अप एवेदमग्र आसुः, ता आपः सत्यमसृजन्त, सत्यं ब्रह्म, ब्रह्म प्रजापतिम्, प्रजापतिर्देवान्; ते देवाः सत्यमेवोपासते; तदेतत्त्र्यक्शरम्—सत्यमिति; स इत्येकमक्शरम्, तीत्येकमक्शरम्, यमित्येकमक्शरं; प्रथमोत्तमे अक्शरे सत्यम्, मध्यतोऽनृतम्, तदेतदनृतमुभयतः सत्येन परिगृहीत्म्, सत्यभूयमेव भवति; नैनं विद्वांसमनृतं हिनस्ति ॥ १ ॥
apa evedamagra āsuḥ, tā āpaḥ satyamasṛjanta, satyaṃ brahma, brahma prajāpatim, prajāpatirdevān; te devāḥ satyamevopāsate; tadetattryakśaram—satyamiti; sa ityekamakśaram, tītyekamakśaram, yamityekamakśaraṃ; prathamottame akśare satyam, madhyato’nṛtam, tadetadanṛtamubhayataḥ satyena parigṛhītm, satyabhūyameva bhavati; nainaṃ vidvāṃsamanṛtaṃ hinasti || 1 ||
1. This (universe) was but water (liquid oblations connected with sacrifices) in the beginning. That water produced Satya. Satya is Brahman. Brahman (produced) Prajāpati, and Prajāpati the gods. Those gods meditate upon Satya. This (name) ‘Satya’ consists of three syllables: ‘Sa’ is one syllable, ‘Tī’ is another syllable, and ‘Ya’ is the third syllable. The first and last syllables are truth. In the middle is untruth. This untruth is enclosed on either side by truth. (Hence) there is a preponderance of truth. One who knows as above is never hurt by untruth.
This section is in praise of the Satya-Brahman. He has been called great, adorable and first-born (V. iv. i). How is he the first-born? This is being explained: This was but water in the beginning. ‘Water’ here means the oblations that are connected with rites such as the Agnihotra. They are called water because they are liquid. This ‘water,’ after the rites are finished, maintains its connection with them in some invisible, subtle form, and is not alone, but united with the other elements; but it is given prominence on account of its connection with the rites. All the elements, which before their manifestation remain in an undifferentiated state, are together with the agent designated as water. That water, which is the seed of the universe, remains in its undifferentiated form, This entire universe, differentiated into name and form, was just this water in the beginning, and there was no other manifested object. Then that water produced Satya; therefore the Satya-Brahman is the first-born. The manifestation of the undifferentiated universe is what is spoken of here as the birth of Hiraṇyagarbha or Sūtrātman. Satya is Brahman. Why? Because of his greatness. How is he great? This is being explained: Because he is the projector of everything. How? The Saty-Brahman (produced) Prajāpati, the lord of all beings, Virāj, of which the sun etc. are the organs. The verb ‘produced’ is understood. Prajāpati, Virāj, produced the gods. Since everything was produced in this order from the Satya-Brahman, therefore he is great. But how is he adorable? This is being explained: Those gods who were thus produced meditate upon that Satya-Brahman, even superseding their father Virāj. Hence this first-born great one is adorable. Therefore he should be meditated upon with one’s whole heart. The name of the Satya-Brahman also is Satya. This consists of three syllables. What are they? ‘Sa’ is one syllable, ‘Tī’ is another syllable. The ī has been added to t for facility of indication. ‘Ya’ is the third syllable. Of these, the first and last syllables, ‘Sa’ and ‘Ya,’ are truth, being free from the form of death. In the middle is untruth. Untruth is death, for the words ‘Mṛtyu’ (death) and ‘Anṛta’ (untruth) have both a t in them. This untruth, the letter t, which is a form of death, is enclosed or encompassed on either side by truth, by the two syllables ‘Sa’ and ‘Ya,’ which are forms of truth. Hence it is negligible, and there is a preponderance of truth. One who knows as above, knows the preponderance of truth and the insignificance of all death or untruth, is never hurt by untruth that he may have uttered unawares.