Prasna Upanishads, Class 16


Greetings All,

Swamiji continued his talks on Prasna Upanishad.

Fourth Question

Summarizing last week’s discussions, Swamiji says, the fourth student asked Pippallada five questions centered on the dream state.

1.    What are the things that are asleep?
2.    What are the things that are awake?
3.    Who experiences the dream?
4.    When everything is resolved, who is enjoying the sleep?
5.    Where is everything supported?

First question was answered in the second mantra.
What are the organs that are sleeping? Which organs are nonfunctionalat time of dream? The five Gyana Indriyas and five Karma Indriyas go to sleep. Example of Sun and its rays was given. At dawn the rays come out and at dusk the rays go back to the sun.

Second question was, what organs are awake during dream state?  Third and fourth mantras answer the second question.

Mantra 3:
Answer is the Pancha Pranas are awake or functioning. Here Upanishad uses an imaginary situation to describe the answer to this question.

It looks at this state as an Agni Hotra Yaga.  The pranas are compared to the three Agni’s, the Hota, and the Yajamana. As a result punyam is compared to yaga phalam and takes Yajamana to higher Lokas. Here also it takes one to the deep sleep state or Brahmanada. Mind merges into Brahman. Udana is the one who takes one to this state; hence it is compared to Yagaphalam.

Shankara clarified that in the dream state Brahman Gamanan is there only for Upsakas. Only a Prasna Upasaka goes in dream state to Brahmanada.

Now coming to question # 3, who enjoys Shushupthi, the answer is in shloka # 5.

Shloka 5:

Here Devaha means mind. Devaha is effulgent as it is the mind pervaded by Chiddabasha. Here in dream the mind enjoys its own glory.

Shankara says: The mind can become everything in a dream. Everything in dreaming is from mind alone. The mind alone is Karta, Karma, Shrotha, Shreyam and Shruthihi. Because of thought patterns in dream we think of a tiger, elephant etc. Even the sense organs are created by the mind alone. What does the mind see? What ever is seen in the
waking state that object is seen again in dream state. During waking state we gain Vasanas and they are recorded in Chitham. In dream state they are replayed.

It is not a fresh perception. It is exactly as in waking state, re-seen, reheard, and retold. What ever is experienced in waking stateincluding emotions is repeated in dream . In different deshas, different quarters, what ever is experienced is experienced in dream as well. We see what ever is seen before as well as whatever is not seen before. In dream we see what has not been seen before. Adrishtham, not seen before, per Shankara, it means not in this life
but maybe in a previous life. If we had not experienced something we would not have experienced the Vasanas to begin with and as such it cannot come back. What about future? Perception of future is not a dream at all. Vasana Janyaha Swapnaha, only from Vasana come our dreams. Perception of future is due to Yogic power not dream. What is heard and what is not heard in previous birth comes in dreams. The reason is, there is no will or reason present in dream, and hence we feel we have something not previously heard.

Everything the mind sees the mind creates it also experiences. At cosmic level whatever is created by Maya, it can be created in mind also. (subject object duality). Mind becomes everything. This is called Lord’s Mahima or Mano Mahima.

Thus the third question also has been answered. Mind is the experiencer of the dream.

Question 4: Who enjoys the Sushupthiananda?  It is the Pragyaha or Chetana.

Shloka # 6:

Concept of dreams as per shastra is: In the Nadi’s all vasanas are recorded and thrown out as well. When Nadi’s are blocked function of mind stops. How does Nadi get blocked? Tejas is Chitham. All recordings of Vasana are in Chitham or the mind. Brahma Chaitanyam over powers individual Chaitanya. Particular knowledge is over powered
by non-particular knowledge.

The mind then does not see any dreams. Nischiya, Aham and Anusandhanam vrithi’s are not functioning. Karanam becomes Karana Avastha. Like the melting of a wax doll its specific nature is lost.In this case every thing becomes non-specific when it is not functioning.

Limitations caused by duality, sukham, dukham, etc. vanish. Individuality is resolved. There is no more individual problem, when in Sushupthi. In this deep sleep state there are no dreams. Hence Karana Shariram is also called Ananda Maya Kosha. It is not just kevala Karana Shariram. It is actually Chaitanya filled Karana Shariram. Karnam in itself is Jadam.

Thus fourth question has been answered.

The Fifth question: What is the substrate in which everything is resolved?

Shloka 7:

The answer is in shlokas 7,8 and 9. Para Brahma is the substrate in which everything is resolved.  Birds come out at sunrise and go back to rest in the tree residence at sun set.  In the same manner everything gets resolved in the Para Atma or Turiyam.

The whole creation can be reduced to Object of experience, Instruments of experience and Subject of Experience. All three are resolved.

Shloka # 8:
The Pancha Bhutas &Tanmatras all rest in the Atman. The Pancha Bhuthas are: prithvi or earth, apas or water, tejas or fire, vayu or air and akasha or ether. In this, the first four elements are the active participants – space is the catalytic force.

The five tanmatras are sound, touch, form, taste, and odor or smell; the five senses are hearing, tactile perception, vision, taste, and smell. The tanmatras are the ways in which the objective world is sensed.

The Sthula Bhutha is after Panci Karanam. Sthula Bhutha is an alloy of other Bhuthas. In Sukshma Bhutha each Bhutha is pure. Thus we have Prithvi, Tejas, Akash, Apas and Vayu. All these rest upon the Turiyam or Para Atma.

With best wishes,
Ram Ramaswamy