Four Legged Bull Called Dharma

Veda Vyas authored Bramhastura. Acharyas like Sankaracharya, Ramanuja, Madhvacharya and several others have written commentaries on Bramhastura. It is considered to be the basic source of reference for Shastra. There are four chapters in total. In the third chapter, Vyasa Maharishi has written in detail about sleep and dreams.

When a person is awake and up to business, is it his body that is acting on its own? Or is it something else. Fact is the body as such does not have any conscience on its own. Like how a mirror or a glass shines with the help of sunlight and does not have any light of its own, this body acts conscience and intelligence because of the intelligent being, the JeevAtma. Without the Atma, the body is just like a toy without its battery which makes it work. Sleep is the time when the Atma becomes one with ParamAtma. It takes refuge in ParamAtma to recoup its energy and start afresh
day when he wakes up in the morning. Just like battery charging. So where is this atma sleeping?

Shastra says JeevAtma sleeps in three places. There are three stages in our sleep. First is the state of awareness called jAgrat Dasha, where the person has just started to sleep but is still aware of his surroundings. Next is swApa Dasha where he dreams of various things. Third is the deep sleep stage which is called Sushupti Dasha.

Where does the jeevatma sleep in this Sushupti Dasha?
Why is the question only about Sushupti Dasha?

Sankaracharya says there is no difference between a person who is awake and a person in the state of dream. As the world perceived as real is also mAya and therefore is the same as a dream world. During deep sleep, all the senses are withdrawn. Meaning, the eyes cannot see, the ears cannot hear. Other senses of touch, smell, taste nothing works. The energies are withdrawn into the self. All connections with the external world are cut and it appears as if there is no life. But when the same person is woken up he remembers who he is, where he is and starts from exactly that point where he stopped when he went to sleep.

Where did his intellect go and where did it come from when he woke up?

There are various nerve currents within our body. They are called the Hita nAdis. There are supposed to be 72000 of them (dva saptatih sahasrAni). It is said that the Jeevatma first settles in these nAdis. The nAdis branch out in all directions throughout the body and are all centered, like several wires converging at one point, at the center of the heart, which is called “Puritat”. The Jeevatma is also said to be drawn to this center after going through the jAgrat Dasha and the swApa dasha. Once it is absorbed in the Puritat, the body loses its consciousness. Finally, it is said that the JeevAtma becomes one with the ParamAtma who resides in Puritat. That is why when the individual wakes up after deep sleep he is fully recharged and rejuvenated.



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