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

Keshava PRASAD Halemane k_prasad_h at yahoo.co.in
Fri Jun 14 10:03:07 CDT 2013

Dear Friends and The Learned Experts of this esteemed discussion group: 

I went through the following thinking process [without getting into technical jargon or Saastraas of which i know little]: 


We talk about the waking-state(WS), the dream-state(DS) and the deep-sleep-state(SS), only by being in the waking-state(WS).  We try to understand the commonalities and the differences in the experiences of the different individuals in these three states.  The experience of having-gone-through-and-come-back-from those states, we try to discuss those experiences, now in our waking-state. 

What we see in the process is that the waking-state-experience(WSx) and the dream-state-experience(DSx) of each individual seem to differ from that of other individuals, but the deep-sleep-state-experience(SSx) of every individual seem to be uniformly-common across all the individuals. 

We can see that the every individual has the same uniformly-common SSx; the SSx is nothing but just the-absence-of-knowledge-of-its-contents, as far as knowledge-of-objects is concerned.  Also, if one compares one's own experiences in the three states, it seems that one is quite-one-with-oneself in deep-sleep-state, in the sense that there are absolutely no complaints/inadequacies that one can point out about one's deep-sleep-state. 

It is almost common knowledge that the dream-state is a product of one's own mind, although may not be a deliberate one; and probably not easily distinguishable from a hallucinatory experience - i wonder what is said in neuroscience other than the various brain-waves etc. 

I in my WS can converse/interact with you in your WS and both of us will be aware of that interaction. 
I in my WS cannot converse/interact with you in your DS nor in your SS. 
If in my DS i perceived that i had conversed/interacted with you or that you had conversed/interacted with me, you would not know about it, either in your DS or in your WS. 

There seems to be an unbroken continuity of the experience of the "i"ness that is, the experienced of oneself being the knower, the subject "i", particularly a WS experience, when one goes through any/both of the other two (DS/SS) states and comes back to one's WS.  However, such unbroken continuity of the experience of the "i"ness is not present in the DS - when one goes from the DS to any/both of the other two (WS/SS) states and comes back to one's DS.  Also, since there is no experience of the "i"ness (self awareness) in the SSE, the question doesn't arise as to analyse its continuity etc. 

In summary, 
(1) there is the uniformly-common experience of the-absence-of-knowledge-of-its-contents in the SS for all individuals; 
(2) the self-awareness of oneself the subject "i" that one experiences in one's WS continues as an unbroken experience across the SS (as well as across the the DS); 
although however, 
(3) the self-awareness of oneself the subject "i" that one experiences in one's DS doesn't seen to be an unbroken across the other two states; in the sense that in my today's DS i am not aware of my yesterday's DS, after having gone through those state-changes etc. 
(4) for any/every one, oneself the subject 'i' in the WS/DS/(SS?) has no control over the 'i' in the DS/WS/(SS?); in the sense that the waker "i" cannot have a DSx of one's choice tonight in one's DS, also the dreamer "i" cannot have a WSx of one's choice when one wakes up, for example. 

I wonder whether any analysis of this kind is available in the Saastraas. 

Now the question is - how do i know that the waker-i is indeed the same as the dreamer-i and also the sleeper-i?  The waker-i may know 'about' the dreamer-i and the sleeper-i just like a black-box, but not the contents therein that is within those states, right?  However, the dreamer-i and the sleeper-i have everything to do with the contents of those experiences in the DS and the SS - as the experiencer the subject-"i", right? 


Keshava Prasad Halemane

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