Mandukya Upanishad (Gaudapa Karika and Shankara Bhashya)

by Swami Nikhilananda | 1949 | 115,582 words | ISBN-13: 9788175050228

This is verse 4.42 of the Mandukya Karika English translation, including commentaries by Gaudapada (Karika), Shankara (Bhashya) and a glossary by Anandagiri (Tika). Alternate transliteration: Māṇḍūkya-upaniṣad 4.42, Gauḍapāda Kārikā, Śaṅkara Bhāṣya, Ānandagiri Ṭīkā.

Sanskrit text, IAST transliteration and English translation

उपलम्भात्समाचारात् अस्तिवस्तुत्ववादिनाम् ।
जातिस्तु देशिता बुद्धैर् अजातेस्त्रसतां सदा ॥ ४२ ॥

upalambhātsamācārāt astivastutvavādinām |
jātistu deśitā buddhair ajātestrasatāṃ sadā || 42 ||

42. Wise men support causality only for the sake of those who, being afraid of absolute non-manifestation (of things), stick to the (apparent) reality of (external) objects on account of their perception (of such objects) and their faith in religious observances.

Shankara Bhashya (commentary)

Wise men, i.e., the exponents of Advaita Philosophy, have, no doubt, supported causality. But they have done so only for those who have little discrimination but who are eager (to know the Truth) and who are endowed with faith. These people assert that external objects exist as real because they perceive them, and also because they cling to the observances of various duties associated with the different Varṇās 1 and Āśramas? instructions regarding causality are only meant for them as3 a means to (some) end. Let them hold on to the idea of causality. Rut the students who practise disciplines in accordance with Vedānta philosophy will, without such belief in causality, spontaneously get the knowledge4 of Self, unborn and non-dual. Causality is declared not from the standpoint of the Ultimate Reality. These students, who5 believe in Scriptures, and who are devoid of discrimination, fear the idea of absolute non-manifestation on account of their gross intellect, as they are afraid of the annihilation of their selves. It6 has also been stated before that these Scriptural statement (regarding creation) are meant as a help to our higher understanding of Reality. (In Reality, there is no multiplicity.)

Anandagiri Tika (glossary)

If causality be a fiction, then, it may be asked, why the Scriptures speak of Brahman as the cause of the universe. This Kārikā gives a reply to this question. The aim of the Scripture is to enable the students of mediocre or dull intellect to know the Supreme Reality with the help of causal arguments.

1 Varṇās—That is, the four castes, viz., the Brahmin, the Kṣatriya, the Vaiśya and the Śūdra.

2 Āśramas—The four stages of life, viz., Brahmacharya (student period), Gārhasthya (the householder’s stage), Vānaprastha (the period of retirement from the active duties of life) and Sanyāsa (the monastic stage).

3 As a means, etc.—The ordinary people on account of the perception of the apparent objects as real and also on account of their attachment to life, cannot understand the truth regarding the nondual and changeless Brahman. They believe in the illusory idea of causality. For the benefit of such people, the wise men admit: that Brahman is the cause of creation (vide Vedānta Sūtra, 1st chapter, second aphorism). But as the cause is identical with the effect,, therefore the universe is identical with Brahman. In this way, the students are taught that all that exists is Brahman. Thus by the constant study and meditation on the Scriptures, the students. gradually realise the nature of Supreme Reality which is free from all change and evolution. Duality cannot be established as the Supreme Reality either by logic or Scripture. The apparent duality is admitted from the relative standpoint.

4 Knowledge, etc.—This knowledge can be directly obtained by students of clear perception, following the methods given in this. Upaniṣad and the Kārikā.

5 Who believe, etc.—That is to say, those who accept the literal meaning of the scriptural statements regarding creation, etc.

6 It has, etc.—Vide Kārikā 3, 15.

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