Mandukya Upanishad (Gaudapa Karika and Shankara Bhashya)

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

This is verse 3.40 of the Mandukya Karika English translation, including commentaries by Gaudapada (Karika), Shankara (Bhashya) and a glossary by Anandagiri (Tika). Alternate transliteration: Māṇḍūkya-upaniṣad 3.40, Gauḍapāda Kārikā, Śaṅkara Bhāṣya, Ānandagiri Ṭīkā.

Sanskrit text, IAST transliteration and English translation

मनसो निग्रहायत्तमभयं सर्वयोगिना(णा)म् ।
दुःखक्षयः प्रबोधश्चाप्यक्षया शान्तिरेव च ॥ ४० ॥

manaso nigrahāyattamabhayaṃ sarvayoginā(ṇā)m |
duḥkhakṣayaḥ prabodhaścāpyakṣayā śāntireva ca || 40 ||

40. The Yogis (who do not follow the method of Jñāna-Yoga as described in the Kārikā) depend on the control of their mind for fearlessness, destruction of misery, the knowledge of self and eternal peace.

Shankara Bhashya (commentary)

Those1 who regard mind and the sense-organs, when seen apart from their identity with the very nature 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 sense-organs (independent of Brahman), i.e., those who look upon themselves as of the very nature of Brahman, spontaneously enjoy, as quite natural to them, fearlessness and eternal peace known as Freedom, (perfect knowledge) for which they (the Jñānis) do not depend upon any mechanical effort (such as the control of the mind, etc.). We have already stated that no duty (effort), whatsoever, exist for the Jñāni. But those other Yogis who are also traversing the path (leading to Truth), but who possess inferior2 or middling understanding and who3 look upon the mind as separate from but related to Ātman, and who4 are ignorant of the knowledge regarding the reality of Ātman—the Yogis belonging to this class can experience fearlessness as a result of the discipline of the mind. To them5 the destruction of misery is also dependent upon mental control. The ignorant can never experience the cessation of misery, if the mind, (considered) related to Ātman, becomes active. Besides, their knowledge of self is dependent on their control of the mind. And similarly, eternal peace, known as Mokṣa (or liberation), in their case, depends upon the mental discipline.

Anandagiri Tika (glossary)

This Kārikā applies to those who look upon the mind as separate from Ātman and think that peace, knowledge, etc., depend upon its control.

1 Those, etc.—The Jñāni 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 Jñānis 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, misery, etc., are the outcome of duality. Duality is seen on account of the activity of the mind. But the Jñāni 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, peace, fearlessness, etc., in his case are natural.

2 Inferior, etc.—That is to say, they do not possess the sharp intellect that can distinguish the real from the unreal. For them the Yogic practices are recommended.

3 Who, etc.—It is because they find the mind as separate from Brahman that they try to keep it under control. According to them, the mind is acted upon by Ātman.

4 Who are, etc.—For they see a duality of the Ātman and the mind.

5 To them, etc.—The Yogis think that misery is caused by the activities of the mind. Hence they direct all their energy to the suppression of the Vṛttis of the mind. But the Vṛttis 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 Jñāni, on the other hand, realises the mind as well as all its activities as identical with the non-dual Brahman. Hence, the activities of mind do not stand in the way of his eternal happiness.

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