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Brahma Sutras – According to Shankara 3-2-4

Topic 4 - The nature of a swoon

Sutra 3,2.10

मुग्धेऽर्धसंपत्तिः, परिशेषात् ॥ १० ॥

mugdhe’rdhasaṃpattiḥ, pariśeṣāt || 10 ||

mugdhe—In a swoon; ardhasaṃpattiḥ—partial attainment of the state of deep sleep; pariśeṣāt—as only alternative left.

10. In a swoon (there is the) partial attainment of the state of deep sleep, as that is the only alternative left.

The question of swoon is taken up for discussion.

There are only three states of a soul while living in the body—waking, dream, and deep sleep. Its fourth state is death.

The condition of swoon cannot come in as a fifth state, as no such state is known. So what is it? Is it a separate state of the soul, or is it but one of these states?

It cannot be waking or dream, for there is no consciousness or experience of anything. It is not deep sleep, for that gives happiness, which swoon does not. Nor is it death, for the soul returns to life.

So the only alternative left is that in a swoon the soul partially attains the state of deep sleep, inasmuch as there is no consciousness in that state and it Returns to life, and partially that of death, as is seen from the soul’s experience of misery and pain in that state resulting in distorted face and limbs.

It is a separate state, though it happens occasionally, and the reason why it is not considered a fifth state is because it is a mixture of the other two states.