Witnessing Sleep

‘’If the beginningless, impure vasanas that remain as the cause for waking and dream leave and perish, the state of sleep (previously

perceived as) void-like and dull, and which led us into a state of ignorance and suffering, will become the transcendent state of turiya.’’

Guru Vachaka Kovai  verse 460


Question :    Can I make myself remember my state of deep sleep?

Nisargadatta Maharaj : Of course! By eliminating the intervals of inadvertence during your waking hours you will gradually eliminate the long interval of absent-mindedness which you call sleep. You will be aware that you are asleep.

‘ I am That’, talk 8, 2nd June 1970


“ Only in an intellect that has developed a desire for the waking state will the eminent state of deep sleep, which is all bliss, be classified as a state of ignorance: ‘I did not know anything during sleep.’ By failing to enquire into and realize the true experience that exists and shines in the same way forever, one becomes deluded and thinks, ’I am the one who woke up.’ If that powerful sheath of the intellect, the ignorance that is experienced in the waking state, is destroyed by the sword of vichara (that leads to the knowledge), I am not the one who woke up’, then the eminent state of sleep will shine, remaining as pure bliss, its ignorance destroyed.’

Guru Vachaka Kovai verse 461


Robert Adams:

R: Consciousness permeates everything and when you are a jnani you are aware of the dreamless state, you’re in the dreamless state but you are aware of it. The ordinary is person is consciousness when they’re asleep and dreamless sleep they’re not aware of it, that’s the only difference.

S: Oh so it’s just a matter of…

R: Levels, it’s a matter of levels of enlightenment.

S: So a Jnani is conscious during dream, dreamless sleep.

R: A Jnani is always in dreamless sleep but is aware of it.


Other quotes can be found :

Guru Vachaka Kovai vs. 457, 567, 568, 634, 685, 959, 960,1072

Padamalai vs. 21, 22, 183

Talks no 136, 481, 314,

Maharshi’s Gospel p 83

Day by Day 28.11 46

Tripura Rahasya chap. 16

‘I am That’, talk 11, 10th June 1970