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

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Fri Jun 7 06:25:56 CDT 2013

In the mAnDUkya kArikAbhAShya 1.2, the discussion on the bIjAvasthA which
persists in deep sleep/pralaya ends with this sentence:

//bIjAvasthA'pi 'na kinchidavediSham' iti utthitasya pratyayadarshanAt dehE
anubhUyata eva iti tridhA dehE vyavasthita ityuchyate.//

[The causal state, too, is verily experienced in the body, inasmuch as an
awakened man is seen to have such a recollection as,  'I did not know
anything (in my deep sleep).'  Hence it is said 'tridhA dehE vyavasthitaH -
'existing in three ways (forms) in the body.' ]

In this kArikA the three states of waking, etc. are stated to be available,
experienced,* in the waking state itself,* in the body itself.  The
concluding part is about the prAjna too being experienced in the body
itself.  And this exprience/ing is what is stated in the above quote.  The
point is: Is the causal state a matter of experience?  With regard to all
other states we have the sensory/mental projection/experience of duality;
objects. The experience of the dream state in the waking itself was stated
in the bhashya to be 'the recollection/remembering of waking experience
itself is a kind of dream since dream too is a kind of recollection of
things/events experienced in the waking'.

In the deep sleep state since the senses and mind are resolved, there is no
way an objective experience is had.  The verse, however, says that even the
causal state which is the seed state, which by nature has no name/form is
indeed a matter of experience.  And it is an objective experience too.
While in the cases of waking and dream experiences the experiencer has the
direct experience even when the experience is had, in the case of the
experience of the causal state, the bIjAvasthA, the experience is validated
only upon waking in the form: 'I did not know anything.'  Since a
recollection, upon waking, is possible only when a prior experience is
there, it is held that the causal state, bIjAvasthA, is indeed experienced
during the state of sleep.  It is the 'objective', 'viShayabhUta',
experience of the bIjAvasthA that is had and recalled on waking.  This
experience is articulated by the bhashya for the reason that it happens in
the / upon waking from sleep.  So, the bhashya has shown the experience of
waking, dream and deep sleep in the waking body itself.

Now, if this causal state, bIjAvasthA, were not a certain entity, there is
no way the kArikA/bhAShya can say that 'it is experienced' - *anubhUyate*.
This expression can be used only when there is a subject matter for the
anubhava.  And this subject matter has to be a positive entity. bhAvarUpa.
If it were an absence, abhAva, of something, the expression will be
'anupalabdhyA avagamyate/ anumIyate' and not anubhUyate.  So, the
avyAkRta/avyakta/ajnAna/avidyA/shakti, etc. which are synonyms, is
experienced in the body itself.

Incidentally, in the recent meet at Bangalore the question: 'How, if at
all, is avidyA experienced?'  was taken up.

In the last verse of the BG 13th chapter, for the term 'bhUtaprakRti'
shankara writes: bhUtAnAm prakRtiH avidyAlakShaNA avyaktAkhyA...tasyAH
abhAvagamanam.  Now, if this avyakta is an abhAva vastu, one cannot use the
word 'tasyAH'.  There cannot be an abhAvagamanam of abhAvaH.  Even if we
say 'unknownness'  ends, still only what 'is' alone can come to an end.
>From this bhashya sentence itself we can understand that a certain 'sattA'
is accorded to it when alone will it be possible to negate it. That is the
way in which the term 'bhAvarUpatva' with relation to avidyA is to be


On Fri, Jun 7, 2013 at 7:02 AM, V Subrahmanian <v.subrahmanian at gmail.com>wrote:

> I think what Shankara has said in more than one place in the bhashya-s
> that 'there cannot be a bhAvotpatthiH from abhAva' is at the basis of
> Karthik's question.  From a non-bhAvarUpa avidyA/ajnAna there cannot be any
> effect (adhyAsa) produced.
> I

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