CHAPTER 4 SECTION 1
Thibaut translates the opening statement of this section as Repetition (of the mental functions of knowing, meditating etc. is required) on account of the text giving instruction more than once. The third chapter was devoted to a discussion of the importance of different instructions given in the Upanishads. In the fourth chapter the teacher proposes the unfolding of the fruits of the counsels that are put in action repeatedly.
The commentators draw attention to Brhadaranyaka Upanishad (2-4-5), (4-5-6) and (4-4-21). Yajnavalkya in his counsel to his consort, Maitreyi, says that one desires to be an unattached individual (bhuta) not because he is enamoured of that status (which helps him to lead the life of a free man, though in the social periphery) but because the life of an unattached individual helps him to develop his personality (atma). (Vide Ch.18 in this work on the honey-doctrine, madhu-vidya.)
One desires to be attached with all individuals and groups and vocations (sarva) not because he likes the status of a person who is acquainted with all activities but because he wants to develop his personality (atma) thereby. So, Maitreyi has to see, hear, reflect on and meditate on all things for the development of her personality (atma). [It may be noted that we refrain from identifying atma with soul whether human or divine.] Yajnavalkya was not advocating pursuit of personal goals. Her intention was not to be acquisition of wealth or rejection of wealth and statuses. She was exhorted to see, hear, think of her atma, self, so that she might have the (further) knowledge (vijnana) of all (things and persons) (sarvam) in this (idam) larger society. (2-4-5)
Yajnavalkya told her that a wife holds her husband as dear to her not because she is interested in him but because she is interested in her own welfare. So does the husband seek his own welfare and not that of his wife. Similarly one seeks his or her own welfare when he or she loves their sons and not their welfare. One seeks wealth not because wealth is valuable and its creation is a need (of the society) but because he desires that wealth. So too is the case of mans desire for cattle. One desires to become a Brahmana to meet his personal interests and not because he respects the traits of an ideal scholar (Brahmana). So too his desire to become a Kshatriya is born of personal interests and is not because he respects the administrators (Kshatriyas). Yajnavalkya was finding fault with those who sought social positions for personal gains.
Yajnavalkya states that a commoner respects the aristocrats (devas) not because he admires their qualities and role as a liberal governing elite but because they would be of help to him. A student studies the Vedas not because he values their contents but because they would be useful to him in his career.
A commoner gives attention to the independent individuals (bhutas) not because they are members of this society without personal desires and personal belongings but because they would all help him. This crass selfishness may be noticed in the interest that one evinces in other persons or things or beings, Yajnavalkya points out. He advised her not to be interested in anything except her own soul (atma). She should see, hear, think of or concentrate on her soul (atma). In other words she should not aspire for the status of nobles (amrtam). If she knows the implication of this warning, then she knows all. (B.U.4-5-6) (Vide Ch 22 on Yajnavalkya and Maitreyi)
Yajnavalkya told Janaka, the stoical scholar-ruler of Videha, that a discerning scholar (dheera) should practise how to become wise and aware of all fields (prajna) by knowing (vjnaya) the traits and ability of that chief judge (Brahmana). He should not follow others (na anudhya). He should not be carried away by rich rhetoric (bahu sabda) for that is mere exhausting of words (B.U.4-4-21) (Vide Ch.21 on Yajnavalkya and Janaka of Videha.)
In Chhandogya Upanishad, Narada explains how the Prajapati who taught Indra, Virocana and others told his audience to investigate the thoughts of the individual (atma) who was free from sins, from old age, from insentience (mrtyu), from grief, and from hunger and thirst and whose desires (kama) and resolves (samkalpa) were in tune with the code based on truth (satya). One should seek to understand (what is not yet known about) his thought and personality. One who had found out that person and understood his traits would be able to gain the approval of all the social worlds (lokas) and (fulfillment of) his desires. The Prajapati was referring to the advantages that scholar (vipra) who moved about in all social worlds (lokas) would have by leading a disciplined life. (C.U.8-7-1) (Vide Ch.44 of this work on the description of the Academy of Scholars, Beahma-loka.)
In Mundaka Upanishad the teacher advises the student, an aspirant to the position of the spokesman and guardian of the different sectors of the larger society to develop his individuality (atma) as a unifying force even as the syllable, aum, unites all the three social worlds and also those outside them into a single society. [The translation, Meditate on aum as the self, needs to be elaborated to bring out this note.] The teacher wishes him success in crossing over to the other side of ignorance (tamas).
Brahmavidya meant the principles of jurisprudence that were to be understood by a member of the high judiciary that was to enforce the provisions of the socio-political constitution that was enshrined in the Vedas, especially in Brahma or the Atharvaveda. (Vide Ch.24 of this work, on the Message of the monks on Brahma-vidya and the socio-political constitution of the Vedic times.) Badarayana presented his new code without overlooking the directions given by the Vedic constitution that called upon every individual to be aware of himself and his duties. (Avrtti asakrt upadesat B.S.4-1-1)
Which word was to be repeated by the teacher and which one by the students was marked separately, Badarayana told his students who were being trained to become teachers. Nothing beyond this is to be discussed in cnnection with this direction. (lingat ca B.S.4-1-2). Thibaut translates this expression as On account of an indicatory mark.
Thibaut translates the next statement (4-1-3) as But the Self, (scriptural texts) acknowledge and make us comprehend (the Lord). Though many later authors have tried to present jivatma and paramatma, as being the same, that is, atma-jnana or awareness of ones potentials as the same as Brahma-jnana or Brahma-vidya, knowledge of the Ultimate or Eternal God,
Badarayana and his contemporaries had a different notion about the two terms, Atma and Brahma. Badarayana unlike some of his detractors was for every one to attain the level of a free individual who was not attached to any social body or to personal desires and aspirations and have control over his own conduct and destiny thereby. The teachings of the Upanishads that aided one in this direction which is secondary to the main direction of being engaged in developing ones personality, purushatva, are emphasized by Badarayana.
The commentator draws attention to the famous statement, I am Brahma (aham brahma asmi) in Brhadaranyaka Upanishad (1-4-10) and other statements related to it. It is noticed that every one sets greater value on his personal identity (atma) than on his son and wealth. The poet-sage points out that if one were to tell a person who says that he loves and values some thing other than his soul (atma) more than the soul, he is likely to be carried away by this misdirection. The sage hence states that one should be exhorted to adopt a positive approach and meditate only on his soul (atma) as the precious possession. One who meditates on his soul alone, that is, tries to develop his identity, as a conscientious person will not perish (B.U.1-4-8).
This knowing oneself is called Brahma-vidya. The common men (manushyas) hold the view that by this science one can become (bhava), that is, get the traits and talents of all persons (sarvam). The student asks whether Brahma, the head of the school of thought known as Brahma-vidya, had gained the talents of all persons. (B.U.1-4-9) The Brahma (Atharvan) school of thought had created the cadre of nobles (devas) and included all others in the class of manushyas. The commoners, manushyas had been trained to perform all types of duties and pursue all types of occupations. They were not classified as specialists in certain vocations. Brahma-vidya called upon every individual to gain all-round development and bring out all his innate talents.
This (undifferentiated commonalty) was in the beginning, Brahma. It knew itself (atma), that is, every one of its members identified himself as Brahma (aham brahma asmi). This realization that one has all the talents necessary to pursue any vocation that he has opted for had spread not only among the commoners (manushyas) but also among the nobles (devas), the ruling liberal elite. This principle of self-realization and all-round development was applicable to the sages (rshis) also, as in the case of common men (manushyas).
The poet-sage of Brhadaranyaka Upanishad implies that one becomes the person whom he emulates. He adds that, Whoever realizes that he is Brahma (aham brahma asmi) does indeed identify himself with all individuals. Even the nobles (devas) cannot prevent him from developing in himself through meditation and self-development, the traits of a fully developed man. So whoever worships a member of another elite (devata) who does not have the maturity associated with the cultural aristocracy (devas) does not know the meaning of the science called Brahma-vidya. For, he thinks that there is a vital distinction between the governing class of plutocrats and technocrats and the commoners, between devatas and manushyas.
The nobles (devas) treat such a person as being but an animal. Even as many animals serve a commoner (manushya), each social leader (purusha) serves the nobles (devas). The nobles (devas) do not (directly) call upon the commoners (manushyas) to serve them. In fact, the latter do not have access to the nobles. Only the leaders have access to the nobles and serve the purposes upheld by the latter. [It is imperative to distinguish between manushya and purusha and between deva and devata.]
Even if one animal is taken away, the master becomes unhappy. Hence when a noble (deva) loses one social leader (purusha) he loses many commoners (manushyas) whom that purusha leads, and he must be feeling unhappy. These nobles (devas) do not like that the commoners (manushyas) should know this dependence of the former on the latter. The sage of this Upanishad is not happy that the commoners (manushyas), especially their leaders (purushas) should opt to follow the plutocrats and technocrats (devatas) rather than the liberal aristocrats (devas) who do not wish to exhibit their disappointment. (B.U.1-4-10) (Vide Ch.15 of this work on the Brahma school of thought on the evolution of the four-fold social polity.}
Ushasta requested Yajnavalkya to explain to him the Brahman who was immediately present (and could be a witness, sakshat) and was not indirect (aparoksha) and was the individual present (atma, soul in common parlance) in all (sarva-antara). Yajnavalkya replies, This is your atma; that is within all. Ushasta wants to know what is in all. Yajnavalkya explained that the pranas (breaths), composed of in-breath (prana), out-breath (apana), diffused breath (vyana), equalising breath (samana) and the up-breath (udana) together constituted atma and it was present in all (B.U.3-4-1). (Vide Ch.19 of this work on Yajnavalkya and his detractors.)
Uddalaka asked him to describe the invisible inner controller. Yajnavalkya told him that the invisible inner controller was settled (tishtha) in the prthvi. He is within it. But the commoners (prthvi) are not aware of his presence in their midst. The commonalty (prthvi) is his body (sariram), that is, he is a member of one of the social bodies that are part of this commonalty but he is not a prominent personage. He controls (yamayata) this commonalty (prthvi) from within it.
The presumption that the nobles direct the commonalty as they belong to a stratum higher than the commonalty and that the representative of the autonomous commonalty is not a commoner is incorrect. Social control is effected from within the society unlike political control, which is exercised from above by the state or a higher stratum. This internal controller of the commonalty is an individual (atma) who does not pursue his physical needs and is invisible (antaryami). However, he has been granted the status of a noble (amrtam) (B.U.3-7-3).
Yajnavalkya was not advocating pursuit of personal goals. Ones intention was not to be acquisition of wealth or rejection of wealth and statuses. He exhorted his consort, Maitreyi, to see, hear, think of her atma, self, so that she might have the (further) knowledge (vijnana) of all (things and persons) (sarvam) in this (idam) larger society. (B.U.2-4-5) He belonged to the decades when the new four-varna classification, Brahmans, Kshatriyas, Vaisyas and Shudras was still on the anvil and had not yet been approved.
Brahmans of his times were jurists rather than priests. The order of jurists, Brahma, rejected one who identified oneself (atma) as one other than such a Brahma, a knower (veda) of the constitution. In other words one who did not know and function as an exponent of the socio-political constitution, Brahmaveda (Atharvaveda) was not to be called a Brahman. The order of administrators (kshatras) rejects one who identifies oneself as a member of a group other than kshatras. A social world (loka) rejects one who identifies oneself as a member of some other social world. The class of aristocracy (devas) rejects one who identifies oneself (atma) as a member of a class other than the cultural aristocracy.
The unattached individuals (bhutas) of the social periphery reject one who (on questioning) identifies oneself as one who is not an unattached individual (bhuta). The larger society (sarva) comprising all individuals, classes, cadres and communities will reject one who identifies oneself as one not belonging to that larger society. It is the individual (atma) with a recognized identity as a Brahma or jurist, a Kshatra or administrator, a member of a community or an unattached individual or one with wide (sarva) talents who is absorbed in the respective social order (B.U.2-4-6). Yajnavalkya underlines the need for personal identification with the social group that one seeks to be with, by sharing its orientations. (Vide Ch 18 on the dialogue between Yajnavalkya and his consort, Maitreyi on the honey-doctrine.)
Yajnavalkya tells Janaka and other scholars that the purusha should deliberately take part in the sports of the elite and move about amongst them and observe their noble deeds (punya) as well as sins (papa). Then he should return to his original group, that of the commonalty which is insentient. He has to move about freely from one state to the other, from insentience to awareness, even as a fish swims from one bank to the other (B.U.4-3-17and18). He then likens the movement of the purusha to that of a bird of prey and also to that of a gentle bird, which tired after flying about in the sky folds its wings and comes down to its nest. He reaches that state where he entertains no personal desires and being fatigued sees no dream. [This comparison might have been a later interpolation.] (B.U.4-3-19)
In the veins and arteries (nadi), which are called by the term, hita, (stabilizers) who are very minute and are filled with fluids of different colours he gets extraordinary experiences (under the influence of drugs that he has taken to entertain hallucinations). He feels as if he were being killed or overpowered or chased by an elephant or falling into a well. Through ignorance he imagines whatever fears he had actually experienced or seen were when he was awake. But when he thinks that he is indeed a noble (deva) or king (raja) and that he is all that is here (that is, identifies himself with all individuals in this social world of administrators), then he becomes (part of) that high (parama) social world or cadre (loka) (B.U.4-3-20). The sage calls for a realistic approach. Yajnavalkya expected Janaka to be a realist even while having the status of an aristocrat and occupying the position of a king.
The social leader (purusha) who has to play the role of a king and behave like a noble presents himself in a particular form (rupa) that evokes the picture of a dignified king. He (as an austere stoic) is free from cravings, from sins and from fear. But Yajnavalkya does not deny this personage the right to copulate with his wife. During such union one is ignorant of what is happening outside and is also not aware of his internal talents and thoughts. In that form and role of a man united with his wife, his intimate and personal desires are fulfilled. Of course such union could be had (as a duty) without desire and without sorrow (B.U.4-3-21).
When the purusha becomes a stoical ruler with no personal desires and sorrows, he does not treat his father as a father or his mother as a mother or the social worlds or communities (loka) as ones with distinct orientations (to be honoured and respected or indulged in by him). Similarly he does not treat the nobles (devas) as a governing elite with special rights and privileges or the Vedas as authoritative works. He does not despise the thieves for being so or a terminator of the foetus for having done that horrid act.
He has no likes and dislikes. He does not despise a social outcast (chandala or a paulkasa) for being so. He does not despise the Sramana as a heretic monk or honour a tapasa (meditator) for being so. He does not have preferences. The state headed by such a stoic under the purusha constitution treats all as equals. It does not push forward that rulers personal idiosyncrasies. Yajnavalkya says that neither meritorious deeds (punya) nor sinful deeds (papa) affect the stoic who has travelled far beyond all the sorrows of the heart. (4-3-22)
In that position, the trained stoical ruler does not personally observe the events taking place around him. Yajnavalkya explains that though the ruler may notice an event it should not be treated as his observing that event in his official capacity. He has to secure information on persons and events through the official institution of observers (drshti) whose role of observing never comes to a stop.
In other words, however impartial and objective a ruler may be in his inspection of works carried on by his officials and others this institutionalized procedure of observing through observers can not be brought to a halt. It is not known to be broken. It is imperishable. There is no alternative (dvitiyam) to it. No other individual or institution can be recognized as observer and work assigned to him or it partially (vibhakta). Yajnavalkya was engaged in a disputation on the function and role of the trained stoical ruler. He was not discarding any established institution though he was not prepared to accept that the Vedas contained all the required knowledge. (B.U.4-3-23)
The medieval and modern commentators have both failed to recognize correctly what Yajnavalkya taught Janaka of Videha. One who recognized and followed that independent jurist-cum-aristocrat (brahma-amrta) whom all the pancha panchajanas (that is, all the twenty-five groups) acknowledged was treated as a noble (amrtam). (B.U. 4-4-17) Yajnavalkya stressed the need for the emergence of an integrated social order headed and guided by a scholar who was acceptable to all. He also hinted that aristocrats were egotists and failed to recognize this principle of new intellectual aristocracy with restricted tenure of one year for each member.
Yajnavalkya wanted that administrators should know who among the commoners (pranas) represented the commonalty best and similarly who among the observers represented his cadre best. So too they should know who among the trained scholars (srotras) represented this cadre best and who among the thinkers (manas) represented his cadre best. Such administrators know what the head (agra) of the ancient (purana) judiciary (Brahma) knew. In other words, such administrators and rulers learn that according to Atharvan codes the chief judge should be able to identify the reliable persons among the commoners, witnesses and observers, reporters and scholars and thinkers (B.U. 4-4-18).
The observer (drashta) who is also a thinker (manas) notices the common factors and not the diversities (nanasti). One who sees (pasya) diversity treats every commoner (mrtyu) who is insentient as different from other commoners. [The translation of this aphorism as: Only by the mind is it to be perceived. In it there is no diversity. He goes from death to death, who sees in it, as it were, diversity, fails to bring out its purport.] The system of representation of common will cannot succeed under these circumstances where diversities are dwelt on and not common traits and common aspirations. Yajnavalkya was dealing with the issue of impartial responsible and representative judiciary. (4-4-19)
Janaka could follow his line of thinking. But the commentators of the medieval times could not. Did Yajnavalkya draw attention to the ancient practice of a five-member judiciary representing the ruling nobility (devas), the free intellectuals (vipras), the higher ranks of free men (gandharvas who were not residents of any state), the organized commonalty (vis) and the agrarian proletariat (kshudrakas)? Was there then a federal society of the five native peoples, Purus, Druhyus, Anus, Turvasus and Yadus with each of them having a five-member board of arbitration and constitution bench and a chief justice, Brahma, at its helm?
Yajnavalkya expects all to observe and follow (the conduct of) this incomparable (aprameya) centrally located (dhruva) individual (atma) as the only authority (eka) (functioning as the chief ruler-cum-judge). He is untainted (viraja) and belongs to other outer areas (para akasa), is not locally born (aja) but is great (mahan) and is centrally located (dhruva). He is not a native of any organized state and like the minute dust in the stratosphere (akasa) moves about everywhere.
The head of the federal polity was known as Viraj. He was expected to maintain neutrality and follow the principle of union without uniformity. Yajnavalkya would like him to be a stoic without personal attachments (viraja). He would be the centre (dhruva) from where guidance and directions were given to all the members and sections of the larger society. (Yajnavalkya seems to be drawing attention to certain features of the Mahadeva constitution described in Atharvaveda Bk.15.)
Yajnavalkya makes a subtle suggestion that the judiciary mentioned above might have on it members drawn from any of the twenty-five groups but its head should be an outstanding scholar drawn from the larger pool of unassuming intellectuals and located at the state capital (B.U.4-4-20). (Vide Ch.2! on the discussion between Yajnavalkya and Janaka of Videha, on the role of the scholarly king as jurist Brahma.)
In Chhandogya Upanishad we find the teacher following the line of Ghora Angirasa, (the teacher of Krshna), explaining the relation between adhyatma and adhidaivata. The essential individual (adhyatma) who has an identity of his own deems and honours the thinker (manas) in himself as the highest interpreter and jurist (Brahma). The essential aristocrat (adhidaivata) of the enlarged society deems the vast space with all its varied denizens and social segments (akasa) as Brahma. [In neither situation, with reference to life among the thinkers of the commonalty or the enlarged and universal aristocracy, is the term, Brahma, used to indicate God.] This is the twofold (ubhayam) instruction (adishta) on the essential individual (adhyatma) and the essential noble (adhidaivatam). Both the will of the individual and the will of the large society as upheld by its aristocracy are to be honoured as constituting the spirit of the socio-political constitution, Brahma. (C.U.3-18-1)
As far as the essential individual (adhyatma) is concerned, the four aspects of the code that regulates his life are what have to be uttered (vak), how one has to secure his living (prana), what he has to notice (chakshu) and what he has to hear (srotra). As far as the essential noble (adhidaivatam) is concerned, the views of the officials designated as Agni, Vayu and Aditya who represent the three social worlds, prthvi, antariksham and divam, should be taken into account while arriving at an appraisal of the common will. The fourth factor is the view of the people in the different directions, (disa).
This twofold instruction pertains to the essential individual (adhyatma) who regulates his personal life and the essential noble (adhidaivatam) who regulates the lives of the peoples of the varied larger society. [The teacher was recalling the instructions in governance that Ghora Angirasa had given to his students including Krshna. This factor needs to be kept in mind while interpreting the teachings of Krshna to Arjuna and others in the Bhagavad-Gita.] (C.U.3-18-2) (Vide Ch.35 of this work on the teachings of Ghora Angirasa.)
The teacher correlates speech (vak), breath (prana, that is, ordinary living persons) and eye (chakshu, the observer) with Agni, Vayu and Aditya (fire, wind and sun, in common parlance). The teacher correlates what this individual has heard (srotra) from different sources with the reports that the essential noble and his cadre of governing nobility of the larger society have received from the different provinces. The former aspects are connected with the will of the essential individual (adhyatma). They become influential when they follow the lines set by the latter aspects that are connected with the will of the larger society exercised through the governing elite (adhidaivatam).
A ruler or a judge who knows this and conducts himself according to this expectation becomes famous and succeeds in his enterprises and also gains the qualifications that are essential for functioning as an interpreter and upholder of the socio-political constitution (Brahma-varchas). [The translation of this expression as Brahma-knowledge is imprecise. We should recognize the distinctions in the roles of the Brahmarshis, Brahmavadis and the ordinary cadres of Brahmans who were scholars in Vedas and functioned as teachers or as priests. Ghora Angirasa was a Brahmavadi. ] (C.U.3-18-3 to 6)
According to the instructions given by Ghora Angirasa, Aditya who spoke for the nobility could exercise the powers of Brahma, the highest officer of the judiciary. The teacher found it necessary to explain the implications of this stand. Earlier there was no body that could legislate. It had representatives of the nobility and of the intelligentsia on the governing council. Aditya and Agni headed these two segments. And it became a balanced body (samabhavat). Just as an egg when it is broken open reveals two parts one white and one yellow, the unified body of legislature was later (after one year of deliberation) divided into two, one representing the commonalty and the other the nobility (C.U.3-19-1).
The commoners (prthvi) are compared to the white (rajat) of the yolk and the nobility (dyau) to its yellow (suvarna) portion. The teacher compares the outer membranes of the egg to the mountains (parvata) and the inner membranes to the mists and clouds (megha), the veins (dhamani) to the rivers (nadi) and the bladder filled with fluid to the sea. He was correlating the egg with the physical features of the country (C.U.3-19-2). Aditya was a post created by this unified society with two strata, commonalty and nobility. [The teacher could not have stated that the sun emerged from the earth.]
When this post whose occupier represented both these cadres and also others who were dependent on mountains, rivers and seas was created every one rejoiced. And all the discrete individuals (sarva bhuta) on the social periphery welcomed the creation of this post. Aditya took into account the desires of all sections of the population. The rise of the sun and its return after night give joy to all individuals and to all those who have their own desires. Aditya was not viewed as the representative of the nobility only. As he was also Brahma, the head of the highest judiciary, he could satisfy the expectations of the individuals who did not belong to the organized core society and those groups, which had their specific desires (C.U.3-19-3,4). The teacher advises his trainees to benefit by viewing Aditya in this light. (Atma iti tu upagacchanti grahayanti ca B.S.4-1-3)
Thibaut interprets the next epigram (4-1-4) as Not in the symbol (is the Self to); for he (the meditating person may) not (view symbols as being the Self). The issue of whether the soul within man, jivatma, is the same as the great soul, paramatma, or is but the image of the latter is not to be introduced here. Similarly it is not sound to discuss whether God may be identified in some form or by a particular name and whether Brahma is an abstract concept or not.
As pointed out in the note on the previous epigrams of Badarayana, in Chhandogya Upanishad (3-18-1) and (3-19-1) the sages were dealing with the provisions of the new socio-political constitution, Brahma.
The essential individual (adhyatma) who has an identity of his own deems and honours the thinker (manas) in himself as the highest interpreter and jurist (Brahma). The essential aristocrat (adhidaivata) of the enlarged society deems the vast space with all its varied denizens and social segments (akasa) as Brahma. This is the twofold (ubhayam) instruction (adishta) with reference to the essential individual (adhyatma) and the essential noble (adhidaivatam).
Both the will of the individual and the will of the large society as upheld by its aristocracy are to be honoured as constituting the spirit of the socio-political constitution, Brahma. (C.U. 3-18-1) This twofold instruction pertains to the essential individual (adhyatma) who regulates his personal life and the essential noble (adhidaivatam) who regulates the lives of the peoples of the varied larger society.
Badarayana wanted his students to note that the two constitutions (the Upanishadic as guided by him and the Atharvan as explained by Ghora Angirasa) were not identical. In the new one, the highest socio-political authority is the head of the highest judiciary, Brahma, who is not associated with any socio-economic body. The term, Atma, indicates one who is similarly free from control by any social body and is able to think and function without restrained by personal needs or desires. The Vedic constitution, Brahma, did not have such an authority. It provided for Viraj as the head of the federal social polity. It did not provide for an intellectual aristocracy that would be independent of the cultural aristocracy. (Na pratike na hi sa 4-1-4)
Thibaut interprets the next epigram (4-1-5), as A contemplation of Brahman (is to be super-introduced on symbols of Brahman), on account of the exaltation (thereby bestowed on the symbols). Badarayana had brought out that the view taken by the chief judge (Brahma) was superior to the views of any other socio-political authority according to the new social code. The social polity of the later Vedic era was headed by Viraj who was assisted by the chief of the people, Prajapati who convened the two legislative podies, Sabha and Samiti, headed by officials designated as Indra and Agni. The Prajapati was assisted by the mother figure, Aditi, who supervised the functions of the eight officials who were known as Adityas. The post-Vedic polity was headed by the chief of the people, Prajapati who was assisted by Indra. In the new setup, the head of the judiciary, Brahma, could overrule the decisions taken by the chief of the people, Prajapati, and the legislators under him. (Brahmadrshti utkrshtat B.S.4-1-5)
Thibaut interprets the formula (4-1-6) as And the ideas of Aditya and so on (are to be superimposed) on the members (of the sacrificial action); owing to the effectuation (of the result of the sacrifice). It is not sound to introduce the picture of a sacrifice and the host and the priests and guests sitting around the pit where sacrifice was performed.
Aditya, Indra, Agni, Soma, Vayu, Varuna, Mitra and Mrtyu were the designations of the officials of the Vedic polity. During the early post-Vedic times they could function independent of Indra who headed this body of eight officials. Their roles too were significantly different from those they played during the later Vedic period. They represented distinct sectors (angas) of the new larger social polity. During the Vedic times, this body was not subordinate to the king (rajan). Even during the early post-Vedic times it was so. The views of these officials were available to the head of the judiciary, Brahma who honoured them. It is not sound to introduce in this issue the importance of the Udgitha, loud chanting of aum, or its subsidiaries as angas. (Adityadi matayas ca ange upapatte 4-1-6)
Thibaut interprets the next epigram (4-1-7), as Sitting (a man is to meditate) on account of the possibility. It was possible that at a discussion pertaining to political affairs, the political authorities, Rajanyas, occupied a higher position, and at a discussion pertaining to academic issues, the intellectuals, Brahmans, might occupy the seats on the higher platform. This arrangement indicates that on academic issues pertaining to the constitution and judicial verdicts the Brahmans were given an exalted position and their authority upheld. (Asina sambhavat B.S.4-1-7)
While the different officials might have been active, the chief judge, Brahma had to pay careful attention to their activities and ensure that these were not violative of the provisions of the constitution but were functional to the needs of the polity. (Dhyanat ca B.S.4-1-8) Thibaut translates this expression as And on account of thoughtfulness.
Thibaut translates the next epigram, as And with reference to immobility (scripture ascribes thought to the earth etc). It is not rational to hold that this epigram refers to the passage, The earth (prthvi) thinks as it were. It was expected that the supreme judge though a meditator would not be wavering (acala) in his purpose or in his view about what the verdict should be. (acalatvam ca apekshya B.S.4-1-9)
The judge who was required to sit on an exalted platform was expected to pay careful attention to the issue on hand and not be wavering. This has been indicated not only in the constitution (Brahma) but also in the Smrtis whose editors have remembered and recorded the practices that were in vogue during the early Vedic times. (Smaranti ca B.S.4-1-10)
Thibaut reads the statement (4-1-11) as Where concentration of mind (is possible), there (meditation may be carried on), on account of there being no difference. The judge has to adopt a holistic approach while considering any issue by bringing together all the relevant factors wherever it was not a special case characterised by a peculiar situation or consideration. He was a member of the intellectual aristocracy, which had to sit along with the members of the cultural aristocracy when considering issues of great significance for the society as a whole. The discussion when one should be engaged in meditation and facing which direction is irrelevant. (yatra ekagrata tatra aviseshat 4-1-11)
Thibaut translates the next formula (4-1-12) as Up to death (meditations have to be repeated); for then also it is thus seen in scripture. Up to what time was a person required to occupy the position of a judge meditating on the various aspects of the issue being debated has been shown in the constitution. He had no definite tenure. He could hold his position till his death or might withdraw earlier. The commentator draws attention to Prasna Upanishad (4-2-10). (Vide Ch.45 of this work for a critical scrutiny of the counsel given by Pippalada.)
Gargya (whose grandfather had been a general, Surya) asked Pippalada what talents and powers lay asleep and latent in the social leader (purusha) and what ones were awake and active. Gargya wanted to know who was known as the noble (deva) for whom these dreams (svapna) are a reality witnessed (pasyata) and what was the comfort and happiness (sukham) that he was said to enjoy. In whom are all these traits established (sampratishthita), that is, who has the traits of both a social leader (purusha) and an aristocrat (deva)? The purushas were said to be on the threshold of the aristocracy (divam). Gargya wanted to know about that threshold (P.U.4-1).
Pippalada points out that all the latent dreams and manifest deeds of the social leaders (purushas) are reported to the other social world, that is, to the nobles (devas) and the latter deliberate (manas) on them. At that stage, the social leader (purusha) stays inactive. At that stage he is said to sleep, to be withdrawn into himself (P.U.4-2). In other words, when the new integrated aristocracy began to deliberate on the functions performed by the different officials and social leaders and their latent talents, these officials and leaders had to remain inactive.
While the nobility had withdrawn to deliberate on what work had been accomplished by the officials and leaders, what was yet to be accomplished and other related issues and the administrative machinery including the social leaders came to a standstill, the commoners (the living beings, prana) continued to be awake and the fire (agni) in their households continued to burn. The civil judge, Agni kept under check the activities of the commoners. Their duties began where those of the social leaders and officials (purushas) ended and while the aristocracy (including both cultural and intellectual, sabha and samiti, that is, the integrated samiti) retired to deliberate further moves.
The integrated aristocracy that deliberated on merits and demerits of the officials concerned may be compared to the mind. The fruit of the sacrifice, that is, the objective (ishta) behind the sacrifice is compared to the upward breath (udana). The object of the householder who performs the sacrifice is to attain the status of Brahma. As the aspirant sacrificer ensures that there is a diffusion of all benefits and re-absorption of all elements in the social polity after they have once dropped out and as there is an attempt to maintain a balance between those who enter the society and those who leave it, he is fit to rise to the highest social cadre, Brahma, the judiciary.
The human society is composed of the five sections, prthvi, apa, tejas, vayu and akasa and every individual is a minute part of one of these five sections. These five have often been presented as the five elements (earth, water, fire, air and ether) of matter (prakrti) and that they are present in every (human) being and such picture has come to reign and obscure the recommendations of the Upanishadic sages.
Pippalada treated the agro-pastoral commonalty (prthvi), the riverine and maritime economy (apa), the intellectual aristocracy (tejas), the people constantly on the move (vayu) and the people of the open space and the other society (antariksham or akasa) as the five sections of the larger society. While answering the questions posed by Gargya, he resorted to Samkhya dialectics and fundamentals. These covered the above five elements present in all beings and in nature.
Pippalada visualized the integrated society as one where every individual had the orientations that were earlier particular to these sections that stayed apart from one another without being able to merge. One thinks by his mind and gets counsel from his mind. So too, the society has thinkers and counsellors who function on its behalf. The ego or self-identity (ahamkara) leads one to act in his personal interests (aham-kartavya) and chittam makes one function wisely (chetayitva). The individuals who are endowed with tejas are able to educate and enlighten (vidyotayitva) all. The person who represents the essential and common will (prana) of all supports all the varied sections (vidharayitva) of the larger society. (P.U.4-8)
This representative who sees, touches, hears, smells, tastes, thinks, counsels and does (his duty) (as any commoner) and is an individual who has acquired further knowledge (vijnana) through extrapolation of the knowledge (jnana) he has gained through formal training is described as one able to provide social leadership, as a purusha. As he enters the integrated aristocracy as an intellectual and charismatic personage representing the will (prana) of all the sections of the larger society, he gets established (sampratishthita) in that other (para) and permanent (akshara) social world as an individual (atma) representing that collective (P.U.4-9).
Gargya must have wondered whether this great chief of the people who moved about among the different sections of the larger society and was granted a place in the high integrated aristocracy as the representative of its collective will was originally a commoner or a noble. (He was curious to know more about Mahadeva, the Vratya Prajapati.) Pippalada says that that individual (atma) who was indeed a member of the permanent and high aristocracy, returned to it (after accomplishing his mission of establishing small nation-states capable of meeting the needs of all sections of the society). He was not a person (father) who was followed by his shadow (son).
He was not a member of any social body (sarira) and was not a rajanya, not red in colour as rajas is said to be (alohitam). He was pure white (subhra), the colour of sattva (the trait of the pious). In short he was a member of the gentle aristocracy and he returned to its fold. A person who knows this process becomes one who knows every thing (sarvajna) and identifies oneself with all. (4-10)
According to Chhandogya Upanishad, Ghora Angirasa had given counsel to Krshna, the son of Devaki. Since Krshna had become free from thirst for worldly pleasures, he should during the last period of his life follow strictly (come under the protection of) the concept of the Ultimate as the indestructible (akshitam), the non-fallen (achyutam) and combine of breaths (prana-samsita). This was an advice, which Ghora Angirasa gave his student, Krshna, drawing from Yajurveda (C.U.3-17-6). The views of Ghora Angirasa are reflected in Krshnas exposition of the concepts of adhibhutam, adhyatmam and adhidaivatam in Bhagavad-Gita. (Vide Ch 35 of this work.)
In Bhagavad-Gita, addressing Arjuna as the best of beings with a body (dehabhrtam), Krshna says that need be no doubt about his claim that one who remembers him at the time of his departure, prayanakala, attains his (Krshna's) attitude (madbhavam) (that is, if he had been properly instructed in Krshnas academy).
Krshna justifies his claim on the basis of the theorem that the nature of whomsoever one identifies with or remembers at the last moment is obtained by the devotee or the supplicant. Hence his claim is not to be dismissed as an extraordinary one or as an irrational one. Arjuna is advised not to cease to think of his guide and his guidance at any time. He is asked to fight, always remembering Krshnas advice (for Arjuna might fall in the battle at any moment). One who with his mind (manas) and intellect (buddhi) placed himself at the command (arpita) of Krshna would surely reach him. (B.G.8-5,6,7)
The issue of the time of departure, death, raised by Arjuna was a minor one. What Krshna called for was adherence to his school of thought till the end, after the student having consented to be taught by him. At the time of his death, prayanakala, one should be steady in mind (acala manas). With the strength (bala) gained from constant practice of yoga steps, he should set his life-breath (prana) well (samya) on the middle of his eyebrows. As he passes away at this stage, he will attain (upaiti) the status of the supreme (parama) splendid person, divya-purusha (B.G.8-10). The above advice is not to be construed as a claim that a yogi who passes away in his yogic posture gets united with God. He is honoured as a great personage and as one who had become eligible for the status of a saint. Badarayana was counselling his students who after completing the course of education were proceeding to take their place in the intellectual aristocracy. (Aprayanat tatra api hi drshtam B.S.4-1-12)
Thibaut interprets the formula (4-1-13) as On the attainment of this (viz. Brahman there take place) the non-clinging and the destruction of later and earlier sins; this being declared (by scripture). As the student completes his course and proceeds to take up his high position whatever remains as effects of the harmful errors (aghaya) that he has committed after he joined the academy (uttara) or before joining it (purva) is destroyed as it has been described. The scripture is not to be drawn into picture here. The comment that the obtainment of Brahman does not imply the cessation of the consequences of misdeeds is irrelevant here.
The commentator draws attention to a statement in Chhandogya Upanishad where Gautama counselled a prince of Kosala. Gautama would only say that if Upakosala followed the advice given by the three priests while performing his roles as a social leader (purusha), he would not be guilty of any sinful act even if others in the society where he lived and functioned committed sins. Gautama gave him the example of the lotus-leaf in the pond. It dies not absorb any water though it stands in water and water-drops fall on its surface. Gautama offered to tell him how to function as a personage who would not be affected by the evils in the society that he has to lead as an enlightened and sedate administrator. (C.U.4-14-3) The reference to Chhandogya Upanishad (C.U.5-24-3) has a different theme and is not relevant here.
In Mundaka Upanishad, the student is told what status he may expect to attain on his leaving the academy. (M.U.2-2-7) The teacher briefs the student that this intellectual who occupies a place next only to the cultural aristocrat is basically a thinker (manomaya) and is also a leader (neta) of all individuals at the bare subsistence level (prana) and also of the members of social bodies (sarira) and is established (pratishthita) in the agrarian economy as a producer of grains (anna). He is a charismatic personage dear to (present in) the heart of the people (hrdayam sannidhaya). (Vide Ch. 25 0f this work on the message of the monks on Brahma-vidya and the Vedic social constitution.)
The teacher adds that the wise persons (dhira) who are able to discriminate between good and bad perceive their (socio-physical) environment (paripasya) through vijnana (the knowledge that is acquired by extrapolating the already gained knowledge, jnanam) like the members of the happy structure (ananda-rupam), the shining (vibha) cultural aristocracy (amrtam) (Mu.U.2-2-8) The activist-intellectual who occupies the position of Brahma, the jurist, has in fact been a rich and charismatic social leader who is eager to know more than what he has learnt in the formal school.
The emotional attachments between the jurist and his erstwhile associates in social life are cut (before he assumes his new position) and he becomes free from all doubts. The effects of his earlier deeds (karma) become less potent (kshiya). He is beheld to be one belonging to the other higher rank (aristocracy, para) as well as to the lower ranks (avara), the commonalty. (Mu.U.2-2-9) He is not attached to either stratum. (tad adhigame uttarapurva aghayor aslesha vinaso tad vyapadesat 4-1-13)
Thibaut translates the next formula (4-1-14) as Of the other (i.e. good works) also there is in the same way, non-clinging; but at death. Even as the trained student is exonerated of all errors or sins committed before or during the course of his education and they do not cling him any more, he would not be able to enjoy the benefits attached to his good conduct before his entry into or during his stay in the academy. These would however keep him in good stead when he happens to commit an error that threatens him with fall in status during his later life as a member of the intellectual aristocracy. It does not seem to be sound to translate the term, pata as signifying death. They would not go in vain.
Chhandogya Upanishad describes what Narada taught the Vipra, a scholar who was moving about teaching all about how one could gain access to the academy of scholars, Brahmaloka. The students wondered whether it was possible to move from one social stratum or cadre or world (loka) to another. The teacher says that the individual (atma) [who is not attached to any social body] is to be viewed as a dam or bridge (setu), which keeps these social worlds (lokas) apart from one another. In other words, one does not carry with him the experiences he had when he was a member of a particular social world to the new one that he enters. It is simplistic to say that one does not carry with him the knowledge, experiences and their fruits with him when he dies and is reborn somewhere.
When one enters the academy of the highest intellectuals (Brahma-loka) he does not carry with him the sins he might have committed when he was in his earlier stratum. He does not carry with him weaknesses like blindness (ignorance), injury or ailment when he moves to the social world of intellectuals (especially jurists). In the Brahma-loka there is only day for every one of its members is an enlightened person. But only those persons who have practised the disciplined life of an initiated student (brahmachari) can become members of this academy, Brahma-loka. They may move freely in all social worlds (lokas). (C.U.8-4-1to3) (Vide CH.44 of this work on what the Vipra reported to Narada about the Brahma-pura.) Mundaka Upanishad (2-2-8) however is not relevant to this context.
The epigram, He overcomes both, in Brhadaranyaka Upanishad (4-4-22) has to be interpreted correctly. The scholars (Brahmanas) try to define the traits necessary in that great judge by pinpointing (vividishanti) his features. For this they use their knowledge of the Vedas or resort to sacrificial rites (yajna) or offer gifts (dana) or perform tapas (meditation) or penance of fasting, which are their prescribed duties. On knowing his features, the scholar becomes a silent monk (muni). Desiring to join his cadre (loka) they set forth as recluses (pravraja). Because they knew this, the earlier scholars did not desire offspring. [One who had offspring and personal property could not become a member of the judiciary.] (Vide Ch.21 of this work on the discussion between Yajnavalkya and Janaka.)
The individuals who had been admitted to the cadre (loka) of jurists (Brahma) had no use for sons. They had risen above the desire for sons (praja) or subjects, for wealth (vitta) and for peoples and communities (loka). [Yajnavalkya was referring also to the traits of the scholar who had become a ruler-cum-judge.] They had to lead the life of mendicants who lived on alms (bhiksha) and had to be constantly on the move (cara). The sage had before him the picture of the status and role of the Vipras who assisted the chief judge, Brahmana.
One desires to have (to conquer) worlds (lokas), as he wants wealth. He desires to have wealth, as he wants sons (putra). The judge has to be free from desires. Yajnavalkya rules out a ruler becoming a judge also, as control over communities (lokas) and possession of wealth (vitta) indicate desires. The unattached individual (atma) can be described only in terms of exclusion (neti, neti). He is incomprehensible, indestructible, unattached, unfettered, unharmed for he cannot be comprehended or destroyed or be attached or fettered or harmed. One who knows this cannot be overcome by sins, that is, punished for having committed sins. He is not rewarded either for his welfare activities. He does his duty stoically. His soul is not affected by what he has done or by the duties that he has failed to perform. (B.U.4-4-22)
Yajnavalkya told Janaka that the above stand was reflected in the popular verse: The eternal (nitya) greatness of the scholar (Brahmana) who has mastered the Vedas (Brahma) is not increased or diminished by the nature of work or duty he is required to perform. One should know that step; having known that he will not be tainted by sinful deeds. The step, which the scholar as an interpreter and upholder of the socio-political constitution (Atharvaveda or Brahma) was required to take gave him immunity against being hauled up for committing a sin. [We would avoid translating the term, pada, as nature.] Yajnavalkya pointed out that a person (who could be a judge) having known this implication of that step (provision incorporated in the constitution) should become calm, self-controlled, withdrawn, patient and collected or unperturbed.
Then he would notice the presence of his atma (the conscience) in him (atma). He would see all (sarva) in himself. [The sage does not deal with the issue of paramatma (great soul) being present in jivatma.] This identification with all characterizes a Brahmana, a scholar who has mastered the Vedas. He does not become a victim to sins; he overcomes them. Sins do not sear him; he burns all sins.
Free from sins and stains and also from doubts, he becomes a Brahmana, a member of the judiciary. Such a judge should have been already exonerated of all charges before taking up his position as a judge. Thus Yajnavalkya explained the provisions pertaining to the formation and constitution of the judiciary, Brahma-loka.
He declared that Janaka who had been given the status of Samrat had attained that level and was eligible to pronounce verdicts (that would be binding all individuals, cadres, clans, communities and ranks of the larger society). The natives (jana) of Videha who had elected their Janaka were not members of any organized social body (deha). They were individuals who accepted the constitution that was recommended by Yajnavalkya. It made the judiciary as outlined by him the highest constitutional authority of the state headed by the Janaka from whichever social rank that Janaka might have risen. Janaka was subordinate to the constitution. (B.U.4-4-23)
This great (mahan) individual (atma) was not born in that state. He was a commoner engaged in agriculture (dependent on food, anna) and had gifted away his property (vasu). A scholar, who knew that, obtained wealth (only to give it away). He was not born in that state; he was not a derelict (ajara); he did not belong to the insentient commonalty; he belonged to the intellectual aristocracy; he was a fearless judge (Brahma). Brahma (designation of a member of the judiciary) is characterized by fearlessness. He who knew this and became a master of the constitution could become a judge (Brahma).
The sages of the great forest said that this lesson was to be drawn from the discussion between Yajnavalkya and Janaka. Yajnavalkya who had gifted away his wealth was offered wealth, the state of Videha itself. But he did not accept it or the services of its people and its ruler. He justified his nomination of Janaka, a former agriculturist and commoner and elected ruler of the natives of Videha as its chief judge. (B.U.4-4-24,25) (itarasya api evam asamslesha pate tu B.S.4-1-14)
Thibaut interprets the next formula (4-1-15) as But only those former (works) whose effects have not yet begun (are destroyed by knowledge); because (scripture states) that (i.e. the death of the body) to be the term. The purpose that one has before he began a particular work, that is, the task that he has embarked on is not put an end to with his passing out of the academy and joining the judiciary. Badarayana was asking his students to remember the task that they had undertaken when they entered that academy of jurisprudence. It did not end with their passing out of that academy as persons trained to be impartial judges.
The commentators refer to a statement in Chhandogya Upanishad (6-14-2) and interpret that the death of the body is the term of the attainment of final release. They have not appreciated correctly the purport of this entire section that deals with the famous counsel that Uddalaka gave Svetaketu and exhorted him to know his potentials and develop his talents, Tat tvam asi (That art Thou). (Vide Ch.42 of this work for a critical study of thie significant exhortation.)
Svetaketu was expected to infer the traits of the cadre as a whole by identifying that of an individual member of that cadre. The entire stratum (and even the entire larger society) has for its identity (atma) a common minute trait (anima). This was the principle, which the laws based on satya followed. Hence all men were equal in the eyes of those laws. Svetaketu was asked not to conduct himself as different from others in his high intellectual cadre. That art thou, Tat tvam asi, Uddalaka said driving home this aspect of social laws. Svetaketu wanted to be instructed further on this issue of essential commonness of the identifiable traits of a social cadre or stratum. Uddalaka agreed to tell him. (C.U.6-13-1,2,3)
Uddalaka then explained to him the role of a teacher. He would only tell his student the direction in which he was to go. He would not personally escort the latter along to the goal that he had to reach. In this connection he referred to the social leader (purusha) who wanted to go to the land of the Gandharas. The escort had bandaged that leaders eyes, took him to an uninhabited place and released him there and asked him to find out by himself the direction in which he was to go. That person turned towards all directions and cried aloud that he was unable to see as he had been brought and left with his eyes bandaged (C.U.6-14-1).
Some one removed the bandage and pointed out the direction in which he was to go to reach the Gandharas. That learned person (pandita) and scholar (medhavi) then went to the land of the Gandharas asking his way from village to village. He was following the method that was the norm in that land. The Gandharas (Gandharvas) did not have a system of formal schooling (teacher and student). Even the blind (ignorant) had to find out their way by themselves inquiring from others the step to be taken next.
Similarly here (where Uddalaka has his school) a person (purusha, one who is expected to have the talents needed to lead others) who has a teacher (acharya) knows that he would be there only as long as he is not discharged (from the school). He also knows that he will attain perfection (sampad) only after that (C.U.6-14-2).
Uddalaka reiterated that this entire larger society (idam sarvam) has the same essential trait (atma), which is invisible like the minute atom (anima). The individual member (atma) is not different from the society (sarvam, all). The laws based on satya that prevailed during the later Vedic era were based on this principle. Hence none in a given stratum or sector may expect to be treated as being different from its other members. Svetaketu realized the implications of this hint that he could not expect to be taught more than what other students were taught. Uddalaka asked him to realize that he was at a stage when one who was expected to be a leader was allowed to find out the steps to his goal by oneself. That art thou, Tat tvam asi, Uddalaka said. But Svetaketu felt that he was not yet ready to chart his own course and asked to be further instructed and Uddalaka agreed to do so (C.U.6-14-3). (anarabdhakarye eva tu purve tad avadhe B.S.4-1-15)
Thibault translates the next formula (4-1-16) as But Agnihotra and the like (tend) towards the same effect; scripture showing this. Badarayana agrees that the performance of the daily rites like Agnihotra do lead to the fulfilment of the task that a person is assigned when he comes out of his primary school and enters the stage of a householder performing his duties to his family and to his society. He however does not agree that the training in that school when one was innocent at the time of admission was the same as that in the senior academy which he had entered bringing along with him high aims and aspiration both merits and demerits earned during his worldly life.
The commentators refer to Brhadaranyaka Upanishad (4-4-22) while trying to bring out the meaning of this formula. But they have not noted the significance of the context behind that counsel to Janaka. The Vipras had to lead the life of mendicants who lived on alms (bhiksha) and had to be constantly on the move (cara). The sage had the picture of the status and role of the Vipras who assisted the chief judge, Brahmana. Agnihotra required that every householder should submit himself daily to scrutiny of his conduct by the chief judge, Agni, of the local community and his assistants, and get exonerated for any errors of omission and commission by performing the prescribed expiatory rites. Badarayana does not consider these rites to be on par with the final rites that one had to perform as he ended his tenure as a jurist or judge of the Brahma category. (Agnihotra adi tu tat karyaya eva tad darsanat B.S.4-1-16)
The commentator interprets the next statement (4-1-17) as For (there is) also (a class of good works) other than this, according to some. (There is agreement) of both (teachers as to the fate of those works). Both Jaimini and Badarayana held that there were works that did not fall in the category of good acts, which affect the career of the student. These were born of societal duties, for instance, contributing to the maintenance of cadres like nobles, sages and elders. Other authors held these to be distinct from the tasks undertaken for fulfilment of some special wish. Whether these duties have been fulfilled or not was noted while assessing the career of an intellectual who graduated from the academy. (ata anya api hi ekesham ubhayo B.S.4-1-17)
Thibaut translates the next formula (4-1-18) as For (the text) whatever he does with knowledge (intimates that). The commentator interprets that works of permanent obligation like Agnihotra if performed with intent to release (mukti) lead to the extinction of evil deeds committed and thereby lead to Brahman, knowledge of the ultimate and thereby to release (mukti). What one does with the knowledge he has gained by mastering the disciplines of study taught in the academy was recorded and if he had put them to use they would stand him in good stead. This is implied, Badarayana tells his students. The commentator draws attention to Br.Up. (4-4-22), but as pointed out earlier, fails to grasp the implications of what Yajnavalkya taught Janaka. Sacrifice was not presented as an auxiliary to knowledge of the Self. Yajnavalkya was referring also to the traits of the scholar who had become a ruler-cum-judge. The sage had the picture of the status and role of the Vipras who assisted the chief judge, Brahmana. (yad eva vidyaya iti hi 4-1-18)
Thibaut interprets the last formula of this section as But having destroyed by fruition the two other (sets of work) he becomes one with Brahman. The commentator says that all good and evil deeds whose effects have not yet begun are extinguished by the power of knowledge. This is an irrational interpretation. He refers to Brhadaranyaka Upanishad (4-4-6) but is unable to interpret the epigram, Being Brahman he goes to Brahman correctly. What Yajnavalkya told Janaka needs to be interpreted rationally. Yajnavalkya explains that the expressions, idomaya and adomaya, signify this association with and experience in that social field.
One's personality is formed from his acts and practices. One who does pious deeds becomes known as a sadhu, a gentle and pious person. One who does sinful acts is known as a sinner. Some say that (every) person is full of desires (kamamaya). Ones desires determine the type of deeds, which he performs. Ones deeds determine his personality. He attains the status appropriate to the deed or duty he performs. Yajnavalkya leaves it to the individual concerned what role he should play after retiring from his position as a member of the judiciary (Brahma) (B.U.4-4-5).
Yajnavalkya cites a popular verse in this connection. If ones mind is attached to a particular work, it gets united with that alone. After exhausting the results of whatever work he has done in a social world (loka) he comes again from that world to this world for work. This verse was dealing with the migrant who had gone abroad to work and earn wealth. After squandering in his native place what he had earned abroad he returned to that country to work and earn wealth. A jurist who had retired and gone back to the level from which he had risen to that high position might return to his post in the judiciary. It was not to be faulted, Yajnavalkya implied. Only some desired to return to the judiciary.
There were some who had no desires (akama) and some worked without personal (nishkama) desires. Some had got their favourite desires (apta-kama) fulfilled. Some were enamoured of their personal status (atma-kama). The lives (pranas) of such persons are not elevated. One who is a scholar and has no personal ambitions or desires and has no attachments is eligible for the post of a judge (Brahma). He alone can get entry to the judiciary (Brahma). Yajnavalkya implies that while one might not be debarred from rejoining the judiciary after retirement, one who aspires to return is not to be taken back. (B.U.4-4-6)
The commentator draws attention to a counsel that Uddalaka gave to his son, Svetaketu. Uddalaka pointed out that the Gandharas did not have a system of formal school and that one had to learn about his environment by himself. Similarly (where Uddalaka has his school) a person (purusha, one who is expected to have the talents needed to lead others) who has a teacher (acharya) knows that he would be there only as long as he is not discharged (from the school). He also knows that he will attain perfection (sampada) only after that (C.U.6-14-2). Badarayana was pointing out that one could become perfect only after he had enjoyed the immunities of one who belonged to the intellectual aristocracy and had retired to isolation as a satisfied person with no pursuits whatever. (bhogena tu itare kshapayitva sampadyata B.S.4-1-19)