Spiritual discourses, Thoughts

Mandukya Upanishad and Creation (Part-IV)

This is the my final post of Mandukya Upanishad and it deals with Advaita. First chapter of Mandukya basically gives absolute truth without logic, as a matter-of-fact statements. Second chapter analyses three states and proves the illusoriness of waking world through logic. Third chapter seeks to establish non-duality through logic and is the subject matter of this post.

It is clearly said in Karika that Atma is like space and jiva, which is kshetrajna, is IMAGINED as pot-spaces. Shankara says that the illustration in Vedanta which refer to genesis of jiva from atma like pot from mud or sparks from fire are not true really (Karika 3.14, 3.15, 3.22). The idea behind these illustrations was to merely indicate at the unity of jiva and atma. The correct analogy is the pot-space vis-a-vis space. No pot space has ever been created. The pots themselves are अविद्या कृत and are unreal. By pot, one should understand subtle body. Subtle body is effect of causal body, which is none other than avidya. One gets reminded of Gita 13.5. Just as pot space is not a part (अवयव) or modification (विकार) of space, similarly jiva is not a part or modification of atma. Bubble and ornaments are modifications of sea and gold, but jiva is not such modification of atma. Branches are part of tree. Jiva is not part of atma. In this manner, Shankara explains that jiva is neither a part nor a modification of atma.

Karika explains in 3.10, a very very conceptual aspect. The pots, which are the bodies, are like dream objects or objects created by magician. They are created by the Maya of Atma which is avidya and they are not there in reality. Thus, from Karika 3.10 and Gita 13.5, it is clear that Maya is same as avidya. 

There are few very important verses which I reproduce over here. All of them are very simple in construction but hit the truth very very directly.

अद्वयम् च द्वयाभाषम् मन: स्वप्ने न संशय: । अद्वयम् च द्वयाभाषम् तथा जाग्रत न संशय:।।

यथा स्वप्ने द्वयाभाषम् स्पंदते मायया मन: । तथा जाग्रद द्वयाभाषम् स्पंदते मायया मन: ।।

मनो दृश्यम् इदम् द्वैतम् यत् किंचित् सचराचरम् । मनसो हि अमनीभावम् द्वैतम् न एव उपलभ्यते ।।

अविद्यालक्षणा अनादि माया निद्रा ।

परमार्थम् सत्यम् तु—-

न कश्चित् जायते जीव: संभव: अस्य न विद्यते । एतत् तद् उत्तमम् सत्यम् यत्र किंचित् न जायते ।।

Thus, we conclude the discussion on Mandukya, Karika and creation with a note that nothing has ever been created. Whatever appears is an illusion. That illusion is pervaded by one reality, my own mind. This is exactly in the same manner as the dream world is pervaded by my own mind. Mind too is illusory and is created by avidya. Beyond that lies the realm of Turiya.


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