SB 5.14.20


sa eva punar nidrājagara-gṛhīto ‘ndhe tamasi magnaḥ śūnyāraṇya iva śete nānyat-kiñcana veda śava ivāpaviddhaḥ.


saḥ—that conditioned soul; eva—certainly; punaḥ—again; nidrā-ajagara—by the python of deep sleep; grhitah—being devoured; andhe—in deep darkness; tamasi—in ignorance; magnah—being absorbed; sunya-araṇye—in the isolated forest; iva—like; śete—he lies down; na—not; anyat—else; kiñcana—anything; veda—knows; savah—a dead body; iva—like; apaviddhaḥ—thrown away.


Śukadeva Gosvāmī continued speaking to Mahārāja Parīkṣit: My dear King, sleep is exactly like a python. Those who wander in the forest of material life are always devoured by the python of sleep. Being bitten by this python, they always remain in the darkness of ignorance. They are like dead bodies thrown in a distant forest. Thus the conditioned souls cannot understand what is going on in life.


Material life means being fully absorbed in eating, sleeping, mating and defending. Out of these, sleep is taken very seriously. While asleep, one completely forgets the object of life and what to do. For spiritual realization, one should try to avoid sleep as much as possible. The Gosvāmīs of Vṛndāvana practically did not sleep at all. Of course, they slept some, for the body requires sleep, but they slept only about two hours, and sometimes not even that. They always engaged in spiritual cultivation. Nidrāhāra-vihārakādi-vijitau . Following in the footsteps of the Gosvāmīs, we should try to reduce sleeping, eating, mating and defending.

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