In the last article, we understood the first level of nidra (sleep) – waking-sleep. The next level of sleep which human beings go through is dream-sleep. Just like the waking-sleep, there are also two types of sleep in the dream state: sleeping during thinking and sleeping during dreaming. The first thing you realise about your dreams is that in the dream state, you experience completely confused identities For example, you may have a dream that you are going to school with your colleague, the mixed identity, or you could have mixed two separate incidents which happened when you were ten years old and forty years old and see them together in one dream. This shows that when you are dreaming, there is a discontinuity which happens in the dream.
According to a living incarnation, Paramahamsa Nithyananda (fondly known as Swamiji), he said that ‘if you are able to be aware even while the dream continues, you will be able to use your dream to enrich your life. If you can master this art, your whole life will be totally different. You can straight away achieve whatever you want. Mastering your dream means being aware even while you are dreaming and not letting the disconnection or the pause happen while you dream.’
Do you know that the Aghoris are the people who master dreams? Aghori means ‘compassionate, soft’. Aghoris belongs to a great spiritual tradition in India which works only on dreams. They use dreams state to solve all their problems and to find out the mysteries of the planet earth and the Universe. The Aghoris believe that dreams are an extension of the waking state, so they would go and ask for forgiveness of a person in waking state even though the incident happened in their dream.
Another thing you need to know about deep sleep. Deep sleep is the time when you go back to the source which you created this body. Your body was create when your mother was fast asleep, the energy which was there inside your mother’s womb when she was fast asleep, in that space, you were created. Every night you fall asleep, you actually go back to that same energy, recreate your body by doing the repair work inside your system and feeling rejuvenated and come back to live the next day. So this sleep is no way going to lead you to anguish or pain. Those who suffer from insomnia, they are depriving themselves from this natural self-renewal capability from within.
Here’s the sacred secret – if you are not daydreaming or falling asleep during your waking state, your dreams and sleep will also be continuous. If you are able to maintain the continuous flow of awareness during waking state, you will also be able to maintain that continuity in the dream state.
How to master dreams?
Swamiji gave a powerful technique from Tantra which Patanjali also speaks about in Sadhana Pada and Vibhooti Pada in Yoga Sutra.
He said – Whatever makes you feel very pleasant – it could be something, someone – just remember that, alive inside you while you fall asleep. For example, if you feel very pleasant by remembering your master, you can meditate on him, connect with him and feel him. Feel him inside your inner space visually, alive. Just remember that when you lie down on your bed – alive, vivid, visually in multi-colour, 4-D and continue to be with that intense visualization till you fall asleep. In 10 days, you will see he is there continuously, you will see his form in the dream clearly in multi-colour. If you try this technique for 10 days, you will see that the vivid visualization will penetrate your dream state within 10 days and will continue to be there throughout your dream. It means that you have mastered that dream and created a continuity in the dream. You have mastered the knowledge of how to avoid dream-sleep – this is the technique to get out of dream-sleep.
If you continue to practise this technique for 3 months, you will start experiencing his presence and his energy in the deep sleep state as well. The moment you wake up, you will know you have been with your master throughout, even though you do not remember his form, the colour of his dress etc. You know you were with him and you have been with him the whole night. This is exactly what Lord Krishna says in Bhagavad Gita – ‘A Yogi is a person who does not sleep when everybody sleeps’. It means you are awake throughout, your consciousness is awake throughout.
If you try this technique step-by-step, you will master waking-sleep, dream-sleep, and deep-sleep. There will be a continuity in all the 3 states of consciousness, then you experience the 4th state – Turiya state. If you are continuous, unbroken, conscious in all the 3 states, what you experience is called the 4th state – Turiya. Being continuous in the 3 states will lead you to joy, otherwise it will lead you to anguish and pain. One more important sacred secret: that continuity itself is a deep restful awareness that you don’t need any separate rest. This is the ultimate break you can give to yourself. The continuity is the ultimate brake from sleeping, dreaming and waking. Only when you can break your break, only then it is a real break! Living in the 4th state – Turiya is living enlightenment (Jivanmukti).
In essence, to experience the ultimate state – the Turiya state, we have to start transcending the waking state from all kinds of daydreaming and the lack of continuity in the dream state and deep sleep state. Then you simply fall into Samadhi – sleeping with awareness. Namaste 😀
Source – 108 truth of Yoga of Enlightenment by Paramahamsa Nithyananda