Mandukya Upanishad, Class 40


In verses 17th to 22nd, Gowdapadha is taking a diversion to criticize the dualistic system of philosophy and to establish advaidam.  His main aim is not to criticize dualistic system.  The main idea is that journey from bondage to moksha can’t be from dwaidam to dwaidam.  Because very dwaidam is the cause of bondage; wherever there is subject and object division, there is time and space.  Once there is time, space comes then there is mortality.

  1. Once there is mortality, fear and insecurity can’t be avoided.  As long as there is subject object division, there will be insecurity.  Therefore, freedom from bondage is freedom from insecurity.
  2. Wherever there is division, there will be raga dwesha and which is another form of bondage.
  3. Whenever there is division there is comparison there will be jealousy which is another form of bondage.

Moksha is:

  1. Not a journey from dwaidam to dwaidam.  Going to heaven or kailasa or vaikundam is travel from dwaidam to dwaidam
  2. Journey from dwaidam to advaidam.  Journey from bondage to liberation; Moksha is a journey from dwaidam to advaidam.  Because only in advaidam there is no division, no mortality, no raga dwesha or comparison or jealousy.  The best proof is our sleep where there is no question of raga dwesha etc.
  3. Journey from dwaidam to advaidam can never be a physical journey.  Because advaidam is not a physical place. It is a journey from ignorance to knowledge.  Because of ignorance I see a seemingly duality and I go to non-duality from waking up from seeming duality to real non duality.

Owning up advaidam is liberation.  If advaidam is either a destination reached in time or an event produced in time that advaidam will not be permanent.

Verse 23

Advaidam alone is liberation. That advaidam is beyond time and space, not subject to modification.  It must be advaidam in the past, it must be advaiam in the present and it must be advaidam in the future.  That advaidam is kariya karana vilakshanam and that advaidam does not produce anything including jiva shrishti and jagat shrishti.    He is scripturally negating the creation from verse 15.  After the diversion, he comes back to the original topic of shristi negation by sruthi.

Now Gowdapadha clarifies a doubt that may arise.  The doubt is if creation has not come out of Brahman, then why do the scriptures talk about creation often?  The upanishads does not say whether the scriptures accept the creation temporarily for the sake of teaching and discarded later or whether it is real creation which has to be accepted.  Is it apparent temporarily accepted or real creation accepted as creation?  Sruthi does not say whether it is sathya shrishti or mithya shrishti.  We advaidins are willing to accept the creation but we insist up on that it is an apparent creation like Swapna.  Dualistic people will say there is a real creation coming out of Brahman.  Sruthi does not support either one of us – dwaidam or advaidam; sathya shrishti or mithya shrishti.  One must study veda comprehensively, which is called mimamsa or samanvaya (impartial).  Six factors should be taken and finally arrive at whether creation is accepted by sruthi and you will come to conclusion sruthi never accepted creation.  Study the scriptures totally (mimamsa) and apply reasoning.  Unreasonable interpretation is not accepted.  Use sravanam and mananm and arrive at the conclusion and that alone should be accepted.

Verse 24

In these three verses (24 to 26) Gowdapadha shows how to analyze scriptures also known as sravanam or mimamsa or tatpariyam.  Sruthi does not explicitly say whether creation is real (sathyam) or unreal (Mithyam).  The word nischitham comes in 23 and that is explained in 24 to 26; the word yukthi yuktham comes in verse 23 and that is explaining in verses 27 to 30.

Swamiji’s example is from Tatiretya Upanishad’s panca kosa viveka, where the pranamaya is temporarily accepted as Brahman.  If you read further, the Upanisahd makes startling statement negating creation.

In Kaivalya Upanishad it talks about creation.  It says from Brahman the five elements are born.  The conclusion should be since five elements are born out of Brahman; we have in front of us five elements.  But the Upanisahds says therefore in front of us there is no creation at all.  It says there is no world in front of us.  So, the Upanishad concludes a real world did not come out of Brahamn and only apparently creation came out of Brahman and that apparent creation is as good as no creation.  Anything apparent is a perception born out of ignorance.  This is not a stray statement occurring only in Kaivalya Upanishad, it occurs in all upanishads.

Gowdabadhachariyar cites three quotations given in these verses

  1. “Na eha Nana”:  It occurs in 2.1.11 Katha Upanisahd.  “Neha nanasthi kinchana” is the full statement meaning there is no plurality at all; there is no subject-object-instrument plurality.  The upanishad is making the statement in present tense, indicating there is no plurality at all, even though you are able to see plurality now.  The perceived plurality is not absolute reality.  Just like dream perceived plurality is not reality.  Solidified ignorance is duality; matter; consciousness is the only fact,
  2. “Indhro Mayabihi”:  Occurs in Brahadharanya Upanishad 2.5.19
  3. “Ajaya Manaha Bahudha”:  From Purusha Suktham 21st Mantra
  4. “Nethi nethi” in Brahadharanya upanishad.