810 – Be refreshed with sleep

How much sleep does one require? It is a source of concern to one and all. What one does not realise it that sleep is possible if one puts one’s thoughts to bed or out.

Swami Chinmayananda, Prashnopanishad: ‘When you are asleep, when Indriyas merge into the mind and the mind that is withdrawn from all its activities retires to rest to revive to greater efficiency, the individual is said to be asleep. The next morning, he comes back to the waking condition, then the mind flutters out of its nest to roam about.’

Vishnu, the preserver is often depicted as Ananthasayana (Sleeping Vishnu on the serpent Ananta). It is a symbolic representation of the cosmic balance of finity within infinity. It also means that Vishnu is limitless or endless in space, extent or size. Sayananam means to be in a state of natural sleep, in which one’s eyes are closed. He reclines on the Ananta Shesha, who holds all the planets of the universe on his hoods and he constantly sings the glories of Vishnu from all his mouths. Vishnu goes into yogic sleep for a period of four months, when the entire universe is submerged in flood waters. This time is when the entire universe renews itself. This pose of Vishnu on the Ananta Shesha is also described as Yoga Nidra (conscious sleep).

The practise

Breath awareness and Anuloma Viloma can send one into a slumber. A neutral activity like being aware of one’s breath going in and out of the nostrils and counting, takes our interaction with the thoughts away. Next the practice of Anuloma Viloma, visualizing the breath going in and out of the left nostril to the count of 54 backwards, then doing the same with the right nostril. After this visualizing the breath going in and out of both nostrils the same way. The outcome is that one’s prana is balanced and the mind is quietened and silenced.

When you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down your sleep will be sweet. – Proverb 3:24.

Aim Hrim Klim


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