The Mandukya Upanishad (Gaudapa Karika and Shankara Bhashya)

1949 | 115,582 words | ISBN-13: 9788175050228

This is verse 3.7 of the Mandukya Karika English translation, including commentaries by Gaudapada (Karika), Shankara (Bhashya) and a glossary by Anandagiri (Tika). Alternate transliteration: Māṇḍūkya-upaniṣad 3.7, Gauḍapāda Kārikā, Śaṅkara Bhāṣya, Ānandagiri Ṭīkā.

Sanskrit text, IAST transliteration and English translation

नाऽऽकाशस्य घटाकाशो विकारावयवौ यथा ।
नैवाऽऽत्मनः सदा जीवो विकारावयवौ तथा ॥ ७ ॥

nā''kāśasya ghaṭākāśo vikārāvayavau yathā |
naivā''tmanaḥ sadā jīvo vikārāvayavau tathā || 7 ||

7. As the Ghaṭākāśa (i.e., the ether portioned off by the pot) is neither the (evolved) effect nor part of the Ākāśa (ether), so is the Jīva (the embodied being) neither the effect nor part of the Ātman.

Shankara Bhashya (commentary)

(Objection)—Our experience of the variety of forms, functions, etc., associated with the ether enclosed in the pot, etc., is true from the standpoint of the ultimate Reality (and not illusory, as you say).

(Reply)—No, this1 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., are the effect of gold or the foam, bubble, moisture, etc., are the effect of water. Nor, again is the Ghaṭākāśa (the Ākāśa in the pot) similar to the branches and other parts of a tree. As Ghaṭākāśa is neither a part (limb) nor an evolved effect of the Ākāśa, so also the Jīva (the embodied being), compared to the Ākāśa enclosed in the pot, is neither, as in the illustrations given above, an effect nor part (limb) of the Ātman, the ultimate Reality, which may be compared to the Mahākāśa (i.e., the undifferentiated expanse of ether). Therefore the relative experience based upon the multiplicity of Ātman is an illusion (from the standpoint of the ultimate Reality).

Anandagiri Tika (glossary)

1 This, etc.—For, it is admitted by all that the ether is without parts and cannot undergo any modification.

2 Ornament, etc.—We explain a necklace or foam, etc., as the modification of gold or water respectively. We also explain the branches or the leaves as the parts of the tree. But Jīva is neither modification, nor manifestation, nor part of the Ātman. Jīva is Ātman itself which never undergoes a change.

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