III-2 Śrī Bhāshya | Rāmānuja | 2

Topic 2 - The soul in dreamless sleep

Now the state of deep sleep or Suṣupti is taken up for discussion.

 Sutra 3,2.7

तदभावो नाडीषु, तच्छ्रुतेः, आत्मनि च ॥ ७ ॥

tadabhāvo nāḍīṣu, tacchruteḥ, ātmani ca || 7 ||

tat-abhāvaḥ—Absence of that (dreaming), in other words Suṣupti; nāḍīṣu—in the nerves; ātmani ca—and in the self; tat-śruteḥ—as it is known from the Śruti;

7. The absence of that (dreaming, i.e. dreamless sleep takes place) in the nerves and in the Self, as it is known from the Śruti.

Next the state of deep dreamless sleep is enquired into. Scripture says, 'When a man is asleep, reposing and at perfect rest, so that he sees no dream, then he lies asleep in those nādīs' (Kh. Up. VIII, 6, 3); 'When he is in profound sleep and is conscious of nothing, there are seventy-two thousand veins called hita which from the heart spread through the pericardium. Through them he moves forth and rests in the pericardium' (Bri. Up. II, 1, 19). 'When a man sleeps here, he becomes united with the True' (Kh. Up. VI, 8, 1). These texts declare the veins, the pericardium, and Brahman to be the place of deep sleep; and hence there is a doubt whether each of them in turns, or all of them together, are that place. There is an option between them, since they are not in mutual dependence, and since the sleeping soul cannot at the same time be in several places!--To this the Sūtra replies--the absence of dreams, i.e. deep sleep takes place in the veins, in the pericardium, and in the highest Self together; since these three are declared by Scripture. When different alternatives may be combined, on the ground of there being different effects in each case, it is improper to assume an option which implies sublation of some of the alternatives. And in the present case such combination is possible, the veins and the pericardium holding the position of a mansion, as it were, and a couch within the mansion, while Brahman is the pillow, as it were. Thus Brahman alone is the immediate resting-place of the sleeping soul.

Sutra 3,2.8

अतः प्रबोधोऽस्मात् ॥ ८ ॥

ataḥ prabodho’smāt || 8 ||

ataḥ—Hence; prabodhaḥ—awakening; asmāt—from this.

8. Hence the awakening from this (i.e. Brahman).

Since Brahman alone directly is the place of deep sleep, Scripture is able to declare that the souls awake from that, i.e. Brahman; compare 'Having come back from the True they do not know that they come from the True' (Kh. Up. VI, io, 2), and other texts.--Here terminates the Adhikaraṇa of 'the absence of that.'