Commentary on Sloka-2:
105. The opponent may now say: "Let it be as you (Advaitin) say. But if the self is devoid of all qualities and the activities such as being a knower, etc., are based on superimposition, the statements in the Vedas such as 'a Brahmana may perform a sacrifice' will lose their validity. There is no possibility of action by the self which is neither a doer nor an enjoyer. If the Vedas lose their validity, how can the nature of Brahman be known, since Brahman can be known only through the Vedas, as is evident from Brahmasutra, 1.1.3, which says that the scriptures are the means for knowing Brahman. Therefore, in order that the Vedas may retain their validity, the activities such as knowership must be accepted as real". Anticipating such an objection the Advaitin asks whether the Vedas are claimed to become invalid before the attainment of self-knowledge or after?
106. In the first alternative, since all means of knowledge are meant for those who are still under the control of nescience, and since identification with the body, etc., is not negated at that stage, there is no obstacle to their validity. In the second alternative, that is, after the attainment of self-knowledge, the invalidity of the Vedas is acceptable to us, as seen from the following verse: "Neither the division into castes and stages of life, nor the rules of conduct and duties of the various castes and stages of life apply to me. I have no need for dharana, dhyana or yoga, etc. Since the notions of 'I' and 'mine' which are due to identification with the not-self have gone, I remain as the one auspicious self free from all attributes". Caste means Brahmana, etc. The stages of life are Brahmacharya, etc. The rules of conduct relate to bathing, purity, etc. The duties are celibacy, service to the Guru, etc. Dharana means steadiness of the mind after withdrawal from external objects. Dhyana means contemplation of the supreme Self. Yoga means restraint of the modifications of the mind. By 'etc.' hearing, reflection, etc., are meant. The reason for the absence of all these after the dawn of knowledge is the removal of the notions of 'I' and 'mine' which are based on the not-self. The not-self is nescience which is opposed to the realization of the self. Since nescience which is the basis and the cause of the identifications in the form of 'I' and 'mine' is totally uprooted by the knowledge of the reality, the ideas of caste, stage of life, etc., which are born of nescience do not exist any longer.
End of commentary on Sloka-2.
Commentary on Sloka-3:
107. Since the notions of caste, stage of life, etc., are based only on false knowledge (which results in identification with the body, etc.,), it is pointed out that when that (false knowledge) is not there, such notions also do not exist, as in the state of deep sleep. In order to establish the falsity of the knowledge it is said: The srutis say that in deep sleep there is no mother, nor father, nor gods, nor the worlds, nor the Vedas, nor sacrifices, nor holy places. Nor is there total void, since I exist then as the one auspicious self free from all attributes".
108. 'Mother' means the female progenitor. 'Father' means the male progenitor. 'Gods' means those who are to be worshipped, such as Indra. 'Worlds' means the results of the worship of the gods, such as the attainment of heaven. 'Vedas' means the authoritative statements which describe the means of attaining what is good and avoiding what is evil, which cannot be known through the worldly means of knowledge and those statements which instruct about Brahman. 'Sacrifices' are the means of attaining heaven, etc., such as jyotishtoma. 'Holy places' are the places fit for sacrifices, such as Kurukshetra. Similarly, the absence (in deep sleep) of every thing that is the cause of sin should also be considered as implied here. The idea is that, since all these are the result of identification with the body, in the absence of such identification these do not exist, since the self by itself has no association with these.
109. Thus the sruti says with regard to the state of deep sleep - "In this state the father is no father, the mother is no mother, the worlds are no worlds, the gods are no gods, the Vedas are not Vedas, a thief is no thief, the killer of a Brahmana is no more such a killer, a chandala (one who is born to a Sudra father and Brahmana mother) is no chandala, a paulkasa (one born to a Sudra father and a kshatriya mother) is no paulkasa, an ascetic is no ascetic, a hermit is no hermit; in this state one is not touched by virtue or vice, for he is then beyond all the sorrows of the heart" (Br. up. 4.3.22). Such statements stress the cessation of all evils when there is no identification with the body.
110. Obj: If there is absence of all such relationships then it would be only a void.
111. The answer is - No, because total non-existence of the self in deep sleep has been denied. The idea is that the denial refers emphatically to the condition of being non-existent. If there is only void in the state of deep sleep then waking up again would not be possible. All that happens is that the self is not associated with the sense organs in deep sleep. From the sruti statements such as "This self is indeed imperishable and indestructible" (Br. up. 4.5.14), "He does not see then, because though seeing he does not see; the sight of the seer can never be lost, because it is imperishable. But then there is no second entity separated from it which he can see" (Br.up. 4.3.23), it follows that the self that is consciousness is not non-existent (or mere void) in deep sleep. Though this has already been denied earlier while rejecting the Buddhist doctrine of the void (see para 23 above), it is denied again, following the principle of "shaking the pole".
Note: When a pole is to be fixed on the ground, the person fixing it tries to shake it to see if it has been firmly fixed.
112. Or, (since the Buddhist doctrine of the void has already been rejected in para 23 and so it is not necessary to refute it again), another meaning can be given. The meaning is that Brahman is beyond hunger, etc., (hunger and thirst, grief and delusion, old age and death), is without a second, and is beyond the void. Thus in deep sleep the jivatma is of the nature of Brahman. The sruti says: "When a person sleeps he becomes united with Existence" (Ch. up. 6.8.1), "Just as a man, tightly embraced by his dear wife, does not know anything at all, either outside or inside, similarly this infinite entity (the self) closely embraced by the supreme Self, does not know anything at all, either outside or inside" (Br. up. 4.3.21). Therefore, since the jiva is united with Brahman which is the cause of the universe, omniscient, omnipotent, infinite bliss and consciousness, it follows that the jiva is not a transmigrating entity.
End of commentary on Sloka-3.
Commentary on Sloka-4:
113. Thus. in three verses the import of the term 'thou' has been determined after refuting other contradictory views. Now the meaning of the term 'that' is to be similarly determined. The contradictory views that have to be refuted for this purpose are being indicated below.
114. Obj: The jiva cannot be identified with Brahman. This is explained. Brahman which is the cause of the universe and is denoted by the term 'sat' is described by statements such as "O dear one, in the beginning (before creation) this (universe) was 'sat' (existence) alone" (Ch.up. 6.2.1). The Sankhyas hold that the cause of the universe is 'Pradhana' which is insentient. The Pasupatas say that that Pasupati alone is the cause of the universe and that, though he is sentient, he is different from the jiva and is to be worshipped by the jiva (Thus there is the difference in the form of worshipper and worshipped between the two). The followers of Pancharatra say that Lord Vasudeva is the cause of the universe; from him is born the jiva, Sankarshana; from him Pradyumna, the mind is born; from him Aniruddha, the ego. Therefore, jiva, being an effect, cannot be absolutely non-different from its cause, Vasudeva (or Brahman). (The relationship between cause and effect is difference-cum-non-difference. A pot is different from clay as a pot, but non-different as clay). The Jainas and the Tridandins are of the view that Brahman is subject to change, is eternal, omniscient, both different and non-different from the jiva. The Mimamsakas say that there is no such thing as Brahman endowed with omniscience, etc. Since the Vedas have action (in the form of rituals) as their purport, they do not have such a Brahman as their purport, but, like the statement, "Meditate on speech as a cow", the cause of the universe, which is the atoms, etc., or the jiva is to be worshipped. The Tarkikas hold that there is an Isvara who has eternal knowledge, etc., who is omniscient, and who is to be inferred from the effects such as the earth; he is certainly different from the jiva. The Saugatas (Buddhists) say that the cause is momentary and omniscient. The followers of Patanjali say that Isvara is untouched by sources of sorrow, action, fruition, and mental impressions, is of the nature of eternal knowledge, is omniscient because of being reflected in the sattvaguna aspect of Pradhana, and is different from the transmigrating individual. The followers of the upanishads hold that Brahman is non-dual supreme bliss and that is the real nature of the jiva also. The efficient as well as material cause of the universe is Brahman qualified by omniscience, etc., because of Maya.
115. Thus there being so many conflicting views, there arises doubt about the meaning of the term 'that'. In order to determine the correct meaning according the upanishads, which are the only basis left after rejecting the other views, the revered Acharya says: "Neither the Sankhya view, nor the Saiva, nor the Pancharatra, nor the Jaina nor the Mimamsaka view, etc., is tenable. Because of the realization of the partless Brahman generated by the Mahavakya, Brahman is absolutely pure (untainted). I remain as the one auspicious self free from all attributes".
116. The views of schools not specifically mentioned in the above verse should also be considered as rejected. The insentient Pradhana cannot certainly be the cause of the universe. The statement--It willed, "May I become many, may I procreate" (Ch. 6.2.3) says that creation was preceded by the will (to create). By the statement, "Let me create names and forms by entering as this jivatma" (Ch. 6.3.2), the assumption of the form of the jivatma by Brahman is mentioned. Statements such as, "That by which what has not been heard about becomes heard, what has not been thought about becomes thought of, what was not known becomes known" (Ch. 6.1.3), "That, knowing which everything becomes known" (Mund. 1.1.3) proclaim that by knowing one thing everything becomes known. By knowing Pradhana, those things of which it is not the cause, such as the Purusha, cannot be known (since by knowing a cause such as clay, only its effects such as pot can be known, but not other things). The identity of the jiva and Brahman has been declared nine times by the statement,"All this has that (Brahman) as its self, that is the Reality, that is the self, that thou art" (Ch. 6.8.7). Another sruti says, "From that which is this self, space was born" (Taitt. 2.1.1). The insentient Pradhana cannot be the cause of the universe because it cannot produce such a variegated creation. Moreover there is no authority in the scriptures for the view that Pradhana or Mahat, etc., is the cause. So the Sankhya view is not tenable.
117. Thus the Paasupata, Paancharaatrika, and Jaina views are not valid because they are contradicted by sruti and reasoning. The Mimamsaka view that the sruti does not propound Brahman (as its main purport) because it is subservient to injunctions is also not tenable. (The Mimamsakas hold that Brahman is spoken of in the upanishads only for the purpose of upasana or worship because the object of the sruti is the performance of ritualistic actions and meditations for the purpose of the fulfillment of various desires). The subservience (of the upanishads) to the injunctions (in the karma kanda) is not established. The section (in Purvamimamsa) relating to 'Arthavada' does not support the claim of the Mimamsakas that the upanishads are subservient to the injunctions of the karma kanda, because there is no similarity (between the Arthavadas in the karma kanda and the statements about Brahman in the upanishads). An Arthavada which by itself is not productive of any result has to be attributed a meaning which will make it purposeful. For example, an Arthavada such as, "Vayu is indeed the fastest deity" (Tai.Samhita. 2.1.1) which is otherwise not explainable as forming part of the injunction to study one's own branch of the Veda, has to be attributed some meaning by which it will become endowed with a purpose. An injunction requires for its fulfillment words prompting the performance of a sacrifice, and the specification of the instrument with the help of which the rite is to be performed, as well as of the manner of its performance. In such a situation an Arthavada (such as the one mentioned above) is interpreted as praise of the deity to whom the oblations are made. Thus the Arthavada and the injunction for the performance of a sacrifice are considered as having the same objective and, taken together, they fulfill the requirements of the injunction. The situation is similar to that in which one charioteer has lost the horses yoked to his chariot, while another charioteer's chariot has been destroyed by fire. The two can continue to fight by yoking the horses of the second charioteer to the chariot of the first. This has been determined in the section relating to Arthavada as the method of interpretation to be adopted. Since the knowledge arising from the statements of Vedanta (the upanishads) directly give rise to the human goal of supreme bliss and total cessation of all sorrow, it does not depend on anything else and so it cannot be made subservient to anything else. On the contrary, the injunctions themselves become subservient to it by giving rise to purity of the mind (which is a necessary prelude to the dawn of knowledge). Therefore, since the knowledge arising from Vedanta is fruitful, is uncontradicted, and reveals what was not known previously, Vedanta is authoritative by itself. So since the existence of Brahman is thus definitely established, the Mimamsaka view is not tenable.
Note: 'Arthavada' has been defined in section 72 of the Arthasangraha of Laugakshi Bhaskara as "a sentence which aims at either the praise or the censure of something". One example is the sentence "Vayu is indeed the fastest deity". Since it forms part of the Veda it must have a purpose. The injunction to study the Veda implies that every sentence in it must have a purpose. Statements like the one above appear to be without any purpose and so they have to be interpreted in such a way as to make them purposeful. This is done by associating an Arthavada with an injunction. There is an injunction, "One desirous of prosperity should sacrifice a white animal in honour of Vayu". When associated with this injunction the statement "Vayu is indeed the fastest deity" becomes a praise of Vayu and implies that sacrifice to Vayu will produce quick results. This method of interpretation has to be applied to Arthavadas in the karma kanda of the Vedas to make them purposeful. But this is not necessary in the case of statements in the upanishads which speak about Brahman, because these statements themselves lead to the realization of Brahman, which is the highest Purushartha. They do not need any injunction to become fruitful.
118. The view of the Tarkikas (Vaiseshikas), etc., is also contradicted by the sruti statements such as, "That thou art" (Cha. 6.8.7), "I am Brahman" (Br. Up.1.4.10), "This self is Brahman" (Br.Up. 2.5.19), "Brahman is Reality, Consciousness and Infinite" (Tai. Up. 2.1.1).
119. The theory of difference-cum-non-difference (of the Tridandis) is also contradicted by the sruti statements such as, "Brahman is one only, without a second" (Cha. 6.2.1), "There is no diversity whatsoever here" (Katha. Up. 2.1.1).
120. The theory of momentariness (of the Buddhists) is contradicted by the sruti statements such as "It is all-pervading and eternal like space".
121. The reason why the views of all these schools have been declared as untenable is 'the absolutely pure nature of Brahman'. That is to say, Brahman is attributeless, non-dual, pure consciousness. The reason for this is the distinctive direct experience. This experience is different from conditioned experiences and is the realization of the infinite (partless) Brahman which arises from the statements such as "That thou art". Thus it is established that Brahman is all - pervading, non-dual, supreme bliss and consciousness.
End of commentary on Sloka-4 .
Commentary on Sloka-5:
122. A doubt may rise that Brahman cannot be all-pervading because of the sruti texts such as "That which is atomic" (Cha. 6.8.7), "tinier than the tiny" (Katha. 1.2.20 and Sve. 3.20), which speak of Brahman as atomic, and also since Brahman is non-different from the jiva which has been declared to be tiny in such texts as, "The Purusha who is of the size of a thumb" (Katha, 2.1.12), "The jiva is seen to be of the size of the point of a spear" (Sve. 5.8). This doubt is answered on the basis of statements which speak of the attributeless Brahman such as, "All this is only Brahman, the immortal. Brahman is in front, Brahman is behind, it is spread to the right and to the left; it is below and above. This universe is nothing but this supreme Brahman" (Mund. 2.2.11). "This Brahman is without anything preceding it or anything subsequent to it; it is without anything interior and anything exterior to it" (Br. Up. 2.5.19). Therefore, in order to confirm what was already said earlier the Acharya says: "Brahman has no such thing as upper or lower (part), it has no inside or outside, it has no middle or any 'across', and it has no eastern or western direction, because it is all-pervading like space (or pervades space also). It is one and without parts. I remain as the one auspicious self free from all attributes".
123. Brahman has no upper (part), etc., because it is all-pervading like space. The sruti says, "It is all-pervading like space and eternal". Or, it pervades space also (so it is more pervasive than even space), as said in the sruti. "Greater than space" (Cha. 3.14.3), and "Greater than the great" (Katha. 1.2.20).
124. Though the jiva, too, is big because consciousness is seen to pervade the entire body, it is said to be only of the size of the point of a spear because of identification with the qualities of its limiting adjuncts. The sruti says, "The jiva is seen to be of the size of the point of a spear" (Sve. 5.8) only because of the qualities of the intellect though it is in itself unlimited. Brahman too is described as 'atomic' only in the sense of 'subtle'. The meaning of the rest of the sloka is clear.
End of commentary on Sloka-5.
Commentary on Sloka-6:
125. A doubt may arise that since Brahman is the material cause of the universe, and there is non-difference between the material cause and its effect, Brahman is non-different from the variegated universe and is therefore miserable by nature (since the universe is full of misery). Since the jiva is non-different from Brahman, it cannot attain the supreme Purushartha, liberation. This doubt is answered thus: Brahman is self-effulgent and is of the nature of supreme bliss. It is spoken of as the cause of the universe only because it is the substratum of the delusive superimposition in the form of the entire universe. It, as the substratum, can have no relationship with what is superimposed. Therefore there is not the slightest trace of any evil in it (Brahman). So it is said: "Brahman is not white, nor black, nor red, nor yellow; it is not tiny, nor big. It is neither short nor long. It is not knowable since it is of the nature of effulgence. I remain as the one auspicious self free from all attributes".
126. Not white, etc. 'Kubjam' means tiny. 'Pinam' means big. By denying all these four magnitudes, namely, tiny, big, short, and long, it is denied that Brahman is a substance. 'Arupam' here means 'what cannot be known by the senses or the mind'. By this the views held by various schools with regard to categories such as substance, quality, action are denied (in Brahman). (Brahman is not a substance, it has no quality and it has no activity). Thus the srutis such as, "It is neither big nor small, not short nor long, nor red" (Br. Up. 3.8.8), "That which is without sound, without touch, without colour, never diminishing, tasteless, eternal and odourless" (Katha. 1.3.15), describe the nature of the supreme Self as free from all evil. In order to confirm the meaning of the sruti through reasoning also, the reason is given, "because it is of the nature of effulgence". It means, "It is unknowable because it is self-effulgent and pure consciousness". If it were knowable it would be an insentient object like a pot, etc. The sruti also says, "It is unknowable, unchanging" (Br. Up. 4.4.20).
End of commentary on Sloka-6.
Commentary on Sloka-7:
127. Obj: Who, according to you attains the nature of Brahman? Is it Brahman or non-Brahman? It cannot be the second, since it (non-Brahman) is insentient and unreal. It cannot be the first (Brahman) either, because in that case the instruction (about the means to attain the nature of Brahman) would be futile, because it has itself the nature of Brahman. If you say that though the jiva is itself of the nature of Brahman, but the obstruction (to its realization of its nature) in the form of nescience is removed by knowledge, it is not so. If the cessation of nescience is different from the atma (Brahman), duality will result, and in that case there can be no Brahman (who, according to you is without a second). Thus it has been said in Brihadaranyakopanishad Bhashyavartika (of Sureshvaracharya): "The entity that is not different from anything else, and that cannot be found in anything else is called Brahman. If there were a second thing, then the word Brahman would not have any meaning. (Br. Va. 2.4.14). (The meaning is that Brahman is not different from anything else because there is nothing other than Brahman. So also, Brahman cannot be found in (or in association with) any other thing in the manner in which 'ghatatva', or the quality of being a pot, is found in all pots). It has already been said that if cessation of nescience is not different from Brahman, all the instruction about the realization of Brahman will not serve any purpose.
128. Reply: Are you saying that the instruction does not serve any purpose from the standpoint of absolute reality or even from the empirical standpoint? If it is the former, it is replied that it is acceptable to us (since from the absolute standpoint the position is as below).
"There is neither teacher nor scriptures, neither student nor instruction, neither you nor I, nor this world. The knowledge of one's real nature does not admit of different perceptions. I remain as the one auspicious self free from all attributes".
129. 'Sasta' means the Guru who instructs. 'Sastram' is the means of instruction. 'Sishya' is the object of instruction 'Siksha' is the act of instruction. 'Tvam' means the listener. 'Aham' means the speaker. The purport is that this world revealed by all the means of knowledge, the body, senses, etc, (which are the cause of ) all adversities, do not have a real existence.
130. The second alternative is now refuted. Even though no purpose is served by debating whether the cessation of nescience is identical with the self or the not-self, the realization of one's real nature, which is the result of knowledge, is actually experienced. There is no need to debate how this happens, because debate becomes impossible when all duality has been destroyed. There can indeed be no illogicality in a matter of actual experience. Thus the sruti statements such as, "There is no dissolution, nor origination, no enlightened nor aspirant; there is no seeker after liberation, nor liberated. This is the reality" (Mandukya karika, 2.32), "Brahman alone was there in the beginning; it knew itself as 'I am Brahman'. Therefore it became everything" (Br. Up. 1.4.10), show that the jiva which was even earlier of the nature of Brahman attained the nature of Brahman through knowledge. They also deny all duality.
Note. A shell, which appeared as silver, can be said to have 'become' a shell when the delusion is removed, though it was always a shell. Similarly, the jiva who was always Brahman is said to have 'become' Brahman when nescience is removed by knowledge.
End of commentary on Sloka-7
Commentary on Sloka-8:
131. Obj: Since the Self should always remain the same because it is self-luminous pure consciousness, how can there be such distinctions as waking, dream and deep sleep? It cannot be said that these distinctions are due only to delusion, because in that case everything would become dream.
132. Answer: It is not so. Though all the three states have the character of dream, from the empirical point of view there is difference caused by nescience. These distinctions are quite appropriate because these states are not totally non-existent and have specific characteristics. ('Dream' here means what is due to ignorance. This characteristic applies to all the three states. The distinction among them is because of the difference in the functioning of the powers of concealment and projection of nescience. Aitareyopanishad 1.3.12 says: For Him there are three abodes - three dreams". These three states are not non-existent because they are actually experienced in the empirical state). From the standpoint of reality, however, there are no such differences at all. So it is said:--"I do not have the state of waking, nor of dream, nor of deep sleep. I am not Visva, or Taijasa, or Praajna. Because all these three states are only the products of ignorance, I am the fourth (beyond these three states). I remain as the one auspicious self free from all attributes".
Note: Visva is the name given to the jiva in the waking state, Taijasa in the dream state, and Praajna in the deep sleep state.
133. The items in the above verse are stated in the order of dissolution. (The waking state dissolves into the dream state, the latter into deep sleep. Deep sleep is the state in which the causal body or nescience is predominant. It is the cause of the other two states. The effect has to be dissolved in the cause). In our view (Advaita) there are only two categories, namely, the seer and the seen. All the categories propounded by other schools are included in these.
134. Of these two, the seer is the Self, the reality, one only, and though always the same, it is threefold because of difference caused by limiting adjuncts. These are Isvara, jiva and the witness. Isvara has nescience which is the cause (of the universe) as limiting adjunct. The jiva has as limiting adjunct nescience limited by the inner organ (mind) and the samskaras (impressions) in it. This has already been described earlier (See para 72). In the view in which Isvara is the reflection in nescience, the original (i.e. the consciousness which is reflected) is known as the witness.
Note: The consciousness which merely witnesses the various states is known as the witness. Isvara and jiva are qualified by their respective limiting adjuncts.
135. In the view in which Isvara is the reflection (of consciousness), the consciousness which permeates the jiva as well as Isvara in the same manner as the form of the face permeates the original face and its reflection (in a mirror), and which is aware of everything is called the witness. In the view of the Vartikakara Isvara himself is the witness and so the seer is only twofold, as Isvara and jiva.
136. Isvara is threefold, as Vishnu, Brahma and Rudra in accordance with the three gunas of avidya which is the limiting adjunct of Brahman. Brahman with sattvaguna in the causal state as limiting adjunct is Vishnu, the protector. Brahman with rajoguna in the causal state as limiting adjunct is Brahma, the creator. Hiranyagarbha is not Brahma because he is not the creator of the primary elements. All the same, he is metaphorically referred to as Brahma because he is the creator of all gross bodies. Brahman with tamoguna in the causal state as limiting adjunct is Rudra, the destroyer. Thus one and the same entity takes male forms with four arms, four faces and five faces, etc., (as Vishnu, Brahma and Rudra respectively) and female forms as Sri (Lakshmi), Bharati, Bhavani, etc. It is to be noted that there are also other innumerable sportive incarnations such as Matsya, Kurma, etc., which appear for blessing devotees.
137. To Brahman who is pure consciousness, without a second, without parts, without a body, forms are attributed to enable worship by devotees. The jiva is also threefold, as Visva, Taijasa and Praajna, differentiated by the secondary difference caused by their different limiting adjuncts. (The significance of the expression 'secondary difference' is explained in the note below). The jiva limited by avidya, the inner organ (subtle body) and the gross body, who identifies himself with the waking state, is known as Visva. The same jiva, devoid of identification with the gross body, and limited by the two adjuncts (avidya and subtle body), who identifies himself with the dream state is known as Taijasa. When the jiva is devoid of the two limitations of the gross body and the subtle body, is limited only by avidya which is limited by the samskaras in the mind, and is identified with the state of deep sleep, he is called Praajna. The jiva (in all the three states) is only one, and there is no difference in the jiva himself because there are no independent limiting adjuncts for each of these states. (The meaning is that the adjuncts in the waking state are three and out of the same three adjuncts, two are present in the dream state and one in the deep sleep state. So the adjuncts are not independent or mutually exclusive). Still, because there are these secondary differences due to different limiting adjuncts, the same jiva is referred to by different names in the different states. The witnessing consciousness, however, is only of one nature, who is aware of everything, permeates everything, and is called the 'fourth' (because he is beyond the three states). There is no difference in him even with different limiting adjuncts (for the jiva in the three states), because his limiting adjunct is of the same nature. (The limiting adjunct of the witnessing consciousness is sattvaguna which is always the same). Note. It has been said above, in para 134 that the jiva has as limiting adjunct nescience limited by the inner organ (mind) and the samskaras (impressions) in it. This can be called the 'independent' limiting adjunct which distinguishes one jiva from another jiva. Each individual jiva has a separate limiting adjunct in the form of his mind. Therefore one person cannot know another person's mind. But a particular individual knows what he himself saw in dream and what he experienced in sleep, even though the limiting adjuncts in the three states are not identical. So the difference due to the different limiting adjuncts of the same individual in his three states is called secondary difference here.
138. Nescience, all that is dependent on it, and all its effects, constitute the universe, which is connoted by the word 'seen'. Though it is not real from the absolute standpoint, it is accepted to have empirical reality. So examination of the universe is not futile like the examination of dream objects (which serves no purpose). It is useful for the purpose of worship, etc. The universe is also threefold, as (1) the unmanifest, (2) the gross, and (3) the subtle. Of these three, what is denoted by the term 'unmanifest' is nescience with the reflection of consciousness in it, which is the power that is the seed of the universe of gross and subtle objects. It is called unmanifest because it, along with the connection between consciousness and nescience, the distinction as Isvara and jivas, and the reflection of consciousness in nescience, which are all dependent on nescience, is beginningless. Even though these three are not the effects of nescience, they cease to exist the moment nescience ceases, and so it has been said that they are dependent on nescience. That (nescience), though itself insentient, is illumined by the reflection of consciousness which is not insentient and generates, being impelled by the impressions of the acts of jivas in past births (samskaras), the five subtle elements, space, air, fire, water, and earth, which are of the nature of sound, touch, form, taste, and smell, respectively. Nescience which has taken the form of the previous element is the cause of the next element and so the qualities of each previous element enter into the next element.
Note: The unmanifest has four constituents - nescience, its connection with pure consciousness, the distinction as Isvara and jivas, and the reflection of consciousness in nescience (known as chidaabhaasa). The chidaabhaasa is not the same as consciousness, nor is it insentient. It is different from the sentient as well as the non-sentient. Nescience with the reflection of consciousness in it is the power of Isvara to create all the objects with and without form in the universe. The other three constituents of the unmanifest mentioned above are dependent on nescience, that is to say, they exist only when nescience exists and not otherwise. When nescience ceases all these three cease. According to Advaita, there is identity consistent with difference (taadaatmyam) between a substance and its quality and so the qualities such as sound, touch etc., are the subtle forms of space, air, etc. Nescience first takes the form of space which has sound as its quality. Nescience in the form of space then creates air with the specific quality of touch and also the quality of its predecessor, namely, sound. Similarly, fire has form, touch and sound. Water has taste, form, touch and sound. Earth has smell, taste, form, touch and sound. Avidya does not get transformed into space in its entirety, but only a portion of it gets so transformed. Similarly, only a portion of space gets transformed as air, and so on. Thus each predecessor element is more pervasive than the next.
139. Similarly, from nescience arises darkness which is positive, is of the nature of a covering, is opposed to visual knowledge, and is destroyed by light. It appears and disappears like lightning, etc. This is the Advaitic view. There is no contradiction in the origin of darkness not being mentioned in the sruti while describing creation. This has not been mentioned because it is not one of the causes of the body which is the cause of transmigratory existence. The quarters and time are not mentioned here because there is no authority for holding them to be independent entities. What are referred to as quarters are nothing but space. The sruti says, "The quarters became the sense of hearing and entered the ears" (Ait. Up. 1.2.4). Time is only nescience, because it is the basis of everything. This unmanifest is the limiting adjunct of Isvara.
Note: The Vaiseshikas consider darkness to be only absence of light and so a negative entity. That view is not tenable. From the perception that darkness is black and it moves it follows that darkness is a positive entity. It is not the main purpose of the sruti to describe the origin of all entities. Identification with the body is natural to all living beings. Liberation can be attained only if this identification is given up. In order to enable this, the sruti points out the real nature of the body. It is for this purpose that the sruti describes the origin of the elements such as space which are the cause of the body. Since darkness is not one of the causes of the body it has not been mentioned while describing creation.
140. The five elements before the process of quintuplication which are called subtle are constituted of the three gunas, sattva, rajas, and tamas, since they are identical with their cause (maya or avidya). When sattva aspect is predominant in them these five elements together generate a pure substance which has the powers of knowledge and action and is multifaceted, as it were. The aspect of that substance where the power of knowledge is predominant is the inner organ (mind). It is twofold, as intellect and mind. The aspect in which the power of action is predominant is praana. It is fivefold, as praana, apaana, vyaana, udaana, and samaana.
141. Thus, from each element arise two different organs, one with the power of knowledge and the other with the power of action. From space arise the sense of hearing and speech, from air the sense of touch and the hands, from fire the sense of sight and feet, from water the sense of taste and the organ of excretion, from earth the sense of smell and the organ of procreation. Here some hold that speech arises from fire because of the sruti statement " Speech is made up of fire" (Ch. 6.5.4) and that the feet are from space. We however consider that, since both speech and the ear manifest sound, they should both arise from space. Since any ailment in the eye gets cured when the soles of the feet are treated, it is appropriate that the feet also arise from fire like the eye. The sruti statement that speech is made up of fire should be interpreted as meaning that fire (oil consumed) helps speech, just as the mind, which arises from a combination of all the five elements, is said to be made up of food because food helps to nourish the mind. It is another matter that the mind is said to be born of all the five elements together because it grasps the qualities of all the five elements and so it must be constituted of all of them.
142. The presiding deities of all the organs of perception have predominantly the power of knowledge and presiding deities of all the organs of action have predominantly the power of action. The quarters and fire, Wind and Indra, the Sun and Vishnu, Varuna and Mitra, the Asvini devas and Prajapati, are these deities. The mind is the totality of the power of knowledge. Praana is the totality of the power of action.
143. The five organs of perception, namely, ear, skin, eye, tongue, and nose perceive respectively sound, touch, form, taste, and smell. The skin and eyes perceive also the substance which is the locus of the qualities they grasp. (For example the eye sees not only the colour of an object, but also the object itself). The ear, like the eye, grasps sound by going to the place of location of the sound. This is clear from the fact that one knows that a particular sound arises in a faraway place. The organs of action, namely, organ of speech, hands, feet, organ of excretion and organ of procreation, perform the acts of speaking, grasping, moving, excretion, and producing pleasure respectively. All these, i.e. the five organs of perception, the five organs of action, the five vital airs (praana, apaana, etc.,), and the two divisions of the inner organ (mind and intellect), making a total of seventeen, form the subtle body. This is known as Hiranyagarbha when prominence is given to the power of knowledge and Sutra when prominence is given to the power of action. This subtle entity, being an effect, is the limiting adjunct of the jiva in the microcosm as well as the macrocosm. (Hiranyagarbha and Sutra are the macrocosm and the jiva is the microcosm).
144. Such subtle elements are incapable of producing a body which is the seat of all experiences and the sense-objects without which experiences are not possible. So in order to become gross the subtle elements undergo the process of quintuplication (pancheekaranam), being impelled by the karma of the jivas. Each of the five subtle elements is divided into two equal parts. One half of each such element is divided into four equal parts (i.e. to get one-eighth of each element). Then one half of each element is combined with one-eighth of each of the other four elements to make a gross element. Each such gross element is named space, etc., according to the element that is predominant in it. (The result is that in a gross element of earth one half is earth itself and the other half is made up of the elements of water, fire, air and space in equal shares. Similarly with the other four gross elements).
145. Here some (such as Vachaspatimisra, author of Bhamati) accept only triplication because of the sruti statement, "Let me make each one threefold" (Ch. 6.3.3), and Brahma-sutra, 2.4.20, "The creation of names and forms is by Him who does the triplication", and also because only the combination of three elements is actually perceived. (Fire, water, and earth, which have form are perceived in any combination, but space and air which have no form are not perceived). This view has been refuted by the reasoning given in the Brahma-sutras under the topic relating to space (Br. Su. 2.3.1 to 7). Moreover, since Taittiriya Upanishad, 2.1.1, says, "From that Brahman, which is the Self, space was produced", while in the Chandogya Upanishad only the creation of the three elements, fire, water, and earth is mentioned, the statements in the two Upanishads have to be reconciled. In this respect the rule is that the inclusion of the categories, space and air, is more important than giving the first place in creation to fire. (There is an apparent contradiction between the statements in these two Upanishads. If the statement in the Taitt. Up. about the creation of space and air is rejected in order to give fire the first place in the order of creation, it will amount to space and air being completely left out, which is against actual experience. On the other hand, if the statement in the Taitt. Up. is accepted, the creation of fire is not affected because it is mentioned in the Taitt. Up. also. What would be lost is only the attribution of the first place in creation to fire. The possessor of a quality is more important than the quality. On this reasoning the proper course would be to accept the Taitt. Up. statement that space and air are also created). Besides, since the proposition that by knowing one, everything becomes known has been laid down in Chandogya, space and air which are insentient have to be accepted as effects of Brahman. (The Upanishad says that by knowing Brahman everything becomes known. This is possible only if space and air are effects of Brahman, since when a cause is known only its own effects become known and not things which are not the effects of that cause). Thus the statement about triplication can be justified only as a statement referring to a part of the process, since actually all the five elements created have been combined. If triplication alone is accepted it will lead to the defect of being a divergent statement. (The fact that triplication is declared in one sruti cannot be interpreted to mean that quintuplication declared in another sruti is to be rejected. Such an interpretation would amount to giving two meanings to one sentence, which is not permissible).
146. Brahma-sutra, 2.4.20, "The creation of names and forms is by Him who does the triplication", is only an explanatory statement and so it cannot nullify quintuplication which is established by reasoning. Sri Sankara has said (in the work named Pancheekaranam) that the combination of all the five elements is experienced in the body, etc., without any difference. Therefore the discussion about the not-self need not be continued further.
Note: The purpose of Br. Su. 2.4.20 is to say that the creation of names and forms is by Isvara and not by the jiva. It cannot be taken as asserting triplication and rejecting quintuplication.
147. These quintuplicated elements, which are called 'gross', combine and produce as their effect that which is the locus of the sense organs and the seat of experiences (of the jiva). This is what is called the body. Sattva guna is predominant in the body of gods. Rajoguna is predominant in the human body. Tamoguna is predominant in the bodies of animals and other creatures upto those of stationary creatures such as trees and plants. Even though all bodies are made up of the same five elements, there is no contradiction in the proportion of the elements being more or less in different bodies, as in a multicoloured object. Similarly, objects of sense are also the products of the various quintuplicated elements. So also are the fourteen worlds which are above, in the middle and below, and vary according to the predominance of sattva, rajas and tamas, and objects such as pots, etc. All these together are known as Brahmanda, which is also called Virat, and gross. This is the order of creation according to the Upanishads.
Note: The world in the middle is the earth (Bhuh), which is predominantly made up of rajas. The nether regions are the seven worlds below, namely. Atala, Vitala, Sutala, Rasaatala, Talaatala, Mahaatala, and Paataala, in which tamas predominates. The six worlds above the earth, namely, Bhuvah, Suvah, Mahah, Janah, Tapah, and Satyam, have predominance of sattva.
148. The order of dissolution (merging) is the opposite. The gross, which is made up of the five quintuplicated elements and their effects, and which is known as Virat, merges in its cause, the subtle, known as Hiranyagarbha, which is constituted of the five subtle elements before quintuplication, by the merger of each element, starting from the earth, in its cause, the preceding element. This is the daily pralaya. (Daily here means every day of Brahma which consists of 1000 chaturyugas. Each day of Brahma is followed by his night which is also of the duration of 1000 chaturyugas. This night of Brahma is the pralaya. This is also known as the Naimittika pralaya). The subtle also merges in the unmanifest, which is the limiting adjunct of Isvara. The unmanifest, being beginningless, has no cause and so it has no merging, since merging means remaining in its own cause in a subtle form. The merging of the subtle in the unmanifest is Praakrita pralaya. The dissolution resulting from the realization of Brahman is the absolute pralaya (liberation) by the destruction of the cause (nescience) itself. When the cause itself is destroyed its effects are also totally destroyed. Though all creation, dissolution, etc., is unreal like the creation and dissolution in dream, they are fit for empirical dealings because of the firmness of the impressions from past lives (vasanas) that generate a conviction of the reality of the universe. Though they are due to maya, they are not absolutely non-existent (like the horns of a rabbit). How this is so is made clear in the Bhashya.
149. This being so, the basis of the distinctions such as the waking state, etc., is now described. The waking state is that in which the sense organs function and objects are experienced. Then the empirical objects are experienced by the jiva who is known as Visva, because the objects of experience which are gross and are called Virat, are known through the six means of knowledge starting with direct perception. (The six means of knowledge are perception, inference, verbal testimony, comparison, presumption and non-apprehension (Pratyaksha, Anumana, Sabda, Upamana, Arthapatti and Anupalabdhi). The jiva is called Visva because of having entered or pervaded the body and sense organs. This word is derived from the root visha meaning 'entering' or the root vishlru meaning 'pervading' according to Panini's Dhatupatha. Though in this state of waking the subtle and the unmanifest are also experienced through inference, etc., still, since all empirical objects are invariably known by the Visva alone, and since the Visva identifies himself with the limiting adjunct in the form of the gross body, he does not pervade the other states (of dream and deep sleep). Since the knowledge of illusory objects such as nacre-silver, etc., does not arise through any of the sense organs, the objects of that knowledge cannot be described as empirical; still it is quite correct to describe the state in which this knowledge arises as the waking state because the sense organs are functioning at that time (The waking state has been defined above as that in which the sense organs function. It may be thought that, since the knowledge of nacre-silver is not produced by any of the sense organs, the state in which the knowledge of the illusive silver arises cannot be called the waking state. This doubt is answered by pointing out that though the silver is not seen by the eyes, the nacre is seen only because the eyes are functioning, and the illusion of silver can arise only when the nacre is seen, though not recognized as such. Therefore the sense organ functions here also and so it can be called the waking state). The process of cognition has already been described earlier (see para 86 above).
Note: When a piece of nacre appears as silver the modification (vritti) in the form of silver is not a modification of the empirical mind, but that vritti is brought about by avidya and so the illusory silver is directly revealed by the witness-consciousness. Similarly, since space has no form, etc., it is not perceived by any of the sense organs such as the eye; nor is it known by inference. So the knowledge of space is not due to a mental modification, because a mental modification arises only when a sense organ functions. So space is also directly perceived by the witness-consciousness.
150. Thus, when the karma (i.e. that portion of the unseen effects of the actions of past lives) which has to produce the experiences of the waking state (each day) is exhausted and the karma that has to produce the experiences of the dream state begins to operate, the identification with the gross body is set aside by the Tamasic mode of mind known as sleep, and the sense organs are deprived of the blessing of their respective presiding deities. Then the sense organs become absorbed and do not function, and the Visva also is said to have become absorbed (ceases to be known as Visva); that is the dream state. The dream state is that in which the sense organs do not function and (dream) objects are experienced due to the vasanas in the mind.
151. In this context some hold the view that the mind itself appears in the form of elephants, horses, etc., (seen in dream) and that these are known by a modification (vritti) of avidya. Others hold that it is avidya itself that becomes transformed in the form of the objects seen in dream, as in the case of the appearance of nacre-silver, etc., and that they are also known by a modification of avidya. Which view is better? It is the second, because everywhere it is avidya that is considered as the material cause of the superimposition of illusory objects (such as silver) as well as the superimposition of illusory cognition (of silver). In some texts the mind is said to be transformed as the objects, but that is only because the transformation is due to the vasanas in the mind, which are considered to be the efficient cause. Note. In the case of nacre appearing as silver, it is avidya that takes the form of silver and not the mind. Similarly, it is undisputed that it is avidya that takes the form of the dream objects and not the mind. But there are two views on the question as to how the dream objects arise. One view is that the dream objects are merely imagined by the mind with the help of avidya and that they are not transformations of anything else. The other view is that, just as in the waking state avidya takes the form of illusory silver with nacre as the substratum, similarly in dream avidya takes the form of dream objects with consciousness as the substratum. In the first view the dream objects are merely imagined, like a rabbit's horn which is totally non-existent. In the second view the dream objects are illusory (praatibhaasika) and so they have the same status as nacre-silver or rope-snake. Advaita recognizes four categories: the absolutely real (paaramaarthika), the empirical (vyaavahaarika), the illusory (praatibhaasika) and the totally non-existent (tuccha). Brahman alone is in the first category. All the objects with which we can transact in the waking state are in the second category; they are real until the dawn of Self-knowledge. Things like rope-snake, nacre-silver, etc are in the third category, because they appear to be real until the substratum is known. Rabbit's horn has no existence at all apart from the imagination and it is totally non-existent; it falls in the fourth category. Of the two views about the nature of dream objects referred to above, the second view, which gives the status of illusory (praatibhaasika) objects to dream objects is accepted here, because, just as the illusory snake produces the same reactions such as fear, etc., as a real snake, all the experiences in dream appear real as long as the dream lasts.
152. Obj: Suppose we say that, if the mind is not accepted as taking the form of objects during dream, it could then become the knower, and then the Self cannot be said to be itself the light (in the dream state). Note. By this objection the opponent says that the second view mentioned in the preceding paragraph, which is the Advaitin's view, will contradict the statement in Br. Up. 4.3.9 that in dream the Atma is by itself the illuminator without the help of the mind. According to the second view above, the mind does not take the form of the dream objects, but it is avidya that takes the form of the dream objects. Thus avidya is the material cause of the dream objects. The vasanas in the mind are the efficient cause (nimitta karanam). Thus if the Advaitin's theory is accepted it would follow that even in the dream state the Atma illumines objects only with the help of the mind (through the vasanas), as in the waking state. The object of the statement in Br. Up. 4.3.9 referred to above is to say that in dream the Atma alone illumines the objects without the help of the mind. This will be contradicted if the Advaitin's theory is accepted. This is the objection raised here. The answer is given in the next para.
153. Answer: It is not so. In the dream state the mind cannot know anything because the external sense organs do not function then. It is an invariable rule that the mind can know external objects only with the help of the external sense organs. Only when pure consciousness has as its limiting adjunct the mind with modifications (vritti) can it be a knower. So, even though the mind is present in the dream state, the jiva (who is pure consciousness limited by the mind) is not a knower then.
Note: Though the mind is present in the dream state, it cannot have any vrittis because the external organs do not function then, and the mind cannot function even as an efficient cause without the help of the external organs. So the Atma alone illumines the objects in dream even according to the Advaitin's theory and the statement in the Br. Up. is not contradicted. The jiva can become a knower (pramata) only when there are vrittis in the mind. Therefore in dream the jiva is not a knower. The dream objects are illumined only by the witness. The witness is consciousness limited by avidya, while the jiva is consciousness limited by the mind.
154. What is the substratum on which the dream objects are superimposed? Some say that it is the jiva, who is consciousness limited by the mind. Others hold that it is Brahman limited by primal ignorance. Which view is correct? Both, depending on different points of view. (The arguments against the second view and in support of the first view are now being stated) - If Brahman is the substratum, then the dream objects will not disappear on waking up, because any delusion will cease only when the substratum of the delusion is known. Brahman cannot be known on waking up every day. If Brahman is known, then the entire duality will disappear, and not only the dream objects. Moreover, the sruti says, "He (the jiva) is the creator (of the dream objects)" (Br.Up.4.3.10). Brahman limited by primal ignorance i.e. Isvara is the creator of the entire universe starting with space. So Brahman limited by primal ignorance cannot be the substratum of the dream objects. Note. A shell appears as silver only when it is known only in a general way as 'this' without its specific character of shellness. This illusion will disappear only when the special character of the substratum, namely, shellness, is known. Similarly, if Brahman limited by primal ignorance is held to be the substratum for the appearance of objects in dream, then the dream objects will continue to be seen even after the person wakes up, because Brahman is not known merely on waking up from sleep. If Brahman is known, then the entire world of duality will itself be found to be unreal. Moreover, Brahman limited by primal nescience is the creator of the entire universe, but the sruti quoted above speaks only about the creation of dream objects, and so the reference cannot be to Brahman.
155. Obj: Since the jiva is not covered, and is always fully manifest, how can it be the substratum of an illusion?
Note. Brahman is covered by nescience and so is not known till the nescience is removed by knowledge. But this is not the case with the jiva. Each jiva knows his own general as well as special characteristics (in the vyaavahaarika sense). A thing can become the substratum of an illusion only when it is known only in a general way without its special characteristics. This cannot happen to the jiva. So how can the jiva be the substratum of an illusion?
156. What you say is true (that the jiva is manifest). But we postulate a modal ignorance which is favourable to the appearance of illusion in the dream state, but prevents the knowledge of the dealings in the empirical state. (Because of this, the nature of the jiva as he is in the waking state is not fully known during dream. So some characteristics of the jiva are not known in the dream state and this makes the superimposition of an illusion possible). In the dream state the knowledge in the form 'I am a man', etc., is with regard to a body different from that in the waking state; so also the knowledge 'I am lying on a bed' is also with reference to a different bed from that in the waking state. The means of knowledge (the external senses) are absent in respect both kinds of knowledge.
Note: In dream there is a particular modal ignorance which is conducive to the projection of dream objects. At the same time this ignorance prevents the rise of the knowledge which arises in the empirical state such as 'I am so-and-so', 'this is my house', 'these are my children', etc., which is caused only by the primal ignorance (mula-ajnaana). This modal ignorance in the dream state has to be accepted as different from the ignorance which operates in the waking state, as otherwise the difference between waking and dream states cannot be explained. The difference between the two is clear. The experiences of the waking state are not negated in any other state. They are not felt to be illusory during dream. On the other hand, as soon as a person wakes up from sleep he realizes that everything experienced in dream was unreal. In the waking state the upadhi (limiting adjunct) of the jiva is the mind with vasanas and vrittis. In dream the upadhi is mind with vasanas, but without vrittis. In deep sleep the mind remaining merely in the form of vasanas is the upadhi. In the waking state the jiva has the knowledge that he is awake. Then he remembers what he experienced in the dream and deep sleep states. But in the dream state he does not have the knowledge that he is dreaming, nor does he then have any recollection of what happened in the other two states. Because of these differences between the waking and dream states it follows that the ignorance in the dream state is different from that in the waking state. By this particular type of ignorance in the dream state the nature of the jiva which is recognized in the waking state in the form 'I am a man', etc., is partly covered. This non-manifestation of a part of the nature of the jiva in the dream state makes it fit to be the substratum of the dream projections. The body of the dreamer as well as all objects experienced in dream are merely conjured up by the particular modal ignorance relating to the dream state.
157. Obj: Since the knowledge of empirical matters such as 'I am a man' is not the product of any valid means of knowledge, how can it cause the cessation of the modal ignorance (pertaining to the dream state)? If you say that the cessation of this ignorance is due to the waking state being a different state, then knowledge which negates the dream experiences should arise in deep sleep also, since that is also a different state from dreaming (i.e. even when one goes into dreamless sleep the knowledge that the dream experiences are false should arise). That is not acceptable, because in that case the deep sleep state would be equated with the waking state.
Note: The knowledge 'I am a man' is not produced by a vritti of the mind, but it is revealed by the witness-consciousness (saakshi-bhaasyam). That is why the opponent says that it is not produced by a pramaana (valid means of knowledge). An illusion such as that of silver on a shell is destroyed only by the knowledge of the shell produced by a valid means of knowledge, namely the eye here. So the opponent asks how the knowledge 'I am a man' which is not produced by a means of knowledge can destroy the illusion of the dream objects.
158. That is very cleverly said! (But I am not putting forward any such theory; my explanation is quite different). The deep sleep state is nothing but the modal ignorance pertaining to the dream state accompanied by the dormancy of the mind and so there is no destruction of the modal ignorance of the dream state then. (What happens in the deep sleep state is not the destruction of the modal ignorance as in the case of the waking state. As stated in the Note under para 152 above, the vasanas in the mind are the efficient cause for projecting the dream objects. In deep sleep the mind is dormant and so the vasanas in the mind cannot function as the efficient cause for projecting the dream objects. It is because of this that the dream objects are not projected in deep sleep). In the waking state, however, there is the experience that the appearances in dream were illusory, and so even though the knowledge 'I am a man' is not caused by any valid means of knowledge, it is correct knowledge. Since the cognition of the body, etc., is caused by valid means of knowledge (by the eye and other sense organs) its capacity to destroy the modal ignorance relating to the dream state is established by experience. Any specific ignorance does not however cease without the mental modification (vritti) produced by a valid means of knowledge (such as the eye). The inability of the witness-consciousness to destroy ignorance is testified by its revealing the ignorance as well as the person who possesses it. (The witness-consciousness, that is, consciousness with ignorance as its limiting adjunct, cannot destroy ignorance. On the contrary, it is what enables a person to know that he has ignorance. The ignorance can be destroyed only by an appropriate vritti of the mind). Thus there is no inconsistency.
Note: Ignorance is revealed by the witness-consciousness itself, unlike objects such as pot which are reveled only by a vritti of the mind.
159. It is accepted that there are as many modal ignorances as there are knowledges. By the empirical knowledge in the form 'I am a man' the modal ignorance of the dream state is destroyed. But just as even after the knowledge of illusory silver is once negated when the shell is known, the illusion of silver may arise again with another shell, similarly even after the general modal ignorance of the dream state is destroyed once by empirical knowledge there is no inconsistency in a dream illusion appearing again. So there is no defect in the view that the jiva-consciousness is the substratum of the dream.
160. (After establishing the view the jiva-consciousness limited by the mind is the substratum of dream, the author now proceeds to establish the second alternative theory that Brahman-consciousness limited by primal ignorance is the substratum of dream). In the view that Brahman-consciousness limited by primal ignorance is the substratum of dream, though ignorance can be destroyed completely only by the knowledge of Brahman, the illusion of the dream state can be hidden by the illusion of the waking state even without the knowledge of the substratum (Brahman) arising, just as the illusion of a snake on a rope is hidden by the illusion of a stick arising on the same rope subsequently. In view of this, there is no defect in the theory that Brahman-consciousness is the substratum of the superimposition of the dream. The fact that the dream of each jiva is unique and different from the dreams of others is attributable to the uniqueness of the vasanas in the mind of each person.
Note: Brahman cannot be known even in the waking state. If it is known the empirical state (vyaavahaarika state) itself will come to an end. It can therefore be contended against this view that the modal ignorance of the dream state will not be destroyed on waking up and so the dream will continue, which is absurd. The answer to this is that though the ignorance is not destroyed, the delusion of the dream state will be hidden by the delusion of the waking state in the form 'I am a man'. This is similar to the delusion of a snake on a rope being hidden (disappearing) by the delusion of a stick arising on the same rope subsequently. The delusion of a snake will be destroyed only when the rope is known, but this illusion disappears when a delusion of a stick arises on the same rope. Here a distinction is made between the destruction of an illusion and the mere non-appearance of it because of another delusion arising. By this argument it is pointed out that the second view that Brahman is the substratum of the dream can also be justified.
161. (Now a third view is stated). The substratum of the dream is Brahman-consciousness limited by the mind. In this view also since the modal ignorance is accepted to be covering it, there is no inconsistency. That is why it is stated so in some places in the scriptures.
162. Obj: If consciousness limited by the mind is the substratum, then the cognition should be only in the form 'I am an elephant', since the superimposed object, elephant, should be in the same grammatical case as ego-sense which is the substratum, just as in the cognition 'this is silver' the superimposed object 'silver' is in the same grammatical case as the substratum 'this' which refers to the shell. The cognition cannot be 'this is an elephant'. In the view in which the substratum is Brahman-consciousness, the cognition should be only 'elephant' and not 'this is an elephant', since there too there is no external object which could be referred to as 'this'.
Note: In the first theory mentioned in para 154 above and in the third theory stated in para 161 the substratum of the dream is consciousness limited by the mind. That is the jiva who refers to himself as 'I'. So, just as when a shell appears as silver the cognition is 'this (the substratum) is silver', so also the elephant in the dream should be cognized as 'I am an elephant', since the substratum is 'I' and not as 'this is an elephant'. In the second theory mentioned in para 154 the substratum of the dream is Brahman limited by primal ignorance which cannot be cognized as 'this' like an object in front such as a shell. So in this view also a cognition in the form 'this is an elephant' cannot arise. The cognition under this theory can be only 'elephant'. This is the objection.
163. Answer: No. In the first theory the ego-sense is the limitor (or determinant) of the substratum in dream perception, just as shell-ness is the determinant of the substratum, shell, in the shell-silver illusion. The cognition in the shell-silver illusion is not in the form 'the shell is silver' (because if the shell is known as such there can be no illusory cognition of silver. The cognition is 'this -the object in front- is silver'). Similarly in the case of dream the cognition cannot be 'I am an elephant' (because the 'I' or ego-sense is in the same position as shell-ness in the shell-silver example. What is covered is the ego-sense in the case of dream and shell-ness in the case of shell-silver illusion). The knowledge 'I am' is, like the knowledge 'this is a shell', opposed to the appearance of illusion. In the shell-silver illusion, the 'this' aspect is not opposed to the appearance of illusion (as is seen from the fact that the illusion is in the form 'this is silver'). In dream, the 'this' aspect is also merely conjured up like the appearance of the elephant (because there is no object in front which can be referred to as 'this' as in the waking state). Though both ('this' and 'elephant') are negated as illusory, this does not result in a void because the underlying consciousness which is the substratum cannot be negated. In the waking state also, it is seen that there is an illusory appearance in the form 'this is silver' which is different from the cognition in the form 'this is a shell'. (In the cognition 'this is a shell' both 'this' and 'shell' have empirical reality; but in the cognition 'this is silver', the 'this' has only illusory status as it is associated with the illusory silver). As stated in Samkshepasariraka, I.36, in an illusion only the superimposed object appears. Even if the 'this' aspect associated with the shell is considered to shine (as an empirical realty), the reality of the 'this' aspect is not a necessary condition for the production of an illusion; what is necessary is only that the substratum should be real. The substratum here (in dream) is the witness-consciousness, just as it is the unknown pure consciousness limited by the shell in the case of the illusory shell-silver. (Any empirical object is in reality pure consciousness limited by that object, because empirical objects are all only superimpositions on Brahman, or pure consciousness). Therefore there is no defect in either of the two views.
164. The enjoyer of the dream objects is known as 'Taijasa' because of the prominence of the brilliance called bile, or because it shines even without the help of lights such as the sun.
165. When the jiva is tired after experiencing objects in the two states of waking and dream, and when the karma (fruits of past actions) which is the cause of these two states is exhausted, the inner organ which is characterized by the power to know and has vasanas in it goes into its causal state (i.e. it takes the form of nescience which is the causal body). This is the state of deep sleep which is the place of rest. Deep sleep is the state in which there is awareness of the cause (ignorance) alone, as indicated by the recollection (on waking up) in the form 'I knew nothing at all'. In that state, even though there is no knowledge of the objects of experience of the waking and dream states, three modifications of nescience, namely, the witness, happiness, and modal ignorance pertaining to that state are accepted as present.
Note: In the deep sleep state the mind is dormant. On waking up one has the recollection that he knew nothing. Recollection is possible only of what has been previously experienced. It follows therefore that ignorance was experienced during sleep. In the waking state any experience or knowledge is possible only through a vritti or modification of the mind. In deep sleep no vritti of the mind is possible because the mind is dormant. So it is concluded that there is a vritti of avidya which is the causal state of the mind, through which the ignorance was known during deep sleep.
166. In deep sleep there is no single particularized vritti (like the vritti 'I know the pot' which arises in the waking state) because there is no ego-sense then. (The witness who is the locus of the happiness and ignorance does not have the sense of ego then). If there were such an ego-sense then it would not be deep sleep. Since there is no ground for the assumption that an awareness in the form of an avidyavritti exists during pralaya, what has been said in respect of deep sleep does not apply to pralaya and so the defect of over-applicability does not arise. The person waking up from sleep recollects that he slept happily and did not know anything. Recollection is not possible of a thing not previously experienced. Even though the recollection is not accompanied by the 'that-ness' (the details of the experience such as the time, place, nature, etc.,) it cannot be said that it is not a recollection, since the absence of such details is attributable to the fact that the experience (of happiness and ignorance in deep sleep) was not caused by a vritti of the mind (but by a vritti of avidya). Moreover, there is no invariable rule that in every recollection such details must be present. Besides, in the waking state, experience in the form 'I slept' is not possible (as a perception). Inference is also not possible because both the reason (middle term) and the locus (minor term) are absent. The ego-sense is experienced only at the time of waking up. Since the mind is dormant in deep sleep the ego-sense (which is a vritti of the mind) is not experienced then and so there can be no recollection of any such ego-sense (after waking up).
Note. The possible objection that the knowledge in the form 'I slept happily, etc.', that arises on waking up is not a recollection, but an experience, is answered above. It is pointed out that direct perception can relate only to an event in the present and so what happened in the past deep sleep state cannot be an object of experience in the subsequent waking state. An inference of the form 'The hill has fire, because there is smoke' requires a reason (smoke in this case) and a locus (hill). Both reason and locus are absent here. Any reason relating to deep sleep which was in the past cannot exist after waking up. The ego-sense (which alone could be the locus) is absent in deep sleep and manifests only after waking up. So there was no locus in deep sleep for the inference. In a case in which a person sees smoke on a hill and then goes home, he can even then infer that there was fire on that hill. Here an inference is possible because the hill was there in the past and also in the present and so recollection of the hill seen earlier is possible. But in deep sleep there was no 'I' sense and so there can be no recollection of any such 'I-sense'. So an inference of this type is not possible. Therefore the knowledge 'I slept happily' cannot be a knowledge gained through inference. The other means of knowledge such as comparison, etc., are clearly not applicable.
167. When a face is reflected in a mirror on which the redness of a hibiscus flower has been superimposed, a cognition in the form 'the face is red' arises (even though the reflection of the face is not the substratum of the redness). Similarly, since the witness-consciousness is the substratum of the recollection by virtue of its being the substratum of ego-sense, the cognition 'I slept happily' arises, in which 'I' and 'slept happily' are in grammatical coordination. The witness-consciousness in this case is, however, not the substratum in the same manner as in the experience 'I am happy' (in the waking state). As a rule, the witness-consciousness is the substratum of recollection, doubt, and wrong knowledge. The ego-sense is invariably the substratum of knowledge arising through a valid means of knowledge (such as the eye, etc.). The distinguishing characteristic of a knowledge arising from the ego-sense (i.e. by a modification of the mind) is that it is correct knowledge. When avidya is the cause of a knowledge, it has the characteristic of being wrong knowledge. Because of this it has been held by masters of Vedanta that the indirect illusion which results from the words of an unreliable person is also due to avidyavritti. (An indirect illusion is what arises when one acts on the basis of wrong information given by an unreliable person; a direct illusion is that of shell-silver, etc.). In the case of an indirect illusion, even though the requisites for producing a vritti of the mind are present, the mind is not capable of producing a vritti because of the defect of the knowledge lacking correctness.
Note: Knowledge is always produced by a vritti. It is correct knowledge when it is of the form of a vritti of the mind; it is wrong knowledge when it is of the form of a vritti of avidya. Illusory knowledge is never a vritti of the mind, but it is a vritti of avidya. Similarly, doubt and recollection are also in the form of avidyavritti only.
168. The superimposition of the idea of Brahman on name, etc., (for meditation as laid down in Ch. Up. 7.1.5), is dependent on one's will and so it is a vritti of the mind different from both illusion and correct knowledge, and is like desire, etc. It has been said (in the Bhashya on Brahmasutra 1.1.4) that it is an activity of the mind since it arises from an injunction, and not knowledge. By this, it has been explained that reasoning is also a vritti of the mind because, reasoning, which brings about the connection between the pervaded and the pervader, is also dependent on one's will and is therefore different from both illusion and correct knowledge. For this reason the injunction in the form 'it should be heard, reflected on and meditated on' in respect of the enquiry into the statements in Vedanta which consists of hearing accompanied by reflection and meditation is justified.
Note-1: Brahmasutra, 1.1.4. Bhashya - nanu jnaanam naama maanasii kriyaa. na, vailakshaNyaat - veditavyam jnaanam (knowledge) is not a mental act, because there is a difference (between knowledge and meditation). A mental act is seen to exist where there is an injunction about it, which is independent of the nature of the thing concerned. dhyaanam (meditation), is a mental act, because it depends on the will of the person performing it. For example, to think of a man or woman as fire, as enjoined in "O Gautama, man is surely fire" (Ch.up.5.7.1) , or in "O Gautama, woman is surely fire" (Ch.up.5.8.1) is certainly a mental act, since it arises from an injunction alone. But the idea of fire with regard to the well-known fire is not dependent on any injunction or on the will of any man. (In other words, thinking of one thing as another, like a linga as Lord Siva and worshipping it as such, is meditation and it is a mental act, because it depends on the will of the worshipper. But looking at an ordinary stone and seeing it as a stone is knowledge and is not a mental act, because it does not depend on the will of the person). While meditation depends on the will of a person, knowledge depends only on the object concerned and on valid means of knowledge, such as perception. Meditation is therefore described as purusha-tantra (dependent on the person), while knowledge is called vastu-tantra (dependent on the object to be known).
Note-2: The meaning of the terms 'hearing', 'reflection' and 'meditation' - sravaNam, mananam and nididhyaasanam. Vedantasaara of Sadananda, ch.5, Para-182 - Hearing is the determination, by the application of the six characteristic signs, that the purport of the entire Vedanta is the non-dual Brahman. The six signs are - (1) the beginning and the conclusion, (2) repetition, (3) originality, (4) result, (5) eulogy and (6) demonstration. The Sanskrit terms for these are, respectively, upakramopasamhaara, abhyaasa, apuurvataa, phala, arthavaada, upapatti. Each of these terms is explained below. Vedantasaara, ch.5. Para-185 - The term ' the beginning and the conclusion' means the presentation of the subject matter of a section at the beginning and at the end of the section. For example, in the sixth chapter of the Chhandogya Upanishad, Brahman, which is the subject-matter of the chapter, is introduced at the beginning with the words, "One only without a second", etc. (6.2.1). At the end of the chapter Brahman is again spoken of in the words, "In It all that exists has its Self",etc. (6.8.7).
Para-186 - Repetition is the repeated presentation of the subject-matter in the section. In the same chapter, Brahman, the One without a second, is mentioned nine times by the sentence "Thou art that".
Para-187 - 'Originality' means that the subject-matter of the section is not known through any other source of knowledge. For instance, the subject matter of the above section, namely, Brahman, cannot be known through any source of knowledge other than the s'ruti.
Para-188 - The 'result' is the utility of the subject-matter. For example, in the same section, we find the sentences" One who has a teacher realizes Brahman. He has to wait only as long as he is not freed from the body; then he is united with Brahman". (6.14.2). Here the utility of the knowledge is attainment of Brahman.
Para-189 - Eulogy is the praise of the subject-matter. The words in this section, "Did you ask for that instruction by which one knows what has not been known, etc" (6.1.3) are spoken in praise of Brahman.
Para-190 - Demonstration is the reasoning in support of the subject-matter, adduced at different places in the same section. An example is - "My dear, as by one lump of clay all that is made of clay is known, every modification being only a name, and being real only as clay" - (6.4.1). This shows that the universe has no reality except as an apparent modification of Brahman, the only Reality.
Para-191 - Reflection is the constant thinking of Brahman, the One without a second, already heard about from the teacher, by making use of arguments in a constructive manner.
Para-192 - Meditation is keeping the mind fixed on the thought of Brahman, uninterrupted by any other thought.
The result achieved by 'hearing' etc.
'Hearing' removes the doubt whether the upanishadic text which is the pramaaNa purports to teach about Brahman or about some other entity. This doubt is known as pramaaNa-asambhaavanaa, or the doubt about the pramaaNa itself.
'Reflection' removes the doubt whether Brahman and the jiva are identical or not. This doubt is called prameya-asambhaavanaa.
'Meditation' is intended to keep off wrong notions such as "The universe is real; the difference between Brahman and jiva is real", which are contrary to the teachings of the upanishads, by developing concentration of the mind. Such wrong notions are known as vipariita-bhaavanaa.
Thus the purpose of hearing, reflection and meditation is the removal of obstacles in the form of doubts and wrong notions that stand in the way of the origination of Self-knowledge.
169. The 'hearing' consists of four types of reasoning in the form of anvaya and vyatireka. (What is invariably present in all our experience and is not subject to change is anvaya; and what is sometimes present and sometimes absent, and is therefore subject to change is vyatireka. For example, gold has anvaya with reference to a gold ring; the ring has vyatireka with reference to gold). The four kinds of anvaya and vyatireka are: (1) the seer (Brahman) and the seen (the universe); Brahman always exists and so it has anvaya, while the universe is always changing and has vyatireka; (2) the witness (Brahman or pure consciousness) and what is witnessed (the universe); the witness exists always and so it has anvaya; the witnessed has vyatireka with reference to the witness; (3) what has beginning and end and what limits it, i.e. the effect and the cause; the cause has anvaya with reference to the effect, but the effect has vyatireka with reference to the cause; (4) what is miserable (the world) and what is the object of supreme love (Brahman). The world has vyatireka with reference to Brahman, and Brahman has anvaya. There is a fifth type which is 'what persists in all changing things and what is changing and so does not persist'. Brahman persists in everything, but the things are always changing. These are some instances of reasoning conducive to Vedanta explained in the Vedantamimamsa (Brahmasutras) consisting of four chapters, according to the learned teachers. For a detailed exposition the Vedantakalpalatika (of Madhusudana Sarasvati) may be seen.
170. Thus in the state of deep sleep there is experience of happiness. The experiencer, who identifies himself with the deep sleep state, is known as 'praajna', because he is totally ignorant. Or, he can be said to be possessed of full knowledge because the knowledge is not limited to any particular object (as in the waking state). In that state, even though the mind is dormant, he does not cease to be a jiva because he has the samskaras (impressions) as his limiting adjunct. Nor is he omniscient then.
Note: The jiva has been said to be totally ignorant in deep sleep because the general understanding in the world is that the ignorance then is greater than in the waking and dream states. An alternative meaning has also been given that the jiva possesses full knowledge then because in that state he is nearer to the knowledge of Brahman than in the other two states. In the other two states, apart from the fact that Brahman is veiled by primal ignorance, there is also the projection of unreal objects. The Mandukya upanishad describes this state as a mass of consciousness characterized by the absence of particular cognitions. In deep sleep the limiting adjunct of the jiva is nescience limited by the impressions of the mind. Isvara who is omniscient has nescience as limiting adjunct. Because of this difference the jiva cannot be omniscient in deep sleep.
171. The identity of the jiva with Isvara in deep sleep, declared in the upanishads (Ch. Up. 6.8.1 - 'he becomes united with Existence'), is based only on the absence of identification with the body and senses in that state. It is therefore to be understood only in a secondary sense. (It is like the statement 'this student is a lion' which is based only on the similarity of some qualities such as courage, etc. Here the similarity between Isvara and the jiva in the state of deep sleep is that both are devoid of identification with the body and senses). The impressions (samskaras) do not fall in the category of the material cause of the effects which have the witness-consciousness as their substratum (namely, recollection, doubt, etc.). The impressions are the efficient cause of these effects. Therefore there is no difference (or multiplicity) in the witness-consciousness even though the impressions are different in the inner organ of each jiva. (The limiting adjunct of the witness is nescience which is only one).
Note: The impressions in the mind (samskaras) are the efficient cause for recollection, doubt, etc. The question arises how the recollection on waking up, which is the effect, can be of the same nature as the samskaras, because the effect is always of the nature of the material cause and not of the efficient cause. For example, a pot is of the same nature as its material cause, clay, and not of the nature of its efficient cause, namely, the potter. The answer to this question is that during deep sleep the samskaras become merged in avidya which is the material cause of the recollection, etc., and it is because of this that the recollection is of the same nature as the samskaras. The material cause is of two kinds; the cause that gets transformed as the effect, as milk gets transformed as curd, known as transformative cause, and the cause that does not get transformed but only appears as the effect, like a shell appearing as silver, which is known as transfigurative cause. Here the witness-consciousness is the transfigurative cause and avidya is the transformative cause.
172. In the waking state, however, since the inner organ falls in the category of the material cause of the effect which has the knower as its substratum, there are different knowers (because the inner organ is different for each). Since the knower is none other than the witness himself with an additional limiting adjunct (namely, the mind with vrittis), there is no inconsistency in the knower remembering (what the witness experienced). The Vartikakara (Sri Suresvaracharya) says in Brihadaranyaka vartika, 3.4. 54-55: "The witness does not differ from one body to another even though the knower and the means of knowledge are different, just as an external object is not cognized differently by different persons. Therefore he (witness) is known as the 'atma'. The knower, etc., who are witnessed by the witnessing consciousness may change, but the atma does not undergo any change because it is also the witness of the absence of the knower, means of knowledge, etc.". Since the revered Vartikakara denies difference in the witness even in the empirical state, it has to be concluded that difference in the witness in the deep sleep state postulated by some is only due to sheer delusion.
Note. The cognition of external objects in the waking state is what is referred to as 'effect' above. It has the knower as its substratum. The cause of the cognition is a vritti of the mind. The witness knows the cognition of objects (in the form-I know the pot), as well as their non-cognition (in the form- I do not know the pot).
173. Obj: Sometimes some one may get a recollection (on waking up) in the form 'I slept unhappily' and so there could be experience of unhappiness also in deep sleep.
Answer: That is not possible because during deep sleep the factors that cause sorrow do not exist. But happiness, being the very nature of the self, is ever existent. There may be unhappiness in a secondary sense because of the unsatisfactory nature of the bed, etc., and because of that there may arise a notion in the form 'I slept unhappily'.
174. Or, there can be sorrow even in sleep if it is accepted that each of the three states is itself threefold. Thus, when there is knowledge through a valid means, it is waking in the waking state. When there is delusion like that of shell-silver, it is dream in the waking state. When because of fatigue there is torpor, it is sleep in the waking state. Similarly when in dream one receives a mantra, etc., it is waking in the dream state. When during a dream a person feels that he is seeing a dream, it is dream in the dream state. When something that cannot be described in the waking state is vaguely experienced in dream, then it is sleep in the dream state. Similarly in the state of deep sleep when there is a sattvic vritti of the nature of happiness, it is waking in sleep. Then there is the recollection 'I slept happily'. At that time when there is a rajasic vritti, it is dream in sleep. Only thereafter there may arise a recollection in the form 'I slept unhappily'. In that when there is a tamasic vritti, it is sleep in the deep sleep state. Thereafter there is the recollection 'I was totally ignorant'. This is how it has been clearly described in works such as Vasishthavartika.
175. Thus the microcosm (related to the body) is Visva, the corresponding macrocosm is Virat, and the corresponding deity is Vishnu. The microcosm is the waking state, the function of the corresponding deity is sustenance, and the macrocosm is sattvaguna. The microcosm is Taijasa, the macrocosm is Hiranyagarbha, and the deity is Brahma. The microcosm is dream, the function of the deity is creation and the macrocosm is rajoguna. The microcosm is Praajna, the macrocosm is the unmanifested, and the deity is Rudra. The microcosm is deep sleep, the function of the deity is dissolution, and the macrocosm is tamoguna. Since the microcosm, macrocosm and the deity are all one and the same, by meditation on these along with the three limbs of pranava (a,u,m) as identical even when limited by the corresponding adjuncts, the world of Hiranyagarbha is attained. Then, by the acquisition of purity of mind gradual liberation (kramamukti) is attained. By negating all these limiting adjuncts and by the knowledge of the pure witness-consciousness direct liberation is attained.
Note: The correspondences are based on Mandukya upanishad.
176. Thus all the three, Visva, Taijasa, and Praajna, along with the three states are all due to nescience, and so, being objects of knowledge they are unreal. So the conclusion is that 'I am the unconditioned pure witness, known as the fourth'. Thus, even though empirically all the distinctions are accountable, in reality there are no such distinctions at all and so there is no inconsistency. This has been dealt with elaborately by us in Vedantakalpalatika and so the matter is concluded here.
End of commentary on sloka 8.