[Advaita-l] Sankara in BU 4.3 says Turiya is Supreme State (Was Re: Sleep, tamas and brahman)
v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Wed May 2 22:25:13 EDT 2018
There is a saying in Sanskrit: abaddham paThitvA kuchodyam karoti - which
means: a person studies a text disjointedly and raises irrelevant
objections. The case on hand is typical of this saying. The foremost
requirement of the study of Vedanta is to take *all* the relevant,
connected, texts as one text, as Shankara has stated 'ekavaakyataa' - and
try to understand the purport. It is wrong to expect the 'complete'
teaching to be available explicitly in one text/bhashya itself. In fact
that is the fundamental reason why Shankara has penned bhashyas on several,
not one, upanishads, the Bh.Gita and the Brahma sutras. It is only by
studying all the texts relevant does one get the overall purport
correctly. In the case on hand, we have Shankara giving the 'ruling' (in
the Mandukya Bhashya) that 'in all the Upanishads, whenever there is the
mention of the jiva attaining to the Supreme in deep sleep, it is the
sabeeja Brahman (saguna) that is implied and not the nirguna Brahman. For,
if it is nirguna Brahman that is implied, jivas will never return to
samsara; they will be attaining moksha upon contacting/resolving in nirguna
This pronouncement of Shankara is to be regarded as important as a 'maha
vakya'; it is crucial to the correct understanding of the case on hand. If
this statement is ignored, one ends up with tragic consequences. With this
sentence in the background alone one should understand the Brihadaranyaka
passages on the topic.
On Thu, May 3, 2018 at 7:35 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:
> > //“Thus did Yajnavalkya set Janaka beyond fear by a
> > brief reference to scriptural evidence.
> > Here, in a different connection, the states of
> > ** WAKEFULNESS, DREAM, PROFOUND SLEEP AND TRANSCENDENCE (i.e. Turiya)
> > 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//
> > Your quotation does not negate the fact that in the subsequent portion
> of the bhAshya,
> > ignorance is completely denied in the state of deep sleep,
> > thereby treating deep sleep as supreme.
> Your objection is akin to:
> (Kalyan approaches a Vedantin.)
> Kalyan: "Why are you studying (and practising) the Vedanta?"
> Vedantin: "To attain the Supreme Bliss of DESIRELESSNESS - as is
> experienced in Deep Sleep."
> Kalyan: "Oh, reading Vedanta makes you so bored that you will eventually
> go to sleep!"
> > //Obviously, the state of deep sleep has already been rejected as the
> > There is nothing obvious about this.
> The very fact that the introduction to BU 4.3 speaks of "turIya" (the
> FOURTH) state,
> implies that the first three states (Including Deep Sleep) are being
> So let me ask you a fair question:
> Why in your expert opinion does the BU 4.3 speak of the turIya state as
> the FOURTH state,
> if it is the same as the deep sleep state? Note that the phrase mentioned
> in the context is
> "jAgratsvapnasuShuptaturIyANyupanyastAni" - waking, dream, deep sleep,
> turIya states!
> The turIya state is different from Deep Sleep - otherwise, it makes
> absolutely no sense
> to speak of it as a FOURTH state!
> > Regards
> > Kalyan
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