अथ ये यज्ञेन दानेन तपसा लोकाञ्जयन्ति, ते धूममभिसंभवन्ति, धूमाद्रात्रिं, रात्रेरपक्शीयमाणपक्शम्, अपक्शीयमाणपक्शाद्यान्षण्मासान्दक्शिणादित्य एति, मासेभ्यः पितृलोकम्, पितृलोकाच्चन्द्रम्; ते चन्द्रं प्राप्यान्नं भवन्ति, तांस्तत्र देवा यथा सोमं राजानमाप्यायस्वापक्शीयस्वेति, एवमेनांस्तत्र भक्शयन्ति; तेषां यदा तत्पर्यवैत्यथेममेवाकाशमभिनिष्पद्यन्ते, आकाशाद्वायुम्; वायोर्वृष्टिम्, वृष्टेः पृथिवीम्; ते पृथिवीं प्राप्यान्नं भवन्ति, ते पुनः पुरुषाग्नौ हूयन्ते, ततो योषाग्नौ जायन्ते लोकान्प्रत्युथायिनः; त एवमेवानुपरिवर्तन्ते; अथ य एतौ पन्थानौ न विदुस्ते कीटाः पतङ्गा यदिदं दन्दशूकम् ॥ १६ ॥
इति द्वितीयं ब्राह्मणम् ॥
atha ye yajñena dānena tapasā lokāñjayanti, te dhūmamabhisaṃbhavanti, dhūmādrātriṃ, rātrerapakśīyamāṇapakśam, apakśīyamāṇapakśādyānṣaṇmāsāndakśiṇāditya eti, māsebhyaḥ pitṛlokam, pitṛlokāccandram; te candraṃ prāpyānnaṃ bhavanti, tāṃstatra devā yathā somaṃ rājānamāpyāyasvāpakśīyasveti, evamenāṃstatra bhakśayanti; teṣāṃ yadā tatparyavaityathemamevākāśamabhiniṣpadyante, ākāśādvāyum; vāyorvṛṣṭim, vṛṣṭeḥ pṛthivīm; te pṛthivīṃ prāpyānnaṃ bhavanti, te punaḥ puruṣāgnau hūyante, tato yoṣāgnau jāyante lokānpratyuthāyinaḥ; ta evamevānuparivartante; atha ya etau panthānau na viduste kīṭāḥ pataṅgā yadidaṃ dandaśūkam || 16 ||
iti dvitīyaṃ brāhmaṇam ||
16. While those who conquer the worlds through sacrifices, charity and austerity, reach the deity of smoke, from him the deity of the night, from him the deity of the fortnight in which the moon wanes, from him the deities of the six months in which the sun travels southward, from them the deity of the world of the Manes, and from him the moon. Reaching the moon they become food. There the gods enjoy them as the priests drink the- shining Soma juice (gradually, saying, as it were), ‘Flourish, dwindle.’ And when their past work is exhausted, they reach (become like) this ether, from the ether air, from air rain, and from rain the earth. Reaching the earth they become food. Then they are again offered in the fire of man, thence in the fire of woman, whence they are born (and perform rites) with a view to going to other worlds. Thus do they rotate. While those others who do not know these two ways become insects and moths, and these frequently biting things (gnats and mosquitoes).
While those who do not know as above, who, knowing only the six things such as the departure of the two oblations connected with the Agnihotra, are mere ritualists,. who conquer the worlds—the plural in ‘worlds’ suggests here also varieties of results—through sacrifices such as the Agnihotra, charity, the distribution of gifts among beggars outside the altar, and austerīty such as Kṛcchra and Cāndrāyaṇa without initiation etc.—also outside the altar—reach smoke. Here too, as in the northern route, the words ‘smoke’ etc. refer to deities. That is, they reach the deity of smoke. Here also the deities are conductors, as before. From him the deity of the night, from him the deity of the fortnight in which the moon wanes, from him the deities of the six months in which the sun travels southward, from them the deity of the world of the Manes, and from him the moon. Reaching the moon they become food. There the gods enjoy them, these ritualists who reaching the moon have become food, as masters do their servants— as the priests here drink in sacrifices the shining Soma juice (saying, as it were), ‘Flourish, dwindle.’ The words ‘flourish, dwindle’ are not a sacred formula, but simply mean that priests frequently cheer up the Soma juice that is in the bowl, and gradually finish it by drinking—in other words, they drink it at intervals (not all at once). Similarly the gods too enjoy the ritualists who have got new bodies in the moon and have become the materials of their luxury, giving them frequent intervals of rest by rewarding them according to their past work. That is cheering them like cheering the Soma juice. And when their past work—sacrifices, charity, etc., that led them to the moon—is exhausted, they reach this well-known ether. The liquids called faith which were offered iṇ the fire of heaven and took the form of the moon—with which a new watery body was built for the ritualists, in the moon, for their enjoyment—melt on the expiry of the momentum of their past work, like a lump of ice in contact with sunshine. In that state they become fine and look like the ether. This is expressed by the words, ‘They reach this ether.’
Then those ritualists, living with that kind of body in the sky, are blown hither and thither by the east-wind etc. This is what is meant by the words, ‘From the ether air.’ From air they reach rain. This has been stated in the passage, ‘They offer King Moon in the fire of the rain-god’ (par. io, adapted). Then they drop on the earth as rain. Reaching the earth they become food such as rice and barley. This has been expressed in the passage, ‘In the fire of this world‘they offer rain. Out of that food is produced’ (par. 11, adapted). Then they as food are again offered in the fire of man, an adult. Thence as the seed they are offered in the fire of woman, whence they are born, and perform rites such as the Agnihotra, with a view to going to other worlds. Then they move repeatedly between the moon and this world, passing in order the deity of smoke etc. Thus do they, these ritualists, continuously rotate in a circle like the Persian wheel, until they know Brahman so as to attain the northern way, or immediate liberation. As it has been said, ‘Thus does the man who desires (transmigrate)’ (IV. iv. 6).
While those others who do not know these two ways, the northern and southern, i.e. do not practise either meditation or rites to attain the northern or the southern way—what do they become?—become insects and moths, and these frequently biting things, i.e. gnats and mosquitoes. Thus this last transmigratory existence is very painful, and it is extremely difficult for one who has fallen into it to get out of it again. So another Śruti says, ‘They become these tiny creatures that come and go repeatedly, of which it has been said, as it were: Be born and die’ (Ch. V. x. 8). The purport of the entire passage is that we must therefore try our best to give up our natural pursuit of work and knowledge, and practise those rites or meditations whiçh are enjoined by the scriptures and are the means of attaining the southern or the northern way. So it has been stated in another Śruti, ‘The deliverance from this (the state of becoming rice etc.) is indeed much more difficult’ (Ch. V. x. 6). ‘Therefore one should cultivate a disgust (for return to the world)’ (Ibid. 8), i.e. strive for liberation. It is clear that between these two even, greater care should be taken to secure the means of attaining the northern way, for it has been said, ‘Thus do they rotate’ (this text).
So all the questions have been answered. The fourth question, ‘After how many oblations,’ etc., has been first answered in the passage beginning with, ‘That world’ (par. 9), and ending with, ‘A man is born’ (par. 13). The fifth question, concerning the means of attaining the way of the gods or the way of the Manes, has been answered next by a description of the means of attaining the northern and southern ways. This has also answered the first question by saying that starting with fire some reach the deity of the flame, and some the deity of smoke, and here is the divergence. The answer to the second question, concerning the return to this world, has been given by the statement that they return to this world, passing successively through the stages of the ether etc.; and that has also dealt with the third question by stating that the other world is not filled up for that very reason, as also owing to the fact that some become insects, moths, etc.