Q & A with Sage Ramana

Q: What is the meaning of turiya?
A: Turiya is mind in quiescence and awareness of the Self. It is the awareness that the mind has merged with its source. Whether the senses are active or inactive is immaterial. In nirvikalpa samadhi, the senses are inactive. To know, implies subject and object. To be aware means to be free from thoughts.

Q: Unlike the waking world, the dream world is not purposeful because we do not feel that our wants are satisfied. Please explain.
A: You are not right. We can experience thirst and hunger in a dream as well. You might have had your fill in the waking state and kept the leftovers. Nevertheless, you feel hungry in your dream. This food does not help you and the hunger you feel in your dream can be satisfied only by eating what’s created in the dream.

Q: Why is that we remember dreams when become awake, but not the reverse?
A: You are wrong. You are yourself in the dream and identify yourself as the same as the one now speaking.

Q: Is there any real distinction between ‘dreaming’ and ‘waking’?
A: Only an apparent one, not a real one. The dream is for one who says that he is awake. Both are unreal from the absolute viewpoint. The ego rises when you wake up from sleep. In sleep you do not say that you are sleeping; you say it only when you wake up. But you are still there. You were not concerned with the body when asleep, so you can continue to be unconcerned. In the waking state, ego identifies itself with the physical body, and in dream, with the subtle mind. At that time the perceptions are also subtle.

Q: How do we sleep and awaken?
A: Just as at nightfall, the hen roosts in the nest with the chicks under her protection, in the dawn the chicks come out and so does the hen. In the same way, the mother symbolizes the ego which collects all the thoughts and goes to sleep. At sunrise they emerge again. Thus when the ego displays itself, it does so with all its components; when it sinks everything disappears with it

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