Mandukya Upanishad, Class 52
In the first verse of this chapter, Gowdapadhachariyar is performing namaskara to Lord Narayana. Lord has all forms of knowledge. Lord also has jivatma paramatma aikya gyanam, which alone is the subject matter of vedantaand that gyanam alone he gives to his students. When we say jivatma paramatma aikyam, Jivatma is the subject, paramatma is the object and the knowledge is aikyam. But for the lord all the three are same.
This knowledge is a unique knowledge different from all other forms of knowledge. In all the other forms of knowledge (para vidya), there are three factors, subject, object and instrument. In this para vidya, the subject, object and the instrument are one and the same. Paramtma the subject of the knowledge, jivatma the object of the knowledge and the instrument of knowledge are all one and the same. Jivatma, paramatma and instrument are chaithanyam, the nature of conscience. Lord has such a unique aikya knowledge. This chaithanyam is like all pervading space. Space like consciousness knows space like consciousness through space like consciousness.
In the second verse, Gowdapadha offers namaskara to this gyanam. He talks about the glory of self knowledge.
First glory is asparsa yogaha because one gains knowlege of thiriya atma, which is asparsaga. It is timeless, space less infinite nondual realty. Asparsagaha means relationless. The infinite atma does not have a second thing. It can’t have relationship with the world and its people because from Thuiryum standpoint, they lower order of realty. Just like waker can’t have a relationship with a dream individual. I am the relation less thuriyum is this knowledge.
Second glory is sarva sattva sukaha; for every human being this atma gives ananda. Everything in the world gives ananda, but it also gives dhukkam. Example: Rama is the source of Ananda for Kowsalya, but Rama was also source of dhukkam when he has to go to forest. If an object gives ananda now, it will give sorrow when it goes away. If an object gives sorrow now, it will give ananda when it leaves. Glory of atma is it gives ananda only.
Third glory hithaha; it is also good for us; it contributes to our well being. There are many worldly things that gives pleasure for us, but they are not good for us; e.g. liquor, sweets etc.
Fourth glory is avivadhaha; beyond all arguments. This will be explained later. It is beyond arguments because it is beyond logic.
Fifth glory is aviruddhaha; it does not contradict any philosophy. Every system of philosophy has a particular theory of creation. Every theory criticize another theory. Vedanta doesn’t contradict other theories of creation because vedanta doesn’t have any theory of creation. Because vedanta doesn’t believe in creation. Brahman is ultimate reality, where there is no creation; no cause, no result and no time. It is timeless realty. Vedanta accepts any theory of creation only temporarily; Every other theory is talk about vyavakarika sathyam; Vedanta is talking about paramarthika sathyam.
Sixth glory is desitaha: that this teaching can only be gained from a guru. It can’t be independently gathered by self or independent study or meditation.
Gowdapadha talks about advaidam all the time, but here he is offering namaskara; who is doing namaskara to whom? How is that possible? He is talking from vyavakarika dhrishti where there is only dwaidam;
In vereses 3 and 4, Gowdapadhachariyar explains the word avivadhaha. Why do we say vedanta is beyond argument? I need not argue with any other philosopher because they all quarrel among themselves and mutually cancel each other; I, standing as a witness prevail. When all the theories of creation are cancelled then what is left is no theory or vedanta.
The two theories of creation discussed later are:
- Sath kariya vadhaha: This is sankya philosophy founded by Kapila Muni.
- Asath kariya vadhaha: Founded by gnyaya philosopher or vaisheshka philosopher.
Example: Creation of a pot out of clay: out of clay the creator creates pot. Fundamental question is, now the pot is created, before the creation of the pot, did the pot exist in the clay or not. Pot is the product or kariayam; clay is the karanam; Before the creation of kariyam, did the kariyam already exist in the karanam or not. Does an existent pot originate or does a non existent pot originate? Sankya philosophers say only an existent pot originate; this is sath kariya vadhaha. Gnyaya philosophers say, non existent pot originate. This is asath kairya vadhi. In realty, there is no creation; the word creation confuses everyone. According science matter can not be created or destroyed; consciousness can’t be created or destroyed. Then where is the question of creation.