There was a porter sleeping on the platform of a Railway station in the midst of heavy noise. There was a wealthy businessman sleeping on his cushion bed with AC on. Though the two persons were sleeping in different conditions, deep within, both of them were experiencing the same kind of happiness. The happiness that we derive during sleep is something unique and unparalleled. This is the real happiness because real happiness lies in being our natural state.
Mr. Vijay was scheduled to go along with his family on a pleasure trip to Ooty and he was to catch the flight to Coimbatore early next morning. Setting the alarm at 4 AM, he went to bed and fell asleep. Though he did not know it at that time, he was in extreme happiness. When the alarm bell rang at 4 AM, he felt terribly disturbed. He put off the alarm and decided to go for sweet sleep for another 15 minutes. Since he was going for a pleasure trip with family and a great day of joy was awaiting him, he should have jumped the moment he heard the alarm bell. But he did not jump because he felt that the happiness he got during the deep sleep state far out-weighed the happiness that he would get from a pleasure trip. He knew that the world cannot give him as much happiness as he derives while in sleep. That is because whatever happiness that the world gives are peripheral and the happiness we derive from our own state during sleep is real. Perhaps Kumbakarna, the brother of Ravana knew that the secret of happiness lies in deep sleep and he remained in deep sleep for months together. Perhaps, it is to remind us how we can have a taste of happiness, without much effort on our part; we have been blessed with the state of sleep on a daily basis.
Though the happiness we get during the deep sleep state is true and real, there is one lacuna here. It is not continuous. Just as the advertisement comes and breaks the pleasure of watching the TV, the happiness we experience during sleep is interrupted by the waking state. As soon as we wake up, we come back to our own miserable state. The various problems to which we have given farewell have come back to us again and started bothering us.
Why we were happy during deep sleep state and unhappy while awake? We were happy during sleep state because we were left on our own. Only the Consciousness was present deep within. We become unhappy in waking state because the three main distracting elements; the body, mind and the world have registered their presence then. We remained happy during sleep state because the mind had ceased functioning, because the body has not made any demands and because the world did not exercise any pulls and pressure. We were our natural Self, ever pure, ever real and ever existing. But we forget this essential nature of ours and identify ourselves with the flickering mind, the perishable body and the illusory world and bind ourselves with all chains of sorrow and misery.
The mind is not only the creator of thoughts, not only the creator of desires but also the creator of ego. As already said, we experienced happiness during sleep because the mind was not functioning then. When we wake up, the mind, the ego and all wrong notions rise up. When left to yourself you are happy and when you are influenced by the body, mind and the world, you become someone other than the real 'you' and become unhappy. The state of deep sleep teaches us that when we go away from mind, away from body and away from world and reach the state of Self Realization, we really become happy. Deep sleep teaches us the lesson that happiness is within you. You can attain the level of happiness experienced in deep sleep in waking state also if only you can combine the positive factors in both the sleeping and waking state. Let us keep the Consciousness alive as we do in waking state and reach the state of mindlessness and detachment from the world as experienced in sleeping state. It will be possible by means of self enquiry, introspection and contemplation.