the vigor of search

for the root of thought

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The first touch of tea on the tongue engages so much of the body’s sensory network and seduces me into the sleep of dwelling in the sense organs. The awareness of the evanescence of all phenomena is lost. Putting emphasis on the “beautiful and interesting things” in the world is like grasping a fistful of water.

“Because you identify yourself with the body, you see the world around you and say that the waking state is filled with beautiful and interesting things. The deep sleep state appears dull because you were not there as an individual, and therefore these things were not. But what is the fact? There is the continuity of being in all the three states, but no continuity of the individual and the objects.” ( Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi, talk no. 609)

Then I take a bite of warm, buttery toast with some peanut butter spread on it. Again I notice the power of this contact of the respective sensory input with the taste organs and with the sense of biting and chewing and swallowing this pleasant tasting food.

This is the “powerful snare of the world.”

Ramana: The state of the jnani … is neither sleep nor [the] waking state but intermediate between the two. There is the awareness of the waking state and the stillness of sleep. It is called jagrat-sushupti [waking sleep]. Call it wakeful sleep or sleeping wakefulness or sleepless waking or wakeless sleep. It is not the same as sleep or waking separately. It is atijagrat  [beyond wakefulness] or atisushupti [beyond sleep]. It is the state of perfect awareness and perfect stillness combined. It lies between sleep and waking; it is also the interval between two successive thoughts. It is the source from which thoughts spring; we see that when we wake up from sleep. In other words thoughts have their origin in the stillness of sleep. The thoughts make all the difference between the stillness of sleep and the turmoil of waking. Go to the root of the thoughts and you reach the stillness of sleep. But you reach it in the full vigour of search, that is, with perfect awareness. (Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi, talk no. 609)

Question: What is the meaning of being in sleepless sleep?

Ramana: It is the jnani’s state. In sleep our ego is submerged and the sense organs are not active. The jnani’s ego has been killed and he does not indulge in any sense activities of his own accord or with the notion that he is the doer. So, he is in sleep. At the same time he is not unconscious as in sleep but fully awake in the Self; so his state is sleepless. This sleepless sleep, wakeful sleep, or whatever it may be called, is the turiya [fourth] state of the Self, on which as the screen all the three avasthas, the waking, dream and sleep, pass, leaving the screen unaffected. (Day by Day with Bhagavan, 21st November, 1945)

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