On Shiva Sutra: Sushupti is the final frontier of Maya

Acharya Prashant
4 min readDec 17, 2021

The following is an excerpt from a samvaad (dialogue) session with Acharya Prashant.

अविवेको मायासौषुप्तम्

(Unconsciousness and lack of self-awareness create the illusion of deep sleep)

~Shiva Sutra (1.10)

Acharya Prashant (AP): Tenth Sutra, “अविवेको मायासौषुप्तम्” — Unconsciousness and lack of self-awareness create the illusion of deep sleep. That which we call ‘deep sleep’ is the final frontier of ‘Maya’ because it gives the illusion that, no objects remain. So, it appears so much like Samadhi.

Sushupti is the final frontier of Maya. Do you know what is ‘Maya’? What is ‘Maya’? –Illusion.

Why is Maya mentioned only in the context of ‘Sushupti’? Because only in ‘Sushupti’ do you feel that ‘Maya’ has vanished. If the objects are illusory then you feel and see no objects in Sushupti. So, only in Sushupti, can you be assured that because objects are not there so ‘Maya’ too is not there.

‘Maya’ expresses herself through objects. In Sushupti, in deep sleep, in dreamless sleep, the objects vanish. If objects vanish, then it is easy to feel as if Maya herself has vanished.

The sage is cautioning. The sage is saying — Don’t be indiscreet. Don’t be a aviveki.

Had Maya totally vanished then how could you have woken up from deep sleep when your name was called? Had you really given up on all thought and identity then how is it possible that this state gives way to other states?

How it is possible that from Sushupti you return to the normal state of waking identification very quickly?

This distinction is important to make and this distinction would be understood only by the ones, who are sincere about it.

What is Sushupti? What does Sushupti mean to us?

Sushupti is the great escape. Sushupti means the disappearance of objects, only for the objects to return a little while later.

Sushupti means the world is gone but, not really gone, it is only suspended temporarily. It will come back.

Acharya Prashant