अत एव प्राणः ॥ २३ ॥
ata eva prāṇaḥ || 23 ||
ata eva—For the same reason; praṇaḥ—(the word) Prana (refers to Brahman).
23. For the same reason (the word) ‘Prana’ (also refers to Brahman).
“‘Which is that deity?’ ‘Prana,’ he said. For all these beings merge in Prana alone and from Prana they arise” (Chh. 1. 11. 4-5).
The question is whether Prastava (a division of Saman) is a symbol of the vital force or Brahman. Here Prana doeś not mean the vital force but Brahman, in which sense it is used in texts like, “The Prana of Prana” (Brih. 4. 4. 18). Why? Because the characteristic of Brahman, “All these beings merge in Prana,” etc. is mentioned. All the Jivas merge in Prana, and that is possible only if ‘Prana’ is Brahman and not the vital force (the ordinary sense of the word), in which only the senses get merged in deep sleep.