>>>>Mandukya Upanisad with Karika

Mandukya Upanisad with Karika

Today this blog will discuss an interesting concept which allows one to discover the nature of reality. Last evening I went to a great concert from a band called Veruca Salt here in Albuquerque (ABQ). The District hosted the show outside on its patio.

One of the great things about ABQ is its familial atmosphere. If Reno is “The Biggest Little City,” we are the “Biggest Little Town.” There were only a hundred or so people, so it felt like a private party just for us. Several acts performed including a great local Blues singer named Lea Black.

Yet not only did I get to hear excellent hard rock and roll at a small personalized venue, I also met two wonderful Seekers. These are seekers after truth and the nature of reality. This couple consisted of a man who worked at Sandia Labs and his French wife who worked in Computers.

We engaged in a spirited discussion of his history and the nature of reality. He was one of the rare individuals who could actually remember the moment of his birth. He said that it was not a thought, but a “feeling,” or “experience. This lead to a discussion of a more universal experience to discuss what one really is.

For him to remember entering a body shows that he must have existed beforehand. Nonetheless, the common experience we used comes from a great work of Vedantic philosophy called the Mandukya Upanisad with Karika. It discusses the waking state, the dream state, and the state of deep sleep.

I asked my new friend what the common element in the three states was, and with only a slight pause, he responded, “self-awareness.” Rarely does one even answer this question correctly. Rarer still are those that do so this rapidly quickly. It enlivens my heart to meet people of this caliber.

They easily understood that in the waking state you experience this physical “reality,” that everyone assumes is “real.” In the dream state though, these same people experience another “reality,” that is considered no less concrete during its cognition. Finally in deep sleep, the awareness knows, “that I know not.”

When you ask someone who slept well in a dreamless sleep where they went, the natural response is “I do not know, but it felt great.” This state of awareness WITHOUT COGNITION is the foundation for one’s natural state. Ironically the Frenchwoman mentioned the great Descartes, Cogito Ergo Sum, “I think therefore I am” earlier.

While this sentiment above is again rare in the masses, for they do not even think, there is a state even beyond this. It is a state of knowing without thinking. Mandukya refers to this state as “Thuriya,” a state where all three experiences merge. During our conversation I used an unconventional method of showing this state.

It comes most quickly through the practice of “eye gazing.” Although I had done this before with one of the great loves of my life, it can be done between anyone. This radical method of self-realization is outlined best in a book referred to me by one of my clients. It is called “Rumi, Gazing at the Beloved: The Radical Practice of Beholding the Divine.” (Johnson, 2003)

So while on the outdoor patio in our beautiful Albuquerque spring air, I took his hand at one point and felt his mood. While feeling his mood I looked into his eyes until he felt my mood. That mood that I had was one of steadiness and openness to whatever came. After a few seconds his state felt the same as mine.

I asked him if he felt the difference, and he answered, “Yes.” I then released his hand and shared that if he aimed for that feeling in his life, he would find what he was looking for more quickly and more easily. When he went to the bathroom, I did the same with his wife. She was tougher because she is the structure of their relationship. Without her earthy genius, his fiery genius would float away. Yet we got to a similar feeling too.

In life we all seek this feeling of connectedness and oneness. Another “outside” of us is unnecessary to experience this state, but it not only helps, it is joyful. Some self-masters sit on a slight pedestal where Seekers can gaze and share the feeling. (Johnson, 2003) I like it in the first-person, one-to-one. No pedestal between equals, and we are all equal aspects of awareness if not in physical strength and intelligence per se.


Johnson, Will 2007. Rumi, Gazing at the Beloved: The Radical Practice of Beholding the Divine. Vermont: Inner Traditions International

By | 2007-04-05T07:36:23+00:00 April 5th, 2007|Philosophy|0 Comments

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