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

Bhaskar YR bhaskar.yr at in.abb.com
Wed Jun 5 23:45:29 CDT 2013

praNAms Sri Karthik prabhuji
Hare Krishna

While you can wait for Sri Subhanu prabhuji's better explanations to your 
points, kindly allow me share my view points :

Basic facts and conclusions:
1) Superimposition (adhyAsa) is mistaking one thing for another, or 
attributing an object's property to another.

>  Yes, atasmin tadbuddhiH is the adhyAsa shankara too highlighted in 
adhyAsa bhAshya...And he also clarifies that this same adhyAsa has been 
called as avidyA.  And this adhyAsa is the main cause for the jeeva's lOka 
vyavahAra.  So, I dont think there is any problem in this first statement.

2) In the waking and dream states, superimposition occurs (e.g. one says 
"I am walking", which is a superimposition of the property of the body on 
the Self that does not act). In the state of Deep Sleep, there is no 
"other" perceived, so the specific superimposition of mistaking one thing 
for another cannot happen. In this sense, Deep Sleep is different from the 
waking and dream states.

>  Again, no problem in agreeing to this prabhuji. It is a well known fact 
that sushupti is different state from jAgrat and svapna.  But from the 
avasthAteeta drushti, all these three states are svapna only...tasya traya 
avasathA trayee svapnAH declares shruti.  And again you are right in your 
observation that since in sushupti, there is no upAdhi, mana etc. there is 
no possibility of anyathAgrahaNa. 

3) However, there is absolutely no doubt that SOMETHING remains in deep 
sleep, for at least two reasons:
(a) One comes out of Deep Sleep without remaining in that state.

>  Yes, that one goes to sushupti from waking comes out again to waking 
without remaining in sushuti.  Hence shankara too says jeeva that goes to 
sushupti, would come back to waking as same jeeva. 

(b) Sankara clearly points out that Deep Sleep is filled with tamas, but 
that cannot be the state of the Self, which is beyond the three guNas 
(certainly not tAmasic!).

>  Here I think we may have to be careful.  Since sushupti is upAdhi 
rahita state ( or upAdhi is avyakta) we cannot attribute 'tamOguNa'(one of 
the triguNa-s) to jeeva.  Hence avidyAtamas or avidyAtamObeeja etc. should 
be understood in such a way that it is kevala agrahaNAtmaka (jnAnAbhAva) 
tamas..As we know, in darkness we cannot see anything likewise though 
jeeva is free from anyathAgrahaNa, or vipareeta grahaNa and saMshaya, he 
is not free from agrahaNa.  And more importantly this agrahaNAtmaka avidyA 
too has been superimposed on jeeva as it has to come back to jAgrat to 
obtain the knowledge of that ekatva.  So, in short, here avidyA or tamas 
is not exactly tamOguNa, it is tamas in the form of agrahaNa or 
jnAnAbhAva.  Once there is a dawn of light, this darkness would give way, 
viveka prakAshabhAve tadabhAvAt.

If you are unable to accept the above, then we cannot discuss further at 

So the final conclusion is (from #3 above): that SOMETHING remains in deep 
sleep, which must be a NOT-UNREAL entity. We call it "mUlAvidyA", but you 
may call it by any other name you wish.

>  But as far as I know, the mUlAvidyA propagated by vyAkhyAnakAra-s in 
not jnAnAbhAva rUpa avidyA, it is neither agrahaNa nor anyathAgrahaNa. 
There is no other avidyA other than jnAnAbhAva, vipareeta jnAna and 
saMshaya, shankara very clearly mentions this in bruhadAraNyaka, yadi 
jnAnAbhAvO, yadi saMshayajnAnaM yadi vipareeta jnAnaM vA uchyate ajnAnaM 
iti sarvaM tat jnAnenaiva nivartate.  The mUlAvidyA which is bhAvarUpa and 
material cause (upAdAna kAraNa) for adhyAsa is not like jnAnAbhAva it is 
anirvachaneeya and has the locus in brahma itself according to 
paNchapAdika vivaraNa. 

>  Anyway, if it is accepted that mulAvidyA is nothing but jnAnAbhAva in 
sushupti which is superimposed on jeeva for want of jnAna in jAgrat, then 
I think we dont have much of disagreements. 

Hari Hari Hari Bol!!!

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