The second  part  of  the  Upanishad  has  not  even  the  appearance  of continuing the drama between  Death  and  Nachiketas though it is connected to the story at the end of the collected to round up the story.  Evidently it does not belong to the Upanishad in the original.

It would seem  to consist of  excerpts  from  a  Book  of  Discipline  for  Disciples;  pages  chosen  for  their  philosophical  depth  and  religious  feeling.

rather  than as embodying  the more  technical  teachings.

It is a series of pearls collected from various sources.  This may be the garland that Yama offered as a special gift to Nichiketa.







pa̱rāńci̍ khāni vya̱tṛṇa̍t svayambhūs- ta̱smāt parā̍ṅ paśyati nā̱ntarā̍tman |

ka̱ścid dhī̍raḥ pra̱tyag-ā̍tmānam aikṣad ā̱vṛtta̍-cakṣur a̱mṛta̍tvam icchan || 1 ||

parāńci  =  outgoing; 

khāni  =  the  orifices;  openings

vyatṛṇat  =  pierced; 

 svayambhūḥ  =  the  self-born  Being; Self Existent 

tasmāt = therefore;

parāk = outwards;

paśyati = one looks;

na antarātman = not within oneself;

 kaścit dhīraḥ = wise discriminating person;

pratyak-ātmānam = the indwelling Self;

āvṛtta-cakṣuḥ = turned the gaze inward, looked within the mind; 

aikṣat = saw. 

amṛtatvam = immortality, one's true nature, freedom from suffering;

 icchan = desiring;

 Death said: 'The Self-existent pierced the openings (of the senses) so that they turn forward: therefore man looks forward, not backward into himself. Some wise man, however,with his eyes closed and wishing for immortality, saw the Self behind!


Shankara  makes  out  that  the  Lord  cursed  or  “killed”  the  senses  by  turning  them  outward.  Shankara's opinion is opposed to the tone of the previous section in which the senses are said to be like horses, which will take us to our goal, if properly guided. The Upaniṣad calls for the control and  not  the  repression  of  the  senses.  The  spiritual  quest  is  an  inward  movement  leading  to  the discovery of the Divine in the inmost Self. It is this introspective process which is being stressed in this verse. 

parā̍caḥ kāmān a̱nuya̍nti bā̱lā̱s te̱ mṛ̱tyor ya̍nti vi̱tata̍sya pāśam |

atha̍ dhī̱rā a̱mṛta̍tvaṁ vidi̱tvā̱ dhru̱vam a̍dhruveṣv iha na̱ prārtha̍yante || 2 ||

parācaḥ kāmān = the external objects

anuyanti = they pursue; of  desire;

bālāḥ = the children, immature people;

 te  =  they;

mṛtyoḥ  =  of  death;

 yanti  =  become  entangled;

vitatasya  =  spread  far  and  wide  everywhere;

 pāśam  =  in  the  noose,  snare; 

atha  =  hence; 

dhīrāḥ  =  those  who  are  wise  and discriminating;   

amṛtatvaṁ  =  the  immortality;

viditvā  =  having  known

dhruvam  =  the  abiding,  stable,  permanent;

adhruveṣu  =  in  that  which  is impermanent;

  iha = here is this samsāra.

na  prārthayante  =  do  not aspire  after  or  pray  for;   

 'Children follow after outward pleasures, and fall into the snare of wide-spread death. Wise men only, knowing the nature of what is immortal, do not look for anything permanent here among things impermanent!


yena̍ rū̱paṁ ra̍saṁ ga̱ndha̱ṁ śa̱bdān spa̍rśāṁś ca̱ maithu̍nān |

ete̍nai̱va vi̍jānā̱ti̱ ki̱m atra̍ pari̱śiṣya̍te | e̱tad vai tat || 3 ||

yena = that by which;

rūpaṁ = form;

rasaṁ = taste;

gandhaṁ = smell;

śabdām = sound; 

sparśāṁ = touch; 

ca = and; 

maithunān = pleasure derived from sex;

vijānāti = know clearly;

etena eva = through this only;

 kim = what;

atra = in this world;

pariśiṣyate  = remains;

etat vai tat = this is  indeed that.

That by which we know through form, taste, smell, sounds, and sexual relations, we know clearly, this also through this only.  What else remains outside of those?   This indeed is that. 

The Spirit world is indeed beyond the senses.  So is the Holy Spirit which is even beyond and more pervasive.

svapnānta̍ṁ jāga̍ritā̱nta̱ṁ co̱bhau ye̍nānu̱paśya̍ti |

mahānta̍ṁ vibhu̍m ātmā̱na̱m ma̱tvā dhī̍ro na̱ śoca̍ti || 4 ||

svapnāntaṁ  =  the  content  of  dreams;

jāgaritāntaṁ = the content of the waking state;

ca-ubhau = both of them;

yena  =  That  by  which; 

anupaśyati  =  one  perceives; 

mahāntaṁ = the great;

vibhum = all-pervading;

ātmānam = Self;

matvā = having realised

dhīraḥ = the wise person; 

na śocati   = does not grieve.

The wise, when he knows that that by which he perceives all objects in sleep or in waking is the great omnipresent Self, grieves no more.'



The Mandukya Upanishad describes four states of consciousness,

·        Jagrat :Waking" consciousness 

  • Svapna:the "dream" consciousness
  • Sushupti:the "deep sleep" consciousness, 
  • Turiya:  the state beyond that

These four states, when correlated to the four planes, represent a much unfolded consciousness. Jagrat is related to the physical; Svapna to the astral; Sushupti to the mental; and Turiya to the buddhic.

In all these states the Divine Spirit within is always alert and perceives things with the Spiritual senses.


ya i̱mam madhva̍daṁ ve̱da̱ ā̱tmāna̍ṁ jīva̱m anti̍kāt | 

ī̱śānam bhūta̍-bhavya̱sya̱ na̱ tato viju̍gupsate | e̱tad vai tat || 5 ||

yaḥ = anyone who

imam = this

madhvadaṁ  = the enjoyer of the results of actions, “honey-eater”

veda = knows

ātmānaṁ  = Self

jīvam = the sustainer of the vital energies

antikāt = proximity

īśānam = the ruler;

bhūta-bhavyasya  =  of  the  past  and  the  future  [and  also  the  present]; 

na vijugupsate  = fears nothing (shrinks away from)

tataḥ  =  thereafter 

etat vai tat = this is indeed that.

'He who knows this living soul which enjoys the results of his actions as being the Self, always near the Lord of the past and the future,  fears no more. This is that!

Rāmānuja reads in this verse the mention of jīvātman as the enjoyer and the paramātman as the Lord of the past and the future. One who has realised this truth fears not the future because of the past.  He who has the Lord within has his sins forgiven and forgotten.  He can now face the future with confidence.




yaḥ pū̱rvaṁ tapa̍so jā̱tam a̍dbhyaḥ pū̱rvam a̍jāyata | 

gu̱hām pra̱viśya̍ tiṣṭha̱nta̱m yo̱ bhūte̍bhir vya̱paśya̍ta | e̱tad vai tat || 6 ||

yaḥ  =  anyone  [desirous  of  liberation]  who; 

vyapaśyata  =  sees; knows

 pūrvaṁ  jātam  =  the  First-born (Hiranyagarbha);

yaḥ = who;

ajāyata = was born;

tapasaḥ = from austerity [contemplation];

 pūrvam = earlier;

adbhyaḥ =  than water;

bhūtebhiḥ = associated with the elements;

guhām praviśya = having entered into the heart of all beings;

tiṣṭhantam = exists;

etat vai tat  = this is indeed That.

Any one can see that He who is the  First-born born before all creations , and that he has entered into the heart of all beings and  abides therein, and and can be perceived from the nature. This is that.

Here the word used is "purva jatam" "Ancient of Days" "First Born of All Creations".

Colossians 1:15-16  (Jesus- Easaw) He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities-- all things have been created through Him and for Him.…

One who was born before all things

 In Vedic myths it is referred to as the Hiraṇyagarbha  literally the 'golden womb' or 'golden egg', poetically rendered 'universal germ'.  It is the source of the creation of the Universe or the manifested cosmos in Indian philosophy, it finds mention in one hymn of the Ṛigveda (RV 10.121), known as the 'Hiraṇyagarbha Sūkta', suggesting a single creator deity

In the beginning was the Divinity in his splendour, manifested as the sole Lord of land, skies, water, space and that beneath and He upheld the earth and the heavens.

Who is the deity we shall worship with our offerings?

It is that who bestows soul-force and vigor, whose guidance all men invoke, the Devas invoke whose shadow is immortal life and death.

Who is the deity we shall worship with our offerings?

It is that who by His greatness became the One King of the breathing and the seeing, who is the Lord of man and bird and beast.

Who is the deity we shall worship with our offerings?

It is that through whose glory the snow-clad mountains rose, and the ocean spread with the river, they say. His arms are the quarters of the sky.

Who is the deity we shall worship with our offerings ?

It is that through whom the heaven is strong and the earth firm, who has steadied the light and the sky's vault, and measured out the sphere of clouds in the mid-region.

Who is the deity we shall worship with our offering?

It is that to whom heaven and earth, placed in the light by his grace, look up, radiant with the mind while over them the sun, rising, brightly shines.

Who is the deity we shall worship with our offerings?

When the mighty waters came, carrying the universal germ, producing the flame of life, then dwelt there in harmony the One Spirit of the Devas.

Who is the deity we shall worship with our offerings?

It is that who in its might surveyed the waters, conferring skill and creating worship - That, the God of gods, the One and only One.

Who is the deity we shall worship with our offerings?

Mother of the world - may that not destroy us who with Truth as his Law made the heavens and produced waters, vast and beautiful.

Who is the deity we shall worship with our offerings?

Lord of creation! No one other than thee pervades all these that have come into being.

May that be ours, for which our prayers rise, may we be masters of many treasures!

-- (RV 10:121) [Ralph T.H Griffith]


This creator is identified as Prajāpati - Lord of Hosts. 

 In classical Purāṇic Hinduism, Hiraṇyagarbha is a name of Brahmā, so called because he was born from a golden egg (Manu Smṛti 1.9), while the Mahābhārata calls it the Manifest. The Golden Embryo is also the principle of all vibration and movement - the Word - which creates. It expresses itself in the form of vibrating energy. It divides itself into the totality  of  all  possible    potentialities  (the  causal  waters  =  rayi)  and  the  Breath-of-life  (prāṇa) = Illustrated as the wind that creates waves in the causal ocean from which all forms develop.

The “waters” symbolise the mūla-prakrti, the aspect of the Supreme Being which remains when the universe is dissolved into the source.  In iconography it is represented by the Milk-ocean  upon  which  Lord  Vishnu  floats  reclining  upon  the  serpent  named  infinity "Ananta-śeṣha."  Rāmānuja considers the "First-Born" to be Brahmā the creator and not the Self. Brahmā is controlled and directed by the paramātman - Vishnu, the Lord of the Heavens.

yā prāne̍na sambha̱vaty adi̍tir deva̱tāma̍yī |

gu̱hām pra̱viśya̍ tiṣṭha̱ntī̱ṁ yā̱ bhūte̍bhir vya̱jāyata̍ | e̱tad vai tat || 7 ||  

ya prāṇena =  with the life-force

sambhavati = is born, arises

aditiḥ = Aditi;
devatāmayī = comprising all the gods
guhām = in the secret place
praviśya = having entered
tiṣṭhantī = exists
yā = which;
bhūtebhiḥ =  in association with the beings or elements;
vyajāyata = took birth;  
etad vai tat = this is indeed That.

(He who knows) Aditi also, who is one with all deities, who arises with the breath of life, who, entering into the heart, abides therein, and was born from the elements. This is indeed that.

adi̍ti̱r dyaur adi̍tir a̱ntari̍kṣa̱ṃ adi̍tir mā̱tā sa pi̱ta sa pu̱traḥ |

viśve̎de̱vāḥ adi̍ti̱ pańca̱-janā̱ adi̍tir jā̱tam adi̍ti̱r jani̍tvam ||  

(Rig Veda 1:89:10)

'Aditi is the sky, Aditi is the air, Aditi is mother, father and son, Aditi is all the gods

and the five tribes, Aditi is whatever has been and will be born.'


Brahma with Aditi

In the Vedas, Aditi ("limitless") is mother of the gods (devamata) and all twelve zodiacal spirits from whose cosmic matrix the heavenly bodies were born. As celestial mother of every existing form and being, the synthesis of all things, she is associated with space (akasa) and with mystic speech (Vāc). She may be seen as a feminized form of Brahma and associated with the primal substance (mulaprakriti) in Vedanta. In this sense, she is the source of all life.

She is mentioned nearly 80 times in the Rigveda: the verse "Daksha sprang from Aditi and Aditi from Daksha" is seen by Theosophists as a reference to "the eternal cyclic re-birth of the same divine Essence" and divine wisdom.

In contrast, the Puranas, such as the Shiva Purana and the Bhagavata Purana, suggest that Aditi is wife of sage Kashyap and gave birth to the Adityas such as Indra, Surya, and also Vamana.

Rāmānuja interprets Aditi  to be refering to the individual jīvātman.  "karma-phalāni attīti aditiḥ" — Aditi is that which experiences atti the results of Karma. It resides in  the cavity of the heart with the prāṇas and the other senses which are known as the "devas."  Etad-vai-tat    refers  to  the  Paramātman  which  is  the  over-self  of  the  individual Self. 



ara̍ṇyor ni̱hito̍ jāta-ve̱dā̱ ga̱rbha i̍va subhṛto ga̱rbhiṇī̍bhiḥ | di̱ve di̍va ī̱ḍyo

jā̱gṛva̍dbhir ha̱viṣma̍dbhir ma̱nuṣye̍bhir agniḥ | e̱tad vai tat || 8 ||


jāta-vedāḥ = Agni, the omniscient one;

nihitaḥ = is hidden;

araṇyoḥ = in the two fire-sticks;

subhṛtaḥ = well-protected; 

garbha iva = like a foetus;

garbhiṇībhiḥ = by pregnant women;

agniḥ = that Agni;

īḍyaḥ  =  is  worthy  of  adoration  

dive  dive  =  every  day; 

manuṣyebhiḥ  =  by  those human  beings; 

jāgṛvadbhiḥ  =    who  are  awake,  

haviṣmadbhiḥ  =  through oblations or contemplation;

etad vai tat = this is indeed That.

'There is fire, the all-seeing, hidden in the two fire-sticks, well-guarded like a foetus in the womb by the pregnant woman is worthy of adoration day after by human beings who are awake and bring oblations. This indeed is that.

"Aranis = The fire sticks. The sacrificial fire – Agni – is kindled by rubbing two pieces of wood  together in a churning fashion. These two aranis can be taken metaphorically to be referring to both Puruṣa (consciousness) and Prakṛti (material Nature), the subject and the object – they are identified with the Supreme Reality as they are two movements of His being whence all the creation arises.  

Agni is the most important and the most universal of Vedic gods. In the physical world he is  the  “All-devourer”  or  experiencer.  He  is  also  the  purifier  through  his devouring    by consumption he purifies all things. He is the medium that prepares and perfects; he is also the agent of assimilation and the producer of energy.  He is the dynamic life energy and creates  the  essence  (rasa)  of  all  things,  the  essence  of  their  substantial  being  and  the essence of their delight. Agni among all the five elements is the only one that always rises upwards.  Psychologically  Agni  is  the  Force  of  Will    (iccha  shakti)  which    directs  the thought flow towards the Supreme Light of the Divine, to enlightenment and liberation." Srimadom.com



yata̍ś codeti śū̱ryo ’sta̍m yatra ca̱ gaccha̍ti | 

taṁ de̱vās sa̍rve a̱rpitās tad u̱ nātye̍ti kaścana | e̱tad vai tat || 9 ||

yataḥ ca = that from which

udeti = rises

śuryaḥ = the Sun

yatra = where

astam gacchati = sets, day after day;

taṁ  = on that (the Self)

devāḥ sarve = all the gods

arpitāḥ = are established, fixed

tat u = that indeed

na kaḥ cana = nobody whosoever; 

ātyeti = transcends 

etat vai tat = this verily is that.

And that whence the sun rises, and whither it goes to set, there all the Devas are contained, and no one goes beyond. This is that.'

All gods are just created beings by the Supreme Spirit.  They are all within the realm of created dimensions as the sun in in the material real,  No body transcends beyond the limitations of Space and Time in all dimensions.


yad e̍veha tad amutra ya̱d amu̍tra ta̱d anvi̍ha | 

mṛ̱tyos sa̱ mṛtyu̍m āpno̱ti̱ ya̱ iha nāne̍va paśyati || 10 || 

yat  eva iha = whatever is here

tat = that is

amutra = there

yat = whatever is

amutra  = there

tat anu iha = likewise here

mṛtyoḥ = from death

mṛtyum = to death

sa āpnoti = he goes

yaḥ = who

iha = here

nānā iva = like seperativeness

paśyati = sees.

 'What is here (visible in the world), the same is there (invisible in Brahman); and what is there, the same is here. He who sees any difference here (between Brahman and the world), goes from death to death.'

yathā brahmāṇḍa tathā piṇḍāṇḍa

“as above – so below”



"This phrase comes from the beginning of The Emerald Tablet and embraces the entire system of traditional and modern magic which was inscribed upon the tablet in cryptic wording by Hermes Trismegistus. The significance of this phrase is that it is believed to hold the key to all mysteries. All systems of magic are claimed to function by this formula. "'That which is above is the same as that which is below'...Macrocosmos is the same as microcosmos. The universe is the same as God, God is the same as man, man is the same as the cell, the cell is the same as the atom, the atom is the same as...and so on, ad infinitum."

"This message theorizes that man is the counterpart of God on earth; as God is man's counterpart in heaven. Therefore, it is a statement of an ancient belief that man's actions on earth parallel the actions of God in heaven. This pivots on the belief that "all things have their birth from this One Thing by adaptation."

"To the magician the magical act, that of causing a transformation in a thing or things without any physical contact, is accomplished by an imaginative act accompanied by the will that the wanted change will occur. The magical act and imaginative act becomes one and the same. The magician knows with certainty that for the change to occur he must will it to happen and firmly believe it will happen. Here it may be noted that magic and religion are akin: both require belief that a miracle will occur.

"To bring about such a change the magician uses the conception of "dynamic interconnectedness to describe the physical world as the sort of thing that imagination and desire can effect. The magician's world is an independent whole, a web of which no strand is autonomous. Mind and body, galaxy and atom, sensation and stimulus, are intimately bound. Witchcraft strongly imbues the view that all things are independent and interrelated." These concepts pivot on the belief that all things come from the One Thing, or First Cause, and "Its power is integrating, if it be turned into earth."

"The purpose of all rituals in ceremonial magic is to unite the microcosm with the macrocosm to join God, or gods when invoked, with the human consciousness. When such a supreme union is achieved the subject and object becomes one. This is because the magician feels that he is consciously in touch with all elements of the universe, therefore, he can control them. It may be said, the magician feels connected with the universe. This feeling intensifies the more the magician successfully practices his skills. Whenever he experiences a failure he knows that the ritual was not performed correctly.

"When feeling unison with the universe the magician knows he has reached his Higher or True Self because he has attained mastery of himself and the universe. Thus he feels his "skillful work ascends from earth to heaven and descends to earth again, and receives the power of the superiors and of the inferiors." "Therefore, he "hast the glory of the whole world therefore let all obscurity flee from thee." Now the miracles are possible.

"Some magicians, including Aleister Crowley, claimed that when the magician reaches this ultimate peak of altered consciousness the miracles are no longer important, the extreme goal becomes the direct union with God. A.G.H. "


In Late Antiquity, Hermetism emerged in parallel with early Christianity, Gnosticism, Neoplatonism, the Chaldaean Oracles, and late Orphic and Pythagorean literature. These doctrines were "characterized by a resistance to the dominance of either pure rationality or doctrinal faith."

In Hermeticism, the ultimate reality is referred to variously as God, the All, or the One. God in the Hermetica is unitary and transcendent, he is one and exists apart from the material cosmos. Hermetism is therefore profoundly monotheistic, in a deistic and unitarian understanding of the term. 

Its philosophy teaches that there is a transcendent God, or Absolute, in which we and the entire universe participate. It also subscribes to the idea that other beings, such as aeons, angels and elementals, exist within the universe.

Reincarnation is mentioned in Hermetic texts. Hermes Trismegistus asked:

O son, how many bodies have we to pass through, how many bands of demons, through how many series of repetitions and cycles of the stars, before we hasten to the One alone?

Rāmānuja takes this verse as a confirmation of the omnipresence of Nārāyaṇa.



mana̍saiveda̍m āpta̱vya̱ṁ ne̱ha nānā̍ ‘sti ki̱ńcana | 

mṛ̱tyos sa̱ mṛtyu̍ṁ gaccha̱ti̱ ya̱ iha nāne̍va paśyati || 11 || 

manasā eva = through the mind indeed

idam = this [Brahman]

āptavyatṁ = is to be realised, obtained

iha = here in this world

nānā  = seperativeness

kim-cana na asti = not even the slightest exits

 saḥ = that person

 yaḥ  = who

 iha nāna iva paśyati = who sees seperativeness here

mṛtyoḥ mṛtyuṁ gacchati = goes from death to death.

'Even by the mind this (Brahman) is to be obtained, and then there is no difference whatsoever. He goes from death to death who sees any difference here.'

sarva-bhūtastham ātmānaṁ sarva-bhūtāni cātmani |

īkṣate yoga-yuktātmā sarvatra sama-darśanaḥ ||  

Gita 6.29.  With the mind harmonised by Yoga one sees equality everywhere;one sees one's Self as abiding in all beings and all beings in one's own Self. 



aṅgu̍ṣṭha-mātraḥ pu̱ruṣo̍ madhya̱ ātma̍ni tiṣṭhati | 

ī̱śāno bhūta̍-bhavya̱sya̱ na̱ tato viju̍gupsate | e̱tad vai tat || 12 ||  

puruṣaḥ  =  The Person

aṅguṣṭha-mātraḥ  =  the  size  of  a  thumb

tiṣṭhati  =  exists,  resides; 

madhya ātmani  = in the body

īśāna  = the Ruler

bhūta-bhavyasya  = of the past and the future

tataḥ  = thereafter

na vijugupsate  = fears nothing

etat vai tat = this verily is that.

'The person (purusha), of the size of a thumb, exists in the middle of the body, as lord of the past and the future, and henceforward fears no more. This is that.'

 This "being" dwelling inside the heart has been equated with the ‘jiva’ or the ‘self’ which carries the consciousness and a meta-physical body (prakriti), also termed as the karana sharira. The karana sharira has most transcendental existence and accumulates the experiences of the physical, earthly life. This 'jiva' is a spark of divinity, and its place in the body is the heart region.

As per Sri Aurobindo, the angustha purusha is made up of elements of chaitya (chetna), i.e. the angustha purusha is a being existing at the psychic (Chetas) sphere. Sri Aurobindo mentions that behind the ordinary chakra of the human heart region, inside a deep cave nihite guhayam as described by the Upanishads, is the center where a divine spark is present. This thumb-sized purusha is the bird in the twin-bird analogy of the Rigveda and Sankhya (dvau suparna sayuja sakhaya) which actually gets involved in the prakriti and suffers and/or enjoys the fruits of its Karma.


As per Upanishads, the hiranmaya angustha purusha embodies the karana sharira. This hiranmaya angustha purusha is the vehicle of transmigration of soul among births.


The visualizations regarding the size of the 'self' has been of great significance in the Upansihads. The Brhadaranyaka Upanishad in V. 5.6.1 and the Chandogya Upanishad in V.3.14.3 maintain the size of the self to be equalt to a seed. The Shatapata Brahmana, V.10.6.3, mentions that the self:

...in the interior of my heart, is as tiny like a rice or barley or millet seed and golden like a smokeless light (or flame).

These differential conceptualizations regarding the size of the self by the principal Upanishads themselves clearly indicates that the 'angustha purusha' is only a philosophical tool to elucidate the concept of 'jiva' and 'jivatma'.

The angustha purusha is indestructible and resplendent and is contra-distinct from the purusha of the Purusha sukta. The angustha purusha is individualistic jivaatma while the primeval purursha of the purusha sukta is the collective paramatma.





aṅgu̍ṣṭha-mātraḥ pu̱ruṣo̍ jyotir i̱vādhū̍makaḥ | 

ī̱śāno bhūta̍-bhavya̱sya̱ sa̱ evā̍dya sa̱ u śva̍ḥ | e̱tad vai tat || 13 || 

puruṣaḥ = That Being

aṅguṣṭha-mātraḥ = the size of a thumb

jyotiḥ iva = like a flame

adhūmakaḥ = without smoke

īśāna = the Ruler

bhūta-bhavyasya = of the past and the future 

saḥ = he

eva = indeed

adya = now, in all beings

u = and

saḥ = He will [exists]

śvaḥ = even tomorrow;

etat vai tat = this verily is that.

'That person, of the size of a thumb, is like a light without smoke, lord of the past and the future, he is the same to-day and to-morrow. This is that.'

Shankara in his Sūtra Bhāṣya (1.3.24 and 25) and argues that the Self  which  is  said  to  be  of  the  size  of  a  thumb  is  in  reality  Brahman. 

Rāmānuja  and Nimbārka agree and hold that the highest self is called 'thumb-sized' since it dwells in the heart of the worshipper.

In Brihadâranyaka Upanishad the Self is said to be 'as small as a grain of rice or

barley and yet it is the ruler of all and lord of all,' V.5.1.

 In Chandogya Upanishad it is said to be of the measure of a span, pradeśa-mātra, V.18.1. Maitrayaniya Upanishad states all the views of the size of the Self. It tells us that one  'reaches the supreme state by meditating on the Self, which is smaller than an atom or else of the size of the thumb, or of a span, or of the whole body.' VI - 38.

This may simply be an allusion to the omnipresent powerful guiding presence of the Spirit that is within man.


yatho̍dakam durge vṛ̱ṣṭam pa̱rvate̍ṣu vi̱dhāva̍ti | 

e̱vaṁ dharmān pṛ̍thak paśya̱ṁs tā̱n evā̍nu-vi̱dhāva̍ti || 14 || 

yathā = just as

udakam = water

vṛṣṭam = pours down

durge = on an inaccessible place, on a height;

vidhāvati  =  flows

parvateṣu  =  over  hills,  mountains; 

evaṁ  =  in  this  way

paśyan  =  viewing; 

dharmān = things

pṛthak = differently, seperately

anuvidhāvati =   he runs after

tān = them

eva = only, even

As rain-water that has fallen on a mountain ridge runs down the rocks on all sides, thus does he, who sees a difference between qualities, run after them on all sides.'

One who perceives the superficial differentiation of “dharmas” or conditioning factors of all things in the universe, ignoring the underlying unity of essence, is condemned to become a participant in the restless flowing that one perceives.

The  various  aspects  of  Paramātma  such  as  being  the  antaryāmi  of  all  manifested beings should be seen as diversity in unity and not seperate entities — Rāmānuja.



yatho̍dakaṁ śuddhe śu̱ddham ā̍siktaṁ tā̱dṛg e̍va bhavati | 

e̱vaṁ mu̱ner vi̍jāna̱ta̱ ā̱tmā bha̍vati̱ gauta̍ma || 15 ||

yathā  = just as

śuddham  = pure

udakam  = water

śuddhe  = in pure

āsiktaṁ  = poured

bhavati  = becomes

tādṛk    eva  =  of  exactly  the  same  quality

evaṁ  =  thus

muneḥ  =  the  seer,  one  who meditates

vijānata = understanding

ātmā = the Self

bhavati = becomes

gautama   = O Gautama.

As pure water poured into pure water remains the same, thus, O Gautama, is the Self of a thinker who knows.

This verse is quoted from Sama Veda I.1.8.7

Shankara  affirms  that  this  means metaphysical identity between the individual Self and the Supreme Self.

Rāmānuja and Nimbārka hold the view that the individual Self is non-different, i.e. not separate from the Supreme Self but that It never attains equality (samānam) with the Supreme.