ज्योतिरुपक्रमा तु, तथा ह्यधीयत एके ॥ ९ ॥
jyotirupakramā tu, tathā hyadhīyata eke || 9 ||
jyotirupakramā—(Elements) beginning with light; tu—but; tathā—so; hi—because; adhīyata—read; eke—some.
9. But (the elements) beginning with light (are meant by the word Aja), because some read so.
The Chhandogya assigns to the elements fire, water, and earth, created by the Lord, red, white, and black colours. Vide Cbh. 6 . 2 . 2-4 and G. 4. 1 .
This passage fixes the meaning of the word ‘Aja’ here. It refers to the three elementary substances viz. fire, earth, and water, from which the rest of the creation has been produced. It is not the Prakriti of the Sankhyas consisting of the three Gunas. In the former interpretation the three colours can be taken in their primary sense, whereas they can represent the three Gunas in a secondary sense only. Moreover, the force of the recognition of the Sruti is stronger; that is to say, if we can beyond doubt recognize in this passage what is elsewhere mentioned in the Sruti, that will be more reasonable than to recognize categories of a Smriti in the Sruti texts.