The Mandukya Upanisad is assigned to the
Atharvaveda. It is a primary source of Advaita
(non-dualist) Vedanta through its commentary, the
Mandukya Karika of Gaudapada (c. 8th century),
Sankara's teacher's teacher.
QM. Gods, may we hear good fortune with our ears!
You worthy of sacrifice, may we see good fortune with our eyes!
Having praised you with bodies strong of limb,
May we attain, life long, what is ordained by the gods!
May Indra, of great swiftness,
May Pusan, the all-knowing,
May Tarksya Aristanemi,
May Brhaspati ordain well-being for us!
QM. Peace, peace, peace.
1. The syllable (aksara) OM is all this. To explain further:
what is called past, present and future is all just OM.
Whatever else there is, beyond the three times, that too is
all Just OM.
2. All this is brahman. The self is brahman. The self has four feet.
3. The first foot is Vaisvanara, with waking as its state,
with consciousness turned outward, with seven limbs, with
nineteen mouths, eating coarse food-
4. The second foot is Taijasa, with dream as its state,
with consciousness turned inward, with seven limbs, with
nineteen mouths, eating choice food.
5. When, sleeping, one desires no desire and dreams no
dream, that is deep sleep. The third foot is Prajna, with
deep sleep as its state, become one, a sheer mass of
consciousness, made of bliss, eating bliss, with mind as its
6. It is the lord of all: it is the knower of all: it is the
inner controller: it is the source (yoni) of all, for it is the
arising and passing away of beings.
7. Not with consciousness turned inward, not with
consciousness turned outward, not with consciousness turned
both ways, not a mass of consciousness, not conscious, not
unconscious—folk consider the fourth to be unseen,11
inviolable,12 unseizable, signless, unthinkable, unnameable,
its essence resting in the one self, the stilling of
proliferation,13 peaceful, gracious (Siva), without duality
(advaita). That is the self: so it should be understood.
8. In terms of syllables, the self is OM. In terms of
elements,14 the feet are the elements and the elements are
the feet: 'a', 'u', 'm'.
9. Vaisvanara, whose state is waking, is the 'a', the first
element, from ap- (to attain), or from its being the first of
all (adimattva):15 for the one who knows this attains all desires
and becomes the first (adi).
10. Taijasa, whose state is dream, is the 'u', the second
element, from utkarsa (rising up), or from its being both
(ubhaya): for the one who knows this raises up a lineage of
knowledge and becomes equal with it,16 and there comes to
be no one in his family who does not know brahman.
Om Peace Peace Peace