Mandukya Upanishad, Class 46

Handling the mind is called amani bavaha
or mano nasaha; atma gyanam helps in two ways:

  1. The mind does not see duality as sathyam and it sees it
    as mithya.  Then the mind does not create any problem.  Ignorant
    and problematic mind is dissolved by atma gyanam
  2. When the whole duality is seen as mithya, it includes
    the mind also.  The mind also falls within dwaida prabanja; therefore,
    gyanam helps see the very mind as mithya; seeing mind as mithya is as good
    as destroying mind.

Atma gyanam viswa, taijasa, pragya
and thuriya atma; Thuriya atma gyanam alone will solve problem.  This is
discussed in verses 36, 37 and 38.  Giving and taking represents all
transactions or vyavahara; Thuiryum is defined in seventh mantra as avyakaragam. 
There are not even thoughts in thuriyum.  Thoughts are possible only in
sukshama sareeram; Thuriyum is beyond sareeram.  This is the atma a wise
man recognizes.  Knowledge abides in thuriya atma and it does not
objectify anything.  Abiding in atma means thought is centered on
Thuriyum.  Aham Thuriyum asmi.  At the time of gyanam, look up on
everything as Brahman with different nama roopa; nama roopa may be many and
varied but the substance is only one thuriyum brahman.  At the time of
knowledge I look up on the whole word as thuriyum; I look up the body, mind and
knowledge (aham brahma asmi)  as thuriyum brahman.  Every knowledge
takes place in the mind in the form of a thought.  World, body, mind,
thought, knowledge are all Brahman plus nama roopa.  All of this is caused
by mithya nama roopa.

Verse 39

Gowdapadha gives a new title for
atma gyanam asparsha yogaha:  Thuriya atma is asparshaha; or asnagaha or
relation-less.  Thuiryua atma is relations-less.  All the
realtionships are possible only in duality.  Viswa, the waker is in
duality and therefore the waker relates to the body and with the body he
relates to few people; Taijasa is also in duality, but he develops relationship
with swapana objects and people; in Pragya manifest relationships are in
potential form.  In Thuriyum all relationships are falsified.  One
who claims as thiriya atma never claims any relationship.  Gyani never claims I am father, husband,
etc.  This discovery of relation-less I the thuriyum is called asparsha
yogaha.  Thuiryum is extremely subtle and very difficult to comprehend and
it not available for all the seekers.  Many of the seekers are afraid of
this knowledge.  This is because every human being thinks that I am insecure
by myself and to find security I should have people around me.  For this I
should strike a relationship.  If I have many relatives around, then I
will be secure.  When I say atma gyanam takes you away from all
relationships, people are afraid of losing relationships and be without
security.  Advantage of dwaidam is I can have all relationship. 
Common man thinks that relationship is security and freedom from relationship
is insecurity.  That is why advaidam and sanyasa frightens people because
there is no relationship.  Vedanta says relationship is insecurity and
samsara; that is why vedanta calls every relation as bandhu.  Previously
you are worried about your own security; after striking relationship, you are
worried about others security.  That is why majority of people are afraid
of advaidam and advaida moksha does not appeal to everyone.  People afraid
of advaidam can remain in dwaidam as long as they want and go through all the

Verse 40

From 40th to 47th verse, Gowdapadha
discusses nidhithyasanam.  Normally, if a
sincere seeker listens to vedanta properly, the teaching is capable of
producing gyanam.  If atma gyanam, arises in the mind, the gyanam will
produce the palam also.  The benefit of this gyanam is twofold:

  1. Primary benefit is the knowledge that I am asanga
    thuriyum, the reality which is ever free from bondage or samsara. 
    Sthula sareeream, sukshuma sareeram and the karana sareeram and their
    problems are mithya.  These can never touch me, just like the dream
    fire can’t burn the sleeper’s body.  Mithya can’t affect
    sathyam.  I am mithya vidhehaha.  Dheha thrya rahitha; This is vidheha
    mukthi; Even though a gyani gets vidheha mukthi after death, but a wiseman
    knows that he is ever free from dheha all the time; this atma gyana palam
    is instantaneous.  Moksha is not an event, but it is the very nature
    of thuriyum.
  2. Secondary benefit is when the atma gyanam takes place
    in the mind, this knowledge can bring about transformation in the mind, in
    the form of shanthi – peace of mind.  Freedom from fear; ever feeling
    secure or samthvam:  poise of mind is another benefit; there are many
    emotional benefits which take place at the level of mind.  This
    emotional refinement is a benefit of this gyanam.  But this is secondary because improving
    the mind is not the primary aim of vedanta.  Primary aim of vedanta
    is telling you that you are not the mind; therefore, this is only
    incidental benefit that makes the mind stronger and this is called jivan
    mukthi.  Majority of the people are interested in this secondary
    benefit alone, In Baghawad Gita, Krishna talks about this jivan mukthi
    many times.  Even though many students study vedanta, all the
    students do not get the same degree of jivan mukthi; some will get a high
    degree of emotional benefit; some will get lower emotional benefit; there
    is a gradation in getting the mental transformation.

A student ignores sadhana
chadhustaya sambathi (SCS), fourfold qualifications of the student, is
extremely important and that alone determines the degree of jivan mukthi
palam.  Even though there is no gradation is gyanam, in gyana palam or
emotional transformation is heavily dependent on sahdahna chadhustha
sambathi.  Students are classified as

  1. Mandha adhikari:  When SCS is low.  The
    problem is vedantic teaching is not received properly.  They feel
    vedanta is irrelevant teaching for our day to day life.  Vedanta
    appears mostly impractical.  These people should acquire SCS by karma
    yoga and upasana.  For these people vedanta sravanam will also be a
    karma yoga.  For a mandha adhikari, there is no gyanam or gyana palam
    (jivan mukthi) through vedanta.
  2. Madhyama adhikari when SCS is reasonable.  Vedanta
    appeals to him; knowledge also comes to him but he doesn’t get the gyana
    palam.  Jivan mukthi is not there.  Gowdapadha deals with this
    madyama adhikar.  Gyanam but no gyana palam.  Gyanam and samsara
    co-exist.  There is a block in converting gyanam into benefit because
    there is a block.  What is removing the block which is insufficient
  3. Uthama Adhidkari. when SCS is high.  He gets
    gyanam and gyana palam from vedantic study.  He gets intellectual
    knowledge and emotional transformation.  These people do not require
    any other sadhana.  Gyanam is gyana palam.