तेनोभौ कुरुतो यश्चैतदेवं वेद यश्च न वेद । नाना तु विद्या चाविद्या च यदेव विद्यया करोति श्रद्धयोपनिषदा तदेव वीर्यवत्तरं भवतीति खल्वेतस्यैवाक्षरस्योपव्याख्यानं भवति ॥ १.१.१० ॥
॥ इति प्रथमः खण्डः ॥
tenobhau kuruto yaścaitadevaṃ veda yaśca na veda | nānā tu vidyā cāvidyā ca yadeva vidyayā karoti śraddhayopaniṣadā tadeva vīryavattaraṃ bhavatīti khalvetasyaivākṣarasyopavyākhyānaṃ bhavati || 1.1.10 ||
|| iti prathamaḥ khaṇḍaḥ ||
10. He who knows about Om and he who does not know about it both work with strength they derive from Om. But knowledge and ignorance produce different results. Anything done with knowledge [about Om], with faith in the teachers and in the scriptures, and according to the principles of the Upaniṣads [or of yoga] is more fruitful. This certainly is the right tribute to Om.
Ubhau, both [kinds of persons]; tena, by the power of that [Om]; kurutaḥ, work; yaḥ ca, whoever; evam, as such; veda, knows; etat, this [i.e., about Om]; yaḥ ca na veda, he who does not know; vidyā ca avidyā ca nānā tu, knowledge and ignorance are entirely different things; yat eva, anything; vidyayā karoti, one does with knowledge [about Om]; śraddhayā, with respect for one’s teachers and the scriptures; upaniṣadā, as taught by the Upaniṣads [i.e., according to yoga]; tat eva, that [work]; vīryavattaram bhavati,. is more powerful [i.e., more fruitful]; iti, this; khalu, certainly; etasya eva akṣarasya upavyākhyānam bhavati, is the right tribute to this Om. Iti prathamaḥ khaṇḍaḥ, here ends the first section.
Two kinds of people work: one kind knowing what Om means and another kind knowing nothing about it. Both kinds of people, however, are able to work because of Om. What is the difference between the two? What special advantage does a person who knows about Om have? Someone may argue: Suppose a person takes a medicine knowing what medicine he is taking and why he is taking it, and another person takes it without any knowledge of what he is taking and why he is taking it. Will the medicine produce different results in them?
The answer is: The analogy does not apply here. Knowledge is always an advantage, especially knowledge about Om. If you work because you are told to work, and if you work because you want to use the work as a stepping-stone to the attainment of Om—there is a vast difference between the two approaches. In the first instance, you are content with whatever the work produces; in the second, you are content only if it paves the way to your attainment of Om.