The second stage of human consciousness is the Swapna Avastha or the stage of Dream. The commonly referred word is sleep stage but the Sanskrit word used is Swapna whose literal translation is Dream, but not sleep. In this series of articles, the first one was the Jagrit Avastha or the stage of Wakefulness. It is advised to read the first article before moving below further.
You can click here to read about Jagrit Avastha from Scientific Monk.
What is the Significance of Svapna Avastha?
In the previous article, we introduced the phrase Response to the Stimulus. In the dream stage, you might react differently to the objects of the senses. For example, the sound of a vehicle coming from the distance may be perceived as an Earthquake. Touching the water might be perceived as you drowning in the ocean. A complete satisfaction might make you perceive yourself flying in the Sky or a similar kind of thing that your brain understands.
There can be various other examples, you can think of some situations in which you could correlate the Jagrit and Swapna stage. The best examples are those which you remember just before waking up.
The major part of human consciousness is about perceiving and reacting to the objects of senses. However, there are memories and processes stored in the Brain too. Dreams might not only be the result of the reaction to the five sense organs. In Hindu Philosophy, Manas (Memories Stored) is also considered as a Sense. Reacting and Perceiving the conscious and non-conscious memories might also result in perceiving reality differently.
There is a common argument, which one is real the Dream Stage or the Jagrit Stage?
Dream or Wakefulness, which one is Real?
The intermediate meditation practitioners often have this question whether the dream is real or the wakefulness? The answer is too complex for a common mind. It is because everything which we perceive in wakefulness seems real only. In fact, we need to understand first that whatever comes to our eyes is scientifically nothing but a light falling to the Retina. In school level physics almost everyone has read that any image formed after passing from the natural lens of the eye is inverted.
So whatever we see is inverted. Now again, is that object we perceived is really that? You might think this to be confusing because whatever we see exist there only. For example, the money you see is money only and the cellphone you have is the cellphone itself. But again, who told you that the papers you see are money and an object in hand used to communicate to others and do smart things is a smartphone?
You recognized it because your consciousness made you do so? Interestingly, your consciousness is not only about your own intelligence but is all about cosmic intelligence. You can read our article on Consciousness, Senses, and Sciences to have a clearer picture.
Most part of the Consciousness within the human body lies dormant. It means you don’t need to do things by yourself for everything. Do you breathe knowingly or you do it unknowingly?
Unknowingly right? So the main thing about life i.e. breath is controlled neither by wakefulness or dream stage? So what controls it? Isn’t it Natural?
Similarly, your memories and knowledge through which you recognize things are lying dormant which gets activated when needed.
These questions result in an understanding that there lies a dormant factor that determines a major part of our consciousness. This we call Sushupti Avastha or the dormant stage of human consciousness. Almost 90%+ of articles on the internet have translated this stage as the stage of higher dreams. In some philosophical context, we can call it a higher dream but again this might not hold significance in modern discussions. We will discuss the third stage of human consciousness in the next article.