Mandukya Upanishad, Class 63


After negating the other dharshanam up to verse 28, now Gowdapadha is summarizing the Vedantic teaching, the teaching given in Mandukya Upanishad.  The essence of this teaching is Brahman is alone is sathyam; Sathya Brahman is none other than jiva, I the consciousness principle alone is the ultimate reality and everything else is mithya.  This mithya jagat consists of jagradh prabanja and swapna prabanja.  Unreal does not mean it is not real, but not absolute reality but only empirical or relative reality.  Relative reality means jagrath prabanja is real from the standpoint of waker, but it is unreal from other standpoint of taijasa or thiruyum.  Similarly, swapna prabanja is very real from the stand point of dreamer, but it is not real from the stand point of waker let alone the stand point of thuriyum.  Relative standpoint means the relative standpoint of the observer.  Even when it doesn’t have absolute reality, the jagradh and swapna prabanja are experienceable and it can be experienced.  Experience of the world will continue even though it does not have absolute reality.  In waking state jagradh prabanja will be experienced; in dream state the swapna prabanja will be experienced.  Vedanta does not negate experience.  The utility of the objects is also not negated.  The dream water, food etc. will have their utility in dreams.  Divisions are not negated.  Vedanta only removes the absolute reality which we attach to this world.  After that we continue to experience the world, but it does not get the absolute reality.  The world will give samsara only when you attach absolute reality.  Whatever is not absolutely real, cannot give security.  Whatever only relative reality can’t be relied up on.  You can rely up on only sathya vasthu – it is none other than I the witnessing changing jagradh and swapna prabanja.  For all practical purposes jagradh and swapna are the same.

When you are in dream, you will not accept it is unreal.  In dream, if someone asks about jagrath prabanja, they will state that there is no jagradh prabanja.  If you wake up in one moment, everything in dream will all wake up.  From Taijasa to viswa , swapna prabaja goes away.  From viswa to thiriuum through wisdom, jagradh prabnaja will go away similar to swapna.

Verse 36

When you are in dream, we experience a body in dream.  With that dream body alone, I do all the transaction.  This body is called vasana maya sareeream, because that physical body, I have protected with my own mind or thoughts.  During dream I do not look up on them thoughts body, but as tangible body. With that body I travel, eat etc.  But that body is mithya body projected by mind.  Because on waking up, there is another non traveling body, lying on the bed.  From that it is clear, that body alone relatively real, swapna body is mithya.  That body is stationery and does not move with the dream body.  After waking up, I commit the same mistake and say this body is real.  But this body is also exactly like swapna sareeream.  Swapna sareeram appears real in swapna avastha; similarly, jagradh sareeram is real only in jagradh prabanja.

Anything experienced is mithya.  Because the absolute reality is never an object of an experience.  Not experienceable with any instrument.  From this we get that whatever we experience is not reality.  Just as the dream body is unreal, any object of consciousness is unreal.  Consciousness alone is real, and that consciousness is you tat twam asi.  I the observer alone is absolute reality and whatever I experience is relative reality or mithya.

Verse 37

Generally, we accept that swapna prabanja is caused by jagradh prabanja.  Because jagradh prabanja alone gives variety of experiences that registered in the mind, becomes vasana and those vasanas are activated in dream.  We dream only what we experience in jagradh prabanja.  Jagradh prabanja is karanam and swapna prabanja is kariyam.  There is a kariya karana sambandha between jagradh prabanja and swapna prabanja.  That is why the experiences in jagradh and swapna are similar.  In jagradh prabanja also there is desa (space), kala (time) and thritupdi (subject, object, instrument).  In swapna also we have these three.  If they are similar in all respects, then you can extend to mithaythvam as well.  Swapna prabanja is mithya, therefore jagradh prabanha is also mithya.  Each prabanja will appear real in that condition.  Swapna prabanha will appear real for the swapna observer during swapna avastha; Jagrath prabanja will appear real for jagradh observer during jagradh avastha.

Swapna prabanja is a product of jagradh prabanja.  Since swapna and jagradh have karana kariya sambandham, jagradh prabanja is real only for jagradh observer, just as swapna prabanja is real only for swapna observer.

Verse 38

There is no real creation at all, and Brahman can’t be a cause or karanam.  Brahman is kariya karana vilakshanam.  A real creation can never be proved logically.  Therefore, there is no creation.  Everything which you look up on as creation is not creation – it was Brahman, it is Brahman and it will ever be Brahman.  While discussing sankya and gyana philosophy, we asked does an existent pot originate or a nonexistent pot originate.  The answer is neither because an existent port can’t originate as it already exists.  A nonexistent product can’t originate because it doesn’t exist.

Verse 39 Karana jagradh prabanja and kariya swapna prabanja is also mithya.  You experience a mithya jagradh prabajna which product a mithya vasana which produces a mithya swapna prabanja.  In jagradhavastha I experience a mithya jagradh prabanja.  Because of ignorance, I look up on it as sathyam.  Out of that experience I get the vasanas – it gets registered in the memory.  Jagrath avastha is like VCR and swapna prabanja is like VCP.  Certain vasanas are feeble; certain vasanas are strong.  With those vasanas, the same events appear in swapna.  When you watch the jagrath, you swear that jagrath is real; when you see the same in swapna you will swear that is real; but both are mithya.  From the thuriya dhrishti, you can boldly say this prabanja is mithay.  Now we are trying to negate the world from the standpoint of waker.  You should never negate the world from the waker standpoint.  When you wake up from dream, the dream expreince will disappear.  When you become a gyani, the jagradh prabanja won’t disappear; experiences will continue.  It is like continuing the dream, knowing that it is a dream.  Gyani will continue to see the world with the knowledge that it is another dream.