प्राणस्तथानुगमात् ॥ २८ ॥
prāṇastathānugamāt || 28 ||
prāṇaḥ—Prana; tathā—(like) that; anugamāt—being so comprehended (from the texts).
28. Prana is Brahman, it being so comprehended (from the purport of the texts).
In the previous topic the fact that Brahman’s three feet (quarters) were spoken of in an earlier text as being in heaven helped us to recognize that the same Brahman is spoken of as the light above heaven. The connection with heaven helped us to this recognition. Now another text is taken up for discussion, in which there is no such decisive factor.
In the Kaushitaki Upanishad there occurs the following conversation between Indra and Pratardana, in which the latter says to Indra :
“You yourself choose for me that boon which you deem most beneficial to man.”
“Know me only, that is what I deem most beneficial to man. . . . I am Prana, the intelligent self (Prajnatman), meditate on me as life, as immortality. . . . And that Prana is indeed the intelligent self, blessed, undecaying, immortal” (Kau. 3. 1-8).
The question is raised whether these passages refer to the god Indra, or the individual self, or the vital force, or Brahman. The decision is that as the characteristics of Brahman are more in evidence in these passages than those of the god Indra, individual soul, or the vital force (Prana), therefore Brahman is referred to in these passages; hence Prana here means Brahman.
The characteristics of Brahman referred to are:
(1) Indra says in reply to Pratardana’s request for that which is most beneficial to man, “Know me, I am Prana” etc., and since Brahman alone is most beneficial to man, Indra’s answer refers to Brahman.
(2) Prana is spoken of as blessed, undecaying, immortal, which can be true only of Brahman.
(3) The knowledge of this Prana is also said to absolve one from all sins : “He who knows me thus, by no deed of his is his achievement harmed, neither by matricide nor by patricide. . .” (Kau. 3. 1).