Can one be aware in the deep sleep state?
In a deep sleep state, can one be aware?
First let’s understand what is the meaning of Awareness and who goes through the states of waking, dreaming, and deep sleep.
As you are a beginner of Advaita Vedanta, you must first shift your stand from the body-mind to the stand of being the witness of the body-mind, then read the answer below.
Ask yourself, do ‘I’ the witness of the body-mind sleep?
You will notice that:
- The body sleeps in the dream state and the deep sleep state.
- The mind sleeps only during the deep sleep state.
- The body and mind are awake during the waking state.
What about the witness? Is the witness awake during the waking state, dreamy during the dream state, and asleep during the deep-sleep state?
- It is the witness that knows that this is the waking state where the body and mind are alert, awake, and attentive. I-the-witness consciousness peep out through the peephole called the ‘awake-mind’ and experience the waking world.
- It is the witness that knows that this is the dream state where the body is asleep and the mind is dreamy and half-wake. I-the-witness consciousness peep out through the peephole called the ‘dreamy-mind’ and experience the dream world.
- It is the witness that knows that this is the deep sleep state where the body, as well as the mind, are asleep. I-the-witness consciousness peep out through the peephole called the ‘sleeping mind’ and experience the darkness of the absence of waking and dream objects.
If you recognize it clearly, you will notice that in the waking state there is the awake mind, in the dream state, there is the dreamy mind, in the deep sleep state, there is the sleeping mind while I-the-witness consciousness, remain the same throughout. The states of waking, dreaming, and deep sleep, happen to the mind, not to me-the-witness of the mind. I am the screen of awareness on which the mind’s images of waking, dreaming, and deep sleep, appear and disappear, I always remain untouched, I always remain in my pure nature of being ever-aware!
So to answer your question, yes in deep sleep also, I-the-witness consciousness am aware because I am awareness itself!
Why do you not see this truth in your own experience?
Because you have taken the false stand as the body-mind person.
As the body-mind person, you assume that the ‘mind’s attention is the awareness. This is not true. It is like assuming that the fully charged phone has a life of its own and is electricity itself. You assume this because it can talk and sing and move [vibrate], etc. You ignore the fact, that at the end of the day, the charge of the phone wears out and it must be charged again in order to operate. It operates on borrowed electricity.
- When the body-mind is awake and alert in the morning, you say that the awareness is high.
- When the body-mind loses its energy by the end of the day, you say that the awareness is low.
This is incorrect language, we must say that the ‘mind’s attention’ is high in the morning and low by the end of the day. Then it becomes easy to see that the body-mind must sleep and get charged by I-the-Awareness. After it is charged, the body-mind can operate with borrowed awareness [chittachaya]. P.S. This is for the beginner who is at Advaita Level I stage. The wisdom gets deeper for the one who progresses to Advaita level II & III.
Now if you see this clearly, answer the following question in the comments below:
How to overcome the wrong idea of ‘I am the body-mind’ and see the truth ‘I am the witness’? Help others by sharing the steps that you take to correct your stand in the comments below.
#AdvaitaVedanta #Non-duality #MandukyaUpanishad
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