Meditation On "OM"
Mandukya Upnishad


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That is the state of deep sleep wherein the sleeper does not desire any objects nor does he see any dream. The third quarter or condition is the Prajna whose sphere is deep sleep, in whom all experiences have become one, who is verily a mass of consciousness, who is full of bliss, who enjoys bliss, and who is the way leading to the knowledge (of the two other states).

The Jivatma experiences deep sleep when he does not experience sound and other objects of senses by the cessation of the functions of the nineteen organs. There is no functioning of the mind in this state. Egoism also is absent. But there is avidya, the veil of ignorance.

Under the orders of lsvara, he who is coupled with Avyakta, the vehicle of Maya having entered the microcosmic Karana body, reaches the state of Prajna. He goes by the names of Prajna, Avicchinna, Paramarthika and Sushupti Abhimani. Just as a bird, tired of roaming, flies to its nest with its stomach filled, so the Jiva being tired of the actions of the world in the waking and dreaming states, enters Ajnana and enjoys bliss.

Ekibhutah: Having become one, as in darkness all things become one, being covered by darkness; Visva and Taijasa have entered the condition of oneness here. The knowledge of the wakeful and dreaming states has entered into oneness. All the experiences of the waking and the dream states have become one or unified with the experience of the deep sleep. They melt or dissolve or merge in the experience of deep sleep. They are not annihilated but they remain in a seed state, they exist in a potential state, just as a tree exists in a seed as a unity without particularisation, without variety or manifoldness. The experiences of the wakeful and dream states become a dense mass of consciousness during deep sleep, Prajnanaghana.

Prajna: All-knower; he knows the past and future also. Saruavishaya-jnatritvam asya eva iti Prajna-who has a knowledge of every object, according to Sri Sankara.

ln deep sleep the mind is involved into its cause, the Mula Ajnana or Avidya. There is the veil of ignorance between the individual soul and Brahman. Therefore, the Jiva cannot attain knowledge of Brahman. The bliss enjoyed in deep sleep state is Avidya Avrita Sukha, i.e., bliss enveloped by ignorance.

That which is experienced only can be remembered. There is memory of the bliss of the deep sleep state in the waking state. When you return from sound sleep to wakefulness you remember the bliss of the deep sleep state and say: 'l slept happily, I did not know anything. 'You express: 'I did not know anything, 'because you do not get any knowledge of the Self, although you rest in Brahman. There is the veil of ignorance between you and Brahman. The remembrance of the bliss of deep sleep state when you come back to the wakeful state indicates that the Sakshi or the witness of three states (viz., waking state, dream state and deep sleep state) exists. That Sakshi is Brahman, the Supreme Self.

Anandamaya: full of bliss. This is not absolute Bliss. This is not Bliss Infinite of the Atman. This is not the positive transcendental and highest bliss of Brahman, of Nirvikalpa Samadhi. The mind is in a state of quiescence as there is no Sankalpa-vikalpa, thought and doubting. It is free from trouble. This is a negative condition of happiness. There is freedom from unhappiness.

 Chetomukha: The deep sleep forms the doorway of gateway to the experience of waking and dream states. From sleep you pass on to the definite cognitions of waking and dream states. Sleep is the antecedent of the waking and dream states.

In deep sleep one does not attain Brahmajnana, the knowledge of the Self, because as soon as he comes to the waking state he is still ignorant, he beholds the multiple or manifold objects, he is affected by the external objects; whereas a sage who returns from Samadhi has full knowledge of the Self, he perceives unity or oneness everywhere. He is not affected by the worldly objects. This is the difference between sleep and Samadhi.

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