[Advaita-l] Sleep, tamas and brahman

Venkatraghavan S agnimile at gmail.com
Tue May 1 04:35:35 EDT 2018

Namaste Sri Kalyan ji,
Thanks for the further references. If we take the meaning of those
statements as heard, yathAshrutam, there are a few difficulties that one
must address before concluding that avidyA is absent.

1) If avidyA is indeed absent in deep sleep, why did Shankara say in the
mANDUkya bhAShya that there is the presence of a bIja, a seed that
manifests itself as the world, in deep sleep?
2) Why does the mANDUkya upaniShad deny turIyatva to suShupti by saying na
prajnam in mantra 7?
3) Is the absence of avidyA an absence without trace, and if so how does
this reconcile with satkArya vAda? That is, if avidyA is totally reduced to
a zero in deep sleep, then something which is accepted as causing the
world's appearance during the waking and dream states does not exist now.
Similarly, something which is absolutely non-existent now, causes the world
to appear in the waking and dream states. How can a non-existent thing
cause anything?
4) If avidyA is indeed absent in deep sleep, why do the upaniShads advocate
jnAna as a means for moksha? jnAna would be redundant.
5) How is deep sleep different from death? If a person is free while
sleeping, he must be free after death too. Why does he come back? Why does
a person wake up after sleep afflicted by avidyA? This would mean moksha
too is temporary.

Therefore, any internally consistent theory advocating the absence of
avidyA in deep sleep must address these questions (and more).

I'm not asking these to prove that avidyA exists (or doesn't) in sleep, but
only so that they can serve as guides in your contemplation.

Kind regards,

On 1 May 2018 7:55 a.m., "Kalyan" <kalyan_kg at yahoo.com> wrote:

Sri Venkataraghavanji

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.

[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 4.3.32.]



On Tue, 5/1/18, Venkatraghavan S <agnimile at gmail.com> wrote:

 Subject: Re: [Advaita-l] Sleep, tamas and brahman
 To: "A discussion group for Advaita Vedanta" <
advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org>
 Cc: "Kalyan" <kalyan_kg at yahoo.com>, "V Subrahmanian" <
v.subrahmanian at gmail.com>
 Date: Tuesday, May 1, 2018, 6:46 AM

 thread and references.One point from

 Subbuji's post that drew my attention: in the BUB
 4.3.32, Shankaracharya says:यत्र पुनः सा
 अविद्या सुषुप्ते वस्त्वन्तरप्रत्युपस्थापिका
 शान्ता, तेन

 वस्तुनः अभावात्
 The verbs used in the bhAShya above are
 telling. In describing avidyA in deep sleep, Shankara
 says सुषुप्ते अविद्या
 *शान्ता* - that
 is, in deep sleep, avidyA is pacified/ dormant, whereas the
 objects that appear different from oneself are
 absent  अन्यत्वेनअविद्याप्रविभक्तस्य
 वस्तुनः *अभावात्*.If avidyA were absent, he

 could have said so - so he acknowledges its presence, but
 says that its power to manifest difference is temporarily

 On 1 May
 2018 6:55 a.m., "V Subrahmanian via Advaita-l"
 <advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org>
 Tue, May 1, 2018 at 10:12 AM, Kalyan <kalyan_kg at yahoo.com>



 >  //What Shankara means is 'in profound sleep

 >  ignorance of the kind vikshepa, projection of

 >  is not there.  The basic ignorance of the type

 >  enveloping, is definitely there.'  This has

 >  clarified in that bhashya's commentary/gloss.



 > Shankara himself does not say any such sort of a thing
 that you say above.

 > At many places in B U 4.3, Shankara admits no ignorance
 in deep sleep. In

 > 4.3.32, the Self in deep sleep state is mentioned as
 the highest and

 > advaitam. This cannot hold true if there is ignorance
 in deep sleep.


 In 4.3.32 itself Shankara begins his commentary by
 proclaiming:    यत्र

 पुनः सा अविद्या
 शान्ता, तेन अन्यत्वेन

 वस्तुनः अभावात् , तत्
 केन कं पश्येत्

 विजानीयाद्वा ।

 // When, however, *that ignorance which presents things
 other than the self

 is at rest, in that state of profound sleep,* there being
 nothing separated

 from the self by ignorance, what should one see, smell, or
 know,  and

 through what? Therefore, being fully embraced by his own

 Supreme Self, the Jiva becomes infinite, perfectly serene,
 with all his

 objects of desire attained, and the self the only object of
 his. desire,

 transparent like water, one, because there is no second : It
 is ignorance

 which separates a second entity, and that is at rest in the
 state of

 profound sleep ; hence 'one.'   //

 It is clear that Shankara qualifies the ignorance as
 'that which presents

 things other than the self'.  So, only this aspect of
 ignorance is at

 rest.  Shankara nowhere says the aavarana ignorance is at
 rest there.  One

 can find the aavarana presence being admitted by Shankara in
 the Mandukya

 bhashyas. There in 1.11 Shankara says, on Gaudapada's
 verse, that the jiva

 is bound by both the causal ignorance and the
 product-ignorance in the

 waking and dream. In the deep sleep however, he is bound
 only by the causal

 ignorance. In 1.13 he further says that what is common to
 both the deep

 sleep and turiya is the non-cognition of dvaita, duality,

 product-avidya.  This is exactly what is meant in all the
 BU instances

 where Shankara has said or appears to have said 'there
 is no ignorance in

 deep sleep'. If this is understood, one will have no
 room for seeing

 dichotomy, etc.across the Upanishads / bhashyams.

 Read introduction by Shankara to BU 4.4.7:

 ‘अथाकामयमानः’ (बृ. उ. ४
 । ४ । ६)


 सर्वात्मभावो मोक्ष

 उक्तः ।* मोक्षकारणं च
 आत्मकामतया यत्
 आप्तकामत्वमुक्तम् ,
 तच्च सामर्थ्यात् *न

 आप्तकामत्वमिति —

 ।* अतः यद्यपि कामो
 मूलमित्युक्तम् ,

 बन्धकारणम् अविद्या
 इत्येतदपि उक्तमेव
 भवति । अत्रापि

 मोक्षः मोक्षसाधनं च
 ब्राह्मणेनोक्तम् ;
 तस्यैव दृढीकरणाय
 मन्त्र उदाह्रियते

 श्लोकशब्दवाच्यः —


 // Then beginning with, ' But the man who does not
 desire (never

 transmigrates)' (Ibid.), *liberation consisting in the
 identity with all,

 which is the thing that was sought to be explained by the
 example of the

 state of profound sleep, has been described.* And the cause
 of liberation

 has been stated to be the attainment of all objects of
 desire through their

 becoming the Self. But since this state is unattainable

 Self-knowledge, the cause of liberation has by implication
 been stated to

 be the knowledge

 of Brahman. Therefore, although desire has been said to. be
 the root of

 bondage, it is ignorance that, being die opposite of what
 leads to

 liberation (knowledge),

 has virtually been stated to be the cause of bondage. Here
 also liberation

 and its means have been dealt with by the Brahmana.//.

 Shankara clearly says that deep sleep is an example for
 liberation and not

 identical with liberation.  It would be wrong to expect an
 example and the

 exemplified to be identical; Shankara has himself denounced
 this view in

 another Bhashya saying that 'if so, the relationship of

 itself is lost' and therefore it is sufficient if the
 example has only a

 few similarities with the exemplified.  And this is what is
 the case in the

 BU exposition. Also Shankara clearly says that
 Self-knowledge is a must for

 liberation / removal of ignorance and this is also clearly
 stated in the

 Upanishad. So, there is absolutely no room in the Upanishad
 or the Bhashya

 for the problems that you think are present.



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