Mandukya Upanishad, Class 72


When we ask is the world is real or not, we should remember from which standpoint.  From the standpoint of the body, viswa, karma etc.  world is real and capable of affecting the waker also.  From vyvakarika dhrishti world is born and is real.  But in Vedanta, we are trying to look at the world from the standpoint of thuriyum.  From thuriya dhrishti, or paramarthika dhrishti, we say the world did not originate.  Exactly like the dream world did not originate from the standpoint of waker.  This world of duality is very much there from the standpoint of mithya vyavakaraha.  From the vyvakarika dhrishti we do not naturally wake up.  Ignorance never end by itself.  Every object in nature have a natural death.  Other than Brahman, avigyanam will not die naturally.  We require sastra, guru and students for avidhya or ignorance to end.  Other systems of philosophy also do not have paramarthika dhrishti.  Vedanta use logic, but it is subservient; it is sastram.  For materialistc purposes tharka or logic may be required but not for vedantic philosophy.  From dwaida philosophy or vyavakarika dhrishti they will never understand the teaching from paramarthika dhsrishti.  They also misunderstand us.  When we say world is unreal, it is from the standpoint of thuriyum.  But from another standpoint, the world is very real.  They get confused between vyavakarika and paramarthika dhrishti.

Verse 74

Up until now we are saying Brahman is nondual and kariya karana vilakshanam.  It is beyond time as cause and effect are subject to time.  Now Gowdapadha says, really speaking Brahman can’t be called nirvikaram also.  The very name nirikaram is given only from vyavakarika dhrishti.  Because from vyavakaika dhrishti, speaking talk about Brahman as karanam or savikaram subject change producing effect.  Since from vyakarika angle, they are looking up on Brahman, we are forced to negate that notion by using the word nirivikaram.  From paramarthika dhrishti, since savikaram itself is not there, we need not use the word nirvikaram also.  Similarly, from vyavakirka dhrishti, they call Brahman sagunam; because they use the word sagunam, advaidam uses word nirguranm.  Every definition of Brahman is given only from the standpoint of vyavakarika misconception.  Once the misconception is gone, we will withdraw all the definition of Brahman.  If we have negated vyavakarika prabanja, we will negate all the words like sathyam, sagunam, vikaram, gyanam.  From paramarthika dhrishti, silence is the only definition of Brahman.  Amathra is the only definition of thuriyum.  Thuriyum is also not the correct word, since it implies the fourth, but when you negate the first three padhas, thuriyum can’t’ be called thuriyum.  From paramarthika dhrishti, it can’t even be called eternal. When you negate the impermanent world, you can’t call it eternal.  This verse is similar to 33rd verse of second chapter.  After negating dwaidam, we won’t use the word advaidam.

Verse 75

With the previous verse, the summarization of Upanishad is over for now.  In 75 to 86, Gowdapadha talks about problems of humans.  What is the cause of sorrow when we are all Brahman?  I can never become a samsari, because becoming is a change.  If this is true, then why do you suffer.  The reason is avidhya or agyaam  The unreal ignorance or Maya is alone is the cause of the problem.  Why did we get this ignorance?  Ignorance never came, it is anadahi.  Because of this anadhi avidhya, I have fallen without falling.  Because of ignorance, we have fallen into viswa and taijasa.  From this standpoint, the individuality, the world becomes very real just like the dream world is real from the dreamer’s standpoint.  The more I get involved in it, the more real it becomes, just like a movie.  Obsession with the mithya prabanja is the cause of samsara.  Beginning with body mind complex, all the relationships etc.  we get absorbed to such an extent, we do not believe when vedanta says it is mithya.  It is not easy; one has to soak in vedanta to get out of this mechanical life.

There is no duality born from Brahman; There is only a very strong obsessive notion regarding a duality which is really nonexistent.  In vedanta, dwaidam is samsara.  Duality means time and space.  In deep sleep, there is not duality; there is no time.  Once you accept duality, time comes; once time comes, decease, old age etc. comes.  After knowledge, there is no cause for samsara:  ignorance and obsession; once knowledge comes, ignorance goes away and then the ignorance-based obsession goes away.  That gyani is no more reborn because the word reborn itself is not relevant when there is no birth; therefore he gets liberated.  Therefore, solution for samsara is gyanam.

Verse 76

Ignorance is the cause of samsara and knowledge is the only solution.  Ignorance makes me think I am not thuriyum.  Because this fact was not known, then I mistake myself as viwa or taijasa or pragya.  From the standpoint of body, I become kartha and boktha; As a kartha, I produce karma palam.

Agyanam causes dheha abimana; dheha abimana results in karma; karma results in karma palam.  Karma palam  can be uthama (punyam), madhyama (misram) and adhama (pavam).  Higher karma palam will take me to higher lokas and lower karma palam will take me to lower lokas, Madhya karma palam will result in punarabi jananm and punarabi  manam.  Gyani does not have dheha abimana and because of that his actions do not produce karma.  When the cause is not there, how can there be effect?