Mandukya Upanishad, Class 64


Beginning from 29 verse, Gowdapadha is giving the teaching of vedanta as presented by Mandukya Upanishad.  The experienced universe has to be extended to jagradh prabajna and swapna prabanja.  Both worlds are experienced universe and anything experienced is mithya.  Even though the jagradh and swapna prabanja are different, they are mithya.  We are only negating the absolute reality of the experienced universe and not the relative reality.  Relative reality means for its own time and for its own observer that will be real.  In swapna all the objects will be real because there will be relative validity will be there.  When you find out absolute reality, all of them will be negated.  For the dreamer the waker’s world is invalid and for the waker the dreamer’s world is invalid.  The only validity is the consciousness.  The practical benefit of this knowledge is whatever happens in mithya field can’t affect the sathyam, adhishtanam.  The objects in this world, including time and space cannot affect or limit me.  The freedom from this mithya world is the benefit.

Verse 40

The entire prabanja are mithya.  The world is mithya, doesn’t have absolute reality and therefore an absolutely real world has not come out of Brahman.  Similar to half the cup is full or half cup is empty, you can say either unreal world is born, or a real world is not born.  Therefore, you can’t discuss karana kariya sambandha. Gowdapdha takes four types of possible kariya karana sambandha or cause effect relationship and negates every one of them:

  1. Asat vasthu Can’t’ produce an asat vasthu.  A nonexistent thing can’t produce a nonexistent thing, because a nonexistent thing can’t produce anything.  A human horn produces a rabbit’s horn; A human horn can’t produce anything let alone a nonexistent rabbit horn.
  2. Asat vasthu can’t produce a sat vasthu.  A nonexistent thing can’t produce an existent thing.  From nothing, nothing can come.
  3. A sat vasthu can’t produce a sat vasthu.  An existent thing can’t produce an existent thing.  From clay we are able to produce pot; so, sat seems to be produced.  So superficially looking, there appears to be kariya karana sambandha between clay and pot.  But there is no cause effect relationship between clay and pot.  Any relationship requires two entities.  Without duality you can’t talk about any relationship.  Clay and pot are not two distinct substances to have a relationship.  They are two different names given to the same substance.  Previously it was called clay and now it is called pot because the shape has changed.  Clay and pot are one and the same substance at different time.
  4. A sat vasthu can’t product an asat vasthu.  An existent thing can’t produce a non-existent thing.  A nonexistent thing can’t be produced.  This is also grammatically wrong; saying a nonexistent thing is born is grammatically wrong.

Conclusion is nothing is born; there is no creation at all.  The creation we talk about is a wrong name for Brahman because of ignorance.  An ignorant people call snake, a wise person calls rope.  There are only two dhrishti – agya dhrishi and vigya dhrishty.  Mistaken Brahman is world.  Mistaken consciousness is matter.  There is no matter at all.

Verse 41

This mistake of taking Brahman as world is committed by all people in jagradh and swapna avastha.  We commit the same mistake in both jagrath prabanja and swapna prabanja.  First, I take the rope as snake, you get closer and call it as garland.  You have progressed from mistake 1 to mistake 2.  Similarly, we only progress from swapna to jagradh. In sushukthi, we do not commit the error, but when you wake up, we continue to commit the error.  We continue to commit this error in the next jiva and shrishty.  This mistake is corrected only by gyanam.

Nothing wrong in pursuing a mithya object if one has the knowledge it is mithya.  Nothing wrong in going to movie, with the understanding it is a movie.  the moment the movie is over, you understand that it is only a movie.  Nothing wrong in pursue the mithya world as husband, wife etc.  as long as we realize it is mithya.  Perceiving mithya is not wrong; but taking it as sathyam is tragedy; erroneous perception.  We commit this mistake not only in jagradh avastha but continue in swapna avastha.  In dream also we perceive unreal objects, when I am actually in dream, they appear very real.  If you can see the dream with the knowledge that it is dream, then you can enjoy it.  Samsara continues in both swapna avastha and jagrah avastha.  This is one reason for exhausting karma in swapna avastha.  In dream, even though the sick person has not died, we dream as though that person is dying.  That dream experience shakes a person so much, that exhausts karma.

Verse 42

Ultimate truth is there is no duality at all.  Brahman alone was, Brahman alone is and Brahman alone will be.  There is nothing other than Brahman.  Majority of humanity is not prepared to accept this teaching.  How can I accept this tangible world as unreal?  The world is outside, it is tangible, and it has its own functions perfectly according to order.

  1. First problem is majority can’t accept the negation of the world.
  2. Second problem is that we all feel we need relationship with people around to feel secure and comfortable.  Relationship is possible only in dwaidam and not in advaidam.  As a result, everyone considers dwaidam as security.  They consider advaidam is insecurity because in advaidam no relationship is possible.  If there is a person with no relationship, the world looks up on those people negatively.  Advaidam is looked up on as a status of orphan.  When there is such a well-entrenched notion, people do not accept advaidam.  That is why, advaidam is not discussed in the beginning.  In the beginning veda accepts dwaidam and talks about jivatma, paramatma and world.  At that point, it also accepts creation also.  Brahman is accepted as cause and world is accepted as result with a hope that the student will gradually become an uthama adhikari.  Until then shrishti is accepted.  They say experience is reality, but it is not a proof for reality e.g dream.  They also say the world is in perfect order.