The cornea of the eye is an interesting organ whose top layer forms as early as 5-6 weeks into gestation. Many consider the tear film next to the cornea to be an integral part of the cornea. It supplies oxygen to cornea which has no blood vessels. For a long time scientists therefore understood the eyeblink to be an occular lubrication mechanism. A spontaneous blink is more than that. For example, it provides the brain a “moment” of rest, according to a 2012 study. A spike is seen in the activity in certain regions of the brain during an eyeblink. These regions are associated with a state of restful awakeness during which the mind disengages from the outside world.

Is an eyeblink connected with meditative state of consciousness? It is likely, based on the fact that the dopamine, an important chemical in the brain, controls the rate of eyeblink. Adults blink fifteen times a minute where as infants blink 2-3 times a minute and some new borns blink as slow as once a minute. Acoording to Vedic literature a baby is in the meditative state of Samadhi in the womb. The brain of a new born does not seek moments of rest like an adult brain does. Puranas, a subset of Vedic literature, honor the consciousness behind eyeblink through an interesting story.

Great Kings and Royal sages had the ability to contact Devas or celestials in a different era. Vasishtha, the royal sage went to perform a Yagna for Indra, the king of Devas. King Nimi wanted to begin a Yagna during the same time but Vasishtha, his family priest, had asked him to wait. King Nimi was spiritually accomplished and understood the transcient nature of human existence. The foremost thought in his contemplation then was about the transcient nature of connection between consciousness and body. The power behind that idea nudged the king to start the Yagna right away, before the return of the royal priest.

Vasishtha was surprised upon seeing the Yagna of the king when he returned. A tinge of disappointment arose in Vasishtha’s mind and transformed into negative omen for King Nimi. King Nimi dropped his body that very instant per the nature of the top most idea in his mind which had caused him to disobey his Guru. Priests who offiated the Yagna saw to the completion of the Yagna and prayed to celestials for the welfare of the virtuous king Nimi. King Nimi had sought enlightenment, however, the blessings of the priests and celestial had brought him eternal life at the domain of humans. Nimi choose to be the consciousness behind the eyeblink. Eyeblink is known as Nimi in memory of the great king Nimi. The duration of one eyeblink is called a Nimisha.

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