Mandukya Upanishad Karika [Verse – 2]

Verse – 2


आकासेचहृदिप्राज्ञस्त्रिधादेहेव्यवस्थितः।l 2।l

2 – Viswa is he who cognizes in the right eye, Taijasa is he who cognizes in the mind and Prajna is he who constitutes the akasa in the heart. Thus the one Atman is (conceived as) three fold in the (One) body.

Shri Sankara comments:

This verse is intended to show that three fold experience of Viswa etc. (Taijasa & Prajna) is realised in waking state alone.

दक्षिणाक्षिमुखेविश्वो – The means of perception (of gross objects) is the right eye. The presence of Viswa, the cognizer of gross objects, is chiefly felt there. The Sruti also says, “The person that is on the right eye is known as ‘Indha’ – the luminous one” – [Brihadaranyaka Upanishad]. Indha, which means the effulgent one, who is the ‘Vaiswanara’& also known as ‘Virata’ (the totality of gross bodies), the perceiver in the sun, is the same as the perceiver in the eye.

Viswa, Taijasa, Prajna
Viswa, Taijasa, Prajna


From ordinary empirical stand point, ‘Viswa’, ‘Taijasa’ & ‘Prajna’ are generally related to three states, viz. waking, dream & deep-sleep. But these three states are comprehended from the standpoint of ‘waking state’ alone. That ‘dream’ & ‘deep-sleep’ are two states, having different characteristics, is known in the ‘waking state’ alone. Therefore, these two become known to the waking consciousness. Besides ‘jagrata’ (waking), in so far as it denotes the absence of the Knowledge of Reality, covers the dream & deep-sleep states as well. The three apparent cognizers known as ‘Viswa’, ‘Taijasa’ & ‘Prajna’ are really one, because a plurality of perceivers in the same state, namely, the waking and in the same body is an absurdity, as that will preclude the possibility of the continuity of operation as reveled through memory. Therefore, the apparently three different perceivers are identical and their apparent distinction is due to their identification with the three states.

The ‘Viswa’ & ‘Virata’ as well as ‘Prajna’ (deep-sleep) & ‘Iswara’ (unmanifest) are identical, has already been known. Now it is pointed out that ‘Hiranyagrabha’ is identified with ‘Taijasa’. They (‘Hiranyagrabha’ & ‘Taijasa’) are only what are termed as cosmic mind and the individual mind respectively. Really speaking, macrocosm & microcosm, both being mere forms of thought, are identical. Therefore, the perceivers ‘Hiranyagrabha’ & ‘Taijasa’ are identical, for both forms of thought only. Their different appellations are due to their identification with various ‘Upadhis’ (adjuncts) namely, the thoughts of macrocosm & microcosm.