There is one director 1; there is no second director. I speak concerning him who abides in the heart. This being, the director, dwells in the heart and directs (all creatures). Impelled by that same (being), I move as I am ordered, like water on a declivity. There is one instructor; there is no second (different) from him. I speak concerning him who abides in the heart. Taught by that instructor, all snakes whatever are ever hated in the world 2. There is one kinsman; there is no second (different) from him. I speak concerning him who abides in the heart. Taught by him kinsmen are possessed of kinsmen 3, (and) the seven Rishis, O son of Prithâ 4! shine in heaven 5. There
is one hearer 1; there is no second (different) from him. I speak concerning him who abides in the heart. Living under that instructor, (according to the proper mode of) living with an instructor, Sakra 2 acquired immortality in all worlds. There is one enemy; there is no second (different) from him. I speak concerning him who abides in the heart. Taught by that instructor, all snakes whatever are ever hated in the world 3. On this, too, they relate an ancient story, (about the) instruction of the snakes, and the gods, and sages, by Pragâpati. The gods, and sages, and the snakes, and the demons, approaching Pragâpati, said (to him): 'Tell us the highest good.' To them who were inquiring about the highest good, the venerable one said, 'Om 4, the Brahman, in a single syllable.' Hearing that, they ran away in (various) directions 5. When they were running. for instruction regarding the self, the inclination of the snakes to biting had been already formed. The natural inclination of the demons towards ostentatiousness had been formed. The gods had been engaged in gifts, and the great sages in restraint of the senses. Having had one teacher,
and having been instructed with one word, the snakes, the gods, the sages, and the demons, all engaged in different 1 (pursuits). One hears what is said (to one) and apprehends it duly; (but even) to one who inquires and extols highly, there is no other instructor 2. And by his counsel does action afterwards take place. The instructor, the learner, the hearer, and the enemy, are always within the heart. Acting sinfully in the world, he becomes (a man of) sinful conduct. Acting virtuously in the world he becomes .(a man of) virtuous conduct 3. And he becomes a man of conduct according to his own desire 4, who, owing to his desires, is given up to the pleasures of the senses. But he who, casting aside vows 5 and actions, merely adheres to the Brahman, he moving about in the world identifying himself with the Brahman, becomes a Brahmakârin. To him the Brahman itself is the fuel, the Brahman the fire, the Brahman his origin, the Brahman water, the Brahman the instructor. He is rapt in the
Brahman 1. Such is this subtle life as a Brahmakârin understood by the wise. Understanding it they practised it, being instructed by the Kshetragña 2.
281:1 I. e. the Supreme Being, Arguna Misra. Nîlakantha connects this with the preceding chapter by saying that this describes Nârâyana, who is there mentioned. See Sânti Parvan (Moksha Dharma), Chap. 226, st. 8 (Bombay ed.)
281:2 The natural feelings of animosity are caused by the Supreme Being within. Such seems to be the meaning. Cf. Gîtâ, pp. 128, 129. I may remark that Arguna Misra seems to interpret the original words, which we have rendered by 'I speak concerning him,' &c., to mean 'I repeat what has been said by,' &c. This does not seem to me to be satisfactory; and it may be added, too, that Arguna Misra's interpretation appears in his gloss not on the first verse, about the 'director,' but only on the second, about the instructor.' Hated = full of animosity, Nîlakantha.
281:3 I. e. the feeling of kinsmanship arises from his inspiration.
281:4 The poet seems to be nodding here, as this expression cannot form part of the Brâhmana's speech to his wife.
281:5 The seven sages are always mentioned together, and may well be spoken of as types of the feeling of kinship.
282:1 Nîlakantha takes this to mean pupil, but it is difficult to reconcile that with the rest of the passage. Arguna Misra renders it by 'the destroyer of every one's doubts.' For that, it will be necessary to take the word as a form of the causative, and not the simple root sru, to hear. But see, too, p. 283, 'the instructor . . . the hearer.'
282:2 Cf. Sanatsugâtîya, p. 152, note 1.
282:3 The words here are nearly the same as before; the commentators give no explanation of the repetition. But see p. 281, note 2.
282:4 Cf. Gîtâ, p. 79. The full sense is that from the study of this Om the highest good is attained.
282:5 I. e. to their own dwellings, believing that they had learnt what they wanted.
283:1 The meaning seems to be that the original inclination was not altered by the new instruction received by them. Nîlakantha seems to understand the passage differently. What has been rendered in the text by 'when they were running for instruction,' he renders by 'when they were practically carrying out the instruction received by them;' but this rendering seems to omit all consideration of the words 'Pûrvameva tu'--already. Though, therefore, there are one or two circumstances in favour of this construction, I have adopted the other. Cf. Brihadâranyaka, p. 964.
283:2 The meaning is that the real instructor is within oneself, 'abiding in the heart,' as said before, although instruction may in form be received from one outside, of whom one seeks to learn, and whom one respects (or extols highly, as the text has it), and although such instruction may be well apprehended.
283:3 Cf. Brihadâranyaka, pp. 546-853.
283:4 See Gîtâ, p. 117.
283:5 I. e. fasts and other like observances.