[Advaita-l] Sleep, tamas and brahman

Bhaskar YR bhaskar.yr at in.abb.com
Mon Apr 30 05:28:29 EDT 2018

praNAms Sri Kalyan prabhuji
Hare Krishna

>  Surprising only one reply from Sri Venkat Sriram prabhuji, anyway my thoughts :

The brihadaranyaka upanishad equates deep sleep with the highest state of brahman.

>yes, not only bruhadAraNyaka in some other places in shruti and bhAshyakAra himself clarifies that sushupti is the state which is secondless and sushuptAtman is sarvOpAdhivinirmukta.  For that matter atra veda aveda etc. pertains to the state of sushupti which we often use as reference to muktAvastha.  

Why is sleep then, associated with tamas in the bhagavad gita?

>  When the sushuptAvasthA has been observed from biased view of waking state sushupti is linked with tama.  When the same state has been witnessed without any prejudices and special preference  to waking state then in sushupti jeeva is mukta.   In Advaita, contextually there is a provision to understand this in both ways.  

Second question - vide the brihadaranyaka, can we say that sleeping is a sAdhana in itself?

>  No, by going to  'sleep' one cannot attain jnana/mukti though that state is equated with bhUma.  If that is the case simha, vyAghra, pashu keta also experience gAdha nidra ( deep sleep) so without any effort those creatures also should get mukti.  But that is not vedAnta siddhAnta hence bhAshyakARa says in both sushupti and samAdhi there is avidyA.  To differentiate this state (anandamaya avastha) from jnana paripUrNa avasthA, tureeyAvasthA (ananda svarUpAvastha) has been introduced and as we know this is NOT a 4th state apart from jAgrat, svapna and sushupti.  jnAnAbhAva in sushupti ( which some traditionalists will call  mUlAvidyA or kAraNAvidyA) differentiates this avasthA from jnana paripUrNa Advaita siddhi.  So, to attain this state or to realize this state  (which is the state  all of us have without any knowledge in sushupti),   shravaNAdi shAstra vihita sAdhana  is required.  

Hari Hari Hari Bol!!

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