अस्य लोकस्य का गतिरित्याकाश इति होवाच सर्वाणि ह वा इमानि भूतान्याकाशादेव समुत्पद्यन्त आकाशं प्रत्यस्तं यन्त्याकाशो ह्येवैभ्यो ज्यायानकाशः परायणम् ॥ १.९.१ ॥
asya lokasya kā gatirityākāśa iti hovāca sarvāṇi ha vā imāni bhūtānyākāśādeva samutpadyanta ākāśaṃ pratyastaṃ yantyākāśo hyevaibhyo jyāyānakāśaḥ parāyaṇam || 1.9.1 ||
1. Śilaka Śālāvatya asked Pravāhaṇa, ‘What is the end of this earth?’ Pravāhaṇa said: ‘Space, for everything that exists arises from space and also goes back into space. Space is superior to everything. Space is the highest goal’.
Asya lokasya kā gatiḥ iti, [Śilaka Śālāvatya asked,] what is the end of this earth; ākāśaḥ iti ha uvāca, [Pravāhaṇa] replied, space; sarvāṇi ha vai imāni bhūtānī, all these beings; ākāśāt eva samutpadyante, issue from space; ākāśani prati astam yanti, they disappear into space; ākāśaḥ hi eva ebhyaḥ jyāyān, Space is superior to these; ākāśaḥ parāyaṇam, space is the highest goal.
Space is described here as the source of everything. It is the source as well as the end of everything. In short, it is Paramātman, the Cosmic Self. Because space is the biggest thing visible, it can rightly claim to be the symbol of the Paramātman. All the other elements (air, fire, water, and earth) come from space and go back to space. But the scriptures also say that the Cosmic Self is the source and the end of the elements—indeed, of everything.
As the spider sends forth and draws in its thread, as plants grow on the earth, as hair grows on the head and the body of a living man-so does everything in the universe arise from the Imperishable.
Brahman expands by means of austerity and from It primal matter is produced; from matter, Prana; from Prana, mind; from mind, the elements; from the elements, the worlds; thence works and from the works, their immortal fruits.