[Advaita-l] AvasthA-traya

Amuthan Arunkumar R aparyap at yahoo.co.in
Tue Dec 27 21:21:38 CST 2005

namo nArAyaNAya!

dear shrI rAmakR^iShNan bAlasubrahmaNyan,

--- Ramakrishnan Balasubramanian
<rama.balasubramanian at gmail.com> wrote:
> Clearly one
> cannot sit in the waking state and claim the dream
> state is equally
> real *from the point of view of waking state*. Quite
> silly, since the
> dream object has been sublated and is known as
> unreal, wheras the
> waking state objects are being experienced. This is
> clearly brought
> out by sha.nkara in the suutra bhaaShya.

i have quoted below an excerpt from sAdhu aruNAchala's
experience with ramaNa maharShi. this deals with both
the objections that you have raised (the waking-dream
realtionship and sha~Nkara's sUtra bhAShya in this
context). (sAdhu aruNAchala was not an avasthAtIta
puruSha when he arrived at the conclusion.) 

\begin quote

Sadhu Arunachala (Major Alan Chadwick):

"We are such stuff As dreams are made of and our short
life Is rounded by a sleep."

Shakespeare really did know what he was talking about
and it was not just poetic effervescence. Maharshi
used to say exactly the same.

I suppose I questioned Bhagavan more often on this
subject than any others, though some doubts always
remained for me. He had always warned that as soon as
one doubt is cleared another will spring up in its
place, and there is no end to doubts.

"But Bhagavan," I would repeat, "dreams are
disconnected, while the waking experience goes on from
where it left off and is admitted by all to be more or
less continuous."

"Do you say this in your dreams?", Bhagavan would ask.
"They seemed perfectly consistent and real to you
then. It is only now, in your waking state that you
question the reality of the experience. This is not

Bhagavan refused to see the least difference between
the two states, and in this he agreed with all the
great Advaitic Seers. Some have questioned if Shankara
did not draw a line of difference between these two
states, but Bhagavan has persistently denied it.
"Shankara did it apparently only for the purpose of
clearer exposition," the Maharshi would explain.

However I tried to twist my questions, the answer I
received was always the same: "Put your doubts when in
the dream state itself. You do not question the waking
state when you are awake, you accept it. You accept it
in the same way you accept your dreams. Go beyond both
states and all three states including deep sleep.
Study them from that point of view. You now study one
limitation from the point of view of another
limitation. Could anything be more absurd? Go beyond
all limitation, then come here with your doubts."

But in spite of this, doubt still remained. I somehow
felt at the time of dreaming there was something
unreal in it, not always of course, but just glimpses
now and then.

"Doesn't that ever happen to you in your waking state
too?" Bhagavan queried. "Don't you sometimes feel that
the world you live in and the thing that is happening
is unreal?" Still, in spite of all this, doubt

But one morning I went to Bhagavan and, much to his
amusement, handed him a paper on which the following
was written:

"Bhagavan remembers that I expressed some doubts about
the resemblance between dreams and waking experience.
Early in the morning most of these doubts were cleared
by the following dream, which seemed particularly
objective and real:

Indent "I was arguing philosophy with someone and
pointed out that all experience was only subjective,
that there was nothing outside the mind. The other
person demurred, pointing out how solid everything was
and how real experience seemed, and it could not be
just personal imagination.

"I replied, 'No, it is nothing but a dream. Dream and
waking experience are exactly the same.'

"'You say that now,' he replied, 'but you would never
say a thing like that in your dream.'

"And then I woke up."

>From the Call Divine, March 1954

\end quote

vAsudevaH sarvaM,

Amuthan Arunkumar R,
Final year, B.Tech/M.Tech Dual Degree,
Dept. of Aerospace Engg., IIT Madras.

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