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Mandukya Karika, verse 4.99

This is verse 4.99 of the Mandukya Karika English translation, including commentaries by Gaudapada (Karika), Shankara (Bhashya) and a glossary by Anandagiri (Tika). Alternate transliteration: Māṇḍūkya-upaniṣad 4.99, Gauḍapāda Kārikā, Śaṅkara Bhāṣya, Ānandagiri Ṭīkā.

Sanskrit text, IAST transliteration and English translation

क्रमते न हि बुद्धस्य ज्ञानं धर्मेषु तापि (यि) नः ।
सर्वे धर्मास्तथा ज्ञानं नैतद्बुद्धेन भाषितम् ॥ ९९ ॥

kramate na hi buddhasya jñānaṃ dharmeṣu tāpi (yi) naḥ |
sarve dharmāstathā jñānaṃ naitadbuddhena bhāṣitam || 99 ||

99. The knowledge of the wise one, who is all-light, is ever untouched by objects. All the entities as well as knowledge (which are non-djfferent) are also ever-untouched by any object. This is not the view of the Buddha.

Shankara Bhashya (commentary)

The knowledge of the wise man, that is to say, of the one who has attained to the Supreme Reality, is ever unrelated to other1 objects or Jīvas. This knowledge is always centred in or is identical with Jīva (i.e., Ātman) like the sun and its light. The word “Tāyee”, “All-light”, in the text signifies that which is all-pervasive like Ākāśa or, it may mean that which is adorable or allknowledge. All entities, i.e., Jīvas (beings like so many Ātmans) are as unattached as the Ākāśa, and ever-un-related to anything else. Knowledge (Jñāna) which has been compared to Ākāśa in the beginning2 of this chapter is non-different from the knowledge of the wise one who is all-light. Therefore the Ākāśa like knowledge of the wise does not relate itself to any other object. This is also the essence of the Dharmas or all entities. The essence of all the entities is the essence of Brahman, and is, like Ākāśa, immutable, changeless, free from parts, permanent, one and without a second, unattached, non-cognizable, unthinkable and beyond hunger and thirst. The Śruti also says, “The knowledge (characteristic) of the seer is never absent.” This knowledge regarding the Ultimate Reality, non-dual and characterised by the absence of perceiver, perception and the perceived, is not the same as that declared by the Buddha.3 The view4 of the Buddha, which rejects the existence of external objects and asserts the existence of ideas alone, is said to be similar to or very near the truth of non-dual Ātman. But this knowledge of non-duality which is the Ultimate Reality can be attained through Vedānta alone.

Anandagiri Tika (glossary)

1 Other, etc.—It is because objects or Jīvas, different from knowledge or Ātman, do not exist.

2 Beginning, etc.—Compare the first verse of the fourth chapter.

3 Buddha.—The reference is to the views held by the Buddhist idealists.

4 The view, etc.—Metaphysically speaking, Buddhistic philosophy is nearest to Advaita Vedānta in its dialectics.

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