[Advaita-l] Sleep, tamas and brahman

Kalyan kalyan_kg at yahoo.com
Fri May 4 07:57:21 EDT 2018

Sri Venkatraghavanji

I am referring to the fact that Sruti calls the deep sleep self as advaitam. (Incidentally, for the Mandukya, turiya is advaitam). Deep sleep self cannot be advaitam if there is ignorance in that state.

We also have emphatic statements like -

तत्र च सर्वात्मभावः स्वभावोऽस्य, एवम् ***अविद्याकामकर्मादिसर्वसंसारधर्मसम्बन्धातीतं रूपमस्य, साक्षात् सुषुप्ते गृह्यते*** 

//It has also been stated that identity with all, which is its nature, its transcendent form, in which it is free from all relative attributes as ignorance, desire and work, is directly experienced in the state of profound sleep//

This is the most direct statement denying ignorance in deep sleep. If this does not convince one, then nothing will.

I thank you for this discussion.


On Fri, 5/4/18, Venkatraghavan S <agnimile 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>
 Date: Friday, May 4, 2018, 11:29 AM
 Kalyanji,We needn't infer it if shruti explicitly
 says so - shruti itself would be sufficient. However, the
 shruti after saying न तु
 तद्द्वितीयमस्ति goes on to say
 यत्पश्येत् - there is no second thing
 separate from it which it can
 Shankaracharya says ततः
 द्रष्टुः अन्यत्
 अन्यत्वेन विभक्तम्
 यत्पश्येत् यदुपलभेत ।
 चक्षू रूपं च, तत्
 अविद्यया अन्यत्वेन
 ; तत् एतस्मिन्काले
 एकीभूतम् , आत्मनः परेण
 परिष्वङ्गात् ;
 विशेषदर्शनाय करणम्
 व्यवतिष्ठते ; अयं तु
 स्वेन सर्वात्मना
 सम्परिष्वक्तः — स्वेन
 परेण प्राज्ञेन आत्मना,
 प्रिययेव पुरुषः ; तेन न
 व्यवस्थितानि करणानि,
 विषयाश्च ; तदभावात्
 विशेषदर्शनं नास्ति ;
 करणादिकृतं हि तत् , न
 आत्मकृतम् ; आत्मकृतमिव
 प्रत्यवभासते ।
 तस्मात् तत्कृता इयं
 भ्रान्तिः — आत्मनो
 दृष्टिः परिलुप्यते
 इति |
 Madhavananda translates - But there is not that second
 thing, the object, separate from it which it can see, or
 perceive. Those things that caused the particular visions
 (of the waking and dream states), viz. the mind (with the
 self behind it), the eyes, and forms were all presented by
 ignorance as something different from the self. They are now
 unified in the state of profound sleep, as the individual
 self has been embraced by the Supreme Self. Only when the
 self is under limitations, do the organs stand as something
 different to help it to particular experiences. But it is
 now embraced by its own Supreme Self, which is Pure
 Intelligence and the Self of all, as a man is by his beloved
 wife. Hence the organs and objects do not stand as different
 entities; and since they are absent, there is no particular
 experience, for it is the product of the organs etc., not of
 the self, and only appears as the product of the self.
 Therefore it is a mistake due to this (absence of particular
 experience) that the vision of the self is
 absence of a second thing in the shruti in Shankara's
 view does not refer to either the presence or the absence of
 ignorance in deep sleep. Rather, it refers to the absence of
 any object as separate from the self. The causes of the
 particular vision of objects as stated in the bhAShya are
 the mind and the sense organs. These (mind and sense
 organs) are presented by ignorance as different from the
 self in the waking and dream states. In the sleep state,
 those organs are unified with the self. This in itself does
 not mean that ignorance is absent, only that ignorance does
 not present them as different from the
 If ignorance were
 to be totally absent in deep sleep, it would need to
 manifest from nothing in the waking and dream states and
 then present the organs as separate from the self. That
 would be absurd, again because of satkAryavAda. Therefore,
 we are left with the conclusion that it must be present, but
 its power to project multiplicity is dormant. Does this mean
 that there are two things in deep sleep, contradicting the
 shruti and disproving advaita? No, because ignorance cannot
 be described either as real or unreal. This unmanifest name
 and form, which is the seed of the world which Shankara
 calls संसारप्रपञ्चबीजभूतं, is described as
 in the Brahma sUtra bhAShya (2.1.14) - impossible to be
 described as either real or unreal. Therefore, we are left with an absolutely real
 Brahman and a mithyA ignorance that is as though a part of
 Brahman. This ignorance stays (in vyavahAra) until the rise
 of brahma jnAna, which destroys not only ignorance, but its
 products too.
 On Fri, May 4, 2018 at
 11:02 AM, Kalyan <kalyan_kg at yahoo.com>
                     //Agreed. I am not saying the Atma's
 perception is lost in deep sleep (for the shruti itself says
 विद्यते), I am saying ignorance
 of the nature of agrahaNam is not perceivable. Its presence
 can only be inferred by its effects.//
 Ignorance can also be
 inferred to be absent if Sruti explicitly says so. In this
 case, Shruti says that there is no second thing in deep
 sleep. Hence we can infer the complete absence of

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