Teaching, a certain sage, Gaudapada by name, has written a poem. This poem is now translated, prefaced by the Mandukya Upanishad itself. Gaudapada. Gaudapada, grand Guru of Shankara, is the author of Mandukya Karika, a commentary on Mandukya Upanishad. It was written in 8th century, and is the earliest. : Mandukya Upanishad with Gaudapada’s Karika eBook: Gaudapada, Charles Johnston: Kindle Store.

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Advaitins particularly have traditionally challenged the Buddhist influence thesis. The Sage has realised the infinite unity and singularity mandjkya Existence. The seven limbs being: The immortal cannot become mortal, nor can the mortal become immortal. Again, He turns His mind within and imagines various ideas.

For those who, from their own experience and right conduct, believe in the existence of substantiality, and who are ever afraid of the birthless, instruction regarding birth has been imparted by the wise.

Unreal are the dream objects during sleep, states Gaudapada, because the one who dreams never actually goes to place he dreams of, and because whatever situation he dreams about is something he leaves upon waking up. He who knows this merges his self in Atman—yea, he who knows this. Gauvapada it is subject to modification, how then can it be said to be eternal?

For the object is certainly non-existent and [the ideas constituting] the appearances of object are not separate from consciousness.

Although all qualities are always present throughout creation the quality of Satwa, equilibrium is seen as desirable.

Gaudapada’s Karika on the Mandukya Upanishad

The first two [viz. The true singularity of consciousness kariia be seen only through Absolute Truth. The true colour of the ocean will be seen only through absolute white light.

In a dream, what has been discussed with friends and others [and settled] is not resorted to when awake. Its consciousness is outward-turned.

The disputants think of the self on terms of birth. Whether they be superior to another or equal, there is no ground to prove their reality. After this Creation there remains No Birth. When the mind ceases to imagine consequent on the realisation of the Truth which is the Self, then it attains the state of not being the mind and becomes a non-perceiver, owing to the absence of objects kkarika be perceived.


The text states, “all dharmas are without beginning, without variety, and are consciousness only”. The duality kari,a cause and effect are the imagined workings within the Maya of creation. To this end he gives the analogy of space gaudapafa jars. It is the substratum of the other three states and is referred to as absolute Emptiness.

All these ideas are always imagined on the Self. Prajna is conditioned by cause alone. That which already exists cannot be born and that which does not exist also cannot be born.

Gaudapada’s Karika on the Mandukya Upanishad: Realistic or Idealistic Metaphysics?

Hence this [our view] is not opposed to theirs. Its field is the dream state”. Such being the case, the waking state is considered to be real mqndukya that dreamer alone. When Creation comes to an end it is but Maya ceasing to display duality.

Further, he does not possess in the waking state anything he acquired while dreaming. The qualities of this U in aUm were contained in the A of Aum and this U will still contain some qualities of A, also it will have some qualities of the following M gaudapadx auM. All this is due to maya, belonging to the effulgent Atman, by which It appears, Itself, to be deluded. When the identity of visva with the letter A is meant, [i.

A man of puerile imagination definitely covers the Self by affirming that It “exists”, “exists not”, “exists and exists not”, or again, “exists not”, “exists not”, and by possessing such views as [that It is] changing and unchanging, both changing and unchanging and non-existent. No individual self, whatsoever, is born.

But this Consciousness is really ever unborn, immovable and free from the traits of materiality; it is all peace and non—dual. Hinduism portal Spirituality portal Indian religions portal India portal. This is Atman and this has to be realized.


The quarters of Krika are the same as the letters of AUM and the letters are the same as the quarters. Similarly, in the waking state, what is imagined within by the mind is illusory and what is cognized outside by the mind, real; but both should be held, on rational grounds, to be unreal.

When the fire-brand is in motion, the appearances do not come from elsewhere. Karikw is not the slightest variety in there in any way or at any time. There cannot ever be any purification for those who always tread the path of duality.

The body and the Self should be his support and he should depend upon what chance brings. The third quarter is prajna, where one asleep neither desires anything nor beholds mandukja dream: From the Absolute plane of perception everything is the Unborn Self and there is, therefore, nothing like destruction. There can be no doubt that the non-dual consciousness alone appears in a dream gaudzpada though dual.

This is the statement of the wise. This Realisation of the Absolute is that one thing that is the highest truth. All aggregates [such as body] are created like dream by the maya of the Self. The knowers of mandukyz quarters [such as visva] hold the quarters [to be the cause], while the knowers of sensory objects regard sensory objects [to be the cause].

That which is settled by the sruti and supported by reasoning is true, and not anything else.