[Advaita-l] Waking & Dream - An objective outlook

S Jayanarayanan sjayana at yahoo.com
Tue Jul 27 14:25:45 CDT 2004

--- "Jaldhar H. Vyas" <jaldhar at braincells.com> wrote:
> [Posting on behalf of Bhaskar who was unable to access the list.]
> Humble praNAms
> Hare Krishna
> In shruti-s, one can see various methodologies have been adopted to
> teach
> Atmaikatva vAda.  Our advaita sampradAya vidha-s have gracefully
> brought
> out these methods & clealy explained the intrecacies of these
> methodologies.  adhyArOpa apavAda is the principal method adopted by
> shrutis, in that we can see subdivisions like avasthA traya prakriya
> (analysation of our three states i.e.  waking, dream & sleep states),
> kArya-kAraNa (cause & effect)  prakriya, pancha kOsha (five sheaths)
> prakriya etc. etc. Since in this moth's main topic *Real & Unreal*,
> avastha traya holds the key position, this is a humble attempt to
> analyse
> our waking & dream states from an objective view point without any
> subjective attachment to the waker.

I observe that in your entire reply, there is no mention of the
ontology of the Vedas at all. This is typical in all the advaita
arguments on reality that I've seen so far.

Consider: I do not perceive any of the verses of the sAma Veda. In
fact, I have never ever perceived all of the verses of the sAma Veda in
my waking, dream, or deep-sleep states. In my waking, dream, and deep
sleep states, the sAma Veda recitals I have heard occupy an
infinitesimal part of my experiences. Can I now, using arguments
similar to what you have advanced below, take the sAma Veda as being
virtually non-existent? That was a rhetorical question, the answer is
obviously - NO!

Right at the beginning of their philosophy, Jaimini and KumArila make
an important statement intersecting both ontology and epistemology (see
pUrva mImAmsA verse 1.1.12):


If the above statement is not accepted, it is _impossible_ to establish
the ontology of words (and by corollary the ontology of the Vedas). In
answer to my above query as to the existence of the sAma Veda, Jaimini
and KumArila would reply, "You momentarily perceive the sAma Veda, but
it does not imply that the sAma Veda exists momentarily. In fact, the
sAma Veda exists eternally and is perceived by you momentarily. 

The Jaimini-KumArila theory of ontology of world-experience goes
something like this: "The world as perceived by the senses in the
waking state is real. The dream sleep state is when the senses are
inactive, but the mind is active, and hence the non-perception of the
real world along with the perception of the false dream-world within
the mind. The deep sleep state is when the entire set of organs of
perception are inactive, hence pure non-perception of a world." This
can easily be recognized as being very close to the dvaitins' position,
and is often termed REALISM. It is a viewpoint of reality, and SUPERBLY
explains the ontology of the Vedas. If you think the dvaitins are
realists, you should read KumArila, who argues for the reality of the
waking state in an UNCOMPROMISING manner. 

All I'm saying is this: claiming that the arguments you have given
below are the same ones that Shankara used to convince the mImAmsakas
is untenable. If Shankara had given these arguments, the mImAmsakas
woul've ignored him completely and gone about their business of
spreading pUrva-mImAmsA. In fact, every argument that you have given
below strikes at the very heart of the ontology of the Vedas. I'm
certain that there are explanations within the advaita tradition for
the ontology of the Vedas, but don't buy the claim that a "definition
of reality" would convince the mImAmsakas. 


> Since our childhood we've been invariably experiencing waking, dream
> &
> sleep states.  Despite occurrences of these three states at utmost
> regularity, we are without our knowledge giving more reality to our
> waking
> state when compared to the other two states!!  why this is so??  why
> this
> special preference to waking state when we are equally experiencing
> all
> the three states with the same degree of reality.  Having said this,
> I am
> not denying the fact that the waking state is the one in which alone
> real
> action is possible & all our practical interests lie.  But vedAnta
> declares that life to be truly understood a consideration of the
> other two
> states as well which are as indispensable to our life as waking. 
> Hence
> waking state should not be permitted to dominate over the other
> states
> which are entirely independent of it.
> Interestingly, frankly speaking, we donot know which state has come
> first
> to us!!  is it waking?? I dont think so, coz. in our childhood we've
> spent
> most of our time in sleeping.  In our embryo state at mother's womb,
> we
> obviously donot have any connection with our socalled waking world. 
> So,
> the question to be asked to ourselves is which avastha we've
> encountered
> first??  is it waking first then due to its vAsana-s dream?? or is it
> first sleep then waking or dream??  how can sleep can lead us to
> waking/dream state??  How all of a sudden this mind can take control
> of
> waking world when it is conspicuous by its absence in sleep??  Or if
> we
> say, it is waking state that has come first to jIva then naturally
> question will arise, how can there be waker & his waking world taken
> position in jIva?? which of those vAsana's can influence jIva's first
> cognition of the waking world??  From where do they (vAsana-s) come
> in
> Atman when it is in its true state??  questions keep on coming from
> each &
> every inquisitive mind & it is never ending.
> Since, we are the students of shankara's advaita siddhAnta, first we
> should see what our parama guru offers in explaining avastha-s.  An
> advaitin can easily say to all the above questions that these
> avastha-s
> are mere superimposition on our sAkshi svarUpa.  Due to avidya, it
> appears
> that we are undergoing these avastha-s in us.  But, this is not an
> abstract answer to the complex problems, advaitin arrived to this
> conclusion by closely scrutinising these avastha-s from sAkshi view
> point.
> After objective analysation of three states, advaitin's intuitive
> knowledge reveals the fact that there is no avastha whatsoever to
> nirvikalpa parabrahman & it is mere appearance in Atman because of
> our
> anAdi avidya.
> Now, the question is, how can we say all these avastha-s are mere
> appearance in Atman when we are clearly experiencing it??  For that
> advaitin say, yes, no doubt, we do experience all the three states in
> day
> in day out.  But to analyse the futility of these states & to know
> the
> reality of our pure consciousness we should *stand out* of these
> states &
> look at it objectively.  We cannot stand-in in any one state & give
> arbitrary verdict on other two states.  In shAstra jignAsa, for
> paramArtha
> nirNaya this is how we have to analyse it even though this objective
> analysation is also from waking state (??!!) we should remember that
> our
> constitutional position is something which transcends these
> avastha-s.
> What we should remember here is, when we say this is an enquiry into
> the
> avastha-s, it does not mean that we are simply analysing these
> avastha-s
> 'as it is'.  Our primary intention here is to realise the true nature
> of
> our Atman who's notional experiences of avastha-s.
> Waking, sleep & dream states are different from each other, this is
> in our
> experience.  But these states donot have independent existence.  And
> if we
> check the other two states (dream & sleep) from waker's (vyAvahArika)
> point of view, it appears that waker controlling the other two & he
> has
> intimate connection with other two.  But in reality there is
> absolutely no
> relation between these states & these states are mere false
> appearance on
> our ever existing nature.  A simple logic would suffice to prove that
> the
> dream state is not dependent on waker & his world.  To say either the
> difference or relation of these states, first & foremost thing is we
> should have "common time & space"  for all these states.  But what is
> there in our experience??  The time & space frames applicable to
> waking
> state donot get entry into the dream, like that the time & space
> frames
> applicable to the dream donot get entry into the waking world & no
> need to
> mention in deep sleep state the notion of time & space of both waking
> &
> dream states get ceased without any trace.  So, the idea of the
> succession
> of the states is purely waking idea and cannot be logically be
> extended
> beyond waking.  For instance, when I say, "after sending this mail to
> advaitin group, I am going to attend revenue meeting at conference
> room"
> the continuity of the waking consciousness warrants the sequence in
> which
> I am programming the events i.e.  *my writing mail* say around 2 PM &
> then
> *going for meeting* say around 2.30 PM .  But please note when I say
> " I
> went to bed at 11 pm & slept till morning", in this I know that I was
> awake only till eleven & then my waking is completely ceased, is it
> not??
> All the events of my waking state are connected one with another as a
> series in a continuous flow of time of my waking consciousness &
> accompanies them as an invariable condition.  My forthcoming memory
> of
> these events obviously assumes the presence of my consciousness
> during the
> occurrences of these events.  When I speak on the contrary of my
> sleeping
> subsequent to going to bed, if I am not biased against waking, I must
> admit that my waking ceased before sleep began and that my waking
> consciousness was absent during all the time I slept.  I express
> indeed my
> exprience in terms of time and say that my sleep succeeded my waking.
> But this sequence is not like of sequence of events of my writing
> mail &
> attending meeting which are taking place in the waking state in which
> I am
> aware of the continuous flow of time throughout which I feel in the
> form
> of duration, my taking note of time or my feeling of time ceases with
> waking, and I am not and cannot be conscious of when waking ends or
> sleep
> begins, for sleep is just the condition in which our intellect ceases
> to
> function. With this, we can easily conclude that to conceive sleep &
> waking as occuring one after another in the same time series is
> completely
> wrong & this is purely a biased view of waker.
> There is one more problem in accepting waker & his waking world's
> influence on dream.  See, the sequence as we think for dream is, from
> waking state to sleep & in sleep there is dream.  But, as a student
> of
> vEdAnta, we know that there is no waker's mind & his consciousness in
> sleep.  If that is the case, how can this waker's conscious can get
> entry
> without passing the state of sleep??  is it there in anyone's
> experience
> of this big leap of waker's consciousness from waking world to direct
> dream land??
> Now, coming to our age old theory that dreams are the product of
> impressions created in waking.  Though vyAvaharically we can accept
> this
> theory, while determining our svarUpa this is not a proven fact
> always. We
> often say, "y'day in my sleep I had a nightmare, the impact of that
> dream
> was such that even after I awake, my body was sweating & shivering of
> fear.  What does it mean??  is it not quite evident that in this case
> the
> dream (nightmare)  is kAraNa & sweating & shivering of my waking body
> is
> kArya??  What we have been holding sofar is that waking is kAraNa &
> dreams
> are kArya of waking vAsana...but here this order got reversed is it
> not??
> >From  this,  if  we  relook  into  the  sequence, it looks like from
> kAraNa
> (waking)  -kArya (dream) happened- then from kArya (nightmare) again
> kAraNa
> (shivering  etc.  in  waking  body)  took place...is it logical to
> say like
> this??
> Further, if we say, waking is kAraNa (cause) & it is true (sat) &
> dream is
> the kArya (effect) & is false (asat), it is illogical to say true
> (sat /
> waking)  has given birth to false (asat /dream).  Because we cannot
> say
> true cause can give birth to false effect.  Unless this problem
> resolved
> we cannot say true waking's vAsana-s causing false or asat dreams. 
> This
> is the main objection rised by Sri gaudapAdAchArya in kArika against
> those
> who upholding more reality of waker & his world.
> Finally, all of this are not just dry logic.  This method assumes
> nothing
> & does not call for belief in authenticity & seeks the aid of no
> special
> intuition as such.  It is fundamentally based on human experience and
> insists that all the three states should be investigated before we
> can
> bank upon the ultimate reality.  It simply points out the basic error
> involved in speculation which confine the application of reason to
> the
> facts of waking state, while admiiting the practical utility of such
> speculations so far as they go, it shows their utter futility and
> helplessness in arriving a true science of reality.
> This avastha traya has shruti reference also.  Out of 10 principal
> upanishads, prashna, ItarEya, chAndOgya, bruhadAraNyaka have quotes
> about
> avasthA traya.  But in mundaka shruti this prakriya (methodology) has
> been
> discussed exclusively based on pure jnAna without any stint of
> injuctive
> statements such as karma & upAsana. Since this mail already getting
> very
> lengthy, I'd just say few words about this very very important
> upanishat.
> Sri GaudapAdAchArya has written kArikA-s on this up.  & shankara has
> written commentaries on both kArika & upanishads.  While commenting
> on
> kArika, shankara says, *vEdAntArtha sArasangrahabhUtamidaM prakaraNa
> chatushtayam* ( these four chapters are summary of the essence of all
> vEdAntic teaching).  While discussing this fundamental issue shruti
> first
> says from adhyArOpa drushti "soyamAtma chatushpAt" subsequently
> withdraws
> this (apavAda)  by saying "nAntaH prajna na bahiprajnaM, what remains
> finally is Atman & Atman alone.  Apart from this, while identifying
> Atman
> in jAgrat & svapna shruti addresses both vishva & tejasa as saptAnga
> yEkOnavimshati mukhaha ( 7 faces & 19 faces).  Please note there is
> an
> equal treatment to both vishwa & taijasa here by shruti.
> Interestingly
> shankara also in his commentary says samAnam na anyAt (both are same
> & not
> different) about waker & dreamer.
> The bottom line is this, the three states so called are really no
> states
> of consciousness.  In the first place the witnessing principle
> (sAkshi)
> in us which is no other than pure consciousness (shuddha chaitanya),
> remains quite unaffected by the appearance or disappearance of these
> states.  And in the second place, the three states admit neither of
> concurrence in space nor of succession in time.  Strictly speaking,
> we
> have to conclude that sleep is only pure consciousness which has no
> relation whatever with its manifestation in shape of
> pramAtru-pramEya, &
> this state of ours is neither waking nor dreaming nor sleeping at any
> point of time.  It is therefore neither cause nor effect from this
> absolute stand point.  It is this phase of sleep as identical with
> the
> everchangeless Atman that is described as *the fourth* (turIya -
> chaturtha
> manyanto sa Atma) relatively to the empirical egoes of the three
> states
> and seves as the theme of ajAtivAda as propagated by bhagavadpAda's
> paramaguru GaudapAda.
> shree sadgurucharaNAravindArpaNamastu
> Humble praNAms to all sincere truth seekers
> Hari Hari Hari Bol!!!
> bhaskar
> References :
> (a)  shankara  bhAshya  on mAndukya & kArika published by Adhyatma
> prakasha
> kAryalaya
> (b) paramArtha chintAmaNi - An independent work in kannada by my
> guruji Sri
> SachidAnandEndra sarasvati swamiji.
> (c) gaudapAda hrudaya in kannada by the same author.
> (d)  shankara  samsmaraNa  by  Devarao  kulakarni  (  direct desciple
> of my
> swamiji)
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