Example. — You take opium or any alcoholic drink. You feel elated or depressed, the body being there all the time. It is therefore the consciousness that is affected and gives rise to the feeling of going up or coming down. You as an Atman are twenty-four hours within and one with the Paramatma, although apparently feeling gross consciousness.
You feel fed up and go to sleep. What is it that you try to do? It is nothing but taking refuge in the Paramatman, your natural and inherent tendency. The whole creation therefore consciously or unconsciously has the tendency of taking shelter in the Paramatman in the state of sleep. The Paramatma who is immanent in everything and all-pervading, is your natural state which you lean towards consciously or unconsciously. You must have observed that it is a very annoying experience to be roused up from sleep in which you were taking refuge with the Paramatman.
The lower creation, not having developed subtle or prana consciousness, can never therefore realize God. It is after the perfection of human consciousness, that subtle and mental consciousness begin to evolve. In this discourse, we ignore altogether the lower creation and begin with the human state of consciousness only. The gross consciousness of the human being experiences the gross world, the subtle consciousness experiences the subtle, the mental consciousness experiences the mental and consciousness of Self experiences the SELF.
You are already aware that Atman in the beginning was unconscious of Itself. So Atman, in order to know Itself, wanted consciousness. As soon as the consciousness was developed, it was confronted by the irony of the situation that was inevitable. The Atman instead of realizing its own Self found itself confronted by the shadow of the Paramatman, that is, Maya or the gross world which was also latent in the Ocean of the Paramatman. Every moment, this tragedy is being repeated and rehearsed in creation. In sound sleep, you are in your original state with the Paramatman, but quite unconscious of that state. No sooner do you wake up, than the gross world confronts you and you forget your original state. So what has to be achieved is to keep the consciousness of the awake state intact and to remove or eliminate the shadow confronting it. Thus released of its grip on the shadow, the consciousness will automatically fall back on its Self and will begin enjoying the Paramatman state.
We have noticed there have come into being simultaneously with the human form, the subtle body and the mental body, with the corresponding subtle and mental worlds. But the gross consciousness of the Atman in the human form is conscious of the gross body and the gross world only, and not conscious of the subtle body, mental body and their co-relative worlds, although they are there and exist simultaneously for the Atman. This state is not true of lower creation, so we eliminate it in this discussion and treat the subject from the stage of human form and human consciousness only.
When a human being goes into sound sleep and is in the Paramatman state, the consciousness of the gross, subtle and mental bodies and worlds is no longer there. But as soon as this person awakes, he wakes up to the consciousness of the gross body and gross world only and is quite oblivious of the subtle and mental bodies, although they are there with him all the time.
When a beginner on the Path goes into sound sleep, for him also the three bodies and the corresponding worlds do not exist in the Paramatman state. But when he wakes up, he is conscious of the subtle body and the subtle world only, although the gross body and the mental body are there with him.
The Vali or advanced soul, in sound sleep, is at par with the human being and the beginner in the Paramatman state so far as forgetfulness of the three bodies and their concomitant worlds is concerned. But as soon as the Vali wakes up, he is conscious only of the mental body and the relative world, although he is in possession of the gross body and the subtle body all along.
For the Atman who has realized the Self, it is a different experience altogether. Such a one cannot be said to sleep or wake up, because the consciousness of such a one is