This is the second of a four-part article by Acharya Sadananda of Chinmaya Mission Washington (edited by myself) clarifying the nature of the deep-sleep state and addressing a number of problems which frequently cause confusion in seekers.
When I enter into a pitch dark room I cannot see the presence of any object there as it is too dark. I need a light to illumine the objects. In a pitch dark room, the existence or non-existence of any object cannot be established; they may be there or they may not. In essence, their existence becomes indeterminate or anirvachanIyam. On the other hand, I can see that the room is pitch dark and understand that it is because of this that I do not see the presence or absence of any object. Darkness envelops both the known and the unknown. However, I do not need a light to see the darkness. In addition, I know that I am there even when the room is pitch dark. I do not need a light to know that I am there. I am a self existent entity and therefore a self revealing entity, and hence I do not need any pramANa to know that I am present in the dark room. It is similar to saying that I do not need a light in order to see another light. Being a conscious-existent entity, I am also a self-revealing entity or self-luminous entity or I am aprameyam, not an object of knowledge for which a pramANa is required. In addition, my presence as a self-luminous or self-conscious entity is required to illumine any other object – tasya bhAsA sarvam idam vibhUti; it is by that light of consciousness alone that all objects get revealed. Therefore, the light of consciousness that I am can illumine the darkness as well as the light that opposes the darkness. Thus I am the light of lights, since I light the lights and darkness too – jyotir jyotiH. Therefore, I say that I see it is pitch dark which is covering the existence as well the absence of all objects. Continue reading →
Q1: When I was in the constant of awareness that I was Brahman I used to enjoy the Thoughts that all indeed was Brahman. Since I progressed to the simply I AM I am not enjoying the earlier feelings of thinking everything as Brahman. Is it that the state of being in simply I AM is absolute absence of any thought whatsoever?
Q2: How to overcome the sleep state to be in constant awareness of Who am I? Please some practical hints!
Regarding my second point I intended to know more about the Fourth State in which the Saints wait to consume all their Prarabdha. How is this state practised and what are the skills of it?
Please shed some light on how do the realised but unpractised people live in their day to life while all the time immersed in their truest identity. My readings tell me just to let things happen without least botheration how they happen. Is it this way?
A (Peter): These questions make a strong case for why seeking proper guidance in this work is vital. Vedānta isn’t something that anyone can just pick up from a book, any more than anyone can dive straight into advanced mathematics from a book. If one doesn’t have a basic concept of numbers and the ways they combine through addition, multiplication, subtraction and division then how could one cope with the more esoteric realms of the subject? And compared to the science of self-knowledge, which is subtler than the subtlest, higher maths is crude. Self-knowledge needs appropriate prep work before the books make sense. Continue reading →
Before going into a consideration of Deep Sleep, once again a small detour.
Dennis raised in an e-mail the question of Sleepwalking. Where would it fit in the Model?
Some people amble around in sleep and even hurt themselves. A few persons could commit heinous crimes in the state of somnambulism. A well-known case is that of Kenneth Park in 1987 when he strangulated his father-in-law and killed his mother-in-law. However, he was let out by the court on the ground that he was sleepwalking when he harmed and killed people. A similar case of acquittal also occurred in 1846. Apparently the body of the sleepwalkers is active but the mind seems to be asleep.
Neuroscientifically speaking, in the case of sleepwalking, the motor cortex of the brain is functional whereas the frontal lobe vested with executive functions is at rest. This means that a part of the mind (that propels the body to act) is active while the part responsible for reasoning and self-control is asleep. Continue reading →