Vishnu Ananthasayanam Cosmic Hibernation

Rene Descartes ,the Rationalist Philosopher’s observation on Sleep and Wakefulness is interesting.

He developed the system of doubt to arrive at certainty.


Ranganatha Srirangam.jpg

Narayana In Anantha sayanam,Sriranagam

He starts disbelieving everything, the senses, the external world,scriptures,opinions and everything one can conceive of.

I recommend reading his Books for explaining his thoughts, though interesting, will not come under the topic we are discussing.

One sleeps and wakes up.

Padmanabha in ananthasayanam.jpg

Padmanabha in ananthasayanam,Thiruvanathapuram temple

Descartes asks as to what determines the state of sleep and wakefulness.

In sleep one dreams and on waking up finds that it is not true.

What if what one perceives to be Sleep is wakefulness and what wakefulness is really a sleeping state?

In sleep we find everything to be true at the time of dreaming and only on waking up we say we have dreamt.

What if this is the other way round?

Sometimes I dream that I write and on waking up I find it is untrue and that I have been dreaming.

Now I am writing this post.

How can I be certain now that this activity is not being done while asleep?

This action of writing now may be a dream and I may wake up.

This is a problem not solved by Philosophy.

Hinduism describes four states of Being.

Jagrat, the waking state.

Swapna, the dreaming state,

Sushupti, the deep dreamless state and

Turiya, Pure Consciousness.

In the last state everything is Pure consciousness and the dreamer or The Experiencer, one who experiences and The Experienced are One.

One becomes the other.

And Consciousness is not limited by Space and Time.

Only when Space and Time are present, is the Consciousness becomes limited.

The Universal Consciousness one of the Attributes of Reality in unbounded.

Only when it is bound by Space and time, does it manifest as the world of names and Forms.

In essence the world and the beings, both animate and inanimate are One.

The differentiation occurs because of Space and Time.

This is called by Henri Bergson as Elan Vital.

Our Indian Philosophers call it Chit, one of the attributes of Brahman,Reality, the others being Sat(Being) and Ananda(Bliss)

Purusha Sukta describes the evolution of the Cosmos.

It describes the Universe in its evolution.

It talks about movement and stillness.

Motion and immobility are two things that are relative to each other.

Purusha is the Universal primordial Principle while Narayana is the specific applied principle in action.

He evolves into the world.

NaarayanamMahaegyam viswaathmaanam Prayaanam..

Naarayna paro Jyotiraathma naarayana para’

He is the mover but He is Immobile.

He evolves into the Universe , remains Himself.

He evolves Consciousness into beings, making them aware, not what they are but what Narayana wants them to be, by His Maya, Illusion.

In this sense he makes things ,people though Conscious yet not Really Conscious.

He poses to be asleep, but not really sleeping.

Narayana does not sleep.

His sleep is Yoga Nidra, a state of Yoga when one is awake yet asleep.

In our limited capacity all of us would have experienced this at some point of time.

And this sleep wakefulness is not bound by either Space or Time as Pure Consciousness can not be bound by Time or Space for Brahman;it is Its attribute.

Brahman, as Narayana represents this principle in His Ananthasayanam(Cosmic hibernation)

One may note that we call Anantha Narayana and not Anantha Vishnu for Narayana and Vishnu are different aspects of Reality Brahman.




Dreaming, Wakefulness A Thin Line

Recently I saw a Film, ‘1408’

Sleep parameters.

Biological State of Sleep

It deals with a study of dreams and waking state.

One can no call the film as belong to the genre of Horror,Thriller.

I would classify it as an exploratory film on the frontiers of the Human State .

A non believer in Ghosts and Religion in general checks into a known haunted Hotel Room despite advised to the contrary.

Within a few minutes he experiences things that are not normal and he is terrified his reasoning power notwithstanding.

He meets up with his Father and daughter and is tormented between his beliefs and what he is experiencing.

He comes out of this situation though he has been told it was not possible,only find he had not come out of it.

He comes out again and his estranged wife who as skeptical about his experiences starts to believe when she hears the voice of her daughter in the Recording hr husband had made while in the Hotel Room.

The film ends with a distinct feeling to the watcher of the fIlm even this last sequence might be a Draem or a sleeping State.

This post is not about the Film but about the Human Sates of,



Deep Sleep and


Researchers into Sleep classify Sleep into

1.REM Rapid Eye Movement-initial state of the Sleep.

2.Dreaming and

3 Deep Sleep.

Alpha and Beta waves are prominently detected for I and 2 respectively and Delta wave is found in the Deep Sleep State.

This is all the maximum explanation Science could provide biologically on Sleeping?Slumber apart from making loud noises about the Brain needing rest, the body recharging during sleep.

Psychologists as usual try everything under the sun for explaining away Sleep.

Sigmund Freud says it is the repressed desires expressing themselves , Jung states it is the Human personality asserting itself in Sleep.

Behaviorist say, well, it is Behavior!

But the main question has not been answered.

What happens during Sleep and what is dreaming and deep sleep?

Buddhist  Schools speak of the Etheric body, Astral Body

The Astral body leaves and experiences as befits individual Karma and returns.

The Vedas. especially Advaita classifies Sleep State into Four.

1.Jagrat-Wakefulness, the state we are normally in.

2.Swapna-The Dreaming State.

3.Sushupti-The Deep dreamless state and

4.Thuriya-Beyond Deep Sleep ans a step towards Self Realization.

The Self lies beyond.

Adi Sankara explains that these states are the manifestations of Consciousness,,Universal Consciousness , not individual Consciousness.

A Yogi and a seeker of Truth goes beyond this fourth State.

This is what Lord Krishna means in the Second Chapter of The Bhagavad Gita when he says ,

Yogi keeps awake while the whole world is asleep and sleeps when every one is awake.

Come to think of it we can not be sure whether I am awake writing this Post or this is a part of a Dream I am going through.

The Film Matrix series and of late th Film Inception was based on similar lines,though they based it on SpaceTime and Co-ordinates.

Some dreams are so vividly real we wake up shaking .

Rene Descartes the Great Rationalist( Philosophical term , not to be confused with the self-styled rationalist jokers like Karunanidhi and Kamal Hassan) proves the Existence of God the External World and Mind.

While describing the process of enquiry he says he can not trust his senses for they are not always right.

He can not trust others’ words as the truth for he does not know whether they can be relied upon.

As he goes on in this vein he exclaims,

” Am I awake or Dreaming, May be It Real world I was experiencing when I was dreaming and this world might be a Dream.

True the thin line between Dream and Wakefulness is blurred.

I do not know.

The Fil 1408 Trailer.


Sleep Stages, ‘Not Absence Of Thoughts’ Yoga Sutra 1.10

Sleep and Dreams, are the two states of which we know precious little.

Sigmund Freud, in his attempt to interpret the Dreams, has set up a system of Psychiatry, blames every one for their actions but themselves.

He had interpreted Dreams only as an expression of Sex and depressed desires.

Jung professed ‘Freud conceived the unconscious solely as a repository of repressed emotions and desires. Jung agreed with Freud’s model of the unconscious, what Jung called the “personal unconscious“, but he also proposed the existence of a second, far deeper form of the unconscious underlying the personal one. This was the collective unconscious, where thearchetypes themselves resided, represented in mythology by a lake or other body of water, and in some cases a jug or other container. Freud had actually mentioned a collective level of psychic functioning but saw it primarily as an appendix to the rest of the psyche’

Then we have many Behavioral Psychologists.

These scholars saw Mind as a Blind seeing An Elephant” seeing a part and interpreting it to suit them.

Patanjali goes to the basics.

Since we do not remember anything in sleep, is Sleep ‘Absence of Thoughts?’

He says NO.

According to Yoga Sutra 1.10, Sleep is a State where one is not aware of the thought waves.(Deep Sleep)

This can not be confused with the ‘Yoga Sate where one is devoid of Thought waves”

‘Abhava pratyaya Alambana vritti Nidra” Yoga Sutra 1.10

abhāva – absence, non-existence, nullity
pratyaya – cause, resulting impressions
ālambanā – support, basis, foundation, cause
vṛttiḥ –  habits or activities of the mind
nidrā – deep sleep


“Sleep is the mental habit characterized by the absence of form”

That is we are not ascribing, in the Deep sleep stage,a Form for the Thought waves, that’s all.

Indian Philosophy characterizes Four stages of Sleep.

1.Wakefulness, Jagruti.

2.Swapna,Dream State

3.Sushupti,Deep Dreamless State and

4.Thuriya, The Real Nature of Brahman,Pure Consciousness.

Adi Shankara discerned three states of consciousness, namely waking (jågrat), dreaming (svapna), and deep sleep (suƒupti),[web 61][web 62] which correspond to the three bodies:[140]

  1. The first state is the waking state, in which we are aware of our daily world. “It is described as outward-knowing (bahish-prajnya), gross (sthula) and universal (vaishvanara)”.[web 62] This is the gross body.
  2. The second state is the dreaming mind. “It is described as inward-knowing (antah-prajnya), subtle (pravivikta) and burning (taijasa)”.[web 62] This is the subtle body.
  3. The third state is the state of deep sleep. In this state the underlying ground of concsiousness is undistracted, “the Lord of all (sarv’-eshvara), the knower of all (sarva-jnya), the inner controller (antar-yami), the source of all (yonih sarvasya), the origin and dissolution of created things (prabhav’-apyayau hi bhutanam)”.[web 62] This is the causal body.

A fourth state is Turiya, pure consciousness. It is the background that underlies and transcends the three common states of consciousness.[web 63] [web 64] In this consciousness both absolute and relative, Saguna Brahman and Nirguna Brahman, are transcended.[141] It is the true state of experience of the infinite (ananta) and non-different (advaita/abheda), free from the dualistic experience which results from the attempts to conceptualise ( vipalka) reality.[142] It is the state in which ajativada, non-origination, is apprehended.[142](Wiki)

What does Modern Science say on this?

Waves in The Brain during Sleep

Brain Waves during Sleep.

Stage 1

Stage 1 is the beginning of the sleep cycle, and is a relatively light stage of sleep. Stage 1 can be considered a transition period between wakefulness and sleep. In Stage 1, the brain produces high amplitude theta waves, which are very slow brain waves. This period of sleep lasts only a brief time (around 5-10 minutes). If you awaken someone during this stage, they might report that they weren’t really asleep.

Stage 2

Stage 2 is the second stage of sleep and lasts for approximately 20 minutes. The brain begins to produce bursts of rapid, rhythmic brain wave activity known as sleep spindles. Body temperature starts to decrease and heart rate begins to slow.

Stage 3

Deep, slow brain waves known as delta wavesbegin to emerge during stage 3 sleep. Stage 3 is a transitional period between light sleep and a very deep sleep.

Stage 4

Stage 4 is sometimes referred to as delta sleepbecause of the slow brain waves known as delta waves that occur during this time. Stage 4 is a deep sleep that lasts for approximately 30 minutes. Bed-wetting and sleepwalking are most likely to occur at the end of stage 4 sleep.

Stage 5

Most dreaming occurs during the fifth stage of sleep, known as rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. REM sleep is characterized by eye movement, increased respiration rate and increased brain activity. REM sleep is also referred to as paradoxical sleep because while the brain and other body systems become more active, muscles become more relaxed. Dreaming occurs due because of increased brain activity, but voluntary muscles become paralyzed.

The Sequence of Sleep Stages

It is important to realize, however, that sleep does not progress through these stages in sequence. Sleep begins in stage 1 and progresses into stages 2, 3 and 4. After stage 4 sleep, stage 3 and then stage 2 sleep are repeated before entering REM sleep. Once REM sleep is over, the body usually returns to stage 2 sleep. Sleep cycles through these stages approximately four or five times throughout the night.

On average, we enter the REM stage approximately 90 minutes after falling asleep. The first cycle of REM sleep might last only a short amount of time, but each cycle becomes longer. REM sleep can last up to an hour as sleep progresses.

Patanjali Yoga

Yoga Sutra 1.10




Sleep, Head In The South, Feet To The North

Hinduism has rituals and procedures laid down for Daily activities.

These instructions start  from   brushing the Teeth to going to Bed at night.

Hinduism forbids sleeping during The Day.

One such interesting fact is about Sleeping.



In which Direction should one have his Head !

‘Head to point the East in One’s Home,

To West in close Relatives Home(like In Laws,brothers are considered to be of the same house hold even if they live separately, where as sister is considered to belong to another Household),

Never Towards the North ,

And always pointing towards the South”

We are aware that the Earth has a Magnetic Field, North and South Poles.

The East is Hot.

So because of the Heat Current passes from The East to The West.

The Right side of this current(North) creates Positive Current.

And The Left side (South), the Negative Current.

Human Body. specifically the Red Corpuscles have Iron and hey have the properties of being made into a Magnet.

Head has Positive Current while the Feet , Negative Current.

When one sleeps with one’s Head in the North, Feet pointing out at the South  we  go against the Natural flow of Current and Magnetism and we will be disturbed in Sleep and Health is likely to be hit.

When you sleep with head pointing out to South and Feet to North, you  will be in Harmony with the Natural Flow of Current in The Earth’s ElectroMagnetic Field.

This helps you sleep better and is Healthy.


Co-Sleeping Children, Parents? Is It Correct?

There are a quite a number of views on keeping the infants with the parents when the infant is about to sleep or is sleeping.


There is really a new word, which for this,of which I was unaware,(I think for  most of the Asians, especially Indian‘s as well), ‘Co-Sleeping‘.


In our Homes , till about ten years back, we never had separate bed rooms.


That was when our grown up wanted a room .


Till then right from my childhood I never slept alone in our Home , nor any one else in the Family.


This was not peculiar to our Home.


Indians used to sleep that way.


Another interesting fact is that we Indians used to live in Joint Families.


Here Joint Family means Living together with one’s Uncles(paternal, and Cousins under the same roof.


One’s belongings like shirts,Chappals,Shoes were every ones.


People used whatever was available.


Cooking was done in the common kitchen and the Firer in the kitchen never got  doused till about midnight.


None felt the absence of their parents nor did they feel left out or ignored.


Every one’s needs were met.


Those were the times  when emotional cushion was the best.


Some one can be chosen by you to communicate. depending on your need and problems.


Thus an Adolescent can discuss any thing from Drinking to Sex with Uncles and Cousins without  fear or reservations.


Now. as the Tamil Humorist Crazy Moan put it. husband and wife living together is joint family!


Views on the infants sleeping with their parents(parents with Infants) are quite hot on the Internet.


The emotional bonding, the physical proximity,and physical touch between the parents and children up to Ten-years has a lot to do with the security feeling of the children in their adolescent and even in adult stages.

The reasons quoted about the inconvenience to parents , to me, looks , childish.


If one wants to have a stable adult, more than any thing, physical proximity is important.


Well there are always exceptions, including the pervert parents who abuse the children.


Keep the children away from them.(this has to be done by the others, like parents of the couple).


(There are some Marwari/Gujarati Families who follow the traditional Joint Family System in India).




Based on my own experiences, I’ve created a short list of the top threats that older babies and toddlers pose to their parents in a co-sleeping environment. I’m sure there are millions more, so feel free to add your own dangers in the comment section below. Together, we must create awareness!…

1. The midnight caller. Parents should be warned against bringing any kind of cellular device into bed with them or within a toddler’s reach. Unless, of course, you don’t mind being bludgeoned in the head with your cell phone before dawn.

2. Eye love you, daddy! So much so, that little Johnny is going to take that cute little finger of his and jab it right through your sleepy eyelid! I would imagine this is why God gave us two.

3. The toddler chokehold. They may be little, but they are mighty. Be aware of your little one’s sleeping position at all times. One minute they’re lovingly sleeping in the crook of your arm, and the next, they’re lying sideways across your throat cutting off life sustaining oxygen to your brain.

4. The fish hook. I’m sure that to a toddler, the two black holes in mommy’s nose may seem like a magnificent curiosity, but to a mom, there is nothing curious about being jarred awake by your child trying to dig your brains out through your nostril.

5. The bitch slap. A more common threat to parents worldwide, this danger is more likely to occur during the morning hours. The bitch slap may be a rude awakening to the parent of an impatiently hungry toddler who wants their damn cheerios right now.



  • encourages breastfeeding by making nighttime breastfeeding more convenient
  • makes it easier for a nursing mother to get her sleep cycle in sync with her baby’s
  • helps babies fall asleep more easily, especially during their first few months and when they wake up in the middle of the night
  • helps babies get more nighttime sleep (because they awaken more frequently with shorter duration of feeds, which can add up to a greater amount of sleep throughout the night)
  • helps parents who are separated from their babies during the day regain the closeness with their infant that they feel they missed.
  • http://kidshealth.org/parent/general/sleep/cosleeping.html

Psychologist Thomas Ollendick of Virginia Tech University is currently researching whether co-sleeping is associated with lower rates of nighttime fear.

In the meantime–whether your child sleeps alone or with family members–one thing seems clear. Nighttime fears and separation anxiety should be taken seriously.

Although the kids in the Australian study were selected from the general population (as opposed to a psychiatric practice or sleep clinic), researchers discovered that about 10% of children complaining of nighttime fears fit the criteria for an anxiety disorder.

Other research suggests strong links between anxiety and bad dreams.

A recent study of toddlers and preschoolers reports that 17-month old kids who were rated by their mothers as anxious, difficult, or emotionally disturbed were more likely than other children to have bad dreams at 29 months (Simard et al 2008).



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