Mandukya Upanishad, Class 41


While studying the nature of Brahman, we face a peculiar problem and that problem is some of the features of Brahman are contradictory to one another.  Main contradiction is in the description of Brahman as nirvikaram and jagat karanam.  The word nirivkaram means not subject to change; The same Upanishad also calls Brahman as upadhana karanam or material cause.  Any material cause produces an effect only by undergoing modification.  Examples:  Seed to tree, milk to curt, gold to chain.  If Brahman is nirvikaram he can’t be Jagat Karanam.  As both attributes are given by the same Veda and we can’t ignore this contradiction.  We have to accept and assimilate the contradiction.  If two opposite attributes remain in one and the same substance, then one must be real attribute and the other unreal; one is higher order and the other is lower order.  In dream we travel in train, while laying still in bed.  This is possible because travel belong pradhibasika sathyam and motionless belong to vyavakarika sathyam.  Nirvikaram is paramarthika sathyam and savikaram is vyavakarika sathyam.  Once you know that savikaram is mithya, then karanam status is mithya or Brahman is not real cause of the universe.  If the Brahman is unreal cause, the universe born out of unreal Brahman, then the universe is unreal. 

 This conclusion is supported by Upanishad by many sruthi vakyam:

  1. Na eha Nana:  It occrs in 2.1.11 Katha Upanishad.  “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 even now when you are able to see plurality.  The perceived plurality is not absolute reality.  Just like dream perceived plurality is not reality.  Solidified ignorance is matter.  From the body stand point, this world is real but thuriyum standpoint this world is mithya.
  2. Indhro Mayabihi:  Occurs in Brahadharanya Upanishad 2.5.19; Here the word Indra stands for Brahman.  The non-dual Brahman assumes the pluralistic for of the universe through Maya (only apparently).
  3. Ajaya Manaha Bahudha:  From Purusha Suktham 21st Mantra.  Brahman becomes pluralist world without producing.   Brahman creating plurality without creating plurality; it is as though produced but really not produced.  Conclusion:  The universe is seeming production there is no real universe.  We produce dream object with nidhra sakthi which includes avaruna sakthi (veiling power) and vikshebak sakthi (projecting power).  Avaruna sakthi which covers the fact that you are lying down on the bed; this is the avaruna sakthi of nidhra.  The viksheba sakthi (projecting power) activates all vasanas in your mind and apparent world is projected.  If we can do this, Brahman can create the universe.  In the case of Brahmna only viksheba sakthi alone functions.

Verse 25

4.  In the mantra 2 of Eesawasya Upanishad, the teacher criticizes and negates hiranya karbha upasana.  This is the criticism of Hiranya Karbha itself.  By criticizing and negating hiranya garbha is negation of the whole creation.  Hiranya Karbha is first born or first kariyam, if that is criticized, then it is as good as criticizing the whole universe.  It is criticized because it is not sathyam it is mithya and the Upanishad says don’t go after hiranya garbha the mithya vasthu, but go after the Sathyam brahman.  The first born hiranya garba is criticized, by that way the whole world is criticized.  The very fact the Upanishad negates the world, it is mithya.

5.  Brahadharanay Upanishad  Jadhanayeva jayathe….:  Jivatma is never born, even though we all have the misconception.  If jivatma is to be born, who can create the jivatma?  There is no creator of jivatma and therefore there is no jivatma creation; the creation we see is misconception or a second layer of dream.

Verse 26

Brahadharanya 3rd chapter 9 th section 26th mantra:  Here the Upanishad introduces the whole world as moortha (tangible) amortha (non-tangible like energy, mind, thought, emotion etc.) universe.  Sthula sarerream is moortha prabanja; sukshma sareeram amoortha prabanaja; The Upanishad says the entire moortha and amoortha prabanja is not the truth.  First nethi is negate moortha prabanja and second nethi is to negate amoortha prabanja.  Whatever you objectify is not atma; whatever you experience is not atma.  If not all this is not atma tell me how to experience atma?  Atma is not a thing to experience.  It is nothing but I, the experiencer, the consciousness which is experienced by me all the time.  Since it is not an object of experience, the Upanishad negates every object of experience.  When you negate all objects, what remains is consciousness principle which illumines the nothingness.  The witness of the blankness, the nothingness is the I the unobjectifiable consciousness.  Consciousness is not something you can look and contact.  It is ever evident similar to how a teacher knows a student is in the class the for the entire class.

Verse 27

From verse 24 to 26 Gowdapadha established that the world is unreal by scriptural analysis in six mantras (3 mantras in verse 24; 2 mantras in verse 25; one mantra in verse 26)  and proved that world is mithya.  From verse 27 to 30, Gowdapadha says even the logical analysis will lead to same conclusion.  You can never logically prove a creation; if you say there is a creation born, then you will have to say what is the cause.  You can’t talk about an effect without cause.