Tag Archives: yajnavalkya

Sleep-learning and the Upanishads

Centuries ago, Yajnavalkya used the analogy of “the great fish which travels along both banks, the nearer and the farther” while referring to the human consciousness which oscillates between the waking and the deep sleep state (Brihadaranyaka Upanishad 4.3.17).  He wrote that when the Atman “rests in the intermediate state (of dream)”, it sees both states – waking and deep sleep (Brihad. Up. 4.3.9)[1].   In the state of dreamless sleep, the Advaita Vedantins saw evidence of the existence of Brahman; they reasoned that if a person feels refreshed after sleep, it must be because the Atman had temporarily united with Brahman [2].

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Sravana Manana and Nidhidhyasana

Those who practice the Integral Yoga of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother have developed the habit of reading their books either alone or during study circles.  They claim that this activity is a meditation in itself which naturally awakens the wisdom needed to respond to the multifarious challenges of life.  The Mother herself recommended that disciples read Sri Aurobindo’s books with a blank mind without discussing or explaining the writings to each other.  Does this work?

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