Nature of Consciousness - Advaita

S. Suryanarayan suri at AERO.IITB.ERNET.IN
Fri Jul 23 13:05:17 CDT 1999

On Thu, 22 Jul 1999, J. Kingston Cowart wrote:

> Namaste, Elizabeth,

> It seems right to me, as you point out, that one can be awake within
> the dream--and this is a very good thing;  yet it is not the same as to
> be awake *beyond* the dream.
> In the lucid dream of life, so long as the dreamer (jiva [knower])
> still knows that "she" is dreaming, there remains an identification
> with a sense of oneself as a *self* which dreams and knows.  In that
> condition, jiva is still present to itself as a subject-object.
> The identifier/dreamer can have no idea (no knowing) of what
> "beyond the dream" is like. Beyond the dream there is neither
> dream, dreamer, nor dreaming.  The same can be said for the
> knower (jiva), for in true wakefulness there is no second of any
> kind (not even a self-image) to be either identified with or,
> conversely, regarded as other than Self.

Namaste John!

The question of "being awake in the dream" is very lucidly
discussed by Sri J. I. van Mukt in the Aradhana Issue of
The Mountain Path, June 98, Vol. 35, No. 1 & 2., pp 114-115.
I have reproduced below 2 paragraphs from his article. I quote

"Crawling through Bhagavan's (*Sri Ramana Maharshi*) works in the
original made me proficient in Tamil. I came across a verse
in Advaita Unmai an ancient vedantic poem by Kumar Deva Swami
whose works were often quoted by Bhagavan.

 Kanavaik kanavendru-unardavanai kanavil nee yaar ena oruvan
 Vinavil avanum nanavadanil vilangum tanaye uraippaanadil
 Nanavai ninaivu-endru unardavanai nanavil nee yaar ena oruvan
 Vinavil avanum akandamadaai vilangum brahmane enban
                                Advaita Unmai v.14

It said: (*The translation of this verse as given by Sri Mukt*)

A person who realizes a dream to be a dream, when asked by
another in the dream, 'who are you?', would reply, 'Why of
course, myself so-and-so',(refering to the awkened I). So,
too a person who realises the waking state to be mind-born,
when asked by another in the waking, 'Who are you?' would reply,
"Why of course, myself the impartite Brahman',(refering to the
Awakened Self).


Sri Mukt also narrates in this article, his dream experience which
led to his understanding of the true import of the poem.

The same question did get raised by devotees of Bhagavan Sri Ramana
Mahrshi  and were answered by Him. It is said that when Sri Maurice
Frydman  expressed surprise at finding Sri Bhagavan searching for some
paper, Bhagavan narrated the story where Parvati finds out that Rama
though appearing grief stricken and searching for Sita is 'still not
immersed in the ignorance of maya' but is only acting  as a human would
under the circumstances.

What Srimathi Elizabeth has written on this matter does seem to agree
with my limted understanding of what Bhagavan Sri Ramana  Maharshi's
answer to this question.

suri at

More information about the Advaita-l mailing list