Mandukya Upanishad, Class 47


The verses 40 to 47 discuss the final topic of advaita prakaranam, nidhithyasaam.  In the first two verses, we get the introduction to nidhithyasanam.  The primary benefit of self-knowledge is discovering that I am thuriyum;  I the Sathya thuriya chaithanyam is never affected by the three maya sareeram.  Moksha is not an event, but it is the very nature of I the thuriyum.

The secondary benefit, this knowledge, which takes place in intellect, it gives certain emotional benefit.  It gives a mind which is no more an emotional burden.  This emotional transformation is the second benefit of self-knowledge and is called jivan mukthi.

Even though the sasthra talks about this emotional benefit, all vedantic students do not derive this emotional benefit uniformly.  The difference is because of the different level of preparation by the student and this preparation is indicated by sadhana sadhushta saṃpatti.  Since sadhana sadhusta saṃpatti is graded among students, the emotional benefit or jivan mukthi is also graded.

Based on the degree of sadhana sadhushta saṃpatti, we broadly categorize students into three groups:

  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 SCS.
  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.

What should the three adhikaris do:

  • Uthama does not need do anything additional.  We need not discuss him as he has high SCS and sravanam will give gyanam, gyana nishta, gyana palam and jivan mukthi.  Sravanam itself is an end itself.
  • In the case of mandha adhikari, SCS is very low, he has to concentrate more on karma yoga and upasana.  This will fill his mind with SCS.  Vedantic study can’t be pre dominant focus, but focus must be on karma and upasana,
  • In the case of madhyama adhikari who is able to receive the knowledge but does not get the benefit.  He need not go back to karma and upasana;  He can keep practicing them, but need not practice additional karma yoga and upasana.  What he requires is nidhithyasanam.  This will convert him from madhya adhikari to uthama adhikari and block will be removed and the gyanam will convert to gyana palam or jivan mukthi.

Mano nigraha is mental discipline or samaha  from the fourfold qualification or sadhana sadhusta saṃpatti from tatva bodha.  Gyanam and gyana palam depends on the level of Sadhana Sadhusta Sampatti.

Jivan mukthi or gyana palam or benefits of knowledge are:

  1. Abayam:  Free from fear and insecurity
  2. Dhukha shayaha:  Freedom from sorrow
  3. Shanthihi akshya:  Lasting peace of mind; Permanent peace

All three benefits are dependent on level of SCS.  There is no concession on SCS.

Verse 41

Mind functions in the form of thoughts and therefore the quality of mind is determined by the quality of thoughts.  Mind is like a building which is made up of bricks called thoughts.  Start monitoring the quality of thoughts; monitor thought pattern; be aware of mental biography.  Hypocrisy is possible at the thought level.  I only know what I am.  First is to be true to yourself.  Don’t be a hypocrite. Quality of thoughts can be known directly (through words coming out of mouth) and indirectly (action at physical level).  Actions are crystallized version of thoughts.  So, thoughts must be refined as described in asuri sampath and daivi sampath; (16th Chapter of Baghawat Geeta).  Let asuri sampth arise, but don’t encourage that thought pattern.  Weed out unhealthy thought patterns.  This process is mano nigraha.  This is a difficult and time taking process, because we have allowed our mind to wander for many years.

Example given:  Suppose there is a huge reservoir of water, lake or ocean;  There are infinite drops of water in the reservoir; a bird wants to empty the reservoir by using the tip of a grass – drop by drop.  It will take much perseverance, patience and the blessing of lord.  It will take a long time, so start now. 

This example is comparable to this puranic story:  Eggs of a bird got submerged under ocean; because of the attachment, the bird wanted to remove the water by dipping the tip of the grass.  Seeing the perseverance of the bird, Garuda baghawan came to the rescue of the bird by flapping the wing; because of that the ocean dried freeing the eggs.

Verse 42

Gowdapadha advises that we give maximum effort to SCS

Nidhidhyasana sadhana is meant for the madhyama adhikari.  Nidhishdyasanam is defined as dwelling up on the teaching.  As often as possible, as intensely as possible and as long as possible; studying any text book dealing with jivatma paramatma aikyam.  Dwelling is only mental process and the physical posture is not relevant.  This dwelling up on the teaching can be done several ways and anyone can be chosen:

  1. Repeated listening
  2. Repeated reading or reading your own notes
  3. Repeated writing
  4. Discussion or exchange of ideas of the teaching
  5. Teaching
  6. Samadhi abyasaha; Vedantic meditation in which yogic stages of meditation are employed.  Ashtanga yoga stages are employed.  Asana, pranamya, prathyakara, dharana, dhyānam and samadhi.