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9. The eater (is the highest Self) on account of there being taken all that is movable and immovable.

We read in the Kathavallî (I, 3, 25), 'Who then knows where he is to whom the Brahmans and Kshattriyas are but food, and death itself a condiment? 'A doubt here arises whether the 'eater', suggested by the words 'food' and 'condiment,' is the individual soul or the highest Self.--The individual soul, the Pûrvapakshin maintains; for all enjoyment presupposes works, and works belong to the individual soul only.--Of this view the Sûtra disposes. The 'eater' can be the highest Self only, because the taking, i. e. eating, of the whole aggregate of movable and immovable things can be predicated of that Self only. 'Eating' does not here mean fruition dependent on work, but rather the act of reabsorption of the world on the part of the highest Brahman, i. e. Vishnu, who is the cause of the origination, subsistence, and final destruction of the universe. This appears from the fact that Vishnu is mentioned in the same section, 'He reaches the end of his journey, and that is the highest place of Vishnu' (Ka. Up. I, 3, 9). Moreover the clause 'to whom death is a condiment' shows that by the Brahmans and Kshattriyas, mentioned in the text, we have to understand the whole universe of moving and non-moving things, viewed as things to be consumed by the highest Self. For a condiment is a thing which, while itself being eaten, causes other things to be eaten; the meaning of the passage, therefore, is that while death itself is consumed, being a condiment as it were, there is at the same time eaten whatever is flavoured or made palatable by death, and that is the entire world of beings in which the Brahmans and Kshattriyas

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hold the foremost place. Now such eating of course is destruction or reabsorption, and hence such enjoyment--meaning general reabsorption--can belong to the highest Self only.

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