Swami Lakshmanjoo reveals why “God consciousness is never absent from being”, in all the states of waking, dreaming, deep sleep and the void state. This excerpt is from the Shiva Sutras, The Supreme Awakening, third awakening, verse number 31. Read about the origin of this important Kashmir Shaivite text by Vasugupta here.
“God consciousness is never in any way absent from being.” ~Swami Lakshmanjoo
This universe is the expansion of his energy in objective impressions and in the dissolution of those impressions.
Not only is this universe the expansion of his energy in its creation, but it is also the expansion of his energy in the impressions of the objective world left in your mind (sthiti) and in the void state where these impressions are absorbed (laya).
When this objective world is shining vividly in your sphere of organs, that is the state of creation (sṛiṣṭi daśā). But it is not only in the state of creation that this universe is one with his real energies of God-consciousness. This universe is also one with his energies when only impressions of this objective world remain (sthiti daśā) or when these impressions melt in voidness (laya daśā) at the time of death or deep sleep, or when one is rendered unconscious. When only impressions remain, in those impressions you will find God-consciousness prevailing. And in the state of dissolution when there is no impression, when the impression is dissolved in voidness, pure God-consciousness prevails.
God-consciousness is never in any way absent from being.
Initially, this universe is revealed to you by the energy of action. And after this universe shines before you, this knowledge of the universe remains for some time as an impression in your objective consciousness. That is what is meant by the word sthiti.
Then the impression of this universe in your objective consciousness also melts away and all that is left is the void state where there is nothing. That is what is meant by the word layaḥ. And this state where there is nothing is also held in consciousness.
For such an elevated soul, these two states are only the expansion of His energies and nothing else. For him, this objective world may be created in his sensual world, or it may be stored in his impressions, or it may be taken away from his impressions; but this threefold world is nothing more than the expansion of his God consciousness everywhere.
Otherwise, if this threefold world was not existing in his God consciousness, then the impressions would not arise from that nothingness and from those impressions, this objective world would not arise.
For example, when you go to sleep and enter the dreaming state and after dreaming, you enter the dreamless state and after some time, you wake up, throughout all of these states God consciousness is existing. If God consciousness were not existing throughout, then how would you be able to travel from one state to the next, from the dreaming state to the state of deep sleep, and from the state of deep sleep to the waking state?
Between each of these states, there is a gap, a point where one state has ceased to exist and the next state has yet to begin. When you direct your consciousness from waking state to the dreaming state and from the dreaming state to the dreamless state, there is a point, a gap, when your consciousness, having left one world, has not yet entered the next world. How could you travel through that gap if God consciousness did not exist in that gap? So God consciousness must exist throughout. It is why the commentator Kṣemarāja says “there would be disconnection of your consciousness.”
As an example, consider that I am staying with you and before going to bed, I give you some money to keep for me. I then go to bed and enter the dreaming state and after that, I enter the state of dreamless sleep and after that, I wake up and again enter the waking state. And after waking, I ask you for the money I gave you to keep for me. If God consciousness did not persist in every moment, did not travel throughout all three states, then the continuity of memory would not be possible and I would not remember to ask you for the money or even that I had given you this money to hold for me. It is God consciousness existing in all states that maintain the continuity of awareness and memory.
It is said in the Śri Kālikākrama:
That which exists, that which does not exist; this differentiation of existence and nonexistence and their connection [is only maintained by God consciousness].
This whole universe is absolutely pure, without any support, and one with the knowledge of the consciousness of self. If that consciousness of self is revealed and perceived, then at that very moment, he is without a doubt liberated in this very life.