[Advaita-l] Sankara in BU 4.3 says Turiya is Supreme State (Was Re: Sleep, tamas and brahman)

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Tue May 1 21:58:22 EDT 2018

Dear Kartik,

During the discussion when Kalyan ji said that the two Upanishads, BU and
Mandukya have different teachings, the former holding deep sleep itself as
the highest (liberated state) and the latter showing the Turiya as beyond
the three states, I pointed out the sentence of the BU 4.3 bhashya that you
have cited to show that the Bhashyakara holds that the BU teaches Turiya as
beyond the three states.


On Wed, May 2, 2018 at 6:51 AM, S Jayanarayanan via Advaita-l <
advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:

> Kalyan via Advaita-l <advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:
> > At many places in B U 4.3, Shankara admits no ignorance in deep sleep.
> >
> > ...
> >
> > 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.)
> >
> Here's a reference from the Sankara Bhashya on Brihadaranyaka Upanishad
> (BU) 4.3,
> where all the three states (INCLUDING Deep Sleep) are rejected as not being
> the Supreme Atman! THAT is said to be the fourth state, Turiya:
> Sankara's commentary as introduction to BU 4.3 (Translation by Swami
> Madhavananda):
>   evaM abhayaM pariprApito janakaH yAGYavalkyena
>   AgamataH saMkShepataH .
>   atra cha jAgratsvapnasuShuptaturIyANyupanyastAni
>   anyaprasa~Ngena - indhaH, praviviktaahaarataraH,
>   sarve prANAH, sa eSha neti netIti .
>   “Thus did Yajnavalkya set Janaka beyond fear by a
>   brief reference to scriptural evidence.
>   Here, in a different connection, the states of
>   have been introduced in the words, 'Indha,' 'Has finer
>   food,' 'The different vital forces,' and 'This Self
>   is That which has been described as "Not this, not this"'.”
> The *FOURTH* state, called the *TURIYA*, is distinct from the three states
> of waking, dream and deep sleep, hence is described as "Not this, Not this"
> (i.e. to distinguish it from the three states), and is the Real Nature of
> Atman-Brahman!
> > For those who still doubt that deep sleep is highest state -
> > Shankara says in 4.3.34 that the transcendental form of the Atman,
> > free from ignorance, is experienced in the state of deep sleep -
> >
> > तत्र च सर्वात्मभावः स्वभावोऽस्य, एवम् अविद्याकामकर्मादिसर्वसंसारधर्
> मसम्बन्धातीतं
> > रूपमस्य, साक्षात् सुषुप्ते गृह्यते — इत्येतद्विज्ञापितम्
> >
> Obviously, the state of deep sleep has already been rejected as the Supreme
> and the Turiya state placed in that position instead (introduction to BU
> 4.3).
> So the interpretation that you've given above cannot be correct.
> Right after the line you've quoted above comes:
>   स्वयंज्योतिरात्मा एषः परम आनन्दः ...
>   svayaMjyotirAtmA eShaH parama AnandaH ...
>   "The Atman is Self-luminous and is the Supreme **Bliss** ..."
> The Bliss of Deep Sleep is an *ANALOGY* to the Bliss of the Self! That is
> all!
> Regards,
> Kartik
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