Three States of Experience

  • Jagrat Avastha – Awaken State
  • – Experiencing five sense objects (sound etc.,) with five sense organs (Ear etc.,). Identification with physical body.
    – Supported by oneself for the sense organs to experience. For ex. If mind is thinking, then the ears do not listen the sound heard.
    – Experiences lead to Interaction based responses feeding the Karma cycle.
    – Called Vishwa - Waker.

  • Swapna Avastha – Dream State
  • – No identification with the physical body, but to Subtle body.
    – Replaying of the experiences/ emotions recorded in the mind called Vasanas or Samskaras. No new Experience.
    – Dwelling in a world created by one self. Even the dreamer is created. All the creation is destroyed at the end of the dream.
    – Called Thijasa – Dreamer.

  • Sushupthi Avastha – Deep Sleep State
  • – No Experiences. Neither the External World is seen with the sense organs nor is the Internal World of Projection seen with mind.
    – In a state of comfort experiencing (deep relaxation) peace and ignorance.
    – Identified to the Causal Body.
    – Called Pragnya - Sleeper

Understanding Sleep

Sleep is the best opportunity provided by GOD to understand the connection with the consciousness. While at deep sleep neither the body, mind or the intellect are available for the transactions. However we wake up to realize that we had a pleasant sleep. This means that there was some one other than the body, mind and intellect who was experiencing the deep sleep. The peace that is experience is from the connection we make with the consciousness. By staying connected with the consciousness, shifting our focus to the self even while awake can get us this peace while we transact in this world. The realization that we are not different from that consciousness will keep us connected with the same and hence the bliss.

On the other hand the dreams we see are in a way a dream within the larger dream. We not realising that we are none other than that pure consciousness itself is a dream. The problems we experience in this world are that of dreamer. The only way to get rid of the problems is to wake up.

Shri Ramana Maharishi used to advice the self realization to anyone coming with a problem. Once a poor labourer came with his domestic problems to Maharishi. He started advising him that this world is unreal and to focus on the consciousness and so on. Some disciples asked him if the poor labourer could understand them and if it would be better to give him some mantra to chant. However Maharishi replied that:

  • We can’t infer from their appearance if they are qualified or not for the self knowledge.
  • If a person is screaming dream of someone robbing him off, would you attempt to catch the robber in the dream? Only way to help him is to wake him up.

Thus trying to focus on who had the deep sleep could lead gradually to identification of the self.