conversations with ramana - P. Brunton (fwd)

bala at bala at
Sun Aug 11 23:06:19 CDT 1996



 (Note: Please forgive the translation.)

 In sleep, in trance, in absent-mindedness there is no differentiation. Is that
 which [was absent in sleep] absent now? The difference is due to mind. The mind
 is sometimes present and at other times absent; there is no change in the
 Reality. The same person who was in sleep is now too, in waking. The Self is
 the same all trough.

 Limitation is only in the mind. The same Self is here and now, in the wakeful
 state, as in deep sleep when no limitation is felt. There was no mind in sleep
 whereas it is now active. The Self exists in the absence of mind also.

 Q. Why is there no meditation during dreaming? Is such possible?

 A. Ask it in the dream. You are told to meditate now and ask who you are.
 Instead of doing it you ask such question. Dream and sleep are for the same
 person as waking. You are the witness of both - they pass before you. Because
 you are out of meditation now, such questions arise.

 Q. What happens to the consciousness of a Realized one is sleep?

 A.Such a question arises only in the minds of unrealized beholders. He [who is
 realised] has but One state, which is unbroken throughout all 24 hours, whether
 in what you call sleeping, or in waking. As a matter of fact the majority of
 people are all asleep, because they are not awake to the Self.

 In a state of deep sleep we lay down our ego (Ahankara), our thoughts and our
 desires. If we could only do all this while we are conscious, we would realize
 the Self.

 The best form of Dhyana or Meditation is when it continues not merely in waking
 but extends to dream and deep sleep states. This mediation must be so intense
 as to not even allow room for the idea "I am meditation." As waking and
 dreaming are fully occupied by the Dhyana of such a person, deep sleep may be
 considered to be part of the Dhyan.

 Sanyas is the giving up of the ego; even though a person may be living as a
 householder within a family circle, the various occurrences of the world will
 not affect him if his ego is surrendered. Hence dream experiences do not really
 affect us. The dreamer as he quietly lies in his bed dreams he is in water, but
 his bed is not really wet. On the other hand, a person though remaining in a
 Sanyasa ashrama who still has attachment to the body, is a karmi, (man of
 action, not renunciation).

 Q. In the West people cannot see how sages in solitude can be helpful.

 A. Never mind Europe and America. Where are they except in your mind? If you
 wake up from a dream, do you try to ascertain if the persons of your dream
 creation are also awake?

 Q. If sleep be such a good state, why does one not like to be always in it?

 A. One is always in sleep only. The present waking state is no more that a
 dream. A dream can take place only in sleep. Sleep unders these states. The
 appearance of a state is again a dream which is in its turn, in another sleep.
 In this way, these states of dream and sleep are endless. Similar to these
 states, birth and death are also dreams in a sleep.

 After sleep ego arises and there is wakefulness. Simultaneously thoughts arise.
 Where from? They must spring from the conscious Self. Apprehending this even
 vaguely helps in the extinction of the ego, after which is realization of the
 ONE INFINITE EXISTENCE. In that state there are no individuals other than the
 Eternal Existence. Abide in the ever inherent Self and be free from the idea of
 birth or fear of death.

 Q. We do not know we are dreaming, whereas in waking we do?

 A. The dream is a combination of waking with deep sleep. It is due to the
 samskaras of the waking state. Hence we remember dreams. Samskaras are not
 formed contrawise [in deep sleep]; hence we are not aware of the dream world
 simultaneously. Still , every one recollects strange perplexities in a dream,
 when one wonders if he is awake or dreaming. When really awake, he finds all
 was only a dream.

 Q. How to remove this ignorance?

 A. You dream of finding yourself in another town. Can another town enter your
 room? Could you have left and gone there. Both are impossible. Both are unreal.
 They appear real to the mind. The 'I' of the dream has vanished. But the
 substratum of the mind continues all along. Find that and you will be happy.

 Q. I consider sleep a worse state than waking.

 A. If it were so, why do all desire sleep?

 There are different methods of approach to prove the unreality of the universe.
 The example of the dream is one among them. Jagrat, Swapna, and Sushupti are
 all treated elaborately in the scriptures in order that the reality underlying
 them might be revealed. It is not meant to accentuate differences among the
 three states. Their purpose must be kept clearly in view. They say that the
 world is unreal. Of what degree of unreality? Is it like that of a son of a
 barren mother or flower in the sky? These are mere words without any reference
 to facts, whereas the world is a fact and not a mere word.

 The answer is that it is a superimposition of the One reality - like the
 appearance of a snake on a coiled rope in dim light. Here too the wrong
 identity ceases as soon as the friend points out that it is a rope, whereas in
 the matter of the world, it persists even after I have heard it said to be
 unreal. How is that?

 The appearance of water in a mirage has dawned. So it is with the world. Though
 knowing it to be unreal, it continues to manifest. Maybe - but the water of a
 mirage is not sought to satisfy one's thirst. As soon as one knows that it is a
 mirage, he gives it up as useless and does not run after it for procuring

 Q. It is not so with the appearance of the world. Even after it is repeatedly
 declared to be false one cannot avoid satisfying his wants from the world. How
 can the world be false?

 A. It is like one satisfying his dream wants by dream creations. There are
 objects, there are wants and there are mutual satisfactions. The dream
 creations are as purposeful as the jagrat world and yet is not considered real.
 Thus we see that all these illustrations serve a purpose in establishing the
 stages of unreality. The realized sage finally declares that in the regenerate
 state, the jagrat state is. Each illustration should be understood in the
 proper context; it should not be studied as an isolated statement. It is a link
 in a chain. The purpose of all these illustrations is to direct the seeker's
 mind towards the One reality underlying them all.

 Q. Is the dream world not as purposeful as the waking world because we do not
 feel that wants are satisfied?

 A. You are not right. There are thirst and hunger in dreams also. You might
 have had your fill and kept over the remaining food. Nevertheless you feel
 hungry in your dream. This food does not help you and your dream hunger can be
 satisfied only be eating the dream creations.

 Q. We recollect our dreams in our jagrat but not vice versa.

 A. You are yourself in the dream and identify yourself as the one now speaking.

 Q. But [in the dream] we do not know that we are dreaming as apart from the
 waking state, as we do now?

 A. The dream is the combination of jagrat with sushupti. It is due to the
 samskaras of the jagrat state. Hence we remember dreams at present. Samskarsas
 are not found contrariwise; therefore also we are aware of the dream and of
 jagrat simultaneously. Still every one will recollect strange perplexities in
 the dream. One wonders if he dreams or is awake. He argues and determines that
 he is only awake. When really awake he finds that all that was only a dream.

 Q. Is there any real distinction between dream and waking?

 A. Only apparent, not real. The dream is for one who says that he is awake.
 Both are unreal from absolute viewpoint.

 The ego arises when you wake up from sleep. In sleep you do not say that your
 are sleeping; you say only when you wake up. But still you are there. You where
 not concerned with the body when asleep; so can you always remain unconcerned.

 In the waking state the ego identifies itself with a physical body; during a
 dream [the identification is] with the subtle mind. Then perceptions are subtle

 Q. Is it possible to be conscious without thought?

 A. Yes. There is only one consciousness. In sleep there is no I. The I-thought
 arises on waking and then the world appears. Where was this I in sleep?> Was it
 there or not? It must have been there, yet not in the way you feel now. The
 present is only the I-thought, whereas the sleeping I is the real I. That
 subsists all through. That is consciousness. If that is known you will see that
 it is beyond thoughts. Thoughts may be like other activities, not disturbing
 supreme Consciousness.

 Q. I do not understand your reference to dreams and mental illusion.

 A. Our experience of the world is evoked and dissolved by the mind. When you
 travel from India to London does your body really move? No! It is the
 conveyance which moves and your body remains inside it without itself
 traveling. It is the ship and the train which travels. Just as these movements
 are superimposed upon your body, so are visions, dream states and even
 re-incarnations superimposed upon your real Self. The latter does not move and
 is not affected by all these outward changes, remaining still in its own place
 even as the body remains still in the ship's cabin. You are always the same and
 hence beyond time and beyond space. In deep sleep you have no sense of time.
 The concept of time and space arises only when there is the limitation of 'I'.
 Even now the 'I' thought is both limitless and limited. So long as you think it
 to be the body, it is limited. At the time of waking up and before one actually
 becomes fully aware of the external world, that interval, timeless, spaceless,
 is the state of the true I.

 Why do not your questions arise in deep sleep? The fact is you have no
 limitations in sleep, and no questions arises. Whereas now you put on
 identification with the body and questions of this kind arise.

 Deep sleep is always present even in the waking state. What we have to do is to
 bring deep sleep into the waking state, to get "conscious sleep." Realization
 can only take place in the waking state. Deep sleep is relative to the waking

 Can that one consciousness divide itself into two? Is the division of the Self
 felt? Awaking from sleep, on finds oneself the same in a wakeful as in a sleep
 state. That is the experience of everyone. The difference lies in seeing, in
 the outlook. In imagining that you are the seer separate from experience, this
 difference appears. Experience says that your real is the same all through. Do
 you feel the difference of external and internal during your sleep? This
 difference is only with reference to the body and arises with
 body-consciousness (the 'I-thought'). The so called Jagrat is itself an
 illusion. Even the material sciences trace the origin of the universe to some
 one primordial matter - very subtle.

 God is the same both to those who say the Jagrat is real and their opponents.
 Their outlooks are different. You need not enmesh yourself in such
 disputations. The goal is one and the same for all. Look to it.

 The states of deep sleep, waking and dreaming are accretions on the ego; the
 Self is the witness of all. The Self transcends them all. This Witness -
 Consciousness - should be found. In the Self there are not separate states, no
 waking, sleeping or deep sleep; It is ever there.

 Q. On inquiry into the origin of thoughts, there is a perception of 'I'. But it
 does not satisfy one.

 A. Quite right. The perception of 'I' is associated with a form, maybe the
 body. There should be nothing associated with the pure Self. The Self is the
 un-associated, pure Reality in whose light, the body, the ego etc. shine. On
 stilling all thoughts, only pure consciousness remains. When just awaking from
 sleep and before becoming aware of the world, there is that pure 'I' - 'I'.
 Hold to it without sleeping or without allowing thoughts to possess you. If
 that is held firm nothing matters even though one sees the world - the seer
 remains unaffected by the phenomena.

 If there were no such activities as waking thoughts and dream thoughts, there
 would not be the corresponding worlds, i.e. no perception of them. In deep
 sleep there are no such activities, and the world does not then exist for us.

 In dreamless sleep there is no world, no ego and no unhappiness. But the Self
 remains. In the wakeful state there are all these; yet there is the Self. One
 has only to remove the transitory happenings in order to realize the
 ever-present beatitude of the Self. Your nature is bliss. Find that on which
 all the rest are superimposed and you then remain as the pure Self.

 Q. Is there any genuine difference between dream experience and waking state?

 A. Because you find the dream creations transitory in relation to the waking
 state, there is said to be a difference. The difference is only apparent and
 not real.

 Q. Why can we not always remain in and enter deep slumber at will?

 A. Deep sleep exists also in the wakeful state. We are ever in deep sleep. That
 should consciously be understood and realized. There is really no going or
 coming from it. Becoming aware of the deep sleep state whilst in the world
 state is Samadhi. It is Nature i.e. prarabdha which forces you to emerge from
 it. Your ego is not dead and will rise again and again.

 Q. Why is it that we remember dreams when awake but not the reverse?

 A. You are wrong. You are yourself in a dream but identify yourself as the one
 now speaking!
 from 'Conscious Immortality: conversations with Ramana Maharshi' by Paul

>From  Mon Aug 12 20:38:49 1996
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Date: Mon, 12 Aug 1996 20:38:49 GMT
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To: "Advaita (non-duality) with reverence" <ADVAITA-L at TAMU.EDU>
From: Ken Stuart <kstuart at MAIL.TELIS.ORG>
Subject: Everyone please read and respond !
Comments: To: "Advaita (non-duality) with reverence" <ADVAITA-L at TAMU.EDU>
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I'd like to get some replies about this subject.  If everyone feels
differently than me, that is just fine!   But I'd like to hear some
reasoning one way or the other (and maybe I'll learn something!).

I was just wondering if there were two different words:

maya and mAya
Sivananda and SivAnanda
Acarya and AcArya
stotras and stOtras
jivatma and jeevAtma

If not, then is it acceptable to everyone to not capitalize letters in
the middle of words?   I presume that the point of the capitalization
has to do with pronunciation, but I am not speaking the words, I am
reading them and it is a LOT harder to read with the capitalization in
the middle of words.

I can understand the capitalization in an ENTIRELY Sanskrit text, but
IMHO, it is awkward and unnecessary when occasional Sanskrit words
occur in an English sentence.


Ken                       <*>
kstuart at

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