Mandukya Upanishad (Gaudapa Karika and Shankara Bhashya)

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

This is verse 2.37 of the Mandukya Karika English translation, including commentaries by Gaudapada (Karika), Shankara (Bhashya) and a glossary by Anandagiri (Tika). Alternate transliteration: Māṇḍūkya-upaniṣad 2.37, Gauḍapāda Kārikā, Śaṅkara Bhāṣya, Ānandagiri Ṭīkā.

Mandukya Karika, verse 2.37

Sanskrit text, IAST transliteration and English translation

निःस्तुतिर्निर्नमस्कारो निःस्वधाकार एव च ।
चलाचलनिकेतश्च यतिर्यादृच्छिको भवेत् ॥ ३७ ॥

niḥstutirnirnamaskāro niḥsvadhākāra eva ca |
calācalaniketaśca yatiryādṛcchiko bhavet || 37 ||

37. The man of self restraint should be above all praise, salutation and all rites prescribed by the Smṛti in connection with the departed ancestors. He should have this body and the Ātman 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.

Shankara Bhashya (commentary)

What should be his code of conduct in the world? It is thus stated:—He1 should give up all such formalities as praise, salutation, etc., and be free2 from all desires for external objects. In other words, he should take up the life of a Paramahamsa Sannyāsin.3 The Śruti also supports this view in such passages as “knowing this Ātman”, etc. This is further approved in such Smṛti passages as, “With their consciousness in That (Brahman), their self being That, intent on That, with That for their Supreme Goal” (Gītā), etc. The word “chalam” in the text signifying “changing” indicates the “body” because it changes every moment. The word “Achalam” signifying “unchanging” indicates the “Knowledge of Self”. He4 has the (changing) body for his support when he, for the purpose of such activities as eating, etc., forgets the Knowledge of the Self, the (real) support of Ātman, unchanging like the Ākāśa, (ether) and relates himself to egoism. Such5 a wise man never takes shelter under external objects. He entirely depends upon circumstances, that is to say, he maintains his body with whatever food or strips of cloth, etc., are brought to him by6 mere chance.

Anandagiri Tika (glossary)

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 svadhā in the text refers to the ceremonies known as Śrāddha, 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 Ātman, does not find anything separate or different from his own self.

2 Free, etc.—It is because such objects do not exist for a Knower of Truth.

3 Paramahamsa Sannyāsin—Such a man belongs to the highest order of monks and moves in the world like other men; only be does not declare that he is a Knower of the Highest Reality.

4 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 Ātman, detaching his mind from all external desires, then he is said to have the Ātman 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, etc., he is said to have his body for his support and abode.

5 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 self-control) does not signify the man of the highest realisation, as it is not at all possible for the latter to forget at any time the Knowledge of Brahman. This verse refers to the student aspiring after the Highest Knowledge. The next verse indicates the condition of a Jñāni.

6 By mere, etc.—That is to say, such a man does not make any conscious effort to procure his food or clothing.

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