In the waking state we identify ourselves with this body of ours. If someone asks you, who you are, then we generally refer our physical body as our real Self. So as per you, your body is your true self who has a unique name of yours. You always identify yourself with this body of yours.
But what happens to you when you are asleep. During sleep, you are not conscious about this gross body of yours. If you dream during the sleep state then you identify yourself with a dream body of yours & not this gross body which is asleep. Now during waking state you identify yourself with this gross body of yourself ,while in dream state you identify yourself with the dream body of yourself. Now who you are, Gross body or Dream body?
Now sometimes it also happens that you have a deep sleep & in such a state you do not dream also. After such a deep sleep when you wake up, you say, 'I have slept well,' or 'I have slept badly.' So when there is no consciousness of Gross body or Dream body in deep sleep then also you say that you slept well. Now who is this I or you who was there in such a deep sleep state, watching this deep sleep state. Otherwise, who is there in dream state who watches these dreams & on waking up describes that I had very bad dreams or sweet dreams. In fact this is your true Self, your Soul, which is beyond this Gross body or Dream body.
The physical body cannot be considered as your real Self, because even when you are fast asleep and are not conscious of this gross body, still you are existing. So, if you can exist even without the consciousness of a body, it follows from that experience that you can exist without the body. That means you are not the body. One who is the experiencer, the witness, in all the three states of waking, dreaming and sleeping, this is pure consciousness your true Self, your Soul.
Now here below is described how your true Self or Soul remains there in three states of waking, dreaming and deep sleep.
1) Wakeful state. In the wakeful state, a person sees its own gross body and the gross world outside. It enjoys the world through its mind and senses. It does various types of actions & after hard work when he/she is tired of actions and enjoyments, one goes to sleep and enters into dreaming state.
2) Dreaming state. In this state, Self or Soul remains in a subtle body which is different from the gross body. In the subtle body through imagination, it creates its own illuminated worldly beings and objects. Dreaming world is an imagination of your own being, your mind only. With one's mind and senses, a being enjoys its own dreaming world.
3) Deep sleep state. During waking and dream states, one remains in a state of active mode, i.e. one's Mind and senses remain always active. But as soon as Self or Soul enters into deep sleep, body (both gross and subtle), mind and senses remain in complete rest. Self or Soul remains in its pure state--it remains alone. There is no dualism. There is none other than the Self or Soul. For this, one sees nothing and hears nothing. In such a state of complete rest one enjoys bliss as one's mind is not disturbed by anything. In deep sleep one finds complete happiness & bliss.
So we have seen that this dream body of ours is not true as it dissolves when we wake up & dream state is over. Similarly this gross physical body of ours is also not permanent & true as it dissolves at the time of death. But your Self, your Soul which is beyond any type of body, is real & true as it remains even when dream or gross physical body is dissolved. Below verses of Bhagwat Gita says about this truth only.
"na-asato vidyate bhavo
nabhavo vidyate satah
ubhayor api drsto ’ntas
tv anayos tattva-darshibhih" (Bhagwat Gita: Chapter Two verse 16)
"Sri Krishna said: The unreal has no existence, and the real (Soul) never ceases to be; the reality of both has thus been perceived by the seers of the truth."
"avyakto ’yam acintyo ’yam
avikaryo ’yam ucyate
tasmad evam viditvainam
nanusocitum arhasi" (Bhagwat Gita: Chapter Two verse 25)
"Sri Krishna said: It is said that the soul is invisible, unmanifest, inconceivable and immutable. Knowing this, you should not grieve for the body."
"tamas tv ajnana-jam viddhi
tan nibadhnati bharata" (Bhagwat Gita: Chapter Fourteen verse 8)
"Sri Krishna said: Know Tamo-gun or Tamas, the deluder of all those, who look upon body as their own Self, as born of ignorance. It binds the Soul through error, sloth & sleep.
So let's always see ourself to be that Soul only as it is eternally present. It always remains in a body, be it gross or subtle. When the gross body is destroyed at death, it still remains in a subtle body. So let's not identify ourselves with this gross body but with the eternal Soul. Let's think ourself to be part & parcel of that Universal Soul (God) than identifying ourself with this body. Once we do that we shall always be with that Universal Soul (God) & shall always enjoy happiness & bliss in life.
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