Mandukaya Upanishad, Class 74


Beginning from 75th verse to 86th, Gowdapadha is dealing with the cause of samsara.  Ignorance of the thuriya atma, the fourth padha, which is our real higher nature is the cause of samsara.  I am not viswa, taijasa, pragya; I am not kartha bothta or finite.  Unfortunately, we have the problem of ignorance and we can’t trace the origination of ignorance; The solution has to be removal of the ignorance and it can happen only with thuriya gyanam.

Ignorance generates samsara through:

Ignorance produces ahangara or misconception regarding my nature.  When I forget that I am the waker lying on the bed, that ignorance becomes the cause for the dreamer.  Self-ignorance is responsible for self-misconception.  This is in the form of sthurala sareera abimana, becoming viswa or shukshama sareera abimana becoming taijasa or karana sareera abimana becoming prgya.  These three put together is ahangara.  For this ahangara I becomes real.  When paramarthika sathyam is not known, vyavakariga sathyam becomes real.  When the higher one is not known the lower one gets elevated.  Therefore, the physical body becomes my real nature.  My physical personality becomes my personality.  Old age, death etc. becomes serious issues.  Obsession with the mithya dwaida prabanaja.  Once I identify with the body as the ultimate, anything that gives security to the body, that also becomes very important.  Mithya money, mithya people, mithya power – the entire mithya jagradh prabanja becomes very important.  The original reality is gone, and one runs after the mithya prabanja.   Mithya interaction becomes addiction and no time for thuriya adhistanam.  Every person is trapped in pravirthi of mithya vasthu.  The solution is to know the higher nature.  Just like the dream body and dream world is falsified by waking up, this body and this world should be falsified by knowing higher nature.  Swapna prabanja and jagradh prabanja are both mithya – as good as nonexistent.

There is a small different between waking up from dream world and waking up from this world.  When I wake up from dream world, dream world disappears.  When the spiritual waking up, the physical world does not disappear.  Previously I experienced dwaida prabanja and attributed reality to it but after gyanam I will continue to experience dwaida prabanja but will not attribute reality to it.  The difference is at the cognitive level.  This is similar to studying in school, we know that the sun does not rise at all, but it is the earth that is rotating.  We know that the sun rise is mithya; we don’t experience the earth rotating but we experience the stationery earth.  Similarly, vedanta does not remove dwaida experience but negates the attribute.  Because of this change in understanding, one will not develop raga dwesha towards a mithya vathu.  The attachments will be gone.  Once you understand the rope snake, it will not threaten you.  Mithya prabanja can’t generate attachment.  Running after mithya security will end and therefore mind withdraws from all struggles.

Mirage water not only does not quench the thirst, but because of running the thirst might increase.

Verse 80

The wise person does not seek mithya vasthu; he also gets security in the form of thuriyum; similar to a person discovering water right underneath.  He will no more run after mirage water; he gets real water which removes thirst.  A wise person withdraws from mithya struggle, but that withdrawal is permanent; there is no repetition.  He will have peace which is inexplicable.  That peace of mind is not describable.  That peace of mind is knowable only to wise people.  It is accessible only for wise people.

In the scriptures, moksha is often equated to Brahman, even though moksha is only a state of mind.  The reason is a wise person does not look up on his peaceful mind different than Brahman.  That moksha enjoyed by a wise person is none other than Brahman, the never the same the never undisturbed.  The worldly peace of mind is temporarily available.  The uniqueness of gyanam is that is ever same.  2 + 2 is always 4; it never changes; gyanam never changes.  Therefore, gyanam based peace will never change.  It is birthless; changeless and non-dual.

Verse 81

In this verse also Gowdapadha equates Moksha to Brahman.  Moksha is a state of mind as a result of gyanam.  That moksha is equated to Brahman because a gyani knows everything is not different from Brahman.  That moksha is none other than dharma or atma.  Usually dharma is either noble action or noble result.  Here it means atma.  Birthless indicates not connected with sthūla sareeram.  Dreamless means not connected with shukshma sareeram.  Sleepless indicates not connected with karana saareerram.  Once I cut off the three-fold relationship, I know that I am viswa taijasa pragya vilakshanam; therefore moksha is no different than thuriyuam.  Its nature is pure consciousness.  Viswa is associated with material sthula sareeram; taijasa is associated with material sukshama sareeram; pragya is associated with material karana sareeram; Thuriyum is not connected with any material sareeram but pure consciousness.  Consciousness is:

  • Not a part or product of body; not a product created by brain
    • Independent, invisible entity that pervades body
    • Not limited or confined by boundaries of body
    • Survives even after the body dies
    • Surviving consciousness can’t be recognized by us and is not available for transactions

Thuriyum is self-effulgent and is ever effulgent.  it is every evident.  This consciousness’ sentient not borrowed from anywhere, it is conscious by its very intrinsic nature.  Sentience of physical body is borrowed from sukshma sareeram.  Atma does not borrow consciousness, it is conscious by very nature.

Verse 82

The problem faced by every seeker:  The moment I wake up and know that I am waker, the dream world disappears and does not create a problem.  In the case of spiritual knowledge, by sravana manana nidhithyasanam, a seeker recognizes that I am thuriyum and everything else is mithya.  Even after waking up to this thuriya knowledge, this mithya prabanja does not disappear because of the power of prarabtha.  This is similar to fan rotating after being switched off.  Because of the continuation of vyavakara, you get hungry etc.  It is the nature of body that there is hunger, thirst, dirt.  Vyavakara can be reduced but it can’t be totally stopped.  Transactions and ashrama duties will continue.  Handling the body is common duty of gyani and there are other duties associated with ashrama.  If one of grahastha gyani, gragastha duties will continues.  One has to be extremely alert; every transaction will invoke the viswa and ego personality.  When the child is in front of me, I the parent is invoked.  Every transaction in sthula prabanja will invoke a viwsa property.  The invoked viswa may become prominent and it is possible that thuriya may become less prominent and go to the background.  When the thuriyum is forgotten, this person starts to behave as though he is an agyani.