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own (Self). Therefore they say, svapiti, he sleeps, because he is gone (apîta) to his own (sva)[1].

2. As a bird when tied by a string flies first in every direction, and finding no rest anywhere, settles down at last on the very place where it is fastened, exactly in the same manner, my son, that mind (the gîva, or living Self in the mind, see VI, 3, 2), after flying in every direction, and finding no rest anywhere, settles down on breath[2]; for indeed, my son, mind is fastened to breath.

3. Learn from me, my son, what are hunger and thirst. When a man is thus said to be hungry, water is carrying away (digests) what has been eaten by him. Therefore as they speak of a cow-leader (go-nâya), a horse-leader (asva-nâya), a man-leader (purusha-nâya), so they call water (which digests food and causes hunger) food-leader (asa-nâya). Thus (by food digested &c), my son, know this offshoot (the body) to be brought forth, for this (body) could not be without a root (cause).

4. And where could its root be except in food (earth)[3]? And in the same manner, my son, as

  1. This is one of the many recognised plays on words in the Upanishads and the Vedânta philosophy. Svapiti, he sleeps, stands for sva (his own), i.e. the self, and apîta, gone to.
  2. The commentator takes prâna here in the sense of Sat, which it often has elsewhere. If so, this illustration would have the same object as the preceding one. If we took prâna in the sense of breath, breath being the result of water, this paragraph might be taken to explain the resignation of the living Self to its bondage to breath, while on earth.
  3. That food is the root of the body is shown by the commentator in the following way: Food when softened by water and digested becomes a fluid, blood (sonita). From it comes flesh, from flesh fat, from fat bones, from bones marrow, from marrow seed. Food eaten by a woman becomes equally blood (lohita), and from seed and blood combined the new body is produced. We must always have before us the genealogical table:
    Tegas (fire) = Vâk (speech).
    Ap (water) = Prâna (breath).
    Anna (earth) = Manas (mind).