied a hundred times makes one unit of joy for the gods by birth, as well as of one who is versed in the Vedas, sinless and free from desire. This joy of the gods by birth multiplied a hundred times makes one unit of joy in the world of Prajāpati (Virāj), as well as of one who is versed in the Vedas, sinless and free from desire. This joy in the world of Prajāpati multiplied a hundred times makes one unit of joy in the world of Brahman (Hiraṇyagarbha), as well as of one who is versed in the Vedas, sinless and free from desire. This indeed is the supreme bliss. This is the state of Brahman, O Emperor, said Yājñavalkya. ‘I give you a thousand (cows), sir. Please instruct me further about liberation itself.’ At this Yājñavalkya was afraid that the intelligent Emperor was constraining him to finish with all his conclusions.
(It has been said that) all beings from Hiraṇyagarbha down to men live on particles or fractions of the supreme bliss. In order to convey an idea of this bliss as a whole through its parts, as of a rock of salt through its grains, the present paragraph is introduced. He who is perfect of body, having no physical defects, and prosperous, provided with luxuries, among men; also the ruler of others, the independent lord of people of the same class, not a mere provincial ruler; and most lavishly supplied with all. human enjoyments—the adjective ‘human’ excludes the materials of heavenly enjoyment; he is the foremost among those who possess all these human luxuries—represents (lit. is) the greatest joy among men. The identity of joy and its possessor in this sentence (‘joy’ meaning ‘enjoyer’) indicates that this joy is not different from the self. For it has been said in the passage, ‘When there is something else, as it were,’ etc. (IV. iii. 31), that the lower degrees of bliss have only emanated from the supreme bliss in the dual form of subject and object; hence it is but proper to bring out this identity in the phrase ‘greatest joy.’ Kings like Yudhiṣṭhira are examples in point. The Śruti teaches us about this supreme bliss, in which differences cease, by making a start with human joy, which we all know, and multiplying it a hundred times in successive steps. Now, where this joy increasing a hundred times at each step reaches its limit, and where mathematical differences cease, there being nothing else but the self to see, hear or think, that is the supreme bliss, and in order to describe this the text proceeds:
This human joy multiplied a hundred times makes one unit of joy for the Manes. They are qualified by the clause ‘who have won that world of theirs,’ i.e. who have pleased the Manes by the performance of obsequial rites etc., and have won their way to their world. Their measure of joy is the human joy multiplied a hundred times. That again multiplied a hundred times makes one unit of joy in the world of the celestial minstrels. That again multiplied a hundred times makes one unit of joy for the gods by action—those who attain their godhead by their actions such as the Agnihotra enjoined by the Śrutis. Similarly one unit of joy for the gods by birth, those who are gods from their very birth, as well as of one who is versed in the Vedas, sinless, i.e. doing what is prescribed by the scriptures, and free from desire for all objects below the level of the gods by birth. That his joy equals theirs is gathered from the word ‘ca’ (and) in the text. That multiplied a hundred times makes one unit of joy in the world of Prajāpati, i.e. in the body of Virāj, as well as of one who is versed in the Vedas, sinless and free from desire—this has already been explained—and who meditates on him. That multiplied a hundred times makes one unit of joy in the world of Brahman, i.e. in the body of Hiraṇyagarbha, as well as of one who, etc.—already explained. After this mathematical calculations cease.
This has been called the supreme bliss, of which the joys of the world of Hiraṇyagarbha etc. are but particles, like drops of an ocean That in which the other joys, increasing step by step in multiples of hundred, merge, and which is experienced by one versed in the Vedas, is indeed the supreme bliss called Samprasāda (that experienced in profound sleep); for in it one sees nothing else, hears nothing else (and so on). Hence it is infinite, and for that reason immortal; the other joys are the opposite of that. The Vedic erudition and sinlessness (mentioned above) are common to the other joys too. It is the difference made by the absence of desire that leads to the increase of joy a hundred times. Here it is suggested by implication that Vedic erudition, sinlessness and the absence of desire are the means of attaining the particular types of joy; as rites such as the Agnihotra are means to the attainment of godhead by the gods. Of these, the two factors, Vedic erudition and sinlessness, are common to the lower planes too; hence they are not regarded as means to the attainment of the succeeding kinds of joy. For this the absence of desire is understood to be the means, since it admits of degrees of renunciation. This supreme bliss is known to be the experience of the Vedic scholar who is free from desire. Vedavyāsa also says, ‘The sense-pleasures of this world and the great joys of heaven are not worth one-sixteenth part of the bliss that comes of the cessation of desire’ (Mbh. XII. clxxiii. 47).
This is the state of Brahman, O Emperor, said Yājñavalkya. For this instruction I give you a thousand cows, sir. Please instruct me further about liberation itself—this has been explained. At this last request Yājñavalkya was afraid—the Śruti tells us the reason of his fear: he was afraid not for his lack of ability to teach or for ignorance, but— that the intelligent Emperor was constraining him to finish with all his conclusions. ‘Whatever questions of his regarding liberation I answer, the Emperor, being intelligent, takes all to be but a part of the questions that he is at liberty to ask me, and puts me newer questions every time to answer. On the plea of asking his wished-for questions covered by the boon, he wants to possess all my knowledge’—this was the cause of Yājñavalkya’s fear.