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

Anand Hudli anandhudli at hotmail.com
Tue Jun 11 22:11:45 CDT 2013

It is clear that any state that is itself a superimposition (adhyAsa,
avidyA or avidyA-kalpita) is necessarily associated with duality, else
there would result a contradiction - something that is a superimposition is
identical with Brahman, the sole reality. Applying this reasoning to the
deep sleep state (suShupti) (and the other two states as well), it follows
that this sleep state falls within the realm of dvaita after all, since it
is after all a superimposition (on the Self).  And what could be the
duality here? It is Brahman and AvidyA in a seed form. Although, this state
has been said to lead to "ekatva", this "ekatva" has to be taken only
figuratively or relative to the two other states, waking and dream, and not
in an absolute sense. The sleep state has ekatva in the sense there are no
perceived objects. Nevertheless, it does have avidyA, otherwise it would
not be a superimposition!

The upAdhis in the waking state are latent in the sleep state. Shankara
says as much in his bhAShya on 2.3.31, "evamayamapi buddhisaMbandhaH
shaktyAtmanA vidyamAna eva suShuptapralayayoH punaH
prabodhaprasavayorAvirbhavati" Thus, this association with the intellect is
latent in sleep and dissolution and is manifested again in waking and
creation. The analogy cited here is that manhood that is latent in a boy,
but manifests itself fully when the boy comes of age. He also cites the
Chandogya upanishad 6.9.3 to assert that waking from sleep is because of
the existence of avidyA in seed form, "suShuptAd

So we have: avidyA bIja causes adhyAsa in the waking and dream states, and
according to followers of SSS, suShupti itself is fashioned by avidyA,
where avidyA is adhyAsa (tametamevaMlakShaNam adhyAsaM paNDitA avidyeti
manyante). It follows that the avidyA bIja is also fashioned by adhyAsa .
This starts to look like the classical case of seed and sprout (bIjAnkura)
where the seed gives rise to the sprout and the sprout gives rise to the
seed. Which is the basic cause - the seed or the sprout? One reason why
Shankara did not emphasize too much either the seed or sprout as the basic
cause is perhaps because such theories of causation (kArya-kAraNa-bhAva)
have been refuted in the Alatashanti PrakaraNa of the mANDUkya kArikas
(example, 4.20). Shankara clearly agrees (4.19) that any theory of
causation cannot be substantiated (hetuphalayoH kAryakAraNabhAva
anupapatteH) and that the absence of birth (ajAti) of everything is
highlighted by the learned. What exists cannot be born, because it always
is. There is no time when it was not existing and then came into existence.
What does not exist cannot be born too because it never is.


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