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Scriptural Basis, the Mandukya Upanishad


he mandukya upanishad provides the clearest scriptural sup- ô U 5


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in many places in Vedic and yogic texts. The Mandukya Karika of Shan- karacharya explains the four states in great detail. In it Shankara com-


ments both on the Mandukya Upanishad and on the commentary of his para- maguru, Gaudapada. It is one of the greatest works of Advaita Vedanta.


Section I 1. Aum. The imperishable syllable Aum is everything. Now follows its explana- tion. What has been, what is and what will be, everything, is only Aum. And what is beyond these three periods of time, that is also only Aum. Everything is Brahman. The Self (atman) is Brahman. This Self has four quarters.


Section II 1. Dwelling in the waking state, with external knowledge, with seven limbs and nineteen mouths, the enjoyer of what is gross, that is Vaishvanara, the universal ô 3


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2. Dwelling in the dream state, with inner knowledge, with seven limbs and nineteen mouths, the enjoyer of what is subtle, that is Taijasa, the luminous, the second quarter of Aum. 3. When sleeping, one has no desires and sees no dream, that is deep sleep, 3 3


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of knowledge. This is the state of happiness, with the enjoyer of happiness through the single mouth of consciousness. This is Prajna, the power of wisdom, the third quarter of Aum. 4. This deep sleep state is the lord of all, the knower of all, the inner controller, the basis of all, the origin and end of all beings. 5. Where there is no inner knowledge, no outer knowledge, no inner and outer knowledge combined, no mass of knowledge, no presence of knowledge and no absence of knowledge; what is unseen, beyond all appearances, without mark, unthinkable, what cannot be taught, which is the essence of the perception of the unitary Self, beyond the manifest world, auspicious and non-dual, that, the sages say, is the fourth quarter of Aum. That is the Self. That is to be known.


Section III 1. One should know this Self as the imperishable syllable Aum, by syllable, quar- ter and measure—A-kara, U-kara, M-kara—the letters A, U and M. :K + ô S


5 3 ô õ - 3 R 3 ô ô ô L ô ^ 3 ô L ô ^ 3


measure. As the origin, it pervades all. One gains all desires and becomes fore- most who knows this. 3. The state of dream and Taijasa is the letter U, the second measure. Being ele- vated and holding both the other states, dream and deep sleep, one gains the continuity of knowledge and equanimity. No non-knower of Brahman is born in his family who knows this. 4. The state of deep sleep and Prajna, the letter M, the third measure, is the mea- sure in which all things dissolve. One measures and dissolves the entire uni- verse who knows this. 5. The measureless fourth state, turiya, beyond experience, the cessation of the phenomenal world, auspicious and non-dual, that is Aum; that is the Self. He enters by the Self into the Self who knows this!


Commentary Aum is the entire universe, all time and what is beyond time. That Aum is our essential nature through the four states of waking, dream, deep sleep and turiya, which are its four quarters. From it all time arises, starting with the movement of our lives. These are the four aspects of our nature, symbolized by Agni as the _


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õ3 ô õ 5ô3 Rô ^ ô 3 ô 50 hinduism today april/may/june, 2017 ô ô 5U ô S 5 3 ôL


a. manivel


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