The sleeping man

Ajatasatru led Gargya to a sleeping man and said: “This man, who is a conscious, intelligent being – where was he when he was thus asleep, and how did he thus wake up? When this man, who is a conscious, intelligent being, is thus in deep sleep, he enters into the Self, within the lotus of the heart, having withdrawn into himself both his senses and his mind. When his senses and his mind are thus withdrawn, he is said to be absorbed in the Self.

In this state he knows nothing; he enters into the seventy-two thousand nerves which go out from the lotus of the heart. Even as a young man, or an emperor, or the best of Brahmins, when he has experienced the ecstasy of love, straightway takes sweet repose, so does a man deep in sleep find rest.

But when he sleeps, but also dreams, he lives in a world of his own. He may dream that he is a king, or that he is the best of Brahmins; he may dream that he is an angel, or that he is a beast. As an emperor, having obtained the objects of enjoyment, moves about at will in his dominions, so the sleeper, gathering up the impressions of sense, compounds them into dreams according to his desires.

As threads come out of the spider, as little sparks come out of the fire, so all the senses, all the worlds, all the gods, yea, all beings issue forth from the Self. His secret name is Truth of the Truth.

Brihadaranyaka Upanishad