[Advaita-l] Is this reading of the mAndukya upanishad correct one?
prem d p
prem_d_p at yahoo.co.in
Tue Oct 30 12:01:14 CDT 2007
dear sri vinayaka and all list members,
i had just picked up swami gambhirananda's translation
of the sankara bhashyam of mandukya upanishad and karika
when i saw the subject post!
rather than attempt a critique of the text quoted in
the post, i would like to present a few thoughts of
mine on the subject, without the benefit of having
read the whole upanishad and karika.
dear all, please comment.
'deep sleep' and 'ever awake' are obviously contrary
terms and it is well known from scriptures that the
witness-Self is ever awake. Thus the entity which is
in deep sleep is ego (jiva). deep sleep is characterized
by non-differentiation and hence called prajnanaghana.
about deep sleep state we say on waking up that
'i did not know anything, i slept happily unaware',
the description being obviously from the stand point
of waking state only. however the continuity (karika I.1)
of the ego/jiva is self-accepted, as otherwise any
absolute disconnectedness results in absolute shattering
of the World, each piece forming a whole unto itself
and unaware of the rest. thus the shattered world
resolves back to one whole only. thus deep sleep is a
state and unawareness of Absolute/Reality is common to
all three states and the three states belong to jiva.
if one examines 'experience' closely, it may perhaps
be found that the role of smarana (function of chitta)
is fundamental to the establishment of phenomenal
reality. chitta supports the dimensions of space and
time and allows the objective percepts to function
in a coherent framework.
hypothetically speaking, living in the 'ever present'
without recourse to memory or chitta might turn out
to be non-different from mere apprehension of Reality.
thus, let alone deep sleep, even waking is perhaps a
constructed 'real' experience always based on
past (chitta) or to put it more precisely, a projection
into the past.
in deep sleep state the latencies of the vyashti are
not subject to either modification or expression.
whereas in a jivanmukta, whichever state one may
perceive him to be in, he has no latencies accruing
to the vyashti that he apparently is (in fact this
very accrual is vyashti). in all the three states,
for him, there is perfect yajna taking place in the
koshas with the result that nothing accrues to the
individual, not even percepts. all his remaining
life-experience is a perfect sacrifice in which
fruits are dissipated in the samashti and nothing
accrues to vyashti.
samashti affords one room to be born, change, and
dissipate away to non-individuality. viewed against
the backdrop of samashti, everything seems to take
on what may be called an 'ontic' significance.
this ontic significance, finally, may be seen to be
none other than pure 'Existence'.
Existence-Knowledge-Bliss being the last terms in which
the jiva grasps Reality before its own final immergence.
a modification of the type 'i slept' can only be
attributed to ego or I and not to Self. Hence the
deep sleep state is different from Turiya
(also Ma.7, Karika III.34, 35 say so).
with regard to some of the key points in the excerpt
by sri vinayaka please see below:
excerpt: 'turIya other than the Atman of the deep sleep
is the philosophical superfluity.'
it may be admitted that turiya is the Atman of deep sleep
state in as much as deep sleep state has undifferentiated
awareness. mandukya karika I.2 (see also I.6) bhashyam
discusses that everything resolves into undifferentiated
prana in deep sleep. this undifferentiated prana is identical
with the unmanifested primal avyakta (pregnant with the
latencies ready to be born again).
the field of action of cause-effect is the waking and the
deep sleep is the causal repository. hence prajna behaves
as the source of all objects, or the Lord in his aspect
as the primal Source.
moreover this prajna reposes in the ananda (anandamaya kosha)
and is the bhokta of bliss (karika I.3,4).
excerpt: '...the other terms applied to the experience of
sushupti such as sarveshvara, sarvajna, antaryAmin etc.,
for who has ever experienced in deep sleep that he is the
ruler of the universe, or is the inner controller of the jivas
and the jagat, or is the all-knowing being, knowing
the past, present and future of all created entities
in the universe or that he is the origin and the
dissolution of all beings? It is quite clear
therefore, these attributes are heaped on the innocent
Atman of deep sleep, rather than experienced.......mystics
of all religions have experienced the presence of an all
powerful, all knowing, creating, destroying sentient being
in their heightened mystic states., in savikalpa samAdhi.'
the following paragraph is hazarded as pure conjecture only,
for the purpose of an interesting discussion it might generate.
prajna, and for that matter any state, has no existence apart
from brahman or turiya. omniscience, omnipotence, omnipresence,
inner ruler etc are terms in which the jiva in the grips of
ignorance looks upto the Supreme Reality. from the perspective
of the limited, ignorant jiva, the origin of All is an
impenetrable darkness called avyakta, which is none other
than the undifferentiated consciousness of prajna (supported by turiya).
unlike the nihilists, it is not accepted that prajna is ever
unsupported or substantially different from turiya, this much
is admitted and no more. as for the attainment of mystic states
and powers by the upasakas of saguna brahman, BSB IV.iv.16-22
clarifies that mind is not merged in these states and hence
different from the state of deep sleep and jivanmukti....moreover
all the unfettered powers of God are not attained in these
mystic states...ie. God is known to be omniscient etc.
but Supreme Godhood is not attained.
excerpt: 'This is due to absence of antahkaraNa, the instrument
with which the truth has to be realized. There is not, therefore,
a second positive entity other than the
Atman, which exists potentially as cause of the bondage.'
the antahkarana is absent in deep sleep because of its not being
manifested, the causal ignorance anticipates the antahkarana.
in other words, the antahkarana or mind may be assumed to have a
causal state, namely, the Avarana and waking is the vikshEpa.
(the following is an interesting use of the rope-snake analogy
from an essay by swami ramatirtha...the illusion of maya works
in two ways, the first is the hiding of the truth by the
superimposition, whereby the rope is not apprehended and only
the illusive snake is seen. subsequently the reflection of
the rope on the snake is seen to have the attributes of rope
such as its length, size etc....here in the vikshepa phase the
truth is the rope, the snake is the mirror or maya, the
reflection of Truth is what is manifested).
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