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Agama Prakarana

Agama Prakarana is the first chapter of Gaudapada’s Mandukya Karika commentary on Mandukya Upanishad. The text Mandukya Karika is also known as Gaudapadiyakarika or Agamasastra.

Agama Prakarana, comprising 29 karikas (stanzas), discusses different forms of manifestation of the Self. It is the same Self that manifests in the waking state, the dreaming state and the deep sleep state and is known as vishwa, taijasa and prajna, respectively. The cognitive activities and experiences of vishva pertains to sthula (the external world of gross) objects. That of taijasa pertains to sukshma jagat (the subtle world) of manas pertains to sukshma jagat (the subtle world) of manas (the mind). Prajna’s consciousnesses not directed towards some particular object and therefore, it is prajnanaghana (a mass of undifferentiated consciousness). It enjoys bliss (ananda) in deep sleep state and becomes avidya (oblivious in ignorance).

These three states of the Self are partial manifestations of the fourth and transcendent state of the Self, called turiya. Turiya is the non-deal, omnipresent, omniscient, self-effulgent, immutable transcendent ontological ground over which the other three states of the Self and their respective spheres are epistemically projected.

All the efforts to explain krida (the epistemic projection of three lower states of the Self ad their enjoyment or even play) is basically misdirected since the absolute, transcendent and non-dual Self cannot be possibly understood in these terms. It can be understood only it terms of its own nature.

The four states or padas (quarters) of the Self are identified with the four quarters of om vi., vishva with a, taijasa with u, prajna with m and Turiya with amatra (the silent measureless) quarter of om. By meditatively realizing these identities between the Self and om, viswa, the outer world, is merged in taijasa, then taijasa into prajna and lastly prajna into turiya. The last step signifies the realization of the non-dual transcendent Brahman as the Self through cessation of illusion of duality.