In Prashnopanishada (4|1) Muni Gargya expresses his curiosity before Rishi Pippalad as “Kanya Sminjjagati, Katar Eva Deva Swapnan Païyanti?” Meaning – “Who all are awake and who all see the happenings of a dream?” In continuation, when Muni Gargya asks about the state of the body during deep sleep, Rishi Pippalad replies the following:
Nidra (sleep) is a yagya (sacred sacrificial fire) performed in the kuñda (pit) of the body where the panca agni (five streams of fire) are kindled in the form of the panca praña (five subliminal currents of vital energy). Breathing is the source of sacrifices made in this yagya. The force, which regulates the harmonious flow of vital power in these sacrifices, is the hot³ (performer) of this yagya. Unperturbed cycle of this yagya in one’s lifetime bestows the fruit of sleep on the mind through the subliminal currents of the udana praña. The udana praña activates the inner (unconscious) cores of mind. It should be noted that yagyagni –– the ‘fire’ of yagya is different from the fire we use in the physical world for cooking or burning the waste, etc. Yagyagni represents the inner power, the charge of total surrender or sacrifice for altruist service, divine ideals and spiritual refinement.
The rhetoric scriptural description cited above implies that deep sleep offers a source for suppression of haecceity to enable the mind move beyond the peripheries of ego and selfish attachments and reach the higher horizons of consciousness. As a mantra-yagya offers divine blessings in the form of purification of the internal and the external domains of life, the nidra-yagya (deep sleep) too offers the boons of extrasensory, supernatural experiences.
Sleep is an integral component of our daily routine. No normal person could survive without sleeping for too long. On an average, about one-third of our life goes in sleeping. It is said that the phase of sound sleep is a period of recharging the vital power in our brain and body system. It is well known that the conscious beings do not become inanimate in the unconscious state of deep sleep. Several changes are observed in the physical and mental activities during this phase. Pulse rate becomes mild, the flow rate of blood reduces and the activities of the sense organs too fall ‘asleep’. But the beating of heart and the cycle of blood purification and supply continue at normal pace. The thinking of the conscious mind weakens and almost vanishes. The control of the unconscious dominates over the conscious one. This is what makes us experience the movements and other activities – similar to those of the conscious state – during dreams. This shows that the conscious force of life continues to function even in the unconscious state.
How does the unconscious mind utilize the vital power? Does it have any connection with the subliminal flow of the cosmic consciousness too? This quest had inspired the rishis to investigate the deeper depths of human mind and consciousness and helped them unfold the secrets of life beyond the ‘physical’ dimensions. The study of dreams is pertinent in the investigations conducted by these psychologists of yore. The scriptures created by them compare the experiences of the dreaming state with those of the conscious (physically awakened) state as ––
Jagratswapadaïabhedo Na Sthirasthirate Vina |
Samah Sadaiva Sarvatra Samastoanubhavoanayoh ||
– Yog. Vasishtha 4| 19 | 11
Meaning: There is no difference between the experiences and activities of the (unconscious mind) in the awakened and the dreaming states. Although the experiences of the former appear to be real and consistent, while those of the dream are hazy and unstable.
Yathodit Thata Tatra Tad Drasyam Khatmakamsthitam ||
– Yog. Vasishtha 6| 2|62 | 27
Meaning: All (awakened and active dreams) are a reflection of the cosmic roots of consciousness. The experiences of dreams appear to be momentary and unreal as compared to those of the awakened state. However, a little deeper thinking would reveal that no activity of life is long lasting. The aspirations, expectations and states of the conscious mind too are momentary. The same physical conditions or circumstances may induce different effects on different people or on the same person at different times or in different states of mind. Then what is their consistency? What could be regarded as stable and true in this dynamic world of relativity?
The Indian philosophy describes the soul and its omnipresent origin as eternal. It is only the supreme consciousness, which is absolute and which is eternally expressed in every soul. The activities of the unconscious mind reflected in the supernatural experiences through dreams give only a glimpse of the limitless existence of consciousness. We may not realize the existence of this ‘esoteric’ world (of the unconscious state of dreams) because our sense organs do not seem to perceive it the way they do the physical world in awakened state. But the fact remains that this subtle world also belongs to our life, as
much as the physical world. It exists in the subliminal domains of our lives beyond the limits of time and space.
The Brahdaranyak Upanishad defines dreams as the third state of mind like the awakened and asleep states. In this intermediate state, what the mind experiences in the dormant state is realized like that in the awakened state. The inherent tendencies of the soul naturally soothe the inner self, so do the experiences of dreams of the pure and serene mind. Dreams appearing in a spiritually refined mind often arouse its supernormal powers to see beyond the horizons of the present life.
Some of the ancient philosophers and yogis of India have compared the soul with the Sun. When the (unconscious) mind, which regulates the body functions and realizes the soul, moves with the subliminal currents of vital force in the susumna nadi it gets linked with every nerve, every vein and each of the 33 bony structures in the body. Vision of the inner body during higher yoga sadhanas indicates the presence of manifold layers of subtle vibrations inside the susumna nadi. These are assumed as connected with cosmic flows of different streams of divine powers.
In general, our mind accumulates the malice of untoward thoughts, prejudiced attitude and unhealthy life-style. Therefore, even in the state of deep sleep, it often remains it often remains insulated from the currents of vital force and extrasensory vibrations in the susumna nadi. Refined and enlightened mind, free from the thralldoms of ego, anger, excessive attachment and other negative tendencies, can in the state of deep sleep or trance link its unconscious (inner) core with the subtle vibrations within the susumna nadi. In this condition, it (our mind) can see or experience what is happening in a remote corner of the comic creation or a future event hidden in the folds of time. In the state of trance, the yogis sometimes feel the eternal glow of the moon and the sun and the subtle body of the sun in the inner layers of the perpetual currents of consciousness. This is regarded as a lively glimpse of the soul. Clairvoyance and precognition are experienced in such moment of trance or deep sleep. Dreams of pure mind are often associated with such experiences.
It is said that the state of supernormal experiences via dreams results from the movement of the unconscious mind in the higher orbits of the sun. In that state, when the light of the sun is not visible the subtle light of the sun affects the ionosphere. Therefore, most often our dreams fall within the periphery of the earth. But, because the individual consciousness is expressed in its eternal form in this state, the experiences of dreams are of different nature then what one perceives in the physically awakened state.
Chanting Mantras , Mantra Sidhi, Telepathy and Dreams
If our inner self is pure, bright and enlightened like the eternal radiance of the sun, it can experience divine dreams too. Such dreams carry divine messages and prove to be true.
They often serve great purpose of welfare as well. The spiritually elevated sadhaks (devotees and yogis) of Gayatri Mantra often experiences such dreams because this mantra has generated from the enlightened cosmic vibrations of savita –– the subtle body of the sun. It elevates and enlightens the inner cores of mind and heart (sentiments) with the divine glow of savita. Anybody having piety of character, sentiments and thoughts and whose inner self vibrates with the impulses of pure love and compassion can
experience the dreams of this kind.
The siddhi of Gayatri Sadhana and the Yoga Sadhanas of this level is usually reflected in clear vision or experience of the sunlight and moonlight emanated from within. This is why it is said that –– Ya Nisa Sarvabhutanam, Tasyami Jagarati Samyami meaning: A true yogi never sleeps. An expert yogi, in his state of dream, resides in its subtle body in that part of the earth where the sun is bright. His consciousness remains linked with the eternal consciousness of the sun. This is why an accomplished yogi can communicate in the state of dream and transmit divine messages and light to any conscious being.
Mental telepathy between serene souls, clairvoyance and premonition via dreams are the widely known examples of this super natural connection. Scientific basis of the above description would become clear by in-depth study of the susumna nadi and the extrasensory power centers present in the endrocrine system. Each of the centers is said to have a correspondence (in the subtle world of consciousness) with specific planets and cosmic power centers. The cosmos is said to be subliminally reflected in the region of susumna.
In a state of dream, the unconscious (or the subconscious, as often used in scientific terms) mind enters the upper region of susumna. This region is called ‘Aquarius’ and is supposed to be the repository of the subtle power of the sun (of the inner cosmos). The flow of this power is the source of the vital currents in the susumna. The sympathic nerves are also spread parallel along the two sides of the spinal cord in chain like structures. The nerve-fibers emanated from these are connected to the heart, stomach, intestine and other major organs. The reflex arc of the brain, which is also associated with the bundles of these nerve fibers regulates, via susumna, certain nerve-muscle activities without direct communication with the central processor of the brain in the state of dream. In this state, when the conscious mind is practically ‘dead’, the individual consciousness gravitates towards the ‘hollow’ core of the susumna nadi and experiences extrasensory functions there.
It is notable that the sadhanas (spiritual endeavors) of awakening supernormal powers also focus and attempt activating the chakra (extra sensory center) in this part of the brain.
Modern medical science has certified the presence of about forty-nine special glands along the spinal column. Of these, the seven endocrine glands are of significant importance. It has also been accepted that the extrasensory perception is possible through the subliminal power centers that regulate these glands. Howbeit, medical science has not been able to prove or annul the possible linkage between these centers and the planets. The yogis of yore had however, realized (in the spiritually charged state of trance) this subtle connection inside the human body.
They had described how the cosmic power currents reflected in the vibrations of these extrasensory centers are flowing through the majestic network of 72000 nerves, and the ribs, and joints of the bones. As the soothing fragrance of rose spreads in the surrounding region, the charge of cosmic powers – attracted by the force of the (subtle) consciousness of the inner mind, also flows everywhere within the susumna region. Transmission of the inner-light and sentiments anywhere in the cosmos also becomes possible in such a state. This state is attainable in yoga-nidra, or trance (still meditation) like deep sleep.
The impact of the unconscious mind in unfolding secret knowledge via the medium of dreams has been realized in the modern times too. A significant number of scientific discoveries of this age had also materialized through the inspirations, clues, ideas, or implications, received in the dreams.
Righteous intellect and saintly heart of spiritually enlightened great personalities enable their minds realize the absolute vibrations of Supreme Consciousness and communicate with thy expressions. The unconscious mind, which is active during these dreams, can receive thought waves and subtle signals of consciousness from anywhere in the cosmos. But, “how these receptions activate the brain and make the visual cognition of the dream possible?” –– is a basic question of scientific research on hidden aspects of human brain. It has been observed that in certain stage of dreams, the K-neurons are exceptionally active. This happens especially in the Parietal Cortex during the REM phase of sleep. Researchers believe that if this center responds to the signals during dreams, the unconscious mind might be active in this region of the brain.