Mandukya Karika, verse 4.30
अनादेरन्तवत्त्वं च संसारस्य न सेत्स्यति ।
अनन्तता चाऽऽदिमतो मोक्षस्य न भविष्यति ॥ ३० ॥
anāderantavattvaṃ ca saṃsārasya na setsyati |
anantatā cā''dimato mokṣasya na bhaviṣyati || 30 ||
30. If the world be admitted to be beginningless (as some disputants assert), then it cannot be non-eternal. Mokṣa or liberation cannot have a beginning and be eternal.
Shankara Bhashya (commentary)
Here is another defect in the arguments of those who maintain that the Ātman is, in reality, subject1 to both bondage and liberation. If the world (i.e., the state of bondage of the Ātman) be without beginning or a definite past, then its end cannot be established by any logical reasoning. In ordinary experience, there is no instance of an object which has no beginning but has an end. (Objection)—We2 see a break in the beginningless continuity of the relation of the seed and the sprout. (Reply)—This illustration has no validity; for,3 the seed and the sprout do not constitute a single entity. In like manner, liberation cannot be said to have no end if it be asserted that liberation which is attained by acquisition of knowledge has a (definite) beginning. For, the jar, etc., which have a beginning have also an end. (Objection)—There4 is no defect in our argument as liberation, not being any substance, may be like the destruction of a jar, etc. (Reply)—In that case it will contradict your proposition that liberation has a positive existence from the standpoint of the Ultimate Reality. Further, liberation being a non-entity, like the horn of a hare cannot ever have a beginning. This Kārikā gives us the reason for the statement that Ātman is ever-pure, ever-free and ever-existent. Ātman, conceived as such, is not a theological dogma, nor is it based upon the intuition of the mystic, but it is a metaphysical fact.