The section on Maitreyī was commenced in order to indicate that means of immortality which is wholly independent of rites. It is the knowledge of the Self, with the renunciation of everything as part of it. When It is known, the whole universe is known; and It is dearer than everything; therefore It should be realised. And the way to this realisation is set forth in the statement that It should be heard of, reflected on and meditated upon. It should be heard of from the spiritual teacher and the scriptures, and reflected on through reasoning. The reasoning has been stated in the passage furnishing arguments in support of the proposition, ‘All this is but the Self’ (Ch. VII. xxv. 2), viz. that the universe has sprung only from the Self, has the Self alone for its genus and dissolves only into the Self. Now the validity of this reason may be questioned. It is to refute this doubt that this section is commenced.
Because there is mutual helpfulness among the parts of the universe including the earth, and because it is common experience that those things which are mutually helpful spring from the same cause, are of the same genus and dissolve into the same thing, therefore this universe consisting of the earth etc., on account of mutual helpfulness among its parts, must be like that. This is the meaning whicfr is expressed in this section. Or, after the proposition, ‘All this is but the Self,’ has been supported by the reason that the universe has its origin, continuance and dissolution in the Self, the meaning is concluded with the present’ section, which preponderates in scriptural evidence. As the Naiyāyikas say, ‘The restatement of a proposition after stating the reason is conclusion’ (Gau. N. I. i. 39). Others explain that the scriptural passages preceding the illustration of the drum are for the purpose of hearing, those prior to the present section are for reflection—since they give the arguments, and the present section enjoins meditation. In any case, since reflection through reasoning must be strictly in accordance with the verdict of scriptural evidence, and meditation too must be in accordance with reflection through reasoning, that is to say, with the findings of scriptural evidence and reasoning, a separate enjoining of meditation is unnecessary. Therefore, in our opinion, the allocating of separate sections to the hearing, reflection and meditation is meaningless. At any rate the meaning of this and the foregoing chapter is summed up in this section.
इयं पृथिवी सर्वेषां भूतानाम् मधु, अस्यै पृथिव्यै सर्वाणि भूतानि मधु; यश्चायमस्यां पृथिव्यां तेजोमयोऽमृतमयः पुरुषः, यस्चायमध्यात्मं शारीरस्तेजोमयोऽमृतमयः पुरुषः, अयमेव स योऽ’यमात्मा; इदममृतम्, इदं ब्रह्म, इदं सर्वम् ॥ १ ॥
iyaṃ pṛthivī sarveṣāṃ bhūtānām madhu, asyai pṛthivyai sarvāṇi bhūtāni madhu; yaścāyamasyāṃ pṛthivyāṃ tejomayo’mṛtamayaḥ puruṣaḥ, yascāyamadhyātmaṃ śārīrastejomayo’mṛtamayaḥ puruṣaḥ, ayameva sa yo’yamātmā; idamamṛtam, idaṃ brahma, idaṃ sarvam || 1 ||
1. This earth is (like) honey to all beings, and all beings are (like) honey to this earth. (The same with) the shining immortal being who is in this earth, and the shining, immortal, corporeal being in the body. (These four) are but this Self. This (Self-knowledge) is (the means of) immortality; this (underlying unity) is Brahman; this (knowledge of Brahman) is (the means of becoming) all.
This well-known earth is the honey or effect—being like honey—of all beings from Hiraṇyagarbha down to a clump of grass. Just as a beehive is made by a great many bees, so is this earth made by all beings. Likewise all beings are the honey or effect of this earth. Also, the shining, i.e. possessed of the light of intelligence, and immortal being who is in this earth, and the shining, immortal—as above—corporeal being in the body, i.e. the self as identified with the subtle body, are like honey—being helpful—to all beings, and all beings are like honey to them. This we gather from the particle ‘ca’ (and) in the text. Thus these four are the composite effect of all beings, and all beings are the effect of these four. Hence the universe has originated from the same cause. That one cause from which it has sprung is.alone real—it is Brahman. Everything else is an effect, a modification, a mere name, an effort of speech merely. This is the gist of this whole section dealing with the series of things mutually helpful. (The above fourfold division) is but this Self that has been premised in the passage, ‘This all is the Self’ (II. iv. 6). This Self-knowledge is the means of immortality that has been explained to Maitreyī. This (underlying unity) is the Brahman which has been introduced at the beginning of this chapter in the passages, ‘I will speak to you about Brahman’ (II. i. 1) and ‘I will teach you (about Brahman)’ (II. i. 15), and the knowledge of which is called the knowledge of Brahman. This knowledge of Brahman is that by means of which one becomes all.