Gargya’s question

Gargya then asked: “Master, when a man’s body sleeps, who is it within that sleeps, and who is awake, and who is dreaming? Who then experiences happiness, and with whom are all the sense organs united?”

“As the rays of the sun, O Gargya, when he sets,” replied the sage, “gather themselves up in his disk of light, to come out again when he rises, so the senses gather themselves up in the mind, the highest of them all. Therefore, when a man does not hear, see, smell, taste, touch, speak, grasp, enjoy, we say that he sleeps. Only the Pranas are then awake in the body, and the mind is led nearer to the Self. While in dream, the mind revives its past impressions. Whatever it has seen, it sees again; whatever it has heard, it hears again; whatever it has enjoyed in various countries and in various quarters of the earth, it enjoys again. What has been seen and not seen, heard and not heard, enjoyed and not enjoyed, both the real and the unreal, it sees; yea it sees all. When the mind is overcome by deep slumber, it dreams no more. It rests happily in the body.

As birds, my friend, fly to a tree for a rest, even so do all these things fly to the Self: earth and its peculiar essence, water and its peculiar essence, fire and its peculiar essence, air and its peculiar essence, ether and its peculiar essence, the eye and what it sees, the ear and what it hears, the nose and what it smells, the tongue and what it tastes, the skin and what it touches, the voice and what it speaks, the hands and what they grasp, the feet and what they walk on, the mind and what it perceives, the intellect and what it understands, the ego and what it appropriates, the heart and what it loves, light and what it illuminates, energy and what it binds together. For verily it is the Self that sees, hears, smells, tastes, thinks, knows, acts. He is Brahman, whose essence is knowledge. He is the immutable Self, the Supreme.”

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