तदाहुः, यत् ‘ब्रह्मविद्यया सर्वम् भविष्यन्तः मनुष्या मन्यन्ते, किमु तद्ब्रह्मावेद्यस्मात्तत्सर्वमभवदिति ॥ ९ ॥
tadāhuḥ, yat ‘brahmavidyayā sarvam bhaviṣyantaḥ manuṣyā manyante, kimu tadbrahmāvedyasmāttatsarvamabhavaditi || 9 ||
9. They, say: Men think, Through the knowledge of Brahman we shall become all. Well, what did that Brahman know by which It became all?
In the words, ‘The Self alone is to be meditated upon’ (I. iv. 7), the knowledge of Brahman which it is the aim of the whole Upaniṣad to impart, has been briefly indicated. With a view to explaining this aphorism, the Śruti, in order to state the necessity of this knowledge, makes this introduction: They say. ‘Tat’ (that) is preparatory to what is going to be unfolded in the next clause. ‘They’ refers to- those seekers of Brahman who, on getting a teacher who is like a boat on that boundless ocean which has for its water the painful struggle due to rotation in the cycle of birth, decay and death, desire to cross that ocean, and being disgusted.with thejworld of means and ends consisting or righteousness and unrighteousness, their means and their results, long to attain the eternal, supreme good which is entirely different from the above. What do they say? This is being stated: Men think, ‘Through the knowledge of Brahman or the Supreme Self we shall become all, excluding nothing.’ The use of the word ‘men’ indicates their special aptitude for this as they are specially qualified for the achievement of prosperity and liberation, This is the idea. As those seekers think with regard to rites that they would bring sure results, similarly they think that the knowledge of Brahman is sure to lead to identity with all, for the Vedas are equally the authority for both. Now this seems to be something inconsistent, hence we ask, what did that Brahman by knowing which men think they will become all, know by which It became all? And the Śrutis say that It is all. If It became all without knowing anything, let it be the same with others too, what is the use of the knowledge of Brahman? If, on the other hand, It became all by knowing something, then this identity with all which is the result of the knowledge of Brahman, being the product of knowledge, becomes just like the resuít of an action, and therefore transitory. There would also be a regressus in infinitum, viz. that too had become all by knowing something else, that earlier thing, again, by knowing something else, and so on. We take it for granted that It did not become all without knowing something, for that would be distorting the meaning of the scriptures. But the charge of the result being transitory stands, does it not?—No, none of those charges can be levelled at it, for there is a particular meaning to it.