The Sleepless Four: Garuda Purana List

Awaken man

Written by London Swaminathan
Pot No.1166; Dated 11th July 2014.

Anxiety, grief, stress and worrying play a major role in sleeplessness, says doctors. There are other causes such as ageing, depression, alcoholism, shift work, diseases, sleeping during much part of the day and illicit drug use. But Garuda Purana approaches this problem from a different angle: moral angle. What it says is very true and it covers many causes such as anxiety, worry, stress etc.

Here is the list given by Garuda Purana (115-68):
Following four can’t have good sleep:
1.Those who suffer from poverty
2.Those who have gone abroad for spying
3.Those who desire for another man’s wife
4.Those who desire for another person’s property

How true the list is! We ourselves know that these caused big problems in our life or in the lives of our family members or friends. Stress due to on coming exams, job interviews, weddings, health check up results etc. are temporary. When the event is over, we are relieved of the stress. But the Garuda Purana list is more important because three of the four listed problems are immoral or illegal and resulting in permanent damages. Even the first one, poverty, may lead one to do immoral things. Those who have watched spy movies or James Bond films would have noticed the risks involved in spying, particularly the activities undertaken during the night.

Here is the sloka (verse) from the Garuda Purana:
Kuto nidra dharidrasya parabreshya charasya cha
Para nari prasakthasya para dravya harasya cha
-Garuda Puranam, chapter 115, verse 68


Three Gateways to Hell
Krishna tells us about the three Gateways (16-21) to Hell in the Bhagavad Gita:
“The gateway of this hell leading to the ruin of the soul is threefold, lust, anger and greed. Therefore one should abandon these three” — (16-21).

Lust, Anger and Greed lead to grief, stress, anxiety and worries. Then we lose inner peace and sleep.

Adi Shankara also mentioned six sorrows common to all men which rise one above the other like waves and toss everyone about on the waters of their tumultuous restlessness. The six sorrows are 1.Hunger 2.Thirst 3.Grief 4.Delusory fascination for pleasurable objects 5.Old Age/decay and 6.Death (Viveka Choodamani, verse 256).
This list nearly coincides with the list of causes (for sleeplessness) given above.

The more we read, the more we learn.
The more we learn, the more we remember.
The more we remember, the more we practise.
The more we practise, the more we benefit.


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