या निशा सर्वभूतानां तस्यां जागर्ति संयमी |
यस्यां जाग्रति भूतानि सा निशा पश्यतो मुने: || 69||
yā niśhā sarva-bhūtānāṁ tasyāṁ jāgarti sanyamī
yasyāṁ jāgrati bhūtāni sā niśhā paśhyato muneḥ
yā—which; niśhā—night; sarva-bhūtānām—of all living beings; tasyām—in that; jāgarti—is awake; sanyamī—self-controlled; yasyām—in which; jāgrati—are awake; bhūtāni—creatures; sā—that; niśhā—night; paśhyataḥ—see; muneḥ—sage
That which is, night to all beings, in it the sage is awake; where all beings are awake, that is the night for the sage who sees (the Self).
For the common man, the Self-state appears like night, because he can see nothing beyond the senses and the sense-world. What the common man calls day and wakefulness is simply the functioning of the senses in the material world. But it is not so for the yogi who is one with the light of Atma. For him, the senses and the sense-world are not there, but he is fully wakeful in his experience of the Self. So what is a night for the common man, is real wakefulness for the self-controlled. Similarly being awake only in the infinite light of Atma, seeing nothing of the objective world, the yogi finds night in the day when all beings are awake to the diversity of the objective world.
For the Yogi who sees the Self, the objective world does not exist, and so it is night. For the common man who sees the world, the Self does not appear and so it is a night for him.
So the experience of the sage and the common man are at the opposite poles. The man of knowledge knows that the objective world is like a dream, appearing to exist, but really non-existent. He is therefore utterly indifferent to the avocations of worldly life from day-to-day. He has developed intense dispassion and so the sense-world has no meaning for him. He does not recognize its existence. So sense-world is all night and sleep for him. But for the ignorant, the objective world is the only reality. To them, this is all. day and wakefulness.
Self-Controlled: The aspirant who has perfected self-restraint is mentioned here as the one capable of perceiving the self, without the distractions of the sense-world.
The sage who realises the Self: There may be many meditating on the Self, but only a few could have a direct vision. It is made quite clear that the direct experience of Brahman is the goal of all spiritual sadhana and the Muni obtains it by long and continuous absorption in Reality. But the total rejection of the sense-world can only open the vision of the Supreme. Again and again, the Lord reiterates the need for self-restraint and self-control.
Swami Vivekananda Says —
“Where it is dark night for the [sense-bound] world, the self-controlled [man] is awake. It is daylight for him. … And where the world is awake, the sage sleeps.” Where is the world awake? In the senses. People want to eat and drink and have children, and then they die a dog’s death. … They are always awake for the senses. Even their religion is just for that. They invent a God to help them, to give them more women, more money, more children — never a God to help them become more godlike! “Where the whole world is awake, the sage sleeps. But where the ignorant are asleep, there the sage keeps awake” — in the world of light where man looks upon himself not as a bird, not as an animal, not as a body, but as infinite spirit, deathless, immortal. There, where the ignorant are asleep, and do not have time, nor intellect, nor power to understand, there the sage is awake. That is daylight for him.[Source])
“Where the world is awake, there the man of self-control is sleeping. Where the world sleeps, there he is waking.” May even the dust of the world never touch you, for, after all the poets may say, it is only a piece of carrion covered over with garlands. Touch it not — if you can.[Source]
The end and aim of yoga is to realize God. To do this we must go beyond relative knowledge, go beyond the sense-world. The world is awake to the senses, the children of the Lord are asleep on that plane. The world is asleep to the Eternal, the children of the Lord are awake in that realm. These are the sons of God. There is but one way to control the senses — to see Him who is the Reality in the universe. Then and only then can we really conquer our senses.[Source]
Question: What is the difference between the Self-Controlled and the common man?
Answer: The common man lives and moves in the material world. The sage leaves behind the objective world and enters the subtle plane of the spirit and attains direct vision of the Truth.