Archive for December 7th, 2011

Subject: Lifelong Sleep
Date: Wed 07 Dec 2011 21:42:03 -0000
From: “Gaurishankar Deva”


“A’mi toma’re bhuliya’ chinu katadin…” (P.S. 4091)


Baba, I was remaining forgetful and was oblivious of You for such a long span of time. My life passed like this. I traveled on the rugged, jagged path. Sometimes I fell down in the ocean current.
My days, full of stains, were wasted in hopelessness– without any achievement, without any genuine progress. So many lonely, isolated nights passed in crying in utter despair with no pra’na– just frustration.
Baba, sometimes I suffered and got hit by the cold northern breeze. And sometimes that northern breeze took away all my hopes, inspirations, and gains. Just I drowned in staticity and crudeness.
But now, by Your grace today spring has come. All the surroundings are filled with the colourful flowers and sweet aroma. The dark night has changed into a glittering moonlight, shining in the sky. Peacocks are dancing in happiness and expressing their joy by extending their feathers.
The sweet breeze has come. It is shaking my whole existence and making me quiver in the divine vibration. That sweet breeze is giving me the hint and telling me, “Listen! the divine flute, which is resonating, it is calling you…”


The other day when doing pracara I had an indepth, personal conversation with someone about yama and niyama, kiirtan and meditation.

They appeared to be quite interested.

When our talk ended, I thought they would have a question on the topic or ask when was the next dharmacakra etc.

But instead, they said they wanted to go on the internet to check the timetable about some pseudo-culture movie at the local cinema. That was all they wanted to know.

When I recounted this to my Dada then he nodded knowingly and said, “Psychic slumber.”

My acarya then went on to give the following reply which I have written in summary form for all of you.


The human personality is dynamic and diverse and exists on three realms: physical, psychic and spiritual.

We all know that Ananda Marga aims for the development of the whole human personality.

Thus we should be fully aware about sleep and how it manifests on all levels of life.

Unfortunately nowadays many are not cognizant of this critical issue, both inside and outside the Marga. So it needs our careful attention, for our own understanding and growth, and for sharing with others.


In brief, here is what is meant by sleep, in the various realms of life. These are Baba’s definitions.

(A) Physical sleep is when one is lying down in their bed and sleeping. This we all know about.

(B) Psychic sleep is when one is not aware about the real value of human life and is instead engrossed in material pursuits, religious dogmas, and animalistic propensities.

(C) Spiritual sleep is when one forgets the divine fact that Parama Purusa is with you, watching you.

All these are discussed in greater detail below.


The most telling aspect or main characteristic about sleep – whether it be physical, psychic or spiritual – is that when one is sleeping then they are not aware that they are sleeping. They are not at all conscious. That is why it is so dangerous, especially in the psychic and spiritual realms. Though physically sleeping when driving is also very dangerous.

Sleep happens unbeknownst to the person. The person sleeping is totally oblivious of the fact that they are sleeping. They cannot think or say, “Right now at this moment I am sleeping.” This basic awareness they do not have.

The best they can do is to try and remember the very last thing they were doing before they went to sleep. After that they will not be aware what transpired. This mostly applies to physical sleep. Those involved in psychic and spiritual sleep can pass entire lifetimes without waking up – it happens, even in our Marga.

It should also be noted that of these three types of sleep, physical sleep is restorative – so long as one does not sleep too much. In contrast, both psychic sleep and spiritual slumber have no redeeming quality – none.


We all know what physical sleep is, but psychic sleep may be less apparent.

Basically, when one is engrossed in religious dogmas, social dogmas, and material pursuits, then that is psychic sleep. Such persons have no concept of the more subtle aspects of life. They are just here for eating, sleeping, drinking and merrymaking or various dogmatic enterprises. These are the characteristics of psychic slumber.

If someone is sleeping psychically and you talk to them about yama and niyama or meditation, then they will often have a blank look on their face. Regardless of their educational status, if they are sleeping psychically, even a PhD scholar will be mentally dull in this regard. They will not show an iota of interest in spirituality.

You can tell people all day about how human life is precious and money is not everything and that they must learn meditation etc, and then at the end of the conversation they may only ask about getting a bottle of wine. Such is a classic case of psychic slumber.

Unfortunately at present in this grossly materialistic era, most suffer in this regard. They cannot see that this entire world is the divine expression of Parama Purusa and that there is more to living that satisfying one’s animalistic propensities.

We should not just think that psychic sleep only applies to those non-margiis grossly disinterested in spiritual topics.


There are also those who express some or more interest in the subtle sphere but get clouded in dogmas like groupism, factionalism, etc. That is what we have happening in our Marga.

All in AM have the book knowledge that groupism is something bad, but even then some have fallen prey to this ism and have committed their life to the selfish interests of their chosen group. No names need be mentioned here, but in our Marga some fall in this category.

And that is exactly what Baba is warning about in His below teaching.

Baba says, “Next is psychic lethargy. What is the nature of this sort of lethargy? Psychic lethargy is the lack of mental courage to think independently and to utilize the physical potentialities according to one’s inherent thoughts. For example, most people realize that since all human beings are the progeny of Parama Purus’a, there should not be any
distinction of caste. Those who accept casteism can never accept Parama Purus’a and conversely, those who believe in Parama Purus’a can never accept casteism. Almost all human beings understand this and yet, in their individual lives, they surrender to old customs and beliefs. Just imagine what a serious lapse this is, what a serious psychic lethargy. The root case is the lack of moral courage.” (Ananda Vacanamrtam-8)

Thus anyone in AM who even is remotely connected with groupism and groupist politics is a victim of psychic slumber. Whether they wish to admit it or not, they are totally sleeping in the psychic realm.

And indeed they will not admit it. Because, as stated above, those who are sleeping cannot recognise that they are sleeping. That is the special, if not dangerous, quality of sleep.

Thus day in and day out those involved in psychic slumber indulge in groupist activities all the 24hrs. Yet they remain oblivious to their psychic slumber. Their sense of vivek is not working – they cannot understand the teachings of Parama Purusa and apply them to their life. So they think what they are doing is alright. They continue to engage 100% in their groupist battle plans.

Yet one fine morning, in this lifetime or the next, by Baba’s grace, they will awaken and wonder what hell they have been doing with their lives. And they will exclaim, “Why did you not tell me that I was doing such things?” – yet little do they know that each and every day for decades they were told not to indulge in groupist propaganda.

They do not realise that life is short and life is meant for ideology, not groupist or dogmatic or material pursuits. Such is the main criteria of psychic sleep.


If you ever talked to someone on the phone when they were extremely tired or if you ever talked to someone just as they were falling asleep or even when they were asleep, then you know that that person will not remember what you were talking about. Having succumbed to sleep, you can tell them so many things – “Your mom called”, “It is raining out, “The loan was rejected” – and they will not remember anything. But later they will accuse you of not telling them.

Same is the case with psychic slumber. Such persons have been following groupist dogmas for years and doing so many injustices in our Marga, yet they are not able to pay heed to the warnings. They do not understand the harm they are doing, the time they are wasting, and the negative karma they are creating.

Thus in both physical and psychic sleep, the person in slumber is oblivious to all kinds of rational talk. Yet later on, they will accuse others of not saying anything when they realise what they were doing wrong and what good things they missed. And the only reply is, “All along people told you but you did not hear or listen.”


Lastly, we come to the phenomenon of spiritual sleep.

Baba says, “Of all the different types of lethargy, spiritual lethargy is the worst. Spiritual lethargy means not to sit for meditation regularly. Those with spiritual lethargy have time for all other actions, but for spiritual practice there seems to be no time. They say, “It’s already late today – I’ll do a short meditation right now, and devote more time to sa’dhana’ tomorrow.” They sit attentively inside the cinema hall, but in dharma sa’dhana’ they feel sleepy.” (AMIWL-10)

So spiritual sleep relates with not properly attending to one’s duty of sadhana. That is certainly one main aspect of spiritual slumber.

From that main stem of not doing sadhana come many offshoots.

Lack of spiritual awareness means forgetting that Parama Purusa is with me, watching me. If at any time during the day or night a sadhaka forgets – even temporarily – that Parama Purusa is with me or if they do not have that idea vibrating in their mind, then it means that they / you are sleeping spiritually.

Thus all the dogmatic religions that claim that God is far away are sunk in spiritual slumber. Similarly, those followers of so-called mahaprayan (i.e. Baba is gone) are also lost in spiritual slumber. As are those who chase after Parama Purusa by going on tiirthas, whether that tiirtha be in Mecca, Jerusalem, Jamalpur or Kolkata. Plus those dogmatic worshipers who ask their God for material gain and those groupists who secretly pray to Parama Purusa for prestige and power – they are all sleeping. Internally they are harboring for something else other than Parama Purusa Himself.

In all such cases the aspirant is sleeping soundly. They may deny it a thousand times over, but that is the way of the world. Those in sleep cannot recognise they are sleeping. So they come up with dumb justifications for their foolish pursuits. This happens both in psychic and spiritual slumber.

The key defining point with spiritual slumber is feeling / not feeling Baba’s constant presence. As soon as one feels that, “Baba is with me” then that person is no longer sleeping. However without vigilance and proper spiritual endeavor, they may fall back asleep. That happens.

This state of spiritual slumber is also known as adhyataman nidra.

In essence anyone who thinks, “I am great” is plunged in this disastrous mode of life or spiritual slumber. Because they are unable to realise the greatness and presence of Parama Purusa, they foolishly think that, “I am great”.

So these are some of the telltale signs of spiritual slumber.

Here is another warning from Baba how people waste their existence doused in spiritual slumber.

Baba says, “People…waste their time getting old for nothing. That is, they waste their time in non-spiritual pursuits. This is called “spiritual lethargy”. It causes the greatest harm to human life because it results in only a very small percentage of the human potentiality – maybe one or two percent – being utilized by humans. Even those whom we call great personalities hardly use ten percent of their potentialities. Due to spiritual lethargy people are unable to grow, and thus remain very ordinary. They come to the world, live, decay and die as ordinary human beings.” (Ananda Vacanamrtam-8)


By Baba’s grace we should all live life as awakened sadhakas – not falling prey to dogma or groupism and not forgetting that He is always with us. Then our life will be successful. Failing that, one will be prone to lifelong sleep.

Baba says, “Human beings have to move, and move on ceaselessly. When they are endowed with the strength of movement, they will have to move in a proper manner. Where there is strength, that strength must be properly utilized. One must not slip into slumber, allowing this strength to remain inert. Parama Purus’a has given this power to be utilized. The knowledge of the learned, the strength of the strong, the intelligence of the intellectuals – all these faculties have been given not to be merely preserved but to be utilized. Those persons who do not utilize their faculties have no right to ask for anything from the Lord, and those who misuse their faculties are also doomed to destruction.” (A Few Problems Solved-4)


Boon For All

Baba says, “Just as the diseased body organs can be restored to normal by administering medicines internally and externally, they can also be healed more safely and more perfectly with the help of Yaogika asanas and mudras. The aim of this book, therefore, is to make the general public aware of the Yaogika methods of treating various illnesses. My purpose is to let people cure themselves by practicing the a’sanas and mudras described in this book.” (YT preface)

Note 1: In the above teaching from the preface of Yogic Treatment book, Baba is guiding us that asanas & mudras are the most perfect way to cure and heal the human body. Hence in Baba’s Yaogika Treatment book, these practices– asanas and mudras– stand as the main pathway for overcoming illness and attaining proper health. Whereas the other types of remedies given are more of an auxiliary or secondary approach.

Note 2: Overall there is a lot of confusion about this as many mistakenly think that the herbal remedies etc are the main way to cure oneself. But that is not correct. Asanas and mudras are the most highly regarded and recommended way.

Note 3: Another aspect to this discussion is that Baba’s own introduction to this topic is completely unique. Whereby He is giving special attention and particular emphasis to the goal or object of the book– i.e. that asanas & mudras are the main component. Whereas in most of His discourses He rarely or perhaps even never Does He so vividly highlight what the inner teaching of the upcoming discourse is going to be.

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