Mandukya Upanishad, Class 58


Beginning from 14 to 21st verse, Gowdapdha is discussing theory of creation as per dwaidam.  They try to explain creation with the theory of karma.  In Advaidam also accepts theory of karma as a temporary steppingstone, but not ultimate truth.  Once the mind is ready to accept the final teaching, then creation is negated.  When the creation itself is negated, there is no reason to look for a cause of creation.  If a philosopher accepts theory of karma as reality, he is called dvaida philosopher.

Advaida philosopher’s inability to accept any of the six theories, reflects fundamental fallacy in dvaida system of philosophy.  Whenever people say I don’t believe in free will everything is predetermined, we should ask predetermined by whom?  If it is god predetermining different experiences for different people, then that god will be a partial god.  If it is world, the inert world can’t predetermine your experience.  You can’t say, it is random, in a world of fully of orderliness, there is no scope for accident.  Accident is an incident, whose cause we are not able to determine.  Predetermined by me with my own karma.  Then the question comes, what preceded that karma.  There will be no answer to this.  From this, we can conclude there is no creation.

Verse 20

Here the dwaidins, may give a suggestion.  We will try to explain creation with an example.  The creation of the world has to be explained like the tree creation from the seed.  The seed-tree example will not solve the problem, because the confusion regarding world creation is also there with regard to the seed-tree example also.  The six options elaborated will not work for seed and tree also.  To solve one problem, you are giving another problem.  This example as confusing as the original confusion regarding karma sareeram flow.

Verse 21

Whether you take karma-sareeram case or the seed-tree case, we have the inability and ignorance to comprehend the order – which one came first?  Tree or seed?  Karma or Sareeram?  According to vedanta, the very concept cause effect is ignorance.  You will get freedom only when you transcend the cause effect idea.  If not, you will be worried about the past (effect) or the future (cause).  Only when you negate cause effect theory, you will be free.  Get out of the obsession with cause and effect.  This whole concept is avidya and moksha is kariya karana vilakshanam.  If you have to transcend cause and effect, you have to transcend time.  Whether today is cause or effect is due to time.  Today is the cause of future and the effect of past.  If you really believe in cause and effect, then what is born?  If it is the origination, then tell me what is the cause of that origination?  How is it you are not able to talk about cause which proceeds an effect which originates according to you.

Verse 22

In this verse, Godwapadha concludes arguments against dwaidam.  You can’t explain the origination of creation; within creation, any simple object, you cannot talk about its origination.  You cannot even prove the origination of a pot.  Here Gowdapadha suggests six options:

  1. If you talk about a birth of a pot, I will ask 3 questions:
    1. What is the cause of the pot?  Is the pot born out of pot?
    2. Do you say that a pot is born out of a cloth (something else)?
    3. Does a pot come out of a mixture of these two – pot and cloth?

Gowdapatha says all three options are wrong and not possible.

  1. A pot cannot be born out of itself
  2. A pot cannot be born out of a cloth also.  If something cannot be born out of something else.
  3. There is no such thing called pot and cloth.

Therefore, you can never prove the creation of a pot.  How would you prove the creation of the universe?

Pot can be born out of clay.  Why can’t you accept this origination of pot?  Sankarachariyar answers this question.  You can never talk about origination of pot out of clay, because really speaking there is no such thing called pot.  Previously there was clay, there is clay now.  There is no substance called pot.  Scientifically, matter cannot be created.  You only introduced the name pot.  Since there is no substance called pot, there is only one substance called clay, now there are two words for clay.  But there is only one substance.  When there is only one substance, how can you talk about kariya karana sambandha?  The word kariya karana sambandhi or cause effect relationship is delusion; confusion; When the confusion or delusion is universal, it becomes normal.

No object can be born out of itself or something else or a mixture of two.

When you talk about a birth of a pot or desk or anything else, I will ask three question:

  1. Is an existent thing born?
  2. Is a nonexistent thing born?
  3. Or a mixture born?

Gowdapdha says none of the three will work.

  1. An existent thing originates is a logical fallacy because it already exists.
  2. A nonexistent thing originates is fallacy because the subject for this sentence is nonexistent thing, which means subject doesn’t exist.  Grammatically it doesn’t hold.
  3. A mixture is impossible because opposite things can’t be mixed.  Sat and asat can’t be mixed.  It is like mixing light and darkness.

Based on these six options our conclusion is there is no creation.

Law of conservation of matter:  matter can never be created.  Then where is the question of creation.  With this Gowdapadha concludes the creation based on the theory of karma,

Verse 23

This verse also is dvaida vada condemnation.  In this verse, he suggests some more argument and refutes them.

When we say sareeram is born out of karma, then the question is where the karma came from.  To avoid this problem, the options are:

  1. Can we take that the sareeram is born out of beginning-less karma? From anadhi karma sareeram is born
  2. You can say that from anadhi sareeram, karma is born.
  3. Both of them are simultaneously born.

Gowdapadha says all these three options are also illogical.

  1. From the beginning-less body, you cannot talk about creation of karma.  Karma can’t be born out of beginning less body.
  2. Body cannot be born out beginning-less karma
  3. Both can’t be together born by themselves without a cause.

Every cause is an effect.  Beginning-less cause is not logical because it says beginning-less cause produces effect.  For this there is no example or reasoning.  Every cause itself is an effect.  This, we see in everyday life.  For example, father is the cause of his son, but father is also effect of his parents.  So, the first two options are negated.

If you say that the sareeram and karma happened without a cause, then after attaining moksha also you don’t have any guarantee of its permanence.  With no cause, you may become a samsari.  Then why should I struggle to attain moksha?