Gaudapada Karika with Advaita commentary of our understanding


Om. May no harm be done Here, May the vessels of the great Seers continue in Salvation, May these movements be in accord with Divine Will, May this desire be motivated by Love, May what is not beneficent wither to obscurity.
I prostrate.


Gaudapada Karika Chapter 4. with Advaita, Non-Dual, Commentary

FOURTH CHAPTER Gaudapada karika

In this fourth and last chapter of the Karika Gaudapada once more restates the truth of non-origination in order to touch on the higher truths that arise from the fact of non-origination.
The most important,   as it were,   truth arising from non-origination is the statement "I" Alone Exist.   This means that in Consciousness the seeing of all others is not provable as true.   As in a dream it is only the awareness that is supported through this Consciousness or  "I"   that makes a judgement on its reality and as Gaudapada demonstrates Consciousness itself is the perceiver and the perceived,   just as in a dream.
Another place this realisation of "I" Alone is alluded to is in the Kaivalya Upanishad



1. I salute that best of the bipeds, who by jnana almost like the sky and not different from the knowable,  fully realised the entities,  or jivas,  individual souls,  comparable to the sky.

This opening verse is a salute to the realised Sage.  The Absolute is likened to the sky due to the sky and space appearing infinite and in which all entities are apparently held.   This description compares to that of the Absolute.   The Absolute being Absolute Consciousness and knowledge it is this knowledge by which all existence is Known and held.  It is the Realisation or knowledge of the Self as all souls,  beings and entities that liberates the Sage

2. I bow down to him by whom was preached the non touch Yoga verily so called,  which is for the pleasure of all beings,  beneficial,  without any dispute and unopposed.

The Yoga or teaching is being praised for its benefits to all because Non-Duality disputes with no other.

3. Some disputants indeed fancy the origination of the existent;  other intelligent disputants,  of the non existent;   thus they are seen disputing with one another.

This verse describes the disagreements that arise due to duality.   Speaking in terms of belief or understanding origination or original birth of what eternally exists and other of the birth of a non existent thing.   These beliefs will point to recognised schools of thought but the point being made here is the fact of duality and dispute.

4. No existent whatever is originated;  a non existent is assuredly not originated;  those dualists (disputants) indeed disputing thus proclaim non origination.

Gaudapada here states the logical case.  That that exists eternally (the truly existent) cannot have a beginning or origination.  That that does not exist (existence as a true entity) will not have origination or birth.   Having true existence means an entity that is not comprised of a mixture of other entities,  like the clay pot.  The Earthen clay pot exists in name only,   in reality it is made of earth.

5. We endorse the non origination proclaimed by them;  we dispute not with them.  Know how the ajativada is free from dispute.

What is being stated here is the nature of the said disputants arguments reveal that what they are saying is that non origination is the reality which the Non-Dualists agree with,  and non-duality is free from disputes.

6. The disputants (Dvaitins) wish to prove the origination of the entity which is verily unoriginated.  How indeed can an unborn,  and therefore,  immortal entity,  pass on to mortality?

Dvaitins, dualists,   need to prove origination is what is the meaning here.  But again the assertion is that an eternal entity cannot become born,  be subject to birth because what has a beginning has an end,   how can the unchanging change into birth?

7. The immortal does not become mortal,  nor likewise the mortal immortal.  There would not be under any circumstances,  a change otherwise of one´s nature.

The further logical assertion is made that an immortal entity does not become mortal because that means it never was immortal.  The opposite logic also applies,  the mortal cannot become immortal because the immortal cannot have a history of mortality,  the immortal cannot undergo change.

8. He for whom,  that is,  in whose opinion an entity immortal in its own nature,  goes to mortality how will the immortal of his that is,  admitted by him artificially made or,  subject to artificial effort,  remain changeless or,  unmoving?

This verse again churns the logic.   It asks,   if the belief stands that the immortal can become mortal then that believer must see the possibility of creating,  originating an immortal entity.  To be immortal the entity so created must be eternally unchanging and unmoving.  How could such an entity be Created?  It cannot is the Meaning.

9. That should be well known as nature which is fully established,  natural,  inborn and not made artificially,  and which does not abandon its own nature.

The statement here is that an entities nature does not change,   an entities nature is what defines the entity.   An entities nature is inborn and natural.  An entity cannot abandon its inborn natural nature.   All this is referring to the fact that the nature of immortality is just that, it naturally is immortal.   An immortal thing cannot abandon the nature of immortality and all that means to become a thing with the nature of mortality.

10. All entities are by nature freed from old age and death.  Wishing for old age and death,  they deviate from their nature by the thought of them.

The proof of the true nature of all beings being immortal has been established using various means in each of the first three chapters of this Karika.
What has been shown is that the Absolute Self Alone exists as a Singularity.  This singularity is unoriginated, unborn and therefore immortal.  This singularity is knowledge and consciousness Absolute.  This Absolute being That alone that has true Existence means that all that truly exists of beings is immortal and it has been shown that a beings true existence is Consciousness Alone.
A being that wishes for old age and death or assumes that is part of his nature does not know his true nature,  who he really is.

11. For whom indeed that is,  who holds that the cause is the effect,  for him that is,  he would have to admit that the cause is originated;   if the cause is being originated,  how can it be unborn and how again can that if modified be eternal ?

The one who believes that the cause is also the effect (of the Primal eternal Absolute) will still have to account for that cause,  be it with or without the simultaneous effect,  being the cause of Eternity.  This cannot be is therefore being stated.
The Sequence of cause and effect,   the assumption that a cause can dictate an outcome or that there is one thing that is independent of another thing and can independently cause change to the other is the error and delusion of duality.   The understanding limited to duality assumes everything has a separate cause.   If this was so then the immortal Absolute,   the Absolute here said previously to be without origination or cause would have to have been caused,  originated, born.   If that was so and the Absolute was caused the question is again asked how could the Absolute be immortal?  Again the answer has to be that the Primal Absolute Unity is without cause.

12. If it is argued by you that there is non difference of the effect from the cause,  and therefore if the effect is regarded as unoriginated,  how can your cause indeed which is non different from the effect being originated be spoken of by you as unchanging ?

There appears to be a school of thought that the effect is within the cause (of the Primal eternal Absolute) meaning the Primal Absolute could have been caused because it Also contains the effect,  the effect and cause being a unity.   One assumes that this was supposed to allow the Absolute,   although being caused to be immortal.   But it is this very unity itself that brought about change so the question is asked how can that that changes be described as unchanging?  Clearly it cannot.

13. For whom that is,  in whose opinion,  the effect is originated from the unoriginated cause,  for him there is assuredly no illustration to corroborate his theory;  and in the case of the effect being originated from the originated,  there would be the undesirable contingency of the regressus ad infinitum.

We have further argument to resolve.  The case of the unoriginated cause,   causing the originated effect (of the Primal eternal Absolute).   This verse concludes there is no evidence or example to support this theory.  Further if the effect was originated from the originated then this would lead to infinite regression.

14. For whom that is,  In whose opinion the effect is the producer or,  beginning of the cause and the cause is the producer or,  beginning of the effect how can be nonchalantly described by them,  the Beginningless of the cause as well as the effect ?

The case of the effect is the cause and the cause is the effect (of the Primal eternal Absolute) This case is said to be unconsidered and too nonchalant because it does not eliminate the need for the immortal to be beginningless.

15. For whom that is,  is whose opinion the effect is the producer or,  beginning of the cause and the cause is the producer or,  beginning of the effect,  for them,  there would be the birth in the same manner as the birth of the father from the son!

Concerning the above case of the effect being the producer of the cause and the cause is the producer of the effect (of the Primal eternal Absolute).  It is further pointed out that this would mean the birth of the father from the son.  Plainly illogical.

16. In the case of origination of the cause and effect if admitted,  the order in which this takes place has got to be searched after by you,  in as much as in the case of simultaneous origination of cause and effect,   there would be the absence of mutual connection,  like the left and right horns of a bull.

The simultaneous origination of cause and effect (of the Primal eternal Absolute) will still require an order of events it is being asserted.  And this would entail a distinguishing between the two.  Like the left and right horns of a bull they are not connected.

17. Your cause being brought into being from the effect,  would not be substantiated;  how will the unsubstantiated cause produce the effect?

The case of the cause being brought into being from the effect is denied due to the claim that the cause is brought into being by the as yet non-existent effect.  This makes the existence of the cause untenable and unsubstantiated.  The unsubstantiated and untenable cannot go further to produce an effect or anything else for that matter.

18. If there is the substantiation of the cause from the effect and the substantiation of the effect from the cause,  which one of the two is produced first,  whose substantiation is dependent upon the other?

In the cases of the cause from the effect ant the effect from the cause (of the Primal eternal Absolute) the cause from the effect lacks substantiality as described in verse 17.   but if substantiality were granted then to which event would it be granted?  Which event take take place first here,  cause or effect?  Both cases are unsubstantiated so neither can support the other.   The crucial point here is the coming into being of eternity.  Eternity cannot logically have a beginning.  All of the above cases have tried to step back before a beginning,   or step outside the universe clearly illogical and impossible.

19. Incapability to prove,  the absence of full knowledge about what is prior and what is posterior,  the violation again of the reasonable order in view of this or,  thus indeed,  non origination in every way has been blazoned forth by the wise.

We suspect or assume that in all the previous cases concerning cause and effect or birth or origination and so forth that Gaudapada has been dealing with the arguments or beliefs of other groups.  No attempt has been made by us to research name and list such schools of thought.   We point out that the logic and arguments used for the case of origination is clearly wrong in all cases and it is hard to imagine them being offered in that form by any sensible person,  nevertheless origination or original birth remains illogical and un-provable.   It is has been clearly shown that there is no proof strong or weak to support original birth or origination.
The case for Non-Origination has been clearly and logically proved throughout this Karika.
As a further comment by us the fact of non-origination has long formed the basis for our understanding and it is with profound gratitude that we have Gaudapada´s confirmation and proof.

20. That well known illustration called seed and sprout is indeed always in the category of sama (to be proven).  Surely no reason in the category of "to be proven" is employed for the establishment of a thing to be proved.

The example of the seed and the sprout is on a par with the case of the chicken and the egg.   One may have a view but in reality it will always be in the category of "to be proven". In the case of Non-Origination this is not the case.  Here we have Non-Duality. We have existence and nothing else.  There is no indication,   instance, example or proof of a prior to existence.  Indeed it is the opposite,  Duality or origination that would need to be proved and that proof would have to deny all logic to the contrary.

21. The absence of full knowledge about the priority and posteriority of cause and effect is the full illuminator of non origination. How indeed cannot be comprehended the thing prior to an entity that is being originated for the matter of that?

In the case of Non-Origination no example let alone proof can be given for the origination of a new existence.  The very fact of all being reasonably comprehensible or deducible except for the birth of Existence is the clear indicator of the fact of no original birth.   That is , there is no indication,  no evidence,  and no reason to assume origination.  There is no prior indication to Existence.

22. Nothing whatever is originated either from itself or from something else also;  nothing whatever,   whether existent,  non existent or existent-nonexistent as well,  is originated.

Stated again for clarity it is being said that there is no origination,   nothing whatsoever has original birth or origination.   This remains true for all cases of apparent birth from the existing or non-existent or both.

23. By its own nature the cause is not originated from the beginningless,  and the effect too.  For which there is no beginning,  there is no cause indeed for it.

The meaning here is that the nature of the Absolute is immortality.   The immortal does not change nor is it mutable.   Further, the Absolute is not the effect of any "other" nor is it the cause of any "other" The Absolute being without birth is the sole existing Singularity,  this means it is uncaused,  further it is not the cause or effect of any "other".   The Absolute is clearly without beginning and Eternal.

24. Cognition is or,  has the state of being with that is,  due to some cause;  otherwise there would be no prajnpti and no cognition of the dravya;  so on account of the destruction of the dual and on account of the experience of afflictions,  the existence of external objects in the philosophy of others is indicated as favoured by some.

The belief or acceptance that duality exists due to the fact of experiencing or cognising external phenomena is being explained.
There is a need for explanation because after proving duality to be merely part of the delusion of Maya  (Maya is illusion or the veiling power of the Absolute by which it manifests the world).  the apparently real perception of "other" and knowledge of cause and effect by an "other" remains.

25. That the cognition is or,  has the state of being with that is,  due to some cause,  is fancied on seeing that is,  on the strength of the presentation of the above logical reasoning;   but that the cause has the state of being without a cause is fancied on seeing that is,  on the strength of the actual state of things or,  the reality.

According to the believers in duality their belief rests on the perception of that "other".  This is the conclusion of this verse.
So, the next step is to question the reality of perceived objects,   effects or an "other",  Because if that "other" associated with cause and effect has no reality then cause and effect must also be unreal.

26. The mind does not contact the object,  and similarly indeed not the object appearance.  And because the object   again is non existent,  the object appearance is not different from it.

The unreality of entities or objects has been demonstrates earlier,  a clay pot is really earth,  a piece of cloth is really made of yarn,   the yarn is really made of fibres,   the fibres are parts of plants,   the plants grow from the soil and so forth.
What also needs to be understood is that Consciousness which is the substratum of existence,  the medium through which evidence and knowledge are perceived,  the one witness of being as it were,  this Consciousness does not actually directly contact entities.   Consciousness lights the mind which reports perceptions and entities.   Further, the mind itself does not contact those same entities or objects.
It has been clearly demonstrated in earlier verses of this Karika that objects perceived in the three apparent states of consciousness and mind are ultimately lacking in reality,   all perceived phenomena is unreal it has been shown.   This is true for the appearance of phenomena also,   because appearance involves the object of light reflected from the object of material,  a clay pot etc.  Both the light and the pot are unreal.  The light is energy from the sun,  the sun is energy released from heat,  heat results from nuclear reaction and so forth.

27. Ever in the three paths of time, the mind for all time does not contact the cause;  how would there be its causeless false impression or,  modification?

From the truth or reality expressed in the previous verses concerning existence and reality,  comes a deeper more subtle perception.   Considering any or all of the three states of perceived consciousness,   what has been talked of or considered so far is the reality of phenomena sensed or detected or perceived in those states.  It has been stated and proved that such phenomena are ultimately unreal,   that is empty of true existence;   The intimation or assumption of which is that such impressions have therefore been false.   But the ultimate truth of non-duality,  Advaita tells us that a singularity,  The Absolute Self Alone exists.  In truth this means that  "other"  objects such as clay jars have never existed in any form,  even as reshaped earth,   because such earth itself does not exist in reality.  Because In reality,  Consciousness as The Self Alone Exists.  Returning to the subtle meaning talked of at the beginning of this verse,  and considering that Consciousness Alone Exists,  whatever arises in Consciousness cannot therefore be wrong,   it cannot be a mistake,   it cannot be said that the seeing of a clay pot was wrong because there is no such thing as a   "correct" clay pot in reality;  So whatever arises in consciousness must be correct because that perception alone exists;  So if the perception is of a clay pot that does not exist that perception in itself is correct.

28. Therefore,  the mind is not originated,  the mind perceivable is not originated either;  those who perceive its origination, they verily perceive the foot prints of birds in the sky!

This verse,  continuing from the insights of the previous verse declares that the very act of perception is without origination.  That that perceives is without origination and the act of perceiving is without origination because perception,  Consciousness alone Exists.
The verse finishes asking how can the non-existent come into existence as the non-existent,  as footprints of the birds in the sky?

29. Inasmuch as the unoriginated is said to be originated,  therefore non origination is its nature.  There would not be under any circumstances,  a change otherwise of one´s nature.

To say that the eternal (therefore unoriginated) being was originated (so therefore was not always eternal) but nevertheless is eternal now,  which would be the meaning of this verse,   is to give an impossible illogicality to its nature.

30. There would not again be resulting or,  be established the coming to an end of the beginningless mundane creation;  and there would not be the endlessness of salvation having a beginning.

If the illogical situation described in above verse 29. were accepted and the caused or born or originated were to then be eternal that would mean that Creation itself was now eternal;   That would mean that liberation from this cycle of rebirth would not be attainable,  there would be no release to Absolute bliss.

31. What is not at the beginning and at the end is so also in the present;  existing things though similar to illusions,  are noted as though real.

This verse is repeated from chapter 2 verse 6.   Although an object has all the appearance of reality it will be known to be unreal due to its having a beginning and an end.

32. Being possessed of a purpose in the case of the entities in the waking state is contradicted in the dream;  therefore they indeed are traditionally known as unreal and nothing else on account of their having a beginning and an end.

This verse is repeated from chapter 2 verse 7.   A person may be in England when going to bed but in France while dreaming,   at least one situation or purpose is unreal, and it is the dream situation that is normally assumed to be the unreality.

33. All entities in dream are false on account of their perception within the body.  Whence can there be the perception of existing things within this enclosed region?

Dream entities are seen false due to the fact of not being present on awakening they are known to have been impossibly within while sleeping.

34. On account of the non fixation of time required for the movement,  the perception of things by actually going there is unwarranted;  and further,  when awakened every one is not in that region which he had travelled over to in the dream.

Further,   places apparently travelled to while dreaming are seen to be an impossibility on awakening due to the disparity between the time required for the dream journey and the actual time available during the dream.

35. Having conversed together with his friends etc.,   one when re-awakened does not attain to all that;  and further whatever had been taken by one in the dream, one when re-awakened does not perceive.

While dreaming one can have a conversation with friends and family but after waking those same friends or family members will have no similar memory of such conversations.  Further,   if in a dream one picks a flower that flower does not exist on awakening.  This shows the dream objects to be false.

36. The body in the dream is again unsubstantial owing to the perception of another body as distinct from it;  as the body,  so all mind perceivable is unsubstantial.

A person may in a dream be walking or running but when awaking discovers his sleeping body still in bed.   His conclusion will be that the body experienced in dream consciousness was unreal.  But this verse also points out that whatever is perceived is done so through consciousness.  Therefore waking or dreaming perceptions both exist in consciousness and both are insubstantial.  That is neither object,   waking or dream object can be substantiated as real.

37. Owing to the apprehension of objects in dream,  being similar to that in the waking state,  dream is fancied to have that waking state as its cause.  And owing to dream having that waking state as the cause,  the waking state is fancied to be real for him that is,  the dreamer alone.

A person,   a sentient being in consciousness is aware of the apparent changing states of "his" consciousness.  This sentient being after dreaming of his house awakens in the same house and assumes the house perceived in the waking state to be real and the dream house to be an unreal copy or memory or replay caused by his experience in the waking state.
This verse now introduces an important observation.  This awareness of a real house and an unreal house is only the awareness of that sentient being.  That is this whole sequence of conscious awareness and perception is experienced by this one sentient being,   there is no direct corroboration or sharing of perception with any  "other"   Consciousness.   Further to this important consideration are these following points.  The "real" house of the waking state was assumed to be the cause of the unreal dream house.  But, a "real" entity cannot be the cause of an "unreal" entity.   The unreal cannot be brought into existence by the real.  Or to put it another way,  the non-existent (unreal) cannot be originated (caused, born) by the real (existent).
So, we have a question of origination and reality.   This is resolved when we return to the fact that this whole scenario of dream (unreal),   origination (cause)   and real (waking perception),   was the perceptions or reports of the consciousness of this sentient "individual".   There was and is nothing to substantiate the claims of cause,  origination or reality of any of the object in any dream or waking states.  The conclusion is therefore that none of the objects or phenomena exist.
There is an underlying truth to all this.   That truth or realisation is that there is Existence only because there is this awareness ,   this consciousness of being.  Basically "I" Exist.   "I" Exist because there is this awareness of existing.   But in truth that is all that can be said with proof.  So "I" Alone exist is the truth,  and this is commensurate with the fact of non-origination,  that the unborn eternal singularity alone exists.   This Consciousness,  this "I" is aware of "others" but these others are only sense objects.   "I" have no way of proving the existence of "others" other than via the senses that are part of this consciousness.
The meaning of all of the above is that there is nothing that can be proved to have a reality,   there is nothing that is real other than "I".   As in a dream it is "I" alone,   this Consciousness that is the discriminator of real and unreal.

38. Owing to the production not being quite established,  all is laid down as unoriginated.  And there is no origination in any way of the non existent from the existent.

This is the main purport here. Origination (birth) is not just unproven it has been shown to be non-existent,   origination has never hapend.  Further, nothing having real existence can be found.   That is,  there exists nothing that is without cause or dependency other than Primal Consciousnes itself.  Further it has been well demonstrated that all objects of perception are empty of true existence,   witness the clay pot as being simply earth in another form and so forth.
The sensible conclusion is that because there is no origination in any way,  that is again,   there are no original objects.  All objects are non-existent,  they only appear to exist,  they have an appearance in consciousness only.

39. Having seen the unreal in the waking state,  one being deeply absorbed in it,  sees the same in the dream;  and having seen the unreal in the dream also,  one when reawakened sees it not.

The fact of all objects that are detected by the senses being unreal does not prevent one from becoming affected by them.  Consequently such object will be dreamt of.  Similarly unreal objects produced in dream are not seen in the waking state.
"Real" objects seen in dream are taken as unreal in dream but real in the waking state.   "Real" objects seen in dream but not in the waking state are seen as unreal in the waking state.

40. The unreal has not the unreal as its cause,  likewise the real the unreal as its cause.  The real as well has not the real as its cause;  whence can the unreal have the real as its cause?

The non-existent cannot originate the non-existent.  Likewise the existent cannot be originated by the non-existent.  The existent is not originated by the existent (there being nothing that truly exists);  How can the existent originate a non-existent?
The meaning and conclusion is that all possible cases of origination have been assessed and found to be untrue in reality.

41. As in the waking state,  one through misinterpretation may come upon or,  touch unthinkable objects as though real,   similarly in dream,  one perceives through misinterpretation,  objects there itself.

This verse states that it is due to misinterpretation or lack of discrimination that objects are taken to be real.   This is true for both the dream state as well as the waking state.

42. By the wise (lit. the awakened) has been preached the doctrine of origination for those who contend that things exist in reality because of the perception of those things and of the prevailing etiquette,   and who are ever frightened of the doctrine of non-origination.

What this verse is stating is that the wise teachers,  the sages and Sruti would not deny those worthy aspirants who need to believe in birth or origination either due to their present lack of time to contemplate the subject due to their duties or due to their not being able to come to terms with the annihilation of the ego.   It can be witnessed in Upanishads such as the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad that through love and wisdom the Sruti shows knowledge and understanding to accord with all levels of ability and belief in order to support all and accompany and guide all to Ultimate Self Realisation.

43. Who,  on account of the perception of things,  as though they are real go astray,  in the case of those frightened of the doctrine of non origination,  evils due to belief in origination would not be forthcoming;   there the evil again if at all would be negligible (lit, small).

It would seem this verse is confirming that the lack of understanding of this highest truth of non-origination and all of its implications would not prevent one from contemplating the Absolute Self.   The difference it seems would be one of full understanding of reality or acceptance of the reality of the Divine.   One would not expect the evils of ignorance and duality to lead such aspirants to lose their way.

44. As an illusion elephant is spoken of as real because of perception and of the prevailing etiquette,  similarly things exist is spoken of as depicting a real state of things because of perception and of the prevailing etiquette.

It is further being explained that objects, elephants etc.   are simply accepted as being real because the need to question such reality does not occur to the aspirant because the aspirant simply credits the divine with the power of production of all phenomena including elephants.   It follows that the implications of such reality would call for them to have individual origination is not realised or understood by householder or lay aspirants.

45. Origination appearance,  moving appearance,  and thing appearance exactly in the same way are nothing but vijnana (consciousness), un-originated and unmoving,  unsubstantiality,  calm and without any dual.

These references to the forms of appearance,  birth,   moving and so forth encompass all appearances of existence of "other(s) ".
This is confirmation and elaboration of the earlier statement that "I" Alone Exist.  "I",   that is "This" Consciousness is all that exists and this statement should not be modified in any way because it is literally the truth is what this verse,   in the light of earlier verses is saying.
This Consciousness is primal and unoriginated and a Singularity.   Nothing or no one else can come into existence so any such appearance of existence is nothing but consciousness displaying to "Self",  or "I" all such appearances.  This "I" this "Self" is not a total of "All" others because no "Other(s) " exist.

46. Thus is not originated the mind;  thus are the entities traditionally known as unoriginated;  those fully knowing the reality thus alone do not fall into error.

The mind is not originated nor is it unoriginated.  Carrying forward the full meaning of earlier verses it can now be said that the mind is without true existence.   The mind in reality does not exist.
One knowing this Absolute Reality does not get misled or confused with relative realities, the realities as reported by the senses and so forth.

47. As,  the shaking of the firebrand is with the appearance of straight,  crooked etc.,   so the vibration of vijnana is with the appearance of perception and perceiver.

Most people will be familiar with the trick of quickly moving a lighted stick or firework sparkler in circles or lines to form the illusion of a lighted circle or line. There is no lighted circle in reality just as there is no existence other than Consciousness which although unmoving moves as it were.

48 ) As the firebrand not shaking,  presenting no appearance is unoriginated,  so is the vijnana (consciousness) not shaking,  presenting no appearance,  unoriginated.

When the firebrand is still there is no circle of fire,   this absence of a circle of fire is without cause,   unoriginated.
When consciousness is not presenting an appearance (object of perception,   existence of other, etc.) this non presentation is without cause, unoriginated.

49. When the firebrand is verily shaking up,  the appearances do not arise from anything else;  as a result of non shaking up,   the appearances are not elsewhere other than there,  nor do they enter the firebrand.

When the firebrand is being moved in patterns the (illusions of) patterns do not come from anywhere or anything else.   When the firebrand is again still the (illusions of) patterns do not go anywhere else nor do they go into the firebrand.   It should be noted that the term "back into" the firebrand has not been used here.

50. They do not get out from the firebrand,  owing to their connection with the absence of the nature of a substance that is,  owing to their not being a substance;  they would be just like that in respect of the vijnana (consciousness) also,  on account of the non-difference in appearance that is,  appearances as such are the same by nature.

It is being explained that they do not get out or come from the firebrand because they are not in fact a substance in nature.
This lack of substance of the appearance of fire patterns is being similarly identified with consciousness which also is a lack of substance.

51. When the vijnana (consciousness) is verily vibrating,  the appearances do not arise from anything else;  as a result of non-vibration,  they the appearances are not elsewhere other than there,  nor do they enter the vijnana.

When consciousness is vibrating,   that is displaying creation,   that appearance of creation (or this appearance of creation) comes from nowhere else,   goes nowhere else nor does the appearance of creation move back into consciousness when not being "displayed".

52. They do not get out from the vijnana, (consciousness) owing to their connection with the absence of the nature of a substance that is,  owing to their not being a substance;  because of the absence of the relation of cause and effect,  they are ever and anon incomprehensible.

The appearance of creation does not come out of consciousness because,   as in the case of the fire patterns,   they have no substance.
Having no substance they have no cause or effect. Lacking any substance,   cause or effect they are eternally incomprehensible.

53. Substance may be the cause of substance;  and a category other than substance of a category other than substance assuredly.  The nature of a substance or the nature of some other category is not reasonable in the case of entities.

Only something of substance can be the cause of another substance it is being said.   This seems to mean that for example the firebrand patterns,   lacking substance could not logically be the cause of anything having substance.   One may theorise and invent some other substance that might for example cause another theoretical substance,   this could be so.
But in this reality with the appearance of entities which appear to have substance,   it is only logical to admit that such entities are not caused by consciousness or mind.

54. Thus, entities are not originated from the mind;  the mind also for the matter of that is not originated from entities.  Thus the wise enter into that is,  have to fall back upon,   the doctrine of non-origination of cause and effect.

The sense or logic of all this is that as Consciousness Alone exists,   and Consciousness is not a substance so does not have substance,   Consciousness is not the cause or effect of anything.   Without the existence of a "causer" or the existence of an "effected" obviously there is no origination of cause and effect,   so they do not exist.

55. As long as there is the obsession of cause and effect,  so long is the uprising of cause and effect;  when the obsession of cause and effect ceases to exist,  there is no uprising of cause and effect.

We take the term "obsession with cause and effect" to mean the seeing of cause and effect to be a reality.   Cause and effect are assumed by most to be the nature of existence.   This assumption goes hand in hand with the acceptance of the reality and birth or origination of objects and phenomena.
When originality is seen and realised to be illogical,   then the proper implications of cause and effect will be understood and so seen to be non-existent. It then follows That cause and effect will not figure in ones understanding so divine discrimination will become clarified.

56. As long as there is the obsession of cause and effect,  so long the worldly existence is prolonged;   when the obsession of cause and effect ceases to exist,  one does not attain to worldly existence.

If cause and effect are assumed then the existence of worldly goods will be accepted and ones being and outlook is confined to the nescience of creation.

57. Everything is originated on account of empirical experience,  therefore indeed what is so originated is not eternal or,  permanent.  Everything characterised by the nature of existent is unoriginated,  and therefore there is no annihilation.

It is the unquestioning acceptance of sense experience that keeps the material world a reality. These same sense experiences will report birth and death,   transience and decay.   From such an existence there can be no transcendence.

58. The entities which are spoken of as originated,  they are not originated in reality.  Their origination is comparable to illusion;  that illusion too does not exist.

The entities that are granted existence due to the assumption of origination and cause and effect are without true existence in reality due to the error of seeing origination and so forth.   This is likened to an illusion but it is pointed out that illusion itself has no true existence either,   ("I" Alone Exist).

59. As from a seed made up by illusion,  is originated a sprout constituted of it illusion,  that sprout is not eternal,  nor again liable to annihilation;  so likewise,  the scheme in respect of entities.

The seed and sprout,   or the chicken and the egg are likewise illusions that have no existence.   Having no true existence,   that is they do not even exist now,   they will not exist eternally.   Accordingly the non-existent will not come to cease to exist.
This same truth applies to the entities of Creation.

60. The designation of eternal and non eternal is not significant when all entities are unoriginated;  where words (lit. alphabet,letters),  do not function (lit. exist),  discrimination is not spoken of there that is,   cannot be said to have any scope.

Such descriptions or labels as eternal or transient are the words of creation only.   That is,   the words themselves do not exist.   This verse adds that discrimination has no place in the non-existent because there is nothing to discriminate between.
This will be understood better if one were to consider the fact of Consciousness Alone Existing.   Consciousness,   Absolute Knowledge,   means Truth and Reality Alone Existing.   With all knowing,   all truth,   what need is there of discrimination or decision or any movement whatsoever?

61. As in dream,  the mind through Maya moves,  having or,  presenting the appearance of the dual (grahya and grahaka),  so in the waking state,  the mind through Maya moves,  having or,  presenting the appearance of the dual.

Again the dream state is our useful object of reference.   Here the mind gives the impression of movement and duality of things.
This illusion or play or Maya is just as functional and gives just as much reality in the waking state as in the dream state is the statement here.

62. In dream,  the nondual mind again has the appearance of the dual,  no doubt about it;  similarly in the waking state,  the nondual mind again has the appearance of the dual,  no doubt about it.

Again as in dream so in waking is the statement.   The seeing of duality is an error that occurs in both the dream state and the waking state it is said.

63. The creatures oviparous or born of perspiration,  as well which the dream beholder moving about in dream,  always beholds,   as being located verily in the ten quarters.

All creatures that are naturally born and any other creatures that may be perceived in dream are seen in a conventional environment.

64. they are all capable of being seen only by the mind of the dream beholder;   they do not exist apart from it the mind;  so likewise,  this capable of being seen only by it,  the mind is fancied to be the mind of the dream beholder.

The mind to which the dream containing the creatures occurs is the only mind noted to be aware of the dream, or to be more precise this mind is the only mind that is aware of the creatures.   The creatures in fact do not exist apart from this mind that perceives them.
The person that is the dreamer,   referring to memory or any faculty of mind to note the dream apparitions assumes that it is his mind that has perceived the occurrence.

65. The creatures oviparous or born of perspiration as well which the waking one moving in the waking state,  always beholds,   as being located verily in the ten quarters.

This very same set of circumstances and events that occurred in the dream of the previous verse 64.   Are now to be repeated except this time the perceiving mind is said to be in the waking state. That is,   creatures and so forth moving in the known environment of creation (the ten quarters) are perceived by a waking mind.

66. they are all capable of being beheld only by the mind of the waking one;  they do not exist apart from it the mind;  so likewise,  this capable of being seen only by it the mind is fancied to be the mind of the waking one.

The situation of the waking mind is the same as the mind in the dream state.   That is,   it is only this perception of phenomena that causes the belief of owning a mind that can report external reality or truth.   In fact the reported phenomena are nonexistent,   they are not true,   just as in the dream it is only a mind that stores an event.

67. They both are capable of being perceived by each other;  then what is it that is real?   Nothing is the answer.  Both,  void of characteristics,  are perceived by their thought itself.

The perceiver and perceived are both just events stored by the same mind.   This is the same mind that reports and stores memories and "proof" of individuality.   But there is in fact nothing of real existence.   No events and no memory only the faculty of Consciousness as apparent thought which provides consciousness of the nonexistent events or phenomena.

68. As a dream made creature is born and also dies,  so likewise,  all these creatures are and also are not.

A dream creature can be born,   live and die.   It is and was in the dream but is not in reality.

69. As a Maya made creature is born and also dies,  so likewise,  all those creatures are and also are not.

Under the illusion of a man can be born live and die.   That was the illusion but in reality it was not so.

70. As a creature created by supernatural power is born and also dies,  so likewise,  all those creatures are and also are not.

One can out of ignorance grant imagined powers to a supernatural entity thereby creating a duality that can be said to have originated (caused the birth of ) creatures.   But the reality is that although even these creatures have the appearance of existence they do not exist.

71. No creature whatever is born;  no origination of it exists or,  takes place.   This is that highest truth where nothing whatever is born.

This highest truth is so because from it all else is understood.   The fact of nothing within Creation having the true existence of originality and immortality is answered by the fact of there being no birth.   There is nothing that is original or actually exists.
This non-existence is dictated by the same truth of no origination.

72. This dual,  associated with or,  involving the perceptible and perceiver is the mind vibration itself;   the mind is unrelated to the object;  therefore it is glorified as eternal and without attachment.

In this reality of Advaita,   Non-Duality,   there exists a singularity alone.   As stated in this verse the duality of the perceiver and the perceived does not exist. The appearance or experience of duality is,   as explained here,   simply the mind (consciousness) in action (that is knowledge in action) providing all information relevant to duality so as to experience itself.   This mind has in reality no contact with or relation to any external object or phenomena.

73. What is on account of the imagined phenomenal experience,  that exists not in reality.  It may exist in accordance with the phenomenal experience accepted in other schools of philosophy, but it exists not in reality.

It is recognised in this verse that some believe or accept duality and consequently believe the reports of their senses.   That is they believe in the reality of objects and phenomena, they believe these objects have true existence.
This verse insists all such objects are empty of true existence.   They do not exist in truth.   The delusion of duality persists in such schools of belief only because once a person accepts duality,   therefore does not question it,   then all the delusions that arise from duality go unchallenged.

74. What is even unoriginated on account of the imagined phenomenal experience is not unoriginated in reality.  But that same is held to be originated by the phenomenal experience established in other schools of philosophy!

"What is ... unoriginated on account of the imagined phenomenal experience"   This refers to the delusional experience that a soul is born so therefore it can be mortal which means it is without true existence (unoriginated).   But this verse point out that even this thinking ( in terms of the soul being unoriginated due to perceived birth) is wrong because the term unoriginated or any sort of reference to a state for the eternal or immortal is in error.
The same error applies to the seeing of the soul as birthless.   In Reality The Primal Eternal Singularity bears no reference in terms of words or duality or non-duality.   The Self "IS"   (devoid of attributes) .

75. Where is persistent adherence to the unoriginated,  or,  in the other schools of philosophy there is persistent adherence to the non-existent;   there the dual exists not;  having just understood the absence of the dual,  he is not born,  being without a cause for being born.

Through desire the world of duality is accepted or value is attached to the non-existent,   even though such objects do not exist in reality.
When this unreality is realised or when Unity,   Non-Duality is realised the so realised transcend the creation cycle.

76. When one does not get that is,  become associated with causes,  superior,  inferior or middling,  then the mind is not originated.  In the absence of the cause,  whence the effect?

The Realised one remains detached from all material phenomena and worldly considerations.   Through His higher understanding of the true nature of objects and non-duality the mundane world has no attraction for him.
With the mind (consciousness) not moved by worldly causes there will be no effects,   no bondage,   no seeking which leads to rebirth.   Even a desire to do good deeds is a desire and bondage,   be it even a higher cause it will cause a rebirth of sorts.

77. In asmuch as that mind is verily the mind perceptible,  what non-origination,  of the mind free from causal relation or for the matter of that,  of everything unoriginated as well,  there is,  it is the same,  free from the dual.

It is being said that the Realised Consciousness becomes free from the cause of rebirth,   as described in the previous verse 76.
What is being said further to that is that the Realised and liberated Consciousness remains liberated due to the realised and liberated state being the natural and original state of Non-Dual Consciousness Absolute.

78. Having thus understood the true causelessness,  not finding out another separate cause,  one secures the state which is void of grief,   free from desire and free from fear.

Having Realised the Absolute Non-Dual Self one is freed from desire,   the cause of bondage so remains free from desire,   fear and grief.

79. That mind, owing to its persistent adherence the non-existent proceeds to a similar entity;   having verily realised the absence of a real object,  he turns back,  without any attachment.

The consciousness that was attached to and desired the worldly would seek through that same desire rebirth to further its desires.
The Realised consciousness sees all attachments and desires fall away.   This liberated Consciousness then turns back to Its Self,   desiring nothing else.

80. Then the state of him,  or the mind turned away and not active,   is verily unmoving.  That is indeed the province (vifsyah ) of the Enlightened.  It is same,  unoriginated,  free from the dual.

The state of the Realised liberated being becomes still,   unmoving.   That is,   the realised being is unmoved by worldly considerations and has access to the stillness and truth that is the Absolute Self.

81. Unoriginated,  free from sleep,  free from dream,  it the highest blazes forth itself.  This entity indeed is illuminated once for all owing to its fundamental nature.

The Self Realised are freed from the waking sleep or the waking dream that was caused by the seeing of duality and reality in the non-existent phenomena of creation.
This Realised being abides in the light of truth permanently due to this truth being the natural Absolute Reality.

82. By the apprehension of some object or other again,  is continuously covered over or,  concealed that Lord easily and is always uncovered with difficulty.

This verse warns of the dangers of falling for the attractions of worldly phenomena or sense pleasures,   because it reminds us that the still,   unmoving,   blissful truth of the Absolute Self is easily covered by the loud attractions of Creation.   This still centre of truth is more easily lost than it is found is the meaning here.

83. Is,  is not,  is and is not,  is not is not thus again the untrained one (balisa) does encompass the Bhagavat with notions of him as moving,  steady,  both moving and steady and free from both.

The seeker for truth,   the aspirant,   not having memory of the Absolute Self grasps at knowledge and words to form a picture with which to identify this Divine goal.   Not knowing which words or directions are true this aspirant carries conflicting information and has no steady description to lead him back home

84. These are the four points alternative theories,  by apprehensions of which,  the Lord again is always encompassed,  he is omniscient by whom the Lord is seen as being uncontaminated by these.

The Aspirant who through Love,   devotion or grace,   eventually comes to trust and realise that the Divine,   The Absolute cannot be contained in any description allows all words to fall away and surrenders or submits to Divine Will.   He moves into the clarity of the Truth,   the light of Self Realisation.

85. Having attained to complete omniscience,  the state beneficial to a Brahmana,  nondual,  not amenable to any beginning,  middle and end,  what more than this does one yearn for?

Having attained to Self Realisation, the state of Advaita,   Non-Duality seeing no birth or death this verse rhetorically asks how could there remain any other desire?

86. This discipline of the Brahmanas indeed is spoken of as the natural calm and control owing to the nature itself being controlled.  Knowing thus,  one should attain to calm.

The Realised having no desirous use for the senses rest in the natural calm of the Self.   Spiritual Aspirants should note this and assume the way of the Realised to improve their perception of the Divine.

87. The dual,  with the object and with its perception,  is fancied or,  looked upon as "practical";   the dual without the object and with its perception is looked upon as "pure practical".

This verse admits to empirical reality.   That is, in the realm of creation there are (a duality) perception and the perceived objects.
The non Realised aspirant declares the need to accept both as "practical" The Realised Sage,   also having perception but through divine discrimination sees unreality instead of an object in name only,   as in the clay jar being earth and so forth.   This is described as "super Practical"

88. The dual without the object and without its perception is traditionally known as super practical/ Knowledge,  the object of knowledge and particularly the knowable these three are always proclaimed by the enlightened.

Through Discrimination the enlightened are not deluded by the label,   or name instead of the object.   Referring again to the example of the clay pot,   the perception of the enlightened is the perception of knowledge.   In this case the clay pot is an object (of knowledge) The (access to) higher knowledge of the enlightened perceiver knows this pot through that higher knowledge,   that is,   practically,   empirically,   speaking there is a pot,   the full knowledge of what is there "sees" a report in consciousness that "pretends" the existence of earth,   clay,   manufacture and so forth of this pot that is in reality empty of true existence.   This is the same perception in knowledge that sees no higher value in an ounce of gold shaped as a religious artefact than an ounce of gold shaped as a bangle.   Further this higher knowledge sees no special value in gold at all.
Put whatever label one likes to any object in creation the truth of that object,   the knowledge is that it is empty of true existence.
Ultimately,   in the Truth and Reality of The Absolute Self,   "I" Alone Exist,   therefore knowledge,   the object of knowledge and the knowable are all the   "One" Knowledge Absolute.

89. Knowledge and the three-fold objects of knowledge being known gradually or,  in order,   omniscience,  of its own accord,  accrues here on all sides to one of high intellect.

Through divine discrimination the Realised Sage comes to perceive through the light of knowledge.   Those forms of knowledge become subsumed in the highest knowledge of Absolute Advaita,   Non-Duality.   Self Realisation.

90. What is fit to be abandoned,  what is fit to be known,  what is fit to be secured,  what is fit to be made perfect are to be known from the Agrayana.  Of these,   of the three excluding that fit to be particularly known,  perception is traditionally known [to take place.

Through discrimination the real,   the true and eternal are known.   The realised Sage perceives that all that can be perceived within creation is empty of reality.   That is all objects of perception are non-existent in Reality.

91. All entities should be known as naturally beginningless like the sky.  In their case,  no multiplicity indeed of any kind anywhere exists.

Entities here is a reference to souls and as such it should be known that all such souls are without beginning and without end.   The meaning is that they are also without separation having no divisions of beginning or end,   just like the sky as said.

92. All entities by nature itself are well ascertained as Adi buddhas (enlightened from the very beginning);  one who has self sufficiency in this way,  is capable of securing immortality.

It is being states that all souls without exception are by nature the light of Consciousness.   Every sentient being,   all persons without exception are the very light of consciousness itself.   This effulgent state is the true nature it does not have to be attained in any way is the meaning.
The being who realises that this truth is naturally within and searches within will attain to Self Realisation and immortal freedom it is said.
The implication is that those who believe immortality can be gained through acquisition,   either through empirical knowledge or possessions will not realise the Absolute that way.

93. All entities indeed are calm from the very beginning,  unoriginated,  quite happy (in nirvana) by nature itself,   always the same and non-different.   The highest is unoriginated,   sameness and self confident.

The true nature of the unoriginated Consciousness is calmness,   unchanging and fearless.   They are at rest and have the confidence of completeness.

94. But there is indeed no self confidence in the case of those who move about in a world of difference.  Those who hold the doctrine of separateness descend down to differences.  Therefore they are traditionally known as nervous wrecks or,  pitiable.

Referring to those covered with the ignorance of duality this verse says that they suffer the fear of separateness.   This will be due to competition,   desire and attachment. Such people feel that they are incomplete,   dual,   they imagine in their ignorance that they need to gain something to complete themselves.   Such people are the ones seen to move around displaying aggression or arrogance in order to enhance their power in the world.     In reality such people lack true self confidence and are pitiable due to the effects of their ignorance it is said.

95. On the other hand whosoever those would be well set up in the unoriginated sameness,  they are indeed those of high knowledge in the world.   The world in general however does not delve into it.

The term   "Well set up in the Unoriginated sameness"   refers to the enlightened who have realised their non-duality or sameness with the beginningless Consciousness Absolute.   This highest knowledge is not known of or sought after by most worldly people.

96. The unoriginated knowledge is fancied or,   regarded as not crossing over to the unoriginated entities;  as the knowledge does not cross over,  it is therefore proclaimed to be without attachment.

Unoriginated knowledge is the knowledge that is the unoriginated Consciousness itself.   The Absolute is said to be Truth (knowledge) Consciousness and Bliss.   This knowledge,   This Truth,   is as Existence Itself.   It is this Knowledge and Consciousness that supports the illusion of Entities.   This knowledge does not   " cross over" to,   and is not a property or effect of entities or anything else.   Being the underlying stratum of all phenomena it remains unattached to anything because also there is not anything else that Exists apart from Knowledge (truth) and Consciousness.

97. If there is difference even of the measure of an atom,  being produced,  for an unwise one,  there is not always the state of being without attachment;  much more therefore there is no slipping away of the veil covering the Highest.

In Unity,   Advaita,   there can be no difference.   Because "I" Alone Exist there can be no difference.   Difference means more than one,   duality.
The being covered by ignorance that sees duality cannot avoid attachment,   fear and desire.   This is because if in truth there were many true existences each existence,   each person,   would feel incomplete.   There would always be something else that needs to be desired to enhance each individual to maintain stature with "others". This leads to ambition competition and fear.
The person that even suspects there is something he has not got will always be at the risk of the evils that arise from ignorance of duality.   Those who have Realised the Unity of The Absolute Self Alone are free from the evils of duality.

98. All entities are those who have never secured any covering,  naturally unsullied;   they are enlightened as well as liberated from the beginning so understand the Leaders the wise.

All entities,   all souls,   remain as the Absolute Singularity Alone.   This is the meaning here.
For the sake of expediency or understanding the projection of individual souls forming different aspects of perception are only the vibration of the One knowledge of the One Consciousness,   this has been explained earlier in this Karika.   There has never been any covering of any consciousness to form an individual soul.   All such apparitions of separate consciousnesses or souls are due to Maya.  In reality Consciousness is eternally (from the beginning) pure knowledge and unattached.
The wise,   the Self Realised Sage does not forget this,   this is the highest truth.

99. The knowledge of the eternal enlightened one,  does not cross over into the entities;  all entities likewise do not cross over into the knowledge,  this has not been declared by Buddha.

It has been well established and often stated that the Truth of Existence is the Reality of the Absolute Singularity of the Primal Consciousness and Knowledge Alone.
It is a consequence of the above,   but it has also been well established by this Karika that all entities and all of Creation are without true existence.
It has been well established by this Karika that all entities within Creation are but the vibrations of knowledge as Consciousness,   that is to say,   all phenomena are consciousness and knowledge displaying to consciousness and knowledge.
It has been well established and properly explained in this Karika that the Knowledge of the object,   the object of knowledge and the knowable are One,   a Unity.   This Unity is Primal Consciousness and Knowledge Absolute.   Advaita.
This verse confirms that due to the entities being non-existent in reality they do not have the validation of their own Knowledge.   Being non-existent they have no original Knowledge.   They in fact are non-existent due to the fact that they are empty of original (origination) knowledge.   The ultimate meaning here is that nothing within Creation has been caused or originated either from original Knowledge (The Absolute Self) or any other cause.
Finally this verse declares that apart from the Primal Consciousness and Knowledge Nothing else comes into existence,   Apart from the Primal Consciousness and Knowledge no other knowledge arises whatsoever.   It is claimed by the Karika that Gautama Buddha,   at least,   omitted to declare this observation.

100. Having realised the state,  difficult to see,  very profound,  unoriginated, sameness,  self confident,  without multiplicity,  we salute it to the best of our power.

Here this verse acknowledges the Realisation of the Unoriginated Non-Dual Absolute Self as the profound highest Truth.
Having declared and explained this Truth the Karika admits this truth is difficult to see.   It seems to us that with this admission the Karika salutes the Ultimate inscrutability of the Divine.

Here ends the Fourth Chapter in the Gaudapada Karika

Finally,   as a footnote,   may we offer this for consideration?
The scriptures state that as above so below.   With all situations in nature there is an efficiency,   there is ultimately nothing unnecessary or totally wasteful that occurs.   Considering that in Consciousness all knowledge and all possibilities are already existing,   that is all is known.   For what would be the need to actually bring this knowledge into material existence?
What ever needed to happen?


Ohm   peace,   peace,   peace.