13. Earth on account of the subject-matter, the colour, and other texts.
That the word 'food' denotes the earth is to be inferred from the fact that the section in which the word occurs has for its subject-matter the creation of the elements; as everything eatable is a product of the earth, the term denoting the effect is there applied to denote the cause. In the same chapter, where the colour of the elements is mentioned ('The red colour of a flame is the colour of fire, the white one that of water, the black one that of food '), the collocation of words clearly shows that 'food' means something of the same kind as fire and water, viz. the elements of earth. And there are other texts also which treat of the same topic and declare the origination of earth from water, cp. Taitt. Up. II, 1, 'from fire sprang water, from water earth.' All this proves that the term 'food' denotes earth, and that hence earth originates from water.
Fire and the other substances, the origination of which has been detailed, are mentioned merely as instances, and it must be understood that also other entities, such as the 'Mahat,' and so on, originate only from the immediately preceding cause, in agreement with scriptural statements. And texts such as 'From him is born breath, mind, and all organs of sense, ether, air, light, water, and the earth, the support of all' (Mu. Up. II, 1, 3); 'From him is born that
[paragraph continues] Brahman, name, form, and food' (Mu. Up. I, 1, 9); 'From that Self there sprang ether' (Taitt. Up. II, 1, 1); 'It (i.e. that which is) sent forth fire' (Kh. Up. VI, 2, 3)--(which seems to teach the direct origination from Brahman of the different elements, and so on)--may be interpreted on the understanding of Brahman being their mediate cause also.--This primâ facie view the next Sûtra disposes of.