‘यत्सप्तान्नानि मेधया तपसाजनयत्पिता’ इति मेधया हि तपसाजनयत्पिता । ‘एकमस्य साधारणम्’ इतीदमेवास्य तत् साधारणमन्नम् यदिदमद्यते । स य एतदुपास्ते न स पाप्मनो व्यावर्तते, मिश्रं ह्येतत् । ‘द्वे देवानभाजयत्’ इति हुतं च प्रहुतं च, तस्माद्देवेभ्यो जुह्वति च प्र च जुह्वति; अथो आहुर्दर्शपूर्णमासाविति । तस्मान्नेष्टियाजुकः स्यात् । ‘पशुभ्य एकं प्रायच्छत्’ इति तत्पयः । पयो ह्येवाग्रे मनुष्याश्च पशवश्चोपजीवन्ति; तस्मात् कुमारं जातं घृतं वै वाग्रे प्रतिलेहयन्ति, स्तनं वानुधापयन्ति; अथ वत्सम् जातमाहुरतृणाद इति । ‘तस्मिन् सर्वं प्रतिष्ठितम् यच्च प्राणिति यच्च न’ इति पयसि हीदं सर्वम् प्रतिष्ठितम्, यच्च प्राणिति यच्च न । तद्यदिदमाहुः, संवत्सरं पयसा जुह्वदप पुनर्मृत्युं जयतीति, न तथा विद्यात्; यदहरेव जुहोति, तदहः पुनर्मृत्युमपजयत्येवं विद्वान्, सर्वं हि देवेभ्योऽन्नाद्यम् प्रयच्छति । ‘कस्मात्तानि न क्षीयन्तेऽद्यमानानि सर्वदा’ इति पुरुषो वा अक्षितिः, स हीदमन्नं पुनः पुनर् जनयते । ‘यो वैतामक्षितिं वेद’ इति पुरुषो वा अक्षितिः, स हीदमन्नं धिया धिया जनयते कर्मभिः; यद्धैतन्न कुर्यात्क्षीयेत ह; ‘सोऽन्नमत्ति प्रतीकेन’ इति मुखम् प्रतीकम्, मुखेनेत्येतत् । ‘स देवानपिगच्छति, स ऊर्जमुपजीवति’ इति प्रशंसा ॥ २ ॥
‘yatsaptānnāni medhayā tapasājanayatpitā’ iti medhayā hi tapasājanayatpitā | ‘ekamasya sādhāraṇam’ itīdamevāsya tat sādhāraṇamannam yadidamadyate | sa ya etadupāste na sa pāpmano vyāvartate, miśraṃ hyetat | ‘dve devānabhājayat’ iti hutaṃ ca prahutaṃ ca, tasmāddevebhyo juhvati ca pra ca juhvati; atho āhurdarśapūrṇamāsāviti | tasmānneṣṭiyājukaḥ syāt | ‘paśubhya ekaṃ prāyacchat’ iti tatpayaḥ | payo hyevāgre manuṣyāśca paśavaścopajīvanti; tasmāt kumāraṃ jātaṃ ghṛtaṃ vai vāgre pratilehayanti, stanaṃ vānudhāpayanti; atha vatsam jātamāhuratṛṇāda iti | ‘tasmin sarvaṃ pratiṣṭhitam yacca prāṇiti yacca na’ iti payasi hīdaṃ sarvam pratiṣṭhitam, yacca prāṇiti yacca na | tadyadidamāhuḥ, saṃvatsaraṃ payasā juhvadapa punarmṛtyuṃ jayatīti, na tathā vidyāt; yadahareva juhoti, tadahaḥ punarmṛtyumapajayatyevaṃ vidvān, sarvaṃ hi devebhyo’nnādyam prayacchati | ‘kasmāttāni na kṣīyante’dyamānāni sarvadā’ iti puruṣo vā akṣitiḥ, sa hīdamannaṃ punaḥ punar janayate | ‘yo vaitāmakṣitiṃ veda’ iti puruṣo vā akṣitiḥ, sa hīdamannaṃ dhiyā dhiyā janayate karmabhiḥ; yaddhaitanna kuryātkṣīyeta ha; ‘so’nnamatti pratīkena’ iti mukham pratīkam, mukhenetyetat | ‘sa devānapigacchati, sa ūrjamupajīvati’ iti praśaṃsā || 2 ||
2. ‘That the father produced seven kinds of food through meditation and rites’ means that the father indeed produced them through meditation and rites. ‘One is common to all eaters’ means, this food that is eaten is the common food of all eaters. He who adores (monopolises) this food is never free from evil, for this is general food. ‘Two he apportioned to the gods,’ means making oblations in the fire, and offering presents otherwise to the gods. Therefore people perform both these. Some, however, say, those two are the new and full moon sacrifices. Therefore one should not be engrossed with sacrifices for material ends. ‘One he gave to the animals’—it is milk. For men and animals first live on milk alone. Therefore they first make a new-born babe lick clarified butter or suckle it. And they speak of a new-born calf as not yet eatrgg grass. ‘On it rests everything— what lives and what does not’ means that on milk indeed rests all this that lives and that does not. It is said that by making offerings of milk in the fire for a year one conquers further death. One should not think like that. He who knows as above conquers further death the very day he makes that offering, for he offers all eatable food to the gods. ‘Why are they not exhausted, although they are always being eaten?’—means that the being (eater) is indeed the cause of their permanence, for he produces this food again and again. ‘He who knows this cause of their permanence’ means that the being (eater) is indeed the cause of their permanence, for he produces this food through his meditation for the time being and rites. If he does not do this, it will be exhausted. ‘He eats food with Pratīka’ ‘Pratīka’ means pre-eminence; hence the meaning is, pre-eminently. ‘He attains the gods and lives on nectar’ is a eulogy.
That the father produced seven kinds of food through meditation and rites: ‘Yat’ (that) is an adverb modifying the verb ‘produced.’ The words ‘Medhā’ and ‘Tapas’ here mean meditation and rites respectively, for these are the topic, and the ordinary meanings of the words ‘Medhā’ and ‘Tapas’ (intelligence and austerity) are out of place. For rites with five factors, viz. the wife and so forth, were described, and just after that, meditation, referred to by the words, ‘He who knows it as such,’ etc. (I. iv. 17). Therefore the familiar meanings of the two words ‘Medhā’ and ‘Tapas’ must not be supposed here. Hence the meaning of the sentence is: ‘The seven kinds of food which the father produced through his meditation and rites, I shall disclose.’ The last words should be supplied to complete the sentence. In the Vēdâs the meaning of the Mantras, being hidden, is generally difficult to understand, hence the Brāhmaṇa (this text) proceeds to explain them. Now what is the meaning of ‘That the father produced seven kinds of food through meditation and rites’? This is being answered. The text explains the sentence only by the use of the particle ‘hi’ (indeed) signifying a well-known fact. That is to say, the meaning of this Mantra is well known. The words of the Mantra, ‘That the father produced,’ being of the form of a restatement, it also refers to something well known. Hence the Brāhmaṇa boldly says: The father indeed produced them through meditation and rites.
Objection: How is this meaning well known?
Reply: In the first place it is evident that the ignorant man is the father of the means, beginning with the wife and ending with the rites, whereby the worlds are achieved as the result, and it has also been stated in the passage, ‘Let me have a wife,’ etc. (I. iv. 17). There it has been said that meditation, which is divine wealth, rites and a son are the means whereby the father projects the worlds which are the results. And what will be stated later on (I. v. 16) is also well known. Hence it is right to say, ‘The father indeed produced them through meditation and rites.’ Moreover, it is well known in life that desire is concerning results. And the wife and so forth have been stated to be objects of desire in the passage, ‘This much indeed is desire’ (I. iv. 17). There can be no desire in the subject-matter of the knowledge of Brahman (liberation), for it is the oneness of everything. Hence it is implied that one’s natural thoughts and actions, which are not according to the scriptures, of course lead to a projection of the relative universe (not liberation). This is also proved by the fact that the evil results ending in identity with stationary objects, are due to such thoughts and actions. But the text seeks to bring out that relation of end and means among objects which is according to the scriptures, for it is sought to inculcate an aversion to them with a view to enjoining the knowledge of Brahman. For since this entire gross and subtle universe is impure, transitory, consisting of ends and means, painful and within the category of ignorance, one gets disgusted with it, and for such a one the knowledge of Brahman has to be introduced.
Now the different uses of the varieties of food are being stated: One is common to all eaters, is the wording of the Mantra. Its explanation is given by the words: This food is the common food of all eaters. What is it? This that is eaten by all beings daily. The father, after producing the different kinds of food, designed this to be the common food of all eaters. He who adores or is devoted to this common food, which being eaten sustains the life of all living beings—adoration, as we see in life, means devotion, as when we say, ‘One adores a teacher,’ ‘One adores a king,’ etc.; hence the meaning is: who is chiefly concerned with enjoying food to prolong his existence, instead of performing rites to store (good) unseen results—such a man is never free from evil. Compare the Vedic Mantra, ‘(If an ignorant man) obtains food that is useless (to the gods, it is veritably his death)’ (Ṛ. X. cxvii. 6). And the Smṛtis, ‘One must not cook only for oneself’ (Mbh. XII. ccxlix. 5), ‘He who eats without offering to the gods is a thief’ (G. III. 12), ‘The killer of a noble Brāhmaṇa wipes (his sin) in the man who eats his food,’ and so on (M. VIII. 317). Why is he not free from evil? For this food which is eaten by all beings is general food, the common property of all. And just because it is the food of all, any morsel that is put into the mouth is seen to be painful to others, for everyone eagerly expects that it will be his. Therefore it is impossible even to eat without causing pain to others. The Smṛti too says, ‘Since the sins of men (abide in food, it is a greater sin not to share it with others).’
Some say that it refers to the food called Vaiśva-deva, which is daily offered (in the fire) by householders for the beasts etc. This is wrong, for this particular food is not observed to be common to all eaters like that which is eaten by all creatures. Nor does the specification, ‘This that is eaten,’ agree with it. Besides, as this food known as Vaiśvadeva is included in that eaten by all creatures, the latter kind of food, which is also eaten by outcasts, dogs, etc., should be understood, for we see that there is this kind of food over and above that known as Vaiśvadeva. With regard to it the specification, ‘This that is eaten,’ is appropriate. If the words ‘common to all eaters’ do not mean this food, it will give rise to a suspicion that it was not produced and apportioned by the father. But there is unanimity on the point that all kinds of food were produced and apportioned by him. Besides it is not right that one performing the scriptural rite called Vaiśvadeva should not be free from evils. And it has not been forbidden. Nor is it a naturally hateful type of work like fishing, for instance, for decent people practise it, and the Śruti says that sin accrues from its non-performance. But in the other case there is the possibility of sin, for the Vedic Mantra says, ‘I eat that person as food who eats food (without giving part of it to others)’ (Tai. III. x. 6).
Two he apportioned to the gods, is the wording of the Mantra. Which are the two kinds of food that he produced and apportioned to the gods? Making oblations in the fire, and offering presents otherwise to the gods after finishing the former. Because the father distributed these two kinds of food to the gods, therefore to this day householders at the proper time perform both these, make oblations in the fire, thinking that they are offering that food to the gods, and after that offer them presents. Some, however, say that the two kinds of food the father gave to the gods are not the above two offerings, but the new and full moon sacrifices. The first view holds that the above two offerings are meant, for the Śruti mentions both (food and offering) as two, and those offerings are very well known. (This is rebutted as follows:) Although the number is all right with regard to those two offerings, still the fact that the new and full moon sacrifices —which too are mentioned by the Śruti—are the food of the gods, is better known, being revealed by the Mantras. Besides, when the choice lies between a principal and a subordinate object (denoted by the same word), the preference goes to the former. Now the new and full moon sacrifices are more important than the above two offerings. Hence it is proper to conclude that they alone are meant by the words, ‘Two he apportioned to the gods.’ Because these two kinds of food, the new and full moon sacrifices, were set apart by the father for the gods, therefore, to keep them intact for the gods, one should not be engrossed with sacrifices for material ends. The word ‘Iṣṭi’ here means ‘Kāmyeṣṭi,’ sacrifices with material ends. This is well known from the Śatapatha Brāhmaṇa (I. iii. 5. 10). From the use of a suffix denoting habit we understand that one must not be primarily engrossed with the performance of these sacrifices with material ends.
One he gave to the animals. What is that one food which the father gave to the animals? It is milk. How are we to know that the animals are the owners of it? This is being explained: For men and animals first live on milk alone. It must be their food, for how else would they systematically live on that first? How do they live on it first? Because men and animals to this day live on that food, just as the father apportioned it in the beginning. Therefore men of the upper three castes make a new-born babe lick clarified butter, in contact with gold, in the post-natal ceremony, or, i.e. afterwards, suckle it. The other castes (who do not have this ceremony) do whichever is practicable. In the case of animals other than men, they only suckle the young one. And they speak of of a new-born calf, when somebody asks them how old it is, as not yet eating grass, i.e. very young—still living on milk. Whether they first take clarified butter in the post-natal and other ceremonies, or whether others drink milk, in either case they drink but milk, for clarified butter, being a modification of milk, is also milk.
Why is the food of animals, which is the seventh in order, explained as the fourth? Because it is a means of rites. Rites such as the Agnihotra are performed with the help of milk. And these rites, which depend on wealth, are the means of the three kinds of food to be presently mentioned, which are the results —as the two kinds of food, the new and full moon sacrifices mentioned above. Hence, falling under the category of rites, it is explained together with them. Moreover, since both (they and it) are equally means, mere order should give precedence to the natural sequence due to sense. Besides, this way of explaining facilitates understanding. The different kinds of food can thus be easily explained without a break, and their meaning too will be easily grasped. What is the meaning of, On it rests everything—what lives and what does not? That on milk indeed, the food of animals, rests all this, the whole universe in its threefold division according to the body, the elements and the gods— that lives, the animate kingdom, and that does not live, stationary objects such as hills. The word ‘indeed,’ signifying something well-known, furnishes the explanation. How is the substance called milk the support of everything? Because it is the cause. And it is a cause in that it is an integral part of rites such as the Agnihotra. That the whole universe is the result of the oblations offered in the Agnihotra and other rites, is proved by hundreds of Śruti and Smṛti texts. Hence it is quite proper to explain the Mantra by the use of the word ‘indeed.’
It is said in some other Brāhmaṇas that by making offerings of milk in the fire for a year one conquers further death. The reference is to the following: In a year three hundred and sixty oblations are offered (counting morning and evening oblations as one). That accounts for double the number (splitting each into two). The bricks called Yājuṣmatī, used in making the altar for the Agnihotra, being also of that number, the oblations are looked upon as these bricks, and so also are the days of the year. Through this meditation based on resemblance people attain identity with Fire, the Prajāpati called the Year. By offering oblations for a year in this way one conquers further death, i.e. is born after death among the gods, no more to die. Thus do the Brāhmaṇa texts run. One should not think like that. He who knoivs as stated above, that everything rests on milk, being the result of the oblations of milk, conquers further death the very day he makes that offering —he has not to wait for a year, but attains identity with the universe in one day. This is expressed by the text, ‘Conquers further death,’ i.e. the sage dying once or getting rid of the body, is identified with the universe/ and does not take on another limited body to make further death possible. What is the reason of his conquering further death by attaining identity with the univferse? This is being answered: For he offers all eatable food to all the gods by means of the morning and evening oblations. Therefore it is proper that he, by making himself one with the oblations and attaining identity with all the gods as their food—being the sum total of them—does not die any more. This too has been stated in another Brāhmaṇa: ‘Brahman, the self-born (a man seeking identity with Hiraṇyagarbha) performed rites. He reflected, “Rites do not produce eternal results. Well, let me offer myself in all beings (as in a fire) and all beings in me.” Offering himself in all beings and all beings in himself, he attained the highest place among all beings, independence and absolute rulership’ (Ś. XIII. vii. i. i).
Why are they not exhausted, although they are awlays, continuously, being eaten? Since the time when the father producing the seven kinds of food distributed them to different groups of eaters, they have been eating those foods, for they live on them. And they ought to be exhausted, since everything that is made must wear out. But they are not dwindling, for we see the universe remains intact. So there must be a cause for their permanence. Hence the question, ‘Why are they not exhausted?’ It is answered as follows: The being is indeed the cause of their permanence. Just as in the beginning the father was the producer of the different kinds of food through his meditation and rites with five factors such as the wife, and their eater too, so those to whom ho gave the foods, although they are their eaters, are their fathers as well, for they produce them through their meditation and rites. This is expressed as follows: The being who eats the foods is indeed the cause of their permanence. How? This is being explathed: For he produces this food of seven kinds that is eaten, consisting of the body and organs, actions and results, again and again through his meditation for the time being and rites, î.e. the efforts of his speech, mind and body. If he does not do this, not produce for a moment the seven kinds of food mentioned above through his meditation and rites, it would be exhausted, or finished, being continuously eaten. Therefore just as the being is continuously eating the foods, he is also creating them according to his meditation and rites. Hence the being is the cause of their permanence by continuously creating them. That is to say, for this reason the foods are not exhausted although they are being eaten. Therefore the whole universe consisting of a series of meditations and rites, means and ends, actions and results—although, being held together by a stream of work and impressions of innumerable beings in combination, it is transient, impure, flimsy, resembling a flowing river or a burning lamp, flimsy like a banana stalk, and comparable to foam, illusion, a mirage, a dream, and so on—appears nevertheless to those who have identified themselves with it to be undecaying, eternal and full of substance. Hence for stimulating our renunciation the text says, ‘He produces this food through his meditation for the time being and rites. If he does not do this, it will be exhausted,’ for from the second chapter the knowledge of Brahman has to be inculcated for those who are disgusted with this universe.
Although three kinds of food are yet to be described, still taking them as already explained along with the previous ones, the result of knowing these as they are, is being summed up: He who knows this cause of their permanence as described above, means that the being (eater) is indeed the cause of their permanence, for he produces this food through his meditation for the time being and rites. If he does not do this, it will be exhausted. He eats food with Pratīka is being explained: ‘Pratīka’ means pre-eminence; hence the meaning is, pre-eminently. He who knows that the being who is the father of the different lands of food is the cause of their permanence, pre-eminently eats food and never becomes a subsidiary part of it. Unlike an ignorant man, this sage, being the self of the foods, becomes only their eater, but never a food. He attains the gods, is identified with the gods, and lives on nectar: This statement is a eulogy; there is no new meaning in it.