अथ होवाच जनंशार्कराक्ष्य कं त्वमात्मानमुपास्स इत्याकाशमेव भगवो राजन्निति होवाचैष वै बहुल आत्मा वैश्वानरो यं त्वमात्मानमुपस्से तस्मात्त्वं बहुलोऽसि प्रजया च धनेन च ॥ ५.१५.१ ॥
atha hovāca janaṃśārkarākṣya kaṃ tvamātmānamupāssa ityākāśameva bhagavo rājanniti hovācaiṣa vai bahula ātmā vaiśvānaro yaṃ tvamātmānamupasse tasmāttvaṃ bahulo’si prajayā ca dhanena ca || 5.15.1 ||
1. The king then said to Jana, ‘O Sārkarākṣya, whom do you worship as the Self?’ Jana replied, ‘I worship Ākāśa [space], revered king.’ The king said: ‘That which you worship as the Vaiśvānara Ātman is named Bahula [pervasive]. This is why you have so many children and so much wealth’.
Atha, next; ha uvāca, he [the king] said; janam, to Jana; śārkarākṣya, O Śārkarākṣya; kam, whom; tvam ātmānam upāsse iti, do you worship as the Self; bhagavaḥ rājan, revered king; ākāśam eva iti, [I worship] Ākāśa [space]; ha uvāca, [the king] said; yam tvam ātmānam upāsse, the Self which you worship; eṣaḥ, this [Ākāśa]; vai, for sure; ātmā vaiśvānaraḥ, is the Vaiśvānara Ātman; bahulaḥ, as Bahula [pervasive]; tasmāt, therefore; tvam, you; bahulaḥ asi prajayā ca dhanena ca, have a great number of children and much wealth.
The qualifying word bahula is applied to ākāśa (space) because it is vast and pervasive and it also has many other qualities. Those who worship space acquire some of those qualities.