Mandukya Upanishad, Class 71


Mithyatvam of the world has been established through several methods.  In these verses, Gowdapadha uses a special reasoning:  Whatever is an object of an experience has to be mithya, because its existence can be proved and is dependent on the subject, the experiencer.  Then he divided the whole universe into three categories:  Sakshi, chitham and jagat.  First, he established that the world is mithya because it is an object of mind.  Three is now reduced into two.  Now sakshi and chitham are the two left.  He applies the same principle and says that mind is also mithya because it is an object of sakshi.  Net result is prabanja is also dhrishyam from the standpoint of mind; mind is also dhrishyam from the standpoint of sakshi.  Both are dhrishyam and so both are mithya.  Sakshi is never an object, it is never a dhrishyam; it is always dhrig or sathyam.

In 67th verse, therefore of these three, two are mithya; consciousness alone is sathyam; mind and world are both mithya.  He reinforces by giving one more reasoning.  Since mind and world are both mithya, they do not exist independently and both of them depend on each other.  You can’t prove world without mind; and you can’t prove mind without world.  Only if the forms and colors are there, then and then alone you can prove the existence of eye.  When in a room there is absolute silence, you may get a doubt whether you have hearing ability or not; only by making a sound you can prove that the ear is functioning or existing.  The mind and the world are mutually dependent to prove the existence of each other and therefore both are mithya.

Verse 68

Since the entire world and the four jivas being mithya, you can never clearly talk about their arrival and departure.  They only apparently arrive and apparently depart.  If this is not convincing, there is the example of jivas seen within dream.  If you try find out how they arrived, you will have difficulty.  The moment you go to dream, they instantaneously appear.  On waking up, they disappear, but you won’t be able to explain where they disappear.  But during dream they appear real enough to give you experience.  They appear and disappear without proper logic or reasoning.  In the jagradh prabanja also, the more you probe into creation and resolution, or whether karma came first or jiva came first. they will all became more vague and beyond logical explanation.  We have one-word Maya, representing anything that can’t be explained or indescribable of mithya.

Verse 69

In this verse second example is given:  Maya or magical jiva.  Just as a magician able to create a magical jiva, which is not there, but for you it appears as a jiva is created.

Verse 70

In 68, 69 and 70 the second line is same.  In this verse third example, nirguna jiva created is by chidhi, a materialized jiva.  The previous example is an illusion created by magician pradhibadhika; this example is a thing created by special power by chithda  in vyavakarika.

Common to all of them – swapna jiva, maya jiva or nirmidhaka jiva – they are all mithya; either pradhibadhika mithya or vyavakarika mithya.

Verse 71

If all these jivas (swapna, maya and nirmidhaka) are not really born or apparently born, then which jiva is really born?  No jiva or jivatma is really born because of every jivatma is none other than birthless paramatma.  This verse is repetition of 48th verse of third chapter.

If jivatma is a product or kariyam, then we need a karanam.  We think paramatma is the karanam of jivatma, but up on study we find paramatma is not a karanam but a karana kariya vilaksham.  For this jivatma to be born there is no cause.  There is only one highest reality which is paramarthika sathyam or thuriyum which is greater than prathipadhika sathyam (swapna prabanja) or vyavakarika sathyam (jagradha prabanja).  Jagradh prabanja is not available for a dream and swapna prabanja is not available for waker and therefore they both are mithya or relative reality.  The absolute reality is thuriya chaithanyam.  It is in all the three and is also beyond the three.

Verse 72

If you say no jiva is born, and therefore no jagat is not born, but why do I experience all of them?  Just as your thought motion appears as tangible dream world the apparent motion of consciousness appear as tangible waker world.  Modern science says tangible products are made of violently moving intangible atoms, neutrons etc.  Motion of the universe is indicated by the eternal dance of Nataraja.

Duality indicates subject and object.  Dualistic world consisting of subject object duality which is nothing but consciousness in motion – which is both subject and object.  The ultimate truth is consciousness does not really contact a world; it does not have an object to contact; because there is no object separate from consciousness.  Just as clay can never contact the pot, because there is no pot separate from clay.  Wave can never contact water because there is no wave other than water.  The world can never contact the consciousness, because there is no world separate from consciousness.  In advaidam, there is no relationship is possible.  Since there is no matter other than consciousness, it is relation less.  That is why people are afraid of advaidam.  We think that without relationship life will be miserable.  In advaidm, there is no fear and a source of moksha.

Verse 73

Once you say that the world is caused by apparent motion of consciousness, then the world is apparently born, which means the world is really not born.  From one angle, it is apparently born; from another angle it is really not born.  It is either unreally born (vyavakarika sathyam) or really unborn (mithya).  Vyavakiraka sahtyam and mithya are both same.  From the emperical angle, relative angle the vyavakariaka prabanja is real.  From the angle of one who is in dream, the dream world is very real.  This is relative pereceiver’s angle or vyakariaka dhrishti, the jagradh prabanja or from the angle of viswa, the world is very very real.  From the standpoint of Thuriyum, which is paramarthika dhrishti, the world is not real it doesn’t even exist.  This is similar to dream world nonexistent from the standpoint of waker.  From the standpoint of other systems of philosophy, they are looking from the vyvakarika dhrishti as they don’t accept or understand paramrthika dhrishti.  When they ask the world is real or not, never say the world is unreal.  Because other people are looking at the world from viswa angle or from the standpoint of sthula sareeram.  You can say world is unreal only after introducing thuriyum.  Only when a person accepts nirguna Thuriyum, you can say the world is unreal.  Until then the world is real.  You can’t say vyvakarika because it is meaningful only when you know the paramarthika.  From paramarthika dhrishti, the world is not real.