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Philosophy of Dreams – Swami Sivananda – Part 3

Swami Sivananda

Philosophy of Dreams

15. Jagarat is as Unreal as Dream

For the Ajnanis or the worldly-minded persons the sensual objects are quite real. For the sages or those who are endowed with discrimination and enquiry they are unreal.

Whatever you see is false. There is no doubt in this. The deer sees water in the mirage when the sun is hot. They run towards the mirage for drinking water. They do not find any water there. The boy runs to take a piece of silver when there is bright sun. When he goes near the silver he does not find any silver. He finds only the mother-of-pearl. When a girl goes to bring water at night she sees a snake on her way and gets frightened. She takes a light to see the snake but finds only a rope. There is no snake there. A young man embraces a girl in his dream and experiences actual discharge of semen. When he wakes up he does not find a girl. You behold blueness in the sky. The sky appears as a blue dome. When one moves in the aeroplane in the sky he does not find any blue dome but the blue dome appears at a distance. Whatever you see do not really exist. They are mere illusory appearances like the objects in a dream. But the seer exists when the objects appear and disappear.

In the dream state big mountains, elephants, cities, big rivers etc. are seen within a minute Nadi called Hitanadi that is located in the throat. There is no space in the minute Nadi for these big things to remain there. Hence the dream objects are false or illusory. The objects that appear in the waking state also are false.

In the dream you witness the events of several years within a few minutes. Within a day of Brahma thousand Chaturyugas pass for us. Within the day of a Deva six months pass for us. Within the time taken by a huge mountain snake for a second meal, man takes his meals a hundred times. Within the time taken by a child to develop itself in the womb, small insects take time to generate crores of their progeny. A happy man spends one night like a minute whereas a man who is drowned in grief spends one night like several years. Hence time also does not appear to be the same at all times for all. The objects that appear and perish in time are illusory.

The thing seen by you in your dream is not seen in the same place and in the same manner in the waking state. In the same manner one may say that Mr. X is a good man. The same man appears as a bad man for another.

The objects seen in a dream do not exist correctly in the waking state. The objects seen in the waking state appear different even in the waking state also. In the dream state you do not recollect the things of the waking state. You do not recollect the things in the dreaming state, “I saw such and such objects in the waking state. I do not see them now.” Therefore the objects of the waking state are more false than the objects of the dream. Srutis and sages declare that the objects of the world are as false as the objects of the dream. They call the world Deergha-Svapna or a long dream.

That which does not exist in the beginning and in the end does not really exist in the middle also. It is unreal. The snake that is found in the rope at night does not exist when a lamp is brought. It appears in the middle only. Such is the case with silver in the mother-of-pearl, water in the mirage, city in the clouds, etc. Therefore they are unreal even when they appear. The dream objects also do not exist in the daytime. Similarly the objects of this world appear in the middle only. Hence they are unreal.

An objector says: “The food and drink that you take in the waking state give you satisfaction. But hunger is not appeased by the food taken in dream. Therefore the objects of the dream are false. The objects of the waking state are true.” A man who goes to sleep after taking a sumptuous meal in the waking state suffers from the pangs of hunger in the dream. He who enjoys a good feast in the dream becomes very hungry as soon as he wakes up. Similarly the results of actions done in the waking state are not seen in the dream and vice versa. Therefore, the waking state is as false as dream.

An objector says, “A man dreams that he has four hands and that he is flying in the air. Is this not false? Jagrat state is not like this. Therefore it is true.” A man obtains the birth of a Deva or animal or a bird on account of his Karmas. He becomes Indra with thousand hands in the waking state. He becomes a bird and flies in the air in the waking state. He becomes animal with four legs, a centipede with hundred feet or a snake without feet. Therefore waking state and dream state are same. Just as in dream some objects are false, some are true, so also in waking state some objects like the snake in the rope are false, some like jar, cloth are true. The objects of the dream and waking state are not so absolutely true as Atman or Brahman.

Just as you remove a thorn by a thorn, just as you remove the dirt of the cloth by another dirt—the salt-earth, just as you cut the iron by another iron only, so also you will have to take recourse to another false object like a Guru or a God, though Atman or Brahman alone is everything. A false object in the dream produces real fear and wakes you up. Sometimes whatever you see in dream turns out to be true. An unreal woman in dream causes a real discharge of semen. Although God and Guru are not so real as Brahman, they are boats to help you to cross this Samsara or ocean of births and deaths. Without their grace you cannot attain immortality or eternal bliss.

Atma Svarup! Brahman alone is really existent. Jiva, world are false! Kill this illusory egoism. The world is unreal when compared to Brahman. It is a solid reality for a passionate worldly man, even as dreams are real to the childish. The world does not exist for a Jnani or a Mukta.
16. Remove The Colouring of The Mind

In days of yore there were very able dyers in Marwar or Rajputana. They would give seven colours to the sari or clothes of ladies. After washing the cloth one colour will fade away. Another colour will shine. After some washing a third colour will manifest in the cloth; then a fourth colour and so on. Even so the mind is coloured when it associates with the different objects of the world. When the mind is Sattvic, it has white colour; when it is Rajasic, it is tinged with red colour; when it is Tamasic it has a black colour.

The mind plays with the five senses of perception and gets experiences in the waking state. The impressions are lodged in the causal body or Karana Sarira. Ajnana or causal body is like a black sheet of cloth. In it are contained the Samskaras of all your previous births.

The mind is ever rotating like a wheel. It receives the different sense-impressions through the avenues of the senses.

In the dream state the doors or windows of the senses are shut. The mind remains alone and plays. It is the subject and it is the object. It projects various sorts of objects like mountains, rivers, gardens, chariots, cars, etc., from its own body from the material collected during the waking state. It manufactures curious mixtures and marvellous combinations. Sometimes the experiences of the previous births that are lodged in the causal body flash out during the dreaming state.

Remove the colouring of the mind through meditation on Atman. Do not allow the mind to run into the sensual grooves. Fortify yourself by developing the Vijnanamaya Kosha or intellect through Vichara or enquiry of Brahman, reflection and contemplation. The Vijnanamaya Kosha will serve the purpose of a strong fortress. It will not allow the sense-impressions to be lodged in the causal body. It will not allow the impressions of the causal body to come out. It will serve a double purpose.

You will be free from dreams through meditation on the Supreme Being or Brahman when the colouring of the mind has been removed.

Brahma Jnanis or Sages have no dreams.

May you all attain the Turiya or the fourth state of eternal bliss, which transcends the three states of waking, dream and deep sleep!
17. Upanishads And Dreams

“The Purusha has only two abodes, this and the next world. The dream state, which is the third is at the junction of the two. Abiding at the junction he sees the two abodes, this and the next world. In proportion the endeavour with which one is striving to obtain the place of the other world does he accordingly see both suffering and bliss. When he dreams he takes away a little of the impressions of this world which consists of all elements (the waking state), himself puts the body aside and himself creates a dream body in its place, revealing his own splendour by his own light and dreams. In this state the Purusha himself becomes unmingled light.” (Bri. Up. IV.iii.9.)

“There are no chariots, nor horses to be yoked to them, nor roads there, but he creates the chariots, horses and the roads. There are no pleasures, joys or delights, but he creates the pleasures, joys and delights. There are no tanks, no lakes or rivers there, but he creates the tanks, lakes and rivers, for he is the agent.” (Ibid. IV.iii.10.)

“The God-like Purusha who moves alone puts the body aside in the dream state and himself awake and taking the shining functions of the organs with him, watches those that are asleep. Again he comes to the waking state.” (Ibid. IV.iii.11.)

“The radiant Purusha who is immortal and moves alone, preserves the unclean rest of the body by the power of the vital force and roams out of the rest. Himself immortal, he proceeds where his desire leads him.” (Ibid. IV.iii.12.)

“In the dream world, the shining one attains higher and lower states and assumes manifold forms. He seems to be enjoying himself in the company of women or laughing or beholding fearful sights.” (Ibid. IV.iii.13.)

“Everybody sees his sport but nobody sees him.” They say, “Do not wake him up suddenly”. If the Purusha does not return to the waking state through the same doors of the senses through which he entered into the state of dream, if he re-enters in any other manner, then diseases are produced such as blindness, deafness etc. which are difficult to be cured. Some day indeed that the dream state of a man is the same as his waking state as he sees in dreams only those things that he sees in the waking state. This is not so because in the dream state the Purusha becomes a self-shining light.” (Ibid. IV.iii.14.)

“After enjoying himself and roaming and merely seeing the results of the good and evil in dreams, he rests in a state of deep sleep. He comes back in a reverse order to his former condition, the dream state. He is not touched by whatever he beholds in that state, because the Purusha is unattached.” (Ibid. IV.iii.15.)

“After enjoying himself and wandering in the waking state and after seeing what is holy and sinful, the results of good and evil, he proceeds again in the reverse order to his former condition, the dream state or the deep sleep.” (Ibid. IV.iii.17.)

“Just as a large fish swims alternately to both the banks of the river, the right and the left one or the Eastern and Western, so the Purusha glides between both boundaries—the boundary of dream and the boundary of the waking state.” (Ibid. IV.iii.18.)

“In him are those Nadis called Hita, which are as fine as a hair split into a thousand parts, and filled with white, blue, yellow, green and red juice.

“Therefore all the objects of terror, which a man sees when awake, are ignorance fancied by him in dream, when anybody seems to kill him, sees to overpower him, an elephant seems to put him to fight when he falls into a pit. Again when he seems to be conscious, “I am God. I am King. I am even all this,” he has attained the highest peace.

“When the individual soul is in the state of dream, he becomes an Emperor as it were or a noble Brahmana as it were, or attains states high or low, as it were. Just as an Emperor, taking his followers, moves about as he pleases, so does the soul, taking the organs move about as he pleases in his own body. (Ibid. II.i.18.)

“Because in dream the dreamer does not actually do what is holy or evil; he is not chained by either; for good or evil actions and their consequences are not imputed to the mere spectator for them.

“Having in that dream enjoyed pleasure, wandered about and seen what is holy and sinful, he proceeds again in the reverse order to the place of birth, to the waking state. He is not chained by what he sees there, for, Purusha is untouched.” (Ibid. IV.3.16.)
18. Prasna-Upanishad on Dreams

(Prasna Up. IV-1 to 9)

Then Gargya the grandson of Surya questioned Pippalada:

“O Bhagavan! What are they that sleep in man? What wake in him? Which is the Deva who sees dreams? Whose is this bliss? On what do all these depend?”

Pippalada replied: O Gargya! Just as the rays of the sun, when setting, become one in that disc of light and come forth again when the sun rises again, so all of these become one in the highest Deva—the mind. Therefore, at that time, that man does not hear, see, smell, taste, feel, does not speak, nor take, nor enjoy, nor evacuate, nor move; they say ‘he sleeps’.

The fires of Prana alone are awake in the city (body). The Apana is the Garhapatya fire. Vyana is the Anvaharya-pachana fire. The Prana is the Ahavaniya fire, because it is taken out of Garhapatya fire.

Because the Samana distributes equally the oblations, the inspiration and expiration, he is the priest (Hotri). The mind is the sacrifice, the Udana is the reward of the sacrifice; he leads the sacrifices every day (in deep sleep to Brahman).

In this state, this Deva (mind) enjoys in dream his greatness. What has been seen, he sees again, what has been heard, he hears again, what has been enjoyed in different countries and quarters, he enjoys again. What has been seen and not seen, heard and not heard, experienced and not experienced, real and unreal, he sees all; he being all, sees.

When he is overpowered by light, then that God (mind) sees no dreams and at that time the bliss arises in this body.

Just as, O beloved one, birds repair to a tree to roost (dwell), so indeed all this rests in the Supreme Atman.

The earth and the subtle elements, the water and its subtle elements, the fire and its subtle elements, the air and its subtle elements, Akasa and its subtle elements, the eye and what can be seen, the ear and what can be heard, the nose and what can be smelt, taste and what can be tasted, touch and its objects, speech and its objects, the hands and what can be grasped, the feet and what can be walked, the organ of generation and what is to be enjoyed, the organ of excretion and what must be excreted, the mind and what must be thought of, the intellect and what must be determined, egoism and its object, Chitta and its object, light and its object, Prana and what is to be supported by it—(all these rest in the Supreme Atman in deep sleep.)

It is he who sees, feels, hears, smells, tastes, thinks, knows; he is the doer, the intelligent soul, the Purusha. He dwells in the highest, indestructible Self.
19. Dream

(From Mandukyopanishad—4)

The second quarter is the Taijasa whose sphere or field or place is dream, who is conscious of internal objects, who has seven limbs and nineteen mouths and who enjoys the subtle objects.

During dream, the mind creates various kinds of objects out of the impressions produced by the experiences of the waking state. The mind reproduces the whole of its waking life in dream through the force of Avidya (ignorance), Kama (desire or imagination) and Karma (action). The mind is the perceiver and the mind itself is the perceived in the dream. The mind creates the objects without the help of any external means. It creates various curious, fantastic mixtures. You may witness in the dream that your living father is dead, that you are flying in the air. You may see in the dream a lion with the head of an elephant, a cow with the head of a dog. The desires that are not satisfied during the waking state are gratified in the dream. Dream is a mysterious phenomenon. It is more interesting than the waking state.

Svapna or dream is that state during which Atman (Taijasa) experiences through the mind associated with the Vasanas of the waking condition, sound and other objects which are of the form of the Vasanas created for the time being, even in the absence of the gross sound and the others. Like a businessman tired of worldly acts, in the waking state the individual soul strives to find the path to retire into his abode within. The Svapna Avastha is that in which when the senses are at rest, there is the manifestation of the knower and the known along with the affinities (Vasanas) of things enjoyed in the waking state. In this state Visva alone, his actions in the waking state having ceased, reaches the state of Taijasa (of Tejas, effulgence or essence of light), who moves in the middle of the Nadis (nerves), illuminates by his lustre, the heterogeneity of the subtle dream world which is the form of Vasanas (affinities), and himself enjoys according to his wish.

Sutratman or Hiranyagarbha, under the orders of Isvara, having entered the microcosmic subtle body and having Manas (mind) as his vehicle, reaches the Taijasa state. Then he goes by the names of Taijasa, Pratibhasika and Svapnakalpita (the one bred out of dream).

The dreamer creates the world of his own in the dreaming state. Mind alone works independently in this state. The senses are withdrawn into the mind. The senses are at rest. Just as a man withdraws himself from the outside world, closes the door and windows of his room and works within the room, so also the mind withdraws itself from the outside world and plays in the dream world with the Vasanas and Samskaras and enjoys objects made up of fine or subtle ideas which are the products of desire. Dream is a mere play of the mind only. The mind itself projects all sorts of subtle objects from its own body through the potentiality of impressions of the waking state (Vasanas) and enjoys these objects. Therefore there is a very subtle experience by Taijasa in the form of Vasanas only, whereas the experience of the waking state by Visva is gross.

You will find in Brihadaranyaka Upanishad IV-iii-9, “He sleeps full of the impressions produced by the varied experience of the waking state and experiences dreams. He takes with him the impressions of the world during the waking state, destroys and builds them up again and experiences dream by his own light.” The Atharvana-veda says, “All these are in the mind. They are experienced or cognised by the Taijasa.” The experiencer of the dream state is called Taijasa, because he is entirely of the essence of light.

Just as pictures are painted on the canvas, so also the impressions of the waking state are painted in the canvas-mind. The pictures on the canvas seem to possess various dimensions though it is on a plane surface only. Even so, though the dream-experiences are really states of the mind only, the experiencer experiences internality and externality in the dream world. He feels while dreaming that the dream world is quite real.

Pravivikta: Pra—differentiated; vivikta—from the objects of the state. The objects perceived in the waking state have an external reality common to all beings, whereas the objects perceived in the dreams are revivals of impressions received in the waking state and have an external reality only to the dreamer.

Antahprajna: Inward consciousness; the experiencer is conscious of the dream world only. Pravivikta or subtle is that which manifests itself in dreams, being impressions of objects perceived in the waking state. The state of consciousness by which these subtle objects are perceived is called Antahprajna or inner perception. The impressions of the waking state remain in the mind, which independent of the senses are perceived in the dream. The mind is more internal than the senses. The dreamer is conscious of the mental states which are the impressions left in the mind by the previous Jagrat Avastha or waking state. Hence it is called Antah-prajna.

The microcosmic aspect of Atman in the subtle or mental state is called Taijasa and His macrocosmic aspect is known as Hiranyagarbha. Just as Virat is one with Visva in the waking state, so also Taijasa is one with Hiranyagarbha in the dreaming state.
20. The Story of a Dreamer Subhoda

Subodha was born in a Brahmin family in the ancient capital of Indraprastha. He was leading a pure life. He was second to none in learning. He was piety and compassion incarnate. He had every virtue that could be desired. He was highly charitable and God-minded. He was a Godly personality. He was God living on earth. He was a perfect celibate.

One fine day Subhoda took a refreshing bath, had a sumptuous meal. It was midday on a midsummer. It was terribly sultry. He felt exhausted and leaned against a low couch. He felt drowsy and fell into the state of dream. In his dream he became the son of the King of Kasi. He grew up to the age of 12. His father, the king of Kasi educated him in all the Vidyas suitable to a Prince. The prince was named Priyadarshi. Prince Priyadarshi soon picked up all the arts, archery etc. The king of Kasi prepared the marriage of his son in proper time. Prince Priyadarshi was installed on the throne and the king retired. Priyadarshi ruled the country justly and wisely.

One day King Priyadarshi went on a hunting expedition with a retinue of followers. He had a very good game. He was extremely tired. His retinue had fallen back. He was far away from them. He tied the horse to a tree. He went to a hut and demanded water for drinking. A beautiful lady equal in beauty to a celestial damsel brought a glassful of water. The king was enchanted by the beauty of the lady. He wanted to marry her. The father of the woman also agreed on condition that he remained with them and gave half of his wealth in return. The king agreed.

The king took the newly wedded wife to the kingdom. She turned to be a wretched woman. She ill-treated every one. She led the king into all evil ways which the king was not at all habituated to. He led a very loose life. He became very unpopular in the country. He was disliked by all because he never cared for the welfare of the people. All the day and night he was engaged in the company of the wicked new queen. He had many sons and daughters by his new wife. He led a despicable life in her company.

One night King Priyadarshi retired to his bedchamber after a long day of dissipation and sensuous revelling. He laid himself upon the bed soon and sank into a sound slumber. King Priyadarshi dreamt that his death took place and people were carrying his dead body. He then found himself reborn in the house of a Bania. The Bania was a wine seller. He too took the profession and led the life of a wine seller throughout his life. One day he drank plenty of wine. He fell into drunkard stupor. In that condition he dreamt that he was born as a Sudra in the country of Usinara. He served the King of Usinara as a stable keeper. The whole life he was tending the horses. One night he dreamt that he was born as Chandala and was leading the life as such. One day he went to the forest to collect fuel. He was attacked by a tiger. He shrieked and woke up to find himself to be once again Subhoda, the Brahmin leaning on his couch.

Subhoda clearly and vividly perceived his various lives as King Priyadarshi, as the son of a Bania, as a Sudra and as a Chandala. He lived several lives. All these he experienced in one single dream.

O Man! You are like Subhoda. Just as Subhoda shrieked when the tiger attacked him you are also now under the painful agony of your present life. You find everywhere selfishness, crookedness, wars and calamities. There is no food to eat. There is no peace of mind. You are entangled in the meshes of Maya and Tamas. You are lazy and lethargic. You are sometimes fed up with life. Sometimes you even want to commit suicide when you are placed in acute suffering in your private and public life. You find your ambitions are shattered. You fall in evil company. You spoil your life and youth. You have endless desires.

Friend, tell me frankly: “How long you want to remain in this state of abject ignorance and suffering”? Wake up. Gird up your loins. Become a Yogi. You are not this physical body. You have nothing to do with suffering. Shake of this lethargy. Open your eyes. Enough of your long slumber. Wake up! Wake up to the Reality! Now it is Brahmamuhurtha, the dawn of glorious future! Sleep no more. Identify yourself with the real spirit within. You will no more be tormented by agony and misery.

Rise up in the ladder of Yoga. Follow the instructions of the ancient seers and sages. Practise Namasmarana. Give up vanity. Be humble and simple. Lead a life of purity, goodness and nobility. You will shine as a dynamic Yogi!

May you bring light, joy and peace to the Whole world! May you become Immortal!
21. Raja Janaka’s Dream

Raja Janaka ruled over the country of Videha. He was once reclining on a sofa. It was the middle of the day in the hot month of June. He had a short nap for a few seconds. He dreamt that a rival king with a large army had invaded his country and slew his soldiers and ministers. He was driven out of his palace barefooted and without any clothes covering him.

Janaka found himself roaming about in a jungle. He was thirsty and hungry. He reached a small town where he begged for food. No one paid any attention to his entreaties. He reached a place where some people were distributing food to the beggars. Each beggar had an earthen bowl to receive rice water. Janaka had no bowl and so they turned him out to bring a bowl. He went in search of a vessel. He requested other beggars to lend him a bowl, but none would part with his bowl. At last Janaka found a broken piece of a bowl. Now he ran to the spot where rice water was distributed. All the foodstuff had been already distributed.

Raja Janaka was very much tired on account of long travelling, hunger and thirst and heat of the summer. He stretched himself near a fireplace where foodstuff was cooked. Here some one took pity over Janaka. He gave him some rice water which was found at the bottom of a vessel. Janaka took it with intense joy and just as he put it to his lips, two large bulls tumbled fighting over him. The bowl was broken to pieces. The Raja woke up with great fear.

Janaka was trembling violently. He was in a great dilemma as to which of his two states was real. All the time he was in dream, he never thought that it was an illusion and that the misery of hunger and thirst and his other troubles were unreal.

The queen asked Janaka, “O Lord! What is the matter with you?” The only words which Janaka spoke were, “Which is real, this or that?” From that time he left all his work and became silent. He uttered nothing but the above words.

The ministers thought that Janaka was suffering from some disease. It was announced by them that anyone who cured the Raja will be richly rewarded and those who fail to cure the Raja will be made life prisoners. Great physicians and specialists began to pour in and tried their luck, but no one could answer the query of the Raja. Hundreds of Brahmins well versed in the science of curing diseases were put in the state prison.

Among the prisoners was also the father of the great sage Ashtavakra. When Ashtavakra was a boy of only ten years of age, he was told by his mother that his father was a state prisoner because he failed to cure Raja Janaka. He at once started to see Janaka. He asked the Raja if he desired to hear the solution of his questions in a brief and few words as the question itself is put or full details of his dream experience may be recited. Janaka did not like to have his humiliating dream repeated in presence of a big gathering. He consented to receive a brief answer.

Ashtavakra then whispered into the ear of Janaka, “Neither this nor that is real.” Raja Janaka at once became joyful. His confusion was removed.

Raja Janaka then asked Ashtavakra, “What is real?” There upon there was a long dialogue between him and the sage. This is recorded in the well-known book, “Ashtavakra Gita,” which is highly useful for all seekers after Truth.
22. Goudapadacharya on Dreams

Men of knowledge have declared the unreality of everything that is seen in the dream, because all these objects of the dream are located within the body and exist in a confined space.

All these entities like mountains, elephants etc., are seen in the dream only inside the body. Therefore, they cannot be real.

And on account of the shortness of the time, it is impossible for the dreamer to go out of the body and perceive the objects of dream. And when the dreamer wakes up, he does not find himself in the place even in the dream. It is not a fact that all that is seen in the dream can be situated in a limited space. And a man sleeping in the east, very often feels himself as it were, experiencing dreams in the north. As soon as a man falls asleep he begins to dream objects, as it were, at a place hundreds of miles away from his body, which he can reach only after a month or so in the waking state. His going to such a long distance and coming back to his body within half a day (one night) is not a fact. Hence this is unreal that he goes out of the body. He dreams of some place but he wakes up in another place where he slept the previous day.

Though a man goes to sleep at night he feels as if he is seeing objects in the daytime and meeting many persons in the broad daylight. But this meeting is found to be false. Therefore the dream is a falsity.

The Sruti declares the illustration of the state of dream, by saying, “there are no chariots” etc. This assertion is based on reason.

Moreover the different objects perceived in the dream are unreal even though they are perceived to exist. For the same reason the objects of the waking state are illusory. The nature of the objects is not different in the waking and the dreaming states. The only difference is in the limitation of space connected with the object. The fact of being seen is commonly illusory in both states.

Further, the waking and dreaming states are same since the objects perceived in both states are same. That which is non-existent at the beginning and also non-existent in the end, is necessarily non-existent in the middle. The objects we see are thus only illusions, though we regard them as real, due to our ignorance of the Reality of the Atman.

The objects used as means to some and or purpose in the waking state are contradicted in the dream state. A man in the waking state, eats and drinks and appeases his hunger and is free from thirst. But when he goes to sleep, he finds himself in dream again afflicted with hunger and thirst as if he has not taken food and drink for days together. And the contrary also happens and is found to be true. A person who has taken full meal and drink in the dream finds himself afflicted with hunger and thirst as soon as he wakes up from sleep. Hence we establish the illusoriness of the objects of both the waking and the dreaming states.

The objects perceived in dream are all usually, met with in the waking state, and those which are not met with in the waking state own their existence to the peculiar conditions or circumstances in which his mind is working for the time being. Just as Indra, etc., who reside in heaven have thousand eyes, etc., on account of their existence in heaven, so also there are the abnormal peculiar features of the dreamer due to the peculiar conditions of the state of dream. All these objects are but the imaginations of his own mind. It is just like the case of a person in the waking state, who, while going to another country sees on the way objects belonging to the place. Just as snake in the rope and mirage in the desert are unreal and are mere mental imaginations, so are the objects of dream and waking experience.

In the dream state also those which are mere modifications of the mind cognised within are illusory. For, those internal objects vanish the moment they are perceived. Objects perceived outside are considered as real. Similarly in the waking state objects known as real and mental imaginations should be considered as unreal. Objects, both external and internal, are mere creations of the mind whether it is in the dream or in the waking state.
23. Sri Nimbarkacharya on Dreams

As some dreams are indicative of future good or bad fortunes, it is impossible for the individual to dream a good or a bad dream according to his own choice, he, being in his present state of bondage, ignorant of the future. The individual soul, in his emancipated state, can certainly exercise his will for the creation of vision in dreams; but the power, in the state of his bondage, remains eclipsed by the superior will of the Universal Soul, who directs his actions according to the merits and demerits of his past conduct; and the suppression of his power is due to his being encaged in the body.

The creation in dream is all the doing of the Universal soul; as it is of a strange and illusive character, being not entirely true, nor entirely untrue; and as such, it cannot be done by the individual soul, for his essential characteristics including creative powers, in the present state of bondage, are as yet unrealised; as he is limited and conditioned, his inherent powers cannot have full play; and therefore it is not possible for him to create the strange things of dream.

So the Universal Soul is the creator of dreams and not the individual soul; for had it been possible for him to shape his dreams, he would never have dreamt a bad dream, but would always have dreamt only propitious ones.
24. Dream of Chuang Tze

Chuang Tze, a Chinese Philosopher, once dreamt that he was a butterfly. On waking, he said to himself, “Now, am I a man dreaming that I am a butterfly, or am I a butterfly thinking that I am a man?”
One night when Chuang Tze lay in bed,
He dreamed he was a butterfly,
Then waking himself he said,
To solve this problem now I’ll try;
Am I a man I’ve wondered long,
Or butterfly that thinks I’m Chuang?
25. Dream Hints


Dreams and Death are rock foundations of all philosophy. Dream world is totally different from the waking world. But some facts are strikingly common to both. (1) Sometimes we have a dream within a dream. (2) During sleep, sometimes we are conscious of the fact that we are asleep and we are dreaming. (3) In dreams more often than not we assume a body that is the master of the dream world. (4) Sometimes we feel extremely helpless amidst the facts of the dream world. We cry and we weep to the extent that the physiological system is affected. From these facts of common experience some conclusions can be drawn. It will be readily conceded: (a) that cognitive, connotive and affective processes are as much owned by dream personality as by the personality of the waking subjects; (b) that in the handling of the facts of the dream world, reason operates subject to the laws of the dream world in the same manner as it operates in the physical world subject to the laws of physics. Since the law of the two worlds widely differ, the fruits of the operations of reason must be necessarily different, e.g., Reason helps the man to cross the ocean in the dream by bodily flight in the air; it can never suggest the same thing in the physical world. Such a suggestion would belong to the realm of imagination in the waking world; (c) that Introspection brings even to the dream personality (d) that there is some sort of interaction between the dream personality and the psychological waking self that in its turn affects that physiological system and finally (e) in connection with the foregoing interaction, it must be noted that it is the mind-stuff that makes interaction possible. The facts of the two worlds although very much similar have no line of continuity except through the medium of the mind stuff. Thus however much we may know about the facts of the different worlds, there must remain discontinuity between the two worlds and unless we have discovered the common continuum i.e. the mind stuff.


When you dream you see the events of fifty years within an hour. You actually feel that fifty years have passed. Which is correct, the time of one hour of waking consciousness or the fifty years of dreaming consciousness? Both are correct. The waking state and the dreaming state are of the same quality of nature. They are equal (Samana). The only difference is that the waking state is a long dream or Deergha Svapna.

In dream the Samskaras of your previous births, which are imbedded in your Karana Sarira (causal body), will assume forms and become dream picture.


The difference between the waking and the dreaming states consists in this, that in the waking condition the mind depends on the outwards impressions, while in the dreaming state it creates its impressions and enjoys them. It uses, of course, the materials of the waking state. Jagrat is a long dream state only (Deergha Svapna).

Manorajya (building castles in the air), recollection of the events and things of dream, recollection of things long past in the waking state all are Svapna Jagrat (Dreaming in the waking state).

When the mind enters the Hita Nadi which proceeds from the heart and surrounds the great membrane round the heart, which is as thin as a hair divided into thousand parts and is filled with the minute essence of various colours of white, black, yellow and red, the individual soul or Jiva (ego) experiences the state of dream (Svapna Avastha).

You dream that you are a king. You enjoy various kinds of royal pleasures. As soon as you wake up, everything vanishes. But you do not feel for the loss because you know that the dream creatures are all false. Even in the waking consciousness if you are well established in the idea that the world is a false illusion, you will not get any pain.

When you know the real Tattva (Brahman) the waking consciousness also will become quite false like a dream. Wake up and realise! my child.

There is temperamental difference. Some rarely get dreams. A Jnani who has knowledge of the Self will have no dreams.

During dream you see splendid, effulgent light. Where does it come from? From Atman. The light that is present in the dream clearly indicates that Atman is self-luminous (Svayam Jyoti, Sva Prakasa).

When modified by the impressions which the external objects have left, it (the Jiva) sees dreams.

In dream state the senses are quiet and absorbed in the mind. The mind alone operates in a free and unfettered manner. The mind itself assumes the various forms of bee, flower, mountain, elephant, horse, river etc. The seer and the seen are one.
26. Dream-Symbols And Their Meanings

Abuse: There may be a dispute between you and the person with whom you do business. Take heed and be not slack in your attentions.

Accident: Personal afflictions may be inevitable. But you will remove soon from the trouble.

Accuse: This is a sign of great trouble. You will acquire riches by your own personal efforts.

Adultery: Troubles are approaching. Your prospects may be blasted. Despair will catch hold of you.

Advancement: A sign of success in all that you undertake.

Advocate: A dream that you are an advocate indicates that you will be prominent in future. You will win universal respect.

Affluence: This is not a favourable dream. It is indicatory of poverty.

Anger: The person with whom you are angry is your best friend.

Ass: All your great troubles, in spite of despairing circumstances, will end in ultimate success after much struggle and suffering.

Baby: If you are nursing a baby, it denotes sorrow and misfortune. If you see a baby that is sick, it means that somebody among your relatives will die.

Bachelor: Dreaming of a bachelor tells that you will shortly, meet with a friend.

Bankrupt: This is a dream of warning lest you should undertake something undesirable for you and also injurious to yourself. Be cautious in your transactions.

Battle: To dream of being in a battle means quarrel with neighbours or friends in a serious manner.

Beauty: To dream that you are beautiful indicates that you will become ugly with sickness and that you will become weak in body. Increasing beauty indicates death.

Birds: To see birds flying are very unlucky; it denotes sorrowful setback in circumstances. Poor persons may become better especially if they hear birds sing.

Birth: For unmarried women to dream of giving of birth to children, is indicative of inevitable unchastity. For married women it indicates happy confinement.

Blind: To dream of the blind is a sign that you will have no real friends.

Boat: To sail in a boat or ship on smooth waters is lucky. On rough waters, it is unlucky. To fall into water indicates great peril.

Books: To dream of books is an auspicious sign. Your future life will be very agreeable. Woman dreaming of books will get a son of eminent learning.

Bread: You will succeed in earthly business pursuits. Eating good bread indicates good health and long life. Burnt bread is a sign of funeral and so is bad.

Bride, Bridegroom: This dream is an unlucky one. It indicates sorrow and disappointment. You will mourn at the death of some relative.

Bugs: This indicates sure sickness. Many enemies are seeking to injure you.

Butter: Good dream. Joy and feasting. Sufferings terminate quickly.

Camel: Heavy burdens will come upon you. You will meet with heavy disasters. But you will bear with heroism.

Cat: This is a bad dream. This indicates treachery and fraud. Killing a cat indicates discovery of enemies.

Cattle: You will become rich and fortunate. Black and big-horned cattle indicate enemies of a violent nature.

Children: See Birth.

Clouds: Dark clouds indicate great sorrows that have to be passed through. But they will pass away if the clouds are moving or breaking away.

Corpse: Vision of a corpse indicates a hasty and imprudent engagement in which you will be unhappy.

Cow: Milking cow is a sign of riches. To be pursued by a cow indicates an overtaking enemy.

Crow: This indicates a sorrowful funeral ceremony.

Death: This indicates long life. But a sick person dreaming of death has the positive results.

Desert: Travelling across a desert shows the inevitability of a long and tedious journey. Accompaniment of sunshine indicates successful journey.

Devil: It is high time for you to mend yourself. Great evil may come to you. You must pursue virtue.

Dinner: If you are taking your dinner, it foretells great difficulties where you will be in want of meals. You will be uncomfortable. Enemies will try to injure your character. You should be careful about those whom you are confiding.

Disease: If a sick person dreams of disease it means recovery from the same. To young men it is a warning against evil company and intemperance.

Earthquake: This foretells that great trouble is going to come, loss in business, bereavement and separation. Family ties are broken by death—quarrels in family and fear everywhere, heart breaking agony and disaster from all sides.

Eclipse: Hopes are eclipsed. Death is near. Enjoyment may be put an end to. There is no use of dotting on the wife, for life is coming to an end. The friend is a traitor. All expectations will bear no fruit.

Elephant: Good health, success, strength, prosperity, intelligence.

Embroidery: Those persons who love you are not true to their salt. They will deceive you.

Famine: National prosperity and individual comfort. Much enjoyment. A dream of contrary.

Father: Father loves you. If the father is dead, it shows a sign of affliction.

Fields: Very great prosperity. To walk in green fields shows great happiness and wealth. Everything happens good. Scorched fields denote poverty.

Fighting: Quarrels in families. Misunderstanding among lovers, if not temporary separation. A bad dream for merchants, soldiers and sailors.

Fire: Health and great happiness, kind relations and warm friends.

Floods: Successful trade, safe voyage for traders. But to ordinary persons it indicates bad health and unfavourable circumstances.

Flowers: Gathering beautiful flowers is an indication of prosperity. You will be very fortunate in all your undertakings.

Frogs: These creatures are not harmful. This dream therefore is not unfavourable. It denotes success.

Ghost: This is a very bad omen. Difficulties will be overwhelming. Terrible enemies will overpower you.

Giant: Great difficulty to be encountered. But meet it with boldness. Then it will vanish. This indicates that you will have an enemy of the most dreadful character.

Girl (unmarried): Success, auspiciousness will come over you. Hopes will be fulfilled.

God: This is a rare dream which few people experience. Great success and elevation.

Grave: Some friend or relative will die. Recovery from illness doubtful.

Hanging: If you are hung, it is good to you. You will rise in society, and become wealthy.

Heaven: The remainder of your life will be spiritually happy, and your death will be peaceful.

Hell: There will be bodily suffering and also mental agony. Great suffering due to enemies and death of relatives, etc.

Home: To dream of home-life in early boyhood indicates good health and prosperity. Good sign of progress.

Husband: Your wish will not be granted. If you fall in love with another woman’s husband, it indicates that you are growing vicious.

Ill: To dream that you are ill shows that you will have to fall a victim to some temptation, which, if you do not resist, will injure your character.

Injury: If you are injured by somebody else, it means that there are enemies to destroy you. Beware of them. Change of locality is desirable.

Itch: This is an unlucky dream. Denotes much difficulty and trouble. You will be unhappy.

Jail: If you dream that you are in jail it indicates that in life you will prosper. This is a dream of contrary.

Journey: This indicates that there will be a great change in conditions and circumstances. Good journey indicates good conditions and bad journey with troubles indicates a bad life.

King: To appear before a friendly king is a sign of great success, and before a cruel king is very unfavourable.

Lamp: Very favourable dream. Very happy life. Family peaceful. This dream is always of good signs.

Learning: You will attain influence and respect. Good omen to dream that you are learning and acquiring knowledge.

Leprosy: To dream that you have leprosy always indicates a very great future misfortune. Perhaps you have committed some crime to be severely punished by law. You will have many enemies.

Light: To dream of lights is very good. It denotes riches and honour.

Limbs: Breakage of limbs indicates breakage of a marriage vow.

Lion: This dream indicates greatness, elevation and honour. You will become very important among men. You will become very powerful and happy.

Money: Receiving money in dream denotes earthly prosperity. Giving of it denotes ability to give money.

Mother: If you dream that you see your mother and converse with her, it indicates that you will have prosperity in life. To dream that you have lost your mother indicates her sickness.

Murder: To dream that you have murdered somebody denotes that you are going to become very bad and wretched, vicious and criminal.

Nectar: To drink nectar in dream indicates riches and prosperity. You will be beyond your expectations. You will marry a handsome person in high life and live in great state.

Nightmare: You are guided by foolish persons. Beware of such people.

Noises: To dream of hearing noises indicates quarrels in family and much misery in life.

Ocean: The state of life will be as the ocean is perceived to be in dream, viz., calm and peaceful life when the ocean is calm and troublesome life when the ocean is stormy, etc.

Office: If you dream that you are turned out of the office it means that you will die or lose all property. This is a very bad dream for all people.

Owl: Denotes sickness and poverty, disgrace and sorrow. After dreaming of an owl, one need not have any hope of prosperity in life.

Palace: To live in a palace is a good omen. You will be elevated to a state of wealth and dignity.

Paradise: This is a very good dream. Hope of immortality and entrance into Paradise. Cessation of sorrows. Happy and healthy life.

Pigs: This indicates a mixture of good and bad luck. You will have great troubles but you will succeed. Many enemies are there, but there are some who will help you.

Prison: This is a dream of contrary. Indicates freedom and happiness.

Rain: This foretells trouble especially when it is heavy and boisterous. Gentle rain is a good dream indicating happy and calm life.

River: Rapid and flowing muddy river indicates great troubles and difficulties. But a river with calm glassy surface foretells happiness and love.

Ship: If you have a ship of your own sailing on the sea, it indicates advancement in riches. A ship that is tossed in the ocean and about to sink indicates disaster in life.

Singing: This is a dream of contrary. It indicates weeping and grief. Much suffering.

Snakes: You have sly and dangerous enemies who will injure your character and state of life.

Thunder: Great danger in life. Faithful friends will desert you. Thunder from a distance indicates that you will overcome troubles.

Volcano: Quarrels and disagreements in life.

Water: This indicates birth (of some person).

Wedding: This indicates that there is a funeral to be witnessed by you. To dream that you are married indicates that you will never marry. Marriage of sick persons indicates their death.

Young: To dream of young persons indicates enjoyment. If you are young, it indicates your sickness. You may die quickly.