Sleep

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(Shyam Sundar, 1969:) “I find that after the recent fever I sleep more; this I don't like.

(Mother:) Since the arrival of the new Consciousness on earth the sleep seems to have acquired a special utility for letting it work on the body. So you must not get disturbed by it; it is the mind that does not like the sleep.
         But when the body learns to sleep consciously in an attitude of ‘surrender’ to the Divine, much useful work can be done during the sleep.”[1]


(Shyam Sundar, 1970:) “When meditation comes spontaneously, often the body gets relaxed and sleep becomes irresistible.

(Mother:) That is probably not an ordinary sleep. The body becomes able to receive higher forces which plunge it in a receptive rest. Consciousness will follow, and then the body will begin its transformation.”[2]


(Sri Aurobindo:) “What is called dreamless sleep is really a sleep where many dreams are passing on, only one doesn't know of them. Sometimes one discusses important problems in such a condition. At other times, one gets the ecstasy of union with the Divine. One may also go into other worlds with a part of one's being and meet all kinds of forms. This is, of course, the first stage and a kind of beginning of Samadhi.”[3]


(Sri Aurobindo:) “What we call unconsciousness is simply other-consciousness; it is the going in of this surface wave of our mental awareness of outer objects into our subliminal self-awareness and into our awareness too of other planes of existence. We are really no more unconscious when we are asleep or stunned or drugged or “dead” or in any other state, than when we are plunged in inner thought oblivious of our physical selves and our surroundings. For anyone who has advanced even a little way in Yoga, this is a most elementary proposition and one which offers no difficulty whatever to the thought because it is proved at every point by experience.”[4]


(Sri Aurobindo:) “The ordinary habit of the mind when it goes in away from contact with physical things is to fall into the torpor of sleep or its dreams, and therefore when called in for the purposes of Samadhi, it gives or tends to give, at the first chance, by sheer force of habit, not the response demanded, but its usual response of physical slumber. This habit of the mind has to be got rid of; the mind has to learn to be awake in the dream-state, in possession of itself, not with the outgoing, but with an ingathered wakefulness in which, though immersed in itself, it exercises all its powers.”[5]




  1. En Route (On the Path): The Mother's Correspondence with Shyam Sundar, p.118
  2. En Route (On the Path): The Mother's Correspondence with Shyam Sundar, p.145
  3. Talks with Sri Aurobindo, p.22, 14 December 1938
  4. The Synthesis of Yoga, p.386, “The Realisation of Sachchidananda”
  5. Ibid., p.523, “Samadhi”


See also