Teaching, a certain sage, Gaudapada by name, has written a poem. This poem is now translated, prefaced by the Mandukya Upanishad itself. Gaudapada. Gaudapada, grand Guru of Shankara, is the author of Mandukya Karika, a commentary on Mandukya Upanishad. It was written in 8th century, and is the earliest. : Mandukya Upanishad with Gaudapada’s Karika eBook: Gaudapada, Charles Johnston: Kindle Store.
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It is seven limbed and nineteen mouthed. But that Turiya is ever the all seer. It is not reasonable to say that objects in a dream are seen by [actually] going to them, since it runs counter to the regulation of time that is needed for the journey. Having known thus, the enlightened one becomes rooted in tranquillity. Listen how nothing whatsoever is born, though it appears to be born in all respects. But he does not see in gaudqpada waking state the unreal objects seen in dreams.
Gaudapada’s Karika on the Mandukya Upanishad
Just as when the ether confined within a particular jar contains dust and smoke, that is not the case with all jars, in the same way, all the individual souls are not associated with happiness etc.
Such birth is not established, everything is said to be Unborn. May we see with our eyes what is auspicious; May we, endowed with body strong with limbs, offering praise, complete the full span of life bestowed upon us by the divine beings; May Indra, of enhanced fame, be auspicious unto us; May Pushan, who is all-knowing, be auspicious unto us; May Tarkshya, who is the destroyer of all evils, be auspicious unto us; May Brihaspati bestow upon us auspiciousness!
This Self has four quarters. The Realised Sage has no need to visualise the Absolute through quarters.
GAUDAPADA | mandukya karika
That is the state of deep sleep wherein one asleep neither desires any object nor sees any dream. Thus, OM is the Self, verily. The ordinary man does not understand their way. But when this attachment to causality wears away, samsara becomes non—existent.
When the Truth is realised, duality does not exist. One should indeed know Pranava as the Lord well set up in the heart of all.
Gaudapada – Wikipedia
Ignorance means the forgetting of the Existence and Non-Duality of the Absolute. Being unknowable the Absolute is inconceivable because the truth of the Absolute cannot be imagined by anything less than that Absolute Reality. The Purusha manifests the conscious beings in their manifold forms.
This is birthless, sleepless, dreamless, and self-luminous. OM is indeed the beginning, middle and end of everything. The mind in deep sleep is of a different character and is not like that when it is under restraint. The four quarters are not meant to be taken literally of course. This Self is imagined to be unreal objects and also to be non-dual.
But it is the very nature of the resplendent Being, for what desire can He have whose desires are all fulfilled? When Creation comes to an end it is but Maya ceasing to display duality. Absorbed in that idea, he realizes it as Atman. Therefore it is the name of that Knowledge that forms this entire mortal Universe. Gaudapada is also credited with a commentary on Samkhyakarikas.
Since the non-difference of individual self and the Supreme Self is extolled on the basis of their identity, and since diversity is censured, therefore, that [non-duality] alone is reasonable.
Yet the wise speak of the jivas as capable of knowing Ultimate Reality. To see unusual things in a dream is indeed an attribute of the dreamer just as it is in karkia case of those who dwell in heaven. But he who thinks this passing into birth mandukua real asserts, as a matter of fact, that what is born passes into birth again. I shall therefore speak of the nonmiserable state in which These are as follows: OM is without a cause, without interior and exterior, without effect, and is undecaying.
Thus know the knowers of Truth. Which one “Quarter” is Eternal.
Non-duality is indeed the Supreme Reality, inasmuch as duality is said to be its product. The dreamer, as he wanders in the dreamland always sees the creatures born from eggs or from moisture as existing in maandukya the ten directions. These are the four alternative views, owing to a fascination for which the Lord becomes ever hidden.
Thus they are said to be masters since they are capable of knowing.