He who is constant in all beings, wise, immortal,
firm, without limbs, without sound, without body, without touch, great, pure—
He is all, the highest goal, he is in the centre, he divides, he is the city.
The injunction to devote oneself to the Self now being described is to be carried over to this verse as well.
He who is constant undecaying in all beings from the first-born god down, who are passing,
wise intelligent in the sense of omniscient. And thereby immortal for what is passing and limited in knowledge is found to be mortal, but this which is the opposite of those is immortal.
firm unwavering, of inherently unshaken being; without limbs the meaning is, without a physical body, for it is in a physical body that head and other limbs exist; without body that is, without a subtle body (linga-sarlra); without sound there is no attribute of sound in him, for he is the knower of sound, and in the other case (if he himself had the attribute of sound) then it would be (the irrational situation of) what is itself sound cognizing what is sound. This cannot be, so he is without sound.
In the same way without touch: by the negation of attributes (guna) of the two elements Space (akasa – locus of sound) and Air (vayu – locus of sound and touch), negations of all the elemental attributes (bhuta-guna) from sound down to odour are to be understood.
Because great, it is pure, without disguise. The word pure has also the sense of purifier, for a thing which is itself pure is always found to be a purifier, as for instance wind or fire.
And what has been described as the Self, He is all, for the Upanishad of the Vajasaneyins says, This all is what is this Self’ (Brihad. 4.5.7). Nothing can be described as apart from the Self, and therefore it is the highest supreme goal, or limit. ‘That is the goal, that is the highest path’ says the Kathaka Upanishad (5.11). The meaning is, that of all the paths of samsara this is the end, the consummation, the perfection.
he is in the centre, in the middle of everything, for the holy text says ‘within all’ (Brihad. 5.16). Again (it can mean) that it is always praised in the mantras to be recited by day at the equinoxes.
He, the supreme Self.
Objection It has been said that he is all, the supreme goal, and in the centre. Why is it now said that Self-reality is seen as divided?
Answer To this the verse says, ‘He the supreme Self divides’. Division is separating out, and in that body where the Self is made out as distinct, there is a ‘dividing’ – that is the sense of divide. For the body is the place where one becomes aware of the Self as distinct, and Self is thus divided in many ways. As it conforms to the adjuncts (upadhi), divided in every way, none sees it in its purity, but it is seen divided and contrary (to its nature).