Author Topic: Important Couplets From Mandukya Upanishad  (Read 3487 times)


  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3557
    • View Profile
Important Couplets From Mandukya Upanishad
« on: November 24, 2010, 02:01:30 PM »
Translated by Vidyavachaspati V. Panoli

2. All this is certainly Brahman. This Self is Brahman. This Self, as such, is possessed of four quarters.

3. (The Self) seated in the waking state and called Vaisvanara who, possessed of the consciousness of the exterior, and seven limbs and nineteen mouths, enjoys the gross objects, is the first quarter.

4. (The Self) seated in the state of dream and called Taijasa who, possessed of the consciousness of the interior, and seven limbs and nineteen mouths, enjoys the subtle objects, is the second quarter.

5. Where the sleeper desires not a thing of enjoyment and sees not any dream, that state is deep sleep. (The Self) seated in the state of deep sleep and called Prajna, in whom everything is unified, who is dense with consciousness, who is full of bliss, who is certainly the enjoyer of bliss, and who is the door to the knowledge (of the preceding two states), is the third quarter.

7. The Fourth is thought of as that which is not conscious of the internal world, nor conscious of the external world, nor conscious of both the worlds, nor dense with consciousness, nor simple consciousness, nor unconsciousness, which is unseen, actionless, incomprehensible, uninferable, unthinkable, indescribable, whose proof consists in the identity of the Self (in all states), in which all phenomena come to a cessation, and which is unchanging, auspicious, and non-dual. That is the Self; that is to be known.



1. I bow to that Brahman who pervades the entire world by a diffusion of the rays of knowledge that pervade all things that are moving and unmoving, who after having enjoyed (in the waking state) all objects of enjoyment that are gross, and who again, after having drunk (in the state of dream) all objects born of desire and illumined by the intellect, reposes while experiencing bliss Himself and making us all enjoy by (His own) Maya, and who, through an attribution of Maya, is the fourth in number, and is supreme, immortal and unborn.

I-7. Those who think of creation hold it as the manifestation of God's power; while others regard creation as same as dream and illusion.

I-8. Creation is the mere will of the Lord, say those who thought out well the (process of) creation, but those who rely upon time hold that the birth of beings is from time.

I-15. Dream belongs to him who perceives wrongly and sleep to him who knows not Reality. When the false notion of these two comes to an end, the state of Turiya is attained.


II-4. There is the unreality of the objects even in the waking state. Just as they are unreal in dream, so also are they unreal in the waking state. the objects (in dream) differ owing to the location within the body owing to the spatial limitation.

II-5. The wise say that the states of waking and dream are same, in view of the similarity of the objects (seen in both the states) and in view of the well-known ground of inference.

II-11. If the objects of both the states be unreal, who comprehends all these and who again imagines them?

II-12. The self-luminous Self, by Its own Maya imagines Itself by Itself and It alone cognises all objects. This is a settled fact of the Vedanta-texts.

II-17. Just as a rope, the nature of which is not known in the dark, is imagined to be things such as a snake, a water-line, etc., so too is the Self imagined (as various things).

II-31. Just as dream and magic, as well as a city in the sky, are seen (to be unreal), so too, is this universe seen (to be unreal) from the Vedanta-texts by the wise.

II-32. There is no dissolution, no origination, none in bondage, none possessed of the means of liberation, none desirous of liberation, and none liberated. This is the ultimate truth.

II-37. The ascetic should be free from praise and salutation and also from rituals. The body and the Self should be his support and he should depend upon what chance brings.


III-38. Where there is no thought whatever, there is no acceptance or rejection. Then knowledge, rooted in the Self, attains the state of birthlessness and sameness.

III-40. For all the Yogis, fearlessness, cessation of misery, awareness and everlasting peace, depend upon the control of their mind.

III-44. The mind that is in deep sleep should be awakened and the mind that is distracted should be brought back to tranquillity again. One should know the mind as passion-tinged, and should not disturb it when it has attained the state of equillibrium.


IV-39. Having seen unreal things in the waking state, one, deeply impressed, sees those very things in dream. Likewise, having seen unreal objects in dream, one does not see them when awake.

IV-92. All souls are, by nature, illumined from the very beginning, and their characteristics are well ascertained. He, for whom there is thus the freedom from want of further acquisition of knowledge, is considered to be fit for immortality.

IV-94. There cannot ever be any purification for those who always tread the path of duality. They follow the path of difference, and speak of diversity and are, therefore, considered to be mean.

IV-99. The knowledge of the one who is enlightened and all-pervasive, does not enter into objects. And so the souls also do not enter into objects. This fact was not mentioned by the Buddha.



  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 48206
    • View Profile
Re: Important Couplets From Mandukya Upanishad
« Reply #1 on: November 25, 2010, 08:48:06 AM »

Dear prasanth,

Maandukya Upanishad is a jewel among the upanishads.  Gaudapada's Karika are the gems studded on that jewel.  Gaudapada reaches the summit of advaitic glory with his beautiful Karika and speaks about Ajata.

Karika starts after 6 slokas from the upanishad.  He starts it as
Agama Prakarana that describes the avastathrya.  The seventh
sloka of the Upanishad in interlaced after 9 verses of Agama Prakarana.  The 8th, 9th, 10th and 11th  slokas of Upanishad {which describes Omkara} are again interposed after the 18th verse of Agama Prakarana.  The 12th sloka of upanishad, which is the
crowning glory - comes after 23rd verse of Agama Prakarana.

The 12th sloka of upanishad:

maatraschaturtho'vyavahaaryah prapanchopasamah sivo'
dvaita evamomkaara aatmaiva samvisatyaatanaa'tmaanam]ya evam veda ||

That which has no parts, [soundless], incomprehensible
[through the aid of senses], the cessation of all phenomna,
all bliss, and non dual Aum, is the fourth and verily the same
as the Atman.  He who knows this, merges his self in the Self.

This is Amatra, no parts, beyond the three quarters of AUM.
Prapancha  refers to this phenomenal world, this diversity.
When you attain Turiya, then so far as you are concerned, this
phenomenal world is only an illusion.  It comes to an end, upasama. Evam omkara aatmaiva.  AUM is the Atman, the Self.  He merges entirely.  One goes within and withdraw into Self and finds that this world has no separate existence.

Agama Prakarana ends with 28 verses.  And the Karika then flows
through a seamless pipe, in three other prakaranas, which is
Gaudapada's own exposition of Ajata Vada.

Arunachala Siva.       


  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 48206
    • View Profile
Re: Important Couplets From Mandukya Upanishad
« Reply #2 on: November 25, 2010, 09:25:10 AM »

Vaitathya Prakaranam consists of 38 verses.  It is devoted to proving that our perception of things in a distortion of reality. Tathyam means reality, and Vaitathya means the opposite of reality  -- that is, unreality.  Here Gaudapada is trying to show that what we think is real is not real  We say that the world is real, and we really believe it to be so.  Why?  Because we see it, we feel it, we smell it, we touch it and we taste it.  All are through five senses.  To us what we experience through the sensory perception is only real.

Gaudapada points out how wrong we are.  In sushupti - deep sleep - where are we?  We "experience" Anandam.  So the Anandam or real bliss is in sleep, where we do not taste, smell, see or touch anything.  There is no body, no mind in sleep.  But Anandam is there. This is Reality. That is why Gaudpada, Sri Sankara and Sri Bhagavan say in chorus that the Reality is within, the Astithvam, I am ness is in deep sleep.  This is nitya, eternal.  This should be realized from within and not through senses.    But this must not stop in deep sleep experience alone, which is ignorance, where
there is only a glimpse of self.  This should be experienced in wakeful state.  The world, mind and ego, in short space and time,  should disappear in our wakeful state and this is self realization.  Gaudpada uses avasthathrayam, the states of wakefulness, dream and deep sleep to drive home the idea.  This is also Sri Bhagavan's approach.             

Sri Bhagavan uses the sushupti example in more than 90 conversations in Talks.  Even the individual soul, jiva is an
imagination.  Jiva is suksuma sarira, the mind is condensed body.  Since the mind is unreal, the jiva is also unreal.  Sri Bhagavan
says in Who am I?:

Question 4:

When will the realization of the Self be gained?

When the world which is what-is-seen has been removed, there will be realization of the Self which is the Seer.

Question 16:

What is the nature of the Swarupam?

What exists in truth [yathartham] is the Self [swarupam] alone.  The world, the jiva and God are all appearances in it.....           


  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 48206
    • View Profile
Re: Important Couplets From Mandukya Upanishad
« Reply #3 on: November 25, 2010, 09:45:56 AM »

Verse 16 of Vaithathya Prakaranam:

Jivam kalpayate purvam tato bhaavaan prthagvidhaan |
Baahyaanaadhyaatmikaamscaiva yathavidyastathasmrith ||

What does this jiva, which is itself unreal do?  It imagines.
It feels and says: I am the doer, I am the enjoyer [I am happy
and I am unhappy etc.,].  Next external objects such as sound,
sight are imagined - also life and other things internally.  The individual concerned perceives things as he imagines them.  If
the Self which is the one without a second, sprouts out as an
individual self - which is  mind,  then he becomes the doer and enjoyer.  Kartrutvam and Bhogatvam follow.  There is no end
to the imaginations of this self [mind].  Some of these things
become the cause and some of the things become the effect.  The effect follows the cause, and the cause follows the effect, ad infinitum, ad nauseum.... He starts seeing the rope as snake.

Verse 19 of Vaithathya Prakaranam says that it is all due to Maya,
The Self is seen as many.  Maya is the unique power of the Self.
It is Sakti sprouting from Sivam.  Maya or the mind is a great magician.  It is bewitched itself by that power.

Verse 30 of Vaithathya Prakaranam:

Etaireso' prthaghaavaih prthagveti laksithah |
Evam yo veda tattvena kalpayet so' visanktiah ||

The Self is the ground on which all illusory things rest.  It is
prana manifesting itself as all we see around us.  Ignorant people think prana and its manifestations are separate.  Discriminating people know that prana is a modification of the Self.  When you know this unity of existence, you are firmly rooted in your Self
and you are free from fear.  Then, when this happens, you can
claim that you know the message of the Vedas.  The snake has no independent existence of the rope. Similarly the world has no existence independent of the Self. The Self is the support on whcih the whole universe rests.  The universe cannot exist separately.
The wise man knows that the world is nothing but a manifestation
of the Self.

One who realizes this purport of Vedas [Vedanta] realizes the
Self.  He is the self realized Jnani.

Sri Bhagavan Ramana says in Verse 99 of Sri Arunachala
Akshara Mana Maalai:

Grant me the essence of the Vedas, which shine in Vedanta,
one without a second, Oh, Arunachala!

Arunachala Siva.   


  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 48206
    • View Profile
Re: Important Couplets From Mandukya Upanishad
« Reply #4 on: November 25, 2010, 09:56:11 AM »

Verse 32 sums up the whole experience:

Na nirodho na chotpattirna baddho na cha saadhakah |
Na mumukshurna vai mukta ityesaa paramaarthataa ||

There is no death,  no birth.  No one is in worldly bondage,
no one is trying to get liberation.  No one is seeking it. And
no one is liberated either.  This is the Supreme Truth.

Sri Bhagavan has mentioned this in a particular conversation.
[the Power of the Presence, Part I - David Godman].

This is Ajata, the experience of non creation.  When one is
established in one's true nature, one knows the truth of Ajata,
by direct experience,  Such a one is in Sahaja Samadhi.  He is
Sahaja Nishta, the one who is established ever in the natural
state of the Self. 

Muruganar says:

Though Guru Ramana, who appeared as God incarnate, expounds
various doctrines, depending on the beliefs of he devotees who
resorted to His feet, what we have heard Him say in private, as His own true experience, is only Ajata.

Sri Bhagavan also says this in Verse 39 of Sad Darsanam.

Arunachala Siva.         


  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 48206
    • View Profile
Re: Important Couplets From Mandukya Upanishad
« Reply #5 on: November 25, 2010, 12:03:23 PM »

The Chapter Advaita Prakaranam, further establishes the non
duality of the Self.

The Self alone is the only reality.  The individual self [jiva]
has also come from the Self.  Hence if he takes up worshipping,
he is slave to a concept that there is a worshipper and a worshipped, and this is duality. How can a person who is already the Brahman, can try to attain Brahman?  It is like the foolish act of running fast to stay in the same place.  He is a fool.  Brahman is everywhere present, without any attributes.  Instead of worshipping something inferior to Brahman, [the god with form], it is an illusion.  It is ignorance.  What is to be done is self inquiry, to find out his real nature that is Brahman.

Such a worshipper thinks that he is a pot and there is akasa inside it. What is required is not to search for the space inside, but to
break the pot and realize that he is akasa and he is not a pot.
The pot is the superimposition.  Like snake in a rope.  The pot does not contain the space, akasa.  In fact, akasa contains everything including the pot.  The removal of pot is nothing but removal of
objective consciousness.    The superimpositon of a body/mind
complex has to be eschewed.

We see the sky and it looks cloudy with smoke, dust and other things.  Similarly the Self appears blemished to ignorant people,
with qualities of greed, anger, misery, happiness and so on.  But the Self is not affected by these, since the Self is ever pure, and
blemishless.  Only the mind/body causes dirt, dust and smoke.

The bodies themselves are products of ignorance. They are like
dream bodies and are not real.  Whether they are superior or inferior, they are all attributes only.  Since the jiva himself is unreal, all the five sheaths are unreal. 

Arunachala Siva.           


  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 48206
    • View Profile
Re: Important Couplets From Mandukya Upanishad
« Reply #6 on: November 27, 2010, 07:09:15 AM »

Dear prasanth,

Gaudapada Karika has a got specific design.  The first chapter
Agama Prakarana explains the meaning of AUM and also describes
the three states of wakefulness, dream and sleep and indicates
the fourth state of a Jnani, called turiya or ati-jagrat.  The second
chapter Vaitathya Prakaranam discusses the unreality of the external
world and in doing so, establishes the truth of non duality. In the
third chapter Advaita Prakaranam, Gaudpada proves with the help
of scriptures and reasoning and finally declares that non duality
is the Supreme Truth.

The fourther chapter Alatashanti Prakaranam gives its opposing views on the dualists, nihilists and other such opponents and then
firmly establishes, using logic together with all the evidence already put forward, that there is no alternative to non duality.  It ends with a salutation to Narayana.

Two phrases used by Gaudapada needs explanation here.  One the
name of the chapter - Alatashanti.  What is Alatashanti?  'Alata'
means a burning torch or firebrand.  'Alatashanti' means extinguishing the burning firebrand. Figuratively it means the world
we live in, a burning torch, which has to be quenched. As Bhagavan
Ramana said:  When the world disappears, Swarupam would shine.

Why the world is a firebrand?  Because no one in the world is permanently happy, so the world is on fire.  What is the cause of
this fire? Ignorance.  When ignorance is quenched there is no duality.  Ignorance comes with us, with all its dyads and triads.
Avasthas - these are.  Changing. No one is either happy or unhappy.
They alternate.  So are the pain and pleasure, misery and happiness good and bad.  We, in the world feel separated due to this alternate feelings.  To remove this separation, one should realize the substratum behind this world i.e. the Self or Atma.

The second phrase is Asparsa Yoga.  Asparsa means untouched.
Yoga means touch or union.  What is this self contradiction?  The
touch of the untouch.  It looks like a zen koan.   It means if the truth of oneness of all is realized, there is no conflict, there is no hostility.
Non dual consciousness is asparsa yoga.  The self inquiry that demands no conflict with external world, that is external dualities.
The non dual consciousness brings about happiness, with no conflict with the external world.   Remember here, it is 'no conflict' and not
no-contact.  It does not mean that one self realized jnani or an
aspirant should avoid contact with the world.  But he should avoid
conflict with the world, no one is bad, no one is an ajnani, everyone is good, everyone is a jnani.  Since in nondual consciousness,
everything is Brahman, you see everybody as Brahma swarupam,
with no conflict at all.  Then there is only peace and harmony.

Arunachala Siva.