Analytical Yoga
Analytical Yoga

The Mandukya Upanishad


I have created a site particularly

dedicated to the Vedas and their translation.

O God Savitri, impart your divine felicity/grace to us today as for your subjects/progeny. Remove evil dreams. (Rig Veda V.82.04) 

The Mandukya Upanishad

An Upanishad of The Atharva Veda

An Introduction To Self (Ātman 

Shiva and Kevala 


A theme from my book Yoga: An Analytical Release



1.     The syllabic sound Om is changeless (akshara[1]) and all this. Its brief explanation is: 

That has been or is or is yet to be; all is Omkāra only. 

And else too, that exceeds three times, is Omkāra.[2] 


2.   For all this is Brahma; this Ātman is Brahma[3].  This Ātman has four quarters!  


3.   With seven organs and nineteen openings, awake, extrovert (attention directed outward), is the Universal Man, enjoying gross [common] objects.  That is first quarter [comprising world of senses].[4] 


4.   With seven organs and nineteen openings, dreaming, introvert (attention directed inward), is the Radiant, enjoying subtle [personal] objects.  That is second quarter [comprising world of mental images].


5.     In Sleep, one yearns no desire, nor experiences any dream. 

Sleeping, that is unified (integrated), nucleus of wisdom, blest [by default], fountain of mind, and enjoyer of bliss, is called the Wise.  That is third quarter [comprising void or heart].


6.   This one is the Almighty (literally, all-lord)  the Omniscient (literally, all-knower); the Inner-Controller; the Source of all contingent beings: their Birth and Death.


7.    [The ultimate] Fourth is regarded neither inward-wise (introvert), nor outward-wise (extrovert), nor both-wise (extro-intro), nor nucleus of wisdom, nor wise [about particular knowledge/theories], nor unwise [unconscious].


[He in reality is] unseen, incommunicable, ungraspable, symptom-less, unthinkable, indescribable, sum conviction of oneself, calm, Shiva[5], advaita (second-less), with prapancha[6] (fivefold drama) dispelled.  He is the Self (Ātman).  He is worth meditating. [Caution: Self is not to be meditated as other or conventional object].


8.   That Ātman [even if appearing as four-quartered or prapancha] falls into the category of akshara and is indeed Omkāra.  Its first three quarters correspond to three constituent sounds a, u, m of the syllabic sound Om; and vice versa.


9.   Awake, the Universal Man corresponds to a-sound, first letter, signifying attainment and beginning.  Knower of this [fully participating/aware in world of senses and not mentally absent] attains all desires and becomes forebear and pioneer.


10.   Dreaming, the Radiant is u-sound, second letter, signifying elevation and mediation.  Knower of this [understanding illusory nature of all speculations and notions[7]] fosters wisdom chain, and remains even-minded to all[8].  None in his clan ever remains ignorant of Brahma.


11.   Sleeping, the Wise is m-sound, third letter, signifying measurement and mergence.  Knower of this [understanding well that things disappear as a blackout and not out of understanding or Vidyā] measures, or attains ability to judge, all this; and merges all in Self and emerges all from Self. 


12.   Beyond letters/sounds or communication or quantification (amātra) is the Fourth, that is Shiva, Advaita (second-less), with prapancha calmed. And thus [this Fourth] Omkāra is verily the Self of all. Knower of this merges in Self.  Knower of this redeems by himself. Finis.


Self (Purusha) is Asanga (unaccompanied, unaffected, untainted!)

That very Self (Purusha), after rejoicing, roaming, and experiencing the good and bad in dream, again, habitually, rushes back to the waking state indeed.  Whatsoever there He sees does not follow him, by reasons of Purusha being asanga (unattached).


That very Self (Purusha), after rejoicing, roaming, and experiencing the good and bad in dream, again, habitually, rushes back to the dream state indeed.  Whatsoever there He sees does not follow him, by reasons of Purusha being asanga (unattached).


Just like big fish that moves between two banks, one or the other, so too this Purusha moves between the two ends, waking and the dream. [Source: The Brihadaranyaka Upanishad IV.3.15-18]



In the three states [waking, dream, and sleep], name or imagine

Whatsoever object — experiencer, experience, or experienced;

Discrete from them, stay I (Self) [Fourth],

That is just Conscious, Witness, and ever Shiva in nature. [Source: The Kaivalya Upanishad 18]


No obligations truly exist for me — whether of birth, life stages,

Or Yoga limbs like attention and contemplation (dhyāna);

On disappearance of notions of I and mine that once rested on non-self (world); 

What sole remains is Self that is Shiva and Alone (kevala, second-less).


No code, no tutor, no tutee, no teaching;

Neither you nor I nor this whole prapancha;

In awareness of Self (true nature) and intolerance of notions and speculations (vikalpa), 

What sole remains is Self that is Shiva and Alone (kevala). [Author of last two verses: Advaita philosopher Shankara]


Points to Ponder


[1] That does not change, break, or spend.  Alternatively, indeclinable or indivisible.

[2] Aren't all and else linguistically incompatible?  Yes, they are, but not here.  Else is clarified in the following hymn.

[3]All’ is not complete.  All and Self together form supreme Reality (called Brahma or Om/Omkāra).  All-Self distinction is paramount and is also called Viveka.  Refer to discussion on Avidya Sutra (Section 5) in my book Yoga: An Analytical Release.

[4] Regard and realise waking life as a quarter of Reality!  Refer to Purusha Sukta (RV X.90.3).  Remind yourself, again and again.

[5] Shiva means agreeable, auspicious, and favourable.  Do not confuse it with personality of god by the name Shiva.

[6] It refers to disturbance or agitation involving five senses, five elements, etc.  Any modification from Nature is indeed apparent.  Nature and modification; it is a contradiction in terms.

[7] Every judgement of reality is subjective and therefore illusory.  Distinction between inner and outer world too fades!

[8] In view of All-Self distinction (hymns 1 and 2), evenmindedness toward all follows naturally.



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