एतस्य वा अक्शरस्य प्रशासने गार्गि सूर्याचन्द्रमसौ विधृतौ तिष्ठतः, एतस्य वा अक्शरस्य प्रशासने गार्गि द्यावापृथिव्यौ विधृते तिष्ठतः, एतस्य वा अक्शरस्य प्रशासने गार्गि निमेषा मुहूर्ता अहोरात्राण्यर्धमासा मासा ऋतवः संवत्सरा इति विधृतास्तिष्ठन्ति; एतस्य वा अक्शरस्य प्रशासने गार्गि प्राच्योऽन्या नद्यः स्यन्दन्ते श्वेतेभ्यः पर्वतेभ्यः, प्रतीच्योऽन्याः, यां यां च दिशमनु; एतस्य वा अक्शरस्य प्रशासने गार्गि ददतो मनुष्याः प्रशंसन्ति, यजमानं देवाः, दर्वीं पितरोऽन्वायत्ताः ॥ ९ ॥
etasya vā akśarasya praśāsane gārgi sūryācandramasau vidhṛtau tiṣṭhataḥ, etasya vā akśarasya praśāsane gārgi dyāvāpṛthivyau vidhṛte tiṣṭhataḥ, etasya vā akśarasya praśāsane gārgi nimeṣā muhūrtā ahorātrāṇyardhamāsā māsā ṛtavaḥ saṃvatsarā iti vidhṛtāstiṣṭhanti; etasya vā akśarasya praśāsane gārgi prācyo’nyā nadyaḥ syandante śvetebhyaḥ parvatebhyaḥ, pratīcyo’nyāḥ, yāṃ yāṃ ca diśamanu; etasya vā akśarasya praśāsane gārgi dadato manuṣyāḥ praśaṃsanti, yajamānaṃ devāḥ, darvīṃ pitaro’nvāyattāḥ || 9 ||
9. Under the mighty rule of this Immutable, O Gārgī, the sun and moon are held in their positions; under the mighty rule of this Immutable, O Gārgī, heaven and earth maintain their positions; under the mighty rule of this Immutable, O Gārgī, moments, Muhūrtas, days and nights, fortnights, months, seasons and years are held in their respective places; under the mighty rule of this Immutable, O Gārgī, some rivers flow eastward from the White Mountains, others flowing westward continue in that direction, and still others keep to their respective courses; under the mighty rule of this Immutable, O Gārgī, men praise those that give, the gods depend on the sacrificer, and the Manes on independent offerings (Darvīhoma).
The Śruti, by attempting to negate various attributes of the Immutable, has indicated Its existence. Yet, anticipating the popular misconception about It, it adduces an inferential evidence in favour of Its existence: Under the mighty rule of this Immutable, the Brahman that has been known to be within all, immediate and direct—the self that is devoid of all attributes such as hunger, O Gārgī, the sun and moon, which are like two lamps giving light to all beings at day and night respectively, are held in their positions, as a kingdom remains unbroken and orderly under the mighty rule of a king. They must have been created for the purpose of giving light by a Universal Ruler who knows of what use they will be to all, for they serve the common good of all beings by giving light, as we see in the case of an ordinary lamp. Therefore That exists which has made the sun and moon and compels them, although they are powerful and independent, to rise and set, increase and decrease, according to fixed place, time and causes. Thus there exists their mighty Ruler, the Immutable, as the lamp has its maker and regulator. Under the mighty rule of this Immutable, O Gārgī, heaven and earth maintain their positions, although they are by nature subject to disruption because of having parts, inclined to fall owing to their weight, liable to separate, being a compound, and are independent, being each presided over by a conscious deity identifying itself with it. It is this Immutable which is like a boundary wall that preserves the distinctions among thing—keeps all things within their limits; hence the sun and moon do not transgress the mighty rule of this Immutable. Therefore Its existence is proved. The unfailing sign of this is the fact that heaven and earth obey a fixed order; this would be impossible were there not a conscious, transcendent Ruler. Witness the Mantra, ‘Who has made heaven powerful and the earth firm’ (Ṛ. X. cxxi. 5).
Under the mighty rule of this Immutable, O Gārgī, moments, Muhūrtas, etc.—all these divisions of time, which count all things past, present and future that are subject to birth—are held in their respective places. As in life an accountant appointed by his master carefully calculates all items of income and expenditure, so are these divisions of time controlled by their master, the Immutable. Similarly some rivers, such as the Ganges, flow eastward from the White Mountains, the Himalayas, for instance, and they, notwithstanding their power to do otherwise, keep to their original courses; this too indicates a Ruler. Others flowing westward, such as the Indus, continue in that direction, and still others keep to their respective courses, do not deviate from the courses they have taken; this is another indication.
Moreover, even learned men praise those that give gold etc., even at a personal sacrifice. Now the conjunction and disjunction of gifts, their donors and their recipients are seen to take place before our eyes in this very life. But the subsequent recombination (of the donor and the fruit of his gift) is a matter we do not directly see. Still people praise the charitable, for they observe on other evidence that those that give are rewarded. This would be impossible were there no Ruler who, knowing the various results of actions, brought about this union of the giver and the reward, for the act of giving obviously perishes then and there. Therefore there must be someone who connects the givers with the results of their charity.
Objection: Cannot the extraordinary result of an action (Apūrva) serve this purpose?
Reply: No, for there is nothing to prove its existence
Objection: Does not the same objection apply to the Ruler too?
Reply: No. for it is an established fact that the Śrutis seek to posit His existence. We have already (p. 53) said that the Sruits aim at delineating the Reality. Besides, the implication on which the theory of the extraordinary result depends is out of place, for the fruition can be otherwise accounted for. We observe that the reward of service is obtained from the person served; and as service is an act. and sacrifices, gifts, offering oblations in the fire, etc., are just as much acts, it stands to reason that the reward for their performance should come from those in whose honour they are performed, viz. God and so forth. Since we can explain the obtaining of rewards without sacrificing the directly observed inherent power of acts, it is improper to sacrifice that power. Moreover, it involves a superfluity of assumptions. We must assume either God or the extraordinary result. Now we observe that it is the very nature of an act of service that it is rewarded by the person served, not by the extraordinary result; and no one has ever actually experienced this result. So (in your view) we have to assume that the extraordinary result, which nobody has ever observed, exists; that it has the power to confer rewards; and that having this power, it does in addition confer them. On our side, however, we have to assume only the existence of the person served, viz. God, but neither His power to confer rewards nor His exercise of it, for we actually observe that the person served rewards the service. The grounds for inferring His existence have already been shown in the text: ‘Heaven and earth maintain their positions,’ etc. (this text). Likewise the gods, although they are so powerful, depend on the sacrificer for their livelihood—for such means of subsistence as the porridge and cakes.. That in spite of their ability to live otherwise they have taken to this humiliating course of life, is possible only because of the mighty rule of the Lord. Similarly the Manes depend for their subsistence on independent offerings. The rest is to be explained as before.