Gaudapada Karika with Advaita commentary of our understanding

Invocation

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 2. with Advaita, Non-Dual, Commentary


SECOND CHAPTER Gaudapada Karika

We know that the dream world is unreal.  Within this chapter Gaudapada lays the logical groundwork for his coming statement that in waking as in dream and as in sleep nothing within Creation has any true existence.  That is,  the three "states" experienced prior to the experience-less Turiya have no true existence,  therefor Turiya or non-dual Consciousness Absolute alone exists.

 

1.  The wise speak of the unreality of all entities in dream,  verily,   on account of the entities having their location within,  owing to their being enclosed.

"The wise speak of the unreality of all entities in dream"

  All entities experienced in a dream are unreal.  This statement is uncomplicated and logical.  In fact ordinary common sense tempts one to protest that this is only obvious.
But,  Gaudapada wishes us to be aware of our process of reason for deciding the reality of our worldly experiences.
In particular Gaudapada is highlighting the fact that the error of dream entities appearing real is only obvious after leaving the delusional state of dream for the higher  (albeit delusional also)  waking state.

"on account of the entities having their location within,  owing to their being enclosed".

Gaudapada goes on to offer a practical reason why entities experienced within dreams are unreal.  This reason being that things like mountains,  cars and seas or even other persons would not fit inside the person dreaming of such entities.
But, it should be seen that the original error of perception was due to being enclosed within the dream state itself.  That is,  being "within a state",  as it were,  is being within unreality,  as it were,  (Turiya or the "fourth" represents the only reality).
The reasoning that proved the entities to be unreal due to their physical size in comparison to the dreaming person took place only after leaving that "state".

 

2.  And on account of the time being not long,  a person does not see things in a dream,  having actually gone over to different regions,  and further,  when awakened,  every one is not in that region which he had travelled over to in the dream.

"And on account of the time being not long,  a person does not see things in a dream,  having actually gone over to different regions",

Further obvious proof of dream events being false is offered,  in the case of distances travelled to foreign locations being too great.   During a dream period a person could dream of travelling to the other side of the world,  which is too far to travel in one night.   Again this can be seen only from the higher  "waking state".

"further,  when awakened,  every one is not in that region which he had travelled over to in the dream".

Besides,  people don't wake up in the place they were dreaming of just before waking.  but,  again this is only seen in the waking state following the dream state.

 

3.  The lack of chariots and others seen in dream is shown in the Upanishads along with the soul's entering and going out of Maya,  (the dream and waking states),  they speak of the unreality as indeed proved by that statement,  as being evident in dream.

"The lack of chariots and others seen in dream is shown in the Upanishads"

Here the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad is cited as confirming that a dream is a conscious "state",  as it were,  furnished with objects lit by the intellect of the dreaming one alone,  that is,  lacking material reality.
Reference  :-
"There are no chariots....but he creates the chariots"  Brihadaranyaka Upanishad 4.3.10

"along with the soul's entering and going out of Maya,  (the dream and waking states)"

Therefore,  due to the fact that whatever is being perceived,  that very perception itself is taking place within an unreal  "state".
The meaning is,  entities perceived within a dream state are accepted as being unreal due to the dream state itself being known later,  from memory,  as being unreal.
Just the same,  Gaudapada is saying,  the  "waking state"  is also a transitory delusional state.  We have had this demonstrated for us by the Mandukya Upanishad.
Therefore,  all entities experienced in the  "waking state"  are also unreal due to there being also perceived from a  "state within".

"they speak of the unreality as indeed proved by that statement,  as being evident in dream".

This refers to the above statement by the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad,  which said that in a dream containing chariots the chariots were not there to start with,  they were imagined or created by the dreaming self or jiva  (limited  "state"  within consciousness).  All of which are subject to changes of state,  such as waking and dreaming,  which are known to be delusions and unreal.

 

4.  Therefore,  again,  the unreality of entities in the waking state is,  for the same reason,  also unreal,  from the location within of the entities.  That is,  the location within of entities there,  in the waking state,  so in dream.  But waking state and dream are not the same;   dream differs from the waking state owing to its being characterised by the state of being enclosed.

With this verse Gaudapada starts into the major premise or argument of this chapter that entities perceived in the waking state are also as non-existent in reality as they are in the dream state.
Most reasonable persons it would seem accept the arguments given in verses 1-3 above for the unreality or lack of true existence of entities perceived in the dream state.  In fact one might say the reasons given were tedious,  unnecessary and too obvious,  the unreality of dreams is a common sense.
Gaudapada's intention in stating the basic reasoning for the entities perceived within dreams as being unreal is for extending this reasoning to demonstrate that the waking state is also subject to that very same reasoning which exposes illusions of perception.

"Therefore,  again,  the unreality of entities in the waking state is,  for that same reason,  also unreal from the location within of the entities there".

Here Gaudapada is speaking from the fact of perception as being from within,  that is,  as dream entities are perceived from within so also are external entities recognised and perceived from within.  The premise is that although it would be said that in the waking state the entities perceived are real because the senses tell us they exist independent of us that is the only difference between perception in the dream state and perception in the waking state.

"in the waking state,  so in dream".

In the dream state they are seen in retrospect to be internal,  and for that reason only they are accepted as being unreal.  In the waking state they are experienced as being external but this is the only difference,  because in reality the waking perception is still from within an enclosed  (and unreal)  conscious  "state",  as it were.

"But waking state and dream are not the same;   dream differs from the waking state owing to its being characterised by the state of being enclosed".

So,  it is natural to attribute reality to unreal object of perception.  the error in the case of dreams was only seen later by the application of logic that was available only after waking   (entities to large to be contained internally and distance and location).
The only difference with perception in the waking state is that the waking state cannot,  within creation,  be examined or understood in retrospect.  This means that errors of perception seen in the waking state will persist in living memory,  as it were.

 

5.  The wise speak of the dream and waking states as one,  verily,   on account of the common nature of entities in the two states on the strength of well established reasoning.

"The wise speak of the dream and waking states as one",

If the entities within a dream were real they would persist into the waking state,  but they do not persist so they are unreal.  That is,  they do not have true existence because they come and go,  they have a beginning middle and an end.

"on account of the common nature of entities in the two states on the strength of well established reasoning".

Likewise all objects perceived in the waking state also have a beginning and an end proving they also lack true existence.
For the stated reasons of similarity,  or their common nature of lacking any continuity of existence,  Gaudapada asserts that the dream state and the waking state are the same.

 

6.  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.

"What is not at the beginning and at the end"

This is describing all entities which come into being or take up a form  (which means they change states).  Then again eventually decay,  mutate,  suffer entropy and die.

"is so also in the present"

If an entity lacks permanent existence  (is therefore ultimately unreal)  due to having a beginning and an end,  it must also therefore be unreal in the present.

"existing things,  though similar to illusions are noted as though real"

Even though an entity can be perceived as existing in the present,  it should have been noted that such entities will prove,  because they have previously been noted to have been proved,  to be unreal.

Ultimately,  all that has come into being will without exception go out of being,  for this reason all is proved unreal.  This is what is being said.  All objects of perception in all states suffer this same unreality of being which is proved by their impermanence.  Therefore all objects perceived in the present,  all of which had a beginning,  although noted as real to the senses are proved to be transient through reason and logic so are consequently unreal.

 

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

"Being possessed of a purpose in the case of the entities in the waking state,  is contradicted in the dream;"

Perceptions experienced within the memory of the waking state grants reality to things like eating travelling and such like.
But,  after eating ones fill of food then subsequently falling asleep it is possible to dream of feeling hungry and eating more.
Then upon waking it is still likely that one feels hungry,  due to a perceived fast,  and so seek breakfast.  On examining this contradiction it is assumed that the waking state was real and the dream state was unreal.
The hunger of the body in the waking state will only seem more real due to the perception of that body remaining within the memory of the,  (for the present),  highest experienced conscious state.  But,  nevertheless,  this highest  "state"  has been proved to be transitory itself and is therefore also ultimately unreal.

"therefore they indeed are for the same reason known as unreal and nothing else on account of their having a beginning and an end."

Once again,  with the example of purpose due to need,  usefulness,  and so forth this usefulness is seen to change with the change in those conscious  "states"  under discussion.
The conclusion must be that all that changes due to changes in perception due to changes in conscious  "states"  (therefore having an arbitrary beginning and an end)  must be unreal.

 

8.  there is no wonder really  (as to the originality of objects),  the nature of the local agent in dream,  is as in the case of the dwellers in heaven.  As indeed a well travelled person here,  so this person dreaming sees those various objects or regions,  having gone there.

"there is no wonder really  (as to the originality of objects),  the nature of the local agent in dream,  is as in the case of the dwellers in heaven."

The individual dreamer,  the agent manifesting the dream,  will furnish that dream according to his own understanding or perception.  This individuality of perception may well produce unique objects.  But that perception still suffers delusion due to being within a  "state"  of delusion.
Referring to the dwellers in heaven,  one assumes gods,  these traditional gods are also perceived to have unique attributes,  but that perception still suffers delusion due to being within a  "state"  of delusion.

"As indeed a well travelled person here,  so this person dreaming sees those various objects or regions,  having gone there."

A person dreaming here sees objects produced by his intellect or memory  "having gone there",  these objects will be unique to his perceived experience,  but,  again,  that perception still suffers delusion due to being within a  "state"  of delusion.

 

9.  Even in the dream state,  again,  what is imagined by the mind within is verily non existing;   what is apprehended by the mind outside is existing,  so people differentiate,  but in reality,  the unreality of these two is actually seen or,  experienced.

" Even in the dream state,  again,  what is imagined by the mind within is verily non existing;"

In the dream state what is imagined within is explained here,  and is generally accepted,  as being unreal.  This acceptance of the unreality of dream is due to the appearance of the phenomena of mountains or long distance travel being experienced within the sleeping body.  This has been discussed.

"what is apprehended by the mind outside is existing"

What is apprehended by the mind in the waking state is experienced as having logical existence.
In the waking state all entities persist with their appearance,  in unlimited space,  as properly having material existence.

"so people differentiate"

This observation by Gaudapada,  that people discriminate between the unreality of dream objects,  and the reality of objects experienced in the waking state although seeming logical,  is for the reasons being stated by Gaudapada nevertheless due to delusion.
In the case of objects experienced in dream,  these are seen to be unreal due to that dream state being unreal.  while dreaming,  within the dream state,  the belief in that dream was a delusion.
In the waking state,  the dream state can be seen to have been unreal due to experiencing unreal,  impossible things,  like mountains while in bed.
Therefore,  once the seeing of  "our consciousness"  as it were,  residing within  "states",  as it were,  logic should tell us that whatever is perceived within any  "state"  is prone to delusion.

"but in reality,  the unreality of these two is actually seen or,  experienced."

This  "reality"  that Gaudapada refers to is the reality that arises due to the fact of the singularity of Existence,  Advaita.
Due to the nature of non-duality,  the nature of reality is eternal and immutable.  The experiencing of  "states"  of consciousness is a delusion.  Therefore whatever is experienced  "within"  those   "states"  is also therefore a delusion.  This delusion of existence is proved by the witnessing  "actually seen or,  experienced"  of beginning,  middle,  and end of all things.

 

10.  Even in the waking state,  again,  what is imagined by the mind within is verily non existing;   what is apprehended by the mind outside is existing the unreality of these two ought to be held to be likewise reasonable.

"Even in the waking state,  again,  what is imagined by the mind within is verily non existing"

Considering just the waking state,  within which people imagine that reality or true existence is genuinely perceived,  people may think of an object of pleasure or fear but know it to be unreal only because it is seen within their mind.

"what is apprehended by the mind outside is existing"

That same person,  after seeing imaginary objects within their mind,  may see through their sense of vision a car.  That person will ascribe true existence to the car because it is perceived as being in the  "real world"  outside the mind.

"the unreality of these two ought to be held to be likewise reasonable."

"these two",  within the mind and external to the mind,  should both be seen as unreal,  Gaudapada asserts.  The logic is,  what is perceived within the mind is generated by the mind from memory in consciousness.
What is perceived external to the mind is again generated by the mind from sense information in consciousness.
Both conscious acts were achieved within the same conscious  "waking state".  any of the three  "conscious states",  as it were,  of waking,  dreaming,  or sleeping have been thoroughly shown to be unreal,  a delusion of duality.  So,  as stated in this verse,  "the unreality of these two ought to be held to be likewise reasonable".

 

11.  If there is thus unreality of entities in even both the states,  who then cognises these entities?   Who,  again,  their imaginer?

"If there is thus unreality of entities in even both the states"

The Karika has now established the unreality of entities in all states within Creation.  Further,  the assumption that these states of dreaming and waking can be differentiated between on the grounds of the reality of phenomena or entities perceived within each state is shown to be false.
The question now asked is how does this unreality come into being,  who imagines this unreality,  who perceives this unreality?  Who transcends these  "states"?

"who then cognises these entities?"

One fact is indisputable.
Cognition exists.
Regardless of reality or unreality,  or any other consideration conscious awareness exists.
For the awareness of the unreality or transition of conscious states there has to be a higher witness to all this.

"Who,  again,  their imaginer?"

Just the same as above.  For the imagined to exist there needs to be That Absolute consciousness that can support the imagination,  as it were.

 

12.  The shining Atman imagines himself by himself,  through his Maya,  it is he alone that cognises the entities, this is the conclusion of the Vedanta Upanishads.

"The shining Atman imagines himself by himself,  through his Maya,"

"Maya"  has subtle meaning.  Generally  "illusion"  or  "delusion"  translates a suitable meaning.  But,  in reality these translations convey an aspect of duality which is not intended or meant.
The  "Maya"  of the Non-Dual Absolute includes an aspect of temporary forgetting.
Gaudapada explains the coming into manifestation and the subsequent return to the unmanifest being of this universe as purely the nature of the Atman or the Absolute or God.
All who realise the Non-Duality of Existence realise that all entities are but the Absolute.  Therefore,  all imagining or illusion is described as the  "Maya"  of the Absolute or Atman which contains a  "forgetting"  of his higher Non-Dual absolute knowledge and consciousness due to his manifesting himself as this creation.

"it is he alone that cognises the entities, this is the conclusion of the Vedanta Upanishads."

Because  "he alone"  exists it is He that cognises and it is He that is cognised.  this is achieved through his own forgetting,  or Maya of himself.

Gaudapada himself has through his stainless realisation and logic brought us to this point.  Through systematically showing that all phenomena perceived through all states of consciousness are empty of reality,   and further,  that those perceived  "states"  of consciousness are themselves an illusion due to Maya.  All that has been constant is That Absolute Consciousness  (described previously as the  "fourth"  or  "Turiya").  Therefore it is reasonable to say that Consciousness alone has true Existence.
Having discerned this truth Gaudapada points out the support of the Upanishads for its verification.
This Consciousness Absolute,  this Self or Atman,  is therefore said to be the seer and the seen,  the cognisor and the cognised.

 

13.  The Atman, outward minded, Manifests the diversity of different mundane entities, as also those seen within the mind; thus does the Lord imagine.

"The Atman,  outward minded,  Manifests the diversity of different mundane entities"

The absolute described as outward minded means the Absolute manifesting this material Creation.
All entities are in reality diversifications of the same non dual Absolute,  is the meaning.

"as also those seen within the mind;"

"That"  (the Absolute)  that manifests all material forms seen as external to the mind,  also manifests the objects seen as within the mind.

"thus does the Lord imagine."

This  "imagination"  describes the Maya or the forgetting that the Absolute displays through projecting the play of Creation.
The Absolute assumes the roles of many and the consciousness of many.  The meaning is,  the Absolute is all that is.  The  "One"  is both the mind that imagines and the material object that is imagined as being external to the mind.

 

14.  Those objects of thought,  lasting as long as the thought lasts within,  likewise those objects related to points in time outside,  all those are mere products of imagination  (lit. imagined);  the differentiation between the two is not due to any other reason.

"Those objects of thought,  lasting as long as the thought lasts within"

Objects supported by imagination or thought within the mind can be imagined as independent of  "real time"  objects because they are supported by mind and not the real world.  It seems for this reason the objects are unreal.

"likewise those objects related to points in time outside"

Objects seen as external to the mind,  existing in real time and dependent on external factors,  are seen to have a beginning and an end  (two points in time).  For this reason they are seen as real.

"all those are mere products of imagination  (lit. imagined)"

But,  as explained in the previous verse,  all phenomena is a product of the One Absolute Consciousness.

"the differentiation between the two is not due to any other reason."

No reason exists that supports duality or any differentiation.  All thoughts of the mind and all that is externally perceived and apparently existing for longer than this perceived period of time are all just the projected knowledge  (imagination)  of the Absolute.  There is no other substance or reason within the phenomena of Creation.

 

15.  Those again that are just unmanifest within,  and those that are just manifest without all those are mere products of imagination;   the differentiation again lies in being associated with different organs of sense.

"Those again that are just unmanifest within"

Unmanifest object of the mind,  whether thought of or dreamed of,  are presentations within the One consciousness,  As is the experiencing of mind itself.

"and those that are just manifest without"

Also objects seen as being manifest and reported by the senses are also just the projections of Absolute Knowledge within the That same One consciousness,  as is the experiencing of the senses.

"all those are mere products of imagination"

The meaning is,  All that exists within creation,  gross or subtle,  manifest forms or unmanifest thoughts,  are all displays of knowledge presented within this One consciousness.
What a person sees is within the mind is realised as imagination.  Also what a person sees through the senses should be realised as imagination because all this takes place within the One consciousness.

"the differentiation again lies in being associated with different organs of sense."

What is seen by the organ of mind arises from the same Absolute knowledge as that which is seen by the senses and reported to the mind.  Mind experience is a presentation within consciousness.  Just the same,  sense experience is also a presentation within this same single consciousness of existence.

Within the realm of Creation there is nothing that has,  of its own,  true independent  (dual)  existence.

 

16.  The Lord first imagines the jiva,  the individual soul,  then,  verily,  the entities of various sorts,  external,  objective,  and internal,  subjective;   as one cognises so one remembers.

" The Lord first imagines the jiva,  the individual soul,"

"fist"  means the beginning of the creation experience.
The One consciousness,  the Lord,  the Absolute,  God,  the singularity of existence is being described by Gaudapada as subjecting itself to a Maya of forgetting.
Through this forgetting the absolute consciousness has the maya of the consciousness of many individual awareness’s,  Jivas.

"then,  verily,  the entities of various sorts"

These Jivas,  suffering the forgetting of Absolute knowledge and consciousness  "imagine"  duality and the reality of entities presented to  "their"  consciousness.

"external,  objective,  and internal,  subjective;"

The individual Jiva or mind, cognising within the awareness limited through Maya see difference between objects seen within the mind and objects seen as external due to their existence being reported by the senses.

"as one cognises so one remembers."

This proof of the reality of objects granted by the experiences of the senses is accepted and learnt, as it were.  This learning is committed to memory and an imagined picture of reality is built up.

 

17.  As the rope,  with its nature not definitely ascertained in the dark,  is imagined to be possessed of the nature of entities like the serpent,  or water line etc;   so likewise is Atman imagined to be all sorts of things.

" As the rope,  with its nature not definitely ascertained in the dark,  is imagined to be possessed of the nature of entities like the serpent,  or water line etc;"

Within the forgetting of Maya,  the light of Absolute knowledge is not seen.  Therefore,  as explained in the previous verse the mind learns and commits to memory a knowledge based on worldly experience.
Here,  with the example of a rope that is temporarily unrecognisable due to a lack of sensory information,  The mind uses it's stored memory of knowledge to fill in the gaps of sensory knowledge.  The result is mind  "sees"  or imagines a long thin snake or a long thin water line.

"so likewise is Atman imagined to be all sorts of things."

"So likewise",  due to our forgetting,  in consciousness,  of Absolute Knowledge as the singularity of Existence our stored memory of sense experiences gives a false reality to the appearance of individual forms.

 

18.  When the rope is definitely ascertained as the rope,   the imagined attribute turns away,  and the non-duality emerges in the form of the rope itself So likewise,  takes place the ascertainment of Atman.

" When the rope is definitely ascertained as the rope,   the imagined attribute turns away,  and the non-duality emerges in the form of the rope itself"

As explained,  when the truth of the rope is known naturally all false perceptions fade and fall away.

"So likewise,  takes place the ascertainment of Atman."

In the same way,  through the light of understanding gained through study and meditation what is false or unreal is seen as such and the truth of the non-duality Absolute becomes clear.

 

19. Atman is imagined to be Prana   (life)  etc.  and these innumerable entities.  This is the Maya of that shining one,  Atman,  by which he himself has been deluded.

"Atman is imagined to be Prana   (life)  etc.  and these innumerable entities."

Due to Maya,  life and the breath or energy of life are felt and claimed by each individual as a  Vital Force.  They assume they themselves breath,  they do not yet see that they are being breathed,  that is,  they are experiencing the consciousness of breathing.
the deluded limited consciousness senses the presence of the Divine,  but being only dimly seen this divinity is assumed as being his own either through gift or reward.  This delusion of individuality assumes that his own being is a self contained,  self motivated,  self defining,  self supporting entity that is born into existence.  All the time it is the Self,  who is supporting and enabling this play,  but also remaining the observer of the play and of the delusion.

"This is the Maya of that shining one,  Atman,  by which he himself has been deluded."

This believing that ones worldly experience of entities being separate to ones own life experience is due to Maya.
Maya is the experience,  of Absolute Consciousness  ("that shining one"),  of many individual consciousnesses,  each consciousness being unaware,  as it were,  through its own forgetting,  of its true identity as the Absolute shining with all knowledge.

 

20.  Atman is imagined as Prana,  by the Prana knowers,    and as qualities   (elements),  Knowers of them   (the qualities);   as Gunas,  the Guna knowers;   and as Tattvas,  the Knowers of them the Tattvas.

"Atman is imagined as Prana,  by the Prana knowers"

Atman,  the nature of being truth and reality,  is also attributed to Prana,  or vital force by those described as  "knowers".  Knowers are those whose knowledge relies totally on memorised worldly experiences.  As described previously,  our experiences take place within the Maya and delusion of conscious   "states",  waking or dreaming and so forth.  Because these  "states"  of consciousness are themselves a delusion of Maya,  therefore all knowledge gained through experience within these states is based on delusion.

"as qualities   (elements),  Knowers of them   (the qualities)"

The  "knowers"  whose knowing comes from sensory knowledge also see the duality of elements with qualities as their reality.

"as Gunas,  the Guna knowers"

The  "knowers"  who see the forms and changes of energy as having true being are also those deluded by this apparent duality.

"and as Tattvas,  the Knowers of them the Tattvas"

The  "knowers"  of Tattvas or separate causes of the universe are also those whose dependence on sensory knowledge leads them to the delusion of duality.

 

21.  As Padas,  the Pada knowers;   as Objects,  the Knowers of them   (objects)  ;   as the Lokas,  the Loka knowers;   and as Gods,  the Knowers of them   (gods).

"As Padas...Objects...Lokas...Gods,  the knowers (of them)"

Similarly Padas,  all objects,  lokas and gods are the labelling and division of Creation by those under the Maya and delusion of duality.

 

22.  as Vedas,  the Veda knowers;   and as Sacrifices,  the Knowers of them   (sacrifices)  as the Enjoyer,  the Enjoyer knowers;   and as the Object of enjoyment,  the Knowers of it.

"as Vedas...Sacrifices...the Enjoyer...the Object of enjoyment,  the knowers (of them)"

Again,  The Vedas,  Sacrifices,  objects of enjoyment and all such considerations are taken by the deluded to have an individual reality.  Through their delusion they are fooled by labels into considering each as worthy of a school of knowledge in themselves,  and that once attained this piece of knowledge would contribute to completing a "jigsaw puzzle" of information that will reveal the Absolute.  In reality,  in the light of the Knowledge of the Absolute Non-Dual Self,  the consideration of labels is to contemplate only the toe of the Elephant,  meaning that the totality of all labels together make one big label but it is still not the thing itself.

 

23.  as the Subtle,  the Subtle knowers;   and as Gross,  the Knowers of the Gross; as the Murta   (possessed of form),  the Murta knowers;   and as the Formless,  the Knowers of it   (Amurta)  ;

"as the Subtle...Gross...form or formless,  the knowers (of them)"

Subtle,  gross,  formed and formless,  are all of the One Self.  To know the Self is to eliminate the false division of the One reality into labels ascribing a false reality of individual identity.

 

24.  as Kala   (time),  the Kala knowers;   and as the Quarters,  the Knowers of them   (Disah)  ;   as Vedas   (discussions,  theories),  the Veda knowers;   as Worlds,  the Knowers of them   (Bhuvanas)  ;

"as Kala  (time)...the Quarters...Vedas...Worlds,  the knowers (of them)"

Time,  space,  theories concerning scriptures and worlds are all the ponderings of the deluded who work earnestly to understand duality.  With this consideration in one hand and on the other hand another consideration they continually delay the realisation of the shining Non-Dual Absolute Self whose light of knowledge shows all the mistaken thinking that sustains duality.

 

25.  As Mind,  the Mind knowers;   and as Intellect,   the Knowers of it   (The   Buddhi)  as Thought,  the Thought knowers;   and Merit and Demerit,  the Knowers of them   (Dharma and Adharma).

"As Mind...as Intellect (Buddhi)... as Thought...Merit and Demerit  the knowers  (of them)"

Those who using the thinking and memory power of the mind register the words of the Sages.  They study and memorise details of The Buddhi,  Dharma and sin and so forth,  then they try to form a body of realisation out of the information.  Through their delusion they do not see that they are still stacking up the labels within Creation.  These labels,  the Buddhi and so forth,  are just names and descriptions of forms only.  To know the facility or principle of discrimination is to know the enabler of the Buddhi,  to know the enabler of the Buddhi is to know the enabler of all,   The Absolute Self.  It was the Self realised sage,  the Seer who upon finding the Self named the function the Buddhi.  The deluded study the function of the name and look for it.  The Buddhi does not exist.  The Self Alone Exists.  The light of Existence functions and is seen through an open heart that does not get in the way.

 

26.  Some speak of Atman as constituted of twenty five;   and as constituted of twenty six,  some others;   as constituted of thirty one;   and others as unending.

" Some speak of Atman as constituted of twenty five...and...of twenty six...and thirty one.. .and others as unending."

Different branches or religions or seekers of the Self when told that the Self cannot be realised through the working of the mind dutifully record this piece of information and continue to collect any other data for their spiritual search.  It is this deluded understanding that would be likely to arrive at a number of principles to be considered as relevant.  Only the deluded could attribute a number to a Unity.  As sincere as these seekers are they need to see that Self attainment comes through surrender.  in the end when finally successful they will have let go of all self power,  they will have let go of all doing and surrendered their being to The Absolute,  because they will not produce or distil intelligence of the Absolute Reality into a form that will be understood by all.  They will,  as said,  have to surrender their self to attain to the Absolute Self which will be known with intellectual certainty,  but verified through the heart,  not words.

 

27 The Loka knowers speak of Atman as People   (Lokas)   as Asnunas,  the Knowers of them   (Asramas,  modes of life)  the Laingas   (grammarians),  or knowers of sex,  as Male,  Female and Neuter;   and others,   as higher and lower.

"The Loka knowers speak of Atman as People  (Lokas)...as Asnunas...grammarians...sex  (male female neuter)...others,  as higher and lower"

It will be through higher knowledge,  that is,  knowledge that is glimpsed through insight and divine discrimination,  that any importance or consideration given to names and objects of Creation will be understood as wrong.  That is,  one will intuitively know that anything that can be perceived through the senses or that is part of this transient Creation will not be It.  No name,  no label,  no mode or state of being will contain the Truth and Reality of the Non-Dual Self.

 

28.  as Creation,  the Knowers of creation;   and as Dissolution,  the Knowers of dissolution   (Laya)  as Subsistence   (Sthiti),  the Knowers of subsistence,  and all these are imagined again,  always here in respect of having individual reality through Atman.

"as Creation,  the Knowers of creation...as Dissolution...Subsistence...always here in respect of of having individual reality through Atman"

Creation,  Dissolution and so forth are just experiences in Absolute Consciousness.  True or false,  or any differentiation,  none of this should be imagined as a quality of the Primal Singularity,  The Consciousness Absolute,  The Absolute Non-Dual Self.  The Realisation of the Self is not seen through any factor of Creation.
The only consideration is that of the Reality of the Absolute.

 

29.  What entity one would present to one,  he again sees that entity.  And that entity,  having assumed his form,  protects him;   strong attachment to that entity encompasses him.

" What entity one would present to one,  he again sees that entity."

Within this realm or state,  with its consciousness of the senses and duality,  whatever is presented to one's mind takes the form of being and entity.

" And that entity,  having assumed his form,  protects him;"

"That entity,"  on being accepted as truth and reality becomes part of the body of truth that sustains this deluded one with a reality of purpose.

"strong attachment to that entity encompasses him."

Naturally,  once a person has identified himself with a reality he cannot let this understanding go for fear of losing sight of that reality.

A student has to receive the knowledge of the scriptures piece by piece from a teacher.  At certain stages the student feels he has the picture and adopts this understanding as IT.  Unless the teacher enables the students awareness to transcend mere information This limited incomplete or false understanding is religiously adopted,  believed,  and protected,  as that students own affinity with the divine.  Eventually the student has to transcend this duality.

 

30.  This Atman is noticed as indeed separate,  owing to these entities,  though really non separate.  One who knows the real state of things,   will imagine  (interpret)  Atman to be all things without hesitation.

"This Atman is noticed as indeed separate,  owing to these entities"

Those who,  relying on their senses see only duality,  they ewokfjoe imagine God or the Divine to also be a separate entity.

"though really non separate."

" One who knows the real state of things,  will imagine  (interpret)  Atman to be all things and all things to be the non-dual Absolute without hesitation."

 

31.  As are seen dream and Maya   (illusion),   as is seen the Gandharva city   (castle in the air),  so is seen this universe by the well versed in the Vedanta's.

"As are seen dream and Maya   (illusion),  as is seen the Gandharva city   (castle in the air)"

For the wise,  their first priority in all things is to ascertain the truth.  The wise come to realise that the appearance of duality with the apparent many forms of creation is indeed an illusion explained as Maya.
The  "castle in the air"  symbolises illusion and unreality.

"so is seen this universe by the well versed in the Vedanta's"

Those wise ones who have ascertained through higher discrimination,  the emptiness of true being of all material forms,  see no reality in the material universe.

 

32.  Neither destruction,  nor again origination;   neither one bound down to this samsara,  nor again aspirant or,  one working for salvation;   neither one desirous of salvation,  nor again one emancipated thus is this highest truth.

"Neither destruction,  nor again origination;"

The eternally existing has no beginning or end of course.

"neither one bound down to this samsara,  nor again aspirant or,  one working for salvation"

The eternally existing singularity cannot be bound down,  aspire to,  or work towards any other.  Due to the Absolute singularity of existence there exists no  "other"  to cause change.

"neither one desirous of salvation,  nor again one emancipated"

The eternal singularity of Existence is by definition all things.  Therefore the Absolute is immutable,  without desire,   and eternally free from any other.

"thus is this highest truth"

The highest truth,  which the wise have ascertained,  is the Absolute singularity of existence.
The above statements are merely the logical truth of this Absolute Singularity.

This Absolute Self Alone exists is the meaning of this verse.  Existing Alone means a Singularity.
An existing Singularity has no birth or death   (origination or destruction)  Having no birth or death means eternal existence which means being immutable,  unchanging.  Unchanging means unaffected by Samsara.
An existing Singularity being Absolute and complete has no desires.  This Absolute Self does not need,  or aspire to,  or desire,  Salvation or emancipation.  In truth,  as stated in all the Upanishads,  This Absolute Self Alone Exists so all other considerations such as dreaming,  waking and so forth have no true existence,  they are all the delusion of Maya.

 

33.  This Atman further is imagined to be the non existing entities themselves by the non dual;   the entities also are imagined by the nondual itself;   therefore non duality is auspicious.

"This Atman further is imagined to be the non existing entities themselves by the non dual"

It has already been explained that that all material forms,  although having the appearance of entity,  are in fact empty of true existence.  True existence belongs only to Atman or the Absolute.  All material forms owe their apparent existence to support,  provided in consciousness,  by the Non-Dual Absolute.
Therefore,  It is the non-dual Absolute that imagines the forms supported by the non-dual Absolute to be real.

"the entities also are imagined by the non-dual itself"

The entities are merely forms,  empty of true existence because they depend on the non-dual Absolute for their apparent existence.  That the forms are seen as entities is merely the imagination of this very non-dual Absolute.

"therefore non duality is auspicious"

The meaning is,  all experience,  be it the imagined object or imagination itself is the Non-dual Absolute.
All that exists is the non-dual Absolute.  Therefore non-duality alone is auspicious.

The Non-Dual Self,  being all there is existing is all things,  real or unreal,  existing or non existing,  true or false.  The meaning is that whatever is imagined or seen,  that act of imagining or seeing is the Non-Dual Self Itself,  It is that very act.  So it is the Non-Dual self that alone exists,   owing to and as proved earlier the emptiness of all things,  that is there is nothing within Creation that has true existence because all things are dependent on the parts and material of their construction. All things of Creation are created.  All things have a beginning therefore it is seen that they also have an end.  They have no lasting existence therefore the existence they do appear to have is temporary,   dependent and false.
Existence itself is shown to be eternal therefore true therefore real therefore Absolute.  Therefore the existence of this Absolute Self is the substratum,  the support of all there is,  real or unreal true or false.  The Absolute Self is shown to be the Only support for all phenomena and therefore most auspicious.

 

34.  This universe is manifold neither owing to the nature of Atman,  nor does the universe exist in its own right;   nothing whatever is separate or non separate this the knowers of reality know.

"This universe is manifold neither owing to the nature of Atman,"

The duality or diversity of this Universe is not the true nature of the Absolute.
This means that what may be reported by the senses as duality is not the real truth of Absolute Existence.

"nor does the universe exist in its own right"

The Absolute is a Singularity.  Therefore the Universe alone has no true existence.

"nothing whatever is separate or non separate this the knowers of reality know"

For there to be separation,  or even the concept of separation through the consideration of

being non separate,  there has to be duality.  But,  duality is the delusion of Maya.
Non-Duality,  Advaita,  is the reality of existence that is known by the Realised such as Gaudapada.

 

35.  The Self is seen by the sages void of attachment,  fear and anger,   who have completely mastered   (lit.  gone to the other shore of)  the Vedas,  free from diversity,  free from imagined attributes and non-dual.

"The Self is seen by the sages void of attachment,  fear and anger"

To see the Self is to realise the Self.  To realise the Absolute Self the Sage will have surrendered his ego,  his concept of his own self.  Through self surrender the Sage becomes free of all attachments along with fear and anger.

"who have completely mastered   (lit.  gone to the other shore of)  the Vedas,"

To master the Vedas is to understand the information within the scriptures as true knowledge.
To reach the  "other shore"  of the Vedas is to know or realise the non-dual Absolute.  to know the One is to know all things whereby the scriptures become superfluous.

"is seen the cessation of diversity,  free from imagined attributes and non-dual"

The Realised sage sees the  "cessation of diversity"  which means that he is no longer moved by the effects of ignorance that arise through duality.

 

36.  Therefore,  having known this Atman thus,  one should fix one's memory on non-duality;   having secured or,  realised non-duality,  one should carry on the worldly activities like an insensate one.

"Therefore,  having known this Atman thus,  one should fix one's memory on non-duality;"

No wise person would maintain their memory of anything untrue once it is realised as such.
Therefore,  the wise maintain an understanding and memory of non-duality.
This would mean in times of difficulty a memory of non-duality would lead to the truth of things.

"having secured or,  realised non-duality,  one should carry on the worldly activities like an insensate one."

To realise non-duality is to realise the Absolute Self.
The Self Realised,  although apparently continuing with worldly duties,  nevertheless maintain a detachment   "insensate"  from worldly concerns and desires.  This detachment is aided by the knowledge that all material phenomena is ultimately unreal and therefore undesirable.

 

37.  Disassociated with praise,  disassociated with salutation and quite disassociated with the utterance of Svadha that is,  performance of Sraddha rites in honour of Pitrs,   and having no fixed residence whatever,  one should become an ascetic acting according to His will or,   chance.

"Disassociated with praise,  disassociated with salutation and quite disassociated with the utterance of Svadha that is,  performance of Sraddha rites in honour of Pitrs"

To the realised Sage both praise or salutation can only arise from delusion and is therefore meaningless.
It is a mistake to see others as separate from oneself.  It is a mistake to imagin that whatever may be worthy of praise within oneself could be due to any personal or individual merit.
Considering the Realised Sage,  what relevance could be seen in the practice of rites with all their duality.

"and having no fixed residence whatever,  one should become an ascetic acting according to His will or,   chance."

The realised Sage will not seek or need the security of a regular home.  The Sage will be guided by his own judgement based on his knowledge of the Absolute.  The realised sage came to his realisation through the surrender of his own self and will.  Having surrendered he will allow events to be guided by  "His",  the Absolute's,  will.
The desireless one will not mind what happens and will experience all as mere facets of the Self,  Mere movement within the play of creation.

 

38.   Having realised the truth relating to within the body,   having realised as well the truth from outside that is,   relating to objects outside,   having become the Reality,   delighting in it,   one should not be slipping away from the reality.

"Having realised the truth relating to within the body,  having realised as well the truth from outside that is,   relating to objects outside"

The unreality of dream objects within has been shown.   More enlightening and less obvious it has been shown that objects perceived in the waking state appearing external to the body are also unreal and so all perceived objects in all states of being lack truth and reality.

"having become the Reality,   delighting in it,   one should not be slipping away from the reality."

The body itself,   being a mere form or object has no lasting reality or truth,   because the body itself is composed of,   and depends on its constituent parts and chemicals and so forth.
This fine discernment of the reality of all phenomena,   this divine discrimination that reveals the reality of Existence will naturally feel comfortable and true.   This is because it reveals the Reality of The Absolute Self,   The One True Reality that has Existence.   This verse of the Karika states that once this truth is realised there should be no forgetting.

Here ends the Second Chapter in the Gaudapada Karika

Continue to Gaudapada Karika Chapter Three

 

Ohm   peace,   peace,   peace.