Namaskaar. Continuing Part 16 with the very interesting and subtle teachings of the Kathopanishat commentary.
After having given the primary definition of the Self, the Acharya, Yama, now goes on to teach the ‘properties’ of the Self by way of negating the attributes that have been superimposed on the Atman due to ignorance. The main manifestations of saMsAra, bound nature, of the Self, is in the form of doer and experiencer. One takes oneself as the body-mind apparatus and thinks one is the doer of actions. This is preceded by the thinking that one will be the experiencer/enjoyer of the actions initiated by oneself. In order to show that the Self is never the doer or the experiencer of the fruits of action, Yama employs a unique language. He chooses the act of ‘killing’ to represent doership and the consequence of being killed to represent experiencership/enjoyership. Thus Yama says:
हन्ता चेत् मन्यते हन्तुं हतः चेत् मन्यते हतम् ।
उभौ तौ न विजानीतौ न अयं हन्ति न हन्यते ।। १९ ।।
हन्ता चेत् if the killer मन्यते हन्तुं thinks he kills हतः चेत् the one killed मन्यते हतम् thinks he is killed उभौ तौ Both of them न विजानीतौ do not know aright न अयं हन्ति न हन्यते the Self neither kills nor gets killed.