anvaya & vyatireka

Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at BRAINCELLS.COM
Wed Aug 9 15:03:28 CDT 2000

On Fri, 28 Jul 2000, S. V. Subrahmanian wrote:

> 1.  I don't understand this meaning in the context of the Sloka that you
> have quoted.  Could you please explain ?

The Panchadashi verse referred to by the commentary is Tattvaviveka
38.  The paraphrase (and any errors :) are mine.

abhAne sthuladehasya svapne yadbhAnamAtmanaH |
so'nvayo vyatirekastadbhAne'nyAnavabhAsanam || 38 ||

The physical body is not present in the dream state.[1]  Yet the atma
persists in both the waking and dream states.  Thus the atma is the cause
and bodies are the effects.[2]

[1] (A servent may dream he is a king, a poor man may imagine he is rich
etc.)  If the existence of the physical world (and hence the body) was an
illusion, then why is it that when we wake up we are the same person as
the day before.  Why is the physical body permanent and the dream bodies

[2] The atma is the cause of the perception of a body.  When combined with
sthula (physical) elements it is ahamkara -- the sense of ego "I am
Jaldhar with black hair, brown eyes" etc.  In dreams the atma leaves
physical body and enters the sukshma (subtle) body made of layers of
prana, manas, and vijnana which are moulded into different forms by the
atma based on desire.  In both cases the perception of a body is an effect
caused by the combination of the atma with various other elements.

The persistence of memory and the notion of the passage of time are
attributes of ahamkara.  In dreams where there is no ahamkara, a century
can pass in a minute or vast distances can be travelled and many
identities can be assumed or forgotten altogether.  But the ahamkara isn't
really gone, it is just dormant "carried" as it were by the atma and when
the dream state is over and the atma returns to the physical body, it
comes back in full force.

The verse after this explains that in he sushupti or deep sleep state
there is not even a subtle body.  So is it Samadhi?  No because even then
there is a return to either dreaming or waking states.  Once again the
atma is the cause and that state is the effect.  There must be something
external (to the atma) reason for the movement of the atma into or out of
this state.  That something is the atmas lack of knowledge of its own true
nature.  In Moksha the fourth (turiya) state, there is no cause and
effect.  The atma just _is_.  There is no movement because there is
nothing extrnal to it.

So that then is the meaning of that shloka from the Bhagavata.  Understand
as the atma that which is constant in all the states not the forms it
takes when combined with other things.

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at>

bhava shankara deshikame sharaNam

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