Mandukya Upanishad (Gaudapa Karika and Shankara Bhashya)

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

This is verse 4.87 of the Mandukya Karika English translation, including commentaries by Gaudapada (Karika), Shankara (Bhashya) and a glossary by Anandagiri (Tika). Alternate transliteration: Māṇḍūkya-upaniṣad 4.87, Gauḍapāda Kārikā, Śaṅkara Bhāṣya, Ānandagiri Ṭīkā.

Sanskrit text, IAST transliteration and English translation

सवस्तु सोपलम्भं च द्वयं लौकिकमिष्यते ।
अवस्तु सोपलम्भं च शुद्धं लौकिकमिष्यते ॥ ८७ ॥

savastu sopalambhaṃ ca dvayaṃ laukikamiṣyate |
avastu sopalambhaṃ ca śuddhaṃ laukikamiṣyate || 87 ||

87. (Vedānta) recognises the ordinary (empirical) state of waking in which duality, consisting of objects and ideas of coming in contact with them, is known. It further recognises another more subtle state (i.e., the dream common to all) in which is experienced duality, consisting of the idea of coming in contact with the objects, though such objects do not exist.

Shankara Bhashya (commentary)

We have so far, come to the following conclusions: The theories of mere disputants contradicting one another, are the causes of our existence in the relative (Saṃsāra) world. Further these theories are characterised by partiality and aversion. Therefore these are merely false, as already shown by reasoning. On the other hand the philosophy of Advaita alone gives us true knowledge, as,—being free from the four alternative predicates referred to above,—it is untouched by partiality and aversion and is all-peace by its very nature.

Now the following topic is introduced as an explanation of the Vedāntic method of arriving at truth. The word “Savastu” in the text implies objects that are perceived in our empirical experiences. Similarly, the word “Sopalambha” in the text implies the idea of one’s coming in contact with such objects. This constitutes the world of duality, common to all human beings and known as the waking state which is characterised by the subject-object relationship and which alone is the sphere of all our dealings including1 the Scriptural, etc. The waking2 state, thus characterised, is admitted in the Vedānta Scriptures. There is another state which lacks the experiences (of the waking state) caused by external sense-organs. But3 there exists in that state the idea of coming in contact with objects, though such objects are absent. This is admitted (in the Vedāntas) as the dream state, which is again common to all, and different from and subtler than the gross state of waking.

Anandagiri Tika (glossary)

The nature of Ultimate Reality has been hinted at by the refutation of the theories hostile to the Advaita Philosophy. Now is given the Advaita method of arriving at Truth which consists in the analysis and co-ordination of the experiences of the three states, viz., waking, dream and deep sleep.

1 Including, etc.—The Scriptures, limited to the sphere of duality, have no application to Ātman.

2 The waking, etc.—Vedānta admits the waking state as real so long as ignorance lasts, and further points out that the analysis of the experiences of this state together with those of the two other states leads us, indirectly, to the realisation of Ātman.

3 But, etc.—Though the objects experienced in dream exist so long as the dream lasts, they are found to be non-existing from the waking standpoint. The internality and the externality of perceptions in the dream and the waking states are mere creations of the mind.

When we look at the objects from the waking standpoint alone we think them to be real. When the same objects seen in the dream are judged from the waking standpoint we know them to be mere ideas of the mind. And analysis of deep sleep, in co-ordination, with the experiences of the dream and the waking states, convinces us that everything is mind or Brahman. This is the Vedāntic method. The following verse gives a fuller explanation.

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