Contention: No Avidya
In sleep, Brahman alone is, there is no Avidya, is one contention. This is a state which is then related to in the waking state. Here the waker says that he slept and he had no knowledge. Also that there was the presence of Avidya in sleep is from the waker’s perspective who is in Avidya. The waker wants to attribute some continuity to his sense of Avidya, so that he can state that there is an Avidya which was cutting through waking, dream and sleep states. Some questions to those who are opposed to this view:
- Since there is no mixing of Jiva and Brahman possible in deep sleep, how can we even say that Avidya is there?
Contention: Potential Avidya
The more mainstream contention is that Avidya exists in the potential form. It is the mulaavidya, the concealing ignorance. It comes out again when you wake up. Also, for those holding on to the position that there is no Avidya in sleep, the obvious question:
- Would it not imply then that the Ajnani turns into a Jnani when he sleeps?