[Advaita-l] Sleep, tamas and brahman

Kalyan kalyan_kg at yahoo.com
Tue May 1 04:17:32 EDT 2018

In all these following references, it is only the effect of ignorance that is said to be absent and not the root ignorance.//

Let us examine how far this is true. My interest is limited to B U 4.3. (Since I am typing from mobile, it is difficult to paste the Sanskrit bhAshya. Interested readers are welcome to cross verify with original commentary.)

The upanishad says in 4.3.32, that the deep sleep self is advaitam. Shankara interprets this to say that there is no second entity different from the self in that state. Hence, ignorance cannot be present in that state. Further, the self is bereft of limiting adjuncts. 

In 4.3.21, it is said that the deep sleep Self merges with his real nature, aka nirguna brahman. Thus, there is no possibility of ignorance. It is also explicitly said in 4.3.21 that jIva in deep sleep is free from ignorance (not just its effects).

In 4.3.22 also, it is explicitly mentioned that the form of self in deep sleep is free from ignorance, desire and work.

So we are not talking about mere effects of ignorance being absent. Ignorance itself is absent in deep sleep.

In the face of such evidence, the contention that ignorance exists in deep sleep, has no ground to stand upon.

On Tue, 5/1/18, V Subrahmanian <v.subrahmanian at gmail.com> wrote:

 Subject: Re: [Advaita-l] Sleep, tamas and brahman
 To: "Kalyan" <kalyan_kg at yahoo.com>
 Cc: "A discussion group for Advaita Vedanta" <advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org>, "Venkatraghavan S" <agnimile at gmail.com>
 Date: Tuesday, May 1, 2018, 7:52 AM
 On Tue,
 May 1, 2018 at 12:25 PM, Kalyan <kalyan_kg at yahoo.com>
 4.3.32 is not the only place where ignorance is denied for
 the self in deep sleep. Below is more list of references
 where ignorance is completely denied for the self in deep
 sleep. My only suggestion is to read that entire section,
 though you may have already done so.
 In all these following references,
 it is only the effect of ignorance that is said to be absent
 and not the root ignorance. This much is easy to understand
 for someone who has studied Shankara's
 And that
 you said in reply to me that  //
 nowhere talks about 2 kinds of ignorances in the context of
 BU 4.3. If ignorance is not there, it is not there.
 Period.// is the difference between someone who has read
 Shankara fully and the one who has not or who sees
 Shankara's works in isolation from each other. That is
 why it is better always to follow a gloss, as that of
 Anandagiri, who brings out the purport of Shankara's
 statements, what more they convey, what exactly they convey,
 also say:  //
 deep sleep implies liberation, albeit temporarily.//  This
 is fine. But of what avail is such liberation? That is why
 sleep state is shown as only an example and Shankara, as I
 showed, has clearly stated that it is Self-knowledge that is
 the cause of liberation/annihilation of ignorance (and not
 deep sleep state).
 [Shankara refers to 4.3.22 where the self in deep sleep is
 beyond the woes of the heart. It is pure like water, one and
 the witness 4.3.32. Self is unattached in deep sleep 4.3.18.
 It is beyond desires and free from evils and fearless
 4.3.22. Self in deep sleep is free from all relative
 attributes and devoid of action and results 4.3.19. Self
 merges in nirguna brahman in deep sleep 4.3.21. In deep
 sleep there is no ignorance 4.3.21. Deep sleep self is free
 from grief 4.3.21. 
 The form of self in deep sleep is free from ignorance ,
 desire and work 4.3.22. In deep sleep father is no father,
 mother is no mother etc. In deep sleep, the Self becomes one
 with Atman or nirguna Brahman 4.3.23. Self is free from
 limiting adjuncts in deep sleep 4.3.30. Self is free from
 ignorance in deep sleep 4.3.32.
 Self in deep sleep is pure like water, it is the
 witness, and it is advaitam or non-dual, one without a
 second. 4.3.32. This is the highest state, the supreme bliss

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