The Mandukya Upanishad with Gaudapada’s Karika and Shankara’s Commentary
Kārikā, verse 1.16
अनादिमायया सुप्तो यदा जीवः प्रबुध्यते ।
अजमनिद्रमस्वप्नमद्वैतं बुध्यते तदा ॥ १६ ॥
anādimāyayā supto yadā jīvaḥ prabudhyate |
ajamanidramasvapnamadvaitaṃ budhyate tadā || 16 ||
16. When the Jīva or the individual soul sleeping (i.e., not knowing the Reality) under the influence of the beginningless Māyā, is awakened, it, then, realises (in itself) the non-duality, beginningless and dreamless.
One who is called the Jīva1, the individual soul, (whose characteristic is to be) subject2 to the law of transmigration, sleeping3 under the influence of Māyā which is active from time without4 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, “This is my father, this is my son, this is my grandson, this is my property and these are my animals, I am their master, I am happy, I am miserable, I have suffered loss
on account of this, I have gained on this account”... When the Jīva remains asleep experiencing these dreams in the two states5 he is then thus, awakened6 by the gracious teacher who has himself realised the Reality, indicated by Vedānta: “Thou art not this, of the nature of cause and effect, but That thou art.” When the Jīva is thus awakened from sleep, he, then, realises his real nature. What is his nature? It (Self) is birthless, because it is beyond cause and effect and because it has none of the characteristics7 such as birth, etc., which are (inevitably) associated with all (relative) existence. It is birthless, i.e., it is devoid of all changes associated with the object of relative existence including the conditions of cause and effect. It is Anidram (sleepless) because there does not exist in it Nidrā (sleep), the cause, of the nature of the darkness of Avidyā, which produces the changes called birth, etc. Turīya is free from Svapna (dream) because it is free from Nidrā (sleep) which is the cause of mis-apprehension of Reality (dream). It is because the Self is free from sleep and dream therefore the Jīva, then8 realises himself as the Turīya Ātman, birthless and non-dual.
Ānandagiri’s Ṭīkā (glossary):
1 Jīva—It is the Paramātman or the Supreme Self who is thought t o appear as world-bound on account of his assuming the characteristic of the Jīva, i.e., binding himself with the chain of cause and effect.
2 Subject, etc.—i.e., world-bound.
3 Sleeping—Sleep or ignorance is the common characteristic of the three states. See Kārikā 15.
4 Time without, etc.—Māyā is said to be Anādi or beginningless from the standpoint of the relative, because it is something for which we cannot think of a cause. From the Absolute standpoint, Māyā does not exist.
5 Two states—This covers the three states of waking, dream and deep sleep. See commentary on the previous Kārikā.
6 Awakened—Awakening or realisation of Knowledge is possible only for one who is asleep, i.e., who is ignorant.
7 Characteristics—All entities of relative existence possess six characteristics, such as birth, duration, growth, change, decay and death. Brahman is free from them.
8 Then—That is to say, when he is taught by the Guru what his real nature is. 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.
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