Manorama: The Universe Beyond the Mind
In the Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 2, Verse 69, Shri Krishna instructs Arjuna by telling him:
What is the night for ordinary beings, the yogi is awake to and conversely what the yogi is awake to, the worldly minded beings experience that as the night.
So what is the night, in yoga? The night signifies ignorance or sleep. My own Guru ji, Shri Brahmananda Sarasvati, used to say, “The general state for most people is sleep.” What he meant was that unless we practice meditation and engage in self-analysis, we will remain asleep to our real nature. His words were meant to make us aware that we have a choice about how to live in this life: asleep to our real nature or to work to be in a place of awareness.
Deep Sleep & Meditation
Deep sleep and meditation are very similar, but there is one important distinction. In both deep sleep and meditation, you experience rest. However, in the practice of meditation you train yourself to become aware of the rest you are experiencing, while in deep sleep you remain unconscious to the experience of rest.
“Deep sleep is the unconscious state of rest. Meditation is the conscious state of rest.”
When you meditate, you rest the mind and the body, and have the opportunity to feel what you are beyond the body and mind. You connect with the You which is beyond the mind and body, beyond form and mentality. This experience is called awake or the day in yoga.
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