Postby sunilgoel29 » Tue Jan 26, 2016 4:00 am

Hari Om!

What is the difference in Avidya being called the karana sharira and Avidya when identified with karana sharira being called prajnah. In the first instance I think it means that because of Avidya, i.e., because of lack of knowledge about my true nature, my ahamkara remains bound in the samsaric cycle, hence ignorance becomes the cause to "house" my impressions in a sharira. It's binding to the impressions becomes the karana and also the karana sharira becomes the cause for subsequent births. Hence the name karana sharira.

Prajnah state is always associated with Sushupti state and in Sushupti state one is closest to samadhi. At the same time, the Avidya in prajnah doesn't enlighten my samadhi like state and my intellect remains in a dormant state.......if avidya was not there, I would be a realized Jiva.

That brings us to another question. When a gnani sleeps, can he also be called a Prajnah?


In Shri Guru Smriti

Sunil Goel
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Re: Avidya

Postby sundarchinmaya » Wed Jan 27, 2016 9:34 am

Hari Om, Sunilji:

Let me try to answer your question. In Vedānta, the Mahātmas are very careful in choosing words. So, we have avidyā which can mean many things - what were talking yesterday was in specific context.

As human beings, we instinctively, constantly and effortlessly identify with their body-mind-intellect and surroundings.

So avidyā in the context of sleep means that when the jīva in avidyā identifies itself in deep sleep state as "I know nothing" - in that condition, the jīva is known as prājña.

My understanding is that the man of wisdom, a jñāni also is prājña in deep sleep but on waking, he /she knows that they are not the sthūlasharīra or sūkshmasharīra - they are sat-chit-ānanda alone.

hope it explains

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Re: Avidya

Postby DrPSDeb » Wed Feb 10, 2016 11:27 am

Let me try on my understanding based on Swami Krishnanand Commentary on Panchdasi (Divine Life Society) since I have missed initial lectures.

Prakriti (प्रकृति, prakṛti, primordial substance) is that in which there is the reflection of Brahman (ब्रह्मन्, brahman) that is pure consciousness and bliss and is composed of sattva (सत्त्व), rajas (रजस्) and tamas (तमस्) in a state of homogeneity, which works in dual way.

When a predominance of cosmic sattva (सत्त्व), overwhelming rajas (रजस्) and tamas (तमस्), reflects the Universal Brahman (ब्रह्मन्) in itself, that reflected consciousness in the universal sattva(सत्त्व) is Ishvara (ईश्वर).

a. Maya (māyā माया) When the element of sattva (सत्त्व) is pure, prakṛti (प्रकृति) is known as māyā (माया). The universal sattva(सत्त्व) itself is called māyā (माया). The prakṛti (प्रकृति) operates cosmically and reflects the Universal (Brahman ब्रह्मन्) consciousness in it. Maya is under the control of Ishvara (ईश्वर).

b. Avidya (avidyā (अविद्या) is impure prakṛti, being mixed up with rajas (रजस्) and tamas (तमस्).

The jīva ( जीव), which is brahman (ब्रह्मन्) reflected in avidyā (अविद्या) is subjected to impure sattva. The jīva ( जीव) is of different grades due to (degrees of) admixture (of rajas (रजस्) and tamas (तमस्) with sattva (सत्त्व). The avidyā (अविद्या, nescience) is the causal body. The avidyā (अविद्या) controls the jīva ( जीव), but avidyā (अविद्या) is not under the control of the jīva ( जीव) or the individual, while īśvara (ईश्वर) controls māyā (माया). That is the difference between īśvara (ईश्वर) and jīva ( जीव), God and the individual.

When the jīva (जीव) identifies himself with this causal body (ānandamaya kośa, आनन्दमय कोश) in deep sleep it is called prājñā (प्राज्ञा). During the dream state is called taijasa (तैजस), and in the waking state is called viśva (विश्व).[2]
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Re: Avidya

Postby DrPSDeb » Fri Feb 12, 2016 6:23 pm

Dear Goel ji,

Sorry for my previous reply in Avidya. Let me try to answer very interesting question you have raised "Can Gyani Sleep"?
While reading "An apprentice to a himalayan master" Maheswarnath ji a realized Guru and Yogi of Sri M. Maheswarnath ji never sleeps and said If you are Yogi (Gyani) you need no sleep.
Realization is Awakening when sleep disappear. You can't be Awakened and Sleeping.

Let me contemplate more

Hari Om
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Re: Avidya

Postby RoopaSatish » Fri Feb 12, 2016 11:07 pm

Hari Om again Sunilji

At the outset I must thank you for your thought provoking subjects - participation in your discussions help me to clarify my thoughts. Thank you for the opportunity.

The first part of your comment on Avidya is clear – I agree with what you have said.

I am re-phrasing what you have said for the second part - I think we agree but we are presenting it differently, that's all.

Pragnya means Pure wisdom / knowledge. ‘Pure knowledge’ here denotes homogenous / un-differentiated mass of awareness. (Everything is merged here into one and in an unmanifest form - only in dream and waking stage, the different forms manifest in our thoughts.) When we as Atman, are identified with this state, it is called Pragnya.

This experience of Awareness that we can perceive in this deep sleep state is very different from Consciousness (Chit). This is because (a) The Atman is still identified with the Karana Sarira, so our experience continues to be limited to the body due to our pranas. (b) When we awake, we are back into the world of duality – differentiated awareness.

This way we can understand the Pragnya as a temporary state of knowledge which is lost to us as soon as we wake up or go into dream state.

Perhaps this is what you also understand when you say “At the same time, the Avidya in prajnah doesn't enlighten my samadhi like state”.

Now coming to your question – When a gnani sleeps, can he also be called a Prajnah?

Here I disagree with Sundarji. If a Gyani knows that he is not this body only when he wakes up then his 'gyan' is mere theoretical / intellectual knowledge. He is not a truly realised soul.

A truly realised Gyani by definition is a person who has attained the fourth state - Turiya State – he is never identified with the 3 states. The Gyani’s ego and Vasanas have been eliminated . He is never conscious of any doer-ship. So he is not sleeping, but he is in sleep. He is always witnessing his 3 states – including his deep sleep state.

Shri Ramana Maharshi beautifully describes this state as a "state of waking-sleep". Pls see if you can look it up - only a truly realised soul can explain this so simply.

So in my humble view, a Gyani can never be called Pragnya, because his Atman is never identified with the Karana Sarira , even in deep sleep.

Hari Om.

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Re: Avidya

Postby sunilgoel29 » Sun Feb 14, 2016 10:53 pm

Hari Om Roopa Ji,

Thank you for the clarification on a true gnani never having to go to deep sleep. I tend to agree with yours and Dr. Deb's interpretation.

Coming back to the definition of Pragna, in light of the latest classes by Puja Swami Advayananda ji, Pragna is total ignorance shining in the consciousness of an individual. Visva, Taijasa and Pragna are all referred to as Jivas but Pragna is total Avidya in the Jiva. Brahman, when it shines in Avidya becomes a Jiva, and when it shines in Maya is ishwara. Avidya is beginningless and is purely tamasic. Maya is also beginningless, but having all the three gunas of Sattva, Rajas and tamas.....but only the Sattva guna of Maya makes up Ishwara. (I hope I am correct, otherwise, how can ishwara be all satvic). Avidya is vyasthi whereas Maya is samashti, otherwise there is no difference between them. When I become totally satvic, I become all knowledge and equivalent to Ishwara. When I remove the ego I, then there is no Jiva and no ishwara...there is Brahman only.

Pragna is always associated with Sushupti state as that is where total ignorance lies.......in the sense that my entire sukshama sharira is resolved in the consciousness where none of my senses are working. Only the Chitta and ahamkara part go in dormancy and not resolved fully so as to make me remember that I didn't experience anything in deep sleep and also to continue as the same I.

Kindly check this note of mine carefully, as I have not referred to or quoted any text. It is purely as per my understanding from the teachings. I would appreciate to have some validity on this please.

Pranaams and kind regards

In Shri Guru Smriti

Sunil Goel
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