1. Two birds, inseparable friends, cling to the same tree. One of them eats the sweet fruit, the other looks on without eating. 2. On the same tree man sits grieving, immersed, bewildered by his own impotence (an-îsâ). But when he sees the other lord (îsa) contented and knows his glory, then his grief passes away. 3. When the seer sees the brilliant maker and lord (of the world) as the Person who has his source in Brahman, then he is wise, and shaking off good and evil, he reaches the highest oneness, free from passions; 4. For he is the Breath shining forth in all beings, and he who understands this becomes truly wise, not a talker only. He revels in the Self, he delights in the Self, and having performed his works (truthfulness, penance, meditation, &c.) he rests, firmly established in Brahman, the best of those who know Brahman.
- Cf. Rv. 1, 164, 20; Nir. XIV, 30; Svet. Up. IV, 6; Kath. Up. Ill, 1.
- Cf. Svet. Up. IV, 7.
- The commentator states that, besides âtmaratih kriyâvân, there was another reading, viz. âtmaratikriyâvân. This probably owed its origin to a difficulty felt in reconciling kriyâvân, performing acts, with the brahmavidâm varishthah, the best of those who know Brahman, works being utterly incompatible with a true knowledge of Brahman. Kriyâvân, however, as Sankara points out, may mean here simply, having performed meditation and other acts conducive to a knowledge of Brahman. Probably truthfulness, penance, &c, mentioned in the next following verse, are the kriyâs or works intended. For grammatical reasons also this reading is preferable. But the last foot esha brahmavidâm varishthah is clearly defective. If we examine the commentary, we see that Sankara read brahmanishthah, and that he did not read esha, which would give us the correct metre, brahmanishtho brahmavidâm varishthah.