Gleanings of Śayana (Sleep) Rituals in the Purāṇas
Author(s): K. G. Sheshadri
Abstract: The phenomenon of Sleep is a gift of God to all beings and has a social, cultural and historical aspect that has been researched by scholars all over the world from ancient times. This includes research into the sleep patterns, arrangements and accessories, rituals for sleep, sleep disorders and medicines to cure them. Ancient Indians were fully aware of several features of sleep as evident from the Vedic period. The present paper deals on such theories related to philosophical, practical, medicinal aspects of sleep as well as some rituals connected with it as described in the Purāṇas. A brief overview of these theories as well as the types of sleep described in Āyurvedic texts is presented. Some Post-Vedic texts deal on technological features of bed and bed accessories that show the importance given to sleep culture in ancient India. The Purāṇas offer a glimpse of sleep among the celestial beings in the upper realms of the Universe and some special festivals associated with donating bed and its accessories.