Mandukya Upanishad, Class 55


In the first five verses, Gowdapadha offered namaskara to guru and talked about the glory of teaching. The glory being it is beyond argument or vivaharam.   From the sixth verse to 10th, Gowdapadha summarizes the vedantic teaching.  The essence being we are always free, and moksha is not a goal to be achieved.  We are ever free brahman.  Neither the jivatma nor jagat born out of Brahman.  Therefore, we need not become free.  Since we are all ever free, what is required is owning up of this fact.  If it is an event in future, then it will be temporary because it is in time and space and it will be temporary.  Our problem is the delusion born out of ignorance.  The freedom we require is freedom from the delusion.  Because our own conditioning we are away from our own nature and what is required is deconditioning.

Verse 11

From the 11th verse onwards Gowdapadha negates other systems of philosophy.

  • Asthika, accepting vedas
    • Sankya Dharshanam
    • Gyaya dharshanam
  • Nasthika, not accepting vedas

Sankya and Gyaya philosphies propose different theories of creation; vedanta says there is no creation at all.  these two philosophies quarrel among themselves and mutually cancel each other.  Sankya dharshanam is a powerful philosophy and requires negation.  In the chapter 2 of Baghawad Gita, vedanta is called sankya philosophy.  This is a philosophy established by Kapila muni (not the one from Baghawatham).  The verses 11, 12 and 13 negate sankya philosophy.  Gowdapadha does not negate gyaya philosophy because it is fundamentally flawed:  A nonexistent thing originated.  This can be dismissed due to the two defects:

  1. Grammatical:  When you say nonexistent thing originated, originate is the verb and nonexistent is the subject which means there is no subject.  With no subject, it does not grammatically correct
  2. Fundamental:  Origination of nonexistent thing is against the law of conservation which says matter cannot be created or destroyed.  Energy also cannot be created or destroyed.  So, a fresh thing cannot be created.

Sankya philosophy says a nonexistent effect can never originate therefore I do not propose a production of pot, tree etc.  Sankya says no new matter is created when a pot is produced, but before the production of pot, the pot was not in pot form; it was in some other form.   Pot before production existed in some other form – in lump form; curd existed in the form of milk; tree existed in the form of seed; Therefore, a karanam is that which is kariyam itself in some other form.  When you want to produce kariyam, the karanam itself is modified into a new shape or kariyam.  Production is the process of converting something from karana avastha to kariya avastha.  When you bring about this conversion, certain faculties which were there in dormant form in karana avastha will become manifested in kariya avastha.  Every production is a transformation; e.g. gold into ring; tree from seed; etc.  Sankya philosophers accept karnam and kariyam are essentially one and the same substance; the difference is only in the state or avasta or configuration.  Gold and Ring, Milk and curd contain the same matter the difference is only configuration.  Ice, water and vapor are all the same H2O.  The difference is the state – solid, liquid and vapor.  Vedanta agrees with this principle within limited scope.  This theory will be in trouble when you apply to the cosmos. First principle is karanam equals kariyam

The next principles is cause of the universe is called prakrithi or pradhanam.  This karanam is nithyam.  This karnam, prakrithi (cause) is nithyam

The third principle is the unvierse is born out of prakrithi and therefore it is called prabajanja is a product or kairyam.  Therefore the kariyam is prabanja;  Prabanja is anithyam, subject to beginning and end.  Karanam is prakrithi and kariyam is prabanja.

Four defects or doshas of sankya philosophy:

  1. Principle number 1 karanam =Kariyam
  2. Karanam = prakrith = nithya
  3. Kariyam = prabanna = anithyam.

According to principles 2 karanam is nithyam; according to pricniples 1 karanam = kariyam; therefore, kariyam must also be nithyam; but the third principles says kariyam is anithyam.  This is the first defect.

Principle number 1 karnam =  kariyam; principle 3 says kariyam is anithyam; therefore karnam must also be anithyam; but principle 2 says karanam is nithyam.  This is the second defect.   These two fallacies are mentioned in vereses 11 and 12.

Verse 12

Second line of this verse is same as the verse 11.

If you join principle 1 and 2, it will contradict third principle.  If you equate prkarthi with prbanja and say one is nithyam and another is anithyam; either you must say both are nithyam or both are anithyam.

Verse 13

One more principle of sankya philosopy:  They arrive at prakrithi and its faculty with the help of reasoning.  The prakrithi which is pradhanam or moola prakrithi or the original cause of the unvierse.  That prakrithi is not perceptible.  I arrived at prakrithi with anumana pramadhanam and the other name is anumanam.

From prakthyasha we experience smoke and fire and we come to know that wherever there is smoke there is fire, From that we  got the invariable co-existence of smoke and fire.  If you see smoke alone in one place, you can conclude there is fire.  This is inference arrived at by co-existence.  Through inference Sankya philosopher talks about prakrithi and says prakrithi is the karanam for whole universe and it is nithyam.  Vedantin says the perceptual data from our experience is that every cause we always see itself is a product.  Parents are products of their cause.  Seed is a product, but it is the cause of tree.  Therefore, it is anithyam.  Whatever is cause is anithyam.  If go by that reasoning, that all karnams are anithyam, prakrithi is karanam it should be anithyam.  Proper inference is prakrithi is anithya and karanam.  Sankya does not have any anumanam to show an eternal karanam.  All data prove that all karanam are anithyam.  That is why god will become non eternal if god is a cause.