[Advaita-l] Waking and Dream States - II

Michael Shepherd michael at shepherd87.fsnet.co.uk
Thu Apr 2 05:06:22 CDT 2009

Sri Sadananda

Thank you again for your generoosity.

I think we are in agreement; except in that I understand that chidaabhaasa
arises only from the contact with objects of the senses. My point was that
in the state of being in dream, there are not such external objects,
therefore chidabhaasa as such does not arise..though other aabhaasa may
already exist.. i.e. one does not learn about reality from the dream
itself.. only perhaps from the content of the dream and the fact that it has

In fact, by good grace, an example occurred last night, when I dreamed that
I was witnessing a tree full of oranges in our Northern family garden... I
was entranced by the sight... but learned nothing... no real oranges !

So the memory of the dream is to a degree useful : it points towards
ultimate truth; and accords with the sruti..

I look forward greatly to your further enlightenment. And I'm sure others do
too. Thank you.


-----Original Message-----
From: advaita-l-bounces at lists.advaita-vedanta.org
[mailto:advaita-l-bounces at lists.advaita-vedanta.org]On Behalf Of
kuntimaddi sadananda
Sent: 02 April 2009 01:39
To: A discussion group for Advaita Vedanta
Subject: Re: [Advaita-l] Waking and Dream States - II

Michael - PraNAms -

Here is some clarification based on my understanding.

--- On Wed, 4/1/09, Michael Shepherd <michael at shepherd87.fsnet.co.uk> wrote:

It is clear that we are only dealing with a situation where there appears to
be little consciousness available -- no chidaabhaasa -- yet a 'by-product'
which remains for a short time in awareness. What is watched, passively
(though some allege they can be trained to 'participate' in the dream), is
constructed from memories, which by definition are in chitta -- leftovers
from the feast !

KS: Let me explain here what chidaabhaasa means and then you can resolve in
your self the above statements.

1. Consciousness is all pervading.

2. The subtle body, constituting the mind, intellect along with
jnaanedirayas and  panca praaNas etc, reflects the all pervading
consciousness - that reflected consciousness is called chidaabhaasa. The
reflection depends on the purity of the reflecting medium. If you have
general light all over, the light cannot be seen or recognized unless it
gets reflected by an object. When we say looking out through the window
there is sunlight out there, that is recognized only because there are
objects that are reflecting that light for us to see. In the same way, the
all pervading consciousness cannot be recognized without the reflecting
medium - the subtle body - let us use just the generic term - the mind. That
general reflection is called chidaabhaasa.

3. If any thoughts arise (thoughts are called vRitti-s which are based on
the perception of the objects outside or from recollection from memory)
those thoughts are also as though illuminated by the ever shining all
pervading consciousness and that reflected light is the knowledge of the
vRitti or the knowledge of the object- discussed exhaustively in the
knowledge series.

4. When the knowledge takes place - this will be stored in the memory -
called chitta.

5. A sequence of thoughts that also arises that tires to own these knowledge
thoughts as my knowledge and I am this - essentially mamakaara and
ahankaara - These thoughts constitute the ego. Ownership is a notion. Hence
ego is a notional entity.

Vaasanaas or samskaaras form via the thought patterns (as though grooves in
the mind that form) that eventually determine the thinking pattern or
tendencies - depending on their texture - saatvik, rajasik and tamasik - and
thus eventually determine how a person views the world and behaves in the

Self realization is looking at the reflected illumination and from that
understanding or realizing that I am the very source for this illumination -
similar to looking at all the reflected sunlight as say yes it is sunny out
there. By looking at the reflection I am going to the original. That is a
realization that I am the original light that is getting reflected by the
mind as chidaabhaasa.

Whether it is waking state or dream state or even deep sleep state  -
chidaabhaasa or reflection of the consciousness will be there -you can call
this as witnessing consciousness - or saakshii chaitanyam.

In the waking and dream state - there are in addition the vRittis or
thoughts that are flowing and these are reflected by the consciousness for
one to have the knowledge of those vRittis. In deep sleep that will be
presented next, the saakshii will be there but no vRitti's there - absence
of vRittis itself is knowledge or experience in that state  - which can be
recognized only when the mind start functioning - to say that I slept very
well - or I had a blissful sleep - the experience of the absence of thoughts
was recognized by the mind as there is no storage of info or bin is empty.

Awareness and consciousness are synonyms in advaita.

The types of vRittis are thoughts that arise depends on the objects
perceived - that are external cum internal in the waking state but purely
internal in the dream state and their complete absence in the deep sleep

What kind of thoughts come depends on two aspects - one is the objective
thoughts and the other subjective thoughts - If I see $1000/- lying on the
road - the objective vision is just seeing those objects. The subjective
thoughts that subsequently arise depends on ones samskaara - should I look
out and take and run away or should I pick it up and see who dropped there
by mistake etc all depends on my value system. These subjective impressions
will leave further subjective impressions and these forms the basis for the
dream world. In all cases the thoughts rise in the mind and get reflected by
all pervading consciousness that I am. I am - here as sakshiii is there in
the waking, in the dream and in the deep sleep state.

With this background if your look again your question - you will see there
is confusion in the words - little consciousness- no chidaabhaasa  - by
product - what is watched etc.
General reflection - saakshii caitanyam which is also chidaabhaasa is there
all the time. The thoughts only keep changing in the waking and dream states
and they are absent in the deep sleep state.
Only difference between the waking and dream is there are external objects
that are Iswara shRiShTi that are illumined by the external light for me to
see while in the dream world, they are illumined by the consciousness
itself - since these are internal perceptions in the mind - This was
discussed in the knowledge series.



Given this, and the situation which you have pointed out, that any
'analysis' takes place in a different state of being, I revert to my
original question : may we learn anything from our dreams? Or is their
playing-out, itself a psychotherapy which we may happily leave to itself, as
a film playing to an empty cinema...

As I say -- this is small matter in regard to Brahman and maya; but the
question persists... a strange phenomenon !

KS - Yes the purpose of this analysis is to help us to use this analysis of
these states in the realization of the truth - that will be discussed slowly
in the future posts.

Hari Om!

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