Mandukya Karika, verse 2.1


वैतथ्यं सर्वभावानां स्वप्न आहुर् मनीषिणः ।
अन्तःस्थानात् तु भावानां संवृतत्वेन हेतुना ॥ १ ॥

vaitathyaṃ sarvabhāvānāṃ svapna āhur manīṣiṇaḥ |
antaḥsthānāt tu bhāvānāṃ saṃvṛtatvena hetunā || 1 ||

1. The wise declare the unreality of all the objects seen in the dream, they all being located within (the body) and on account of their being in a confined space.

Shankara Bhashya (commentary)

Aum. It has been already said, “Duality does not exist when (true) knowledge arises,” and this is borne out by such Śruti passages as, “It (Ātman) is verily one and without a second,” etc. This is all based merely on the authority1 of the Śruti. It2 is also equally possible to determine the unreality (illusoriness) of duality through pure reasoning; and for this purpose is begun the second chapter which commences with the words Vaitathyam (unreality) etc. The word, Vaitathyam signifies the fact of its being unreal or false. Of what is this (unreality) predicated? Of all objects, both internal3 and external,4 perceived in the dream. It is thus declared by the wise, i.e., those who are experts in the use of the means (pramāṇas) of arriving at true knowledge. The reason of this unreality is stated thus; For, the objects perceived are found to be located within the body. All these entities such as a mountain, an elephant, etc., perceived in the dream are cognized there5 (i.e., within) and not outside the body. Therefore they must be regarded as unreal. (Objection)—This (“being within”) is no valid reason. A jar and other things on account of their being perceived within a cover, such as a cloth, etc. (cannot be called unreal). (Reply)—On account of their being confined in a limited space, that is, within the body (where dream objects are cognized). It is not possible for the mountain, the elephant, etc., to exist in the limited space (within the nerves6 of the body) which are within the body.. A mountain does not or cannot exist inside7 a body.