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FIRST Khanda

1. The Pupil asks: "At whose wish does the mind sent forth proceed on its errand? At whose command does the first breath go forth? At whose wish do we utter this speech? What god directs the eye, or the ear?"

2. The Teacher replies: "It is the ear of the ear, the mind of the mind, the speech of speech, the breath of breath, and the eye of the eye. When freed (from the senses) the wise, on departing from this world, become immortal[1].

3. The eye does not go thither, nor speech, nor mind. We do not know, we do not understand, how any one can teach it.

4. It is different from the known, it is also above the unknown, thus we have heard from those of old, who taught us this[2].

5. That which is not expressed by speech and

  1. This verse admits of various translations, and still more various explanations. Instead of taking vâkam, like all the other words, as a nominative, we might take them all as accusatives, governed by atimukya, and sa u prânasya prânah as a parenthetical sentence. What is meant by the ear is very fully explained by the commentator, but the simplest acceptation would seem to take it as an answer to the preceding questions, so that the ear of the ear should be taken for him who directs the ear, i.e. the Self, or Brahman. This will become clearer as we proceed.
  2. Cf. Îsa Up. 11; 13.