The Mother said, "You can become conscious of your nights and your sleep just as you are conscious of your days. It is a matter of inner development and discipline of consciousness." This book contains guidance for making sleep more conscious, thereby replacing subconscient dreams with conscious experiences. The ultimate goal is to transform sleep into a state of yogic repose, a state in which one can enter into the inner worlds and act there as in the physical world. So if curiosity has begun to take over and you want to know why you sleep, or what happens when you sleep, where you go, whom you meet, why you behave in a manner so different, what the symbolism of all those fantastic voyages really is ... this is the book for you. Sleep and dreams are not just an ordinary by-product of a hard day's work, but an opportunity for growth and progress. Sri Aurobindo's integral Yoga cannot be suspended when the hour strikes midnight ... no, it must go on and so it does. The question then is, how do we become aware of this "night school of sadhana"? Read and find out.

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The Mother  |  SRI AUROBINDO

Darshan Sri Aurobindo's and the Mother





„All life is Yoga.” – Sri Aurobindo

Sleep and Dreams

Selections from the Works of

Sri Aurobindo


The Mother


Copyright 2018

AURO MEDIAVerlag und FachbuchhandelWilfried Schuh

eBook Design



ALL LIFE IS YOGA Sleep and Dreams Selections from the Works ofSri Aurobindo and The MotherFirst edition 2018ISBN 978-3-96387-010-1

© Photos and selections of the works of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother:Sri Aurobindo Ashram TrustPuducherry, India

Flower on the cover: Aloe vera. Light orangeSpiritual significance and explanation given by the Mother:DreamsOne can learn much by observing one's dreams.

Publisher‘s Note

This is one in a series of some e-books created by SRI AUROBINDO DIGITAL EDITION and published by AURO MEDIA under the title All Life Is Yoga. Our effort is to bring together, from Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, simple passages with a practical orientation on specific subjects, so that everyone may feel free to choose a book according to his inner need. The topics cover the whole field of human activity, because true spirituality is not the rejection of life but the art of perfecting life.

While the passages from Sri Aurobindo are in the original English, most of the passages from the Mother (selections from her talks and writings) are translations from the original French. We must also bear in mind that the excerpts have been taken out of their original context and that a compilation, in its very nature, is likely to have a personal and subjective approach. A sincere attempt, however, has been made to be faithful to the vision of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother.

The excerpts from the writings of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother carry titles and captions chosen by the editor, highlighting the theme of the excerpts and, whenever possible, borrowing a phrase from the text itself. The sources of the excerpts are given at the end of each issue.

We hope these e-books will inspire the readers to go to the complete works and will help them to mould their lives and their environments towards an ever greater perfection.


Title Page


Publisher‘s Note

Quotation from Sri Aurobindo


I. The Necessity of Sleep

II. How to Sleep

III. What Happens During Sleep?

IV. Dreams – Nature and Importance

V. Why Do We Forget Our Dreams?

VI. Control Over Dreams

VII. Dreams and Their Interpretations

VIII. Premonitory Dreams

IX. Somnabulism

X. Nightmares

XI. Yogic Repose

XII. Some Guidance


I. References

II. Sri Aurobindo Digital Edition



Table of Contents

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Sri Aurobindo

"Ordinarily when one sleeps a complex phenomenon happens. The waking consciousness is no longer there, for all has been withdrawn within into the inner realms of which we are not aware when we are awake, though they exist..." — Sri Aurobindo.

Sleep and Dreams

Sleep is necessary for the body just as food is. Sufficient sleep must be taken, but not excessive sleep. What sufficient sleep is depends on the need of the body. — Sri Aurobindo.

Chapter IThe Necessity of Sleep

Words of the Mother

Mother, what is sleep? Is it only the need of the body to rest or is it something else?

Sleep can be a very active means of concentration and inner knowledge. Sleep is the school one has to go through, if one knows how to learn his lesson there, so that the inner being may be independent of the physical form, conscious in itself and master of its own life. There are entire parts of the being which need this immobility and semi-consciousness of the outer being, of the body, in order to be able to live their own life, independently.

Only, people don’t know, they sleep because they sleep, as they eat, as they live – by a kind of instinct, a semi-conscious impulse. They don’t even ask themselves the question. You are asking the question now: Why does one sleep? But there are millions and millions of beings who sleep without ever having asked themselves the question why one sleeps. They sleep because they feel sleepy, they eat because they are hungry, and they do foolish things because their instincts push them, without thinking, without reasoning; but for those who know, sleep is a school, an excellent school for something other than the school of waking hours.

It is another school for another purpose, but it is a school. If one wants to make the maximum progress possible, one must know how to use one’s nights as one uses one’s days; only, usually, people don’t at all know what to do, and they try to remain awake and all that they create is a physical and vital imbalance – and sometimes a mental one also – as a result.

The physical and all material physical parts should be absolutely at rest, but a repose which is not a fall into the inconscient – this is one of the conditions. And the vital must be in a repose of silence. Then if you have these three things at rest, the inner being which is rarely in relation with the outer life, because the outer life is too noisy and too unconscious for it to be able to manifest itself, can become aware of itself and awaken, become active and act upon the lower parts, establish a conscious contact. This is the real reason for sleep, apart from the necessity that, in the present conditions of life, activity and rest, rest and activity must alternate.

The body needs rest but there are very few people, as I said, who know how to sleep. They sleep in such conditions that they don’t wake up refreshed or are hardly rested at all. But this is an entire science to learn.


Words of Sri Aurobindo

Sleep is necessary for the body just as food is. Sufficient sleep must be taken, but not excessive sleep. What sufficient sleep is depends on the need of the body.


Words of Sri Aurobindo

It is a great mistake not to take sufficient sleep. Seven hours is the minimum needed. When one has a very strong nervous system, one can reduce it to six, sometimes even five – but it is rare and ought not to be attempted without necessity.


Words of Sri Aurobindo

The normal allowance of sleep is said to be 7 to 8 hours except in advanced age when it is said to be less. If one takes less (5 to 6 for instance) the body accommodates itself somehow, but if the control is taken off it immediately wants to make up for its lost arrears of the normal 8 hours. So often when one has tried to live on too little food, if one relaxes, the body becomes enormously rapacious for food until it has set right the credit and loss account. At least it often happens like that.


Words of Sri Aurobindo

Both for fevers and for mental trouble sleep is a great help and its absence very undesirable – it is the loss of a curative agency.


Words of Sri Aurobindo

It is not a right method to try to keep awake at night; the suppression of the needed sleep makes the body tamasic and unfit for the necessary concentration during the waking hours. The right way is to transform the sleep and not suppress it, and especially to learn how to become more and more conscious in sleep itself. If that is done, sleep changes into an inner mode of consciousness in which the sadhana can continue as much as in the waking state, and at the same time one is able to enter into other planes of consciousness than the physical and command an immense range of informative and utilisable experience.


Words of the Mother

To begin with, we should remember that more than one third of our existence is spent in sleeping and that, consequently, the time devoted to physical sleep well deserves our attention.

I say physical sleep, for it would be wrong to think that our whole being sleeps when our bodies are asleep.

* * *

Chapter IIHow to Sleep

Words of the Mother

Mother, how is it better to go to bed early and to get up early?

When the sun sets, a kind of peace descends upon the earth and this peace is helpful for sleep.

When the sun rises, a vigorous energy descends upon the earth and this energy is helpful for work.

When you go to bed late and get up late, you contradict the forces of Nature and that is not very wise.


Words of the Mother