Teaching, a certain sage, Gaudapada by name, has written a poem. This poem is now translated, prefaced by the Mandukya Upanishad itself. Gaudapada. Gaudapada, grand Guru of Shankara, is the author of Mandukya Karika, a commentary on Mandukya Upanishad. It was written in 8th century, and is the earliest. : Mandukya Upanishad with Gaudapada’s Karika eBook: Gaudapada, Charles Johnston: Kindle Store.

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These “remembered” states could be described much like our experience in the waking state of being the witness to having a dream state. All these ideas are always imagined on the Self.

They are illumined and free from the very beginning. But these two [viz. Moksha Anubhava Turiya Sahaja. Assuming how long each lived and when, Gaudapada is estimated to gaudxpada lived sometime in the 7th century CE. But Turiya is ever existent and all—seeing. Just as a creature seen in a dream takes birth and dies, so also do all these creatures come into being and disappear.

On acquiring knowledge [of the threefold objects] and on knowing the objects in succession, there follows consequently, for the man of great intellect here, the state of omniscience for ever. I make obeisance with my whole being to those holy feet—the dispellers of the fear of the chain of births and deaths—of my own great teacher, who, through the light of his illumined wisdom, destroyed the darkness of delusion enveloping my mind; who put an end, for ever, to my appearance and disappearance in this terrible ocean of innumerable births and deaths; and who enables all others, too, that take shelter at his feet, to attain unfailing knowledge of the scriptures, peace and kadika state of perfect non—differentiation.


But both these are seen to be unreal.

Some say that twenty-five categories constitute the Reality, whereas others speak of twenty-six. Both these are devoid of valid proof, and each can be perceived only through the idea of the other.

Just as it is taught that ether in the earth and the belly is verily the same, so also the Supreme Reality is declared to be the same gaudapaea reference to every two [viz. There could exist no desire that would not be already fulfilled. Again, some say that thirty-one categories constitute It, yet some others hold that they are infinite.

This Creation is said to be the result of the ignorance of desire.

The Unborn Self is known by the [knowledge that is] unborn. Their difference lies only in the difference of the organs by means of which they are perceived. Such birth is not established, everything is said to be Unborn.

Gaudapada’s Karika on the Mandukya Upanishad: Realistic or Idealistic Metaphysics?

Similarly, in the waking state, what is imagined within by the mind is illusory and what is cognized outside by the mind, real; but both should be held, on rational grounds, to be unreal. The Fourth state [Turiya] corresponds to silence as the other three correspond to OM. According to Karikasuch wise individuals, do not care about praise from anyone, are beyond all rituals, are homeless wanderers, for they have realized the true inside them and outside; they, translates Potter, “remain steadfastly true to nature”.

A clear explanation of it is as follows: If the objects of both the states be unreal, who comprehends all these and who again imagines them? Whatever there is, moving and unmoving, which constitutes this duality, is perceived by the mind, for when mind does not exist as mind, duality is never perceived.


For it is not possible for the son of a barren woman to be born either really or through maya. Everything, again, as one with Ultimate Reality, is unborn; therefore there is no such thing as destruction. When the mind ceases to imagine consequent on the realisation of the Truth which is the Manduyka, then it attains the state of not being the mind and becomes a non-perceiver, owing to the absence of objects to be perceived.

Gaudapada’s Karika on the Mandukya Upanishad

They follow the path of difference, and speak of diversity and are, therefore, considered to be mean. On the ground of non-apprehension of Reality, all the preceding instruction [for Its comprehension] is negated by the sruti, “This Self is that which has gajdapada declared as “not this, not this”.

All forms are dependant on haudapada constituent forms. If at any karima ones understanding is at variance to this reality then forgetting is taking place. But that view which is supported by the scriptures and corroborated by reason is alone to be accepted and not the other. That which is settled by the sruti and supported by reasoning is true, and not anything else. If it is subject to modification, how then can it be said to be eternal? Having seen unreal things in the waking state, one, deeply impressed, sees those very things in a dream.

Being transient and mortal all that appears to exist is dependent on another for its support.