Mandukya Upanishad (Gaudapa Karika and Shankara Bhashya)

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

These are verses 3.47-48 of the Mandukya Karika English translation, including commentaries by Gaudapada (Karika), Shankara (Bhashya) and a glossary by Anandagiri (Tika). Alternate transliteration: Māṇḍūkya-upaniṣad 3.47-48, Gauḍapāda Kārikā, Śaṅkara Bhāṣya, Ānandagiri Ṭīkā.

Mandukya Karika, verse 3.47-48

Sanskrit text, IAST transliteration and English translation

स्वस्थं शान्तं सनिर्वाणमकथ्यं सुखमुत्तमम् ।
अजमजेन ज्ञेयेन सर्वज्ञं परिचक्षते ॥ ४७ ॥

svasthaṃ śāntaṃ sanirvāṇamakathyaṃ sukhamuttamam |
ajamajena jñeyena sarvajñaṃ paricakṣate || 47 ||

47. This highest bliss is based upon the realisation of Self it is peace, identical with liberation, indescribable and unborn. It is further described as the omniscient Brahman, because it is one with the unborn Self which is the object sought by Knowledge.

Shankara Bhashya (commentary)

The above-mentioned bliss which is the highest1 Reality and which is characterised by the knowledge of the Ātman is2 centred in the Self. It is all peace, characterised by the cessation of all evils. It is the same as liberation.3 It is indescribable as4 nobody is able to describe it; for, it is totally different from all objects. This ultimate bliss is directly realized by the Yogis.5 It is unborn because it is not produced like anything resulting from empirical perceptions. It is identical with the Unborn which is the object sought by Knowledge. The Knowers of Brahman describe this bliss verily as the omniscient Brahman, as it is identical with that Reality which is omniscient.

Anandagiri Tika (glossary)

Now is described the nature of the mind in the state of the highest realisation.

1 Highest—It is distinguished from the happiness described in Kārikā 45, which is of the same class as relative bliss.

2 Is centred, etc.—This is to show that Self-realisation does not depend upon anything external to itself.

3 Liberation—The state of liberation, on account of its identity with Truth, is characterised by the attainment of all-absorbing happiness and cessation of all miseries.

4 As, etc.—It is because this happiness transcends all subject object relationship.

5 Yogis—These Yogis are not like the ordinary ones. The nature of their Yoga has been described as the Asparśa Yoga in Kārikā 3. 39.

Verse 3.48

Sanskrit text, IAST transliteration and English translation

न कश्चिज्जायते जीवः संभवोऽस्य न विद्यते ।
एतत्तदुत्तमं सत्यं यत्र किंचिन्न जायते ॥ ४८ ॥

na kaścijjāyate jīvaḥ saṃbhavo'sya na vidyate |
etattaduttamaṃ satyaṃ yatra kiṃcinna jāyate || 48 ||

48. No Jīva is ever born. There does not exist any cause which can produce it. This is the highest Truth that nothing is ever born.

Shankara Bhashya (commentary)

All these ideas regarding the discipline of the mind, evolution resembling the creation of forms from iron and clay, as well as the ideas regarding devotional exercises, are given as means1 to the realisation of the nature of the Ultimate Reality. They have, in themselves, no meaning whatsoever. The2 truth regarding the Ultimate Reality is that no Jīva is ever born. The Jīva whom one knows as the agent and the enjoyer is not born in any way whatsoever. Therefore, no cause can ever exist which may produce the Ātman which is, by nature, unborn and non-dual. In other words, no Jīva can ever be born, as the cause which may produce it does not exist. Of all the (relative) truths described above as means (for the realisation of the Ultimate Reality), this alone is the Supreme Truth that nothing whatsoever is ever born in or of that Brahman which is of the nature of the Ultimate Reality.

Anandagiri Tika (glossary)

Various empirical means such as the practice of Yoga, etc., have been suggested above. If these means which naturally are related to the dual realm be true, then the position of the non-dual Brahman cannot be maintained. If these means be untrue, then they cannot serve any purpose. To remove this difficulty this Kārikā suggests that these means help us to realise Brahman; but they do not reveal Brahman.

1 Means—These means have their applicability only in the realm of duality where a man, through ignorance, does not know his real nature.

2 The truth, etc.—The Ultimate Truth is that there is only one entity which may be called either Jīva or Brahman. The Jīva as separate from Brahman, does never exist.

Here ends the third chapter, on Advaita, of the Kārikā of Gauḍapāda with the Commentary of Śrī Śaṅkara.

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