[Advaita-l] Imagined Nature of Root Ignorance in Vivaranam

Anand Hudli anandhudli at hotmail.com
Wed Aug 15 23:26:02 CDT 2012

In the state of dreamless sleep, there is no imagined object. However, we
have to accept that there is ignorance, avidyA in dreamless sleep too,
else, we end up with the theory that everyone gets liberated in sleep, only
to return to the state of bondage upon waking. This theory may be
acceptable to some, but it is not in line with Shankara's advaita. Now, if
there is avidyA in sleep, what is its nature? How is it related, if at all,
with the adhyAsa in the waking state? Since there is no imagined object as
such in sleep, this avidyA in sleep must be more basic or more fundamental
than the one in the waking state. This avidyA can be said to be existing in
seed form. We can call this the mUlAvidyA, which is the cause of the avidyA
in the waking state. As is often the case, there are parallels between the
microcosm and macrocosm. There are shruti statements, such as the nAsadIya
sUkta (tama AsIt), which point out the existence of this causal avidyA in
the beginning of Creation. We have to view the mulAvidyA theory as an
explanation that consistently connects the waking, dream, and sleep states
at the microcosm level with Cosmology. Such a theory is essential for any
philosophical system that has to be taken seriously by skeptics and sincere
aspirants as well.


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