I love to explore the Divine Feminine and write about Goddesses. For a list of those, click on the link: Goddesses. In order to become more balanced within ourselves and, through that, to bring greater balance and harmony to the world around us, we must find greater balance between the masculine and feminine energies within ourselves that each one of us possesses, regardless of physical gender or any other ways of self-identification.
The Sandman with Divine Power
Nidra is the Hindu Goddess of Sleep. She is already mentioned in the earliest Hindu scripture, the Rig Veda but is worshipped to this day. She is the one who will make your eyelids droop, slur your voice and bring you dreams, or a dreamless sleep.
Her name means sleep and this has two aspects, Svapna, which means dreams, and Susupti, which means dreamless sleep or deep sleep. Nidra is both of these aspects.
In mythology, Brahma, the creator god, sat on a lotus in the navel of the sleeping Vishnu when two evil asuras, or spirit beings, attacked him to try to make him lust for fleshly pleasures. Brahma wanted protection from them and as Vishnu is the protector of the gods, he tried to wake him.
However, he was unsuccessful because Vishnu was in a deep Yogic sleep and could not be awakened. So the powerful Brahma called on the Goddess Nidra, the Goddess of Sleep, to wake him. He sang her mantra with so much devotion that the Goddess manifested before him and asked what a god as powerful as him was calling on her for. Brahma said that he couldn’t fight this war alone, as he was an old man, and needed Vishnu to protect him. He asked the Goddess to wake up Vishnu for this reason and the Great Mother agreed.
Nidra, the power behind Vishnu’s closed eyelids, woke up the sleeping god and restored him to perfect balance. She is often depicted with three weapons in her hands, the sword of worship, the discus of revolving time and the club of articulation. These are significant for several reasons.
The Remover of Darkness
Nidra is also called the Remover of Darkness. She is aiding Brahma, the Creative Capacity, to restore order and balance by rousing the sleeping Vishnu. We also have weapons at our disposal, our intention. There are the arrows of one-pointed attention, the pike of attention, the head of egotism, the conch shell that contains all vibrations of the universe. When we use these to focus our intent and use them as tools to direct our path, we are heading towards ever greater insights, knowing ourselves and understanding divine truth when we put these into the service of the Goddess to attain balance and harmony.
Nidra affords rest and restoration. She brings dreams for our subconscious to “digest” our daily experiences and heals our body and mind. In the deeper sleep or deep meditative state of the brain, she gifts us the blessings and powers of deeper insights, deep healing and reprogramming of mental patterns and belief systems we have developed in our lives that are not useful to our self-development and spiritual progress.
However, only spending time in these spheres is not what is intended for us as incarnate human beings. We need to create balance and harmony between the higher consciousness and subconsciousness and our material life, bringing both together and creating in this realm with single-minded focus and intent to shape a life that serves our highest good and that of others, bringing the macrocosm of divine truth and the microcosm of our human existence into harmony.
You may think of Nidra in terms of what we know in Western culture as “the Sandman.” However, she is so much more, and she will also wake you up again when the time is right. If you’re out of balance with her archetypal energies, this may result in sleeping too much (depression often is accompanied by that because the mind and spirit need deeper healing which only sleep can bring, the same goes for severe injuries and illnesses) and insomnia and sleep that is not restful and does not have the REM phase, when the mind is on overdrive or the body in pain, thus preventing the deep healing and restoration Nidra gifts us when we’re in harmony with her energies.
Nidra’s message to us is this:
I am a healer and one of your most powerful tools of support for healing and self-development. I have many gifts to bring when you allow it. It is important to strike a healthy balance between deep states of meditation and sleep on the one hand and conscious intent and wakefulness on the other. My gifts will not serve you if you don’t utilise them as tools to create in the material world. You are a child of the divine and as such, incarnated into human existence to experience yourself, your divinity in the flesh. Not doing so and constantly, without pause, residing in the higher or lower realms, is as unbalanced as is only existing in the material without regards to your mind, soul and spirit.
Driving your body to exhaustion all the time without rest is as unhealthy as never getting up and taking part in earthly life. Your connection to the divine is useless when not implemented on the human plane by creating a life that serves yourself in the highest good and that of others, your connections to family and friends, your community and the world at large.
In ancient Egypt, the priests and priestesses all had their individual chambers to sleep because they knew about the benefits of undisturbed, restful sleep. There was no one to wake them for they knew it was important for the conscious mind to awake when it was its time to do so naturally, rather than to adhere to a fixed routine set by time outside one’s own.
A Modern Approach to Ancient Wisdom
Modern society and lifestyle doesn’t operate that way and that is a great factor why more and more people suffer from ailments of mind and body. People attend work when it would be better for them to rest. If you cannot rest when you need to, make sure that you do so at the earliest possible time. When you feel stressed, meditate. Even five minutes at your computer at work or during a bathroom break can have enormous benefits to your overall mental, emotional and physical health. When you’re tired, don’t binge-watch Netflix half of the night, go to bed, play some meditational music and go to sleep. You’ll be amazed how much easier things get when you care for yourself.
If, on the other hand, you suffer from constant exhaustion and restlessness, but you’re too tired and unmotivated to do anything, make time during the day to get your body to wake up by doing some form of exercise, even light one. Start with easy things so you can keep up. Put on your favourite music and dance through the house for five to ten minutes. You don’t have to sign up to a gym, spend two hours on the treadmill. Most likely, if you go all out like that, you cannot sustain it, anyway, and you’ll give up completely. Take small steps and build over time. When you exercise during the day, your circulation will go up, some fresh air will invigorate your mind and you will also find that your sleep improves at night, thus giving you more energy to face your day and mundane tasks will become easier to manage.
Balance is the most important form of living your life in the material realm. You have forgotten to listen to the needs of your body, heart and mind, as you labour in the treadmill of a society ruling your day by outside rules of time. As much as I know, this can often not be avoided, make sure that during the times you have free at your disposal, you take care of your needs, commune with your body and listen to your inner voice to tell you what you need and make sure you provide this for yourself and those you are in charge of, whether those be your children or employees or subordinates at work.
Sleep well and create your life with intent. My love is with you, my energy supports you. But I cannot go against your free will, so it is up to you to come to me with an open heart and mind and accept the guidance and rest I am offering.