त इन्द्रियाणि, तद्व्यपदेशादन्यत्र श्रेष्ठात् ॥ १७ ॥
ta indriyāṇi, tadvyapadeśādanyatra śreṣṭhāt || 17 ||
te—They; indriyāṇi—organs; tadvyapadeśāt—being so designated; śreṣṭhāt anyatra—except the chief.
17. They (the other Pranas) except the chief (Prana) are organs (and so different from the chief Prana), on account of (their) being so designated (by the scriptures).
The question is raised whether the eyes etc. are but inodes of the vital force or independent entities. The opponent holds the former view since the scripture says, “‘This is the greatest amongst us (the organs). . . . Well, let us all be of his form.’ They all assumed its form. Therefore they are called by this name of ‘Prana’” (Brih. 1. 5. 21). The Sutra refutes this and says that the eleven organs belong to a separate category, and are not modes of the vital force, because they are shown to be different in texts like : “From Him are born, the vital force, mind, and all organs” (Mu, 2. I. 3), where the vital force and the organs are separately mentioned. The text of the Brihadaranyaka is to be taken in a secondary sense.