Вы находитесь на странице: 1из 390

If

<the

the sole object be the attainment of the Highest Truth

supreme

MSndQkya

goal

of

.existence)

the

single

Upanishad

of

Muktlkopanishad.

is sufficient.

The Upanishad (Mandflkya) with the Karik5 embodies in


itself the

Quintessence of the substance of the entire philosophy of

Sankara.

Vedanta.

THE MANDUKYOPANISHAD
WITH

GAUDAPADAS KARIKA

THE

mAndukyopanishad
WITH

GAUDAPADAS KARIKA
AND

SANKARAS COMMENTARY

TRANSLATED AND ANNOTATED

BY

SWAMI NIKHILANANDA
WITH A FOREWORD BY
V.

SUBRAHMANYA IYER

SRI

RAMAKR1SHNA ASHRAMA
MYSORE
1949

Published by

SRI

THE PRESIDENT
RAMAKRISHNA ASHRAMA
MYSORE

First

EDmoN

Second Edition
Third Edition

..

1936

. .

1944

..

1949

All Rights Reserved

printed at the bangalore press, bangalorb city

TO
HIS HIGHNESS

SRI

KRISHNARAJA WADIYAR BAHADUR IV


G.C.S.I., G.B.E.

Maharaja of Mysore

A MARK OF THE HIGHEST ESTEEM FOR THE


REMARKABLE EXAMPLE HE HAS SET BY HIS
UNDEVIATING STEADFASTNESS IN THE
PURSUIT OF TRUTH, WHEREVER
FOUND IN ART, RELIGION,
SCIENCE OR PHILOSOPHY,
OF WHATEVER AGE
OR COUNTRY.

AS

*<

If

thou wouldst master care and pain,

Unfold

and read and read again


whereby thou soon shalt
the present, and the days to be

this book:

Its blessed leaves,

The past,
With opened

eyes

see

C. R. Haines.

CONTENTS
Pages
Foreword
Preface

..

..

..

..

..

. .

. .

. .

. .

. .

. .

. .

Vedic Invocation

Chapter

I.

Chapter

II.

Chapter

III.

Chapter IV.

Agama Prakarapa
Illusion

On

. .

xi-xxxix

1-5

. .

. .

7-90

..

..

91-144

. .

. .

145-225

. .

226-332

Quenching of Fire-Brand

The Concluding
Index

Advaita

i-ix

Salutation by Sri Sankaracharya 333-334


. .

335-339*

NOTE
The unique feature of Mtindukya

lies

in this that while all

the other Upanishads deal with the several phases of Vedanta, such
as

Theology, Scholasticism,

Religion,

Mysticism,

Meta*

Science,

and Philosophy, Mindukya deals exclusively with Philosophy,


as defined by the most modern authorities. The three fundamental
physics

problems of philosophy, according to


worlds

(2) the nature

causality.
'first

is

special

Each of

of consciousness

these subjects

is

and

(3) the

meaning of

advanced
its

modern

sciences

conclusions,

While

it

and modern

gives to the

it

The

dealt with in a chapter.

nothing more for philosophy to do.

approaching

are,

treatise

chapter sums up the whole at the very commencement.

most

its

this

of the external (material) and the internal (mental)

(1) the nature

There

shows how the

philosophies

world of our

own

are

times

central doctrine that partial data give partial truth, whereas the

totality

we have

of data alone gives perfect truth.

The

Totality

of data

only when the three states of waking, dream and deep-sleep

are co-ordinated for investigation.

Endless will be the systems of

philosophy, if based on the waking state only.

Above

as this philosophy holds that mere satisfaction

is

all

inasmuch

no

criterion

of truth, the best preparation for a study of Vedanta Philosophy


.a training in scientific

the very

end

To

is

method but with a determination to get at

stop not

till

the goal (of Truth)

is

reached.

V. S.

I.

FOREWORD

one that knows anything of the philosophy of


the Upanishads can be said to be ignorant of the

place that
in

Mandukya Upanishad with

If a

it.

man cannot

its

afford to study

Kdrikas occupies
all

the hundred

be enough, it is declared
in the Muktikopanishad, if he reads the one Upanishad
of Mandukya, since, as Sankara also says, it contains
Thoroughly to grasp
the quintessence of all of them.
the philosophy taught in Mandukya, one needs a knowledge of the whole field of ancient Indian thought. Such
being the nature of this work, one with my limitations
of knowledge cannot presume to be able to do any justice
to its merits and that in, what is called a Foreword.
And yet if I agreed to write a foreword to Swami
Nikhilanandajis most valuable publication it was not
because I had any thouglit that this well-known and
learned author of the translations of Vedantasara and
Dry Drsya Viveka and frequent writer to many leading
Indian journals on religion and philosophy needed an
introduction to the literary world. Nor did I think that
I could add anything of value to his critical and scholarly
On the other hand, I consented
preface and notes.
because I felt that this was an opportunity for me to
indicate in some measure the place of Gaucjapada, not
among religionists, theologians, scholastics or mystics
but among philosophers. In what high regard he is held
by the Vedantins of the past is well known. But the
esteem that he commands among distinguished men of
our own times has yet to be pointed out. With this object

and more Upanishads,

it

will

FOREWORD

ii

in

view and also with an idea of acknowledging my ownI have ventured to say

indebtedness to some of them

Of two such renowned personages of our


day one was my most revered Guru, the late ri Satchidananda Sivabhinava Narasimha Bharati Swami of Sringeri,
who introduced me to the study of the Karikds, at whosefeet I had the inestimable privilege of sitting as a pupil.
a few words.

Here, a short account of my first lesson in Gaudapada


not be considered irrelevant by the reader.
The

may
very

first

day

paid

my

respects to the

Swami more than

The

follower of every

forty years ago, I started thus:

religion thinks that his faith, his scripture or his inter-

pretation of

reveals the highest truth

it

and that they

are therefore superior to other faiths, scriptures or interpretations.

This notion has contributed not a

the misfortunes of

mankind

not far different with


philosophers.

Though

in this world.

many of

those

little

The case

tois-

that are called

they have not instigated

men

to

cause bloodshed, as mere religionists have done and arestill

doing, yet they have

rather in

agreement.

their

made

their followers delight

points of difference

How

then

is

Hindu

than in those of
in

any way better

than a Mahomedan r a Christian ? Or, again, if truthor ultimate truth, a something common to all minds,,
cannot be rationally reached, is not philosophic enquiry

a wild goose chase, as so many modern and honest:


thinkers have held ? Lastly, as regards truth itself, everyone, even a fool, thinks that what he knows is the truth.'

The Swami in reply said, What you say may be true


with regard to mere religion, mysticism, theology or
scholasticism which are mistaken for philosophy.
It

may

be so with the early or

philosophy.

intermediate stages

But Vedanta, particularly

its

in,

philosophy,.

FOREWORD
is something different.

you

ask.

It

sets

It starts

iii

with the very question

before itself the object of finding a

truth, Free from all dispute and Not opposed to


any school of thought or religion or interpretation of
'scriptures.

Its

truth

is

of

independent

And

sect,

creed,

aims at what
Then, I said, that
is Equally good for all beings.
I would devote the whole of my life to the study of
"Vedanta,
if the Swami would be so gracious, as to
introduce me to a Vedantin, past or present, that did
not or does not claim superiority for his religion over
others on the authority of his own scripture, who does
colour,

race,

sex,

and

belief.

it

not refuse to open the gates of his heaven to those that


differ from him, but who seeks only such philosophic
as does not lead to differences among men.
Immediately the revered Guru quoted three verses

.truth

from Gaudapada, Karikas II 1, III 17 and IV-2, and


explained them, the substance of which has been quoted
If you want, he added, truth indisputable
by any one and truth beneficent to all men, nay, to all
beings, read and inwardly digest what Sankaras teachers
above.

Gaudapada says in his Karikas."


The other eminent personage to whom I owe most of
my effort to make a critical study of Gaudapada is His

teacher, Sri

the Maharaja of Mysore,


Sri Krishnaraja
Wadiyar Bahadur IV.
His profound and extensive
knowledge of philosophy and particularly his high regard
for Mandukya Upanishad and the Karikas, led to frequent
talks on the topics dealt with therein.
His Highness

Highness

who

accustomed to meeting learned scholars, pious


and deep thinkers of all types and of
different countries, is a most disinterested critic.
This
(drove me to the necessity of ascertaining how far
is

religionists,

FOREWORD

IV

Gauqiapadas views are of value from the standpoint:


of the student of Western science and philosophy and how

Vedanta could stand the fire of modern


of science, a knowledge of which is
so indispensable to the study of philosophy nowadays.
In this connection, I must not forget to mention that
my debt is also immense to Mr. K. A. Krishnaswami
Iyer, the Vedantin of Bangalore, and to those Swamis of
the Sri Ramakrishna Order, that have devoted their life'
to the philosophical pursuit of truth both from theancient and from the modern view-points and that have'
been with me at Mysore.
After studying Gaudapada for a time I turned to the
Upanishads and to Brahma-Sutras as interpreted by
Sankara, under the Sringeri Swamis invaluable guidance..
I have now for more than forty years read and re-read
far the ancient

criticism, particularly

them

in

the light of the Swamis teachings

that Vedanta

and

find

not merely of the most


modern Western philosophic thought, but also of scientific
is

far in advance,

thought, so far as

its

concerned.

pursuit of knowledge for

To

to an

its

own

instance or two:

sake

is

Two

thousand years ago Gaudapada anticipated what

science

is

refer

just beginning to guess in regard to causal

relation without a

be understood.

knowledge of which Vedanta can never

The meaning of Truth which

is

still

a matter of dispute among many philosophers, has been


investigated by him more deeply than has yet been done'

by other thinkers.
Vedanta in its highest, that is its philosophic, aspect
can have no significance to one who has not realized
the importance of the most fundamental question in'
philosophy:

Truth ?

How

What
is it

is

truth,

to be tested ?

particularly
It is

Ultimate-

the Upanishads.

FOREWORD

that answer it by declaring that Ultimate Truth is that


which admits of no difference of view of any kind, as
two plus two are equal to four. Gau^apada and Sankara

follow this doctrine in

all

its

implications.

It

assigns

to religious faith, theology, scholasticism, mysticism, art

and

science,

edifice
rejects

their

respective

human knowledge,

places in

the

one grand

Gaudapada
no kind of knowledge or experience. Even the
of

as a whole.

views of his opponents, he welcomes and accepts as parts

of the knowledge that leads to the attainment of truth


and Ultimate Truth. His distinction lies in the emphasis
he lays on the impossibility of reaching the highest truth
unless the totality of human experience or knowledge
be taken into consideration. Others generally build their
systems on the waking state alone. But the philosophers
of the Upanishads hold that unless the three states of
waking, dream and deep sleep be co-ordinated, there

cannot be adequate data for the enquiry regarding


Ultimate Truth.
This is a matter still unknown to

Nor has

the West as yet evaluated


The relation of mind to its ideas
another problem that has not as yet been

Europe and America.

conceptual knowledge.

or contents

is

even dreamt of in Western Philosophy.

To one desirous of making a scholarly study of


Vedanta, the historical side of the evolution of philosophic thought in India

is

of great value.

One

can,

however, easily obtain this information in any of the


modern text-books on Indian Philosophy. But, though
Gaudapada could be fairly appreciated even without
such background, yet, his commentator Sankara and
his followers

cannot be

fully

comprehended without a

previous acquaintance with the several systems of Indian


thought.

Swami Nikhilanandaji has

therefore furnished

FOREWORD

VI

One

make such matters clear.


however, needs to be referred to here, as it
valuable notes to
interest to

The

modern

point,

of special

is

thinkers.

several theories of perception, for instance, are

discussed in the Karikas,

causal relation

is

it

being taken for granted that

an unquestionable

fact.

Like

all

true

mere metaphysicians, he starts with the


perceptual world and pursues the enquiry.
If the word

philosophers, not

real be confined to percepts, Gaudapada


realist.
If the word ideal be confined to

known
idealist.

within,

apart from

the

senses,

But he admits that the concepts,

he
real

not a

is

what

is

is

not an

and

ideal,

are of value as steps leading to the highest truth which

beyond idealism or realism, or spiritualism, all of


which only refer to waking experience.
To him the
external world as well as the internal is unreal. But his
philosophy does not lead to illusionism, as the goal.
The relation between mind and matter, idea and sense
objects, or even mind and its contents is a matter of
dispute to this day. But Gaudapadas explanation may
or may not be accepted, to the extent to which it is
confined to the waking state. It does not, however, affect
in the least his conclusion which is based on the three
He denies the category of relationship, in what
states.
Nor does he admit Satisfaction
is Ultimate Truth.
(Anandam) to be a test of it.
Another important feature is that he is a thinker of
the most rational type, which Sankaras interpretation of
is

him, points out. The philosophic method (prakriya


described here clears so many misapprehensions regarding
the meaning of philosophy, in general.

Philosophy, according to Gaudapada and Sankara, is


an interpretation of the totality of human experience


FOREWORD
or of the whole of

life

Philosophy, therefore,

is

vii

from the standpoint of truth.


the whole, of which Religion,

Mysticism (Yoga), Theology, Scholasticism, Speculation,


Such philosophy or
Art and Science are but parts.
Vedanta as ignores any part or parts, is no Vedanta.
In fact it employs the scientific method more rigorously
than modern science does. Gaudapadas and Sankaras
view of philosophy is being echoed and re-echoed by

modern Western thinkers


philosophers

further

in defining

declare

that

it.

all

These ancient
kinds of

other

experience and knowledge are but several stages in the

and philosophic thought.


And the
two pre-eminent
Hindu philosophers say, is the happiness ( Sukham ) and
welfare ( Hitam ) of all beings (Sarva Sattva) in this world
evolution

of

life

object sought by philosophy, as these

(lhaiva).
is little known in the West.
There is not
doubt
that
his
work
will
open
new
the least
vistas of
thought to Western enquirers and will make them turn to
Without the slightest fear of
the East for more light.
exaggeration, it may be said that in no other part of
the world has man dared to pursue truth with the
degree of devotion, and particularly of determination with
which he has done in India. It is in India alone that one
sees the seeker sacrificing not merely all his material

Gaudapada

belongings as in other countries, but also every feeling,


thought, view, or perception to which he may, at the
start,

be attached.

Till

one makes sure that ones mind

has been completely purged of

all

preconceptions or

prejudices which are the offspring of attachment,

one

cannot hope to command the concentration of mind


needed for climbing the topmost steps leading to truth.
One of the greatest characteristics of philosophy in India

FOREWORD

viii

not Indian theology and the like is the perfection to


which the method of eliminating preconceptions is carried.
And to do this one must be a dhlra (hero).
Much less does the West know of Gaudapadas
method of complete eradication of the Ego or the
personal self, a subject, to the supreme importance of
which. Western Science not its Philosophy or speculation which is blissfully ignorant of it is just becoming
alive.
Swami Vivekananda says, Can anything be
attained with any shred of I left? And Sri Sankara
says, The root of all obstacles (in the pursuit of Truth)
is the first form of ignorance called the Ego.
So long
as one has any connection with the Ego, vile as it is,
there cannot be the least talk about liberation (from

ignorance).

As has been hinted in the Note


the best modern scientists hold

man
his

has above

also at the beginning,


that:

The

Scientific

all things to strive at self-elimination, in

judgments to provide an argument which

is

true

by personal feeling is characteristic of what

be termed the Scientific frame of mind

unbiassed

may

The validity of a scientific conclusion depends


the elimination of the subjective element ...

upon

What
pensable

most

is

difficult

of attainment and yet

of our personal bias in

distrust

is

indis-

forming

Our hypothesis must be depersonalized ...


From J. A. Thomson.
strongly this discipline is enforced on the seeker

judgments.

How
after

truth

in

Krshna says

One

may be

gathered from what Sri

Bhagavata:

should prostate oneself on the ground before

every creature

egoism

India

in the

may

down

to

an ass or a dog,

quickly depart.

so that

FOREWORD

IX

The essence of the teachings of Hindu Philosophy here


found in the following prayer of the great Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa: (Translated). One man says
is

this,

another

man

says that.

mother, pray,

tell

me

what the Truth is.


Many such and other matters of great value are ably
dealt with by the Swamiji in the body of the work.
This distinguished and learned author has done a real
service to such earnest seekers after truth, as are deteris known, by
Gaudapada, the first
Vedantic philosopher, known to Indian history in what
is said to be the post-Upanishadic or modern period.

mined to reach

trte

end, wherever English

translating this priceless

work of

V.

ri

SUBRAHMANVA

IYER.

PREFACE

HE

Mandukya Upanishad, like Mundaka, Praha and


some minor Upanishads, forms part of the Atharva

Veda.

It is

one of the shortest

of the ten principal

Gaudapada has written two hundred and


fifteen verses known as the Karika to explain the
Upanishad and Sankara has written a commentary on
Upanishads.

both the Upanishad and the Karika. Anandagiri in his


Tlka explains at greater length Sankaras commentary.
The Mandukya Upanishad, like other Upanishads, discusses the problem of Ultimate Reality. The knowledge
of Brahman or Atman, the goal of existence, is its theme.
Unlike most of the Upanishads, it does not relate any
anecdote or any imaginary conversations to elucidate
It is also silent about rituals and
the subject-matter.
sacrifices in any form as they are irrelevant to the metaphysical or philosophical discussion of Reality. It goes
straight to the subject. The extreme brevity of its statements has been the cause of despair to superficial readers

who

are unable to understand

its real significance.

The well-known method of Vedanta to arrive at


Reality is what is known as Vichara. This Upanishad
also follows the same method. In the first place Atman
is associated with the three states of waking, dream and
deep sleep, and, then, these states are shown to merge
in

Turiya or the Ultimate Reality.

it is

And

in

pointed out that the non-dual Atman

the sequel
is

identical

with the three states and therefore all that exists is


Brahman. The nature of the Ultimate Reality has been
described in the seventh text of the Upanishad.

PREFACE

xii

As

the generality of

Reality which
causation,

is

it is

beyond

men cannot
all

realize the

Ultimate

categories of time, space

and

sought to help them to do so by means

of a symbol. The symbol selected by the Mandukya


Upanishad as well as the other Upanishads is Aum, the
word of all words. Aum consists of three sound symbols,
These three denoting the gross, the
viz., A, U, and M.
subtle and the causal aspects of Brahman (from the
standpoint), have been equated with the three
mentioned above, which contain the totality of
mans experience. The method adopted by the Upanishad
and followed by Gaudapada for arriving at Reality is
Through the contemplation
to analyse our experience.
of the three sound symbols as the three states, the
student, endowed with the mental and moral qualifications required for the understanding of Vedanta, is helped
relative

states

to reach the Ultimate Reality.

The

Karika

of Gaudapada

chapters (prakaranas )

(1)

is

divided

Agama (Scripture),

four

into

(2) Vaitathya

(the illusoriness of sense-experiences), (3) Advaita (nonduality), (4) Alatasanti (the quenching of the fire-brand).

The

first

the

standpoint of the

chapters

chapter deals with the problem of Reality from

demonstrate

The

Vedas.
the

same

subsequent

three

truth

by

means

of

reason.

Sankara,. who has

commented only on
most
authoritative
character, such
of the
Upanishads and the Sutras, has deemed
write a commentary on Gau<Japadas
indicates the supreme importance and
treatise to the

Who

Vedantic works
as the Gita, the
it

necessary to

This

Karika.

of

this

Tradition makes him

the

value

philosophy of Advaita Vedanta.

was Gaudapada

teacher of Govinda

who was

the teacher of Sankara.

PREFACE
It

is

said that

xiii

besides the Karika

Gaudapada wrote,

on

commentaries on the Sankhya


system and Utlara Gita.
But there does not exist
much evidence to support it. Anandagiri says in his
Tika on Sankaras commentary on the Karika (4-1)

MandUkya

Upanishad,

that Gaudapada performed great austerities in the


Badarikasrama, in the interior of the Himalayas, in
order to propitiate Narayana who is worshipped there
Narayana being pleased with his
as the God-Man.
l

devotion

Vedanta.

revealed

to

Gaudapada

him

the

salutes

secret
this

of the Advaita

Narayana

in

the

opening verse of the fourth chapter of the Karika.


In the face of the controversy regarding the date of
Sankara, the date of Gaudapada cannot be definitely
fixed.
The generally accepted date of Sankaras birth,
one agreed to by Bhandarkar, Pathak and Deussen,
788 A.D.

is

not free from

objections.

According to

Swami Prajnanananda Saraswati and a few other


Sankara flourished before Christ. Some eminent

scholars,
scholars,

by an examination of the literary style of Sankara and


the historical and other references, push back his date
to the second century B.C. Their contention cannot be
lightly brushed aside. One fact, however, can be asserted
without fear of contradiction

known

that

Gaudapada

is

the

who, before Sankara,


gave a rational explanation of the Advaita Vedanta
"which is the objective of the Upanishadic teachings.
Even the Sutras of Badarayana are not free from
a priori reasoning, that is, reasoning conditioned by the
tradition and the authority of the Scriptures.
It is
only Gaudapada that has successfully demonstrated
in his Karika that the non-dual Atman declared in the
Gpanishads as the Ultimate Reality is not a theological
solitary philosopher,

to us,

PREFACE

XIV

dogma, and

that

it

does not depend upon the mysticbut that it is a metaphysical

experiences of the Yogis;

rather a philosophical truth which satisfies the demands;

of universal

tests

independent

of

and

which

scriptural

is

already stated, follows, in the

first

upon reason
Gaudapada, as.

based

authority.

chapter. of his book,

method of basing his conclusions on the


authority of the Scriptures and demonstrates that theaim of the Sruti is to establish the non-dual Atman as
the traditional

In the following chapters he


same truth through reasoning aloneand thus meets the arguments of the Buddhists and other
thinkers who do not admit the authority of the Vedas.
Sankara refers to this in his commentary on the first

the ultimate authority.


re-establishes

the

verses of the last three chapters of the Kdrikd.

Here,

we deem

it

observations of the latest


Professor S

work,

some of thewell-known
among
authors.

necessary to review

N. Das Gupta, m.a., Ph.n.,

History

of Indian

Gaudapada and
Gaudapada thus flourished
regarding
teachers

Asvaghosha,

in his celebrated

Philosophy
his

after

Nagarjuna,

(pp.

423-29)

philosophy

writes:

all

Buddhist
and Vasu-

great

Asanga

bandhu, and I believe that there is sufficient evidence in


his Karikus for thinking that he was possibly himself

and considered that the teachings of the


with those of Buddha.
Thus at the
beginning of the fourth chapter of his Karikas he saysthat he adores that great man ( dwipadam varam) who
by knowledge as wide as the sky realized (sambuddha)
that all appearances ( Dharma) were like the vacuous sky
(gaganopamam). He thus goes on to say that he adoreshim who has dictated (desita) that the touch of the untouch
(Asparsa Yoga probably referring to Nirvana) was the
a

Buadhist,

Upanishads

tallied

PREFACE
.goal

was

that produced happiness to

xv

beings and that he

all

neither in disagreement with the doctrine nor found

In
any contradiction in it (a viva da aviruddhascha)
IV. 19 of his Karika, he again says that the Buddhas
have shown that there is no coming into being in any
way (sarvatha buddhairajati paridipitah). Again in IV. 4.
ihe says that it was for those realists ( vastuvadis), since
they found things and could deal with them and were
afraid

of non-being, that the Buddha had -spoken of


In IV. 90 he refers to A gray ana
(jati ).

origination

which we know to be a name of Mahayana. Again,


in IV. 98 and 99, he says that all appearances are pure
and vacuous by nature. These the Buddha, the emanciIt was said
pated one ( mukta ) and the leaders know.
by Buddha that
.then

all

appearances

closes the Karikas with

He

were knowledge.

an adoration which

probability also refers to the Buddha.

not indicate his preference one

all

Gaudapada does

way or

regarding the theories of creation),

in

the other

(i.e.,

but describes the

Gaudapada says
Akasa) which is conceived as
taking part in birth and death, coming and going and as
existing in all bodies, but, however it be conceived, it is
all the while non-different from Akasa
He should
awaken the mind ( citta) into its final dissolution
All the Dharmas (appearances) are without death or
decay.
Gaudapada then follows a dialectical form
of argument which reminds us of Nagarjuna
All

fourth state....
that truth

is like

experiences

In the third chapter

the void

(prajnapti)

are

otherwise both would vanish

dependent

on reasons,

When we

look at

for
all

manner they seem to be dependent,


but Mien we look at them from the point of view
things in a connected

of Reality or truth the reason ceases

to

be reason....

PREFACE

xyi

Therefore neither the mind nor the objects seen by

it

Those who perceive them to suffer


production are really traversing the reason of vacuity

are ever produced.

Kha)

It

so

is

obvious

that,

these

doctrines are

borrowed from the Madhyamika doctrines, as found in


the Nagarjuna Karikas and Vijndnavada doctrines as.
found in Lankavatara, that it is needless to attempt to
Gau<japada assimilated all the Buddhist
prove it.
Sunyavada and Vijndnavada teachings and thought that
these hold good of the ultimate truth preached by the
Upanishads. It is immaterial whether he was a Hindu
.

or a Buddhist, so long, as we are sure that he had the


highest respect for

Buddha and

He

believed to be his
that

for his teachings

the great Buddhist truth

speakable
highest

of indefinable and un-

Vijndna or vacuity would hold good of the

Atman of

foundation

which he

only incidentally suggested

of

on Buddhist

Upanishads, and thus laid the


of the Upanishadic studies:

the

revival

lines

(The English

words

in italics.

are ours.)

Our

of the passages in the abovebe found in the body of the book.


Prof. Das Gupta has given his own interpretation of theKdrika, without attaching any value to the commentary
interpretation

quotation

will

of Sankara or the Tika of Anandagiri and it is clear


from the point of view of Prof. Das Gupta that Sankara
has failed to undertsand the sense of the Karika. This:
attempt of Prof. Das Gupta to interpret the Karika

to us.

own view is no doubt responsible for


Gaucjapada the views which, according
he never seems even to have dreamt of cherishing.

Prof.

Das Gupta

according to his
ascribing

to

possibly a Buddhist

tries

to prove that

and that

Gaudapada' was;
was borrowed

his philosophy

PREFACE
from Buddhism.

We

xvii

shall therefore offer

a few words-

of criticism regarding the views of Prof. Das Gupta.


It has not been settled that Gaudapada flourished
after the Buddhist philosophers, Asvaghosha, Nagarjuna,

Asanga

and

Some

Vasubandhu.

reveal that he lived long before them.

researches

recent

This

is,

however,
Further,

a point for the student of history of literature.


the

standpoint

philosophy,

and

however,

of

Gaudapadas.

the

conclusion

are

fundamentally different

those of the Buddhist thinkers

from

named above. There


show that Gaudapada

no evidence in his Karika to


was possibly a Buddhist. There is positive proof on
the other hand to show that he was not a Buddhist.
Gaudapada himself states, for instance, in the clearest
is

language at the conclusion of the Karika


This (his own view) is not the view of
Buddha. Sankara in his commentary of this Karika
possible

(IV. 99) that

says that the essence of the Ultimate Reality, which

non-dual and
perceiver,

which

is

free

is

from multiplicity of the

perception and the perceived, has not been

its refutation of the reality of


and in asserting that all objects
are mere acts of mind ( manahspandanam ), the Buddhist
no doubt,
approaches
Vijnanavada,
the
non-dual
consciousness of the Upanishads, but the knowledge
of the non-dual Atman, which alone is the Ultimate
Reality, can be found in Vedanta alone.
We are of

taught by Buddha.
the

external

In

objects

opinion that Buddhist metaphysical thought

is

nearest

Further corroboration can


Gaudapadas Karikds.
be found in Sankaras commentary on Karikas IV. 2&
and 83.
Prof. Das Gupta, in order to prove his conclusion,

to

has given his

own

interpretations.

One

studying the

PREFACE

xviii

Upanishads and the Karik&s in accordance with the six


canons ( lingam) of interpretation, viz., the beginning and
the conclusion ( upakrama and upasamhara), repetition
result ( phalam ), eulogy
<( abhyasa ), originality ( apQrvata),
iarthavada) and demonstration ( upapatti ), will find that
the aims of the Upanishads and the Karika are identical,
namely, the establishment of the non-dual sejf as the
Reality and this cannot be found in the
teachings of the Buddhist philosophers.

Ultimate

At the beginning of the fourth chapter of the Karika,

Gaudapada does not adore Buddha but Narayana who


is

worshipped in Badarikasrama through the symbol of

Man. The word Dharma used by Gaudapada does not


mean appearance. 'Dharma' literally means attribute,
according to the Vedanta philosophy, nonfrom the substance as the heat and the light
non-different from the sunshine.
Dharma is
are
used by Gaudapada to mean Jiva which if taken as
attribute of Brahman is non-different from it. Gaudapada
has admirably proved in his Karika that all Dharmas or
Jivas are identical with the non-dual Brahman and thereThe word
fore they are ever-pure and ever-illumined.

which

is,

different

Dharma has been used

the

multiplicity

empirical
others,

experience.

from

in the plural sense in

of the Jivas from

the

view of
of

standpoint

Gaudapada contends

their relative standpoint, take to

that

what

be multiple

The analogy
is nothing but non-dual Brahman.
of Dharma to Akdsa, based upon vacuity, is far-fetched.
The real point of analogy lies in their all-pervasiveness,

Jivas,

purity

and subtle nature. But Dharma is not really


Akasa as the latter is known, from the

identical with

empirical standpoint, to contain the element of insentiency


ijarjia).

The adoration

referred to in IV. 2

is

not directed

PREFACE
to

Buddha,

as

hinted

xix

Das Gupta,

by Prof.

but.

to

Narayana.

The

of the word Asparsayoga as thetouch of the untouch does not convey any meaning.
It certainly does not refer to Nirvana as suggested by
Prof.

We

translation

Das Gupta,

if

Nirvana means total annihilation.

prefer to translate the

word as the Yoga which

is

Apparently there is a contra


diction involved in the word.
The word Asparsa
meaning freedom from relationship refers to the non-dual
Brahman alone. But Yoga signifying union indicates
duality.
Gaudapada designates the path of knowledge
described in the Karika and in Advaita Vedanta as
Asparsayoga inasmuch as the word Yoga was used in his,
not related to anything.

time also to denote


Ultimate

Reality.

In

the
the

method of attaining
Bhagavadglta,

for

to

the

instance,.

Yoga is used in different senses. Yoga is also used in the


broad sense, of discipline or path. That this method
is free from all relationship has been demonstrated in
the Karika. The Ultimate Reality taught in the Karika
and Advaita Vedanta cannot be Nirvana if that word
means, as is known from the study of some of the
Buddhist writers, the total negation of everything. But
whether Buddha himself used the word in that sense is
doubtful. The non-dual Brahman taught ( vide Chapter
III and II. 23 of Karika) in the Advaita Vedanta is free
from hostility and contradiction as according to this,
philosophy non-dual Brahman alone exists.
Hostility

and contradiction are inherent

in

all

dualistic systems,

of thought.

Gaudapada

no doubt, used the word Buddha


But the word does not
to the traditional founder of Buddhism,, as Prof..

several
refer

has,

times in the Karika.

PREFACE

XX

to suggest. It only means the knower


The word AgraySna in IV. 90 may be made

to indicate MahSyana' only by a fanciful resemblance


i.e.,
of words. The word really means Prathamatah
in the first place, otherwise one cannot get any meaning
out of the Karika text in which the word occurs.
Prof. Das Gupta complains that Gaudapada does
not indicate his preference one way or other regarding

Das Gupta seems

of Truth.

the theory of creation. In the Agama Prakarana ( Karika


7-9) he enumerates several current theories of creation
given by those who accept creation as a fact. He calls
these theorisers mere speculators on the process of creaThose to whom creation is real
tion ( srstichintakah').
are certainly at liberty to advance any theory according
But none of these speculators proves
to their tastes.
the reality of creation on rational grounds. Gaudapada
,

is

not in

the least interested

in

these

theories.

He

from the
standpoint of the ultimate truth.
Creation may be a
fact to those who, like children, take empirical knowledge
to be ultimate truth. Gaudapada, throughout his Karika

.questions the reality of the act of creation,

and

particularly in

the fourth chapter, clearly

strates that the category

to

the

i(ajati)

is

demon-

of causality cannot be applied

non-dual Atman.
the only truth.

Absolute

non-manifestation

Centuries before

Hume and

Bradley,

Gaudapada proved

in fact.

Creation indicates an unsatisfied desire on the

part of the creator.

that causality has

If the Ultimate Reality be

and

no basis
complete

( aptakama), then the


act of creation can never be predicated of it.
Hegel
.contradicts himself when he says that a logical necessity
impels the evolution of the Absolute. Schellings expla-

or perfect in

itself

nation

the evolution .of the Absolute

that

self-satiated

into

ego

PREFACE

xxi

and non-ego can only be understood by an

intellectual

mysticism or mystification, but not rational


If there be no creation how can one explain the

intuition, is

truth.

multiplicity

of empirical

experience

Gaudapada by an inexorable

the

in

universe ?

logic proves that this

is

Devasya esha
svabhavah). Whatever one experiences is only non-dual
Brahman. All this is verily Brahman. Non-dual Brahman
alone is. Diagnosis of the headache of a headless man
the

very nature of the Effulgent Being

'(kabandha )

is

ludicrous and irrelevant.

If the manifested

manifold had ever existed, then one would think of

its

That we see duality is due


to our ignorance of the true nature of Reality which is
non-dual Brahman. Again this ignorance ( Maya) does
not exist from the standpoint of Reality. Maya is only
an explanation of creation given by those who hold
creation to be a fact. Therefore Gaudapada sums up his
philosophy, None (is) in bondage, none liberated, this
origination or destruction.

is the ultimate truth (II. 32).

Such birth

is

unreal.

No Jiva

This indeed

that nothing whatsoever

is

born

is

is

ever born.

the highest truth

(III. 48).

Gaudapada, no doubt, says that Atman is like Akasa


(III. 3).
But voidness is not the point of analogy. He
intends to convey the idea that Atman, like the Akasa
is subtle, without parts and all-pervading.
Gaudapada
was well aware of the fallacy of Nagarjunas reasoning.
Void or a negation cannot be the substratum of an
illusion.
The illusion of the mirage, the snake or the
silver must have a positive substratum in the form of the
rope or the mother-o-pearl. Sankara aptly
of the Buddhist nihilists as lacking
in intelligence, for they, in spite of the very fact of
desert, the

criticises the position

cognition

and experience, describe every

thing, including

PREFACE

xxii

their

own experience, as mere void.

Reality
Reality

is

Therefore the Ultimate


not a void or a negation. Without a positive

we cannot affirm our empirical experience. But this


is not a co-relative of negation.
Our relative-

affirmation

experiences have the dual predicates of affirmation and


negation. The Ultimate Reality is free from affirmation
and negation, the inevitable characteristics of the relative..
The translation of the first line of the 44th Karika of
the third chapter as He should awaken the mind
( citta )

into

Gaudapada

the correct meaning.


in the sense

( laya

dissolution

its final

of deep sleep

does not convey

word laya
or Yogic Samadhi. Samadhi
uses the

the Yoga mystics.


According to
Gaudapada this is an obstacle to the realisation of truth.
The seeking of pleasure in Samadhi shows an exhaustion
of the inquiring mind. It is because the Yogis look upon
mind as separate from Atman that they seek to control
But Gaudapada says that the mind is
it in Samadhi.
is

the last

word of

the non-dual Atman.

Therefore there does not arise any

question of controlling
( prachara

Comp.

III.

it.

34)

The mind and

its

activities

nothing but non-dual

are

Brahman, ever-pure, ever-free and ever-illumined. It is


only due to ignorance that one perceives the duality of
the

subject-object

relationship

in

the

activities

of the

But a knower of truth perceives everywhere and


in all activities only the non-dual Brahman (Gita, IV. 24).
Hence Gaudapada warns the student against the trap of
the Yogic Samadhi, as described in the line quoted above
(III. 44) which really means that one should awaken the
mind from the (inertia of) laya (Samadhi or deep sleep)
by the repeated practice of discrimination. The Vedantic
Samadhi does not signify the realization of Truth with
closed eyes. It means the vision of Truth with eyes open
mind.

PREFACE

xxiii

on every object. A Yedantist thus describes the Samddhi,


With the disappearance of the attachment to the body
and with the realization of the Supreme Self, to whatever
object the mind is directed, one experiences Samddhi."
Nowhere does Gaudapada, or Sankara or this
Upanishad itself say that the Fourth is a State ( Avasta)
as Prof. Das Gupta says.
All Dharmas according to Gaudapada, are without
death or decay (IV. 10). Prof. Das Gupta, as we have
already pointed out, wrongly translates

Appearance

ance.

ance,

i.e.,

is

death and decay.

defines appearance

and

Dharma

as appear-

certainly attended with disappear-

For,

Gaudapada

illusion as that

exist at the beginning or at the

end

rightly

which does not

(II. 6).

Any

appear-

Atman only so long as that particular


his
mind which gives rise to the appearance
condition of
Dharma
can be said to be without decay or
But
lasts.
means
only
if
it
Jha which is the same as the
death

ance

is

perceived by

non-dual Brahman.

We are afraid the translation of the 24th Karika


(Chapter IV) as all experience is dependent on reasons
This Karika gives the
(sanimittatvam) is not correct.
view of the opponent ( Purvapaksha ) who asserts the
The opponent says that
reality of the external objects.
all subjective experiences have their cause (not reason)
in

external objects as otherwise there

would

exist

no

Further as no true explanation


of the pain and misery we experience,

variety in experience.

can be given

Gaudapada

refutes

the view

arguments of the Buddhist

Gaudapada

of the

realists

with the

idealists in the next Karikd.

says:
If this be the contention of the
opponent that external world or objects create subjective
idea, we ask, What causes the external world or objects ?

PREFACE

XXIV

The realist cannot point out any such cause. Hence the
argument of causality based upon such experience fails.
The position is summed up in the statement that the
argument of so-called external cause (viz., the external
objects) is not valid.
A knower of truth does not see
any object other than ideas which, being identical with
the mind, are the same as the non-dual Brahman.
In IV. 28 Gaucjapada refutes the Buddhist idealists
(

He

Vijnanavadins) as well.

quotes the views of the

Vijnanavadins for the refutation of the realistic theory

of consciousness which is, according to that school of


thought, momentary, subject to birth and death and
He says that those who hold mind to
full 'of misery.
be subject to birth and death,

who

etc.,

are really like those

The
Those who....
Das Gupta, does not seem to

seek to tiace the foot-prints of birds in the sky.

translation of this Karika (IV. 28) as

vacuity given by Prof.

be correct.
to

As we have already stated, Prof. Das Gupta tries


prove that Gaudapada has borrowed his ideas from

the Buddhist philosophers.

His criticism and estimate


of Karika appear to be prejudiced. Gaudapada may have
assimilated all the Buddhist Sunyavada and Vijnanavada
teachings, but this does not prove that he thought that
these hold good of the Ultimate Truth preached by the
Upanishads. Madhusudan Saraswati and Vachaspati

MiSra may have assimilated the entire Nyaya system of


thought but this does not prove that the Nyaya views
hold good of the truth established in the Advaita Siddhi
or Bh&mati. Every philosopher, worth the name, studies
contemporary systems of thought. He may even borrow
some lines of arguments from others for purposes of
explanation.
Sankara himself has done so. But it is

PREFACE

XXV

a travesty of truth to call Sankara a crypto-Buddhist


( Prachchhanna Bauddhd), as some of the dualists have
done.
We have not seen anywhere in the Karika

Gaudapada saying

that he

is

a believer in Buddha, the

founder of Buddhism.

Granting that Gaudapada had the highest respect


Buddha, every Hindu and every lover of truth
cherishes a similar feeling of the highest regard for the
Compassionate One. But this does not prove that they
for

necessarily accept all that

Buddha or Buddhism teaches.


and even

In fact the Hindus recognised centuries ago

now

recognise

like

Rama and

Buddha as one of the Avatars of Vishnu


Krshna. Gaudapada does not certainly

incidentally suggest that the great Buddhist truth of


indefinable and

unspeakable Vijnana or vacuity would

hold good of the highest Atman of the Upanishads.


To assert this is to pervert the real import of the Karika.

On

the other hand,

Gaudapada emphatically

declares

(IV. 28) that he accepts the conclusion of the Buddhist

Vijnanavadins in order to refute the realists contention

of the

reality

of the external objects.

But neither the

nor the Sunyavadins have got anything


to say regarding the non-dual Atman, which can be
realized only through the rigorous pursuit of truth which
Vijnanavadins

the Advaita system alone does.

Gaudapada does not

let

an opportunity pass without criticising the Madhyamika


view of absolute nihilism. The estimate of Gaudapada
and his Karika as given by Prof. Das Gupta in his History

of Indian Philosophy, does not


mark of unbiassed judgment.
Prof.

indicate the high water-

Radhakrishnan gives an estimate of Gaudapadas

philosophy in his well-known Indian Philosophy (Vol. II,


pp. 452-465). He thinks the use of some words in the

PREFACE

xxvi

Kdrika

is

peculiarly Buddhistic.

point in our criticism of Prof.

We

have answered this

Das Guptas remarks.

may be stated here that it is a favourite method of


Gaudapada and Sankara to put one school of thought
against another and ultimately show the untenability
It

of both. Even the conclusions of the Buddhist philosophers can be found in some place or other of the
Upanishads. It only proves the fact that at that time
certain philosophical terms were the common property of
Indian thought in general.

One cannot

accuse a

modern

he uses the arguments of modern science


in order to refute the contentions of his opponents or
philosopher

establish his

if

own

position.

Radhakrishnan says that both Badarayana


and Sankara strongly urge that there is a genuine
difference between dream experience and the waking
one and that the latter is not independent of existing
objects. According to Gaudapada there is no difference
between the dream and the waking states from the
standpoint of the Ultimate Reality. Thus an attempt is
made to point out the difference between Gaudapadas
system and that of Sankara.
Again it is said that
in Gaudapada the negative tendency is more prominent
than the positive. In Sankara we have a more balanced
outlook. We disagree with Prof. Radhakrishnan. In
his commentary on Brahma-Sutras Sankara, no doubt,,
makes a distinction between the waking and the dream
states.
But that is done from the empirical standpoint.
We have not seen Sankara anywhere declaring the reality
of both the states, from the standpoint of Ultimate Truth.
Gaudapada also admits the two states of waking and
dream on the empirical plane, in which our experiences'
are associated with external objects and their absence:
Prof.

PREFACE

xxvii

But the next Karika indicates the Ultimate


is neither any object,
nor the idea of experiencing it. We do not know of
any difference between the thoughts of Sankara and
Gaudapada. Had it been so Sankara would not have
written a commentary on the Karika.
Nowhere in his
explanation of the Karika does Sankara point out his
disagreement with the views of Gaudapada. It cannot be
said that the views of Sankara as embodied in the
commentary on the Karika are different from those
expounded in the commentaries on the Upanishads, the
Brahma-Sutras and the Gita. Even the acutest critic of
Sankara has not been able to point out any inconsistency

<IV. 87).

Reality to be that in which there

in the writings

Sir

of Sankara.

Radhakrishnan

makes

the

following

regarding the philosophy of Gaudapada:

The

remarks
general

pervading Gaudapadas work, that bondage and


are all
liberation, the individual soul and the world,
idea

iunreal,

makes the

caustic critic observe that the theory

which has nothing better to say than that an unreal soul


in trying to escape from an unreal bondage in an unreal
world to accomplish an unreal supreme good, may itself
'be an unreality.
It is one thing to say that the secret
of existence, how the unchangeable reality expresses itself
in the changing universe without forfeiting its nature is
a mystery, and another to dismiss the whole changing
universe, as a mere mirage. If we have to play the game
of life, we cannot do so with the conviction that the play
is a show and all the prizes in it are mere blanks.
No
philosophy can consistently hold such a theory and be
at rest with itself. The greatest condemnation of such
a theory is that we are obliged to occupy ourselves with
objects, the existence and value of which we are continu-

PREFACE

xxviii

ally

denying in theory.

The

something

is

else

of the world

fact

mysterious and inexplicable.

It

may

be-

only shows that there-

which includes and transcends the

does not imply that the world is a dream.


The main difference between the Advaita and other
systems of thought is that the former does not find any
reason for believing in the reality of the process of
world; but

it

becoming whereas the


creation

or

latter pin their faith to evolution,.

manifestation

as

Some

real.

Advaitic
*

philosophers in order to explain the fact of the manifested manifold (which is perceived)

adopt

their theory

of Vivarta according to which Brahman appears as the

world without forfeiting its essential


the rope appearing as the snake.
thought give other explanations of the
ing and not one of these explanations

by reason.

Gaudapada by an

nature.

It is like

Other schools of
process of becom-

can be supported

irrefutable logic disproves-

the reality of causation in the fourth chapter of Karika,

and

posits the Ajatavada according to

which Brahman

or Reality has never become the universe.

No one

can

ever prove the apparent mystery of one becoming the

many,

for, the

many does never

really exist.

Neither Gaudapada nor Sankara ignores those

who

believe in the reality of the external objects or of the

manifested manifold on account of their perceiving those


objects through the instrumentality of the sense organs-

or their attachment to the particular avocations of


(IV. 42).

defect that

They are generous enough

may

external objects

to say that

life

any

attach to the belief in the reality of the


is

not at

all serious.

If these realists will

only pursue truth they will see that to the non-dual

Atman causality or duality can never be applied (IV.


The generality of mankind bereft of the power of

42)..

dis-

PREFACE

XXIX

is, no doubt, satisfied with empirical experiLet it do so. But it is the aim of the philosopher
that is bent upon the discrimination of the real and the
unreal to point out the truth, the Ultimate Reality even
if it proves the unreality of the tinsels and baubles of

crimination
ence.

The non-discriminating mind, no

sense-perception.

plunges headlong into the play of

life

doubt,,

taking every experi-

ence to be real and takes the prizes of such experience.


But it is only a philosophic mind that sees that the
so-called play

but an unreal shadow show and

is

the prizes are mere blanks.


tion

of

all

Is that

all

not also the convic-

sober-minded persons, when they, in their


life ?'

maturity of thought, take a retrospective view of

There are two ways of enjoying a theatrical show.


Both spectators and those who take part in the show
enjoy

The

it.

actors

respective characters

identify

themselves

and take the show as

fore they cannot be said to enjoy the

with

show

their

There-

real.

in reality.

But the spectators on account of their detached outlook,,


with their knowledge of the unreality of the show, really
enjoy

it.

The

existence of external objects depends

belief that they exist (IV. 75).

No

upon

the

one has yet been able

rationally to demonstrate that things exist independently

of the perceivers mind.


is

Even the

thing-in-itself

of Kant

a mere hypothesis based upon the belief in causality.

Kant by making the things-in-themselves which are


beyond the categories of time, space and causality, the
cause of the phenomena is inconsistent with himself.
But, a mere belief in the existence of the external objects
does not prove the reality of their existence. Even in

common
gold.

parlance

The

hay,

it

is

said that all that glitters

wood and

stubbles of the world,

is

not

when

PREFACE

XXX

tested by the fire of the philosophers reasoning,

are

found to be unreal. It is certainly not irrational in


a philosopher to pursue truth and to demonstrate that
the game of life which he plays is a mere show and that
all the prizes in it are mere blanks.
All of us, in a rare
moment of discrimination and reflection, realise that the
world is a dream.
To our utter disillusionment we
ultimately discover that

we occupy

ourselves with objects

the existence and value of which must really be no

than

those

appointed

of appearances.

if

student must

he expects Advaita Vedanta

him

the

the

subject-object

means of enjoying

which

relationship,

duality of existence.

to point

pleasures, which
is

more

be disout to

depend upon
based

The only aim of Vedanta

upon
is

to

dehypnotise the mind which has been hypnotised into


the belief that duality really exists.

The only

positive

guaranteed to a Vedantist is that he will


no longer be deluded by ignorance which paints the unreal
or the seeming as the real.
For, in the language of

satisfaction

Sankara, the knowledge of Reality destroys ones hankering after objects which are unreal just as the knowledge

of

the mother-o-pearl (mistaken for silver) removes the

delusion regarding the

chimerical to those

silver.

who

and gew-gaws of
it is

are

This knowledge
still

may be

attached to the tinsels

the world and the prizes it offers;


of supreme value to the seeker of Reality.

but

Radhakrishnan seems to suggest that Sankara


waking experiences to be more real than the
dream ones. This view may be true from the nonSir S.

thinks

philosophical standpoint.

The distinction between the


waking and that of the dream experiences
depend upon the sense-organs apparently indi-

reality of the

as said to

cating reality.

We

create a false standard of reality in

PREFACE

xxxi

relative plane of consciousness and thus hold oneof experiences to be more real than another. But
does Sankara say anywhere that waking experiences areAll
real from the standpoint of the Ultimate Truth ?

our
set

our experiences, whether waking or dream, are possible-

we believe the act of creation to be real. What is the


view of Sankara regarding creation ? When the opponent ( Purvapakshin ) tries to find inconsistencies in the
different accounts of creation given in the Vedas, Sankara
if

says in various places, for instance, in the introduction


to

Here

creation),

Upanishad as
and stories of
intended to be conveyed is

chapter of the Aitareya

fourth

the

follows:

only

the

the

( i.e .,

fact

theories

the realization of Atman, the rest

and

of speech;

this is

no

fault.

is

It

but attractive figure


seems to be more

reasonable that the Lord, omniscient, omnipotent, did,,


like

magician, display

all

this

illusion

to

facilitate

inasmuch as stories,
although false, are easily understood by all. It is well
known that there is no truth to be attained from accounts
of creation (as they are false); and it is well established
in all the Upanishads that the end attained by theconception of the unity of the Real Self is Immortality.'
Does it differ from the views expressed by Gaudapada
regarding creation?
He also says: Evolution or
comprehension,

explanation

or

creation

described

as

sparks of

etc.,

fire,

by illustrations

of earth,

has another meaning,

viz.,

iron,,

they are-

only the means to the realization' of the unity of Existence.

There

is

nothing like distinction (in it)

(III. 15).

Does Vedanta take away from man his zeal for work ?'
Does Vedanta teach pessimism? Many a Western and
Eastern

critic

of the philosophy of Advaita holds that

makes a man only a dreamer, a sky-gazing

it

spectator..

PREFACE

xxxii

This

is

wrong

of Vedanta.
Vedanta
away from the world or to shut

interpretation

never teaches one to

fly

himself up in caves and forests. Many a poetic picture


has been drawn of the Vedantic seer living the life of

a recluse far away from the maddening crowd of ignoble


Sankara, the lion of
strife.
But this is not true.

Swami Vivekananda,

the paragon of the


James of America characterised
him) of the modern times, lived in human society and

Vedanta, and
Vedantists

made

(as

Prof.

the mightiest efforts for the uplift of humanity.

They dedicated their lives to the amelioration of manVedanta has nothing to do with pessimism or
kind.
optimism, or any ism for the matter of that. It only
teaches Truth. If the realization of Truth stand as an

impediment to human progress, then the charge against


Vedanta as the enemy of progress may be well justified.
Nothing wonderful will happen to the world if the
entire mankind be converted to Hinduism, Christianity,
Buddhism, or Islam or to any other religion.
But
assuredly something marvellous will happen if a dozen
of men and women pierce the thick walls of the church,
temple, synagogue and realize the Truth. Again Truth
is no characteristic of a recluse or a misanthrope or a
bigoted thinker. The ancient Rishis of the Upanishads
breathed the free air of Truth, sang the song of freedom

and enjoyed the

truth of

life.

Many

of their highest

teachings were imparted in the crowded courts of kings.

The message of

the Gita, the excellent vade

mecum of

was delivered on the battlefield, where the


grimmest realities of life were faced and battles fought.
Arjuna after realizing the Vedantic Truth did not flee
away from the world, but girded his loins with fresh
vigour and strength to discharge his duty (svadharma).
Vedanta,

PREFACE

xxxiii

Sri Krshna had delivered his message, Arjuna


Destroyed is my delusion, and I have got back
the memory of my real nature through Thy grace, Oh
Krshna. T am now firm, my doubts are gone. 1 will
Straightway he plunged into the
carry out Thy word.
and performed his duty.
Kurukshetra
terrible battle of

After

said,

Renascence of Indian

life,

in

its

various

aspects,

and religious, always


followed the restoration of the Truth of Advaita to its
pristine glory.
The Upanishads, the Gita, Buddha,
Sankara and Ramakrshna stand at the crest of the
And all of
mighty tidal waves of Indias renaissance.
them taught the essential truth of Vedanta in different

political, social, material, res the tic

forms.

The
is

no work

greatest tragedy of life is to think that

possible without a firm belief in duality and subject-

object relationship.

Men

say that no

work

is

possible

without the consciousness of egoism and agency.

On

the other hand selfishness, sordidness, jealousy, passion,


etc.,

which are manifested in our daily

activities,

are due

to a belief in the reality of the subject-object relationship.

The

mightiest achievements that have really transformed

the fate of humanity have been done by those

had no thought of

He who

their ego.

Sri

who have

Krshna says

in the

from the notion of egoism, whose


intelligence is not affected (by good or evil), though he
kills these people, he kills them not, nor is bound (by
action).
The artist or the musician shows himself at
.his best when he feels himself one with his art.
Sri
Ramakrshna never had the idea of agency in the work
of his spiritual ministration. He used to say, Perform
your work keeping always the knowledge of Advaita in
Gita,

jour pocket,
3

is

free

PREFACE

XXXIV

do any work which always implies;


and perception, if one
non-dual Brahman ? The idea may

Is it possible to

the triad of perceiver, perceived

be established in
involve

or psychological contradiction, but.


can be fully justified from the metaphysical

logical

this position

or rather, philosophical standpoint.

One pursuing

Truth;

can
and at the same time know
it to be the non-dual Brahman, pure, free, and everillumined.
A knower of Truth may move and act in
the world like an ordinary man. He feels hungry and
He goes to sleep when tired. He feels comthirsty.
passion for the misery of others and tries his utmost
but at the same time he sees everywhere
to alleviate it
the non-dual Brahman alone, ever-free and ever-pure..
Sri Krshna also says in the Gita, The offering is
Brahman, the clarified butter is Brahman, in the fire of
Brahman offered by Brahman, by seeing Brahman in

when once

disinterestedly,

established

Truth,

in

see this world of multiplicity

We

actions, he reaches Brahman alone (Gita, IV. 24).


admit that this position is most difficult to be comprehended by those who are not trained in the pursuit of

Ultimate Truth.
alone are

known

Truly says Gaudapada,

Those few

world as of high

who

in the

intellect

are-

firm in their conviction of the unborn and

undivided
Brahman. The ordinary people cannot understand them
or their action (IV. 95). He himself characterises the-

teachings of Karika as very deep

extremely

difficult

atigambhiram ) and

to be understood ( durdarsam ) (IV. 100).

The superficial critic often asks how it is possible to


apply the teachings of Vedanta to our practical everyday
life, if we are taught continually to think of the unreality
of the world.

How

can the truth of non-dual Brahman,

as taught by Vedanta, help one to

work

for individual

PREFACE

xxxv

progress ? Vedanta certainly does not help


us to bring grist to our individual or national mill. It
certainly does not tell us how to increase our capacity
to enjoy the pleasures derived from material objects.
But Vedanta really teaches us how to enjoy the world
after realizing its true nature.
To embrace or comprehend the universe after realizing it as the non-dual
Brahman, gives us peace that passeth all understanding.
Says the seer in the Isa Upanishad, All this what-

or collective

soever moves in the earth

should

be realized as per-

meated by the Lord (Atman). Enjoy (the world) by


renunciation (of the illusory names and forms). Covet
not anybodys wealth. Does Vedanta really ask us to
negate the world ? Does it really teach us to negate the
existing objects ?
A student of the Karika will at once
realize that there is nothing to be negated or added.
That which exists can never be non-existent. Brahman
alone is existent on account of its persistence in all acts
Names, forms and relations are illusory
of cognition.
on account of their changeability and negatability.
Vedanta teaches us to realizo the world as Brahman and
then be one with it. Vedanta teaches us to see Brahman
everywhere even in the so-called illusion. An illusion
can never be real and it is perceived on account of our
ignorance.
A Vedantist does not negate the world
which, being Brahman, can never be negated. It only
asks the student to

knower of
duty or work
makes all the

Where
realizes

know the real nature of the world.


we have already stated, does his

truth, as

in the world.

But the knowledge of Truth

difference in his attitude towards the world.

the ignorant person sees non-Brahman, the JnSni

Brahman

alone.

JnSni just

exercises

his

understanding, and then uses the same sense-organs in

'

PREFACE

xxXvi

dealing with the

same

external objects.

He

sees every-

where the non-dual Brahman.


One often hears in Europe and America that Vedanta
is pantheism or idealism.
Many foreign critics characThe critics only look at
terise Vedanta as illusionism.
the Vedantic truth from the relative standpoint. From
the standpoint of the Ultimate Truth Vedanta is not
it does not see, in the Platonic fashion, the
of illusory external objects and the reality of'
Nor does Vedanta teach, like the Buddhist

idealism, as

duality
ideas.
idealists,

that ideas, which alone are real, have birth,

death and the characteristics of misery.

Vedantic truth

from Kantian dualism which makes a distinction between noumena and phenomena. Berkley says that

is

different

all external objects are but ideas in the perceivers mind


and God or the cosmic mind sends these ideas. Vedanta
says that God is also an idea and the plurality of ideas
and their relationship cannot be proved to be real.
Vedanta is not certainly pantheism as it does not recognize any God, independent of the Self, who is the universe.
Vedanta denies causality from the highest standpoint and

thus invalidates the process of becoming.


tion of the Absolute.

Vedanta, like

thought but denies the evoluBradley says that time, space, or

Hegel, says that Reality

is

causal relation cannot apply to the Absolute but at the

same time he says

that the Absolute

the manifested manifold.


tation, evolution or the

Gaudapada

somehow becomes

denies the manifes-

becoming of Atman.

The conclusion of Vedanta can be summed up in


four words All this is Brahman. Only the non-dual
Brahman exists. There is no phenomenal Jiva about
whom birth and death can be predicated. If one sees
such birth,

etc., it is

due to his ignorance of the nature-

PREFACE
Again

of Reality.
Jivas

are

all

ignorance

this

peace

xxxvii

from

not real (IV. 58).

is

very

the

beginning,

ever

unproduced and indestructible by their very nature, and


therefore, eternal and inseparable.
All this is unborn
and enlightened Brahman (IV. 93). The Jivas are ever
free from any obstruction (as obstruction does not exist)
They are all-right and
being entirely pure by nature.
ever-liberated from the beginning (IV. 98). As Brahman
alone exists there is nothing which can be accepted nor
anything injurious which can be shunned.

The Teachings of Gaudapada can

benefit only those

that are equipped with the Sadhana Chatushtaya or the

fourfold pre-requisites of philosophical discipline, such as


discrimination, non-attachment (renunciation), self-control

and an
Truth.

irrepressible hankering after the realization

Any one who

in a dilettante fashion will see in

and may even be

of

undertakes the study of the Karika

misled.

it

nothing but confusion

Gaudapada has

dealt with all

the problems of philosophy following the scientific

of the modern times.

The

method

careful reader will find in

the Karika the solution of such outstanding problems


of philosophy as perception, idealism, causality, truth.
Every verse of the Karika demands
Reality, etc.
profound thinking before it can be understood and

But people will rather die than think. The


glory and value of the Mandukya Upanishad has been
infinitely enhanced by the Karika of Gaudapada.
We are not aware of any other English translation
of the Mandukya Upanishad with the Karika and Sankaras
commentary than the one by Manilal N. Dvivedi pub-

appreciated.

For the most part the translation is


1894.
and we have looked into it while preparing our

lished in
reliable

translation.

We

have

felt

that

exhaustive

notes are

PREFACE

xxxviii

for the average reader to understand the


import of the Karika and Sankaras commentary.
Therefore we have tried to elucidate Gaucjapada and
Sankara with copious notes.

necessary
real

We

are profoundly grateful to Mr. V.

Subrahmanya

of the Mysore University, for


explaining to us the abstruse philosophy of the Karika.
Mr. Iyer, the courageous thinker, taught us that no
Iyer, the retired Registrar

philosophy can
paradise, unless

to-day in

live
it

anything

but a

air of critical reason as natural science does.


like science, is vitally
ally

fools

ventures out into the open but biting

Philosophy,

concerned with reasoned or ration-

demonstrable truth and must not depend upon mere

mystic vision or tradition or authority.


ripens into vision

may be

of cultivating

so that

it

a
it

gift

The seed which

of the gods but the labour

may

bear nourishing fruit

is

the indispensable function of arduous scientific or rational

Mr. Subrahmanya Iyer has

processes of thought.

laid

us under an additional debt of obligation by revising the


entire

book

sponsor to

Above

in its
it

manuscript form and agreeing to stand

in placing it

before the public.

we cannot adequately

express our deep sense


of indebtedness to the distinguished Ruler of Mysore,
His Highness the Maharaja, Sri Krshriaraja Wadiyar
all,

Bahadur IV.

Not only

also his philosophic


in the State

spent

life,

his philosophic

and throughout

breathing

the

knowledge, but

has become a household word

The days that we


atmosphere created all

India.

spiritual

around by the Temple on the Chamundi Hill, at the foot


of which is situated His Highnesss famous and picturesque
capital, were among the happiest.
His great devotion
to Sri Ramakrshna, the teacher of Universal Love, lends
an additional charm to his life. And we felt that the

PREFACE
best

way

in

which we could acknowledge all that we


its famous Ruler would be to bring

Mysore and
out a work of this

owe

to

xxxix

kind, associating

of the royal Vedantin,

who

is

it

with the

name

himself an ardent admirer

of Sri Gaucjapada.

Vedanta Society, Providence,

Rhode

Island, U.S.A.,

24 th June, 1932.

Swami NikhilaNANDA.

II]

Sunt Salutation

to

JJrafjtnatt

THE MANDUKYOPANISHAD
Vedic Invocation

Gods (Deva)

Auspicious sounds may we hear with


Auspicious forms may we behold with the eyes.

the ears.

May

we,

full

body with

of praise of the Highest, enjoy, in healthy

perfect limbs, our allotted years,

(may we be)

the beloved of the Gods.

Aum

Peace

Peace

Peace

Invocation by Sankara
1

bow

to

that

Brahman

that

(during the waking

having enjoyed (experienced) all gross objects


by pervading the entire universe through the omnipresent
rays of its immutable consciousness that embraces the
state) after

entire variety of the

movable and the immovable objects;

that again, after having digested,

as

it

were,

that

is

dream state)all the


variety of objects produced by desires and brought into
existence by the mind, enjoys bliss in deep sleep and makes
us experience through Maya, the bliss; which, further,
is designated, in terms of Maya, as the fourth
( Turlya ),
and which is supreme, immortal and changeless.
to say, experienced within (in the

May

that Turlya that, (through

Maya )

having identi-

fied itself as the entire universe, experiences (in the

waking

manifold gross objects of enjoyment through


ignorance and attachment, that again during the dream
state, experiences, being enlightened by its own light, the
state) the

MANDVKYOPANISHAD

fl-1

subtle objects of enjoyment, the objects that are brought

into existence by

its

own

internal

organ,

and which,

in dreamless sleep withdraws all objects (subtle

lastly,

as well as gross) within itself and thus becomes free from


all distinctions
is

and

ever devoid of

differences,

all attributes,

(May

this

Turlya that)

protect us.

Sankaras Introduction to the Upanishad

Commentary
With the word Aum,

etc.,

begins the treatise, consist-

ing of four 1 chapters, the quintessence 2 of the substance 3

of the import of Vedanta 4 Hence 5 no separate mention


is made of the (mutual) relationship, the subject-matter
and the object to be attained (Matters usually stated in
.

an introduction to a study of any Vedantic treatise).


For, that which constitutes the relationship, the subjectmatter and the object of the Vedantic study is evident
Nevertheless, that one desirous of explaining a
here.
Prakarana (treatise), should deal with them is the opinion
of the scholastic. This treatise must be said to contain
a subject-matter on account of its revealing6 the means
(for the realization of Atman) that serves the purpose,
or the end to be attained. It therefore possesses, though
indirectly,

specific

relationship,

What
explained: As

the end to be attained.

view?

It

is

thus

subject-matter
then,

is

man

and

that end 7 in
stricken with

disease regains his normal 8 state with the removal 8 of


(the cause of) the disease, so the self labouring under

misapprehension, owing to identification 10 of itself with


misery, recovers its normal 11 state with the cessation
(of the illusion) of duality, which manifests itself as the

phenomenal universe. This realization of non-duality


This treatise is begun for the
is the end to be attained.

mAndOkyopanishad

I-IJ

purpose of revealing 12 Brahman inasmuch as by know( Vidya) the illusion of duality, caused by ignorance,
This is established by such scriptural
is destroyed.
ledge

For where there is, as it were, duality,


where there exists, as it were, another, there one sees
But where all this
another, and one knows another.
has, verily, become Atman (for one), how should one
see another, how should one know another?
The first chapter, then, seeks, by dealing specifically
passages as:

with

the

Vedic

texts, 13

to

indicate

the

(traditional)

means to the realization of the essential nature of Atman


and is devoted to the determination 14 of the meaning
The second chapter seeks rationally 15 to
of Aum.
the illusion
demonstrate the unreality of duality
(duality) being destroyed, the knowledge of non-duality
(becomes evident), as the cessation of the imagination
of snake, etc., in the rope reveals the real nature of the
rope.
The third chapter is devoted to the rational
demonstration of the truth of non-duality, lest it should,
;

The fourth
devoted to the rational refutation of the other

in like manner, 18 be contended to be unreal.

chapter

is

schools of thought which are antagonistic to the truth


as pointed out in the Vedas and which are opposed to the

knowledge of the Advaitic Reality, by pointing out their


17
contradiction.
falsity on account of their own mutual
1
Four chapters i.e., the Mandukyopanishad with the Kdrikd
by Gaucjapada treated in four chapters: viz., the Agama Prakarana,
the Vaitathya Prakarana, the Advaita Prakarana and the AlataThe mere Upanishadic portion without the
sdnti Prakarapa.
Kdrikd does not present a full view of the philosophic system of
Vedanta which seeks to interpret human knowledge as a whole
( vide Foreword).

itself

It
is
because the Mandukya Sruti confines
only to the establishment of non-duality without controverting

Quintessence

MANDCKYOPANISHAD

the doctrines of the other systems.

Mdndukya

that

attainment

(the

liberation

among

alone,

the

of

[II

Muktikopanishad aptly describes


Upanishads, is -sufficient for

truth).

Cf.

gwrr r%^.

The
Vedanta

doctrine of the non-difference of Jiva

Substance

and

Brahman.
4

is

It literally

identical

with

the

means the

Upanishads.

portion of the Vedas which

last

The word

also

signifies

the

essence of the Vedas. Vedantic works usually deal with the followthe fitness of a pupil for the study of Brahmavidya, the qualiing
:

fication of the teacher, the nature

of Jiva and Brahman, and

finally

the non-difference or non-duality of the two.


6
Hence, etc. Sankara treats the Mandukyopanishad and

the

Karika not as a Sastra but as a Prakarana (treatise). A Sastra


though related to a particular end in view deals with varieties of
But a Prakarana is a short manual which confines itself
topics.
Ail the arguments of the
to some essential topics of a Sastra.

Mandukyopanishad with Karika ultimately point to the establishment of the attributeless Brahman, thus serving the purpose of a
Prakarana which is defined as follows
:

3?r

ffw

The other Vedantic

s-ariiti

texts also

establish the truth of non-duality

but they incidentally discuss various other philosophical doctrines.


A Prakarana (treatise) has four indispensable elements (3(JSfsr)
literally, what sticks to another, namely, the determination of
the fitness of the student for the study of the
the subject-matter
the treatise

and
its

treatise

(sTRqitCl),

the mutual relationship (tjsrq) between

and the subject-matter (which is that of the explainer


and the object to be attained by the study, i.e.,

the explained)
utility
6

(snjpjR).

Revealing,

etc.

Though

liberation

is

attained

through the

knowledge of the non-duality of Jiva and Brahman and not as


a result of the study of scriptures, yet the scriptures indirectly help
the attainment of this knowledge by pointing to the illusory
character of duality.
7
Object Is the knowledge something to be produced or is it
ver-existent ? In the former case, it would be like other effects,

MANDDKjTOPANISHA D

II -1]

impermanent, and in the latter case, the means pursued would be


The reply is that though the Knowledge of Atman is
eternally existent, yet it is obscured by ignorance in the Jiva. The
:futile.

aim of Sadhana

remove

to

is

serves a useful purpose though

anything new.

it

this

obstruction.

Thus Sadhana

does not make the student attain

8 Normal state
The sick man thinks that he has lost the
normal state during the period of his illness.
9
Removal, etc. This is done by means of medicine, etc.
10
This suffering is due to the illusion of
Identification, etc.
.duality, such as egoism, etc., caused by ignorance which does not
exist in reality. Otherwise its destruction would be an impossibility.
11 Normal state
This state being in itself perfect, cannot be
transcended by any other state.
12 Revealing, etc.
This is done by the removal of ignorance
which is the cause of the illusion of duality.
13
Vedic texts The first chapter of the Mandttkyopanishad,
namely, the Agama Prakarana, consists mainly of the Upanishadic

The

texts.

in

doctrines contained

therein

are established

rationally

the following three chapters.


14

stration

This

would enable the student to attain the


whose real nature is revealed by the demonof the unreality of duality which is an illusion. Atman

Determination

knowledge of the

self,

realized through such knowledge.


Therefore the indirect result
of the explanation of the real nature of Aum leads to the attainment
of the summum bonum. The rational treatment will follow.
16 Rationally
With the disappearance of the sense of reality
with regard to illusions, there spontaneously arises the knowledge
of truth. Gaudapada in the second, third and fourth chapters of

is

the Kdrikd, rationally presents the truth, presented in the


18

manner

There

may be

first.

a doubt regarding the very


existence of Reality when duality is removed.
The argument
followed by the author of the Kdrikd is that the knowledge of
Reality is such that it is never contradicted.
17
Mutual contradiction The contradictions are pointed out
with a view to establishing the truth of non-dualism a course
.frequently pursued by both Gaudapada and Sankara.
In like

CHAPTER

AGAMA PR AK ARAN
(The Upanishadic Chapter)
I

Introductory Remarks by Sankara

How

mean-

the determination of (the

does, again,

Aum

ing of)

help the realization of the essential nature

of Atman ? It is thus 1 explained: The Sruti 2 passages


This
such as these declare 3 thus: It 4 is Aum .

Satyakama 6
It is the Aum which is also the higher and the lower
Brahman. Meditate7 on the Self as Aum. "'Aum,
this 8 word is Brahman.
All 9 this is verily Aum.
As the rope, etc., which are the substratum of such

Awn )

(best) 5

the

is

Oh,

support.

illusions

(misapprehensions)

Atman,

the

non-dual

the

substratum

breath {Prana),
is

of
etc.,

the

as

which

is

snake,

imaginations

such

which are unreal.

as

so

etc.,

the Ultimate

is

Reality,

the

vital 10

Similarly,

Aum

the substratum of the entire illusion of the world of

speech having 11 for

contents

such

illusory objects as Prana, etc.,

imagined in Atman.

And

Aum

essential character as the

is

Atman;

its

verily of the

for

it

is

the

(corresponding)

same12

name

for

Atman.

All illusions

having Atman for their substratum


and denoted by words which are but modifications 13
of Aum , cannot exist 14 without names (which are but
such as Prana,

etc.,

the modification of Aum).


Sruti passages

name

arising

as:

The

This

is

supported by such

modification 16 being only a

from speech.

All

this

related

to

It

MAND0KYOPA NISHA

[Ml

(Brahman) is held 16 together by the cord 17 of speech,


and strands 18 of (specific) names.
All these (arc
rendered possible in experience) by names,
1

Thus

scriptural

The

given

reason

authority,

here

because the

first

etc.

depends upon the


chapter of this work lays

chiefly

emphasis on the scriptural texts.


2
For detailed explanations of these passages the
Sruti passages
reader is referred to the respective Upanishads in which they occur.
3
Declare The ultimate relationship between Aum and Brahman
The phenomena of the world consist of ideas
is thus explained.
or the menial states. Ideas depend upon words for their expression.
The utterance of the word Aum ( A U M) gives the clue to the
pronunciations of all the words or sounds used by human beings.
The various parts of the vocal organ used in the utterance of sounds
come in contact with each other while pronouncing the word Aum.
Therefore, Aum is the matrix of all sounds which in their diversified
forms give rise to words used in the language. The substratum of
phenomena is Brahman. The substratum of all sounds, as seen
above, is Aum. The sounds signifying the phenomena are nondifferent from the phenomena as both are illusions.
When the
illusion disappears the substratum alone remains which, being one,
admits of no difference. Hence Brahman is Aum.

It

is,

etc.

Kathopanishad,

1.2.15.

When Aum

is

uttered,

with concentration there arises the consciousness of Brahman in


the mind. Therefore Aum is the nearest symbol helping the concentration of the

mind leading

principle of this process


5

Best

Brahman
6

is

to the realization

known

of Brahman.

The

as

Kathopanishad, 1.2.17. This the best symbol


an image
of Vishnu.
The knower through
Prasnopanishad,
is

like

It is,

of

(stffTJjf)

5. 2.

etc.

Aum attains
Aum one can

the

one or the other. Through the


meditation of
realize both the Para (attributeless)
Brahman and the Apara (associated with names and forms) Brahman.
7
Meditate One, who seeks to realize the Self through onesupport (of the

to

pointed concentration

on Aum,

feels

that

the

gross

universe

absorbed into the subtle ( U) and (U) into the


causal (M) and, finally, the universe dependent upon causal relation
is withdrawn into the transcendental which is known as Amatrd and
which cannot be designated by any letter or sound.
(symbolised by A)

is

AGAMA PRAKARANA

1*13
8

word,

This

etc.

Taittiriyopanishad,

Aum

1. 8. 1.'

indicates

Sagupa and Nirguria Brahman have the same substratum


the Nirguria (attributeless) Brahman or the highest Reality.

that both

which

is

is, etc.
Both, i.e., Aum and Brahman, are the support
of everything, they form the most universal concept. Therefore
the knowledge of Aum and Brahman is identical.

All this

10

Vital breath

The

non-dual Brahman, being the only existing

Reality, does not admit of


etc.

and

their effects are but

any other existence. Therefore Prana,


mental manifestations which are unreal,,

having Brahman for their substratum,

like the illusion

of snake

superimposed upon a rope.


11

Having,

etc.

Prana,

are merely modifications of speech

etc.,

As again
of Aum, therefore

because they cannot be conceived of without names.

names are nothing but


Prana,
12

etc.,

Aum

have

different manifestations

for their substratum.

The

name and the thing indicated by it are


inasmuch as both are mental ( Kalpanika ).
Modifications All sounds are included in the first

Same

nature

identical

13

letter

of the alphabet

is

14

Cannot

(c/.

The

Sruti passage,

the chief constituent of

Aum.

Sftflff

Therefore

).

mental manifestations (i.e., the objects denoted by them are identical with the
sounds associated with them) cannot exist apart from Aum.

The

all

Srttii is
to show the
This can be understood from
the standpoint of mentalism which explains everything as mere
idea or a mental state or content.

exist, etc

identity of the

name and

purpose of the

the object.

15

Modification

18

Held with

17

Cord

18

Strands

Therefore

It

Chhand.

it is

^cT
TilRfmcT

Pervaded.

i.e..

stands for the general (giRl*?})

They

fft:

Up., 6.1.4.

denote the particular (jtstt).

said

el

RT

tfliTTTiR

II

||

*PfF*TT%-


[M

mAndokyopanishad

30

Harih Aum.
explanation of

present and

Aum,

it (is

future

beyond the

triple

the word,

is all this.

the following).
verily

is

All that

Aum.

clear

is

past,

That which

conception of time,

is

is

also truly

Aum.
Sankaras Commentary

Aum, the word,

we

is all this.

As

objects

all diversified

around us, indicated by names, are not


different 1 from their (corresponding) names, and further
as the different names are not different from Aum, therefore all this is verily Aum. As a thing is known through
its name, so the highest Brahman is known through
that

Aum

see

Therefore the highest Brahman

alone.

Aum.
that

This (treatise)

is

of Aum, the word, which

is,

is

as the higher as well as the lower

means

khycinam

means

the

of

its

word

to

clear

Prastutam

of the same nature


Brahman. Upavya-

explanation,

because

Aum

is

Brahman on account
proximity to Brahman.
The

meaning

commences

That which

is

be

should

supplied to complete the sentence (as otherwise,


incomplete).

verily

the knowledge of

having the closest

is

the explanation of that, tasya,

it

is

conditioned by the triple

(conceptions of) time, such as past, present and future


is

also verily

Aum

for reasons already explained.

All

beyond the three (divisions of) time, /.<?., unconditioned by time, and yet known by their effects,
which is called Avyakrta ', the unmanifested, etc.,
that

is

that also

is

verily

Aum.

That the name and the object denoted by it


understood from the standpoint of mentaiism which
explains everything cognized or perceived as only a form of thought.
1

Not

different

are identical

is

Also, etc .

Because the

effect is non-different

from the cause.

AGAMA PRAKARANA

1-2}

1*

II

Introductory Remarks by Sankara

Though the name and the object


name are one and the same, still the

signified

by th^

explanation 1 has

been given (here) by giving prominence 2 to the name


Aum
(Aum).
Though in the Upanishadic passage,
explanation has been furnished
this word, is all this

by giving prominence 3 to the name (Aum), the same


thought is again expounded by giving prominence to
the thing signified by the name. The object is to realize
the knowledge of the oneness of the name and the thing
Otherwise, (the explanation) that the
signified by it.
knowledge of the thing is dependent on the name, might
suggest that the oneness of the name and the thing is
4
to be taken only in a figurative sense. The purpose of
the knowledge of the unity (of the name and the thing
signified by it) is to simultaneously remove, by a single
effort, (the illusion of) both the name and the thing and
establish (the nature of) Brahman which is other than
both. Therefore ,the Sruti says, The quarters ( Padas )
are the letters of Aum ( Matra ) and the letters are the
quarters.
1 Explanation i.e.,
Upanishadic text.
2

Prominence

Upanishad.

of what

Because

The purport of

Aum

is

given to

Aum

is

intended to be taught by the

the

the sentence

the most universal, for all the

prominence

is

first
is

that

phenomena of

word of

Aum

is

the world.

the

first

the symbol,

Therefore

(sffip-TR').

3
Prominence The second Upanishad is All this is, truly.
Brahman. Hence the emphasis is on All this which is the
object (3|H?qq) signified by Aum.
1 Figurative
i.e., the mere convention of calling a thing by
a particular name.


mAnd vkyopa nishad

i2
6
is

Which

etc.

is,

by

it

Therefore

it

signified

The

when

possible only
is

knowledge of the

All

Brahman

name and

the thing

removed.

says

this

attributeless

the illusion of both the

^3^

fargsimm to

si

II -2

Brahman.

verily

is

11

11

Atman

This

is

This Atman has four quarters.

Brahman.

Sankaras Commentary

to

Brahman.

verily

All this

is

consist

merely

of

Aum

the

previous

text)

is

That Brahman which has been described 1

Brahman.

2
(as existing) inferentially

directly 3

known,

Brahman.

now

is

by

the

The word

this ,

divided into four quarters

most

All that has been said

(in

pointed out, as being


This Self is

passage,

meaning that which appears

is

pointed out as the inner-

with a gesture 5 (of hand) by the passage,

Self,

That Atman indicated by Aum,


Atman'".
higher
and the lower Brahman, has 8
both
the
signifying
indeed,
likevthe four feet (Padas)
not
quarters
Padas
four
),
(
This

is

of a cow 7 but like the


known as Kdrshapana.
,

Turlya)

is

The knowledge of the fourth


by merging the (previous) three,
9
in it in
the order of the previous

attained

such as Viswa,

four quarters {Padas) of a coin 8

etc.,

Here10 the word

one, in the succeeding one.

or foot

word
when
1

but

used

is

Pada

in

11

sense of instrument.

the

Pada'

The

again used in the sense of an object


the object to be achieved is the fourth {Turiya).

is

Described i.e., by the


Inferentially i.e.,

we can

infer

it.

Sruti.

we cannot

ft is

opposed

the knowledge of a thing that

is

to

directly

perceive

its

presence

vvhc.h

refers to

not directly perceived but about


AGAMA

1 -3]

PRAKARAljtA

13

ihe existence of which one becomes absolutely certain by

in

means

known as realization.
3 Directly
The word
nowadays, is applied, especially
the Nyaya Philosophy, to the knowledge of the objects of sense-

of what

is

But occasionally it is used, in the Upanishad and the


in the sense of 3T7^[^r.
4
Four quarters Namely, Viiwa vthe waking state), Taijasa
(dream state), Prajna ( Sushupti or the state of dreamless sleep) and
Turiya which is same as Brahman or Atman. These four quarters
correspond to the three Matras of A ttm and the Amatra of Aum.
are the three Matras. The fourth, which is known
A, U and
as Amatra or without a letter, has no corresponding letter or sound.
This is silence or Atman corresponding to Turiva. The idea of
sound suggests the idea of soundlessness or silence from which
sound may be said to proceed.
5
Gesture i.e., by placing the hand on the region of the heart
which, in popular belief, is the seat of Atman.
e
Has, etc. The four quarters are imagined in Atman to facilitate
the understanding of the pupil.
7
Cow Because cow has actually four feet which are unrelated
with one another.
3 Coin
Karshaparia is a coin made up of four quarters. A
quarter -Karshaparia is merged in the half-Kdrshapaiia
the half
in the three-fourth -Kurshapana and the three-quarters
is merged
ultimately is merged in the full Karshapana.
9
In the, etc. Viiwa is merged in Taijasa, Taijasa in Prajna
and finally Prajna is merged in Turiya.
10
Here It is because the fourth pada is realized by means
of merging the three states in it.
11
In the sense of It is because the attention is here drawn to
the fourth pada which is the object of the enquiry.
perception.

Vedantic

text,

Ill

How

four quarters are said to indicate

thus 2 explained:

shut:

||

II

Atman

is

mAndokyopanishad

14

The

quarter

first

sphere (of activity)

is

Pada)

is

[l-j

Vaiswanara

the waking state,

scious of external objects,

who

who

whose
is

con-

has seven limbs and

nineteen mouths and whose experience consists

of

gross (material) objects.

Sankaras Commentary
JSgaritasthana,

waking

state.

i.e.,

his

Bahishprajna,

sphere3 (of activity)

who 4

i.e.,

is

is

the

aware of objects

other than himself. The meaning is that consciousness


it were, related to outward objects on account

appears, as

he has seven 6 limbs.


The Sruti says, Of that Vaiswanara Self, the effulgent 6
region is his head, the sun his eye, the air his vital breath,

of Avidya.

Similarly Saptanga,

i.e.,

the ether ( Akasa) the (middle part of his) body, the water 7
his kidney

and the earth

(one of the three


described as his
o'f

fires

his feet.

The Ahavaniya

of the Agnihotra

mouth

fire

has been

in order to complete the imagery

the Agnihotra sacrifice.

He

is

called Saptanga because

these are the seven limbs of his body.

These are the

nineteen mouths.

sacrifice)

five 8

Similarly he has
organs of percep-

tion ( Buddhindriyas ) ; the five 9 organs of action (.Karmen


driyas); the five 10 aspects of vital breath (Prana, etc.);

the

mind (Manas)

kara );

mouths,

the intellect (Buddhi)

mind-stuff (Chitta).

These

egoity

are, as

instruments by means

it

(Aham-

were, the

of which he
He, the Vaiswanara,
thus constituted, experiences through the instruments
enumerated above, gross objects, such as sound, etc.
He is called Vaiswanara because he leads all creatures
of the universe in diverse ways (to 11 the enjoyment of
various objects) ; or because he comprises all beings.
Following the grammatical rules regarding the compound
i.e.,

the

( Vaiswanara) experiences (objects).


AGAMA PRAKARANA

1-33

15

which gives the latter meaning, the word that is formed


ViSwanara, which is the same as Vaiiwanara. He is
the first quarter because he is non-different from the
He is called
totality of gross bodies (known as Virat).

is

first

12

(quarter)

realized

( Objection )

four quarters
is

the

subsequent

quarters

are

( Vaiiwanara).

while the subject-matter under discussion


( Pratyak Atma) as having
This Atman is Brahman

innermost Self

treats of the

how

because

through him

in the text,

that (the external universe consisting of) the

it

effulgent regions, etc., have been described as

such as head,

limbs

its

etc. ?

This,

no 13 mistake; because the


object is to describe the entire phenomena, including
those of gods {Adhidaiva) as having four quarters from 14
{Reply)

however,

the standpoint of this

is

Atman known

the totality of the gross universe).

alone

Atman

in 15 this

(i.e.,

way

non-duality established by the removal of (the

is

of) the entire 16

illusion

as the Virat

And

is

phenomena.

Further, the one

realized as existing in all beings

are seen as existing in Atman.

meaning of such Sruti passages as

and

all 17

beings

And, thus alone, the

Who

sees all beings

can be said to be established. Other18


world will, verily, be, as in the case
subjective
wise , the
of such philosophers as the Samkhyas , 19 limited by its
And if that be the case, no room
(ones) own body.

in the Self, etc.

would be left for the Advaita which is the special feature


of the Sruti. For, in the case of duality, there would
be no difference between the Advaita and the Samkhya
and other systems. The establishment of the identity of
all with Atman is sought by all the Upanishads.
It is,
therefore, quite reasonable to speak of the effulgent
regions,

etc.,

as

seven

limbs in connection with the

MAND 0KYOPA NISHAD

16

(individual

subjective

its

identity with the Adhi-

super-physical

from the standpoint of the Virat


gross physical universe).

This

universe

regions)

(the

of the

totality

known from
20
Sruti), as Thy

further

is

such characteristic indication (of the

head

-3

Adhyatma) associated with

self,

the gross body, because of


daiva (comprising the

[I

shall fall, etc.

The

identity (of

Adhyatma and Adhidaiva) from the

standpoint of the Virat indicates similar identity 21 of the


selves

known

as the Hiranyagarbha and the Taijasa 22 as

well as of the Unmanifested 23 (Jswara)


stated in the

It is also

and

the Prajna.

Madhu Brahmana, This

bright

and that bright immortal


the body (both are Madhu). It is an estab-

immortal person
person in

in this earth

lished fact that the Self in deep sleep

Prajna )

identical

is

because 24 of the absence


of any distinction between them. Such being the case,

with the Unmanifested

it

is

Iswara

clearly established that non-duality is realized

by

the disappearance (of the illusion) of all duality.

How,

etc.

The

reason for doubting

is

that

Atman

is

without

parts.
2

Thus.

etc.

Four

quarters

are merely

assumed to

facilitate

understanding by the unenlightened.


3

Sphere,

etc.

It is

because the Self identifies

itself

with the

experiencer in the waking state.


4

Who

is

aware,

identical with Self.

It

Consciousness (Prajna), really speaking, is


cannot be related to external objects because

etc.

nothing exists outside consciousness.

Owing

to Ajnana (ignorance),

the Buddhi Vritti (mental modification) objectifies itself into

what

ego and non-ego. These material


objects do not possess any independent existence. Both the Vritti
and its objects are imagined in Atman. From the standpoint of
Atman it does not experience any object external which is totally

are

called

material

non-existent.

entities,

AGAM A PRAKARANA

,1-3]
5

Cf

Seven

This

C.hhand.
6

assumption

Effulgent,

Water

etc.

i.e.,

Dyuloka or the sky with

taste

moon, the

stars,

its

luminary

etc.

The

indicates

bringing in

based upon scriptural authority.

is

Up., 5. 18. 2.

:bodies such as the sun, the

.also

17

its

word Ravi , meaning Food and wealth ,


water by which whatever is food grows,
turn wealth .

Five organs,

namely,

the organ

namely,

hands,

etc.

of sight, sound, smell,

and touch.
Five organs,

etc.

feet

and organs of speech,

generation and evacuation.


10

Five airs or humours, etc.

viz.,

Prana, Apdna, Samdna, Vyana

and Udana.
11

To

the enjoyment, etc.

He

makes people enjoy pleasure and

pain according to their virtuous or vicious deeds.


12

The word does not denote any

It
priority of creation.
from the standpoint of Vaiswanara or the
waking state alone one can understand the other states, i.e., as has
been pointed out under the first Upanishad, we see first how from
the waking state the dream state and the state of dreamless sleep
are known.
is

First

called first because

13

No

The

mistake

subjective

is

known

as the

Adhyatma. The

Adhidaiva comprises the objective universe including the spheres of


the sun, the

moon,

the stars, etc.

Adhyatma

is

non-different from

Adhidaiva because both these, as has already been pointed out, are
but ideas imagi ned in Atman. Hence there is no mistake in assuming
Adhidaivika members as forming the limbs of
14

From

the standpoint,

the>

Adhyatma.

etc.'The gross physical aspects Of both

Adhyatma and Adhidaiva, known as Virat (i.e., the totality of all


form the first quarter of the Atman or Brahman.
The subtle or Sukshma (namely, the Apanchikfta) aspects, known
physical bodies),

(i.e., the totality of the subtle),


form the
second quarter of the Atman or Brahman. The Kararta or causal
aspect known as the Avyakrta (unmanifested) or the Iswara comprising both the Adhydtma and Adhidaiva is the third quarter.
And
the transcendental ( Turiya ) which is beyond all causal relations and

as the Hirariyagarbha

which

is

the ultimate substratum of

.Hiranyagarbha and Iswara,

is

the

all

appearances,

fourth

quarter.

viz.,

In

all

Virat,

these

MAND CKYOPAN1SHAD

18
instances

there

Adhidaiva.

non-difference

is

Therefore there

between

no mistake

is

{I -4

Adhyatma and

the
in

applying the limbs

of Adhidaiva to Adhyatma.
16

In this

way alone

by merging each of the three

i.e.

states

step by step, in the Turiyo or the transcendental.


14

Entire, etc.

from Brahma or the highest cosmic being

i.e.,

to the mere blade of grass.


17

All beings

Atman.

mere imagination upon


from the Manu Smfti

as

WTft

flshjjRSTJTTcqrc

Otherwise

seen

the following couplet

q^5t!?u*TF3fr
14

are

they

i.e.,

Compare

i.e.,

II

by admitting the duality of Adhyatma and

Adhidaiva.

The

19

Samkhyas

souls

as based

admits

Samkjiva doctrine

upon manifoldness of

the

plurality

of

The Vedantin

experience.

explains the plurality to be due to Avidya.


!0

Thy head,

which
21

22
22

The

is

etc.

i.e.,

if

thou worshippest the effulgent region

but a part of Vaiswanara as the Vaiswanara

Identity
Taijasa The

i.e.,

itself.

in the spiritual plane.

individual self while dreaming

The Unmanifested,

etc.

The

individual self in the state of deep

is

called Taijasa.

of Iswara and Prajna.

identity

( Sushupti )

sleep

is

called

Prajna.
24

Because, etc.

itself at the

the

objects

The Iswara

The

Prajna or the causal self

time of deep sleep

all

withdraws into

distinctions of objects as well as

themselves experienced

in

waking and dream

states.

cosmic soul) too at the time of dissolution withdraws


into itself all distinctions experienced in the planes of Virat and
Hiranyagarbha which correspond respectively to the waking and
the dream states of the subjective.
(the

IV

fefcr:

II

ll

AGAMA PRAKARAJjA

I-4J

The second quarter


sphere (of activity)

is

Pada)

who has

internal objects,

is

the dream,

19

the Taijasa

who

whose

conscious of

is

seven limbs and nineteen

mouths and who experiences the subtle

objects.

Sankaras Commentary

He

is

(state)

is

called
his

the Svapnasthana

( Taijasa )

being associated as

it is

because the dream

Waking consciousness,
with many means, 1 and appear-

sphere.

ing 2 conscious of objects as

if external,

though

(in reality)

they are nothing but states 3 of mind, leaves in the

mind

corresponding 4 impressions.

That the mind (in dream)


without 6 any of the external means, but possessed of the
impressions left on it by the waking consciousness, like6
a piece of canvas 7 with the pictures painted on it, experiences the dream state also as if it were like the waking,
is due to its being under the influence of ignorance,
desire and their action. 8 Thus it is said, (And when
he falls asleep) then after having taken away with him
(portion of the) impressions from the world during the
waking state (destroying and building up again, he
experiences dream by his own light) ( Brhd Up., 4. 3. 9).
.

Similarly

with

the

(all

Deva,

the

enjoys

in

Atharvana, after introducing the subject

the

senses)

mind,

become one

continues

dream greatness 11

highest 10

the

There the god


(

Prasna

the standpoint of the sense-organs, the

He

in

Up.).

mind

is

(mind)

From 12
internal.

(the Taijasa ) is called the Antahprajna or conscious

of the internal because his consciousness in dream becomes aware of the mental states, which are impressions
left by the previous waking state.
He is called the
Taijasa because he appears as the subject though this

t(dream) consciousness

is

without any (gross) object and

MIND CKYOPA NISHAD

20

[I-+

of the nature of the essence of light. The Viswa (the


subject of the waking state) experiences consciousness
is

associated
(in the

whereas, here

with gross external objects;

dream

the object of experience

state),

is

consci-

ousness consisting of Vasanas (the impressions of past


experience).
Therefore this experience is called the
experience 13 of the subtle.
the previous Sruti).

The

rest is

This Taijasa

is

common

(with

the second quarter

(of Atman).
1

Subject-object

Means

relationship,

agency,

instrumentality,

etc.

2 Appearing
According to Vedanta, external objects, perceived
by the sense-organs, have no absolute reality. They appear as real
on account of Avidya. Their reality cannot be proved for the
simple reason that they become non-existent when their essential

character
3

is

enquired into.

of mind External objects are nothing but mental


produced by Avidva. There are no such independent
external entities as objects
they are but creations of the mind. In
fact we are not conscious of any external objects independent of
Again
the mind. We take our mental creations to be such objects.
those who seek for the cause of these mental creations or ideas,
which we think we see as external objects, are led into a logical
regressus.
This causal chain leads nowhere. It will be shown
later on that the whole idea of cause and effect is unreal.
States

existents

Corresponding,

etc.

that

is,

like

those

experienced

in

waking state. These impressions are subsequently reproduced


the form of dream-objects.
5

Without any, etc. It

entity than the


6

mind of

is

the
in

because in dream no other separate

the dreamer,

is

present.

Like a piece, etc. Dream experiences appear as


experiences of the waking state.

real as the

7
Like a piece of canvas, etc. The picture painted on a piece
of canvas appears to possess various dimensions though, in reality,
Similarly, dream-experiences,.
the picture is on a plane surface.

AGAMA PRAKARAIfA

4]

though

21

of mind, appear to be characterized by

really states

'

the-

presence of externality and intemality.

The

word "Karma"

Action

senses than one.

Karma

is

primarily

used in

VedUnta in more

means action

It

also-

forged by one in ones past incarnation or pre-

signifies the destiny

sent
the store of tendencies, impulses, characteristics and habits,,
which determine one's future embodiment and
environment.
Another meaning of Karma , often used in reference to ones
:

caste or position in

life, is ritual, the course of conduct, which one


ought to follow in pursuance of the tendencies acquired in thepast, with a view to work them out.
The meaning of the word,
here, is the tendencies generated in the mind by the activities of the
waking state. Avidya gives rise to Kama or desire, and this in its

turn, impels a
0

man

Thus, etc.

dream

states

to action.

The
is

causal relation between the

sought

to

be

established

waking and the


on scriptural

here

authority.
10

Highest, etc. it

is

because in the dream state the Jiva

is

associated with the Upadhi of mind.

11

Greatness The Jiva in sleep, characterized


by darkness,
possesses the light by means of which the subject-object relationship is seen. The greatness of mind consists in the fact that in dream,
it

can transform

itself into

knowledge, act

of knowing and the

object of knowledge.
12

From

of From

waking
one can review the
dream experiences and thus come to know the internal activity of
the mind which acts in the dream state independently of the senseorgans of the waking state.
state alone

13

the standpoint

when

Experience

dream

states are

ceiver

is

aware

the standpoint of the

the sense-organs are active,

of the subtleThe experiences of waking and


of the same nature
for in both the states the peronly of his mental states which are not related to
;

any external objects, as they are non-existent. From the standpoint of dream, dream objects are as gross and material as those
experienced in the waking state. From the view-point of the waking

one may infer that the dream objects are subtle, that
composed of mere impressions of the waking state, inasmuch as
the dream- state no external (that is, gross) object exists at all.

state alone,
is,

in

mAndOkyopanishad

:22

[1*5

m get
7RR

srrsrt

=t

cfigSJTH.

sr

fSFTRR ^TJJT:

^riss^RTt stff^r %aipr:


TK:
That
-does

II

is

stjt

TfRSf'T

sTr^r^cffq:

II

the state of deep sleep wherein the sleeper

not desire any objects nor does he see any

The third quarter ( Pada) is the Prajna


whose sphere is deep sleep, in whom all (experiences) become unified or undifferentiated, who is
verily, a mass of consciousness entire, who is full
of bliss and who experiences bliss, and who is the
path leading to the knowledge (of the two other
dream.

states).

Sankaras Commentary

The
etc., is

adjectival

clause,

viz.,

Wherein the

put with a view to enabling one to

of deep sleep

the state

( Sushupti )

sleeper,

grasp what

signifies,

inasmuch

as sleep characterized by 1 the absence of the knowledge


is the common feature of those mental modiwhich are associated with (waking, that is)

of Reality
fications

perception 2 (of gross objects) and (dream, that

is

the)

Or 4 the object of
non-perception 3 (of gross objects).
the introduction of the adjectival clause may be to distinguish the state of deep sleep (of the sleeping person)

from the two previous states as sleep characterized by


the absence of knowledge of Reality is the common
feature of the three states.

Wherein, that

is

to say,

in which state or time, the sleeping person does not see

IGAMA PRAKARANA

1 - 5]

23

any dream, nor does he desire any desirable (object)..


For in the state of deep sleep, there does not exist, as
in the two other states, any desire or the dream experience whose characteristic is to take a thing for what it
;

is

He

not.

sphere

is

is this

EkibhQta,

i.e.,

Sushuptasthana because his;


of deep sleep. Similarly it is called

called the

state

the state in which

all

experiences

become

which all objects of duality, which


are nothing but forms 5 of thought, spread over the two
states (viz., the waking and the dream), reach the state4,
of indiscrimination or non-differentiation without losing
unified

state in

their characteristics,

as the day, revealing phenomenal

by the darkness of night. Therewhich are nothing but forms


of thought, perceived during dream and waking states,
become a thick mass (of consciousness) as7 it were (in
deep sleep); this state of deep sleep is called the
Prajnanaghana' (a mass of all consciousness unified)'
on account of the absence of all manifoldness (discrimination of variety). As at night, owing to the indiscrimination produced by darkness, all (percepts) become
a mass (of darkness) as it were, so also in the state of
deep sleep all (objects) of consciousness, verily, become
a mass (of consciousness). The word eva (verily)
objects, is enveloped

fore conscious experiences,

in the text denotes the absence 8

of any other thing except


(At the time of deep
sleep) the mind is free from the miseries 8 of the efforts
made on account of the states of the mind being involved
in the relationship of subject and object: therefore, it
is called the Anandamaya, that is, endowed with an
abundance of bliss. But this is not Bliss Itself because
consciousness (in deep sleep).

it

10

is

not Bliss

parlance,

Infinite.

As

in

one, free from efforts,

common

(experience)i

called

happy and

is

MAND 0KYOPA NISHAD

24

[I -5

enjoyer of bliss. As the Prajna 11 enjoys this state of


deep sleep which is entirely free from all efforts, therefore it is called the "Anandabhuk (the experiencer of
bliss).
The Sruti also says, This is its highest bliss.

Cetomukha' because it is the doorway 12


to the (cognition) of the two other states of consciousness known as dream and waking. Or because the Ceta

It is called the

perceiving

(the

consciousness

characterized 13

entity)

Bodha)

is

of dreams,

experience

"Cetomukha'

It

etc.,

therefore

called Prajna as

is

the past and the future as well as of


the Prajna,

called

deep

sleep,

because 14 of

Or

previous states.
peculiar

knower par

the

feature

is

its

it

The
1

(there)

is

etc.

The

it

is

is

to

the

called

the

conscious of

all objects.

having been so

consciousness 15

in

It is

even in
the

two

undifferentiated.

no doubt,
aware of (the experiences of) variety.

Prajna, thus described,


By.

it

excellence,

In the two other states consciousness

but

(empirical)

called the Prajna because its

is

it

by

doorway leading

its

exists,

the third quarter.

is

mere absence of desire or objects associated


is no characteristic of the Highest

with waking or dream states

Knowledge
absence.
2

for,

deep

sleep,

swoon,

etc.,

are characterized by such

Therefore the Knowledge of Reality

Perception

In

the

.modifications which are

waking

known

state

one

is

is

true

Jnanam.

aware of the mental

as the perception of gross physical

objects.
a

Non-perception

Dream

experience

is

here

designated

as

non-perception, as it is distinct from the perception of gross


objects of the waking state. In the dream state the objects of
perception, which are also modifications of the mind, are but the
subtle impressions left by the objects of the waking state. That the
dream objects are such can only be known from the experience of
the waking state.
4

of

Or The commentator gives two meanings of the first sentence


The first meaning .lays emphasis on yatra ", i.e..

the text.

1GAMA PRAKARAIfA

il-5]

25

wherein, because we are .dealing here with the three states. The
natural meaning of the text is that after describing the states of
waking and dream the Sruti proceeds to describe the state of
Sushupti or deep steep which is said to be distinguished from the
two other states in not having desire, etc., the common feature of
-the other two states.
And such a distinction has to be made because
all the three states have the common feature of the absence of

knowledge of Reality.
"supta and explains

and

The second meaning emphasizes the word


thus in this connection. Jagrat, Swapna

it

Sushupti are the three states which have for their perceiver
who experiences the three states. Though the perceiver of

one

the three states has three different appellations yet the

word supta

used as the common term for them by Sruti in a special sense,


to denote the absence of knowledge of Reality. Therefore, in this
sense, though the word supta means the same as the experiencer
in the state of Jagrat and Swapna yet it is differentiated from the
Wherein the sleeper does not
latter by the adjectival phrase,
is

see, etc.

6
Forms of thought Mental or thought forms arise
which constitute external and internal objects.
6

State

of indiscrimination

language as

waking

causal

the

state takes

it

in

Atman,

This

state.

is
known in the empirical
One viewing sushupti from the

to be the causal state because he

finds

that

and swapna merge in sushupti. The mind


moving within the sphere of causality further takes sushupti to be
the cause of the waking and the dream states, believing the former
the experiences of jagrat

to be antecedent to the
7

As

latter.

were As suggested in the previous note sushupti is


designated as the state of causal unity because the waking man
looks upon it as the cause of waking and dream experiences. But
even sushupti is also a vritti or an idea of the waking man, which
it

mind on account of his seeking for a cause of the


waking and dream experiences. Therefore the unity experienced
arises in his

in sushupti as understood by the wakeful

man

is

not the unity of

Brahmajndna otherwise the reappearance of multiplicity as


in the waking state would not be possible.
8

Absence, etc.

absence
.dreaming
4

of the
state.

The

objects

real

of sushupti is characterized by the


which one perceives in the waking or

state

MAND OKYOPANISHAD

26
9

states
its

Miseries of the efforts

who

always

absence in

subject-object

[1

The perceiver in the jag rat and

experiences

swapnafinds

relationship,

sttshupti.

10
The sushupti is not the state of Bliss InfiniteIt is not, etc.
because the perceiver from the waking standpoint associates deep
sleep with the Upadhi of the idea of the causal state.
11

deep

Prdjna

The

of sushupti. That the


viewed from waking state.

19

Prdjna,

experience!'

sleep, enjoys bliss is

Sushupti

Doorway

is

the

doorway because
The

experience of the waking and dream states.


existence of sushupti,

wherein

all

diversities

it

leads to the

state

of unified

disappear,

waking and dream experiences.


looked upon as the cause of the two other states.

invariable antecedent of the


it is
19

in

is

the

Hence

Characterized, etc. It

is because the consciousness, present


a necessary condition for becoming aware of the
states of jdgrat and swapna.
No experience is possible without

in sushupti,

is

consciousness.
11

Because,

etc.

Though

sciousness in sushupti

there are

still it is

known

no

specific

states

as Prdjna or the

of con-

knower par

all previous states of consciousness experienced


and swapna are the same as that of sushupti.

excellence because
in jdgrat

15
Consciousness, etc. This consciousness,
which exists as
Prdjna in deep sleep appears as particular (fspjq) states of consciousness in jdgrat and swapna.

VI

II

This

is

the Lord of all;

this is the controller within

It

this is the
;

knower of

this is the source

of

all;
all

and this is that from which all things originate and


in which they finally disappear.
Sankaras Commentary
This in
all.

All,

its

that

natural 1 state,
is

to

say,

is the Lord ( Tswara


of
of the entire physical and

AGAMA PRAKARANA

-6]

super-physical universe.

He ( Iswara )

27
is

not something

separate from the universe as others 2 hold.

The Sruti

good one. Prana ( Prajna or Iswara) is


that in which the mind is bound.
He is omniscient
because he is the knower 3 of all beings in their different
also says,

conditions.

He

is

entering into

all,

directs everything

that is, he alone


from within. Therefore He is called the origin of all because from Him
proceeds the universe characterized by diversity, as
described before.
It being so. He is verily that from
which all things proceed and in which all disappear.
1

the Antaryamin,

Prajna

is the natural state because in deep


waking and dream states merge. This state,
being free from the conditions of the waking and dream states,
manifests, in a marked degree Pure Consciousness.

Natural state

sleep all diversities of

The Naiyavikas and others admit an extra-cosmic


Sankara has refuted this theory in the commentary on
When seeking for the cause of the
>the Vedanta Sutra (2-2-37).
universe, Vedanta posils Prajna as the material as well as the efficient
cause of the universe.
Others

creator.

3 Knower
The Atman is the witness of the past, the present
and the future as well as the three states. Knowledge of the three
states implies the common knower of ail.

Here commence Gaudapadas Karikas


of the Mandukya Sruti:

in explanation

Gaudapada-Karika
Regarding

this there are these Slokas.

Sankaras Commentary
In explanation of the foregoing (texts) there are these
jlokas.

Gaudapada takes up the preceding

and comments upon them

as follows

six texts

of the Upanishad

MAND OKYOPANISHAD

28

[1-6 (I>

PcT:JT^g

^^

RTf
Viswa

1.

(the second quarter)

It is

who

II

is

II

all-pervading

Taij^sa

the external (gross) objects.


is

he who cognizes the internal (the

Prajna

subtle) objects.

ousness.

T%WT ^CT:

(the first quarter) is he

and who experiences

he who

is

one alone who

is

is

thus

a mass of consci-

known

in

the three

states.

Sankaras Commentary

The

implication of the passage

is

this

That

Itman

from
and that he is pure 1 and unrelated, 2 is established by
his moving in three states, in 3 succession, and also on
account of the knowledge, I am. that, resulting from
the experience which unites 4 through memory.
The

the three states (witnessed)i

is (as witness) distinct

Sruti also

corroborates

it

by the

illustration 5

of the

great fish, etc.


1

Pure

The

ideas

pleasure and pain,

etc.,

of purity and

impurity,

weal

and woe,
do

are the characteristics of the states and

Atman who is only the witness of the


The Jiva or the reflected consciousness, which is
identical with Atman falsely identifies himself with the states and
considers himself to be impure, miserable, etc. Atman is ever-pure.
not, in any way, pertain to

three

states.

exists

No relation of any kind, even that of causality,


between the three states and Atman as the latter alone exists.

Unrelated

That Atman is unrelated is further known from the fact that the
experiences of the waking state do not, in reality, affect Atman in
the dream state, nor those of the dream state affect Atman in the
state of deep sleep.
3

In succession

Though

it

appears that Atman-

idfentifies itself'

with each of the three states for the time being, yet the fact that he
moves from one state to another without being, affected shows that

he

is

only the witness of the three states.

AGAMA PR A KARANA

6 ( 2 )]

29

etc
From tRe standpoint of common experience
a relationship between past, present and future. This is
due to the unifying power of memory. Even this relationship
between experiences is possible only if an Atman is posited as the
witness of them.
4

we

Unites,

find

etc
This is taken from the Brhd. Up. As a
swims from one bank to another unimpeded by the
currents of the river, so also Atman moves in the three states totally
unaffected by them. As no characteristics of the banks, good or
5

Illustration,

powerful

fish

bad, affect the

fish,

so also no experiences of the three states affect


Another illustration is that of the bird,

the pure nature of Atman.

which

flies

unobstructed in the sky and unattached to the surround-

ing lands.

Karika

Nfr qjTSRrg
m?T%wr
Viswa

2.
is

is

constitutes the
is

he who cognizes

he who cognizes
( conceived

in the

Akasa

in

mind

cfcra;

^ swftct:

in the right eye,

within

the heart.

II

Taijasa

is

he who

Thus the one

Atman

and Prajna

as) threefold in the (one) body.

Sankaras Commentary
This verse

is

intended to show that the threefold

experience of Viswa,
ised

in

the

waking 1

( Taijasa

etc.

state

alone.

and Prajna)

is

real-

Dakshinakshi:

the

means of perception (of gross objects) is the right eye.


The presence of Viswa, the cognizer of gross objects,
is chiefly felt there.
The Sruti also says, The person
that

is

One

in the right eye is

(Brhd.

one,

who

Virat

Atman

is

Up.).

the

known

as Indha

the Luminou s

which means the effulgent


Vaiswanara and also known as the
Indha,

(the totality of gross bodies), the perceiver

in the sun, is the

same 2 as the perceiver

in the eye.

MAND 0KYOPA NISHA D

30

(Objection)

The

6 (2 )

Hiranyagarbha is distinct from


( Kshetra) who is the cognizer,

the knower of the body

who

the controller of the right eye,

who

experiencer and

(Reply)

No,

not admitted.

for,

The

is

in

is

also the general

Lord of the body.

the

such a distinction is 3
One effulgent being

reality,

ruti

says,

is hidden in all beings.


The Smriti also says:
do thou also know, O Arjuna, to be the Kshetrajna
(the knower of the body) in all Kshetras (bodies)

alone

Me

(Gita,

Indivisible,

13. 2).

in beings (Gita,

Though

13.

yet

the presence of Viswa

sense-organs

without

exists

it

as if divided

16).

distinction

equally

is

yet

the

felt in

right

eye

all
is

singled 4

out (as the chief instrument for


its perception), because he (Viswa) makes a greater use
of the right eye in perceiving objects. (The right eye
particularly

is

made here to represent all the sense-organs). The


who has his abode in the right eye, having perceived

one,

and then recollecting


very same (external
objects) as in a dream, as the manifestation of the (subtle)
impressions (of memory). As 8 is the case here (waking),
(external) forms, closes the eye;

them within the mind

so

also

is

the

case

sees 6

with

the

dream.

the perceiver in the mind, within,

is

Therefore,

Taijasa,

verily the

same as

With the cessation of the activity known as


the perceiver (in the waking and dream states)
8
with Prajna in the Akdsa of the heart and
is unified
becomes 9 verily a mass 10 of consciousness, because there
is, then, a cessation of mental activities.
Both perception and memory are forms of thought, in the absence
of which the seer remains indistinguishably 11 in the
form of Prana in the heart alone. For, the ruti u also
Viswa.

memory, 7

says,

Prana alone withdraws

all

these within.

Taijasa

AGAMA PR AKA RANA

1-6(2)]

identical 13

is

with

Mind

mind,

of

its

the character-

The Prana

(vital

breath) of a deep sleeper

15

The sense-organs (at the time of deep


are merged in it. How, then, can it (Prana) be

manifested

sleep)

This is supported by such


This Purusha ( Hiranyagarbha) is

etc.

(Objection)
is

account
is

indication 14 (of both).

scriptural passages as
all

on

Hiranyagarbha

existence being realised in mind.


istic

31

said to be unmanifested ?

This

no mistake, for the unmanifested 16


characterised by the absence (of the knowof time and space. Though Prana, in the case of

(Reply)

is

( Avyakrita) is

ledge)

a person who identifies himself with (particular) Prana,


appears to be manifested (during the time of waking

and dream),

yet even in the case of those

who

(thus)

identify themselves with individualized Prana, the Prana,

during deep sleep, loses (such) particular identification,

which is due to its limitation by the body, and is verily


the same as the unmanifested.
As in the case of those

who

identify themselves with individualized Pranas, the

Prana, at 17 the time of death, ceases to be. the manifested,


so also in the case of those

who

think

of themselves

as identified with the individualized Pranas, the Prana


attains
state

to

the condition

of deep

sleep.

like

contains the seed (cause)

deep

sleep

unmanifested, in the

of (future) creation 18 (as

the case with the Avyakrita).


states

the

This Prana (of deep sleep) further

and

the Pure Consciousness).

Avyakrita
It

is

The cognizer of the two

is

also

one 19

(one in deep sleep)

is

(v/'z.

identi-

cal 20 with the (apparently) different cognizers identifying


(in the states .of waking
and dream), and therefore such attributes as unified,*
mass of all consciousness, etc., as described above, are

themselves with the conditioned

MAND 0KYOPANISHAD

32

[1-6(2)

reasonably applicable to it (one in deep sleep). Other 21


How does, indeed,
reason, already stated, supports it.
the word Prana 22 apply to the Avyakrita (unmanifested)?

supported by the Sruti passage, Oh, good one,


the mind is tied to the Prana.
It is

In

word Prana
Brahman, (not the
Avyakrita which is the subject-matter under discussion,
as the text commences with the passage, All this was
Sat in the beginning.
(Reply)This is no mistake, for (in that passage) the
Sat is admitted to be that which contains within it the
seed 23 or cause (of creation). Though Sat, i.e.. Brahman,
Prana , yet
is indicated in that passage by the word
the Brahman that is indicated by the words Sat and
Prana (in that connection) is not the one who is free
from its attribute of being the seed or cause that creates
all 24 beings.
For if in that Sruti passage, Brahman,
devoid of the causal relation (i.e., the Absolute) were
sought to be described, then the Sruti would have used
such expressions as Not this, Not this, Wherefrom
speech turns back, That is something other than both
the known and the unknown, etc. The Smriti also declares, It is neither Sat (existence) nor As at (non-existence) (Gita). If by the text were meant the (Absolute)
devoid of causal relation then the coming back, to the
relative plane of consciousness, of those who were in deep
sleep and unified with Sat at the time of Pralaya (cosmic
(Objection)

indicates

that Sruti passage, the

Sat (Existence,)

i.e.,

the

dissolution), could 25 not happen.

the liberated souls

Further, (in that case)

would again come back

plane of consciousness

to the relative

for the absence of seed or cause

(capable of giving birth to the world of names and forms)


would be the common 26 feature of both.

AGAMA PRAKARANA

1-6(2)]

33

Further, in the absence of the seed 27 (cause,


'

at

i.e.,

and Pralaya) which can be destroyed


by Knowledge (alone), Knowledge itself becomes futile.
Therefore the word Sat (the text of the Chhandogya
the time of Sushupti

Upanishad, the passage under discussion) in that aspect


in

which causality

is

to

attributed

indicated by

is

it,

Prana, and accordingly has been described in


Srutis as the cause

28

It is for this

all

the

reason also that the

Absolute Brahman, dissociated from its causal attribute,


has been indicated in such Sruti passages as It is
beyond the unmanifested which is higher than the manifested, He is causeless and is the substratum of the

Where(effect) and the internal (causef,


, Not this, not this,
from words come back
etc.
That which is designated as Prajna (when it is
viewed as the cause of the phenomenal world) will be
external

described as

Turlya separately

as the cause, and

when

it

is

when

free

not viewed

is

it

from

all

phenomenal

relationship (such as that of the body, etc.),

i.e.,

in its

The causal condition is also


Real aspect.
verily experienced in this body from such 29 cognition
of the man who is awakened from the deep sleep, as
I did not know anything (at the time of deep sleep).
Therefore it is said that (one) Atman is perceived as
threefold 30 in the (one) body.

absolutely

Waking

From

state atone

the ordinary empirical standpoint,

Viswa, Taijasa and Prajna are generally related to three states,

viz.,

waking, dream and deep sleep. But the three states are comprehended from the standpoint of the waking state alone. That
dream and deep sleep are two states, having different characteristics,
Therefore these two become
is known in the waking state alone.

known

to

the

waking

consciousness.

Besides

jdg rat

(waking),

denotes the absence of the knowledge of Reality, covers


the dream and sleep states as well. The three apparent cognisers
in so far as

it

MlND 0KYOPANISHAD

34

known

Taijasa and Prajna are really one, because a

Viswa,

as

[1-6(2)

same state, namely, the waking, and


an absurdity, as that would preclude the possi-

plurality of perceivers in the

same body

in the

is

bility of the continuity of perception as revealed through memory.


Therefore the apparently three different perceivers are identical and

their apparent distinction

is

due to

their identification with the three

states.

SameIt

identical with

because, as already shown, the Adhidaiva

is

is

Adhyatma.

3 Is

not admitted The difference is only imaginary and empiand due to the identification with different bodies.
Really
speaking, one Atman alone manifests itself in different
forms,
microcosmic or macrocosmic.
rical

4
Singled out This assertion is based upon scriptural authority.
In actual experience also one finds that the right eye is more efficient
in the perception of objects than the left one.
5

etc. Viswa, the perceiver of gross objects, becomes


closes the eyes and thinks within his mind about
the gross objects. Cognisers of dream and ideas (in the waking
Sees,

Taijasa

when he

Both,

state) are identical.

for the time being, the


*

As, etc.

There

and the

state
states,

the

is

perceiver

is that

states

difference whatever between the

cognizes

objects experienced in

between the

no

the

objects, possess,

characteristics.

of imagination

state

and dream

ideas

viz.,

same

the

in

the waking.

impressions

preceding states.

of dream and imagination

dream represents a whole

state

dream

In both the

of gross physical

The only
(in the

difference!

waking

state)

whereas the reflection repre-

sents the part of a state.


7

Memory

Memory

subject-object

is

relationship.

also a

The

objects perceived in the waking


forms of memory and dream.
8

UnifiedThat

is,

form of mental activity implying


impressions of gross external
state manifest themselves in the

this state is characterised

by the absence of

subject-object relationship.
8

Becomes

etc.Whenever in the waking state the mind


whenever ideas disappear from it, the state
is said to be Sushupti.
Even memory does not function then. This
state is identical with deep sleep, when subject-object relationship
verily ,

ceases to be active,

i.e.,

AGAMA PRaKARANA

6 (2 )]

35

absent. This state is posited from the actual experience of the


change from a state which was without the dual relationship of
subject and object. The experience of the three states and the
transition from the one to the other proves that there is only one
is

perceiver
10

who

Mass

and

the witness of th; three states

is

of,

etc.

That

is,

there

is

no

their succession

particular cognition in

that state.
11

Indistinguishably

12

Sruti

12

Identical

See Bfhd.
That

/.<?.,

in

Viswa and Virdt as well as Prdjna (deep sleep)

and Iswara (unmanifested) are

Now

unmanifested form.

Up.

identical, has

been already shown.

pointed out that Hirariyagarhha is identical with Taijasa.


Hiranyagarbha and Taijasa are only what are termed as the cosmic
it

is

mind and the individual mind respectively. Really speaking,


macrocosm and microcosm, both being mere forms of thought, are
Hiranyagarbha and Taijasa,
Their different
appellations are due to their identification with different Upadhis
(adjuncts) namely, the thoughts of macrocosm and microcosm.
identical.

Therefore

the

oerceivers,

are identical because they are also forms of thought.

14

Indication Both are formed of the same stuff or the mind.

15

Manifested The manifestation of the activities of the Prana


of a deep sleeper is witnessed by on lookers.

10
Unmanifested The characteristics of manifestedness and
unmanifestedness of Prana are predicated of it from the standpoint

of waking and sleep states respectively.

This

17 At
the time of death
of the scriptural authority.
18

called

Creation

Prana

are manifest.

Both

illustration

Comp.

Brhd.

given on the basis


4. 4. 2.

and deep sleep (here


which names and forms

the states of Avyakrita

are followed by a state in

On

is

Up.,

account of the identity of

effects,

the causes are

also said to be identical.

19
One The identity of deep sleep and Avydkrita is further
demonstrated from the identity of their commpn cogniser, viz.,
Pure Consciousness.

is

20
IdenticalThe meaning
one and the same.
21

Other, etc.

viz.,

the

is

that the perceiver

identity

of the three states

of Adhyatma and Adhidaiva.

MAND OKYOPA NISHAD

36

[1

6 ( 2)

*' Prdna
The contention of the objector is that the ordinary
meaning of Praria is vital breath having five aspects, viz., Prdna,
Apana Samana, Vydna and Uddna.
,

23

Seed That

24

All, etc.

25

Could

Brahman
person

the Sagunb Brahman.

is,

Both animate and inanimate.


For, after the realisation

not,

who

of the Absolute

etc.

return to the plane of ignorance

is

But the

not possible.

goes into the Sushupti or the Avyakrita

state

without

Jndnam again returns to the plane of ignorance. It is the


Knowledge of Brahman alone which is the condition of liberation but

attaining

not mere absence of duality without knowledge,


experienced in deep sleep, swoon or trance.
2,1

Common

feature

If Existence

free

which can

from causal

relation,

be

i.e.,

the Absolute Brahman, be the meaning of Sat in the scriptural passage

under discussion, then the reverting of the deep sleeper, who has
not yet attained to Jndnam, to the dual plane of consciousness
would not be possible. And if a person, after realising the Absolute
Brahman, is to come back to the state of duality, then Jndnam or

would be impermanent.

liberation

The meaning

is

this

At the

time of Pralaya when the created beings become unified with Sat
or Existence they do not become really the Absolute Brahman. They
remain only in a seed or potential condition and therefore they
te-appear at the time of creation.

who

Similarly, an ignorant person

goes into deep sleep retains in a latent form,

all his

impressions of duality and gets them back after coming

But a Jnani, once

the state of Sushupti.


Absolute Brahman,

is

previous

down from

realising his identity with

never misled by the sense (of the reality) of

dual existence.
22

Seed The

causal

and non-apprehension

standpoint
as

well

as

comprises
their

affirm this causal standpoint, popularly

false

effects.

known

apprehension

The Naiydyikas

as the cosmic igno-

rance, to be a Padartha or independent category which arises in the

absence of the contact of the sense-organ with its object. Thereis a negation or Abhdva.
But

fore Ajnanam, according to them,

according to Veddnta, Ajnanam is not purely a negation (characAvarana aspect), but a negation combined with an

terising the

affirmation or creation

( Vikshepa

aspect).

It is

not an independent

category but dependent upon present consciousness and comprehend-

ed by

it.

This ignorance

is

destroyed by the knowledge of truth.

AGAMA prakarana

-6 (3-5)]
28

Cause It

29

Such cognition

is

37

*because. a causal explanation

The

necessary.

is

experience of the absence of knowledge

man who

is awakened from deep


waking state of a change involving names and forms, he thinks of the previous state of deep
sleep as devoid of them. Therefore the knowledge of deep sleep
This shows that Sushupti is
is possible only in the waking state.

in Sushupti

is

From

sleep.

possible only for a

the perception in the

Iknowable only in Uagrat consciousness.


30

As threefold The meaning

-change of one state into

is

this

That the Atman

known from the


another. The Atman

witness of the three states

is

is

In this

body and

the

the witness not

only of the three states but also of their cognizers,


Taijasa and Prajna.

is

perception of the

viz.,

Viswa,

in the Jagrat state alone, the

three states as well as their cognizers are perceived.

wr

ft

tterfl:

srrfMrr
3.

wt rcMcr

\ n

ii

Viswa always experiences the gross

(object), Taijasa

Know

these to be the

the subtle and Prajna the

blissful.

threefold experiences.

M
<r*rr

4.

The gross

srrtM g

m Mr

( object )

Mqq

ftMcr

gift

satisfies

n h

Viswa, the subtle the

Taijasa and the blissful the Prajna.

Know

these to be

threefold satisfaction.

Sankaras Commentary
Verses 3 and 4 have already been explained.

'tMr

Mr

a prnt
5.

objects

He who knows

both

li

the

experiencer

II

and the

of experience that have been described ( associated)

MANDOKYOPANISHAD

38

with the three states,

is

[1-6(5)*

not affected though experiencing:

the objects.

Sankaras Commentary
In

the three states, namely,

waking,

etc.,

the one 1

'

and the same object of experience appears in threefold


forms as the gross, the subtle and the blissful. Further,,
the experiencer (of the three states)

known

(differently)*

as Viiwa, Taijasa and Prajna has been described as one

on account of the unity 2 of consciousness implied


such 3 cognition as

am

that

(common

in

to all condi-

from the absence 4 of any distinction


He who knows the two
in respect of the perceiver.
(experiencer and the objects of experience), appearing
as many in the form of subject and objects of experience,
though enjoying them, is 5 not affected thereby; because 6
all objects (of expereince) are experienced by one subject
As (the heat of the) fire7 does not increase or
alone.
decrease by consuming wood, etc., so also nothing 8 is
added to or taken away (from the knowingness or
awareness of 'he Atman) by its experience of that which,
tions). as well as

is its object.
1

One and

the

same

etc.

It

is

because the experiences of the

three states are only the different forms of thought or ideas.


2

and
3
I,

Unity

of, etc.

identical

is

That

also

Such cognition,

the experiencer of the three states

known
etc.

who now have been

to the

is

one

waking consciousness.

This cognition takes the

following form

perceiving objects in the waking state, had.

seen forms (ideas) in dream and experienced nothing in deep sleep.


4

Absence,

of the three
6

etc.

There

is

nothing to suggest that the experiences

states are different.

Is not, etc.

He who knows that the three

that their perceivers are also one,

states are

one and

not affected by the experiencesof the states, nor does he identify himself with the (apparently
separate) perceivers thereof.

He

is

is

not affected because he clearly

3-6

A GAMA PRAKARABIA

(6)]

39

perceives that objects which appeared as real in the waking

dream

states disappear again in the

deep

and

Therefore he

sleep.

is

convinced of the unreality of dream and waking experiences. As


a witness, he views unaffected the cropping up of these ideas of
experience

(in

dream and waking) and also

their disappearance in

Sushupti).
8

Because

because one Atman in three forms alterand disappearance of the experiHence he knows them to be
objects of experience.
i.e.,

it

is

nately perceives the emergence

encer and

all

unreal.
7

Does

same

not, etc .~-The principle or character

irrespective

of the quantity of wood

Nothing, ere.The self or Atman,

witness of the three states,

is

when

tfygir

perceivers) as

An

thoughts, and hence unreal.


in the

dream cannot harm

SPW: flinrarat

its

of heat remains the


consumes.

it

knows

that

it is

the

not subject to any modification by

the experiencer of the objects thereof.


objects (including

it

mere

Because he knows these


Tf*T

or his

own

imaginary tiger or the one seen

perceiver.

ScflfarcT

si

6.
It is thoroughly established that the coming into
can
be predicated only of all positive entities that
effect

exist.

The Praria manifests

the conscious beings

( the

all ;

Jlvas) in

the

Purusha

their

creates

manifold form

separately.

Sankaras Commentary

The manifestation can be predicated of positive 1


comprehended as the different forms of Vifwa,
Taijasa and Prajna whose existence, of the nature of
illusory names and forms caused by an innate Avidya

entities

cannot be denied. This is tl\us explained


on: Neither in reality nor in illusion can the son
a barren woman be said to be bom. For, if things

(ignorance),

later
of

MAND 0KYOPA NISMAD

40

[i -6 (6)>

could come out of non-entity. Brahman whose existence-

from experience 2 will itself be rendered a.


non-entity because of the absence of means of comprehension.
That the snake (in the rope) appearing assuch on account of an illusory cause {Maya) which
itself is the effect of ignorance (Avidyd), pre-exists in
the form of the rope is a matter of common experience.
For by no one is the illusion of the rope>-snake or the
is

inferred

mirage,

etc.,

ever perceived without a substratum.

before the illusory 3 appearance of the snake,

was

certainly

there

in

the rope,

entities before their manifestation

form of a cause,
this

in

such passages as: All

universe)

All

all.

like

positive

the

Sruti also declares

this

(the

phenomenal

beginning and

at the beginning as

Atman Prana

at

As the rays proceed from the


centres of consciousness

all different

which are
in

Brahman

the

verily

this existed,

manifests
also

was

all

As-

existence

certainly exist in

The

Prana.

i.e..

so also

its

{i.e.,

the (many) reflections of the

the water and which

sun,

so

the Jivas)<

same sun

are manifested differently as

Viswa, Taijasa and Prajna, comprising various physical

forms of gods, animals, etc., proceed from the Purusha 5


The Purusha manifests all these entities called as living
beings, which are different from inanimate objects,,
.

but of the same nature as


its

itself

sparks and like the sun with

Prana, the causal

self,

manifests

{Purusha), like
its

all

fire

and

reflections in water.

other entities like the

spider producing the web. There are such scriptural pass-

ages in
1

its

support

as,

The

sparks from the

fire,

etc.

etc.Karikas from 6 to 9 give different views of


The Karika under discussion points out that
the manifested universe is not non-existent like the son of a barren
woman, ft has an empirical existence. The object of this is only/
Positive,

the manifestation.

AGAMA PRAKARANA

1-6(7)]
to

show

no causal

that

we admit

Prajna unless

4T
of Brahman

relation can be predicated

the positive existence of the world.

detailed discussion about causality will be found in the

as;

The

body of the

Karikds.
2

Will

itself

Those

who depend upon

Brahman cannot but

existence of

causality to prove the

believe in the existence of the

manifested objects through which alone they infer Brahman to be


the cause of
3

Maya from

the causal standpoint.

and

all.

Illusory Vedanta makes a distinction between Avidyd and

1.4. 3.
4

and

All

2.

associated with Iswara

is

means here only the inanimate

It

Comp. Vedanta

Sutra,,

objects, as the

mani-

14.

1.

festation of the
5

Maya

presents the variety in the universe.

it

animate

is

ascribed to the Purusha.

It is indicated by the text as well as the commentary


two manifestors, namely, the Purusha and the Prana.
The Purusha manifests the Jtvas and Prana the inanimate objects.
From the empirical standpoint we see two kinds of manifestations,
Therefore we naturally ascribe
viz., the sentient and the insentient.
these to two manifestors, viz., Purusha and Praria. (The general

Purusha

that there are

principle of causality
reality,

Prana

is

is

that the like produces the like.)

as the manifestor of the universe


objects he

beings he

is
is

said to be Prana,

Brahman

looked upon

when he manifests

the insentient

and when he manifests the

7.

to

God',

sentient

called Purusha.

it

But, in

is

identical with Purusha.

vs

Those who think of ( the process of) creation believe


be the manifestation of the superhuman power of
while others look upon

dream and

it

as of the same nature as

illusion.

Sankara's Commentary
Creation

is

power of God 1 ;

the

manifestation

thus think those

process of) creation.

But 2 those

of the

who
who

superhuman
on (the

reflect

intently

think 3

MAND CKYOPANISHAD

42

of the Ultimate Reality find no interest


of) creation.

It

(that

to the act of creation)

passages

as,

Indra

no

in (the

theory

should be attached

also supported by such Sruti

is

(the

forms through Maya.

interest

1-6 ( 7 )

great

The

god) assumed diverse

juggler throws the thread

up in the sky, climbs by it with his arms, disappears


from the sight (of the spectators), engages himself in a
fight (in the sky) in which his limbs, having been severed,
fall to the ground and he rises up again.
The on-looker,
though witnessing the performance, does not evince
any interest in the thought in regard to the reality of
Similarly there
the jugglery performed by the juggler.
a real juggler who is other than the rope and the
The manifestation of
one that climbs up the rope.
deep sleep, dream and waking is analogous to the
throwing up of the rope by the juggler (in the above
illustration) and the (empirical selves known as) Prajna,
Viswa and Taijasa, related to the three states, are similar
to the juggler, who appears to have climbed up the rope.
As he, the juggler, remains on the ground unseen
(by the on-lookers) having veiled himself, as it were,
by his illusion, so also is the truth about the Highest
is

Reality

known

as Turlya.*

Therefore those noble souls

seeking Moksha evince interest in the contemplation of


this (the Turlya but not in the creation which is futile 5
meaning, alike dream
The word, Svapnamayasarupa
.

and

illusion

intended to show that

is

all 8

these (false)

notions (regarding manifestation) belong only to those

who imagine
1

GodHe

the process of creation or manifestation.


is

naturally the Personal

God.

This

is

the theistic

stheory of creation.
2

who

But The seekers after God as creator may be either those


hold that creation is real or those who hold that creation is

Agama prakafa^a

I -6(8)]

the latter case

tn

illusory,

truth to those

magical
3

who

43

Sankara compares the seekers after

are interested in the magician

and

not

in the

feats.

Intently think

who uphold

the

Maya

i.e., still

pursuing the law of causation.

Those

theory of the world see the illusion and infer

Turiva as the Transcendental Cause.


text contemplates two alternative theories of
(gjg) namely, (i) creation is real in so far as it is mere
manifestation of Gods real power, (ii) creation is manifested as
an illusion by God (^ffrri^fl).
Both the alternative theories lay
emphasis on the act of creation and this is pointed out by Sankara
in his commentary.
Sankara indicates in his commentary that

Turiva The

creation

those

who

seek the Highest Reality (TfflH()

are not interested in

any theory of creation.


5

Futile

The

truth about the Highest Reality can be realised

only by the highest Knowledge and not by any thought bestowed

upon

creation.

AH

these

etc.

Because Maya

also admitted to be a fact by

is

the Maviivadins, their theory does not also convey the highest truth.

r'swri stw

f%f%T%rrr:

Those who affirm

the

existence of the )

objects attribute this manifestation to the

while those

who look upon time as

mere

will

created

of God,

real declare time to be

the manifestor of all beings.

Sankaras Commentary

The manifestation
will

of

achieve

God
its

(creation) proceeds

because His will

purpose.

in

from the mere


cannot 1 but

reality

Such objects as

pot, etc., are but 2

the (manifestation of the) will (of the potter).

They

never be anything external or unrelated to such

Some

say manifestation proceeds from time.

can'
will..

MAND 0KYOPA NISHAD

44
1

Cannot,

etc.

It is

therefore they affirm

cannot but be

But

because they look upon the world as real,


God whose will manifests the world

that

potter, first

of

all,

conceives in his

-and form of the object and then creates

mind

Others

think

it

to

mere

God)

name

manifestation
while

still

is

li

for

the

others attribute

of God). But it is the


(Atman) (for), what
possible for Him whose desire is always

diversion (on the part

very nature of the

other desire
in

the

that

purpose of enjoyment {of

the

it.

||

9.

(9)

real.

The

P -6

the state

is

Effulgent Being

of fulfilment

Sankaras Commentary
Others think that the purpose' of manifestation
only the enjoyment (by

is

God

of the objects so created),


that creation is merely a diversion of God. These two
theories are refuted (by the author) by the single assertion
that it is the very 1 nature of the Effulgent (Brahman).
Thus taking this standpoint (the nature of the Effulgent
Being)

all

the theories (of creation) herein (stated) are

refuted 3 for the reason indicated by:

What

could be

the desire for manifestation on the part of Brahman whose


desires are ever in a state of fulfilment
etc., to

For the rope,

appear as snake, no 4 other reason can be assigned

than Avidya.
1

According

Very nature

Brahman.
universe of

etc.

is

to

Gaudapada, what others

see as

nothing but the very nature or essence of


Brahman alone exists. What others designate as the

the created universe,

is

names and forms

subject

to

birth,

nothing but the non-dual Brahman.

change, death,

That one sees the

AGAMA PRAKARAIfA

1-6(9)]

45

world of duality instead, of the non-dual Brahman and seeks


cause is due to Avidyd or ignorance.

its

2
All the, etc. The following theories of creation have been
stated in the preceding Slokas of the Karika
:

Creation

(i)

of the divine power of

manifestation

is

God

(K. 6).

Creation

(ii)

Creation

(iii)

Creation

(iv)

of dream

or

(K. 8).

fulfilled

which proceeds from Time ,


about it (K. 8).

manifestation

is

Iswara

nature

6).

manifestation of the Divine Will which cannot

is

but be

of the

manifestation

is

illusion

is

indifferent

The above four theories of creation may be classed as cosmoThe following two theories which may be designated as

logical.

teleological are given in

Karika 9

(v)

Creation

is

for the purpose of the

(vi)

Creation

is

an

Now

all

act

these theories are refuted

Brahman, whose

enjoyment of God.

of Gods sport.

desires are always in

by the simple statement that


a state of fulfilment, cannot

create the world for any purpose whatsoever.

No

causal theory

can explain the relation of the appearance of the world to Brahman.


The assumption of will, desire, enjoyment, diversion, etc., as the
causes of creation is due to Avidyd or ignorance of the human

mind regarding
of Brahman.

the real nature


It

3TTH^1IRT,

only reveals the ignorance of the

human mind

of the world which is one of the objects


displaying Gods superhuman powers. Those who look upon
the act of creation as real and then explain it as of the same nature
in regard to the origin

as

dream and

illusion, forget that

dream and

illusion are, after all,

unreal and hence they cannot explain the supposed reality of the
act of creation.

No

will

Therefore, manifestation is not an act of creation.


can be the cause of creation because a will implies an effort

at gratifying

some

unsatiated

Brahman

desire.

is Bliss

which means the absence of all wants. Therefore the Divine Will
cannot be the cause of the universe. The human mind, subject to

MUyS,

ascribes will, diversion, etc., as the cause of creation.

ascription

is

itself

Mayd.

.anybody sees creation,

it

Therefore
is

only

it

This

stands to reason that

due to Mays.

Therefore

if

all

MAND 0KYOPANISHAD

46

theories regarding creation are in

the ignorance of the

standpoint this

Maya

mind

is,

due to

Viewed from the

relative

that

fact rrurrrpft,

that sees

inheres either in

it.

-6(9)'

[I

Brahman or

in the perceiver.

Assigning a substratum for Maya depends upon ones standpoint.


Viewed from the Avidya standpoint Maya has its locus in Brahman.

3 Refuted etc
The two theories implied by the
,
the Karika are refuted simply because enjoyment
.

line

first

and

sion cannot be proved to be the object of creation.

of

diver-

Creation

or manifestation implies some adventitious or external factor, which


idea is refuted by the statement of the Scripture that it is the very
nature of the Effulgent Brahman.
*

No

reason

other

Comp,

the

passage. aflctfJf:

Scriptural

which means that it is the Atman that appears


The appearance is due to Maya and no externa! cause.

3f!$15T: if t^cf:

as Akdsa.

Sankaras Introduction to Upanishad

The fourth 1 quarter which now comes


explanation) has to be described.

words of the
object.

It

text:

Not

This

conscious

is

in

order (for

done

of the

the

in

internal

(Turjya) does not admit of description or

means of words,

indication by

for all uses (affirmative

Therefore
or negative) of language fail to express it.
Turlya is sought 2 to be indicated by the negation of all
attributes (characteristics).

(Objection)

(Reply)

Then

No

3
,

it

becomes mere void or Sunya.

because

it is

impossible for imagination

to exist without 4 a substratum.

The

illusion of silver,
cannot be conceived
as existing without the (corresponding) substratum of

a snake, a

man

or mirage,

etc.,

the mother-of-pearl, rope, stump or desert, etc.

(Objection)

If that

be the case, Turlya ought to be


not by the negation of all

indicatable by words and


attributes.

For,

such as, Praria,

it is

etc.,

the substratum of all imaginations


in

the same

way as

jars,

etc..

Aqama prakarana

6 (9)]

which being the substratum of water,


as such by words.
(Reply)
Turlya )

is

The idea of Prana,

etc.,

47
etc.,

are indicated

(supposed to exist in

unreal like the false idea of silver,

etc., in

the

relation 6

between the real and


the unreal cannot be expressed by words because such
Turlya cannot be the
relation is, itself, non-existent.
object of any other instrument of knowledge (such as
direct perception) like the cow, etc., because of its
unique nature, owing to the absence of Upadhis. Atman
cannot have anything like a generic property, like the
cow, etc., because it is devoid of all Upadhis or attributes
it has neither generic nor specific characteristics because
it is one, without a second.
It cannot be known by
any activity (proceeding from it) as in the case of a
cook; because it is devoid of all actions. It cannot be
described by attributes such as blue, etc., because it is
without any attribute. Therefore it follows that Turlya
cannot be indicated by any name.
mother-of-pearl, etc.

(Objection) Then it ( Turlya ) would be like the


horns of a hare and hence ones pursuit of it must
be futile 6
(Reply) No, the knowledge of Turlya as identical
with Self (Atman) destroys the hankering after objects 7
which are non-self just as the knowledge of motherof-pearls (mistaken for silver) removes the desire for
(illusory) silver.
For, once the identity of Turlya and
Self is realised there is no possibility of ones being
deluded* by ignorance, desire and the like misapprehensions (which are the effects of ignorance) and there
is no reason for Turlya not being known as identical
For all the Upanishads point to
with the Self.
'this end only as is evident from the following: That
.

MAND OKYOPAN1SHAD

48

[T

*6 (9>

thou art, This Atman is Brahman, That is real


and that is Atman , The Brahman which is directly
and immediately cognized, He is both without and
within, as well as causeless, All this
etc.

Atman has been

This very

the Highest Reality and

its

is

verily

Atman ,

described as constituting

opposite 9 (the unreal) and as

having four quarters.


Its unreal (illusory) aspect has
been described as due to ignorance, like the illusion of
snake in the rope, having for its characteristics the three
quarters and being of the same nature as the seed 10 and

Now

the sprout.

is

described (in the following Sruti)

Turlya which is not of the nature of cause but which is


of the nature of the Highest Reality corresponding to

by

rope

the

negating 11

the

three

enumerated

states,

above, which correspond to the snake , 12 etc.


1

The
Atman is

Fourth quarter

condition in which

fourth

not

is

to be viewed.

cated here as the fourth comes in only

the fourth

state

Turiya which

is

or

indi-

for consideration after

Atman itself does not admit


Waking, dream and deep sleep are its

the three states have been considered.

of any condition or

state.

three states or quarters and Turiya, as will be seen later on,


sent

in

all

these three.

Turiya

is

is

pre.

designated here as the fourth

because in the preceding texts, three quarters of Atman have been


" fourth place in respect of
It has occupied the

explained.

explanations.

2 Sought to be, etc.


It is because
out like other objects of perception.
3

No,

etc.

that Turiya

is

The

it

cannot be directly pointed

contention of the opponent

not void

cannot subsist without a substratum


is not non-indicatable as
it
substratum of Prana, etc. Therefore it
indicated. But you say that it is arrived

etc.,

case Turiya

therefore

non-indicatable

a substratum, then

imposed upon

it

as

it

is

is

this

as the illusion (fcf^el)

You

say

of Prana,

which is Turiya. In that


can be indicated as the
must be such as can be
at by mere negation and

by words. If Turiya is indicatable as


becomes indicatable by that which is superthe case with a pot which is indicatable by

JGAMA PRAKARANA

1-6WN
the water in

In that case you contradict yoursetf as

it.

aheady said that Btahraan

To

our reply

this

We

49

you have

unindicatahle by any wotd.

is

is

ask you if (i) your idea of indicatability of


Brahman as the substratum is that of illusory superimposition, or
like to

that of real superimposition.

is

(ii)

would

cannot be thereby illusory superimposition because the superimposition, in that case, would not appear as existing as it does.
From the standpoint of the empirical reality of the appearance
It

which
is

experienced by the ignorant persons,

is

we

say that Turlya

indicatable by the illusory ideas that are superimposed

And

you admit the ideas ([EfTier) of Prana,


there is no disagreement between us.
if

etc.,

upon

it.

as unreal, then

Again this indicatability of Turiya as a substratum cannot be


(due to) real superimposition or the superimposition of reality.
For, as the idea of silver that is superimposed upon the mother-ofpearl

is

between a

on

is superimposed
There cannot be any relationship
substratum and the unreal form superimposed

unreal, so also the idea of Prana, etc., that

upon Turiya

equally unreal.

is

real

it.

Therefore the conclusion

is

that if

one takes

may

causal or relative plane, then Turiya

stratum of the illusory ideas of Prana,

his stand

upon the

be indicated as a sub-

etc.

But from the standany word which

point of Truth, Turiya cannot be indicated by


implies

And

relationship.

Sruti

also

denies

all

relationship

in

Brahman.
4

Without, etc

The

of existence.
that

it

and

exists

No
first

later

illusion

can be dissociated from the idea

impression that one gets of an illusion

on

its

existence

is

by words

is

is

traced to a positive sub-

stratum.
6

Indicatability

Relation

instances

a word,

only
(iii)

(i)

Possessive case,

(ii)

possible in the following

conventional meaning of

generic or specific property, (iv) activity, (v) attribute

and substance. But none of these applies to Turiya because it is


one without a second and also it is without any attribute.
Hence
Turiya cannot be indicated by any word.
* Futile

It is

because no benefit can accrue from the knowis as unreal as the mares nest .

ledge of something which

MANDOKYOPANISHAD

50
7

Objects

Such

as the illusory

U-7'

worldly objects to which the

ignorant are attached.


8

Deluded Delusion

Its opposite

the cause of

is

all

the illusory objects.

/.<?.,

only Brahman exists and

He

the

is

One and

human misery.
As a matter of

fact,

Nothing called

All.

What appears to the ignorant as unreal or


Brahman from the highest Adwaitic standpoint.
Therefore Brahman comprises everything.
unreal ever exists.

illusory

10

is

also

Seed and sprout The three states are characterised by the


of cause and effect as the seed and the sprout are.

relation
11

The student, at first, by the process of negaBrahman from the superimposition and then realises

Negating, etc.

tion separates

what has been negated

that

nature of Brahman.
12

This

as superimposition
is

Snake, etc.The rope

is,

in fact, the very

the highest Adwaitic realisation.

often mistaken for a snake or a

is

garland or a stick or a streak of water or a fissure

in

the ground.

VII
HrrcT:5rt

iTFWcTiSrt

5T

sr^r JrrsTiH;

* JTfRSR

5T

gWfTSTJT 5TRT I^RtltcT


3fR*T[

Turly a

is

not that which

internal (subjective) world,

of the external

scious

II

is

VS

||

conscious

of the

nor that which


conworld, nor that
is

(objective)

is a mass
nor that which is simple consciousness,
nor that which is insentient. (It is) unseen (by any
sense organ), not related to anything, incompre-

which

is

conscious of both, nor that which

all sentiency,

hensible

(by

the

mind),

uninferable,

unthinkable,

indescribable, essentially of the nature of Conscious-

ness

constituting

the

Self

alone,

negation

of

all

AGAMA PRAKARANA

1-7]

51

phenomena, the Peaceful, all Bliss and the NonThis is what is known as the fourth {Turly a).
This is the Atman and it has to be realised.

dual.

Consciousness

word

as the nearest English

is

used.)

Sankaras Commentary
(Objection)

The

was

object

describe

to

By the very

having four quarters.

three quarters, the fourth

is

as

established as being other

conscious of the

than the three characterised by the


subjective, etc.

Atman

descriptions of the

Therefore the

negation (of attributes

relating to the three quarters) for the

purpose of indicating
is that which

Turlya implied in the statement, Turlya


is

not conscious of the subjective,


(Reply)

No.

As

etc., is futile.

the nature of the rope

is

realised

by the negation of the

(illusory)

snake,

intended to establish the very

is

etc.,

so also

which subsists

Self,

done

Thou

in the

art

different 3

it

is

in the three states, as Turlya.

same way as

that.

appearances of the

If

(the great

Turlya were,

from Atman subsisting

This 2

Vedic statement)
fact, anything

in

in the three states, then,

would have no meaning


account of the absence of any instrument of know-

the teachings of the Scriptures

on 4

ledge

(regarding

Turlya).

Or

the

other

(inevitable

would be to declare absolute nihilism


be the ultimate Truth. Like the (same) rope mistaken
as snake, garland, etc., when the same Atman is mistaken
as Antahprajna (conscious of the subjective) etc., in the
three states associated with different characteristics,
the knowledge, resulting from the negation of such
attributes as the conscious of the subjective, etc., is the
means of establishing the absolute absence of the unreal
phenomena of the world (imagined) in Atman. As
alternative
to

MAND OKYOPA NISHAD

52

1*7

a matter of fact, the two 5 results, namely, the negation


of (superimposed) attributes and the disappearance of
the unreal phenomena happen at the same time.
Therefore no additional instrument of knowledge or
no other7 effort is to be made or sought after for the

With the cessation of the idea


of Turlya.
of the snake, etc., in the rope, the real nature of the
rope becomes revealed and this happens simultaneously
with the knowledge of the distinction between the rope
and the snake. But those who say that the knowledge,
realisation

removal of the darkness (that envelopes


one to know the jar, may as well
affirm 9 that the act of cutting (a tree), in addition to its
undoing the relation of the members of the body
intended to be cut, also functions (in other ways) in
other parts of the body. As the act of cutting intended
in addition to the

the jar), enables 8

two is said to be complete with


of the parts (of the tree) so also the
knowledge employed to perceive the jar covered by
the darkness (that envelopes it) attains its purpose
to divide the tree into

the severance

when

it

results in

removing the darkness,

though that

not the object intended to be produced.


In such
case the knowledge of the jar, which is invariably 10
connected with the removal of the darkness, is not the

is

result

accomplished by the instrument

Likewise, the knowledge,

which

is

of knowledge.

(here) the

same as

which results from the negation of predicates,


directed towards the discrimination of such attributesas the conscious of the subjective etc., superimposed
upon Atman, cannot 11 function with regard to Turiya
in addition to its act of negating of such attributes as
the conscious of the subjective which is not the
object intended to be produced. For, with the negation
that

AGAMA PRAKARANA

1 -7]

53

of the attributes such as conscious of the subjective,"


accomplished simultaneously the cessation of the-

etc., is 12

between the knower, the known and the


knowledge.
Thus it will be said later on, Duality
cannot exist when Gnosis, the highest Truth (non-duality),,
is realised.
The knowledge of duality cannot exist
even for a moment immediately after the moment of the
distinction

cessation of duality.

follow what

If

known

is

it

should remain, there would 13

as regressus ad infinitum

consequently duality will never cease.

Therefore

'

and
it

is

established that the cessation of such unreal attributes

as conscious of the subjective

Atman is 14 simultaneous with


Knowledge which, in itself, is

superimposed upon

etc.,

the manifestation of the

means (pramana) for

the

the negation of duality.

By

the statement that

it

( Turiya )

is

not conscious

of the subjective is indicated that it is not Taijasa .


Similarly by the statement that it is not conscious of
the objective,

it is

denied that

it (

Turiya )

is

Viswa.

By

not conscious of either, it is denied


that Turiya is any intermediate state between 16 the waking
and the dream states. By the statement that Turiya is
not a mass all sentiency, it is denied that it is the
condition of deep sleep which is held to be a causal 16
condition on account of ones inability to distinguish the
truth from error (in deep sleep). By saying that it is not
saying that

is

it

simple consciousness,

it is

implied that Turiya cannot 17

simultaneously cognize the entire world of consciousness


(by a single act of consciousness).

statement that
that Turiya

is

it is

lastly

by the

it is

implied

not insentient or of the nature of matter.

How

18

again,

do

conscious of the subjective,

etc.,

(Objection)

And

not unconsciousness

such

attributes

which are

as.

(directly);

MAND OKYOPA NISHA D

54

Atman become

perceived to subsist in

by an act of negation as the snake,


the rope,

(Reply)

non-existent only
(perceived) in

etc.

become non-existent (by means of an

etc.,

of negation)

[I

act

Though

19

the

(waking and

states

are really of the essence of consciousness

itself,

dream)
and as

such are non-diflferent from each other (from the point

of view of the substratum), yet one state is seen to


change 20 into another as do the appearances of the
snake, water-line, etc., having for their substratum the
rope, etc.
But the consciousness itself is real because
it

never changes.

(Objection) Consciousness
appear) in deep sleep.

(Reply)

experience

Knower

21

is

Hence

No,

to

the state of deep sleep

For the Sruti

seen

is

says,

is

change

(dis-

a matter of

Knowledge of

the

never absent.
it

Turiya )

unseen 22

is

and because

it

Turiya
incomprehensible . 23
cannot be apprehended by the organs of action. Alakis

unseen therefore

shanam
Linga

it

is

means uninferable , 24 because

(common

there

characteristic) for its inference.

is

no

There-

Turiya is unthinkable 25 and hence indescriba 26


(by words). It is essentially 27 of the nature of

fore
ble

consciousness

known by

in the three states, viz.,


is

of Self.

consisting

should

Turiya

be

spotting that consciousness that never changes

waking,

that of a Unitary Self.

Or

28
,

etc.,

and whose nature

the phrase

may

signify

means
and therefore Turiya is the essence
of this consciousness or Self or Atman. The Sruti also
says,
It should be meditated upon as Atman.
that the knowledge of the one

Atman alone

is

the

for realising Turiya,

.Several attributes, such as the conscious of the sub-

ACAMA PRAKARAlfA

1-71

jective

55 '

associated with the manifestation (such as,

etc.,

Viswa, etc.) in each of the states have already been


negated.
Now by describing Turlya as the cessation

of

illusion,

three states,

the
viz.,

which

attributes

waking,

etc.,

characterise

are negated.

the-

Hence

it

ever 29 Peaceful, i.e., without any manifestation


of change and all 30 bliss.
As it is non-dual, i.e.,
devoid of illusory ideas of distinction, therefore it is
is

Turiya , the Fourth , 31 because it is totally


distinct (in character) from the three quarters whichare mere appearances.
This, indeed, is the Atman
called

and it should be known, is intended to show that the


meaning of the Vedic statement, That thou art, points
to the relationless Atman ( Turiya ) which is like the rope
(in the illustration) different from the snake, line on the
ground, stick, etc., which are mere appearances. That
Atman which has been described in such Sruti passages
as unseen,

but the seer, the consciousness of the


never absent, etc., should be known.
(The
incomprehensible) Turiya should be known, and
this 32 is said so only from the standpoint of the previously
seer

is

unknown

condition, for duality cannot exist

Highest Truth

is

when the

known.

1
Is realised The rope did not cease to be the rope when it
appeared as the snake. The rope, again, is seen in its true nature
when the snake idea is removed. Similarly, Atman appears as
Viswa, Taijasa and Prajna in the three states. And the same Atman

when the upadhis namely the states, are negated.


not a separate entity nor is it a fourth state succeeding the
three other states. The real nature of Turiya cannot be realised
without the negation of the upadhis of the three states.
is

realised as Turlva

Turiya

is

This

Turiya and

is,

etc.

it is

The

realised

real

upadhis, indicated by the

nated.

Similarly,

significance

of That thou art,

when the contrary

known
words That and thou are
qualities,

is

as the

elimithe Scripture by the negative process, removes

MAND0KYOPANISHAD

'56

the upadhis of the

Atman when

[1-7

associated with the three states

and

this reveals its eternal identity with Turiya.


3

Different

From

the relative or causal standpoint, the

Atman

from
But from the standpoint of Turiya there is no difference
whatsoever between it and the Atman associated with the three
states.
As a matter of fact, it is Turiya as the witness (fflTSf) that
is revealed out by the three states.
associated with any of the three states,

is,

no doubt,

different

Turiya.

On

account

o/ Ignorant

person,

whom

for

moves

prescribed for the attainment of Knowledge,

Scripture

is

in the relative

plane of the three states. To him the Scripture suggests the


examination of the three states in order to arrive at the Knowledge
If Turiya were something totally separate from and
unconnected with the three states and if the three states
were not the means of realising Turiya , then no other instrument
of Knowledge would be left for the realisation of Turiya. It cannot

of Turiya.

essentially

be contended that one can get the Knowledge of Turiya from the
Scripture.
Because the Scripture also teaches about Turiya by the
method of repudiation
of the superimposed attributes

by negating the upadhis which were superimposed


from the three
states, then no scriptural teaching would be effective in establishing
it.
If Turiya cannot be established through the examination of the
Atman qualified by the three states, by following the scriptural
method of negation, then one is faced with the only alternative
that the Ultimate Reality is total non-existence
because
no other reality remains after the negation of the upadhis of the
three states if the existence of Turiya be denied.

(afitflfiqr)

upon

i.e.,

Turiya. If Turiya were something totally different

5
Two results The instrument of Knowledge (5WW) by means
of which we become aware of the result of the negation of the

upadhis, namely, the three states, reveals the relationless


It is like

the seeing of the real rope (which

is

Turiya.

never absent) with the

It must be carefully
noted that the realisation of Turiya is not the result of the Pramdna
by means of which we become aware of the negation of the attributes of Atman, viz., the three states. The two results are simultaneous and not successive in time as the language seems to imply.

cessation of the illusory idea of the snake.

It is

because no new entity

known

as Turiya

is

discovered (or comes

into existence) after the negation of upddhis.

Turiya

is

always

AGAMA

1-7]

PRAKARAIffA

57

Therefore there is no possibility of taking Turiya as the


of the negation of the upiidhis, viz., the three states. Turiya
feeing characterised by non-duality there is no subject-object relationship in Turiya in which case alone an instrument of Knowledge
would have a meaning.
present.

result

Additional

instrument,

No

Even the function of the

nature.

only to negate what


7

etc.

on account of

-can establish Turiya

is

instrument

of Knowledge

non-relation and non-dual

its

which indicates Turiya


and non-Brahman.

Sru/i

unreal, relative

is

Even contemplation, etc., which are the essenof Yoga cannot establish Turiya, because it cannot be
proved that Yogic contemplation can yield such Knowledge. Therefore the realisation of Turiya cannot be characterised as the result
of any particular instrument of Knowledge or of any Yogic practice.
Other

effort

tial features

Enables, etc.This

means

that the instrument of

Knowledge,

besides removing the darkness enveloping the Jar, also yields another
positive result that

is

the manifestation of the Jar.

Affirm This means that the act of cutting besides severing


the parts to which it is directed also functions in other ways. But
*

absurd because we have no knowledge of any other effect


tree produced by the act of cutting.

this is

on the
10
it

is
11

Invariably, etc.
It is because the Jar always exists even when
enveloped in darkness.

is Knowledge itself.
upon it. Turiya does
not stand in need of any demonstration or proof because it is everexistent.
The instrument of Knowledge only removed the superimpositions falsely attributed to Atman. The instrument of Knowledge (perception) continues to act upon an object fill the object
is revealed (as Brahman).

Cannot function. It

is

because Turiya

Hence no instrument of Knowledge can

act

12
Is accomplishedThe instrument of Knowledge, invariably
connected with its employer and an object, can act only in the plane
of duality. With the negation of duality, the instrument of Knowledge itself becomes ineffective, for it cannot function the next
moment. The idea of time is also annihilated with the destruction of duality. When the non-dual Turiya is realised, all ideas of
the instrument of Knowledge, the employer and the object with

<their

distinction

are destroyed.

Only Brahman

is.

MAND OKYOPANISHAD

58

[I-T

13
Would follow, etc. It is because a second instrument of
Knowledge would be required to negate the residual Knowledge
or instrument and a third would be necessary to negate th^ second'
and so on ad infinitum. An argument ending in a regressus is not

allowed in logical discussion.


11

is the Jndnam that results


from the negation of attributes. And through this instrument of
Knowledge alone we know that all relative ideas have been negated..

Is

simultaneous-^Here Pramdna

Tuny a

Simultaneously with this assurance,


16

Intermediate , etc.

thing like a day

the state

It is

dream

that

is,

is

realised.

when one experiences some-

he half sees the one and half

sees the other.

Causal condition By seeing the manifestation in the waking


one naturally infers that the preceding state, that is Sushupti,
In Sushupti
is the cause of both the waking and dream experiences.
manifest themselves as
specific states of consciousness, which
different objects in dream and waking states, remain in a state of
indistinguishability.
In deep sleep, no distinctions are perceived.

state

17

Cannot ,

etc.

By

this

are denied

such attributes as omni-

science, etc., associated with Iswara.

w How,

etc.The contention of the objector is


etc., in the rope is an illusion

idea of the snake,

common

experience.

When

the error

is

That the
a matter of'

this
is

pointed out, the idea of'

Therefore the idea of such a snake can be


said to be non-existent.
But this is not the case with the attrithe snake disappears.

butes of

Atman which

Such attributes
and do not vanish even though
they are negated. Therefore the phenomena of the three states
cannot be said to be non-existent on the analogy of the rope and'
are sought to be negated.

are directly perceived by everyone

the snake.
18

Though,

etc.

The

reply

is

that the attributes,

viz.,

the

three

can be demonstrated to be non-existent (unreal) by the act


of negation. The illustration of the snake and the rope is quiteapposite. The ideas of the snake, the water-line, etc., for which
the rope is mistaken are first pointed out to be illusion because,
states,

they are subject to change.

Therefore, such objects as are indi*

cated by the ideas are non-existent.

common

Similarly

experience that the states of Jagrat,

it

is

a matter of'

Swapna and Sushupt

AGAMA PRAKARANA

:1.-7J

59

Therefore they are negatable. In any one


two other states are negated. Besides, in the state of
waking one can realise the three states as following one another.
Therefore the three states partake of the nature of unreality as
distinguished from Reality which is never subject to any change.
Now, what is Reality ? From the examination of the three states
it becomes clear that though the states are changing and negatable
the consciousness which is present therein is constant and invariable.
Change of one state to another cannot affect the unchanging nature
of Consciousness itself. Therefore pure Consciousness is real.
Hence it follows that by constantly examining the changeable and
negatable character of the attributes, viz., the three states, one can
realise their non-existent or unreal nature.
The fallacy of the
contention of the objector is due to the partial examination of
Reality in only one state in which case the changeable nature of
the attributes cannot be realized. But the examination of the
three states at once demonstrates their changeable and negatable
nature and points out that consciousness itself which is the sub*
stratum of the changing attributes is the only Reality.
20
Change That is, no one is aware of consciousness in deep
are subject to change.

state the

sleep.

21

Experience Consciousness cannot be dissociated from the


of deep Sleep. Sushupti is experienced from the Jag rat state,
that is to say, Turiya in Jagrat state knows that it experienced deep
Otherwise Sushupti would have never been known to exist
sleep.
state

at

all.

22

Unseen -It cannot be recognised by any orgafi of perception.


because Turiya is the negation of all the attributes. It cannot
be made the object of any sense-organ.
23 Incomprehensible
It cannot come within the cognizance of the

It is

therefore Turiya cannot serve any purpose (3T4!%irt).


Uninferable' Existence, Knowledge and Infinity, by which
Brahman is described in the Taittiriya Upanishad are not to be
considered to be real and positive attributes for the purpose of
drawing an inference about Brahman. They only serve a negative
purpose indicating that Brahman is other than non-truth, non-

senses:
21

consciousness

common

and

non-infinity.

Besides,

feature which always presupposes

But Brahman

is

one and without a second.


Brahman.

s possible regarding

inference

more

requires

objects than one.

Therefore no inference

MAND 0KYOPA NISHAD

60

[i-r

15

Unthinkable It is because the predicates by which we can;


think about an entity have been totally eliminated from Turiva.
28
it

is

Turiya

Indescribable

unthinkable.

cannot be described by words because


in mind, is expressed

That which one thinks

by words.
22

make
it

is

etc.
The elimination of all the attributes may
appear as a void to the unwary student.
Therefore
described as a positive existence which can be realised by

Essentially,

Turiya

spotting

it

and the constant factor in the three


no doubt, do change but there is a unity of the

as the changeless

The

states.

states,

subject implied in the conscious experience of


common to all the three states.

am

that perceiver

OrThe alternative meaning is that through consciousness,


of Self alone, which forms the basis of the three states, we can
demonstrate Turiya which transcends all the states, or in other
words, because there is Pure Consciousness, changeless and constant,,
23

known

as Turiya, therefore

we

are aware of self-consciousness in

the three states.


29

Ever -peaceful Free from attachment of love and hate,

i.e.,

changeless and immutable.

Pure

20

All Bliss

31

Fourth

This

and embodiment of the highest

does not

signify

Bliss.

any numerical

relationship,

with the three other states narrated previously.


Turiya is called

the
fourth because it occupies the fourth place in order of
explanation of |3rahman of which the three states have previously

been dealt with.

32
This is, etc
The statement that It should be known ,
cannot be properly made with regard to the non-dual Atman which

is incomprehensible, etc.
This objection is, no doubt, valid from
the standpoint of Turiya where there cannot be a separate knower
of Atman. But Turiya is certainly unknown from the standpoint

of any of the three


fectly legitimate to

Here appear

states, and from that dual standpoint


speak of Brahman as something to be

it is

per-

known ,

the following slokas

%:

||

||

AGAMA PRAKARAtfA

1-7(10)]

In

10.

indicated as the changeless

it,

Lord, there

a cessation

is

without a second

among

61

and

all miseries.

of

all entities.

It is

the

Supreme

It is

the

known

one

as the

Turlya (Fourth), effulgent and all-pervading.

Sankaras Commentary
In

Atman

(the

there

Knowledge
is

meaning the Turiya

of) Isana,

a cessation 1 of

all

miseries characterised

by the three states, viz., Prajna 2 Taijasa and Viswa. The


word Asana' is explained as Prabhu', i.e., the one who
It is because
brings about the cessation of miseries.
misery is destroyed by ones own Knowledge of it
(Turiya). Avyaya means that which is not subject to any
change, i.e., which does not deviate from its own nature.
,

How ?
entities
etc.,

It is

so because Turiya

non-dual,

is

all 4

other

being illusory (unreal) like the idea of the snake,

imagined in the rope.

It is

he

who

is

recognised 5 as

the Deva (on account of his effulgent nature), the Turiya,

the fourth, the Vibhu, 6 that


1

is

the all-pervading one.

Cessation The three states are said to he in the Atman


because we, as Turiya, cognize them. Therefore all misery as well
as its cause associated with the three states, are imagined by us
to subsist in Turiya. It is because we do not. realise this that we

and that we suffer from various


But a complete cessation of miseries ensues if
we realise the Atman as Turiya and thus witness the appearance
and disappearance of the ideas, viz., the states without identifying
identify ourselves with the states

kinds of miseries.

ourselves with them.


8

Prajna

The

state

of Sushupti, devoid of the Knowledge of

Turiya on the part of the sleeper,

is

characterised as unhappiness.

Knowledge Though Turiya is constant in all the states, yet


we suffer from misery because we are not aware of the existence of
the Turiya. It is only the Knowledge of Turiya that can destroy
8

misery.
4

All other, etc.

Though

really illusory like the ideas

Viswa,

etc.,

of the snake,

are perceived, they are


rope.
Turiya

etc., in the

MANDOKYOPANISHAD

62

[1-7(11)

alone is real. Every part of Viswa, Taijasa and PrOjna is nothing


but Turiya as every part of the illusory snake is the rope. Therefore from the highest standpoint only Turiya is.

Recognised That
of the wise.

as

Turiya,

is

such,

is

known

from the

realisation
6

Vibhu

Turiya

is

called

Vibhu because

it

pervades

the

all

three states.

srrf:

^ropresj fr

<fr

#^

ll

II

Viswa and Taijasa are conditioned by cause and


But
Prajna is conditioned by cause alone. These
effect.
two ( cause and effect) do not exist in- Turiya.
11.

Sankaras Commentary

The

and

specific 2 characters

of Viswa, etc.,
with a view to determining the real
nature of Turiya
Karya' or effect is that which is

are

generic

described

Karana
done, i.e., which has the characteristic of result.
or the cause is that which acts, i.e ., it is the state in
which the effect remains latent. Both Viswa and Taijasa,
described above, are known as being conditioned by
cause and effect, 3 characterised by both non-apprehension and mis-apprehension of Reality.
But Prajna is
conditioned by cause alone. Cause, characterised by the
non-apprehension of Reality, is the condition of Prajna.

Therefore these two, cause and

effect,

i.e.,

non-appre-

hension and mis-apprehension of Reality, do not

and

exist,

are not possible in Turiya.

i.e.,

The generic or the

Generic

Taijasa

is

of cause and

characteristic

of Viswa

effect.

The

* Specific

common

that they are, both, characterised by the conditions

special

characteristic

of Prdjna

characterised by the causal conditions alone.

is

that

it

is

AGAMA PRAKARAIjA

1-7(12)]
3

not

Causal

Cause and

know

which

is

state

effect

is

From

(aTJffOT) the Truth.

6*
that in which

follows the result

it

the mis-apprehension of Truth

one does not know the rope

we do

It is

one mistakes

it

because

for the snake

Prajna or the state of non-apprehension as such is said to


be the cause of the Viswa and Taijasa or the states of mis-apprehension.
In dream and waking states there are both non-apprehension
and mis-apprehension of Reality. But in deep sleep, there is only
(Htt).

non-apprehension.

As a matter of

mis-apprehension and

They have been

separately.

fact

these

cannot

non-apprehension,

two conditions,
be

experienced

differently classified only to

facilitate

understanding.
-

frrsscurJT if

qtflN

?r

JTTtr:

12.

II

ll

Prajna does not know anything of the self or


But Turiya is ever

the non-self nor truth nor untruth.

existent

and ever

all-seeing.

Sankaras Commentary

How is
how

is it,

it

that Prajna

is

conditioned by cause ?

And

again, that the two conditions of non-appre-

hension and mis-apprehension of Reality do not exist


in Turiya ? It is because Prajna does not, like Viswa

and Taijasa, perceive anything of the duality, 1 external


to and other 2 than itself and born 3 of the cause known
as Avidya.
Therefore it is conditioned by darkness
characterised by non-apprehension of Reality which
is

the

cause

of mis-apprehension.

As

Turiya

exists

always, ever all-seeing1 , on account of the absence of

anything other than Turiya,

it

is

never associated with

the causal condition characterised by non-apprehension

of Reality. Consequently mis-apprehension of Reality


which is the result of non-apprehension is not found

MIND OKYOPA NISHAD

64
For,

Turlya.

in

is

it

1-7

( 13 )

not possible to find in the sun,

whose nature

is

to light,

darkness, or any other light different from

seer

thus

Sruti also

Turiya

may

The Knowledge of

says:

Or

never absent.

is
:

viz.,

The

itself.

to be ever-luminous, anything contrary

the phrase

may be

the

explained

be designated as ever all-seeing because

dream and waking states and all the


them (in those states) are Turiya alone.
This is also borne out by the following Sruti passage,
There is no seer other than this.
it

subsists in all,

in

seers that cognize

Duality

This

dual world

PrSjna does not perceive


3

is

from empirical standpoint.

true

it.

Other than, etc. Prajna does not see the external world or
Therefore it does not see itself. Ego can be cognized

the non-self.

only in relation to the non-ego.


3

Burn, etc

That

is

untruth.

It

is

because Prajna does not

see the unreal external world produced by Avidya, therefore

it

is

not aware of mis-apprehension.


4

Ever all-seeing

It

is

because

things seen in both the states,

it

IcT^TWfOT

it

is

exists in the seers

Rlfgqqt:
JTftr:

nr

and

the

ever all-seeing.

$*

ftspl

||

nil

The non-cognition of duality is common to both


Prajna and Turiya. (But) Prajna is associated with sleep in
the form of cause and this (sleep) does not exist in Turiya.
13.

Sankaras Commentary

meant to remove a doubt that has


The doubt is this: How is it that
Prdjna alone and not Turiya that is bound by the

This

iloka

is

arisen incidentally.
it is

condition 6f cause,
is

the

common

removed1

since the non-cognition of duality

both? This doubt is thus


The meaning of the phrase Bijanidr&yuta
feature of

AGAMA PRAKARANA

I -7 (14)]

65

Nidra or sleep is characterised by the absence


This is the cause
of the Knowledge of Reality.
which gives rise to the cognition of varieties. Prajna
P is
is associated with this sleep which is the cause.
is

because

Turlya

ever

is

all-seeing,

therefore

the

sleep

Knowledge of Reality
Therefore the bondage in the

characterised by the absence of the

does not exist in Turlya.


form of causal condition does not exist in Turiya.
1

Removed The contention

that Turlya

and Prajna are both

common

characterised by the condition of cause on account of the

feature of the non-perception of duality in both the cases,

to a

wrong inference based upon

insufficient

data.

is

due

The Prajna

immediately preis thought to be the causal state because it is the


ceding condition of the manifestations of the waking state, etc.
But this does not apply to Turlya because it is not the immediately
preceding condition of any state. Turlya is not a state which is
antecedent or subsequent to any other state. It is the substratum
non-dual, changeless and pure concannot be said to produce anything
Therefore causal condition cannot obtain in the case of Turlya'

of

the states.

all

Turlya

itself.

Hence

?T fffetf

sciousness

is

it

ftfiren:

||

|[

first two (Viswa and Taijasa) are associated


with the conditions of dream and sleep', Prajna is the
Those who have known
condition of sleep without dream.
the truth see neither sleep nor dream in Turlya.
14.

The

Sankaras Commentary
Svapna or dream

is the mis-apprehension 1 of Reality


of the snake in the rope.
Nidra or sleep has
already been defined as darkness characterised by the
absence of the Knowledge of Reality.
Viswa and Taijasa

like that

are associated with these,

and

sleep.

Therefore

viz.,

they

the conditions of

have

been

dream

described

as

MANDOKYOPANISHAD

66

[1-7(15)

conditioned by the characteristics of cause and effect.


But Prajna is associated with sleep alone without dream
therefore

it

is

described as conditioned by cause

The knower of Brahman does not


2
sleep) in Turlya , as

darkness

in the

it

see

would be inconsistent

like seeing

Therefore 3 Turlya has been described

Sun.

as not associated with the conditions of cause and


1

Mis-apprehension

i.e.,

endowed with body,

etc.

Ajnana

and

is

Turlya

only.

them (dream and

its

when one,

then, thinks of

cannot exist

effects

in

effect.

Atman

as

Turlya which

pure Knowledge.
*

Therefore

It is

because there

%r
cfTf:
15.

no Nidra or

is

cicspnrRa:

tftot jjftq

Svapna or dream
Nidra or sleep is

is

sleep in Turlya.

II

the

wrong

II

cognition

of

one does
not know what Reality is. When the erroneous knowledge
in these two disappears, Turlya is realized.
Reality.

the state in which

Sankaras Commentary

When

is one
established in Turlya ?
It is thus
During the states of dream and waking when
one wrongly cognizes Reality like the perception of
the snake in the place of the rope, he is said to be
experiencing dream. 1 Nidra or sleep, 2 characterised by
the ignorance of Reality, is the common feature of the
Viswa and Taijasa, on account of their
three states.
features of Svapna (dream) and
common
the
having
Nidra (sleep), form a single class.
That Nidra (sleep)
which is characterised by the predominance of wrong
apprehension (of Reality) constitutes the state of
inversion which is Svapna (dream).
But in the third

replied:

AGAMA PRAKARAtfA

1-7(16)]

Nidra

state,

(sleep),

characterised

alone,

apprehension of Reality

67

the

is

only

by the non-

inversion.

other class implied

(This

the
forms the second or the
text which speaks only of dream and sleep .as covering
three

the

Therefore

states.)

when

two

these

in

classes

of the nature of effect and cause, characterised by the


mis-apprehension and non-apprehension respectively (of
Reality), disappear by the destruction of the

inversion

characterised by effect and cause,

by the knowledge of
the nature of the Highest Reality, then one realises Turiya
which is the goal. Then one does not find in Turiya this
condition, the characteristics of which are these two
(effect and cause), and one thus becomes firm in the
Highest Reality which is Turiya.

1
Dream Svapna includes dream and waking states, ordinarily
so called, as in both the states there is a wrong apprehension of,.
Reality. The inversion (absence of the Knowledge of Reality)
which is the characteristic of sleep is found in dream and waking
also.
In other words, this is the common characteristic of all the

three states.

Nidra

Nidra includes

the three states of waking,

dream and

sleep, ordinarily so-called, as all the three states are characterised

by the absence of the


of Nidra

Knowledge of

Reality.

The

inversion,

non-apprehension of Reality and


this is the only feature of Prajna.
But Svapna (dream) including
the waking state also is characterised by both non-apprehension and
mis-apprehension of Reality.

characteristic

apfTRfflTW

is

pr

the

STgWR*

*f<fT

gsqcT cT^l

When

the

Jiva

or

II

the

II

individual soul sleeping


not knowing the Reality) under the influence of the
beginningless Maya, is awakened, it, then, realises (in itself)
16.

(i.e.,

the non-duality, beginningless

and dreamless.

MAND VKYOPA NISHAD

68

[I -7

(16)

Sankaras Commentary

One who
(whose

the Jiva 1 ,

called

is

the individual

soul,

subject 2 to the law of

characteristic is to be)

under the influence of Maya


which is active from time without 4 beginning and which
has the double characteristics of non-apprehending (on
account of its being of the nature of the cause) and
mis-apprehending Reality, experiences such dreams as,
sleeping 3

transmigration,

my father, this is my son, this is my grandson,


my property and these are my animals, I am their
master, I am happy,
am miserable, I have suffered loss

This

is

this is

on account of

have gained on

account
dreams
awakened 6 by the
this

When

the Jiva remains asleep experiencing these

in the

two

gracious
.

this,

teacher

indicated

nature

When

states 5

by

of

he

Vedanta

cause

the Jiva

is

is

who

Thou

birthless,

because
etc.,

it

not

art

of

this,

the

That thou art.


thus awakened from sleep, he, then,

and

because

it

but

effect,

What

realises his real nature.


is

then thus

has himself realised the Reality

is

is

his nature ?

beyond cause and

It (Self)

effect

and

has none of the characteristics 7 such as birth,

which are (inevitably) associated with all (relative)


It is birthless, i.e., it is devoid of all changes

existence.

associated with the object of relative existence including

the

conditions

(sleepless)
(sleep),

of cause

because

the cause,

there

and

effect.

does

not

It

exist

of the nature of the

is

in

Anidram
Nidra

it

darkness

Avidya, which produces the changes called birth,

from

of
etc.

Svapna (dream) because it is


which is the cause of mis-apprehension of Reality (dream). It is because the Self is free
from sleep and dream therefore the Jiva, then8 realises
Turiya

free

is

free

from Nidra

(sleep)

himself as the Turiya Atman

birthless

and non-dual.

AGAMA PRAKARANA

-7 (17)]

69

1 jjva
it is the Paramtitman or the Supreme Self who is thought
o appear as world-bound on account of his assuming the charac*
teristic of the Jim, i.e., binding himself with the chain of cause and

effect.
2

Subject,

etc. i.e., world-bound.

Sleeping Sleep or ignorance


of the three states. See Karika 15.
4

Time without,

etc.

Maya

is

is

the

common

characteristic

said to be Anadi or beginningless

.from the standpoint of the relative, because it is something for which


we cannot think of a cause. From the Absolute standpoint, Mitya

does not
6

exist.

This

Two

states

.and deep sleep.


8

covers the three states of waking, dream


See commentary on the previous Karika.

Awakened Awakening or realisation of Knowledge


who is asleep, i.e., who is ignorant.

is

possible

only for one


7

All entities of relative existence possess six


such as birth, duration, growth, change, decay and
Brahman is free from them.

Characteristics

characteristics,

death.

That

is to say, when he is taught by the Guru what his


For the realisation of the Supreme Reality a competent teacher is absolutely necessary who alone is capable of dispelling the doubts that crop up in the mind of the student during
the period of his inquiry into Truth.
s

Then

real nature

is.

sprsfr

tit

ftsTcf

i%r&T

t^tef

II

II

If the perceived manifold were real then cerTainly

17.
it

W:

This duality ( that is cognized) is


would disappear.
illusion (Maya). Non-duality is (alone) the Supreme

mere

Reality.

Sankaras Commentary
If

the knowledge of non-duality (Turiya) be possible

after the disappearance of the perceived manifold,

be said to
perceptual manifold remains?

-could non-duality

exist

This

how

(always) while the


is

explained thtis:

'

MANDOKYOPANISHAD

70

[1-7

(17>

This would have been true if the manifold really existed.*


This manifold being only a false imagination, like theThere is no
6nak6 in the rope, does not really exist.
doubt that it would (certainly) disappear if it really
existed. 3

The snake imagined

in

the

through

rope,

does not really exist and therefore does,


Nor,
not disappear 4 through correct understanding.
similarly, does the illusion of the vision conjured up
false conception,

by the magician exist and then disappear as though


a veil thrown over the eyes of the spectators (by the
magician) were removed. Similar is this duality of the
cognized universe called the Phenomenal or manifold,
(UPTHTTsf 5<T) a mere illusion. Non-duality Turlya like the
rope and the magician (in the illustrations) is alone the
Supreme Reality. 5 Therefore the fact is that there is no
such thing as the manifold about which appearance
or disappearance can be predicated.

Your assertion
is the contention of the opponent
anything like the non-dual Turlya cannot be a fact
for, a second entity known as the manifold universe does exist,,
and is perceived. But if you say that the realisation of the non-dual
Turlya is not inconsistent with/that of the dual manifold, because
Turlya can be realised as such only by the destruction of the mani

//-This

that there

is

fested manifold, then, so long as the manifold

is

there as reality

and 4gcs not disappear, Turlya cannot be established as

the eternally

existent non-duality.
*

Existed

Reality.

The manifold does not exist in the sense of a separate

If it

had any such existence then alone could

it

obstruct

the eternally non-dual nature of the Turlya by the appearance (of'

anyone says that the manifold disappears that


its reality.
But this is not the Truth,
because the appearance of the manifold is only an illusion and not
a reality.
the manifold).

is

If

only because he believes in

Really existed People say that duality disappears only because

they believe

in its reality.

But

really duality does

not

exist, therefore

il

AGAMA PRAKARANA

-7(17)1

71

does not disappear.- If any one believes in the reality of such


appearance then can one believe in the reality of the dis r
appearance.

'It

'illusory

Does not disappear The rope is mistaken for an illusory


snake. There is no real snake. When one is pointed out the real
rope, no such thing as a snake actually disappears, for no such flung
as a real snake existed. It is the illusion due to ignorance that makes
*

one see the snake that disappears but no real snake. The illusion
disappears because it is not a reality. That which is liable to be
negated cannot be said really to exist at

all.

That

is,

it is

but the manifold, having for

its

substratum Brahman, always

Supreme Reality

never absent. If one contends


that Turiya does not exist when the manifold is seen, we reply that
the manifold is nothing but Brahman ; only the illusion which
manifests the manifold as separate from Brahman comes and goes
exists.

This Karika deals with the crux of the Vedanta Philosophy.


Vedanta says that non-duality ( Turiya alone is real and ever-existent.

But the opponent points out to him the

fact

of the existence of the


If this universe be

universe which incontestably proves duality.

If non-duality
( Turiya ) cannot be a fact.
only after the disappearance of the objective universe,
then non-duality cannot certainly exist so long as the universe exists.
real,

then non-duality

is realised

Vedanta shows its boldest genius in answering this question.


once states that non-dual Brahman alone exists.
Whatever

It at
is,

is

nothing but Brahman. The manifold is Brahman.


it
always exists and never undergoes any change.

Brahman,

man realises

As
If

Brahman, then he is never subject to


any illusion regarding its reality. The difference between a Jnani
and an Ajnani is that a wise man sees the universe as Brahman and
therefore never sees in it any appearance or disappearance.
But
a

the universe as

the ignorant person believes in the reality of the universe as apart

from Brahman and therefore

talks

about

its

disappearance.

What

manifold exists as something other than Brahman. The universe as Brahman does not
appear and disappear. It always is. The meaning of the disappearance of the universe really is the disappearance of ones notion
of the illusion (i.e., the existence of the universe as something other
than Brahman). It is like the illusion conjured up by the magician.
When the real nature of the rope is pointed out, what disappears
really disappears is the illusion that the

MKND DKYOPA NISHAD

72
is

1*7

( 18

>

only the illusion which presented the rope as other than it is.
on-looker, after his error is pointed out, realises that what he-

The

considered as snake is really the rope.


the rope appear as other than what it is.
illusion.

ance'

This illusion

unsubstantial

is

and disappearance cannot

ft

is illusion which made


Knowledge removes this

and unreal, hence

affect the

li

18.

its

appear-

nature of Reality.

<r

II

If anyone has ever imagined the manifold ideas

(such for instance as the


the purpose

of

teacher,

might disappear.

scripture), they

teaching.

the

and

taught,

This explanation

is

the

for

Duality (implied in explanation )>

ceases to exist when the Highest Truth

is

known.

Sankaras Commentary
(Objection)

How

could (duality implied in) ideas such

as the teacher, the taught and the scripture disappear ?

(Reply)

had

This

is

thus

If 2

explained.

ever been imagined by

such

ideas

someone then they might

As the manifold is like the


up by the magician or) of the snake

be supposed to disappear.
illusion (conjured

in the rope, so 3 also are the ideas of the teacher,

etc.

These ideas, namely, the ideas of teacher, taught, and


scripture are for 4 the purpose of teaching which are
till one realises the Highest Truth.
But duality does not exist when one, as a result of the
teaching, attains knowledge, i.e., realises the Highest

(therefore appear) true

Reality.

1
How could, etc If even the idea of teacher, etc., existed,
non-duality could not be established. If such ideas be meant for
the purpose of inferring Turiya, as the smoke is thought of for
.

inferring

fire,

of smoke and
duality.

then duality cannot be refuted.


fire,

For, the

as existing together, does not

experience

demonstrate non-

1 -7

AGAMA PRAKARAiyA

( 18 )]
2

If,

etc .

Such

their applicability

(Turiya).

Such

73

'.

and scripture have


Truth of non-duality
from the standpoint of igno-

ideas as teacher, student

till

one

realises the Highest

ideas, possible only

and negatableby knowledge. The analogy of the smoke and fire is not appropriate.
Brahman cannot be logically inferred from the world like the fire
from the smoke. For, fire and smoke are objective realities of
the same order and seen to exist together by a perceiver. That is
not so with Brahman and the world. But the seeing of an object
rance, cannot contradict Turiya because they are unreal

So Brahman may only be

implies the seer.


3

So

also,

etc

The

entire manifold

is

indicated.

an

illusion,

it

is

not

one attains to the Highest Knowledge.


The idea of the teacher, etc., is a part of this manifold. Hence
such ideas have no absolute reality. The appearance is also due
to the non-apprehension of Reality.
reality.

It

appears as real

till

For the purpose of If one sees duality and seeks an explaone of the explanations, offered is that ideas are imagined
for the purpose of attaining the Truth.
*

nation,

It

has been seen in the previous Karika that the manifold

As

is

wave is non-different from water, so also. the


world is non-different from Brahman. The idea that what we see
is not Brahman and has got such attributes as birth, changeability,
destruction, etc., is illusion which being negated enables one to
Similarly the various ideas one has
realise the Highest Truth.
with regard to the manifold, are non-different from Brahman. Even
the so-called illusion of the manifold universe has no existence
other than that of Brahman. As the wind that arises from the
air, disappears in the air and is identical with the air, so also the
manifold is non-different from Brahman. As in dream, the objects
that are experienced as the elephant, etc., with their names and forms

Brahman.

the

are nothing but the mindstuff, so also in the state of ignorance


what are experienced as the objects with their distinctive names

and forms are nothing but Brahman. As in the same dream the
I have seen an elephant is non-different from the mindstuff

idea that

which creates the elephant, so also the idea that there is a distinction
between the teacher, etc., is not separate from Brahman.
The
cognition of ideas as teacher, etc., as separate from Brahman is due
to ones still persisting in the relative plane, and this is explained
as being useful for the realisation of Truth. But after enlighten-

MANDVKYOPANISHAD

74

ment these ideas are

realised as non-different

fI-8

from Brahman.

The

Highest Truth is that the manifold as well as various thoughts


associated with it are identical with Brahman. The non-duality
alone

( Turiya )

is.

VIII

am

qr^i

vm

qrar 3rtr

jtt;r ?rtii

The same Atman (which has been described above


as having four quarters) is, again, Aum, from the
The Aum
point of view of the syllables (atijHij;).
with parts

is

viewed from the standpoint of sounds

(letters, ursp:).

The quarters

and the

are the quarters.

are

letters

A U
,

are

the letters

The

(parts)

letters

here

and M.
Sankaras Commentary

s
is

In the

word Aum prominence

has been explained before as


i

is

given to that which

The word Aum which


Atman having four quarters

indicated by several names.

again the same Atman described here from the


standpoint of syllable where prominence is given to the

is

What, again, is that syllable ? It is thus replied


It is that word Aum which being divided into
Aum.
parts, is viewed from the standpoint of letters.
How ?
Those which constitute the quarters of the Atman are1
What are they ? The letters are
the letters of Aum.
A, U and M.
name.

In the

first

The word Aum


(3TRTKR)

it is said, Aum, the word, is all this.


name (3?fip*R) which indicates everything

Upanishad
is

the

past, present, future

the conception of time.

Thus

and

all

Aum

beyond even
Brahman.
the Atman. The

that which
is

the

is

name

The second Upanishad declares that Brahman is


Atman with its four quarters has been explained

for

in the

following

9]

AGAMA PRAKARAtfA

75

Upanishads. Therefore all these explanations are of Aum front'


the standpoint of Atman where prominence is given to that which
Now the same Aum is explained from the
is indicated by names.

word itself, that


Supreme Reality.

standpoint of the

Atman or the
The Highest Truth

the

is

name which

indicates

as explained above by the process of the

refutation of the erroneous superimposition can be

grasped only
by the students of sharp or middling intelligence. But those ordinary students who cannot enter upon philosophical reflection
regarding the Supreme Reality as given in the previous texts, are
advised to concentrate on Aum as the symbol of the Ultimate
Reality.
1

Are, etc

It is

because the quarters and the letters are identical.

IX

glSSSTTW

f %

He who

is

activity

VRfcI

||

||

Vaiswanara, having for its sphere of


is A, the first letter (of
account of its all-pervasiveness or on

the waking state,

Aum) on

account of being the

first

(these being

One who knows

features of both).

the fulfilment of^all desires

(of

^4

the

common

this attains to

and becomes the

first

all).

Sankaras Commentary
Points

of

thus pointed

specific

out.

sphere of activity

of Aum.
It is

What

is

is

the

thus explained:
1

resemblance

That which
the waking

common
the

first

is

between them are


Vaiswanara whose

state,

is

the

first letter

feature between

them

point of resemblance

All sounds are pervaded 2

?
is

by A. This
corroborated by the Sruti passage, The sound A is
the whole of speech.
Similarly the entire universe is.
pervasiveness

is

MAND DKYOPA NISHA T)

'76

[MO

is evident from such $ruti


Heaven is the head of this,
the Vaiswanara Atman," etc. The identity of the name
and the object, indicated by the name, has already been
The word Adimat' means that this has a
described.

pervaded by the Vaiswanara as

The

passages as,

effulgent

As

beginning.
also

account of

the letter

common

this

and becomes the

fulfilled
1

Pervasiveness

(3j)

No

articulate

The knower of
One who knows

above,

described

the identity

i.e.,

first

has

all

so

A on

identical with

is

feature.

identity gets the following result 4


.

with a beginning,

is

Vaiswanara

Vaiswanara.

is

this
this,

desires

his

of the great.

pervades

all

sounds.

It

present

is

sound can be produced without opening the mouth and the sound that is thus produced is A (at),
sounds.

in all

of

Pervaded,

etc.

-It

has been already stated that the knowledge

three states constitute our entire experience of the universe.

fore the
3

The

other states are possible only from the waking state.

all

waking

state pervades the

As, etc.This

is

There-

whole of the universe.

the second point of resemblance.

is

the

sounds or letters. Therefore A has a beginning because


no other sound or letter precedes A. Similarly from our common
experience it is known that the states of dream and deep sleep are
preceded by the waking state which is therefore the first of the three
first

of

all

states.
4

The

Result

enumeration of the merits

is

for

the

purpose

of inducing students to understand the meaning of Aum.

X
WffRFRNH TTiRl
f % flRRcTffT
<7

II

Taijasa,
state, is

fgcTRr *Tr^f^q%W3l[lefi$R
*Rlcr

1|

whose sphere of

U (3%

*Rlcl

activity is the

the second letter (of

Aum) on

dream

account

AGAMA PRAKARAiyA

Kill]

77

of superiority or on. account of being in between the


two. He who knows this attains to a superior knowledge, is treated equally by all alike and finds no
one in his line who is not a knower of Brahman.
Sankaras Commentary

He who
dream

the

What

Taijasa having for

is

as

it

its

sphere of activity

Aum.

the second letter of

(sr)

the point of resemblance ?

is

The one common


is,

state is

feature

is

were, superior 1 to

It is

thus replied

The

superiority.

letter

similarly Taijasa 2 is supe-

A;

Another common feature is: the letter U


between
the letters A (ar) and
(*f). Similarly
.(3) is
Therefore
Taijasa is in between Viswa and Prajna.
this condition of being in the middle is the common
rior to Viswa.

in

Now

feature.

is

described the result of this knowledge.

The knowledge (of

the

knower

of

this

identity)

is

power of knowing
increases considerably. He is regarded in the same way
by all, i.e., his enemies, like his friends, do not envy
him. Further, in his family not one is born who is not
a knower of Brahman.
always

is

on

the

Superior

superior to

superior to
2

Taijasa

As

increase,

a matter of fact,

alt letters.

in

But

his

i.e.,

being the

U coming

after

first

A may

of

all

sounds

be said to be

an indirect way.

Taijasa

dream
(in the waking
states of mind
ideas (in

is superior to Viswa as it is associated with


whereas Viswa is associated with gross objects
state).
In dream alone one realises the world as
which knowledge brings the student

state)

nearer to truth.

XI
Sllft

5fF

UTOcJrfaT

BT5IT

ftjTtRT
||

? ?

||

mAnd Okyopanishad

78

Prajna whose sphere

is

PIT',

deep sleep

measure and that

knows

this

M (p)

is

Aum, because
wherein all become

one.

of Prajna and

M)

third part (letter) of

(identity

the

both the

is

it

One who
able to

is

(realise the real nature of the world) and

measure all
also comprehends

all

within himself.

Sankaras Commentary

One who

(P'1

is

with deep sleep

Prajna associated

the third sound (letter) of

Aum.

What

is

is

the

common feature ? It is thus explained. Here this is


common feature: The word Miti in the text means

the

measure. As barley is measured by Prastha (a kind


of measure), so also Vi&wa and Taijasa are, as it were,
measured 1 by Prajna during their evolution (^71%) and
involution (Pc5P) by their appearance from and disappearance into Prajna (deep sleep). Similarly 2 after once
finishing the

utterance

the sounds (letters)

Aum when

of

A and

U, as

it

it

is

re-uttered,

were, merge into and

emerge from M. Another common feature is described

Apiteh which means becoming one.


by the word
When the word Aum is uttered the sounds (letters) A
and U become 3 one, as it were, in the last sound
(letter) M.
Similarly, Viswa and Taijasa become one
(merge themselves) in Prajna in deep sleep. Therefore
Prajna and the sound
are identical on account
of this common basis that underlies them both.
Now

is

this identity)

comprehends

nature of the universe.


the

(One who

described the merit of this knowledge.

knows

Atman,

the

cause

The enumeration of

all

this,

/.<?.,

the real 4

Further he realises himself as


of the universe, i.e., Iswara.

these secondary 5 merits

is

for the

purpose of extolling the principal means (of knowledge).


Ml

AGAMA PRAKARANA

(19)]
1

79

the waking and dream states appear (during


from and disappear (at the time of their involution)

MeasuredBoth

their evolution)

Therefore PrSjna is, as it were, the container in


which Viswa and Taijasa are contained. The nature of Viswa and
Taijasa (non-apprehension of Reality) is known from the nature
of Prajna because it is the cause of the two other states. Therefore Prdjna is here described as the measure of the two other states.

into deep sleep.

Similarly

When

the

word

AUM'

is

uttered quickly several

sound actually heard is Maum and not Aum, in which


may be said that the sounds A and U emerge out of and

times, the

case

it

merge into M.
3

Become one

i.e.,

merge themselves.

Real Nature That is, the universe experienced in the dream


and waking states is of the same stuff as the Prajna.
5

Secondary merits

The enumeration

for the satisfaction of those that

is

still

of these secondary merits

move

Here appear the following slokas

JTMHsrRfrrat
19.

is

When

=*r

of Viswa and

the

?<?,

sound

( letter )

intended to be described, the conspicuous ground

of each being the first

the circumstance
position );

of

WTTWHmr-wf

the identity

in the causal plane.

is

{in their respective

another reason for this identity

is

also the fact

the all-pervasiveness of each.

Sankaras Commentary

When

the Sruti intends to describe Viswa as of the

same nature as
is

in

(^T),

then the most prominent ground

seen to be the fact of each being the


the Upanishad discussed above.

first,

as described

Matra samprati-

path in the text means the identity of Viswa and A.


Another prominent reason for such identity is their
all-pervasiveness.

MAND 0KYOPA NISHAD

80

[Ml

(20-22>

'
I

nRie5Tf%^t rtc[*r?4 rrn^q;


The

20.

same nature
Similarly

being

in

ground of

clear

as

is

h ? o

realising Taijasa as

of the

common feature of Superiority

the

another plain
the middle.

reason

of such

identity

is

Sankaras Commentary

When

Taijasa

is

intended to be described as

U\

the reason of their being Superior (in respective cases)Their being in the middle
is seen to be quite clear.
plain
ground.
All these explanations
another
is also

are as before.
'

JisRRflfa

surer

HRTeSTlrtqtr

Of

21.

reason

is

of Prajna and

the identity

the

common

feature,

i.e.,

II

they

R)

II

the

both

dear

are

the

The other reason for such identity is another


namely, all become one in both Prajna
feature,
common
measure .

and M.
Sankaras Commentary

the plain
Regarding the identity of Prajna, and
of them are the
features are that both
measure as well as that wherein all merge.

common

swrei 4f% refer;

fwf

S^lgR:
22.

He who knows

without doubt,

features' are in the three states,

by

all

beings and he

is

is

||

what the

||

common

worshipped and adored

also the greatest sage.

AGAMA PRAKARANA

,1-11(23)]

81

Sankaras Commentary
One who knows positively, i.e., without a shadow
of doubt, the common 1 features that are found in the
three states,

He

is
1

worshipped and adored

is

the world.

in

a knower 8 of Brahman.

Common featuresThat

is, the three quarters of Atman, viz.,


and Prajna associated with waking, dream and deep
sleep states are identical with the three sounds (letters) of Aum,
viz., A, U and
respectively for reasons stated above.

Viswa, Taijasa

Knower,

etc.

for this reason

The

knower of

From

this identity is highly

extolled

Viswa merges
in Taijasa and Taijasa in Prajna
similarly from the standpoint of
Aum the sound A merges in U and U merges in M. The quarters
of Atman are identical with the sound of M. He who knows this
:

the standpoint of Atman,


;

identity also knows that the entire universe of the dream and waking
experiences emerges from and merges into Prajna. This Prajna
is

Brahman though

it

appears as the causal self (srfa)

whose mind still moves in the plane of causality. It


knower of Brahman that knows Prajna also as Turiya.

3f^rd

jt^cT

ftsrgTnwfr

gjr: snfr

to those

only the

fwrr nr%:

The

sound ( letter ) \ helps


attain to Viswa, U to Taijasa, and
Soundless there is no attainment.
23.

is

its

to

<3

ll

worshipper tp
Prajna.

In the

Sankaras Commentary

Having identified the quarters of Atman with the


sounds (letters) of Aum, on account of the common
features stated above, he who realises the nature of the
sound Aum, described above, and meditates upon it,
attains to Viswa through the help of A.
The meaning is
that he who meditates on Aum having 1 for his support
A becomes Vaiswdnara. 2
Similarly the meditator of
U becomes Taijasa 3 Again the sound
leads its
.

82

meditator

MlND OKYOPANISHAD

P-12

too disappears,

But when

Prajna .*

to

causality 5 itself is negated.

Therefore about such

which thus becomes soundless

6
,

Aum r

no7 attainment can be

predicated.
1

Having,

upon A or

experienced in
2

one who meditates on Aum laying emphasis


waking experiences, realises the entire universe
the waking state as comprehended in the sound A.

etc. -i.e.,

the

Vaiswanara

Vaiswanara

and the same as


3

is

the macrocosmic aspect of Viswa

Virdt.

Taijasai.e.,

One who

Hirartyagarbha.

the

meditates upon

world as forms of
thought like the world experienced in dream. Such worshipper
attains to Hiranyagarbha who is the cosmic mind.

Aumkara

laying emphasis

upon U,

realises the

* Prajna
That is, Iswara. Prajna is the cause of the experiences
of the waking and dream states as well as it is that wherein all these
finally disappear.
Iswara is also he who is the cause of the Universe as well as that of its final disappearance.
The meditator on
merges A in U and U in M. That is, he merges the gross universe
of the waking state in the world of ideas experienced in dream and
finally realises the dream as one with the state of deep sleep.

Causality

It is

that he realises the

the idea of causality that

same world

after Sushupti

makes

man

think

which he had seen

before going to sleep.

'

6
Soundless i.e., it cannot be identified with any of the sounds
or their corresponding states.
7

No,

etc.

Because

soundless

Aum

is

the

same

as

Turiva

Brahman.

XII

mutism: r%%slfr ^irfarr


t

3i$pr

ii

li

That which has no parts (soundless), incomprehensible (with the aid of the senses), the cessation

of

all

phenomena,

all bliss

and non-dual Aum,

is

the

AGAMA PRAKARAtfA

12 ]

83

He who

fourth and verily the' same as the Atman.

knows

this

merges his

self in the Self.

Sankaras Commentary

The 3W^T:

(soundless 1 )

is

that which has

no parts

Aum

which is the
fourth, is nothing but Pure Atman.
It is incomprehensible, because both speech and mind which correspond
the name
to the name 2 and the object disappear or cease
and the object (that is indicated by the name) which are
only forms of speech and mind cease or disappear (in
3
of the (illusion
the partless Aum).
It is the cessation
4
of) phenomena and all
bliss and is identical with
non-duality. 5 Aum, as 6 thus understood, has three sounds
which are the same as the three quarters and therefore
Aum is identical7 with Atman. He who knows this merges8
his self in the Self which is the Highest Reality.
Those
who know Brahman, /.<?., those who realise the Highest
Reality merge into Self, because in their case the notion
of the cause which corresponds to the third quarter (of
Atman) is destroyed (burnt). They 9 are not born again,
because Turlya is not a cause. For, the illusory snake
which has merged in the rope on the discrimination
of the snake from the rope, does not reappear as before,
to those who know the distinction between them, by any

.{sounds, etc., or letters).

This partless

effort 10

of the mind (due to the previous impressions).

To

men of

the

dull or mediocre intellect

who

still

con-

of philosophy, who having


renounced the world, tread on the path of virtue and
who know the common features between the sounds
(pf3Tf:) and the quarters (or parts) as described above,
to
them Aum, if meditated upon in a proper way, becomes
a great11 help to the realisation of Brahman. The same
sider themselves as students

MAND 0KYOPA NISHAD

84
is

on thus: The three

indicated in the Karikd later

inferior stages of

(Mand. Karika, Advaita

etc

life,

[M2

Chapter, 16.)
1

Soundless

by any sound.

It

because Amatra Aunt cannot be expressed


and therefore it cannot be des-

is

It

reiationiess

is

cribed as the substratum of three other sounds.

Aum.

out, by contrast, the soundless

Sound points
some

All sounds must, at

time or other, merge in soundlessness. This Amatra Aum is identical


with TurXya Atman as described in a previous text (Upanishad 7).
2

Name

etc.

Name

is

but a form of speech or sound.

All

Both the name and the object


They disappear with the
).

objects are again forms of mind.

are therefore mere ideas

disappearance of the mind at the dawn of knowledge. Therefore


soundless Aum like Turlya cannot be expressed by a name or pointed
out as an object.
3

Cessation

disappears

Therefore

As the rope

it

is

incomprehensible.

is

realised

so partless (soundless)

Aum

when
is

the illusion of snake

realised

when

the illusion

of duality vanishes.
4 All

no

bliss This

illusion

Fourth

which

is

Amatra

is

a state of

infinite

and eternal

bliss

because

the cause of misery exists there.


is

called fourth because

place in order of explanation of

it

occupies the fourth

Aum, of which

three other states

have previously been dealt with.

Fourth does not signify any


numerical relationship with the three aspects of Aum described
previously.
8

Non-duality

soundless state

From

is

the standpoint of the relative world, the

the substratum of

can speak of duality only

all illusory

6 As thus,
etc.i.c., with reference
and quarters as explained above.
7

Three quarters,

Identical with

are imagined to subsist in Atman.

Prajna and

appearances.

One

in the relative world.

to the identity of the

viz.,

sounds

Viswa, Taijasa and Prajna

Viswa merges in Taijasa, Taijasa

is looked upon as the cause of


merges in Turlya Atman. Similarly the
three sounds. A, U and
ultimately merge in the soundless Aum.
In soundless Aum, the three sounds become identical with it as the
three states are identical with Turlya from the absolute standpoint.
Therefore Turlya Atman is the same as soundless Aum.

in

the

finally

two preceding

Prajna which

states

M2 (24)]
8

AGAMA PRARARATA

Merges

That

knower

the

is,

85

realises himself as

Turlya.

be contended that like a man coming


back to the realm of duality having experienced deep sleep, the
knower of Self who has identified himself with Turiva may also
come back to the illusory universe, for PrQjna and Turiya are
8

They

are, etc.

identical having

This contention

It

may

common

is

feature of the perception of non-duality.


is not a cause..

without ground, because Turiya

it
cannot give rise to the world of illusory experience.
Unlike Prajna it is beyond all relations of cause and effect. Therefore one who has identified himself with Turiya can never see the

Hence

illusion
10

Our

of the manifold.

of

Effort

mind All

efforts

so-called illusory experiences

of mind are nothing but ideas..

and

their opposite in the relative

To

plane are nothing but ideas

man who has

Brahman, no illusion which


is of the nature of existence separate from Brahman, is possible.
11
Great help Those students who cannot at once think of the
soundless Aum or Turiya Atman proceed step by step and ultimately
ideas as non-different from

realised

realise the

Highest Truth.

(Here ends the Mandukva Upanishad


with the Commentary of Sankara.)

The

following

verses

explain

the

foregoing

Upa--

nishadic texts:

TRT
3fi

m.

TRsrr

JTt^T ?T

irrsrr ?r

\\

meaning of) Aumkara should he known


There is no doubt that quarters are
the same sounds (letters).
Having grasped the (meaning
24.

(The

quarter by quarter.

Aumkara nothing

of)

else should

be thought

of.

Sankaras Commentary

Here

are, as before, the following verses

Aumkara should be known along with


for

the

quarters 1

are

identical

with

the quarters;.

sounds

(letters)*

[M2

MANDOKYOPANISHAD

86

of

because

Having

common

their

understood

thus

features

Aumkara

of Aumkara has
1

Quarters

before.

described

no

seen or unseen, should be thought of;

(25)

other

object,

for, the

knower

all his desires fulfilled.

It is

because the quarters of Atman are identified


Aum. Therefore Aum should be medi-

with the sounds (letters) of

cated upon as Atman.


2

Having, etc

ptfcT

That

is,

Rcrft %rT:

by realising
STOltr

Aum

as

Brahman.

f^^TcT SfiMci;

The mind should be

25.
.syllable)

Aum.

He who

is

Aum

(For)

always

unified

unified

with

||

||

( the

sacred

Brahman, the ever- fearless.


with Aum knows no fear

is

whatever.

Sankaras Commentary

The word Yunjita means to unify, i.e to absorb.


The mind should be absorbed in Aum, which is of the
nature of the Supreme Reality, as explained before.
The Aum is Brahman, the ever-fearless. He who is
always unified with Aum knows no fear whatever; for the
Sruti says, The knower of Brahman is not afraid of
anything.

He who

or perfect in the knowledge of Aum,


its parts, i.e ., he who has unified himself with the soundless (partiess) Aum by merging the three sounds
in it, has annihilated the entire dualistic illusion and thereby attained
to the supreme goal. But those who cannot do so and those who
always depend upon the teachings of others for acquiring knowledge,
.should meditate upon Aum in the manner described in the Sruti.
is

proficient

acquired by an enquiry into

JTortt spt* srer

m-.

'

AGAMA PRAKARAtfA

1-12 (27)3

87

(The sacred syllable) Aum is verily the Lower


Brahman, and it is also admitted to be the Supreme
Brahman.
Aum is without beginning (cause), unique,
without anything outside itself, unrelated to any effect
26.

and changeless.
Sankaras Commentary

Aum

both the Lower 1 Brahman and the Supreme


the highest standpoint, the sounds

is

When from

Turiya.

and quarters disappear (in the soundless Aum) it is verily


the same as the Supreme Brahman. It is without cause
because no cause can be predicated of it. It is unique
because nothing else, belonging to any other speciesSimilarly nothing else exists
separate from it, exists.
outside it. It is further not related to any effect (because
It is without cause
not the cause of anything).
everywhere,
inside
and
outside, like salt
both
and exists
ocean.
water
of
the
in the
it

is

Lower Brahman

That

is,

as the cause of the universe.

Brahman which is looked upon


The dull and mediocre intellect

the

should meditate upon Aum as described in the first line of Karika.


The second line describes the soundless aspect of Aum or the Turiya
Atman which can be understood only by one possessing the keenest
intellect.

wftWFcrefo ^

^
27.
all.

f?

mi

Aum

Knowing

immediately

to

is

cfs-Fcrcu. n

fric^rr

verily the beginning,

Aum

middle and end of

as such, one, without doubt, attains

that (the

Sup 'erne

Reality).

Sankaras Commentary

Aum
is,

is

the beginning, middle and end of all;

everything originates from

Aum,

is

sustained

that

by it

MAND Ok YOPA NISHa D

*8

[M2 (28)

and ultimately merges in it. As 2 the magician, etc.


<without undergoing any change in themselves) stand
in

relation

the

to

Aum

sacred syllable

Aum, Atman, which,

undergo any change,

AumWhen

so also

etc.,

is

of)

the

to the manifested manifold such as

Akasa (ether), etc. The meaning


the

(the illusion

elephant,

illusory

snake-rope, the mirage and the dream,

is

that he

who knows

thus,

does not
once becomes unified with it.

like the magician, etc.,

at 3

of the universe is sought, Aum is


accordance with the ParinamavSda.
2
As the magician, etc This is from the standpoint of the
Vivartavdda. The magician, the rope, the desert, etc., appear as
the elephant, the snake, the mirage, etc., without undergoing any
1

a cause,

pointed out as such.

This

etc.,

is in

change

in themselves.

Similarly

Aum

also,

from the

relative stand-

appears to have become the entire manifested manifold


without undergoing any change in itself. But from the standpoint
It is not
of soundless Aum, there is no manifested manifold.
the cause of anything nor does it appear in any way other than

point,

itself.

Aum

is

inferred as

is

a juggler (rUJflfe) by those

who

see

and explain it as May6. Therefore, the idea


of the juggler is also an illusion and it lasts as long as we look upon
the manifold as Maya. It vanishes as soon as the Maya or illusion
the fact of creation

disappears.

3
At once Jnana or knowledge is a'one the cause of Mukti
which does not depend upon anything else. The moment we know

the real nature of

Aum, we become

Cim
s^rfWi'wt
28.

.mind of

unified with

g&q
jftefr

it.

if?;

sfrd 5f 4hrf?r

II'

||

Know Aum to be Iswara, ever present in the


all',
the man of discrimination realising Aum as

all-pervading, does not grieve.

Sankaras Commentary

Know Aum
is

the seat 1

as the ISwara present in the mind, which

of memory and perception, of

all

things.

AGAMA PRAKARANA

1-12(29))

8S>

The man

of discrimination realising Aumkara as allpervading 2 like the sky, i.e., knowing it as the Atman,
not bound by the law of transmigration, does not grieve
for, there is no cause 3 of misery for him. The Scriptures
also abound in such passages as, The knower of
Atman goes beyond grief.
1

Seat,

.ideas in

the

The knowledge of past and present consists of


mind of the perceiver. From the recollection of the

etc.

past one forms the idea of the future.


2

All-pervading

From

the highest standpoint

Aum

is

not con-

dined to any particular space. It is beyond the limitation of time,


space, etc. Therefore the knower of the all-pervading Aum
transcends grief which

is

the

outcome of

all-pervading because whatever

we

Aum

limitation.

perceive or

cognize

is

is

called

in con-

sciousness.

Cause of misery One can go beyond grief only by realising


Highest Truth by Viveka or discrimination of real and unreal.

'the

3W#rS?RTiT15T*

sfercr

1%*:

gfspfart

wr. n

29.
One who has known Aum which is soundless and
of infinite sounds and which is ever-peaceful on account
of negation of duality is the (real) sage and none other.

Sankaras Commentary

Amatra or soundless Aum Signifies Turiya. Matra


means measure; that which has infinite measure or
magnitude is called Anantamatra. That is to say, it is
mot possible to determine its extension or measure by
pointing to this or that. It is ever-peaceful on account
of its being the negation of all duality.
He who knows
Aum, as explained above, is the (real) sage because he
lias realised the nature of the Supreme Reality.
No*
1

MANDQKYOPA NISHAD

90

one

else,

though he may be an expert

of the Scriptures,
1

AUM

Amtitra
,

i.e.,

It is

in the

12 (29V

knowledge-

a sage.

is

because

the soundless

there

and

is

no sound or

partless

part

beyond the

quarter (Amatra)

is

not'

indicated by any letter.


J

Truth

No,
is

etc.

Book-learning

without

the direct

realisation

of no value.

Here ends the

Kanka with

first

the

chapter of GauiJapadaS

Commentary of Sankara.

of;'

Slurn Salutation to

CHAPTER

^raljman
II

ILLUSION
oefaftnf ^ra arnF^ftfiro

3prf:WRra *n*rct gfcR^T Ig^f

II

II

The wise declare the unreality of all the objects


the dream, they all being located within ( the
J)ody) and on account of their being in a confined space.
1.

seen in

Sankaras Commentary

Aum.
exist

when

It

has been already said, Duality does not

(true)

knowledge

and

arises,

this is

borne

out by such Sruti passages as, It {Atman) is verily one


and without a second, etc. This is all based merely
on the authority 1 of the truth
It 2 is
also equally
possible to determine the unreality (illusoriness) of duality
through pure reasoning; and for this purpose is begun
the second chapter which commences with the words
Vaitathyam (unreality) etc. The word, Vaitathyam signifies

the fact of'its being unreal or false.

(unreality) predicated ?

Of

all objects,

external, 4 perceived in the dream.

Of what

is this

both internal 3 and

It is

thus declared

by the wise, i.e., those who are experts in the use


of the means (pramarias) of arriving at true knowledge.
The reason of this unreality is stated thus; For, the
objects perceived are found to be located within the
All these entities such as a mountain, an
body.
elephant, etc., perceived in the dream are cognize4 there4

mAnd okyopa nisha d

92

within) and not outside the body.


must be regarded as unreal.

(I.s.,

(Objection)

jar

and

{II

Therefore they

This (being within)

other

is no
on account of

things

valid reason..
their

being

perceived within a cover, such as a cloth, etc. (cannot

be called unreal).
(Reply)
limited

On

space,

account of their being


that

is,

objects are cognized).

the elephant,

etc.,

within

It is

the

confined in

not possible for the mountain,,


space (within

to exist in the limited

the nerves of the body) which are within the

mountain does not or cannot


1

body..

exist inside a body.

of the Sruti The subject-matter, namely, the


of duality, has been proved in the first chapter solely on

Authority

illusoriness

body (where dream:

Scriptural authority.

2
It is, etc.
Sankara contends that the illusoriness of the duality
can be proved by reasoning also independently of the Sruti. The

Scripture,

no doubt, convinces those who

believe in its authority.

But the philosophy of Vedanta can hold its ground against those
who do not believe in the authority of the Vedas, e.g., the Buddhists,.
the Jains, the Charvdkas and others. All fair discussions are based
on reason which is the common platform for all. It betraysignorance of higher Vedanta to say that the reasoning employed in
the Vedanta philosophy to arrive at the Ultimate Truth is always
subservient to Scriptural authority. The second chapter of theKdrika establishes the unreality of duality through reasoning
independent of Scriptural authority.
3

Internal i.e., such ideas as those of happiness, misery,

External

e.g.,

oot,

mountain,

between internal ideas and external objects

dream standpoint.

etc.
is

This

made

etc.

distinction

here from the

But from the waking standpoint

all

dream'

experiences are internal.


3

There i.e., within the body. The dream is an activity of'


mind and according to the common-sense view, mind is within,
Therefore objects seen in dream are said to exist withia>
the body.
the

the body.

95

ILLUSION

II -2]

* Nerves
It is said in the Scriptures that the mind moves about
during the time of sleep along some nerves and this produces the

dream
7

experiences.

If a

Inside, etc .

more impossible

still

mountain cannot
for

it

exist within a

body,

to exist within a nerve, which

it

is

is

an

old-world view.

*i^r

^TW'T^rcr
?r

2.

On

I%fcT

||

||

account of the shortness of time

it

is

not

go out of the body and see


Nor does the dreamer, when he

possible for the dreamer to

dream objects).
wakes up, find himself

( the

in

the place

seen

in

his

dream).

Sankaras Commentary
That

all

in a limited

space,

is

not a

fact.

in the east, often finds himself, as

dreams

in

the north.

the opponent)

it

is

For,

it

is

said:

were

1
,

experiencing

The

dreamer does not go


body where he experiences

found that as

asleep he experiences

it

Anticipating this objection (of

to another region outside his

dream.

dreams is located
For a man sleeping

that is perceived to exist in

dream

soon as a

objects,

as

it

man

falls

were, at a

hundreds of Yojanas2 away from his


body and which can be reached only in the course of
a month. The long period of time which is necessary
to go to that region (where dream objects are perceived)
and again to come back (to the place where the sleeper
lies) is not found to
be an actual fact.
Hence on
account of the shortness of time the experiencer of the
dream does not go to another region. Moreover, the
dreamer when he wakes up, does not find himself in the
place where he experiences the dream.
Had the man
(really) gone to another place while dreaming and
place which

is

mAnd Okyopanishad

94

[II -3

cognized (or perceived) the dream-objects there, then he

would have certainly woke up there alone. But this


does not happen. Though a man goes to sleep at night
he feels as though he were seeing objects in the day-time
and meeting many persons. (If that meeting were real)
he ought to have been met by those persons (whom
he himself met during the dream). But this does not
happen; for if it did, they would have said, We met
you there to-day. But this does not happen. Therefore
one does not (really) go to another region in dream.

1
As it were The dream experiences, though they appear to
be real to the dreamer, are not really so.

The experiences of dream are unreal on account of the absence


of the appropriate time and place with which such experiences are
And this unreality can be known from the waking
associated.
condition alone. The unreality of dream-experiences is proved
here from the standpoint of time and space. For, those who believe
in the reality of time and space cannot but admit the illusoriness
of dream-experiences.
1

Yojana

It

is

a measure of distance of eight or nine miles.

3{*TT?I3!J

SJtfcT

ffr
3.

Following

RFH

reason,

3T!f:

(as

RRjrr%cTq;

indicatea

dream).

Therefore

it

is

said (by the

above)

declares the non-existence of the chariots, etc.


in

||

II

Sruti

( perceived

wise) that Sruti

itself declares the illusoriness (of the dream-experiences),

established (by reason).

Sankaras Commentary

For this reason also the objects perceived to exist


dream are illusory. For, the absence of the chariots,
etc. (perceived in dream) is stated by Sruti, in such
passages as There 1 exists neither chariot, etc., its
in

ILLUSION

II -4]

95

on reason. 2 In the opinion of the


wise, i.e., the knowers of Brahman, the illusoriness (of
the dream objects) has been established on the ground
assertion being based

of

their

body.

being perceived within the contracted space in the

The

Sruti only reiterates

the self-luminosity 3 (of


1

There, etc.

Comp.

Atman)

Brhct.

Up.,

it

in

in order to establish

dream.

4. 3. 10.

Reason The reason, as adduced in the previous KSrikS ,


is the absence of the appropriate time and space for the real existence
of such dream objects.

3
Self-luminosity Comp. Brhd. Up., 4. 3. 14. Mere examination
of the waking experiences cannot prove that Atman is self-luminous.
For. it may be contended that various activities, associated with
the waking state, are due to the functioning of the sense organs
under the influence, as the Sruti says, of the various luminous deities
as the sun, the fire, etc. But in sleep various activities are experienced by the dreamer and these activities, in the absence of thfe
functionings of the sense-organs, are due to the self-luminosity of

Atman.

cTWR3TTTft?T

WT

rf5T

cRI Wfr

^cPT.

fwt

II

II

dream ( are illusory) on


account of their being perceived to exist. For the same
reason, the objects seen in the waking state are illusory.
The nature of objects is the same in the waking state
The only difference is the limitation of
and dream.
space ( associated with dream objects).
4.

Different objects cognized in

Sankaras Commentary

The proposition

to be established ( Pratijna) is the


of objects that are perceived in the waking
state.
Being perceived is the ground (hetu) for the
They are like the objects that are perceived
inference.
As the objects
in dream, is the illustration (TORT:).
illusoriness

MANDCKYOPANISHAD

96

[II -5

dream are illusory so also are the


The common
the waking state.
feature of being perceived is the relation ( Upanaya
between the illustration given and the proposition

perceived to -exist in
objects perceived

in

Therefore the illusoriness


taken for consideration.
is admitted of objects that are perceived to exist in the

what

waking state.
(Nigamanam)

of the

The

perceived

objects

different1

This

is

is

known

proposition
exist

to

from those perceived

in

as the reiteration

or

the

conclusion.

dream are
the waking state in

in

the

respect of their being perceived in a limited space within

the body.

The

fact

Different

condition.

This

No

of being seen and the (consequent)

common

illusoriness are

to both.

difference

is

noted only from the waking


is noticed during the

inappropriateness of space

dream.
Sankara's commentary on the Karika

is

in the

ifofflf&frfauT:
ft

srietrTT

t^r

form of a syllogism.
I

II

ii

5.
The thoughtful persons speak of the sameness of the
waking and dream states on account of similarity of objects
( perceived in both the states ) on grounds already described.

Sankaras Commentary
of the dream and
states is declared by the wise on account of the
reason, already stated, i.e., the experience of objects (in
both the states) is associated with subject-object2 relaidentity 1 (of the experiences)

The
waking

This

Karika enunciates the conclusion that


has already been arrived at in the previous inference

tionship.

by the
1

wise.

Identity Sometimes experience is said to be of three kinds.


PSram&rthika, Prathibhdsika , and Vy&vahiirika, making the last two

ILLUSION

II -6]

different

from each other.

tinction between the

experiences.
*

dream

97

Gaucjapada does not make any


and waking

dis-

(:?Ffo*Tffasf>)

Compare KSrika

14 (1st chapter).

namely, the seer and the


waking and the dream states.

Subject-object The two factors,

seen, are equally present in both the

The dream and the waking experiences are identical because


both are characterised by the same condition, viz., the characteristic
of being perceived . Therefore they, both, are unreal. The
reason of being seen, as already described, is a matter of common
experience.

fq?r%: egrsn:

That which

6.

is

The objects are

like

li

non-existent at the beginning

in the end, is necessarily so

regarded as if

^i%m;

SRrrsfrqqr

and

( non-existent ) in the middle.

the illusions

we

see,

still

they are

real.

Sankaras Commentary

The

objects perceived to exist in

the

waking

state

are unreal for this reason also, 1 that they do not really
exist either at the beginning or at the end.
Such objects
(of experience) as mirage,

etc.,

do not

really exist either

Therefore they do not


This is the decided 2
(really) exist in the middle either.
The several objects perceived
opinion of the world.
to exist really in the waking state are also of the same*
at the beginning or at the end.

Though they (the objects of experience) are


of the same nature as illusory objects, such as mirage,
etc., on account of their non-existence at the beginning
and at the end, still they are regarded as real by the
ignorant, that is, the persons that do not know Atman.
nature.

This

Also

waking

is

an additional reason for the

illusoriness

objects.

of the

MAND OKYOPA NISHAD

98
3

Decided etc
,

The

perceived to be real

is

[II -7

reason for the illusoriness of the objects


is not perceived

that suph (illusory) existence

at the beginning or at the end.

If

it

be contended that a perceived


it will be shown later

object exists at the beginning as the cause,

on

that this causal conception


3

Same,

etc.

i.e.,

is itself illusory.

illusory.

According to Gautjapada, illusory

objects are those that have no existence at the beginning and at


the end. This is exactly the characteristic of objects perceived to

Changeability

exist outside of us.

ceived

and

is

the characteristic of

all

per-

Change implies non-existence at the beginning,


end.
As all perceived objects are of this nature, they

objects.

at the

are called illusory.

on the non-existence of the


and at the end. The ego is the
objects seen. The ego does not change as

In this Karika emphasis

is

laid

iperceived objects at the beginning

perceiver (Df-&) of all


the witness of all changes.

The perceived

it is

<o be illusory or unreal

SPritsRtn

in

objects are

known

comparison with the perceiver.

fwfcrqsm

ifaf

cwracrspcT^

ct

II

vs

il

The serving a purpose (as means to an end), of


them (the objects of waking experience) is contradicted
(opposed) in dream.
Therefore they are undoubtedly
admitted to be illusory on account of their (both waking
7.

and dream)

being with a beginning and an end.

Sankaras Commentary
(Objection)

The

assertion that the objects perceived

to exist in the waking state are illusory like those of the


dream state is illogical. It is so because the objects of the
waking experience, such as food, drink or vehicles, etc.,
are seen to serve some purpose, that

hunger and

thirst as well as

man

fro.

to

and

But

perceived in dream.

is,

they appease

do the work of carrying a

not the case with the objects


Therefore the conclusion that the

this is

ILLUSION

II -7]

objects perceived in -the waking

dream

those seen in
(Reply)

It is

(Objection)

not

Why

99
state

are unreal like

mere fancy.

is

so.
?

because the serving as means to some


end or purpose which is found in respect of food, drink,
etc. (in the waking state) is contradicted in dream.
man, in the waking state, eats and drinks and feels
(Reply)

is

It

appeased and free from thirst. But as soon as he goes


sleep, he finds himself (in dream) afflicted with
hunger and thirst as if he were without food and drink
for days and nights. And the contrary also happens to
be equally true. A man satiated with food and drink
in dream finds himself, when awakened, quite hungry
Therefore the objects perceived in the
and thirsty.
Hence, we
waking state are contradicted in dream.
think that the illusoriness of the objects perceived in
the waking state like those of dream need not be
doubted. Therefore 1 both these objects are undoubtedly
admitted to be illusory on account of their common
feature of having a beginning and an end.
into

Therefore

Therefore

seen in the waking and


their

the original assertion

dream

that

the objects

on account of
being characterised by a beginning and an end need not be
states are illusory

doubted.

The
not
,

test

of

reality is

thought by some to be what works

As the dream objects do


waking state therefore they are unreal. The
Veddntin says that dream objects are means to dream ends as the
waking ones are to waking ends. A sense of causal relation is
present in the dream mind as in the waking mind. But what is
considered logical sequence in the waking state is not thought to
be such in the dream. Each has its own notion of propriety and
each is stultified by the other in spite of its appearing to be real.
(as

the

ArthakriySkdryavadins hold).

work

the

MAND 0KYOPA NISHAD

100

3pj|

ft

rTOT
8.

ally

Pc^FF

m\

pi

^JTftqrf%qr

q^C

||

-8

||

The objects (perceived by the dreamer), not usumet with (in the waking state) undoubtedly, owe

their existence

the

to

( peculiar)

condition

in

which the

works for the time being, as


in the case of those residing in heaven.
The dreamer
associating himself ( with the dream conditions) experiences those (objects), even as the one, well-instructed
here (goes j'rom one place to another and sees objects
cognizer, that

is,

his mind,

belonging to those places).

Sankaras Commentary
(Objection)

The

about the illusoriness of

assertion

objects perceived in the waking state on account of their


similarity to those perceived in the

dream

not

state is

correct.
'

(Reply)Why?
(Objection)

The illustration

does not agree with the

thing to be illustrated.
(Reply)

How
Those

(Objection)

waking

objects that are cognized in the

state are not seen in

dream.

What then are they (dream experiences)


(Objection) A man perceives in dream objects which
(Reply)

.are

never usually seen in the waking

state.

He

finds

himself (in dream) to be with eight hands and seated


on an elephant with four tusks. Similarly various other

unusual (abnormal) objects are seen in the dream.

These

((dream objects) are not like other illusory objects.

They

are, without doubt, real (in themselves).

Therefore the

11

ILLUSION

8]

illustration does not agree.

101

Hence, the statement that

dream

the waking experiences are unreal like those of


iis

not correct.
(Reply)

No,

your conclusion

think that the objects


ordinary (not like
state),

is

not correct.

You

dream are

extra-

perceived in

those

usually

seen

in

the

waking

but these are not absolutely real in themselves.

nature? They 1 are only peculiar


to the circumstances of the perceiver associated with
those (dream) conditions, i.e., of the dreamer associated
with the dream-conditions. As 2 the denizens of heaven,

What,

then,

is

their

such as Indra,

etc.,

have the characteristics of being


eyes, etc. (on account of

endowed with a thousand

the very condition of their existence in heaven), so also


there are the (peculiar) unusual (abnormal) features of

the dreamer (on account of the peculiar condition of


the dream state). These3 (dream experiences) are not
absolutely real like the absolute reality of the perceiver.

The dreamer associated with the (dream) conditions,


while in the dream state, sees all these abnormal
or peculiar objects which are but the imaginations of his

own mind.
experience,

It is like the case

who

is

of a man, in the waking

well instructed regarding the

to be taken to reach another country,

route

and who while

going to that country sees on the way objects belonging


Hence as 4 perception of snake in the
to that locality.

rope and the mirage in the desert which are due to the
i(mental) conditions of the perceiver are unreal, so also

the

objects

transcending

the

experience, perceived in .dream,

limits

of

are unreal

waking
on account

the

of their being due to the (peculiar) condition of the


dream state itself. Therefore the illustration of dream
is

not incorrect.

MANO OKYOP-A HISHA D

102,

[II

1
They are, etc. The dream experiences have no causal relation
causal relation between two objectswith the waking experience.
of even waking experiences, as will be seen later on, cannot be

proved to be

true.

The

objects of our experiences, whether in

dream

or in waking state, are but the creations of the mind


)
and it is due to ignorance that we relate them causally. In dream,,
the mind is associated with those experiences which are realised ascreations of dream.

2
It is only
As, etc.
create heaven, etc., with

some
their

particular forms

of thought which'
They are not

peculiar denizens.

absolutely real but are only our imaginations.

The moment we

imagine heaven, we imagine it also to be peopled with Indra, etc.,,


inasmuch as in our mind Indra, etc., are ever associated with,
heaven.
3 These, etc.The experiences of dream are not real becauseof their changing nature. But the perceiver of dream is real because
Even the so-called
it is unchangeable and witnessing the changes.
sentient beings we perceive in dream are insentient because they arealso objects of perception (^1") and they appear and disappear.
1

As, etc.

The

illusory perception

of mirage, etc., is due to


These illusions last

the peculiar mental condition of the cognizer.

'

The- objects,
as long as the mental conditions that create them last
perceived to be real in the waking state, the illusions experienced
.

in that state

same nature,

and the objects perceived in the dream state have the


and as such they are all
i.e., they are all seen (y^r)

Hence
forms of thought
reality can be attached to any of them.

they

are

all

illusory.

No

It has been said before that both of dream and waking experiences
are alike in nature. But a line of demarcation Jis sought to be
drawn between them, contending that the dream percepts being

and even unnatural, the like of them,


world of the wakeful man. But such
percepts, however grotesque or abnormal, appear perfectly normal
to the dreamer. The dreamer evidently has his own notion of
space, distance and form. But his standards have no applicability

most of them queer,


do not find a place

fantastic

in the

to the wakeful man. And the notions of the latter in regard to


space, etc., have no place in the dreamers world, though for each,
everything

is

normal and

real.

ILLUSION

HI '-910]

STJTfrircfa

103

Wifc<T<T

IWfcTCl:

srft&TtJIficT

WnTfrfRfa fSRT^cKU

||

dream,

In

:the mind
mind) appears

is illusory

known

what

be real.

is

But

||

imagined within by

is

cognized outside (by the


(in truth ) both these are

waking state, also,


imagined within by the mind is illusory, and what
experienced outside (by the mind) appears to be real.

what
is

to

also,

||

and what

II

^qrt

Hffh
9-10.

But

to

be unreal.

Similarly, in the

is

in fact,

both should be rationally held to be unreal.

Sankaras Commentary

Having refuted the contention of the opponent that


there exists no similarity between objects of the waking
state and the abnormal (unusual) objects seen in dream,
text proceeds to point out) the truth of the objects
of waking state being (unreal) like those of dream. In
the dream state also those which are mere modifications

'(the

of the mind, cognized within, are


internal objects vanish the

nized.

In that very

illusory.

moment

dream such

For,

such

after they are cog-

objects

as pot,

etc.,

cognized by the mind and perceived by the sense-organs,


-eyes,

etc.,

as

Thus, though

existing

the

outside,

are 1

held

dream experiences

to

be

real.

without
doubt, known 2 to be unreal, yet they arrange themselves
Both kinds of objects (in dream),
;as real and unreal.
all

are,

imagined by the mind internally and externally, are


found to be unreal. Similarly in the waking experience
objects known as real and imaginary (mental) should
be rationally held to be unreal.' Objects, internal and
,

MAND okyopanishad

104

are creations of the

external,
in the

mind (whether they

dream or in the waking

state).

II

[II

Other

be-

matters,

have already been explained.


1

Are held

That

be real

to

As,

This

etc.

is

i.e.,

at the time

by the subject

is,

Known, etc. We know the


ences from the waking state.
*

illusoriness

in the

dream.

of the dream experi-

of dreaming.

another ground for proving the similarity of the dream:

and the waking

states

and the consequent

unreality of the latter.

be contended that in the waking state we make a distinction,


between real and unreal and that the latter corresponds,
It

may

In
to all dream objects. To this the reply of the Vedantist is
dreams also we make a distinction between real and unreal .
We see unreal objects in dream and feel surprised when the picturewears off, which impression we consider unreal in dream itself.

Therefore there exists a sense of distinction between the real


:

and the unreal in the one state as in the other. For, while the:
dream lasts, to the dreamer not only are dream objects real but:
also is the dream state a waking one. The whole of dream experiences is known to be illusory only from the waking standpoint.
Similarly the whole of

waking experiences, including

imaginations and objective

subjective

realities,

is

its

so-called,

equally

unreal

from the standpoint of true knowledge.


-

swqrcfq tcjsr
cn
11.

feir

wriftqfg;

If the objects cognized

itar
in

few.

H?

both the conditions (of

dream and of waking) be illusory, who cognizes


(illusory objects) and who again imagines them ?

all these

Sankaras Commentary

The opponent asks, If the objects, cognized in thewaking and dream states, be devoid of reality, who1 is.
the cognizer of these, objects imagined by the mind,,
both inside (subjective), and
outside
(objective)?

ILLUSION

II -12]

Who

is,

again, their imaginer?

that there
1

Who,

is
etc.

then

we

It is

is

theIf*

shall be led to the conclusion

Atman or

nothing like

In short, what

memory and knowledge?

support (substratum) of

you say none,

105;.

Self.

the subject or the ego who, remembering his

We can
of memory and experience. If
experience and memory be unreal, the subject also would be unreal
or non-existent.
past experiences, has similar experiences in the present.

infer a subject only

from the

facts

(Atman) and the objective world be unreal,,


of experience, viz., knower, known and knowledge
become mere illusion. That is the same as believing in absolute
nihilism in which the existence of even Atman or Self is denied.
But this contention is invalid. One cannot deny the existence of
Atman. For. one who refutes Atman (the knower) takes the
position of Atman. Therefore the theory of the non-existence of
Atman cannot be admitted.
then

If, etc.

If the Self

all categories

<^1

||

II

Atman, the self-luminous, through the power of


own Maya, imagines in himself by himself (all the

12.

his

objects that the subject experiences within or without).

alone

is

the cognizer

the decision

of

of

the objects (so created).

He

This

is

the Vedanta.

Sankaras Commentary

The self-luminous 1 Atman himself, 2 by 3 his own


Maya, imagines 4 in 5 himself the different* objects, tobe described hereafter.
snake,

etc., in

It is like

the rope, etc.

as 8 he has imagined them.

the imagining of the

He7

himself cognizes them,


There* is no other substra-

tum of knowledge and memory.


to declare that knowledge

The aim of Vedanta is


and memory are not without,

support as the Buddhistic

nihilists

maintain.

MAND OKYOPA NISHAD

1106

[II

-12

1
Self-luminous The self-luminosity of Atman is predicated'
from the relative standpoint. Objects otherwise insentient, appear
-sentient on account of the copscious Airman pervading everywhere.

who,

Himself-There

is

no extra-cosmic

like the potter, is separate

from

creator of the universe

his creation.

3
By his own MdyS When one looks upon the creation as a fact
and seeks its cause, Miya or ignorance is pointed out as such cause.
The Maya inheres in Brahman as viewed from the same causal

standpoint.

It is like

the ignorance which, inhering in the perceiver,

makes him see his own mind appearing as various dream objects.
The causal ignorance of the knowledge of the minds act of imagining
which makes Atman appear as the manifested manifold, is here called
.Mayd.

4 Imagines
There is no actual creation.
due to the perceivers ignorance.
3

is

an imagination

himself From the causal standpoint Atman is both the


There is no inert
matter or anything else, separate from Atman, which he has
In

material and the efficient cause of the universe.

fashioned
*

It

into

the universe.

Different objects All perceived objects consisting

of the ego

and the non-ego.


7

He himselfAtman

creates

and then he himself being

Jha who
s

As

this

reflected in

world with his

own Maya

(mind),

appears as

Budtlhi

perceives the objects.


he,

etc. Agency,

etc., associated with Atman, are not


because Atman imagines himself, owing to
Maya, as an agent, that he is looked upon as the subject.

absolutely real.

There

is,

It

is

etc. Knowledge and memory, categories of relative

Annan (Self from the subjective standpoint)


and in the creator (Brahman from the objective standpoint).
Brahman and Atman are identical.
perception, inhere in

This illusory Jim, Liwara land the world last as long as ignolasts.
Solipsism cannot be a charge against Vedanta.
For, according to Vedanta, the ego is not the creator of thg non-ego.

rance (Mava)

They come into

existence together.
One cannot exist without the
the relative standpoint both ego and non-ego
are
'the products of. the mentation of Iswara or the cosmic mind.
other.

From

ILLUSION

11 - 13 ]

sftfeRr

10

^ sr^cI

irg: n

\\

The Lord (Atman), with his mind turned out-

13.

ward,

variously

imagines

the

objects

diverse

(such

as

which are already in his mind (in the form


of Vasanas or Sankalpas or desires). The Atman again
his mind turned within), imagines in his mind
( with
sound,

etc.),

various

( objects

of) ideas.

Sankaras Commentary

How

does he imagine the ideas? It is described


The word Vikaroti means creates or ima-

thus

'

gines,

i.e.,

with 1

his

manifests in multiple forms.

Lord,

mind (urned outward, imagines

i.e.,

in

Atman

diverse

forms various objects, perceived in the (outside) world,


such as sound, etc., as well as other objects, 2 and also
objects

various

impermanent, 3

permanent (such as earth, etc.), and


which exist only for the moment, i.e.,

i.e.,

as long as that imagination lasts

all being of the nature


of subtle ideas (Vasanas) in his mind and not yet fully

manifested.

Similarly, turning his

mind

Lord
Prabhu"
the Atman.

within, the

imagines various ideas which are subjective.


in the text

means the Lord (Iswara),

i.e.,

his, etc.- The distinction of objects as internal and


due to the association of the two organs of perception,
namely, mind and sense-organs. When mind alone is concerned
1

With

external

is

we cognize internal objects, when


mind we perceive external objects

sense-organs are associated with


or in other words, the Atman

with the association of sense-organs externalises the internal ideas,


makes them appear as gross physical objects'. This division

i.e.,

of externality and intemality


2

Other, etc.

Scriptures.

Such

is

not true.

as heavenly worlds, etc., mentioned in the

MAND OKYOPANISHAD

1108

Such

Impermanent

As a
of

tfirst

them

as

[II

lightning,- etc.

14

potter or a weaver, in order to produce a pot or a cloth,

all,

imagines these in his mind and subsequently manifests


them with appropriate names and forms,

outside, associating

first of all, conceives


world to be and then projects

so also the great Lord,


.the external

in his
it

mind, as an idea,

outside associating

it

with suitable means and forms.

The world that is seen extended in time and space, with its permanent and impermanent objects as well as the various ideas which
.are distinguished from matter, are all nothing but the ideas in the
mind of the Creator, i.e., Atman as Iswara. This Atman or the
causal Self creates by his imagination the ego and the non-ego as
well as their mutual relationship.
The word Imagination is used
The English term is generally used

as the equivalent of

Kalpana

to denote the mental construc-

tion of the individual soul or self. The Sanskrit term applies to


both Iswara (the Atman) and the individual soul.

ft

srft:

^^
14.

||

||

Those that are cognized within only as long as the

thought of them lasts, as well as those that are perceived


by the senses and that conform to two points of time,
;

are all mere imaginations.


differentiating the one

from

There

is

no other ground for

the other.

Sankaras Commentary

A doubt is raised as to the statement that everything is mere imagination of mind like the dream.
1

For,

the

imagination

of mind,

such

as

desire,

etc.,

determined 2 by mind, is different from objects perceived to exist outside, on account of the latter being
determined by two points in time.

This

objection

is

not valid. Objects perceived to exist within, only as


long as the thought .about them lasts, signify those

ILLUSION

HI-14]

109

which 4 are only determined by mind;


ii.e., such objects have no other time to determine them
exists (when
.except that wherein the idea in the mind
5
.imagining such ideas). The meaning is that such (sub((subjective) ideas

jective) ideas are experienced at the time

when

they are

two points of time


signify those external objects which are cognizable by
others at some other point of time and which cognize
Objects

imagined.

the latter in

to

related

turn.

their

Therefore

said to be mutually limited by one

example, when

it is

said that he remains

milked, the statement means,

is

milked.

A* similar instance

like that, that is like this.

till

The cow
is

is

the

As for
cow is

milked as

long as the

cow

the following:

It

long as he remains and he remains as


is

such objects are


another.

In this way,

the objects

perceived to exist outside mutually determine one another.

Dvayakalah, that is,


Therefore they are known as
related to

two points

in time.

existing as long as the

mind

Ideas perceived within and


that

cognizes them lasts, as

as the external objects related to two points in time,

well

mere imaginations 7 The8 peculiar characteristic of


being related to two points in time of the objects that are
perceived to exist outside is not due to any other cause
are

all

except their being imagined by the mind.


illustration
1

mind

Therefore the

of dream well applies here.

A doubt i.e.,

the imaginary objects exist only as long as the

them lasts. They have no existence beyond


But the external objects that are perceived in the waking

that imagines

that time.

even when the mind does not imagine


them. Therefore external objects cannot be proved to be illusory
by the mere illustration of dream experiences.
state exist at other times also

! Determined, etc
The mental imagination has no corresponding reality existing outside. Such an idea, as the objective illusion
of the snake in the rope, created within by the mind, is of the nature

MIND OKYOPA NISHa D

110

of mind and
be proved to

mind

perceived to exist within the

is

ideas exist only as long as the perceiving

Such
They cannot

alone.

exists.

by any other instrument of knowledge.

exist

3 Objects, etc.

mind

[1114-

But

the different external objects are mutually

cognized by one another from different points in time. The


consciousness that such objects exist does not depend upon the
perceiving mind alone. Therefore such objects cannot be of the

same nature as dream or imaginary


4

objects.

by other
minds existing previous to or subsequent to the present perceiving
mind.
Which

He

are, etc.

i.e.,

remains, etc.

The two external objects

cow and

the milking of a

external objects are perceived

the remaining of a

related to each other in respect

may be milked
in

this

of two points in time.

independently of a mans existence and a

of the milking of the cow.

exist independently

are

of cognition, e.g.,.
are mutually

man

manner mutually cognized are

The cow

man may

Those objects that


two

said to answer to

points in time.
8

all

As long as a pot serves a purpose, so long

similar instance

Here also the time

said to exist.

it is

the limiting factor.

is

Thus

objects that are perceived to exist outside are determined by

the present or any other time.

They

of the perceiver.
which they exist.
7

Imaginations

ceiving

born or

mind
will

at present of

in the

mind

is

That

are,

They are independent of the mind


dependent upon the time in

rather,

a thing exists independently of the perThat the world existed before I was

also an idea.

continue to exist after I die or that many things exist


which I am not conscious, these are all mere ideas

at

the present

time.

Past,

present and future are

nothing but ideas present in the mind at the moment.


8

The peculiar, etc

This

can be better understood from the

A man may dream for five minutes in


analogy of the dream.
which time he may see objects existing during as many years.
Different objects perceived in dream, answering to different points
in time, are but the imagination of the dreamer who only dreams
for a few

moments.

Similarly in the

waking

state a

man, by mere

force of imagination, sees objects conforming to different points


in time extending over hundreds of years.

Though from

the waking.

ILLUSION

IMS]

known

standpoint dream objects are

111

to be illusory, yet they are

perceived to be actually existing at the time of dream.

Similarly

waking
There is no difference
.between the objects perceived in dream and waking states on
account of their possessing a common feature, namely, capability
.of being seen.
it

is

quite reasonable to believe in the illusory nature of the

experience from the standpoint of Truth.

3Tsq;ffr

qs ? cRg

cr-T

gf|:

<^r

?*mi

Those that exist within the mind (as mere sub-

15.

jective imaginations)

and are known as the unmanifested


manifested form
mere imaginations the
sense-organs (by means of

as well as those that exist without in a

(as perceived
difference

objects),

only in

lying

all

the

are

.which the latter are cognized).

Sankaras Commentary

Though1
perceived

outside

eyes, etc., are

through

known

distinction 3

ithe

is

such

as

as manifested (gross entities),

yet

is

the

sense-organs

not due to anything

the nature of the (two


distinction

mere mental
and though2 the objects

the objects perceived within, as

impressions, are unmanifested,

substantial

kinds of) objects.

seen in dreams as well.

What

is,

in

such

For,
then,

the

cause of this distinction ? It 4 is only due to the difference


;in the use of sense-organs (by means of which these objects
are perceived).

Hence,

it

is

established that the

perceived in the waking state are as

of

the

mind

objects

much imagination

as those seen in the dream.

Though etc
Objects perceived within the mind are mere
of imagination. The characteristic of such objects is
their unmanifestedness.
Therefore they are known as ideas
in contradistinction to gross objects perceived outside.
,

.products

mAnd Okyopanishad

112

tn

is-

Though, etc. Those perceived to exist outside and cognized,


by different sense-organs are known as gross manifested objects
and as such they are distinguished from ideas in the mind.

The distinction, etc. This distinction between the gross


and the subtle ideas is not due to anything substantial or
real in the very nature of the objects.
They belong to one and
the same class, i.e., both these are mere forms of thought or the
imagined ideas of the perceiver. Though there is this distinction:
of manifestedness and unmanifestedness, yet one cannot be less
objects

illusory than the other.

For,

we

see the

same

experiences as well, yet the whole of dream

is

distinction in

dream

illusory or imagination

of the mind.
4

It

is,

etc.

This

distinction

is

Ideas are cognised within the mind.

due to the following reason.


External objects are perceived

by sense-organs such as the eyes, etc. The distinction regarding'


the nature of perceived objects is due to the nature of the organs
by means of which they are perceived. In spite of this difference,
ideas and physical objects do not admit of any distinction as regards
In dreams also there are sense-organs of the
their real nature.
dream. There is therefore no real difference.
tjfte

16.

First

cTcfl

<J#

of

all, is

imagined the

Jiva

{the

embodied

being ) and then are imagined the various entities, objective

and
so

subjective, that are perceived.

is

(ones)

memory of

As

is

{one's)

knowledge

it.

Sankaras Commentary

What

is

the source of the imagination of various

subjective 1 and objective 2 that are perceived


and appear to be related to one another as cause and
objects,

effect ?

It is

thus explained

The Jiva

is

of the nature

of cause and effect and is further characterised by such


ideas as I do this, I am happy and miserable.
Such Jiva is, at first, imagined in the Atman 4 which is

II

ILLUSION

16]

113

pure and devoid of any such characteristics, like8 the


imagination of a snake in a rope. Then for the knowledge of the Jiva are imagined6 various existent entities,
both subjective and objective, such as Prana, etc., constituting different ideas such as the agent, action

What

result (of action).

tion ?

It is

is

thus explained

and the

the cause of this imagina-

It,

the Jiva,

who

is

the

product of imagination and competent to effect further


imagination, has its memory determined by its own

That is to say, its knowledge is


always followed by a memory, similar to that knowledge.
Hence 7 from the knowledge of the idea of cause results
the knowledge of the idea of the effect. Then follows
This memory
the memory of both cause and effect.
is followed by its knowledge which results in the various
states of knowledge characterised by action, actor and
the effect. These are followed by their memory, which,
in its turn, is followed by the states of knowledge. In
inherent knowledge.

way

this

are imagined various objects,

subjective

and

which are perceived and seen to be related


to one another as cause and effect.

objective,

Subjective Such

ment,

as,

pain and pleasure, knowledge, attach-

etc.

3
Objective such as, various objects perceived outside of us.
These objects appear to cause various subjective feelings in us,
which, in their turn, seem to create external objects. Therefore,
subjective and objective entities appear to be mutually related as
cause and effect.

ImaginedThe Atman
power of MHy&.

itself

imagines

the

idea

of a Jiva

through the
4

of

Atman

all
6

Atman, pure and unrelated, appears as the substratum

ideas.

Like, etc.

No

;a real substratum.

illusory

This

is

superimposition

is

possible without

the reply to the Buddhistic nihilism.

mAndOkyopanishad

114
e

ImaginedThai

of Mdyii which
7

Hence, etc

to say, by the Jiva itself through the

is

ir

power

postulated from the causal standpoint.

is
.

[II

It is

seen from

common

experience that the idea

followed by the idea of satisfaction. One


Following this method'
is not possible in the absence of the other.
of agreement and difference we imagine thus. From the idea of

of food and drink

knowledge of food,

is

etc.,

which

is

the cause, follows the idea of

is the effect.
Next day, we
memory of this cause and effect experienced on the previous
day. Then we have the idea of a duty which may be described as
a result of the previous experience. Accordingly we begin the act

the knowledge of satisfaction which


get the

of cooking, etc., with the help of rice, fuel, etc. After eating the
food thus prepared, we derive certain definite states of knowledge^
characterised by the idea of satisfaction, etc. This satisfaction
inheres in us as the memory which stimulates us, next day, tosimilar action. We perform the action which is followed by an
identical result.
Thus ideas succeed one another and appear tobe related as cause and effect. That these ideas need not have
any counterpart in the gross physical world of the waking statecan be understood by the analysis of the dream experiences. As
a matter of fact, it cannot be rationally proved that even, in thewaking state, an idea can produce a corresponding effect in the
world perceived to exist outside of us.
1

f^i^Tcrr

arftfercfr *r*rr

f^f#qcr: n
17,
is

As
is

tl

whose nature is not really known,,


dark to be a snake, a water-line, etc.,,
the Atman imagined {in various ways).

imagined

so also

the rope,

in the

Sankaras Commentary
of Jiva (the
It has been said that the imagination
/fva-idea) is the source of all (other) imaginations (ideas).
What is the cause of this Jiva- idea ? It is thus explained

by an

illustration:

that a rope, not

It is

known

found in

common

experience

as such, is imagined,

in

hazy

darkness, as snake, water-line, stick or any one of the

II

ILLUSION

18]

many

All this

similar things.

115

due to the previous

is

^absence of knowledge regarding the real nature of the

rope had been known in

If previously the

rope.

have been possible, as

own

of ones

in the case

Atman has been

Similarly,

its

fingers.

imagined

variously

real

would not

nature, then the imagination of snake, etc.,

as

Prana and so forth 1 because It is not known in Its


own nature, i.e., pure 2 essence of knowledge itself, the
non-dual Atman, quite distinct from such phenomenal
characteristics indicated by the relation of cause and
effect, etc., which are productive of misery. This is the
Jiva,

unmistakable verdict of
1

So

Pure, etc.

forth, etc.

e.g.,

the Upanishads.

without birth, death, form,

i.e.,

ftmcTfTT

all

the ideas of agent, enjoyer, etc.

|)

18.

illusions

that

so

is

When

the real nature

about

it

it is

the one

the nature

etc.

of

||

the rope is ascertained all

disappear and there arises the conviction


(

unchanged ) rope and nothing

of

the conviction regarding

else

even

Atman.

Sankaras Commentary

When
alone,

it is

then

determined that

all

illusions

and the (non-dual) knowledge


else but the rope,
is

the knowledge,

it is

nothing but the rope

regarding the rope disappear


that there exists nothing

becomes firmly established.

like the light

of the sun

Similar

produced

by the negative Scriptural statements which deny all


phenomenal attributes (in Atman), statements like Not
this, Not this, etc., leading to the knowledge
of the real nature of Atman, as: All this is verily
Atman", (It is) without cause and efifect, without

mAnd Okyopanishad

116

intemality and externality,

(It

within and beginningless, (It

The Atman

19.

endless objects.

This

luminous (Atman

itself)

is

differ:

due to
by which

II

II

and other
Maya ( ignorance) of the
Prana

imagined as

is

and

without decay and'

and without a second.'

death, immortal, fearless, one

ever without

is)

is)

-19-20'

[II

It is ( as

it

were) deluded.

Sankaras Commentary
If

it

be definitely ascertained that Atman

how

verily

is

be imagined as the endless objects


like Prana etc., having the characteristics of the phenomenal experience ? It is thus explained
This is due
to the Maya (ignorance) inhering in the luminous
Atman. As the illusion conjured up by the juggler makes1
the very clear sky appear covered with trees blooming
with flowers and leaves, so 2 does this luminous Atman
become deluded, as it were, by his own Maya. My
Maya cannot be easily got over declares the Gita.
one,

could

it

Makes,

illusion, the

etc.

Even

when under

sky appears to be

filled

the influence of the jugglers

with trees,

etc.,

it

does not, in

reality, lose its natural clearness.


2

So, etc.

Mava

the causal standpoint.

as the explanation of the manifold

formed into the universe,

does not, in

it

reality, lose its

from,

is

Even when the Atman appears to be

trans-

non-dual

character.

sriOT

?F!T
20.

ffr snqfi^lf

SFlf^S^Fftfir

Those 1 that know

PrSpa, those 4 that

know

^ cT%?:
^ cT%:

II

only Praria, 8 call It

Bhfltas call

It

II

(Atman),.

Bhfitas, 4

those*'

ILLUSION

II -211

knowing Gugas call

It

in-

Gunas,* those 7 knowing Tattvas,.

call It Tattvas.*
1

Those

garbha,

e.g.,

the Vaiseshikas

and the worshippers of

Hiratiya-

etc.

1
Prarta They hold Prana, i.c., Hiranyagarbha or extra-cosmicGod, to be the cause of the universe. This is mere imagination
of the mind. There is no rational proof of the reality of an extracosmic God or Person as the cause of the world.
3

Those, etc

Bhntas

water,

e.g., the

They

fire

and

air,

Charvakas or the

atheists.

designate the four elements, such as, earth,,

which are

directly

The

of the sentient beings.

Therefore, this theory also

Those, etc.

by them, as the

perceived

cause of the universe.

insentient elements cannot be the cause

an imagination..

is

the Siimkhyas.

e.g.,

8 Gunas
According to the Samkhyas, the state of equilibriumof the three Gunas, viz Sattva, Rajas and Tamas, produces Mahat,.
etc., and through them the universe.
This is also mere idea.
,

The

Those, etc.

Tattvas

/.<?.,

the Saivas.

Saivas enumerate three Tattvas or categories,.

Atma, Avidya and Siva as the cause of the universe. This is


an imagination and hence untenable. For, Siva being an
entity separated from Atman, becomes an object like a pot, etc.
viz.,

also

fqqqr

qre;r firr

crfiT-

ster fte isteRTf ^rr frn


21.
It

dsT;

II

Those acquainted with the quarters 1 (Padas)

quarters

those 2 with objects,

Lokas, the Lokas 5 ;

3
the objects

II

call

those 4 with

those 6 with Devas, the Devas. 7

These different conceptions

of Atman are nothing but imagi-

nations of the mind.


1

Quarters e.g.,

Viswa,

Taijasa

and Prdjna.

Atman,

being,

without parts and also unrelated, cannot be really divided into*


quarters or parts.
2 Those, etc.

i.e.,

thinkers like Vatsyiyana, etc.

18

MANDOKYOPANISHAD

Such

Objects

sound, colour,

as,

>by the different sense-organs.

The

the objects perceived

etc., i.e.,

objects,

[11-22

on account of

their

-changeable and negatable nature, cannot be the Ultimate Reality.


4

Those

Lokas

number

in

etc.

i.e.,

Such

the Pauranikas or the believers in Mythology.

as Bhiih,

Bhuvah and Svah.

These being three

are limited.

Those, etc.

i.e.,

the

Karma Mimdmsakas

or the believers in

the Karoo portions of the Vedas.


7

Such

as Agni (Fire), Indra, etc.

Divas

According to

this

theory, Agni, Indra, etc., the various conscious deities, though not

occupying the actual position of God ( Iswara ), apportion the results


of our various works. The conception of a separate God is not
necessary. They cannot be the Ultimate Reality.
*TfT

=*r

^
22

Those knowing the

Vedas call

|R\
It

the

II

Vedas 1

those 2 acquainted with the sacrifices, call It the sacrifices 8


t(Yagna); those 4 conversant with the enjoyer, designate
It

as the enjoyer 5

and those8 with

the object

of enjoyment,

call It such.

1
Vedas e.g., the four Vedas, Rig, Yajus, Sdma and Atharva.
These Vedas cannot be the Ultimate Reality inasmuch as they are

sounds.

-are

Those, etc.
i.e., sages such as Bodhayana and others
adept in the performance of sacrifices.

who

8
The upholders of sacrifices and rituals like the
Sacrifices
Yagnas think that sacrifices, such as Jyotishtoma, etc., constitute
the Highest Reality. But this is also an illusion. For, according
to them, the sacrifice signifies the object (offered), the deity and
the act of offering. Any one of these, singly, does not constitute
sacrifice.
Again three of them, combined together, do not constitute any real entity.

* Those, etc.
8

a$

viz.,

the Stlmkhyas.

Bh/oyer-According to the Samkhvas the Ultimate Reality


the Purusha who is not the agent or doer but a mere e'njoyerV This

ILLUSION

II -23]

119'

theory is not rational ; for enjoyment, means some change in theenjoyer which thus contradicts the idea of his being eternal and
changeless. If enjoyment be predicated as the inherent nature of'
Purusha, then the conception of extraneous objects, conducive to
its

enjoyments,

is inconsistent.

Those, etc.

That

is,

the cook, to

whom

the only reality appears

to be delicious dishes.

jjr

23.

subtle , 2

ffa

\\

II

The Knowers1 of the subtle designate It as the


Knowers3 of the gross call It the gross.*'

the

Those 6 that are familiar with a Personality (having form)


It a person , 8 and those 7 that do not believe in anything having a form call It a void. 3

call

Knowers i.e., those who


an atom.

believe (or take) the

Atman to be

subtle like

* Subtle
This theory is irrational
simultaneously all over the body.

Knowers

for,

sect of materialists

who

we

feel

consciousness

believe the gross

body

to be real.

4
Gross The gross body cannot be the Ultimate Reality as a
dead or sleeping man, in spite of the body being in existence, is
unconscious. Any single limb of the body is insentient. Therefore even their aggregate cannot constitute the conscious Reality.
5

Those,

etc.

the

i.e.,

Agamikas who

believe

person,

e.g.,.

Siva with a trident or Vishnu with a disc, to be the Ultimate Reality.


These are also imaginary.

Person

Those, etc.

is

This

Void The idea

also an illusion.

is

i.e..

also an illusion, as a

cannot
universe.

be

The Buddhistic

ritualists.

that the Ultimate Reality is

an absolute void'

void also should have a knower, and so-

the substratum of the positive fact of the empirical!

MANDOKYOPANISHAD

120

^ cT%:

*RRJ
*rrcr

of space

{ether)

time 2

call It

Knowers,

Time

call It the worlds


etc.

This

Such

theory

and

disputation call It the problem in dispute

of the worlds

^y

Knowers

the

Those versed

space {ether).

call It

24-25

gsRFrtft <#?;: h

Th? Know trs x of time

24.

[II

the

in

Knowers

3
.

as the astrologers (astronomers).

is

also fallacious as time

various parts as moment, minute,

hour,

etc.

is

Time

divided into
is

also an

object (thought) of the perceiving mind.

This

Worlds

is

also an illusory conception.


crf^a-:

q-flWr

f%tTR?cT

ctfis:

||

||

The Cognizers1 of the mind call It the mind; 2


'op the Buddhi {intellect) the Buddhi 4 ; of the Chitta
6
and the Knowers6 of Dharma
0mind-stuff), the Chitta
{righteousness) and Adharma {unrighteousness) call It
25.

the one 1 or the other.


1

Cognizers,

Mind This

object,

etc.

i.e.,

theory

a sect of the materialists.


is

also not tenable as

mind

is

also an

an instrument of the perceiving ego.

They are a class of Buddhists.


This also a wrong view of

Of, etc.

Buddhi

is

the Reality, as the

functionings of Buddhi disappear at the time of deep sleep.

Further

Buddhi is also an object cognized by the perceiver.


5
Chitta Chitta is an aspect of mind which has no particular
It cannot be Atman for the reasons given regarding
external form.
mind.
*

Knowers,

etc.

i.e.,

the

MimSmsakas.

The one, etc. None of these can be the Ultimate Reality


because one cannot be conceived without the other and they have
mo absolute standard. They vary with different conditions of time
1

-and country.

ILLUSION

II-26-27]

121

^w;ft?rw:

Some

26.

ii

ii

say that the

Reality consists of twentyare others 3

2
five categories, others twenty-six, while there

who conceive
lastly

It

as consisting of thirty-one categories and


categories

people are not wanting who think such

to he infinite.
1

Some

Sdmkhyas according

the

i.e.,

consists of twenty-five categories,

viz.,

whom

to

the

Reality

Mahat, Ahamkdra,
organs of perception, five

Prakriti,

Tanmdtras (subtle elements), five


organs of action, five objects, mind and the Purusha.

five

Others

i.e.,

who add

the followers of Patanjali

Iswara to

the categories of the Sdmkhyas.

3
Others i.e., the Pasupatas who add to the categories of
Sdmkhyas six more, vi-., Raga, Avidya, Kala Kali, Mdyd and Niyati.
The mutual contradictions among these different schools prove
the fallacious character of their theories. The difference of opinion
,

is

due to the ignorance of the nature of Reality.

snsrowr

%r;
Those

cngs;:

totww

who know only

11

11

please others call

It

who are cognizant of


Asramas call It the Asramas
the grammarians call
the male, female or the neuter, and others know It as
Para 4 and Apara.

the

27.

{Reality) such 2 pleasure',

to

those 3
;

a sect of the atheists.


impossible to please
This also a delusion as
account of the different tastes of the people.
men like Daksha,
the Brahman who regarded as high and

Those, etc.

Such,

low.

Those,

Para,

An

Supreme
7

i.t.,

etc.

everybody on

It

the

etc.
etc.

entity,

Reality.

is

i.e.,

i.e.,

subject to division of

it is

etc.

is

any

sort,

can never be the

MAND 0KYOPA NISHA D

122

3TSRRT

%r%R^
The Knowers

28.

believers

of creation

II

call It

\<z

subsistence

in

all 2

believe

ideas

these

be

to

It

II

creation

dissolution describe It as dissolution

Really speaking,
in

crfg^:

*rt
1

Knowers of

[II -28

the

and

the

subsistence.

are always

imagined 8

Atman.
1

Knowers,

who

logy)

etc.

i.e.,

the Panranikas (the believers in

believe in the reality of creation, preservation

Mythoand des-

truction.

2
All these i.e., those enumerated above and which
enumerated by others in future.

all

as men are given to imagining, they have


such imaginations regarding Atman. But Atman,
standpoint, does not imagine anything. Tt is because

Imagined So long

recourse to

from

may be

its

all

own

these ideas, described above, are

that they

mere imaginations,

cannot be the underlying Reality.

Sankaras Commentary
20-28. Prana means
Prajna (the Jiva associated
with deep sleep) and Bijatma (the causal self). All the
entities from Prana to the Sthiti (subsistence) are only

various

effects

of Prana.

These

and other popular

ideas of their kind, imagined by all beings,

imaginations of the snake,


are through

from

all

etc., in

ignorance imagined in

these distinctions.

the

are like the

These

rope, etc.

Atman which

These fancies

is

free 1

are due

to

the lack of determination of the real nature of the Self.


the purport of these slokas.

This

is

made

to explain

No

attempt

the meaning of each word in the

beginning with Prana,

etc.,

on

account of the

is

texts

futility

of such effort and also on account of the clearness


the meaning of the terms.

of

ILLUSION

II -29]
1

123

Free from etc.-i-Atman is free from all these imaginations.


because of the ignorance of the real nature of the Atman that
thought to be the substratum (another entity) of all imagina,

It is
it

is

tions.

No

purpose can be served by the discussion of imagi-

useful

nations which are unreal and illusory.

q qrq ^q^rcq

He

29.

is

him.

It

Hgqfa qq.

(Atman) assumes

cognized ) and thus protects

by that

q^qicr

ii

inquirer) cognizes only that idea that

( the

to

s g

g ^rs^r

=err#r

presented

nrq

{idea) he realises

it

the

ll

is

form {of what


Possessed

{the inquirer).

(as the sole essence).

Sankaras Commentary

What more

is

to

be gained (by this kind of endless

Whatever idea or interpretation of such


things as Prana, 1 etc., narrated above or omitted, is
shown to the inquirer by the teacher or other trustworthy

discussion) ?

He

realises 2 that as the sole

essence (Atman),
he understands that as I am that or that is mine.
Such conception about Atman as is revealed to the
inquirer, appears to him as the sole essence and protects
him, i.e., keeps him away from all other ideas (because
person.
i.e.,

appears to him as the highest ideal). On 3 account


of his devotion (attachment) to that ideal, he realises

it

it

as the sole essence in due

identity with
1

Prana

course,

i.e.,

attains his

it.

All

interpretations

of Atman must be included in


is the highest manifestation

the Praria, as Prana or the causal Self

of Atman in the
*

Realises, etc

discrimination,
truth.

The

relative plane.
.

It is

because such inquirer, for want of proper

accepts the words of the teacher as the highest

teacher also, realising the limited intellectual capacity

of the student, teaches him, at

first,

only a partial view of truth.


MANDOKYOPANISHAD

124
*

On

account, etc

Such

Reality though he takes

On

to other views.

it

[II

30

student only gets a partial view of


He shuts his eyes

as the sole essence.

account of his single-minded devotion to that

becomes intolerent of other view-points. But he who takes


a particular idea to be the Reality and condemns other ideas as
untrue, has not realised the Highest Truth. For, to a knower of
Reality, all imaginations are identical with Brahman and hence
have the same value. This is the mistake generally committed by
the mystics who, for want of the faculty of rational discrimination,
do not see any truth in the views of others.

ideal he

cR^T ^>cfltST%T%cT:

||

II

Atman, though non-separate from all these,


were, separate.
One who knows this truly
imagines ( interprets) ( the meaning of the Vedas) without
30.

This

appears, as

it

hesitation.

Sankaras Commentary

Though

this

Atman

these, the Prana, etc.,

is

verily

non-separate 1

from

rope from such imaginary


appears as separate to the

like the

ideas as the snake, etc.,

it

But to the Knower (of truth), the


Prana, etc., do not exist apart from Atman, just as
the snake, etc., falsely imagined ,in the rope, do not
exist apart from the rope.
For, the Sruti also says,
All that exists is verily Atman.'' One who thus knows
truly, that is, from Scriptures as well as by reasoning 2
that Prana, etc., imagined in Atman, do not exist
separately from Atman (as in the illustration) of the
(illusory) snake and the rope, and further knows that
Atman is ever pure3 and free from all imaginations,
construes, 4 without hesitation, the text of the Vedas
according to its division. 5 That is to say, he knows
that the meaning of this passage is this and of that
ignorant persons.

ILLUSION

11 - 31 ]

passage

None but

is that.

the

125

Knower of Atman

know truly the (meaning of the) Vedas.


the Knower of Atman is able to derive
from his actions, says Manu.
to

is

able

None but
any benefit

1
Non-separate Tt is because that which is superimposed cannot exist apart from the substratum. Therefore the Prana, etc.,
which are superimposed upon Atman, are non-separate from Atman

from the standpoint of


3

Reasoning

That

Reality.

is,

the reasoning stated in the fourth verse

That which is accepted on the authority of the


Sruti can also be demonstrated by reasoning.

of

this chapter.

Ever pure,

rant as Prana,

etc.

Even while Atman

etc., it is

known

imagined by the igno(Knower of Truth) as


imaginations. For, to the Jnani
are identical with Atman. For
is

to the Jniini

pure and simple and free from all


such imaginations as Prana, etc.,
him Atman never undergoes any modifications.
that exists
4

is

verily

Construes

He knows All

Atman''

Knower of

Reality does not follow any fixed

rule for the interpretation of the Vedas.

Knower of

Reality

is

never a slave to the Vedas. But whatever interpretation he gives


of the Vedas is their real meaning (Anandagiri).
5

viz.,

Division

That

is

to say, the Knowledge-portion of the Vedas,

the Upanishad, directly leads to the non-dual

as the Works-portion

(i.e.,

the causal or relative standpoint

and thus

indirectly indicates

cRi forfac

As

31.

n \ {

is

the universe

it.

\\

are dreams and illusions or a castle in

air seen in the sky, so


in the

Brahman wherefrom

the Karma-kanda) explains Reality

the

viewed by the wise

Vedanta.

Sankaras Commentary

The

unreality of duality has been

demonstrated by


MAND OKYOPANISHAD

126

[11-31

of Vedanta Scriptures. Therefore it is stated: Dream


and illusion, though unreal when their true nature
is considered, are thought, in spite of their unreality, as
As an imaginary city in the
real by the ignorant.
sky, filled with shops full of vendable articles, houses,
palaces and villages frequented by men and women,
though appearing real to us, is seen to vanish suddenly
as dream and illusion, which are known to be unreal
(though they appear to be real), so also is perceived this
entire duality of the universe to be unreal. Where is this
taught ? This is thus taught in the Vedanta Scriptures.

There is no multiplicity here.


Indra (assumed diverse
forms) through the powers of Maya. In the beginning
all this existed as Brahman.
Fear rises verily from
objects

That

duality.
this

all

duality

does never

has become Atman then

exist.

who can

see

When
whom

and by what? In these and other passages, the wise


men, i.e., those who see the real nature of things,
declare (the unreal nature of the universe).
The Smriti
of Vyasa also supports this view in these words:
This duality of the universe, perceived by the wise
like a hole seen in darkness in the

ground,

is

unstable

appear in rain-water, always


undergoing destruction, ever devoid of bliss, and ceasing
the

like

bubbles

that

to exist, after dissolution.


1

Reason

It

has been demonstrated at the beginning of this

chapter that the illusion of duality can be established by reason

independent of Scriptures.
!

Evidence, etc

If

a conclusion arrived at by reasoning and

corroborated by actual experience

is

further supported by the

of the teacher and the Scriptures, then alone


as true.

it

words

can be accepted

ILLUSION

11 - 32 ]

* fadqt
J)

?r

%ti%#

35#^3^>

ssT
t

127

hp^;:

rc*nfcn

ii

ll

bondage,
32.
is no dissolution, no
none aspiring for wisdom, no seeker of liberation and
none liberated. This is the absolute truth.

There

none

birth,

in

Sankaras Commentary
This verse sums up the meaning of the chapter.
duality is perceived to be illusory and Atman alone
known as the sole Reality, then it is clearly estab-

When
is

lished

that

all

our experiences,

(Vedic), verily pertain to the

ordinary or religious

domain of ignorance.

Then

one perceives that there is no dissolution, i.e., destruction


(from the standpoint of Reality); no birth or creation,
i.e., coming into existence;
no one in bondage, i.e.,
no worldly being; no pupilage, i.e., no one adopting

means

no seeker after
from bondage (as bondage
does not exist). The Ultimate Truth is that the stage
of bondage, etc., cannot exist in the absence of
creation and destruction. How can it be said that there
is neither creation nor destruction ?
It is thus replied
There is no duality (at any time). .The absence of
duality is indicated by such Scriptural passages as,

When duality appears to exist


One who appears

to see multiplicity
All this is verily Atman.
All that
Atman is one and without a second.
exists is verily the Atman, etc.
Birth 1 or death can
be predicated only of that which exists and never
of what does not exist, such as the horns of a hare,
etc.
That2 which is non-dual ( Advaita can never be
said to be born or destroyed.
That it should be
for the attainment of liberation

liberation,

and no one

free

MAND OKYOPANISHAD

1 28

[II

32

non-dual and at the same time subject to birth and


It 3 has already been
is a contradiction in terms.

death,
said

our

that

dual

experience

characterised

by (the

a mere illusion having Atman


substratum, like the snake imagined in the rope

activities of) Praria, etc., is

for

its

which is its substratum. The imagination characterised


by the appearance of the snake in the rope cannot be
produced from nor dissolved in the rope 4 (i.e., in any
external object), nor is produced from the imaginary
snake or dissolved in the mind 6 nor even in both
(i.e., the rope and the mind).
Thus 7 duality being nondifferent from mental (subjective) imagination (cannot
have a beginning or an end).
For 8 duality is not
perceived when ones mental activities are controlled (as
in Samadhi ) or in deep sleep. Therefore9 it is established
Hence it
that duality is a mere illusion of the mind.
,

is

well said that the Ultimate Reality

destruction,

is

the absence of

on account of the non-existence of

etc.,

duality (which exists only in the imagination of the mind).

(Objection)

If

this

be the case, the object of the

teachings should be directed to prove the

negation of

duality and not to establish as a positive fact non-duality,

inasmuch as there is a contradiction (in employing the


same means for the refutation of one and the establishment of another). If this were admitted, then the
conclusion will tend to become Nihilistic10 in the absence

of evidence for the existence of non-duality as Reality;


has already been said to be non-existent.

for, duality

(Reply)

This

contention

Why 11 do

reason.

lished, viz., that

it

is

is

consistent

with
estab-

unreasonable to conceive of such

illusions as the snake in the rope,

stratum

not

you revive a point already


etc.,

without a sub-

ILLUSION

11-32]

(Objection)
rope, which

This analogy

is

129

not relevant as even the

the substratum of the imaginary snake,

is

is

also an imaginary entity.

For 12 upon the disappearance


of the imagination, the unimagined substratum can be
reasonably said to exist on account of its unimagined
(Reply)

It is

not

so.

character.

(Objection)

may be contended

It

imagination of the snake in the rope,


nary substratum) is also unreal.
(Reply)

-It

cannot be

For,

so.

that

(Brahman)

it

the

like

(the unimagi-

it

is

ever

unimagined, because it is like the rope that is never the


object of our imagination and is real even before the
knowledge of the unreality of the snake. Further, 1 *
the

of the

existence

(knower or witness) of

subject

imagination must be admitted to be antecedent to the


imagination.
Therefore it is unreasonable to say that

such subject

is

non-existent.

How

(Objection)

make
is

14

can the Scripture,

non-duality), free our

(Reply)

There

15

is

cannot

mind from the idea of duality ?


no difficulty. Duality is super-

imposed upon Atman through ignorance,


etc.,

if it

us understand the true nature of the Self (which

upon the rope.

miserable,

with body,

ignorant,
I

see,

How

is it

so

like the snake,

am

happy,

am

worn out, endowed


am manifested and unmanifested,
born,

dead,

the agent, the enjoyer, related and unrelated, decayed

and

old, this is mine,

superimposed

these

and such other ideas are

The notion 16 of Atman


because no such idea can ever

upon Atman.

(Self) persists in all these,

be conceived of without the notion of Atman. It is like


(all superimposed

the notion of the rope which persists in


ideas,

such as) the snake, the water-line,

etc.

Such
F

mAnd Okyopanishad

130

[11-32

the Scripture has no function with 17


Atman which, being of the nature of the
The function of the
is ever self-evident.

being the case,


regard to the
substantive,

accomplish that which is not accomdoes not serve the purpose of evidence
if it is to establish what has been already established.
The Atman does not realise its oWn natural condition
on account of such obstacles as the notion of happiness,
etc., superimposed by ignorance; and the true nature is
Scripture

is

to

plished yet.

It

fore

when one knows it as


the Scripture, whose purpose

idea

of happiness,

realised only

etc.

(associated

such.
is

to

It 18 is there-

remove the

with Atman)

that

produces the consciousness of the not-happy (i.e., attributeless) nature of Atman by such statements as Not
Like the
this Not this, (It is) not gross, etc.
persistence of

Atman

(in all states

of consciousness) the

not-happy (attributeless) characteristic of Atman does


not inhere in all ideas such as of being happy and
the like. If it were so, then one would not have such
specific experience as that of being happy, etc., super-

imposed upon Atman, in the same manner as coldness


cannot be associated with fire whose specific characterIt is, therefore, that such specific
istic is that of heat.
characteristics as that of being happy, etc., are imagined
in Atman which is, undoubtedly, without any attributes.
The Scriptural teachings which speak of Atman as being
not-happy, etc., are meant for the purpose of removing
the notion that Atman is associated with such specific
etc.
There is the following
by the knowers of the Agama.
The validity of Scripture is established by its negating
all positive characteristics of Atman (which otherwise
cannot be indicated by Scriptures).

happiness,

attributes

as

aphoristic

statement

ILLUSION

11 - 32 ]
1

of

131

Birth Or death can be imagined only in the realm


But from the standpoint of the Ultimate Reality
as non-existent as the horns of a hare. Therefore, from

Birth, etc.

duality.

duality is

the standpoint of Reality birth or death

is

inconceivable, as neither

birth nor death can be imagined of the horns of a hare or the son

of a barren woman.

2
That, etc. Birth or death implying an antecedent or subsequent non-existence cannot be conceived of non-dual Atman which
is ever-existent.
Further, birth or death implying a change cannot
be brought about except by another factor which brings about the

change.

This position

is

also untenable

from the non-dual stand-

Non-duality being the only Reality, there


nor death from the standpoint of Truth.

point.

It, etc.

is

neither birth

The dealings in the plane of duality, which

is illusory,

from the standpoint of Truth. Therefore all


dealings in the dual realm are mere imaginations like our dealings
are

also

illusory

with the false snake perceived in the rope.


4

This

is the refutation of the realistic contenof the mind which perceived the snake in the
rope does not exist in the rope. For, such illusion, in that case,
would have been experienced by all. When an explanation is
sought, from the empirical standpoint, of the illusion of the snake
in the rope, it is, no doubt, said that the rope produces the illusion.
This explanation may be justified when such illusion is admitted
to be a fact. But from the standpoint of the Ultimate Reality,
illusion does not exist ; hence no birth and disappearance can be
predicated of anything non-existent or illusory.

tion.

The rope,

The

etc.

illusion

Mind This

is the refutaton of the contention of the idealists.


of the snake in the rope cannot be produced by the
mind. That is because our subjective idea does not correspond to
the objects perceived outside. Therefore the illusion cannot be

The

illusion

produced by the mind alone.

Further, from the standpoint of

Truth, mind, associated with its dual functionings ( sankalpa and


Being non-existent in itself
vikalpa) does not existas a reality.
it

cannot produce anything new.

* Both
This may be taken as the refutation of the Kantian
view that our perceptions in the dual world are caused both by
mind and external objects (things-in-themselves). The contention

MAND OKYOPA NISHAD

132

[11-32

of Kant cannot also be correct, the thing-in-itself being unknown


and unknowable and also being beyond the law of causation cannot produce anything. Again, from the non-dual standpoint both
mind and the external object (the thing-in-itself) are known to be
non-existent. Hence they cannot produce anything new.
7

Thus,

etc.

Dual

perception

is

totally

non-different

from

subjective imagination which produces the illusion of the snake


in the rope. All illusory objects being non-existent from the standpoint of Truth, the duality is also non-existent from the stand-point

of the Ultimate Reality.


8

For,

etc.

the mind, with

does not exist


of the mind.

because in the state of trance or deep sleep,


double aspects (of imagination and volition),
Therefore no duality can be perceived in the absence
It is

its

'*

because duality is perceived when mind


not perceived when mind does not function.
Therefore the existence of duality depends entirely upon the imagination of the perceiving subject.
Therefore

functions and

it

It is
is

10

who,
11

This

Nihilistic

is

after the negation

Why,

An

the contention of the Buddhistic Nihilists

of

duality, find void as the only

Reality.

cannot exist without a substratum.


The imagination or idea of the snake cannot be perceived without
the substratum of the rope. Therefore the illusion of duality must
have the non-dual Atman the Knower, as its substratum.
l*

etc.

illusion

Unless

one

aware of an unimagined factor


any object is unreal. We
know of a thing as unreal only as distinguished from something
which is real. The illustration of the snake and the rope is given
only for the purpose of an analogy. No exact analogy can be given
with regard to non-duality as it is one without a second. Analogy
always belongs to the realm of duality.
For,

etc.

(Atman), one cannot

18

Further

know

Without

is

that this or

a perceiver, there cannot be any imaginaour analysis of the dualistic world leads to the experience of the void or total negation, as the Buddhists contend, there
must be an experiencer of this negation. If the mind always seeks
the cause of the substratum, the discussion ends in a regressus.
But even then there is a perceiver of that regressus without which the
tion.

Even

if

ILLUSION

11 - 33 ]

133

is not possible. Therefore


argument of regressus ad infinitum
no one can escape the Perceiver" (Drk) which is the Atman.

u How,

Scriptures

can be applied only to the sphere of


absence of duality. Scriptures cannot function.
In your opinion duality consisting of birth, death, etc., does not
duality.

etc.

In the

Scripture is also an illusion. Hence the


remove duality and lead to the realisation of
non-duality or Atman.

Therefore

exist.

the

Scripture cannot

16

to

remove

the
it.

see

The

no time

standpoint

of ignorance,

Therefore the Scripture

duality

is

Atman

through

persists

all

our experiences

possible to conceive that Atman, in the

is it

the perceiver, (Drk)

is

means

of duality.

this illusion

Notion

for at

From
we

etc.

There,

certainly exists as

form of

absent or non-existent.

17

With regard, etc. The Scripture cannot directly describe


It serves no purpose for the knower
the real nature of Atman.

of the Ultimate Reality.


18
it

It

is,

etc.

The

serves a negative

Scripture

purpose,

helps us to remove all attributes, which are the ideations

/.<?.,

( vrittis)

of our mind, generally associated with Atman. By associating


Atman with any attribute such as the condition of being happy,
But Atman is the eternal
etc., we make it an object (vishaya).
subject

or

witness of

all

ideas.

SFlfir'TcT:

T%31
33.

This

( the

Atman)

objects that are perceived


objects (Bhavas) are

and as

imagined

Therefore, non-duality (alone)

||

imagined both

is

in
is

||

as

unreal

the non-duality.

The

the non-duality itself.

the

(highest)

bliss.

Sankaras Commentary

The reason
verse

is

for the interpretation

thus stated

of the previous

Just as in a rope, an unreal snake,

streak of water or the like

is

imagined, which are non-

separate (non-dual) from the existing rope,

the

same

MAND OKYOPA NISHAD

134

[11-33

(rope) being spoken of as this snake, this streak of water,

even

Atman

imagined
which
are unreal 1 and perceived only through ignorance, but
not from the standpoint of the Ultimate Reality. For 2
this stick, or the like,

so this

is

to be the innumerable objects such as Prana, etc.,

unless the

any

mind

is

active,

nobody

But no action

object.

is

ever able to perceive

possible

is

for

Atman.

Therefore the objects that are perceived to exist by the


active mind can never be imagined to have existence
from the standpoint of the Ultimate Reality. It is there-

Atman which alone is imagined as


such illusory objects as Prana, etc., which are perceived, as
well as the 3 non-dual and ultimately real Atman (which
is the substratum of illusory ideas, such as Prana, etc.)
in the same manner as the rope is imagined as the substratum of the illusion of the snake. Though 4 always
one and unique (i.e., of the nature of the Atman), the
fore this (non-dual)

Prana,

etc.,

the entities that are perceived, are imagined

(from the standpoint of ignorance) as

having the non-

dual and ultimately real Atman as their substratum.


For, no illusion is ever perceived without a substratum.
As non-duality is the substratum of all illusions (from
the standpoint of ignorance) and also as
nature,

ever

highest)
i.e.,

unchangeable,

even 5

bliss

in

it is,

non-duality

the

state

of

in its real

alone

is

(the

imagination,

the empirical experiences. Imaginations alone (which

make

appear as separate from Atman) are


6
These imaginations cause fear,
etc., like the imaginations of the snake, etc., in the rope.
therefore it is the
Non-duality7 is free from fear and
Prarta, etc.,

the cause of misery

(highest)
1

bliss.

Unreal

It is

forms of objects

because the one characteristic of these perceived


is

their changeability.

ILLUSION

11-33]

For

is

135

etc. From the standpoint of Ultimate Reality, there


ideation which makes the Bhavas or the perceived

no Kalpana, or

objects appear as separate

Brahman

is

from Brahman.

From

always everything and everywhere.

due to ignorance

an explanation which

is

that standpoint
This ideation is

given from the empirical

standpoint.
3

The non-dual

etc.

This non -dual characteristic of the Atman

a correlative of the duality. Hence this conception of non-duality


is not free from ignorance.
In contrast to the changeable Bhavas,
the Atman is imagined as the non-dual entity. Hence they stand
is

and

fall

together.

Atman

is

beyond

all

Kalpana or mental

activity.

Therefore Atman, from the highest standpoint, cannot be called one,


if the term is used as a contrast to the many or duality.
Non-duality
is a negation of all thoughts of duality.

4
Though, etc. Such entities as Prana, etc., which are perceived
to exist, are from the highest standpoint identical with Atman.
They are like the dream objects which are found, on waking up,

Only from the waking standpoint


and seeking a cause for such illusion

to be identical with the mind.

we know them as illusion


we point out Atman as its

5
it

Even,

etc.

substratum.

Even when the mind moves

attains peace

when

it

in the empirical

plane

discovers the unity underlying the variety.

Non-duality alone dispels our doubts and makes us happy.

9 Misery, etc.
Kalpand or imagination that makes the Bhavas,
or the objects that are perceived appear as separated from Brahman,
is the cause of fear, as in that state of duality people are assailed
with all kinds of fear arising from hatred, jealousy, animosity, etc.

When

the snake, imagined in the rope,

the rope,
7

it

is

perceived to be other than

gives rise to all kinds of fear, etc.

Non-duality, etc.

When

the student attains to the state of

non-duality, he enjoys real bliss, as in that state there exists nothing

of which he can be

afraid.

This verse explains the previous one as well as the two other
verses in the Agama Prakarana (17 and 18). The highest teaching

of Vedanta is that Brahman alone is real. What are known as


BhSvas or multiple phenomena are nothing but Brahman. As
the snake is identical with the rope from the standpoint of knowledge, or as the dream objects are nothing but the mind, so are the

MAND OKYOPA NISHAD

136

[11-34

When one

various objects perceived by us nothing but Brahman.


perceives the snake as other than the rope, he

This fear
based upon ignorance. Similarly, when one finds the objects
as separate from Atman he feels attached to or disgusted with them
and suffers accordingly. But the highest bliss is realised when one
finds everything as Brahman.
From the standpoint of Truth,
is

afraid.

is

or the phenomenal world or even the idea of


them does not exist as separate from Brahman. Therefore no birth or death can be predicated of what exists ultimately.
Therefore to a man of the highest wisdom there is nothing to be
added to or subtracted from. All is non-dual Atman. Even what
appears as unreal Bhavas to the ignorant is non-dual Atman to the

Prapancha
perceiving

Jnani.

st

is

nor does

it

neither separate

This

is

cmfrfr

ll

V*

II

This manifold does not exist as identical with

34.

Atman

frlr

ever stand independent by itself

from Brahman nor

is it

It

non-separate.

the statement of the wise.

Sankaras Commentary

Why

is

non-duality called the highest bliss ?

One

from misery when one finds differences in the


form of multiplicity, i.e., when one finds an object sepaFor1 when this manifold of the
rate from another.
suffers

universe with the entire relative

phenomena

consisting

of Prana etc., imagined in the non-dual Atman, the


Ultimate Reality is realised to be identical with the
Atman, the Supreme Reality, then alone multiplicity
ceases to exist,

i.e.,

Praria,

separate from Atman.

etc.,

do not appear

It2 is just like

to be

the snake that

is

imagined (to be separate from the rope) but that does


no longer remain as such when its true nature is known
with the help of a light to be nothing but the rope. This

ILLUSION

II -34]

manifold

137

Idam) does never

really exist as it appears to


forms of Prana, etc., because3
imaginary just like the snake seen in the place of
(

be, that is to say, in the


it

is

Therefore different objects, such as Prana,

the rope.

do not

etc.,

exist as separate

from one other as a buffalo

appears to be separate from a horse. The idea of separation being unreal, there is nothing which exists as separate
from an object of the same nature or from other objects

The Brahmanas,

(of different nature).


this 4

know

i.e.,

Knowers

the

be the essence of the Ultimate


Reality. Therefore the implication of the verse is that
non-duality alone, on account of the absence of any cause
that may bring about misery, is verily the (highest) bliss.

of

Self,

For,

etc.

Does

to

this

insentient manifold exist as

one with

This position is untenable as the sentient Atman and


insentient universe can never be identical. For, if it be admitted that

Atman

the manifold

identical with

is

Atman which

is

one and without a

second, then multiplicity cannot exist.


2 It in,

etc.

The

snake, which in the darkness appeared to be

separate from the rope,

same

The

as the rope.

is

known with the help of a light, to be the


does not show that the rope is identical

light

with the snake, as such identity


the only thing that exists
as the snake in the dark

is

is

an impossibility, but

it

reveals that

the rope and even that which appeared

was nothing but the rope. Similarly, Atman

alone exists and the phenomenon, which appears through ignorance


to be separate from Atman, is also

Atman from

the standpoint of

Truth.
*

pot

Because

is

It

is

known only

because the idea of separation

is

unreal.

in relation to a cloth or another object.

A
One

cannot totally exclude another. Therefore the objects, that are


perceived to exist, are not mutually independent from the standpoint
of Truth. It is the non-dual Atman alone which appears as multiple
objects, having relations, through ignorance.
4

This

i.e.,

duality or multiplicity does never exist, as

be demonstrated.

it

cannot

MANDOKYOPANISHAD

138

ftrfert

[11-35

jsx sPT^rrerRtsjpT:

||

ll

who are free from attachment, fear


By
and anger and who are well versed in the meaning of the
Vedas, this (Atman) has been verily realised as totally
devoid of all imaginations (such as those of Prana, etc.),
free from the illusion of the manifold, and non-dual.
35

the wise,

Sankaras Commentary

The
extolled

perfect
1

knowledge as described above, is thus


free from all

The sages who are always 2

blemishes such as attachment, fear,

who

spite,

anger, etc.,

who can discriminate


between the real and the unreal and who can grasp the
essence of the meaning of the Vedas, i.e., who are well
are given to contemplation,

versed in the Vedanta


the real nature of this

do 3 realise
from all imagithe illusion of the mani-

the Upanishads)

(i.e.,

Atman which

nations and also free from this

is

free

This Atman is the total negation of the phenomena


of duality and therefore it is non-dual. The intention
The Supreme Self can be
of the Sruti passage is this
realised only by the Sannyasins (men of renunciation)
who are free from all blemishes and who are enlightened
regarding the essence of the Upanishads and never by
others, i.e., those vain logicians whose mind is clouded
by passion, etc., and who find truth only4 in their own
creeds and opinions.
fold.

1
Extolled The purpose of this praise is to
of the pupils towards the realisation of Truth.

attract

the attention

2
Always The student fails to realise Truth if his mind is, at
any moment, clouded by passion, etc. It is therefore laid in the
Vedanta that a student, before aspiring to realise Truth, must be

ILLUSION

11-36]
well established

fourfold

the

in

139

pre-requisites,

such

as, discrimi-

nation between the real and the unreal, renunciation of the unreal,

and a strong hankering

total self-control

Do

tics

realise

This

that Reality

certainly be

equipments for such


4

Only, etc

Tt

vision of Reality

Brahman.

unknown and unknowable.

ever

is

known and

after realisation.

to refer to the contention of the agnos-

is

realisation.

only the ignorant person


alone true. But to a wise

is

is

To him

Reality can

realised if the student has got Ihq necessary

anything that

may

who
man

says that his

everything

is

be called non-Brahman

is

ever non-existent.

3ft?r

sRgstR

\\\\

36.
Therefore knowing the Atman to be such, fix
your attention on non-duality. Having realised non-duality
behave in the world like an insensible object.

Sankaras Commentary

As

non-duality, on account of

its

being the negation

and fearlessness, therefore knowing


mind to the realisation of the
it to be such, direct your
non-dual Atman. Tn other words, concentrate your
memory on the realisation of non-duality alone.
Having known this non-dual Brahman which is free from
hunger, etc., unborn and directly perceptible as the Self
and which transcends all codes1 of human conduct, i.e.,
by attaining to the consciousness that I am the Supreme
Brahman, behave with others as one not knowing the
Truth; that is to say, let 2 not others know what you
are and what you have become.
of

all evils, is bliss

Codes, etc

It

is

because the non-dual Brahman

is

beyond

the duality of the manifested manifold.


3

Let not, etc. A. wise

before the world.

The

man

sentence

does not broadcast his realisation


may mean that a wise man, on

MAND OKYOPA NISHAD

140

[11-37

account of his being established in the non-dual Atman, does not


him ; and therefore he does not assume
consciously the role of a Knower (Jnani ).
see others as separate from

The man of
and

37.

praise,
in

self-restraint should be
all rites

salutation

connection with

the

above

all

prescribed by the Smriti

departed ancestors.

He

should

have this body and the Atman as his support and depend
upon chances, i.e., he should be satisfied with those things
for his physical wants, that chance brings to him.

Sankaras Commentary

What
It is
ities

should be his code of conduct in the world ?


He1 should give up all such formal-

thus stated:

as praise, salutation, etc.,

for external

objects.

and be

free 2

In other words,

from all desires


he should take

Sannyasin. 3 The Sruti


of a Paramahamsa
also supports this view in such passages as knowing this
This is further approved in such
, etc.
Atman

up the

life

Smriti passages as,

With

their consciousness in

being That, intent on That,


(Gita), etc.
That for their Supreme Goal

(Brahman), their

self

That
with

The
word chalam in the text signifying changing indibody because it changes every moment.
cates the

The word Achalam signifying unchanging indicates


4
the Knowledge of Self. He has the (changing) body
for
purpose of such activiwhen
he,
the
support
his
for
Knowledge of the Self,
ties as eating, etc., forgets the
the (real) support of Atman, unchanging like the Aka&a,
Such5 a wise man
(ether) and relates himself to egoism.

never takes shelter under external objects.

He

entirely

ILLUSION

XI *37]

141

depends upon circumstances, that is to say, he maintains


his body with whatever food or strips of cloth, etc., are
brought to him by 6 mere chance.

1
He, etc. No wise man recites any hymns to the deities or
bows down before them, as he has no desires which can be fulfilled
by their favour or grace. The word swadha in the text refers to the

known as Sraddha, a rite performed for the propitiation


of the departed ancestors. Every offering in that ceremony is
accompanied by the utterance of that word. The sense is that the
wise man renounces even those actions connected with the dead
which are obligatory for all people of the three higher castes. This
is because the man of Knowledge, on account of his realisation of
the non-dual Atman, does not find anything separate or different
ceremonies

from
2

his

own

self.

Free, etc.

It is

because such objects do not exist for a

Knower

of Truth.

Paramahamsa Sarmydsin Such a man belongs to the highest


monks and moves in the world like other men ; only be
does not declare that he is a Knower of the Highest Reality.
3

order of

* He, etc.
A wise man, in this text, is said to have both body
and self for his abode. The meaning is this
When he meditates
on the Atman, detaching his mind from all external desires, then
he is said to have the Atman for his support and abode. But when
his mind comes down to the consciousness of the body on account
:

of his feeling the necessity for food,


for his support and abode.

etc.,

he

is

said to have his

body

3 Such, etc.
The wise man, described in this verse, never takes
the external objects as real like the ignorant persons. But the

word

yati

(man of

highest realisation, as
at

not signify the man of the


possible for the latter to forget

self-control) does

it is

not at

all

any time the Knowledge of Brahman. This verse refers to the


aspiring after the Highest Knowledge. The next verse

student

indicates the condition of a Jndni.

6
By mere, etc. That is to say, such a man does not
conscious effort to procure his food or clothing.

make any

MAND 0KYOPA NISHAD

142

cr^iTTfM; ?fr

mi

?fr

srrarcr:

cW^JJRa^KW: rRTR^gcTt
Having known the

38.

internally

truth

\<1

||

-38

II

regarding what exists

within the body) as well as the truth regard-

(i.e.,

ing what exists externally

(i.e.,

from

becomes
and never

the earth, etc.) he

one with Reality, derives his pleasure from


deviates

[II

It

the Real.

Sankaras Commentary

The

truth

regarding external objects such as

the

and the truth regarding internal objects


characterised by body, etc., is that these are as unreal
earth,

etc.,

as a snake seen in the rope, or objects seen

or magic.

name, arising
Sruti further declares, Atman

fication being only a

The

in

dream

For, there are such Sruti passages as, modi-

without, birthless, causeless,

from speech, etc.


is both within and

having no within or with-

Akasa (ether), subtle,


and parts, and without action. That is Truth, That is Atman and That
thou art. Knowing it to be such from the point of
view of Truth, he becomes one with Truth and derives his
enjoyment2 from Truth and not from any external3 object.
But a person 4 ignorant of Truth, takes the mind to be
the Self and believes the Atman to be active like the mind,
and becomes active. He thus thinks his self to be identified with the body, etc., and deviated from Atman saying, Oh, I am now fallen from the Knowledge of Self.
When his mind is concentrated he sometimes thinks
that he is happy and one with the Self. He declares
Oh, I am now one with the essence of Truth. But,
the knower of Self never makes any such statement, as
out, entire, all-pervading like the

unchanging,

without

attributes

ILLUSION

11 - 38 ]

143

Atman is ever one and .changeless and as it is impossible


Atman to deviate from its own nature. The6 consciousness that I am Brahman never leaves him. In
for

other words, he never loses the consciousness regarding the essence of the Self. The Smriti supports this
view in such passages as The wise man views equally

a dog or an outcaste. He sees who sees the Supreme


Lord remaining the same, in all beings. (Gita)
1

Body,

Truth, etc.

when looked upon

mind,

as separate

snake seen in the rope, etc.


from the standpoint of Truth,

dream

objects are

etc., and the earth, the sun, etc.,


from the self, are as illusory as the
But every unreal superimposition,
is

identical with the substratum as

one with the mind and the snake

is

one with the

rope.
2

this

There

Enjoyment

External objects

from him
1

being no existing entity other than Atman,

man

thought makes a

happy.

It is

because no objects external or separate

exist.

Some
who

mystics

person,

etc.

This

think that the

is

the

case

Atman can be

with

those yogis or

realised only

ing the mind from external objects and concentrating

it

by withdrawon something

within.
5

because even when the mind is active and


of realisation knows it to be the Atman.
If one sees multiplicity, this multiplicity is nothing really existent
which can make the non-dual Atman become dual.
The act of
But, etc.

It is

creating ideas, the

man

becoming, creation or manifestation

is

an

illusion.

The rope never

becomes the snake.

* The consciousness
Even when a JnSni eats or drinks or does
any other act he only sees the non-dual Brahman. He never
deviates from the real. His condition has thus been described in
Brahman is the offering. Brahman the oblation, by
the Gild
:

Brahman

the oblation poured into the fire of Brahman ; Brahman


be reached by him who always sees Brahman in action.
The state of a student has been described in the previous verse.
A student, when urged by hunger and thirst, thinks himself as
is

verily shall

144

MAND OKYOPA NISHAD

[11-38

something different from Reality. A mystic or a yogi thinks that


he can realise Truth only by withdrawing his mind from the external
objects.
But a man of the highest realisation, who knows that he
is the Supreme Reality, never loses that consciousness and even in
the midst of the world keeps intact the Knowledge of his identity
with the non-dual Brahman.

Here ends the Gaudapada Karika on Illusion


and Sankaras Commentary on the Chapter.

mi]

Sum

Salutation to JSrafjman

CHAPTER

III

ON ADVAITA
</

3J>

simifsiiit

gf
The

1.

.Tiva

'cFTltf

betaking

itself to

intellect

is

II

devotion

Brahman

He

have manifested Himself

WW- ^ci:

thinks itself to be related to the


to

s^riGr

that

II

(upasana)
is

supposed

said to be of narrow

because he thinks that before creation all was

of the nature of the unborn

(Reality).

Sankaras Commentary
While determining the meaning of Aum, it has been

form of a proposition that Atman is the


negation of phenomena, blissful and non-dual. It
stated in the

has been further stated that

when

the reality

is

known.

Illusion, that duality

does not

Duality does

not exist

Further, in the chapter on


exist really

has been estab-

by the illustrations of dream, magic, castle-inthe-air, etc., and also by reasoning on the grounds of the
capability of being seen and the being finite , etc.
lished

Now

it

is

asked whether non-duality can be established

only by scriptural evidence or whether

by reasoning as
to
is it

establish

possible ?

non-duality by reasoning 1

This

it

can be proved

It is said in reply that it is possible

well.

is

shown

in this

as

well.

How

chapter on Advaita.

MAND VKYOPA NISHAD

146

[III

has been demonstrated in the last chapter that the entire


realm of dualism including the object and the act of
devotion is illusory 2 and the attributeless, non-dual
Atman alone is the Reality. The word upasanasrita
It

meaning the one3 betaking himself to devotion, signifies him who has recourse to devotional exercises as means to the attainment of liberation and who
further thinks that he is the devotee and Brahman is
his object of worship.
This Jiva or the embodied being

in the text,

thinks that through devotional practices he, at

further

present related to the evolved 4

would

attain to the ultimate

tion of the body.

to

Prior 5 to the manifestation, according

everything

this Jiva,

including

In other words he thinks, I


regain that which

practices,

Brahman (Personal God),


Brahman after the dissolu-

shall,

was

manifestation, though at present

that appears
that

is,

much

in the

itself,

was unborn.

through

my

devotional

real nature before

subsist in the

form of the manifold.

Brahman

Such a

the aspirant, betaking itself to devotion,

Jiva,

inas-

knows only a partial aspect of Brahman,


narrow 6 or poor intellect by those who regard
Brahman as eternal7 and unchanging. The Upanishad
of the Talavakara (Kena) supports this view in such statements as, That which is not expressed (indicated) by
speech and by which speech is expressed, That alone
know as Brahman and not that which people here

is

as

it

called of

adore,

etc.

1
Reasoning The truth arrived at by reasoning may be corroborated by ones own experience and further supported by the Srult.
2

Illusory

It is

because these belong to the realm of duality.

One, etc . One who does not know the eternal and unchanging
nature of the Self, thinks of himself as separate or different from
his real nature and has recourse to various spiritual practices in
3

ON ADVAITA

Ill -2]

147

order to regain his Brahmic nature, which he thinks he does, after


These
death. Compare the Christian view of the Fall of man
views are given in the Hindu
from the standpoint of Truth,

and

himself to be ignorant

scriptures also but refuted at the


.vhich

tries

end

when a man thinks


Knowledge by means of

that even

is

to attain

he is Brahman. The nature of the non-dual


Brahman never undergoes any change or transformation. There
is no act of creation.
4
fall
Brahman
spiritual

practices,

Evolved
The Jiva in his state of imaginary
worships a Personal God or a Cosmic Soul. He cannot think of
but he imagines the Saguria Brahman to be
the non-dual Self
;

'

Reality.
5

This ignorant Jiva thinks

that only after death

Prior

realise his eternal

Brahmic nature, which was

he

will

his real nature before

he came into dual existence.


8

because an ignorant person has no idea of the


Self.
For, according to his view the non-dual
also limited by time and change which characterise the dual

Narrow

It is

changeless non-dual
Self

is

universe.
7

Eternal , etc.

According

to the

Knower of

Truth,

The phenomena of

never undergoes any manifestation.

Brahman
birth

and

death are mere illusion.

3T#r

5T

is

free

from

same throughout
it is

3TRJIR

5TRct

Therefore T shall

2.

which

now

limitations,

and from

describe

that

it

II

Brahman)

unborn and which

this,

not (in reality) born though

II

is

the

one understands that

appears to be manifest-

ed everywhere.

Sankaras Commentary

One unable to realise Atman, which is both within


and without and birthless, and therefore believing oneself to be helpless through Avidya, thinks, I am born,
in the Brahman with attributes (saguria) and
I subsist

MAND OKYOPA NISHAD

148

[III -2

through devotion to It I shall become Brahman, and


becomes Kripana (narrow-minded). Therefore,
I shall describe Brahman which has never been subject
to any limitation and which is birthless (changeless).
The narrowness of mind has been described in such
thus

Sruti passages as,


other,
ness),

When one sees another, hears anknows another, then there is limitedness (little-

mortality and unreality,

name

Modification

is

only

from speech, but the truth is that all is


clay, etc. But contrary to it is Brahman
known as
Bhuma (great) which is both within and without and
which is free from all limitations. I shall now describe
that Brahman, free
from all limitations, by realising
which one gets rid of all narrowness superimposed by
ignorance. It (Brahman) is called Ajdti, birthless, inasmuch as none knows its birth or cause. It is the same
always and everywhere. How is it so ? It is so because
there does not exist in it (Brahman) any inequality caused
by the presence of parts or limbs. For, only that which
is with parts may be said to be born (or to have taken
new form) by a change of its parts. But as Atman is
without parts, it is always the same and even, that is
to say, it does not manifest itself in any new form through
a change of the parts. Therefore it is without birth and
free from limitation.
Now listen as to how 1 Brahman
arising

not born,

how

does not undergo change by so much


though it appears,
through ignorance, to be born and to give birth to others,
like the rope 2 and the snake.
is

it

as a jot, but ever remains unborn,

the

How,

etc

perception

Brahman (Atman)

is always non-dual even during


of duality by the ignorant. Non-duality is the

and duality is
Rope The truth

Reality
a

the snake.

It is

illusion.

is that the rope does not become or produce


only through ignorance that one sees the snake


ON

nr-3]
in

the

149

Brahman

Similarly

rope.

ADVAITA

changeless and attributeless

is

which is birlhiess, causeless,


imagined by the ignorant as pro-

ducing or becoming the universe.

STf^r^ifTlisr^T^^ir^cT:

3fRfTT

?[WF%5ffcTF^Tf%5:^^

Atman may

3.

manifested

may

which

'

II

Akasa

(ether)

of the Jlvas (embodied selves)

be compared to the ether enclosed in pots.

Again, as pots,

etc.,

are said to be produced from the

(ether), similarly (gross) bodies are said to

the

II

be said to be similar to

the forms

in

Atman.

This

(from Brahman,

is

Akasa

be evolved from

the illustration of the manifestation

if any).

Sankaras Commentary
has been said

It

in the previous text,

describe Brahman, birthless and free from

Now

ness.

shall

now

narrowgive an illustration and a reason

As

to substantiate the proposition.


is like

shall

the

all

Supreme Atman

the Akasa, subtle, without parts and all-pervasive,

it is

compared

who

is

to the Akasa.

likened to the Akasa,

The Supreme
is

said

to

Self again,

be manifested

as the embodied beings (Jivas) or Kshetrajnas (Knowers

of bodies), and are likened to the Ghatdkasas or the Akasa


This is the Supreme Self which is like
the Akasa. Or the sentence may be explained thus:
As the totality of the Akasa enclosed within the pots
is said to constitute what is known as the Mahakasa or
the great expanse of ether, similarly the totality of the
embodied beings (Jivas) constitutes the Supreme Being.
The creation or manifestation of the Jivas (embodied
beings) from the Supreme Self, as stated in the Vedanta,
is like the creation or manifestation of the
Ghatakasa
enclosed in jars.

MAND DKYOPA NISHAD

150
(i.e.,

[III -3

the ether enclosed in a jar) from the

creation or manifestation

is

not 1

Mahakasa

That

the great and undifferentiated ether).


real.

(or

to

say,

As 2 from

that

is

Akaia are produced such physical objects as the pot,


etc., similarly from the Supreme Self which is like the
Akasa, are produced the entire aggregate of material
entities, such as the earth, etc., as well as the individual
bodies, all 3 characterised by causality, the entire 4 production being nothing but mere imagination like that of
the snake in the rope. Therefore it is said, The aggregates (of the gross bodies) are produced like the pot,
When 6 the Sruti with a view to the enlightenment
etc.
,

of the ignorant, speaks of the creation or manifestation


(of the Jivas) from the Atman, then such manifestation,
being admitted as a fact, is explained with the help of
the illustration of the creation of the pot, etc., from the

Akasa.
1

Not

As

real

the

enclosed within the pot,

Akasa does not


etc.,

really create the

AkOsa

but appears as enclosed on account

of the association of the upadhis of the pot, etc., similarly the


Supreme Self does not manifest or create any Jiva but appears as
Jivas on account of its association with the upadhis of ignorance
This ,is an explanation of creation from the empirical
( Avidya ).
standpoint when such creation is admitted as a fact. But from
the standpoint of Reality there is no creation.
2

They

As,

etc.

The

exist in space.

pot, etc., cannot be produced without space.

Similarly

the substratum of Atman.

no physical body can

Therefore,

Atman

is

exist

without

said to have created

the physical bodies.


3

All,

etc.

All

law of cause and


4

Entire,

etc.

phenomenal objects are characterised by the

effect.

Vedanta

accepts

both the theories of Vivarta

and Paririama as explanation of the phenomenal

universe.

Brahman

imagined to manifest himself as the universe through Maya, and


then the universe follows the law of causation.

is

ON ADVA1TA

Ill -4 -5]

151

1
When etc Creation through Maya is only an explanation
of the universe when one takes it to be real. It is not truth. Maya
is only a statement of fact, an explanation of the world we perceive
in a state of ignorance. From the standpoint of Reality neither the
universe nor Maya exists. Brahman alone exists.
.

sr^ts TO*RRn^jl

As on

tTS^Slfar ffTSScq^r

3T[T>1^
4.

II

s n

of the pot, etc., the ether


merges in the Akasa ( the great
similarly the Jlvas merge in the Atman.

the destruction

enclosed in the pot,

expanse of ether),

etc.,

Sankaras Commentary

As

the creation of ether enclosed within the pot,

etc.,

and as the merging


of the same ether (in the Mahakdsa) is consequent on
the destruction of the pot, etc.
in the same manner
follows the creation of the pot,

etc.,

the creation or manifestation of the Jiva follows that

of the aggregate of the body,

and the merging of


wake of the
destruction of the aggregate of the body, etc. The meaning is that neither the creation nor destruction is in itself real (from the standpoint of the Absolute).
etc.,

the Jiva in the Supreme Self follows in the

Both the creation and destruction of the universe, and conseits existence, are due to ignorance.
In truth, there is neither
creation, nor existence, nor destruction. Destruction is impossible
in the absence of creation. Therefore, the Sruti passages describing
the process of creation and destruction do not antagonise the reality
of the non-dual Atman, as such fact is admitted by the Advaitin
to be possible in the realm of ignorance.
quently

'

st

agpsfaT:

||


MIND OKYOPA NISHAD

152

[III -5

As any portion of AkaSa enclosed

5.

in

a pot being

soiled by dust, smoke, etc., all such other portions of AkaSa

enclosed

other pots are not soiled, so

in

of the
Jiva do not

Jlvas,

etc.,

i.e.,

the happiness,

is

the happiness, misery, etc.,

of one

affect other Jlvas.

Sankaras Commentary

The
bodies

dualists contend that if

then

Atman

the birth,

death,

happiness,

exists in all

etc.,

of one

affect all and, further, there 1

must

(as Jiva )

one Atman

must

follow a confusion regarding the results of the action

(done by individuals).

As2

This contention

Akasa enclosed within one

the

is,

thus refuted:

jar being

by

soiled

does not make the Akasa enclosed


in other jars soiled with the dust and the smoke, so all
created beings are not affected by the happiness, etc.
dust,

smoke,

etc.,

(of one Jiva).

(Objection) 3
is

only one
(Reply)

that there

Is

Atman

Yes,

is

it

not your contention that there

we admit it. Have you not heard


Atman like the all-pervading space,

only one

in all bodies ?

(Objection)

If 4

Atman then

there be only one

must always and everywhere

feel

it

misery and happiness.

(Reply) This objection cannot be raised by the


Samkhyas. For, 5 the Samkhyas do not admit that misery,
happiness,

ever cling to the

etc.,

Atman

for they assert

that happiness, misery, etc., belong inseparably to Buddhi. e

Further,

there

is

of Atman which
(Objection)

Atman

no evidence
is

In

<

for imagining multiplicity

of the very nature of knowledge.


the absence of the multiplicity of

the theory that the

Pradhana or Prakriti

for the sake of others 7 does not hold good.

acts

ON ADVAITA

Ill -5]

(Reply)

No, this argument

the Pradh&na or Prakriti

by
If

is

153

not valid

may be supposed

for whatever

to accomplish

itself for another cannot inseparably inhere in Atman.


bondage" and liberation accomplished by the Pradh&na

then the
theory that the Pradh&na ( Prakriti ) always acts for the sake
of others would not be consistent with the unity of Atman
existing everywhere.
And the theory of the S&mkhyas
inseparably inhered in the multiple Purushas,

regarding the multiplicity of Atman would be reasonable.

But the Samkhyas do not admit that the purpose of bondage or liberation can ever be inseparably associated with
the Purusha. For, they admit that the Purushas are
attributeless and are centres of Pure Consciousness.
Therefore 9 the very existence of the Purusha is their
support for the theory that the action of Pradhana is
directed to serve the purpose of others (the Purushas).
But the supposition of the multiplicity of Purushas need
not be made for this purpose. Therefore the theory
of the Pradhana seeking to serve the purpose of others
cannot be an argument for the supposition of the multiplicity of Atman.
The Samkhyas have no other argu,

ment

in

support

multiplicity of

of their

Atman.

supposition

The Pradhana

regarding

takes

upon

the
itself

liberation only through the instrumentality 10


of the existence of the other (the Purusha). The Purusha
which is of the very nature of knowledge, is the cause
of the activity of the Pradhana by the fact of its
very existence and not on account of its any specific 11
qualities.
So it is through ignorance alone that people
imagine the Purusha (Atman) to be many and also thereby give up the real12 import of the Vedas.

bondage and

The

Vaiseshikas 13

such as desire,
8

etc.,

and others

assert that attributes

are inseparably related to Atman.


mAndOkyopanishad

154

This 14 view

is

also not correct.

[III -5

For, the Samskdras (the

memory cannot have


any inseparable relation with Atman which has no16 parts.
Further, if 19 it be contended that the origin of memory
lies in the contact of Atman with the mind, we say that
this contention is not valid; for, in that case there will
be no principle regarding memory. Memory of all things
Besides 17 mind can never be
will come simultaneously.
related to the Atman which is devoid of all sensations
such as touch, etc., and which belongs to a class other
than that of the mind. Further the Vaiseshikas do not
admit that the attributes ( Guna) such as forms, etc.
( Rupas ), action (Karma), generality (Samanya), particularity
( Visesha ) and inherence (Samavaya), can exist independently of the substance ( Dravya ). If these are totally independent
of one another, the contact between the Atman and desire,
etc., and also between the attributes (Guna) and the substance (Dravya) will be an absurdity.

impressions) which are the cause of

(Objection)

The

separable inherence

where such relation


(Reply)

This

18

contact

characterised

by an

possible in the case of entities

is

proved to be innate.

objection

is

not valid;

for

innate relationship cannot be reasonable, as the

the ever permanent,

in-

is

is

such

Atman,

antecedent to the desires,

etc.,

which are transitory. And if desires, etc., be admitted


to have inseparable innate relationship with Atman,
then 18 the former would be as permanent as such innate
attributes of Atman as greatness, etc. That is not desirable, for then there would be no room for liberation of
the Atman. Further, if inseparable relationship (Samavaya) were something separate from the substance, then
another factor must be stated which can bring about
the relationship between Samavdya and the substance,

ON ADVA1TA

Ill -5]

155

as in the case of the substance and the attributes.

Nor

be stated that Samavaya is a constant inseparable


relationship with Atman; for, in that case, the Atman
and Samavaya on account of their constant and inseparable relationship can never be different from one another.
can

it

on the other hand, the relationship of Samavaya be


from the Atman, and the attributes also
be different from the substance, then the possessive

If,

totally different

case cannot be used to indicate their mutual relation

which

is

possible only

when

the two terms connected by

the possessive are not totally different.

If

Atman be

inseparably connected with such categories as desires,

which have both beginning and end, then it


would itself be impermanent. If Atman be considered
to have parts and undergo changes, like the body, etc.,
then, these two defects always associated with the body,
case of the Atman.
etc., would be inevitable in the
etc.,

is that) as the Akasa (ether),


on account of the superimposition of ignorance (Avidya),
is regarded as soiled by dust and smoke, in like manner,
the Atman also, on account of the limiting condition
of the mind caused by the erroneous attribution of Avidya,
appears to be associated with the contamination of misery,
happiness, etc. And such being the case, the idea of bondage and liberation, being empirical in nature, does not
contradict (the permanent nature of Atman from the standpoint of Truth). For, all the disputants admit the relative
experience to be caused by Avidya and deny its existence
from the standpoint of the Supreme Reality. Hence it
follows that the supposition of the multiplicity of Atman
made by the logicians is without basis and superfluous.

(Therefore the conclusion

There

In

the case of the unity of Atman, the action of

individual must affect others

who

one

are not responsible for the action.

MANDOKYOPANISHAD

156

[III -5

Then there cannot be any possible relation between action and the
of actions. The law of causality becomes futile.

results

* As
The reply is that birth, death, misery, happiness, etc.,
are admitted to be facts experienced in the practical world. There
the multiplicity of Atman is also admitted. But this multiplicity

of Atman is due to the limitations of the (upddhi) of the mind caused


by A vidyd (ignorance), which does not exist in the Supreme Reality.
3

Objection

This

adherents of the

objection

supposed to be raised by the

is

Samkhya philosophy.

contention of the Sdmkhva philosopher is that


of Atman is upheld, one must always feel miserable
or happy as the result of the good and the bad actions of others
* If, etc .'The

in case the unity

affect

rtiust
s

him.

For, etc. According to the

Samkhya

theory, the

Atman or

without parts and attributes and is of the very nature


of consciousness. Prakriti or Pradhana is insentient, dull, and
endowed with the qualities of misery, happiness, etc. All the activities of Prakriti are directed to serve the purpose of the conscious
the Purusha

is

cannot enjoy the result of her


According to the Samkhya theory, Prakriti is one,
but the Purushas are as numerous as there are bodies. Each Purusha
by coming in contact with Prakriti catches the reflection of misery
or happiness, which are the characteristics of the latter ( Prakriti )
and thinks itself as happy or miserable.

Purusha.

Prakriti, being insentient,

own work.

Buddhi According to the Sdmkhya philosophy there are


Buddhi is first evolved as the result of the
contact of Prakriti with Purusha. The three qualities of Sattva,
Rajas and Tamas which give rise to misery, happiness, etc., lie in
an undifferentiated state in Prakriti. But when Prakriti evolves
Hence, misery,
into Buddhi, these qualities become differentiated.
happiness,- etc., have been stated as inseparably related to Buddhi.
twenty-five categories.

Others

i.e.,

the Purushas.

See note Ante

5.

Bondage, etc
According to the Sdmkhya bhilosophy the
contact of Prakriti with Purusha causes the latter to fall into bondage.
But as soon as Purusha realises his independence, ne is liberated.
.

Therefore according to the Samkhyas, Prakriti

bondage and
.nature

liberation

of knowledge.

and the Purusha,

AU

is

in itself,

the cause of
is

the activities of Prakriti,

of the very

which are

ON ADVAITA

Ill -5]

157

make

otherwise meaningless, are directed to

the Purusha realise

his real nature.

* Therefore, etc.
According to Vedanta, the ideas of both
bondage and liberation belong to the world of relativity. It is due to
ignorance. From the standpoint of Truth, there is neither bondage
nor liberation
for the Atman is always free.
;

10

Instrumentality,

phenomena
Every
11

etc.

According to

position.

is

illusion

does not disagree with

this

the fact of the multiplicity of relative

explained by the presence of the non-dual Atman.


has its substratum.

Specific qualities

to his system,

Vedanta

it,

known

This

is

the view

According
an Iswara
the cause of the

of Patanjali.

as the philosophy of Yoza, there

or Personal God, possessed of attributes,

who

is

is

created universe.
l!
13

Real import, etc.i.e., the non-dual Atman


Vaiseshikas.

The

hold that there are

Karma

six

is

the only Reality.

of the Vaiseshika philosophy


categories, viz., Dravya (substance), Guna
followers

Samanya (generality), Visesha (partiand Samavdya (inherence). All these categories exist
independently of one another. The Dravya or substance (Atman)
has nine special attributes, viz., Buddhi (intellect), Sukha (happiness),
Duhkha (misery), Ichha (desire), Dvesha (aversion), Prayatna (effort),
Dharma (merit), Adharma (demerit) and Samskara (impression).
(quality),

(activity),

cularity),

14

This,

etc.

If

desire,

11

No

parts

part of the

If

it

connected with
of one being would

inseparably

are

etc.,

Atman, then desire, misery, happiness,


imply those of another.

etc.,

be contended that desire,

Atman then the

reply

is

that

Atman

inhere in one

etc.,

unlike the pot, etc.,

has no parts.
18

is

If,

etc.

The

opponent contends that the origin of memory


mind with Atman. But this

to be found in the contact of the

argument

is

For, Atman

not valid.

the mere effort of the


its

we

memory.

But

this

mind

to

is

ever present.

In that case

remember anything should bring

does not happen.

often fail to bring back the

In spite

memory

of

of

all

many

our

efforts

past events.

Further, Atman is indivisible and without parts. Therefore any


impression that arises in the Atman cannot be confined to any
particular part of the Atman.
If such be the case, then all beings

MAND OKYOPA NISHAD

158

[III -6

should remember a thing at the same time. Still another difficulty


of this theory is that, Atman being without parts, one should remember all things at one and the same time. Hence no rule exists
regarding memory.
17

Besides, etc.

same

Contact

is

possible between

two things of the

species.

18
This objection, etc.
Sankara criticises this view of the relation
between substance and quality. If the two are inseparably related,
the inseparability must refer to space, time or nature. The two are
not inseparable in space, since we see the redness of a red lotus disis the essence of the Samavaya
horns of a cow would be related
in that way. If it be inseparability in nature or character, then it
would be impossible to make any further distinction between
substance and quality, since the two are one.

appearing.

If inseparability in time

relation, then the right

18

Then,

etc.

and the

left

But we know that

desires, etc.,

frw ct^
q-

6.

are impermanent.

Srts?%

ll

Though form, function and name are

it

different

here and there yet this does not imply any difference in
the

Akasa ( which

is

The same

one).

is

the conclusion {truth)

with regard to the Jivas.

Sankaras Commentary
(Objection)

If 1

Atman be one

then

how

is it

possible

to justify the variety of experiences pointing to the multiplicity of Atman (which is explained as being) due to

AvidyS (ignorance) ?
(Reply)

This

is

thus explained:

In our

common

experience with regard to this Akasa (which is really


one), we find variety of forms, such as large, small, etc.,
in respect of the

Aka fa

enclosed in a pot, a \yater-bowl

and a cover. Similarly there are various functions (of


the same Akafa) such as fetching water, preserving

ON

Ill -7]

and

water

ADVAITA

sleeping.' Lastly

159

there

names

are various

as the ether enclosed in a jar (ghat a), the ether enclosed


in

a water-bowl (karaka),
All

dhis.

these different

matters

are

of

common

etc.,

caused by different upa-

forms,

functions and

experience.

experience caused by different forms,

This
etc.,

names

variety

of

not true

is

For,

from, the standpoint of the ultimate Reality.

in

Akasa never admits of any variety. Our empirical


activities based upon the difference in Akasa are not
possible without the instrumentality of an adventitious
upadhi 2 As in this illustration, the JIvas (embodied
beings) which may be compared to the Akasa enclosed
reality

in a jar, are regarded as different, this difference 3 being

caused by the upadhis.

This

is

the conclusion of the wise.

This text gives one of the explanations of the empirical world


as stated by the wise.

1
The contention of the opponent is this The variety
If, etc.
of names, forms and fimctions is an indubitable experience of the
relative world.
This can be explained only if we admit the multiplicity of Atman.
Therefore there are infinite number of Atmans,
each having a different name and form and each performing a
different function.
The unity of Atman cannot explain this variety.
2
3

Upadhi i.e., The form of


Difference

a pot, water-bowl, etc.

The apparent difference in our empirical experience

caused by upadhis which are unreal.


These upadhis are unreal
their changeable and negatable nature.
Therefore
from the standpoint of Reality, Atman, like the Akdia, is only one
and without a second.

is

on account of

This explanation that this apparent difference of the empirical


is caused by Avidyd is given from the relative stand-

experience

when such difference is admitted as a fact. But from the


standpoint of the ultimate Reality, the difference does not exist.

point

stiss^to
%3isscRsr.

*rer
^fiTT

cnt

ii

MAND OKYOPA NISHAD

160
7.

by

As

the

Ghatakasa

the pot) is neither the

Akasa

the ether portioned off

(i.e.,

effect nor part of the


embodied being) neither

( evolved)

(ether), so is the Jiva (the

the effect nor part

pir-7

of the Atman.

Sankara's Commentary
(Objection)
functions, etc.,

pot,

etc.,

Our experience of the variety

true from the standpoint of the ultimate

is

Reality (and not illusory, as

(Reply)

of forms,

associated with the ether enclosed in the

No,

this

you

say).

cannot be

so.

For, the ether*

enclosed in the pot cannot be the evolved effect of the


real ether in the

same way as the ornament,2

etc.,

the effect of gold or the foam, bubble, moisture,

are
etc.,

Nor, again is the Ghatakasa


(the Akasa in the pot) similar to the branches and other
parts of a tree. As Ghatakasa is neither a part (limb) nor
are the effect of water.

an evolved effect of the Akasa, so also the Jiva (the embodied being), compared to the Akasa enclosed in the pot,
is neither,

as in the illustrations given above, an effect nor

part (limb) of the Atman, the ultimate Reality, which

be compared to the Mahakasa

may

the undifferentiated

(i.e.,

expanse of ether). Therefore the relative experience


based upon the multiplicity of Atman is an illusion (from
the standpoint of the ultimate Reality).
1

This etc.
,

parts
1

For,

it is

admitted by

all

that the ether

is

without

and cannot undergo any modification.


Ornament,

etc.

We

explain a necklace or foam, etc., as the

modification of gold or water respectively.

We

also explain the

But Jiva is neither


modification, nor manifestation, nor part of the Atman. Jiva is
Atman itself which never undergoes a change.

branches or the leaves as the parts of the

tree.

ON ADVAITA

Ill -8]

wi^prr
?Tn

*rf^r *i%:

H^Tp^n^R^rsfq-

As

8.

161

the

ether

q%: u

appears to

the

II

ignorant children

Atman

to be soiled by dirt, similarly, the


by the ignorant as soiled.

<

also is regarded

Sankaras Commentary

As

of experiences such as forms,


caused by the admitted differences of
the Ghatakasa, etc., so also is the experience of birth,
death, etc., consequent on the perception of the different Jivas, due to the limitations caused by Avidyd
(ignorance). Therefore the contamination of misery,
action and result (of action) caused by Avidyd does not
In order to establish this
really inhere in the Atman.
meaning by an illustration, the text says: As in our
ordinary experience it is found that the ignorant regard
the Akasa (ether), which, to those who know, the real
nature of a thing by discrimination, is never soiled by
any contamination as soiled with cloud, dust and smoke,
so also the Supreme Atman, the Knower, the innermost
Self directly perceived within, is regarded by those who
do not know the real nature of the innermost Self, as
affected by the evils of misery, action and result.
But
this is not the case with those who can discriminate.
As in the desert are never found foam, waves, etc.,
the

diversity

functions, etc.,

is

though
to

it,

thirsty

creatures

similarly the

falsely attribute

Atman also

turbidity of misery, 3 etc.,

these

things

never affected by the


falsely attributed to it by the
is

ignorant.

The opponent may contend thus

The statement

that- the Jivas

Brahman but identical


ever pure and non*dual

are neither an evolved effect .nor .a part of

with

it

is

not correct ,
1

For,

Brahman

is

MANDOKYOPANISHAD

162

[III -9

whereas the JTvas are many and ever affected by the contamination
of passion, attachment, etc. This text refutes this contention.

1
As, etc. Tn our relative experience we make a distinction
between the different forms of Akasa enclosed by a jar, an eye of
This knowledge of distinction,
a needle, or an extensive field.
caused by various upddhis, unreal from the standpoint of Truth,
.

makes us associate the undifferentiated Akasa with different forms,


functions and names. In like manner, ignorant persons make a
by associating the Atman with the attri butes
and consequently think of the Atman as
This dissuffering from the effects of birth, death, misery, etc.
tinction in the non-dual Atman which gives rise to the notion of
birth,' death, etc., is due to Avidya which is subjective or which proceeds from the perceiver. This distinction does not, in reality,
hence Atman is ever uncontaminated by the evils of birth,
exist
distinction of the Jivas

of

different bodies, etc.,

death, etc.
8

Fnam,

etc.

The ignorant, subject to the illusion of the mirage,

associate the desert with foam, waves, etc.

mirage, taken as real by the ignorant,

sand

in the desert

as

this

water

unreal.

is

All the waters of the

do not soak one grain of


Similarly

all

the evils

Atman by undiscriminating persons do not


purity by so much as an iota.

attributed falsely to the

make

it

lose

its

innate

Misery Misery or Klesa has been defined by Patanjali as


that which causes misery to the Jivas. This Klesa is of five kinds,
viz., Avidya (i.e., thinking the body which is non-self as the Self),

Asmita

(i.e.,

regarding the

Atman

attachment), Dvesha

as one with Buddhi or mind),

Raga

(i.e.,

when

his desire to attain a particular object

nivesa

(i.e.,

the fear of death,

f&ar

(i.e.,

the anger which a


is

feels

etc.).

3Tr^rtff[f^ajar: h

Atman,

man

frustrated), Abhi-

regard to

death, going and


and its existing in different bodies, is not dissimilar to the AkaSa (i.e., the Ghataka$a or the ether portioned off by a jar).
9.

coming

(i.e.,

in

transmigration)

its birth,


ON ADVAITA

Ill -10]

163

Sankaras Commentary

The point which has been just stated is again thus


developed: Birth, death, etc., of the Atman as seen in
all bodies is like the creation, destruction, coming, going and existence of the Ghatakasa (or ether enclosed

within a jar).
It

may be contended

that the Jiva after death, as a result of the

meritorious deeds done in this

life,

goes to heaven.

If a sinnert

thrown into hell. After his enjoyment of happiness or misery


In due course he departs
in heaven or hell, he again takes birth.
from this world. This theory of transmigration is inconsistent
with that of the non-dual Atman. The text refutes this contention.
All these diverse experiences regarding Atman are due to Avidya
and therefore not real. Like the ether, Atman which js pure, undifferentiated and one, can never be subject to transmigration, etc.,
which are falsely superimposed upon it through Avidya.
he

is

#JRTT:

3TT^qirrarf%^cTT:

3Tifas&

o n

All aggregates

(such as body, etc.) are produced


of the Atman (i.e., the perceiver) as in a
No rational arguments can be adduced to establish
reality, whether they be equal or superior {to one

10.

by the
dream.
their

jrmfort

illusion

another).

Sankaras Commentary

The aggregates of body,

answering to the pots,


like the body,
etc., seen in dream or conjured up by the magician
by the illusion1 of the Atman, i.e., the Avidya (ignorance)
which is in the perceiver. That 8 is to say, they do not
exist from the standpoint of the ultimate Reality.
If*
it be argued, in order to establish their reality, that there
etc.,

is

in

etc.,

the illustration, are produced,

a superiority (among the created beings),

as

in the

MAND VKYOPAN1SHAD

164

[III -11

case of the aggregates of cause and effect constituting


who are superior to lower beings, such as birds

gods

or

that there is an equality (of all created


no cause 4 can be set forth regarding their
creation or reality. As there is no cause therefore all
these are due to Avidya or ignorance; they have no real

and beasts

beings), yet

existence.
1

Illusion,

etc.

then this Avidya


it

If one,

subject

to

the perceiver.

is in

Avidya,

Avidya

is

sees multiplicity,

not objective,

i.e.,

does not exist outside the perceiver.


a

That

have no

is,

etc.

As

in the case

of the dream objects,

etc.,

which

real existence.

etc.
The opponents mav argue that the bodies of gods,
on account of their superiority and adorability cannot be
unreal. This is an argument of the ignorant, as all bodies, whether
belonging to gods or lower animals, are constituted of five elements.
Hence there is no intrinsic difference between gods and other beings.
It is like the various objects seen in the dream, such as gods, birds,
men, beasts, etc. They are made of the same thing, viz., the mindTherefore, they are of the same nature and known to be
stuff.
* If,

etc.,

when

unreal
all

the dream vanishes.

Similarly

a wise

man knows

bodies from Brahma to the blade of grass to be unreal.


4

Cause

The idea

to Avidya.
vanishes.

of creation or coming into existence is due


With the removal of Avidya, the idea of creation also

This topic will be discussed at

ft
'

StaWRUT
11.

of the

length later on.

The Supreme

is the self

full

W
Jlva

(i.e.,

||

the non-dual

II

Brahman)

(five) sheaths, such as the physical, etc.,

which have been explained

in the Taittirlyaka Upanishad.


That the Supreme Jlva is like the Akasa has already been
described by us (in the third verse of this chapter).

ON ADVAITA

Ill'll]

165

Sankaras Commentary

Now

made in order to show that the


of the essence of Atman which is non-dual
and without birth, etc., can1 as well be proved on the
statements are

existence

evidence of the Sruti. Rasa,


such as the physical sheath
sheath

Pranamaya),

etc.

etc.,

are the five sheaths

Annarasamaya), the vital


These are called sheaths
(

(Ko&a) because they 3 are like the sheath of the sword,


the previous 4

sheaths being outer than

the following

These have been clearly explained in the Taittirlyaka, i.e., in a chapter of the Taittiriyaka-sakha Upanishad. It is the Self (Atman) of these sheaths. By It, the
innermost Self, the five sheaths are regarded as alive.
It is again called Jiva as it is the cause of the life of all.
What is It ? It is the Supreme Self which has been
described before as Brahman which -is Existence,
Knowledge and Infinity. It has been further stated
that from this Atman the aggregates of the body known
as Rasa, etc., having the characteristics of the sheath,
have5 been created by its ( Atman's) power called ignorance,
this creation being like the illusory creation of objects
seen in a dream or in a performance of jugglery. We
have described this Atman as the ether (Akasa) in the
ones.

The Atman is verily like the Akasa (Gaud. Kdrika,


This Atman cannot be established by the reasoning* of a man who follows the logicians method of arguments as the Atman referred to by us is different from
text,

3. 3).

the Atnfan of the logicians.


1

Can, etc

That Jiva

is

identical with non-dual

already been established through reason.

Now

proved by the evidence of the Vedas.


* Five, etc.

sheath), the

The

five

Brahman has

the same

is

again
;

sheaths are the Annanutyakoia (the physical

Pt&mmayakostt

(the vital sheath),, the

MgnomayakaM


mAnd Okyopanishad

166

(the mental sheath), the

and

Anandamayakosa

(he
8

They,

sheath

is

etc.

The

Vijndnamayakosa (the sheath of


(Ihe sheath of Bliss).

compared

kosas are

to

sheaths.

12

intellect)

As

the

external to the sword, so also the kosas are external to

Atman which

the

[III

the innermost Self of

is

all.

The

Annamayakosa is the sheath wherein is


encased the Pranamayakosa, the Pranamayakosa is the sheath wherein
is encased the Manomayakosa and so on.
The Anandamayakosa
is

Previous, etc.

encased
8

Have

in

Vijndnamayakosa.

the

been, etc.

of creation, which

is

This

is

illusory, are

no

real creation.

The phenomena

regarded as such from the empirical

standpoint.

Reasoning
The rational method of arriving at the Tiuth
sought in the Vedanta philosophy is mainly described in the Kdrikd

of Gaudapada.

known

as the

This consists of the analysis of the three states,


waking, the dream and the deep sleep and the

co-ordination of the experiences of these states.

5^^%^ qt to

% wssqraT:

12.

which
to

The description by

is in the earth

separately),

qqnftra: n

pairs, as that

of

the

II

Akasa,

as also in the stomach ( though referred

applies equally to

the

Supreme Brahman

Madhu Brahmana

in
the
( a chapter
Brihadarapyaka Upanishad), as being both in the corporeal (Adhyatma) and in the celestial (Adhidaiva) regions.

described

in

the

Sankaras Commentary
Moreover, in the words 1 All this is the Supreme
Atman, the Brahman, the bright, the immortal Person
who is both the celestial (superphysical Adhidaiva)
and the corporeal (Adhyatma), who is in this earth as
Brahman
well as the Knower incorporated in the body,
alone is described in order to indicate the limit at which
duality vanishes. Where does this occur ? It is thus

ON ADVA1TA

Ill -13]

replied

which

is

'

occurs

It

known

it

It

is

because therein

immortality) which

(i.e.,

honey, as

i.e.,

Madhu Brahmana

chapter

Know-

as the chapter dealing with the

ledge of Brahman.

the nectar

the

in

167

is

known

gives us the highest bliss.

described

is

as

Madhu,

This Brahman

is like the Akasa which is said to be the same or identical


though separately indicated as existing in the earth and
in the stomach.
1

Words

etc.

The

text

referred to here begins thus

the effect) of

all

beings and

of the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad (2.5.1)


This earth is the honey {Madhu,
:

all

beings are honey {Madhu,

the effect)

Likewise this bright, immortal person in this earth


and that bright immortal person incorporated in the body (both are
Madhu). He is indeed the same as that Self, that Immortal, that
The purport of this Sruti passage is this :
Brahman, that All

of

this earth.

The Supreme Brahman alone has been


the pairs of

corporeal

the

described as existing in

and

{Adhydtma)

the

all

superphysical

{Adhidaiva).

q-q

jtrrt
13.

As

the identity of Jlva

non-dual character,
(in

the scriptures),

rational

and

cf^r ff

is

II

II

and Atman, through their


is condemned

praised and multiplicity

therefore,

that (non-duality)

alone

is

correct.

Sankaras Commentary

The Shastras 1

as well as the sages like Vyasa, etc.,

extol the identity of Jlva

the negation of

all

and the Supreme Self through

differences

the

conclusion arrived

by reasoning and supported by the scriptures. Further,


the experiences of multiplicity which are natural (to the
ignorant) and common to all beings the view propounded by those who do not understand the real import
at

mAnd Okyopanishad

168

fin -14

of the Shdstras and who indulge in futile reasoning


have been condemned 2 thus: But there is certainly
nothing corresponding to the dual existence, Fear
arises from the consciousness of duality, If he sees
the slightest difference (in Atman) then he

is

overcome

with fear, All this is verily Atman, He goes from


death to death who sees here (in this Atman) multiplicity.
Other Knowers of Brahman as well as the scriptures
(quoted above) extol identity (of Jlva and Brahman)

and condemn multiplicity. Thus alone this praise and


condemnation can easily be comprehended; in other
words, it accords with reason. But the false views (vainly)
advanced by the logicians, 3 not easy of comprehension,
cannot be accepted as facts (Truth).

Comp.

Shastras-

One who knows Brahman

becomes

verily

Brahman.
2

CondemnedThat which

Logicians

This

is

to

refers

condemned cannot be
the

followers

of

the

Reality.

Vaiseshika

and other systems of thought.


There is no scriptural quotation which
condemns non-duality (Advaita).

sffaRjRt:

ffW

praises

duality

srrqcqr%;

cFgw#

and

ft

II

i|

The separateness of Jlva and Atman which


has been declared, in ( the ritual portion of the) Upanishad,
14.

dealing with the origin (of the universe), is only figurative,


because this portion (of the Vedas) describes only what is

This statement regarding separateness can never


have any meaning as truth.

to be.

Sankaras Commentary
(Objection)
the

Even

separateness

of

the

Sruti

the Jlva

has already declared

and

the

Supreme

Self

ON ADVAITA

Ill -14]
in

that

169

which describes the

part of the Upanishad

creation (of

the universe),

the

in

i.e.,

portion

ritual

of the Karmakanda, referred to here, describe the Supreme Purusha


who had multiple desire, in such words as, desirous
of this, desirous of that, He 1 the Highest, supported the heaven and the earth, etc. This being

The

{Karmakdnda) of the Vedas.

texts

the case,

how

is

it

when

possible,

there

is

a conflict

between the knowledge portion and the ritual portion


of the Vedas, to conclude that the unity underlying
the meaning of the knowledge portion (of the Vedas)
is

alone reasonable and accurate


(Reply)

Our

reply

as

is

follows:

The

seperate-

Karmakdnda (ritual portion of the Vedas) anterior to such


Upanishadic statements dealing with the creation of the
universe as That from which all these beings emanate,
As small sparks (come out) from fire, The Akasa has
evolved from that which is this Atman," It created
heat is not real from the absolute .standpoint.
ness (of Jiva and Paramatman) described in the

(Objection) What

is

it

(Reply)It has only

then ?

secondary meaning.

The

and Paramatman implied


in these passages) is like that between the undifferentiated 2 ether ( MahakdSa) and the ether enclosed in the
jar ( Ghatdkasa ). This statement is made with reference to a future 3 happening as in the case of another
statement we often make, He is cooking rice. For,
the words describing separateness (of Jiva and Paramatman) can never reasonably uphold such separateness as
separateness

(between

Jiva

absolutely real, as the statements regarding


rateness of

Atman only

of those beings

the sepa-

reiterate the multiple experiences

who are still under the spell of their inborn 4

MAND UKYOPA NISHAD

170

[III

-14

Avidya or ignorance. Here 5 in the Upanishads, the texts regarding the creation, destruction, etc., of the universe are
meant only to establish the identity of Jiva and the Supreme
Self, as is known from the texts, That thou art, He
does not know who knows I am another and he is another.
In other words, in the Upanishads the purpose of the
Sruti is to establish the identity (of Jiva and Brahman).

which

going to be estab-

Keeping in view

this identity

lished later on,

the (dualistic) texts only reiterate the

common5

is

experience of multiplicity (due to ignorance).

Therefore these (dualistic) texts are only metaphorical.


Or, the Karika may be explained thus
The scriptural
text, He is one and without a second, declares the
:

(complete) identity of Jiva and

Brahman even before

creation, denoted by such passages as,

The culmination

created fire, etc.

as

is

known from such

Reality;

He

is

is,

He

ruti passages as,

the Atman.

saw,

That

That thou art.

keeping in view this future identity,

He

again, that identity


is

the

Now,

if

the separateness

of Jiva and Atman has been declared in some texts,


used in a metaphorical way as is
it must have been
the case with the statement He is cooking rice.
1

Hei.e.,

Hiratfyagarbha or the cosmic soul.

Undifferentiated, etc

and the Mahakdsa

The

difference

between the Ghatakdsa

only due to the upadhi or the limiting adjunct


of the ghata or the jar. In reality it is the identical Akasa that is
is

perceived in the great expanse of the ether, as well as in the jar.


Similarly, the Jiva

the former
8

is

is

thought of as different from the Atman when

limited by the upadhis of Antahkararta

The

and body.

Vedas make the statement regarding the


separateness of Jiva and Brahman keeping in view the experience
of multiplicity by. the ignorant people. The idea Of past, present
and future is formed only in the realm of ignorance. When the
grain (i.e., the uncooked rice) is boiled, people say that the rice
Future, etc .

ON ADVA1TA

Ill -15]

(cooked

171

This sort of statement is common parlance.


used keeping in view a future happening.

rice) is boiled.

Here the present tense

is

Similarly the scriptures speak of duality before creation with a view

to indicating the future state of

known

Knowledge

when

multiplicity

is

to be unreal.

Inborn

Here

It is

because no cause can be traced of Avidya.

The

aim of the

of the Sruti
of Jiva and Brahman. The
Upanishads accept the empirical view of the world as it appears
and explain it by saying that Brahman who is both the material
and efficient cause of the universe, created the world with all its
beings and then entered into all as the living Self. This explanation
establishes the unity of Brahman and Jiva, the apparent difference
being ascribed to ignorance. The import of the Sruti is this
The
He is birthless, causeless and
non-dual Brahman alone exists.
changeless. If one sees multiplicity that is also Brahman. The
experience of multiplicity in the non-dual Brahman is due to Avidya.

is

etc.

dualistic statements

to establish ultimately the identity

Common,

etc,,

This

is

due

to

ignorance.

OTTq: fltsqcTRTq

||

||

(The scriptural statements regarding ) creation


15.
as illustrated by examples of earth, iron, sparks, etc., or
otherwise, (only) serve the purpose of (ultimately) explaining the unity (of Jiva

and Brahman).

multiplicity does not exist in

(Really speaking)

any manner.

Sankaras Commentary

Before

creation all this might have


been unborn, one and non-dual ; but after creation,
all this evolved world and the embodied beings (Jivas)

(Objection)

denote multiplicity.

(Reply) No, it cannot be so. For, the scriptural


passages dealing with creation have another meaning.
This difficulty raised here has already been solved by

MAND 0KYOPANISHAD

172

[III -15

the statements that2 the aggregates (entities) of body,


etc.,

like

of the

are produced through illusion

dream-objects,

subject

and

(Atman)

that

creation

differences of the Jivas are like the creation

differences of the

GhatakaSas,

enclosed in different

jars.

dealing with creation

and

i.e.,

The

the bits

scriptural 3

differences

and the
and the
of Akasa

statements

(of the

created

have again been referred to here in order to


show that such statements regarding creation have the
purpose of determining the unity of Jim and Brahman.
The 1 (theory of) creation has been described in the scripture through the illustrations of earth, iron, sparks,
etc., or otherwise; but all these modes of creation are
meant for enlightening our intellect so that it may comprehend the identity of Jim and Brahman. It is just like the
story 5 of the organs of speech ( rnk ), etc-., being smitten
with evil by the Asuras (demons) as described in the chapter
on Praria (vital breath), where the real purpose of the
Sruti is to demonstrate the special importance of Prana.
beings),

(Objection)

We

do not accept

this

meaning as

indicated.'

(Reply)

Your contention

story about Prana, etc.,


in different recensions

is

For7

not correct.

has been differently

of the Vedas.

this

narrated
story of

If the

one

Praria were literally true, there should have been

version

only in

all

recensions.

contradictory nature would

But we do come across such

Different

not have

versions

been

different versions in the Vedas.

Therefore the scriptural passages recording


Praria are not
i.e.,

meant

of

narrated.

to serve

they should not be taken

any purpose of
literally.

The

stories

their

of

own,

scriptural8

statements regarding creation should also be understood


in a similar manner.

ON ADVAITA

in-15]

(Objection)

There

have

173

been

Therefore,

different

the

creations

scriptural

state-

ments regarding creations (of the universe) and

stories

different

in

cycles.

(of Prana) are different as they refer to the creations


in

different cycles.

(Reply)

This contention

illustrations

of earth, iron,

is

not valid. For, they (the

etc.,

as well as the

stories

of Prana ) serve no other useful purpose than clearing

our

intellect as stated

other

above.

No

of the scriptural

utility

one can imagine any


statements

regarding

and Prana.

creation

(Objection) We 9 contend that these are for the


purpose of meditation so that one may ultimately attain to
that end.

(Reply)This

is

not correct either

for

no one

desires

to attain his identity with the dispute (in the case of the

Prana

or with the creation or destruction (in

narrative),

the case of the scriptural statements regarding creation,


etc.).

we have

Therefore

reasonably to conclude that the

scriptural statements regarding creation, etc., are for the

purpose of helping the mind to realise the oneness of


Atman, and for no other purpose whatsoever. Therefore,
no multiplicity is brought about by creation, etc.
1

There are definite Scriptural statements regardThese statements are literally


true. Therefore
multiplicity caused by creation is also true.

ing

Before, etc

creation.

That, etc .

In

Karikas 3 and 10 (Chapter III), it has been


and non-ego as separate from

established that the perception of ego

Brahman
s

is

due to ignorance.

Scriptural, etc

It

has been

explained, in the previous text

that the Scriptural statements regarding creation, etc.,

are for the

purpose of explaining the illusory nature of the universe to those


who take it as real.
But the purpose of this K&rika is to enable
us to understand the identity of Jiva and Brahman.

mAnd Vkyopanishad

174
4

The

creation,

etc. The meaning

is

[III -15

we should not

that

take

Scriptural statements in the literal sense but must get at their

these

underlying significance.
5

The

Story, etc.

chapter

accepted in a

reference

ChhSndogya

of the

literal

is

to the second

This

Upanishad.

part of the
story

sense as the organs of speech,

etc.,

first

cannot
be
being them-

cannot quarrel with one another.


The significance of the story is to demonstrate the superiority of Prana over
selves unconscious,

The

other Indriyas (organs).

story referred to here

as follows

is

The Devas and

Asuras, both of the race of Prajapati,

one another.

The Devas (Gods) and

fought with

(Demons) are
The Devas took

the Asuras

explained as good and evil inclinations of man.

thinking that they would be able to vanquish the Asuras


The Udgita stands for the sacrificial act to be performed
by the Udgatri the Samaveda priest, with the Udgita hymns.
They meditated on the Udgita as the breath in the nostril, but the
Asuras smote the breath with evil. Then they meditated on Udgita
but all these sense organs
as the speech, the eye, the ear, the mind
Then they meditated on
were smitten with evil by the Asuras.
the Udgita,

with

it.

Udgita as Prana

(vital breath)

Therefore Prana

evil.

is

and the Asuras

superior to

failed to smite

it

with

sense-organs.

all

We, etc.
We do not accept your explanation, for, the organs
of speech, etc., have been designated as gods. Therefore they
cannot be insentient matter.
7

For, etc.

This story about Prana


This cannot

in different Upanishads.

accepted as

literally

has

been differently stated

happen

if

the story

is

to

be

true.

8 Scriptural, etc.The story regarding


creation, as in the case
of Prapa, has been differently stated in different parts of the Upanishads. In some places we read that the Akasa was first evolved

we find that the fire was first evolved and still in another place
mentioned that Prana was first evolved. Therefore, on account
of the contradictory natures of these stories they should not be taken
again
it is

as true.

They

serve

some other purpose,

viz.,

the absence of variety, or the oneness of


8

We

contend, etc.

It is

the

said in the Sruti that

ultimately realises the oneness

of Atman.

establishment of

Atman (Brahman).
the

worshipper

ON ADVA1TA

Ill 16]

175

3HRn%f^n

cT^n^Fqai

li

il

There are three stages of life corresponding to


lower, the middle and the high powers of
comprehension. The Scripture, out of compassion, has
16.

three

the

taught this devotion (or discipline) for the benefit of those


( who

are not yet

enlightened).

Sankaras Commentary

If according to such Sruti passages as


one and without a second, etc., the Atman
alone, the one, the eternally pure, illumined and free,
is the highest and the ultimate Reality and all else is
unreal, what then is the purpose of the devotion and

(Objection)

Atman

is

spiritual practices implied in such

dear,
free

as

Atman alone

from

Atman ,

is

He

.'sruti

to be seen,

passages as

Oh

The Atman who

is

desired, It should be worshipped

etc.? Further,

what

(Vedic works) like Agnihotra,

is

the utility of

Karma

etc. ?

(Reply) Yes, listen to the reasons. A&rama signifies


who are competent to follow the disciplines of life
as prescribed for the different stages. 2 The word (in the

those

text) also includes those

who belong

to the (different)

castes 3

and therefore who observe the rites (prescribed


for those castes). The application of the word Aframa
implies that these castes are also three in number.
How ? It is because they are endowed with three kinds
of intellect, viz., low, 4 middle5 and high.8 This discipline
as well as the (various) Karmas (works) are prescribed
for the Asramis of low and average intellect, by the Sruti,
out of compassion, so that they also, following the correct
may attain to the superior knowledge.

disciplines,

MAND OKYOPANISHAD

176

That7

{III -16

not for those who possess the right


who are already endowed with the
Knowledge of Atman which is one and without a second,
this discipline is

understanding,

i.e.,

supported by such Sruti passages as That which cannot be known by the mind, but by which, they say, the
mind is able to think, that alone know to be Brahman,
and not that which people here adore, That thou art,
All this is verily Atman , etc.
is

In the previous Kdrikas

it

statements regarding creation,

has been proved that the Scriptural


nonetc., do not conflict with the

This Karika states that the prescription of various

dual Atman.

and Asramas also does


not contradict the view of the non-dual Atman.
The statements
regarding creation, etc., as well as the various spiritual disciplines
are only meant for the unenlightened in order to assist them to
understand the oneness of Atman.

disciplines associated with different Varnas

Sruti passages

on the part of the

It is

because

all

This has no meaning

or devotion.
is

these Sruti passages

require,

students, either meditation, or spiritual disciplines


if

the non-dual

Atman alone

the Reality.

These

Stages

are the

of Brahmacharya,

orders

Gdrhasthya,

Vanaprastha and Sanyasa.

The

Castes

word Varna, here, implies the three


and Vaisya.

castes,

viz.,

the Brdhmana, Kshatriya

1
Low Those who look upon the phenomenal universe
Karya Brahman) as real, are said to possess low intellect.

Those

Middle

Brahman

the

mediocre

the

Kararia Brahman,

because they

intellect,

live

still

that

is

possess

on the causal plane.

Those who have realised the non-dual (Advaita) Atman


said to possess superior power of understanding.
That,
As the possessor of the knowledge of non-dual

are

who worship

as the cause of the universe, are said to

(the

High

Atman

etc.

is

free

from

all distinction

of Asrama and Varna, it is therefore


any Vedic work or practise any

not necessary for him to perform


spiritual

discipline.

The meaning of the Kdrikd is this The Airamas and the Varnas
described in the Sruti, and the different functions ascr ibed to them
:


ON ADVAITA

Ill 17]

177

the main purpose is to train the


have only a disciplinary value
student to understand the unity of JIva and Brahman.
;

q
17.

The

II

dualists obstinately cling to the conclusions

arrived at by their

own

enquiries (as being the truth).

they contradict one another

no

II

So

whereas the Advaitin finds

conflict with them.

Sankaras Commentary

The knowledge of the non-dual Self is established by


both Scriptures and reasoning. Therefore, it is alone the
perfect knowledge. Other views, on account of their
being devoid of the bases of Scriptures and reasoning,
lead to false systems. The views of the dualists are false
on account of this additional reason, that they are the
fruitful sources of the vices of attachment and hatred,
etc.
How is this ? The dualists following the views of
Kapila, Kanada, Buddha and Jina, etc., hold firmly to
the conclusions as outlined and formulated by their
respective schools. They 1 think that the view they hold
is alone the ultimate Reality, whereas other views are
not so. Therefore they become attached to their own
views and hate others whom they consider to be opposed
to them. Thus being overcome with attachment and
hatred, they contradict one another, the reason being
the adherence to their own convictions as the only truth.
But our view, viz., the unity of Atman, based upon the
identity of aft, supported by the Vedas, does not conflict
with others who find contradictions among themselves,
as ones limbs such as hands, feet, etc., do not conflict
with one another. Hence the purport of the Sruti is

MAND OKYOPANISHAD

178

[III -18

that the knowledge of the oneness of Atman, as

from the blemish of attachment and aversion,


knowledge.

is

it is

free

the true

This Karika proves the superiority of the Advaita knowledge


over other views as it does not contradict the Scriptural statements
regarding creation and exercises ( Upasana),
and also because it
Advaita alone harmonises all
does not clash with other theories.

other doctrines and theories.

It

alone gives the rationale of other

relative views regarding Truth.


1

They,

etc.

because the dualists take the relative truth

It is

to be the ultimate view of Reality.

a
As, etc
If in the course of physical movements, the hands
or feet strike any part of the body, the body does not teel irritated
Simias the body knows the limbs to be its own integral parts.
larly the non-dualist, on account of his knowledge of identity
with all created beings and thoughts, does not feel angered at the
.

as he knows his so-called opponents


The Knower of Brahman realises the entire
world as the projection of his thought ( Kalpana).
The thoughts
are also identical with Brahman as the various dream-objects are

of his opponents,

hostility

to be his

self.

with the mind.

identical
in

own

Therefore the theories of others are not


because they are also identical

conflict with non-duality

Brahman. Comp,
Brahman.

the

WT*ff
ifatgw-ir

As

18.

duality

is

Scriptural

|cT tfoz

non-duality

lute

and

in

the

||

its

is

with
verily

\c

||

ultimate Reality, therefore

is the

effect

dualists perceive duality either

this

tp

said to be

All

passage,

(Karya or Bheda).

way

phenomena).

(i.e.,

both

The

Absonon-dual

in the

Therefore the

position does not conflict with the dualist's position.

Sankaras Commentary

How
the

is it

dualist?

that the non-dualist does not conflict with

The reason

is

thus

stated:

As

non-

ON ADVAITA

Ill 18]

duality

is

179

the ultimate Reality, therefore duality or multi-

its effect.
The Scriptural passages such
one and without asecond, He created fire,
etc., support this view. It 2 is further borne out by reason
as duality is not perceived in the states of swoon, deep
sleep or trance ( samadhi ), in the absence of the activity
of the mind. Therefore duality is said to be the effect
of non-duality. But the dualists perceive duality alone
either 3 way, that is, from both the absolute and the relative
standpoints. As duality is perceived only by the deluded
and non-duality by us who are enlightened 4 therefore
our view does not clash with their views. For, the Scripture also says, Indra (the Supreme Lord) created all
these diverse forms through Maya , There exists nothing
like duality. It 5 is like the case of a man on a spirited
elephant, who knows that none can oppose him, but

plicity is

He

as,

only

is

who

yet

does not drive his beast upon a lunatic

who

though standing on the ground, shouts at the former, I


am also on an elephant, drive your beast on me.
Therefore from the standpoint of Reality, the Knower of
Brahman is the very self of (even) the dualists. Hence,
our, viz., the non-dualistic view does not clash with
other views.

may be asked

view of the differences between the dualistic


how it can be said that the latter does
not find any contradiction with the former. The text of the Karika
It says that the so-called duality does not exist
gives the reply.
Whatever exists is non-dual Brahman alone.
at all.
Therefore
the non-dualist cannot quarrel with a thing which is ultimately
It

and the

in

non-dualistic views,

non-existent.
1

As, etc

We

learn

from Scriptural evidence that duality

the effect of the non-dual unity.

The

effect, relatively

is

speaking,

other than the cause, otherwise, one cannot make a distinction


between the cause and the effect.
Again the Sruti says that all
effects consisting of names are mere figures of speech, like the effects
is

mAnd okyopa nisha d

180

in -19

of clay, and therefore unreal. The cause, like the clay, alone is
real.
Therefore effects, being unreal, cannot contradict the cause.
Hence non-duality does not clash with duality. Here the word
Bheda," implying effect is not used in the Samkhya sense of
modification.
3

It is, etc.

of the mind.

One

When

perceives duality

mind

the

is

on account of the

at rest, duality

as in the case of deep sleep, swoon, or Samadhi.


is

the

effect.

The non-dualist admits

the state of ignorance.

But he denies

is

not

Therefore duality
during

the fact of duality


its

Therefore from

reality.

the standpoint of Reality, non-duality does not contradict


as the latter
3

Either

is really

way

Enlightened

is

to say, the dualist

and as the

duality,

non-existent.

That

the highest Reality

activity

perceived

It

because our view

is

holds duality both as

relative Reality.
is

supported

both by

and reason.

Scripture

s
It is, etc.
The dualist is self-deluded like the madman who,
though standing on the earth, thinks that he is really on an elephant
The person who is driving the elephant does not listen to the foolish
cry of the lunatic.
Similarly the dualist possessed of a partial view
of the truth, thinks of himself as having realised the ultimate Truth,
and throws his challenge to the non-dualist, calling upon him to

But the non-dualist, secure in his position,


and he bears no ill-will against the dualist
the very self of the dualist, his so-called opponent.

refute his position.

laughs
as he

at this challenge
is

HTW
cTr^rTt

IfrWFWS# W|r

fwn^

f|

II

II

19.
This unborn ( changeless , non-dual Brahman )
appears to undergo modification only on account of Maya
( illusion)

were

and not

real, the

otherwise.

For,

if this modification

Immortal ( Brahman ) would become mortal.

Sankaras Commentary
If duality 1 were the effect of non-duality, then it
could be contended that duality also, like the Advaita,

ON ADVA1TA

Ill -19]

181

In order to remove this doubt


is the Supreme Reality.
which may crop up in the minds of some, it is said that
non-duality which is the Supreme Reality appears manifold through Maya? like the one moon appearing as
many to one with defective eye-sight and the rope

appearing (to the deluded) as the snake, the water-line,


etc.
This manifold is not real, for Atman is without
any part. An object endowed with parts may be said
to undergo modification by a change of its parts, as clay
undergoes differentiation into pots, etc. Therefore the
purport is that the changeless (unborn) Atman which is
without parts cannot, in any manner, admit of distinction
excepting through Maya or the illusion of the perceiver.
If the appearance of manifoldness were real, then the
Atman, the ever-unborn and non-dual, which is, by its
very nature, immortal would become mortal as though
The4
fire would become cold (which is an absurdity).
reversal of ones own nature is not desired by any as
it is opposed to all means
of proofs. Therefore the
Reality which is Atman changeless and unborn, appears
to undergo a modification only through Maya.
Hence
it follows that duality is not the ultimate Reality.

Duality, etc.

For,

the effect always partakes of the

nature

of the cause.
3

MayS Mayi

sistently

explains the appearance of the manifold

not the Parinamavada

(or the theory

conof actual trans-

formation) adumbrated by the Samkhyas.


3

If,

etc.

For,

by changing into the universe, the non-dual


to be immortal, would undergo destruction
thing cannot retain its own nature while

Atman which is admitted


and become mortal. A
undergoing a change.

4 The
reversal, etc.
One of the tests of Reality is that it never
admits of any change of its innate nature.
The non-dual Atman
being the Reality, can never really change into the dual universe.

MAND 0KYOPAN1SHAD

182

Therefore the act of creation or modification

is

an

[III

illusion.

-20

Hegels

theory of logical necessity or Bradleys Absolute somehow becoming

phenomena cannot be borne out by reason.

the

3Rfcf#r

mwt

snfcr:

The disputants

20.

the dualists) contend that

(i.e.,

undergoes a
( changeless ) entity (Atman)

the ever-unborn

How could an entity which is changeless and


immortal partake of the nature of the mortal ?

change.

Sankara's Commentary

Some

of the

interpreters

garrulous and

who

Upanishads,

who1

are

put on the airs of the Knowers of

Brahman, admit that the Reality the Atman which


by nature ever-unborn (changeless) and immortal,
really passes 2 into birth (i.e., becomes the universe).
is

If,

according to them, the Atman really passes into

must undergo destruction. But, 1 how is it possible


for the Atman which is, by its very nature, ever-unborn
(changeless) and immortal to become mortal, i.e., to be
subject to destruction ? It can never become mortal
which is contrary to its very nature.
birth

it

1
Who,
Brahman.

etc.

Passes, etc.

i.e.,

who,

That

is,

in reality,

it

do not know anything about

creates itself

into the manifold uni-

verse.
2

all

If,

etc.

For,

destruction

is

consequence of

the inevitable

objects that are born.

1
But, etc.Birth means change of nature.
be changeless while giving birth to other objects.
that Atman somehow changes into the universe

An

entity cannot

Hence the theory


is

fallacious.

ON ADVAITA

Ill -21-22]

JT

*p*?*$ct fn&

5rf>cr^q*?mT^

trefop-

183

cT*n

?r

II

The immortal cannot become mortal, nor can


the mortal ever become immortal. For, it is never possible
for a thing to change its nature.
21.

Sankaras Commentary

As in common experience the immortal never becomes mortal, nor the mortal ever becomes immortal
therefore it is, in no way, possible for a thing to reverse
its nature, i.e., to become otherwise than what it is.
Fire can never change

^i^rr^rr

its

character of being hot.

fit#!

ftw.

ii

\\

ii

22.
How can he, who believes that the naturally
the
immortal entity becomes mortal,
maintain that
Immortal, after passing through change, retains its changeless nature ?

Sankaras Commentary

The disputant who maintains


immortal entity becomes mortal,

that

i.e.,

the

naturally

really passes into

makes 1 the futile proposition that that entity before


creation is by its very nature, immortal. How can he
birth,

assert that the entity is of immortal nature if

that

it

passes 8 into birth ? That

is

to say,

it

be admitted

how

ctfn

the

immortal retain its immortal nature of changelessness if


it should undergo a change ? It cannot, by any means, be
so.
Those 3 who hold that the Atman passes into birth
(i.e., undergoes a change), cannot speak of the Atman as
ever birthless. Everything, according to them, must be
mortal. Hehce 1 there cannot be a state called liberation.

MIND OKYOPA NISHAD

184

[III -23

may

be contended that Brahman, as the cause, is immortal


But as effect, subsequent to the creation, it becomes
mortal. Therefore there is no contradiction in associating with
Brahman both immortal and mortal aspects which apply to its
two states. This Kdrikd refutes this contention.
It

before creation.

Makes, etc. For, according to these disputes, the cause


Brahman), even before creation must contain within it the
If
possibility of change ; otherwise it cannot undergo a change.
this were admitted then the cause can no longer be called immortal.
(i.e .,

Passes, etc

impermanent
of

its

If

an entity undergoes a change, that shows its


inasmuch as it admits of the destruction

characteristic

inherent nature.
Those, etc

mortal entity.
immortal.

The

so-called Absolute of the

dualists is also a
through birth, can be

For, nothing that passes

4
That is to say, Mukti or liberation in the sense
Hence, etc
of an immutable and permanent condition becomes an absurdity.
.

^^rs^frcTt

'Tfsft

*rcr fjra:
II

3,3

II

23.
The
may be
Both these views are equally mentioned in the Sruti.
That which is supported by Sruti
and corroborated by
reason, is alone true and not the other.

real or illusory.

passing into birth

Sankaras Commentary

Those

1
who do not admit the change
or the passing into birth of Brahman, cannot justify the
Scriptural passages which support creation.

(Objection)

(Reply)

Yes,

we

also admit the existence of Scrip-

supporting

creation

tural

texts

texts

serve other purposes.

as

actual,

already been disposed of, the contention

made and

but

such

Though the question has


is

here again

refuted in order to allay all doubts regarding

the applicability or otherwise of the

Scriptural

texts

ON ADVAITA

Ill -23]

to the subject-matter*- that

is

185

going to be dealt with. The


is the same, whether

Scriptural text regarding creation

is taken in the real sense or as a


produced by the juggler.

the creation of things

mere

illusion

(Objection) -If
direct meanings,

it

is

words admit of metaphorical and


reasonable to understand the world

according to their direct meaning.

(Reply) We do not admit it. For 8 creation, in


any sense other than illusion, is unknown to us, and
further, no purpose is served by admitting (the act of)
creation.
All 4 creation, whether metaphorical or actual,
refers to the apparent creation caused by Avidya but not
to any creation from the standpoint of Reality.
For
the Scripture says, Though existing both within and
without, he (the Atman) is (really) changeless. Therefore we have stated in the foregoing part of this work
only what is supported by reason and determined by
the Sruti such words as, He is one and without a second
and is free from birth and death. That alone is the
true import of the Scripture and not anything else.
,

Those, etc.

that the

Atman

There

are

some

brings about the

which state
by following the law of

Scriptural passages

creation

causality.
2

any

The

Subject-matter

purport of the

Sruti

act of creation, whether actual or illusory,

Ajdti or eternal changelessness of


3

For, etc.

According to

is

not to establish
but to prove the

Brahman.

the Advaita philosophy,

all

creation,

whether actual or metaphorical (secondary) whether in dream or


in the waking state, is equally illusory from the standpoint of Reality.
Further, if creation be admitted as real, no purpose whatsoever
is served by creation. It does not help anyone to attain to liberation.
4 All,

etc.

The

such as pot,
9

etc., in

dream

creation of objects in

phorical or secondary in comparison with


the waking state.

As

is

called

the creation of

the

metaobjects

dream objects become

MAND OKYOPANISHAD

186

unreal in the waking state, similarly the

waking

state are

known

to be unreal

Therefore from

ledge of Atman.

objects, perceived in

dream or the waking

aT3rr*mHl *rfwr

umi

objects

when one
the

[III

perceived in the

attains to the

know-

standpoint of Atman,
are

state,

g:

-24

all

equally unreal.

11

||

From such Scriptural passages as, There is no


Atman, Indra through Maya, we
in
know that the Atman, though ever unborn, verily appears
to have become many {only) through Maya.
24.

multiplicity

Sankaras Commentary
It

may be

of Atman
it is

is

asked

how

the changelessness

the final conclusion of the Sruti.

(Ajati)

In

reply

said that if creation were real, then the existence of

the variety of objects would be absolutely real.

Conse-

quently there ought not to be Scriptural texts implying

But there are such Scriptural texts as,


{Atman) there is no multiplicity, etc., which
negate the existence of duality. Therefore creation
(imaginary) has been imagined in order to help the
understanding of the non-duality of Atman. It 1 is like
the story of Prana.' And this is further borne out by
the use of the word, Maya, denoting unreality (in
connection with creation) in such Scriptural texts as
Indra 8 through Maya assumed diverse forms.
their unreality.

In

this

(Objection)

The word

(Reply) It is

true,

denotes knowledge {PrajnS).

but sense-knowledge

is

illusory.

The word 8 Mays is used to denote that (sense-)


knowledge. Hence there is no blemish (in such use of
the word). The word Mayabhih (through Maya) in
the Scriptural text means through sense-knowledge, which

ON ADVAITA

ra-25]
is

For,

illusory.

the

Though
many ways. There-

again says,

Scripture

unborn he appears to be born

187

in

Atman passes into birth through Maya alone.


The word 7m (verily) in the text (of the KarikS)

fore

denotes certainty, that


tion

is

is

indicates that crea-

Maya

or illusion and not

to say,

possible only through

it

any real sense. For, birthlessness and birth in various


forms cannot be predicated of the same object, as fire
cannot be both hot and cold. Further, from such
Sruti passages as How can there be any delusion and
any grief for him who sees unity, etc., we know that
the knowledge of the unity of Atman is alone the conclusion of Sruti on account of the (good) result it brings
Again, the perception of differentiation
to the knower.
implied by creation has been condemned in such Sruti
passages as, He goes from death to death (who sees
here many).
in

It is, etc.

As

of Prana and
of the vital breath

the Sruti described the disputes

the sense-organs in order to prove the superiority


(

Mukhya

Prana), so also creation has

been

described in order to

help the understanding of the student to grasp the unity

of Atman.

(See KarikS 3-15).


2

Indra The word

is

used here in the sense

of the Supreme

Lord.

3 The word, etc.


The word Maya is sometimes used to
denote empirical knowledge or the knowledge derived by the contact
of the sense-organs with their objects. This knowledge does not

indicate the Highest Consciousness or

Hence creation through Mdya


4

It,

etc.

explanation

is

If

is

the

knowledge

of Reality.

necessarily illusory.

one believes in creation then

that of the Vivartavdda

the

only plausible

and not any other theory

such as Parinamavcida.

SfiT

TOT

||

||


mAnd Okyopanishad

188

25.

[in -25

Again, by the negation of creation (Sambhuti)


into birth is refuted.
Causality (in respect

the passing

of Atman)
cause

it

to

is denied by such a statement


pass into birth ?

as,

who can

Sankaras Commentary

By the condemnation of Sambhuti 1

(i.e.,

Hirariya-

garbha ) as something fit to be meditated upon, in such


SrutP passage as, They enter into blind darkness who

worship Sambhuti, the whole 3 creation (evolution) is


negatived. For, if Sambhuti were absolutely real, then
its condemnation, in such manner, would not be reasonable.
(Objection)

meant here
is

The

condemnation of Sambhuti is
Sambhuti with Vinaia 3 as

for co-ordinating

the case with the Sruti passage, 8

darkness

who worship

(Reply)

Yes,

is

it

They

enter into blind

Avidya".
indeed true that the condemna-

tion of the exclusive worship of Sambhuti

is

made

for

the purpose of co-ordinating the meditation regarding

Sambhuti with the Karma (ritual) known as Vinaia.


should not be forgotten that as the purpose of the

Still it

Karma known
whose nature

is

as

Vinaia

is

transcend

to

the desire consequent

man

so also the aim

death,

upon the inborn

of the co-ordination
Sambhuti or Hiranyagarbha) with the Karma (called Vinaia) undertaken for
the purpose of the purification of the mind of man, is
to transcend death,
which 8 is of the nature of the
attachment to ritual and its results characterised by the
dual hankering after the end and the means. For, thus
alone man becomes free from death which is of the nature
of impurity and is characterised by the dual impulse of
end and means. Therefore the co-ordination of the
ignorance of

of the meditation on Devata

(i.e.,

ON ADVAITA

Ill -25]

meditation of Deva'tS and of

Karma

189

which is AvidyS
Thus 9 the realisation of
VidyS (the highest knowledge), characterised by the
identity of the Supreme Self and Jiva, is inevitable 10 for
one who has transcended death, of the form of AvidyS
and characterised by the dual impulses (of the means and
the end), and who is established in renunciation and
also devoted to the meaning of the import of the
leads to freedom

from death.

Upanishad.
(i.e.,

It

is

therefore

the knowledge of

said thus 11

Brahman

for the attainment of Immortality

BrahmavidyS

which

is

and w hich

the
is

means

(from the

relative standpoint) subsequent to the state

of the antecedent AvidyS (ignorance) being related to the same person


(who is still in the state of ignorance), is said to be coordinated with Avidya. Hence the negation of Sambhuti
is

for the purpose of

condemnation as

other 12 than the knowledge of

it

serves a purpose

Brahman which

(alone)

Though

is

the means to the attainment of Immortality.

it

serves the purpose of removing impurity yet the devo-

tion to Sambhuti does not enable one to realise (directly)

immortality.
is

(Therefore the condemnation of Sambhuti

reasonable.)

Hence,

Sambhuti,

being

thus

nega-

can be said to have only a relative existence.


Having regard to the unity of Atman, the ultimate Reality,
creation (symbolised by Hiranyagarbha which is known
tived,

it

immortal 18

(only from the relative standpoint) is


Such 14 being the case, who can bring into
being the Jiva who is seen as created only through illusion
(Maya) and who exists only while ignorance (AvidyS
as

negated.

lasts ? This Jiva reverts to its original nature (of

Brahman)

with the disappearance of AvidvS. For, no one can


verily bring into being the snake (falsely) superimposed
upon the rope through AvidyS and which disappears

MAND 0KYOPANISHAD

190

[III -25

when one knows (the true nature of the rope). Thereno one can produce or create the Jfva. The words
Ko nu (who can ?) in the text, being in the form of
interrogation refute the idea of causality. The purport
fore

of the Kdrikd is that there can be no cause for a thing


which is seen to be born only through ignorance and
which disappears with the destruction of the said
ignorance. The Sruti also says, This 15 Atman is not
born from any cause nor is anything born from it.
SambhutiThe word Bhuti means Aisvarya (it ^4 )
and the word Sambhuti 'indicates one who possesses
It is a deity known as
Hiranyagarbha (The Golden
all powers.
Germ) who is the first of all the evolved effects and from whom,
*

power,

i.e.,

as the matrix, the whole evolution proceeds.

the Vedantic texts as the summation of


*

This

Sruti passage

This Karika

(12).
8

Whole,

etc.

By

this text

the entire creation

quent

effects is negatived.

in the

form of the manifold,

is

is

described in

of the Upanishad.

the condemnation of

whom

It

subtle bodies.

a quotation from the Isa-Upanishad

is

based on

is

all

said to proceed,

Hiranyagarbha from

the whole of the subse-

Therefore the entire effect which


is

is

seen

unreal.

The, etc. The reference is to the text of the Isa-Upanishad


Those who worship the unmanifested
which runs thus
Prakriti and Hirariyagarbha (Destruction,
Vinasa) together, get
over death through the worship of Hiranyagarbha and attain
immortality through the worship of Prakriti." The contention of
The condemnation of Sambhuti is not for the
the opponent is this
purpose of proving its unreality. Its purpose is to combine the
worship of Prakriti and Hiranyagarbha. The exclusive worship of
Hiranyagarbha is condemned. (See Sankaras Commentary on
verse 14 of the Iia- Upanishad.)
*

(14)

VinQSa

The

teristic attribute is

word

VintiSa

destruction,

means

that object

whose charac-

the abstract being here used for

the concrete. Vin&sa means the worship of Hiranyagarbha. The


contention of the opponent is that the purpose of the condemnation

of the exclusive worship of Sambhuti

is

to prescribe the co-ordination

ON ADVAITA

Ill -25]

of

its

meditation with -some

ritualistic

the unreality of Sambhuti or the


6

Sruti,

etc.

The

reference

first

to

is

191

worship and not to imply

cause.

the 9th verse

of the Iia-

on the
and A vidyd (the exclusive ritualistic ceremonies without any
meditation) and prescribes their co-ordination.
Aim, etc.
The purport of the 9th verse of the Isa- Upanishad
is this
Avidyd is something other than Vidyd or knowledge
hence it is Karma
Those
for Karma is opposed to knowledge.
Upanishad which condemns Vidyd

(the exclusive meditation

deities)

who

are continuously performing

Agnihotra-sacrifice,

alone,

etc.,

Those who having given up Karma, arfe always


bent upon acquiring the knowledge of the deities, fall into greater
darkness. Who knows that both these should simultaneously be
followed by the same person, he alone,
so combining the two,
gradually secures the one desirable end.
That is to say, his mind
is purified of all impurities.
The pure mind, then, is able to grasp
the meaning of the Upanishad which alone enables the student to
know the ultimate Reality. The aim of such Karma as the Agnihotrasacrifice, etc., prescribed by the Scripture, is to turn the mind of
the student away from the pursuit of worldly objects, not sanctioned
by the Scriptures. By the co-ordination of Karma with meditation
(on the deities) the student frees himself from all impulse of desires'.
Even then he has not realised the Highest Truth which is possible
fall

into darkness.

only through Jnanam or knowledge.


8

Which

death which
of Brahman.

is,

Death

means the endless

cycle of birth and


one has attained to the knowledge
The endless chain is caused by the desire for relative
etc.

inevitable unless

is

objects.

8
Thus, etc. The knowledge of Brahman can never be combined with the co-ordination of Karma and Updsana as the latter
belongs to the realm of ignorance. Brahmavidya and ignorance

are as unrelated as light

There

10

Inevitable

11

Thus, etc.

and darkness.

no other obstacle for the realisation of


Supreme Reality when all the impurities have been removed
by the practice of Karma and Updsana.
is

the

ledge of

No

co-ordination

Brahman and any other

found that the student,


ledge gets his

mind

at

first,

purified

is

possible between the

relative

knowledge.

know-

Still

it

is

through a process of relative know-

and then becomes

fit

for

Brahma-Jndmm.

MIND 0KYOPA NISHAD

192

Thus from a

Brahman

relative standpoint

subsequent to

arises

speaking, the knowledge of Self


non-existent.

As from

it

is

the
is

[III-26

seen that the knowledge of


knowledge. Really

relative

ever present and ignorance

the relative standpoint

it

is

is

seen that an

ignorant person gradually attains to the highest knowledge, therefore from that standpoint Vidyd
to the
11

and Avidya are said to be

related

same person.

Other than,

etc.

That

to say, the purpose of the medita-

is

on Sambhuti is the purification of the mind. As this is not


the same as the knowledge of Brahman, therefore, Sambhuti is

tion

condemned.

M Immortal In comparison with the phenomenal Jiva, Sambhuti,


or Hirariyagarbha is said to be immortal, as the cosmic soul exists
even after the death of the Jiva. But from the standpoint of
Brahman, Hirariyagarbha is also mortal and impermanent. Therefore

it is

14

condemned.

There is no act of creation from the standpoint


of Reality, because the very idea of creation is due to ignorance.
Creation is but aD idea of the mind and hence negated.

Such, etc.

This, etc.

i.e.,

the idea of causality cannot apply to Brahman.

only an explanation of things in the phenomenal world due to


the ignorance of the real nature of Brahman.

It is

ST

*TcT:

l^rs^r
26.

As

||

the Sruti passage, It is not this, not this,"

on account of
all

( dualistic)

of Atman, negates
means for the
the birthless (Atman

the incomprehensibility

ideas

described;

(as

therefore
attainment of Atman),
alone) exists (and not any duality).

the

Sankaras Commentary

The

Sruti 1 in such passage as,

instruction.

It is

the nature of

not

this,

Atman by

This

not this,

the

refutation

has

of

is

the final

determined
all

specific

ON ADVAITA

IH-26]
characteristics.

But knowing

this

193

Atman

to be incom-

prehensible* the Sruti has again sought to establish the

same Atman through

very

means and finally


means for the

other

refuted what have been described (as the

That

attainment of Atman).

passage as, It

not

is

this,

is

to say, the Sruti, in

such

not this, demonstrates the

Atman or in other words, refutes


Atman * can be realised or understood.
Those 4 who do not understand that the means (suggested
incomprehensibility of
the idea that

Atman) have only one purpose,


(i.e., the non-dual Atman),
make a mistake by thinking that what are suggested
as the means have the same reality as the end. In order
to remove this error, the Sruti negates the reality 5 of
the means by 8 pointing out the incomprehensibility of
Atman, as its reason. Subsequently 7 the student knows
that the means serve their purpose by pointing only to
the end and the end itself is always one and changeless.
To such a student the knowledge of the unborn Self
which is both within and without reveals itself 8
for the realisation of
viz.,

the realisation of the end

>

The Sruti The reference is to the Brihadarariyaka Upanishad


which begins with the statement : There are two forms
of Brahman, the material and the immaterial, the mortal and the
The chapter ends thus :
immortal, the solid and the fluid
Next follows the teaching (of Brahman) by No, no ; for, there
"

It is not so
is nothing else higher than this (if one says)
Those who cannot meditate on Brahman, free from all attributes,
(2. 3. 1)

are advised to concentrate

on some

characteristics (of

Brahman)

superimposed upon Brahman for the facility of meditation. Then


the students are asked to negate those attributes also, because thus
alone can they realise the undifferentiated Brahman which alone
is

is

Supreme

the

Reality.

Incomprehensible

It

is

because the knowledge

of the Self

extremely subtle.

mAnd Okyopanishad

194

[III -26

* Atman, etc.That is to say, the Atman is never the effect of


any thought or words. It is not an object of meditation or speech.
For it is our very self. Thus the Sruti advises the students to
dissociate from Atman all words, or thoughts which were at first
accepted as means for its realisation. That which is thought by
Hence
the mind is merely an idea. It is changeable and negatable.
- Therefore any idea associated with Atman is not
it is not Reality.

the

Atman
4

itself.

Those,

etc

The

unwary

the real significance of Vedanta,

students,

make

the attributes which are superimposed

Brahman

unable

to

understand

the mistake of thinking that

upon Brahman are

as real

That is to say, they think that these attributes


have an independent existence.
as

Reality

itself.

i.e.,

reality

independent of Brahman.

By pointing out This is the Advaitic method of reasoning.


Brahman or Atman, being beyond time, space and causality, is ever
incomprehensible through any empirical means. It is the eternal
subject having no object through which one can comprehend it.

This incomprehensibility of Atman

is

the very reason for refuting

any attribute that may be otherwise associated with it. If Atman


can be known by any, positive attribute, it no longer remains
incomprehensible. It becomes an object of our thought like any
other perceived object. Such Atman can never be the changeless
Absolute.

The

through his
superimposed
upon Atman. He realises that these attributes have no independent
Then he understands that all attributes are the same as
reality.
the non-dual Brahman, as one who knows the true nature of the
rope realises that what he formerly thought of as the snake is nothing
but the rope. That which was superimposed upon the rope is
identical with the substratum.
Only the idea of the existence of
the snake apart from the rope is illusion. Similarly all attributes
of Atman, such as materiality or immateriality, etc., are, in reality,
identical with Atman.
To concede any separate existence to the
attributes independent of Atman is illusion.
Atman, the non-dual,
changeless and causeless Reality, alone exists. All that exists is
Atman. Even that which is imagined as means for the realisation
of Atman is not separate from Atman.

Subsequently,

etc.

superior power of reasoning,

discriminating
refutes all

student,

attributes


ON ADVAITA

195

Itselfi.e., the final revelation of

Atman does not depend


of Atman realises that
and needs no external

in -27]
8

upon Sruti or anything else. A knower


Atman always exists and is self-luminous
means to illumine it.

3RT

ft

5TRa

fR^cTt
11.

*pTcf

^TlcT cT^q

which

That

is

1% *nqcT

ever-existent

||

||

appears

to

pass

(Maya) and not from the standpoint of Reality. He who thinks that this passing into
birth is real asserts, as a matter of fact, that what is born
is born again ( and so on without end).
into birth through illusion

Sankaras Commentary

Thus hundreds of
the essence which

is

Scriptural passages conclude that

the non-dual

and

birthless

Self,

both within and without, is the only Reality,


and that nothing else, besides the Self, exists. Now,
in order to determine this very Reality through reason,
existing

again

it

is

stated:

(Objection)

It

may

also

be true that

if

Reality be

incomprehensible then the knowledge of Self would be


unreal.

(Reply)

No,

prehended.

new

things),

Maya

cannot be, for 1 the

effect is comAs the effects, that is to say creation (of


come from a really existent magician through

this

(magic), so also the comprehension of the effects,

form of the creation of the universe, leacfs us to


of the Atman, the Supreme Reality,
who, like the magician, is, as it were, the substratum of
the illusion which is seen in the form of the creation of
in the

infer the existence

the universe.

For, the creation of the universe

only with a Reality,

i.e.,

an

is

possible

existing cause, like the birth

MIND VKYOPA NISHAD

196

[III -27

of the effects, such as the elephant, etc., conjured up


through illusion (by an existing magician); and this
creation

never possible with a non-existing cause.

is

not, however, possible for the

It is

Or

really pass into birth.

be explained
entity,

in another

such as the rope,

as the snake,
similarly,

etc.,

2
,

the

manner.
etc.,

unborn Atman to

first line

As

passes

of the text

into such effects

Maya and

only through

may

a really existing

not in

reality,

Atman

the real and the incomprehensible

is

seen to pass into birth, in the form of the universe, like


the rope becoming

The

birthless

the

snake,

Atman cannot pass

point of Reality.

only through illusion.

into birth from the stand-

But the disputant who holds that


is really born

the unborn Atman, the Supreme Reality,


in the

form of the universe, cannot

that the

assert

unborn is born, as this implies a contradiction 3 In that


case he must admit that, in fact, what is (already) born,
again passes into birth. If, thus, birth is predicated of
.

that which

with what
Therefore

Atman

is

is

is
it

already born, then the disputant

known
is

in logic as regressw>

established

ever unborn

ad

is

faced

infinitum.

that the Essence which

is

and non-dual.

has already been established on Scriptural evidence that the


is the Supreme Reality is birthless and non-dual.
All
duality is mere imagination due to ignorance and hence unreal.
It

Atman which

This is now established independently by reason. Sankara always


maintains a dual aspect. For those who believe in Scripture,
Sankara quotes the Scripture to establish his point. Again for
those wlio do not believe in the Vedas as the supreme authority
but who depend upon reason alone, Sankara gives rational proof

of

his conclusion.
1

This

Far, etc .

The opponent believes in causality but denies Atman.

is illogical.

If

one admits the creation of the universe then

one must believe in its cause also. Every effect presupposes a cause.
Even every illusion must have a substratum. A positive effect

ON ADVAITA

Ill -28]

197

cannot be produced from a non-existing cause.


the Advaitin

is

this

If

you

The

position of

believe in the universe as a created

you must admit its cause, namely, Brahman. The positive


of the universe cannot come from a non-existing cause.
Brahman or Atman, however, does not really create Ihe universe
nor transform itself into the universe, as the rope does not really
create the snake nor does it become the snake.
The appearance
of creation is due to ignorance. Therefore the theory of Maya
or vivarta which posits a real Atman is the best explanation of the
universe when such universe is recognised as a fact.
entity,

effect

Or,

Atman

etc.

The

first

interpretation of the

first

line points to

Karana) of the universe,


though the very perception of the creation is due to illusion. This
interpretation stresses the Reality of Atman. The second interpretation stresses on the fact that the idea of the unborn Atman passing
The process of creation and creation
into birth is due to ignorance.
itself
3

as the instrumental cause

( Nimitta

are illusory.
Contradiction

new

If this causality

because the unborn

cannot give birth


be admitted then the so-called
unborn cause must itself come from another cause and so on ad
Thus we never come across an unborn cause. There will
infinitum.
be thus an endless past in the case of causes and an equally endless
If the cause produces an effect that
future in the case of effects.
effect, in its turn, must produce new effect and so on ad infinitum
Thus there can be no mukti or liberation which
(Hegels position).
means freedom from the causal chain.
to a

thing.

It

is

*T1W 5RT

cfrTtTt

qpqct

mw
28.

The

through Maya.
neither

in

cannot be bom either really or


For the son of a barren woman is born

unreal

reality nor

in

illusion.

Sankaras Commentary
There are those
real,

that

the

who

hold that

non-existent

all

produces

entities are
this

world.

production, by the non-existent, of any thing either

un-

But
in

MAND VKYOPANISHAD

198

pn -29

or in illusion is not possible. For we know


nothing like it in our experience. As the son of a barren
woman is not seen to be born either really or through
Mdyd, thq theory of the non-existence of things is in

reality

truth 1 untenable.
If the ultimate Reality be non-existent, then

Again

birth.

if

what we perceive be unreal,


In either case causality

wise impossible.

is

cannot pass into

it

production

its

is like-

We

have seen
the unborn

unreal.

from the previous Karika (27) that the Reality, which is


Atman, cannot be said to pass into birth, without our being forced
into an infinite regress. This Karika shows that production is an
impossibility if the ultimate Reality be non-existent, or if the thing

we

perceive be unreal.

birth
1

birth

is

So, causality or production or passing into

an absurdity.

may

In case the Atman


be explained by Maya

In truth

is

explanation cannot hold, for there

is

the passing into

a Reality,
but

no

in

this

case even

that

evidence in our actual

something comes

experience to justify the presumption that either

out of nothing or nothing comes out of something.

gSRis

*FT:

cp-u

29.

As

||

in

dream

the

mind

acts through

senting the appearance of duality, so also in the


state the

mind

acts, through

Maya, presenting

MSya

pre-

waking

the appear-

ance of duality.

Sankaras Commentary

How
through
imagined

is it

possible for the Reality to pass into birth

Maya ?

It

is

thus

in the rope, is real 1

also the mind, 2 from

replied

As

when seen

the

snake

as the rope, so

the standpoint of the knowledge


of the ultimate Reality, is seen to be identical with
Atman. This mind, in dream, appears to us as dual
in the forms of the cogniser and the cognised through

ON AD VAITA

Ill -30]

MdyS,

199

as the snake appears to be separate

from the rope

mind acts
ignorance.
through
Mayd.
in
the
waking
state
dual
form)
a
That 4 is to say, the mind appears to act,

through

Similarly,

indeed

the

(in

Real,

etc.

The snake

rated from the rope.

Blit

is

unreal

when

when we

try to see

it

the real nature of the rope

as sepa-

is

known

then it is realised that the snake, which appeared, is really identical


with the rope. The substratum ( Adhishthana ) is the same as that
which is superimposed (Aropita ) upon it.

Mind The mind

3
is

as the substratum of the

identical with Reality or


3

dream experiences,

Atman.

In dream we have the experience of the sepa-

Maya

Through

and the act


But in the waking state we know these three-fold
experiences to be nothing but the mind so appearing.
The idea
that the dream experiences are different from the mind is due to
The knower of the
the ignorance which exists in the dream state.
real nature of the rope finds it to be identical with the snake.
rate existence of the perceiver, the object of perception

of perceiving.

That

of the mind
is

etc.
is

For,

Brahman does not act. The action


The Sruti also says that mind in reality

in reality

due to Maya.

Brahman.

3TgT
=q

rqW(T

iff:

gqwie

?TTr

3THPT *T?rq:

||

||

30
is no doubt that the mind, which is, in fact,
non-dual appears as dual in dream; in like manner
undoubtedly that which is non-dual, appears as dual in
the waking state also.
.

There

Sankaras Commentary
snake is identical with the
manner, the mind which is nondual 1 as Atman appears undoubtedly in dual forms in
dreams. Verily in dream, such objects of perception
as elephants, etc., or their perceivers such as eyes,
Really speaking, the

rope.

In

like

MAND OKYOPA NISHA D

200

have2

etc.,

no

as well.

the case in the waking state

is

For (conciousness) mind, which

Reality,

est

common

is

conscious-

independently of

existence

Similar 8

ness (mind).

[III -31

is

the high-

to both.

The opponent may contend

that the

previous K&rika admits

This Karika shows that the perception of duality is due


to our ignorance.
The only Reality, both in the dream and the
Waking states, is mind or consciousness which appears as dual,
i.e., the perceiver and the perceived, on account of ignorance.
duality.

Non-dual

the

etc.

mind remains

This

as pure

is

known

in Sushupti or deep-sleep

when

and non-dual.

Have, etc. That the perceiver and the perceived in the dream
have no existence independent of the mind is known in the
waking state.
8

state

Similar, etc.
In the waking state also what
only the act of the mind. The jsame 'consciousness

is
is

perceived

is

common

in

both the states. The idea of a .mind having the dual characteristics
of determination and volition is superimposed upon the substratum,
i.e., consciousness
and as a result, the phenomenal world is perceived.
It should not be thought that there is any other cause for
the appearance of duality excepting ignorance.
;

|cT
31.

that

is

All

these

dual

||

comprising

objects,

||

everything

movable and immovable, perceived by the mind

mind alone).
For,
when the mind ceases to

(are

duality

is

never

experienced

act.

Sankaras Commentary
It

has

been said that

it

is

appears as dual (objects) like


snake in the rope. But what is

the

mind alone which

the appearance of the

proof ? Our answer


on the strength of
an inference following the method of agreement and

is this

We make

the

its

statement

ON ADVATTA

Ill -32]

The proposition

difference.

201

that

is

all

this

duality

of the mind is,


The reason for such

perceived as such by the imagination


in reality, nothing but the mind.

inference

is

and

it

acts
is

to say,

that duality

vanishes

when the

is

(activity,

withdrawn 1 unto

perceived

when the mind


i.e.,

when

mind

the

ceases to act

the Vrittis of the)

that

mind

by the knowledge got through


practice
and renunciation,
like the disappearance of the snake in the rope
or
during deep sleep. 2 Hence on account of the disappearance of duality it is established that duality is unreal
or illusory. That the perception of duality is due to
the action of the mind is further proved in this Karika.
is

itself

repeated

discrimination,

1
Withdrawn, etc. This may be called Samadhi. But Vedanta
does not prescribe any mechanical method for the attainment of
this state.
The Vedantic method for the control of the mind is
the discrimination between the real and the unreal (repeated dis-

crimination), all based

upon reasoning.

Deep sleep Although there is a difference, Sushupti has often


been pointed out by the Vedantic Seers as similar to the state of
Nirvikalpa Samadhi. Sushupti is the state when the mind ceases
to act. Consequently in it duality is not perceived.

cTser

When

WWW

srrerroft

mind does not imagine on account


of the Truth which is Atman, then it
ceases to be mind and becomes free from all idea of cognition, for want of objects to be cognised.
32.

of

the

the knowledge

Sankaras Commentary

How
replied:

the mind become naught ?


Atman alone is the Reality

does

The

clay; as in the Sruti passage,

All

It is

thus

like 1

the

modifications

are

mAnd Okyopanishad

202

[III -33

from efforts of speech. The clay


That knowledge of the reality of
Atman comes through the Scripture2 and the teacher.
The mind having attained to that knowledge does not
imagine, as 3 there remains nothing to be imagined.
The mind then is like fire when there is no fuel to burn.
When the mind thus does no longer imagine, it
ceases to be mind, that is, the mind, for want of any
object to be cognised, becomes free from all cognition.

mere names
alone

Like,

(made of
their

arising

real.

is

etc

clay)

The
is

only reality in the pots, jars, plates,

and

changeability

are

negatability,

only reality in this universe

mere

etc.,

The names and forms, on account of

the clay.

is

Atman

all

unreal.

Similarly

the

other objects which are

mind, being changeable and negatable, are unreal.

acts of

Scripture, etc

student what

is

The

and the teacher only tell the


They follow the negative method for
which is the rational method pursued in
Scripture

not Atman.

pointing out the Reality,

philosophy proper.
3

The

of mind which conjure up the world of


i.e., to the realm wherein
the duality of the subject and the object is recognised. But such
action becomes impossible in the absolute state where there is no
consciousness of subject and object. In that state Brahman alone
is realised and hence the mind, consisting of determination and
volition, ceases to exist.
Then mind becomes identical with Brahman
which is free from all duality of cognition.
As, etc

acts

duality belong to the empirical realm,

3T3wqsF;iR

r%*qcr h

srsrihwff
33.

The knowledge (Jnanam) which

free from all imaginations

is

ever

\\
is

unborn and

inseparable

from

the

immutable and birthless Brahman is


the sole object of knowledge.
The birthless is known
by the birthless.
knowable.

The

ON ADVAITA

Ill -33]

203

Sankaras Commentary
be illusory, how is the knowledge
realised?
be
It is thus replied:
The
of the Self to
Knowers of Brahman describe knowledge, i.e., the
mere essence of thought, which is unborn and free from
1
non-different from Brahman, the
all imaginations as
ultimate Reality, which is also the object of knowledge. This is supported by such Scriptural passages
as,
Like heat from fire, knowledge (Jnanam) is
never absent from the knower ( Atman ), Brahman
is Knowledge and Bliss, Brahman is Reality, Knowledge and Infinity, etc. The knowledge of which
Brahman is the object, is non-different from (the knowable) Brahman, as is the heat from the fire.
The
Essence of the Self, which is the object of knowledge,
means of unborn knowledge,
verily knows itself by
which is of the very nature of Atman.
Brahman
which is of the nature of one homogeneous mass of
eternal consciousness, does not depend upon another 8
instrument of knowledge (for its illumination), as is
the case with the sun, which being of the nature of
continuous light (does not require any instrument to
If all this duality

illumine

itself).

1 As non-different, etc
The Jnanam or knowledge is the same
Brahman otherwise no knowledge would be able to tell us what
Brahman is. Darkness cannot illumine the sun. Only the light
.

as

of the sun which

is

the sun

itself,

Such

Another instrument
us what is not self.

To

the Jnani, even

when he

can illumine the sun.

as scripture, etc., which only tell

acts in this empirical world, the

knower, the knowledge and the object of knowledge are all Brahman.
And yet all these, being of the nature of Brahman, are without
birth

( AJa).

MIND CKYOPA NISHA D

204

fFT^t fffrtoTFT

s 3 f^r:

snrrc:

The

34.

control,
is

i.e.,

behaviour

which

is

free

ggjte^r
of

the

from

all

[III-34

tffartT:

ff

mm

mind

\*

11

that

is

11

under

imaginations and that

endowed with discrimination, should be known. The


of the mind in deep sleep is of another sort and

condition

not like that.

Sankaras Commentary

from
knowledge 1 of Truth,
which is Atman, becomes^ tranquil for want of external
objects, like the fire not fed by fuel.
Such mind may
be said to be under control. It has been further stated
It

has been stated before that the mind, free

imagination on account of the

disappears when the mind thus ceases


The Yogis should particularly know the behaviour 2 of the mind which is thus brought under
discipline, which is free from all imaginations and which
that duality

to act.

is

possessed

of discrimination.

In

(Objection)

the absence of all specific conscious-

ness the mind, in the


exactly in the

What

control.

of

all

specific

(Reply)

state

of deep

same manner as
is

there to be

knowledge

To

this

does

known

behaves

sleep,

the
in

mind under
the

absence

objection

we

reply

thus

Your

not valid. For, the behaviour of the mind


overcome by the darkness of delusion
caused by ignorance, and still full of many potential
desires which are the seeds of numerous future undesirable activities, is quite different from the behaviour
of the mind well under control and free from the
ignorance which produces activities that give rise to
objection

is

in deep sleep,

ON ADVAITA

Ill -35]

205

numerous afflictions, and from which has been burnt away


by the fire of self-knowledge the ignorance which contains
the harmful seed of

all

potential tendencies to act.

The

behaviour of the latter kind of mind is quite different 4


Therefore it is not like the mind in deep sleep. Hence
the behaviour of such mind should be known. This 6 is
.

the

purport.
1

Knowledge,

and

real

etc.

This

implies

the

between

discrimination

unreal.

1
Behaviour The word Prachdra in the text implying
behaviour or activity shows that by Nigraha or discipline is
not meant the Yogic discipline leading to Nirvikalpa Samddhi ;

for, in that state the mind loses all activity and movement.
To
a Jndni the Prachdra or the ideation Of the mind is also Brahman.
Therefore these ideations should be examined or analysed.
3

etc.
The opponent evidently mistakes the Vedantic
of mind arrived at by discrimination, etc., for the Yogic
Samddhi which is cultivated by controlling the activities of the mind.
Hence his objection to Yogic trance, like deep sleep, is associated
with absence of mental ideation. Sankara in his commentary on
the Brahmasutra (2. 1. 9) and in various other places puts Yogic
Samddhi and deep sleep under the same category.

In the,

tranquillity

Different.

established

in

ft

is

because

the

mind of

the Jndni

is

always

Brahman.

6
The purport is that the mind o#f a man, who has
This, etc.
not known the Truth of Self, becomes absorbed in Avidya at the
time of deep sleep or Samddhi. Such mind is free from all activities

and remains

in

a motionless,

i.e.,

inactive condition,

concealing

But the mind of


a Jndni is well under discipline by the constant practice of discrimination. That mind is always saturated with the thought of Brahman.
Hence the mind of a Jndni does not lose its activities which are
identical with the non-dual Brahman itself.
within

it

all

the seeds of future dual activities.

f|

ft&r

rffvfllflct

MS

||

||

MAND OKYOPANISHAD

206

As

35.

mind

the

and not so

sleep

withdrawn at the time of deep

is

of

the case

in

ftn-35

the ( VedSntic) discipline,

a difference between the condition of


That ( mind
the mind of a sleeper and that of a Jnani).
of a Jnani) becomes identical with fearless Brahman
( therefore there

is

whose all-round illumination

is

conciousness alone.

Sankaras Commentary

Now

is

stated the reason for the distinction between

the behaviour (of the

The mind

deep

in

mind of a

sleeper and that of a Jnani).


with the desires which are the

sleep,

cause of all experiences during the state of ignorance,


goes 1 back to the seed-like condition of potentiality
characterised by the undifferentiated 8 feature of darkness; but the 3 mind (of a Jnani ) which is disciplined
by discrimination is not so withdrawn, that is to say,

does not go back to the seed -like state of darkness.


Therefore is made the distinction between the behaviour
of the mind in deep sleep and that of a Jnani whose
mind is under control. When the mind becomes free
from all ideas of the perceiver and the perceived the
dual evils caused by ignorance it verily becomes
one with
the Supreme and the non-dual Brahman.

Therefore the mind becomes free from


in

that state,

cause of
lessness.

afraid

fear,

Having

This

the

which

or

Brahman

the

Self.

Knowledge

Brahman

is

the

all-round in

is

thus

is

for,

the

peace and fearthe Jnani is not

is

further

amplified:

of Knowledge, i.e., the


the very nature of Atman

is

thus

is

that

described.

whose expression
In

other

one mass of sentiency.


the

fear;

essence

consciousness
the

Brahman,

realised

of anything.

Jndnam means

Brahman

absent.

is

all

of duality, which

the perception

text,

implies

that

this

is

words.

The word,
knowledge

ON ADVAITA

Ill -36]

of Brahman

207

without 4 break and all-pervading like

is

the ether.
It is

implied in the previous text of the Kdrikd that there

difference

is a
between the mind of a Jnani and that of a deep sleeper.

The reason

for this difference is stated in this Kdrikd.

Goes back, etc. For, an ignorant man, when he wakes up


from deep sleep, again experiences these desires. Therefore the
desires are said to
1

remain in a potential state in deep

sleep.

because the experience of deep


sleep is characterised by the absence of all that is known. The man
describing the condition of deep sleep says, I know nothing during
Undifferentiated,

etc.

It

is

that state.
3

The mind

etc.

But the case of a Jnani

is

reality.

By

quite different.

the practice of discrimination, he can distinguish reality

from un-

All objects of cognition, being changeable and negatable,

known to the Jnani as


Brahman does not denote a
are

potential condition.

unreal.

Therefore the knowledge of

state in

which the desires remain

in

For, the desires of a Jnani are destroyed for

Hence, a man
having attained to the knowledge of Brahman does not experience
any desire, which implies cogniser and cognised. The Jnani knows
the activities of his mind as identical with the non-dual Brahman.

ever by the knowledge of the non-dual Brahman.

Without break,

etc.

That

is

to say, the Jnani

may be engaged

but in everything he realises Brahman alone. The


experiences of a Jnani have thus been described in the Gita (4. 24)
Brahman is the offering, Brahman is the oblation poured into the
Brahman verily shall be reached by him who
fire of Brahman.

always sees Brahman in action.


in

any

activity,

II

36.

(This

Brahman

is)

birthless, free

from

II

sleep

and

dream, without name and form, ever -effulgent and omniscient.


Nothing has to be done in any way (with respect
to Brahman).

MANDOKYOPANISHAD

208

[HI -36

Sankaras Commentary

Brahman is both within and without as well as


unborn, as there is no cause for its passing into birth.
For, we have already stated that (the phenomenon of)
birth is seen on account of the ignorance (of the real
nature of a thing), as 1
birth

because

all

is

the case with the rope giving

of the) snake.
It
is birthless
ignorance is destroyed by the knowledge of

the

to

(illusion

Truth which is the Atman. Hence it is free from sleep 2 ;


for, Atman, which is, by nature, non-dual, is always free

from sleep the nature of which is that of beginningless


characterised by ignorance.
Therefore it is
free from dream. 3 Names and forms which are ascribed
to it are due to the ignorance of its real nature. These
names and forms are destroyed by Knowledge. It is
delusion

like the (destruction

of the illusion of the) snake seen

Hence Brahman cannot be described by any


name, nor can it be in any manner described to be of
any form. To support this, there are such Sruti passages
Moreover,
as, From which words come back, etc.
in the rope.

it

4 is

gence.

ever effulgent or

For, 5

it

is

free

it is

from

of the very nature of

efful-

(the ideas of) manifestation

and non-manifestation characterised by wrong apprehension and non-apprehension. Apprehension and nonapprehension are (as inseparable) as day and night.
Darkness is the characteristic of ignorance. These are the
causes of the non-manifestation (of the real nature of
Atman). These 6 are absent in Atman. Moreover, Atman
is always of the nature of consciousness and effulgence.
Therefore

it

effulgent.

It is

is

reasonable to speak of
all-knowing,

that

is

Atman as
Atman

to say,

everis all

and Atman is consciousness (awareness) itself.


As regards such Brahman ( i.e ., the one that knows such

that exists

ON ADVAITA

ra-36]

209

as may be in the case


of others, who (on account of their ignorance of the real
nature of Brahman) are asked to practise concentration,

Brahman) no action can be enjoined,

etc.,

any disciplinary action

Brahman

as

The 7 purport

on the nature of Atman.

the destruction of ignorance

is

it is

(for the

is

that besides

not possible to prescribe

knowledge of Brahman),

always of the nature of purity, know-

ledge and freedom.

The nature of Brahman, which


discussion

is

subject-matter

the

under

The purport of

thus described in other ways.

is

the

from the realisation of ones identity with the


attributeless Brahman no effort is to be made by him.
The
categorical imperative of Kant has no meaning for a knower of
Atman. Yogic Samadhi is not the same as the goal of Jnana Yoga
as described in the philosophy of Advaita Vedanta or the Karika.
Karika

is

is

that apart

As, etc.

The

phenomenon of

due to ignorance of the


2

Sleep

the rope producing the snake

real nature

of the rope.

Sleep or Nidra means the non-apprehension of objects,

mind in deep sleep. In the causal


Nidra or ignorance is known to be beginningless, as
no beginning of it can be found.
as

the characteristic of the

is

world

this

3
Dream The dream or Svapna is characterised by wrong
apprehension of objects. This is not possible in the case of Atman

which
4

It is

is

It

not

of the nature of eternal purity, knowledge and illumination.


is, etc.

itself

For,

etc.

The Atman
what

The

is

is

that which gives us the idea of light.

described as light in the waking state.

and wrong appreThe one implies the other. Similarly the


and non-manifestation are correlatives.

ideas of non-apprehension

hension are correlatives.

When

of manifestation
an empirical Jiva becomes oblivious of himself, as

sleep,

he

ideas

is

in

deep

said to be in a state of non-manifestation characterised

by the non-perception of

objects.

Similarly,

the empirical Jiva

when he apprehends objects in a wrong way, i.e., not as they are in their true
character which is the non-dual Brahman. But Brahman cannot
be identified with the dualistic concepts of non-apprehension or
is

said to be manifested, as in

dream or waking

state,

MAND okyopanishad

210

[III -37

wrong apprehension and non-manifestation or manifestation, as


the witness of

it is

all

These are, etc

these conditions.

The

ideas of manifestation

Atman from

festation cannot inhere in

and non-mani-

the standpoint of Reality.

These are attributed to Atman, as one says that Atman is unmaniknowledge and it is manifested to us subsequent to that realisation.
These statements are
made from the empirical standpoint. But Brahman is always of
the nature of illumination which never decreases or increases under
any circumstances. In common parlance the advent of day and
night is associated with the rising and the setting of the sun. But
the sun neither rises nor sets. It is always bright and effulgent. If
one takes his stand in the sun he sees neither the night nor its correlative the day.
But if a man is away from the sun, he imagines the
rising and setting of the sun and consequently experiences day and
night which have no meaning from the standpoint of the sun.
fested to us previous to the realisation of

The purport, etc


All imaginations regarding Samadhi, etc.,
have their application in the state of ignorance when one does
not realise the ever-illumined nature of his self.
.

may

gmfrfWlSW:

s?5TF<T:

(This

37.

beyond

all acts

Atman
of mind

is)
;

beyond

all

||

expression by

||

words

(It is) all peace, eternal effulgence

free from activity and fear and attainable

by concen-

trated understanding (of the Jiva).

Sankaras Commentary

Now

is

explained the reason for indicating

Brahman

name, etc., as stated above.


The word
Abhilapa, meaning expression, denotes here the instrument of sound by which all sounds are expressed.
Brahman is beyond speech. The instrument of sound
is used in the sense of metonymy, i.c., it also implies
other instruments of sense-knowledge.
The purport
is that the Atman is beyond all external sense-organs.

as

without

ON ADVAITA

m-38]
Similarly,

it

is

beyond

word ChintS

activities

all

211

internal organ of thought).

The

of the mind.

mind

in the text stands for

(or the

For, the Sruti says, It

is

Prana and without mind, It is higher


It is all peace as it
than the imperishable Supreme.
is free from all distinctions.
The Atman is ever-effulgent, that is to say, being of the nature of self-consciousness which is its very essence, it is eternal light.
The Atman is denoted by the word Samadhi 1 as it can
verily without

be

realised

only by the knowledge

deepest concentration (on

its

arising out of the

the

essence) or,

Atman

denoted by Samadhi because the Jiva concentrates

mind on Atman.
Hence,

it

is

It is

fearless as

is

his

immovable, i.e., beyond change.


is free from charge.

it

1
Samadhi This state of complete identity with non-dual
Brahman, arrived at as a result of discrimination and negation of
phenomena, is the Vedantic conception of Samadhi (which is quite
different from any mystical or mechanical state described as
SamOdhi in the Yoga system).

cT5T

JTtceJTfeRTT

fFHFsrncT

*TcTq;

ii

\\

In that Brahman which is free from all acts of


38.
mind there is neither any idea of acceptance nor any idea
of giving up (of anything). Established in the Atman
attains to ihe state of birthlessness
(Self), knowledge
and sameness, that is to say, changelessness.

.ankaras

Commentary

As Brahman alone has been described


text as

in the previous

Samadhi (i.e., the sole object of concentration)


free from activity and fear, therefore in that

and as
Brahman there 1

is

nothing to accept nor

is

there anything

MAND OKYOPANISHAD

212

to give up.

For, acceptance or

[III -38

abandonment

is

possible

only

where there is change or the possibility of change.


But both these are inconsistent with Brahman as
nothing else exists which can cause a change in Brahman,
and further because Brahman is without parts. There-

fore, the

meaning

is

that in

Brahman

there

is

no

possibility

of either accepting or giving up anything.


The purport
of the Karika is this
How can there be any acceptance
or abandonment (in Brahman) where, in the absence of
:

the mind, no mentation whatsoever is possible ? When


the knowledge of Reality which is the Self, ensues, then

Knowledge, for want of any object to rest upon, becomes


like the heat of fire (in the absence
of fuel). Ajati,
It attains to the
free from birth.
state of supreme non-duality.
Thus is concluded, by
means of reasoning and Scriptural authority what was
stated before as a proposition in the following words:
Now I shall describe the non-dual Brahman which is
free from limitation and birth and which is the same
everywhere. Everything else, other than the knowledge
of Reality which is the Self, birthless and homogeneous,
implies limitation. The Sruti also says, O Gargi, he who
departs from this world without knowing that Imperishable
One, is, indeed, narrow-minded. The purport is that
everyone, realising this knowledge, becomes established in
Brahman and attains to the fulfilment of all desires.
established in Atman,

This Karika

beyond

tells

us that the changeless non-dual Brahman is


mandatory or prohibitory, as enjoined by

all injunctions,

Scriptures or society.

These injunctions apply only to the realm

of ignorance.
1

There

is,

etc

All

ethics, prescribing

moral codes to be followed

or immoral acts to be shunned, apply to the dual world.

They

have no meaning in respect of Brahman or the Knower of Brahman,


which are identical.

ON ADVAITA

HI -39]

For,

213

the activities of the

mind alone which

conjure up the phenomena of a dual world with


prohibitory or mandatory.

all its injuctions,

No

mentation

Becomes, etc

ft is

Knowledge of Brahman

3T*qr^PTt

is

the

STR

same

as

Brahman.

'll

39.
is

hard

This Yoga, which


to

be attained by

all

is

not

Yogis

touch with anything

in

(in general).

are afraid of it, for they see fear in

it

The Yogis

where there

is

really

fearlessness.

Sankaras Commentary

Though 1 such is the nature of the knowledge of the


Supreme Reality, yet it is described in the Upanishads 2
as Yoga not in touch with anything;
for, it is free
from all touch implying relations (with objects).
It
is hard to be attained by the Yogis 3 who
are devoid
of the knowledge taught in the Vedanta philosophy.
In other words, this truth can be realised only by the
efforts culminating in the knowledge of Atman as
the
Sole Reality.
The Yogis shrink from it, which is free
from all fear, for4 they think that this Yoga brings about
the annihilation of their

self.
In other words, the Yogis,
of discrimination, who, through fear,
apprehend the destruction of their self, are afraid of
it which is, in reality, fearlessness. 5

being

devoid

1
Though, etc
The word Yoga signifying union, generally
means contact between two. But derivatively Jnana-Yoga is not
.

in touch with

any idea or object,

the non-dual Brahman.


i.e.,

spiritual discipline

with anything

else.

Therefore

as there exists nothing else but


it

is

called the Asparsa-Yoga,

which does not admit of relation or touch

MIND CKYOPAN1SHAD

214
8

PII-40

Upanishads The Upanishad says that the knowledge of


is ever uncontaminated by any touch of action sinful oc

Atman

virtuous.
3

That

Yogis

is

to say, those

who

are called Yogis according to

Their aim is to attain to the trance-condition by some


mystical or mechanical means and thereby become oblivious of
the miseries of the world. But Vedanta says that the world as it

Patanjali.

is,

if
4

seen in

For

true character,

its

etc.

The

is

Brahman.

Yogis are afraid

of losing their individual

But
Vedanta says that the true nature of an individual is his identity
with the non-dual Brahman. The idea of individual existence is
due to the ignorance of ones own nature.

consciousness which

Fearlessness

is

the pivot of enjoyments in the world.

Brahman

is

fearless

because

it

is

ever-free,

There is nothing else of which


Fear comes from the sense of duality.

ever-illumined and ever-pure.

can be afraid.

RTflt

ftjTSPRnpW

5:WT:

it

STrFcfh

II

tfo

||

( who do not follow the method of


Jnana-Yoga as described in the Karika) depend on the

40.

The Yogis

mind for fearlessness, destruction of misery,


of self and eternal peace.

control of their
the knowledge

Sankaras Commentary

Those who regard mind and the sense-organs, when


of
Brahman, as mere imagination, like that of the snake
when seen apart from its identity with the rope and
who thus deny the sole reality of the mind and the senseorgans (independent of Brahman), i.e., those who look
upon themselves as of the very nature of Brahman,
1

seen apart from their identity with the very nature

spontaneously enjoy, as quite natural to them, fearlessness

and eternal peace known as Freedom, (perfect knowledge)


which they (the Jnanis) do not depend upon any

for

ON ADVAITA

Ill -40]

215

mechanical effort (such as the control of the mind, etc.).


have already stated that no duty (effort), whatsoever,

We

exist for the Jnani.

But those other Yogis who are also

traversing the path (leading to Truth), but

who

possess

and who 3 look upon


the mind as separate from but related to Atman and
who 4 are ignorant of the knowledge regarding the reality

inferior 2 or middling understanding

of Atman the Yogis belonging to this class can experience fearlessness as a result of the discipline of the mind.
To them 5 the destruction of misery is also dependent upon
mental control. The ignorant can never experience the
cessation

of misery,

the

if

mind, (considered) related

becomes active. Besides, their knowledge of


dependent on their control of the mind. And

to Atman,
self

is

similarly, eternal peace,

in their case, depends

known

as

Moksha

upon the mental

(or liberation),

discipline.

This Karika applies to those who look upon the mind as separate
from Atman and think that peace, knowledge, etc., depend upon
its

control.
1

Those, etc

The Jnani

knows

the

mind and sense-organs

to

be identical with the non-dual Brahman. It is like the identity of the


snake with the rope. As the snake in the illusion. of the snake in
the rope has no existence apart from the rope, similarly, the mind
has no existence separate from Brahman. To see the mind as
separate from Brahman is a freak of imagination. They, the Jnanis
knowing this truth, do not care for the control of the mind. For,
the mind, as such, does not exist for them.
One who realises mind
as

Brahman,

finds spontaneously,

peace, fearlessness, etc.

Fear,

outcome of duality. Duality is seen on account


of the activity of the mind. But the Jnani sees the identity of the
mind and Brahman. Therefore duality does not exist for him.
Hence he does not experience any fear, misery, etc. Therefore,
nysery, etc., are the

peace, fearlessness, etc., in his case are natural.


2

That is to say, they do not possess the sharp


can distinguish the real from the unreal. For them
the Yogic practices are recommended.
Inferior, etc

intellect that

MAND OKYOPANISHAD

216

Who,

Brahman

etc.

because they find the mind as separate from

keep

that they try to

them, the mind


4

It is

Who

are

is

etc

[III -41

it

under control.

According to

acted upon by Atman.


.

For they see a

duality

of the Atman and the

mind.
6

etc.
The Yogis think that misery is caused by the
of the mind. Hence they direct all their energy to the
suppression of the Vrittis of the mind. But the Vrittis reappear
if the attempt is slightly relaxed.
The Yogis, on account of their
ignorance of the real nature of the mind, fight with their own
shadows. The Jnani, on the other hand, realises the mind as well
as all its activities as identical with the non-dual Brahman. Hence,

To them,

activities

the activities of mind

do not stand

in the

way of his

eternal happiness.

41.
The mind can be brought under control only by
an unrelenting effort like that which is required to empty
an ocean, drop by drop, with the help of a ( blade of) Kusa-

grass.

Sankaras Commentary

As one may
its

try to

empty the ocean, by draining

water drop by drop, with the help of a

ATw&j-grass, even so

may one

control the

(blade

off

of)

mind by making

the same effort with a heart which becomes


depressed nor tired.

neither 1

This K&rika gives us an idea of the elfort that a Yogi should

make

to control his mind completely. But it appears that the


complete suppression of the mental Vrittis is impossible in this way.
And as the happiness of a Yogi is dependent upon such suppression,
he can never attain to eternal Truth by the Yogic method. Jndna-

yoga
1

is

the royal road for the attainment of eternal Truth

defeat.

The

and peace.

Yogi at every step meets with


While closing the eyes, he sees no object ; with the eyes

Neither depressed, etc

ON ADVAITA

ra-42]

217

open, he perceives the phenomenal world. In either case, he does


not realise Brahman. But these must not depress his heart.
-

gjrem

<?>

rer

II

The mind distracted by desires and enjoyments

42.

as also the

mind enjoying pleasure

in oblivion

( trance-like

condition) should be brought under discipline by the pursuit

of proper means.

For, the state of oblivion

is

as harmful

as desires.

Sankaras Commentary
Is untiring effort

the only

way

for bringing the

mind

under discipline ? We say, in reply, no. One should,


with untiring effort, follow the means, to be stated
presently, in order to bring the mind under discipline,
that is to say, bring it back to Atman, 1 when the mind
turns towards objects of desires and enjoyments. The
word Laya"'1 in the text indicates Sushupti, i.e., deep
sleep in which state one becomes oblivious of all things.
The 3 (injunction implied in the) words should be
brought under discipline, should also be applied in
the case of the mind when it feels happy, that is to say
free from all worries in the state of Laya or oblivion.
Why should it be further brought under discipline if it
feels pleasure (in that state) ? It is thus replied
Because
the state of oblivion is as 4 harmful as desire, the mind
should be withdrawn from the state of oblivion as it
should be withdrawn from objects of enjoyment.
:

One

practising Yoga meets with four kinds of obstacles

are in his

Laya

way of

which
They are known
Yogic Samadhi or deep

realising the Highest Reality.

(a state of oblivion analogous to


Vikshepa (distraction), Sukha (happiness in temporary success)
and Jlaga (attachment to any particular phase of realisation). The

as

sleep),

10

mAnd okyopanishad

218

mind should *be trained to keep away from


means are described in the next KdrikH.
1
is

Atman

It is

PII-43

these obstacles.

The

because the ultimate aim of all spiritual practices


Atman or the true nature of the Self.

the realisation of
1

The

state of Laya realised by the Yogi in Samddhi


from the state of Sushupti or deep sleep. Both are
characterised by the absence of subject-object relationship. Again
in both these states, the student is not aware of the real nature of
his self.
The Yogi
The difference between the two states is this
can induce Samddhi at his mere will, but Sushupti, for an ordinary
man, is not under his control.
is

Laya

non-different

3
The words, etc.The state of Samadhi induced by Yoga should
not be considered as the goal. No doubt, one feels a sort of pleasure
in such Samadhi on account of the absence of worries consequent
on the withdrawal of the mind from external objects, but this does
not indicate that the Yogi has realised the Supreme Truth. Seeking
after pleasure or the avoidance of misery indicates the exhaustion
of the inquiring mind. The real seeker after Truth cannot rest
satisfied till he has attained to it.

As harmful,

etc.
It is because both these states are characby the absence of the knowledge of Atman. Thirst for
external objects and attachment to the pleasure one feels in Samadhi
are equally harmful for the realisation of Truth. A Yogi can realise
Truth if he supplements his own method by the Vedantic discipline
of discrimination between the real and the unreal, and meditation
on the nature of Atman.

terised

3R

3TRT

II

II

43.
The mind should be turned back from the enjoyment of pleasures, remembering that all this is attended
with misery.
If it be remembered that everything is the

unborn {Brahman), the born

( duality)

will not

be seen.

Sankaras Commentary
What is the way of disciplining the mind ? It is thus
Remember that all 1 duality is caused by Avidyd
replied
:

ON ADVAITA

Ill -44]

219

or illusion and therefore afflicted with misery. Thereby


dissuade the mind from seeking enjoyments produced by
In other words, withdraw the mind from all
dual objects by impressing upon it the idea of complete
non-attachment. 2 Realise from the teachings of the
Scriptures and the AcharySs that all this is verily the
desires.

changeless Brahman.
to the contrary,

viz.,

Then you
duality

for

will
it

not see anything

does not

exist.

has been said in the previous Kdrikd that the mind should be
disciplined by following the right method. This verse of the Kdriki
It

points out complete detachment to be the right method.


1

All duality, etc

All dual objects, on account of their change-

able and negatable nature, are attended with misery.


2

Non-attachment

It

implies

the

spirit

of dispassion for

all

dual objects, because they are always associated with misery.

ff%r

wrrT

forpfrnwrarar

II

II

44.
If the mind becomes inactive in a state of oblivion
awaken it again. If it is distracted, bring it back to the
state of tranquillity. (In the intermediary state) know the
mind containing within it desires in potential form. If the
mind has attained to the state of equilibrium, then do not

disturb

it

again.

Sankaras Commentary

When

mind

immersed in oblivion, i.e., in


up by means of knowledge and
by detachment. That is to say, turn the mind to the
exercise of discrimination which leads to the knowledge

of the Self. The word


China" in the text bears the
same meaning as Manas or mind. Bring2 the mind
back to the state of tranquillity if it is distracted by the
1

the

Sushupti, then rouse

is

it

MAND OKYOPANJSHAD

220

[HI-44

various objects of desires. When the mind is thus, by


constant practice, awakened from the state of inactivity
and also turned back from all objects, but not yet
established in equilibrium , 8 that

mind

it

then

know 4

the

Then the mind

of desires for enjoyment

the seeds

From 6

inactivity.

when the mind

to say,

to be possessed of attachment.

contains within

and

is

dwells in an intermediary state,

still

that state also, bring the mind,

with care, to the realisation of equilibrium. Once the


mind has realised the state of equilibrium, that is, when
it is on the way to realise that state, then do not disturb
again. In other words, do not turn
ment) external objects.

it

When

the,

etc.

This

is

it

to

(by attach-

the warning given against pursuing

the Yogic Samadhi as the state of the highest spiritual realisation.

The mind seeking Truth and

frightened at the immensity

necessary for

often

realisation

its

of

effort

seeks relief in Samadhi.

The

commentator exhorts us to practise discrimination even when the


mind passes into the passivity of Samadhi and to extricate it from
that state by cultivating the spirit of non-attachment to any pleasure
experienced in the state of Samadhi.

The

object of

life is

not to

enjoy any bliss arising out of inactivity as one experiences in


Samadhi or deep sleep, but to know the real nature of the Self.

8
Bring, etc. The Yogic method may be followed with certain
advantages by the student of mediocre intellect who wants to turn
his turbulent mind from the pursuit of external objects.
The Yogic

method gives him control over his mind. But even in such a
Yoga serves only a temporary or subordinate purpose.
8

Equilibrium

The

non-dual Brahman which

is

case,

characterised

by sameness throughout.
4

Know,

etc

This

another state of the mind.

is

mind is roused from


drawn from objects. But
the

the non-dual

Brahman.

tains, in potential

the state of inactivity.

In this state

also withhas not yet realised its identity with


In this intermediary state, the mind conIt

is

it

form, the desires for the enjoyment of external

objects or the bliss in a state

of inactivity.

ON ADVAITA

Ill -45]
6

From, etc

221

This Intermediary state also should not

be taken

as the state of Ultimate Realisation.

wn

f?TW
45.

II

tfA

II

(The mind) should not be allowed to enjoy the


of the condition <?/ Samadhi. It should

bliss that arises out

be freed from attachment to such happiness through the


of discrimination. If the mind, once attaining
to the state Of steadiness seeks externality, then it should

exercise

be unified with the Atman, again, with

effort.

Sankaras Commentary

The

seeker should not taste that happiness that is

by the Yogis seeking 1 after Samadhi. In


other words, he is not to be attached to that happiness*
What then should be done by the student ? He should
be unattached to such happiness, by gaining knowledge
through discrimination, and think that whatever happiness is experienced is false 2 and conjured up by ignorance.
The mind should be turned back from such happiness.
When, however, having been once withdrawn from
happiness and fixed on the state of steadiness, the mind
again manifests its outgoing propensities, then control
3
it by adopting the above-mentioned
means; and with
4
great care, make it one with Atman
that is, make
the mind attain to the condition of pure existence and
experienced

thought.

The purpose of this K&rika is to dissuade the mind from enjoying the happiness that the Yogis experience in the state of Samadhi.
1

Seeking, etc

That

to see that the non-dual

is

in the state of Samadhi, the Yogi fails

Brahman alone

exists.

He

seeks Samadhi

because he believes in the existence of the mind as separate from


Atman, and therefore tries to control it. By some mechanical

MAND Okyopanishad

222

[III-46

means he brings the mind to a state of inactivity and thus makes


himself free from all worries. But this is not the Vedantic goal of
Truth.
*

False

All objects which are experienced by us are changeable

and negatable.

Therefore they are unreal.

Above-mentioned

One,

Mind

etc.

i.e.,

The truth

Atman. It
mind from Atman.
is

is

is

discrimination, etc.

that the

mind

m
When

46.

is

identical with

only through ignorance that

cTr^l

the mind does not merge

we

Atman.

separate the

II

II

in the inactivity

of oblivion, or become distracted by desires, that is to


when the mind becomes quiescent and does not give
to appearances, it verily becomes Brahman.

say,
rise

Sankaras Commentary

When the mind brought under discipline by the


above-mentioned 1 methods, does not fall into the oblivion
of deep sleep, nor is distracted by external objects, that
2
like the
is to say, when the mind becomes quiescent
flame of a light kept in a windless place; or when 3 the
mind does not appear in the form of an object, when
the mind is endowed with these characteristics, it verily
becomes one 4 with Brahman.

Above-mentioned, etc.

i.e.,

the

practice

of knowledge and

discrimination.
2

Quiescent

This

tion of Samadhi.

steadiness

is

quite different from the condi-

In this steady condition the

mind

realizes the

non-dual Brahman alone everywhere.


3
When,
of the mind

One,

etc.

The external objects are nothing but the

itself.

etc.

Comp. Kdrikd

Then the mind

3. 31.

realises its real nature.

activities

ON ADVAITA

in 473

#r^oTq^:r

^TFcf

3T^IT^T

|R

qfcq^cT

This highest bliss

47.

223

is

||

SO

II

based upon the realisation

of Self, it is peace, identical with liberation, indescribable


and unborn. It is further described as the omniscient
Brahman, because

it is

one with the unborn

Self which

is

the object sought by Knowledge.

Sankaras Commentary

The above-mentioned bliss which is the highest 1


Reality and which is characterised by the knowledge of
the Atman is 2 centred in the Self. It is all peace, characterised by the cessation of all evils.
It is the same as
liberation 3 It is indescribable as 4 nobody is able to
.

describe

for,

it;

This ultimate

it

bliss

is

from all objects.


by the Yogis .a
not produced like anything

totally different

is

realized

directly

unborn because it is
from empirical perceptions. It is identical
with the Unborn which is the object sought by Knowledge.
The Knowers of Brahman describe this bliss
verily as the omniscient Brahman, as it is identical with
that Reality which is omniscient.

It

is

resulting

Now is

described the nature of the

mind

in the state of the highest

realisation.
1

Highest

It is

KdrikH 45, which


2

is

Is centred, etc.

distinguished from the happiness described in

of the same class as relative

This

is

to

show

depend upon anything external to


3

itself.

The state

of liberation, on account of its identity


characterised by the attainment of all-absorbing

Liberation

with Truth,

is

happiness and cessation of


4

bliss.

that Self-realisation does not

As,

etc.

It is

object relationship.

all

because

miseries.

this

happiness transcends

all

subject,

MANDOKYOPANISHAD

,224

[III -48

5
Yogis These Yogis are not like the ordinary ones. The
nature of their Yoga has been described as the Asparsa Yoga in
Kdrika 3.39.

Wfrw
48.

No

Jlva

^
is

II

ever born.

cause which can produce


that nothing

is

There does not exist any


This

it.

II

is

the highest

Truth

ever born.

Sankaras Commentary
All these ideas regarding the discipline of the mind,

evolution resembling

and

clay,

as

well

creation of forms from

the

as

the

ideas

iron

regarding devotional

means 1 to the realisation of the


nature of the Ultimate Reality. They have, in themThe2 truth regarding
selves, no meaning whatsoever.
the Ultimate Reality is that no Jiva is ever born. The
Jiva whom one knows as the agent and the enjoyer is
not born in any way whatsoever. Therefore, no cause
can ever exist which may produce the Atman which is,
by nature, unborn and non-dual. In other words, no
exercises, are given as

Jiva can ever be born, as the cause which


it

does not

Of

exist.

above as means

(for

Reality), this alone

is

all

the
the

may produce

the (relative) truths described


realisation

of the Ultimate

Supreme Truth that nothing


or of that Brahman which is

whatsoever is ever born in


of the nature of the Ultimate

Reality.

Various empirical means such as the practice of Yoga etc., have


been suggested above. If these means which naturally are related
to the dual realm be true, then the position of the non-dual Brahman
cannot be maintained. If these means be untrue, then they cannot
serve any purpose.
To remove this difficulty this KdrikO suggests
,

ON ADVATTA

IBE-48J

that these

means help us

to realise

Brahman

225
;

but they do not reveal

Brahman.

1 Means
These means have their applicability only in the
realm of duality where a man, through ignorance, does not know

his real nature.


a

The truth, etc The Ultimate Truth is that there is only one
which may be called either JIva or Brahman. The JIva as
separate from Brahman, does never exist.
.

entity

Here ends the third chapter, on Advaita, of the


Kirika of Gautjapada with the Commentary of
Sri

Sankara.

if

flV-1

Sum

Salutation to fStaimtan

CHAPTER IV

QUENCHING OF FIRE-BRAND

^
1.

I bow

fg^r

*rc*

II

II

among men who by means of


Akasa and non-different from the

to that best

knowledge, which

is like

object of knowledge

of the Dharmas

(i.e.,

(i.e.,

the

Dharma), realised

the nature

the Jlvas) which are, again , like the

Akasa.

Sankaras Commfntary

The proposition regarding Advaita (as the Supreme


Truth) has been based upon scriptural evidence, by 1
determining the nature of Aum. That proposition has
been established by proving 2 the unreality of the distinction implied by the external objects (of experience).

Again the third chapter dealing with Advaita has directly


established the proposition on the authority of scripture
and reason with the concluding statement 3 that This
alone is the Ultimate Truth. At the end of the previous
chapter it has been hinted that the opinions of the
dualists and the nihilists, who are opposed to the philosophy of Advaita which gives the true import of the
scriptures, bear the name of true philosophy.
But that
is not true because of their mutual contradictions and
also because of their being vitiated by attachment to their
own opinions and aversion to those of others. The
philosophy of Advaita has been extolled as the true

IV

1]

QUENCHING OF FIRE-BRAND

227

philosophy on 4 account of its being free from any vitia(referred to above regarding the theories of the
dualists and nihilists).
Now is undertaken the chapter

tion

styled Alatasdnti

(i.e.,

on the quenching of the

fire-brand)

in order to conclude the final examination for the estab-

lishment of the philosophy of Advaita, by following the

known as the method of disagreement, which is


done by showing here in detail that other systems cannot
be said to be true philosophy. For there are mutual

process

contradictions implied in them.

The

first

verse has for

purpose the salutation to the promulgator* of the


philosophy of Advaita conceiving him as identical with
the Advaita Truth. The salutation to the teacher is made
in commencing a scripture in order to bring the underits

taking to a successful end.

The word Akasakalpa"

means resembling Akasa, that is to say, slightly7


What is the purpose of such
different from Akdia.
knowledge which resembles Akasa ? By such Knowledge
8
is known the nature of the Dharmas (i.e., the attributes
of Atman). The attributes are the same as the substance.
What is the nature of these Dharmas ? They also can be
known by the analogy 9 of Akasa, that is to say, these
Dharmas also resemble Akasa. The word Jneyabhinna"
in the text is another attribute of Jnanam' or Knowledge
and means that this knowledge is not 10 separate from
the Atmans (Jivas) which are the objects of knowledge.
This identity of the knowledge and the knowable is like
the identity of fire 11 and heat and the sun and its light.
I bow to the
God, known as Narayatfa 12 who by
knowledge, non-different from the nature of Atman (the
object of knowledge) and which resembles Aka&a, knew
the Dharmas which, again, may be compared to Akaia.
The import of the words Dvipadam Varam (Supreme
in the text

MANDOKYOPAMSHAD

2&

[IV

that NSrayapa is the greatest of


by two legs, that, is to say. He is
the Purushottama" the best of all men. By the adoration of the teacher it is implied that the purpose of this
chapter is to establish, by the refutation of the opposite
views, Advaita which gives the philosophy of the Ultimate
Reality, characterised by the identity of the knower,
knowledge and the object of knowledge.

among, the

bipeds),

is

all meij, characterised

1
By the, etc. This has been done in the first chapter of the
book, viz., the Agama Prakarana which deals with the subjectmatter from the scriptural standpoint.

This has been done the second chapter.


Comp, the 48th verse of the Karikct of the third

Proving, etc.

Statement

in

chapter.

On

account, etc.

One of the

tests

of Truth

is

that

it

does not

The Ultimate Truth is that by knowing which


everything else becomes known. The fact of non-duality satisfies
this condition and therefore it is called the Ultimate Truth or Reality.
contradict anything.

Method

This

is one of the processes of inference


method of agreement. It has been shown
in the second chapter that what is caused or what comes into being
Here it is shown that what is not untruth is not caused
is unreal.
also. That is to say, the Karika will show in this chapter the absence
of causality in Atman and thus establish the Ultimate Reality of

the other

is

of, etc.

known

as the

Self.
6

Promulgator,

etc.

Narayaw

be the promulgator of
to Gaucjapada.

mencement of
7

inert

which

Slightly,

matter.
is all

The

this

or the Lord Himself is said to


philosophy which was handed down

salutation

is

made

to

Narayapa

at the

com-

the chapter.

etc.Akasa or ether contains within it elements of


Therefore it is slightly different from knowledge

sentiency.

The analogy

is

made with

all-pervading characteristic of AkSga which

is

reference to the

similar

to

Jnanam

or knowledge.
8

Dharmas

The word Dharma

Attribute, according to Vedanta,

is

literally

means attribute .
from substance.

non-different

QUENCHING OF FIRE-BRAND

-2],

229

Hence Dharma

also is non-different from Brahman. The word


Dharma is, in the texts, synonymous with knowledge or Jn&nam.
The word Dharma is used by Gaudapada to mean Jiva or

embodied being. Jiva

The plural number


which

is

is

is identical with knowledge, Brahman.


used on account of the plurality of Jfvas ,
.

admitted from the empirical standpoint.

* Analogy
etc.The Jiva is, as Brahman
,
pervading as the Akasa (or Jnanam).

10

in reality, as all-

If knowledge

is intrinsically separate from


Brahman, then one can never know,
by such knowledge, the nature of Jiva or Brahman. The knower,
knowledge and the object of knowledge are really identical and
denote the same Reality.

its

Not separate,

is,

object,

11

Fire, etc.

etc.

the Jiva or the

i.e.,

That

to say,

is

and the

the sun, the heat

from the standpoints of the fire and


and the sun.

light are identical with the fire

12
Narayarta The story runs thus
In ancient times Gaudapada retired to Badarikasrama, in the interior of the Himalayas,
and there worshipped with great austerity the human figure of the
Almighty Lord.
:

I mu

ftcT:

II

I salute

2.

free

from

the

scripture

this

Yoga known as

II

AsparSa

the

(i.e.,

touch which implies duality), taught through

all
,

the

Yoga which promotes

of all

beings and conduces to

which

is

free

from

and

strife

the

the happiness

well-being

of

all

and

contradictions.

Sankaras Commentary

Now
Advaita

salutation

made

is

Philosophy, in

to the Yoga taught by the

order to extol

it.

The word

Asparsayoga 1 in the text means the Yoga which

and

anything and which


This

is

always

from sparSa or relationship with


of the same nature as Brahman.

in all respects free

Yoga

is

well

is

known

as

the Asparsayoga to

all

MAND OKYOPANISHAD

230

[IV -2

is conducive 3 to the
There are certain forms of Yoga
such as Tapas or austerity, which though conducive to
the supreme happiness, are associated with misery. But
Then what is its nature ? It
this is not of that kind.
tends to the happiness of all beings. It may however be
contended that the enjoyment of certain desires gives

Knowers of Brahman.

happiness of

all

This Yoga

beings.

pleasure but certainly does not tend to ones

well-being.

AsparSayoga conduces to both 4 happiness and


well-being.
For,' it never changes its nature. Moreover,

But

this

Yoga is free from strife, that is to say, in


no room for any passage-at-words, which is
in all disputes consisting of two opposite sides.
this 8

For,

it

is

non-contradictory 7 in nature.

Yoga, taught in the scripture,


1

Asparsayoga

As

involved in this word.

bow

To

it

there

is

inevitable

Why

this

so ?

kind of

a matter of

fact there is a contradiction


For, the word Asparsa , meaning free-

dom from relation, indicates only non-duality which by its very


nature has no contact with any other thing, as such a thing is ever
non-existent.
The word Yoga, ' meaning contact implies more
than one.
yoga, as the

Gaudapada names the path of knowledge as Asparsaword Yoga was used in his time also to denote the method

for realising the Ultimate Truth.


2

Same nature, etc. The Jnanam through which


Brahman is identical with Brahman itself.

the aspirant

realises
3

direct
4

Conducive,

method
Both,

etc.

of Self which

etc.

Because

Jnana Yoga is the surest and most


of the highest Truth.

for the realisation

is

It is

of

because the aim of this Yoga is the realisation


the nature of Existence-Knowledge-Bliss-

Absolute.
5

The idea of duality and change, implying loss, is


of all miseries. This Yoga enables us to realise the Self
free from all ideas of change.

For, etc.

at the root

which

is

The non-dualist

knows that even those who


him are, in reality, his own self. Therefore
he does not look upon any one as his opponent.
*

come

This yoga, etc.

to quarrel with

QUENCHING OF FIRE-BRAND

IV -1-4}
1

self

231

Non-contradictory One who knows everything as his own


does not contradict others. For, one cannot contradict his
1

own

self.
8

Bow The

salutation

is

students to this most valuable

meant to direct the attention of the


and easy way of realising the Truth.

Tjaw

ft

3T^crwi<r>

among

Quarrelling

3.

sfftr

II

some disputants

themselves,

existing entity undergoes evolution,


that an
whereas other disputants, proud of their understanding,
maintain that evolution proceeds from a non-existing

postulate

entity.

Sankaras Commentary

How
is

do the

thus replied

dualists quarrel with

Some

one another

disputants, such as the

Tt

followers

of the Samkhva system, admit production as the effect


of an entity that is already existent. But this is not the
view of all the dualists. For the intelligent followers
of the Nyaya and the Vaiseshika systems, that is to say,
those who believe that they possess wisdom, maintain
that evolution proceeds from a non-existing cause.
The

meaning

is

that

these

disputants,

quarrelling

among

themselves, claim victory over their respective opponents.

to

1
The disputation among the dualists is mentioned
make clear the non-contradictory nature of the

here in order

non-dualists.
All the dualists believe in the act of creation or evolution.

sriqft

jf ^rrqct

f^TSTxrt g^TT
4.

Im^lfcl

The existent cannot (again)

existence.

Nor can

the

non-existent

%
pass

||

||

into

be born

(birth)

or

come

MINDOKYOPANISHAD

232

[IV -4

Thus disputing among themselves,


a matter of fact, tend to establish the Advaita

into being as existent.


they, as

view and support the Ajati or the absolute non-evolution


( of

what

exists).

Sankaras Commentary

What do

quarrelling

It

thiis

is

by refuting each others conclusions

they,

and

among

replied

No

themselves,
1

entity

it

new

in

already in
that

is

Atman,
existence, cannot be born again

already exists.

which already being

is

The reason

existence can again pass into birth.

as entity,

establish ?

really

which

It

is

just like the

Thus argues the supporter of evolution


from njn-ens (i.e., from a non-existing cause) and refutes
the Samkhya theory that an existing cause is born again
as an effect. Similarly, the follower of the Samkhya
as a

entity.

theory refutes the supporter of the non-ens view regarding

He

creation by a non-existing cause.

non-existing 2 cause, on account of

cannot, like the horns of

its

declares

that

very non-existence,

a hare, produce

an

effect.

Thus 3 quarrelling among themselves, by supporting


existent and non-existent causes, they refute their
respective opponents views and declare, in effect, the
truth that there is no creation at all.
1

No, etc

This

is

the view of the followers of the

Naiyciyika

them, an existing entity


entity already exists, it is not
said to be produced again. This view can be stated thus
is always
and B is always B. It may
cannot produce B, as
C may produce B. Therefore C is somebe contended that

and Vaissshika systems. According


cannot be born as an effect. If an

to

A
A+

thing which does not exist in the cause A.

Therefore the effect

does not come out of the cause A.


*

system.

This is the view of the followers of the


According to them, the existing entity cannot

Non-existing, etc

SBmhhya

QUENCHING OF FIRE-BRAND

IV-5]

undergo any annihilation

The

into existence.

and

future.

233.

nor can the non-existing entity pass

existing entity

is

existent in times, past, present

non-existing entity, such as the child of a barren

woman, is always non-existent. By birth , the Samkhyas mean


manifestation and by death , they understand the return of the
effect into the cause.
The sesame seed produces oil. It means
that

oil,

already existent in the seed, manifests itself in the form of

when the seed (the cause) is pressed. But one cannot


by pressing sand, as oil is never present in the sand. The
clay which contains in potential form the pot, manifests the pot.
Again the destruction of the pot means its going back to the original
cause, vjz., the clay. There is no absolute destruction of the pot.
the effect
get oil

a
Thus, etc. Both the theories are based upon causality. But
by refuting each other, they, in fact, refute causality itself. For,
if an existing thing is produced from an existing cause (as the
Samkhyas profess) then there cannot be, in truth, any causal relation.
Similarly, it is absurd to say that a positive thing can be produced
by a non-existing cause. Thus the entire theory of causality is
This only establishes the Advaita position of Ajati which
refuted.

means

that there

fqqsrwt
5.

them.

no

is

act of creation or manifestation.

srforqqrt ftqkcr n

We approve the Ajati


We do not quarrel with

11

or non-creation declared

(the Ultimate Reality) which is

by

Now, hear from us


free from all disputations .

them.

Sankaras Commentary

We simply accept the view of the Ajati or the absolute


non-causation declared by them 1 and say, Let it be so.
We do not quarrel with them bv taking either side in the
deputation. In other words, like them, we do not
quarrel with each other. Hence Oh ye pupils, know
from us the Ultimate Reality as taught by
free from dispute.

us,

which

is

MAND OKYOPA NISHAD

234

[IV -6-8

1
Them The followers of the Sdmkhya as well as the NytSya
and the Vaiieshika systems.

Both schools by finding

causal

fault with each others views regarding

relation tend to establish the truth of Ajdti or the absolute

With regard

non-manifestation of Atman.
is

admitted by

viz

all,

3T3rr^r fj-fcfr srat

The disputants

How

srrr^r:

wr

does an entity

5,

||

the

(i.e.,

I)

contend that

dualists)

the ever-unborn ( changeless ) entity

change.

accept

Ajdti.

3RRT^fa spfo ^rrM^fcr

6.

we

to causality,

not refuted by any party, but which must be

that theory that

(Atman) undergoes a
is
changeless and

which

immortal partake of the nature of the mortal

Sankaras Commentary

The word

disputant in the

dualists, viz., those

from an

who

text includes

all

the

evolution proceeds

believe that

existing cause, as well as those

who

believe

its

This verse has alieady been commented upon.

opposite.

For the commentary and the note of

Karika see Karikd

this

20 of the previous chapter.


if

?r *TW(?T2ci

JMUfcT

cT

TT

11

vs

7.
The immortal cannot become mortal, nor can the
mortal ever become immortal. For, it is never possible for
a thing to change its nature.

iw:

fcr^JTTfcr^r
8.

How

immortal

can

entity

he,

who

becomes

believes

mortal,

that

the

maintain

n
naturally
that

the

QUENCHING OF FIRE-BRAND

IV -9]

235
its

changeless

These verses have already been explained.

They are

immortal, after passing through birth, retains


nature ?

Sankaras Commentary
repeated here in order to justify our view that the dis-

putants mentioned above only contradict each other.


See Karikas 21 and 22 of the previous chapter.

grr%f%4

5Tfir%:
9.

By

tt

Wflft T1

prakriti or the inherent nature

||

||

of a thing

is

understood that which, when acquired, becomes completely


part and parcel of the thing, that which is its very characteristic quality,
that which is part of it from its very birth,
that which does not depend upon anything extraneous for
its origin

and

that which never ceases to be

itself.

Sankaras Commentary

Even 1 the nature of a thing

in ordinary experience
What is meant by the
does not undergo any reversal.
This is thus replied
nature of a thing ?
The word
samsiddhi
means complete
attainment.
The
nature of a thing is formed by such complete attainment
as in the case of the perfected Yogis who attain to such
:

superhuman powers as Anima 2 etc.


These powers thus
acquired by the Yogis never undergo any transformation
in the past and future. Therefore these constitute the very
,

nature of the Yogis.

Similarly, the characteristic quality

of a thing, such as heat or light of fire and the like, never


undergoes any change either in time or space.
So also
the nature of a thing which is part of it from its very
birth, as the flying power of the bird, etc., through the
Anything else which is not
sky, is called its prakriti.

'

MAND OKYOPANISHAB

236

[IV-ltt

produced by any other cause (except the thing itself^


such as the running downwards of water is also called
And lastly, anything which 3 does not cease to
prakriti.
be itself is known popularly to be its prakriti. The purport of the Karika is that if in the case of empirical

which are only imagined, 4 their nature or


prakriti does not undergo any change, then how should
it be otherwise in the case of the immortal or unchanging
nature regarding the Ultimate' Reality, whose very
entities,

Prakriti
1

Even,

or absolute

Ajati

is

etc.

The

nature of a thing

is

purport

is

non-manifestation.

that if the unchangeability of the

noticed in ordinary experiences, then

it

applies

with greater force to Brahman whose changeless and immortal


nature can never undergo any transformation.

a Anima
There are eight superhuman powers which the Yogis
can attain to as the result of their yogic perfection. The word

Anima means the power of becoming as small as an atom.


s
it

Which,

etc.

As

which depends

the characteristics of a jar or the jar ness of

entirely

upon

the jar

and not upon anything

else.

Imagined According to Advaita Vedanta the characteristics


of entities of ordinary experience which are thought of as unchanging

by the

dualists, are

mere imagination.

W:

^r^OTRgrfTi:

twftaqr
10.

senility

All the Jlvas are, by their very nature, free

and

death.

think, as

and thus by

subject to these
to deviate

They

from

their

this

it

from

were, that they are

very thought they appear

very nature.

Sankaras Commentary

What is the basis of that Prakriti whose change is


imagined by the disputants ? What, again, is the defect
in such imagination ? This is thus replied
The words
:

QUENCHING OF FIRE-BRAND

IV.-11J

237

and death, in the text signify free<changes 1 characterised by senility, death,


etc.
Who are thus free (from all changes) 1 These are
all the Jivas, who are, by their very nature, free from all
changes. Though the Jivas are such by their very nature,
Free from

dom from

senility

all

yet they think, as

were, that they are subject to senility

it

By such imagination 2 about

and death.

their

selves,

snake in the rope, they (appear


to) deviate from their nature. This happens on account
of their identification, through thinking, with senility and
death. That is to say, they (appear to) fall from their
real nature by this defect in their thought.

like the imagination of the

Changes

There

They are

nature.

are six changes associated with objects in

birth,

existence,

growth, maturity, decay and

death.
a

is

Imagination

That

a mere imagination.

the Jivas are subject to birth

These

states

do not

and death

exist except

the

in

Even when the Jiva thinks himself to be


and death, he is, in reality, free from these changes.

thought of the thinker.


subject to birth

Such imagination cannot

nature as

all

the water of

the mirage cannot soak a grain of sand in the desert.

There is no
it is due to

change of Reality

one sees any change


The rope never becomes the snake.

his Kalpana.

2RRPT

in Frakriti.

WT %

srpraw
1 1

is

affect his real

If

fiROT cR*T
f^rer

rtst wri

The disputant, according

STFR*

to

whom

crt

\ \

\\

the cause itself

the effect, maintains that the cause itself

How

||

is

born as the

possible for the cause to be unborn if it


be said to be born ( as the effect)? How, again, is it said

effect.

to

is it

be eternal if it be subject

to modification (i.e., birth)?

Sankaras Commentary

How

that the Sdmkhyas, who believe in the


evolution of an existing cause, maintain a view which
is

it

MAND 0KYOPA NISHAD

238

[IV -12

irrational ? It is thus replied by the followers of the


Those who say that the cause, that
Vaihshika system
is to say, such material cause as clay, is, in itself,
the
effect; or in other words those disputants who assert
that the cause itself changes into the effect, maintain, as
is

a matter of fact, that the ever-existent and unborn cause,


namely the Pradhana, etc., is born again as the effect,
such as Mahat, etc. If Pradhana be born in the form of
Mahat, etc., then how can it be designated as birthless ?
To say that it is unborn, i.e., immutable and at the same

time born,

i.e.,

passing into change, involves a contra-

diction.

Further, the

eternal.

How

is it

Samkhyas designate Pradhana

possible for Pradhana to be

as

eternal 1

even a part of it be affected by change ? In other words,


ordinary experience does not furnish us with the instance
of a jar, composed of parts, which, if broken in any part,
if

can
is

be called permanent or immutable. The purport


is obvious in the statement that
affected partly by change and at the same time it is

still

that a contradiction

it is

unborn and
1

eternal.

According

Eternal

or Prakriti

An

composed of
composed of

is

to

the

Samkhya

three parts,

viz.,

theory,

Pradhana
and Tamas.

the

Sattva, Rajas

parts can never be termed eternal or


entity
permanent. That which is composed of parts, must, in course of
time, undergo decomposition.

3n*TPTFm%
12.

If,

as

you

if

say,

the cause be

permanent

the effect which is born ?

pq;

||

the cause is non-different

the effect, then the effect also

how can

wri

must be unborn.
if

it

II

from

Further,

be non-different

from

QUENCHING OF FIRE-BRAND

IV13J

239

Sankaras Commentary
This verse

meant to make the meaning of the pre-

is

vious one clearer.

If

the unborn cause

your object be to maintain that

identical with the

is

necessarily follows that the effect also

But

unborn.

that a thing

it

contradiction

certainly a

is

an

is

effect

and

then

effect,

it

becomes equally
say

to

same time unborn.

at the

2
a further difficulty. In the case of identity
according
to
you,
of the cause and the effect, how can,

There

is

the cause, which 3

is non-different from the born effect,


be permanent and immutable ? It is not possible to
imagine that a part of a hen is being cooked and that

another part

of cause and

If the identity

be asked

if

laying eggs.

is

be maintained then

effect

may

it

the cause be identical with the effect or if the effect be

In the former case of identity, the effect


becomes unborn and in the latter case the cause becomes something
born and loses its immutable and permanent character.

identical with the cause.

1
2

etc.

It,

For, an
cause

effect is that

Identity, etc

If

and

which

is

one distinguish between the cause and the


3

Which

is,

etc

If the cause

born out of a cause.

be identical then

effect

how can

effect ?

be identical with the

bom

effect

then the cause cannot be called permanent and immutable, as birth


means change.

any act of birth in


There is only one existence, viz.. Brahman, which is
called the cause by ignorant people whose mind is still moving in
This view avoids this difficulty by denying

the cause.

the causal plane.

3T3nt[ srfjpr

sqwr

'fficrnf

13.

There

him who says

z gpcrerw

is

no

^rrflr

srgaq^f h

\\

to support the view

illustration

of

that the effect is born from the unborn cause.

Again, if it be said that the effect

is

produced from a cause

mAnd vkyopanishad

240

which is itself born then


nitum.

it

[IV -14

leads to a regressus

ad

infi-

Sankaras Commentary
Moreover, the disputant 1 who says that the effect
is produced from an unborn cause, cannot furnish an
In other words, it is
illustration to support his view.
consequently established that nothing is born from an
unborn cause as there is no illustration to support this
view. If 2 on the other hand, it be contended that the
effect is born from a born cause, then that cause must
be born from some other born cause and so on, which
position never enables us to reach a cause which is, in
In other words, we are faced with an
itself, unborn.
,

regress.

infinite
1

Disputant

The

follower of the

Mahat,

SSmkhya system contends

evolved from the unborn


being non-different from the effect. The
Karika disproves this theory of the Samkhyas as well as the creation
theory of some Vedantists. This theory is a matter of inference.
that such effects

Pradhina,

But there
*

no

is

cause which

are

etc.,

cause

the

etc

If,

as

illustration to

draw

the inference.

If the effect

be produced from a born cause

is

the effect of

some other

endless regress

and we

(i.e.,

cause), then there will be

shall never arrive at a cause

which

is,

an

itself,

unborn.

tffp

wqrfctg:

^4

wi ^

ctsttotcI n

How

can they, who assert that the effect is the


cause of the cause and the cause is the cause of the effect
maintain the beginninglessness of both the cause and the
14

effect ?

Sankaras Commentary
The Sruti, in the passage, When all this has, verily,
become his Atman" declares, from the standpoint of the

QUENCHING OF FIRE-BRAND

IV -14]

241

Ultimate Reality, the absence of duality. From this


standpoint of the Scriptural text, it is said
The cause , 1
i.e., the merit ( Dharma
and
the
demerit
Adharma
), etc.,
)
(
:

has, for its cause, the effect,

body,

etc.

the cause of the effect,

etc., is

body,
viz.,

etc.

viz.,

the aggregate of the

Similarly, the cause , 8 viz., merit

How

viz.,

the

and demerit,

aggregate of the

can disputants 8 who maintain

that both the cause

and the

effect are

this view,

with 4 beginning

on account of mutual interdependence of the cause and


effect, assert that both the cause and the effect are

the

without beginning ?

In other words, this position implies

an inherent contradiction 6 The Itman* which is eternal


and immutable, can never become either the cause or
.

the effect.
1

Cause,

The birth
The merit

etc.

in

a body produces

the effect,

viz-,

the merit and the demerit.

and the demerit determine the birth


etc.
Thus it is seen, according to this view, the cause produces the effect and the effect, in its turn, produces the cause.
3
Disputants This is the view held by the Klimamsakas. They
maintain that the endless chain of life and death, consisting of the
cause and the effect, is without beginning. It is just like the
beginninglessness of the hen and the egg. This view is true from
*

Cause,

in a body.

the relative standpoint.


*

With beginningfit

in the effect
5

and the

Contradiction

effect

It

is

is

because the cause has

has

its

because the

beginning of the cause and the


without beginning.

its

beginning

beginning in the cause.

Mimamsakas admitting

effect,

the

again assert that both are

8
Atman, etc. The opponent may contend that the Atman
has become both the cause and the effect. The cause and the effect
may have a beginning because both are the modifications of Atman.

But from the standpoint of


are without beginning.

which

is

their substratum, viz., the Atman, they


This contention is baseless as the Atman

immutable, eternal and without parts cannot undergo any

modification in the forms of cause and

effect.

242

MANDOKYOPANISHAD

tcrfarfr:
cTTT

tfV -15 -16

=*r

3F*J *&%*CT gSTPPFT

||

II

15.
Those who maintain that the effect is the cause
of the cause and the cause is the cause of the effect, describe,
as a matter of fact, the evolution after the manner of the
birth of the father from the son.

Sankaras Commentary

How

does the contention

a contradiction

It is

of the

thus replied

opponent imply

The admission that

is produced from an effect, which is itself bom


of a cause, carries with it the contradiction which may

the cause

be stated to be

like the birth of the father

gffffcHi#
16.

In case causality be

II

still

from the son.

II

maintained, the order in

which cause and effect succeed each other must be stated.


If it be said that they appear simultaneously, then they
being like the two horns of an animal, cannot be

mutually

related to each other.

Sankaras Commentary
If

it

be contended that the contradiction, pointed out

above, cannot be valid, then the opponent should deter-

mine the order in which cause and effect succeed each


The opponent has to show that the cause
is
antecedent, produces the effect which is
which
subsequent. For the following reason also, the order of
cause and effect must be shown. For, if cause
and effect arise simultaneously, then they cannot be
related as the cause and the effect, as it is impossible to
other.


QUENCHING OF FIRE-BRAND

rv-17]

establish the causal relation between

cow produced

243

the two horns of a

simultaneously.

This Karika refutes causality from the point of time.

srate

II

Your cause cannot be established if it be produced


How can the cause, which is itself not

17.

from

11

the effect.

established, give birth to

the effect ?

Sankaras Commentary

How

can there be no causal relation ? It is thus


The cause 1 cannot have a definite existence
replied
if it is to be born of an effect which is, itself, yet unborn,
and therefore which is non-existent like the horns of a
:

How2 can

by you, which
and which is non-existent like the
horns of a hare, produce an effect ? Two things which
are mutually dependent upon each other for their production and which are like 3 the horns of a hare, cannot
be related as cause and effect or in 4 any other way.
hare.

is, itself,

the cause contemplated

indefinite

This Kdrika proves that the very idea of the causal relation
an absurdity. The contention of the opponent is this
The cause and the effect are dependent upon each other for their

involves

mutual production. A house is built for the purpose of living. The


thought of living results in the building of the house. The absurdity
of this contention is thus shown
The general law of causality is
that the cause is antecedent and the effect is subsequent to and
dependent upon a cause. If the effect be the cause of a cause, then
the cause is said to be bom from something which is not yet in
existence. If the cause is to be produced from a non-existent effect,
then the cause itself becomes non-existent. And the cause, being
:

itself non-existent,

existent.

can but produce an

Thus both cause and

effect

effect

which also

become non-existent

is

non-

like the

MAUD OKYOPANISHAD

244

[IV -18

horns of a hare. Therefore they cannot be related as cause and


effect, which relation can subsist only between two existing entities.

If you

say that the cause is produced from the


its appearing after cause, is yet
For, in that case
non-existent), then cause cannot be established.
it is also non-existent, as it is admitted to be the product of an effect
1

Cause,

etc.

effect (which, itself,

which
2

itself,

is,

How

on account of

non-existent.

can,

etc.

If the cause itself

be thus proved to be nonIf it cannot produce

how can it, then, produce an effect ?


an effect, how do you call it the cause ?
existent,

3 Like,
etc.
It is because both the cause and the
been proved to be non-existent.
4

In any, etc.

effect

have

Any other relation, such as that of the container

and the contained, between two things which are non-existent


becomes an absurdity.

to

ii

II

produced from the effect and if the


effect is, again, produced from the cause, which of the two
is born first upon which depends the birth of the other ?
If the cause

18.

is

Sankaras Commentary

Though any relation between cause and effect has


been found to be an impossibility, yet it may be contended by the opponent that the cause and the effect,
though not causally related, yet depend upon each other
for their mutual existence.

we ask

Which of

As a reply

to this contention

the two, the cause and the effect,

is

antecedent to the other, upon the previous existence of


which, the subsequent existence of the other is dependent?
and the effect are mutually dependent, then
can we say that one is prior to the other ? If the priority of
one cannot be established, then it cannot be proved that one is
depeadent upon the other for its existence.
If both the cause

how

QUENCHING OF FIRE-BRAND

IV -19-20]

ir g;*:

y?

The

19.

and

matter)

ft:

ft

3T3rrft:

245

q-Rafrfq-crr

||

II

inability ( to reply), the ignorance ( about the

the impossibility

of (establishing ) the order of

succession (of the cause and the effect) clearly lead the wise
to stick to their theory

of absolute non-evolution

(Ajati).

Sankaras Commentary

you think that this 1 cannot be explained then this


inability shows your ignorance, that is to say, it demonstrates that you are deluded regarding the Knowledge of
If

Again,

Reality.

the

order of succession, pointed out

by you that the effect comes from the cause and the
cause comes from the effect is also inconsistent. 2 Thus
is shown the impropriety of the causal relation between
the cause and the effect. This 8 leads the wise among the
disputants, by showing the fallacy in each others argu-

ments, to declare, in

(which
1

is

This, etc.

That

is

to say, which

antecedent and which


are mutually dependent.

effect is

one of the cause and the


It is because both

subsequent.

is

See the previous Karika.


The followers of the Samkhya

Inconsistent

This, etc.

Nyaya and

the non-evolution of things

effect,

our opinion).

as well as of the

Vaiseshika systems, supporting respectively the evolution

of things from an existing and non-existing cause, indicate the


It has also been demonstrated
that there cannot be any order of succession of cause and effect in
the evolution. Thus the disputants ultimately support the view of
Ajati or non-evolution of things as stated by us.
fallacy in each others arguments.

sspci:
jf

tfsrr

ft srareft tg: ftttf

ft

*?:

gstft \\\ 0

\\

MANDOKYOPANISHAD

246

[IV-20

20
The illustration of the seed and the sprout is itself
a matter which is yet to be proved. The middle term ( that
is, the illustration) which is itself yet to be proved {to be
true) cannot be used for establishing a proposition to be
.

proved.

Sankaras Commentary

(Objection) We have asserted the causal relation


between the cause and the effect. But you have raised
mere verbal 1 difficulties to show the inconsistency in our

by

statement and

made

pointing out

absurdity like the birth of the father from

the son

its

caricature of our standpoint

or a causal relation between the two horns (of a

We do not, for a moment, admit the producof an effect from a cause not already existent or of
a cause from an effect not established.
bull), etc.

tion

What then, your contention


(Objection) We admit the causal relation as
(Reply)

is,

in the

case of the seed and the sprout.

(Reply)

To

this

we

reply as follows:

The

illustra-

tion of the causal relation existing between the seed

the sprout

is itself

syllogism, that

is

the

same as the major term

to say, the

and

my

in

illustration itself is to

be

proved.

(Objection)It is apparent that the causal relation


of the seed and the sprout is without beginning.
(Reply)

It is

not

The beginning- of

so.

dents must be admitted, as


quents.

As 4 a sprout

just

is

all

antece-

the case with the conse-

produced from a seed

is

with

beginning, similarly the seed also, produced from another

sprout (existing in the past), by the very succession implied


in the act of production,
all

is

with beginning.

Therefore

antecedent sprouts as well as seeds are with beginning.

QUENCHING OF FIRE-BRAND

IV -20]

As

every seed and every sprout,

among

247

the seeds

and

unreasonable
to say that any one of these is without beginning. This
is also equally applicable to the argument of the cause
the sprouts, are with beginning, so

and the

is

effect.

Each5 of the series of the seeds and the


without beginning.

(OBjection)

sprouts

it

is

No.

The unity or oneness of such series


Even those who maintain the
beginninglessness of the seed and the sprout, do not
(Reply)

cannot

be

justified.

admit the existence of a thing known as the series of the


seed and the sprout apart from the seed and the sprout.
Nor do they admit such a series in the case of the cause
and the effect. Therefore it has been rightly asked,
How do you assert the beginninglessness of the cause
and the effect? Other explanations being unreasonable, we have not raised any verbal difficulty. Even 6 in
our ordinary experience expert logicians do not use
anything, which is yet to be established, as the middle
term or illustration in order to establish relation between
the major and the minor terms of a syllogism. The word
Hetu or the middle term is used here in the sense of illustration, as it is the illustration which leads to the establishment of a proposition. In the context illustration is
meant and not reason.
1

Verbal

etc.

The opponent contends that the

difficulties raised

are merely verbal.


*

and

As

in, etc.

The

It is like

the production of the seed

from the sprout

Sankara contends that it is to be proved


produced from a beginningless sprout or the sprout
produced from a beginningless seed.
illustration, etc

that the seed


is

vice versa.

As a

or cause)

The opponent contends that the bija (seed


without beginning (Anadi) because he wants to make

sprout, etc .

is

is

MAND VKYOPA NISHAD

248

{IV -21

Aja or beginningless. But Sankara says that every bija or seed


produced and therefore every bija is with beginning. Hence the
cause cannot be Aja or birthless.
it

is

Each,

is

The

etc.

seed and there

is

produced the

the

opponent contends that there is a series of


another series of sprout. From the seed series

cause series

sprout series
is

and

produced the

vice

versa.

effect series

Similarly,

and

from

vice versa.

Even, etc
The illustration of the seed and the sprout has
been given by the opponent to prove the beginninglessness of the
cause and the effect. But Sankara contends that the beginninglessness of the seed and the sprout in the illustration has not yet
been proved. As a matter of fact it has been shown that both the
seed and the sprout are with beginning. Hence this illustration
which is itself not proved, cannot be admitted in support of the
.

contention.

I Wrf.
21.

wA

ii

\\

II

The ignorance regarding the antecedence and the

subsequence of the cause and the effect clearly proves the


absence of evolution or creation. If the effect (Dharma,
i.e., the Jiva) has really been produced from a cause, then

why can you not point out

the antecedent cause ?

Sankaras Commentary

How do

the wise assert the view of Ajati or absolute

non-evolution

It is

thus replied

The

very fact that

one does not know the antecedence and the subsequence


of the cause ana the effect is, in itself, the clearest indication of absolute
i.e.,

non-evolution.

why cannot

its

the effect

Dharma

antecedent cause be pointed out ?

without saying that one


also

If

the Jiva) be taken as produced (from a cause) then

know

its

who

antecedent cause.

of the cause and the

It

goes

accepts birth as a fact must

effect is

For, the relationship

inseparable and therefore

QUENCHING OF FIRE-BRAND

IV '22)

up

cannot be given

24*

Therefore the absence of knowledge

'(regarding the cause) clearly indicates the fact of absolute

non-evolution.
1

The very, etc

The

of birth can be said to be estab-

fact

lished if the order of the succession of cause and effect be established.


In the absence of such order there cannot be any birth or evolution.
* If,

etc .
4

The

idea of

cause

cannot be thought of without

and vice-versa. Therefore we cannot say which


one is antecedent. Hence the idea of evolution (Janma), i.e., an
antecedent cause giving birth to a subsequent effect, is due to
"the idea

of

effect

ignorance or Avidya.
srr

qim

^sfq-

fopErsrg

Nothing, whatsoever,

22.

another

<

Nothing

is

sriq^r

?r

is

ll

born either of itself or of


it be being or

ever produced whether

.non-being or both being

and non-being.

Sankaras Commentary
nothing whatsoever is bom.
(supposed to be) bom cannot be bom
of itself, of another or of both. Nothing, 2 whether it be
existing or non-existing, or both, is ever born.
Of such
an entity, birth is not possible in any manner whatsoever.
Nothing 3 is born out of itself, i.e., from its own form
which in itself has not yet come into existence. A jar
eannot be produced from the self-same jar. A thing
eannot be born from another thing, which is other than
itself, as a jar cannot be produced from another jar, or
a piece of cloth from another piece of cloth. Similarly,
a thing cannot be born both out of itself and another, as
5
that involves a contradiction. 4
jar or a piece of cloth
cannot be produced by both a jar and a piece of cloth.

For

this reason, also,

"That 1 which

is

11

is

'

MAND 0KYOPA NISHAD

250

(Objection) A jar
born of a father.

is

[IV~22

produced' front day, and a son


'

(Reply) Yes, the deluded use a word like birth**


and have a notion corresponding to the word. Both
the word and the notion are examined by men of discrimi-

nation
not.

who wish

to ascertain whether these are true or

After examination

they

come

to

that things, such as a jar or a son, etc.,

words and

signified

The

expressions.

All

effects are

the thing

is

The very7

by the notions,

mere names and

existence
is

or

mere verbal-

Scripture also corroborates

ever-existent, then

father 8 of clay

conclusion

the

denoted by the

is

ft

the reason

figures

it,

saying,,

of speech.

cannot be

bom

IT

again.

for non-evolution.

the illustration to support the contention.

If these objects, on the other hand, be non-existent, even


then they cannot be said to be produced. The very
non-existence is the reason. The horns 9 of a hare are an

be both existent and non-existent,,


cannot be born. For, such contradictory
ideas cannot be associated with a thing. Therefore it is
established that nothing whatsoever is born. Those 10
who, again, assert that the very fact of birth is born again,
that the cause, the effect and the act of birth form oneunity, and also that all objects have only
momentary
existence, maintain a view which is very far from reason..
For a thing immediately after being pointed out as It is
this, ceases to exist and consequently no memory of
the thing is possible in the absence of such cognition.
If things

illustration.

then also,

it

There are
thing.

of the birth of a.
or of another, or of both. That,

six possible alternatives in the case

It is either

born of

itself,

which is born is either existing or non-existing or both. ThisKarika shows the absurdity of all these positions and conclusively
establishes the theory of absolute non -evolution.

QUENCHING OF FIRE-BRAND

V -22]
1

That, etc-'That

is

to say, the three alternatives are deniec


:

regarding the cause.


a

'Nothing, etd.-^Xjn: other

regarding the

251

words the three al&niatives are denied

effect.

* Nothing, etc
Both always means change. If a thing produces another thing, it cannot do so without a change in itself. If
it undergoes a change, it ceases to be the thing itself.
Therefore a
thing cannot be the cause of the same thing. A jar cannot be the'
cause of the very same jar.
,

Contradiction

ibine within
5

For,

a cause cannot, at the same time, com-

two contradictory

jar, etc

cannot be
*

it

bom

aspects.

Therefore an object which


from a cause which

Verbal, etc.

It is

is

is supposed to be bom
both existing arid non-existing.

because the birth of a son or the production"

of a jar cannot be proved.


7

The very, etc

the thing, before

it

Birth signifying a change would


was born, had been

non-existent.

non-existence cannot be reconciled with the idea of

indicate that

This previous
its

being even-

existent.
8

Father, etc .

If the son or the

jar be ever-existent, then they

cannot be born from a father or clay.


9

no

Horns, etc

Horns

of a hare are ever non-existent.

Hence

birth can be predicated of them.

10
Those, etc. This is the view of the Buddhist idealists.
According to them, no external objects, corresponding to our idea
of them, exist. Idea alone is real. One idea gives birth to another
These ideas are momentary. The moment an idea is cogidea.
nised as such, it vanishes giving birth to another idea. All our
notions regarding the cause, the effect and the act of birth form
only one unit idea. But this position is absolutely untenable. If
one idea be immediately succeeded by another idea, then the
antecedent idea is no longer cognised by us. In the absence of
such cognition, no memory is possible. If an idea has only a
momentary existence, then our very possibility of experience becomes
If there cannot be any memory of the antecedent
-an. absurdity.
idea, then it is not possible to establish a causal relation between the

antecedent and the subsequent ideas.

MAND0KYOPANISHAD

252

w ^ mm:
arrfaf
23.

which

is

q?*r

fora

ciw

[IV *25

II

The cause cannot be produced from an


without beginning, nor

own nature

That which

(itself).

necessarily free

is

from

effect

born of
Without beginning

the
is

II

effect

its-

is

birth.

Sankaras Commentary
In accepting the beginninglessness of the cause and
the effect you are forced to admit the absence of birth

regarding them. How is it so ? The 1 cause cannot beproduced from an effect, which is without beginning.
In other words, you do not certainly mean that the causeis produced from an effect which is, itself, without beginning and free from birth.
Nor do you2 admit that the
effect, by following its own inherent nature, (i.e., without
any extraneous cause) is produced from a cause which is.
unborn and without beginning. Therefore* by admittingthe beginninglessness of the cause and the effect, you,
verily, accept the fact of their being never produced..
It is because we know from common experience that
what is without beginning is also free from birth whichi
means a beginning. Beginning is admitted of a thing,
which has birth, and not of a thing which has none.
1

The cause,

The

beginningless effect cannot produce a


cannot be itself an effect. An effect,,
Again, if the cause besignifying birth, must have a beginning.
produced from an effect, then the cause, itself, cannot be without

cause.

etc .

For, otherwise

it

beginning.

* You, etc
It is because
cannot be beginningffess.
.

it

Therefore, etc

their being never

If the

bom, be

if the effect

be produced from a cause,

cause and the effect, on account of

ever free from birth, they cannot be causer

QUENCHING OF FIRE-BRAND

IV ?24]

253

and effect. For, the words are always associated with birth. Hence
the opponent by admitting the beginninglessness of cause and effect
accepts, as a matter of fact, the theory of Aj&ti or he stultifies himself.

Rfft:

eftfoRWsrer -flpprRRr:

sfrawtaswMj

q^rwifisrar

rv

tt

knowledge must have an objective


cause; otherwise both must be non-existent. For this
Subjective

24.

reason as well as that of the experience ofpain , the existence


of external objects, accepted by other thinkers, should be
admitted.

Sankaras Commentary

An

objection

raised in order to strengthen the

is

meaning already stated.


signifies
knowledge,
notions as that of sound,

The word
i.e.,

etc.

Prajnapti in the text

of such
This (subjective) knowledge
the

experience

has a cause, i.e., an (external) agent or object corresponding


to it. In other words, we premise that knowledge is
not merely subjective but has an object outside the
perceiving

Cognition

subject.

possible without objects.

of

sound,

etc.,

For, such experience

is

is not
always

produced by a cause. In 1 the absence of such (external)


object, the variety and multiplicity of experiences such
as sound, touch, colour, viz., blue, yellow, red, etc., would
riot have existed.
But the varieties are not non-existent,
for these are directly perceived by all. Hence, because
the variety of manifold experiences exist,
to admit the existence

of

opposite school
the

ideas

of

the

knowledge has one

it is

necessary

as supported by the system of the

external objects which are outside

perceiving

subject.

The

subjective

is of the
very nature of illumination. It does not adihit of any
variety within itself. The variety of experiences of colour.

characteristic alone,

i.e., it

MAND KYGPAN1SHA D

2l4

cannot possibly be

blueness, yellowness, etc.,

sucfr as

[IV -24

explained, by merely imagiWrhg a variety in the subjective


!

knowledge, without admitting variety of external objects


which are the substratum of these multiple colours.
In
other words, no variety of, colour is possible in a (white)
crystal without its coming in contact with such adjuncts
as the external objects which possess such colours as
blueness, etc.
For this additional reason also one is
forced to admit the existence of external object, supported by the Scripture of the opposite school, an object
which is external to the knowledge (of the perceiving
subject) Misery 2 caused by burns, etc., is experienced by
all.
Such pain as is caused by burns, etc., would not
have been felt in the absence of the fire, etc., which is
the cause of the burns and which exists independent of

the knowledge (of the perceiving subject).


is

experienced by

objects do exist.

Hence

all.

It

is

3
,

we

But such pain

think that external

not reasonable to conclude that

such pain is caused by mere subjective knowledge.


such misery is not found elsewhere.

For

4
,

This Karika gives the views of the dualists who believe in the
Knowledge is not
of external objects. They argue thus
possible without the contact with an external object.
Mental
reality

impressions are always created by our coming into contact with


objects that

lie

outside of us.

Besides,

no

variety

is

possible in

the knowledge of the perceiving subject without a corresponding


variety existing outside of

it.

ledge as that of colour, form,

From
etc.,

the experience of such

of objects outside the perceiving mind corresponding


jective ifapressions.

know-

one must admit the existence

Again, different experiences give

to the sub-

rise to different

such as pleasant or otherwise, which also are impossible


All these arguments compel
one to believe in the reality of external objects.
feelings,

in the absence of external objects.

In,

etc

Otherwise

there would be

objects corresponding to such ideas.

no

idea of variety

and

QUENCHING OF FIRE-BRAND

IV -25]
2

255

etc.
man may create ideas, but he cannot create
Therefore, the pain must have an external cause.

Misery,

pain.
8

Hence,

must

etc.

The

contention 'of the opponent

is

that there

between objects and our knowledge of

exist causal relation

them.
4

For

That

is

to say, that the pain of burn

when the limb comes

in

contact

besmeared with sandal-paste,

etc.

is

experienced only

Are and not when it is


Therefore, misery, pain, etc.,

with

are not possible in the absence of a cause.

HsTFr:

II

From

25.

the point of view

of

ll

logical reason a cause

for the subjective impression must be assigned.

But from

the standpoint of the highest Reality or the true nature


things,

we find

impression )

is,

of

that the (so-called ) cause (of the subjective

after all, no cause.

Sankaras Commentary

To1
that

this objection,

you

we

reply as follows

We

admit

posit a cause of the subjective experience

on

account of such arguments as the existence of the variety


(in the objective world) and because of the experience
of pain.
Stick for a while to your argument that reason

demands

that an external object should exist to produce

subjective impression.

(The

opponent)

Please

let

us

know what you

(Advaitin ) are going to say next.

(Reply)
cause, that

Yes,

is

the 2 jar, etc.,

posited by

you as the

to say, the cause of the subjective impression,

according to us, the external cause, the substratum (of the impression) ; nor are they the cause for

are not,

our experiences of

variety.

MlND 0KYOPA NISHAD

256

How

(Objection)

(Reply)

[IV -25

We say so from* the .standpoint of the true


When

nature of Reality.

a jar does not

exist apart

the true nature of clay

from the clay as

exists

is

known

a buffalo

in entire independence of a horse.


Nor does cloth exist
apart from the thread in it. Similarly the threads have no
existence apart from the fibres. If we thus proceed to find
out the true nature of the thing, by going from one cause
to another, till language or the object denoted by the
language fails us, we do not still find any (final) cause.

Bhutadarsanat" (from the true nature of the thing)


may be Abhiitadarsanat (from the unreality of the
experiences). According to this interpretation, the meaning of the Karika is that we do not admit external objects
as the cause on 4 account of the unreality of these (external)
objects, which are as unreal as the snake seen instead
of the rope. The (so-called) cause 5 ceases to be the cause
as the former is due to the illusory perception of the
perceiver.
For 6 it (the external world) disappears in the
The man in dreamabsence of such illusory knowledge.
less sleep and trance ( Samadhi ) and he wfio has attained
the highest knowledge do not experience any object outside their self as they are free 7 from such illusory cognition.
An object which is cognised by a lunatic is never known
as such by a sane man. Thus 8 is answered the contention regarding the causality based upon the arguments
of the perception of variety and the existence of pain.
,

Realism which

by

is

always associated with causality

is

now

refuted

idealism.
1

That to say, that objection as set forth in the prenot the cause of our mental
The jar, etc The external jar
To, etc .

is

vious Ktirikd.
*

upon which

is

impression (idea) of the jar.

Nor

the idea of the jar

is

is

the external jar the substratum

superposed.

QUENCHING OF FIREBRAND

IV -25]

From

the, etc.

Ii.is,.because

from*the standpoint of Ultimate

Truth the external jar does not, as such,


exists

257

exist.

That which really

clay (without form) which, being associated with

is

name and

form, appears as the jar. Name and form, being mere ideas of
the mind, are illusory. Therefore, the jar has no real existence
independent of the clay. If the opponent contends that the external
objects create the subjective ideas,

the argument of causality


4

we ask

for a cause for the external

The opponent cannot point out such a

objects.

On

account

What

of, etc.

Hence

cause.

fails.

That

is

to say,

no external object

exists

taken as the external object is merely the idea


of the perceiver. When the snake is perceived in the rope, that
perception, being illusory, cannot be called the knowledge of any
independent reality called snake. Similarly, the perception of the
external object, being illusory, cannot point to the existence of any
such object as an independent reality.
as such.

is

* Cause, etc.
Seeking a cause for subjective ideasignorance (Avidyci).

For, etc.

When

Free, etc.

law of

causality.

independent
8

That

we

is

itself

disappears.

to say, they are

Hence they do not

see

no longer

subject to the

any external world as

are

reality.

Thus, etc.

exist as

due to

this ignorance, i.e., the belief in causality,

disappears the external world


7

is

The opponent contends that external objects must

are conscious of the variety of subjective impressions.


,

Another reason for the existence of the external object is our


experience of pain. The mind may create an idea, but it will not
cause pain to
given

We

itself.

may have

To

this contention the following reply is


consciousness of variety or pain in the

absence of external objects. One is conscious of the variety of


objects in dream. He feels pain in dream. But the dream
experiences are only the subjective impressions in the mind of the
dreamer. No external object exists, at that time, which corresponds to the dream experiences. Therefore subjective impressions
need not be necesarily produced by a really existing external object.
There is no proof that external objects independently of the mind
exist.
The subjective impression of the snake in place of the rope
is produced in the absence of an external snake.
From the standpoint of reality, nothing exists but the Self or Atman. Perception

MANDOKYOPAWSHAD

258

of any other

existence

is

due

to illusion.

[IV -26

The mind,

in ignorance,

seeks a cause, and thereby infers an external world.

f%xT

sr

3T3?r it

The mind

26.

Nor

WWft
is

TP-TRTTMcT:

not related to the

\\

||

external ) object

are the ideas which appear as external objects, reflec-

upon the mind. It is so because the objects are non-4


and the ideas ( which appear as external objects)
are not separate from the mind.
tions

existent

Sankaras Commentary
Because there are no external objects as cause, the
relate itself to external objects which are
supposed to be the cause of the subjective impression.
Nor is the mind related to the ideas which appear as
external objects, as the mind, like 1 the dream-mind, is
identical with such ideas. It 2 is because the external
objects such as sound, etc., perceived in the waking state,

mind does not

dream-objects,

are as unreal as

Another reason

already.

is

that

for 3

reasons

stated

the ideas appearing

as external objects are not different from the mind.


is

the

mind alone which,

It

as in dream, appears as external

objects such as the jar, etc.


1

Like, etc.

In dream one experiences various external objects.

in the waking state that it is mind alone which


appears as objects seen in dream. The mind is identical with these
ideas.
Therefore there cannot be any causal relation between the

But

it

is

mind and
* It

found

the ideas.

is,

[between the
8

etc.

Therefore

mind and

For reasons,

Of ;the JCtirikd

and

etc.

there cannot

be any causal relation

the non-existing external objects.

This has been treated in

in other places

of the KQrika.

the second chapter

QUENCHING OF FIRE-BRAND

IV -27]

259

* It is, etc
It is Self alone which exists. All that are perceived
by the deluded as external -objects are nothing but the Self. There
The duality iis due to illusion.
is only non-dual Atman.
.

#f^r

esr t%tt

^si^g

f^far:

*rr^Tfir

11

11

The mind does not enter into causal relation in

27.

any of the three periods of

How

time.

ever subject to delusion, as there


delusion

t%

is

can the mind be


no cause for any such

Sankaras Commentary
(Objection)The mind appears as the jar, etc., though
such objects are non-existent. Therefore there 1 must
Such being the case, there must
exist false knowledge.
be right knowledge somewhere (in relation to, or as
distinguished from, false knowledge which we point out).

Our reply to this contention is as follows:


mind certainly does not come in contact with a
cause an external object in any of the three periods
of time, past, present or future. If the mind had ever
truly come in contact with such objects then such relation
would give us an idea of true knowledge from the standpoint of Reality. And in relation to that knowledge
(Reply)

The

etc., in the mind, in the absence


of the jar, etc., could have been termed as false knowledge.
But never does the mind come in contact with an external
object (which does not in reality exist). Hence how is it

the appearance of the jar,

possible for the

mind

to fall into error

when

there

is

no

cause for such an assumption ? In other words, the mind


This 2 is, indeed,
is never subject to false knowledge.
the very nature of the mind that it takes the forms of the
jar, etc., though in reality, such jar, etc., which may cause
the mental forms, do not at all exist.

mAndOkyopanishad

260

[IV -28

Otherwise one could not be aware of the


which do not really exist. One cannot be aware
of wrong knowledge unless one knows what right knowledge is.
The opponent intends to prove the positive existence of Avidyd
which causes illusory knowledge.
1

There must, etc

external jar,

etc.,

This

known

as Avidyd or the ignorance


account of this ignorance the
mind, which is the same as the non-dual Atman, appears to take
the form of the external objects. This false knowledge is not a
This false knowledge regarding
correlative of true knowledge.
the existence of the external objects is due to the ignorance of the
*

This

of the

is,

etc .

is

what

tfue nature of Reality.

is

On

Seeking after the cause of Avidyd is itself the


of the ignorant mind which has not yet been able to
from the delusion of causality.

nature of Reality.
characteristic

free itself

cTWR

SfRcT f%rT T%rT^q-

cW

?T

Therefore neither the mind nor the objects per-

28.

ceived by the mind are ever born.

such birth

may

Those who perceive

as well discover the foot-prints ( of the birds)

in the sky.
*

The

Sankaras Commentary

verses of the Karika from 25 to 27 give the views

of Buddhistic thinkers, known as the Vijnanawho thus refute the views


of those who maintain the reality of external objects.
The 2 Advaitic teacher (Gaudapada) approves of these

of a

class

vddins 1 (the subjective idealists)

Now he makes use of these very arguments


of the Vijnanavadins as the ground (middle term) for
refuting the conclusions of the subjective idealists. The
Kdrika has this end in view. The subjective idealist
admits that the mind, even in the absence of the (external)
jjar, etc., takes the form of the jar, etc.
We also agree
with this conclusion because this is in conformity with
arguments.

QUENCHING OF FIRE-BRAND

HV-28]

261

the real nature of things. In like manner, the mind,


though never produced, appears to be produced and
cognised as such. Therefore the mind is never produced,
as is the case with the object cognised by it. The
Vijnanavadins who affirm the production of the mind and
also assert that the mind is momentary, full of pain, nonSelf in nature, etc., forget that the real 3 nature of the mind
can never be understood by the mind (as described by

Thus the Vijnanavadins who see the production


of the mind resemble those who (profess to) see in the
sky foot-prints left by birds, etc. In other words, the
them).

more audacious than

Vijnanavadins are
the dualists.

And

the others,

viz.,

the Nihilists 4 who, in spite of the

perception of the visible world, assert the absolute nonown experiences,


ate even more audacious than the Vijnanavadins. These

existence of everything including their

who claim to compress the whole sky in the palms of their hands.
Nihilists take the position of those

The

three Kdrikds,

Buddhist

idealist

external objects.

who

viz.,

25, 26

and

27, give the

views of the

refutes those that believe in the reality of the

This Kdrikd refutes the position of the Vijnana-

vadin.
1

They

belong

of subjective
According to this
school, ail objects are pre-existent in the subject in the form of
Vasanas (ideas). Cause is only a subjective idea. It does not
Further, accordexist as external object with which we associate it.
ing to this school, all ideas are momentary.
Vijnanavadins

to

the

school

idealism in the Buddhistic system of thought.

2
The Advaita, etc
Gaudapada accepts the views of the
Vijnanavadins only in respect of the non-existence of external objects.
.

He

also agrees with the Vijnanavadins that the so-called

objects are nothing but the state of the


3

external

mind ( chittaspandanam).

Real nature, etc


It is because the mind, according to the
is momentary.
The consciousness of one moment
.

Vijndnavddins ,

is unrelated to that of the next

moment.

Such being the

case, in

mAnd Okyopa nishad

262

[IV -29*

it is not possible to know thechange of consciousness from one moment to another. Thereforeit is absurd to assert that the mind is born every moment and that
it is full of misery, etc.
For, there is no perceiver according to the
Vijnanavadins, which can cognize this momentary change of
consciousness as well as its painful and non -Atman character.

the absence of an unchanging entity

Nihilists

existence of

The

position of the Nihilists

including the

everything,

who

perceiver,

a perceiver of this void.


is void ?

3Rrt

Otherwise

who

even

srrqrr

than what

it

It is

II

of the disputants) that which

said to be born.

ever unborn.

must be

(In the opinion


is

non-

more

will assert that everything,

||

29.

is

If all that exists is really a void, then there

untenable.

unborn

affirm the

For,

its

very nature

is

to

is-

be

never possible for a thing to be other

is.

Sankaras Commentary

For reasons already stated it is established that


This verse summarises
is one and unborn.
the conclusion of what has already been stated in the
form of proposition. The unborn mind, which 1 is verily
Brahman, is imagined by the disputants to be born.

Brahman

Therefore (according to them) the ever-unborn is said to


be born. For, it is unborn by its very nature. It 2 is.
simply impossible for a thing, which
nature, to be

anyhow

otherwise than what


1

Which etc
,

It

born, that

is

is

by
anyhow

ever unborn

to say, to be

is.

it

has been already seen that the

mind

is

never

Therefore the mind is Brahman, non-dual and immutable.


The disputants, on account of ignorance, see the modifications and
change in the mind. The very nature of the mind is that it is one
born.'

apd without a second, and

free

from change or

birth.

QUENCHING OF FIRE-BRAND

3V -30k

263

etc, The absolute tiling does not in any way undergo


Even through delusion the mind cannot be said to
pass into birth. If it were so then it cannot be said to be unborp
.and unchanging in nature.
a

It,4s y

.any change.

=*r

ssrcsr

aFRrar
30.

iftqpw

sr

*rfWrr

II

\o\ n

If the world be admitted to be beginningless (as

some disputants assert), then it cannot be non-eternal.


Moksha or liberation' cannot have a beginning and be
,

eternal

Sankaras Commentary

Here

is

another defect in the arguments of those

maintain that the Atman

is,

in reality, subject1 to

who
both

bondage and liberation. If the world (/.<?., the state <?f


bondage of the Atman ) be without beginning or a definite
end cannot be established by any logical
is no instance
of an object which has no beginning but has an end.
past, then its

Teasoning.

In ordinary experience, there

(Objection)

We

see a break in the beginningless

continuity of the relation of the seed

and the sprout.

(Reply)This illustration has no validity; for, 3 the


seed and the sprout do not constitute a single entity.
Tn like manner, liberation cannot be said to have no
end if iCbe asserted that liberation which is attained by
acquisition of knowledge has a (definite) beginning. For,
the jar, etc., which have a beginning have also an end.
(Objection) There 4
liberation,

is

no defect

not being any substance,

destruction of a jar,

in

our argument as
be like the

may

etc.

(Reply)In that case

it

will contradict

your propo-

sition that liberation has a positive -exisTtehce

from the

MAND OKYOPA NISHAD

264

[IV -31*32

standpoint of the Ultimate Reality. Further, liberation


being a non-entity, like the horn of a hare cannot ever

have a beginning.
This Ketriku gives us the reason for the statement that Atman
ever-free and ever-existent. Atman, conceived as
such, is not a theological dogma, nor is it based upon the intuition
of the mystic, but it is a metaphysical fact.
is

ever-pure,

That is to say, the Atman is bound during the


Subject, etc.
of ignorance and it becomes free with the acquisition of knowledge. Those who make this contention accept the bondage of
state

Atman

as a fact.

We

The opponent contends that the relation of a


see, etc.
seed and a tree, though without beginning, is seen to come to an.
end when the tree dies without leaving a seed.
*

For the seed, etc. The seed and sprout do not constitute a
Every time a new seed and a new sprout are seen
to be produced. Therefore both the seed and the tree have definite
single series.

beginning.

4 There is, etc.


The opponent contends that a non-entity results
from the breaking of a jar. This non-entity has a beginning (in
the breaking of the jar) but it is eternal. Liberation ( Moksha in
the form of the destruction of the bondage {bandha), not being any
substance, can be eternal like the destruction of a jar which, though
not a substance and though with beginning, is without end. This
is

the contention of the opponent.

=er

wrrer

SSSTT: *FcTtsftcT*TT
31.

That which

is

crrPTr

f'T

t|

II

non-existent at the beginning

and

in the end, is necessarily so (non-existent ) in the middle.

The objects we see are

illusions, still

they are regarded as

if real.

ffcfl:

j|

|t

1V-33J

QUENCHING OF FIRE-BRAND

265:

The serving of some purpose by them (i.e., the


objects of waking experience) is contradicted in dream
32.

Therefore they are doubtlessly recognised to be illusory


(by the wise ) on account of their having a beginning

and

an end.

Sankaras Commentary
These two verses have been explained before in the
chapter on Illusion (Chapter II. 6, 7). They are quoted
here again in connection with the topics which are discussed in relation to the unreality of the universe and
liberation.

The opponent may contend thus


Let the state of liberation
have a beginning and an end. What is the harm in thus conceiving
the state of liberation ? The reply is that if a thing has a beginning
and an end, it does not exist in the middle also. That is to say,,
That we see its existence is due toit has no existence whatsoever.
our ignorance. The familiar instance is that of the mirage. The
mirage has no existence prior to its vision by the deluded and it
does not exist when the illusion vanishes. That we see the mirage
Therefore if we accept the idea of'
at all is due to our ignorance.
liberation as conceived by the opponent then it would be nonexistent.
The opponent may again contend that one cannot quench
his thirst with the water of the mirage.
But liberation is conducive
The reply to this contention is that
to our infinite happiness.
liberation as conceived by the opponent, being illusory, serves no
purpose whatsoever. If liberation should have both beginning
and end, then it would be like our dream* or waking experiences.
In the waking state a man may feel that he has enjoyed a hearty
feast, but immediately after going to sleep he may experience in
dream ravenous hunger. In that case the waking experiences do:

not serve him a lasting purpose. Any experience which has


beginning or an end is illusory from the standpoint of Reality.

w*fr

I ^cTRI

fell

II

\\

II

a.

MANDOKYOPANJSHAD

:266

'

33.

..

[IV -34

All objects cognised in dream are unreal, because

ahey are seen within the body.

How

is

it

possible for

things, that are perceived to exist, to be- really in

which

is

.Brahman

and homogeneous.

indivisible

Sankaras Commentary
,

This and the following verses are meant to explain


one of the previous Karikas which states that the

in detail

(so-called) cause (of the

no cause

at

all.

opponent)

is,

really

speaking,

(Ref. Verse 25, Chapt. IV.)

The purpose of the Karika is to show that Brahman, birthless


and non-dual, is. alone existent; for, the waking experiences, on
account of their having a beginning and an end, are unreal like
The
the dream ones. Therefore what is seen is Brahman alone.
hence they are unreal as
dream objects are seen within the body
;

things like a mountain, etc., cannot exist within the body.


larly, all

Simi-

our waking experiences are supposed to be within the body

Hence they are

(of the Virat).

of

Retflity.

in

reality,

The

Viral itself

contain

are illusory.

is

from the standpoint


which cannot,
Therefore waking experiences

also illusory
in

multiplicity.

the Self (Arman)

The dream experiences

are considered illusory as time

and space corresponding to such experiences do not conform to


the time and space of the dreamer. In like manner waking
experiences are also illusory as they, really speaking, cannot exist

(Atman) which is one, non-dual and homogeneous and


which cannot contain any space for the existence of alien objects.
in the Self

* p& s&T

*rar

^i^iRWsrtr

srfap;r%
34.

It is

mb

not possible for a dreamer to go out in order

to experience the

(dream) objects on account of the

crepancy of the time involved in such journey.


being awake, the dreamer does not find himself

(where he dreamed himself

to be).

dis-

Again, on
in the

place

QUENCHING OF FIRE-BRAND

IV -35]

26 T

Sankaras Commentary

The time and space involved in undertaking a journey


in coming back, have a definite and fixed standard

and

These are seen to be reversed 1 in


dream. On account of this inconsistency it can bepositively said that the dreamer does not actually go-

in the

waking

state.

out to another place during his dream experiences.

Reversed In dream which may last for a few minutes, a


have experience of events which may take years to happen.
Therefor