Mandukya Upanishad, Class 57


Gowdapadha refuted Sankya theory of creation from verses 11 to 13.  From 14 to 23rd verse he is refuting the theory of creation by dwaida philosophers who believe in a real creation.  They explain the creation with the karma theory.  They explain that karma is the cause for sareeram (punya pavam palam or dharma adharma palam); sareeram is responsible for karma.  Gowdapadha suggest six possibilities and refutes everyone them and concludes that there is no legitimate theory of creation.

  1. Karma as the original fundamental cause of creation.  This is not possible because there is no karma without a sareeram; Baghawan can’t give karma.
  2. Sareeram is the original cause.  A body can’t exist without preceding karma.  Bagawan can’t determine the type of the body.  Body can’t accidentally come.
  3. Both karma and sareeram originate simultaneously.  This is not possible because they can’t be mutually cause and effect; they will require some other cause.
  4. Karma and sareeram being mutually cause and effect.  Karma produces sareeream; sareeram produces karma; this is not possible because cause exist previous to effect; effect has to be later.  Later one can never be cause of the previous one.
  5. Karma sareeram chain.  Karma producing sareeram; sareeram producing karma; karma producing next sareeram; next sareeram prodcuing next karma.  This will not solve the problem because which one is the first in this link? Karma or sarreram.  Which one came first?
  6. Karma sareeram chain is anadhi.  There is no first one in this beginningless chain.
    1. The adjective qualifies karma or sareeram or the chain?  Which one is beginning-less?  Karma can’t be beginningless because it starts with sareeram;  Sareeram can’t be beginningless because it always start with karma.  You can’t attribute the adjective to the chain because chain is a concept and not an object.  You can’t call the concept of chain as anadhi.  Other than the karma and sareeram, there is no substance.  Chain is not a substance.
    2. If there is a beginning less chain of karma sareeram, does that beginning less chain have an end or not?  If there is no beginning or end, then there will be no moksha.  Puranabi jananam puranabi maranam will endlessly continue and there will be no possibility of moksha.
    3. If there is no beginning but there is an end, then the end of the chain will be the beginning of moksha.  Whatever has a beginning will have an end.  Moksha will be subject to beginning and end; moksha will be temporary.

Therefore, the theory of karma creation can’t be logically explained.  Therefore, there is no creation.  There was Brahman, there is Brahman and there will be Brahman.

If you say there is no creation at all, then why are you talking about creation in scriptures – tatwa bodha and all the Upanishads?  We don’t accept creation at all, but a student in the beginning is not prepared to absorb the teaching of no creation.  This is temporary acceptance of creation.  Creation is not the real teaching but only a stepping stone.

14th verse considers options 1 and 2.  Karma or sareeram can’t be beginning-less cause.  For those dwaida philosophers, sareeram is born out of karma; karma is the cause of sareeram; they also say  sareeram is the cause of karma; but karma can’t be beginning less cause; sareeram also can’t be beginning less cause; both of them are born out of the other.

Verse 15

This verse considers fourth option above.  Karma and sareeram are mutually produced.  If cause produces the effect, how can the effect can produce the cause.  Effect is later; cause is former.  Later can never produce former.  If karma and sareeram are mutually produced, then there will be a possibility of a son producing the father.

Verse 16

This verse considers third option above.  Karma and sareeram originate simultaneously, then they will never have cause effect relationship.  In an animal when two horns are simultaneously produced, one horn can’t be the cause of the other.  Similarly, karma and sareeram can’t be born simultaneously.  They will require some other cause for their birth.   If you say they were born one after another, then which one is born first?

Verse 17

This is consolidation arguments for the first four options.  Anadhi karma can’t be cause of creation because any karma has to be produced by a sareeram.  You can’t say Bagawan gave a initial bundle of karma, because if Bagawan gives different bundles of karma, Bagawan will be partial.  If he gives uniform karma, all will be males or females only and there won’t be a next generation.  If he makes some male and some female, then Bagawan is partial.  Bagawan and world can’t give karma.  If Jiva has to produce karma, then sareeram is required.  Karma can’t  be begining-less karma.  If beginning-less karma is not logicaly proved, how can that beginning-less karma produce jiva or the universe?  It is not possible.

Verse 18

Fifth option of cause effect chain is considered.  Body 1 produces Karma 1; karma 1 produces body 2; body 2 produces karma 2; and so on.  This does not answer the first member of the chain.  Is it karma or sareeram?  Where does the chain begin?

Gowdapadha does not discuss the sixth option here (it is discussed in verse 30).  Sankarachariya discusses the sixth option.  The sixth option is chain is anadhi.

  1. There is no question of parambara; it is only a concept;  beginning less parabamaba does not exist.
  2. If there is no end for prambara, then there is no moksha.
  3. If there is an end for parambara, then that will be the beginning of moksha which will have an ending
  4. If there is moksha with a beginning and an end, how do you explain moksha attained through knowledge?  If knowledge gives moksha, then moksha has a beginning.  But we do not say gyanam produces moksha; moksha is never produced.  Gyanam only reveals the fact that I am ever free.  Gyanam removes the misconception that I am ever bound.  Gyanam does not produce moksha.

Verse 19

If you say there is a creation, what is the cause?  If you give an answer, that karma or sareeram is karanam, you will not be able to talk about the order of cause and effect.