Another note on deep sleep, सुषुप्तिः।


In one of the discussions on examining the three states of existence अवस्थात्रयपरीक्षा some years back, I remember an interesting exchange. It just returned to my mind this morning and following is the blog about it.

At the end of every day we undergo an experience of नित्यप्रलयः, yet the one who slept, wakes up thinking that it is he who dreamt, he who experienced happiness and he who did not see/ know anything during deep sleep. This recollection of "not seeing/ knowing anything" is knowledge of lack of seeing/ knowing "during deep sleep". This is an important point to understand. This contrasts with the logic that says-- "since I don't recall anything, I must have not known anything". The being that went to sleep and the one that woke up, is the same one that was existing during deep sleep. He is the very witness of deep sleep, as he is in the other two states too.

The logic used otherwise comes from the question posed in the discussion I mentioned. I was asked as to why could it not be that the person commits to memory the last thought just before sleep and wakes to look it up and then concludes that he didn't know anything, while really being non-existent! This is pretty much what the क्षणिकवादः would be like. The logic here is likely fed by a computer engineering mind which thinks that a computer switched off wakes up to boot with its last known status thanks to the last commit to memory! While switched off, the program was not really existing then, was it? Such is the question.

Well, the software was very much embedded in the memory and existent just like the status data is. That is what unmanifest state is. However, the program that wakes up to refer to the last status is the same that slept and woke up. Without the program existing in between the boot down and boot up phases, that is, the continuous existence, there would be no knowledge of its last status. Else, the new unconnected program will not know what to make of the last status. If this were a data monitoring program that shutdown and woke up, the missing data in between is because it monitored nothing. Similarly, the conscious being has knowledge of not monitoring anything during deep sleep, because it was as existent as it is in the other two states, a topic of Mandukya Upanishad and a firm conclusion thereof.


नमः श्रीगुरुपादुकाभ्याम्।
ॐ तत् सत्॥
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