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

vinayaka ns brahmavadin at gmail.com
Fri Aug 17 06:31:17 CDT 2012

On Thu, Aug 16, 2012 at 4:05 AM, subhanu saxena <subhanu at hotmail.com> wrote:

> In the spirit of Atma-vichara I am reproducing below the note I wrote on
> the imagined nature of root ignorance in vivaranam. List members should
> note that some followers of Sri Swamiji have felt I have presented Sri
> Swamiji's views as too accomodating in stating under which circumstances
> Mulavidya was acceptable to him. To that my response has been that I have
> simply quoted Sri Swamiji's own views on these points in my note for
> readers to judge. Also, I have not had any responses to the questions I
> pose towards the end of the note regarding the imagined nature of ignorance
> in buddhism as contrasted with vedanta (and the frequent charge of
> shunyavadins that the essencelessness of shunyata is incorrectly portrayed
> as nihilism), or a comparison of how buddhism has employed
> adhyaropa-apavada vs the advaita vedanta traditon. Comments welcome! The
> note now proceeds below:

Dear Subhanu-ji,


In the following kArikAs and bhAshya gaudapAda and shakara differentiate
the behaviour of the mind in the deep-sleep state and the controlled state
(samAdhi). May we know how Swami SS interprets these?

Karikas and shAnkara bhAshya related to the topic:

III. 34 The behavior that the mind has when it is under control, free from
all ideation, and full of discrimination, should be particularly noted. The
behavior of the mind in deep sleep is different and is not similar to that
(of controlled mind).

prachAraH, the behavior, that there is; manasaH, of the mind; nigruhItasya,
which is (thus) under control; nirvikalpasya, which is free from all
ideation; dhImataH, which is full of discrimination; saH that behavior;
vijnEyaH, is to be particularly noted by the yOgis.

Objection: In the absence of all kinds of awareness, the mind under
control behaves
in the same way as the mind in deep sleep. Hence the absence of awareness
being the same, what is there to be particularly noted?

With regard to our answer is: *The objection is untenable, since the
behavior of the mind sushupte, in deep sleep; is anyaH, different;
themind being
then under the cover of darkness of delusion arising from ignorance, and it
being still possessed of the latent tendencies that are the seeds of many
evil actions. And the behavior of the mind under control is surely
different, since, ignorance, the seed of evil activities, has been burnt
away from that mind by the fire of realization of the Truth that is the
Self, and since from that mind has been removed blemish of all afflictions.
Hence the sleeping mind’s behavior na tatsamaH, is not like that behavior
(in thecontrolled state)*. Therefore it is fit to be known this is the

35. For that mind loses itself in sleep, but does not lose itself when under
 control. That very mindbecomes the fearless Brahman, possessed of the
light of consciousness all around.

Best Wishes,


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