Author Topic: A-U-M - Awakening to Reality - Gaudapada's Karikas on the Mandukya Upanishad:  (Read 3909 times)

Subramanian.R

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To quote the penultimate paragraph from Wittgenstein's 'Tractatus Logico Philosophicus'  :  'My
propositions are elucidatory in this way:  he who understands me finally recognizes them as senseless,
when he has climbed out through them, on them, over them.  He must so to speak throw away the ladder,
after he has climbed up on it.  What we cannot speak about we must over in silence.)'

And, in case you should think that Wittgenstein is being extraordinarily insightful and original, here
is what Gaudapada said over a thousand years earlier.  K 4.60:  'That which is indescribable by words
cannot be discriminated as true or false.' 

The means to the end does not itself have to be real.  The 'dream tiger' metaphor was mentioned a few
pages ago.  The tiger may not be real but nevertheless serves to wake you up!

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.         

Subramanian.R

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(K.3.15) Gaudapada effectively summarizes all this in an earlier verse!  He acknowledges that there
are various descriptions of creation in the scriptures.  He refers to 'earth, iron and sparks',
which abbreviated terms acknowledges the fact that there are differing descriptions in various Upanishads.
(The earth and iron examples are from the Chhaandogya Upanishad 6.1.4 - 6.1.6 and sparks from the
Brihadaranyaka 2.1.20.). Sankara says this is a device to make the intellect realize that Jivatman is
identical with Brahman.  First of all, the scriptures tell us that the world and Jivas have been created.
This naturally begs the question of who created them and prompts us to say that Brahman is the cause.
Further analysis, however, shows us that there is no world or jiva separate from Brahman  and we are
forced to conclude that they are not an  'effect' of Brahman at all. The reality has to be beyond both
cause and effect -- and non dual.  There is  no 'multiplicity.'

Sankara even suggests that the fact there are many different versions of the creation is evidence
that they are only a provisional explanation, so to be taken back later as our understanding  grows.
He says that there would have been one single, consistent, version in all the different sources if
creation had been true and the world a reality.  It is not possible to imagine any other useful purpose
for them otherwise.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.     
 

Subramanian.R

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K.3.16: Gaudapada goes on to say that the scriptures, out of compassion for seekers' differing levels
of attainment, enjoin them to meditate on such ideas as part of their mental preparation.  Students
need to be 'high grade' before they are able to take on board the concept of non duality  as a credible
reality.  He segregates those who are not yet ready into low and medium grades and implies that
both need to begin with an effective belief in duality and follow the sorts of practices stated in the
earlier portion of Vedas  - the Karma Kanda. Eventually, they will graduate to readiness for the true
teaching.

The low grade students worship a personal god (who is regarded as a 'product' of Brahman);
medium grade worship Nirguna Brahman as the cause itself;  but high grade students know that
they themselves are Brahman.

concluded.

Arunachala Siva.