[Advaita-l] Re The stance of the upadeshasaahasrii on Ignorance, Deep Sleep

subhanu saxena subhanu at hotmail.com
Tue Jun 4 15:49:22 CDT 2013

Kartik wrote: 

Even in the above quote(s) from

it is important to underline the fact
that He does NOT classify avidyA as anAtman!


Thanks Kartik for the comments. With regards above we must
remember that the division of atman and anatman is a supposition for the
purpose of teaching for none really exists. It is just perceived as such
because we have not known Atman. I give the full quote below of BUBV1.4.724

Ātmānātma-vibhāgo’pi, nāyamatmaspṛgῑṣate

Ajñātātmaika-sākṣitvāt ajñānottham na vastugam [BUBV

We also have in BUBV 1.3.52 satyāsatya-vibhāgyo’yam etc conveying
a similar point

Kartik wrote: The nAmarUpa ....This third category of "anirvachanIya" is precisely where avidyA (too) falls under. Nāmarūpa is exclusively labelled as fashioned by ignorance in Shankara and Suresvara’s system eg BSB 2.1.14, and is taken as neither the same or different from that because we have not known atman. BSB,  Upadesha Sahasri give the analogy of water and foam (prose section 19), and how the anirvachanῑyatā of name and form is salila-phenavat. In Suresvara we have precisely nāmarūpa-kriyātvena mohakāryopasamhṛteh [BUBV 1.5.343-side note, Suresvara frequently uses the term moha, confusion, for ignorance, as an imagined notion. He is even more precise in Sambandha Vartika 183 kalpyavidyaiva mat pakshe, sā chānubhavasamshrayā] Kartik: Deep Sleep is filled with tamas, vide upadeshasaahasrii 1.16.18: Thank you for the opportunity to clarify what is tamas in Shankara’s system.  These verses talk to the apavāda of the 3 states. There is another reference you may know in US metric 17.26 suṣuptākhyam tamo’jnānam... This verse is quoted by Suresvara also in NS 4.43.  Just to repeat what I had written, whenever you invoke the notion of a “state” then ignorance is there vide 2.1.265 suptah prabuddha ityevam. The question is, does an ignorance have a presence in the superimposed state of deep sleep  when the faculties for empirical transaction are not present. The answer is that it cannot because it is an imagined notion of the nature of “I do not know”, and there is nothing to reveal it abhivyañjakābhāvāt [NS 3.57. Same point in BUBV 4.3.1517]. So tamas is simply of the nature “I do not know”, not outside superimposition. Vide Karika Bhashyam 1.14 nidrā uktā tattvāpratibodha-lakṣaṇam tama iti. BUBV 1.4.341 that has been given before explicitly defines tamas as of the nature “I do not know”. The word bῑja can misread and be read as some “indescribable” substance that somehow has upādāna-kāraṇatva. In fact BUBV 1.4.340 refutes the indescribability of tamas and we have the karika bhashyam bῑjam prājñatve nimittam (ie not upādāna). Kartik: But let there be no criticism of the teachings of the unbroken lineage of the Gurus of theSankaran tradition prior to careful examination of their views (preferably under a teacher of thetradition)!


The purpose of our study should be not to criticize but to
question to test our understanding. I cannot endorse more highly your point
that a careful examination of views is needed. I would make two points on this.
First I believe it is vital that the orthodox tradition is clarified as there
is much confusion amongst those who follow it. 
I once did an online search and found over 30 references where the authors
insisted on describing root ignorance as some material, stuff, some 3rd
state  of reality, without having
understood vivaranam’s description of the imagined nature of ignorance. Another
example is how Ista Siddhi decides to refute Suresvara’s conception of ignorance
as “I do not know”. These and other points are worthy of careful study for
those who have an appetite to understand better why such positions have been
taken amongst professed followers of the same teaching. My second point is that
the courtesy you ask for the orthodox teachings to be studied with a proper
teacher with an open mind I am sure you would reciprocally extend to a careful
examination of the bhāshya-prasthānam of Holenarsipur Swami also to truly
understand the points being made therein.



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