Monday, 13 October 2014

The Method of Vedanta by Swami Satchidanandendra

A giant tome arrived with a solid thump on the mat at the foot of the stairs. The door was open so Pat the Postman launched it in. . The Method of Vedanta: A Critical Account of the Advaita Tradition by Swami Satchidanandendra trans. by A.J. Alston. It’s a mere 975 pages long. Kuthastha (anvil) indeed. I’ve read some other of his shorter works but this is reckoned to be his magnum opus published at the age of 84. Trying the literary test of opening it at page 99, by then an author should be getting into his stride, I find a commentary on the Deep Sleep question - i.e. does the fact that we know we have been in a deep dreamless sleep infer anything about consciousness as such. Can we draw anything from that knowledge. I recently went into this in a short note covering much the same ground as Swami does - but he speaketh as one with authority.
dreamless sleep

A counter thought to the pure immediacy of D.S. is the possibility of a psychological master knowledge, an overseeing of time periods. It has been established that subjects left for long periods of time in deep caves without clocks or access to cues about night or day will fall into circadian rhythms alternating waking activity and sleeping in units of 23 hours.
One can readily admit that the ‘cellular clock’ is for something but what is D.S. for? Anything ‘naturalisable’ is for something and fits into a physical pattern. Mystagogic mystery.

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