55. There is pre-eminence of plenitude, as in the case of the sacrifice; for thus Scripture shows.
The sacred text (Kh. Up. V, 12 ff.) enjoins a meditation on Vaisvânara, the object of which is the highest Self, as having for its body the entire threefold world, and for its limbs the heavenly world, the sun, the wind, and so on. The doubt here arises whether separate meditations have to be performed on the highest Being in its separate aspects, or in its aggregate as well as in its distributed aspect, or in its aggregate aspect only.--In its separate aspects, the Pûrvapakshin maintains; since at the outset a meditation of that kind is declared. For on the Rishis in succession telling Asvapati the objects of their meditation, viz. the sky, the sun, and so on, Asvapati explains to them that these meditations refer to the head, eye, and so on, of the highest Being, and mentions for each of these meditations a special fruit. And the concluding explanation 'he who worships Vaisvânara as a span long, &c.,' is merely meant to gather up into one, as it were, the preceding meditations on the parts of Vaisvânara.--Another Pûrvapakshin holds that this very concluding passage enjoins a further meditation on Vaisvânara in his collective aspect, in addition to the previously enjoined meditations
on his limbs; for that passage states a separate result, 'he eats food in all worlds,' &c. Nor does this destroy the unity of the whole section. The case is analogous to that of the meditation on 'plenitude' (bhûman; Kh. Up. VII, 23). There, in the beginning, separate meditations are enjoined on name, and so on, with special results of their own; and after that a meditation is enjoined on bhûman, with a result of its own, 'He becomes a Self-ruler,' &c. The entire section really refers to the meditation on bhûman; but all the same there are admitted subordinate meditations on name, and so on, and a special result for each.--These views are set aside by the Sûtra, 'There is pre-eminence of plenitude,' i.e. there is reason to assume that Vaisvânara in his fulness, i.e. in his collective aspect, is meant; since we apprehend unity of the entire section. From the beginning of the section it is manifest that what the Rishis desire to know is the Vaisânara Self; it is that Self which Asvapati expounds to them as having the Universe for his body, and in agreement therewith the last clause of his teaching intimates that the intuition of Brahman (which is none other than the Vaisvânara Self)--which is there characterised as the food of all worlds, all beings, all Selfs--is the fruit of the meditation on Vaisvânara. This summing up proves the whole section to deal with the same subject. And on the basis of this knowledge we determine that what the text says as to meditations on the separate members of the Vaisânara Self and their special results is merely of the nature of explanatory comment (anuvâda) on parts of the meditation on the collective Self.--This decision is arrived at as in the case of the sacrifice. For to the injunction of certain sacrifices--such as 'Let a man, on the birth of a son, offer a cake on twelve potsherds to Vaisvânara'--the text similarly adds remarks on parts of the oblation, 'there is an oblation on eight potsherds,' and so on.--The meditation therefore has to be performed on the entire Vaisvânara Self only, not on its parts. This, moreover, Scripture itself intimates, in so far, namely, as declaring the evil consequences of meditation on parts of the Self only, 'your head would have
fallen off if you had not come to me'; 'you would have become blind,' and so on. This also shows that the reference to the text enjoining meditations on name, &c., proves nothing as to our passage. For there the text says nothing as to disadvantages connected with those special meditations; it only says that the meditation on plenitude (bhûman) has a more excellent result. The section, therefore, although really concerned with enjoining the meditation on the bhûman, at the same time means to declare that the special meditations also are fruitful; otherwise the meditation on the bhûman could not be recommended, for the reason that it has a more excellent result than the preceding meditations.--The conclusion, therefore, is that the text enjoins a meditation on the collective Vaisvânara Self only.--Here terminates the adhikarana of 'the pre-eminence of plenitude.'