An Interesting article - any response?

Ramakrishnan Balasubramanian rbalasub at ECN.PURDUE.EDU
Sat Dec 7 11:12:30 CST 1996

I wanted to make my previous response on this thread the last one. However,
let me try to make this the last one.

Shrisha wrote:

>not.  There is no question of it being caused by something else, etc.,
>and variety exists even when one is in deep sleep, only one is not
>aware of it.

There is nothing perceived in deep sleep other than the self. This is my
experience and also every other person I have talked to (who has experienced
deep sleep). This is also explicitly supported and stated in shruti:

na tu dvitiiyamasti tato.anyad.h vibhaktiM yat.h pashyet.h - But there is
nothing second, which is different from itself it can see, bR^ihadaaraNyaka
upanishhad while describing sushhupti. It has a whole section which says how
there is nothing apart from the self which is perceived in deep sleep.

sushhupti kaale sakale viliine - In the time of deep sleep (with) everything
vanished ..., kaivalya upanishhad.h (KU). The KU goes on to say how the unity
behind the 3 states has to be realized.

"The state where, he, asleep, no more experiences any desire and sees no vision
is deep sleep", nR^isimha puurva taapaniiya upanishhad.h, translation from
Deussen's `60 Upanishads of the Veda'. This upanishhad.h is quite close to the
maaNDuukya upanishhad.h in these passages.

Note it does not say that there is multiplicity and it is not perceived. It
says there is _no_ multiplicity, period. The BU is in particular, explicit
about this. If you say there is multiplicity and it's not perceived, you must
realize that is just your point of view from the jaagrat avasthaa and not
otherwise. This again boils down to a liking for considering the jaagrat
avasthaa as somehow superior. Again, such an analysis has no basis in shruti.

I don't see any scope for argument here actually. As I said, only advaita, as
expounded by gauDapaada, the aachaarya and sureshvaraachaarya and some others
follow this approach. It's a good thing that when my father taught me, he
followed this approach and not the approach of the later bhaamati, vivaaraNa
schools etc. A `coherent' cosmology and theory of creation is largely
irrelevant, actually completely useless, IMO. It is somewhat akin to arguing
how the building seen in the dream was built, while in the dream. The comments
of shrii sacchidaanandendra sarasvatii on back to the basics, i.e., the
aachaarya's works are quite pertinent, IMO. Theories of creation are merely
arthavaada and were originally designed to satisfy people and quickly draw them
to the analysis of the 3 states. However, that is not very successful, at
least sometimes, as seen by some people reading arthavaada from the
bhaagavatam and then arguing endlessly that the universe has the shape of a
tree, man did not go to the moon (demigods diverted them to Rahu), the US
government lied about the moon trip etc.

Finally, of course with ingenuity, passages can be given any meaning one
chooses, depending on one's predilection for considering the jaagrat.h
avasthaa. But the import of the passages I see in shruti urge otherwise.
As Vidya correctly observed, the basic premises in advaita and dvaita are
radically different and there is no point discussing ad nauseam about all the
tangential issues (read, issues in which the observer is removed from the
discussion). Classical examples of tangential issues, "How did Ishvara
appear?", "Why is he free from Maya?", so on and so forth.

In another response Vidya wrote:

>> svataH pramANa, even) for there being many perceivers; what cognition
>> exists to show that there is only one?
>No cognition, but Sruti. "yatra tvasya sarvam AtmaivAbhUt ...", "neha
>nAnAsti kincana", etc. We cannot present evidence for absence of anything,

Such a cognition exists in deep sleep, does it not? From the point of view, of
the waking state, what you say is perfectly true though. An impartial analysis
would of course say that "cognition to show that there is only one", exists in
deep sleep, or swoon. So says shruti, too (BU in particular). This is ofcourse
rejecting the possibility of no perceiver, by using our old friend, the infinite

Utinam logica falsa tuam philosophiam totam suffodiant (May faulty logic
undermine your entire philosophy)           -- strong Vulcan curse

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