[Advaita-l] Illusory nature of the waking and dream states

Vinodh vinodh.iitm at gmail.com
Sat Oct 16 07:22:10 EDT 2021


In Gaudapadacharya's karika on the Mandukyopanishad, he establishes the
falsehood (or illusory nature) of both the waking and dream states through
reasoning alone (i.e., without relying on Sruti) in the Vaitathya Prakarana
(Vaitathya = falsehood) in verses 4-6.

The reasoning goes as follows:
1. Things in a dream are unreal on account of them being confined within
2. Dream and waking states are similar on account of both of them having
object perception, i.e., there is a seer and a seen (a subject-object
3. That which is non-existent in the beginning and in the end is
necessarily non-existent in the middle.
Therefore, just like all objects in a dream (including the dream
mind-body-senses etc.), which did not exist just before falling asleep or
just after waking up, and therefore are non-existent during the dream as
well, all objects in a waking state (including the waking mind-body-senses
etc.), which did not exist just before waking up or just after falling
asleep, are also non-existent during the waking state as well.

The above is the only conclusive explanation I have come across that
establishes the illusory nature of both the waking and dream states.

When a superimposition (adhyaasa) occurs between the atma and the illusory
dream/waking mind-body, all interactions (vyavahara) in these states are
wrongly imagined to be associated with the atma. The atma, being pure
consciousness, is just a substratum on which the above dream/waking
illusions appear and are witnessed, but it is itself untouched by these
illusions like the rope is untouched by an illusion of a snake appearing
above it.

Om tat sat 🙏

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