ते देवा अब्रुवन्, एतावद्वा इदं सर्व यदन्नम्, तदात्मन आगासीः, अनु नोऽस्मिन्नन्न आभजस्वेति; ते वै माऽभिसंविशतेति; तथेति, तं समन्तम् परिण्यविशन्त । तस्माद्यदननेनान्नमत्ति तेनैतास्तृप्यन्ति; एवं ह वा एनं स्वा अभिसंविशन्ति, भर्ता स्वानां श्रेष्ठः पुर एता भवत्यन्नादोऽधिपतिर्य एवं वेद; य उ हैवंविदं स्वेषु प्रति प्रतिर्बुभूषति न हैवालं भार्येभ्यो भवति; अथ य एवैतमनु भवति, यो वैतमनु भार्यान्बुभूर्षति, स हैवालं भार्येभ्यो भवति ॥ १८ ॥
te devā abruvan, etāvadvā idaṃ sarva yadannam, tadātmana āgāsīḥ, anu no’sminnanna ābhajasveti; te vai mā’bhisaṃviśateti; tatheti, taṃ samantam pariṇyaviśanta | tasmādyadananenānnamatti tenaitāstṛpyanti; evaṃ ha vā enaṃ svā abhisaṃviśanti, bhartā svānāṃ śreṣṭhaḥ pura etā bhavatyannādo’dhipatirya evaṃ veda; ya u haivaṃvidaṃ sveṣu prati pratirbubhūṣati na haivālaṃ bhāryebhyo bhavati; atha ya evaitamanu bhavati, yo vaitamanu bhāryānbubhūrṣati, sa haivālaṃ bhāryebhyo bhavati || 18 ||
18. The gods said, ‘Whatever food there is, is just this much, and you have secured it for yourself by chanting. Now let us have a share in this food.’ ‘Then sit around facing me,’ (said the vital force). ‘All right,’ (said the gods and) sat down around it. Hence whatever food one eats through the vital force satisfies these. So do his relatives sit around facing him who knows thus, and he becomes their support, the greatest among them and their leader, a good eater of food and the ruler of them. That one among his relatives who desires to rival a man of such knowledge is powerless to support his dependants. But one who follows him, or desires to maintain one’s dependants being under him, is alone capable of supporting them.
Is it not wrong to assert that all food ‘is eaten by the vital force alone,’ since the organ of speech and the rest are also benefited by the food? The answer is: No, for that benefit comes through the vital force. How the benefit done to the organ of speech etc. by the food comes through the vital force, is being explained: The gods, the organ of speech etc., called gods because they bring their respective objects to light, said to the vital force in the mouth, ‘Whatever food there is, is eaten in the world to sustain life, is just this much, and no more.—The particle ‘vai’ recalls what is well known.—And you have secured it all for yourself by chanting, i.e. have appropriated it through chanting for your own use; and we cannot live without food. Therefore now let us have a share in this food that is for yourself.’—The absence of the causative suffix in the verb is a Vedic licence.—The meaning is, make us also sharers of the food. The other said, ‘Then, if you want food sit around facing me.’ When the vital force said this, the gods said, ‘All right’ and sat down around it, i.e. encircling the vital force. As they sit thus at the command of the vital force, the food eaten by it, while sustaining life, also satisfies them. The organ of speech and the rest have no independent relation to food. Therefore the assertion that all food ‘is eaten by the vital force alone’ is quite correct. This is what the text says: Hence, because the gods, the organ of speech etc., at the command of the vital force, sat around facing it, being under its protection, therefore whatever food one eats through the vital force satisfies these, the organ of speech etc.
So, as the organ of speech and the rest did with the vital force, do his relatives also sit around facing him who knows thus. knows the vital force as the support of the organ of speech etc.—knows that the five organs such as that of speech rest on the vital force; that is. he becomes the refuge of his relatives. And with his food he becomes the support of his relatives who sit around facing him, as the vital force was of the organ of speech etc. Also, the greatest among them and their leader, as the vital force was of the organs. Further, a good eater of jood, i.e. free from disease, and the ruler of them, an absolute protector, or independent master, just as the vital force was of the organ of speech etc. All this result comes to one who knows the vital force in the above way. Moreover that one among his relatives who desires to rival a man of such knowledge, i.e. the knower of the vital force, is powerless to support his dependants, like the Asuras who had rivalry with the vital force. But, among his relatives, one who follows him, this knower of the vital force, as the organ of speech and the rest did the vital force, or who desires to maintain one’s dependants being under him, just as the organs desired to support themselves by following the vital force, is alone capable of supporting them, and none else who is independent. All this is described as the result of knowing the attributes of the vital force.
In order to demonstrate that the vital force is the self of the body and organs, it has been introduced as Āṅgirasa, ‘It is Ayāsya Āṅgirasa’ (par. 8). But it has not been specifically stated why it is called Āṅgirasa. The following paragraph is introduced to furnish that reason. If that reason is valid, then only will the vital force be admitted to be the self of the body and organs. It has next been stated that the organ of speech and the rest depend on the vital force. To show how that can be proved the text says: