Br^hadAraNyaka IV.3.14 (fwd)

Srinivas Sista sista at ECN.PURDUE.EDU
Tue May 5 09:26:47 CDT 1998

Gummuluru Murthy wrote:

> PranAms.
> 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 ?

I dont know about the advaitic stance on this topic. But there are
references to `astral traveling' in the tibetan yogic literature.
The sensory/extra-sensory experiences of the astral body in these
realms are supposed to be perceived by us as dreams. There is also a
reference to such a phenomenon in Tripura Rahasya. I am typing it up from a
copy I have (Rama this is the one you gave me :-))
This is the encounter between King Mahasena and the son of Sage Gana.
The sage's son goes into a hill but Mahasena would not be able to follow.

Chapter XII
75. "Tell me, saint, how I am to throw off this body. If I do it forcibly,
     I shall die".
76. "The saint smiled at this and said: `You do not seem to now yoga. Well,
     close your eyes.'
77. "The king closed his eyes; the saint forthwith entered into him, took
     the other's subtle body and left the gross body in the hole.
78. "Then by the yogic power the saint entered the hill with this subtle
     body snatched from the other which was filled with the desire of seeing
     the empire within the bowels of the hill.
79. "Once inside he roused up the sleeping individual to dream. The latter
     now found himself held by the saint in the wide expanse of ether.
Note: The ativahika sarira(astral body), exhaustively treated in Yoga Vasishta.
I haven't studied the Yoga Vasishta. I hope to do it someday.
There exist couple of reports on OBE's(Out of Body Experiences) which are
published in (A)SPR proceedings, (Americal) Society for Psychic Research.

The wide spread belief is that the astral body is connected to the
physical body through a silver cord that is infinitely stretchable.
As death nears, this cord weakens and finally snaps thereby disengaging
the astral from the physical. It is also believed that this snapping
can occur if there is a sudden shock to the physical body while the
astral body is out or if the astral body gives in to the malefic influences
of the astral plane. Hence, extreme caution is to be exercised while
undertaking such experiments. In Tibetan lamaseries it is a skill that
has to be acquired under the expert guidance of the guru. People with
a weak heart or who have irrational fears should refrain altogether from
astral traveling. Once in the astral realm, it is very easy to go
astray and there are hordes of elementals that try to take over the
body of the astral traveler. Hence one has to be quite courageous and
never give in to `fear'.

> 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 ?

-------- speculation ON -------------
The confusion, in my opinion, is surely that of the subtle body, which
carries the bundle of associations with the physical(inert) body. Even
the subtle body is definitely part of the mind. The mind although inert,
gets powered by the Self and assumes a jeeva. The Self cannot get confused
since it is not related to the content of the mind. The jeeva is the one
who gets confused. Since it is the jeeva who is Mr. X, Ms. Y ..etc having
a body and its acessories(car, house ..etc). If the jeeva does not identify
with Mr. X, then a confusion does not arise if after waking up he finds
all the associations pertaining to Ms. Y. {People may crucify me for this
on this list, but there is a nice TV series called `Quantum Leap' that I
used to watch. It is about this professor, who enters different bodies
and sets right the course of the history. Although the details are a
little tawdry, I liked the concept. Has powerful analogies with the jeeva
assuming different existences.}
-------- speculation OFF -------------

Srinivas Sista.

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