Author Topic: Chapter IV - Alatashanti Prakarana (Quenching the firebrand)  (Read 309 times)

Commentary

  • Global Moderator
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 341
    • View Profile
Chapter IV - Alatashanti Prakarana (Quenching the firebrand)
« on: April 07, 2019, 05:42:27 PM »
Karika, verse 4.1
The proposition regarding Advaita (as the Supreme Truth) has been based upon scriptural evidence, by determining the nature of Aum. That proposition has been established by proving  the unreality of the distinction implied by the external objects (of experience). Again the third chapter dealing with Advaita has directly established the proposition on the authority of scripture and reason with the concluding statement  that “This alone is the Ultimate Truth”. At the end of the previous chapter it has been hinted that the opinions of the dualists and the nihilists, who are opposed to the philosophy of Advaita which gives the true import of the scriptures, bear the name of true philosophy. But that is not true because of their mutual contradictions and also because of their being vitiated by attachment to their own opinions and aversion to those of others. The philosophy of Advaita has been extolled as the true philosophy on  account of its being free from any vitiation (referred to above regarding the theories of the dualists and nihilists). Now is undertaken the chapter styled Alātasānti (i.e., on the quenching of the fire-brand) in order to conclude the final examination for the establishment of the philosophy of Advaita, by following the process known as the method  of disagreement, which is done by showing here in detail that other systems cannot be said to be true philosophy. For there are mutual contradictions implied in them. The first verse has for its purpose the salutation to the promulgator  of the philosophy of Advaita, conceiving him as identical with the Advaita Truth. The salutation to the teacher is made in commencing a scripture in order to bring the undertaking to a successful end. The word “Ākāśakalpa” in the text means resembling Ākāśa, that is to say, slightly different from Ākāśa. What is the purpose of such knowledge which resembles Ākāśa? By such Knowledge is known the nature of the Dharmas   (i.e., the attributes of Atman). The attributes are the same as the substance. What is the nature of these Dharmas? They also can be known by the analogy  of Ākāśa, that is to say, these Dharmas also resemble Ākāśa. The word “Jñeyābhinna” in the text is another attribute of ‘Jnanam’ or Knowledge and means that this knowledge is not  separate from the Atmans (Jivas) which are the objects of knowledge. This identity of the knowledge and the knowable is like the identity of fire  and heat and the sun and its light. I bow to the God, known as Nārāyaṇa,  who by knowledge, non-different from the nature of Atman (the object of knowledge) and which resembles Ākāśa, knew the Dharmas which, again, may be compared to Ākāśa. The import of the words “Dvipadām Varam” (Supreme among the bipeds), is that Nārāyaṇa is the greatest of all men, characterised by two legs, that, is to say, He is the “Puruṣottama”, the best of all men. By the adoration of the teacher it is implied that the purpose of this chapter is to establish, by the refutation of the opposite views, Advaita which gives the philosophy of the Ultimate Reality, characterised by the identity of the knower, knowledge and the object of knowledge.

Karika, verse 4.2
Now salutation is made to the Yoga taught by the Advaita Philosophy, in order to extol it. The word Asparśayoga in the text means the Yoga which is always and in all respects free from sparśa or relationship with anything and which is of the same nature as Brahman. This Yoga is well known as the Asparśayoga to all Knowers of Brahman. This Yoga is conducive  to the happiness of all beings. There are certain forms of Yoga such as Tapas or austerity, which though conducive to the supreme happiness, are associated with misery. But this is not of that kind. Then what is its nature? It tends to the happiness of all beings. It may however be contended that the enjoyment of certain desires gives pleasure but certainly does not tend to one’s well-being. But this Asparśayoga conduces to both  happiness and well-being. For,  it never changes its nature. Moreover, this  Yoga is free from strife, that is to say, in it there is no room for any passage-at-words, which is inevitable in all disputes consisting of two opposite sides. Why so? For, it is non-contradictory  in nature. To this kind of Yoga, taught in the scripture, I bow.
 
Karika, verse 4.3
How do the dualists quarrel with one another? It is thus replied: Some disputants, such as the followers of the Sāṃkhya system, admit production as the effect of an entity that is already existent. But this is not the view of all the dualists. For the intelligent followers of the Nyāya and the Vaiśeṣika systems, that is to say, those who believe that they possess wisdom, maintain that evolution proceeds from a non-existing cause. The meaning is that these disputants, quarrelling among themselves, claim victory over their respective opponents.

Karika, verse 4.4
What do they, by refuting each other’s conclusions and quarrelling among themselves, really establish? It is thūs replied:—No  entity which is already in existence can again pass into birth. The reason is that as entity, it already exists. Ft is just like the Atman, which already being in existence, cannot be born again as a new entity. Thus argues the supporter of evolution from non-ens (i.e., from a non-existing cause) and refutes the Sāṃkhya theory that an existing cause is born again as an effect. Similarly, the follower of the Sāṃkhya theory refutes the supporter of the non-ens view regarding creation by a non-existing cause. He declares that a non-existing  cause, on account of its very non-existence, cannot, like the horns of a hare, produce an effect. Thus  quarrelling among themselves, by supporting “existent” and “non-existent” causes, they refute theirs respective opponent’s views and declare, in effect, the truth that there is no creation at all.

Karika, verse 4.5
We simply accept the view of the Ajāti or the absolute non-causation declared by them  and say,“Let it be so”. We do not quarrel with them by taking either side in the disputation. In other words, like them, we do not quarrel with each other. Hence Oh ye pupils, know from us the Ultimate Reality as taught by us, which is free from dispute.

Karika, verse 4.6
The word “disputant” in the text includes all the dualists, viz., those who believe that evolution proceeds from an existing cause, as well as those who believe its opposite. This verse has already been commented upon.

Karika, verse 4.7-8
These verses have already been explained. They are repeated here in order to justify our view that the disputants mentioned above only contradict each other.

Karika, verse 4.9

Even  the nature of a thing in ordinary experience does not undergo any reversal. What is meant by the nature of a thing? This is thus replied:—The word “samsiddhi” means “complete attainment”. The nature of a thing is formed by such complete attainment as in the case of the perfected Yogis who attain to such superhuman powers as Aṇimā,  etc. These powers thus acquired by the Yogis never undergo any transformation in the past and future. Therefore these constitute the very nature of the Yogis, Similarly, the characteristic quality of a thing, such as heat or light of fire and the like, never undergoes any change either in time or space. So also the nature of a thing which is part of it from its very birth, as the flying power of the bird, etc., through the sky, is called its prakṛti. Anything else which is not produced by any other cause (except the thing itself); such as the running downwards of water is also called prakṛti. And lastly, anything which  does not cease to be itself is known popularly to be its prakṛti. The purport of the Kārikā is that if in the case of empirical entities, which are only imagined,  their nature or prakṛti does not undergo any change, then how should it be otherwise in the case of the immortal or unchanging nature regarding the Ultimate Reality, whose very Prakṛti is Ajāti or absolute non-manifestation.

Karika, verse 4.10
What is the basis of that Prakṛti whose change is imagined by the disputants? What, again, is the defect in such imagination? This is thus replied:—The words “Free from senility and death,” in the text signify freedom from all changes  characterised by senility, death, etc. Who are thus free (from all changes)? These are all the Jivas, who are, by their very nature, free from all changes. Though the Jivas are such by their very nature, yet they think, as it were, that they are subject to senility and death. By such imagination  about their selves, like the imagination of the snake in the rope, they (appear to) deviate from their nature. This happens on account of their identification, through thinking, with senility and death. That is to say, they (appear to) fall from their real nature by this defect in their thought.

Karika, verse 4.11
How is it that the Sāṃkhyas, who believe in the evolution of an existing cause, maintain a view which is irrational? It is thus replied by the followers of the Vaiśeṣika system: Those who say that the cause, that is to say, such material cause as clay, is, in itself, the effect; or in other words those disputants who assert that the cause itself changes into the effect, maintain, as a matter of fact, that the ever-existent and unborn cause, namely the Pradhāna, etc., is born again as the effect, such as Mahat, etc. If Pradhāna be born in the form of Mahat, etc., then how can it be designated as birthless? To say that it is unborn, i.e., immutable and at the same time born, i.e., passing into change, involves a contradiction. Further, the Sāṃkhyas designate Pradhāna as eternal. How is it possible for Pradhāna to be eternal if even a part of it be affected by change? In other words, ordinary experience does not furnish us with the instance of a jar, composed of parts, which, if broken in any part, can still be called permanent or immutable. The purport is that a contradiction is obvious in the statement that it is affected partly by change and at the same time it is unborn and eternal.

Karika, verse 4.12
This verse is meant to make the meaning of the previous one clearer. If your object be to maintain that the unborn cause is identical with the effect, then it necessarily follows that the effect also becomes equally unborn. But it  is certainly a contradiction to say that a thing is an effect and at the same time unborn. There is a further difficulty. In the case of identity of the cause and the effect, how can, according to you, the cause, which  is non-different from the born effect, be permanent and immutable? It is not possible to imagine that a part of a hen is being cooked and that another part is laying eggs.
If the identity of cause and effect be maintained then it may be asked if the cause be identical with the effect or if the effect be identical with the cause. In the former case of identity, the effect becomes unborn and in the latter case the cause becomes something born and loses its immutable and permanent character.

Karika, verse 4.13
Moreover, the disputant  who says that the effect is produced from an unborn cause, cannot furnish an illustration to support his view. In other words, it is consequently established that nothing is born from an unborn cause as there is no illustration to support this view. If, on the other hand, it be contended that the effect is born from a born cause, then that cause must be born from some other born cause and so on, which position never enables us to reach a cause which is, in itself, unborn. In other words, we are faced with an infinite regress.

Karika, verse 4.14
The Śruti, in the passage, “When all this has, verily, become his Atman” declares, from the standpoint of the Ultimate Reality, the absence of duality. From this standpoint of the Scriptural text, it is said: The cause, i.e., the merit (Dharma) and the demerit (Adharma), etc., has, for its cause, the effect, viz., the aggregate of the body, etc. Similarly, the cause,  viz., merit and demerit, etc., is the cause of the effect, viz., the aggregate of the body, etc. How can disputants  who maintain this view, viz., that both the cause and the effect are with  beginning on account of mutual interdependence of the cause and the effect, assert that both the cause and the effect are without beginning? In other words, this position implies an inherent contradiction.  The Atman,  which is eternal and immutable, can never become either the cause or the effect.

Karika, verse 4.15-16
How does the contention of the opponent imply a contradiction? It is thus replied:—The admission that the cause is produced from an effect, which is itself born of a cause, carries with it the contradiction which may be stated to be like the birth of the father from the son.
If it be contended that the contradiction, pointed out above, cannot be valid, then the opponent should determine the order in which cause and effect succeed each other. The opponent has to show that the “cause” which is antecedent, produces the “effect” which is subsequent. For the following reason also, the order of “cause” and “effect” must be shown. For, if cause and effect arise simultaneously, then they cannot be related as the cause and the effect, as it is impossible to establish the causal relation between the two horns of a cow produced simultaneously.

Karika, verse 4.17
How can there be no causal relation? It is thus replied: The cause cannot have a definite existence if it is to be born of an effect which is, itself, yet unborn, and therefore which is non-existent like the horns of a hare. How  can the cause contemplated by you, which is, itself, indefinite and which is non-existent like the horns of a hare, produce an effect? Two things which are mutually dependent upon each other for their production and which are like  the horns of a hare, cannot be related as cause and effect or in  any other way.

Karika, verse 4.18
Though any relation between cause and effect has been found to be an impossibility, yet it may be contended by the opponent that the cause and the effect, though not causally related, yet depend upon each other for their mutual existence. As a reply to this contention we ask: Which of the two, the cause and the effect, is antecedent to the other, upon the previous existence of which, the subsequent existence of the other is dependent?

Karika, verse 4.19
If you think that this  cannot be explained then this inability shows your ignorance, that is to say, it demonstrates that you are deluded regarding the Knowledge of Reality. Again, the order of succession, pointed out by you—that the effect comes from the cause and the cause comes from the effect—is also inconsistent. Thus is shown the impropriety of the causal relation between the cause and the effect. This  leads the wise among the disputants, by showing the fallacy in each other’s arguments, to declare, in effect, the non-evolution of things (which is our opinion).

Karika, verse 4.20
Objection: We have asserted the causal relation between the cause and the effect. But you have raised mere verbal  difficulties to show the inconsistency in our statement and made a caricature of our standpoint by pointing out its absurdity like the birth of the father from the son or a causal relation between the two horns (of a bull), etc. We do not, for a moment, admit the production of an effect from a cause not already existent or of a cause from an effect not established.
Reply: What is, then, your contention?
Objection: We admit the causal relation as  in the case of the seed and the sprout.
Reply: To this we reply as follows:—The illustration of the causal relation existing between the seed and the sprout is itself the same as the major term in my syllogism, that is to say, the  illustration itself is to be proved.
Objection: It is apparent that the causal relation of the seed and the sprout is without beginning.
Reply: It is not so. The beginning of all antecedents must be admitted, as is the case with the consequents. As  a sprout just produced from a seed is with beginning, similarly the seed also, produced from another sprout (existing in the past), by the very succession implied in the act of production, is with beginning. Therefore all antecedent sprouts as well as seeds are with beginning. As every seed and every sprout, among the seeds and the sprouts, are with beginning, so it is unreasonable to say that any one of these is without beginning. This is also equally applicable to the argument of the cause and the effect.
Objection: Each  of the series of the seeds and the sprouts is without beginning.
Reply: No. The unity or oneness of such series cannot be justified. Even those who maintain the beginninglessness of the seed and the sprout, do not admit the existence of a thing known as the series of the seed and the sprout apart from the seed and the sprout. Nor do they admit such a series in the case of the cause and the effect. Therefore it has been rightly asked, “How do you assert the beginninglessness of the cause and the effect?” Other explanations being unreasonable, we have not raised any verbal difficulty. Even  in our ordinary experience expert logicians do not use anything, which is yet to be established, as the middle term or illustration in order to establish relation between the major and the minor terms of a syllogism. The word Hetu or the middle term is used here in the sense of illustration, as it is the illustration which leads to the establishment of a proposition. In the context illustration is meant and not reason.

Karika, verse 4.21
How do the wise assert the view of Ajāti (Ajati) or absolute non-evolution? It is thus replied:—The  very fact that one does not know the antecedence and the subsequence of the cause and the effect is, in itself, the clearest indication of absolute non-evolution. If  the effect (Dharma, i.e., the Jiva) be taken as produced (from a cause) then why cannot its antecedent cause be pointed out? It goes without saying that one who accepts birth as a fact must also know its antecedent cause. For, the relationship of the cause and the effect is inseparable and therefore cannot be given up Therefore the absence of knowledge (regarding the cause) clearly indicates the fact of absolute non-evolution.

Karika, verse 4.22
For this reason, also, nothing whatsoever is born. That which is (supposed to be) born cannot be born of itself, of another or of both. Nothing,  whether it be existing or non-existing, or both, is ever born. Of such an entity, birth is not possible in any manner whatsoever. Nothing is born out of itself, i.e., from its own form which in itself has not yet come into existence. A jar cannot be produced from the self-same jar. A thing cannot be born from another thing, which is other than itself, as a jar cannot be produced from another jar, or a piece of cloth from another piece of cloth. Similarly, a thing cannot be born both out of itself and another, as that involves a contradiction. A jar or a piece of cloth cannot be produced by both a jar and a piece of cloth.

Objection: A jar is produced from clay, and a son is born of a father.
Reply: Yes, the deluded use a word like “birth” and have a notion corresponding to the word. Both the word and the notion are examined by men of discrimination who wish to ascertain whether these are true or not. After examination they come to the conclusion that things, such as a jar or a son, etc., denoted by the words and signified by the notions, or mere verbal expressions. The Scripture also corroborates it, saying, “All effects are mere names and figures of speech.” If the thing is ever-existent, then it cannot be born again. The very  existence is the reason for non-evolution. A father or clay is the illustration to support the contention. If these objects, on the other hand, be non-existent, even then they cannot be said to be produced. The very-non-existence is the reason. The horns  of a hare are an illustration. If things be both existent and non-existent, then also, it cannot be born. For, such contradictory ideas cannot be associated with a thing. Therefore it is established that nothing whatsoever is born. Those  who, again, assert that the very fact of birth is born again, that the cause, the effect and the act of birth form one-unity, and also that all objects have only momentary existence, maintain a view which is very far from reason. For a thing immediately after being pointed out as “It is this,” ceases to exist and consequently no memory of the thing is possible in the absence of such cognition.

Karika, verse 4.23-24
In accepting the beginninglessness of the cause and the effect you are forced to admit the absence of birth regarding them. How is it so? The  cause cannot be produced from an effect, which is without beginning. In other words, you do not certainly mean that the cause-is produced from an effect which is, itself, without beginning and free from birth. Nor do you  admit that the effect, by following its own inherent nature, (i.e., without any extraneous cause) is produced from a cause which is unborn and without beginning. Therefore  by admitting the beginninglessness of the cause and the effect, you, verily, accept the fact of their being never produced. It is because we know from common experience that what is without beginning is also free from birth which means a beginning. Beginning is admitted of a thing, which has birth, and not of a thing which has none.

An objection is raised in order to strengthen the meaning already stated. The word Prajñapti in the text signifies “knowledge”, i.e., the experience of such notions as that of sound, etc. This (subjective) knowledge has a cause, i.e., an (external) agent or object corresponding to it. In other words, we premise that knowledge is not merely subjective but has an object outside the perceiving subject. Cognition of sound, etc., is not possible without objects. For, such experience is always produced by a cause. In  the absence of such (external) object, the variety and multiplicity of experiences such as sound, touch, colour, viz., blue, yellow, red, etc., would not have existed. But the varieties are not non-existent, for these are directly perceived by all. Hence, because: the variety of manifold experiences exist, it is necessary to admit the existence—as supported by the system of the opposite school—of external objects which are outside the ideas of the perceiving subject. The subjective knowledge has one characteristic alone, i.e., it is of the very nature of illumination. It does not admit of any variety within itself. The variety of experiences of colour, such as blueness, yellowness, etc., cannot possibly be explained, by merely imagining a variety in the subjective knowledge, without admitting variety of external objects which are the substratum of these multiple colours. In other words, no variety of colour is possible in a (white) crystal without its coming-in contact with such adjuncts as the external objects which possess such colours as blueness, etc. For this additional reason also one is forced to admit the existence of external object,—supported by the Scripture of the opposite school,—an object which is external to the knowledge (of the perceiving subject): Misery  caused by burns, etc., is experienced by all. Such pain as is caused by burns, etc., would not have been felt in the absence of the fire, etc., which is the cause of the burns and which exists independent of the knowledge (of the perceiving subject). But such pain is experienced by all. Hence,  we think that external objects do exist. It is not reasonable to conclude that such pain is caused by mere subjective knowledge. For, such misery is not found elsewhere.

Karika, verse 4.25
To this objection, we reply as follows:—We admit that you posit a cause of the subjective experience on account of such arguments as the existence of the variety (in the objective world) and because of the experience of pain. Stick for a while to your argument that reason demands that an external object should exist to produce a subjective impression.
The opponent: Please let us know what you (Advaitin) are going to say next.
Reply: Yes, the jar, etc., posited by you as the cause, that is to say, the cause of the subjective impression, are not, according to us, the external cause, the substratum (of the impression); nor are they the cause for our experiences of variety.
Objection: How?
Reply: We say so from  the standpoint of the true nature of Reality. When the true nature of clay is known a jar does not exist apart from the clay as exists a buffalo in entire independence of a horse. Nor does cloth exist apart from the thread in it. Similarly the threads have no existence apart from the fibres. If we thus proceed to find out the true nature of the thing, by going from one cause to another, till language or the object denoted by the language fails us, we do not still find any (final) cause.

“Bhūtadarsanāt” (from the true nature of the thing) may be “Abhūtadarsartāt” (from the unreality of the experiences). According to this interpretation, the meaning of the Kārikā is that we do not admit external objects as the cause on  account of the unreality of these (external) objects, which are as unreal as the snake seen instead of the rope. The (so-called) cause  ceases to be the cause as the former is due to the illusory perception of the perceiver. For,  it (the external world) disappears in the absence of such illusory knowledge. The man in dreamless sleep and trance (Samādhi) and he who has attained the highest knowledge do not experience any object outside their self as they are free  from such illusory cognition. An object which is cognised by a lunatic is never known as such by a sane man. Thus  is answered the contention regarding the causality based upon the arguments of the perception of variety and the existence of pain.

Karika, verse 4.26
Because there are no external objects as cause, the mind does not relate itself to external objects which are supposed to be the cause of the subjective impression. Nor is the mind related to the ideas which appear as external objects, as the mind, like  the dream-mind, is identical with such ideas. It  is because the external objects such as sound, etc., perceived in the waking state, are as unreal as dream-objects, for  reasons stated already. Another reason is that the ideas appearing as external objects are not different from the mind. It is the mind alone which, as in dream, appears as external objects such as the jar, etc.

Karika, verse 4.27
Objection: The mind appears as the jar, etc., though such objects are non-existent. Therefore there  must exist false knowledge. Such being the case, there must be right knowledge somewhere (in relation to, or as distinguished from, false knowledge which we point out).
Reply: Our reply to this contention is as follows:—The mind certainly does not come in contact with a cause—an external object—in any of the three periods of time, past, present or future. If the mind had ever truly come in contact with such objects then such relation would give us an idea of true knowledge from the standpoint of Reality. And in relation to that knowledge the appearance of the jar, etc., in the mind, in the absence of the jar, etc., could have been termed as false knowledge. But never does the mind come in contact with an external object (which does not in reality exist). Hence how is it possible for the mind to fall into error when there is no cause for such an assumption? In other words, the mind is never subject to false knowledge. This  is, indeed, the very nature of the mind that it takes the forms of the jar, etc., though in reality, such jar, etc., which may cause the mental forms, do not at all exist.

Karika, verse 4.28
The verses of the Kārikā from 25 to 27 give the views of a class of Buddhistic thinkers, known as the Vijñānavādins (the subjective idealists) who thus refute the views of those who maintáin the reality of external objects. The  Advaitic teacher (Gauḍapāda) approves of these arguments. Now he makes use of these very arguments of the Vijñānavādins as the ground (middle term) for refuting the conclusions of the subjective idealists. The Kārikā has this end in view. The subjective idealist admits that the mind, even in the absence of the (external) jar, etc., takes the form of the jar, etc. We also agree with this conclusion because this is in conformity with the real nature of things. In like manner, the mind, though never produced, appears to be produced and cognised as such. Therefore the mind is never produced, as is the case with the object cognised by it. The Vijñānavādins who affirm the production of the mind and also assert that the mind is momentary, full of pain, non-Self in nature, etc., forget that the real  nature of the mind can never be understood by the mind fas described by them). Thus the Vijñānavādins who see the production of the mind resemble those who (profess to) see in the sky foot-prints left by birds, etc. In other words, the Vijñānavādins are more audacious than the others, viz., the dualists. And the Nihilists  who, in spite of the perception of the visible world, assert the absolute non-existence of everything including their own experiences, ate even mote audacious than the Vijñānavādins. These Nihilists take the position of those who claim to compress the whole sky in the palms of their hands.

Karika, verse 4.29
For reasons already stated it is established that Brahman is one and unborn. This verse summarises, the conclusion of what has already been stated in the form of proposition. The unborn mind, which  is verily Brahman, is imagined by the disputants to be born. Therefore (according to them) the ever-unborn is said to be born. For, it is unborn by its very nature. It  is simply impossible for a thing, which is ever unborn by nature, to be anyhow born, that is to say, to be anyhow otherwise than what it is.

Karika, verse 4.30
Here is another defect in the arguments of those who maintain that the Atman is, in reality, subject  to both bondage and liberation. If the world (i.e., the state of bondage of the Atman) be without beginning or a definite past, then its end cannot be established by any logical reasoning. In ordinary experience, there is no instance of an object which has no beginning but has an end.
Objection: We  see a break in the beginningless continuity of the relation of the seed and the sprout.
Reply: This illustration has no validity; for,  the seed and the sprout do not constitute a single entity. In like manner, liberation cannot be said to have no end if it be asserted that liberation which is attained by acquisition of knowledge has a (definite) beginning. For, the jar, etc., which have a beginning have also an end.

Objection: There  is no defect in our argument as liberation, not being any substance, may be like the destruction of a jar, etc.
Reply: In that case it will contradict your proposition that liberation has a positive existence from the standpoint of the Ultimate Reality. Further, liberation being a non-entity, like the horn of a hare cannot ever have a beginning. This Kārikā gives us the reason for the statement that Atman is ever-pure, ever-free and ever-existent. Atman, conceived as such, is not a theological dogma, nor is it based upon the intuition of the mystic, but it is a metaphysical fact.

Karika, verse 4.31-32
These two verses have been explained before in the chapter on Illusion (Chapter II. 6, 7). They are quoted here again in connection with the topics which are discussed in relation to the unreality of the universe and liberation.

Karika, verse 4.33
This and the following verses are meant to explain in detail one of the previous Kārikās which states that the (so-called) cause (of the opponent) is, really speaking, no cause at all. (Ref. Verse 25, Chapt. IV.)

Karika, verse 4.34
The time and space involved in undertaking a journey and in coming back, have a definite and fixed standard in the waking state. These are seen to be reversed  in dream. On account of this inconsistency it can be positively said that the dreamer does not actually go out to another place during his dream experiences.

Karika, verse 4.35
A man, in dream, holds conversation with his friends, etc. But, on being awake, he finds it all as unreal. Further, he possesses in dream gold, etc., but, in the awakened state he realises all these possessions to be unreal. Though he goes to other countries in dream, he does not, in reality, make any such journey.

Karika, verse 4.36-37
The body, which appears to be wandering in the dream, is unreal; for, another body, quite different from it, is seen in the spot where the dreamer lies. As the body perceived in the dream is unreal, so also all that is cognised by the mind, even in the waking state, is unreal; for, all these perceived objects are mere different states of the mind. The significance of this chapter is that even the waking experiences, on account of their being similar to the dream experiences, are unreal.

Karika, verse 4.38
Objection: Though the waking experiences are the cause of the dream ones, still the former cannot be unreal like the latter. The dream is extremely evanescent whereas the waking experiences are seen to be permanent.
Reply: This  is true with regard to the people who do not possess discrimination. Men of discrimination do not see the production  or the birth of anything, as creation or evolution cannot be established as a fact. Hence all this is known in the Vedāntic books as unborn  (i.e., non-dual Brahman). For the Śruti declares, “He (the Atman) is both within and without and is, at the same time, unborn.” If you contend that the illusory dream is the effect of the real waking state, we say that your contention is untenable. In our common experience, we never see a non-existing thing produced from an existing one. Such non-existing thing as the horn of a hare is never seen to be produced from any other object.

Karika, verse 4.39
Objection: It is you who stated that the dream is the effect of the waking experience. That being the case, how do you refute causality?
Reply: Listen to our explanation of the causality, referred to in that instance. One perceives in the waking state objects which are unreal like the snake imagined in the rope. Being deeply impressed by such (illusory) perception, he imagines in the dream, as in the waking; state, the subject-object relationship and thereby perceives (dream) objects. But though full of the unreal seen in the dream, he does  not see those (unreal) objects, over again, in the waking state. The reason is the absence of the imaginary subject-object relationship (one experiences in dream). The word “cha,” “moreover” in the text denotes that the causal relationship between the waking and the dream states is not always observed. Similarly,  things seen in the waking state are not, sometimes, cognised in dream. Therefore the statement that the waking condition is the cause of the dream is  not made from the standpoint of the Ultimate Reality.

Karika, verse 4.40
From the standpoint of the Ultimate Reality, things can, in no way, enter into causal relation. How? An unreal cannot be the cause of another unreal. An unreal entity such as the horns of a hare, which may be said to be the cause of another unreal entity such as a castle in the air, has no existence whatsoever. Similarly, an object like a jar, which is perceived and which is the effect of an unreal object like the horns of the hare, is never existent. In  like manner, a jar which is perceived and which is the effect of another jar that also is perceived to exist, is, in itself, non-existent. And  lastly, how is existence possible of a real object as the cause of an unreal one? No other causal relation is possible nor can be conceived of. Hence men of knowledge find that the causal relation between any objects whatsoever is not capable of being proved.
The causal relation between the waking and the dream states has been stated from the empirical standpoint alone. But it cannot be established from the standpoint of Truth. Further, no causal relation, whatsoever, is admissible.

Karika, verse 4.41
This verse intends to remove the slightest possibility of the causal relation between the waking and the dream States, though both are unreal. As in the waking state, one, through want of proper discrimination, imagines the snake seen in place of the rope as real—the nature of which, in fact, cannot be really determined,—so also in dream, one, through want of discrimination, imagines as if one really perceives such objects as elephant, etc. These dream objects, such as elephants, etc., are peculiar to the dream condition alone; they are not the effect of the waking experiences.

Karika, verse 4.42
Wise men, i.e., the exponents of Advaita Philosophy, have, no doubt, supported causality. But they have done so only for those who have little discrimination but who are eager (to know the Truth) and who are endowed with faith. These people assert that external objects exist as real because they perceive them, and also because they cling to the observances of various duties associated with the different Varṇās   and Āśramas? instructions regarding causality are only meant for them as  a means to (some) end. Let them hold on to the idea of causality. Rut the students who practise disciplines in accordance with Vedānta philosophy will, without such belief in causality, spontaneously get the knowledge  of Self, unborn and non-dual. Causality is declared not from the standpoint of the Ultimate Reality. These students, who  believe in Scriptures, and who are devoid of discrimination, fear the idea of absolute non-manifestation on account of their gross intellect, as they are afraid of the annihilation of their selves. It  has also been stated before that these Scriptural statement (regarding creation) are meant as a help to our higher understanding of Reality. (In Reality, there is no multiplicity.)

Karika, verse 4.43
Those who on account of their perception (of the phenomenal objects) and attachment  to the various duties of caste and other stages of life, shrink from the non-dual and unborn Atman, and believing in the existence of dual objects, go away from the Self, that is to say, pin their faith to duality,—these people who are thus afraid of the truth of absolute non-manifestation, but who are endowed with faith and who stick to the path  of righteousness, are not  much affected by the evil results consequent on such belief in causality. For, they also try to follow the path of discrimination. Even if a little blemish attaches to such persons, it is insignificant, being due to their not having realised the Supreme Truth.

Karika, verse 4.44
Objection: Objects answering to the features of duality do exist, on account of such evidence as our (direct) perception of them and also on account of the possibility of our dealings with them.
Reply: No, this objection is not valid. For, direct perception and the possibility of dealing practically with objects do not always prove the existence of objects.
Objection: How do you say that our contention admits of irregularity?
Reply: It is thus stated: The elephant conjured up by a magician, is, verily, perceived as the real elephant. Though unreal, it (the magic elephant) is called the (real) elephant, on account of its being endowed with Such attributes of an elephant as the possibility of its being tied up with a rope or being climbed upon, etc. Though unreal, the magic elephant is looked upon as (a real) one. In like manner, it is said that multiple objects, pointing to duality, exist on account of their being perceived and also on account of the possibility of our dealing practically with them. Hence the two grounds, adduced above, cannot prove the existence of (external) objects establishing the fact of duality.

Karika, verse 4.45
What is that entity—the Ultimate Reality—which is the substratum  of all false cognitions as causality (creation), etc.? It is thus replied:—Though unborn fit appears to be born. As for example, we say that Devadatta is born. Again it appears to move (though it is free from all motion): as we say, “That Devadatta is going”. Further, it appears as an object in which inhere certain qualities. For instance, we say “That Devadatta is fair and tall”. Though from the standpoint of the Ultimate Reality, Consciousness  is ever unborn, immovable, and not of the character of material objects, yet it appears as a. Devadatta who is born, who moves and who is known to be fair and tall. What is that entity which answers to these descriptions? It is Consciousness which, being free from birth, change, etc., is all peace and therefore non-dual.

Karika, verse 4.46
Thus, that is to say, for the reasons stated above,, the mind is free from birth. Similarly the Dharmas> that is, the Jivas9 are also unborn. This is the statement of the Knowers of Brahman. The  word “Dharmāḥ” (i.e., “Selves”) is metaphorically used in the plural sense,, in consequence of our perception of variety which is, in rëálity, the appearance of the non-dual Atman as different, corporeal beings. Those who know the consciousness,  stated above, which is the essence of the Self, non-dual and free from birth, etc., and, accordingly, renounce the hankering after all external objects,—they do not fall any more into this ocean of the darkness of Avidya. The Śruti also says, “Where is grief or delusion for the one that realises non-duality?”

Karika, verse 4.47
In order to explain the truth regarding the Ultimate Reality already stated, it is thus said:—As in common experience it is noticed that a fire-brand  when moved, appears straight, crooked, etc., so does Consciousness appear as the perceiver, the perceived, and the like. What is that which appears as the perceiver, the perceived, etc.? It  is Consciousness set in motion. There is no motion in Consciousness. It only appears to be moving. This appearance is due to Avidya or ignorance. No motion is possible in Consciousness which is ever immovable. It has already been stated that Consciousness is unborn and immovable.

Karika, verse 4.48
As that very fire-brand, when not in motion, does not take any form, straight or crooked, etc., becomes free from all appearances and remains changeless, so also the consciousness, which appears as moving through ignorance, when dissociated from the idea of motion on the disappearance of ignorance, becomes  free from all appearances, as those of birth, etc., and remains unborn and motionless.

Karika, verse 4.49-50
Moreover, when that very fire-brand is in motion, the appearances, straight or crooked, etc., do not come to it from anywhere else outside the fire-brand. Nor do the appearances go elsewhere from the fire-brand when it is motionless. Nor, again, do the appearances, enter into the fire-brand when it is motionless.
Moreover, those appearances do not emerge from the fire-brand as something that comes out of a house. The reason is that appearances are not of the nature of substance. The appearances have no reality. Entrance, etc., can be said of a real thing but not of anything unreal. The appearance of birth, etc., in the case of consciousness is exactly similar, for,  appearances are of the same nature in both the cases.

Karika, verse 4.51-52
How are the two appearances similar? It is thus replied: The fire-brand and Consciousness are alike in all respects. The only special feature of Consciousness is that it always remains immutable. What is the cause of such appearances as birth, etc., in Consciousness which is ever immutable? In  the absence of causality, it is not reasonable to establish the relationship of the producer and the produced (between Consciousness and appearances). The appearances, being illusory, are ever unthinkable. The purport of the whole thing is this: As the fire-brand (which is merely a point) is associated with forms straight, crooked, etc., though, in reality, such crooked or straight forms are ever non-existent, so also, pure Consciousness is associated with the ideas of birth, etc., though such ideas as birth, etc., are ever non-existent. Hence these ideas of birth, etc., associated with Consciousness are illusory.

Karika, verse 4.53
It has already been established that the essence of Self is one  and unborn. Those who imagine causal relation in Atman must admit that substance may be the cause of another substance and that  which is other than substance may be the cause of something else which is also other than substance. But a thing itself cannot be the cause of itself. Further, we do not find in common experience a non-substance which is independently the cause of something. The selves (i.e., the Jivas or beings) can be called neither substance  nor other  than substance. Hence the Jivas or selves cannot be the cause or effect of anything. Therefore Atman, being neither substance nor other than substance, is neither the cause nor the effect of anything.

Karika, verse 4.54
Thus, for  reasons already stated, the mind is verily of the nature of the essence of the Self. External objects are not caused by the mind nor is the mind the product of the external objects. That is because all (external) entities are mere appearances in Consciousness. Thus neither the (so-called) effect comes from the (so-called) cause nor the cause from the effect. In this way is reiterated the absolute non-evolution of causality. In other words, the knowers of Brahman declare the absence of causality with regard to Atman.

Karika, verse 4.55
What happens with regard to those who cling to the belief in cause and effect? In reply, it is said:—As long as there is faith in causality, as long as a man thinks, “I am the agent; these virtuous and vicious deeds belong to me. I shall enjoy the results of these actions, being born in course of time, as some being,” in other words, as long as a man falsely attributes causality to Atman and devotes his mind to it, cause and effect must operate for him; that is to say, the man must without intermission be subject to birth and death, which are the result of his attachment to the belief in causality. But when attachment to causality, due to ignorance, is destroyed by the knowledge of non-duality as described above,—like the destruction of the possession of a ghost through the power of incantation, medicinal herb, etc.—then on account of the wearing away of the illusion of causality, do cause and effect cease to exist.

Karika, verse 4.56
What is the harm if the law of cause and effect continues to operate? In reply we say:—As long as faith in causality is not destroyed by right knowledge, our course (of birth and death) in this world will continue. But when that faith is destroyed (by right knowledge) the world also ceases to exist for want of any other cause for its existence.

Karika, verse 4.57
Objection: Nothing else verily exists except the unborn Atman. Then how can you speak of the origin and destruction of the cause and the effect as well as of (the chain of birth and death constituting) the world?
Reply: Listen. The word Saṃvṛti in the text signifies the (illusory) experiences of the empirical world which are caused by ignorance. All this is born of this power of ignorance which brings into existence the illusory experiences of the world. For this reason, nothing is permanent in the realm of ignorance. Therefore it is said that the world, having the characteristics of origination and destruction, is spread before us (i.e., the ignorant persons). But as one with the Ultimate Reality, all this is nothing but the unborn Atman. Therefore, in the absence of birth, there cannot be any destruction, viz., the destruction of cause or effect.

Karika, verse 4.58
Those, again, who imagine the birth of the Jivas and other entities, do so only through Saṃvṛti or the power of ignorance as stated in the preceding Kārikā. The Jivas are seen to be born only through ignorance. But from the standpoint of the Supreme Reality no such birth is possible. This  (supposed) birth of the Jivas through ignorance, described above, is like the birth of objects through illusion (Maya).

Opponent: Then there must be something real known as Maya or illusion?
Reply: It is not so. That Maya or illusion is never existent. Maya or illusion is the name we give to something which does not (really) exist (but which is perceived).

Karika, verse 4.59
Now, is the birth of Jivas, that are seen to exist, illusory? To this question, our reply is as follows:—From  an illusory mango seed is born a mango sprout which is equally illusory. This sprout  is neither permanent nor destructible, simply because it does not exist. In  the like manner, ideas of birth and death are applied to the Jivas. The purport is that from the standpoint of the Ultimate Reality, neither birth nor death is applicable to Jivas.

Karika, verse 4.60
From the standpoint of the Ultimate Reality, no epithet such as permanence  or impermanence, nor any sound corresponding to such names, can be applied to Jivas (selves or beings) which are eternal, birthless, and which are always of the nature of a homogeneous consciousness. That by which an object is designated is known as “Varṇa” or name associated with a sound. The words fail to denote the nature of Atman. It cannot be discriminated as this or that, permanent or impermanent. The Śruti also says, “Whence words fall back,” etc.

Karika, verse 4.61-62
That pure consciousness which is non-dual (from the standpoint of the Supreme Reality) is sought to be described by words, is due to the active condition of the mind (which is due to Avidya). This description (of the non-dual Atman by words) has no meaning from the standpoint of the Ultimate Truth. These  verses have already been explained.

Karika, verse 4.63
Here is another reason which also shows us that duality describable by words, does not exist. The beings or Jivas, born  of eggs or moisture, which a dreamer going about in all ten directions perceives in his dream condition as existing, (have, as a matter of fact, no existence apart from the mind of the dreamer).
Objection: Suppose we admit this. What are you driving at?
Reply: Our reply is as follows:

Karika, verse 4.64
Those  beings perceived by the mind of the dreamer have no existence outside the mind of the person who dreams about them. It  is the mind alone which imagines itself to have assumed the forms of many diversified beings. Similarly,  that mind of the dreamer is, again, perceived by the dreamer alone. Therefore there is no separate thing called mind which is apart from the dreamer himself.

Karika, verse 4.65-66
The Jivas, perceived in the waking state, do not exist anywhere except in the mind of the perceiver, for, they are not seen independent of the mind. These Jivas are similar to the Jivas, perceived in the dream, which are cognized by the mind of the dreaming person alone. That mind again, having the characteristic of perception of Jivas is non different from the perceiver of the wakings condition, because  it is seen by the perceiver, as  is the case with the mind which perceives the dream. The rest has already been interpreted (in the previous verses).

Karika, verse 4.67
Both the mind and the Jivas,  or in other words, the mind and its modifications (which are seen as external objects) are each an object of perception to the other. In other words, one is perceived only through the other. The mind exists only in relation to the Jiva, etc., and the Jiva and objects exist only in relation to the mind. Therefore they are each an object of perception to the other. Hence  wise men assert that nothing whatsoever, neither the mind nor its object, can be said to have any existence (if either be considered by itself)—(from the standpoint of either the idealist or the realist). As in the dream the elephant as well as the mind that perceives the elephant, are not really existent, so also is the case with the mind and its objects of the waking condition. How is it so? For, both the mind and its objects have no proof of their existence (independent of each other). They are each an object of perception to the other. One cannot cognize a jar without the cognition of a jar; nor can one have a cognition of a jar without a jar. In the case of the jar and the cognition of the jar it is not possible to conceive the distinction between the instrument of knowledge and the object of knowledge.

Karika, verse 4.68-70
The “magician’s Jiva” means that which is conjured up before our vision by the feat of a magician. The “artificial Jiva” is that which is brought into existence by means of incantation, medicinal herb, etc.
As the Jivas born of egg, etc., and created in dream, are seen to come into existence and then to pass away, so also the Jivas such as human beings, etc., seen in the waking state, though really non-existent (appear to come into existence and then pass away). These are merely the imagination of the mind.

Karika, verse 4.71
It has already been stated that the appearances of birth, death, etc., of the Jivas are possible only in the empirical plane, as is the case with the dream-beings. But the Ultimate Truth is that no Jiva is ever born. The rest has already been stated.

Karika, verse 4.72
The whole world of duality consisting of the subject and the object is, verily, an act of the mind. But from the standpoint of the Ultimate Reality, the mind, which is verily Atman, is  unrelated to any object. On account of the absence of relation (with any object), the mind is declared as eternal and unattached. The Śruti also says, “The Puruṣa is always free from relation.” That which perceives objects outside of it, is related to such objects. But the mind, having no such external object, is free from all relations.

Karika, verse 4.73
Objection: It has been said that the mind is free from the relation with any objects, as such objects do not exist. But this non-attachment regarding the mind cannot be maintained inasmuch as objects in the forms of the teacher, the Scripture and the pupil exist.
Reply: There is no such defect in our contention.
Objection: How?
Reply: The  existence of such objects as Scripture, etc., is due to the empirical experience which is illusory. The empirical knowledge in respect of Scripture, teacher and taught is illusory and imagined only as a means to the realisation of the Ultimate Reality. Therefore Scripture, etc., which exist only on the strength of illusory empirical experiences, have no real existence. It has already been said that duality vanishes when the Ultimate Reality is known. Again, the  objects (which appear to come into existence through the illusory experiences), supported by other schools of thought as existent, do not, when analysed from the standpoint of the Ultimate Reality, verily exist. Hence it has been rightly said in the previous Kārikā that the mind is unattached.

Karika, verse 4.74
Objection: If Scriptural teaching, etc., were illusory, then the birthlessness of Atman, as taught by Scripture, is also due to illusory imagination.
Reply: This is, indeed, true. Atman is said to be unborn only in relation to illusory empirical experiences which comprehend ideas of Scripture, teacher and taught. From  the standpoint of the Ultimate Reality, Atman cannot be said to be even unborn. Atman   which is said to be unborn only as against the conclusion of those schools (which maintain that Atman comes into existence), appears to be born to the ignorant. Therefore, the notion (based upon illusion) that Atman is unborn has no bearing on the Ultimate Reality.

Karika, verse 4.75
As objects are, really speaking, non-existent, therefore people who believe in their existence have, in fact, attachment for duality which is unreal. It is a mere belief in the (existence of) objects which (really speaking) do not exist. There is no duality. The cause of birth is this attachment. Therefore one who has realised the unreality of duality is never born again as he is free from the cause (of birth), viz., attachment to the illusory duality.

Karika, verse 4.76
The superior cause consists of those Dharmas (i.e., duties of life), wholly virtuous, which are prescribed according to different castes and stages of life, and which when performed without any attachment to the result, enable one to attain to the position of gods, etc. The middling cause consists of those duties, mixed with certain irreligious practices the observance of which enables one to attain to the position of man, etc. The inferior cause consists of those particular tendencies, characterised by irreligious practices alone, which lead one to the position of lower creatures, such as beasts, birds, etc. When the mind realising the essence of Self which is one and without a second and which is free from all (illusory) imaginations, does not find the existence of any of the causes, superior, inferior or middling, all  imagined through ignorance,—like a man of discrimination not seeing any dirt which a child sees in the sky-then it does not undergo any birth, i.e., it does not objectify itself as god, man or beast, which are the effects of their respective causes (enumerated above). No effect can be produced in the absence of a cause, as sprouts cannot come forth in the absence of the seed.

Karika, verse 4.77
It has already been stated that in the absence of a cause, the mind is not subject to birth. But what is the nature of that non-evolution of the mind? It is thus replied:—The causes of birth are meritorious actions and their opposite. The state of absolute non-manifestation of the mind,—known as liberation (knowledge) and free from causality  on account of the realisation of the Supreme—is  always constant under all conditions and absolute, that is, ever non-dual. Even  before the attainment of knowledge, the mind always remains nonmanifest and non-dual. Even prior to the realisation of the highest knowledge the idea of duality (i.e., the subject and the object) and the idea of birth are merely an objectification of the mind. Hence the non-evolution of the mind which is always  free from change or birth is constant and absolute. In other words, it cannot be said that this non-evolution or liberation sometimes exists and sometimes disappears. It is always the same and changeless. It may be contended from the previous Kārikā that liberation depends upon the external factor of time. This contention is-answered in this verse.

Karika, verse 4.78
Through  the reasoning indicated above, one knows the absence of duality, which is the cause of birth and thus realises absolute non-causation as the Ultimate Truth. Further, he  does not see the reality of anything else as cause, such as religious merit, etc., which may enable one to attain to the position of gods, etc. Thus freeing himself from all desires, he attains to the highest state, i.e., liberation (knowledge) which is free from desire, grief, ignorance and fear. That is to say, he no longer becomes subject to birth and death.

Karika, verse 4.79
Attachment to the unreal (objects) is due to the firm belief that duality exists, though in reality such duality is ever non-existent. On  account of such attachment which is of the nature of delusion caused by ignorance, the mind runs after objects corresponding to those desires. But when a man knows the unreality  of all duality of objects, then he becomes indifferent to them and turns away his mind from the unreal (objects) to which he feels attached.

Karika, verse 4.80
When the mind is withdrawn from all duality of objects, and when it does not attach itself to any objects,—as no objects exist—then the mind attains to the state of immutability which  is of the same nature as Brahman. This realisation of the mind as Brahman is characterised by the mass of unique non-dual consciousness. As that condition of the mind is  known,, (only) by the wise who have known the Ultimate Reality, that state is supreme and undifferentiated, birthless and non-dual.

Karika, verse 4.81
The nature of that which is realisable by the wise is again described:—It (Atman) reveals itself by itself. It does not depend for its revelation upon any external light, such as the sun, etc. Self-luminosity  is its very nature. It is ever-luminous. This is the inherent characteristic of the Dharma, known as Atman.

Karika, verse 4.82
How is it that the people, at large, do not realise Atman, which is the Supreme Reality, though It is again and again thus explained? To this the following reply is given: On account of the mind apprehending through attachment, single objects of the world of duality, the blissful nature of Atman is easily covered. The reason for this concealment is only the perception of duality. There is no other cause for it. Moreover, misery  is brought to the surface. The knowledge of the Supreme Reality is extremely hard to attain. The Lord, the non-dual Atman, the effulgent Being, though again and again taught by the Vedānta Scriptures and the teachers, is not therefore comprehended. The Śruti also says, “One who speaks of Atman is looked upon with wonder and he who has attained and who has realised it, is equally an object of wonder.”

Karika, verse 4.83
Attachment of the learned to such predicates  as existence, non-existence, etc., serves verily as a veil between them and the Supreme Reality. What wonder is there that childish persons on account of their undeveloped intellect are unable to grasp Atman! This Kārikā brings out the aforesaid idea. Some  disputant asserts that Atman exists. Another  disputant, viz., the Buddhist, says that it is non-existent. A third  disputant, the Jaina, who is a pseudo-nihilist, believing in both the existence and non-existence of Self, proclaims that Atman both exist and does not exist. The  absolute nihilist says that nothing exists at all. He  who predicates existence of Atman associates it with changeability in order to make it distinct from such impermanent objects as a jar, etc. The  theory that Atman is non-existent, i.e., inactive, is held on account of its undifferentiated nature. It   is called both existent and non-existent on account of its being subject to both changeability and immutability. Non-existence is predicated of Atman on account of everything ending in absolute negation or void. All the four classes of disputants, mentioned above, asserting existence, non-existence, existence and non-existence, and total non-existence (about Atman), derived respectively from their notion of changeability, immutability, combination of both and total negation, reduce themselves to the position of the childish, devoid of all discrimination; and by associating Atman with all these illusory ideas (Kalpanā) cover Its  real nature. If these (so-called) learned men act as veritable children on account of their ignorance of Ultimate Reality, what is to be said regarding those who are, by nature, unenlightened!

Karika, verse 4.84
What is the nature of the essence, i.e., the Ultimate Reality, by knowing which people are purged of their stupidity and are really made to attain to wisdom?
It is thus replied: There are four alternate theories regarding Atman such as, It exists, It does not exist, etc., mentioned in the works of those who are fond of disputations. The Atman always remains covered and hidden from these vain talkers on account of their attachment to their theories. The thoughtful person who has realised the Atman, known only by the (correct understanding of) Upaniṣads, as ever-untouched by any of the four alternative predicates such as It exists,. It does not exist, etc., is the seer  of all, the omniscient and the real knower of the Ultimate Reality.

Karika, verse 4.85
The  state of the Brāhmaṇa signifies the state in which one is established in Brahman. The Śruti says, “This is the eternal  glory of the Brāhmaṇa.” That state of Brāhmaṇa is free from beginning, end or middle. That is to say, that state of non-duality is free from the (illusory ideas of) creation, preservation and destruction. Having obtained the whole  of omniscience, described  above, i.e., the state of Brāhmaṇa, a non-dual state without beginning, end or middle, which is the same as the realisation of Self, the summum bonum of existence—what else remains for him to be desired? In other words, all other strivings become useless for him. It is thus said in Gītā, “He has nothing to gain by the activities (of the relative world).”

Karika, verse 4.86
The humility of the Brāhmaṇas which is due to their realisation of their identity with the Self, is quite natural. This is (the real significance of) his humility. The tranquillity (of the mind which the Knowers of Brahman enjoy) is also natural and not induced by any artificial means. Brahman is all peace and tranquility. Hence the Brāhmaṇas are said to have controlled their sense-organs (from pursuing the external objects). This is also the cause of the tranquillity of their nature. Having realised Brahman which is, by nature, all-peace the wise man attains to peace which is the characteristic of Brahman. That is to say, he becomes identical with Brahman.

Karika, verse 4.87
We have so far, come to the following conclusions: The theories of mere disputants contradicting one another, are the causes of our existence in the relative (Saṃsāra) world. Further these theories are characterised by partiality and aversion. Therefore these are merely false, as already shown by reasoning. On the other hand the philosophy of Advaita alone gives us true knowledge, as, being free from the four alternative predicates referred to above,—it is untouched by partiality and aversion and is all-peace by its very nature.
Now the following topic is introduced as an explanation of the Vedāntic method of arriving at truth. The word “Savastu” in the text implies objects that are perceived in our empirical experiences. Similarly, the word “Sopalambha” in the text implies the idea of one’s coming in contact with such objects. This constitutes the world of duality, common to all human beings and known as the waking state which is characterised by the subject-object relationship and which alone is the sphere of all our dealings including  the Scriptural, etc. The waking  state, thus characterised, is admitted in the Vedānta Scriptures. There is another state which lacks the experiences (of the waking state) caused by external sense-organs. But  there exists in that state the idea of coming in contact with objects, though such objects are absent. This is admitted (in the Vedāntas) as the dream state, which is again common to all, and different from and subtler than the gross state of waking.

Karika, verse 4.88-89
The state in which one neither perceives any object  nor possesses the idea  of coming in contact with such object—a state free from the relationship of subject and object—is called the highest state, which is beyond all empirical experiences. All empirical experiences consist of the subject-object relationship. This state is free from all such relationship and is the seed of future experiences. This  is known as the state of deep sleep. That alone is called knowledge? which is the realisation of essence, i.e., the Supreme Reality, as well as the means to do so, viz., the analysis of the states of gross experience, subtle experience and the condition beyond all experiences. The  three states, mentioned above, are the objects of knowledge; for, there cannot be anything knowable besides these three states. All entities falsely imagined by the different schools of the disputants are included in these three states. That which is to be ultimately known is the truth regarding the Supreme Reality, known as Turīya, i.e., the knowledge of Self, non-dual and Unborn. The illumined ones, i.e., those who have seen the Supreme Reality have described these features (topics) ranging from the, objects of gross experience to the Supremely Knowable Self.
The word Jnanam signifies knowledge by which one grasps the significance of the three states. The word “Jneya” or knowable, signifies the three states which should be known. The first (knowable) consists of the gross stated of empirical experience. Then comes the state of subtle  experience in which the first state loses itself, i.e., merges. And last comes deep sleep which is beyond all empirical experiences (gross or subtle) which results in the absemce of the two previous states, i.e., i n which the two previous states merge. By the knowledge of these three, one after  the other, and consequently, by the negation of the three states the Turīya,  non-dual, birthless and fearless, which alone is the Supreme Reality, is realised. Thus the knower (possessed of the highest power of discrimination) attains in this  very life the state of omniscience  which is identical with the knowledge of Self. He is called Mahādhīḥ   or the man of the highest intellect as he has understood that which transcends all human experiences. His omniscience is constant and remains undiminished. For, the knowledge of Self once realised remains as such for ever. This is  because the knowledge of the knower of the Supreme Reality does not appear and disappear like that of mere vain disputants. The scriptural statements that the Atman being known, everything else is known, is explained in the Kārikā.

Karika, verse 4.90
There may arise a doubt that the three states of empirical experience may constitute the Ultimate Reality on account of their being pointed out  as things to be gradually known. In order to remove this doubt it is said, the “Heyas” or things to be avoided are the three states of empirical experience, viz., the waking, the dream and the deep sleep. These do not exist in Atman just as the snake is not present in the rope. Therefore they should be avoided. The word Jñeya, i.e., the thing to be known, in this text refers to the knowledge of the Ultimate Reality, free from the four  alternative theories described before. The things to be acquired are the accessories of spiritual realisation, viz., wisdom, childlike  innocence and silence.  These virtues are practised by the sages after they have renounced the threefold  desires. The word “Pākyāni” in the text signifies the latent  impressions which in due course attain maturity, viz., such blemishes as attachment, aversion, delusion, etc. These are known as Kaṣāya or the passions that hide the real nature of the soul. As  a means to their realisation of the Supreme Reality, sages should first of all be acquainted with these four things, viz., the thing to be avoided, the thing to be realised, the thing to be acquired and the thing to be rendered ineffective. These, however, with the exception of the thing to be known—that is to say, with the exception of the non-dual Brahman alone, the essence of the Ultimate Reality, that should be realised—are perceived  on account of our imagination. This is the conclusion of the Knowers of Brahman with regard to the three things, viz., those to be avoided, acquired, and those that are (awaiting maturity and therefore) to be made ineffective. In other words, these three do not exist from the standpoint of the Ultimate Reality.

Karika, verse 4.91
Those who seek liberation should regard, from the standpoint of the Ultimate Reality, all Jivas, as by their very nature without beginning, i.e., eternal, and, like Ākāśa, subtle, free from all blemish and all-pervading. The plural number used with regard to the ‘Jivas’ may suggest multiplicity. The second line of the Kārikā is meant to remove  any such apprehension. There is no multiplicity in the Jivas even  in the slightest degree and under any condition.

Karika, verse 4.92
Even the knowableness attributed to the Jivas is also due to the illusion of empirical experiences. It cannot be applied from the standpoint of the Supreme Reality. This idea is explained in this text. The Jivas are illumined, by their very nature, from the very beginning. That is to say, all the Jivas, like the sun which is of the very nature of eternal light, are ever illumined. No effort need be made to define their nature, as the nature of the Jiva is, from the very beginning, well determined.  It cannot be subject to any such doubt as, “The Jiva may be like this or like that”. The seeker of liberation who in the manner above described, does not stand in need of anything else to make this knowledge certain to himself or others,—just as the sun, by nature ever illumined, is never in need of any light from itself or others—who thus always rests  without forming ideas of duality regarding any further knowledge of his own self, becomes capable of realising the Ultimate Reality.

Karika, verse 4.93
Similarly, there is no room for any effort to make Atman peaceful, for, all Jivas are, by their very nature, eternally peaceful, unborn and of the nature of eternal freedom. All Jivas are further of the same nature and norf-separate from one another. They being Atman in their very essence, ever pure, unborn and established in sameness, therefore the effort of attaining to liberation is meaningless. For, if something is accomplished with regard to an entity which is always of the same nature, it does not make any change in the thing itself.

Karika, verse 4.94
Those who have realised the truth regarding the Ultimate Reality as described above, are alone free from narrowness. Others are verily narrow-minded. This is thus described in this verse. “Drowned in the idea of separation” means those who stick to the idea of separation, that is to say, those who confine themselves to the multiplicity of phenomenal experiences. Who are they? They are those who assert that the multiplicity of objects exists, i.e., the dualists. They are called “narrowminded” as they never realise the natural purity of Atman on account of their ever-dwelling on the thought of multiplicity, i.e., on account of their taking as real the duality of experiences imagined through ignorance. Therefore it has been truly said that these people are narrow-minded.

Karika, verse 4.95
That this knowledge of the Supreme Reality is incapable of being understood by the poor intellect, by the unwise,  i.e., by persons of small intellect who are outside the knowledge of Vedanta,—is thus explained in this verse. Those few, even though  they may be women or others, who are firm in their conviction of the nature of Ultimate Reality, unborn and undivided, are alone possessors of the highest wisdom. They alone know the essence of Reality. Others, i.e., persons of ordinary, intellect, cannot understand their ways, that is to say, the Supreme Reality realised by the wise. It is said in the Smṛti:—“Even the gods  feel puzzled while trying to follow in the footsteps of those who leave no track behind, of those who realise themselves in all beings and who are always devoted to the welfare of all. They? leave  no track behind like the birds flying through the sky.”

Karika, verse 4.96
What constitutes the highest Wisdom (i.e., the wisdom of the knower of the non-dual Atman)? This is thus explained: Knowledge which constitutes the essence of the Dhūrmas (Jivas), unborn, immutable and identical with Atman, is also admitted to be unborn and immutable. It is just like the light and the heat belonging to the sun. Knowledge, being ever unrelated to other  objects, is said to be unborn. As knowledge is, thus, unrelated to other objects, it is like the Ākāśa, called unconditioned or absolute.

Karika, verse 4.97
If persons, through ignorance, think,—as those who differ from us assert—that an entity (i.e., Jiva or Atman) does undergo the slightest change, either subjectively or objectively, then such ignorant persons can never realise the ever-unrelatedness (of Atman).  Therefore  it goes without saying that there cannot be any destruction of bondage (that is supposed to keep the Jiva bound to the world).

Karika, verse 4.98
Objection: It has been stated in the previous Kārikā that (according to the view of the ignorant) the destruction of the veil covering the real nature of Atman is not possible. This is a (tacit) admission by the Vedāntist that the (real) nature of the Jivas is covered by a veil.
Reply: It  is not so. The Jivas   are never subject to any veil or bondage imposed by ignorance. That is to say, they are ever free from any bondage (which does not at all exist). They are pure by nature; illumined and free from the very beginning as it is said that they are of the nature of eternal purity, knowledge and freedom. If so, why are Jivas described as capable of knowing (the Ultimate Reality) by teachers who are competent to know the Truth, i.e., those who are endowed with the power of discrimination? The reply is that it  is like speaking about the sun as shining though the very nature of the sun is all-light, or speaking about the hill, which is ever free from any motion, as always standing.

Karika, verse 4.99
The knowledge of the wise man, that is to say, of the one who has attained to the Supreme Reality, is ever unrelated to other  objects or Jivas. This knowledge is always centred in or is identical with Jiva (i.e., Atman) like the sun and its light. The word “Tāyee”, “All-light”, in the text signifies that which is all-pervasive like Ākāśa or, it may mean that which is adorable or allknowledge. All entities, i.e., Jivas (beings like so many Atmans) are as unattached as the Ākāśa, and ever-un-related to anything else. Knowledge (Jnana) which has been compared to Ākāśa in the beginning  of this chapter is non-different from the knowledge of the wise one who is all-light. Therefore the Ākāśa like knowledge of the wise does not relate itself to any other object. This is also the essence of the Dharmas or all entities. The essence of all the entities is the essence of Brahman, and is, like Ākāśa, immutable, changeless, free from parts, permanent, one and without a second, unattached, non-cognizable, unthinkable and beyond hunger and thirst. The Śruti also says, “The knowledge (characteristic) of the seer is never absent.” This knowledge regarding the Ultimate Reality, non-dual and characterised by the absence of perceiver, perception and the perceived, is not the same as that declared by the Buddha.  The view  of the Buddha, which rejects the existence of external objects and asserts the existence of ideas alone, is said to be similar to or very near the truth of non-dual Atman. But this knowledge of non-duality which is the Ultimate Reality can be attained through Vedanta alone.

Karika, verse 4.100
The treatise is now completed. This Salutation is made with a view to extol the knowledge of the Supreme Reality. It  is extremely difficult to understand it. In other words, it is difficult of comprehension as it is not related to any of the four  possible predicates, such as existence, non-existence, etc. It is profound, that is, very deep like a great ocean. People  devoid of discrimination cannot fathom it. This knowledge (Jnana) is, further, birthless, always the same and all-light. Having attained this knowledge which is free from multiplicity, having  become one with it, we salute it. Though  this absolute knowledge cannot be subjected to any relative treatment (such as, Salutation, etc.) yet we view it from the relative standpoint and adore it to  the best of our ability.

The Concluding Salutation by Shri Shankaracharya

1. I bow to that Brahman, the destroyer of all fear of those who take shelter under It,—which, though unborn, appears to be associated with birth through Its (inscrutable and indescribable) power (of knowledge and activity); which, though ever at rest, appears to be moving; and which, though non-dual, appears to have assumed multifarious forms to those whose vision is deluded by the perception of endless objects and their attributes.
2. I prostrate to the feet of that Great Teacher, the most adored among the adorable, who,—out of sheer compassion for the beings drowned in the deep ocean of the world, infested with the terrible sharks of incessant births (and deaths),—rescued, for the benefit of all, this nectar, hardly obtainable even by the gods, from the innermost depths of the ocean of the Vedas by churning it with the (churning) rod of his illumined reason.
3. I make obeisance with my whole being to those holy feet—the dispellers of the fear of this chain of births and deaths—of my great teacher who, through the light of his illumined reason, destroyed the darkness of delusion enveloping my mind; who destroyed for ever my (notions of) appearance and disappearance in this terrible ocean of innumerable births and deaths; and who makes all others also that take shelter at his feet, attain to the unfailing knowledge of Scriptures, peace and the state of perfect non-differentiation.

Aum Peace! Peace! Peace!
« Last Edit: April 09, 2019, 01:40:54 PM by Commentary »