Sri Madhva Mandukya Upanishad

By: Nagesh D. Sonde

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Mandukya Upanishad belongs to Atharvaveda and is an exposition of !, the mystical sound which is the foundational attribute of Brahman. Unlike other Upanishads, this one neither has human seer or mythological characters or legends to explain the intellectual thesis. Therefore, it is attributed to divine effulgence, Muktika Upanishad declaring that, the one who imbibes Mandukya Upanishad is delivered from human bondage, without having to study any other scripture.
Mandukya Upanishad reveals spiritual Truths but does not offer any theory or acceptance of any belief or recommend any Path to be traversed except pure receptivity of heart and clarity of mind. Extreme brevity of language is hall-mark of this Upanishad, precise giving scope to diverse interpretations, some like Shankar advocating precise intellectual Advaita perspective and others like Ramanuja and Madhva offering emotional and eminently theistic Dvaita perspectives.
Accepting one view does not necessarily amount to rejecting the other. The approach of the Acharyas to the subject matter confirms such conclusion. Shankara attributes primacy to the original twelve mantras, Agama (scriptural) considering the rest to be Gaudapada’s Karika, containing extended commentary spread in remaining three chapters - Vaithatya, (illusion of the empirical experiences) a-dvaita (non-duality) and Alatshaanti (quenching of the fire)...