जीवमुख्यप्राणलिङ्गान्नेति चेत्, न, उपासात्रैविध्यात्, आश्रितत्वात्, इह तद्योगात् ॥ ३० ॥
jīvamukhyaprāṇaliṅgānneti cet, na, upāsātraividhyāt, āśritatvāt, iha tadyogāt || 31 ||
jīvamukhyaprāṇaliṅgāt—On account of the characteristics of the individual soul and the vital energy; na—not; iti cet—if it be said; na—not so; upāsā-traividhyāt—because it would enjoin threefold meditation; āśritatvāt—on account of Prana being accepted (elsewhere in the sense of Brahman); iha—here; tadyogāt—because words denoting Brahman are mentioned with reference to Prana.
31. If it be said that (Brahman) is not referred to on account of the characteristics of the individual soul and the vital force (being mentioned), (we say) not so, because (such an interpretation) would enjoin threefold meditation (Upasana); because Prana has been accepted (elsewhere in the sense of Brahman); and because here also (words denoting Brahman) are mentioned with reference to Prana. (Hence it is to be understood to mean Brahman).
The psasages under discussion might as well refer to the individual soul and the vital force, for their characteristics also are found:
“One should know the speaker and not inquire into speech” (Kau. 3. 8),
“Prana, laying hold of this body, makes it rise up” (Kau. 3. 3).
The Sutra refutes such a view and says that Brahman alone is referred to by ‘Prana’; for the above interpretation would involve a threefold Upasana, viz. of the individual soul, of the chief vital force, and of Brahman, which is, against the accepted rules of scriptural interpretation. No single passage can be made to yield three different meditations in this way by splitting it up. Moreover in the beginning we have, “Know me only”, followed by, “I am Prana”, and in the end again we have, “And that Prana indeed is the intelligent self, blessed, undecaying, immortal”, which shows that the same topic is kept up throughout. Therefore ‘Prana’ must be taken in the sense of Brahman and that on the ground that Its characteristics are found in this passage which have already been referred to in Sutra 1. 1. 28. This meaning of ‘Prana’ is found in other scriptural passages, and we are justified in taking it in that sense here, since words denoting Brahman are mentioned with reference to ‘Prana’.