Mandukya Upanishad, Class 37


Atma is kariya karana vilakshanam.  Atma is neither an effect or a cause.  Nothing is born out of atma neither the jagat or jiva.  Gowdapadha established this by:

  1. Yuktyya jiva shrity nishedhaga:  Logical negation of jiva shristy (Verses 3 to 9)
  2. Yukthya jagat shristy nisedhagaha:  Logical negation of jagat shrisy (Verse 10)
  3. Shruthya jiva shristy nishedhaha:  Scriptural negation of jiva shristy (Verses 11 to 14)
  4. Shruthya jagat shrisy nishedhaha:  Scriptural negation of jagat shristy. (Verses 15 to 30)

Gowdapadha took many maha vakyam to establish number 3.  Jivatma and paramtma are two words but there is only one.  If there is onlhy one, then there is no relationship.  When there is no relations there can be no cause and effect.  However, Gowdapadha is conveniently taking only those portions where jivatma and paramatma are taken as one and not the portions where the jivatma pramatma beda is talked about.  For example, the two birds imagery in Mundaka Upanishdads.  When the Upanishads do talk about the beda, they are only temporarily valid because dwaidam is used as a stepping stone, Therefore we have to use dwaidam and practice karma yoga.  We have to accept dwaidam and upasana yoga also. Until we practice karma yoga and upasana yoga and gather sadhana sadhusta sambandhi, we have to accept dwaidam.  For example, the skin of banana and fruits is required for ripening of the fruit but you can’t say I am ungrateful to the skin and eat the skin.  But we remove the skin, it is not ingratitude.  Similarly, dwaidam is required untill advaidam is acquired and after advaidam is acquired, dwaidam is discarded as mithya.  Mithya is not sathyam but temporarily valid and useful.

Verse 15

Creation has been taught in many ways through the example of clay, gold, spark etc.  It is a method for the understanding of non duality.  There is no duality anyhow.

There are many statements in Upanisahd which clearly states Brahman is not a karanam.  In Katho upanishad, it is stated that Brahman has not produced the world at all; no plurality born out of Brahman.  If you see plurality, it is misconception.  But you are quoting only mantras that negate creation, but there are many mantras where creation is talked about.  Creation is also used as a teaching method, it has only temporary validdity.  Creation is not the primary teaching of the Upanishads.  In Taitreya Upanishad, pancha boodha talked about.  This was also talked about in other upanishad in various form.  They also give different example.  In Chandokya Upanishad clay-pot example, gold-ornament and iorn examples are given.  This indicates from one Brahman many jagats came.  Even though Vedas discuss shristy, Gowdapadha boldly asserts it is not a fact.  It is only provisionally valid like scaffolding.  Shruthi itself negates them later.  Veda can’t avoid shristy topic because it is a stepping stone to arrive at advaidam.  It is a methodology to teach advaidam.

  1. Pot is a product
  2. What is the cause of the product?
  3. Clay is the cause of the pot – introduction of second stage.
  4. Can you show me a pot other than clay?
  5. There is no substance other than clay – third stage – negation of effect or product, pot.
  6. Once you negate the pot, the effect, the clay can’t be called a cause.  Clay enjoys the status of cause only because of pot.  In the fourth stage, you negate the karanam status of the clay (you don’t negate the pot, only its status).

Pot vision is replaced by clay vision which can’t be classified as karnam or kariyam.  The first two stages or adhyaropa stages and the next two stages are called

In the case of Vedanta, pot should be replaced by universe.

  1. World is a product
  2. God or Brahman is the cause
  3. There is no world other than Brahman
  4. If world, the product is negated, then Brahman can’t enjoy the status cause.    To arrive at this conclusion, Upanishads introduce the god.

Example:  Divide 17 elephants in the ration of 1/2, 1/3 and 1/9 by donating one elephant and taking it away as the final remaining elephant.

Verse 16

There are three types of seeker with inferior, intermediate and superior vision.  Upasna has been taught for them out of compassion.

If in the vision of vedas. there is no creation, there is no creator why do the veda discuss the meditation of paramatma by jivatma?  This creator and created is also provisionally accepted until the mind is mature for advaidam.  There are three types of inferior seekers:

  1. Heena, Mandha, the lowest
  2. Madhyama, middle
  3. Uthkrisha, the superior

These people are not prepared for advaidam and will not appeal.  Upanishad does not want to force advaidam on these people.

Verse 17

The dualists are firmly settled on their own set of conclusions.  They contradict one another.  This teaching is not in conflict with them.

From this verse to up to 22nd verse are diversion verses.  Gowdapadha says only when the student co-operates with the teacher, he will be able to use dwaidam as a stepping stone and arrive at advaidam.  If the co-operation is not there, then the student will take dwaidam as the fact and will become a phonetic dwaist and lose sight of advaidam. This results in loss for the prejudiced student.  Gowdapadha criticize these students who wants to remain in karma, puja, upasana and ishta devada and do not want to transcend to advaidam.