Respecting the Divinity in all beings.
Mandukya Upanishad – Explained
Mandukya Upanishad – Chanting
ॐ गणानां त्वा गणपतिं हवामहे
om ganaa-naam tvaa gana-patigm havaa-mahe
Om, O Ganapati, To You Who are the Lord of the Ganas, we Offer our Sacrificial Oblations,
कविं कवीनामुपमश्रवस्तमम् ।
kavim kaviinaam-upama-shravas-tamam |
You are the Wisdom of the Wise and the highest in Glory,
ज्येष्ठराजं ब्रह्मणाम् ब्रह्मणस्पत
jyesht-ha-raajam brahmannaam brahmannas-pata
You are the Eldest Lord and are of the Nature of Brahman ; You are the Embodiment of the Sacred Pranava Om
आ नः शृण्वन्नूतिभिःसीदसादनम् ॥
aa nah shruNvan-nuutibhih-siida-saadanam ||
Please come to us by Listening to our Prayers and be Present on the Seat of this Sacred Sacrificial Altar.
ॐ महागणाधिपतये नमः ॥
om mahaa-gaNaadhi-pataye namaha ||
Om, our Prostrations to the Mahaganadhipati (the Great Lord of the Ganas).
Rig Veda Book 1 Hymn 89 8
ॐ भद्रं कर्णेभिः शृणुयाम देवाः ।
om bhadram karnnebhih shruNuyaama devaaha |
O Devas! Let our ears hear all that which is auspicious
भद्रं पश्येमाक्षभिर्यजत्राः ।
bhadram pashyemaakshabhir-yajatraaha |
Let our eyes see that which are auspicious and
May we live a satisfying life with steadiness in our body and mind
व्यशेम देवहितं यदायूः ।
vyashema devahitam yadaayuhu |
May we praise the gods for blessing us with a long life span
स्वस्ति न इन्द्रो वृद्धश्रवाः ।
svasti na indro vruddha-shravaaha |
May the ancient Indra, bless us with wisdom and glory
स्वस्ति नः पूषा विश्ववेदाः ।
svasti nah puushaa vishva-vedaaha |
May Pushan, the omniscient Sun God, bless us with knowledge and wellbeing
स्वस्ति नस्तार्क्ष्यो अरिष्टनेमिः ।
svasti nas-taarkshyo arishtta-nemihi |
May Tarkshya or Garuda, the protector guard us from misfortunes and grant us wellbeing,
स्वस्ति नो वृहस्पतिर्दधातु ॥
svasti no vruhaspatir-dadhaatu ||
May Brihaspati, the Guru of the Devas protect us
ॐ शान्तिः शान्तिः शान्तिः ॥
om shaantih shaantih shaantihi
Om Peace, Peace, Peace
The Mandukya Upanishad
The Mandukya Upanishad is one of the most important Upanishads that explains in merely 12 verses, the utterly magnificent truth about your Divinity.
Before I begin explaining this great Upanishad, I would like to quote Shloka 31 from the 6th chapter of the Srimad Bhagavad Gita.
सर्वभूतस्थितं यो मां भजत्येकत्वमास्थितः |
सर्वथा वर्तमानोऽपि स योगी मयि वर्तते || ६ ३१ ||
sarva bhuuta sthitham yo maam bhajatyektva maasthithaha
sarvathaa vartamano’pi sa yogi mayi vartate
Krishna said to Arjuna, “The one who is in union with Me and worships Me residing in all beings, becomes a Yogi and, whatever circumstances the person may be in, resides in Me.”
Divinity exists equally in all beings, everywhere. That which is in you when you are awake, in a dream state or when you are in deep sleep, is nothing but Divinity. God is not separate or away from you but is the you in you. When you realise this great truth, you will be able to extricate yourself from the clutches of organised religions, dogmas, cults, clergy, godmen, godwomen and other soul traders.
The knowledge of the Mandukya Upanishad will help you free yourself from mental shackles, commence your voyage deep into yourself, and discover the divinity in you.
The Mandukya Upanishad, which is the shortest among the 108 Upanishads, explains the philosophy of the AUM Mantra. The Upanishad compares the three pronounced parts of the syllable ‘AUM’ to the three states of worldly consciousness, and its silent and unuttered part, to the fourth state of boundless universal consciousness. It is the fourth state, which underlies and permeates through the other three states of consciousness and is the indescribable Divine Self that equally exists in all beings.
Look into yourself to find God.
That which has to be realised is within you. You are Divine.
॥ अथ माण्डूक्योपनिषत् ॥
ॐ इत्येतदक्षरमिद सर्वं तस्योपव्याख्यानं भूतं भवद् भविष्यदिति सर्वमोङ्कार एव यच्चान्यत् त्रिकालातीतं तदप्योङ्कार एव ॥ १॥
1: Aum-ityetad-aksharam-idagm sarvam tasyopa-vyaakhyaanam
bhuutam bhavad bhavishya-diti sarvam-omkaara eva
yacchaanyat trikaalaa-tiitam tadapyomkaara eva
The imperishable word AUM is the whole. The following is a clear explanation of AUM which is everything in the past, in the present and also in the future. Everything else that is beyond time, space, and causation is also AUM.
सर्वं ह्येतद् ब्रह्मायमात्मा ब्रह्म सोऽयमात्मा चतुष्पात् ॥ २॥
2: sarvagm hyetad brahmaayam-aatmaa brahma soyamaatmaa chatushpaat
All this certainly is Brahman, the Self or the Absolute Reality. The Self has four aspects.
जागरितस्थानोबहिष्प्रज्ञः सप्ताङ्ग एकोनविंशतिमुखः स्थूलभुग्वैश्वानरः प्रथमः पादः ॥ ३॥
3: jaagarita-sthaano bahish-prajnah-saptaanga ekona-vimshati-mukhah sthuula-bhug vaishvaanarah prathamah paadaha
The first state known as Vaishvaanara is that of being awake. It is the first aspect of the Atman or the Self in the waking state. In this state, the consciousness is turned outwards to the external world. Through its seven limbs* and nineteen mouths*, it experiences the gross objects of the world.
|The Saptanga and the ekona vimshati mukhah are the seven limbs and the nineteen mouths respectively. The Saptanga or the seven limbs which are the Head, the Eyes, the Ears, Speech, Breath, the Heart and the Feet have been explained in the Mundaka Upanishad as follows 2.1.4 The Saptanga and the ekona vimshati mukhah are the seven limbs and the nineteen mouths respectively. The Saptanga or the seven limbs which are the Head, the Eyes, the Ears, Speech, Breath, the Heart and the Feet have been explained in the Mundaka Upanishad as follows 2.1.4
अग्नीर्मूर्धा चक्षुषी चन्द्रसूर्यौ दिशः श्रोत्रे वाग्विवृताश्च वेदाः ।
वायुः प्रणो हृदयं विश्वमस्य पद्भ्यां पृथिवी ह्येष सर्वभूतान्तरात्मा ॥ ४ ॥
Agnirmuurdhaa chakshushi Chandra-suryau dishah shrotre vaagvi-vrutaas-cha vedaaha
Vaayuhu praano hridayam vishvamasya padbhyaam pruthivii hyesha sarva bhuutaantaraatma || 4 ||
He is the internal Atman of all things created, whose head is Agni, whose eyes are the sun and the moon, whose ears are the four directions, whose speech are the Vedas, whose breath is Vaayu and Praana, whose heart is the entire universe, and whose feet are the earthly region.
Ekona vimshati mukha or the Nineteen Mouths are
The five vital forces of life or Vaayus are
And finally, the five cognitive senses or Jnanendriyas, which govern input. They are
स्वप्नस्थानोऽन्तः प्रज्ञाः सप्ताङ्ग एकोनविंशतिमुखः प्रविविक्तभुक्तैजसोद्वितीयः पादः ॥ ४॥
4: svapna-sthaano’ntah-prajnaah saptaanga ekona-vimshati-mukhah pravi-vikta-bhuk taijaso dvi-tiiyah paadaha
The second state is the dreaming or subtle state, called Taijasa. This second aspect of the Atman is the Self in the Dreaming state. In this state, the consciousness is turned inwards. It also operates through the seven instruments and the nineteen channels which engage subtle objects of the mental realm. Even while a person is dreaming, they do use all the seven instruments and the nineteen mouths though not physically – they imagine to do so.
यत्र सुप्तोन कञ्चन कामं कामयतेन कञ्चन स्वप्नं पश्यति तत् सुषुप्तम्।
सुषुप्तस्थान एकीभूतः प्रज्ञानघन एवानन्दमयोह्यानन्दभुक् चेतोमुखः प्राज्ञस्तृतीयः पादः ॥ ५॥
5: yatra supto na kanchana kaamam kaamayate na kanchana svapnam pashyati tat sushuptam
sushupta-sthaana ekii-bhuutah prajnaa-na-ghana evaa-nandamayo-hyaa-nanda-bhuk cheto-mukhah praajnas tru-tiiyah paadaha
The third state is that of deep sleep also known as REM or Rapid Eye Movement. The third aspect or Prajna of the Atman, is the Self operating in the Deep Sleep state. In this state, there are no desires or dreams. For people who are in this stage of deep sleep, all experiences have become one undifferentiated mass of consciousness. It is a state of bliss.
एष सर्वेश्वरः एष सर्वज्ञ एषोऽन्तर्याम्येष योनिः सर्वस्य प्रभवाप्ययौहि भूतानाम् ॥ ६॥
6: esha sarveshvara esha sarvajna esho’ntaryaam-yesha yonih-sarvasya prabha-vaapya-yauhi bhuutaanaam
This is the Almighty and master of all; the omniscient; the source, the controller and also the birth as as well as the destruction of all. Everything emerges from it and dissolves back into it.
नान्तःप्रज्ञं न बहिष्प्रज्ञं नोभयतःप्रज्ञं न प्रज्ञानघनं न प्रज्ञं नाप्रज्ञम्।
अदृष्टमव्यवहार्यमग्राह्यमलक्षणं अचिन्त्यमव्यपदेश्यमेकात्मप्रत्ययसारं प्रपञ्चोपशमं शान्तं शिवमद्वैतं
चतुर्थं मन्यन्तेस आत्मा स विज्ञेयः ॥ ७॥
7: naantah-prajnam na bahish-prajnam nobhayatah-prajnam na prajnaana-ghanam na prajnam naa-prajnam
adrishtam-avya-vahaar-yama-graahyama-lakshanam achintyam-avya-padeshyam-ekaatma-pratya-yasaaram –
prapancho-pasharnam shaantam shivam-advaitam chaturtham manyantesa aatmaa sa vijneyaha
The Fourth Aspect is called Turiya which is a term derived from the root ‘chatur‘. Turiya literally means ‘the fourth’. It is that which is not conscious of the external world nor of the internal world. It is neither outer nor inner consciousness and is also neither semi-consciousness nor the consciousness in the sleeping state. The state of Turiya cannot be experienced through the five senses nor can it be known through comparison, reasoning or by inferring it from something. It is invisible, indefinable, ineffable, intangible, incomprehensible, and inconceivable. This state of Pure Consciousness is tranquil, peaceful, blissful and incomparable. It is the Atman or the real Self. The Divinity or that which needs to be realised.
|Shloka 13:27 of the Srimad Bhagavd Gita which also speaks about the omnipresence of the Supreme Being
समं सर्वेषु भूतेषु तिष्ठन्तं परमेश्वरम् |
विनश्यत्स्वविनश्यन्तं यः पश्यति स पश्यति || १३ २७ ||
samam sarveshu bhooteshu
yah pashyati sa pashyati (SBG 13:27)
The person who truly sees is the one who sees the Supreme Bhagavan, existing equally everywhere, the unperishing within the perishing.Shloka 16 of the Ishavasya Upanishad
पूषन्नेकर्षे यम सूर्य प्राजापत्य व्यूह रश्मीन् समूह ।
तेजो यत् ते रूपं कल्याणतमं तत्ते पश्यामि
योऽसावसौ पुरुषः सोऽहमस्मि ॥ १६ ॥
puushanne-karshe yama suurya praajaapatya vyuuha rashmiin samuuha
tejo yat te ruupam kalyaanatamam tat te pashyaami
yo ‘asaavasau purushah so ‘hamasmi (IU 16)O Pushan the nourisher, O lonely Traveller of the heavens, O Regulator of everything, O Sun – the son of Prajaapati, gather up Your effulgence in order for me to see Your glorious form. The Highest Purusha who dwells in You, that I am.
सोऽयमात्माध्यक्षरमोङ्करोऽधिमात्रं पादा मात्रा मात्राश्च पादा अकार उकारोमकार इति ॥ ८॥
8: so’yam-aatmaa-dhyaksharam-omkaro-dhimaatram paadaa maatraa maatraas-cha paadaa- akaara ukaa-roma-kaara iti
Those Four quarters of the Self are identical with the syllable “A-U-M” and silence. The components of the syllable Aum , A, U and M are identical with the three states of waking, dreaming and sleeping namely, Vaishvaanara, Taijasa and Prajnya, respectively. The fourth state or Turiya, which is beyond the three states, can be realised only in silence.
जागरितस्थानोवैश्वानरोऽकारः प्रथमा मात्राऽऽप्तेरादिमत्त्वाद् वाऽऽप्नोति ह वैसर्वान् कामानादिश्च भवति य एवं वेद ॥ ९॥
9: jaagarita-sthaano vaishvaanaro‘akaarah pratha-maa maatraap-teraadimatvaad-vaapnoti ha vai-sarvaan kaamaa-naadish-cha bhavati ya evam veda
The Sound “A” is the Waking or Gross State. Vaishvaanara, the waking state is the first sound A of the syllable AUM. That simple sound of A is the first one and it permeates all other sounds. One who is aware of this first level of reality acquires all desirable objects and is successful in life.
स्वप्नस्थानस्तैजस उकारोद्वितीया मात्रोत्कर्षात् उभयत्वाद्वोत्कर्षति ह वैज्ञानसन्ततिं समानश्च भवति नास्याब्रह्मवित्कुलेभवति य एवं वेद ॥ १०॥
10: svapna-sthaanas-taijasa ukaarodvitiiyaa maatrot-karshaat-ubhayatvaad- votkarshati ha vaijnaana-santatim
samaanas-cha bhavati naasyaa-brahmavit-kule-bhavati ya evam veda
The Sound “U” is the Dreaming or the Subtle state. It is known as Taijasa, which is the U component of the syllable Aum. Consciousness experienced during the dreaming state is U, the second letter of AUM. This transitional state comprises of the qualities of both the waking as well as those of the sleeping states and therefore reflects the qualities of both. A person who knows this subtler state is great in wisdom. It is not ignorant people but only those who are knowers of Brahman or the Absolute Reality are born into such a person’s family.
सुषुप्तस्थानः प्राज्ञोमकारस्तृतीया मात्रा मितेरपीतेर्वा
मिनोति ह वा इदं सर्वमपीतिश्च भवति य एवं वेद ॥ ११॥
11: sushupta-sthaanah praajno-makaaras-trutiiyaa maatraa mitera-piiter-vaa
minoti ha vaa idagm sarvam-apiitis-cha bhavati ya evam veda
Prajnya, the third component of the syllable Aum is the sound “M” which is Deep Sleep. It is the consciousness experienced during the dreamless state of deep sleep. This state contains the other two states Vaishvaanara and Taijasa which emerge from and merge into the third state of Prajnya represented by the sound M in the syllable Aum. One who knows this knows all, understands all within himself, and becomes all.
अमात्रश्चतुर्थोऽव्यवहार्यः प्रपञ्चोपशमः शिवोऽद्वैत एवमोङ्कार
आत्मैव संविशत्यात्मनाऽऽत्मानं य एवं वेद य एवं वेद ॥ १२॥
12: amaatras-chaturtho’vyavahaaryah prapancho-pashamah shivo’dvaita evam-omkaara
aatmaiva samvishat-yaatman-a’atmaanam ya evam veda ya evam veda.
The fourth component is soundless. It is the silence after the AUM which is unutterable, blissful, peaceful, nondual and second to none. AUM is the True Self. The soundless aspect of AUM is the fourth aspect of the syllable. The fourth state or Turiya is the real Self, the Divinity or the God Principle which expands and merges into Universal Consciousness.
इति माण्डूक्योपनिषत् समाप्ता ॥
iti maanduukyopanishat samaaptaa
That was the Mandukya Upanishad
Jai Shri Krishna