Shri Datta Swami

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Posted on: 11 Feb 2017
O Learned and Devoted Servants of God,

Dr. Nikhil asked:


In the ninth chapter of Datta Veda (dated 10/01/2017), there was a discussion on the four states as mentioned in the Mandukya Upanishad. I seek a few clarifications related to it. Before posing the questions, I would like to summarize my understanding of the Upanishad. I request You to kindly confirm or correct my understanding.

In the first section, the Upanishad explains that the symbol OM (AUM) indicates Brahman (God) in relation with the three stages in creation namely creation, maintenance and destruction. These three stage are represented by the three syllables ‘A’, ‘U’ and ‘M’ respectively. There is also a silence following the three syllables and this fourth non-syllable (Amatra) or silence, represents the ultimate Cause of creation, which is beyond creation. This Cause is called as Brahman (God).

Then there is a declaration of the essential identity between the Brahman (God) with the Atman (soul) “Sarvam hyetat brahma ayam aatmaa brahma”. The Upanishad further says that this Atman/Brahman exists in four states (chatushpaat). The states refer to the above-mentioned stages in process of creation from God (Brahman). The fourth state, which is represented by silence, is not a ‘state’ but it is the Brahman itself. In other words, Brahman is the ultimate Actor in the other three states and transcends (turiiya) all three. These four stages in creation are compared to the states of consciousness in an individual (Atman) namely the waking, dream, deep sleep states and the Atman itself, which is the fourth transcendental state (Turiiya). In these four states, the Atman, which is the Conscious Agent or Observer is termed as Vaishvanara, Taijasa, Praajna and Atman itself respectively. The Upanishad describes the characteristics of Conscious Agent or Observer in each of those states using a number of epithets (Click to Download).

The focus of the Upanishad does not appear to be simply describing the different states of consciousness in the individual or the stages in the process of creation. Instead the states/stages seem to be used as mere tools to help us in characterizing the Parabrahman in relation to the different components of creation. While the nature of Parabrahman is unimaginable, describing or characterizing It in relation to creation (tatastha lakshana) is possible.

The Advaita commentators (Shri Gaudapada and Shri Adi Shankara), have interpreted the four states at both the macrocosmic (samashti) and microcosmic (vyashti) levels. However, in their commentaries the analogical relation between the macrocosm and microcosm soon takes the form of an identity. Their whole effort is to prove that any general individual (Atman) is essentially identical with God (Brahman).


Swami Replied


Original Amaatra State:


First State of Deep Sleep (Sushupti):

  • All the adjectives given to the first Amaatra state clearly indicate that the state of unimaginable God is explained here very clearly. This unimaginable God enters the created item to become mediated God or incarnation. The medium must be imaginable to us so that we can indicate the unimaginable God with our finger through such known medium. The three components of the creation are awareness, inert energy and inert matter, which are indicated by their related qualities called Sattvam, Rajas and Tamas respectively. The first created item by unimaginable God is primordial energy (Mula Prakruti) indicated by the totally invisible range, from which energy known to us in invisible (space or Aakaasha) range and visible (light or Tejas) range were derived during process of creation as mentioned by the Veda (Atmana Aakaashah, Tat Tejoasrujata). This first item having the three subtle qualities in equilibrium with each other is called as primordial energy (Mula Prakruti), which is inert due to 2/3rd inert nature (Rajas and Tamas generating inert energy and inert matter respectively). The process of creation starts with creation of this Mula Prakruti, which generates the entire world on disturbance of equilibrium by the will of God. When God decided to create this creation, the first wish is to create Mula Prakruti and simultaneous materialization of such first wish is the creation of Mula Prakruti. Further, during the process of creation, even though Mula Prakruti appears to have modified into further items, such modifications happen only due to wish of God. Mula Prakruti appears to be the material cause and God appears to be designer cause. As far as creation of Mula Prakruti from God is concerned, it is similar to miracle because there is no material cause for Mula Prakruti. God is both types of cause (abhinna nimitta upadana) and God can be compared to a magician upto to this part. Once Mula Prakruti is created, God becomes designer cause and Mula Prakruti becomes material cause. In this way, we can correlate both schools of philosophy in the process of creation. If the starting point is single unimaginable God, the theory of miracle (Indrajaala) of Shankara can be adopted. If the starting point of creation is after creation of Mula Prakruti, the other philosophies involving God and Material cause separately can be adopted. 
  • Before creation of Mula Prakruti, the unimaginable God is identified by bliss (Ananda), which is naturally made of awareness only. Hence, this is the first mediation of God since Mula Prakruti was not yet created, awareness (relative) was not at all created because relative awareness is created only during process of creation from food. After creation of Mula Prakruti, five elements, plants and food only, awareness (Purusha) is created (Annat Purushah— Veda). In such case, how can you say that God had awareness even before creation of Mula Prakruti? Such awareness in that initial state is only the process of work of God to know. Unimaginable God can do anything (including knowing) by His unimaginable power. Hence, the awareness mentioned in the case of God is absolute unimaginable awareness by which He knows everything (Sarvajna) and not the relative imaginable awareness created from food after development of materialized brain and nervous system in which the inert energy is transformed into a specific work called awareness (Alpajna). In absence of Mula Prakruti, even inert energy and matter can’t exist and hence the awareness in that initial state of God is unimaginable only and not this imaginable awareness present in human beings.

Q) Even unimaginable awareness is work of God to know. Since we have come to know that it as the work to know, such awareness is no more unimaginable.

Answer: Did you exist in that initial state to know that such awareness is also to know? We are talking about that awareness today when we have already known this relative awareness means to know. Had you existed then itself, you can say that it is imaginable awareness at least by its resulting fruit, which is the process of knowing. Today, we are telling that God was with bliss there by meaning that He is with awareness by comparing that state with the state of present human being having bliss. Similarly, by comparing that state with relative awareness, we say that God was with awareness in that state. The simple information is only that God was blissful before creation. By the word ‘bliss’, we are creating logic of basic awareness of bliss based on this worldly logic. We can also simply say that God was with bliss by His unimaginable power and there is no need of any logical derivation of awareness at all in this topic!


Second State of Dream (during sleep):

  • Mediation means a clue to identify a person. It need not be a material that is covering a person. By the work of cultivation, we identify the person as a farmer. Similarly, with the help of bliss, its basis, awareness, was detected and with the help of the awareness we identified the God not personally through His inherent characteristic (Swarupa Lakshanam), but, we identified God as possessor of awareness through the associated characteristic (Tatastha Lakshanam). In absence of the possibility of knowledge of any inherent characteristic since God is unimaginable, this associated characteristic itself is more than an inherent characteristic for us! We can say that awareness is the external medium in which unimaginable God exists and we can say that God is mediated by awareness. The three preachers have gone one more step far and said that God is awareness. Remember that this awareness told by them is not the relative awareness generated in the process of creation because this awareness existed even before the creation of the root cause of creation (Mula Prakruti). The word ‘unimaginable’ as an adjective of an item may lead to doubt the absence of that item (atheism)! Instead, it is better to say with full clarity that the item with imaginable nature exists and then, say that such item has unimaginable power. Such statement will not bring the doubt of non-existence of that item and at the same time, it establishes the existence of unimaginable item simultaneously. This method was much followed by Ramanuja.
  • You can take this unimaginable God (Amaatra) present in blissful state and associated with awareness as the first Praajna state. Existence of awareness based-bliss and absence of any second object (since even creation of Mula Prakruti did not take place) clearly support this state. In this state adjectives like omnipotent (Sarveshwarah), omniscient (Sarvajnah), overall controller (Antaryaami) etc., indicate the unimaginable God (before creation or manifestation of cause and the cause is unimaginable God before miraculous creation of Mula Prakruti).
  • In this initial state, there is no question of macro (Samashti) and micro (Vyashti) levels. Only today, we can say that initial level is macro level with reference to the present micro level. In that initial state since there was no creation, micro level could not exist. Hence, the Veda did not bother to distinguish macro and micro levels in that state. We can understand that initial state by observing the corresponding present micro level that exists today as deep sleep of human being. This human being must be the human incarnation only in which the unimaginable God entered as said by the Veda (samvishatyaatmanaatmaanaam). This means that God entered a soul by Himself. Here it is clearly mentioned that a soul (Atman) is the specific object of entry. You can take even the total human being as the meaning for the word Atman. However, this clarifies that the entry of God in to creation (Tadevaanu praavishat... Veda) is not entry in to entire creation, but, it is the entry in to a tiny part (a specific human being) of the creation only. If one enters a house and sits in a room, we can say that the person entered that house and is in that house, which does not mean that he is occupying the entire house! Hence, God neither entered and occupied the whole world nor even entered all the human beings and occupied all souls. Of course, in merge with the medium, He maintains His identity (Sat) and also identity with medium (Tyat) as said by the Veda “Satcha tyatcha abhavat”.
  • God does not enter every human being. That specific human being in to whom God entered (human incarnation) becomes God or Lord of this entire creation. If God entered every human being, every human being must become God or Lord. Every human being is unable even to move an external limb, if paralyzed and hence, can’t be called as Lord. The human being in the awaken (Jaagrat) state is called as Lord (Vibhurvisvah- Gaudapada). Another reason to say that every human being is not referred here because in deep sleep in every human being the awareness disappears so that nothing is known including self-awareness. In such case, you can’t say that awareness exists in deep sleep (Sushupti) enjoying bliss. Even self-awareness is absent and you are talking about enjoyment of bliss!! Therefore, this is not the case of ordinary human being. This is the case of human incarnation only in which the blissful unimaginable God exists with unimaginable awareness. The relative awareness (human individual soul) is already absent and its causal inert energy is only present around God ( the conversion of inert energy in to awareness does not take place due to resting nervous system in deep sleep) and hence we can say that the unimaginable awareness is surrounded by inert energy or full ignorance. Neither subtle objects of dream nor gross objects of the world are perceived here and hence deep sleep is justified. If you take the human being instead of human incarnation in this state of deep sleep, only totally ignorant inert energy exists, in which case the meaning of the word ‘Praajna’ should be taken in a different way to mean the state of extreme ignorance by splitting the word as Pra=extremely, Ajna= ignorant (Pra+Ajna =Praajna)! Shankara applied the state of human incarnation to every human being since He was forced by the then existing context of atheists to motivate them at least to say that God (who is none other than the soul of any human being) exists. This was spoken by Shankara and not the real mind of Shankara. Based on this, He was forced to say that awareness with bliss exists in deep sleep of every human being. Even though in His mind, the awareness mentioned here is unimaginable awareness of God in human incarnation, in his speech He said that the awareness mentioned here is imaginable awareness of every human being! We must understand the context behind for such saying.
  • The first individual soul in to which God entered was Eshwara or Datta, who was a soul in energetic body. Such soul is called as first Jeeva because that is the first energetic form called as Hiranyagarbha. Hiranya means gold (the highest valuable) indicating the unimaginable God. Garbha means inside such energetic form in which God exists. This is better interpretation than the interpretation generally given by scholars, which is that Hiranyagarbha means the God born from a golden vessel. You can justify this also by saying that the precious Golden vessel is nothing but the first energetic form. The medium is only Jeeva in energetic body, but, unimaginable God merged with it and hence Hiranyagarbha is the first energetic being becoming unimaginable God due to merge of God with Him. This first energetic incarnation is very special in the sense that God will never exit from it being His permanent address for the sake of the souls of the creation so that God is imaginable through that medium.
  • Hence, Hiranyagarbha is not simply the first Jeeva (individual soul) but also the Lord (Eshwara) of the entire creation since He is God. By internal component, Hiranyagarbha is God or Lord and by external component or medium (energetic body with soul), He is the first individual soul. The inner blissful God indicates unimaginable awareness that merged with imaginable relative awareness (soul) of the first Jeeva thereby indicating resultant awareness (absolute awareness+relative awareness) along with the inert energy of external body. The soul in Hiranyagarbha is directly from Sattvam of Mula Prakruti and not the developed awareness from food later on. However, this should be also called as relative awareness since it is a derivation from Mula Prakruti. This coincides with Taijasa of dream state of human being in which also awareness or soul with subtle energetic body is present. If this human being is incarnation of God, along with above said awareness and inert energy, unimaginable God also exists. Such unimaginable God merged with the subtle body and individual soul of first human being becomes Lord as well as Jeeva. Both these aspects are simultaneously mentioned by the Veda “Hiranyagarbhah samavartataagre, bhutasya jaatah patireka aasit”. ‘Jaatah’ means the external medium produced from Mula Prakruti. ‘Bhutasya Patirekah’ means the only Lord of creation. Hence, Eshwara and Hiranyagarbha are one item only having two names with reference to internal and external angles. This Hiranyagarbha is also called as ‘Viraat’ because the external energetic body is made of specially shining inert energy. Viraat means specially (vi) shining (raat). From the angle of external body, He is Viraat. From the angle of the external medium (body and soul), He is Hiranyagarbha. From the angle of the inner unimaginable God controlling everything other than Himsef, He is Eshwara. From the angle of the unimaginable nature of God, He is Amaatra.
  • With the help of awareness and inert energy, upper worlds are created, which were populated by energetic beings (individual souls in energetic bodies). All these worlds are made by subtle energy and all the energetic beings are also made by subtle energy (bodies) and subtle awareness. This Eshwara/ Hiranyagarbha/ Viraat perceives all these subtle upper worlds and energetic beings. The dream state is subtle made up of subtle inert energy and subtle awareness. Both the macro (upper worlds of God) and micro states (dream of human being) are qualitatively similar.
  • Shankara mentioned Eshwara for the first state of Praajna taking only the blissful and unimaginable God as His unimaginable awareness. Datta Swami mentioned Hiranyagarbha for this state in the same inner angle of blissful and unimaginable awareness existing in the container called Hiranyagarbha. The reason is a medium is needed for unimaginable God along with His unimaginable awareness. Such medium is Hiranyagarbha. Eshwara means the unimaginable God with unimaginable and blissful awareness only. You may say that the unimaginable God is mediated by unimaginable awareness and thus the address of Unimaginable God is given as awareness. Awareness needs a container since it is not independently perceivable or detectable. You may say that unimaginable God is the container for the unimaginable awareness. But, unimaginable God needs address and the address can’t be again unimaginable awareness! Therefore, Hiranyagarbha is mentioned here as the imaginable container or imaginable address of Unimaginable God as well as the address of unimaginable awareness. If you say the word Eshwara alone as unimaginable God mediated by unimaginable awareness, there is no container for address. Even if you say that the awareness of Eshwara is imaginable awareness, even relative imaginable awareness can't exist independently and requires a medium of container like either independently existing inert energy or independently existing inert matter (of course, matter is always associated with energy).

Q) In the first state of Praajna, even Mula Pakruti was not created. Hinranyagarbha resulted only after creation of Mula Prakruti and comes to the second state of Taijasa or dream as mentioned by Shankara.

Answer: Your doubt is exactly correct provided you existed in the first and second states continuously. We are talking now after appearance of Hiranyagarbha long back. Hence, even though you are correct as per the sequence of the states, we do mention Hiranyagarbha in the first state also as the container for understanding of present humanity. There is no trace of difference between first state existing in isolated way and the same first state existing as it is in the container of Hiranyagarbha. The second state is a mixture of first state and the new second state. You can take the first state alone in the second state also, which doesn't differ from the first isolated state before the creation also. You are speaking about an isolated golden ring costing Rs 1000/-. I am telling that the same golden ring exists on the finger of this person, which also costs Rs 1000/-. My expression is justified since we are speaking today. In your expression, you are assumed to be in the beginning state of creation and talking. My expression is more convenient to humanity of today. The container did not bring any difference in the first state when it exists in the second state also. An apple seen in isolated way and the same apple seen in a plate are not at all different in any way! Hence, Eshwara mentioned in isolated way by Shankara and the same Eshwara in Hiranyagarbha mentioned by Datta Swami do not differ at all. Eshwara called by Shankara is called as a state in Hiranyagarbha by Datta Swami. Shankara asked you to see the apple in isolated state. Datta Swami asks you to see the same apple (Eshwara) by saying to see the fruit (first state) in plate (Hiranyagarbha). The first and second states exist even in the third awaken state (Jaagrat) of Vaishvaanara (others) or Vishva (Datta Swami) and hence today you can refer both the states (Eshwara and Hiranyagarbha of Shankara or Hiranyagarbha and Virat of Datta Swami) in the third state called as Vaishvaanara (Shankara and others) or Vishva (Datta Swami) while standing on macro and micro levels. This is the point that was exactly said by Gaudapada that the same God exists in three states (First, second and third) as “ekaeva…”.

Third State of Awaken (Jaagrat):

  • In this third Awaken state, only materialized items are the objects in which awareness of first state and inert energy of the second state appear along with inert matter. The awareness of first state enters second state and the awareness along with inert energy of second state enters the third state in which matter appears. Only awareness is present in first state. Only inert energy appeared as new item in the second state. Only inert matter appeared in third state. Hence, I like to represent awareness to the first state, inert energy to the second state and inert matter to the third state for convenience of classification.
  • In this third state, Vishva is mentioned for micro level and Vaishvaanara or Viraatpurusha is mentioned for macro level by Gaudapada and Shankara. The Veda gives the Vaishvaanara for this third state without differentiating micro and macro levels in any state. Datta Swami feels that Vishva should be for macro level and Vaishva should be for micro level. Vishva is whole and Vaishva is a part of it. Vaishva means only human incarnation and not human being since Gaudapada says that this micro level of third state is also the Lord only. We can put macro (Vishva) in the place of micro (Vaishva) since both are equal in qualitative level. Hence, the placement of Vishva in the micro level by these scholars is justified. A small thing can be told as big thing but not reverse as said in the Brahma Sutras. Certainly, the macro Vishva shall never be represented by the micro Vaishva. Vaishva means a part of Vishva. If you say Vishva as Vaishva, this infinite Vishva should be a part of another bigger Vishva and this leads to ad-infinitum (anavasthaa). Moreover, the Vishva being infinite will not allow another bigger Vishva to come into picture. The Vaishva represented as micro means human incarnation, which appears as finite human being only. In the macro level, same Eshwara or Hiranyagarbha or Virat in gross materialized form is mentioned as Vaishvaanara or Viratpurusha or Vishva. Vishva is justified since smruti says Vishva is Vishnu (Vishvam Vishnuhu). The Viratpurusha described in the Purusha Sukta of the Veda is also Vishnu since the Purusha Sukta says that Lakshmi is the wife of this Viratpurusha (Hrishcha te Lakshmishcha...). Vishnu as Krishna says that He is the Vaishvaanara (Aham Vaishvaanaro bhutvaa... Gita). Hence, there is no difference in the meaning of these words.
  • a) The Eshwara (by Shankara) or Hiranyagarbha (by Datta Swami) of first state, b) the same called as Hiranyagarbha of second state and Vaishvaanara or Viratpurusha of third state by Shankara and c) Virat of second state and Vishva of third state (by Datta Swami) merges with a materialized macro human form (Vishvarupa or Vaishvaanara) as said above to become human incarnation in macro level. This macro human incarnation is also the micro human incarnation since Krishna (micro) is the same Vishvarupa (macro). The micro human being has the same three components of macro cosmos (Vishva) in its micro level (Vaishva). In this merge, the energy of energetic form (Datta or Eshwara or Hiranyagarbha or Virat) merges with the energy of the body of the human being. The soul of Datta merges with soul of human being. The unimaginable God merges with total human being as He merged with the energetic form (Datta) previously. The word Datta means simply that the unimaginable God is given to this creation (upper worlds) through this first energetic form (Datta means simply given) and is given to the world of humanity through human incarnation. Hence, Gaudapada says that the same unimaginable God is viewed in three states (Eka eva tridhaa smrutah).


  •  Amaatra, certainly in any place, represented by Upanishat (Veda), Gaudapada, Shankara, Ramanuja, Datta Swami etc., shall stand only to Parabrahman or unimaginable God in whom all His creations, which are the undetectable (avyakta) root cause-inert energy (Mula Prakruti) and the other three components of cosmos or vishva (awareness as Praajna, detectable inert energy as Taijasa and matter as Vishva) cannot exist. The word creation includes all the above four items whereas the word cosmos or Vishva includes the other three components. If you see the terms used by the Veda like ‘can’t be uttered’ (Avyavahaaryam), ‘can’t be grasped’ (Agraahyam), ‘can’t be identified by any property’ (Alakshanam), ‘neither awareness nor inert energy and inert matter’ (napraajnah, na apraajnah) etc., it is clear that unimaginable God is the subject here. This is one extreme end introducing the creator, who is beyond the creation.
  • The word Parabrahman is coined by Shankara for the unimaginable God (maunavyaakhyaa...) since the word Brahman stands for several great items of creation including the greatest unimaginable God. A great item is greatest in its category like the Veda in scriptures etc. The unimaginable God is greatest among all the categories or the entire creation. Therefore, if one uses the word Brahman for the unimaginable God, there is no objection at all provided the word Brahman used for unimaginable God does not bring confusion by diversion to other meanings of great items. The word ‘Parabrahman’ is recommended to be used for unimaginable God only to avoid this confusion in anyway.
  • The other extreme end of the creation is gross state or clearly visualized material called as vishva or vaishva or vaishvaanara or Viraatpurusha representing matter along with inert energy and awareness in both macro and micro cosmic levels by the Veda and other scholars. All these words indicate the matter or materialized vishva (cosmos having materialized gross bodies as parts) that is perceived in the awaken state by the gross materialized body. The word ‘matter’ mentioned here does not mean that the cosmos or gross body is made of matter only. The cosmos and gross body contains inert energy and awareness also along with inert matter. Then, why do you represent this state by matter only? The answer is: 1) the inert energy and awareness are represented by separate states called as swapna or dream (Taijasa) and sushupti or deep sleep (praajna) respectively. 2) This does not again mean that only inert energy is in dream and only awareness is in deep sleep so that you may conclude that only inert matter is in awaken state. Especially, awareness can’t exist independently without container like energetic body (energy) or materialized body (matter) with associated energy. Without awaken and dream states, deep sleep can't exist in isolated way. You can say that in deep sleep, both energy (subtle body) and matter with associated energy (gross body) are not perceived and in dream, matter with associated energy (gross body) is not perceived. Yes. Based on this angle only, as you come down from deep sleep to dream to awaken state, one new item is added in every state. In deep sleep, only awareness exists (I will deal with this point later on since in deep sleep awareness disappears in every human being). When we come down to the next state of dream, apart from awareness, inert energy is added. Even though in dream both awareness and inert energy exist, the dream (Taijasa) is said to represent only inert energy (Tejas) since inert energy is the new item appearing in this dream state. Otherwise, we should have called dream state as Taijasa Praajna or state of inert energy and awareness. As we come down from dream to awaken state, a new item again appears apart from awareness and inert energy, which is inert matter. Even though in this state, awareness, inert energy and matter exist, since the new item is matter, this state is said to stand for matter or vishva or materialized cosmos with gross bodies perceived in the awaken state.

Vishva – Vaishva - Vaishvaanara

  • Coming to the terminology used in awaken state, all these terms stand for the same meaning. Vishva means materialized macro cosmos. Vaishva also means materialized micro cosmos. Vaishva is a part of Vaishvaanara. Part of the name can also represent the same person represented by full name. If the full name is Venugopala Krishna Murthy, you can call him as Gopal or Krishna or Murthy or Venu. This tradition is called as “Naamaika desha grahanam”. Vaishvaanara actually is the word used to mean fire (Agni), which stands for the inert energy since awareness and matter are its forms only. You can call the macro or micro cosmos by the name of causal material (inert energy) just like you can call golden chain (macro) and golden ring (micro) as gold. The Word ‘Nara’ represents eternality (na riyate iti narah) of awareness (since soul leaving the gross body is not destroyed and even if thoughts disappear the awareness exists continuously), eternality of inert energy (heat, electricity etc., are interchangeable but the basic energy is eternal) and eternality of matter (forms of matter may disappear, but fundamental atoms are eternal).
  • The word ‘Nara’ also stands for the root cause called as Mula Prakruti, which is inert energy in very high invisible range. The word ‘Nara’ means that which is eternal. The entire world dissolves in Mula Prakruti and Mula Prakruti for the next creation as per the will of God. Hence the Vaishvaanara can mean Mula Prakruti also.
  • Vishva (Purvapada Dirghah) + Nara = Vishvaanara. + 'An' Pratyaya = Vaishvaanara. This means eternal essence or Mula Prakruti indicated by the word Nara of the entire creation (Vishva). Based on rules of grammar, you can bring all these meanings for the word Vaishvaanara. It is like the word 'Vishvamitra', meaning Mitra (friend) of Vishva (all the world).
  • The Veda doesn’t distinguish macro and micro levels since it is only a quantitative difference that can be neglected and hence only one term ‘Vaishvaanara’ is used. Gaudapada used the same word in macro but used the word vishva in micro level. When there is qualitative similarity, micro can be called as macro (small can be called as big). Shankara being the indirect disciple (disciple of disciple) of Gaudapada used vishva in micro level and vaishvaanara in macro level in the same way. Shankara called Vaishvaanara (used for macro level) as Viraat purusha also based on the Purusha Sukta (part of the Veda). Vaishvaanara contains all the three eternal (eternality is relative and not the absolute eternality of unimaginable God) components of creation being represented by awaken state. All these three components are derived from the root cause-inert energy only. Inert energy stands as the root cause as well as the product (as one of the three components). As root cause, inert energy can be taken in very subtle-invisible range. The inert energy as one of the three components can be taken in the gross-visible range. Here, the gross-visible range means a) the range that is grasped by even scientific instruments in which X-rays etc., come, which is called as invisible range by scientists and b) the range of energy grasped by eyes like light, which is called as visible range by scientists. However, even the inert energy in very subtle-invisible range as the root cause of this cosmos comes under the category of creation only since it is also a product created by the root-root cause called as unimaginable God. If you say the word ‘creation’, it includes root cause-inert energy along with expressed cosmos having the three components: awareness, gross-visible inert energy and inert matter. The root cause-inert energy is called as avyaakruta or avyakta or apanchikruta state of inert energy. The awareness, gross-visible inert energy and matter (three components of cosmos or vishva) are called as vyaakruta or vyakta or panchikruta state of inert energy in which the five elements along with awareness (purusha) are present. The space or vacuum also comes under the gross-visible inert energy only (being one of the five elements) even though space is not perceived even by scientific instruments since it was perceived by the great ancient sages with the help of divine power. If you call the space as invisible, it is the scientific view. If you call space also visible, it is the view of ancient sages with miraculous power. This indicates that the range of root cause-inert energy is more subtle than the range of even spatial energy.
  • Tarka Shastra and science are one and the same, analyzing the creation only since creator is unimaginable. Even the miracles exhibited by creator can’t be analyzed. Hence, imaginable items and imaginable phenomena are only dealt. Even in tarka or science, without God’s grace, errors happen. Kanada and Goutama were founders of tarka not accepting God. They said that sound is the property of space. But, science proves this to be wrong since sound is not propagated in vacuum without medium. Science feels that space or vacuum is nothing. But, by God’s grace ancient sages found it as very subtle energy and included it in the created five elements, which are not nothing. Hence, all old is not gold and all latest is not worst since you have to examine both by sharp analysis praying God (puraanamityeva...).
  • The Veda deals with the observer or conscious element only in this topic. It is true. But, observer means the conscious (awareness) element related to the observed objects also and hence the creation (Vishva) and dream (Taijasa) are also to be analyzed in this context. There is no observer without observed object. The dream is made of awareness and inert energy. Since inert energy is newly appearing item, the dream is called as Taijasa (Tejas means inert energy) even though awareness is carried to dream from the deep sleep or Praajna (Praajna means observing awareness). Similarly, the awaken state is called as Vishva or this physical world in which the new item appearing is inert matter apart from the awareness of Praajna and inert energy of Taijasa. Hence, this physical world is made of three components (awareness, inert energy and inert matter). The dream is made of two components (awareness and inert energy). The deep sleep is made of one component (awareness) in which it is subject as well as object resulting in knowing itself or self-awareness in blissful state provided this state belongs to human incarnation, which is state of God in human being. In view of these two components, you can bring human being in states of waking and dream. You can bring the state of unimaginable God in Praajna and Amaatra states in the same human being continuously. Hence, all the four states are continuing on the same screen called Human Incarnation.
  • It is absurd to say that awareness exists in deep sleep since experience contradicts it. Nobody is enjoying happiness during the deep sleep since the awareness is not generated at all in the shutdown system called as nervous system for rest. Only after raising from deep sleep, you say that you are feeling fresh and happy since you slept well. Nobody says that he felt fresh throughout the last night during deep sleep! Experience is the ultimate authority. The rest in deep sleep was just inferred information after rising from deep sleep. In such case, how the Veda says that awareness only exists in deep sleep, which alone is responsible for the awareness in the other two states also? It is also said that awareness is with full of ignorance in deep sleep. The ignorance must be due to absence of objects (dream or physical world). In such case, external awareness may be absent, but internal awareness (self-awareness) must exist, which does not exist in the deep sleep. Such a state of self-awareness alone exists in the state of meditation in which you leave every external objects and impressions of memory and remain with awareness alone in the mode of self-awareness only. Such a state of meditation is not the deep sleep, in which self-awareness also disappears. Full ignorance means absence of both external and internal self-awareness. It means that awareness exists in its basic causal form, which is the inert energy. You can’t link deep sleep and awareness in anyway. The inert energy is transformed into awareness in the specific nervous system just like the electricity is transformed into cutting work in cutting machine. Awareness is only a specific work of inert energy in a specific machine called nervous system, which is transportation of information to brain through senses or transportation of memories from a faculty of brain (Chittam) or transportation of information of self to itself. This is scientifically proved and is in accordance with the practical experience also.
  • However, we need not eliminate completely the absence of awareness in deep sleep of every human being since it is possible in the case of a human incarnation. In the human incarnation, two types of awareness exist: 1) Imaginable relative awareness of human being-component that disappears in deep sleep and 2) Unimaginable absolute awareness of unimaginable God-component that entered into the selected specific human being. In deep sleep, even though relative awareness disappears, absolute awareness exists in the case of human incarnation. Hence, you must understand that the Veda is referring to the human incarnation only here. In the awaken state, the human being (Vishva) is said to be the Lord, omniscient, controller, cause of everything and creator and destroyer of world by the Veda (Sarveswarah, Sarvajnah, Antaryaami, Sarvasya Yonih, Prabhavaapyayah bhutaanam). Gauadapada also says that observer in the awaken state, Vishva, is the Lord (Vibhur vishvah...). The absolute awareness after entertained by physical world and dream is enjoying bliss (Anandabhuk) in deep sleep without any other object memorising the scenes of dream-cinema and world-cinema! An ordinary human being is not enjoying in deep sleep in a similar way by memorising dreams and scenes of world!
  • If the human being explained in third state is the human incarnation, why Shankara says that these three states exist in every human being, which means that awareness exists in the deep sleep of every human being? Answer is very simple. Shankara told that every human being is God (human incarnation) and hence the absolute awareness exists in deep sleep of every human being. He called the absolute awareness as Atman and relative awareness as Jeeva (individual soul) since the individual soul is converted in to inert energy in deep sleep. Ignorance (inert energy) is surrounding absolute awareness. Ignorance here means only absence of any object and also presence of inert energy. Such proposal of treating every human being as God (human incarnation) was made by Shankara in order to motivate atheists. What is in the mind of Shankara was different from what is spoken by Shankara for the sake of context. The above para was actually in the mind of Shankara. If you take only whatever spoken by Shankara, the above para contradicts it strongly.
  • Shankara mentioned Eshwara in deep sleep state, Hiranyagarbha in dream state and Vaishvaanara or Viraatpurushaa in awaken state at the macro level, which is also not contradicting Gaudapada because Gaudapada was silent about states of dream and deep sleep in giving names at the same macro level. Shankara, gave the same name Vaishvaanara as given by Gaudapada to the awaken state. Gaudapada did not bother about names of these two latter states (deep sleep and dream) because the same stories of Praajna and Taijasa of micro level just repeat in these two states in multiplied macro state quantitatively. For reference, the awaken state (Vaishvaanara) was only mentioned. Shankara just gave names of Eshwara (deep sleep) and Hiranyagarbha (dream) for the two states having no names as per Gaudapada. The Veda gave names of micro level (Vishva, Taijasa and Praajna) only and never cared about macro level since the micro level multiplied becomes macro level. Shri Datta Swami represented Hiranyagarbha for deep sleep instead of Eshwara of Shankara. He also mentioned Viraat for the dream state instead of Hiranyagarbha of Shankara. One may think that the already confusion between Gaudapada and Shankara is further enhanced by Datta Swami, but, the following analysis will reveal the truth.
  • We must examine carefully about Eshwara of deep sleep and Hiranyagarbha of dream state. In deep sleep, the absolute awareness alone exists without any object. It means Eshwara is the first incarnation of unimaginable God having a wish to create a second item for entertainment (Sa dvitiyamaichchat— Veda) and this wish or awareness is the body or medium of the original unimaginable God so that except awareness, nothing exists here. You should not argue that this awareness means creation is already started because awareness is a component of creation. You are not correct because this awareness is not the relative awareness of creation and is only the unimaginable awareness that can’t be isolated from God (since no two unimaginable items exist). Hence, unimaginable God and Eshwara are one and the same even though you may make theoretical difference that God is without wish and Eshwara is same God with wish to create. In the beginning, the creation of even the root cause inert energy did not take place and no object other than God exists in this state except wish, which cannot be differentiated from God. This wish is only to create some second item for entertainment and simultaneous materialization does not take place because the second item is not made clear as the Mula Prakruti. This is a state of wish without simultaneous materialization and hence God with awareness alone exists. This state can be taken as awareness alone since both God and awareness result as one unimaginable item only. Based on this crucial point only, the three preachers simply took this unimaginable awareness as God and people misunderstood this absolute awareness as relative awareness to end in monism! Therefore, Eshwara is their unmanifested causal awareness (absolute awareness that did not create even the root cause-inert energy) as presented by Shankara in support of His argument to motivate atheists to become theists.
  • There is no object in the third awaken state for the observer. God is only in the state of planning to create some second item (not specified) and this planning thought is also unimaginable like the unimaginable causal awareness. In the absence of any second materialized relative item, the absolute state continues. Hence, Eshwara or the unimaginable God with unimaginable wish is told to be unmanifest cause (Avyaakruta kaarana).
  • The second Hiranyagarbha (as per Shankara) of dream state shows that the root cause-inert energy (Mula Prakruti) was already created by unimaginable God and first macro human form of inert energy along with awareness or soul was manifested by the same unimaginable God from Mula Prakruti in to which God as Eshwara entered to be called as the first jeeva. After this, He created souls with subtle energetic bodies (population of upper worlds). These subtle forms are the objects of the same Eshwara or unimaginable God existing in the name of Hiranyagarbha in the state of perception of a similar scene of dream made of subtle forms. We must never forget that the same Amaatra God becoming Eshwara due to bliss and a general wish continues in to the dream state as Hiranyagarbha. The observer in any state (of three states) is the same unimaginable God only. The scenes of the observer and media of the observer are common in both. Here, Datta Swami says that the unimaginable God with unimaginable awareness charged with unimaginable bliss alone is the observer and not the awareness. If you say awareness as unimaginable, it is one and the same with unimaginable God. If you say awareness as relative, it is impossible since it cannot exist before creation in Praajna state. The relative awareness of Hiranyagarbha is mixed with the unimaginable awareness of God whereas the awareness of subtle energetic beings was always relative awareness only since Mula Prakruti was already created and is converted in to awareness in nervous system of energy (due to absence of matter) only involving a super technology. Hence, there is no difference between Eshwara and Hiranyagarbha from the angle of observer (unimaginable God) internally except the created external media. The difference is only from the angle of object. Eshwara (of Shankara) had no object whereas Hiranyagarbha (of Shankara) had subtle object as a dream. Hence, the Veda says that though Hiranyagarbha is the first soul from the point of first external energetic body with soul, He is the Lord of creation from the point of internal observer or God. The Veda says this point “In the beginning of creation Hiranyagarbha appeared (in relation to inert energy created) and became the Lord of subtle creation”. It is very important to note the crucial point that Eshwara and Hiranyagarbha are internally one and the same except the difference due to external media. Based on this internal oneness of unimaginable God and unimaginable awareness as wish, Shri Datta Swami placed Hiranyagarbha taken as unimaginable awareness in the place of deep sleep itself. In the place of dream state, Datta swami used the word Viraat (means shining or inert energy) from the angle of external energy as His medium as well as the object as the subtle forms (energetic beings of upper worlds) of inert energy. Hence, there is no difference between Shankara and Datta Swami in using different terminology since the meaning is one and the same. The dream also contains inert items made of inert energy and living items made by awareness (souls) and inert energy (energetic bodies). In this state, there is no materialization of matter.
  • Coming to the third awaken state, matter materialized along with inert energy and awareness. In this state, the inert items are made of inert energy and inert matter and the living beings are made of souls (awareness) and inert matter associated with inert energy (materialized bodies). In this third state, the observer is called as Vaishvaanara by both Gaudapada and Shankara and Vishva by Datta Swami. The word Viraatpurusha indicates that the first energetic incarnation having energetic body dissolves in the macro human being bringing unimaginable God in to the macro human being called as Vaishvaanara (Shankara) or Vishva (Datta Swami). The first energetic incarnation is also in macro energetic body only and can be called as Viraatpurusha in the second dream state itself as per Datta Swami. In the third state, that Viraatpurusha is merged with macro human being so that even the macro human being can be called as Vishvarupa (macro human incarnation) as described in the Purusha Sukta of the Veda and also as seen by Arjuna in the Gita. The same macro Vishnu (Vishva) in the micro state is Krishna or Vaishva as per Datta Swami. The Praajna, Taijasa and Vishva spoken here are not of ordinary human beings but are of human incarnations only.
  • You must take the background concept (to understand the variation in terminology), which is that the same unimaginable God of Amaatra state is coming down as Eshwara, Hiranyagarbha and Vaishvaanara or Viraat purusha (as per Shankara) or Hiranyagarbha, Viraat and Vishva (as per Datta Swami) at macro level and these names are given with respect to the internal angle or external angle. At the micro level, Praajna and Taijasa were used by all whereas Datta Swami used Vaishva instead of Vishva (used by others) in awaken state. Since there is qualitative similarity, the word ‘Vishva’ can also be accommodated in the place of Vaishva, which justifies the term Vishva of others. To be more precise in showing the quantitative difference also, Datta Swami used Vaishva (a small part of Vishva) at the micro level. The Veda used Vaishvaanara in the awaken state in both levels and Vaishva of Datta Swami can be a part of the full name of Vaishvaanara also to correlate the Veda with others, the word Vishva can stand for Vaishvaanara also since the word Vaishva indicates the group of three components to give the resulting meaning as Vaishva (Vaishvaanaam Vishva bhagaanaam samaahaarah Vaishvam) and such Vaishvam in the sense of collective Vaishva components can result into the word Vishva.
  • Ramanuja compared an ordinary human being like Shvetaketu with Lord Narayana having Vishvarupa and established similarity between these two qualified (Vishishta) items and named His philosophy as ‘Vishishta Advaita’. While analysing these two items, the causal, subtle and gross bodies are involved. The quantitative difference between these two items is only in the macro and micro levels. These macro and micro levels establish the whole-part relationship (Angi-Anga or Sheshi-Shesha) between God and ordinary human soul, which is like a lottery ticket for one lakh while the lottery ticket of Shankara was for one crore (by saying that every ordinary human being is God). These lottery ticket attractions were created by them for the sake of motivation. Madhva brought down the lottery ticket to one thousand. The fall in the value is due to raise in the maturity from atheist to partial devotee to full devotee. Datta Swami didn’t exhibit any lottery ticket because today the brains of devotees have become very sharp in analysis to understand the absolute truth without any attraction for motivation. In My Datta Veda, I have given the philosophy of Ramanuja in which the analysis of macro and micro items with reference to the three states was exhibited since it is the very basis of Ramanuja in showing monism (not actual monism, but, monism in the sense of similarity as in the metaphor used between two comparable items like saying a person as lion in comparison). Later on, I applied this terminology of the philosophy of Ramanuja to the philosophy of Shankara showing how these terms fit exactly in the line of Shankara. Since the absolute reality can’t be achieved by any human being except unimaginable God, any philosophy (including Shankara) has to be discussed in the relative reality only that can be grasped by humanity. Shankara showed the absolute reality in theory only whereas in practice He remains in relative reality only for the sake of humanity. Ramanuja’s theory and practice are in relative reality only without showing any finger! If you take the relative reality for the benefit of humanity in practical sense, you will find both Shankara and Ramanuja in relative reality only with the same philosophy. This was My aim to discuss philosophy and terminology of Ramanuja in the light of philosophy of Shankara, assuming that Shankara is also not showing His finger. Hence, while discussing both the philosophies, this terminology in the case of Ramanuja is genuine, whereas in the case of Shankara, it is applied. The terminology used by Shankara in His commentary is genuine to His philosophy whereas this terminology shown by Me in the case of Shankara is an application of Ramanuja to Shankara. Shankara told that Shvetaketu is God in view of the context of His time. Ramanuja told that Shvetaketu is part of God in view of the context of His time to console partial devotees by partial revelation of truth. Madhva told almost difference only between God and Shvetaketu to give a little consolation to full devotees. Datta Swami told total difference between unimaginable God and imaginable Shvetaketu and interpreted the Vedic statement as Tvam=you (Shvetaketu), Asi = are going to become, Tat = that unimaginable God shortly. The verb in present tense can be used for very near future and there is possibility for any human being to become unimaginable God through human incarnation. Since father of Shvetaketu told his son as blessing in the end of the topic, we can easily understand the eagerness of the father to wish that his son could become God as early as possible. This answer was given by Datta Swami to Shri Chandra Shekhara Saraswati of Kanchi Peetham in the discussion as answer to his question and Datta Swami was very much appreciated by him.
  • There is a story that sage Bhrugu cursed Brahma not to have worship, cursed Shiva to be worshiped as Linga (stone in wave form) and blessed Vishnu to have worship for His full statue. 1) Those people, who take this story in real sense without understanding the inner essence, say that there is no worship for Brahma. They do not understand that the absence of worship of Brahma is because He is the unimaginable God existing before creation since creator must be present before creation. One can’t even imagine Him and one can’t think about His worship! As soon as creation is over, Brahma becomes silent. This knowledge of God Brahma that He is unimaginable is related to awareness. This Praajna state involves only awareness or knowledge (Saraswati) with bliss and God Brahma is called as Hiranyagarbha as indicated by the Sanskrit Dictionary. 2) The next Taijasa or Viraat state involves a new item called as Tejas or inert energy (Parvati) apart from awareness, in which God Shiva is represented by a stone in wave form (Linga) for worship. Inert energy propagates in the form of waves. 3) The next Vishva state involves a new item called as matter (Lakshmi representing materialized wealth) apart from awareness and inert energy in which God Vishnu is represented by a materialized statue for worship. Vishnu is called as Vishvam (Vishvam Vishnuh...). 4) God Dattatreya or Eshwara is involved with these three divine forms as unity.


  • We should not be excited on finding difference between our concept and concept of scripture and hurriedly conclude that we are wrong and the scripture is correct. My straight question is that have you got an audio video cassette of scripture while God dictated it? The scripture was told by God to sages in very ancient time. Very long time passed on and there might have been some insertions (additions), some deletions and some modifications also done by some culprits. Of course, the Veda was preserved by recitation and such chance is very less, but can’t be totally eliminated. Kalidasa wrote a verse in Vedic meter (Ami Vedihi...). If you see ‘Shri Suktam’ (Vedic portion) it is in non-Vedic meter (Anushtup). Gayatri meter is in three lines and if one line is added, it becomes Anushtup meter. You may say that this is not a strong reason. But, you find totally non-Vedic meters like Shaardulavikridatam (Lakshmim Kshirasamudra...) and Sragdhara (yaa saa padmaasanasthaa...) and even the Vedic accents were noted on these verses to give an impression that these verses were originally the Vedic hymns only! Hence, 1% chance of adulteration is possible even in the primary scripture, which is called as 'Khilabhaaga'. Assuming that you have brought the above referred cassette and proved the dictation of God, a statement of the Veda has several interpretations given by scholars. I might have followed blindly one version since it was followed by My forefathers. It is said that a biased fool drinks even very salt hard water from a well saying that the well was dug by his forefathers (Taatasya kupoyamiti...)! I must know which version is correct and for this I must analyse the meaning of statements of even the Veda also. Statements were dictated by God, but, any version was not explained by God. If I am rejecting a version of Vedic statement, it does not mean that I am rejecting the Veda and its author, God! People rigid of that blind version only blame Me that I am going against the Veda and God! Hence, even God told Arjuna that Arjuna should analyze what all He preached bit by bit before accepting it (Vimrushyaitadasheshena... Gita).
  • While following the preaching of human incarnations like Shankara etc., also, we must follow the analysis for two reasons: 1) There might have been adulteration of their commentary written on palm leaves by some culprits in course of time as said above. 2) These human incarnations might have twisted a true concept for the same motivation of rigid receivers present in their times so that once they are motivated by a twisted truth, gradually they may come to the true path. We must identify those twists by analysis so that we are not confused now because such twist is not required for us, today. Hence, the Lord introduced the Gita with stage of analysis or Buddhi yoga (Dadaami buddhiyogam tam...). Even Shankara took only yukti or logical analysis for detecting truth (sadasat viveka) and did not mention scriptures or even experience (some times wrong experience may be there).
  • We should not be confused in the forest of words (Shabdajaala mahaaranyam...). The confusion always comes in the forest of words and not in the beautiful and well-arranged concepts of public garden. In a forest, trees, creepers and bushes intermingle with each other creating lot of confusion. The clear concepts should be like a well-arranged garden in which you can distinguish the concepts without intermingled directions. When you decide the framework of concepts in a scientific manner, which totally agrees with our experience that should be the ultimate skeleton of the established knowledge on which all these theories from scriptures can be accommodated like lumps of flesh in required fashion. Unless you have a predetermined framework derived from scientific analysis (yukti) and our practical experience (anubhava), you should not try to develop the skeleton from the existing lumps of flesh, which are the theoretical derivations of ancient metaphysics not established on experimental proof like science. You cannot build the framework of park based on the forest. If you observe a public garden in which the trees, creepers, etc., are placed in a planned manner, clarity will be wonderful. You can pick up the trees, creepers, etc., from the forest and can place in the well-planned public garden, which gives excellent clarity. You cannot make a plan from a forest, even though you can pick up the items from the forest. Your plan should be always based on the observation of public garden. Of course, the concepts from scriptures and scholars can be compared with your skeleton and if any fault is proved in your skeleton through analysis, you should rectify your skeleton without any prejudice.
  • One important defect of the scripture and commentaries of ancient scholars is that the exact original version might have been polluted by several intermediate middle age scholars, who are great masters of confusion being theoretical scholars of imaginations only! If you don’t find a systematic-scientific plan in the scripture, you should not be scared that every word existing in the scripture is from God only. The knowledge revealed by God might have been misunderstood by the confused receivers in their expressions. You cannot attribute this confusion to God and say that I must remove confusion in the forest already having a three dimensional network of confusions!
  • If one opposes your concept by the strength of another concept, which might have been told by him or by scripture or by human incarnation, you should not be excited by hearing the name of the author of concept. If the other concept is proved by you to be wrong, you should be bold by saying that not only the concept but also the author of that concept is wrong. Once Swami Vivekananda was giving a message to a small gathering of scholars in Chennai. Suddenly, one scholar rose and said “you are telling in that way, but, Shankara told in this way, which is against to your way!” Then, Swami told “If Shankara told in that way, He is wrong”. The scholar was stunned and sat. What is the meaning of Swami here? Is it ego of Swami to say that even Shankara is wrong? No. The actual sense of Swami is that Shankara or Lord Shiva should not have told in that way. That way is the result of: 1) Misunderstood interpretation of Shankara or 2) Some culprit might have polluted the commentary of Shankara written on palm leaves in course of time since it is was not a printed book during the time of Shankara. The same situation happened to Shankara also and similar reply was given by even Shankara. Shankara was condemning atheistic philosophy (Nirishvara Sankhya) of Kapila. Then, the opponent told “Are you condemning the omniscient Kapila?” Then Shankara replied “If you say Kapila as omniscient, somebody will say that the atheist Kanada is also omniscient. What is the authority for this point? (Kapilo yadi sarvajnah, Kanado neti Kaa pramaa?)”. Kapila was the incarnation of God, who preached devotion of the God to His mother in the Bhagavatam. There was another sage called as Kapila, who was the author of the Sankhya. Both are totally different persons in totally different lines of knowledge. Ignoring this fact, the opponent told that this atheistic Kapila is that Kapila, human incarnation. Shankara also ignored this fact and simply went on the validity of concept decided by analysis only irrespective of its author in view of the above discussed points like pollution by insertion etc.

Answers to Dr. Nikhil's Questions

1) Could You please clarify the apparent differences in terminology regarding the four states from the Mandukya Upanishad?

[The terminology used by Shri Shankara and Shri Gaudapada in the discussion of the four states from the Mandukya Upanishad, differs slightly from the terminology used by You. At the macrocosmic level, the two Advaita preachers have used the terms Vaishvanara/Virat, Hiranyagarbha, Ishwara and Brahman/Atman for the A, U, M and the Turiiya states respectively. But while explaining Shri Ramanuja’s theory, You have used the terms Vishva, Virat and Hiranyagarbha for the first three states and not


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