Sankara’s doctrine of maya has been one of the principle reasons that he has been accused of being a closet Buddhist. Yet it was actually Sankara’s parama-guru, Gaudapada who posited the idea of maya or ajativada in his famous Mandukya-karika.

Ajativada refers to the theory of non-creation. In his karika Gaudapada claims that the world of appearances is actually maya and does not factually exist. So this theory of maya/ajativada does not originate with Sankara.

However, it does not originate with Gaudapada either…

Prior to Gaudapada, it was Nagarjuna that first postulated the concept of ajativada in his Madhyamika-karikas. In his Mandukya-karika, Gaudapada writes:

khyapyamanamajatim tairanumodamahe vayam vivadamo na taih sardhamavivadam nibodhata

We approve of the ajati declared them (the Buddhists). We do no quarrel with them. (Mandukya-karika 4.5)

It is even affirmed by Sankara himself that Gaudapada accepted the arguments of the Buddhists regarding ajativada:

vijnanavadino bauddhasya vacanam bahyarthavadi-paksha-pratishedha-param acaryena anumoditam

The acarya (Gaudapada) has accepted the words of the Vijnanavada Buddhist (Nagarjuna) to prove the unreality of external things. (Sankara’s commentary on Gaudapada’s Karika 4.27)

Gaudapada’s affiliation with Buddhism does not stop there. Gaudapada also gives arguments that are akin to those of the Buddhist scholar Vasubandhu in order to prove that the phenomenal world is unreal by equating the dream state with the waking state.

Furthermore, the two illustrations of the city of the Gandharvas (gandharva-nagara) and the magic elephant (maya-hasti) that Gaudapada uses in his karika to prove the illusory nature of the world are both found in Mahayana Buddhist literature.

In the fourth chapter of Mandukya-karika a case of similar terminology is found between Gaudapada and Nagarjuna. Gaudapada writes in his karika (4.7):

prakrter anyathabhavo na katham cid bhavisyati

And we find a similar verse in Nagarjuna’s Madhyamaka-karika (15.8):

prakrter anyathabhavo na hi jatupapadyate

The title of the fourth chapter of his karika is Alatasanti (circle of fire) which is a word commonly found in Buddhist texts. But probably the biggest give-away is in the fourth chapter of the karika:

nivrttasyapravittasya nishcala hi tada sthitih visayah sa hi buddhanam tatsamyamajamadvayam

Thus, the mind freed from attachment and undistracted attains a state of immutability. Being realized by the wise, it is undifferentiated, birthless and non-dual. (Mandukya-karika 4.80)

upalambhatsamacaradastivastutvavadinam jatistu desita buddhaih ajatestrasata sada

For those who, from their own experience and right conduct, believe in the existence of substantiality, and who are ever afraid of the birthless, instruction regarding birth has been imparted by the wise. (Mandukya-karika 4.42)

  • I checked Mandukya Karika 4.5, 'We approve the ajati (non-creation) thus established by them,....' in Swami Nikhilananda's tranlsation of the Upanishads. He says that 'them' refers to followers of the Samkhya, Nyaya and Vaiseshika systems. There is no mention of Buddhists. Commented Feb 23, 2017 at 11:27
  • @PradipGangopadhyay obviously sankara sanyasins will try to defend it. all the arguments should be considered together. Commented Feb 23, 2017 at 11:35
  • Swami Nikhilananda is probably quoting Sankaracharya. I would think that Sankara would know better than us Gaudapada's views and intent since Gaudapada was Sankara's param guru. Sankara when commenting on Gaudapada is almost certainly following traditional exegesis and not giving his personal opinion. Commented Feb 23, 2017 at 12:11
  • @PradipGangopadhyay please see my question on Sankaras accusitions Commented Feb 23, 2017 at 12:16
  • I didn't understand you. What exactly is your question? Commented Feb 23, 2017 at 12:21

5 Answers 5


The theory of non-creation is older than the Buddhist Nagarjuna; it was expounded in the Upanishads. In his book, The Advaita Tradition in Indian Philosophy: A Study of Advaita in Buddhism, Vedanta and Kashmira Shaivism, Prof. Chandradhar Sharma writes (pp. 123-4):

It is contended by some that the doctrine of maya or avidya is not found in the Upanishads and it is borrowed by Shankara from Buddhism. This contention can only be made by those who are un-informed or ill-informed about the Upanishadic philosophy. The term 'maya' can be traced to the Rgveda (VI, 47, 18) where the one Supreme is said to appear in many forms through his power of maya. The Shvetashvatara (IV, 9-10) describes God as ‘mayi’, Lord of maya, and his wonder-working power of creation as maya [also see Chanogya U. 3.14.4 and 8.7.1]. The term ‘avidya’ is often used in the Upanishads in the sense of ignorance or appearance.

Indeed, the Brahma Sutras, older than the Buddhist texts, also support this. See Brahma Sutras 2.1.24-31 (available here - http://www.wisdomlib.org/hinduism/book/brahma-sutras/d/doc62753.html).

Professor Sharma also covers in Guadpapda in some 33 pages of his aforementioned book and 20 pages of that address the philosophical points of sameness and differences between Advaita and Buddhism as asserted by Gaudapada in his Karika, especially in the Fourth Chapter. Prof. Sharma points out in detail the arguments that have been made by various theistic Vedantin commentators through the ages including that Gaudapada is a crypto-Buddhist, that his commentary on the Fourth Chapter was actually written by a Buddhist, or that he was influenced by Buddhist thought. Prof. Sharma writes (p. 145-6):

Gaudapada is a highly respected teacher of Vedanta and to mistake him to be a hidden or open Buddhist is absurd. He is fully conversant with Mahayana which he calls Agrayana (a synonym of Mahayana in Buddhist literature) which flourished before him. Gaudapada, in his first three chapters of his Karika, has given a systematic exposition of Advaita Vedanta on the basis of scripture (shruti) as well as reasoning, and has composed the last fourth chapter of the Karika in order to elucidate his Advaita Vedanta by comparing it with Mahayana Buddhism. He shows the similarities and also the differences between the two by referring to and sometimes by reproducing from the Mahayana works. He discovered that these similarities were due to the fact that Buddha himself had partly assimilated the Upanishadic teachings, which were, later on, developed in the Mahayana schools of Madhyamika and Vijnanavada. He approves of some Mahayana doctrines which are in agreement with Vedanta, because these have been borrowed from the Upanishads and cannot be said to be the original contribution of Buddha or the Buddhists. He also points out the philosophical soundness of Vedanta over Mahayana. Thus, approving of the Mahayana doctrine of No-origination and the diacritical critique of causation, he points out that the Absolute must be equated with the pure non-dual Self; and approving of the arguments of Buddhist Vijnanavada in criticism of realism, he indicates that Buddhist idealism degenerates into subjectivism and pluralism, while Vedanta idealism has the merit of accommodating epistemic realism and is spiritual non-dualism.

Later on pages 152-4, Prof. Sharma lists the three points of agreement and six points of differences between Gaudapada and Vijnanavada Buddhism. The six points of differences are:

  1. Gaudapada is a teacher of Advaita Vedanta and advocates ontological realism only, while Vijnanavada is idealism par excellence—both ontologically as well as epistemologically. Gaudapada rejects epistemic idealism as illogical and unwarranted.

  2. Though Gaudapada places the world-objects on a par with dream-objects and illusory objects due to their ultimate unreality, yet he does assert the empirical differences between these; even thought the difference is only of degree yet it is important in our empirical life. Vijnanavada, on the other hand, places all objects, whether world-objects or dream-objects or illusory objects, on the same level and pronounces them as utterly unreal like a sky-flower or a barren woman’s son.

  3. Vijananvada separates the ‘form’ from the ‘content’ of consciousness, rejecting the objective ‘content’ as utterly unreal (parikalpita) and retaining the ‘form’ as relatively real (paratantra). Gaudapada rejects the distinction between parikalpita and paratantra which unnecessarily disturbs our empirical life and puts these both under samvrti or vyavahara. For him the ‘content’ and the ‘form’ of consciousness are inseparable and enjoy the same status as both arise together and vanish together.

  4. Vijananvada rejects the objective world as utterly unreal because it does not exist outside of consciousness. Gaudapada, like the Madhyamika, treats the world as ultimately unreal or false (mitya), because it is indeterminate (achintya) either as real or as unreal or as both and so is a self-contradictory appearance due to maya or avidya. The world of dream and illusion and the empirical world are perceived by us. Each works on its own sphere and is set aside only when sublating consciousness dawns.

  5. Gaudapada identifies the Absolute with the foundational Self (Atma) or Brahma [Brahman], while Vijnanavada calls it Vijnaptimatra (pure eternal non-dual consciousness), Parinispanna or Dharmadhatu.

  6. Vijnanavada believes that the Parinispanna Vijnana-matra due to beginningless and transcendental Vasana of objectivity becomes paratantra or conditioned by the wheel of causation generating the world-cycle of origination and annihilation in which momentary vijnanas and vasanas go on producing each other until paratantra is freed from the transcendental Vasana or Avidya by rooting out ‘objectivity’ from the stream of consciousness and regains its original purity as Parinispanna. Acharya Gaudapada does not accept all this. He rejects epistemic idealism and the pluralism, momentariness and creativity of vijnanas and the theory of real causation. The Real itself appears as individual subjects and also as the world of objects. The subject-object duality is to be removed by the elimination of difference (bheda); by the realization that jiva is Brahma [Brahman] and the world also is Brahma [Brahman], because Brahma [Brahman] is the ground-reality of both. This realization dawns in nirvikalpa samadhi in which knower, known, and knowledge are immediately realized as non-different in transcendental non-dual consciousness.

Finally, at the conclusion of his analysis of Gaudapada, Prof. Sharma writes (pp. 162-3):

The knowledge of the enlightened sage (Buddha) is not related to any object nor is any object related to it. And then the Acharya [Gaudapada] concludes: This has not been said by Buddha—naitad Buddhena bhasitam (Gaudapada’s Karika IV., 99.).

The above statement of Acharya Gaudapada may be interpreted in three ways. It may mean:

  1. As the Absolute preached by Buddha is beyond thought and language, he preached through silence and not through words. The Buddhist texts mention this at many places (From the time Buddha got enlightenment till the time he obtained nirvana not a single word was spoken by him: [numerous Buddhist references by Prof Sharma not included here]).

  2. Buddha preached spiritual Absolutism and epistemic idealism. The momentariness and plurality of vijnanas and their subjection to real causation leading to epistemic idealism were the fabrication of Vijnanavadins and were not taught by Buddha.

  3. The spiritual Absolutism preached by Buddha has been taken by him from the Upanishads. It is not original contribution. It is Vedanta.

All these three interpretations are justified.

The Acharya ends his Karika with a salutation to the Absolute which is unborn, eternal, non-dual, ever-the-same, free from difference, pure and fearless, very deep and difficult to be realized.

We thus see that Acharya Gaudapada’s Karika is not only the first available systemic exposition of Advaita Vedanta, but also the first available work which brings out a correct relationship between Advaita Vedanta and Mahayana Buddhism.

  • I am familiar with Kashmir shaivism and is it NOT similar to SANKARA'S ADVAITA OR MADHYAMAKA Commented Feb 23, 2017 at 9:08
  • what does Kasmir Shaivism have to do with the question or answer?? Commented Feb 23, 2017 at 10:47
  • the book name is The Advaita Tradition in Indian Philosophy: A Study of Advaita in Buddhism, Vedanta and Kashmira Shaivism, Prof. Chandradhar Sharma writes (pp. 123- Commented Feb 23, 2017 at 11:33
  • 1
    Yes, but the section quoted was only about Advaita and Buddhism. there is a completely separate section in the book on Shaivism.... Commented Feb 24, 2017 at 4:37
  • @RakeshJoshi Gita 11.55 Commented Apr 11, 2018 at 5:13

Them mentioned in the verse 4.5 of Mandukya karika and Shankara's commentary on the same refers to Samkhya, Nyaya, Vaisesika philosophies, not to any Buddhism. Nikilananda in his translation clearly mention this in his explanatory notes along with the reason why the "them" mentioned here refers to those three philosophies:

Mandukya karika 4.5:

We approve the Ajāti or non-creation declared by them1. We do not quarrel with them1. Now, hear from us (the Ultimate Reality) which is free from all disputations.

Shankara's commentary:

We simply accept the view of the Ajāti or the absolute non-causation declared by them1and say,“Let it be so”. We do not quarrel with them by taking either side in the disputation. In other words, like them, we do not quarrel with each other. Hence Oh ye pupils, know from us the Ultimate Reality as taught by us, which is free from dispute.

1 Them—The followers of the Sāṃkhya as well as the Nyāya and the Vaiśeṣika systems.

Both schools by finding fault with each other’s views regarding ‘causal’ relation tend to establish the truth of Ajāti or the absolute non-manifestation of Ātman. With regard to causality, we accept that theory that is not refuted by any party, but which must be admitted by all, viz., Ajāti.

In his commentary on Mandukya Karika 4.27, Adi Shankara never said anything like you quoted. This is what his commentary is:

(Objection)—The mind appears as the jar, etc., though such objects are non-existent. Therefore there must exist false knowledge. Such being the case, there must be right knowledge somewhere (in relation to, or as distinguished from, false knowledge which we point out).

(Reply)—Our reply to this contention is as follows:—The mind certainly does not come in contact with a cause—an external object—in any of the three periods of time, past, present or future. If the mind had ever truly come in contact with such objects then such relation would give us an idea of true knowledge from the standpoint of Reality. And in relation to that knowledge the appearance of the jar, etc., in the mind, in the absence of the jar, etc., could have been termed as false knowledge. But never does the mind come in contact with an external object (which does not in reality exist). Hence how is it possible for the mind to fall into error when there is no cause for such an assumption? In other words, the mind is never subject to false knowledge. This is, indeed, the very nature of the mind that it takes the forms of the jar, etc., though in reality, such jar, etc., which may cause the mental forms, do not at all exist.

Further, to remove your confusion, Gaudapada in his Mandukya karika 4.99 says the following:

The knowledge of the wise one, who is all-light, is ever untouched by objects. All the entities as well as knowledge (which are non-different) are also ever-untouched by any object. This is not the view of the Buddha.

For which, Shankara commented the following:

The knowledge of the wise man, that is to say, of the one who has attained to the Supreme Reality, is ever unrelated to other objects or Jīvas. This knowledge is always centred in or is identical with Jīva (i.e., Ātman) like the sun and its light. The word “Tāyee”, “All-light”, in the text signifies that which is all-pervasive like Ākāśa or, it may mean that which is adorable or all knowledge. All entities, i.e., Jīvas (beings like so many Ātmans) are as unattached as the Ākāśa, and ever-un-related to anything else. Knowledge (Jñāna) which has been compared to Ākāśa in the beginning of this chapter is non-different from the knowledge of the wise one who is all-light. Therefore the Ākāśa like knowledge of the wise does not relate itself to any other object. This is also the essence of the Dharmas or all entities. The essence of all the entities is the essence of Brahman, and is, like Ākāśa, immutable, changeless, free from parts, permanent, one and without a second, unattached, non-cognizable, unthinkable and beyond hunger and thirst. The Śruti also says, “The knowledge (characteristic) of the seer is never absent.” This knowledge regarding the Ultimate Reality, non-dual and characterized by the absence of perceiver, perception and the perceived, is not the same as that declared by the Buddha. The view of the Buddha, which rejects the existence of external objects and asserts the existence of ideas alone, is said to be similar to or very near the truth of non-dual Ātman. But this knowledge of non-duality which is the Ultimate Reality can be attained through Vedānta alone.

  • this is not about sankaras commentary but gauda's commentary.. read question carefuly and edit accordingly Commented Feb 28, 2019 at 19:05
  • In your question details, this is what you have quoted. "The acarya (Gaudapada) has accepted the words of the Vijnanavada Buddhist (Nagarjuna) to prove the unreality of external things. (Sankara’s commentary on Gaudapada’s Karika 4.27)". You clearly said, Sankara's commentary on Gaudapada Karika. @Rakesh Joshi Commented Mar 1, 2019 at 4:16
  • For verse 4.5, I clearly said "Mandukya Karika and Shankara's commentary on the same". If you want me to add Mandukya Karika verse 4.5, I am adding now. Commented Mar 1, 2019 at 7:13
  • 80-90 percent of the answer is sankaras commentary.. Commented Mar 1, 2019 at 12:29
  • When you posted wrong Shankara's commentary in your question details, what is wrong in posting the correct commentary in my answer? I also quoted Gaudapa's own verse along with Shankara's commentary for verses 4:99, 4:55. Commented Mar 1, 2019 at 13:41

Hinduism predates Buddhism. If what Shankara said was already there in Buddhism, why he had to painstakingly write commentaries to the Upanishads, Brahmasutras and Bhagavadgeeta and save the >10,000 year old religion of Sanatana Dharma? Why people would have believed him? After all he being a poor human sanyasin.


Prof Ashokan N in his "Mahayana Buddhism And Early Advaita Vedanta" writes,

Gaudapada accepts the doctrine of non-origination of the Advayavadims which seems to have been borrowed from the non-dual Buddhist schools. This reality of the origination, i.e., the actual existence of an effect in its cause, is not accepted by the Advaitins. Gaudapada proves the non-origination of causation by demonstrating the falsity of the world which is an appearance of non-dual reality (Brahman-Atman). The metaphor of 'ropesnake' is the best known tool intermittently used for the Advaitic viewpoint on Atman. Gaudapada’s non-dualism is similar to the idealistic school of Vijnanavada. In his commentary on Gaudapada’s Mandukya-karika Shankarahas shown authentic criteria of the Upanishadic reality of Brahman. Though he accepts the Buddhist idealism in the empirical reality, his non-dual Advaitism differs from the Buddhistic idealism in recognizing the Supreme Reality which can be only known from authentic Shruti passages.(Chapter 3.4)

Those who support the view that Gaudapada was a Buddhist bases their argument on the claim that there are remarkable similarities in between the teachings of Buddhism and that of Gaudapada. It is a fact that the issue of the non-self-theory challenges the claim and remains a riddle. But there are scholars who argues that Buddha nowhere denies the ‘Atman doctrine’ as is originally taught in the Upanishads. According to them, there is, on the other hand, every reason to believe that the Buddha held the doctrine of universal self as similar to that of the Upanishads.The Karikas have as their basis the Mandukyopanishad (in the first prakarana), quote Taittiriyopanishad by name, and are indebted to the Brihdaranyakopanishad and Candogyopanishad, the Bhagavatgita etc. for its doctrines. All these are Vedantic works. No Buddhist would have shown such reverence and preference for non-Buddhist works. After having enunciated his doctrines, Gaudapada at the end of his work categorically says that his philosophy has not been taught by Buddha (Naitatbuddhena bhashitam 4:99). It is true that attempts have been made to explain away this passage, so as not to be regarded as anti-Buddhistic, but these carry no conviction. Gaudapada in 2:25, refers to the Buddhas (Mana iti manovido Buddheriti ca tadvidah) for the purpose of combating them. In 4:54, he comes to the conclusion ‘Evamna cittaja dharmaschttam vapi na dharmajam’ ‘thus showing that he does not hold the Vijnanavada of the Buddhas. Similarly the Bahyarthavadims are also shown to be wrong in their views. In the face of the above positive pieces of evidence, it appears strange to accept the claim that Gaudapada is a Buddhist. There is no doubt that Gaudapada studied very carefully various philosophical systems current in his own time. Such as Samkhya, Yoga, Buddhism and the Gita. He received in addition to Upanishads other ideas from Buddhist philosophy, removed momentariness and Dependent origination which all schools of Buddhist philosophy accept. The teachings of Gaudapada can under no circumstances be described as identical with or approximating to those of Sunyavada of Nagarjuna.(Chapter 5.6)

With regard to the Buddhist words employed by Gaudapada in the karika and resemblances in his karikas and the karikas of Mula-Madhyamika-karika and other Buddhist works, it may be pointed out that it is true that he has borrowed expressions from Buddha terminology, but they have been used purely in Advaitic contexts. The three kinds of knowledge viz. laukika etc are undoubtedly of Yogacara origin. But Gaudapada's borrowing of these terms is restricted to teach the Upanishadic doctrine of the three states (avastha's) of the self. The Asparsayoga may be the ninth dhyana in Buddhism, but in the karika, it is used to describe the concept of yoga which is certainly prebuddhistic. The karika containing the word ‘dvipadam varam’, according to Shankara, is not for paying homage to the Buddha, but for making obeisance to Narayana who is best of persons. By the word 'this' (ettat) in phrase: naitad buddhena bhasitam, Gaudapada means 'supra-relational state of the wise one' and it is nihilism. As Professor Mahadevan observes: Gaudapada has purposely employed Buddhist terminology in the Alathashanthi-prakarana and there is every chance of the unwary student mistaking what is taught there for the Bauddha doctrine. And so, to safeguard himself agonist such a possible misconception, he says 'not this was spoken by the Buddha'. The citta of Gaudapada is not the mind of Yogacara, but the supreme consciousness. It is evident from the above explanation that Gaudapada's philosophy is. It Buddhist, but purely Upanishadic 'why, then, it may be asked, should he have adopted Buddhistic expression at all? The answer is that the exigencies of his time must have made him use Bauddha terminology, even as the Hindu monks who preach Vedanta in the countries of the west today feel the necessity of clothing their thoughts in Christian expressions.(Chapter 5.10)

I would conclude with Prof R.D Karmarkar's quote,

“Gaudapada thus seems to have been neither a Buddhist nor a Buddhist in disguise, but one who had a profound respect for Vedanta tradition and who evolved his doctrine of non-origination, after having studied the different systems of philosophy current in his time, and having found that they could not stand the test of logical reasoning. He was in short, a Vedantist, both by tradition and conviction; hence it was possible for Shankara and other Vedantists to take his philosophy as their firm basis to build their detailed theories up on."


I saw that above someone has already explained the Gaupada's point by using the Adi-Shankara's commentary. One of the main reason of such questions is that people often equate the Maya in Advait with that of Buddhism.

Philosophy of Advait—

Upanishad predates Buddha. The Advait is backed by Upanishads, Yog-Vashistha (Maha Ramayana) written by Valmiki Ji, and other texts.

There are some similarities and difference, and this is everywhere.

Now Maya and Advait—

Maya in Advait and Buddhism are different thing.

In Advait the Maya is the power of Brahman. it's not illusion it causes illusion, which inturn causes ignorance. MAYA veils the Brahman. Thats what is Maya in Advait. In Advait Maya is illusion, ignorance.

The natural Question— If Maya if ignorance than what is Avidya in Advait.

The Answer— Avidya is like the individual perspective. You and I are having Avidya (because we do not know our true Nature). Maya is like the Universal perspective. Brahman is covered by Maya. Maya is identical with Avidya. Avidya when translated in English it translates into ignorance the more accurate translation will be Ignorance of Individual. Maya and Avidya are principle. This principle when related to Ishwara is termed maya and when related to individuals (Jiva) is termed as Avidya. So, both are identical in Advait.

Now Adi Shankara in his Brahm-Sutra

Objection: Material cause is that which undergoes modification as the effect. Such a cause is generally seen to possess attributes in the world. Therefore, an attributeless Brahman cannot be the material cause of the world, as it goes counter to our everyday experience.

Answer: Though the material cause undergoes change to produce the effect, yet this can take place in two ways. An actual modification, as when milk turns into curds, or an apparent modification due to ignorance, as when a rope is taken for a snake. Therefore though in the attributeless Brahman an actual change is impossible, yet an apparent modification is possible owing to Its power of Maya. Because of this power all the attributes required in the cause for such a creation. are possible only in Brahman. Therefore Brahman is the material cause of this world, not through actual modification, but through apparent modification, and It is also the efficient cause of the world. Therefore the fact that Brahman is the cause of the world is established.

There are two main philosophical schools of Mahayana— Madhyamaka and Yogachara.

The doctrine of Maya in Madhyamaka is often associated with the idea of "emptiness of inherent existence". It is not the same as the concept of Maya in Advaita Vedanta, where Maya is viewed as the cosmic illusion that veils the true nature of reality and is eventually transcended to realize the ultimate reality (Brahman).

In Yogachara, the understanding of reality revolves around the idea that the external world is a projection of the mind. The mind creates and experiences the world through a series of cognitive processes, leading to the perception of objects and phenomena. According to Yogachara, these perceptions are not ultimately real; they are mere mental constructions or representations.

Vivekananda said: "When the Hindu says the world is Maya, at once people get the idea that the world is an illusion. This interpretation has some basis, as coming through the Buddhistic philosophers, because there was one section of philosophers who did not believe in the external world at all. But the Maya of the Vedanta, in its last developed form, is neither Idealism nor Realism, nor is it a theory. It is a simple statement of facts – what we are and what we see around us.

Now In Brahm-Sutra.

Vedas cannot show you Brahman, you are That already. They can only help to take away the veil that hides truth from our eyes. The cessation of ignorance can only come when I know that God and I are one; in other words, identify yourself with Atman, not with human limitations. The idea that we are bound is only an illusion [Maya]. Freedom is inseparable from the nature of the Atman. This is ever pure, ever perfect, ever unchangeable.

—Adi- Shankara’s commentary on Fourth Vyasa Sutra, Swami Vivekanand.

Now in Yog-Vashistha.

Just as when the dirt is removed, the real substance is made manifest; just as when the darkness of the night is dispelled, the objects that were shrouded by the darkness are clearly seen, when ignorance [Maya] is dispelled, truth is realized.

—Vashistha, Yoga Vasiṣṭha

Thats it…

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