याज्ञवल्क्येति होवाच, यदिदं सर्वं मृत्युनाप्तं, सर्वं मृत्युनाभिपन्नम्, केन यजमानो मृत्योराप्तिमतिमुच्यत इति; होत्रर्त्विजाग्निना वाचा; वाग्वै यज्ञस्य होता, तद्येयं वाक् सोऽयमग्निः, स होता, सा मुक्तिः, सातिमुक्तिः ॥ ३ ॥
yājñavalkyeti hovāca, yadidaṃ sarvaṃ mṛtyunāptaṃ, sarvaṃ mṛtyunābhipannam, kena yajamāno mṛtyorāptimatimucyata iti; hotrartvijāgninā vācā; vāgvai yajñasya hotā, tadyeyaṃ vāk so’yamagniḥ, sa hotā, sā muktiḥ, sātimuktiḥ || 3 ||
3. ‘Yājñavalkya,’ said he, ‘since all this is overtaken by death, and swayed by it, by what means does the sacrificer go beyond the clutches of death?’ ‘Through the organ of speech—through fire, which is the (real) priest called Hotṛ. The sacrificer’s organ of speech is the Hotṛ. This organ of speech is fire; this fire is the Hotṛ; this (fire) is liberation; this (liberation) is emancipation.’
‘Yājñavalkya,’ said he. In the section on the Udgītha (I. iii.) comprised in the Madhukāṇḍa it has been briefly explained how a sacrificer can escape death thröugh the rite with five factors coupled with the meditation about it. The present section being an examination of that, a rather detailed treatment is being given here in order to introduce some particulars about that meditation. ‘Since all this, the accessories of this rite such as the priests and the fire, is overtaken by death, i.e. by ritualistic work attended with our natural attachment—not only overtaken, but also swayed by death, by what means, or meditation, does the sacrificer go beyond the clutches of death, become independent of it?’
Objection: Has it not already been said in the section on the Udgītha that he transcends death by identifying himself with the vital force in the mouth?
Reply: Yes, but the particulars that have been omitted there will be given here. So there is nothing wrong in it.
Yājñavalkya said, ‘Through the organ of speech —through fire, which is the (real) priest called Hotṛ.’ The explanation follows. Who is that Hotṛ through whom the sacrificer transcends death? ‘The sacrificeds organ of speech is the Hotṛ.’ ‘Sacrifice’ here means the sacrificer. Witness the Śruti, ‘The sacrifice is the sacrificer’ (Ś. XIV. n. ii. 24). The sacrificed organ of speech is the Hotṛ with reference to sacrifices. How? This organ of speech of the sacrificer is the well-known fire, with reference to the gods. This has already been explained under the topic of the three kinds of food (I. v. 3, 11). And that fire is the Hotṛ, for the Śruti says, ‘Fire is the. Hotṛ’ (Ś. VI. iv. ii. 6). These two auxiliaries of a sacrifice, viz. the priest called Hotṛ with reference to sacrifices, and the organ of speech with reference to the body, be^ng limited, are ‘overtaken by death,’ i.e. are continually changed by ritualistic work directed by our natural attachment due to ignorance, and are therefore ‘swayed by death.’ If the sacrificer looks upon them as fire, their divine form, it conduces to his liberation from death. So the text says: This is liberation, i.e. the Hotṛ who is fire is liberation. In other words, looking upon the Hotṛ as fire is that. As soon as the sacrificer looks upon the two auxiliaries as fire, he is freed from death consisting in his limited natural attachment relating to the body and the elements. Therefore that Hotṛ, when looked upon as fire, is ‘liberation,’ i.e. the means of liberation, for the sacrificer. This is emancipation: That which is liberation is emancipation, i.e. a means to it. To look upon those two limited auxiliaries as fire, which is their unlimited divine form, is liberation. This liberation which consists in looking upon (the Hotṛ and the organ of speech) in their divine aspect is also spoken of as the resulting emancipation—becoming one with fire, their divine form—which takes one beyond the death that consists in attachment to limitations relating to the body and the elements. It is called emancipation, because that liberation itself is a means to it. It has already been explained in the section on the Udgītha that the identification of the organ of speech etc. with fire and so on is itself the emancipation of the sacrificer. There it has been said in a general way that identity with the vital force in the mouth is the means of liberation, but the particulars have not been given. Here some details, viz. the viewing of the organ of speech etc. as fire and so on, are given. The emancipation from death here dealt with is the same as that which has been described as a result in the section on the Udgītha in the words, í(That fire) having transcended death shines,’ etc. (I. iii. 12).