Do you know that one-third of our life is spent on sleeping?
Sleep is a subject close to my heart as I have been enriching people who suffer from sleep disorders such as insomnia, hypersomnia or over sleeping for the past 4 years through Sleep workshop and Yoga Nidra (Yogic Sleep) workshop. The truth is human being is the only species who is tired after resting! If a man doesn’t sleep in the night, he suffers from chronic fatigue in the body because he is denying himself from the natural renewal process which in turn, affects his creativity and productivity. The whole day he will be constantly disturbed and irritated, there is no possibility of creativity. If sleep problem is not addressed holistically, there is a high chance that he may spiral into depression over time.
From the 6th Yoga Sutra, Patanjali, the great sage states that “Right knowledge, wrong knowledge, imagination, sleep and memory – these are the 5 modifications of the mind which may lead to suffering or joy, anguish or non-anguish.” If we are able to understand that sleep is also another modification of the mind, we will simply know how to walk out of all sleep disorders.
Since sleep occupies such a big part of our life, it is important that we understand the utility value of sleep and how to use sleep for our spiritual growth. The yogis, sages and enlightened masters understand the science of sleep and the technique how to convert their sleep into Samadhi. Samadhi means falling in tune (Sama) with the origin (Aadhi) – the original source and vibrating in the same frequency of the origin, from which we all originated. A living enlightened master, Paramahamsa Nithyananda (fondly known as Swamiji) said that the only difference between your sleep state and Samadhi state, the ultimate enlightened state, is this: Samadhi minus awareness is your sleep, your sleep plus awareness is Samadhi. Enlightenment is nothing but being aware when you are asleep. That’s all. When you are in deep sleep, there is no samskaras (engrams) which are active, there are no memories which are active, they return to its seed-form, you are completely silent, relaxed, at ease. You are in the state of Samadhi, but with one difference – you are not aware. In the deep state, you are in the same space where all the enlightened beings are residing but the only difference is you are not aware whereas Buddha is aware, Krishna is aware, Chaitanya is aware, they are alive eternally. Imagine if you can also gain the knowledge and right technique for sleeping, you can spend one third of your life in Samadhi.
In the deep sleep state, if you know how to be alive and aware, you are done! Nothing more is required. But for the modern men, the problem is we are not even aware when we are awake, let alone being aware while in deep sleep. The truth is we don’t sleep for more than 20-25 minutes continuously, we come back to dream state, play the dream world then fall asleep again, after 20-25 minutes, we come back and move in the dream state, have dreams and then again fall asleep. That is why for normal man, when he wakes up in the morning, he does not feel as if he had a good rest since he never rested, he was playing the game unconsciously even though the body might have be resting but he was not in peace.
Being aware during your sleep is different from sleep disorder, it is a state whereby you will be sleeping, but your whole awareness will be alive – it means, there will be no thoughts, no memories, no engrams, only you will be radiating with the pure awareness that ‘I will be alive”. One powerful technique I learned from Swami Satyananda Saraswati who founded the Bihar School of Yoga is Yoga Nidra. This is a science of falling asleep consciously into the deep sleep state with awareness. If you can fall into Yoga Nidra state and get back, your whole system will be brand new and you feel totally rejuvenated which allows you will respond to the world in a positive way. You will only respond to the world through joy and bliss.
In essence, sleep can be used for suffering or joy which means the sleep state can be manipulated to reach Samadhi state or to be in the suffering. It is only the depth of knowledge in sleep from the Vedic tradition gifted by the enlightened masters that can help humanity to completely eradicate sleep disorders on planet earth. Namaste 😀
Note: The dates for the next Yoga Nidra workshop by Your Presence Heals are March 10,17,24 & 31. To register, contact [email protected]
- Source – 108 truths of the Yoga of Enlightenment by Paramahamsa Nithyananda.