Sleeping was more or less a sort of meditation for me. I slept as long as I could. It is interesting to note that if you sleep in excess of your requirements, you remain awake and aware even during sleep. If you sleep less than your requirements, then during sleep you become unconscious. You cannot sleep more than your requirements. If you still persist in sleeping after the body’s requirements for rest are over, someone inside you remains aware and becomes a witness of all that is happening around you. If you remain lying down for thirty-six hours at a stretch, you will have an inkling of what Krishna means when he says that at night the sage remains awake. If you continue to keep the body in a condition of sleep even after it does not need any sleep, then within you a sort of wakeful sound begins to become audible.
In those days of continuous sleeping, I began to realize that it is possible to remain awake in sleep. I slept during the night, morning and afternoon continually. Whenever there was a chance to sleep I did not miss it. My family members and friends believed that I was totally lazy and that I would not be able to do anything in life. In a way, from their point of view, they were right – but not so from my side. I had made inactivity an experiment in meditation.
There was another professor of mine. He was also a good friend, and he was as inactive as I was. Since he was also living alone, as was I, he suggested that it would be better if we roomed together. I told him that there might be some difficulty in this. Quite possibly, I thought, I might disturb his sleep or he might disturb mine. However, if he still wished that we stay together, it would be necessary to make some arrangements, since both of us were lazy. Even now he is like that. He has not given up this particular quality of his. But he has never made this quality an experiment in meditation; otherwise he would have been beyond it by now.
Bear in mind that within a few days you will be able to transcend anything which you make a part of your meditation. Meditation means transcendence. Anything which you fully and totally enjoy you will be able to transcend. If you experience inactivity fully, you will suddenly find that the inactivity has left you forever. So if there is anything from which you want to be freed, enjoy it fully. For this reason I thought it best to totally enjoy my inactivity first.
When my professor friend and I started staying together, on the very first day I had to settle what would be our arrangements. Until now we had been living apart, so there had been no need for any particular arrangements. First of all he proposed that whosoever got up earlier should go and bring milk. I immediately agreed. I was pleased and he was also pleased. But both of us were in illusion. I had been thinking that there was no need for me to get up first in the morning, but to my dismay he was also thinking the same. About nine o’clock the next morning, I opened my eyes. When I saw him sleeping, I slept again. He awoke by ten in the morning and saw me sleeping. He also wanted to sleep, but there was one difficulty for him. He had to go to the university at eleven o’clock. After all, he was in service, but I was only a student. Thus, I had neither any compulsion nor necessity to go. As it was, I never did attend college regularly.