Mandukya Upanishad (Madhva commentary)

by Srisa Chandra Vasu | 1909 | 15,464 words | ISBN-13: 9789332869165

The English translation of the Mandukya Upanishad including the commentary of Madhva called the Bhasya. The describe the secret meaning of Om as the four names and aspects of the Lord (Vishva, Taijasa, Prajna and Turiya). This Upanishad is associated with the Atharva Veda and contains tweelve verses although Madhva reads the Gaudapada’s Karikas as ...

1. (U7) When Ho does not produce the state of dream, nor the state of waking, nor the somnabulistic state (i.e., not active as Viśva and Taijasa), nor the deep sleep state, nor the samprajñāta samādhi state, when He gives the final knowledge (to the souls that have thrown off their last body and are proceeding towards Release), who is the Invisible, the Transcendental, Unseizable, Un inferable, Inconceivable by reasoning, Undefinable, the Single Infinity, Knowledge and Bliss, the Destroyer of the five-fold bodily bonds, the Peaceful, the Joyous, the Destroyer of false knowledge, He is called the Fourth. Thus is the Ātman, the fourfold. He the four-fold, must be known.—16.


[Note.—Antaḥ-prajñam (Antaḥprajña)—Inner-Revealer, the manifestor of inner or subtle objects, i.e. the Taijasa, the maker of inner consciousness when He is not the maker of dream conditions of consciousness, and not showing dream objects. He is Nāntaprajñaḥ.]

[Note.—Vahiṣprajñam (Vahiṣprajña)—the revealer of the external; the revealer of the objects of the waking state, i.e., the Viśva. The outer consciousness. When not functioning as the maker of the waking state and showing external objects, He is called na-vahiṣprajña.]

[Note.—Ubhayataḥ (Ubhayata)—the intermediate, the both, i.e., the state of partaking both of waking and dreaming—the reverie or somnabulism.]

[Note.—Prajñānaghanam (Prajñānaghana)—ghana-prajñānam; the revealer of ghana or Nescience. Ghana is the Jīva itself when covered by unconsciousness, in the state of deep sleep.]

[Note.—Prajñām (Prajñā)—the trance or samprajñāta Samādhi. When he does not produce the samprajñāta samādhi even. That which is made known exceedingly (prakarseṇa jñāpayati) is prajña, a vivid thought picture or object of meditation.]

Note.—Aprajñam (Aprajña)—the non-giver of knowledge. The Turīya is not entirely a non-giver of knowledge. He also gives a kind of knowledge. When He is not the nongiver, i.e., when He is the giver of knowledge to the souls, who have thrown off their final body and are going towards mukti.]

[Note.—Adṛṣṭam (Adṛṣṭa)—invisible (to ordinary people, but visible to the muktas) who have received the grace of the chief Prāṇa—the First Begotten.]

[Note.—Avyavahāryam (Avyavahārya)—not empirical, not perceptible, transcedental, can not be an object of experience in Saṃsāra. but in Mukti only.]

[Note.—Alakṣṇam (Alakṣṇa)—not having dharmas like the Viśva, etc. incapable of inferential proof. Not possessing. the attributes of vyāpti or inferential knowledge like Viśva, Taijasa or Prājña, in waking, dreaming, and deep sleep. In all these states there is a standard by which one can know Him, but not so the Turīya.]

[Note.—Ātmya—Self, He is full, therefore called atmā or full. The essential nature of the Lord is Supremacy and Fullness, therefore it is called aikātmyam.]

[Note.—Ekātmyapratyayasāram (Ekātmyapratyayasāra)—The Supreme (eka) fulness (ātmā) whose form is knowledge (pratyaya) and bliss (sāra), the One Infinity, knowledge and bliss.]

[Note.—Prapañcopaśaman (Prapañcopaśama)—The word prapāñca ‘spread out through yṃas[?]. The word upaśama means that whose essential form is most excellent bliss. The highest (upa) bliss (śama) spread throughout (prapañca)=Viṣṇu, or the all-pervading (prapañca) highest bliss. That which destroys (upaśama) all evils (prapañca.) The word upa like ut means most excellent, and śama means bliss, upaśama, the most excellent bliss. Prapañca—all-full.]

[Note.—Śivam (Śiva)—auspicious. Free from sorrow and full of joy, the personification of bliss, the joyous.]

[Note.—Advaitam (Advaita)—Erroneous knowledge of a thing is dvaita. The destroyer of dvaita or of false knowledge is advaita. This qualifies Prājña also. The meaning of or two is to denote more than one, i.e., the essential nature of a thing is called one, the non-essential is called two.]

[Note.—Ātmā—Self. The Lord, of whom it was said in verse 2 that He has four parts; so ayam ātmā catuṣpāt, that Ātman is this.]

[Note.—Saḥ—He the fourfold Vijñeyaḥ, to be known. All the four should be known not only Turīya.]

Madhva’s commentary called the Bhāṣya:

Viṣṇu in the form of Turīya, resides in the space at the end of the twelve. The Muktas only know this form of the Lord; it is not seen by mon leading the ordinary empirical life of saṃsāra. They whose mind is completely concentrated in the Lord, who have reached the sixteenth kalā and obtained His grace, and who are seers of the aparokṣa get sometime the Vision of this High Goal.

[Note.—Dvādaśānte—at the end of the twelve—means the open space which is twelve fingers above the head. (The aura generally extends so far—therefore, it means outside the physical body but within the aura). Or it may mean a point within the brain which is twelve fingers from the root of the nose. (May it not refer to the pineal gland? or the pituitary body?) This is the fourth seat of Viṣṇu in the human body. The sixteenth kalā is the name of the chief life, the First-born, the Mukhya Prāṇa. The grace of this Mukhya Prāṇa is a necessary condition of obtaining Divine Vision or aparokṣa. See Pr. Up. VI. for the sixteen kalās. The aparokṣa is dependent upon the grace of the First-begotten.]

The word ekātmya-pratyaya-sāram means that He is one (eka), i.e., the Chief, He is the Ātman or full. His form or nature is the Principal All-fullness (eka-ātmya): therefore He is called ekātmya. He is pratyaya or knowledge, He whose form is knowledge is called pratyaya. He is Sara or bliss. The whole phrase ekātmya-pratyaya-sāram therefore means ‘the One Infinity, knowledge and bliss.’ The phrase prapañca-upaśama means the All-pervading Viṣṇu whose form is the highest bliss: for prapañca means ‘spread out,’ ‘all-pervading,’ etc. Upa means highest, and śāma means blissful. Or it may mean Viṣṇu, the destroyer of bonds: for prapañca means ‘bodily bonds,’ upa-śama ‘the destroyer’; for the Lord Turīya destroys all bonds and gives Mukti. The Tūriya [Turīya?] is called Śivam, because He is free from all sorrows and is essentially all-joy: and this is the sense in which the word Śiva, is used in the Scriptures.

The Turīya [turīyam] is called advaita [advaitam] for the following reason as given in the Mahātmyam:—

“A mistaken notion is called ‘dvaita,’ and as Hari, the Turīya, the Highest Person, destroys this misconception (by imparting true knowledge or by giving Mukti) He is called advaita [advaitam], the destroyer of false knowledge.”

According to Saṅkalpa, the word Dvaita is thus derived:—

“To the √i ‘to know’, is added the affix “kta”, and we get meaning ‘known’, ‘knowledge’, “dvi+itaḥ=dvītaṃ”—“double knowledge”—knowledge of a thing not as it is, but contrary to it: (just as “duplicity” is opposed to “simplicity”), knowledge obtained not by the simple and single method, but by a second or a false method.”

Thus dvītaṃ means “known by a circuitous or second-hand method.” To this is added the affix aṇ“” without change of sense (svārtha), and we get dvaitaṃ.

The word antar-prajña means knowledge (or consciousness) of internal impressions (as in dreams); bahi-prajña means consciousness of external objects: prajñāna-ghana means deep sleep, prajña means the state midday between waking and dreaming, when the Jīva perceives external sounds; etc., but dreams dreams as well (somnabulistic state?). When the Lord produces none of these live states of consciousness in the Jīva, that form of the unborn Lord, is called Turīya. In this form He produces none of the above kinds of states in the Jīvas: but He is the giver of all knowledge, in that Turīya form, to the Released Souls (according to their capacities). The above is from the Brahmāṇḍa Purāṇa.

The Turīya is called invisible, because the non-free souls can not see Him, and He is not visible except through the grace of the sixteenth (the Chief Life). He is called transcendental (avyavahāryam) because He does not come within the sphere of sense perception unless one get Release (for the Lord is perceived then by the Free Souls). The word agrāhyam (unseizable) has the same sense as avyavahāryam (transcendental). The word alakṣaṇam means that which cannot bo an object of inference. The Viśva, Taijasa or Prājña can be inferred or measured; but the Tūryia [Turīya?] is without such mark: and because He is alakṣaṇam, therefore, He is beyond thought (acintya [acintyam]or above reasoning). (Because He cannot be reasoned about) therefore, Ho is indefinable; except by one mark, namely, cidānanda—He is consciousness and bliss. The Turīya is the cause of all the activities of the Released Soul. (The Turīya is thus possessed of a lakṣaṇa [lakṣaṇam], but for the Muktas only.

The phrase “sa ātma sa vijñeya” does not mean that the Turīya alone is the Self, He alone is to be known, but that the Ātman, of which it was premised in the beginning “so’ yam ātmā catuṣpāt”—“this Ātman has four-feet,” has now been described in its four-fold divisions. The repetition of “sa ātma” here is to mark the conclusion, as its use in the second verse marked the beginning. The description of the catuṣpāt ātman ends here. Because the next section commences a separate description of it, as regards its four-syllables or the akṣara or Imperishable Ātman, the adhyakṣaram, by using the phrase “so’yam ātmā adhyakṣaram”.

Thus we read in the Pratyaya:—

“The seekers of Release should know the Ātman having the four-fold form of Viśva, Taijasa, etc.: for though He is without qualifications or divisions, yet the Lord is described as having these four-fold forms.”

[Note.—The phrase “sa ātmā sa vijñeyaḥ,” marks the conclusion of the topic started by the phrase “so’yam ātmā catuṣpāt”. The phrase “so’yam ātmā adhyakṣara” of the next verse starts a new topic, showing how the syllables of Om correspond with Viśva, etc. The first section describes the four-fold aspect of the Lord, so that the Mumukṣu by meditating on Him may get Mukti: the next topic has a different object in view. Moreover the phrase “sa ātmā sa vijñesaḥ” does not mean that the Turīya alone should be known, He alone is the Ātman: but it applies to all the four, namely, to Viśva, Taijasa, etc.]

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