In Hindu philosophy there are three main Pramanas or valid means of knowledge: Pratyaksha or sensory evidence, Anumana or reasoning, and Shabda or revelation/scripture. But as I discuss in this question, Advaitins believe that these Pramanas are only valid in the perspective of someone still living under Maya. Now in his commentary on Adhyaya 4 Pada 1 Sutra 3 of the Brahma Sutras, the Advaitin philosopher Adi Shankaracharya gives two scriptural quotes to try to support the Advaita belief that all Pramanas are ultimately invalid:
Nor is it true that the doctrine of identity would imply that nobody is entitled to works, &c., and is contrary to perception and so on. For we admit that before true knowledge springs up, the soul is implicated in the transmigratory state, and that this state constitutes the sphere of the operation of perception and so on. On the other hand texts such as 'But when the Self only has become all this, how should he see another?' &c., teach that as soon as true knowledge springs up, perception, &c., are no longer valid.--Nor do we mind your objecting that if perception, &c., cease to be valid, scripture itself ceases to be so; for this conclusion is just what we assume. For on the ground of the text, 'Then a father is not a father' up to 'Then the Vedas are not Vedas' (Bri. Up. IV, 3, 22), we ourselves assume that when knowledge springs up scripture ceases to be valid.
Now the Sri Vaishnava sect (of which I am a member) believes that all Pramanas including scripture are always valid means of knowledge. So my question is, how do Sri Vaishnavas interpret the scriptural quote that Adi Shankaracharya interprets as saying that scripture is ultimately invalid?
The quote comes from verse 22 of Adhyaya 4 Brahmana 3 of the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad, where the sage Yagnavalkya describes to Janaka the state of the soul during deep sleep:
atra pitā'pitā bhavati mātā'mātā lokā alokā devā adevā vedā avedā
atra steno'steno bhavati bhrūṇahā'bhrūṇahā
cāṇḍālo'caṇḍālaḥ paulkaso'paulkaso śramaṇo'śramaṇa
stāpaso'tāpaso'nanvāgataṃ puṇyenānanvāgataṃ pāpena
tīrṇo hi tadā sarvāñchokānhṛdayasya bhavati ॥
Then a father is not a father, a mother not a mother, the worlds not worlds, the gods not gods, the Vedas not Vedas. Then a thief is not a thief, a murderer not a murderer, a Kândâla not a Kândâla, a Paulkasa not a Paulkasa, a Sramana not a Sramana, a Tâpasa not a Tâpasa. He is not followed by good, not followed by evil, for he has then overcome all the sorrows of the heart.
Now as I discuss in this answer, all the commentators on the Brahma Sutras agree that during deep sleep, the soul resides in Brahman. So Adi Shankaracharya argues that the statement that "the Vedas [are] not Vedas" during deep sleep means that when a person has attained Brahman, the Vedas are no longer valid means of knowledge.
But how do Sri Vaishnaavas interpret the "Vedas [are] not Vedas" quote? Now the famous Sri Vaishnava Acharya Ramanujacharya didn't write commentaries on the Upanishads, but another Sri Vaishnava Acharya named Ranga Ramanuja did write Upanishad commentaries. So does anyone know what Ranga Ramanuja says about this verse in his commentary on the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad?
I assume that the Sri Vaishnava interpretation of this verse is simply that during deep sleep, the soul lacks conscious awareness, so it is not aware of things like father, mother, Vedas, etc. But does anyone have a copy of Ranga Ramanuja's commentary so I can confirm that? This website has the first three Adhyayas of Ranga Ramanuja's commentary on the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad, but I need the fourth.
On a side note, in Adi Shankaracharya's commentary on the Brihadaranyaka Aranyakas Upanishad, as opposed to his commentary on the Brahma Sutras, he interprets the verse in a way that's much closer to my preferred interpretation:
[T]he worlds, which are either won or to be won through rites, are no worlds, owing to his disassociation from those rites. Similarly the gods, who are parts of the rites, are no gods, because he transcends his relation to those rites. The Vedas also, consisting of the Brahmanas, which describe the means, the goal and their relation, as well as the Mantras, and forming part of the rites, since they deal with them, whether already read or yet to be read, are connected with a man through those rites. Since he transcends those rites, the Vedas too then are no Vedas.
Here Adi Shankaracharya does not make the same epistemological point about whether the Vedas are valid means of knowledge. I think Sri Vaishnavas may well interpret the verse in a similar fashion to this quote.