[Advaita-l] sushuptAtman Vs tureeyAtman

Bhaskar YR bhaskar.yr at in.abb.com
Tue Mar 15 01:15:05 CDT 2016

praNAms Sri Ravi Kiran prabhuji
Hare Krishna

Thanks for sharing this quote from bruhadAraNyaka.  Yes, at somany places shankara significantly talks about the ‘pareekha’ of sushupti from its own stand point and not from the waking point of view.  When we partial to the reality of waking state, sushupti is nothing but an inert state, a tAmasa state wherein we have the ignorance of knowing nothing and the state achieved without any effort.  But we often forget that sushupti is the state given by Ishwara to know that we are one with that brahman and we are only witnessing consciousness unburdened with the notorious ahaMkAra and mamakAra.  This type of view on sushupti possible only when we are not partial only to the waking state and we have to assume the philosophic position of the witness of three states.  It is from this stand point shruti praises the ineffable glory of this avasthA of Atman in bruhadAraNyaka  ( for example 4-3-21 to 4-3-32).  Sri SSS somewhere (most probably in his work gaudapAda hrudaya, but not sure) insists that this state has to be analyzed from two different standpoints i.e. we may contemplate on it in its relation to dream and waking or reflect upon its intrinsic worth as a distinct experience in itself.

Since it is a deep subject we better stop this at this point, just noting that we cannot just ignore this state in which we have the universal expression of the reality.

Hari Hari Hari Bol!!!

From: Ravi Kiran [mailto:ravikiranm108 at gmail.com]
Sent: Monday, March 14, 2016 11:05 PM
To: Bhaskar YR <bhaskar.yr at in.abb.com>; A discussion group for Advaita Vedanta <advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org>
Subject: Re: [Advaita-l] sushuptAtman Vs tureeyAtman


On Mon, Mar 14, 2016 at 3:40 PM, Bhaskar YR via Advaita-l <advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org<mailto:advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org>> wrote:
Hare Krishna

Before knowing the difference between prAjna (sushuptAtman) and tureeya first we should know what exactly is prAjna as per shruti and shankara.

Sushupti (deep sleep) is the state which we experience daily and it is uniform to one and all.  Nobody would ask to explain the experience of deep sleep state since the 'experience' of deep sleep state is one and the same for all unlike waking and dream state experiences which are unique to every individual.  And shruti calls the Atman in this state with various names i.e. prAjna, chetOmukha, prajnAna Ghana, ekeebhUta, Anandamaya, Anandabhuk etc. And in this state sushuptAtman would have no kAma (like in waking) nor svapna (mAndUkya 5th mantra) why??  Because this sushuptAtman would become one with brahman in this state without jnAtru, jnEya, kartru-kriya bifurcation.  The place of sushuptAtman in this state is, hrudaya AkAsha says bruhadAraNyaka, and in the hrudaya Atman rests in the nAdi called 'hitA' out of 72000 nAdi-s and elsewhere it also says sushuptAtman is one with prANa further clarifies shruti.  And these various places like 'hrudaya AkAsha' 'hitA nAdi' 'prANa' etc. have been clarified as brahman only in vedAnta sUtra since in this state Atman in devoid of any 'karaNa' jeeva is no more jeeva hence he is brahman only clarifies shankara in sUtra bhAshya.  It is in this state there is absence of the ego (ahaM), mind and senses and there is no influence of time and space.  In this ekeebhUta state, we are indeed elevated ourselves to taintless svarUpa of ours where there is neither action (kriya) nor enjoyment (vishaya bhOga).   Shruti and shankara elaborate this adviteeya state at various places. And at one place shankara equates sushuptAtman with parameshwara since he never ever devoid of prajna which is in the form of sarvajnatva.    And shruti declares that  sushupti is the state of brahman and sushuptAtman is 'lord of all all, sarvajnA, source of all etc. (mAndUkya 6th mantra).

But point to be noted here is having equated prAjna with parameshwara,   shruti & shankara do not declare that ' go to deep sleep and get realized'.  OTOH it says like vishwa (waking) taijasa (dream) prAjna or sushuptAvastA too is superimposed on Atman.  He is neither antaH prajnA nor bahirprajnA nor prajnAna Ghana, neither conscious nor un-conscious etc.  which clearly negates all contact of states of consciousness and declares that Atman is ultimately free from all specific features.  And to drive home this avasthAteeta svarUpa of Atman, shruti introduces the tureeya the socalled fourth state (!!??) of Atman. While commenting  on mAdUkya mantra shankara clarifies the tureeya as pure OmkAra which is devoid of the distinction of the nAma and rUpa and concludes as follows :  "  This OmkAra has become the adviteeya reality free from all distinctions.  OmkAra as uttered by one who has acquired the aforesaid intuition of the three states is verily Atman himself.  Whosoever knows this enters his real Atman as Atman in his sva-svarUpa.  Having the vision of reality the knower of Atman / brahman has entered the Atman after burning the thred seed nature.  (here third seed is beeja in sushupti which is the cause for vyAkruta jagat and corresponding kriyA kAraka vyavahAra).  For the tureeya (the fourth) is no causative seed.  The snake which has entered into the rope after the discrimination of the nature of the rope and the snake, cannot, surely, rise up again as before by dint of impressions formed in the mind in the case of the person who has distinguished the snake".  With this it is also clear that there is no avidyAlesha in jnAni and never ever get deluded (due to prArabda or otherwise) and 'see' the snake again in place of rope.  Anyway, let that be aside, coming back to the subject. What exactly is the difference between this tureeya and sushuptAtman??  When both are addressed as addviteeya, sarvajnA, sarvadruk, parameshwara etc.  The difference and similarity  between sushuptAtma prAjna and tureeya has been clarified by Sri gaudapAda in Agama prakaraNa by saying nAtmAnaM na parAmchaiva na satyaM nApi chAnrutaM prAjnaH kiMchana saMvetti turyaM tatsarvadruksada and dvatasyAgrahaNaM tulyaM ubhayOH prAjnaturyayOH, beejanidrAyutaH prAjnaH sA cha turyE na vidyate.  prAja is aware of neither about himself, nor others, he neither aware of paramArtha svarUpa (though he is one with that) nor aware of anruta prapancha whereas tureeya is not like that he is sarva druk (one who can be able to see everything as Chaitanya and at the same time being 'sarvam') prAjna has the limited boundaries and tied to one state i.e. sushupti whereas tureeya has no such restricted boundaries he is all pervading and encompassing the socalled avasthA-s too.

From the above it is clear that though prAjna in sushupti is verily brahman itself he is not aware of it, the hetu for not knowing the other is 'ekatva' and why he is not knowing about himself in suhupti for this the answer is again absence of karaNa and corresponding 'kriya' i.e. knowing.  Eyes cannot see itself, one cannot sit on his own shoulders clarifies shankara and this brahmaikya in sushupti is not like water wetting the cloth become wet cloth (here there is distinction between water and cloth) here ikyata is like ' honey' in which there is amalgamation of 'vividha pushpa rasaM'.  The beeja nidra of prAjna to be understood in this light it is not about existence of mUlAvidyA or kAraNa avidyA which is bhava rUpa.  If the sushptAtman is endowed with ajnAna, shruti & shankara would not have been addressed as parameshwara.  And shankara would not have taken the anubhava of sushupti as benchmark for the muktAvasthA.  And if the sushupti also literally having some avidyA in bhAva rUpa then there is no state devoid of ajnAna within the known states and for knowing avidyArahita Atman we may have to strive to achieve some other peculiar state like samAdhi.  Which is anyway not advisable  in shankara's jnana pradhAna vastu tantra sAdhana.

Just contemplating on these thoughts

Nice sharing these contemplation..

There are several references to sushupti (as mokSha dRSTAnta) in Brihadaranyaka bhAshya, which I find useful for my contemplation..

One of them quoted here ..निर्विशेषमद्वैतम् अलुप्तचिद्रूपज्योतिः  (Br.Up - 4.4.6 - Sri Sankara bhAshya)

स कथमेवम्भूतो मुच्यत इत्युच्यते — यो हि सुषुप्तावस्थमिव निर्विशेषमद्वैतम् अलुप्तचिद्रूपज्योतिःस्वभावम् आत्मानं पश्यति, तस्यैव अकामयमानस्य कर्माभावे गमनकारणाभावात् प्राणा वागादयो नोत्क्रामन्ति । किन्तु विद्वान् सः इहैव ब्रह्म, यद्यपि देहवानिव लक्ष्यते ; स ब्रह्मैव सन् ब्रह्म अप्येति । यस्मात् न हि तस्य अब्रह्मत्वपरिच्छेदहेतवः कामाः सन्ति, तस्मात् इहैव ब्रह्मैव सन् ब्रह्म अप्येति न शरीरपातोत्तरकालम् ।

‘But the man who does not desire,’ etc. How does such a man attain liberation? This is being stated: He who sees the Self, as in the state of profound sleep, as undifferentiated, one without a second, and as the constant light of Pure Intelligence—only this disinterested man has no work and consequently no cause for transmigration; therefore his organs such as that of speech do not depart. Rather this man of realisation is Brahman in this very life, although he seems to have a body. Being but Brahman, he is merged in Brahman. Because he has no desires that cause the limitation of non-Brahmanhood, therefore ‘being but Brahman he is merged in Brahman’ in this very life, not after the body falls. A man of realisation, after his death, has no change of condition—something different from what he was in life, but he is only not connected with another body. This is what is meant by his becoming ‘merged in Brahman’; for if liberation was a change of condition, it would contradict the unity of the Self that all the Upaniṣads seek to teach. And liberation would be the effect of work, not of knowledge—which nobody would desire.

not meant  for any rigorous and ceaseless debates.

Hari Hari Hari Bol!!!
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