38. Wishes and the rest, here and there; (as is known from the abode, and so on).
We read in the Khândogya (VIII, I, 1), 'There is that city of Brahman, and in it the palace, the small lotus, and in it that small ether,' &c.; and in the Vâgasaneyaka, 'He is that great unborn Self who consists of knowledge,' and so on. A doubt here arises whether the two texts constitute one meditation or not.--The two meditations are separate, the Pûrvapakshin maintains; for they have different characters. The Khândogya represents as the object of meditation the ether as distinguished by eight different attributes, viz. freedom from all evil and the rest; while, according to the Vâgasaneyaka, the being to be meditated on is he who dwells within that ether, and is distinguished by attributes such as lordship, and so on.--To this we reply that the meditations are not distinct, since there is no difference of character. For desires and so on constitute that character 'here and there,' i.e. in both texts nothing else but Brahman distinguished by attributes, such as having true wishes, and so on, forms the subject of meditation. This is known 'from the abode and so on,'
i.e. the meditation is recognised as the same because in both texts Brahman is referred to as abiding in the heart, being a bridge, and so on. Lordship and the rest, which are stated in the Vâgasaneyaka, are special aspects of the quality of being capable to realise all one's purposes, which is one of the eight qualities declared in the Khândogya, and as such prove that all the attributes going together with that quality in the Khândogya are valid for the Vâgasaneyaka also. The character of the two vidyâs therefore does not differ. The connexion with a reward also does not differ, for it consists in both cases in attaining to Brahman; cp. Kh. Up. VIII, 12,3 'Having approached the highest light he is manifested in his own form,' and Bri. Up. V, 4, 24 'He becomes indeed the fearless Brahman.' That, in the Khândogya-text, the term ether denotes the highest Brahman, has already been determined under I, 3, 14. As in the Vâgasaneyaka, on the other hand, he who abides in the ether is recognised as the highest Self, we infer that by the ether in which he abides must be understood the ether within the heart, which in the text 'within there is a little hollow space (sushira)' (Mahânâr. Up. XI, 9) is called sushira. The two meditations are therefore one. Here an objection is raised. It cannot be maintained that the attributes mentioned in the Khândogya have to be combined with those stated in the Vâgasaneyaka (lordship, rulership, &c.), since even the latter are not truly valid for the meditation. For the immediately preceding passage, 'By the mind it is to be perceived that there is here no plurality: from death to death goes he who sees here any plurality; as one only is to be seen that eternal being, not to be proved by any means of proof,' as well as the subsequent text, 'that Self is to be described by No, no,' shows that the Brahman to be meditated upon is to be viewed as devoid of attributes; and from this we infer that the attributes of lordship and so on, no less than the qualities of grossness and the like, have to be denied of Brahman. From this again we infer that in the Khândogya also the attributes of satyakâmatva and so on are not meant to be declared as Brahman's true qualities. All such qualities--
as not being real qualities of Brahman--have therefore to be omitted in meditations aiming at final release.--This objection the next Sûtra disposes of.