Mandukya Upanishad, verse 5


यत्र सुप्तो न कञ्चन कामं कामयते न कञ्चन स्वप्नं पश्यति तत्सुषुप्तम् । सुषुप्तस्थान एकीभूतः प्रज्ञानघन एवाऽऽनन्दमयो ह्यानन्दभुक् चेतोमुखः प्राज्ञस्तृतीयः पादः ॥ ५ ॥

yatra supto na kañcana kāmaṃ kāmayate na kañcana svapnaṃ paśyati tatsuṣuptam | suṣuptasthāna ekībhūtaḥ prajñānaghana evā''nandamayo hyānandabhuk cetomukhaḥ prājñastṛtīyaḥ pādaḥ || 5 ||

5. That is the state of deep sleep wherein the sleeper does not desire any objects nor does he see any dream. The third quarter (Pāda) is the Prājña whose sphere is deep sleep, in whom all (experiences) become unified or undifferentiated, who is verily, a mass of consciousness entire, who is full of bliss and who experiences bliss, and who is the path leading to the knowledge (of the two other states).

Shankara Bhashya (commentary)

The adjectival clause, viz., “Wherein the sleeper,” etc., is put with a view to enabling one to grasp what the state of deep sleep (Suṣupti) signifies, inasmuch as sleep characterized by1 the absence of the knowledge of Reality is the common feature of those mental modifications which are associated with (waking, that is) perception2 (of gross objects) and (dream, that is the) non-perception3 (of gross objects). Or4 the object of the introduction of the adjectival clause may be to distinguish the state of deep sleep (of the sleeping person) from the two previous states as sleep characterized by the absence of knowledge of Reality is the common feature of the three states. ‘Wherein,’ that is to say, in which state or time, the sleeping person does not see any dream, nor does he desire any desirable (object). For; in the state of deep sleep, there does not exist, as in the two other states, any desire or the dream experience whose characteristic is to take a thing for what it is not. He is called the ‘Suṣuptasthāna’ because his sphere is this state of deep sleep. Similarly it is called Ekībhūta, i.e., the state in which all experiences become unified—a state in which all objects of duality, which are nothing but forms5 of thought, spread over the two states (viz., the waking and the dream), reach the state6, of indiscrimination or non-differentiation without losing their characteristics, as the day, revealing phenomenal objects, is enveloped by the darkness of night. Therefore conscious experiences, which are nothing but forms of thought, perceived during dream and waking states, become a thick mass (of consciousness) as7 it were (in deep sleep); this state of deep sleep is called the ‘Prajñānagharta’ (a mass of all consciousness unified) on account of the absence of all manifoldness (discrimination of variety). As at night, owing to the indiscrimination produced by darkness, all (percepts) become a mass (of darkness) as it were, so also in the state of deep sleep all (objects) of consciousness, verily, become a mass (of consciousness). The word ‘eva’ (‘verily’) in the text denotes the absence8 of any other thing except consciousness (in deep sleep). (At the time of deep sleep) the mind is free from the miseries9 of the efforts made on account of the states of the mind being involved in the relationship of subject and object: therefore, it is called the Ānandamaya, that is, endowed with an abundance of bliss. But this is not Bliss Itself; because it10 is not Bliss Infinite. As in common (experience) parlance, one, free from efforts, is called happy and enjoyer of bliss. As the Prājña 11 enjoys this state of deep sleep which is entirely free from all efforts, therefore it is called the ‘Ānandabhuk’ (the experiencer of bliss). The Śruti also says, “This is its highest bliss.” It is called the ‘Cetomukha’ because it is the doorway12 to the (cognition) of the two other states of consciousness known as dream and waking. Or because the Ceta (the perceiving entity) characterized13 by (empirical) consciousness (Bodha) is its doorway leading to the experience of dreams, etc., therefore it is called the “Cetomukha’. It is called Prājña as it is conscious of the past and the future as well as of all objects. It is called the Prājña, the knower par excellence, even in deep sleep, because14 of its having been so in the two previous states. Or it is called the Prājña because its peculiar feature is consciousness15 undifferentiated. In the two other states consciousness exists, no doubt, but it is (there) aware of (the experiences of) variety. The Prājña, thus described, is the third quarter.