Sleep is fundamentally a process that is predominant in Tama component; for, it is performed during the night time, which by itself is a period predominant in Tama component. Therefore it is of utmost importance to understand the spiritual science underlying various aspects related to peaceful sleep, such as the correct sleeping direction as prescribed by Hindu Dharma. If Sleeping position is wrong it can prove harmful, both, at physical as well as spiritual level, thus giving rise to insomnia, sleep disorders etc. Let us find out if sleeping direction towards the north-south direction is fruitful or detrimental.
1. Sleeping position : Reasons for not sleeping with the feet towards the south or in the north-south direction
Why should we avoid sleeping in north-south direction? : Sleeping in the north-south direction increases the circulation of Raja-Tama particles in the environment due to activities of waves moving in the downward direction, as well as of the tiryak (Raja-Tama-predominant waves causing distress) waves. It is because of this, that the activities of negative energies gain momentum and therefore, the possibility of the individualbeing distressed by negative energies is the highest. Hence, avoid sleeping in the north-south direction if possible.
- Sleeping position with feet towards the south leads to union of vibrations from Yamalok (Region of Deity Yama) and Pātāl-lok (Hell region), resulting in attraction of these Raja–Tama waves towards the individual: The southern direction is the direction of Deity Yama, Raja-Tama waves and distress. When energy from the body of the individual flows in the upward direction, it is directed towards God-realisation; whereas, when it flows in the downward direction, it is directed towards Pātāl. Sleeping with the feet towards the south leads to a union of the vibrations from Yamalok and Pātāl-lok and the individual attracts either Raja-Tama components or negative energies. As a result, the individual suffers from distress such as inability to sleep, having nightmares, feeling frightened in sleep or waking up in a terrified state etc. Therefore, we should not sleep with the feet towards the south.
- Avoid sleeping position with the head towards the south-east or south-west directions : Since the direction of waves moving around in the east and west directions is upwards, the sāttvikta imbibed from the medium of these waves is inclined more towards nirguṇ (Non-materialised) and is long-lasting when compared with that imbibed from south-east or south-west directions. At the same time, since the level of Panchatattva (Five Cosmic Elements) in the waves moving around in the east-west directions is superior to that in the south-east or south-west directions, the benefit derived by the individual while sleeping with the head in these directions is greater and is long-lasting. Hence, it is advisable to sleep in the east-west direction.
2. Spiritual experiences upon sleeping with the head in various directions, after commencing sādhanā (Spiritual practice)
Before commencing sādhanā, I was not particular about my head being in any particular direction while sleeping. I did not experience any distress then; however, just four months into sādhanā under the guidance of Sanatan Sanstha, and I had following experiences.
- Sleeping with the head towards the south: I had a habit of sleeping with my head towards the south. I was also used to an afternoon nap. Every single day upon waking up in the afternoon, my body and mind would be restless and unsteady. These two factors would escalate so much that I could not sit still in one place. To give me relief, my wife would massage my back with oil and reassure me psychologically. This distress would continue for 45 minutes to an hour and then it would subside automatically. When we asked a temple priest about this he said, “You have not performed any rites for the soul of your departed grandmother; hence, this type of distress is caused by dissatisfied ancestors’ souls”. He then advised us to perform a particular pūjā (Ritualistic worship) and to donate food and clothes to a Brāhmaṇ (One who belongs to the first of the four varṇas[Classes], studies scriptures and imparts knowledge to the society) and the Grāmadēvatā (Village Deity) on a specific day. I complied with all this as told by the priest, yet my distress persisted.
- Sleeping with the head in the east or west direction: One day in the year 2000, presuming that there was something on the bed which was tormenting me, I decided to sleep on the floor. Due to constraints of space, I could sleep in the east-west or west-east direction only. Therefore, I slept with my head towards the west. I felt a lot better than my earlier posture of sleeping (with the head towards the south). I experienced 45% positivity and 55% distress. At that moment, I realised that our distress depends on the direction of the head while going to sleep.The next day when I slept with my head towards the east, my distress disappeared completely. Thereafter, I made it a practice to sleep with my head towards the east, and my distress disappeared completely’. – Shri. Prakash
3. Sleeping position : Why should we not sit or sleep with our ankles crossed ?
Sitting or sleeping position with the ankles crossed enhances the proportion of functioning of Krukal Vāyu (A type of gas) present in the upa-prāṇas (Subordinate vital energies)within the body. In this state, the subtle-waves associated with the Āpa (Absolute Water) and Tēj (Absolute Fire) Principles activate Yama waves in the atmosphere, which then get attracted towards the individual through the toes. Due to the influence of Yama waves or the sheath created around its body, predominance of Raja particles in the mental sheath increases. Consequently, while asleep, the energy of the mind of the individual functions through the medium of dreams or while awake, in the form of hallucinations. Hence, while the individual is in this posture, proportion of getting dreams or experiencing hallucinations is high.
Reference: Sanatan Sanstha’s Holy Text ‘How to sleep peacefully ?’