SLEEP – AN ESSENTIAL REQUIREMENT OF OUR BODY
Sleep is natural requirement of our body. When our body gets tired or when our mind is overburdened, it requires some rest. Our body works on the principle of a machine – with only difference that we as humans have the power of discrimination. Both require rest after reaching an endurance limit. This rest is attained when we take a restful sleep by us humans. In fact all the living beings animals, birds, even reptile’s etc. sleep but their sleep pattern differs.
Sleep rejuvenates our body and makes us fit to take on challenges of life with vigor. The challenges of life require consumption of energy. This needed energy could be invigorated by a sound sleep. The partial sleep or sound sleep, nap, snooze, doze or light sleep can provide us soothing balm to our frayed nerves or tempers. The frayed temper could give us respite or needed comfort. This solace or consolation could best be attained by keeping our nerves with some sleep when it is hugely needed. When our body’s biological need is fulfilled to its optimum then we also attain self-confidence and self-assurance to take on life as it comes.
WHAT SLEEPLESSNESS OR NO SLEEP COULD DO TO OUR BODY
Less or partial sleep or avoidance of sleep by a person can lead to dissipation of energy. The dissipation of energy means less productivity in our work because all productive work require the consumption of our latent energy. Less energy means less contribution, as a consequence of which we shall not be able to get positive productivity.
OVER-SLEEP AND ITS ILL-EFFECTS
It is good to sleep for assuaging our frayed nerves but when we over-sleep, it causes laziness, weariness, body weakness etc. All these things take place due to our ignorance – not knowing what over-sleep or over-indulgence could result. Over-indulgence to sleep leads to wastage of time – the time which we could have utilized for self-realization is wasted without rhyme or reason thus frittering our chances of becoming a Karma Yogi in true sense of terms. That is performing something productive; proving our self-worth besides guiding others too for following a right course.
Literal meaning of Sleep
Sleep is a state of body when we are in relaxed state. There are various kinds of sleeps, deep sleep, light sleep, catnap sleep etc. All these kinds of sleeps provide us relaxation to our nerves. A person who is having disturbance in his sleep truly knows the meaning of sleep to that person.
WHY SLEEP IS ESSEENTIAL?
BHAGWAD GITA proclaims: And that happiness which is blind to self-realization which is delusion from beginning to end and which arises from sleep, laziness and illusion is said to be of the nature of ignorance.
PURPOSE OF SLEEP
The people, who follow spiritually oriented existence, follow Dharma oriented path and become Bhakti Yogi. For achieving this, a Yogi orients his thoughts and Karma accordingly. Such people do or do not do things which transform their lives toward goal achievement positively. Karma Yogi sleeps for a limited period of time as a requirement of the body and not as an indulgence which may lead to lethargy and inaptitude – an escapist pursuit.
They are the people who sleep to fulfill the body need and thereafter do some substantive/ constructive job after getting rejuvenation of their body. They can then not only do purposeful jobs but also pursue religious and follow spiritual oriented lifestyle and remove ignorance. It works as a repairing the frayed nerves.
LORD VISHNU FOUR MONTHS’ SLEEP AND ITS IMPLICATION ON CLIMATES
Lord Vishnu (who is responsible for evolution that which is created by Lord Barhma) this sleep lasts for four month in Chautur-mass. There is some specific purpose for this sleep. Due to this, there is onset of rainy season, the dampness has all round effects on buildings, environs and even the food we eat gets affected. Thereafter, the world gets a renewal of trends in climate. Owing to this sleep by Lord Vishnu, the ancient Rishis divided the year into two parts – first from January to June (when the sun edges towards pole star) and the second is from July to December (When the sun retreats southwards). All these changes are due to Lord Vishnu’s sleep. He becomes instrument of change of climates/seasons. The devotee offer prayers to Lord Vishnu and pray for sufficient rain for the crops.
TYPES OF SLEEP AND AFFECT ON OUR BODY
The things which affects our sleep are the medical condition of our body, our daily stress or pressures, the environment in which we sleep (noisy environments prevents regular sleep). The diet we take and the exercise we do also influences our sleep. Then exposure to polluted environs can influence our sleep. Besides this, maximum light or no light at all too influences our sleep. It has also been seen that those office goers who work at night, they do not get a sound sleep during day time due to which their work suffers. Their sleep-awake gets disrupted but after sometimes some adjustment takes place and it becomes a matter of routine.
HOW MUCH SLEEP IS NECESSARY FOR OUR BODY
The sleep pattern depends on our age and also about the health we maintain even in our oldage. In the childhood, babies sleep more (more than 26 hours) which helps in their overall growth and development. Then at school age the sleep duration gets reduced to 10 hours and subsequently adults sleep for 7-8 hours. In old people sleep pattern gets disturbed and intake of medicines etc during this age period too affects the sleep. It alternates between sleep and wakefulness.
SLEEP AND OUR POSITIVE CONTRIBUTION
It has been observed that the quality of work we perform depends on the quality of sleep we have. What a sort of relaxation we received after we take a nap of sleep after our drudgery and focused work only a concerned individual can truly relate? On the other hand, if we do not get sound sleep, all our connections get disturbed, freshness will evaporate besides our concentration on our work will evaporate or lose its sheen. Peace and joy can only be attained through a good night’s sleep.
DREAM STATE AND SLEEP
Then we have dream state in which we are half sleep and half awake after which we may not be able to get ourselves involved in the job in job we are undertaking.
Even when we are sleeping with closed eyes, we tend to have external influences. Whatever we tend to do or not do, remains in our memory and we have sometimes dreams about these events. We may or may not remember these dreams. These dreams are felt between sleep and wakeful state. When we fall into deep sleep, we do not get dreams.
MEDITATION AND SLEEP
During focused meditation, a Karma Yogi reaches a state of emptiness, a detached state. A person who meditates with focus, one element in that particular person remains awake even in deep sleep. Such a person enters sleep in awakened sleep. In this state, meditation and sleep become one. He enters sleep in full consciousness or wakefulness. This is possible only through meditation. Such a Yogi does not become unconscious even in his sleep.
Now finally, after we’ve completed the journey of our life, experiencing ups and downs in our lives – a life of Karma Yogi, we leave this temporary abode of ours thus attain our eternal sleep of our body to be consigned to flames or for burial after some rituals. E
After our earthy sojourn,
We mortals traverse to a world unknown,
Where to – guesswork abounds,
Some think, few are welcomed to enchanting Heaven,
And the others to burning ‘ghats’ of hell are thrown,
Depending solely on earthy deeds or misdeeds,
Ledger of which are assiduously maintained and screened.
Death is inevitable, then why gets afraid?
Death is a stark-reality, then why get sad?
When parting with our kins so dear, finally,
During life too, we experience death in small ways routinely,
The one who has seen the dawn of the day,
Will surely see the dusk of the day.
A mistaken sense of pride,
Egged on by mistaken sense of permanence of life,
Spurs us to cling to this life so tight,
That sometimes, we forget the imminence of our end.
Which is so near but seemingly so far away from sight.
Earthy inning is quite alluring,
Parting with worldly possessions so paining,
Yet, in life, we ought to adopt righteous course,
Why fear, accept the change of garb with courage and without remorse,
A life filled with inner freedom is helpful,
Engrave this idea, eternal sleep is sacred and peaceful
Welcome the eternal sleep when it comes naturally with
For this end is not the end of cycle of life and earth,
But a continuity of a play played by earthlings,
And supervised from His Heavenly abode by Supreme-being;
The One and the only One by whatever name you call Him
ETERNAL SLEEP thus serves the purpose of our life ultimately.