तद्वा अस्यैतदतिच्छन्दा अपहतपाप्माभयं रूपम् । तद्यथा प्रियया स्त्रिया संपरिष्वक्तो न बाह्यं किंचन वेद नान्तरम्, एवमेवायं पुरुषः प्राज्ञेनात्मना संपरिष्वक्तो न बाह्यं किंचन वेद नान्तरम्; तद्वा अस्यैतदाप्तकाममात्मकाममकामं रूपम् शोकान्तरम् ॥ २१ ॥
tadvā asyaitadaticchandā apahatapāpmābhayaṃ rūpam | tadyathā priyayā striyā saṃpariṣvakto na bāhyaṃ kiṃcana veda nāntaram, evamevāyaṃ puruṣaḥ prājñenātmanā saṃpariṣvakto na bāhyaṃ kiṃcana veda nāntaram; tadvā asyaitadāptakāmamātmakāmamakāmaṃ rūpam śokāntaram || 21 ||
21. That is his form—beyond desires, free from evils, and fearless. As a man, fully embraced by his beloved wife, does not know àṅything at all, either external or internal, so does this infinite being (self), fully embraced by the Supreme Self, not know anything at all, either external or internal. That is his form—in which all objects of desire have been attained and are but the self, and which is free from desires and devoid of grief.
Now liberation in the form of identity with all, which is the result, devoid of action with its factors and results, of knowledge, and in which there is no ignorance, desire, or work, is being directly pointed out. This has already been introduced in the passage, ‘Where falling asleep it craves no desires and sees no dreams’ (par. 19). That, this identity with all which has been spoken of as this highest state,’ is his form—beyond desires (Aticchandā). This word is to be turned into neuter, since it qualifies the word ‘Rūpa’ (form). ‘Chanda’ means desire; hence ‘Aticchandā’ means transcending desires. There is another word ‘Chandas’ ending in s, which means metres such as the Gāyatri. But here the word means desire; hence it must end in a vowel. Nevertheless the reading ‘Aticchandā’ should be taken as the usual Vedic licence. In common parlance too the word ‘Chanda’ is used in the sense of desire, as in ‘Svacchanda’ (free), ‘Paracchanda’ (dependent on others’ will), etc. Hence the word must be turned into ‘Aticchandam’ (neuter) to mean that this form of the self is free from desires. Likewise, free from evils. ‘Evils’ mean both merits and demerits, for it has elsewhere (par. 8) been said, ‘Is connected with evils,’ and ‘Discards those evils.’ ‘Free from evils’ means ‘devoid of merits and demerits.’ Also, fearless. Fear is an effect of ignorance, for it has already been said that through ignorance he conjures terrible things (par. 20). Hence the word must be construed as denying the cause through the effect. ‘Fearless form’ means one that is’ bereft of ignorance. This identity with all which is the result of knowledge is this form—beyond desires, free from evils and fearless. It is fearless because it is devoid of all relative attributes. This has already been introduced at the conclusion of the preceding section, by the scriptural statement, ‘You have attained That which is free from fear, O Janaka’ (IV. ii. 4). But here it is elaborated by argument to impress the meaning conveyed by the scriptural passage in question.
This Ātman is itself the light that is Pure Intelligence, and reveals everything by its own intelligence. It has been said (pars. 15 and 16) that (he is untouched by) the roaming or by whatever he sees, or enjoys, or knows in that (dream) state. And it is also proved by reasoning that the eternal nature of the self is that it is the light of Pure Intelligence. (Now an objection is being raised:) If the self remains.intact in its own form in the state of profound sleep, why does it not know itself as ‘I am this,’ or know all those things that are outside, as it does in the waking and dream states? The answer is being given: Listen why it does not know. Unity is the reason. How is that? This is explained by the text. As the intended meaning is vividly realised through an illustration, it goes on to say: As in the world a man, fully embraced by his beloved wife, both desiring each other’s company, does not know anything at all, either external to himself, as, ‘This is something other than myself,’ or internal, as ‘I am this, or I am happy or miserable’—but he knows everything outside and inside when he is not embraced by her and is separated, and fails to know only during the embrace owing to the attainment of unity—so, like the example cited, does this infinite being, the individual self, who is separated (from the Supreme Self), like a lump of salt, through contact with a little of the elements (the body and organs) and enters this body and organs, like the reflection of the moon etc. in water and so forth, being fully embraced by, or unified with, the Supreme Self, his own real, natural, supremely effulgent self, and being identified with all, without the least break, not know anything at all, either external, something outside, or internal, within himself, such as, ‘I am this, or I am happy or miserable.’
You asked me why, in spite of its being the light that is Pure Intelligence, the self fails to know in the state of profound sleep. I have told you the reason—it is unity, as of a couple fully embracing each other. Incidentally it is implied that variety is the cause of particular consciousness; and the cause of that variety is, as we have said, ignorance, which brings forward something other than the self: Such being the case, when the Jīva is freed from ignorance, he attains but unity with all. Therefore, there being no such division among the factors of an action as knowledge and known, whence should particular consciousness arise, or desire manifest itself, in the natural, immutable light of the self?
Because this identity with all is his form, therefore that is his form, the form of this self-effulgent Ātman, in which all objects of desire have been attained, because it comprises all. That from which objects of desire are different has hankering after them, as the form called Devadatta, for instance, in the waking state. But this other form is not so divided from anything; hence in it all objects of desire have been attained. It may be asked, can that form not be divided from other things that exist, or is the self the only entity that exists? The answer is, there is nothing else but the self. How? Because all objects of desire are but the self in this form. In states other than that of profound sleep, i.e. in the waking and dream states, things are separated, as it were, from the self and are desired as such. But to one who is fast asleep, they become the self, since there is no ignorance to project the idea of difference. Hence also is this form free from desires, because there is nothing to be desired, and devoid of grīef (Śokāntara). ‘Antara’ means a break or gap; or it may mean the inside or core. In either case, the meaning is that this form of the self is free from grief.