[Advaita-l] Illusory nature of the waking and dream states
vinodh.iitm at gmail.com
Sat Oct 16 21:49:27 EDT 2021
Namaskaram Sri Venkatesh Murthy ji,
The first objection you raise is no problem at all. As explained by
Gaudapadacharya in the 9th kaarika of the Vaitathya prakarana and expanded
on by Shankaracharya in his bhashya, even in the dream state, one may
imagine or dream things that are later seen to be imagined within the
dream, while there other things that are seen externally (within the dream)
that are assumed to be relatively real, even though both of these things
are inside the dream. Because one imagines something that one does not see
externally through the senses, one assigns falsehood to the imagination and
reality to what is seen externally through the senses (this applies whether
we are talking about dream mind-body-senses or the waking
mind-body-senses). Whatever is inferred through empiricism through the
senses, one is prone to claim to be true, and whatever is not inferred
through empiricism, one is prone to claim to be false. These two, the
internal perception (anta-chitta) and the external perception
(bahih-chitta), happen both in the dream and the waking states.
There are several more objections like the one you raise that are addressed
by the kaarikas and the bhashya, for example:
- Reality of objects in the waking state is due to their utility of them.
For example, water quenches the thirst, etc. However, dream objects cannot
quench one's thirst in the waking state.
- If both states are imagined and false, who is the one seeing them and
what is the basis for smriti and jnaana?
- Imaginations are confined to the time duration when they are imagined,
however, objects seen externally are defined by two points of time (their
time of creation and time of destruction, which is independent of the
All these are sufficiently addressed through pure reasoning alone by
Gaudapadacharya and Shankaracharya.
The second objection you raise is not valid. The only thing Sruti is needed
for is tell us the Truth. To establish the falsehood of dvaita, it is not
required. As already mentioned, it is said so by Shankara Bhagapada himself
in his bhashya of the Vaitathya Prakarana of Gaudapachaya's Karikas on the
Mandukyopanishdad. He says that, even though it is said in the previous
prakarana (Agama Prakarana) on the basis of the sruti (Mandukya Upanishad)
that dvaita is unreal, it is now the intention of Gaudapadacharya to
establish this same fact through pure reasoning alone without relying on
scriptural authority. This in fact forms a firm basis for discussions with
people who may not accept the authority of the sruti, like Buddhists, etc.
However, after having rejected the reality of duality through reasoning, to
establish the Truth regarding the Atma, the Sruti is indeed required and
there is no other way other than the Sruti.
Om tat sat 🙏
On Sun, Oct 17, 2021 at 3:31 AM Venkatesh Murthy via Advaita-l <
advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:
> But in waking state we can reflect on dream state and say dream objects are
> not real. This explanation of yours in the email is in waking state only,
> But conversely we do not reflect in dream state on waking state and say
> waking objects are not real. The Sruti only can tell us waking objects are
> not real. It is not possible by reasoning alone. If it is possible by
> reasoning alone there is no need of Sruti Pramana. This is not the way of
> On Sat, Oct 16, 2021 at 5:01 PM Vinodh via Advaita-l <
> advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:
> > Namaskarams,
> > In Gaudapadacharya's karika on the Mandukyopanishad, he establishes the
> > falsehood (or illusory nature) of both the waking and dream states
> > reasoning alone (i.e., without relying on Sruti) in the Vaitathya
> > (Vaitathya = falsehood) in verses 4-6.
> > The reasoning goes as follows:
> > 1. Things in a dream are unreal on account of them being confined within
> > oneself.
> > 2. Dream and waking states are similar on account of both of them having
> > object perception, i.e., there is a seer and a seen (a subject-object
> > relationship).
> > 3. That which is non-existent in the beginning and in the end is
> > necessarily non-existent in the middle.
> > Therefore, just like all objects in a dream (including the dream
> > mind-body-senses etc.), which did not exist just before falling asleep or
> > just after waking up, and therefore are non-existent during the dream as
> > well, all objects in a waking state (including the waking
> > etc.), which did not exist just before waking up or just after falling
> > asleep, are also non-existent during the waking state as well.
> > The above is the only conclusive explanation I have come across that
> > establishes the illusory nature of both the waking and dream states.
> > When a superimposition (adhyaasa) occurs between the atma and the
> > dream/waking mind-body, all interactions (vyavahara) in these states are
> > wrongly imagined to be associated with the atma. The atma, being pure
> > consciousness, is just a substratum on which the above dream/waking
> > illusions appear and are witnessed, but it is itself untouched by these
> > illusions like the rope is untouched by an illusion of a snake appearing
> > above it.
> > Om tat sat 🙏
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