Mandukya Karika, verse 2.16


जीवं कल्पयते पूर्वं वचो भावान्पृथग्विधान् ।
बाह्यानाध्यात्मिकांश्चैव यथाविद्यस्तथास्मृतिः ॥ १६ ॥

jīvaṃ kalpayate pūrvaṃ vaco bhāvānpṛthagvidhān |
bāhyānādhyātmikāṃścaiva yathāvidyastathāsmṛtiḥ || 16 ||

16. First of all, is imagined the Jīva (the embodied being) and then are imagined the various entities, objective and subjective, that are perceived. As is (one’s) knowledge so is (one’s) memory of it.

Shankara Bhashya (commentary)

What is the source of the imagination of various objects, subjective1 and objective2 that are perceived and appear to be related to one another as cause and effect? It is thus explained:—The Jīva is of the nature of cause and effect and is further characterised by such ideas as “I do this, I am happy and miserable.” Such Jīva is, at first, imagined3 in the Ātman 4 which is pure and devoid of any such characteristics, like5 the imagination of a snake in a rope. Then for the knowledge of the Jīva are imagined6 various existent entities, both subjective and objective, such as Prāṇa, etc., constituting different ideas such as the agent, action and the result (of action). What is the cause of this imagination? It is thus explained:—It, the Jīva, who is the product of imagination and competent to effect further imagination, has its memory determined by its own inherent knowledge. That is to say, its knowledge is always followed by a memory, similar to that knowledge. Hence,7 from the knowledge of the idea of cause results the knowledge of the idea of the effect. Then follows.the memory of both cause and effect. This memory is followed by its knowledge which results in the various states of knowledge characterised by action, actor and the effect. These are followed by their memory, which, in its turn, is followed by the states of knowledge. In this way are imagined various objects, subjective and objective, which are perceived and seen to be related to one another as cause and effect.