1. In obtaining another of that, it goes enveloped, (as appears) from question and explanation.
That the Vedânta-texts establish as the proper object of meditation, on the part of all men desirous of Release, the highest Brahman, which is the only cause of the entire world, which is not touched by even a shadow of imperfection, which is an ocean, as it were, of supremely exalted qualities, and which totally differs in nature from all other beings--this is the point proved in the two previous adhyâyas; there being given at the same time arguments to disprove the objections raised against the Vedânta doctrine on the basis of Smriti and reasoning, to refute the views held by other schools, to show that the different Vedânta-texts do not contradict each other, and to prove that the Self is the object of activities (enjoined in injunctions of meditation, and so on). In short, those two adhyâyas have set forth the essential nature of Brahman. The subsequent part of the work now makes it its task to enquire into the mode of attaining to Brahman, together with the means of attainment. The third adhyâya is concerned with an enquiry into meditation--which is the means of attaining to Brahman; and as the motive for entering on such meditation is supplied by the absence of all desire for what is other than the thing to be obtained, and by the desire for that thing, the points first to be enquired into are the imperfections of the individual soul--moving about in the different worlds, whether waking or dreaming or merged in dreamless sleep, or in the state of swoon; and those blessed characteristics by which Brahman is raised above all these imperfections. These are the topics of the first and second pâdas of the adhyâya.
The first question to be considered is whether the soul,
when moving from one body into another, is enveloped by those subtle rudiments of the elements from which the new body is produced, or not. The Pûrvapakshin maintains the latter alternative; for, he says, wherever the soul goes it can easily provide itself there with those rudiments. Other reasons supporting this primâ facie view will be mentioned and refuted further on.--The Sûtra states the view finally accepted, 'In obtaining another "of that" it goes enveloped.' The 'of that' refers back to the form, i.e. body, mentioned in II, 4, 17. The soul when moving towards another embodiment goes enveloped by the rudiments of the elements. This is known 'from question and explanation,' i.e. answer. Question and answer are recorded in the 'Knowledge of the five fires' (Kh. Up. V, 3-10), where Pravâhana, after having addressed to Svetaketu several other questions, finally asks 'Do you know why in the fifth libation water is called man?' In answer to this last question the text then explains how the Devas, i.e. the prânas attached to the soul, offer into the heavenly world, imagined as a sacrificial fire, the oblation called sraddhâ; how this sraddhâ changes itself into a body con sisting of amrita, which body is called moon; how the same prânas offer this body of amrita in Parganya, imagined as a fire, whereupon the body so offered becomes rain; how the same prânas throw that rain on to the earth, also imagined as a sacrificial fire, whereupon it becomes food; how this food is then offered into man, also compared to fire, where it becomes seed; and how, finally, this seed is offered into woman, also compared to a fire, and there becomes an embryo. The text then goes on, 'Thus in the fifth oblation water becomes purushavakas,' i.e. to be designated by the term man. And this means that the water which, in a subtle form, was throughout present in the previous oblations also, now, in that fifth oblation, assumes the form of a man.--From this question and answer it thus appears that the soul moves towards a new embodiment, together with the subtle rudiments from which the new body springs.--But the words, 'water becomes purushavakas,' only intimate that water assumes
the form of a man, whence we conclude that water only invests the soul during its wanderings; how then can it be held that the soul moves invested by the rudiments of all elements?--To this question the next Sûtra replies.