Mandukya Upanishad, Class 62


Class 62

Up to verse 28, Gowdabadha analyzed sankya dharshanm from asthika group and bowdhika dharshanam from nasthika group.  From the analysis he stated that there is no independent world separate from the observer.  The observer is I the Thuriua chaithanyam and not Viswa or Hiranyagarba or Pragya.  We do not negate the experience of the world but only the reality.  Similar to not negating the experience of dream but only the reality of dream.  Experience cannot be proof for reality.  In dream we see that law doesn’t hold true.  Dream is very well experienced but up on waking up we find out it is not real.

After refuting other dharshanam, Gowdabadha restates vedanta in verses 29 to 46.  In the 29th verse, Gowdabdha mentions two important things:

  1. Intrinsic nature of a thing can’t undergo a change.  Heat, which is the intrinsic nature of fire, will never change.  Fire will always be hot under all circumstances.
  2. The intrinsic nature of Brahman, nirvikaratvam – changelessness, beyond time and space.  Whatever is subject to time is subject to onslaught of time.  Brahman is not subject to time.  Brahman is always ajam.  If Brahman is intrinsic nature is nirvakaratvam, it can never become karanam of anything.  To be a cause it has to undergo change.  Therefore, Brahman never produced a world and therefore there is never a thing called world.  World is crystallized confusion.

Verse 30

Gowdabadha wants to convey that moksha can’t be an event happening in time.  If you look upon yourself as a samsari and working towards moksha, you will get it.  Even if you get moksha in time, it will not be a moksha.  If moksha is something that happens in future, then it will have a beginning and then it should also have an end.  Moksha should be understood as dropping the notion that I am bound.  There is no moksha other than an intellectual event, dropping the notion that I am bound now.  The dropping that misconception is figuratively called moksha.

Gowdabahda gives an assumption.  Let us assume that there is an external world outside, then dwaidam will become reality – observed, observer.  Then the question will be when did the dwaidam or the world come?  Did karma come first, or body come first.  You will have difficulty explaining when did the world come.  If creation or world or samsara is anadhi – beginning less.  Will this beginning-less samsara end or not? If samasara is beginning less and therefore it is endless, then no moksha is possible.  If moksha is impossible then why should I do all the sadhanas.  If samsara is beginning less but it will end when you keep doing sadhanas, then the end of samsara will be beginning of moksha.  A moksha which has a beginning will have an end also.  The moksha will be anithya moksha – temporary.  It is as good as no moksha, because by definition moksha is nithya.  Therefore, you should never accept moksha.  Working for moksha should be dropping the notion that I have samsara.

Let us assume that the beginning-less samsara ends, then moksha will have the beginning.  It will be followed by an ending.  There will not be permanence.  Therefore, the correct approach is I am mukthaha, I was mukthaka and I will be mukthaha

Verse 31

Gowdabadha repeats ideas given in second and third chapter.  Many verses are repeated from those chapters.   This verse is repetition of sixth verse of the second chapter.

Any product that you talk about which has a temporary duration does not have a real existence at all.   If you take the example of a pot, before the manufacture the pot was not there and after the destruction the pot was not there.  Between the two the pot appears to be there.  When you inquire deeply, we find that there is no pot all.  Pot is a new name given to ever present clay.  Pot is not a new substance, but a new name and shape given to clay.  Every product only has a nominal verbal existence with no substance.  When you remove the clay, you will not find the pot.  The creation as a whole, it is a kariyam.   The “Isness” of the world belong to Brahman.  Every product is a word initiated by your tongue.  The product is nonexistent in the past and it is nonexistent in the present also.  It is considered as though real by ignorant people.  From wise persons’ perspective Brahman alone is permanent.

Verse 32

This verse is seventh verse of second chapter.

Previously we said experience is not the proof of reality.  Here he says, even the utility is not the proof of reality.  Vedanta accepts the utility of the world for eating, drinking etc.  Vedanta never negates the utility of the world, similar to not negating the experience of the world.  But vedanta says I accept the utility of the world, but it is not proof for reality, it is still mithya.  Similar to dream where dream food alone is useful in dream.  But on waking up, in spite of its utility we find out that dream world is mithya.  Even the utility of the world is relative utility and not absolute utility.  Because this jagrath prabanja is useful only for the waker, viswa only during jagradh avastha.  When jagrath is changed to swapna this jagrath prabanja is utterly useless.

Verse 33

This is similar to verse 1 of the second chapter.

Previously we said experience is not the proof of reality.  We generally take experience as proof for reality.  Here vedanta goes one step further.  Experience is the proof for unreality.  Experience it the proof for mithya.  Whatever experienced is mithya.  Because sathyam is never an object of experience.  There is sathyam but it is not an object of experience.  It is ever the experiencer the subject.  It never the seen, but ever the seer.  Never the heard, but ever the hearer.  Experience is the proof for mithya.  Swapna is the example.  It is experienced but it is mithya.  Extending this, jagrath prabanja is experience but it is mithya.  All the objects in dream are mithya because they are experienced within limited time and space.

In verses 33 to 36, Gowdapadha says dream is mithya; with that example, he says jagradh prabanja is also mithya because they both are experienced.

Verse 34

Reminder of verse 2 of Second chapter.

Dream objects are unreal because they don’t have sufficient space for unreality; When you wake up in the middle of a dream, you wake up where you went to sleep and not where you were in dream.  By this we prove swapna is unreal.  Gowdapdha goes out of way to prove dream unreal, when we already have the knowledge that dream as unreal.  Many philosophers don’t agree that dreams are mental projection but created by god specifically for you.  Vishishta dwaidam argue that dream is also real.  The swapna prabanja is as real as jagradh.

Verse 35

Our own experinece will prove that swapna is mithya.  Suppose in dream, you go to your friends house for an important opinion.  After waking up, you want to know if the opinion is real or not.  But friend will say they did not meet.  Whatever you receive in dream, one doesn’t see after waking up.  All this prove swapna is mithya.  Similarly jagradh is also mithya