Role reversal

I remember from ages back a statement that says something to the effect that "a saint remains awake when the world sleeps and vice versa". I used to take this literally in my childhood understanding that the sages somewhere in Himalayas must be sleeping in the day while remaining awake at night! It seemed absurd later on as I grew up, but I couldn't understand the real meaning until Ramana's grace fed me yesterday.

The Self is said to be the active substratum behind everything, while still remaining merely a passive witness to all that happens. So, a realized sage is awakened to the Self but remains asleep in the mayic world! The entire world sleeps through this world when the saint remains awake abiding in the Self. Similarly, the whole world remains awake in the Maya refusing to accept the illusive nature of what we find as the reality, while the saint sleeps blissfully behind it!

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