Mandukya Upanishad, Class 54
In the first five verses, Gowdapadha
offered namaskara to guru and talked about the glory of teaching. From
the sixth verse to 10th, Gowdapadha summarizes the vedantic teaching.
Verses 6, 7 and 8 are repetition of the third chapter verses 20, 21 and
If the nature of paramatma is not
clearly understood, it will create several misconceptions and the idea of
moksha itself will be long; converting moksha to a future event, which is
logically not possible. If our sadhana is in proper direction, the nature
of paramatma should be very clear. People commit two mistakes:
- First mistake is thinking that Paramatma now has becomes jivatma due to maya or avidya. One day we will become paramatma. Parmatma becoming jivatma is samsara and jivatma becoming paramatma is moksha. However, paramatma can never become jivatma therefore there is no question of jivatma becoming paramatma. Paramatma is not subject to modification, therefore he can’t become anything. Paramatma misunderstood is jivatma and jivatma properly understood is paramatma.
- Second mistake is thinking Jivatma was with parmatma before and that jivatma was separated from paramatma. Jivatma has to trek and toil and gradually go nearer and nearer to paramatma. This implies some kind of merger with jivatma and paramatma and that is moksha. This is blunder number 2 because there is no question of anything coming from paramata because paramatma is all pervading principle. In the field of two finite things, separation and unit is possible; but in the case of infinite all pervading paramatma there is no separation and unity. Separation is not a physical event, but a misconception.
First point is there is no question
of becoming paramatma; second point is there is no question of joining
Immortal paramatma can never become mortal jivatma. Mortal jivatma can never become immortal paramatma. Finite can’t become infinite through a process; infinite can’t become finite. When we say I want to become liberated means “become” immortal. Does immortal want to become mortal or mortal wants to become immortal. Very attempt for liberation is misconception. Liberation is from the idea that I need to get liberated. That idea itself is wrong and understanding that idea is wrong is moksham. The essential nature of a thing can never undergo a change. If mortality is my essential nature, I will remain mortal; if immortality is my real nature, I need not work for immortality.
Gowdapdha makes a supposition to
satisfy others: For the sake of argument, let us assume that paramatma
has become jivatma. By doing sadhanas, struggling jivatma trying to become
paramatma. Immortal paramatma has becomes mortal jivatma; If immortal
paramatma can becomes mortal jivatma once, what is the guarantee that the
immortal paramatma will not become mortal jivatma.
The same argument holds true for
merger also; If you join the paramtama by joining, what is guarantee that you
will be with paramatma all the time. If you separated once, what is the
guaratee you will not be separated again?
There is no question of becoming or
joining paramtams; Moksha is not becoming or joining paramatma. It is
knowing that I was paramtma, I am paramatma and I will ever be paramatma.
It is pure ignorance and error. What we need to do is correct the
error. Gyanam is the only solution. Vedanta does not fulfill
your expectation; it says your expectation is wrong.
Here Gowdapadha defines essential
nature. Paramatma’s essential nature is immortality. He gives four
examples for essential nature:
- Extraordinary powers accomplished by sidha purusha,
which he accomplished through many sadhanas in previous births. When
a person practices those sadhanas in the previous jenma, they get
miraculous powers. Those powers are his own intrinsic nature.
- Intrinsic properties of certain materials like heat of
the fire. Similarly paramatma’s intrinsic nature is immortaltiy
- Inborn faculties of certain living being. Like
flying capacity of birds; swimming capacity of fish;
- Certain natural traits of certain objects in the
creation. Like water flowing downwards. These traits will
Similarly, paramatma’s intrinsic
nature is immortality.
Gowdapadja concludes the summary of
vedanta. Whatever is natural, I will be comfortable with that. If anything,
unnatural enters the system, then the system struggles. Mortality is not
my nature, but immortality is my nature. But I have conditioned myself to
the thought that I am mortal. Ignorance is an unique principle which does
not have a beginning but can have an end. Because of the beginning-less
ignorance, there is the mistake that I am mortal, and you eliminate that
mistake. Understanding that there is no samsara to remove, is
figuratively called removing samsara.