Mandukya Upanishad (Gaudapa Karika and Shankara Bhashya)

by Swami Nikhilananda | 1949 | 115,575 words | ISBN-13: 9788175050228

This is verse 2.14 of the Mandukya Karika English translation, including commentaries by Gaudapada (Karika), Shankara (Bhashya) and a glossary by Anandagiri (Tika). Alternate transliteration: Māṇḍūkya-upaniṣad 2.14, Gauḍapāda Kārikā, Śaṅkara Bhāṣya, Ānandagiri Ṭīkā.

Mandukya Karika, verse 2.14

Sanskrit text, IAST transliteration and English translation

चित्तकाला हि येऽन्तस्तु द्वयकालाश्च ये बहिः ।
कल्पिता एव ते सर्वे विशेषो नान्यहेतुकः ॥ १४ ॥

cittakālā hi ye'ntastu dvayakālāśca ye bahiḥ |
kalpitā eva te sarve viśeṣo nānyahetukaḥ || 14 ||

14. Those that are cognized within only as long as the thought of them lasts, as well as those that are the senses and that conform to two points of time, are all mere imaginations. There is no other ground for differentiating the one from the other.

Shankara Bhashya (commentary)

A1 doubt is raised as to the statement that everything is mere imagination of mind like the dream. For, the imagination of mind, such as desire, etc., determined2 by mind, is different from objects3 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 (subjective) ideas which4 are only determined by mind; i.e., such objects have no other time to determine them except that wherein the idea in the mind exists (when.imagining such ideas). The meaning is that such (subjective) ideas are experienced at the time when they are imagined. Objects related to two points of time signify those external objects which are cognizable by others at some other point of time and which cognize the latter in their turn. Therefore such objects are said to be mutually limited by one another. As for example, when it is said that he remains5 till the cow is milked, the statement means, “The cow is milked as long as he remains and he remains as long as the cow is milked.” A6 similar instance is the following: “It is like that, that is like this.” In this way, the objects perceived to exist outside mutually determine one another. Therefore they are known as “Dvayakālāh” that is, related to two points in time. Ideas perceived within and existing as long as the mind that cognizes them lasts, as well as the external objects related to two points in time, are all 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 except their being imagined by the mind. Therefore the illustration of dream well applies here.

Anandagiri Tika (glossary)

1 A doubti.e., the imaginary objects exist only as long as the mind that imagines them lasts. They have no existence beyond that time. But the external objects that are perceived in the waking state exist at other times also even when the mind does not imagine them. Therefore external objects cannot be proved to be illusory by the mere illustration of dream experiences.

2 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 of mind and is perceived to exist within the mind alone. Such ideas exist only as long as the perceiving mind exists. They cannot be proved to exist by any other instrument of knowledge.

3 Objects, etc.—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 objects.

4 Which are, etc.i e., external objects are perceived by other minds existing previous to or subsequent to the present perceiving mind.

5 He remains, etc.—The two external objects of cognition, e.g., the milking of a cow and the remaining of a man are mutually related to each other in respect of two points in time. The cow may be milked independently of a man’s existence and a man may exist independently of the milking of the cow. Those objects that are in this manner mutually cognized are said to answer to two points in time.

6 A similar instance—As long as a pot serves a purpose, so long it is said to exist. Here also the time is the limiting factor. Thus all objects that are perceived to exist outside are determined by the present or any other time. They are independent of the mind of the perceiver. They are, rather, dependent upon the time in which they exist.

7 Imaginations—That a thing exists independently of the perceiving mind is also an idea. That the world existed before I was born or will continue to exist after I die or that many things exist at present of which I am not conscious,—these are all mere ideas in the mind 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 analogy of the dream. A man may dream for five minutes in 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 standpoint dream objects are known to be illusory, yet they are perceived to be actually existing at the time of dream. Similarly tit is quite reasonable to believe in the illusory nature of the waking -experience from the standpoint of Truth. 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”.

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