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.

The Mandukya Upanishad and Gaudapada's Karika with Advaita commentary from our understanding
Revision 24th January 2016.


Introduction to the Mandukya Upanishad and Om.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. John 1:1 KJV Bible

The Mandukya Upanishad is a short,  just twelve verses,  description of the material manifestation and the eventual return to unmanifest form of the Universe.

Being of material form,  the Universe is described as being in the realm of sound.  The sound of this knowledge becoming manifest,  although obviously indescribable,  is said to be its name.  This name is symbolised as AUM,  or OM.

Therefore,  Om is the word sounding the creation of the universe and all its contents;  Om will sound from the start to the finish of Creation doing its work at every stage.  As you read this very sentence,  Om is still sounding as the knowledge of the Absolute,  that is,  this universe is unfolding in accordance with that Knowledge and its laws.

It appears that this sound of Om was known to the Greek philosopher Pythagoras as  'The Harmony of the Spheres'  Wikipedia link

To astronomers the sounds of Om would be the 'interplanetary harmonics'.

To those seekers (scientists) speaking in material terms,  for them the sound Om would be the  'The Big Bang'

We presume Om will continue to sound the life cycle of the Universe for many millions of years yet,  before returning to the stillness and silence of being once more unmanifest.  However,  that might be no more than the cycle of another "day" with the eternal Absolute.

The Mandukya Upanishad will describe the coming into being and the winding down of the material universe as a cycle that will be repeated as a result of its cause once more arising.

However,  there is a prediction which according to an interpretation of the laws of thermodynamics,  which says that entropy will ultimately reduce the universe,  or all that exists,  to a state of unrecoverable energy,  also described as "heat death".  So to answer any questions arising from this apparent conflict we should explain.

Firstly,  these observed laws of Thermodynamics reach incorrect conclusions simply because they are based on an assumption of duality.

Such a final state of entropy for existence would only apply in an infinite environment,  or an environment that was unrelated to its contents.  Such an environment would be a duality and this is the error here.

Duality allows for there to be an  "outer space"  an infinite void that  "happens"  to contain the universe.
The philosophy of Advaita,  Non-Duality,  explains that Existence Itself is an Absolute,  a singularity.  Existence Itself could not "Be" without the primal knowledge of "how it could Be".  This Absolute Knowledge is the Singularity from which the apparent void and this universe is projected and supported by and to which it has to eventually return.
The fact of the Singularity of existence is undeniable to the wise.

The Divine Absolute  is  the totality of Existence.  The Absolute does not exist in an infinity;  infinity,  such as it may be,  exists only as the Knowledge that is the Absolute.
Therefore the void,  or  "outer space"  is ultimately the same as the objects it appears to contain.  Therefore,  there exists nothing else to support an envionment that can no longer support, or exert its own energy to support its own existence.  all will return to an Absolute Singularity because,  as said there is nowhere else existing.

Or,  to explain the meaning another way,  because the Universe is a singularity it cannot extend beyond itself into non-existence,  as it were.  The fact of a singularity is that it must always remain a singularity.  The Universe cannot extend beyond the boundaries of its own energy,  the same as an arm cannot extend beyond its unity with the body.

Or,  because all manifest forms (energy) are of this Singularity,  but this Singularity is greater than the manifest forms,  means all such manifest forms are maintained within this Singularity.

This Singularity is without origination,  it is not achieved through any of the forms of creation,  it is immutable therefore it is unaffected by the entropy of forms,  the knowledge or information of its existence exists eternally.
The forms of the universe are the lawful cause of the expansion of the void or universe.  After the entropy of those forms,  after the Dissipation of any particular energy,  the void and universe will collapse.  That is,  the unity or reality of Existence will reassert itself and the transient created void will return to that eternal singularity as primal knowledge alone.

Entropy is our inevitable return home to Divine unity as The Absolute,   or Atman,   or God.  The purpose of the Mandukya Upanishad is to explain this very fact.  Without entropy this material creation would be an eternal maze of being misled by the senses into believing this duality to be real.

No principle of law,  knowledge or understanding that does not take the primal unity of existence into account will have the basis of truth to ensure its enduring relevance.

In fact this vision of the great Seers of the scriptures can also be understood empirically through these very laws of thermodynamics.  The laws of thermodynamics and the conservation of energy  (and all that exists is energy),  state that energy cannot come into existence or go out of existence.
This means that this one Existence has always been and must always be.
This Truth is a basis of the philosophy of Advaita  ( what is Advaita? )

The meaning of the above is further discussed here in the accompanying Gaudapada's Karika.

With reference to this translation of Gaudapada-Karika,   with appreciation,   it is based on The 1953 translation of R.   D.   Karmarkar,   but with input taken from other translations to enhance the syntax,  so in itself it should not be referenced as accurate.

Gaudapada argues that the Absolute alone Exists without origination.  before Om,  before Creation,  before this Universe appeared,  the Absolute alone existed in stillness and silence.  Before creation there existed no Birth.  After this Creation there remains No Birth.  All that ever was,  all that is,  all that ever will be is the Absolute Singularity of Primal Consciousness and Knowledge Alone.

All of this Creation is transient,  empty of true existence therefore unreal.  This is the conclusion of Gaudapada's Karika on the Mandukya Upanishad.  Having no true Birth all remains dependent on the Absolute,  and will once again become subsumed within the Absolute.

The Eternal un-sounding name at rest,  in perfect stillness is Knowledge (truth) Consciousness and Bliss Alone.  Desiring the object of that knowledge,  creates that object causing the sound of Creation.
The primal sound of AOUM is the sound of all names (vibrations) giving rise to the cause,  maintenance and dissolution of Creation.

"That which is Below corresponds to that which is Above,  and that which is Above corresponds to that which is Below,  to accomplish the miracle of the One Thing".  Hermes tristmegistus

On The Mandukya Upanishad with an Advaita commentary from our understanding

Verses 1-6 of the Mandukya Upanishad are traditionally associated with Verses 1-9 of the Gaudapada Karika.


1. OM! - This Imperishable Word is the whole of this phenomenal universe. Its explanation is as follows,  What has become,  what is becoming,  what will become,  - verily,  all of this is OM. And what is beyond these three states of the world of time,  - that too,  verily,  is OM.

"This Imperishable Word...

The Absolute Brahman,  Self,  or God,  alone is  "Imperishable".  It is well known that the whole of this manifest universe is transient and mortal.  There exists no material form that will not perish with time.  It is Truth as Absolute Knowledge that is imperishable.  The word OM is described as imperishable due to it being the sound or name of the Universe.  Creation,  this Universe,  is that immortal knowledge of the Absolute.

"Is the whole of this phenomenal universe"

The word OM,  described above as the sound of eternal knowledge,  is the sound of this Universe becoming physically manifest.  Therefore it is the name of that Knowledge that forms this entire mortal Universe.

"What has become,  what is becoming,  what will become,  - verily,  all of this is OM"

"What has become"  Refers to the experiencing of this manifest creation as it exists,  it is only the created experience that changes due to its transience and mortality.  The Absolute reality itself,  being immortal is eternally unchanging.  The same truth applies to  "what is becoming", Om is the sound of Creation coming into being,  progressing in accordance with its laws to  "what will become",  which includes its inevitable material end.

"And what is beyond these three states of the world of time,  - that too,  verily,  is OM"

All that is created is transient and mortal and therefore subject to the effects of time.
Therefore,  time becomes manifest only with the creation of the material universe,  that is OM.
What is beyond the world of time is what is immortal and the Absolute alone is immortal.  Om is beyond the world of time because whether it is manifest or unmanifest it is held as the eternal knowledge that is the Absolute.


2. All this,  verily,  is the Absolute. The Self is the Absolute. This Self,  such as it is,  has four quarters.

" All this,  verily,  is the Absolute".

We have as a description of reality from the scriptures that The Absolute,  Brahman,  God,  alone exists.  It naturally and logically follows that  "All this... is the Absolute".
Even this transient and mortal universe is  "the Absolute"  because it is formed of the immortal knowledge and consciousness that is the Absolute.  All of this is Absolute Knowledge manifest,  (but the Absolute is greater than this manifest experience,  this unknowable infinity will be described as the fourth quarter).

"The Self is the Absolute".

The word  "Self"  conveniently describes the experiencing of the projected manifest forms of creation,  particularly sentient beings.  In reality all names and forms exist purely as knowledge within Non-Dual Absolute Consciousness.
In truth it is within Absolute Consciousness that all experience takes place.  No actual  "Self"   exists as an entity,  (because The Absolute or God alone exists).
The  "Self"  is merely a convenient description for the experience of desire within this duality,  witnessed by the Absolute through Maya.

"This Self,  such as it is,  has four quarters".

So,  this  "Self",  is merely a linguistic convenience  ("such as it is")    for describing the created or projected forms of Absolute knowledge.
Being created,  the Self is mutable,  it appears to have changes of states,  sleeping waking dreaming and so forth. These states are experienced as states of consciousness,  as it were,  they are named and described here through  "four quarters"

The four quarters are not meant to be taken literally of course.
The imagined four quarters are for the exposition of Om and  "Self"  Consciousness only.
All This Self or Om is the Absolute,  but the Absolute is more than all This.  That the Absolute is more than Om or the Self,  needs to be held in mind while considering the "four quarters".  The fourth  "quarter"  is in fact the one eternal Absolute reality,   it is the Non-Dual Consciousness within which the first three transient mortal quarters are held,  as it were.
The meaning is that the described states are merely experiences that appear on the one unchanging Consciousness Absolute.  The fourth state is the eternal reality that remains after the cessation of the three transient states.  In reality no  "state"  exists,  there is just Consciousness Absolute.


3. The first quarter is Vaisvanara. Its field is the waking state. Its consciousness is outward-turned. It is seven-limbed and nineteen-mouthed. It enjoys gross objects.

"The first quarter is Vaisvanara. Its field is the waking state"

Vaisvanara means  "all men"  it is the material forms of "self" in creation,  the same material,  merely many different forms.
The meaning is that this  "waking state"  describes the experiencing of everyday life of the person existing through desire and birth.
it is described as  "waking state"  rather than  "awake"  because the very experience of birth and duality within this universe is said to be Maya,  resulting from the forgetting of our true identity with the Non-Dual Absolute.  Therefore,  in terms of Consciousness,  until this individual  "self"  Realises the one Self as the Self of all,  and surrenders desire,  we cannot be considered as fully realised,  conscious or awake.

"Its consciousness is outward-turned"

In the waking state which is described as awake in our limited awareness,  our consciousness awareness is fed through our senses.  Our senses being  "outward-turned"  inform us that this material universe is the truth of all there is.  It follows that our desires will be of a material nature.

"It is seven-limbed and nineteen-mouthed"

Vaisvanara is described as this material universe which resulted from that original desire to experience worldly knowledge.
The seven limbs being  :-  heaven=head,  sun=eye,  air=vital force,  space=middle part,  water=bladder,  earth=two feet,  fire= mouth.
The nineteen mouths  (gates of experiences)  being  :-  five senses,  five organs of action,  vital force  (consisting of five forms of breath),  mind,  intellect,  ego  and thoughts.
All of these represent the means of experiencing the satisfaction of material desire.  The universe is the material of desire,  AUM is desire.

This form of  "Self"  described as consisting of limbs and mouths is to enable our interaction with the universe as the means of fulfilling desire.
The ultimate meaning is that the being in the  "waking state"  relies on his senses.  Mans desires are to feed and satisfy his senses.

"It enjoys gross objects".

Relying on our senses our world is a material world.  The world of gross creation.  Within this  "waking state"  what we understand or enjoy are  "gross objects".

In the waking state man works to create the objects of his desire.


4.  The second quarter is Taijasa.  Its field is the dream state.  Its consciousness is internal.  It is seven limbed and nineteen mouthed.  It enjoys subtle objects.

"The second quarter is Taijasa.  Its field is the dream state".

Taijasa is the "Self" experiencing,  in consciousness,  the dream state.
In the dream state conscious awareness is internal,  the dream within is seen as the reality.  With this understanding there is no conscious perception of the so called waking  "reality".

The difference between waking state and dream state,  in consciousness,  is merely one of perception or memory.

Taijasa has the meaning of  "luminous"  which here means that a person,  when dreaming,  is his own light.  A person in the  "waking state"   has his way and understanding lit by information from the  "outward-turned"  senses.
In the  "dream state"  the person,  the  "self"  furnishes the dream through the light of his own intellect and knowledge according to its desires and interpreted experiences.

"Its consciousness is internal"

While asleep and dreaming the being is not conscious of external phenomena because the person is not looking to the senses for guidance.  In this state the  "self"  consciousness is experiencing a world according to its own knowledge and creation.

"It is seven limbed and nineteen mouthed".

The knowledge that is being experienced in the consciousness of dream is still the same knowledge,   which is Absolute Knowledge.  As such the dream world will resemble the gross world of the senses,  sensing and desiring the material universe,  enabled through the same   "mouths and limbs".

In all respects other than material there is no difference between waking and dream states of consciousness.

"It enjoys subtle objects"

In the dream state,  the internal world is not made up of material objects.  All objects of desire are achieved or fulfilled or  "enjoyed"  through subtle knowledge.

In the dream state man  (self)  lives or rests in the ongoing subtle creation of the desires of his intellect and experience.


5.  The third quarter is Prajna,  where one asleep neither desires anything nor beholds any dream: that is deep sleep.  In this field of dreamless sleep,  one becomes undivided,  an undifferentiated mass of consciousness,  consisting of bliss and sustained by bliss.  His mouth is consciousness.

"The third quarter is Prajna where one asleep neither desires anything nor beholds any dream: that is deep sleep"

Prajna has the meaning of pure consciousness and knowledge.
Prajna describes the state of deep sleep,  meaning dreamless sleep.  Without the experience of dreams or sensory input there is nothing to differentiate within consciousness.  there is no consciousness of duality,  desire or fear.

"In this field of dreamless sleep,  one becomes undivided,  an undifferentiated mass of consciousness,  consisting of bliss and sustained by bliss".

Prajna being consciousness alone and at rest the state is harmony and bliss.
The term  "sustained by bliss"  distinguishes this state of bliss from the true state of Absolute Bliss,  which is properly described as Truth,  Consciousness  and Bliss.
In this state of deep sleep,  "Prajna"  the bliss is due to the temporary forgetting of desire and so forth.  this is the bliss of ignorance,  so as said this bliss of ignorance sustains itself,  it relies on its own ignorance.
The true Bliss of Non-Dual Absolute Consciousness is the Bliss of Absolute Truth.  Within this Absolute Truth duality does not exist as the cause of the delusions of desire and fear.
Bliss is the natural eternal state of The Absolute.

"His mouth is consciousness"

This  "Self"  of Creation came into being to satisfy desire.  The attributes of this   "Self"  of mouths and limbs were the means of experiencing the satisfaction of that desire.
Without the desire or fear of the waking or dream state there only remains that  "undifferentiated mass of consciousness"  which is the experience  "mouth"  of this Prajna.


6.  This is the Lord of All the Omniscient; the Inner director the Source of All.  This place is the beginning and end of all beings.

"This is the Lord of All the Omniscient"

This is the "state" of Self that transcends the other three states.
This  "Self",  beyond experienced states is as described,   "the Lord of All the Omniscient"  which means this  "Self"  is the knowledge that supports the apparent duality of forms of manifest Creation.
This is the state of the  "Self"  before manifestation of the Universe and after the return of the universe to unmanifest Knowledge.
This is the  "Self",  as the Non-Dual Absolute.

"the Inner director the Source of All".

The apparent individual within the duality and Maya of creation is nonetheless  "directed"  by Absolute Knowledge as all that exists is.  This  "Inner director"  of the being has been called the  "self"  hence the name  "(Absolute)  Self",  the One  "Self"  of the duality  "self"  within creation as we have described previously.

"This place is the beginning and end of all beings".

If this place is  "the beginning and end of all beings"  then it is confirmation that we are considering the unity of the Absolute,  as "in" the "fourth quarter",  or,  more accurately,  that consciousness Absolute or God or Brahman is none other than this very consciousness found within that supports these so called states and names and forms.
It is from the Non-Dual Absolute that all that materially exists is made manifest,  and it is to this Unity that all forms or states return on the cessation of desire.


This same unity of  "Absolute Self"  Consciousness is also approached by the meditating Sage through stillness and the intuition of Buddhi and intellect.  This access or closeness is known through  "self"  or the inner director.  Through this intuitive closeness or perhaps openness,  Divine Truth becomes known.
We are told by the subtle intellect,  the Rishi and these words of the scriptures of this access to divine truth,  but any actual  "process",  as it were,  is not witnessed or does not come into the awareness of any of the states of consciousness.



The meaning is,

Which quarter is the One quarter that knows all other quarters or states, but at the same time is unknown by those three states?
Which quarter is the One quarter that provides continuity or unity to the other three?
Which One quarter is it that through the very fact of its existence allows the other three quarters to "imagine" themselves as being a complete entity?
Which one quarter is it that allows the other states to rise and fall, come into apparent being and apparently to fall out of being?
Which one "Quarter" is Eternal.
What is it that Alone Truly Exists?
           This is to be realised.

On The Gaudapada-Karika with an Advaita commentary from our understanding

Chapter 1 of Gaudapada´s Karika.


1. One and the same All-pervading is traditionally known (lit. remembered) as being three-fold (l) Visva, cognisor of Outside, (2) Taijasa again, cognisor of inside, and (3) Prajna, likewise, cognition massed

"One and the same all pervading"

This is the Absolute or Self Consciousness  "pervading"  or supporting Creation.
In this first verse of his Karika,   Gaudapada links with the Mandukya Upanishad and referes to the descriptions given there to the  "apparent"  three states of consciousness experienced within creation.
These are described as being merely  "apparent"  because Absolute Self consciousness,  within which all this is experienced,  is immutable,  unchanging,  which means there are no "states"  in reality.   The experience of the states of waking sleep,  dream sleep and deep sleep by individuals is because  "their"  very experience of individuality or "self"  is itself merely a projected experience within Absolute Self consciousness itself.
This is why our highest consciousness is called only  "the waking state",  because this conscious experience is the experience of the delusion of duality.  Our true identity as That eternal unchanging Absolute consciousness is purely the witness to our delusional experience of duality,  ignorance and mortality.

"(lit. remembered)  as being three-fold"

These "remembered" states could be described much like our experience in the waking state of being the witness to having a dream state.
We only know or remember the dream state when we arise into the waking state,  it follows we will only know our Absolute state when we arise from our  "waking state"  or  "life state",  as it were.


2. One and the same All pervading Self,   is well set up threefold in the body Visva in the front of the right eye,  Taijasa again,  inside in the mind,  and Prajna in the void in the heart.

"One and the same All pervading Self"

The "Self" is The Absolute,  described here as "Self" due to the Self Consciousness experience within creation.
This Absolute Self is the One,  Non-Dual,  reality that eternaly exists.  This Universe is experienced as existing purely due to it's being pervaded or supported by That Absolute knowledge and Consciousness.  reference  :-
"these worlds, these gods,   these Vedas,   these beings and these all are this Self".  Brihadaranyaka Upanishad 2.4.6.

"is well set up threefold in the body"

This Absolute Self described as "well set up in the body" means the body (and all this) is but the Self as described above.
The term  "threefold"  referes to the said three perceived states.

"Visva in the front of the right eye"

Visva concerns the external and this is perceived via the eye.

"Taijasa again,   inside in the mind"

Taijasa similarly but internaly percieved by the mind,   Manas and memory.

"Prajna in the akas (void) in the heart"

Prajna,   consciousness still,   as the void.  although the Arkasa or void is experienced within through intellect and Buddhi,  it should be remembered that all this is the  "Self".  The void within is as the space in an empty jar.  wherever that jar moves the space within is the one void of existence.  But,  there exists no void in reality.  In reality the  "Self" Consciousness is all this.  The action of the  "void in the heart"  is as the void in the jar,  wherever it experiences it will be within the   "Consciousness"  of the  "Self".

Returning to the statement "One and the same all pervading Self",   it should be remembered while describing and discussing Consciousness as different states that these states are due to Maya or delusion only.   That is,   Consciousness is Absolute,   unchanging and is the supporter and enabler of all that is.
The intention here is to show that although within Creation one's level of consciousness appears to change,  these changes,  these limitations,   these appearances of individuality are due to Maya or delusion only.
If at any time ones understanding is at variance to this reality then forgetting is taking place.


3. For ( him ),  always,  Visva is the enjoyer of the gross,  Taijasa is the enjoyer of the subtle,  Prajna likewise is the enjoyer of bliss,  know the enjoyment thus to be three fold.

"For ( him ),   always.."

For him,   the being of creation and form,   the experience is always as if consciousness is changeable,   mutable,   having more than one form.   Here it appears three fold.
The three states of differentiation experienced are waking,   dreaming and deep sleep.  They are attributed to (apparent) differentiation in consciousness due to differentiation in awareness,   so they are accordingly given different names to describe those different experiences.

"Visva is the enjoyer of the gross"

As said these are Visva,   the waking state,   experiencing or enjoying all the external material gross objects.

"Taijasa is the enjoyer of the subtle"

Taijasa,   the dream state experiencing or enjoying dream,   Subtle,   objects.

"Prajna likewise is the enjoyer of bliss"

Prajna whose state cognises no sensory input or desire consequently rests in stillness and bliss.

"know the enjoyment thus to be three fold"

The experience termed here as enjoyment is meant as the enjoyment of privilege. That is, to exist and be experiencing is a privilege. As such an experience of boredom would regardless of circumstance also be to enjoy the privilege of experiencing.


4. The gross gratifies Visva,  the subtle again,  Taijasa; and bliss likewise,  Prajna.  Know gratification thus to be three fold.

"The gross...Visva,  the subtle...Taijasa;  bliss...Prajna."

Visva means outward looking through the senses,  therefore it understands the Gross material objects.
Taijasa means internal through the mind therefore it understands subtle objects known through knowledge alone.
Prajna means consciousness alone,  therefore it understands the experience of bliss.

"Know gratification thus to be three fold"

These three states under discussion are the Self previously described in verse Two above as  "well set up threefold in the body".  That  "Self"  so set up,  is to enable the satisfaction of that first desire for worldly experience.
Therefore when the experiences called Visva,  Taijasa, and Prajna are witnessed that experience is seen as the  "gratification"  of purpose.  The same would be said when on hearing a sound the principle of hearing would be said to be gratified.


5. What enjoyable is proclaimed in the three abodes,  and what enjoyer is proclaimed in the three abodes he again,  who knows both these,   although enjoying,  is not contaminated.

This verse refers to being either the transcending knowledgeable witness,  or a participant of action affected by the emotions of desire.

"What enjoyable is proclaimed in the three abodes"

Each of the states under discussion produce an experience.  The object that is enjoyable is known and can be named,   "proclaimed".

"what enjoyer is proclaimed in the three abodes"

The person within Creation that is supported by the Absolute Self to experience  "self"  is known  "proclaimed"  to be the enjoyer.

"he again,   who knows both these"

"He"  is that consciousness that transcends all states.  As described in the previous experiencing of the three states of waking,  dreaming, and deep sleep,  it is only in the relatively  "transcendent",   as it were,  state of waking that the other experienced states are known or remembered.
"He",  that consciousness,  will be the knower of  "both these".

"although enjoying,  is not contaminated".

Similarly to the higher of the imagined three states of consciousness,  so here, only the higher consciousness that transcends the experienced and the experiencer,  the consciousness of the witness,  will remain free of the attachment of the emotions of desire.

If the being of creation literally took these three states to be three different consciousnesses providing three different states of enjoyment he would be in error.   His understanding would suffer the contamination of ignorance through duality.
If,  by observing that,   throughout the apparent changes in consciousness,   there is consciousness that is constant and aware or knowledgeable of all this.  This person of creation would become aware of the underlying and sustaining Absolute consciousness that is unaffected by experience.  For instance,   when one is in deep sleep apparently unconscious,  undreaming, and unknowing this fact,  this knowledge,   is still known within consciousness.  This person would observe the enjoyer and the enjoyed as being that same Absolute Consciousness,  as a unity.
Knowing,   understanding, and realising the reality of non-duality this person of creation transcends duality and its ignorance.


6. There must be some origin of all entities that exist,  this is the well considered conclusion.  Prana creates all,  Purusa creates the rays of the mind that is,  the individual souls,  separate from one another.

"There must be some origin of all entities that exist"

All entities that have apparent existence have been created,  that is,  all things or bodies that exist have come into being through birth or other natural causes.
All that is encompassed within this whole Universe has a beginning.  Also,  all entities within this Universe have a natural end,   an entropy.
All that exists has a beginning and an end.
This "well considered conclusion"  is as intimated above,  logical.

"Prana creates all",

Prana is known as the breath that supports life so it is seen as a vital force.  Vital force has come to be seen as that which  "manifests"  all material forms.  As all creation is seen to have arisen through that first desire for the material organs of the body,  through which to experience worldly knowledge then a Vital Force,  represents material desire,  but it does not exist as an entity.
The meaning here is that this material Universe was created.  In fact all that exists is made manifest through Absolute Consciousness and Knowledge.

"Purusa creates the rays of the mind that is,  the individual souls"

Purusha,   represents the one Absolute Consciousness of many births,   especially when viewed from   "within Creation".   In verse 2.   Above,   the description "One and the same All pervading Self,   is well set up threefold in the body"   could be said to pertain to Purusa as the inner witness,   the Observer.

Prana and Purusha have different subtleties of aspect and understanding when used or referred to in different situations.  But ultimately,   both Prana or vital force,  and Purusha,  are only attributed "qualities",  as it were,  of the Absolute Self.   Such descriptive qualities or aids exist because even though we are describing a singularity,   that Singularity,   the Absolute Self,   is unknowable.   The Self is known only through the fact of Existence,   but no form of creation is the Absolute Self.
the meaning of this verse is,  all forms of this creation have an origin,   therefore they have an end,   they are mortal.   The Absolute Birthless Self Alone,   being without beginning,   without origination,   is eternal.


7. Other creation theorists,  on the other hand,  consider creation to be the manifestation of Purusa;  creation is imagined by others as having the same nature as dream and illusion, (Maya).

"Other creation theorists",

These other theories refer to those who have a dualistic view of Creation.  They believe that there exists a separate God who has further created us as separate beings.

"consider creation to be the manifestation of Purusa".

These people,  accepting duality,  believe that this creation is God or Purusa manifesting this Universe,   and that is eternal because it is the will of God.
This dualistic understanding is seen by the non-dual philosophy of Advaita as being due to their their attention or discrimination being captured within creation.

"creation is imagined by others as having the same nature as dream and illusion (Maya)".

Others contemplating the nature of this existence attribute the appearance of the universe to the same forms of delusion or illusion that manifest objects in dreams or other conscious states.

But,  following on from verse 6. above,  it should be seen by all theorists that all within Creation,  this Universe,  has a beginning and an end.
All that can be detected through our senses is transient.  therefore no theorist can detect anything that has true existence.  Being transient and mortal all that appears to exist is dependent on another for its support.

Therefore,  the meaning is,  the mechanics of this universe are of lesser importance.   The greater need is to realise  "That"  that is eternal.  There is nothing here within creation that has true being.  Whatever or wherever  "here"  is,  it is demonstrable that nothing truly exists as an entity in itself.  That is,  all forms are mortal due to being dependent on their parts,  and their parts are dependent on the parts of their parts.   The creation theorists of the various disciplines and beliefs are to this day still searching for and discovering lesser parts of the greater parts.  Non of this is directed at that transcendent intelligence that supports all  "This"  Creation.

If it is transcendent truth that will set us free,  that truth,   that reality,  is not contained or to be found within creation is the assertion of the Vedas :-
"This (universe).... differentiated only into name and form" Brihadaranyaka Upanishad 1.4.7.

The intention here,  regarding the Mandukya Upanishad,  is to demonstrate that it is the  "fourth"  or Turiya that alone is unchanging and Eternal.
To realise the Eternal is to realise the Truth.


8. Creation is due to just the will of the Lord so think others who are quite convinced about there being a creation;  the Time theorists consider the creation of beings as from Time.

"Creation...the will of the Lord...think others...convinced...there being a creation;"

Some people believe that we and this Universe were created by a God,  having a separate benign existence,  who will  "personally"  maintain the Universe for eternity.  That is,  they believe this creation to have a real separate existence.

"the Time theorists consider the creation of beings as from Time".

Some people,  believing that time exists as an entity on its own,  believe that,  with the course of time coincidence or some other action will produce the cause of material forms appearing.
This theory does not acknowledge the question of existence itself.  for instance the existence of time itself,  or the existence of the duality of components producing the  "coincidence".


9. Creation is for the sake of enjoyment of the Lord so say others;  for the sake of sport so say still others.  This again is the very nature of God the shining one so say others,  arguing What possible desire can there be in one for whom desire would ever be fulfilled?

"Creation is for the sake of enjoyment of the Lord so say others"

How can creation be due to a desire of the Absolute?   The very nature of Absolute is completeness in every meaning,   The Primal Singularity.   There could exist no desire that would not be already fulfilled.

"for the sake of sport so say still others"

Again,  The Absolute,  by definition,  is Absolute,  it has no needs.  The Absolute seeks no pastime.

"This again is the very nature of God the shining one so say others...What possible desire can there be in one for whom desire would ever be fulfilled"

All of the previous theories assume a cause or some desire or need or purpose of a  "Creator".
With this verse Gaudapada is negating all of these theories.  "That"  that is Absolutely complete,  and Bliss itself cannot logically be ascribed a  "reason"  for any movement or change whatsoever.

Therefore,  Gaudapada puts forward the theory that this Universe or Creation itself  "is the very nature of God the shining one".
Gaudapada's meaning is that the appearance of this Universe and its contents in all its states is merely the Absolute being all its forms of Knowledge it's very Self,  which is the true nature of the Absolute,  or Primacy of Existence.


Verses 10-18 of the Gaudapada Karika are traditionally associated with Verse 7 of the Mandukya Upanishad.





Mandukya Upanishad (continued)


7.  That is known as the fourth quarter: neither inward-turned nor outward-turned consciousness,  nor the two together; not an undifferentiated mass of consciousness; neither knowing,  nor unknowing; invisible,  ineffable,  intangible,  devoid of characteristics, inconceivable,  indefinable,  its sole essence being the consciousness of its own Self; the coming to rest of all relative existence; utterly quiet; peaceful; blissful; non dual; this is the Atman,  the Self; this is to be realised.


This state of consciousness is closest,  within Creation,  to the infinity of the Absolute.
This consciousness is the  "Absolute Self"  of the three states of  "self"  waking,  dreaming and sleeping.
This  "Self"  in the so called  "fourth"  is the silence and stillness that underlies and follows the dissolving of all other states of material existence  (AUM)  back to unmanifest Knowledge,  either of the forms of self or of the forms of the Universe or Om.

"That is known as the fourth quarter"

As explained at the very beginning of this Upanishad the  "quarters"  do not exist in reality.  The reality of Existence is that unchanging immutable Absolute Consciousness alone Exists.  This immutable existence suffers no division through quarters or any other form of differentiation.   The describing of quarters is to describe the experiencing in consciousness of the knowledge of that unchanging Absolute.
As the ocean is always the one ocean of water so the Absolute is always the ocean of absolute knowledge as Consciousness.
Sometimes the Ocean is witnessed as being blue or green or grey but is in reality unchanging.  Just so,  the witnessing experience of consciousness is sometimes of waking or dreaming or the experience of the non-experience of deep sleep but the reality is that these states are always and only an experience.   The Absolute is unchanging in all ways.
So this  "fourth quarter"  describes The stillness of the Absolute Self.  With or without the experiencing of  "quarters"  or states the Absolute Self remains unchanging.  Even when there is the experience of waking sleep,  dream sleep or deep sleep that experience is merely the reflexion of the light of knowledge on Consciousness as is the blue green or grey a reflexion of light on the ever present and unchanging same ocean of water.

The true colour of the ocean will be seen only through absolute white light.
The true singularity of consciousness will be seen only through Absolute Truth.


"neither inward-turned nor outward-turned consciousness,  nor the two together"

Because we are talking of  "Self"  Consciousness,  we are talking of material existence without a material awareness,  "neither knowing,  nor unknowing"  The only consciousness there is,  is consciousness unaware of its own transient state  (being the  "Self"  of creation). This is the reality of Non-Duality.
Consider   :-
Brihadaranyaka Upanishad 4.  5.  15  Because when there is duality,  as it were,  then one sees something. 


"not an undifferentiated mass of consciousness; neither knowing,  nor unknowing;"

Because the Absolute is literally Absolutely all Knowledge as Consciousness which is the totality of Existence itself it transcends name and consideration as a  "mass",  it just Is.
The Absolute does not   "know"  because being all knowledge there is nothing to know.
The Absolute is not   "unknowing"  because being all knowledge there is not that which is unknown.
The Absolute is Knowledge itself alone,  being Non-dual there is not that other to be known or unknown.


"invisible,  ineffable,  intangible,  devoid of characteristics,  inconceivable,  indefinable"

The infinitely subtle Absolute can never be visible nor in the Non-Dual reality of existence is there the duality of seer and seen,  Nor the defined or the definable.  Being unknowable the Absolute is inconceivable because the truth of the Absolute cannot be imagined by anything less than that Absolute Reality.


"its sole essence being the consciousness of its own Self"

This statement has the meaning that  "its own Self"  is Consciousness alone,  Consciousness is its  "essence".  The Absolute cannot be not conscious of its own existence because it is this very non-dual existence itself.  Likewise the Absolute will not be particularly conscious of its own existence  "Self"  because there is no such known as non-existence.


"the coming to rest of all relative existence; utterly quiet; peaceful; blissful; non dual".

The Absolute in Truth is the Singularity.  There is nothing eternally relative in Non-Duality.  This statement describes the state of Existence at rest in unmanifest Knowledge after the return of the transient relative universe,  therefore now resting in its eternal natural state of Truth Consciousness and Bliss.


"this is the Atman,  the Self; this is to be realised".

The Absolute is the Truth and support of the concepts  "Atman"  or  "Self".  The statement  "this is to be realised"  declares the highest intention and purpose of all the scriptures.    It is said by the Sages that to know the one thing is to know all things.  This Realisation of the Absolute is that one thing that is the highest truth."This is to be realised".

This Reality of the Absolute Self is being described here because the three imagined quarters or states of consciousness relative to the created have now been described,  they are waking sleep,  dream sleep  and dreamless sleep,  or Vaisvanara,  Taijasa  and Prajna.
The said fourth state is the experience,  as it were,  of the Unity of the Absolute.  This unity occurs only through Self Realisation or after the dissolution of the said three "quarters" of AUM or the Universe back to unmanifest knowledge which is described next through verses 8-12.




Gaudapada Karika (continued)

10. The All pervading is traditionally known as Turiya (the Fourth) capable of controlling the cessation of all miseries,  powerful,  immutable,  nondual among all entities,  refulgent.

In the consideration of AUM Turiya is the name given to the imagined or descriptive fourth state,  which in reality is The Infinite Absolute,  which is the silence and stillness following the winding up of creation,   or AUM.   The M represents the Tamas of creation.   Tamas is the measure,   the coming to rest at the end of all activity.   Following AUM which is the sound of the creation cycle,   the Absolute,  the fourth  ´quarter´  alone exists.   All miseries and so forth that arose from the Maya  (Maya is illusion or the veiling power of the Absolute by which it manifests the world) and duality of creation cease along with that duality.   The Absolute Self is known by the Sages as Self effulgent,   immutable,   Infinite and the source of all power.

11. Those two well known Visva and Taijasa are taken (lit. desired) to be conditioned by cause and effect;  Prajna,  on the other hand,  is conditioned by cause alone;  those two (the cause and effect) have no locus stand in the case of Turiya.

Cause and effect have no place or meaning in Turiya.  Turiya here is the name for the Absolute.   The Absolute is the Singularity,  the Absolute non-dual being.   The duality of cause and effect are the imagined workings within the Maya of creation.
Visva and Taijasa,   Waking state and dream state are the names for states that are apparently experienced by  ´our consciousness´ as it were,  due to the described Maya and the duality of creation.   Prajna,  being deep dreamless sleep experiences no apparent effects.   Prajna,  deep sleep,  experiencing no effects,  suffers no desires and so forth so is taken to be closest to the Bliss of the Absolute.

12. Neither the Self,  nor others again,  for the matter of that;  neither truth,  nor again the untruth nothing whatever does Prajna comprehend.  That Turiya however is always all seeing.

Prajna,   although closest  (in experience, as it were) to the Bliss of the Absolute (Turiya)   is only free from effect and desire due to the lack of any comprehension due to the state of Prajna,   deep sleep,  which within the creation of Maya, from the point of view of discrimination is relatively unconscious.  Neither truth nor untruth can be comprehended in such a state,   but it should be remembered we are talking in terms of relativity and duality for the sake of this exposition on creation.   In truth,   in the awareness of Advaita,  non-duality,  the Observer,   the Absolute Self is the true constant experiencer (through knowledge manifest) or witness in all states of Visva,  Taijasa or Prajna. Turiya is that Consciousness Absolute that Observer.   Described as all seeing it is actually,   literally eternally all knowing.

13.The non perception of duality is common to both Prajna and Turiya.  Prajna is stuck up with the causal sleep,  while it does not exist in Turiya.

As already described,   "Stuck up with causal sleep"   Prajna is bound and isolated,  as if unconscious for the aid of our understanding.   That is to say that Prajna is free from desire and so forth due to its state of enforced ignorance.   Not due to any higher consciousness or knowledge.  Unlike the all knowing Consciousness Absolute of Turiya.

14. The first two,  that is,  Visva and Taijasa are stuck up with dream and sleep,  Prajna,  on the other hand,  with dreamless sleep.  The convinced ones (about Advaita) do see in Turiya neither sleep,  nor again dream for the matter of that.

Visva and Taijasa,   waking and dream sleep and Prajna,   dreamless sleep are states.   States are dual.   States and duality and so forth are all part of this Creation, is Maya.
The Absolute,   taken here as Turiya,   is the silence following the cessation of this Creation.   Along with the cessation of creation all other states and duality cease of course,  including Visva,   Taijasa and Prajna.
Turiya,  The Absolute Singularity is eternal.   Being Eternal it is unchanging,   immutable.   Turiya has no change of state or any change whatsoever.   Turiya experiences no dream or any experience whatsoever for that matter.

15. Dream is for one comprehending reality otherwise;  sleep for one who does not know reality.  When the wrong apprehension in those two becomes extinct,  one attains to the Fourth stage.

Dream is for the being in the realm of duality,  likewise sleep is an experience of Maya and duality.
When Creation comes to an end it is but Maya ceasing to display duality.
After creation with Maya and duality ended the Absolute alone remains.   Only Turiya remains.   Turiya is the fourth ´stage´ envisioned and described here for the aid of our comprehension.

16. When the individual Soul,  asleep,  owing to the beginningless Maya is awakened,  he then realises the unborn,  sleepless,  dreamless nonduality.

This individual soul,   this so named individual consciousness being experienced as such due to Maya is freed from Maya due to the extinction of the realm of material creation, the death of the body. It is then free to becomes one with that non-dual,   eternal, Consciousness Absolute.

17. If the projected creation were really existing,  it would continue to be,  no doubt.  But this duality is just Maya there is only nonduality in reality.

All the wise Sages inform us of the unreality of this creation.   At the very least one form of this unreality can be understood by all who take the time to consider the reality.   There is nothing here that can be described as permanent.   There is nothing here that can be said to have its own reality,   that is there is nothing that is not made from something else. All forms are dependant on their constituent forms.  Eventually all things return to the soil and the soil itself and all planets can be observed coming to an end.  In this respect,  from the understanding of true identity all things are empty.  All things are empty of true being.  All things are as empty as a sandcastle on the beach.
So as said above,   if this creation were really existing,   existing within a lasting truth it would continue to do so,   but we can see it will not.
The wise conclusion is that this creation is supported by a greater reality.   This creation is supported by knowledge and consciousness Absolute and that Absolute is a Singularity is the definite verdict of all the ancient Seers.

18. If some illusion is imagined by someone,  it is liable to (or could) be turned away.  This statement is on account of its usefulness for instruction;  when the Highest is known,  duality does not exist.

The descriptions and names of states and all such talk of duality has been for the sake of instruction only.   Once the Absolute Self is realised duality is known as false and so reality becomes known. All truth becomes known. All knowledge becomes known.


Verses 8-11 of the Mandukya Upanishad are traditionally associated with Verses 19-23 of the Gaudapada Karika.


Mandukya Upanishad (continued)

8.  That Very Self,  in the realm of sound is the syllable OM,  the above described four quarters of the Self being identical with the components of the syllable,  and the components of the syllable being identical with the four quarters of the Self.
The components of the Syllable are A,  U and M.

"That Very Self,  in the realm of sound is the syllable OM".

"That Very Self"  that has been explained as the  Absolute  "Self"  is all that Consciousness of knowledge from which projects this very material universe and all it contains.
Therefore it is being said,  AUM is the sound of Creation itself forming.  Therefore OM is the gross material realm  "the realm of sound".

"The above described four quarters of the Self being identical with the components of the syllable,  and the components of the syllable being identical with the four quarters of the Self".

As stated,  being referred to here is the above concept of  "quarters"  which were used as an aid for describing the experience,  in consciousness,  of waking sleep,  dream sleep  and profound sleep by the "self",  and therefore also by the Absolute "Self".

Here,  in Universal terms,  Those same  "quarters",  waking state and so forth,  of that same Absolute Universal  "Self"  are being identified with the four states of AUM and the Universe,  because it has been stated that OM is the  "Self".

"The components of the Syllable are A,  U and M".

AUM symbolically encompasses the entirety of created sound which further symbolises or names all forms and states of this Created Universe.


9.  Vaisvanara,  having the waking state as his sphere,  is the first sound,  A,  because this encompasses all,  and because it is the first.  He who knows thus,  encompasses all desirable objects; he becomes the first.

"Vaisvanara,  having the waking state as his sphere,  is the first sound,  A,  because this encompasses all".

Vaisvanara has the meaning  "all men",  and in this instance of its use it means  "all material creation"  ("encompasses all").
The manifestation of the material Universe is also the manifestation of  "Self",  to satisfy that first desire for mind and body  ("self")  through which to experience worldly knowledge.

"A",  the "waking state",  is the sound of all the names  (all the knowledge)  for forming the Universe.

"He who knows thus,  encompasses all desirable objects".

"He who knows thus"  is  "He"  that first desired mind and body.
Because Creation is to realise that first desire then  "He"  along with those objects of desire will be  "born"  into the Universe of his desires "encompasses all desirable objects".

"he becomes the first".

Because Creation resulted to satisfy  "He"  that first desired he will become the  "first born"  (Viraj)  of Creation.
Reference Brihadaranyaka Upanishad  1.  2.  1  :-
He created the mind thinking  "Let me have a mind".


10.  Taijasa,  whose field is the dream state,  is the second sound,  U,  because this is an excellence,  and contains the qualities of the other two.  He who knows thus,  increases the flow of knowledge and becomes equal to all; in his family there will be born no one ignorant of Brahman.

"Taijasa,  whose field is the dream state,  is the second sound,  U,  because this is an excellence".

Taijasa has the meaning of luminous,  it is used to describe the individual lighting his own dream world.
Taijasa is Consciousness displaying the experience of the dream state illuminated through its own understanding and desires,
Consider also Brihadaranyaka Upanishad 4.  3.  9  :- his own light and dreams.  In this state the man himself becomes the light.

After the creative quality contained in the all encompassing first sound  (A)  this,  "U"  has the knowledge to continue from that first sound and so maintain the progress of Creation,  it will also carry the knowledge of the last sound to enable Creation to pass to that stage.

"and contains the qualities of the other two".

As said,   "U;"  contains all the qualities  (Knowledge)  to maintain Creation.

"He who knows thus,  increases the flow of knowledge and becomes equal to all"

With reference to having all the qualities,
The quality of knowing the Absolute produces an equanimity with the creation of events as it unfolds.  This has the effect of allowing all knowledge to flow naturaly and unimpeded or altered through "individual desire,  through this knowledge produces its maximum possibilities.  That is,  "increases the flow of knowledge".

But,  "He who knows thus"  Also has the meaning of he who meditates or prays with the understanding of duality and desire.  It is he who only  "knows"  creation through desire.  Therefore this man will maintain his stature and presence within creation  "becomes equal to all"  through further desire and creation  which will also "increases the flow of knowledge".

"in his family there will be born no one ignorant of Brahman".

Brahman here refers to the lower conditioned Brahman of creation.  This man of good intention but who only understands creation in terms of duality understands Brahman through its material attributes.
This is the natural condition of the "householder" and father,  the unrealised man,  the creator of his own world.  It follows that this understanding of the householder will continue through his  "family" or line of dependants being born into this material realm.
Consider Brihadaranyaka Upanishad 4.  4.  22 :-
The ancient Sages did not desire children

In Taijasa man dreams and experiences the fruits of his desires.  Man also dreams of further desires or he tires and dreams of return to the Absolute.
This means that man either seeks further worldly knowledge or he seeks the higher knowledge of the Absolute that transcends the dream.

This  "dream state"  also has the meaning that,  because all the work required to make manifest the Universe was completed within the sound of  "A"  there is no work to do in this state.  Which makes all work and desire in this state an imagination or dream.


11.  Prajna with his field of activity in the deep sleep state,  is the third sound,  M,  because this is the measure,  and that into which all enters.  He who knows thus,  measures all and becomes all.

"Prajna with his field of activity in the deep sleep state,  is the third sound,  "M",

Prajna has the meaning of pure consciousness and knowledge.
Here Prajna is Creation returning to the wisdom of rest and stillness.  This Creation is said to be the result of the ignorance of desire.    Ignorance means the forgetting of the Existence and Non-Duality of the Absolute.  This ignorance resulted in the apparent duality of Creation which contains the imagining of incompleteness and need or desire. 
"M"  is the ending of  "AUM"  which is the ending of the error of Creation and ignorance and the returning to the unity and stillness of Absolute Knowledge as Consciousness Alone.

"because this is the measure,  and that into which all enters"

As said the  "M"  at the ending of  "AUM"  has the measuring quality of Tamas described by the "Gunas".  All the sounds in  "AUM"  and all of Creation merge into the Tamas and sleep of the  "M".

"He who knows thus,  measures all and becomes all".

He who knows this measure knows the cycle of creation.
He who knows the cycle of creation knows the Absolute.
He who knows,  he who Realises the Absolute,  becomes all as the Absolute is All,  and sees the way to transcend the creation cycle of birth and death.
M begins the end of creation.  M is the measure of all things.  Here all that is and was starts the return to rest.  This transient display of the eternal knowledge of the Absolute unwinds and once more becomes unmanifest,  formless,  without attributes.



Gaudapada Karika (continued)

19. When there is the desire to state that Visva has association with A(um) the common quality being the first would be prominent;  and for the equating of Visva with the (syllabic) portion (A in Aum),  the common quality of pervading,  itself would be prominent.

The quality of pervading is the Rajasic quality, the doing, the rising to action and achieving quality. All action has to be initiated, energy has to be deployed and utilised. In terms of Creation the A in A(um) is that first sound which contains all the sounds, names (knowledge), that will form, sustain and end Creation.
The meaning is that Creation by definition is the appearance of the material form of the universe. It is in this gross material form of knowledge that the quality of sound appears. Sound is the vibration of action, action is that knowledge becoming manifest.




20. As regards the knowledge of Taijasa being possessed of association with U (in AUM) the common quality superiority (or posteriority) is distinctly seen;  for the equating of Taijasa with the syllabic portion (U in Aum) the common quality,  the nature of being both,  could be of the same type,   that is,  is distinctly seen.

In the realm of sound there is association with action. As action changes, as the knowledge of the Absolute follows its course so the sound will change, the syllable U is here associated with Taijasa.  The U (in aUm) will become prominent after the work, action and knowledge of the A in Aum is completed. The qualities of this U in aUm were contained in the A of Aum and this U will still contain some qualities of A, also it will have some qualities of the following M in auM.
This U therefore is the intermediate and common quality to the first and last syllables, the A and the M. The U is the sustaining quality, the quality of Satwa. Although all qualities are always present throughout creation the quality of Satwa, equilibrium is seen as desirable.




21. As regards Prajna possessing the state of M,  the common quality,  the measure,  by which the remaining two are measured,  is prominent;  for the equating of Prajna with the syllabic portion M in Aum on the other hand,  the common quality,  merging,  itself is prominent.

Prajna the  "Stuck up with sleep"   quality is being associated with the Tamasic  M in auM.   M is the measure of the word AUM.   M is the sound that contains the knowledge that will bring to an end the A and the U and subsume Creation back with the Absolute Knowledge.




22. When one or,  he who has become firm in his realisation of the truth,  knows the equal common quality in the three abodes,  he,  the great sage,  is worthy of worship,  and adorable by all beings.

The Self realised one, the person that recognises the Absolute, the knowledge that is The Absolute, this Creation that is the Knowledge that is The Absolute is worthy of being heard is the meaning here.




23. The syllable A leads on to Visva,  and the syllable U as well, to Taijasa,  and the syllable M again to Prajna.  There is no course towards what has no syllabic portions.

"There is no course towards what has no syllabic portions."
Om in the realm of Creation is not eternal. Creation is mortal. The knowledge in A leads into the knowledge as U which leads into the knowledge which is M. Following the syllable M in auM Creation comes to rest, subsumed with the Absolute Self. The Absolute alone will remain. The M is the Tamasic measure of all mortal things.

Verse 12 of the Mandukya Upanishad are traditionally associated with Verses 24-29 of the Gaudapada Karika.


Mandukya Upanishad (continued)

12.  The partless OM is Turiya,  the fourth.  Soundless,  fearless,  unutterable,  a quieting down of all relative manifestations,  blissful,  peaceful,  non-dual.  Thus,  OM is the Self,  verily.  He who knows thus,  merges his self in the Self - yea,  he who knows thus.

"The fourth is Turiya,  soundless,  fearless,  unutterable",

This fourth quarter is called  "Turiya"  which literally and only means "fourth".
This fourth quarter,  though named  (as state or quality etc.)  is none of these.  Not even a state of consciousness.  It is the Absolute Alone.  Without attributes it is the Being of pure Consciousness.  It is ever present and supports but transcends waking,  dreaming,  deep Sleep  and Creation itself.

"a quieting down of all relative manifestations".

Because the Absolute,  which is Absolute Consciousness,  alone Exists all else that is detectable  "all relative manifestations",  are  (were)  merely a projection of this Absolute Knowledge.

"blissful,  peaceful,  non-dual.  Thus,  OM is the Self"

The manifest  "AUM"  was merely a projection of the eternal knowledge of the Absolute    ("Thus,  OM is the Atman").  Therefore at the time of dissolution after all that was manifest    (OM)  returns to rest as the unmanifest Absolute,  the primal singularity of Truth,  Consciousness  and Bliss Alone exists.

"verily.  He who knows thus,  merges his self in the Self"

As stated in the scriptures he  "self"  who Realises the truth of the Non-Dual Absolute   "Self"  achieves  "merges his self in"  that Consciousness.

Indeed this Realisation is the one goal of all beings.




As stated earlier, The point is,

which quarter is the One quarter that knows all other quarters or states, but at the same time is unknown by those three states?
Which quarter is the One quarter that provides continuity or unity to the other three?
Which One quarter is it that through the very fact of its existence allows the other three quarters to "imagine" themselves as being a complete entity?
Which one quarter is it that allows the other states to rise and fall, come into apparent being and apparently to fade out of being?
Which one "Quarter" is Eternal?
What is it that Alone Truly Exists?





The end of the Mandukya Upanishad

´We shall be completely changed into God.´
Corinthians 3:18

OM peace peace peace


Gaudapada Karika (continued)

24. One should know the letter or,  sound Om,  quarter by quarter;  the quarters are the syllabic portions,   no doubt.  Having known the Omkara,  quarter by quarter,  one should meditate upon nothing else whatever.

To know Om quarter by quarter is to know the Self, the Absolute. This is what is meant by knowing Om. To understand what is inferred or meant by the syllables Aum in this context is to realise the Absolute. The work of Aum in creation is to reveal the Absolute Self and as said this should be the sole object of meditation.

25. One should fix the mind upon Pranava (the syllable OM);  Pranava is Brahman void of fear;  for him ever fixed upon Pranava,  there is no fear anywhere.

Fear is the result of duality. Duality arises through ignorance of the Absolute. Mind, Manas and ego are the machines of duality. Ignorance is the maze of deception that produces duality.
The mind that is ever fixed on the truth and clarity of the reality of the Absolute will not be fooled by the appearance of duality. The intellect that perceives the non-dual reality of the Absolute cannot be misled and transcends all fear.

26. Pranava indeed is the lower Brahman,  Pranava likewise is the Higher Atman.  Beginningless,  undifferentiated,   or,  without inside,  without outside,  unique and immutable is Pranava.

Pranava, Om, is both the knowledge of the Absolute and that knowledge is also manifest as this Creation. Knowing the Absolute through that understanding of Pranava is to know the Absolute as described, beginningless, immutable and eternal. The Absolute alone Exists.

27. Pranava indeed is the beginning,  middle and likewise the end itself of everything.  Having indeed known Pranava thus,  one attains to it (Brahman) immediately or,  attains to Pranava afterwards.

As previously stated, to know and understand Pranava, the meaning of the description of the quarters of Aum, Aum as the beginning and end of creation, Creation as transient and the Absolute as Eternal, is to attain to realisation of that Absolute Self.
Or, for the soul that fails to realise the Self, the one for whom the sparkle and duality of Creation still fills them with desire this one will again attain to rebirth with Creation, Om.

28. One should indeed know Pranava as the Lord well set up in the heart of all.  Having thought of the all pervading Omkara,   the wise one does not grieve.

To know this Creation as the Absolute Self Manifest, is to understand that all this is the unity of Absolute Knowledge. With this understanding one sees the Absolute Self in all beings and all beings as the Self. (Kaivalya Upanishad verse 10).   "the Lord well set up in the heart of all"
From this understanding of unity, non-duality, the wise see through apparent loss and transcend grief.

29. He,  by whom has been known the Omkara,  portion less,   possessed likewise of infinite portions,  the cause of cessation of duality,   and auspicious,  is the sage,  not any other.

The sage is the Self Realised one. The Realised Sage has no need to visualise the Absolute through quarters. The Sage has realised the infinite unity and singularity of Existence. the Absolute The Absolute Self is realised through the insight and understanding of the intellect of the heart, Buddhi  (Buddhi is the Higher awakened intellect of the heart. Through a refined ability to discriminate it knows Truth and is closest to the Absolute.  Mind is a servant that needs to be supervised by Buddhi).  The Absolute cannot be realised by any other means.

Here ends the First Chapter in the Gaudapada Karika

Continue to Gaudapada Karika Chapter Two

Ohm  Peace  Peace  Peace.



Ohm   peace,   peace,   peace.