Om Namo Bhagavate Shri Ramanaya
It is not some dry philosophy, but the day to day happening in each of our lives, from birth to death that we have missed to pay attention to-the waking state, the dream state and the deep sleep state.
"The world is a changing phenomena, an illusion." A spiritual comrade uttered in the course of a casual conversation.
The conversation drifted to the three states of consciousness-the waking, dreaming and the deep sleep states. They are alternating phases. A little scrutiny, and we can understand about these three states, which we experience every day from birth to death.
By the term "Real", we mean "Original", in the things that we encounter in our day to day life. We call "Original" because there is no change in them ever. So are the three states of consciousness, the waking state, where we engage in day to day activities; and the dream state, where we move about in our dreams with a different set of experiences, in a different world; and the deep sleep state, where our identity is totally lost, our original state?
So the three states will definitely have a common base for them to appear and disappear. If we can rationalise what this common source is, it is but our own "Self". "Self "is not to be looked upon as an object, but our own self. When we say our own self, we deem it to be our body in the waking state. It cannot be our body, as our body is perceived by the mind. The mind has our presence for its base. Our own self cannot be the mind too, as the mind is totally absent in the deep sleep state; yet we claim that we slept soundly. Even in the absence of our mind, our being is proved. Our own Self is the source of the mind.
Only because we are present we are able to perceive our day to day activities and happenings in the waking state, through the mind.
We dream a beautiful sight, and we get elated and exclaim "Oh I had a beautiful dream!" We are able to exclaim so only because we were present in the dream state. Further more, in the dream state, we identify the self with a different body and we are in a different world altogether. Not the body that which is sleeping on the bed. We can't be that one too, as it also disappears once we are awake.
And in the deep sleep state, our identity is totally lost and we wake up saying that we had a wonderful sleep. We are able to say so only because there again was this consciousness, present even while we are sleeping soundly. There is absolutely no identification with any body. We are simply formless, until we wake up.
So which of these states can be our original state? They are all alternating. So can these alternating states be called real or original? We are so used to this alternating phenomena that we lose sight of the "real" thing.
Hence that which is original is our own self or OUR PURE PRESENCE, on the basis of which all perceptions through the mind is possible. Our own self is continuous in all the three states, even while the states alternate.
Ramana Maharshi says that the only difference between the waking state and the dream state is that the former is longer.
My friend said while we were discussing this, "But the dream state is in the subconscious mind." But truly, while in the dream state, did we know that it is the subconscious mind at play? It seems, that in whatever state we are, waking or dreaming, these states are true to us at the time of experiencing them!
Consciousness is reality. In truth Consciousness is only one. One, complete whole. These states are considered true, only because we falsely identify ourselves with the body. When identification with the body is shed, all is, is only pure and plain Consciousness.
Ramana Maharshi says we or the "Self" is Sat (Truth or that which is Real) Chit (Knowledge or All knowing) Ananda (Bliss) and beyond the all three states. The one who realises this is the one who is truly awake.