[Advaita-l] The concept of "bhAvarUpa" in shAnkara bhAShyam

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Thu Jun 20 04:30:14 CDT 2013

On Thu, Jun 20, 2013 at 1:38 PM, Bhaskar YR <bhaskar.yr at in.abb.com> wrote:

> Followers of the vivaraṇam  tradition often quote texts like GK 1.2
> bhāshyam  as a basis for their view that the only way to explain the
> memory "I did not know anything in deep sleep", is recourse to this
> bhāva-rūpa avidyā [eg vivaraṇam  p74-76 pratyaksham tāvat
> "ahamajñah...etc, Citsukha in TP p99 "Further, experience in dreamless
> sleep attested by the reflection afterwards "I knew nothing", is another
> proof of positive ignorance"].  However, Suresvara declares clearly that
> "I do not know" is not a real cognition of a memory but is just a false
> notion [ na suṣuptigavijñānam nājñāsiṣam iti smritih BUBV 1.4.300].
> Further, the word bījam is taken in the vivaraṇam  tradition as a basis
> for postulating such a bhāva-rūpa avidyā. However the simple false notion
> of not knowing atman is what is defined as this bījam  in Shankara's
> tradition as explained by Suresvara [ajñātāmaika-samsiddha bījāvastham
> idam jagat BUBV 1.4.191], ajñātam brahma khalu sabījam brahmocyate [MRV
> Sanskrit commentary on GK 1.2, page 72].
> praNAms Sri Subhanu prabhuji
> Hare Krishna
> Thanks again for bringing this point from vArtika prasthAna. It is in
> every one's anubhava that I had a sound sleep & I did not know
> anything...Here shankara explains, why we dont have 'vishesha darshana' in
> sushupti, it is because of 'ekeebhUtaM'.  Shankara further explains the
> absence of karaNa-s is the reason for not seeing the 'vishesha' and
> whatever is there in sushupti is 'ekaM'.  sushupti kAle cha pareNa
> brahmaNA jeevaH ekatAM gacchati, tattra sati sampannastAvat  tat ekatvAt
> na vijAnAteeti yuktaM clarifies shankara in sUtra bhAshya.  Sri SSS in his
> independent grantha 'avasthAtraya chandrikA' explains this beautifully.
> Further in bruhadAraNyaka shankara without any ambiguity explains why we
> dont have vishesha darshana in sushupti :  tena na pruthaktvena
> vyavasthitAni karaNAni vishayAscha, tadabhAvAt vishesha darshanaM nAsti.
> Now, the objector may ask the question, it is OK, we agree that there is
> no 'vishesha' jnAna in sushupti due to absence of 'karaNa' and jeeva is
> ekeebhUta with brahma, but why we dont have 'svarUpa' jnAna in sushupti??
> since you are arguing that in sushupti jeeva becomes brahman, atleast
> jeeva should have his/her 'svarUpa' jnAna if not , vishesha jnAna.  For
> this answer that shankara gives in chAdOgya is : jeeva is one with brahma
> not like 'water in drenched cloth' jeeva has become one with brahma like
> essence of flower in honey...shankara jokingly says one cannot sit on his
> own shoulder, to know the one's own svarUpa in sushpti.  There is an
> absence of the kriya i.e. knowing but there is no absence of the jnAtru
> there, in this state 'the knower'  does not have anything to 'know' since
> he is 'ekaM' there.

In the GK1.2 bhashya the last sentence after Shankara firmly establishes
the bhAvarUpa samsAra kAraNAvidyA which is jnAnavirodhi in deep sleep by
the words ' jnAnadAhyabIjAbhAve jnAnAnArthakyaprasangaH' [if we do not
accept a seed state persisting in sleep state that is dispelled by the
Upanishadic Knowledge, then the teaching of Knowledge (for samsAra nivRtti)
in the shastra will be futile' (because there is nothing that the Knowledge
will/can dispel], concludes the discussion with these words: 'bIjAvasthA pi
'na kinchid avediSham' iti utthitasya pratyayadarshanAt dehE anubhUyate
eva...' [the above (bhAvarUpa samsAra kAraNAvidyA which is jnAnavirodhi) is
experienced by everyone in the (waking) body itself from the fact of the
recollection 'I did not know anything' during deep sleep.

Now, it would look like Shankara is contradicting Himself when we look at
the sentences quoted by you and what is quoted by me above.  But there is
no room for such a fault.  For, in the quotes given by you the reason for
not apprehending the objects during sleep state (which would have been
apprehended if the person were waking) is stated as the non-functioning of
instruments of knowledge during sleep.  But what is stated in the GK 1.2 is
the proof of persistence of the kAraNAvidyA that is present in all states,
even when the anyathAdarshanam of the tattvam is had in the waking and
dream states.  This kAraNAvidyA is not distinctly discerned/apprehended in
the waking and dream states because one is caught in the anyathAgrahaNam.
It is in the sleep state that when the anyathAgrahaNam is not there one can
clearly experience the bIjAvasthA which is jnAnavirodhi.


> Hari Hari Hari Bol!!!
> bhaskar
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