Mandukya Upanishad

The Mandukya Upanisad is assigned to the Atharvaveda. It is a primary source of Advaita (non-dualist) Vedanta through its commentary, the Mandukya Karika of Gaudapada (c. 8th century), Sankara's teacher's teacher.

QM. Gods, may we hear good fortune with our ears!
You worthy of sacrifice, may we see good fortune with our eyes!
Having praised you with bodies strong of limb,
May we attain, life long, what is ordained by the gods!
May Indra, of great swiftness,
May Pusan, the all-knowing,
May Tarksya Aristanemi,
May Brhaspati ordain well-being for us!

QM. Peace, peace, peace.

1. The syllable (aksara) OM is all this. To explain further: what is called past, present and future is all just OM. Whatever else there is, beyond the three times, that too is all Just OM.

2. All this is brahman. The self is brahman. The self has four feet.

3. The first foot is Vaisvanara, with waking as its state, with consciousness turned outward, with seven limbs, with nineteen mouths, eating coarse food-

4. The second foot is Taijasa, with dream as its state, with consciousness turned inward, with seven limbs, with nineteen mouths, eating choice food.

5. When, sleeping, one desires no desire and dreams no dream, that is deep sleep. The third foot is Prajna, with deep sleep as its state, become one, a sheer mass of consciousness, made of bliss, eating bliss, with mind as its mouth,

6. It is the lord of all: it is the knower of all: it is the inner controller: it is the source (yoni) of all, for it is the arising and passing away of beings.

7. Not with consciousness turned inward, not with consciousness turned outward, not with consciousness turned both ways, not a mass of consciousness, not conscious, not unconscious—folk consider the fourth to be unseen,11 inviolable,12 unseizable, signless, unthinkable, unnameable, its essence resting in the one self, the stilling of proliferation,13 peaceful, gracious (Siva), without duality (advaita). That is the self: so it should be understood.

8. In terms of syllables, the self is OM. In terms of elements,14 the feet are the elements and the elements are the feet: 'a', 'u', 'm'.

9. Vaisvanara, whose state is waking, is the 'a', the first element, from ap- (to attain), or from its being the first of all (adimattva):15 for the one who knows this attains all desires and becomes the first (adi).

10. Taijasa, whose state is dream, is the 'u', the second element, from utkarsa (rising up), or from its being both (ubhaya): for the one who knows this raises up a lineage of knowledge and becomes equal with it,16 and there comes to be no one in his family who does not know brahman.

Om Peace Peace Peace

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