अथामूर्तम्—वायुश्चान्तरिक्षं च; एतदमृतम्, एतद्यत्, एतत्त्यत्; तस्यैतस्यामूर्तस्य, एतस्यामृतस्य, एतस्य यतः, एतस्य तस्यैष रसो य एष एतस्मिन्मण्डले पुरुषः, तस्य ह्येष रसः—इत्यधिदैवतम् ॥ ३ ॥
athāmūrtam—vāyuścāntarikṣaṃ ca; etadamṛtam, etadyat, etattyat; tasyaitasyāmūrtasya, etasyāmṛtasya, etasya yataḥ, etasya tasyaiṣa raso ya eṣa etasminmaṇḍale puruṣaḥ, tasya hyeṣa rasaḥ—ityadhidaivatam || 3 ||
3. Now the subtle—it is air and the ether. It is immortal, it is unlimited, and it is undefined. The essence of that which is subtle, immortal, unlimited and undefined is the being that is in the sun, for that is the essence of the undefined. This is with reference to the gods.
Now the subtle form is being described. It is air and the ether, the two remaining elements. Being subtle it is immortal, and unlimited, hence not clashing with anything, and therefore immortal, not subject to destruction. It is unlimited, the opposite of limited, i.e. pervasive. Because it cannot be distinguished from others, therefore it is undefined. The word ‘Tyat’ indicates something that can be only indirectly described. The relation among the four epithets is as before. The essence of that which is subtle, immortal, unlimited and undefined, i.e. of the two subtle elements each having the four attributes, is the being that is in the sun, Hiraṇyagarbha as the cosmic organ, which is called the vital force. That is the quintessence of the two subtle elements, as in the previous instance (the solar orb was of the gross elements). This ‘being’ is the perfection of the two subtle elements, because they emanate from the Undifferentiated in order to form the subtle body of Hiraṇyagarbha. And because they seek to produce this, therefore it is the best product of them. For that is the essence of the undefined, because the ‘being’ that is in the sun is not perceived like the solar orb, and is the essence of the two elements. Hence there is a similarity between the being who is in the sun and the two elements. Therefore the reason furnished in the clause, ‘For that is the essence of the undefined,’ as if it were a familiar experience, is quite in order.
Some say that the word ‘essence’ means cause, referring to the self of Hiraṇyagarbha, which is a conscious entity. The past actions of Hiraṇyagarbha direct air and the ether, and with these as their support they direct the other elements. Therefore, being the director, through its own actions, of air and the ether, it is called their essence, or cause. This view is wrong, because it makes the essence of the subtle form dissimilar to that of the gross form. To be explicit: The essence of the three gross elements is, as we have seen, the solar orb, which is gross and of the same class as the three elements; it is not a conscious entity. Therefore it stands to reason that the essence of the two subtle elements also should be of the same class as they. For the trend of both passages is the same. For instance, the gross and subtle forms have been distinguished as having four attributes each; so it is but proper that the essences of the gross and subtle forms, like these forms themselves of which they are the essences, should also be distinguished on the same principle. One cannot cook one half of a hen and keep the other half for laying eggs.
Objection: Suppose we say that the essence of the gross form too refers to the corscious self that identifies itself with the solar orb?
Reply: You say too little. The Śrutis every where teach that all gross and subtle forms are Brahman.
Objection: Is not the word ‘being,’ as applied to unconscious things, inappropriate?
Reply: No. We find the word ‘being’ applied in the Śrutis to the subtle body having wings, tail, etc. In the following passage, ‘“We can never beget progeny (initiate activity) so long as we are thus divided. Let us make these seven beings into one (the subtle body).” They made these seven beings into one,’ etc. (Ś. VI. i. i. 3), we ñnd the use of the word ‘being,’ as also in another Śruti (Tai. II. i.) referring to the gross body, which is the product of the food we eat, and other finer bodies. The words, This is with reference to the gods, close the topic so as to introduce the next topic, which is relating to the body.