The 3 States - Waking, Dream & Dreamless Sleep
There is no difference between the dream and the waking state except that the dream is short and the waking long.
Both are the result of the mind.
Our real state is beyond the waking, dream and sleep states, is called turiya (witness consciousness).
The Self (awareness) alone exists, and remains as it is.
The three states
owe their existence to avichara (non-inquiry into the Self and hence ignorance of reality), and inquiry (into the truth) puts an end to them.
However much one may explain, this fact will not become clear till one attains Self-realization (of awareness) and wonders how he was blind to the self-evident and only existence so long.
All that we see is a dream, whether we see it in the dream state or waking state.
On account of some arbitrary standards about the duration of the experience and so on, we call one experience a dream and another waking experience.
With reference to reality both the experiences are unreal. A man might have such an experience as getting anugraha (grace) in his dream and the effects and influence of it on his entire subsequent life may be so profound and so abiding that one cannot call it unreal, while calling real some trifling incident in the waking life that just flits by, is casual and of no moment and is soon forgotten.
Once I had an experience, a vision or a dream, whatever you may call it. I and some others including Chadwick had a walk on the hill. Returning we were walking along a huge street with great buildings on either side. Showing the street and the buildings, I asked Chadwick and others whether anybody could say that what we were seeing was dream and they all replied "Which fool will say so?"" and so we walked along and entered the hall and the vision or dream ceased, or woke up.
What are we to call this?
Just before waking up from sleep, there is a very brief state free from thought. That should be made permanent.
In dreamless sleep there is no world, no ego and no unhappiness. But the Self (awareness) remains. In the waking state there are all these. Yet there is the Self. One has only to remove the transitory happenings in order to realize the ever-present beatitude of the Self (awareness).
Your nature is bliss.
Find that (awareness) on which all the rest are imposed and you then remain as the pure Self (your inner awareness).
In sleep there is no space or time. They are concepts which arise after the 'I' thought has arisen (at the sub-conscious level). YOU (awareness) are beyond time and space.
The 'I' thought is limited 'I'. The real 'I' (awareness) is unlimited, universal, beyond time and space.
Just while rising from sleep and before seeing the objective world there is a state of awareness which is your pure Self (pure awareness without subject/object division). That must be known.
Our real nature is mukti (liberation). But we are imagining that we are bound and are making various strenuous attempts to become free, while we are all the time free.
This will be understood only when we reach that stage. We will be surprised that we frantically were trying to attain something which we have always been and are.
An illustration will make this clear. A man goes to sleep in this hall. He dreams he has gone on a world tour, is roaming over hill and dale, forest and country, desert and sea, across various continents and, after many years of weary and strenuous travel returns to this country and walks into this hall.
Just at that moment he wakes up and finds he has not moved an inch, but was sleeping where he lay down. He has not returned after great effort to the hall but is and always has been in the hall. It is exactly like that.
If it be asked why being free we imagine we are bound, I answer "Why being in this hall did you imagine you were on a world adventure, crossing hill, dale, desert and sea?"
It is all mind or maya (the world illusion).
ABOUT SRI RAMANA
The above insights of Sri Ramana (1879 - 1950), are known among spiritual seekers the world over and prized for their great inspirational power, which transcends all religious differences.
Amongst scholarly circles in the spiritual community of India, Sri Ramana is considered the most important mystic on the world stage during the 20th century because of the unprecedented timeliness of his emphasis on self-inquiry for direct Self-realization (of one's true nature).
At the age of 17 he attained a profound experience of the true infinite Self without the guidance of a Guru and thereafter remained conscious of his identity with the Infinite at all times.
After some years of silent seclusion he finally began to reply to questions put to him by spiritual seekers all over the world. He followed no particular path or traditional system of teaching, but rather spoke directly from his own experience of non-duality.
Sri Ramana wrote virtually nothing; his teaching took the form of conversations with visitors seeking his guidance (as transcribed by followers).