Br^hadAraNyaka IV.3.14 (fwd)

Gummuluru Murthy gmurthy at MORGAN.UCS.MUN.CA
Mon May 4 12:11:59 CDT 1998

[I tried to post this yesterday, but the mail got bounced. I am
re-sending it. If this piece appears twice, my apologies.]


I am presently studying and reflecting on Br^hadAraNyaka upanishhad
and the teaching by YAgnavalkya in IV.3.14. YAjnavalkya says in this:

"Everyone sees his sport but himself no one ever sees. They say that
one should not wake him (the sleeping person) suddenly; for it is
difficult to cure if he does not get back (rightly to his body).
Others, however, say that the dream state of a man is the same as
the waking state, because what he sees while awake, that only he
sees when asleep. This is wrong. In the dream state, the person is
self-illuminated. ....."

My questions on this are:

1. Is there any modern medical research in this field (after-effects
of sudden waking up of a person) and if so what is the explanation of
the modern science ?

2. Swami Nikhilananda says in his commentary [upanishhads, vol. 3, p270]
"... There is also a popular belief which supports this view that the
self, while dreaming, is distinct from the body and organs. People say
that a sleeping person should not be suddenly awakened; for the self,
while dreaming, goes out of the body through the channels of the
organs and remains outside. If the sleeping man is violently roused,
his self may not suddenly find the organs to enter the body. Blindness,
deafness, or other physical ailments may be the result of such
*confusion* (my emphasis on word *confusion*). Therefore, through this
popular belief one can understand the self-luminosity of the Atman
in dreams".

Whose "confusion" is it ? The Self is not confused, certainly. The
body-mind combination (without the Self) is inert and incapable of
confusion. The jeeva (the body-mind combination with the Self) who
is aware of the separation of the Self from the body-mind is under
no confusion. Hence, I am not able to see the use of the word
"confusion" there. Any clarifications ?

3. A sleeping person should not be suddenly awakened with the
dangers stated above.

(a) Is it because the person may be in a dream state and hence
"confusion" (which Swami Nikhilananda says) may result

Radhakrishnan's, Swami Nikhilananda's, and swami Madhvananda's
commentaries (based on Shri Shankara's bhAshhya) give the impression
that it is the dream state that may be suddenly disturbed


(b) Is it because the person may be in the deep sleep state so that
the sense organs and the mind are completely folded into the Self and a
sudden waking up would lead to "confusion" ?


S. Radhakrishnan "The Principal Upanishhads"
Swami Nikhilananda "The Upanishhads"
Swami Madhvananda "The Br^hadAraNyaka Upanishhad"

Gummuluru Murthy
... nAnyo'to'sti drashhTa, nAnyo'to'sti shrotA, nAnyo'to'sti mantA,
nAnyo'to'sti vijNAtA: eshha ta AtmAntaryAmy amr^tah. ...
                                        Br^hadAraNyaka III.7.23
There is no other seer but He, there is no other hearer but He, there is
no other perceiver but He, there is no other thinker but He, He is your
self, the inner controller, the immortal.

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