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

subhanu saxena subhanu at hotmail.com
Wed Jun 5 15:27:52 CDT 2013

Namaste to all, combining a few comments received:

VS: The thinking that there is no avidyA in deep sleep has arisen because of

the mistaken
idea that the jIva has satsampatti with the shuddha svarUpam.

Karthik: If Deep Sleep were really the paramArtha state, would Sankara askus to reject it or remain in it?
I am mystified why people are somehow still attributing the above views to SSS or any school. I obviously did a poor job explaining it last time, so here goes one final attempt. If I am still not clear then apologies: 1)      The imaginary notion that the self is asleep, awake or dreaming is itself one of ignorance as all these states are superimposed. Please see BUBV 2.1.265 suptah prabuddha ityevam svapnam pashyati cheti nah. Vikalpa eṣa bhūtānām avidyā-rātri-shāyinām2)      As such, other than as a provisional notion, nobody can claim that deep sleep is an actual paramārtha state, and that jῑva has satsampatti in with the shuddha svarūpam3)      Now to state that an ignorance outside of superimposition is somehow is present when the ingredients for empirical transaction are not available is where the dfference of views lie: I have given the N.S 3.57 reference on this where Suresvara tells us ignorance is present in deep sleep but that there is nothing to reveal it.  Suresvara also explicitly tells us in BUBV 4.3.157 that when there is distinction there is appearance of ignorance, in deep sleep there are no distinctions, as ignorance belongs to the mind, as this is where it is consistently found, not in deep sleep: vibhaktam yat tamo’stῑva nāvibhaktam manāgapi. tamo’nvitattvād buddhyante na prājñe’nanvyayāt tamah4)      Now in what sense is the usage “seed” meant? Well, this is simply stating that, because our false notions that we actually pass through states have not been removed (BSB says this explicitly), even though there is no mind to reveal ignorance in deep sleep it can be said to be there in seed form because we still falsely imagine passing from one state to another upon waking. This is why it is perfectly fine to state as Suresvara does that the state of deep sleep is the seed of waking and dream and must be destroyed: asmad yadaparam rūpam nāstῑtyeva nirupyate . anyathāgrhaṇābhāvād bῑjam tat svapnabodhayoh [NS 4.40]. Note he would never say that deep sleep must be destroyed if it actually were the paramārtha state.5)      The above is all from the standpoint of adhyāropa. The apavāda tells us that, in all dealings, the cause, if we choose to speak of such, is the inner self, and to speak of the absence of ignorance and its effects is to affirm the sole existence of the Self ever present. So we have the vārtikā : avidyāder abhāvoktya kūṭasthātmaiva bhaṇyate. kāraṇātmā yato’bhāvah kāryākhyasyeha vastunah [BUBV 4.3.1520]. Please also see BUBV 4.3.1528-1529 that state that in all dealings through ignorance the real cause to the extent we speak of causality is just the innermost self. 6)      Therefore the teaching is that the provisional dissolution and emerging being postulated is from the Self and not ignorance in fact. This is explicitly stated in Kausitaki Upanishad IV. 19-20. Also, one must never forget that for Suresvara the feeling “I did not know” is not a memory from deep sleep but is simply a false notion.


I hope the above clarifies. I chose not to respond to the
pill and mukti point as I didn’t quite know how to take it and because it is
based on a misapprehension of the position being taken. If the position of the
vivaraṇa tradition is that it does not really postulate an ignorance in deep
sleep that is outside the scope of superimposition then indeed there is no



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