प्राणोऽपानो व्यान इत्यष्टावक्शराणि; अष्टाक्शरं ह वा एकं गायत्र्यै पदम्; एतदु हैवास्या एतत्; स यावदिदं प्राणि तावद्ध जयति योऽस्या एतदेवं पदं वेद; अथास्या एतदेव तुरीयं दर्शतं पदं परोरजा य एष तपति; यद्वै चतुर्थं तत्तुरीयम्; दर्शतं पदमिति ददृश इव ह्येष; परोरजा इति सर्वमु ह्येवैष रज उपर्युपरि तपति; एवं हैव श्रिया यशसा तपति योऽस्या एतदेवं पदं वेद ॥ ३ ॥
prāṇo’pāno vyāna ityaṣṭāvakśarāṇi; aṣṭākśaraṃ ha vā ekaṃ gāyatryai padam; etadu haivāsyā etat; sa yāvadidaṃ prāṇi tāvaddha jayati yo’syā etadevaṃ padaṃ veda; athāsyā etadeva turīyaṃ darśataṃ padaṃ parorajā ya eṣa tapati; yadvai caturthaṃ tatturīyam; darśataṃ padamiti dadṛśa iva hyeṣa; parorajā iti sarvamu hyevaiṣa raja uparyupari tapati; evaṃ haiva śriyā yaśasā tapati yo’syā etadevaṃ padaṃ veda || 3 ||
3. ‘Prāṇa,’ ‘Apāna’ and ‘Vyāna’ make eight syllables, and the third foot of the Gāyatrī has eight syllables. So the above three forms of the vital force constitute the third foot of the Gāyatri. He who knows the third foot of the Gāyatrī to be such wins all the living beings that are in the universe. Now its Turīya, apparently visible, supramundane foot is indeed this—the sun that shines. ‘Turīya’ means the fourth. ‘Apparently visible foot,’ because he is seen, as it were. ‘Supramundane,’ because he shines on the whole universe as its overlord. He who knows the fourth foot of the Gāyatrī to be such shines in the same way with splendour and fame.
Similarly ‘Prāṇa,’ ‘Apāna’ and ‘Vyāna,’ these names of the vital force etc., have also eight syllables, and they constitute the third foot of the Gāyatrī. He who knows the third foot of the Gāyatrī to be such wins all the living beings that are in the universe. The Gāyatrī, as consisting of words, has only three feet. Now its fourth foot, which is the import of the verse, is being described: Now the Turīya apparently visible, supramundane foot of that Gāyatri is indeed this, viz. the sun that shines. The Śruti itself explains the meaning of the words in the above passage. The word ‘Turīya’ means what is generally known as the fourth. What is the meaning of the words ‘apparently visible foot’? This is being answered: Because he, the being who is in the solar orb, is seen, as it were; hence he is so described. What is the meaning of the word ‘supramundane’? This is being explained: Because he, this being in the solar orb, shines on the whole universe as its overlord. The word ‘Rajas’ means the universe produced out of Rajas, or activity. The word ‘upari’ (lit. above) has been repeated twice to indicate his suzerainty over the whole universe. It may be urged that since the word ‘whole’ serves that purpose, it is useless to repeat the word ‘upari.’ The answer to this is that it is all right, because the word ‘whole’ may be taken to refer only to those worlds above which the sun is observed to shine, and the repetition of the word ‘upari’ removes this possibility. As another Śruti says, ‘He rules the worlds that are beyond the sun and commands the enjoyments of the gods as well’ (Ch. I. vi. 8). Therefore the repetition serves to include all. As the sun shines with splendour, in the form of suzerainty and fame, so he who knows the fourth, apparently visible foot of the Gāyatrī to he such shines with splendour and fame.