Monday, June 15, 2009

Siddhantabindu - 6

Siddhantabindu - 6


by Madhusudana Sarasvati


[Commentary on Dasasloki of Sri Sankara Bhagavatpada]

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.

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