the Great Karika on the Manduka Upanishad.

Gaudapada was, by tradition, the philosophical grandfather of Shankara. His Karika on the Mandukya Upanishad is the oldest known systematic exposition of Advaita Vedanta. Gaudapada shows clear signs of familiarity with Buddhist philosophy, and both his language and his doctrine are close in many cases to Buddhist originals. This has led many scholars to speculate that Gaudapada himself was originally a Buddhist.

The Karika is a verse commentary on the Upanishad. It falls into four sections:

1. Agama Prakarana

2. Illusion

3. Advaita

4. Extinguishing the torch.

The first section is a brief systematic exposition of the Upanishadic text, following its distinction of the four states of consciousness. Several of the most important Indian commentators treat the 29 slokas of the Agama Prakarana as part of the scriptural text of Mandukya Upanishad..

The second section moves beyond the text of the Upanishad to establish the unreality of the things experienced in dreams and, by analogy, the things experienced in the waking state. All these are but MAYA, illusion. Gaudapada emphasised the essential unity of waking and dreaming, arguing the waking world is as unreal as the dream-world. Shankara will emphasise the distinction between the two, to avoid the collapse into subjective illusionism.

The Advaita section of the Karika presents a clear, positive statement of the Non-Dualist position: Atman/Brahman alone is real, all else is illusion. Gaudapada teaches the AJATA doctrine: the doctrine of NO-BECOMING.

The fourth section of the Karika expounds the means of removing the illusion of duality. Essentially this is the ASPARSHA YOGA mentioned in section three.



1. Visva is all-pervading and experiences the gross. Taijasa experiences the subtle. Prajna is a mass of awareness. It is one who is known in all three states.

2. Visva's "mouth" is in the right eye. Taijasa's is within the mind-organ, Prajna is the space within the heart. - Present three ways in the body.

3. Visva always enjoys the gross, Taijasa the subtle, Prajna enjoys bliss. Know enjoyment to be threefold.

4. The gross satisfies Visva, the subtle Taijasa, and bliss Prajna: know satisfaction to be threefold.

5. He who knows the one experiencer and the one object of experience in all the three states is not affected by enjoyment of objects.

6. All objects come into being. Prana creates all. Purush creates the separate rays of consciousness.

7. Those who dwell on creation consider it a divine miracle. Others imagine it is like a dream or an illusion.

8. Some are convinced creation is by the mere will of God. Those who are fascinated by time declare time to be the source of all things.

9. Others say creation is for God's delight, others that it is for mere sport. But it is the true nature of the Divine One - what desire can He have whose every desire is always fulfilled?

10. In the matter of the eradication of sorrows, it is the Inexhaustible Non-dual One - the Lord - who rules. Turiya is known as the all-pervading source of all that is.

11. Visva and Taijasa are conditioned by both cause and effect, prajna by cause alone. Neither exists in Turiya.

12. Prajna knows nothing of self or non-self, neither true nor false. Turiya is forever and the all-seer.

13. Non-cognition of duality is common the Prajna and Turiya. But Prajna is associated with the causal state of sleep, and that does not exist in Turiya.

14. Both the first two {Visva and Taijasa} are both associated with dream and sleep, Prajna is the state of dreamless sleep. Those who know see neither sleep nor dream in Turiya.

15. Dream is erroneous cognition, sleep the absence of awareness of reality. When these two errors are removed, Turiya is attained.

16. When the soul sleeping under the influence of beginningless Maya is awakened, it realises the unoriginated, sleepless, dreamless non-duality.

17. If the phenomenal world were real, it would undoubtedly vanish. All this duality is mere Maya. Non-duality is the supreme reality.

18. If the multiplicity were imagined, it would vanish. Such talk is merely for instruction. On knowing, duality ceases.

19. When Visva's identity with "A" is intended, correspondence in terms of being the first [adi] as well as correspondence in terms of being all-pervading [apti-samanyam] is foregrounded.

20. When Taijasa's identity with "U" is understood its correspondence in terms of superiority [utkarsa] is clearly seen as also in terms of intermediacy [ubhayatvam].

21. When Prajna's identity with "M" is understood the obvious point of correspondence is Measure and being that in which all things Merge.

22. Whoever has unshakeable knowledge of the correspondences of the three states is a great sage deserving the worship and veneration of all beings.

23. By the sound "A" one attains Visva, by the sound "U" one attains Taijasa, the sound "M" one attains Prajna. In the soundless there is no attainment.

24. The word "AUM" should be known foot by foot. The "feet" are undoubtedly the letters. Grasping "AUM" foot by foot there is nothing else one should think of.

25. The mind should be absorbed in AUM. AUM is Brahman, the fearless. One who is absorbed in AUM is totally devoid of fear.

26. AUM is indeed the Lower Brahman. AUM is also admitted to be the Supreme Brahman. AUM is uncaused, integral, unique, free from effects, changeless.

27. AUM is truly the beginning, the middle and the end of all. Knowing AUM in this way, one attains immediately.

28. Know AUM as the Lord indwelling the hearts of all. The man of discrimination realised AUM is all-pervading; he does not grieve.

29. He is the true sage who knows AUM - the soundless, yet of infinite sounds - the auspicious reality where all duality ceases, - He, and no other!

BOOK II: ILLUSION. (Vaitathya Prakarana.)

1. The wise declare all objects seen in dreams to be unreal because (i) of their location within, and (ii) their confinement.

2. Besides, one does not actually go to places to have a look - there's no time for that! And when he wakes up, the dreamer never finds himself in that place.

3. Moreover, the non-existence of the chariot &c. is asserted in Scripture on logical grounds. The wise say that scripture itself reaffirms the unreality reason establishes.

4. Just as dream objects are unreal, so, and for the same reason, objects perceived in the waking state are also unreal. The only difference is the restriction (of dream objects) to an interior location.

5. The similarity of their different objects offers a commonplace reason for the wise to identify the waking state and the dreaming state.

6. What does not exist in the beginning and does not exist at the end certainly does not in the middle! But like illusions, they seem real.

7. Their usefulness is contradicted in the dream. {i.e. in a dream the things of waking life are useless.} So, since they have a beginning and an end, they are rightly held to be unreal.

8. Unfamiliar objects are merely the product of a specific state - it is just the same as in the case of celestial beings! He experiences them by going there just as a well-instructed person here does.

9. In the dream state too, what is imagined by inner consciousness is unreal, but what is perceived by the outer consciousness is real - but in both cases what is perceived is unreal.

10. In the waking state too, what is imagined by the inner consciousness is unreal and whatever is perceived by outer consciousness is real - but reason dictates that both are unreal.

11. If all objects in both states are unreal, who is it who is aware of these objects and who devises them?

12. Self-luminous Atman, by the power of its own Maya imagines itself in itself. He alone is aware of the objects. This is the conclusion of the Vedanta.

13. The Lord gives diversity to the mundane things that exist in his mind. Turning His mind outwards the Lord thus imagines well-defined things.

14. Internal things that last only so long as the thought of them lasts and equally things perceived in relation to two points of time are all mere imaginations. There is nothing else to distinguish them.

15. The objects that exist unmanifested within the mind and those that exist manifested externally are all mere imagination. The difference between them rises only from differences in the sense organs.

16. First He imagines the individual soul, then the various external and subjective objects. And memory accords with knowledge.

17. Just as in the dark a rope whose nature has not been fully ascertained is imagined to be various different things such as a snake, a line of water and so forth; in exactly the same way the Self is imagined in various different ways.

18. When the rope is realised to be a rope, all illusions about it cease, and only the rope remains. Realisation of the Self is just the same.

19. It is imagined to be (identical with) Prana {the life force} or other eternal realities. This is the Maya of the Divine One, by which He Himself is deluded.

20. Those who know prana identify It with Prana. Those who know the elements identify It with the elements. Those who know the qualities identify It with the qualities. Those who know the categories identify It with the categories.

21. Those who know the "feet" identify It with the "feet." those who know the sense-objects identify It with the sense-objects. Those who know the worlds identify It with the worlds. those who know the gods identify It with the gods.

22. Those who know the Vedas identify It with the Vedas. Those who know the sacrifices identify It with the sacrifices. Those who know the enjoyer identify It with the enjoyer. Those who know the object of enjoyment identify It with the object of enjoyment.

23. Knowers of the subtle identify It with the subtle. Those who know the gross identify It with the gross. those who know the god with forms identify It with a form, those who know the formless identify It with the Void.

24. Students of time identify It with time. Those who know space call It space. Disputers identify It with disputation. Cosmologists identify It with the fourteen worlds.

25. Knowers of the mind-organ identify It with the mind-organ. Knowers of intelligence identify It with intelligence. Knowers of consciousness identify It with consciousness. Knowers of righteousness or unrighteousness identify It with one or the other.

26. Some say reality is constituted of twenty-five principles, some of twenty-six. Some say It consists of thirty-one categories, there are even some who believe they are infinite!

27. Those who know human pleasures identify It with such pleasures. Those who know the stages of life identify It with them. Grammarians identify It with the male, the female or the neuter! - others identify It with the transcendent or the non-transcendent.

28. Knowers of creation identify It with creation. Knowers of dissolution identify It with dissolution. Knowers of subsistence identify It with subsistence. But all these notions are merely imagined in the Self!

29. Whatever may be displayed, that is the thing one sees. One becomes identified with it and satisfied by it. Engrossed in it he becomes absorbed in it.

30. Though this One is non-different from these, yet It is identified as separate. Whoever knows this can interpret unhesitatingly. {interpret the Veda?}

31. The one knowledgeable in Vedanta sees the entire universe as just like a dream or a conjuring trick or a city in the sky.

32. There is no cessation, no coming-to-be, none in bondage, no seeker after liberation and no-one liberated. This is the absolute truth. [paramartha.]

33. It is conceived of both as the Non-dual and as unreal things, and the things are conceived as in the Non-dual! Non-duality, therefore, is the auspicious. {the word in the text is "shiva" - auspicious, pleasant, blissful ...}

34. From the standpoint of the Self the world does not exist; nor does it exist as independent - neither differentiated nor non-differentiated. This is what the wise know.

35. Contemplatives well-versed in the Vedas and free from desire fear and anger see this Self as free from all distinctions, utterly free from all phenomenal reality and Non-dual.

36. Knowing It in this way, fix your memory on Non-duality. Having attained to the Non-dual, behave in the world like a mindless thing.

37. Let him eschew flattery and greetings and avoid rites. With the body and soul as his support, let him depend on chance.

38. Having seen Reality within and in the world outside, he should become one with Reality, find his delight in Reality and never deviate from Reality.

BOOK III: NON-DUALITY. (Advaita Prakarana.)

1. The aspirant devotee subsists in the conditioned Brahman. He is to be pitied; he thinks that everything was unborn before creation!

2. I shall therefore describe the infinite, birthless and homogeneous. Listen! Nothing comes into existence, though it may well seem to come into existence.

3. Here is an image of "coming into existence" -

The Self is spoken of as existing in individual souls just as space exists encompassed by a pot. Its existence in composite things is like the space in pots.

4. When the pot is smashed, the pot-space merges totally with Space - in the same way souls merge in the Self.

5. When the bit of space in one pot is polluted by dust, smoke &c., the bits of space encompassed by other pots are not affected. - the same is the case with souls in the matter of happiness, misery &c..

6. Shapes, purposes and names differ from one to another, but Space itself is homogeneous. The same conclusion is to be drawn in the case of souls.

7. The pot-space is neither a product nor a part of Space. The soul is neither a product nor a part of the Self.

8. Children think the sky is polluted by dust. The ignorant think the Self too can be polluted.

9. With regard to Its birth, Its death, Its going and Its coming, the Self is quite like Space.

10. All composites are produced as in a dream by the Maya of the Self. There is no rational ground to establish their reality - or their equality or superiority!

11. The space analogy illustrates well the identity of the Self with the supreme soul of the sheaths - the one based on food &c., as Taittiriya Upanishad explains. {T.U. II, 1-6}

12. Just as it has been shown that the space in the belly and the space in the earth are one and the same, the pairings in the Honey Doctrine show the same is true of the Supreme Brahman. {The Honey Doctrine (Madhu Khanda) is B.U. II.v.1-14}

13. The non-difference of the soul and the Self is asserted and extolled, difference is condemned - from this standpoint alone is understanding possible.

14. Any assertion of a distinction between the soul and the Self before creation is merely figurative, it refers to the future; statements asserting separateness are not meant literally.

15. When creation is expounded by means of examples such as earth, gold, sparks and so forth, this is merely instructive metaphor. There is no real multiplicity.

16. The three states of life corresponding to inferior, intermediate and superior insight, are offered out of compassion so that such people can meditate on them to their improvement.

17. Dualists who cling obstinately to the conclusions arrived at by their own methods are in perpetual conflict with each other. We have no conflict with them.

18. Non-duality is the ultimate reality (paramartha), since duality is acknowledged to be its product - the Dualists see duality in both, so our view is not in conflict with theirs.

19. It is through Maya, and in no other way, that the Birthless is differentiated. If it were really differentiated then the immortal would become mortal.

20. Disputants contend that the Unoriginate undergoes birth - how could an unoriginated and immortal being acquire mortality?

21. The immortal does not become mortal; the mortal does not become immortal. Transmutation of nature simply does not occur.

22. How can anyone who believes that an immortal being can change its nature and and become mortal maintain that the immortal - even after this has happened to it - remains unchanging?

23. Coming to be can be either real or illusory. Both views are presented in scripture. That which scripture lays down and reason corroborates, that alone is established. {i.e. scripture alone is not enough.}

24. From texts such as "There is no diversity here," {Ka.II.i.11} or "Through Maya Indra," {Br.II.v.19} we know that the Unoriginate takes birth only by Maya.

25. From the rejection of the worship of the All-Majestic (Hiranyagarbha) creation is refuted. {see I.U.12} The text "and who should bring him forth?" {B.U.III.ix.27-8} rules out causality.

26. The scriptural statement that It is "not this, not this" {B.U.III.ix.26} negates all those accounts. Since It is utterly incomprehensible the Birthless is thus self-radiant.

27. That the existent should come into being is only possible in an illusory manner. Anyone who claims it really happens is saying that what has already come to be comes to be.

28. The non-existent does not come to exist either in illusion or in reality. The son-of-a-barren-woman is born neither in illusion nor in reality.

29. In a dream, the mind gives the illusion of oscillating between two aspects, in the waking state too, the mind gives the illusion of oscillating between two aspects.

30. There is no doubt that the mind, which is non-dual appears in a dream under two aspects. equally so in the waking state the non-dual appears under two aspects.

31. This duality - everything whether moving or immobile - is a mental percept. When the mind ceases from mental activity no duality is perceived.

32. On realisation that the Self is the Real, thinking ceases: it becomes Non-mind; in the absence of anything to perceive there is no perception.

33. They say that the unoriginate, non-conceptual knowledge is non-different from the Known. Brahma-knowledge is birthless and eternal. The Birthless is known by the Birthless.

34. One should take particular note of the mind's behaviour when it is under control, it is free of all conceptions but endowed with discrimination: the mind's condition in deep sleep is something quite different.

35. In deep sleep the mind loses itself, - not so when under control; in that state it is the fearless Brahman, the light of knowledge shining on all sides.

36. Birthless, unsleeping, dreamless, devoid of name or form, ever radiant and all-knowing - there is no action to be performed.

37. It is totally ineffable and utterly inconceivable, completely peaceful, eternally radiant, ecstatic, {samadhi} immutable, fearless.

38. When mental activity ceases, there is neither grasping nor rejecting; knowledge is established in the Self, it is birthless, it attains equanimity. {samata}

39. This Yoga-without-contact {asparsha yoga} is hard for yogis to understand; they fear it, finding fear where there is nothing to be afraid of. {‘yoga’ basiclally means ‘union’ - so the yoga is ‘union without contact.}

40. Such yogis depend on mind-control for the attainment of fearlessness, the destruction of suffering {duhkha}, the knowledge of the Self and eternal peace.

41. Controlling the mind without lapsing into depression is like using a single blade of grass to empty the ocean, drop by drop.

42. The proper means are essential to the disciplining of the mind, whether it is scattered in desires and pleasures or in a stupor - stupor is as injurious as desires.

43. Ever mindful that everything is suffering {duhkha}, one should restrain the mind from the enjoyment of pleasure. Remember that the Birthless is all: then there is nothing to perceive.

44. If the mind is in stupor, wake it up! If it is scattered, calm it. Recognise when it is affected by desire. When it is perfectly balanced, leave it alone!

45. Do not indulge in the pleasure, use discrimination and get rid of attachment. If the mind has attained the state of equilibrium and then wants to venture out, then diligently bring it to unity.

46. When the mind is neither torpid nor scattered, when it is still and free from appearances, it truly becomes Brahman.

47. Supreme happiness is within, it is peaceful, it is accompanied by cessation {nirvana}, it is indescribable and birthless. Since it is identical with the Unborn Object of Knowledge, they declare It the Omniscient.

48. No soul whatsoever is born. It has no source. This is Supreme Reality, where nothing whatsoever is born.

BOOK IV. QUENCHING the FIREBRAND. (Alatashanti Prakarana)

1. I bow to that best of men who, by means of his spacelike knowledge which is non-different from its object, realised the nature of the dharmas which are like the sky!

2. I bow to that yoga taught in the scriptures, which is known as free from contact {asparsha}, which promotes the happiness of all beings, is for the good of all, devoid of conflict and contradiction.

3. Some disputants postulate that it is the existent that comes to be, others, proud of their wisdom, say it is from the non-existent that coming-to-be occurs.

4. What exists does not come into being, and the non-existent cannot come to be. While these folk argue amongst themselves they actually help establish the advaita position and reveal there is no coming to be.

5. We approve the birthlessness they declare; we have no quarrel with them. Now, understand from us this which is free from dispute.

6. Disputants contend that the Unoriginate undergoes birth - how could an unoriginated and immortal being acquire mortality?

7. The immortal does not become mortal; the mortal does not become immortal. Transmutation of nature simply does not occur.

8. How can anyone who believes that an immortal being can change its nature and and become mortal maintain that the immortal - even after this has happened to it - remains unchanging?

9. By the term "nature" is to be understood that which is acquired totally and becomes intrinsic to the thing, or which is innate, not acquired from any external source, and remains immutable.

10. All dharmas are by their very nature free from old age and death, but they imagine they are subject to old age and death and because of that very thought they are perverted from their nature.

11. The disputant who hold that cause and effect are identical must admit that the cause comes into being. How can the unoriginate come into being, and how can it be eternal if it is liable to modification?

12. If, as you say, the effect is non-different from the cause, then for that reason the effect too will be birthless. Besides, how can an unoriginate cause be identical with an effect that comes into being?

13. There is no example to support the claim that the effect comes to be from an unoriginate cause. And if it is held that the effect comes to be from something else that also comes to be, then we face an infinite regress.

14. How can those who assert that the effect is the cause of the cause and the cause is the cause of the effect assert they are unoriginate?

15. To assert that the effect is the cause of the cause and the cause the cause of the effect is like claiming the father gives birth to the son!

16. If there is causality, then the sequence of cause and effect must be determined; if both occur at once, there can be no causal relation between them, any more than there is between the two horns of an ox.

17. If the cause is produced from the effect, it can never be established. How can a cause, itself not established, give birth to an effect?

18. If the cause is dependent on the effect and the effect is dependent on the cause, then which comes first for the other to come from it?

19. Your inability to answer, the impossibility of establishing the causal sequence persuade the wise to stick to No-birth.

20. The classic case of the seed and the sprout remains unproved - the unproven cannot be used as the means to prove something.

21. Ignorance of the sequential ordering of cause and effect itself points to the absence of coming to be. If something really does come to be, why can the pre-existent cause not be pointed out?

22. Nothing comes to be whether from itself or from another. Nothing that exists ever comes to be, nothing that does not exist, nothing that both exists and does not exist.

23. The cause cannot come to be from an unoriginate effect, nor does an effect simply happen of itself. The uncaused certainly does not come into existence.

24. Knowledge must have an object, otherwise both will be non-existent. For this reason, as also from the experience of pain, our opponent's assertion of the existence of the object should be admitted.

25. Logic demands an object as the cause of knowledge. But from the standpoint of reality, it is evident the cause is no cause at all.

26. Consciousness has no contact with objects, and no contact with appearances of objects. Objects are non-existent and appearances of objects non-different from consciousness.

27. At none of the three times does consciousness make contact with objects. Since there are no objects, how can there be deluded perception of such?

28. Neither consciousness nor its objects ever come into existence. Those who perceive such a coming-to-be are like those who can see footprints in the sky!

29. It is the unoriginate [they say] which comes to be - but it is essentially birthless and the transformation of that nature will not happen in any way whatsoever.

30. If the world has no beginning it will have no end either. Moksa cannot both have a beginning and be eternal.

31. What does not exist in the beginning and does not exist at the end certainly does not in the middle! But like illusions, they seem real.

32. Their usefulness is contradicted in the dream. {i.e. in a dream the things of waking life are useless.} So, since they have a beginning and an end, they are rightly held to be unreal.

33. All things we are aware of in a dream are unreal, since they are perceived within the body - how could real things be seen in this confined space.

34. It is preposterous to claim that things in a dream are known by going to them; there is no time for the journey to take place, and nobody wakes up to find himself in the place he was dreaming.

35. If you talk to your friend in a dream, they offer no confirmation of the fact in the waking state, and if you gain something in a dream, when you wake it is gone.

36. The dream body is unreal - there is another separate one visible! Just like the body, everything else is a mental percept and unreal.

37. Since dream experience resembles waking experience, it is believed to be the result of it. But that is ground only for this waking state being real to this particular dreamer!

38. Coming to be is not proven to occur: accordingly it is said that everything is unoriginate. There is absolutely no case of the unreal coming into existence from the real.

39. Having seen an unreal something in the waking state and having been emotionally affected by it, one sees it in a dream as well. But the unreal somethings seen in a dream are not seen again in the waking state.

40. The unreal cannot have the unreal as its cause, nor can the real come to be from the unreal. The real cannot be cause of the real; how then could the real be cause of the unreal?

41. Just as, in the waking state, one may handle objects one cannot conceptualise for lack of the capacity to discriminate them, and imagine them to be real, just so in a dream, because of lack of the capacity to discriminate, one sees objects peculiar to that dream.

42. The wise teach coming-to-be for the sake of those who are afraid of absolute birthlessness, people who cling to the reality of objects and have faith in observances.

43. For those who are afraid and deviate from the true path, relying on experience, the fault of accepting coming-to-be will not have bear fruit, even the fault itself will only be slight.

44. Just as the elephant in a conjuring trick is called an elephant on the basis of perception and appropriate behaviour, so too objects are said to exist on the basis of perception and appropriate behaviour.

45. It is the birthless, unmoving, immaterial, peaceful non-dual consciousness that appears to come into existence, to move and to take substantial form.

46. Consciousness does not undergo birth, thus dharmas are considered birthless. Those who know this never fall into calamity.

47. As a moving firebrand appears as a curve, consciousness when set in motion appears as the knower and the known.

48. As the firebrand when not in motion is free from appearances and from becoming, so too consciousness when not in motion is free of appearances and becoming.

49. When the firebrand is in motion, the appearances do not come from somewhere else; when it is motionless, the appearances do not go somewhere else, nor do they go into it.

50. They do not emerge from the firebrand since they are insubstantial. The same applies to consciousness, since in both cases the appearances are of the same kind.

51. When consciousness is oscillating, the appearances do not come to it from somewhere else, nor do they go somewhere else when it is at rest, nor do they enter into it.

52. They do not emerge from consciousness since they are insubstantial. They cannot be conceptualised since they are not subject to the relation of cause and effect.

53. A substance could be the cause of another substance, and something could be cause of another thing different from itself. But dharmas cannot be considered substances or as things distinct from other things.

54. External things, then, are not the product of consciousness, nor do external things produce consciousness. Men of discrimination affirm the birthlessness of cause-and-effect.

55. So long as we think cause-and-effect, there is cause-and-effect. When the fascination with cause-and -effect fades, no cause-and-effect comes into existence.

56. For so long as there is attachment to cause-and-effect there is samsara; once the attachment ends, there is no attainment of samsara.

57. It is because of experience that eveything seems to come into existence -"surely nothing is eternal!" From the standpoint of reality, the birthless Self is all, there is certainly no such thing as annihilation.

58. The dharmas that are born are not really born. Their birth is through Maya - and Maya itself is unreal.

59. As the illusory seed sends forth an illusory shoot - it is neither eternal nor destructible - the same applies to dharmas.

60. The terms "eternal" and "non-eternal" have no applicability to birthless dharmas. And one cannot make categorical statements about the ineffable.

61. In a dream, the mind gives the illusion of oscillating between two aspects, in the waking state too, the mind gives the illusion of oscillating between two aspects.

62. There is no doubt that the mind, which is non-dual appears in a dream under two aspects. equally so in the waking state the non-dual appears under two aspects.

63. The creatures (egg-born, moisture-born &c.) that the dreamer always sees as he moves about in the ten directions

64. are the dreamer's mental objects, having no existence apart from his consciousness. Similarly, the dreamer's consciousness is merely something he perceives.

65. The creatures (egg-born, moisture-born &c.) that the waking person always sees as he moves about in the ten directions

66. are the waking person's mental objects, having no existence apart from his consciousness. Similarly, the waking person's consciousness is simply something he perceives in his waking state.

67. Both [consciousness and the creatures] are each others' objects of perception. "Does it exist?" The answer is "No!" Both lack the characteristics that would individuate them since they are grasped only through each other.

68. As the dream jiva is born and dies, so do all these jivas appear and disappear.

69. As the illusion jivas are born and die, so do all these jivas appear and disappear.

70. As the sorcerously produced jivas are born and die, so do all these jivas appear and disappear.

71. No soul whatsoever is born. It has no source. This is Supreme Reality, where nothing whatsoever is born.

72. This subject-object duality is really the oscillation of consciousness: but consciousness is objectless, it is devoid of relations.

73. What experience alone indicates to exist does not really exist. Equally, what other schools of thought assert to exist does not really exist.

74. Even from the empirical viewpoint, the Self is called "birthless," but from the absolute {paramartha} standpoint it is not even birthless. From the viewpoint of other schools, it appears to come into existence.

75. Though there is no real duality, a persistent craving for the unreal! Once o0ne realises the non-existence of duality, one is no longer reborn, but freed from the cause.

76. When one no longer perceives the highest, the intermediate and the lowest causes, consciousness undergoes no birth. How can there be an effect without a cause?

77. The birthlessness of consciousness when free from causes is absolute and constant - all this is merely something perceived by the birthless, non-dual consciousness.

78. Having realised the truth of causelessness, and not accepting any individual cause, one attains freedom from fear, suffering and desire.

79. When attached to the unreal, it involves itself with such. When one realises their non-existence, consciousness becomes detached and returns.

80. Free from attachment and disengaged, consciousness becomes unmoving. This is the realisation of the wise {buddhanam} it is undifferentiated, birthless and non-dual.

81. It is birthless, unsleeping, free from dreams and self-luminous. This dharma is naturally self-luminous.

82. Because of grasping after this or that dharma, that Lord is easily concealed: it is always difficult to uncover Him.

83. Persons lacking the capacity for discrimination assert that it exists, or does not exist or both exists and does not exist or is absolutely non-existent, and thus conceal It with their ideas of change, immutability, both changeability and immutabilty and non-existence.

84. Clinging to these four alternative theories keeps the Lord permanently concealed. The one who sees the Lord as untouched by any of these is truly omniscient.

85. What further effort is there to make when one has attained the state of Brahmanhood - total omniscience, non-duality without beginning, middle or end?

86. This is the modesty of the Brahmins, this is their spontaneous tranquillity, their natural self-control. Knowing this, the man of knowledge attains tranquillity.

87. The ordinary state of duality associated with empirical reality and with experience is admitted, so also a subtle state where there are no objects, but plenty of experience of them.

88. There is remembered {smrtam} a transcendent state without things, without experience - knowledge, the known and the Realised, so the wise {buddhair} ever declare.

89. When the threefold knowledge has been attained in order, eternal omniscience exists for the man of great intellect.

90. In the beginning these must be known: that which is to be avoided, that which is to be known, that which is acceptable and that which is to be neutralised. Apart from what is to be known, the other three are remembered to be merely imaginary.

91. All dharmas are by nature spacelike and eternal: there is no multiplicity amongst them, absolutely none.

92. By their very nature, all dharmas are luminous from the beginning {adibuddhah} and are of fixed nature. He who knows this is at peace, needing no further knowledge, he becomes fit for immortality.

93. All dharmas are from the beginning tranquil, unborn, naturally devoid of attachment, equal and non-different: It is therefore birthless, homogeneous and holy.

94. For those who are fascinated by multiplicity, wandering the pathways of duality, ever discoursing about plurality, there is no perfection. They are said to be pitiable.

95. Only those who are firm in their conviction with regard to Its birthlessness and uniformity become Great Knowers in this world. People cannot understand this.

96. It is held that the knowledge inherent in the birthless dharmas is unborn and non-relational, hence it is devoid of the relation of attachment.

97. Accepting the slightest degree of variation bars the non-discriminating from non-attachment; how could one even speak of the veiling being destroyed?

98. All dharmas are naturally pure; none has ever been veiled over. they are illuminated {buddhah} and free {muktah} from the beginning; they know {budhyante} and so are masters.

99. The knowledge of the radiant enlightened one does not relate to things {dharmesu} - and all dharmas are like knowledge in this. This was not said by the Buddha.

100. Having realised {buddhva} that aspect which is baffling, unfathomable, birthless, homogeneous, holy and non-dual, we venerate It as best we may.


The above translation of the Karika is based on the translations by Swamis Nikhilananda and Gambhirananda, but on several occasions diverges from both in interpretation of the

original text.

Gaudapada’s Karika: some notes.

Book I

12 It is essential for Gaudapada to distinguish Prajna = Wisdom (a term the Mandukya Upanishad uses for the state of deep sleep) from Turiya, since some Upanishadic texts - e.g. Yajnavalkya’s dialogue with Maitreyi - seem to identify Prajna as the ultimate state of Atman. Prajna is the state of causal being from which all the world of appearances flow - we wake from deep sleep into the subtle, interior world of the dream or into the waking state world of gross objects. Bur Prajna lacks the luminous awareness that for Gaudapada and Shankara is the essence of Atman.

13 A description of the state of deep sleep can be confusingly similar to a description of pure consciousness: in neither case is there any awareness of duality; it is therefore essential to perceive and understand the difference between them. Prajna does not perceive duality because it does not perceive anything at all. Turiya does not perceive duality because it perceives reality as it is - i.e. without duality.

16 Maya has no beginning. It is not something real - though it not nothing at all. Ignorance (Avidya) or Nescience is the basis of Maya.

Book II

1-12 Gaudapada sees dreaming and waking states as similar: in the dream state our ignorance-infected consciousness is turned inward and generates an irreal world based on bodily data; in the waking state our ignorance-infected consciousness is turned outward to perceive and interact with material things. Both the body and other material things are irreal, they are aspects of deluding Maya. So is the individuated self the phenomenal ego that presents itself as the subject of experience.

Verse 12 points to Self-luminous Atman as the true subject. The whole world is the creation of Atman in the sense that from our point of view Maya is Atman’s creative power, Brahman’s beginningless world of illusion, the veil of nescience in which Pure Consciousness mantles Itself. But from the absolute point of view, there is no world, no Maya, no Ignorance, no selves in bondage, no path to enlightenment, no enlightenment to attain. When all is light what meaning is there to a quest for light? One must not infer from verse 12 that Atman can simply be identified with the thinker, the agent, the perceiver in the waking or the dreaming state. The interactive subject as interactive is a conditioned, irreal self infected with Avidya (ignorance) and immersed in the deluding fog of Maya, though as subject it is ultimately identical with Atman. All that is real in the interactive subject is Atman.

Book III

29 There are two opposed Vedantin approaches to the relation between Brahman and the world.

Vivarta philosophy, [Illusionism] such as the tradition of Gaudapada and Shankara, asserts that ultimately Brahman alone is real and anything else that seems to exist is ultimately illusory, irreal, the manifestation of ignorance, error and nescience. For Vivarta philosophers it is possible to say the world is identical with Brahman - but only in the very specific sense that Brahman alone is all that exists and therefore the world is simple a way of miscognising Brahman, but ultimately there is nothing save Brahman to be cognised and none save Brahman to do the cognizing.

Parinama philosophy, [Mutationism] asserts that the world is identical with Brahman in that Brahman becomes the world. Brahman transforms Itself and comes to be the world as well as remaining God. The philosophers Nimbarka and Vallabha are the most famous exponents of parinama Vedanta. Both identify Krsna with the eternal Brahman: for Nimbarka Krsna brings the world into being from His Divine Energy, so that the world both is and is not distinct from God. For Vallabha Krsna brings the world into being from His Essence, and Vallabha claims that he alone teaches True Advaita, in that for him God and the World are truly one. For Parinama philosophers the world is real, not illusory.


Mandukya Karika Of Gaudapada
Translated by Vidyavachaspati V. Panoli
Headings added from Richard King's translation, with slight editing, by webmaster

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I. Agama Prakarana

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.
2. May he, the Self of the universe, dwelling in the fourth state, protect us, who, after having enjoyed (in the waking state) the gross enjoyments resulting from virtue and vice, enjoys again (in the dream state) the other subtle objects which are created by His own intelligence and illumined by His own light, and who, after having absorbed all of them gradually into Himself and having abandoned all distinctions, becomes devoid of attributes.

(Three States of Experience)
I-1. Visva having exterior consciousness is all-pervading, whereas Taijasa has interior consciousness, and Prajna, similarly is dense with consciousness. Thus the One alone is regarded in there ways.
I-2. Visva is seen in the right eye which is its seat of experience, whereas Taijasa is inside the mind and Prajna is in the space inside the heart. In these three ways he dwells in the body.
I-3. Visva is ever the enjoyer of the gross, taijasa of the subtle, and, similarly, Prajna of bliss. Know (therefore) the enjoyment in three ways.
I-4.The grass satisfies Visva, the subtle satisfies Taijasa and, similarly, gladness satisfies Prajna. Know (therefore) the satisfaction in three ways.
I-5. He who knows these two, viz that which is shown to be the thing to be enjoyed and that which is (shown) to be the enjoyer, in the three states, does not become affected, even though enjoying.

(Analysis of Creation Theories)
I-6. It is a settled fact that coming into being can be said only of positive entities that exist. Prana creates all; and Purusha creates the conscious beings separately.
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-9. Some others hold that creation is for the enjoyment (of God), yet others say that it is for His sport. But it is the very nature of the resplendent Being, (for) what desire can he have whose desire is all fulfilled?

(Turiya and the Three States of Experience)
I-10. Turiya, the Lord powerful to bring about the cessation of all sorrows, is imperishable, is regarded as the non-dual Lord of all entities, and is all-pervading.
I-11. Visva and Taijasa are regarded as conditioned by cause and effect. Prajna is conditioned by cause. But these two (viz cause and effect) do not exist in Turiya.
I-12. Prajna knows neither himself nor others, neither truth nor untruth. But that Turiya is ever the all seer.
I-13. The non-cognition of duality is common to both Prajna and Turiya. Prajna is possessed of sleep of the nature of cause, whereas that sleep does not exist in Turiya.
I-14. The first two (viz Visva and taijasa) are associated with dream and sleep, but Prajna (is associated) with sleep devoid of dream. The knowers of Brahman do not see either sleep or dream in Turiya.
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.

(The nature of Reality for the Awakened Jiva)
I-16. When the individual Self, sleeping under the influence of Maya that is beginningless, is awakened, then he realises (Turiya that is) unborn, sleepless, dreamless and non-dual.
I-17. If a phenomenal world were to exist, it should, no doubt, cease to be. This duality is but an illusion; in reality it is non-dual.
I-18. The notion (such as the teacher, the taught and the scripture) will disappear, if anyone had imagined it. This notion (of the teacher etc.,) is for the purpose of instruction. When (the Truth is) realised, duality does not exist.

(The Equation of the States with the Syllable Om)
I-19. When the identity of Visva with the letter a is meant, ie., when the identity of Visva with the letter a is admitted, the common feature of being the first is seen to be obvious, as also the common feature of all-pervasiveness.
I-20. In the event of Taijasa being apprehended as identical with u, ie, when the identity of taijasa with the letter u is admitted, the common feature of superiority is seen clearly and so, too, is the intermediate position.
I-21. In the even of Prajna being apprehended as identical with m, ie, when the identity of Prajna with the letter m is admitted, the common feature of being the measure is seen to be obvious and so too is the common feature of absorption.
I-22. He who knows conclusively the common similarities in the three states, becomes worthy of worship and adoration by all beings, and is also a great sage.
I-23. The letter a leads to Visva and the letter u to Taijasa. Again, the letter m (leads) to Prajna. For the one who is free from letters, there is no attainment.

(The Fruits of Meditation on Om)
I-24. Om should be known, quarter by quarter. It is beyond doubt that the quarters (of the self) are the letters (of Om). Having known Om, quarter by quarter, one should not think of anything else.
I-25. Let the mind be fixed on Om, for Om is Brahman, the fearless. For him who us ever fixed on Om, there is no fear anywhere.
I-26. Om is indeed the lower Brahman; Om is (also) regarded as the higher (Brahman). Om is without a cause, without interior and exterior, without effect, and is undecaying.
I-27. Om is indeed the beginning, middle and end of everything. Having known Om thus, one attains immediately the identity with the self.
I-28. One should know Om to be the Lord dwelling in the hearts of all. having known the all-pervasive Om, the intelligent one does not grieve.
I-29. He by whom is known Om which is without measure and possessed of infinite magnitude and which is auspicious, since all duality ceases in it, is a sage and none else.

II. Vaitathya Prakarana

(The Falsity of External Objects in Waking and Dreaming States)
II-1. The wise declare the unreality of all objects in a dream because they are located within (the body) and (also) because they are confined within a limited space.
II-2. Since the period is short, one does not go to the place and see. Also, every dreamer, when awakened, does not exist in that place (of dream).
II-3. The non-existence of the chariot etc., (seen in dream) is heard of (in the sruti) from the point of view of reasoning. The knowers of Brahman say that the unreality thus arrived at (through reasoning) is revealed (by the sruti) in the context of dream.
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-6. That which is non-existent in the beginning and at the end is definitely so in the present (ie., in the middle). The objects, though they bear the mark of the unreal, appear as though real.
II-7. Their utility is opposed in dream. therefore, on the ground of having a beginning and an end, they are regarded as definitely unreal.
II-8. (To see) unusual things (in dream) is indeed an attribute of the dreamer just as it is in the case of those who dwell in heaven. These he perceives by going there, even as one, well instructed, does in this world.
II-9. Even in dream what is imagined by the mind (chitta) within is unreal, while what is grasped outside by the mind is real. But both these are seen to be unreal.
II-10. Even in the waking state what is imagined by the mind within is unreal, while what is grasped by the mind outside is real. It is reasonable to hold both these to be unreal.

(Nature of Perception of Objects in Both States)
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-13. The Lord imagined in diverse forms the worldly objects existing in the mind. With the mind turned outward, He imagines diversely permanent objects (as also impermanent things). Thus the Lord imagines.
II-14. Things that exist within as long as the thought lasts and things that are external and conform to two points of time, are all imaginations alone. The distinction (between them) is caused by nothing else.
II-15. The objects that seem to be unmanifested within the mind, and those that seem to be manifested without, are all mere imaginations, their distinction being the difference in the sense-organs.
II-16. First of all, He imagines the Jiva (individual soul) and then (He imagines) various objects, external and internal. As is (a man’s) knowledge, so is (his) memory of it.
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-18. As when the (real nature of the) rope is known, the illusion ceases and the rope alone remains in its non-dual nature, so too is the ascertainment of the Self.
II-19. (The Self) is imagined as infinite objects like prana etc. This is the Maya of the luminous One by which It itself is deluded, (as it where).

(List of Various Views of Nature of Reality)
II-20. The knowers of Prana hold Prana (to be the cause of the world), which the knowers of the elements regard the elements (to be the cause). Qualities (are the cause), say the knowers of quality, whereas the knowers of category consider categories (to be so).
II-21. The knowers of the quarters (such as Visva) hold the quarters (to be the cause), while the knowers of sensory objects regard sensory objects (to be the cause). the worlds (are real), say the knowers of the worlds, and the knowers of the gods consider the gods (to be so).
II-22. Those well-versed in the Vedic lore hold the Vedas (to be real), while the sacrificers subscribe it to the sacrifices. Those who know the enjoyer hold the enjoyer (to be real), whereas those familiar with the enjoyable things think of them (to be real).
II-23. Subtlety (is real), say those who know the subtlety, while those familiar with the gross regard it to be so. (Reality is) possessed of a form, say the worshippers of God with form, while the worshippers of the formless (hold the reality) to be formless.
II-24. The astrologers hold time (to be real), while the knowers of directions consider directions (to be so). Those stiff in debate affirm that disputations (lead to the reality), whereas those who aspire after the worlds consider them (to be real).
II-25. The knowers of the mind hold it (to be the Self), while the knowers of the intellect regard it (to be so). The knowers of the heart ascribe (reality to it), whereas it is attributed to virtue and vice by those who know them.
II-26. Some say that twenty-five categories (constitute the reality), whereas others speak of twenty-six. Again, some say that thirty-one categories (constitute it), yet some others hold that they are infinite.
II-27. Those who know the people (and their pleasures) find reality in pleasures. Those who are familiar with the stages of life regard them (as real). The grammarians (ascribe reality) to the words in the masculine, feminine and neuter genders, whereas others (know reality) to be the higher and lower (brahman).
II-28. Those who know all about creation (say that reality consists in) creation. (Reality lies) in dissolution, say those who know it, while those who know about subsistence (hold it to be the reality). All these ideas are always imagined on the Self.
II-29. He to whom (a teacher) might show an object sees that alone (as the reality). That object, too, becoming one with him, protects him. That state of being engrossed culminates in his self-identity with the object shown.
II-30. By these things that are non-separate (from the Self), this Self is manifested as though separate. He who knows this truly comprehends (the meaning of the Vedas) without entertaining any doubt.

(The True Nature of Reality)
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-33. This (Self) is imagined to be unreal objects and also to be non-dual. The objects are also imagined on the non-dual (Self). therefore non-duality is auspicious.
II-34. This (world) viewed on the basis of the Self, is not different. Neither does it ever exist independent by itself nor is anything different or non-different (from the Self). Thus know the knowers of Truth.
II-35. By the sages who are free from attachment, fear and anger and well-versed in the Vedas is realised this Self which is beyond all imaginations, in which the phenomenal world ceases to exist and which is non-dual.
II-36. Therefore, having known it thus, one should fix one’s memory on non-duality (ie., should give undivided attention). Having attained the non-dual, one should conduct oneself as though one were a dullard.
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.
II-38. Having perceived Truth internally and having perceived it externally, one should become identified with Truth, should derive delight from Truth, and should never deviate from Truth.

III. Advaita Prakarana

(Opening Remarks)
III-1. The aspirant, resorting himself to devotion, remains in the conditioned Brahman. Prior to creation all this was of the nature of the birthless Brahman. Hence the man (with such a view) is considered to be of narrow outlook.
III-2. Therefore, I shall describe that (Brahman) which is free from limitation, is unborn and is ever the same. Listen how nothing whatsoever is born, though it appears to be born in all respects.

(The "Space in Pots" Analogy)
III-3. The self is said to be existing in the form of Jivas (individual souls), just as (the infinite) ether exists in the form of ether confined within jars. Similarly, It is said to be existing as the aggregate of bodies, even as ether exists like jars etc. This is the illustration with regard to birth.
III-4. Just as when the jars etc., cease to exist, the ether etc., confined within them become merged in the infinite ether, so also the individual souls become merged in the Self here.
III-5. Just as when the ether confined within a particular jar contains dust and smoke, that is not the case with all jars, in the same way, all the individual souls are not associated with happiness etc.
III-6. Though forms, functions and names differ here and there (in respect of the ether contained by jars etc.,), yet this causes no differences in the ether. Similar is the conclusion with regard to individual souls.
III-7. As the ether within a jar is not a modification nor a part of the (infinite) ether, so an individual soul is never a modification nor a part of the (supreme) Self.
III-8. Just as to the children the sky becomes soiled by dirt, so too, to the unwise the Self becomes tainted by impurities.
III-9. The Self, in regard to Its death and birth, going and coming, and Its existence in all the bodies, is not dissimilar to ether.

(Maya and the Tradition of Vedic Revelation)
III-10. All aggregates (such as body) are created like dream by the Maya of the Self. Whether they be superior (to another) or equal, there is no ground to prove their reality.
III-11. The individual Self of the sheaths beginning with that made of food, which have been described in the Taittiriya Upanishad, is (the same as) the supreme Self, as explained (by us already) on the analogy of ether.
III-12. Just as it is taught that ether in the earth and the belly is verily the same, so also the supreme Brahman is declared to be the same with reference to every two (viz., the corporeal and superphysical), in the Madhu-Brahmana (Brihadaranyaka Upanishad).
III-13. Since the non-difference of Jiva (individual soul) and the supreme Self is extolled on the basis of their identity, and since diversity is censured, therefore, that (non-duality) alone is reasonable.
III-14. The separateness of the individual soul and the supreme Self which has been declared (in the sruti) prior to the discussion of creation (in the Upanishads), is in a secondary sense in view of the result of the future, for it (separateness) is not in fitness if held in its primary sense.
III-15. The creation which is differently set forth by means of (the illustrations of) earth, gold, sparks etc., is (just) a means to reveal the idea (of identity). But multiplicity does not exist in any manner.
III-16. There are three stages of life – low, medium, and high. This meditation is enjoined for their sake out of compassion.

(Advaita is Non-Contradiction)
III-17. The dualists, firmly settled in their own doctrine which is arrived at by their own conclusions, contradict one another. But this (view of the non-dualist) is in no conflict with them.
III-18. Non-duality is indeed the supreme Reality, inasmuch as duality is said to be its product. For them duality constitutes both (the Real and the unreal). Hence this (our view) is not opposed (to theirs).
III-19. This unborn (Self) undergoes modification through Maya and not in any other way. For, if the modifications are to be a reality, the immortal would tend to be mortal.
III-20. The disputants think of the very unborn Self on terms of birth. How can the Self that is unborn and immortal tend towards mortality?
III-21. The immortal can never become mortal. So, too mortal can never become immortal. For a change in one’s nature cannot ever take place in any manner.
III-22. How can the entity that is immortal remain unchanged according to one to whom a thing that is immortal by nature can be born, since it is a product (in his view) ?

(Creation in the Sruti)
III-23. The sruti favours equally the creation in reality and through Maya. That which is settled by the sruti and supported by reasoning is true, and not anything else.
III-24. Since the sruti says, "There is no multiplicity here", "the Lord, owing to Maya, (is seen diversely)", and "The Self, though unborn, (appears to be born in many ways)", it becomes obvious that He is born through Maya.
III-25. By the censure of (the worship of) Hiranyagarbha is negated creation. By the statement, "Who will cause it to be born?", is denied causality.
III-26. On the ground of non-apprehension (of Brahman), all the preceding instruction (for Its comprehension) is negated by the sruti, "This Self is that which has been declared as ‘Not this, not this’". Hence the unborn Self becomes revealed by Itself.
III-27. Birth of that which exists occurs only through Maya and not in reality. He who thinks that something is born in reality, (should know) that that which is already born is (re)born.
III-28. The birth of that which is non-existent cannot occur either through Maya or in reality, for a son of a barren woman cannot be born either through Maya or in reality.

(Manas in Waking, Dream, and Deep Sleep - the Realization of No-Mind)
III-29. As in dream the mind vibrates through Maya, as though with dual roles, so in the waking state the mind vibrates through Maya, as though with dual roles.
III-30. There can be no doubt that the non-dual mind alone appears in dream in dual roles. Similarly, in the waking state too, the non-dual mind appears to possess dual roles.
III-31. Whatever there is, moving and unmoving, which constitutes this duality, is perceived by the mind, for when mind does not exist as mind, duality is never perceived.
III-32. 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 to be perceived.
III-33. (The knowers of Brahman) say that the knowledge which is free from imagination, and unborn is not distinct from the knowable. The knowledge of which Brahman is the sole object is unborn and everlasting. The unborn (Self) is known by the (knowledge that is) unborn.
III-34. The behaviour of the mind (thus) restrained, which is free from all imagination and which is endowed with discrimination, should be noticed. The mind in deep sleep is of a different character and is not like that (when it is under restraint).
III-35. The mind becomes dissolved in deep sleep, but when under restraint, it doesn’t become dissolved. That (mind) alone becomes Brahman, the fearless, endowed with the light that is Consciousness on all sides.
III-36. (Brahman is) birthless, sleepless, dreamless, nameless, formless, ever-resplendent and omniscient. (As regards That) there can be no routine practice of any kind.
III-37. The Self is devoid of all (external) organs, and is above all internal organs. It is exquisitely serene, eternally resplendent, divinely absorbed, unchanging and fearless.
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.

(The Yoga of non-Contact)
III-39. This Yoga that is said to be not in touch with anything is hard to be perceived by anyone of the Yogis, for the Yogis who behold fear in what is fearless, are afraid of it.
III-40. For all the Yogis, fearlessness, cessation of misery, awareness and everlasting peace, depend upon the control of their mind.
III-41. By a tireless effort such as that by which the emptying of an ocean, drop by drop, is aimed at with the help of the edge of a Kusa grass, the conquest of the mind will become possible through absence of dejection.
III-42. With the (proper) means one should bring under restraint the mind that is torn amid desire and enjoyment. Even when the mind is well settled down in sleep, it should be brought under restraint, for sleep is as harmful as desire.
III-43. Remembering that everything is productive of grief, one should withdraw (one’s mind) from the enjoyment of the objects of desire. (Similarly), remembering that everything is the unborn Brahman, one does not certainly see the born (ie., duality).

(The Realization of the Motionless Citta)
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.
III-45. In that state one should not enjoy the happiness, but should, by means of discrimination, become unattached. When the mind that has become still tends towards wandering, it should be unified (with the self) with efforts.
III-46. When the mind does not become merged nor distracted again, when it becomes motionless and does not make appearances (as objects), then it verily becomes Brahman.
III-47. That highest Bliss exists in one’s own Self. It is calm, identical with liberation, indescribable, and unborn. Since It is one with the unborn knowable (Brahman), the knowers of Brahman speak of It as the Omniscient (Brahman).
III-48. No Jiva (individual soul), whichsoever, is born. It has no cause (of birth). (Such being the case), this is the highest Truth where nothing is born whatsoever.

IV. Alatasanti Prakarana
(On extinguishing the fire brand)

(Opening Salutations)
IV-1. I bow down to him who is the best among men and who has realised the individual souls that are like ether, through his knowledge which again resembles ether and is not different from the object of knowledge.
IV-2. I bow down to that Yoga which is devoid of touch with anything (that implies relationship), which conduces to the happiness of all beings and is beneficial, and which is free from dispute and contradiction and is taught by the scriptures.

(The Dualists and the Basis of Non-Origination)
IV-3. Certain disputants postulate the birth of an entity already existing, while some others, proud of their intelligence, and opposing among themselves, postulate the birth of what is not existing already.
IV-4. That which already exists cannot be born and that which does not exist also cannot be born. Those who argue thus are none but non-dualists and proclaim only the birthlessness.
IV-5. We approve the birthlessness revealed by them. We do not quarrel with them. Now, learn this which is free from all disputes.
IV-6. The disputants think of the self on terms of birth. How can the Self that is unborn and immortal tend towards mortality.
IV-7. The immortal can never become mortal. So, too the mortal can never become immortal. For a change in one’s nature cannot ever take place in any manner.
IV-8. How can the entity that is immortal remain unchanged according to one in whose view a thing that is immortal by nature can be born, since it is an effect (in his view) ?
IV-9. By the term nature is to be known that which comes into being through right attainments, which is intrinsic, inborn, and non-produced, and which does not give up its character.
IV-10. All the souls are free from decay and death by nature. But by thinking of decay and death, and becoming absorbed in that thought, they deviate (from that nature).

(Critique of Various Theories of Causation)
IV-11. According to him who holds that the cause itself is the effect, the cause must be born. How can that which is born be unborn? How can that which is subject to modification be eternal ?
IV-12. If (in your view) the effect is non-different from the cause and if, for that reason, the effect also is unborn, how can the cause be eternal, since it is non-different from the effect that undergoes birth ?
IV-13. He who holds the view that the effect is born from an unborn cause, has no example (to be cited). If the born effect is viewed as born from another born thing, it leads to ad infinitum.
IV-14. How can they, who hold that the effect is the source of the cause and the cause is the source of the effect, assert beginninglessness for cause and effect ?
IV-15. According to the disputants who hold that the effect is the origin of the cause and the cause is the origin of the effect, birth may be possible, just as a father might be born of a son.
IV-16. If cause and effect be possible, the order (in which they originate) has to be found out by you, for if they originate simultaneously, there is no relationship between the two, as is the case with the horns of a cow.
IV-17. Your cause that is produced from an effect cannot be established. How will a cause, that is itself not established, produce an effect ?
IV-18. If the cause emerges from the effect and if the effect emerges from the cause, which of the two has arisen first on which depends the emergence of the other ?
IV-19. Your inability (to reply) tantamounts to ignorance, or there will be a difference in the order of succession (postulated by you). Thus indeed is the absence of birth revealed by the wise in all manner.
IV-20. What is called the illustration of a seed and a sprout is always equal to the major term (yet to be proved). The middle term (viz., the illustration) that is equal to the unproved major term, cannot be applied for establishing a proposition yet to be proved.
IV-21. The ignorance regarding antecedence and succession reveals birthlessness. From a thing that is born, why is it that its antecedent cause is not comprehended ?
IV-22. Nothing whatsoever is born either of itself or of something else. Similarly, nothing whatsoever is born whether it be existent or non-existent or both existent and non-existent.
IV-23. A cause is not born of an effect that is beginningless, nor does an effect take birth naturally (from a cause that is beginningless). For that which has no cause has no birth also.

(Cognition and the Problem of Objective Reference)
IV-24. Knowledge has its object, since otherwise it brings about the destruction of duality. Besides, from the experience of pain, the existence of external objects, as upheld by the system of thought of the opponents, is admitted.
IV-25. In accordance with the perception of the cause of knowledge, the latter is deemed to be based on external objects. But from the point of view of reality, the (external) cause is regarded as no cause.
IV-26. Consciousness is not in contact with objects nor is it in contact with the appearances of objects. For the object is certainly non-existent and (the ideas constituting) the appearances of object are not separate from consciousness.
IV-27. Consciousness does not ever come in contact with objects in the three periods of time. Without a cause (ie., external object) how can there be its false apprehension ?
IV-28. Therefore consciousness is not born, nor are things perceived by it born. Those who perceive it as having birth, may as well see footprints in the sky.

(Further Analysis of Waking and Dream Experiences)
IV-29. Since it is the birthless that is born (in the view of the disputants), birthlessness is its nature. Hence deviation from this nature can happen in no way whatsoever.
IV-30. If transmigratory existence be beginningless, its termination will not be reached. And liberation will not be eternal, if it has a beginning.
IV-31. That which is non-existent in the beginning and the end is definitely so in the present. The objects, although similar to the unreal, look as though real.
IV-32. Their utility is opposed in dream. Therefore, for the reasons of their having a beginning and an end, they are definitely remembered to be unreal.
IV-33.All objects are unreal in dream, inasmuch as they are seen within the body. In this narrow space, how is the vision of creatures possible ?
IV-34. It is not reasonable to say that objects in dream are seen by (actually) going to them, since it runs counter to the regulation of time that is needed for the journey. Further, none, when awake, remains in the place of dream.
IV-35. (In dream) what has been discussed with friends and others (and settled) is not resorted to when awake. Whatsoever is acquired (in dream0, too, is not seen when awake.
IV-36. And in dream the body becomes unreal, since another body is seen (in the bed). As is the body, so is everything cognised by the consciousness – all unreal.
IV-37. Since the experience (of objects) in dream is just like that in the waking state, the former is thought of as being caused by the latter. Such being the case, the waking state is considered to be real for that dreamer alone.

(Denial of Theories of Causality)
IV-38. Such birth is not established, everything is said to be unborn. Besides, it is not possible for the unreal to be born from the real, in any way whatsoever.
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-40. There is no non-existent that serves as the cause of the non-existent, in the same way as the existent does not serve as the cause of the non-existent. There is no real entity that serves as the cause of another real entity. How can the unreal be the product of the real ?
IV-41. Just as one, for want of discrimination, takes unthinkable objects in the waking state as real, so too, in dream, one sees things in that state alone, for want of discrimination.

(The Basis of Belief in Origination)
IV-42. 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.
IV-43. For those who, for fear of the Unborn, and also owing to their perception (of duality), deviate from the right path, the evil springing up from acceptance of birth (creation), does not accrue. The evil effect, if there be any, will be but little.
IV-44. Just as an elephant magically conjured up is called an elephant by relying on perception and right conduct, similarly, for reasons of perception and right conduct a thing is said to be existing.

(How Duality Appears in Everyday Consciousness)
IV-45. That which bears semblance of birth, appears as though moving, and, similarly seems to be a thing (of attributes), is Consciousness that is birthless, unmoving and non-material, serene and non-dual.
IV-46. Thus Consciousness is unborn; thus the souls are regarded to be unborn. Those who realise thus certainly do not fall into misfortune.
IV-47. Just as the fire-brand set in motion appears as straight, crooked etc., similarly, the vibration of Consciousness appears as the perceiver and the perceived.
IV-48. Just as the fire-brand devoid of motion is without appearances and birth, so also Consciousness devoid of vibration is without appearances and birth.
IV-49. When the fire-brand is in motion, the appearances do not come from elsewhere. Neither do they, when the fire-brand is free from motion, go elsewhere, nor do they enter into it.
IV-50. They did not go out of the fire-brand owing to their not being of the nature of substance. In the case of Consciousness, too, the appearances must be the same, for as appearance there can be no distinction.
IV-51. When Consciousness is in motion, the appearances do not come from elsewhere. Neither do they, when the Consciousness is free from motion, go elsewhere, nor do they enter again into It.
IV-52. They did not go out of Consciousness owing to their not being of the nature of substance, for they ever remain incomprehensible on account of the absence of relation of effect and cause.
IV-53. A substance could be the cause of a substance and another could be the cause of any other thing. But the souls cannot be regarded either as substances or as some other thing different from all else.
IV-54. Thus external objects are not born of Consciousness; nor is Consciousness born of external objects. Thus have the wise settled the birthlessness of cause and effect.

(Causation is the Result of Attachment to a Causal View)
IV-55. As long as there is fascination for cause and effect, so long do cause and effect come into existence. When the fascination for cause and effect ceases, there is no further springing up of cause and effect.
IV-56. As long as one is completely absorbed in cause and effect, so long does transmigration continue. When the absorption in cause and effect ceases, one does not undergo transmigration.
IV-57. From the relative plane (of thinking) everything seems to be born and is not, therefore, eternal. From the absolute plane (of perception) everything is the unborn (Self) and there is, therefore, nothing like destruction.
IV-58. The souls that are thus born are not born in reality. Their birth is like that of an object through Maya. And that Maya again is non-existent.
IV-59. Just as from a magical seed comes out a sprout of that very nature which is neither permanent nor destructible, so too, is the reasoning applicable in respect of objects.
IV-60. In the case of all birthless entities the terms permanent and non-permanent can have no application. Where words fail to describe, no entity can be spoken of in a discriminative manner.

(Perception in the Waking and Dream States)
IV-61. As in dream Consciousness vibrates through illusion, as though dual by nature, so in the waking state Consciousness vibrates through illusion as though possessed of dual appearances.
IV-62. There can be no doubt that the non-dual Consciousness alone appears in dream as though dual. Similarly, in waking state, too, the non-dual Consciousness appears as though dual, undoubtedly.
IV-63. The dreamer, as he wanders in the dream-land always sees the creatures born from eggs or from moisture as existing in all the ten directions.
IV-64. These (creatures), perceptible to the consciousness of the dreamer, have no existence apart from his consciousness. So also this consciousness of the dreamer is admitted to be the object of perception to that dreamer alone.
IV-65. The man in the waking state, as he wanders in the places of the waking state, always sees the creatures born from eggs or from moisture as existing in all the ten directions.
IV-66. These (creatures), perceptible to the consciousness of the man in the waking state, have no existence apart from his consciousness. So also, this consciousness of the man in the waking state is admitted to be the object of perception to that man of the waking state alone.
IV-67. Both these are perceptible to each other. "Does it exist?" (To such a question) "No" is said (by way of answer). Both these are devoid of valid proof, and each can be perceived only through the idea of the other.
IV-68. Just as a creature seen in dream takes birth and dies, so also do all these creatures come into being and disappear.
IV-69. Just as a creature conjured up by magic takes birth and dies, so also do all these creatures come into being and disappear.
IV-70. Just as an artificial creature (brought into being by incantation and medicine), takes birth and dies, so also do all these creatures come into being and disappear.
IV-71. No creature whichsoever is born, nor is there any source for it. This is that supreme truth where nothing is born whatsoever.
IV-72. This duality consisting in the subject-object relationship is nothing but the vibration of Consciousness. Again, Consciousness is without object and is, therefore, declared to be ever unattached.
IV-73. That which exists by virtue of being an imagined empirical view, does not exist in reality. Again, that which exists on the basis of the empirical view brought about by other schools of thought, does not really exist.
IV-74. Inasmuch as the soul, according to the conclusions arrived at by other schools of thought, takes birth from a fancied empirical view point, it is said in consistence with that empirical point of view that the soul is unborn; but from the point of view of supreme Reality, it is not even unborn.
IV-75. There is a mere fascination for unreal things, though there exists no duality. Having realised the absence of duality, one is not born again for want of a cause.
IV-76. When there are no causes – superior, inferior or medium – then Consciousness does not take birth. How can there be any result when the cause is absent.
IV-77. The birthlessness of Consciousness which is free from causes is constant and absolute, for all this (ie., duality and birth) was an object of perception to It which had been unborn (even before).
IV-78. Having realised the Truth that is uncaused and having abstained from obtaining any further cause, one attains the state of fearlessness that is devoid of grief and delusion (kama).
IV-79. Owing to fascination for unreal objects, Consciousness engages Itself in things that are equally unreal. On realisation of the non-existence of objects, Consciousness, becoming free from attachment, abstains (from them).
IV-80. Then, there follows a state of stillness, when the Consciousness has become free from attachment and does not engage Itself (in unreal things). That is the object of vision to the wise. That is the (supreme) state on non-distinction, and that is birthless and non-dual.
IV-81. This is birthless, sleepless, dreamless, and self-luminous. For this Entity (the Self) is ever luminous by Its very nature.
IV-82. Owing to the Lord’s fondness for any object whatsoever, he becomes ever veiled effortlessly, and is unveiled every time with strenuous effort.
IV-83. 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.
I V-84. These are the four alternative views, owing to a fascination for which the Lord becomes ever hidden. He is the all-seer by whom is the Lord perceived as untouched by these.
IV-85. Having attained omniscience in its entirety, as well as the non-dual state of Brahmanhood that is devoid of beginning, middle, and end, does anyone wish anything thereafter ?
IV-86. This is the humility of the Brahmanas; this is said to be their natural control. Since, by nature, they have conquered the senses, this is their restraint. Having known thus, the enlightened one becomes rooted in tranquillity.

(The Mundane, Pure Mundane, Supra-mundane, and the Omniscient State)
IV-87. The duality that is co-existent with both object and (its) perception is said to be the ordinary (waking) state. That state where there is only perception without (the actual presence of an) object is said to be the ordinary (dream) state.
IV-88. The state devoid of object and devoid of perception is regarded as extraordinary. Thus have the wise for ever declared knowledge, object, and the knowable.
IV-89. On acquiring knowledge (of the threefold objects) and on knowing the objects in succession, there follows consequently, for the man of great intellect here, the state of omniscience for ever.
IV-90. Those which are to be abandoned, realised, adopted, and made ineffective should be known first. Of these, the three, excepting the thing to be realised, are regarded as mere imaginations born of ignorance.

(The Non-originated, Non-relational, Ever-enlightened Souls)
IV-91. It should be known that all souls are, by nature, similar to ether, and eternal. There is no diversity anywhere among them, even an iota of it.
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-93. All souls are, from the very beginning, tranquil, unborn and, by nature, entirely detached, equal, and non-different, and inasmuch as Reality is thus unborn, unique, and pure, (therefore there is no need of tranquillity to be brought into the Self).
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-95. They who have well-settled convictions regarding that which is unborn and ever the same,indeed are possessed of great knowledge in this world. But the common man cannot comprehend it.
IV-96. The knowledge existing in the birthless souls is regarded unborn and unrelated. Inasmuch as the knowledge has no relation with other objects, it is declared to be unattached.
IV-97. If there be birth for a thing, however insignificant it may be, non-attachment shall never be possible for the ignorant man. What to speak (then) of the destruction of covering for him ?
IV-98. All souls are devoid of any covering and are by nature pure. They are illumined as well as free from the beginning. Thus they are said to be masters since they are capable of knowing.
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.
IV-100. Having realised the non-dual state that is hard to perceive, deep, unborn, uniform and serene, we offer our salutations to It, as best as we can.