Siddhantabindu - 7
by Madhusudana Sarasvati
[Commentary on Dasasloki of Sri Sankara Bhagavatpada]
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.