getting out of deep sleep - theory of re-birth

Gregory Goode goode at DPW.COM
Mon Feb 9 09:59:55 CST 1998

>When a human wakes up from deep sleep, why do the past flow of thoughts
>and past memory (from before going to sleep) continue ? Why does not the
>old memory disappear and why does not the human wake up entirely fresh ?
>I am not looking for a scientific explanation but a philosophical one.
>The basic background for the human is prajnAna, the consciousness
>(awareness). That is the only continuity. That is the same Atman that
>pervades everything.

Ramana Maharshi was once asked the same question.  His succinct answer was,
that death and sleep are the same, but that "sleep is short, death is long."

In terms of the Vedantic components, a quick answer is that the causal body
retains the vasanas in sleep, and Isvara (the causal form of the Lord)
retains the vasanas between births.

On the level of the Jiva, the karana shareera (causal body) is the
repository of vasanas whether in waking, dreaming, or deep sleep.  And for
the non-jnani in susupti (deep sleep), identification with the karana
shareera or anandamayakosa (bliss sheath) is operative, and the prajna
(sleeper) exists, which is intelligence in seed form.  You might ask, how
is one causal body different from others, since a causal body is
undifferentiated ignorance.  The individual causal body is equivalent to
the toality of all causal bodies, and in sleep it is folded into Isvara
(see below).

On the macrocosmic level (between incarnations), the same sort of thing
happens.  Isvara or Antaryamin (internal ruler) is the causal or unmanifest
form of the Lord, also known as Brahman qualified by maya.  Isvara rules
omnisciently over the sum of all causal bodies and vasanas.  Since Isvara
is omniscient, He knows whose vasanas are whose, so that a thread is
maintained between births.

This usage of Isvara is not the same as "personal deity."  It is used in
the kind of equivalency below:

========================             ========================

Isvara (Brahman qualified            Prajna (jiva as witness of bare ignorance
        by Maya; rules                  in state of sleep; repository of
        over all causal                 vasanas)
        bodies; omniscient)

Hiranyagarbha (Cosmic form           Taijasa (jiva with conceit of having a
        of Lord creating the            subtle body)
        subtle universe;
        also known as God the
        creator or Brahma)

Virat (cosmic form of Lord           Visva (individual form of jiva having

      having form of world)             conceit of gross body)

This scheme comes partly from Swami Chinmayananda's SELF UNFOLDMENT, partly
from the PANCHADASI.


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