Mandukya Karika, verse 3.36
सकृद्विभातं सर्वज्ञं नोपचारः कथंचन ॥ ३६ ॥
sakṛdvibhātaṃ sarvajñaṃ nopacāraḥ kathaṃcana || 36 ||
36. (This Brahman is) birthless, free from sleep and dream, without name and form, ever-effulgent and omniscient. Nothing has to be done in any way (with respect to Brahman).
Shankara Bhashya (commentary)
Brahman is both within and without as well as unborn, as there is no cause for its passing into birth. For, we have already stated that (the phenomenon of) birth is seen on account of the ignorance (of the real nature of a thing), as1 is the case with the rope giving birth to the (illusion of the) snake. It is birthless because all ignorance is destroyed by the knowledge of Truth which is the Ātman. Hence it is free from sleep2; for, Ātman, which is, by nature, non-dual, is always free from sleep the nature of which is that of beginningless delusion characterised by ignorance. Therefore it is free from dream.3 Names and forms which are ascribed to it are due to the ignorance of its real nature. These names and forms are destroyed by Knowledge. It is like the (destruction of the illusion of the) snake seen in the rope. Hence Brahman cannot be described by any name, nor can it be in any manner described to be of any form. To support this, there are such Śruti passages as, “From which words come back,” etc. Moreover, it4 is ever effulgent or it is of the very nature of effulgence. For,5 it is free from (the ideas of) manifestation and non-manifestation characterised by wrong apprehension and non-apprehension. Apprehension and nonapprehension are (as inseparable) as day and night. Darkness is the characteristic of ignorance. These are the causes of the non-manifestation (of the real nature of Ātman). These6 are absent in Ātman. Moreover, Ātman is always of the nature of consciousness and effulgence. Therefore it is reasonable to speak of Ātman as ever-effulgent. It is all-knowing, that is to say, Ātman is all that exists and Ātman is consciousness (awareness) itself. As regards such Brahman (i.e., the one that knows such Brahman) no action can be enjoined, as may be in the case of others, who (on account of their ignorance of the real nature of Brahman) are asked to practise concentration, etc., on the nature of Ātman. The7 purport is that besides the destruction of ignorance it is not possible to prescribe any disciplinary action (for the knowledge of Brahman), as Brahman is always of the nature of purity, knowledge and freedom. The nature of Brahman, which is the subject-matter under discussion is thus described in other ways. The purport of the Kārikā is that apart from the realisation of one’s identity with the attributeless Brahman no effort is to be made by him. The categorical imperative of Kant has no meaning for a knower of Ātman. Yogic Samādhi is not the same as the goal of Jñāna Yoga as described in the philosophy of Advaita Vedānta or the Kārikā.