Mandukya Upanishad (Gaudapa Karika and Shankara Bhashya)

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

This is verse 4.44 of the Mandukya Karika English translation, including commentaries by Gaudapada (Karika), Shankara (Bhashya) and a glossary by Anandagiri (Tika). Alternate transliteration: Māṇḍūkya-upaniṣad 4.44, Gauḍapāda Kārikā, Śaṅkara Bhāṣya, Ānandagiri Ṭīkā.

Sanskrit text, IAST transliteration and English translation

उपलम्भात्समाचारान्मायाहस्ती यथोच्यते ।
उपलम्भात्समाचारादस्ति वस्तु तथोच्यते ॥ ४४ ॥

upalambhātsamācārānmāyāhastī yathocyate |
upalambhātsamācārādasti vastu tathocyate || 44 ||

44. As an elephant conjured up by the magician, on account of its being perceived and also on account of its answering to the behaviours (of a real animal), is said to exist, so also are objects said to exist, on account of their being perceived and also on account of their answering to our dealings with them. (In truths the objects of sense perception are as unreal as the magician’s elephant.)

Shankara Bhashya (commentary)

(Objection)—Objects answering to the features of duality do exist, on account of such evidence as our (direct) perception of them and also on account of the possibility of our dealings with them.

(Reply)—No, this objection is not valid. For, direct perception and the possibility of dealing practically with objects do not always prove the existence of objects.

(Objection)—How do you say that our contention admits of irregularity?

(Reply)—It is thus stated: The elephant conjured up by a magician, is, verily, perceived as the real elephant. Though unreal, it (the magic elephant) is called the (real) elephant, on account of its being endowed with Such attributes of an elephant as the possibility of its being tied up with a rope or being climbed upon, etc. Though unreal, the magic elephant is looked upon as (a real) one. In like manner, it is said that multiple objects, pointing to duality, exist on account of their being perceived and also on account of the possibility of our dealing practically with them. Hence the two grounds, adduced above, cannot prove the existence of (external) objects establishing the fact of duality.

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