राहु-ग्रस्त-दिवाकरेन्दु सदृशो माया-समाच्छादनात्
सन्मात्रः-करणोप-संहरणतो योऽभूत् सुषुप्तः पुमान्
तस्मै श्री-गुरु-मूर्तये नम इदं श्री-दक्षिणा-मूर्तये
rAhu-grasta-divAkarendu sadRRisho mAyA-samAcchhAdanAt
sanmAtraH-karaNopa-saMharaNato yo.abhUt sushhuptaH pumAn /
tasmai shrI-guru-mUrtaye nama idaM shrI-dakshhiNA-mUrtaye//
To The Self, who in sleep becomes Pure Existence, on the withdrawal of the veiling by mAyA, as in the case of the sun or the moon in eclipse, and on waking recognizes, 'I have slept till now', to Him of the form of the Guru, dakshinA-mUrti, is this prostration.
This verse is actually a punch-line rebuttal of the Buddhist-generated nihilist point of view that the absence of knowledge in sleep shows that the Ultimate is Emptiness. When there is nothing presented to Consciousness, as in the case of deep sleep, it is not as if consciousness is not there. The very fact that later one is able to say 'nothing was presented to my consciousness' shows that consciousness was aware of that nothingness. So consciousness is never absent. When the sun is under eclipse, the sun does not vanish. It is there all by itself. It is our view that is mutilated and distorted. It is this wrong perception that is removed by the Guru of all Gurus. In deep sleep consciousness is there all by itself. It is not necessary to have another agency show the presence of consciousness. In a dark room it is not necessary to have a torch to find a lighted lamp. The lighted lamp itself is self-luminous. The silent condition of the mind without thoughts of objects is the pure conscious condition of oneself. The bliss of sleep and the ignorance that characterises sleep are both ‘in the know of’ Consciousness. This Consciousness is brahman. The 'memory' of sleep and of the happiness of sleep is technically called pratyabhijnA. It is knowing oneself by oneself. When it is used as a verb, as in this verse (pratyabhijnAyate), it is a peculiar grammatic usage called karma-kartari prayoga. It is like ‘a calf releasing itself from the knot which held it on to the pole’. The verb means: 'to come to oneself, recover consciousness'. The statement 'I slept happily' has in it three factors: awareness (cit), bliss (Ananda), and existence (sat). The happiness that was enjoyed was not the pleasure of the senses, (they had gone to sleep); nor the happiness of the soul resting, (the soul was always what it was). ‘What is not can never be, nor can what is cease to exist’. (the meaning of 'is' and 'is not' is in an absolute sense.) (B.G. 2-16). Nor is the happiness of sleep just the absence of unhappiness (because there was no instrument of enjoyment present). The pratyabhijnA cannot recall what was not experienced. Also it is incorrect to say that at every instant different knowers are registering different pieces of knowledge and therefore there cannot be any pratyabhijnA. This kshaNika-vijnAna theory of a wing of Buddhist philosophy explains away the pratyabhijnA as delusion. But it is not a delusion. A recalling always needs continuity of consciousness between the past and the present and this continuity for recalling is available because the Seer never loses His Sight in view of His immutability (Br.U. 4-3-23). The seer can never lose the character of seeing, even as fire cannot lose the character of burning. The self sees, by its own light, like the sun. Even when there is no second, no object but the self that could be seen, the seer is.
.OVER TO SHLOKA 7