23. On account of the term, the one measured.
We read in the Kathavallî 'The Person of the size of a thumb stands in the middle of the Self, as lord of the past and the future, and henceforward fears no more'; 'That Person of the size of a thumb is like a light without smoke,' &c. (Ka. Up. II, 4, 1; 13). And 'The Person not larger than a thumb, the inner Self, is always settled in the heart of men' (Ka. Up. II, 6, 17). A doubt here arises whether the being measured by the extent of a span be the individual soul or the highest Self.--The Pûrvapakshin maintains the former view; for, he says, another scriptural text also declares the individual soul to have that measure,
[paragraph continues] 'the ruler of the vital airs moves through his own works, of the size of a thumb, brilliant like the sun, endowed with purposes and egoity' (Svet. Up. V, 7; 8). Moreover, the highest Self is not anywhere else, not even for the purpose of meditation, represented as having the size of a thumb. It thus being determined that the being of the length of a thumb is the individual Self, we understand the term 'Lord,' which is applied to it, as meaning that it is the Lord of the body, the sense-organs, the objects and the instruments of fruition.--Of this view the Sûtra disposes, maintaining that the being a thumb long can be none but the highest Self, just on account of that term. For lordship over all things past and future cannot possibly belong to the individual Self, which is under the power of karman.--But how can the highest Self be said to have the measure of a thumb?--On this point the next Sûtra satisfies us.