35.4 THE LIGHT OF ALL LIGHTS - 4
(Summary of Br. U. (4.3.6. 4.3.7. etc.) Bhashya by Adi Shankara)
Now we come to the dream. Here the objects are non-existent, because we have closed all our sense organs. So everything is a thought-form of the buddhi. So buddhi does not see the dream but becomes itself the dream. In the waking state, world is the object and buddhi is the subject. In the dream state, buddhi, which has modified itself to become the dream world, is itself the object. So buddhi cannot see the dream. Who is the seer then? The Sakshi is the subject. In waking state, buddhi is the subject and the world is the object. When buddhi is the seer of the world it is a savikAra-drashTA, that is, a changing seer; for, when an object presents itself to the sense-organs, the mind is said to reach out and assume the form of the object, this modification of the mind being called a vRtti. And the sAkshi, the seer (illuminator) of buddhi, is nirvikAra-drashhTA, that is, the unchanging seer. The sAkshI continues to be the nirvikAra-drashhTA, in the dream stage also.
In dream one transcends this physical form. So the Upanishat says ‘svapno bhUtvA (Becoming the dream) imam lokam (this waking-state world) atikrAmati (transcends)’. Therefore it is clear that this physical body is temporary. Whatever you can drop is not your original nature. Heat in the water is not intrinsic, for water can drop the heat. But heat in the fire is intrinsic because fire cannot drop the heat. So this physical body is not intrinsic to us. Not only that. The svapna-body with which we move about in the dream is not also intrinsic to us. mRtyoH rUpANi. mRtyuH is avidyA or ajnAnaM. Because mortality is because of avidyA. rUpam means ‘jnApakaM’ that which reveals or indicates. rUpyate jnAyate iti rUpakam. Ignorance is invisible. Body is the mark of self-ignorance. Because body indicates punya-papa kartRtvam. The fact of kartRtvam is ignorance. AtmA is akartA. I did not know it. And therefore this janma. The self transcends these memories of kartRtvam and janma, on which actions and their results depend.
From this mantra what we get therefore is the following: I am different from BMI. I am akartA and apramAtA. I am neither a doer nor a knower. I make use of the sthula sukshma sharIra for transactions – for waking transactions, one set and for dreaming transactions another set and both are dropped during sleep.
To see or be conscious of a light, however, no other instrument is necessary. (‘na dIpasya anya-dIpecchA’). The illuminator of the object buddhi is the Atman. buddhiH svetara-bhAsakavatI bhAsyatvAt ghaTavat. Buddhi is illumined by an illuminator (knower) different from buddhi. That knower is Consciousness. The Buddhist’s contention that buddhi illumines the world and also illumines itself cannot hold. Buddhi is just like Light; it is known by Consciousness, though it itself knows (illuminates) objects of the world.
Now a question arises from the Buddhist. Then what illumines the Atman? Does it mean that what is required is a series of illuminators? The advaita answer to this is that Atman does not need any illuminator. Atman is never an illumined object. Atman is self-evident, self-effulgent. It is Illumination itself.