ज्ञेयं यत्तत्प्रवक्ष्यामि यज्ज्ञात्वाऽमृतमश्नुते।
अनादिमत्परं ब्रह्म न सत्तन्नासदुच्यते।।13.13।।
13.13 I will declare that which has to be known, knowing which one attains to immortality, the beginningless supreme Brahman, called neither being nor non-being.
13.13 Pravaksyami, I shall speak of, fully describe just as it is; tat, that; yat, which; is jenyam, to be known. In order to interest the hearer through inducement, the Lord speaks of what its result is: Jnatva, by realizing; yat, which Knowable; asnute, one attains; amrtam, Immortality, i.e.; he does not die again. Anadimat, without beginning-one having a beginning (adi) is adimat; one not having a beginning is anadimat. What is that? The param, supreme, unsurpassable; brahma, Brahman, which is under discussion as the Knowable. Here, some split up the phrase anadimatparam as anadi and matparam because, if the word anadimat is taken as a Bahuvrihi compound, [That which has no (a), beginning (adi) is anadi. Matup is used to denote possession. Since the idea of possession is a already implied in anadi, therefore matup, if added after it, becomes redundant.] then the suffix mat (matup) becomes redundant, which is undesirable. And they show a distintive meaning: (Brahman is anadi, beginningless, and is) matparam, that of which I am the supreme (para) power called Vasudeva. Trully, the redundance could be avoided in this way if that meanig were possible. But that meaning is not possible, because what is intended is to make Brahman known only through a negation of all attributes by saying, It is called neither being nor non-being. It is contradictory to show a possession of a distinctive power and to negate attributes. Therefore, although matup and a bahuvrihi compound convey the same meaning of possession, its (matups) use is for completing the verse. [The Commentator accepts anadimat as a nan-tatpurusa compund. If, however, the Bahuvrihi is insisted on, then the mat after anadi should be taken as completing the number of syllables needed for versification. So, nat need not be compounded with param.] Having aroused an interest through inducement by saying, The Knowable which has Immortality as its result is beeing spoken of by Me, the Lord says: Tat, that Knowable; ucyate, is called; na sat, neither being; nor is it called asat, non-being. Objection: After strongly girding up the loins and declaring with a loud voice, I shall speak of the Knowable, is it not incongruous to say, That is called neither being nor non-being? Reply: No. What has been said is surely consistent. Objection: How? Reply: For in all the Upanisads, the Knowable, i.e. Brahman, has been indicated only by negation of all attributes-Not this, not this (Br. 4.4.22), Not gross, not subtle (op. cit. 3.3.8), etc.; but not as That is this, for It is beyond speech. Objection: Is it not that a thing which cannot be expressed by the word being does not exist? Like-wise, if the Knowable cannot be expressed by the word being, It does not exist. And it is contradictory to say, It is the Knowable, and It cannot be expressed by the word being. Counter-objection: As to that, no that It does not exist, because It is not the object of the idea, It is non-being. Objection: Do not all cognitions verily involve the idea of being or non-being? This being so, the Knowable should either be an object of a cognition involving the idea of existence, or it should be an object of a cognition involving the idea of non-existence. Reply: No, because, by virtue of Its being super-sensuous, It is not an object of cognition involving either, of the two ideas. Indeed, any object perceivable by the senses, such as pot etc., can be either an object of cognition involving the idea of existence, or it can be an object of cognition involving the idea of non-existence. But this Knowable, being supersensuous and known from the scriptures, which are the sole means of (Its) knowledge, is not, like pot etc., an object of cognition involving either of the two ideas. Therefore It is called neither being nor non-being. As for your objection that it is contradictory to say, It is the Knowable, but it is neither called being nor non-being,-it is not contradictory; for the Upanisad says, That (Brahman) is surely different from the known and, again, It is above the unknown (Ke. 1.4). Objection: May it not be that even the Upanisad is contradictory in its meaning? May it not be (contradictory) as it is when, after beginning with the topic of a shed for a sacrifice, [Cf. Pracinavamsam karoti, he constructs (i.e. shall construct) (the sacrificial shed) with its supporting beam turned east-ward (Tai, Sam.; also see Sanskrit-English Dictionary, Monier Williams).-Tr.] it is said, Who indeed knows whether there exists anything in the other world or not! (Tai. Sam. 6.1.1)? Reply: No, since the Upanisad speaking of something that is different from the known and the unknown is meant for establishing an entity that must be realized. [The Upanisadic text is not to be rejected on the ground that it is paradoxical, for it is meant to present Brahman as indentical with ones own inmost Self.] But, ৷৷.whether there exists anything in the other world, etc. is merely an arthavada [See note on p. 40. Here, the passage, ৷৷.whether there exists৷৷., etc. is to be interpreted as an arthavada emphasizing, the need of raising a shed, irrespective of any other consideration.-Tr.] connected with an injunction. From reason who it follows that Brahman cannot be expressed by such words as being, non-being, etc. For, every word used for expressing an object, when heard by listeners, makes them understand its meaning through the comprehension of its significance with the help of genus, action, ality and relation; not in any other way, because that is not a matter of experience. To illustrate this: a cow, or a horse, etc. (is comprehended) through genus; cooking or reading, through action; white or black, through ality; a rich person or an owner of cows, through relation. But Brahman does not belong to any genus. Hence it is not expressible by words like being etc.; neither is It possessed of any alitity with the help of which It could be expressed through alifying words, for It is free from alities; nor can It be expressed by a word implying action, It being free from actions-which accords with the Upanisadic text, Partless, actionless, calm (Sv. 6.19). Nor has It any relation, since It is one, non-dual, not an object of the senses, and It is the Self. Therefore it is logical that It cannot be expressed by any word. And this follows from such Upanisadic texts as, From which, words trun back (Tai. 2.4.1), etc. Therefore it is logical that It cannot be expressed by any word. And this follows from such Upanisadic texts as, From which, words turn back (Tai. 2.4.1), etc. Since the Knowable (Brahman) is not an object of the word or thought of being, there arises the apprehension of Its nonexistence. Hence, for dispelling that apprehension by establishing Its existence with the help of the adjuncts in the form of the organs of all creatures, the Lord says:
Jneyam yattat pravakshyaami yajjnaatwaa’mritamashnute; Anaadimatparam brahma na sattannaasaduchyate.
jñeyam—ought to be known; yat—which; tat—that; pravakṣhyāmi—I shall now reveal; yat—which; jñātvā—knowing; amṛitam—immortality; aśhnute—one achieves; anādi—beginningless; mat-param—subordinate to Me; brahma—Brahman; na—not; sat—existent; tat—that; na—not; asat—non-existent; uchyate—is called