Mandukya Upanishad Class 6


Mantra # 5:

That is the state of deep sleep wherein the sleeper does not desire any objects nor does he see any dream. The third quarter (pada) is the “Prajna” whose sphere is deep sleep, in whom all (experiences) become unified or undifferentiated, who is verily a homogeneous mass of Consciousness entire, who is full of bliss, who is indeed an enjoyer of bliss and who is the very gateway for projection of consciousness into other two planes of Consciousness-the dream and the waking.

Swamiji said the four padas are being explained from mantra # 3. First pada is the sthula atma where  “I”, Chaitanyam, am connected with Sthula nama rupa. When I am connected with one sthula nama rupa I am vishwa sthula atma. When I am connected with samashti, I am called Samashti Sthula atma.

In second pada or mantra the sukshma atma has both micro and macro aspects to it. Thus, I have Vyashti and samashti aspects in dream state. Vyashti is Taijasa and samashti is Hiranyagarbha.

In the fifth mantra we have come to karana atma. Here I am in shushupti avastha associated with karana nama rupas, all in potential form. Individual nama rupa are called Pragya karana atma. All nama rupa’s in potential form are called anataryami karana atma. In jagrat and svapna avastha micro and macrocosm are visibly different while in sushupti I can’t differentiate between Vyashti and samashti; however, differences do exist. Pragya and anatharyami are physically visible but theoretically we should know that they are different. Antharyami is further described in mantra # 6. Pragya is described in mantra # 5.

Sushupti: Defining sushupti: here the external world is not experienced nor is an internal world. It does not mean they are non- existent; it means they exist in potential form. I am Consciousness with potential internal and external worlds. With potential microcosmic world and macrocosmic world, this state is also known as Avyakta.

Thus, third pada is obtained in sushupti avastha.

In Vyashti karana atma, called Pragya, in this state, all objects of world have become an undifferentiated mass. Like wax dolls, if you melt them, they become one undifferentiated mass or Eki Rupa.

Here their particular knowledge also becomes undifferentiated. We discussed example of the clip and watch’s knowledge. It is knowledge of objects and their congnition. In Sushupti all objects become undifferentiated, as do their cognitions. This is Eki Bhuta. Undifferentiated cognizance is called Pragyana Ghana or merger of particular knowledge such as knowledge of Sanskrit and English takes place.

Till this we saw in last class.

In sushupti, this Pragya is saturated with happiness or ananda. Why is he full of ananda?

Individual nama rupa that limits me has resolved. What is the limitation? It is caused by name and form. In Sushupti this limitation is gone. I am no more localized; no more individuality exists. When I say, I am located in Madras; nama and rupa cause it. This localization is now gone in sushupti. So, now, in sushupti, I am limitless. Limit is now dormant, so I am experiencing anantatvam or limitless-ness or ananda. Limitation is dukham. Chandogya Upanishad says limitation is dukham while limitless-ness is anandam.

In the waking state, for example, two objects like clip and watch are present and the knowledge associated with each is also present. Many different objects and the corresponding different cognitions are present in the waking state. In sleep, both objects and the corresponding distinct knowledge are resolved into one undifferentiated mass. When the objects and experiences are resolved, our problems are also resolved. Every object produces a variety of disturbances, like (attachment), dislike (aversion), desire, anger, greed, delusion, and jealousy. These are products of objects and their knowledge present in the dual world. Even fear is born out of the experience of duality. The unmanifest state, which is deep sleep, is called anandamaya, saturated with ananda and the sleeper experiences the ananda also. We love sleep because we love ananda.

This temporary limitless-ness in Sushupti is called anandamaya and not ananda swarupa. Anandamaya is a temporary ananda while ananda swarupam is an eternal state. It is an avastha for a short period of time; as this ananda goes away the moment I wake up. It is a localized and perishable ananda; hence called anandamaya.

Individuality has divisions in jagrat and svapna avastha in form of subject/object duality or subject/object/instrument triad. Both divisions are experienced in jagrat and svapna avasthas.  This subject and object duality, results in dvaitam (two fold division) and Triputi (three fold division). This is experienced in jagrat and svapna avasthas as Savikalpa avastha. In this state of division and duality known as savikalpaka avastha Raga, Dvesha etc., all exist, as it is Samsara.

In sushupti, the nirvikalpika avastha or sushupti avastha, is a state of divisionless-ness. The divisionless-ness state is common to both Sushupti and Samadhi. Sitting in this state (nirvikalpika) is Samadhi; Lying in this state is Sushupti.

In divisionless state there is no Raga or Dvesha. But this nirvikalpika avastha is unfortunately a temporary state; hence ananda is also temporary and hence called anandamaya.

Vedanta does not emphasize nirvikalpika avastha; it emphasizes Nirvikalpika Gyanam. It wishes nirvikalpika state at all times. Thus a Yogi is after avastha while a Vedantin is after the Gyanam, “I am nirvikalpikam”. Sushupti is nirvikalpika avastha.

This pragya is able to register the experience in Karana shariram since his mind is in a resolved state. The shariram can register the shushupti experience, hence called ananda bhut or experiencer of ananda.

It should be noted that in waking state all our experiences are experienced through the mind. In waking state, I know I am experiencing. Thus, I am aware that I am listening and registering the teaching of this Upanishad.

Where as in Sushupti our experience is through karana shariram and I am not aware that I am asleep or am experiencing ananda because registration of sleep is done through Shariram.

How do I know registration occurs in karana shariram? You know this after waking up, when you say,” I slept well”. In waking, you can say it in present tense, when the registration occurs through the mind, the sukhsma shariram. In sushupti you always state in past tense.

The word Pragya has two meanings.

First, one who is totally ignorant of everything as all his specific knowledge is dormant. As an individual sleeping, at that time, I am totally ignorant.

Second: From total nama rupa as Antaryami, from Samashti angle, it means, I am Sarvagyaha or Ishwara

So, now we take up Vyashti meaning first.

A waker can never become a dreamer directly; but only by going through the sleep state can he become a dreamer. Thus, waker goes to sleep and in sleep he dreams.

Dreamer also can’t become waker. He has to be sleeper (dreamless) and then become a Waker. There is no direct link between dreamer and waker; the link is only through the sleeper.

Through the sleep state alone, we go to the other two states: waking – sleep – dream –sleep – waking.

The Upanishad does not give the logic behind this so we have to supply it.

In Jagrat avastha I am identified with a physical body.

In Svapna avastha I am identified with svapna physical body.

In jagrat, body is lying in bed while in svapna I have another physical body that moves, travels etc.

Physical bodies used in svapna and jagrat avasthas are different. Both bodies can’t be used simultaneously. One has to leave svapna sharira so that one can identify with jagrat shariram.

In between them, there must be a small moment that identifies with both jagrat shariram and svapna shariram; thus, one disidentifies with waking body and identifies with dream body and the gap between them is sushupti and everyone has to go through it.

Even when we seem to have woken up suddenly and directly from the dream state, there is a sleep state of very short duration intervening that we are unable to recognize. The Upanishad mentions this because to go from one state to another, we have to drop our identification with one body and develop identification with the other body. Switching from the waker’s body to the dreamer’s body requires a small gap and that gap is called the deep sleep state. The sleeper is the link between the waker and the dreamer. Prajna is the link between Vishva and Taijasa.  Atma is Prajna when associated with the potential body, causal body, which is saturated with happiness.

Because it happens quickly, you don’t feel the intermediary stage. But this intermediary stage exists and it is called Prajna or Sushupti avastha. Since it is intermediary state it is also called mukham in the mantra. Prajna is the door between Vishwa and Taijasa. I am called Taijasa and when associated with the dream body. Prajna is the third pada from Vyashti point of view.

Mantra # 6:

This is the Lord of all, this is the knower of all, this is the inner controller, this is the source of all. And this is that from which all things originate and in which they finally dissolve themselves.

The same consciousness with potential nama and rupa is prajna. The same consciousness with Total nama rupas in potential form is called anataryami. From antaryami all creations come out. Thus, total jagrat and total svapna avastha’s both rise from antaryami. Hence it is called Karana atma or sarveshavara. So, Ishwara is name of Consciousness; one with total name and form; just like Ocean is total name of water. There is no object called Ocean. But any water is also not Ocean. Any water under certain conditions of nama and rupa sambandha is called Ocean. In its Samashti rupam, water is called Ocean.

Similarly, there is no substance called Ishwara. Consciousness is called Ishwara only under the condition of potential nama and rupa.

Ishwara is able to create the whole creation. He is omniscient, omnipotent and antaryami or Omni-present. He is Sarvasya Yoni. This third pada is the material cause of whole creation. He is the cause of manifestation of nama and rupa. Citing an example, a lump of clay, spherical in form, holds all geometrical forms such as cube, ellipse etc. The spherical form holds all forms. All forms are in dormant state while spherical form is the material cause of all other forms. Similarly, Ishwara is material cause of all specific physical forms.

Now, Yoni, meaning Upadana karanam, what is it? It is srishti, sthiti and laya karanam. From clay all forms of earthenware come out; they also merge back into same clay. Similarly waves arise and merge back into ocean. Thus, Srishti, Sthiti and Laya karanam are all addressed in the third pada, Yoni. So, third pada is Upadana karanam. Upadana karanam of what?

First and second pada’s are karya (product) pada’s.

Third pada is Karanam.

Fourth pada is karya karana vilakshanam; meaning it is beyond cause and effect; beyond time; or Turiyam, the absolute. I am this Turiyam, the timeless consciousness.

Now, Karanam exists in time as cause modified to become effect, hence it is upadana karanam.

If third pada is Upadana karanam then what is nimitha karanam?

A desk needs wood to create as a material cause while it also needs a carpenter as the intelligent cause to create. It requires both intelligent cause and material cause. In the rare case of a spider, it alone is both the intelligent cause and material cause of the web. Thus third pada is Intelligent cause as well by using the expression Sarvagyaha or omniscient one.

So third pada is omniscient one. It has the knowledge and skill required to create. Both together are nimitha karanam. I alone am this Atma, Pragya and Ishwara. So, Ishwara is a vesham (disguise) appearing as Lord with nama and rupa. To assimilate this knowledge, you must know, “ You”. “You” put on six veshams. They are:

Vishva and Virat

Taijasa and Hiranyagarbha

Prajna and Ishvara

I myself am, however, without any Vesham.

Shankaracharya says, I am the Consciousness from which all three pairs arise. I am that non-dual consciousness.

What is that Consciousness without any nama rupa?

Here, now Gaudapada introduces his commentary as a break from mantras.

Take Away:

In jagrat, body is lying in bed while in svapna I have another physical body that moves, travels etc.

Physical bodies used in svapna and jagrat avasthas are different.

Switching from the waker’s body to the dreamer’s body requires a small gap and that gap is called the deep sleep state. The sleeper is the link between the waker and the dreamer.

With Best Wishes,

Ram Ramaswamy