[Advaita-l] Acceptance of the validity of shruti is only *faith*

Vidyasankar Sundaresan svidyasankar at hotmail.com
Tue May 22 19:54:06 CDT 2007

It is good that we are going back to fundamentals. Here are my responses ...

>The avasthas are universal experience - all beings
>undergo these states voluntarily/involuntarily. The


>substratum of these states, it can be intellectually
>deduced, is pure consciousness that manifests itself
>as the waking self, dream self, etc. (prajna,

I submit that nothing of the nature of pure consciousness can be purely 
deduced or inferred. Most human beings will argue that consciousness is 
always a consciousness of something (some object) and that the 
subject-object duality is eternal. As such, without Sruti statements about 
pure consciousness (sad eva, neha nAnAsti kiMcana, etc), pure consciousness 
is only a hypothesis. That is why Sruti takes such an important role as 
pramANa in advaita vedAnta.

>taijasa,..). The avastha-traya prakriye demands that
>the space-time-witness be taken in total as a complete
>state. By this, there is no relationship between the
>states, and they are not juxtaposed in any sequence
>(there is no time "common" to the 3 states). Pure
>Consciousness of sleep state diversifies itself as the
>subject-object of the dream and waking states. The "I

That pure consciousness diversifies itself into subject and object (yushmad 
and asmad in the adhyAsa bhAshya) is also not a matter of common logical 

>didn't observe anything" experience of deep sleep is
>sArvatrika anubhava, remembered after the fact from a

In establishing advaita on a logical foundation, the statement, "in deep 
sleep, I did not observe anything" is used to prove a key point. And this is 
that consciousness persists in the deep sleep state. It thus proves that 
consciousness is not a result of interaction between subject and object.

However, the same statement also shows the following. After entering the 
waking state, how is it possible for one to say "I didn't see anything in 
the deep sleep state"? The statement made in the waking state relies upon a 
memory of the deep sleep state. The jIva, in the deep sleep state, is not 
aware of itself nor objects (nidrA tattvam ajAnataH - G Karika). The pure 
consciousness that is svataH-siddha does not shine in the deep sleep state. 
This is a crucial reason why it is said that ajnAna persists in a seed form 
in deep sleep. This elaboration in post-Sankaran advaita comes directly from 
the verses bIjanidrAyutaH prAjnas sA ca turye na vidyate and prAjnaH 
kAraNabaddhas tu dvau tau turye na sidhyataH . gauDapAdAcArya cautions us 
not to confuse between the two, although the quality of not perceiving 
duality is common to deep sleep and the turya state (dvaitasya agrahaNaM 
tulyam ubhayoH).

What the above indicates for yukti, anubhava etc. I will attempt to cover in 
a separate posting.

Best regards,

PC Magazine’s 2007 editors’ choice for best Web mail—award-winning Windows 
Live Hotmail. 

More information about the Advaita-l mailing list