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Mandukya Upanishad Madhva Bhashya – Commentary on Mandukya Upanishad by Madhvacharya


Mandukya Upanishad Madhva Bhashya explains the four states of jivatman and governing forms of Paramatma, and the relationship of OM with these forms. Commentary on Mandukya Upanishad by Madhvacharya begins with invoking Lord Hari.

Vedas have designated Brahman by OM and the same Brahman is Akshara (the imperishable letter too).

Mandukya Upanishad Madhva Bhashya on Brahman

Brahman is the absolute, past and future and all pervading and controlling.

Brahman is trikalatita means Parabrahman never undergoes any type of modification with the passage of time. Brahman ever remains the same. This quality also applies to Mahalakshmi also by the grace of Paramatma.

The mahavakya, ayamatma Brahma, means that the absolute Brahman, which is conveyed by OM is identified as Atma. Atma is present in all beings. It regulates all. Here, atma does not refer to the individual soul but refers to God residing in the individual being. The characteristic of sarvaniyamakatva is expressed here.

Commentary on Mandukya Upanishad by Madhvacharya

Mandukya Upanishad Madhva Bhashya on OM

Omkara consists of four parts. These four parts are governed by four forms – a – u – m – nada.
Of these ‘a’ represents Vishwa, the universe, existing in the right eye and regulating the waking state.
‘u’ represents taijasa, the power, residing in the neck and regulating the state of deep sleep.
‘m’ represents prajna, the brilliant present in the heart and regulating the state of deep sleep.
‘nada’ represents turiya, the universal self and he resides right on the head.

He regulates the jivatman in the liberated state. Only liberated selves realize Paramatma. He removes erroneous knowledge and puts an end to the cyclic chain of birth and death.

The three forms, namely, vishwa, taijasa and prajna, unite and separate every day, while turiya does not associated with or associate from these.

A devotee by meditating on Vishwa, gains subtle knowledge and becomes respectable.
By meditating upon taijasa, one gets elevated from mundane matters and becomes a jnani (wise); those who come later in this family tree will also become jnanis.

By meditating on prajna, a spiritual aspirant will get rid of his defects or weaknesses and direct his mind towards Paramatma. By meditating on turiya, on gets rid of mithyajnana (false knowledge) and gains liberation.

Brahman created this universe. The wise and unwise interpret this creation in various ways. Some conceive that Brahman transforms himself in this way. Others presume this to be like a dream or sublated appearance. Still others attribute the cause of this creation to Brahman, Rudra etc. The Upanishad and Bhashya declare that Parabrahman alone is responsible for all this creation and that, too, is done by His will. He has no ulterior motive, except that it is His innate nature to stimulate His Maya to create. He has nothing to gain from this, since He is the form of joy Himself.

The omkara is also known as pranava. The four forms of pranava govern the four states of the jivatman. One has to meditate on these forms. All forms of Paramatma that emanated from pranava have the same beaititude.

Lord Hari, denoted by pranava, is responsible for creation.

The pranava dwells in the lotus heart of every self. He is to be understood as omnipresent. By this conception and meditation, one will get the vision of Paramatma. The bhashya closes with salutations to Lord Vishnu.

 Excerpts and notes taken from – 
  • Encyclopedia of Hinduism Volume VII published by India Heritage Research Foundation – page 1