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Beware of such modern spiritual superstitions || Acharya Prashant (2019)
Author Acharya Prashant
Acharya Prashant
7 मिनट
31 बार पढ़ा गया

Questioner (Q): Acharya Ji, pranam. Raman Maharishi talks about three states: waking state, dreaming state and deep sleep. Thoughts appear in the dreaming and waking state. For the realized one, there are no differences between these three states because they can consciously sleep, consciously dream and are conscious during their waking state.

In the west, there is an important movement on lucid dreams: people that are aware that they are dreaming and sometimes have even control over their dreams. Are lucid dreams a higher level of consciousness, the result of a mind that is converting sleep into meditation?

Acharya Prashant (AP): Tremendous stupidity! We are extremely capable people. We can turn anything into stupid. Raman Maharishi says the three states: waking state, dreaming state and deep sleep, are one because they all belong to ahankara (ego), because they all happen with the ‘I’ at their centre, because in all the three states I-ness remains, otherwise they are very, very distinct. Even the names of the ‘I’ in the three states have been categorically and definitely stated as different by the scriptures, the same scriptures that Raman Maharishi swore by. And here is someone saying that one can have one state of consciousness within another state of consciousness.

What do you mean by conscious sleep? Sleep itself is consciousness. The entire idea has gone wrong when you talk of this lucid dreaming and everything. When you say, “I sleep consciously,” you do not even understand what sleep is. Sleep itself is consciousness. When you are dreaming, do you feel that you are dreaming? When you are dreaming, then in your own world, aren’t you conscious? Aren’t dreams real to the dreamer? Even in the waking state, you might be looking at a mirage, but isn’t the mirage real to the one who is looking at it? You are already conscious. It’s just that it is a flawed consciousness. All states of consciousness are flawed. Not only in the dream state, but even in the waking state, the consciousness is in an illusion. Because in all three states, at the centre of your conscious world sits an ‘I’. It’s just that the ‘I’ has changed and, therefore, the nature of the universe perceived by the ‘I’ has changed.

So, Vedant says, “In the waking state, let the world be called as Vishwa .” When you are awake, then you can call the world as Vishwa , and the one who is perceiving the world is to be called as 'Vaishwanar' . Similarly, there is Tejas and, similarly, there is Anand . ‘I’ remains, just the names of the ‘I’ change.

Now, this movement seems to suggest that you can be conscious—conscious in what sense? Conscious in the sense of being awake. So, it is being said that you can have the waking state of consciousness within the sleeping state of consciousness, but that is no big deal. There are people who keep snoring in their offices, so you already have an example where you can have the sleeping state of consciousness within the waking state of consciousness.

Even right now, one or two of you might be having sleeping consciousness within waking consciousness, how is that a spiritual flowering? Or is it? That way, some of you should have been enlightened long back. Whenever I speak, in your waking state of consciousness, you start experiencing the sleeping state—both coexist and intermingle. How is that a divine phenomenon? Or is it? Then why are you targeting the reverse of the same thing in sleep? When in the waking state somebody is half asleep, do you call him an elevated soul, or do you slap him hard? He is neither fully asleep nor fully awake. Similarly, if in the sleeping state, somebody is also awake, is he to be rewarded? Or is he to be told to go to actual and deep sleep? The fellow is showing primary symptoms of insomnia. Very soon, he would not be half awake. Very soon, he would be fully awake even in his sleeping time, and that is no spiritual accomplishment, it’s a disease.

Now then, what does it mean to be fully conscious? Or what does it mean to go beyond the three states of consciousness? It does not mean that even in the sleeping state you would be knowing stuff and directing and controlling your dream; this is so childish. It merely means that things do not trouble you. Happenings in the zone of consciousness do not matter much to you. That is also what has been called classically as ' Jagrat Sushupti '—that’s the state of the awakened man.

Just as the sleeping man is unperturbed by whatsoever is going around him, similarly, the spiritually awakened man is unperturbed by whatsoever is going on around him. He sees and is yet unperturbed. The sleeping man is unperturbed because he does not see at all. The spiritually awakened man is undisturbed because he sees and identifies not, relates not. The sleeping man has no option but to connect and relate and identify, therefore he is undisturbed and, therefore, his peace is of a limited duration and limited value. Soon the sleeping state of consciousness would be disturbed. He would wake up and be again disturbed, correct?

But when you learn what the nature of the mind is, what the nature of the universe is, then even though you keep seeing what is going on, you still don’t give much value, much importance to it; you don’t really connect to it. You don’t really identify with it. And therefore, your inner tranquility is the same as that of the sleeping man. Even though your eyes are open yet your mind is as peaceful and as untouched, as oblivious, and as innocent as the mind of the sleeping man—that is called 'Jagrat Sushupti' . That is not the same thing as being awake in dreams. That is some kind of a teenage trick or something.

And the only state of consciousness in which you can practice it is the state of consciousness in which you listen to it, in which you are right now talking of it. When can somebody come and preach you or teach you about the states of consciousness? Can it happen in your dreams? Unlikely. Since this knowledge reaches you in your waking state of consciousness, therefore the practice, too, must happen in the waking state of consciousness. I am talking of the practice of detachment, the practice of non-identification.

Practice it right now, because you are receiving the instruction right now, in your waking state, so practice it in your waking state. When you practice it in your waking state, you find that even in your dreams, you remain detached. But the practice cannot happen in dreams because the instruction cannot take place in dreams. The instruction takes place when your eyes and ears are open, therefore the practice must also take place when your eyes and ears are open.

But if you learn to walk untouched, undisturbed, unblemished, uninvolved through the day, there is a great chance that you will remain untouched and undisturbed even in your dreams. That’s how the whole thing will happen. You don’t have to become experimental in your dreams. You’ll get nothing out of that experiment except bad sleep. I don’t know where in the west are they trying all kinds of these things—lucid dreaming, and all—but it’s astounding to see how much stupidity are we capable of in the name of spirituality.

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