Mandukya Upanishad (Gaudapa Karika and Shankara Bhashya)

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

This is verse 4.2 of the Mandukya Karika English translation, including commentaries by Gaudapada (Karika), Shankara (Bhashya) and a glossary by Anandagiri (Tika). Alternate transliteration: Māṇḍūkya-upaniṣad 4.2, Gauḍapāda Kārikā, Śaṅkara Bhāṣya, Ānandagiri Ṭīkā.

Sanskrit text, IAST transliteration and English translation

अस्पर्शयोगो वै नाम सर्वसत्त्वसुखो हितः ।
अविवादोऽविरुद्धश्च देशितस्तं नमाम्यहम् ॥ २ ॥

asparśayogo vai nāma sarvasattvasukho hitaḥ |
avivādo'viruddhaśca deśitastaṃ namāmyaham || 2 ||

2. I salute this Yoga known as the Asparśa (i.e., free from all touch which implies duality), taught through the scripture,—the Yoga which promotes the happiness of all beings and conduces to the well-being of all and which is free from strife and contradictions.

Shankara Bhashya (commentary)

Now salutation is made to the Yoga taught by the Advaita Philosophy, in order to extol it. The word Asparśayoga 1 in the text means the Yoga which is always and in all respects free from sparśa or relationship with anything and which is of the same2 nature as Brahman. This Yoga is well known as the Asparśayoga to all Knowers of Brahman. This Yoga is conducive3 to the happiness of all beings. There are certain forms of Yoga such as Tapas or austerity, which though conducive to the supreme happiness, are associated with misery. But this is not of that kind. Then what is its nature? It tends to the happiness of all beings. It may however be contended that the enjoyment of certain desires gives pleasure but certainly does not tend to one’s well-being. But this Asparśayoga conduces to both4 happiness and well-being. For,5 it never changes its nature. Moreover, this6 Yoga is free from strife, that is to say, in it there is no room for any passage-at-words, which is inevitable in all disputes consisting of two opposite sides. Why so? For, it is non-contradictory7 in nature. To this kind of Yoga, taught in the scripture, I bow.8

Anandagiri Tika (glossary)

1 Asparśayoga—As a matter of fact there is a contradiction involved in this word. For, the word “Asparśa”, meaning freedom from relation, indicates only non-duality which by its very nature has no contact with any other thing, as such a thing is ever non-existent. The word Yoga, ‘meaning contact’ implies more than one. Gauḍapāda names the path of knowledge as Asparśa - yoga, as the word Yoga was used in his time also to denote the method for realising the Ultimate Truth.

2 Same nature, etc.—The Jñānam through which the aspirant realises Brahman is identical with Brahman itself.

3 Conducive, etc.—Because Jñāna Yoga is the surest and most direct method for the realisation of the highest Truth.

4 Both, etc.—It is because the aim of this Yoga is the realisation of Self which is of the nature of Existence-Knowledge-Bliss-Absolute.

5 For, etc.—The idea of duality and change, implying loss, is at the root of all miseries. This Yoga enables us to realise the Self which is free from all ideas of change.

6 This yoga, etc.—The non-dualist knows that even those who come to quarrel with him are, in reality, his own self. Therefore he does not look upon any one as his opponent.

7 Non-contradictory—One who knows everything as his own self does not contradict others. For, one cannot contradict his own self.

8 Bow—The salutation is meant to direct the attention of the students to this most valuable and easy way of realising the Truth.

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