Ninth Brahmana

1. Then Vidagdha Sakalya asked him: “How many gods are there, O Yagnavalkya?” He replied with this very Nivid: “As many as are mentioned in the Nivid of the hymn of praise addressed to the Visvedevas, viz. three and three hundred, three and three thousand.

Yes,” he said, and asked again: “How many gods are there really, O Yagnavalkya?

Thirty-three,” he said.

Yes,” he said, and asked again “How many gods are there really, O Yagnavalkya?

Six,” he said.

Yes,” he said, and asked again: “How many gods are there really, O Yagnavalkya?

Three,” he said.

Yes,” he said, and asked again: “How many gods are there really, O Yagnavalkya?

Two,” he said.

Yes,” he said, and asked again: “How many gods are there really, O Yagnavalkya?

One and a half (adhyardha),” he said.

Yes,” he said, and asked again: “How many gods are there really, O Yagnavalkya?

One,” he said.

Yes,” he said, and asked: “Who are these three and three hundred, three and three thousand?

2. Yagnavalkya replied: “They are only the various powers of them, in reality there are only thirty-three gods.

He asked: “Who are those thirty-three?

Yagnavalkya replied: “The eight Vasus,the eleven Rudras, the twelve Adityas. They make thirty-one, and Indra and Pragâpati make the thirty-three.

3. He asked: “Who are the Vasus.

Yagnavalkya replied: “Agni (fire), Prithivi (earth), Vayu (air), Antariksha (sky), Aditya (sun), Dyu (heaven), Kandramas (moon), the Nakshatras (stars), these are the Vasus, for in them all that dwells (this world) rests; and therefore they are called Vasus.

4. He asked: “Who are the Rudras?

Yagnavalkya replied: “These ten vital breaths (prânas, the senses, i.e. the five gnanendriyas, and the five karmendriyas), and Atman, as the eleventh. When they depart from this mortal body, they make us cry (rodayanti), and because they make us cry, they are called Rudras.

5. He asked: “Who are the Adityas?

Yagnavalkya replied: “The twelve months of the year, and they are Adityas, because they move along (yanti), taking up everything (adadanah). Because they move along, taking up everything, therefore they are called Adityas.

6. He asked: “And who is Indra, and who is Pragâpati?

Yagnavalkya replied: “Indra is thunder, Pragâpati is the sacrifice.

He asked: “And what is the thunder?

Yagnavalkya replied: “The thunderbolt.

He asked: “And what is the sacrifice?

Yagnavalkya replied: “The (sacrificial) animals.

7. He asked: “Who are the six?

Yagnavalkya replied: “Agni (fire), Prithivi (earth), Vayu (air), Antariksha (sky), Aditya (sun), Dyu (heaven), they are the six, for they are all this, the six.

8. He asked: “Who are the three gods?

Yagnavalkya replied: “These three worlds, for in them all these gods exist.

He asked: “Who are the two gods?

Yagnavalkya replied: “Food and breath.

He asked: “Who is the one god and a half?

Yagnavalkya replied: “He that blows.

9. Here they say: “How is it that he who blows like one only, should be called one and a half (adhyardha)?” And the answer is: “Because, when the wind was blowing, everything grew (adhyardhnot).

He asked: “Who is the one god?

Yagnavalkya replied: “Breath (prâna), and he is Brahman (the Sutratman), and they call him That (tyad).

10. Sakalya said: “Whosoever knows that person (or god) whose dwelling (body) is the earth, whose sight (world) is fire, whose mind is light—the principle of every (living) self, he indeed is a teacher, O Yagnavalkya.

Yagnavalkya said: “I know that person, the principle of every self, of whom thou speakest. This corporeal (material, earthy) person, ‘he is he.’ But tell me, Sakalya, who is his devata (deity)?

Sakalya replied: “The Immortal.

11. Sakalya said: “Whosoever knows that person whose dwelling is love (a body capable of sensual love), whose sight is the heart, whose mind is light,the principle of every self, he indeed is a teacher, O Yagnavalkya.

Yagnavalkya replied: “I know that person, the principle of every self, of whom thou speakest. This love-made (loving) person, he is he." But tell me, Sakalya, who is his devata?

Sakalya replied: “The women.

12. Sakalya said: “Whosoever knows that person whose dwelling are the colours, whose sight is the eye, whose mind is light—the principle of every self, he indeed is a teacher, O Yagnavalkya.

Yagnavalkya replied: “I know that person, the principle of every self, of whom thou speakest. That person in the sun, he is he." But tell me, Sakalya, who is his devata?

Sakalya replied: “The True.

13. Sakalya said: “Whosoever knows that person whose dwelling is ether, whose sight is the ear, whose mind is light—the principle of every self, he indeed is a teacher, O Yagnavalkya.

Yagnavalkya replied: “I know that person, the principle of every self, of whom thou speakest. The person who hears and answers, ‘he is he.’ But tell me, Sakalya, who is his devata?

Sakalya replied: “Space.

14. Sakalya said: “Whosoever knows that person whose dwelling is darkness, whose sight is the heart, whose mind is light—the principle of every self, he indeed is a teacher, O Yagnavalkya.

Yagnavalkya replied: “I know that person, the principle of every self, of whom thou speakest. The shadowy person, he is he." But tell me, Sakalya, who is his devata?

Sakalya replied: “Death.

15. Sakalya said: “Whosoever knows that person whose dwelling are (bright) colours, whose sight is the eye, whose mind is light—the principle of every self, he indeed is a teacher, O Yagnavalkya.

Yagnavalkya replied: “I know that person, the principle of every self, of whom thou speakest. The person in the looking-glass, ‘he is he.’ But tell me, Sakalya, who is his devata?

Sakalya replied: “Vital breath” (asu).

16. Sakalya said: “Whosoever knows that person whose dwelling is water, whose sight is the heart, whose mind is light—the principle of every self, he indeed is a teacher, O Yagnavalkya.

Yagnavalkya replied: “I know that person, the principle of every self, of whom thou speakest. The person in the water, ‘he is he.’ But tell me, Sakalya, who is his devata?

Sakalya replied: “Varuna.

17. Sakalya said: “Whosoever knows that person whose dwelling is seed, whose sight is the heart, whose mind is light—the principle of every self, he indeed is a teacher, O Yagnavalkya.

Yagnavalkya replied: “I know that person, the principle of every self, of whom thou speakest. The filial person, ‘he is he.’ But tell me, Sakalya, who is his devata?

Sakalya replied: “Pragâpati.

18. Yagnavalkya said: “Sakalya, did those Brahmanas (who themselves shrank from the contest) make thee the victim?

Sakalya said: “Yagnavalkya, because thou hast decried the Brahmanas of the Kuru-Pankalas, what Brahman dost thou know?

19. Yagnavalkya said: “I know the quarters with their deities and their abodes.

Sakalya said: “If thou knowest the quarters with their deities and their abodes,

20. “Which is thy deity in the Eastern quarter?

Yagnavalkya said: “Aditya (the sun).

Sakalya said: “In what does that Aditya abide?

Yagnavalkya said: “In the eye.

Sakalya said: “In what does the eye abide?

Yagnavalkya said: “In the colours, for with the eye he sees the colours.

Sakalya said: “And in what then do the colours abide?

Yagnavalkya said: “In the heart, for we know colours by the heart, for colours abide in the heart.

Sakalya said: “So it is indeed, O Yagnavalkya.

21. Sakalya said: “Which is thy deity in the Southern quarter?

Yagnavalkya said: “Yama.

Sakalya said: “In what does that Yama abide?

Yagnavalkya said: “In the sacrifice.

Sakalya said: “In what does the sacrifice abide?

Yagnavalkya said: “In the Dakshina (the gifts to be given to the priests).

Sakalya said: “In what does the Dakshina abide?

Yagnavalkya said: “In Sraddha (faith), for if a man believes, then he gives Dakshina, and Dakshina truly abides in faith.

Sakalya said: “And in what then does faith abide?

Yagnavalkya said: “In the heart, for by the heart faith knows, and therefore faith abides in the heart.

Sakalya said: “So it is indeed, O Yagnavalkya.

22. Sakalya said: “Which is thy deity in the Western quarter?

Yagnavalkya said: “Varuna.

Sakalya said: “In what does that Varuna abide?

Yagnavalkya said: “In the water.

Sakalya said: “In what does the water abide?

Yagnavalkya said: “In the seed.

Sakalya said: “And in what does the seed abide?

Yagnavalkya said: “In the heart. And therefore also they say of a son who is like his father, that he seems as if slipt from his heart, or made from his heart; for the seed abides in the heart.

Sakalya said: “So it is indeed, O Yagnavalkya.

23. Sakalya said: “Which is thy deity in the Northern quarter?

Yagnavalkya said: “Soma.

Sakalya said: “In what does that Soma abide?

Yagnavalkya said: “In the Diksha.

Sakalya said: “In what does the Diksha abide?

Yagnavalkya said: “In the True; and therefore they say to one who has performed the Diksha, Speak what is true, for in the True indeed the Diksha abides.

Sakalya said: “And in what does the True abide?” Yagnavalkya said: “In the heart, for with the heart do we know what is true, and in the heart indeed the True abides.

Sakalya said: “So it is indeed, O Yagnavalkya.

24. Sakalya said: “Which is thy deity in the zenith?

Yagnavalkya said: “Agni.

Sakalya said: “In what does that Agni abide.

Yagnavalkya said: “In speech.

Sakalya said: “And in what does speech abide?

Yagnavalkya said: “In the heart.

Sakalya said: “And in what does the heart abide?

25. Yagnavalkya said: “O Ahallika, when you think the heart could be anywhere else away from us, if it were away from us, the dogs might eat it, or the birds tear it.

26. Sakalya said: “And in what dost thou (thy body) and the Self (thy heart) abide?

Yagnavalkya said: “In the Prâna (breath).

Sakalya said: “In what does the Prâna abide?

Yagnavalkya said: “In the Apana (down-breathing).

Sakalya said: “In what does the Apana abide?

Yagnavalkya said: “In theVyana (back-breathing).

Sakalya said: “In what does the Vyana-abide?

Yagnavalkya said: “In the Udana (the out-breathing).

Sakalya said: “In what does the Udana abide?

Yagnavalkya said: “In the Samana. That Self (atman) is to be described by No, no! He is incomprehensible, for he cannot be (is not) comprehended; he is imperishable, for he cannot perish; he is unattached, for he does not attach himself; unfettered, he does not suffer, he does not fail.

These are the eight abodes (the earth, &c.), the eight worlds (fire, &c.), the eight gods (the immortal food, &c.), the eight persons (the corporeal, &c.) He who after dividing and uniting these persons, went beyond (the Samana), that person, taught in the Upanishads, I now ask thee (to teach me). If thou shalt not explain him to me, thy head will fall.

Sakalya did not know him, and his head fell, nay, thieves took away his bones, mistaking them for something else.

27. Then Yagnavalkya said: “Reverend Brahmanas, whosoever among you desires to do so, may now question me. Or question me, all of you. Or whosoever among you desires it, I shall question him, or I shall question all of you.

But those Brahmanas durst not (say anything).

28. Then Yagnavalkya questioned them with these Slokas:

1. “As a mighty tree in the forest, so in truth is man, his hairs are the leaves, his outer skin is the bark.

2. “From his skin flows forth blood, sap from the skin (of the tree); and thus from the wounded man comes forth blood, as from a tree that is struck.

3. “The lumps of his flesh are (in the tree) the layers of wood, the fibre is strong like the tendons. The bones are the (hard) wood within, the marrow is made like the marrow of the tree.

4. “But, while the tree, when felled, grows up again more young from the root, from what root, tell me, does a mortal grow up, after he has been felled by death?

5. “Do not say, ‘from seed,’ for seed is produced from the living; but a tree, springing from a grain, clearly rises again after death.

6. “If a tree is pulled up with the root, it will not grow again; from what root then, tell me, does a mortal grow up, after he has been felled by death?

7. “Once born, he is not born (again); for who should create him again?

Brahman, who is knowledge and bliss, he is the principle, both to him who gives gifts, and also to him who stands firm, and knows.