[Advaita-l] Difference between waking and dream

S.N. Sastri sn.sastri at gmail.com
Sun Oct 22 01:15:18 CDT 2006

> In your original post you had stated that from the standpoint of absolute
> reality both waking and dream states are mithya by which I understand that
> their reality or existence is only relatively real and not absolutely
> That they are subject to arrival and departure and are not nitya.
> The above statement of yours - that they are mithya - appears to me as
> more correct than the one you make in the next post - that they do not
> any existence. If they do not have any existence how can there be any
> experience of them at all?
> Where am I going wrong in my understanding? Would be grateful if you could




>From the pAramArthika standpoint there is nothing but Brahman. So SrI
Sankara says in daSaSlokI—

na jAgranna svapnako vA sushuptiH--  I have no waking, dream, or deep sleep.
These are no doubt experienced by us, but that is in the vyAvahArika state
in which there is ignorance. jIvahood itself is only due to ignorance. When
ignorance is removed, there is no jIvahood (jIvatva). There is brahman
alone.  All transactions, all states and all statements are valid only from
the vyAvahArika standpoint. Even the mahAvAkya 'I am brahman' is valid only
in the vyAvahArika state. The statement 'I am brahman' implies that there is
one entity thought to be 'I' and another entity called brahman. Their
identity is declared. This means that what was considered as 'I' in the
empirical state has no separate existence, but it is only brahman wrongly
thought to be'I'.  It is like saying "The  snake is only a rope", which
means that the snake never existed, but was wrongly thought to be existing.
Similary 'I' as a separate individual never existed in reality, but only
brahman was always there. Of course as long as we are in ignorance, the
empirical world is real to us, just as the snake is real until the rope is


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