एतद्ध वै तज्जनको वैदेहो बुडिलमाश्वतराश्विमुवाच, यन्नु हो तद्गायत्रीविदब्रूथा अथ कथं हस्तीभूतो वहसीति; मुखं ह्यस्याः सम्राण्न विदांचकारेति होवाच; तस्या अग्निरेव मुखम्, यदि ह वा अपि बह्विवाग्नावभ्यादधति, सर्वमेव तत्संदहति; एवं हैवैवंविद्यद्यपि बह्विव पापं कुरुते, सर्वमेव तत्संप्साय शुद्धः पूतोऽजरोऽमृतः संभवति ॥ ८ ॥
इति चतुर्दशं ब्राह्मणम् ॥
etaddha vai tajjanako vaideho buḍilamāśvatarāśvimuvāca, yannu ho tadgāyatrīvidabrūthā atha kathaṃ hastībhūto vahasīti; mukhaṃ hyasyāḥ samrāṇna vidāṃcakāreti hovāca; tasyā agnireva mukham, yadi ha vā api bahvivāgnāvabhyādadhati, sarvameva tatsaṃdahati; evaṃ haivaivaṃvidyadyapi bahviva pāpaṃ kurute, sarvameva tatsaṃpsāya śuddhaḥ pūto’jaro’mṛtaḥ saṃbhavati || 8 ||
iti caturdaśaṃ brāhmaṇam ||
8. On this Janaka, Emperor of Videha, is said to have told Buḍila, the son of Aśvatarāśva, ‘Well, you gave yourself out as a knower of the Gāyatrī; then why, alas, are you carrying (me) as an elephant?’ He replied, ‘Because I did not know its mouth, O Emperor.’ ‘Fire is its mouth. Even if they put a large quantity of fuel into the fire, it is all burnt up. Similarly, even if one who knows as above commits a great many sins, he consumes them all and becomes pure, cleansed, undecaying and immortal.’
In order to enjoin the mouth of the Gāyatrī an eulogistic story is being narrated in this paragraph.—The particles ‘ha’ and ‘vai’ refer to a past incident.—On this subject of the knowledge of the Gāyatrī, Janaka, Emperor of Videha, is said to have told Buḍila, the son of Aśvatarāśva, ‘Well, you gave yourself out as a knower of the Gāyatrī—said you were one—then why are you acting contrary to that statement? If you really were a knower of the Gāyatrī, then why, alas, as a result of your sin in accepting gifts, are you carrying (me) as an elephant?’—The adverb ‘nu’ indicates deliberation.—Thus reminded by the Emperor, he replied, ‘Because I did not know its mouth, O Emperor. My knowledge of the Gāyatrī, being deficient in one part, has been fruitless.’ (The Emperor said), ‘Listen then, fire is its mouth. Even if they, common people, put a large quantity of fuel into the fire, it, that fuel, is all burnt up. Similarly, even if one who knows as above, that fire is the mouth of the Gāyatrī—who himself is identified with the Gāyatri and has fire as his mouth—commits a great many sins such as those due to the acceptance of gifts etc., he consumes all those sins and becomes pure like the fire, cleansed of those sins due to the acceptance of gifts etc., undecaying and immortal,’ because he is identified with the Gāyatri.