Mandukya Upanishad, Class 59


In these verses, Gowdapadha refutes dvaida vadhi who is explaining the creation with the law of karma.  He says karma and sareeram are cause and effect.  Gowdapadha took six different options and showed that none of them will work.  So, with the theory of karma, the creation can’t be explained.  In Vedanta we only accept the law of karma temporarily to explain creation and once the person is ready to accept higher level, we negate this theory.

Having refuted the six options, Gowdpadha comes to another topic in 22nd verse where he pointed out, not only the creation of the whole universe can’t be logically explained, but also any single object’s creation can’t be explained.  Any ordinary object in the world, even the creation of that object can’t be explained.  Taking the pot, you can’t prove the origination of the pot.

  1. Pot can’t be created out of pot
  2. Pot can’t be created out of non-pot (any other object)
  3. Pot can’t be created out of a mixture of pot and non-pot
  4. An existent pot can’t originate
  5. A nonexistent pot can’t originate
  6. A mixture of existent and nonexistent pot can’t originate.

Whether you take the macro cosmic creation or the micro cosmic creation, no creation can be proven.

In the 23rd verse, Gowdapadha considers three more options:

  1. From beginning-less karma, a body can’t be born because there is no beginning-less karma
  2. From beginning-less body, a karma can’t be born because there is no beginning-less sareeram
  3. Without a cause, body and karma can’t be born naturally born.  That which does not have aadhi does not have aadhi; meaning that which does not have karanam does not have origination.

Causeless origination is not possible.  All the three options are ruled.  Ultimately the conclusion is you can’t logically establish a creation.  Therefore, there is no creation; there is no world.  There is only Brahman.  The real meaning of advaidam is kariya karana vilakshanam.

Verse 24

In previous verses Gowdapadha refuted the Sankya philosophers and dvaida philosophers; both of the philosophers are asthika philosophers – accepting veda pramanam.  Until now Gowdapadha refuted asthika philosophers; from now on he takes on nasthika philosophers; these philosophers don’t believe veda pramanam; they accept experience.

  1. Charuvaka Madham; materialistic
  2. Jaina madhama; founded by Rishaba Devaha; later revived by Varthamana Mahaveera and others; jinaha meaning conquering sense organs. The one who follows this philosophy are called jains
  3. A group of four madhams which are budhism or bowdha madham originated by Buddha.  Lord Ashoka asked the scholars to compile the Buddhist teaching

Here Gowdabdha takes up on refuting Buddhism from verse 24 to verse 28.  The four branches are:

  1. Sowthranthika madham:  This philosopher says that there is an external world different from the observer, the subject.  The external world is different from the observer and is real; this real distinct external world is proved by prathyaksha pramanam; therefore, this philosophy presented in a nutshell presented as bahya prathyaksha vadhinaha.
  2. Vaibashika madham:  Close to first one and they also say there is an external world; it exists separate from the observer; the external world is real; This distinct real external world is proved by inference or reasoning.  This philosophy presented in a nutshell presented as bahyana anumana vadhinaha
  3. Yogachara madham:  There is no independent real external world at all separate from the subject.  Just there is no real dream world, separate from the observer, individual.  This philosopher can be defined as Bahyartha abava vadhinaha.  External is only an appearance
  4. Madhyamika madham:  This is similar to the third one; they also so there is no external at all; There is no subject observer also.  Sarvartha abava vadhinaha.  Soonya vadhinaha.

The first two are called hinayana bowdha madham and the last two are called mahayana bowdha madham.

Of the four, the third on yogachara madham is closer to vedanta.  He also says that there is a subject which is real, the object is unreal.  We also say the subject, the observer is also real.  This subject is the observer the consciousness principle or vigyana swaroopam; we advantin also say that the subject, the observer is consciousness principle.

Similarities between yogachara and vedantins:  Both say world is mithya; observer alone is sathyam; sathyam the observer is chaithanyam;

The difference is yogachara syas that the consciousness is the temporary one having a fleeting existence and this consciousness comes and goes as a flow.  For him the subject is not a single eternal consciousness, the subject is a flow of temporary consciousness; In advaidam there is no flow of consciousness, but it is one and eternal.

Gowdapdha will talk about the similarities and thereafter he will discuss the differences.  First, he joins yogachara madham to refute the first two; later on, he refutes yogachara madham.

The first two, heenayana madham, are refuted by yogachara madham. 24th verse is the presentation of heenayana madham which consists of 1 and 2 or sowthranthika and vaibashika madham.

Every experience or knowledge we get, should have a corresponding external object.  In the absence of external object, you can’t have variety of experiences.  In dream, you don’t have varieties of knowledge.  In waking you do have varieties of knowledge.  Every knowledge, therefore, presupposes an external world.  Every knowledge proves an existence of external object.  Every cognition is associated with corresponding, relevant external object.  Different knowledge is not possible without external objects.  If you don’t accept plurality of external objects, you can’t explain plurality of our experiences.

Second reasoning he gives, that we have varieties of emotions like pleasure, pain etc.  If I should have these emotions, every one of them must be caused by some external objects.  If the body feels heat that heat experience must have been caused by some external cause. Therefore, external world is there, it is different from me and it is real.