Philosophy of Dreams - The Divine Life Society

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PHILOSOPHY OF DREAMS By SRI SWAMI SIVANANDA Sri Swami Sivananda Founder of The Divine Life Society SERVE, LOVE, GIVE, PURIFY, MEDITATE, REALIZE So Says Sri Swami Sivananda A DIVINE LIFE SOCIETY PUBLICATION First Edition: 1958 Second Edition: 2000 (2,000 Copies) World Wide Web (WWW) Edition: 2001 WWW site: This WWW reprint is for free distribution © The Divine Life Trust Society Published By THE DIVINE LIFE SOCIETY P.O. SHIVANANDANAGAR—249 192 Distt. Tehri-Garhwal, Uttaranchal, Himalayas, India. PUBLISHERS’ NOTE Though Sri Swami Sivanandaji Maharaj is an Advaita Vedantin of Sri Sankara’s School, he is unique in that in his life and teachings he synthesises the highest idealism and dynamic practical life. His “Divine Life” is ideal life, ideal and divine only because it is possible to live it here and now. The sage, therefore, has directed the beam of his divine light on all problems that face man. Not confining himself to the exposition of philosophy and Yoga, he has enriched our literature in other fields, too, e.g., medicine, health and hygiene and even “How to Become Rich.” And now we have from his divine pen his inspiring and enlightened thoughts on one of the most interesting phenomena viz., dreams. He has viewed dreams from several angles and thrown such a flood of light on it as to expose not only its unreality, but also the unreality of the waking state. Thus the sage leads us to the Supreme Reality that alone exists. 16th February, 1958. Maha Sivaratri Day THE DIVINE LIFE SOCIETY INTRODUCTION The analysis of dreams and their cause by psychoanalysts are defective. They maintain that the cause of dream creation lies in the suppressed desires of the dreamer. Can they create dreams as they like by suppressing desires? No, they cannot do that. They say that desires stimulate or help the dream creation. But they do not know what supplies the material out of which they are made and what turns the desires into actual expression, enabling the dreamer see his own suppressed desires materialised and appearing to him as real. The desires only supply the impulse. The mind creates the dream out of the materials supplied by the experiences of the waking state. The dream creatures spring up from the bed of Samskaras or impressions in the subconscious mind. Indigestion also causes dream. The Taijasa is the dreamer. It is the waking personality that creates the dream personality. The dream personality exists as the object of the waking personality and is real only as such. The waking and dreaming states do not exist independently side by side as real units. Why do we dream? Various answers have been given to this question. Dreams are nothing but a reflection of our waking experience in a new form. The medical view is that dreams are due to some organic disturbances somewhere in the body, but more particularly in the stomach. Sometimes coming diseases appear in dreams. According to Sigmund Freud all dreams without any exception are wish-fulfilment. The physical stimulus alone is not responsible for the production of dreams. The dream mechanism is very intricate. The wishes are of an immoral nature. They are revolting to the moral self, which iii exercises a control on their appearance. Therefore, the wishes appear in disguised forms to evade the moral censor. Very few dreams present the wishes as they really are. Dreams are partial gratification of the wishes. They relieve the mental tension and thus enable us to enjoy repose. They are safety valves to strong impulsions. You will know your animal-self in dream. The objects which manifest during the dreaming state are often not different in many respects from those which one perceives during his waking state. During the dreaming state he talks with the members of his family and friends, eats the same food, behold rivers, mountains, motor cars, gardens, streets, ocean, temples, works in the office, answers question papers in the examination hall, and fights and quarrels with some people. This shows that man does not abandon the results of his past relation with objects when he falls asleep. The person who experiences the three states, viz., Jagrat or waking-state, Svapna or the dreaming state, and Sushupti or deep-sleep state is called Visva in the waking state, Taijasa in the dreaming state and Prajna in the deep sleep state. When one gets up from sleep, it is Visva who remembers the experience of Prajna in deep sleep and says, “I slept soundly. I do not know anything.” Otherwise remembrance of the enjoyment in deep sleep is not possible. The reactions to dreams differ according to mental disposition, temperament and diet of the person. All dreams are affairs of mere seconds. Within ten seconds you will experience dreams wherein the events of several years happen. Some get dreams occasionally, while some others experience dreams daily. They can never have sleep without dreams. The sun is the source and the temporary resting place of its rays. The rays emanate from the sun and spread in all directions at the time of sunrise. They enter into the sun at sunset, lose themselves there and come out again at the next sunrise. Even so the state of wakefulness and dream come out from the state of deep sleep and re-enter it and lose themselves there to follow the same course again. Whatever appears in the dream world is the reproduction of the waking world. It is not only the reproduction of the objects seen, experienced or dealt with in the present life, but it may be the reproduction of objects seen, experienced or dealt with in any former life in the present world. Therefore the dream world cannot be said to be independent of the waking world. The objects that are seen in the state of wakefulness are always seen outside the body. It is, therefore, external to the dreamer, while the dream world is always internal to the dreamer. That is the only difference between them. During the dream state the whole wakeful world loses itself in the dream state. Therefore, it is not possible to find the distinctive features that would help the dreamer to distinguish the waking world from the dream world. iv Scientists and Western philosophers draw their conclusions from the observations of their waking experience. Whereas the Vedantins utilise the experiences of the three states viz., waking, dream and deep sleep and then draw their conclusions. Hence the latter’s conclusions are true, correct, perfect, full and integral, while those of the former are partial and one sided. Certain kinds of external sounds such as the ringing of a bell, the noise of alarm-clock, knocks on the door or the wall, the blowing of wind, the drizzling of rain, the rustling of leaves, the blowing of the horn of a motor car, the cracking of the window etc., may produce in the mind of the dreamer variety of imaginations. They generate certain sensations, which increase according to the power of imagination of the sleeper and the sensitiveness of his mind. These sounds cause very elaborate dreams. If you touch the dreamers’ chest with the point of a pin, he may dream that some one has given him a severe blow on his body or stabbed him with a dagger. The individual soul does not know that he is dreaming during his dream state and is not conscious of himself as he is bound by the Gunas of Prakriti. He passively beholds the creations of his dream mind passing before him as an effect of the workings of the impressions (Samskaras) of his waking state. It is possible for a dreamer to remain cognisant during his dream state of the fact that he is dreaming. Learn to be the witness of your thoughts in the waking state. You can be conscious in the dream state that you are dreaming. You can alter, stop or create your own thoughts in the dream state independently. You will be able to keep awake in the dream state. If the thoughts of the waking state are controlled, you can also control the dream thoughts. Sometimes the dreams are very interesting and turn out to be true. They foretell events. A man living in Haridwar dreamt on the first January 1947 that he will be in Benares on the night of the third January. It really turned out to be true. An officer dreams that he will be transferred to Allahabad. In the following morning he gets the transfer order. Another man dreams that he will meet with a motorcar accident on the coming Saturday. It also turns out to be true. Profound wisdom comes through reflection on dreams. No one has known himself truly who has not studied his dreams. The study of dreams shows how mysterious is our soul. Dreams reveal to us that aspect of our nature, which transcends rational knowledge. Every dream presentation has a meaning. A dream is like a letter written in an unknown language. Many riddles of life are solved through hints from dreams. Dreams indicate which way the spiritual life of a man is flowing. One may receive proper advice for self-correction through dreams. One may know how to act in a particular situation through dreams. The dreams point out a path unknown to the waking consciousness. Saints and sages appear in dreams during times of difficulty and point out the way. The Vedantins study very deeply and carefully the states of dreams and deep sleep and logically prove that the waking state is as unreal as the dream state. They declare that the only difference between the two states is that the waking state is a long dream, Deergha Svapna. v So long as the dreamer dreams, dream-objects are real. When he wakes up the dream world becomes false. When one attains illumination or knowledge of Brahman, this wakeful world becomes as unreal as the dream world. The real truth is that nobody sleeps, dreams or wakes up, because there is no reality in these states. Transcend the three states and rest in the fourth state of Turiya, the eternal bliss of Brahman, Satchidananda Svaroopa. Swami Sivananda vi CONTENTS Publishers’ Note . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . iii Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . iii 1. Songs Of Dream. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 2. Dream . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 3. Study of Dream-State . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 4. Dream Philosophy. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 5. Philosophy of Dream . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 6. Who is it That Dreams? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 7. Lord Creates Dream Objects . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 8. Prophetic Dreams . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 9. Spiritual Enlightenment Through Dreams . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 10. Waking as a Dream. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 11. The Unreality of Imagination. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 12. Why Jagrat is a Dream? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 13. Waking Experience Has Relative Reality . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 14. Waking Experience is as False as Dream Experience . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 15. Jagarat is as Unreal as Dream . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 16. Remove The Colouring of The Mind. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29 17. Upanishads And Dreams . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 18. Prasna-Upanishad on Dreams . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 19. Dream. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33 20. The Story of a Dreamer Subhoda. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 21. Raja Janaka’s Dream . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36 22. Goudapadacharya on Dreams . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37 23. Sri Nimbarkacharya on Dreams . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 24. Dream of Chuang Tze . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39 25. Dream Hints . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39 26. Dream-Symbols And Their Meanings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41 vii 1. SONGS OF DREAM Guru Guru Japna Aur Sab Svapna, Guru Guru Japna Jagat Deergha Svapna. Jagat Deergha Svapna The world is like a long dream. Take shelter in Guru Everything is unreal. (Guru Guru) Antarai When you perceive the things in Dream You take them all to be real, When you wake up and perceive They are all false and unreal. (Guru Guru) The world of name and forms is like The dream you have during the night, You take them all as real things, But they are only false and transient (Guru Guru) The only one which really exists Is that God with Brahmic Splendour Wake up, wake up, wake up to Light, Wake up, wake up, from Maya’s sleep, And see the things in their proper light. (Guru Guru) 2. DREAM Svapna is the dreaming state in which man enjoys the five objects of senses and all the senses are at rest and the mind alone works. Mind itself is the subject and the object. It creates all dream-pictures. Jiva is called Taijasa in this state. There is Antah-Prajna (internal consciousness). The scripture says, “When he falls asleep, there are no chariots in that state, no horses and roads, but he himself creates chariots, horses and roads.” The dreaming world is separate from the waking one. The man sleeping on a cot in Calcutta, quite healthy at the time of going to bed, wanders in Delhi as a sickly man in the dream world and vice versa. Deep sleep is separate from both the dreaming and the waking world. To the dreamer the dream world and the dream objects are as much real as the objects and experiences of the waking world. A dreaming man is not aware of the unreality of the dream world. He is not aware of the existence of the waking world, apart from the dream. Consciousness changes. This change in consciousness brings about either the waking or the dream experiences. The objects do not change 1 in themselves. There is only change in the mind. The mind itself plays the role of the waking and the dream. The dreamer feels that the dreams are real so long as they last, however incoherent they may be. He dreams sometimes that his head has been cut off and that he is flying in the air. The dreamer believes in the reality of the dream as well as the different experiences in the dream. Only when he wakes up from the dream, he knows or realises that what he has experienced was mere dream, illusion and false. Similar is the case with the Jiva in the waking world. The ignorant Jiva imagines that the phenomenal world of sense-pleasure is real. But when he is awakened to the reality of things, when his angle of vision is changed, when the screen of Avidya is removed, he realises that this waking world also is unreal like the dream world. In dream a poor man becomes a mighty potentate. He enjoys various sorts of pleasures. He marries a Maharani, lives in a magnificent palace and begets several children. He gives his eldest daughter in marriage to the son of a Maha-Raja. He goes to the Continent along with this wife and children. Then he returns and visits various places of pilgrimage. He dies of pneumonia at Benares. Within five minutes, he gets the above experiences. What a great marvel! As in dream, so in the waking, the objects seen are unsubstantial, though the two conditions differ by the one being internal and subtle, and the other external, gross and long. The wise consider the wakeful as well as the dreaming condition as one, in consequence of the similarity of the objective experience in either case. As are dream and illusion a castle in the air, so say the wise, the Vedanta declares this cosmos to be. Dreams represent the contraries. A king who has plenty of food, dreams that he is begging for his food in the streets. A chaste, pure aspirant dreams that he is suffering from venereal disease. A chivalrous soldier dreams that he is running from the battlefield for fear of enemy. A weak sickly man dreams that he is dead. He dreams also that his living father is dead and weeps in the night. He also experiences that he is attending the cremation of his father. Sometimes a man who lives in the city dreams that he is facing a tiger and a lion and shrieks loudly at night. He takes his pillow thinking it to be his trunk and proceeds to the Railway Station. After walking a short distance he takes it to be a dream and comes back to his house. Some people dream that they are sitting in the toilet and actually micturate in their beds. As soon as you wake up, the dream becomes unreal. The waking state does not exist in the dream. Both dream and waking states are not present in deep sleep. Deep sleep is not present in dream and waking states. Therefore all the three states are unreal. They are caused by the three qualities: Sattva, Rajas and Tamas. Brahman or the Absolute is the silent witness of the three states. It transcends the three qualities also. It is pure bliss and pure consciousness. It is Existence Absolute. 2 DREAM 3. STUDY OF DREAM-STATE Once a disciple approached his Guru, prostrated at His Lotus Feet and with folded hands put the question: Disciple: O My Revered Guru! Please tell me the way to cross this cycle of births and deaths. Guru: My dear disciple! If you can understand who you are, then you can get over this cycle of births and deaths. Disciple: O Guru! I am not so foolish as not to understand me. There is no man on earth who does not understand himself; but every one of them is having his rounds of birth and death. Guru: No, No. You should understand the nature between the body and that person for whom this body is intended. Then only any one is said to have understood himself. Disciple: Who is the person to whom this body belongs? Guru: This Deha (body) belongs to the Dehi (Atman). Try to understand the true nature of the Atman. Disciple: I do not see anybody besides this body. Guru: When this body was asleep, who is the person who experienced your dreams? Again in deep sleep who is he that enjoyed it? When you wake up, who is he that is conscious of the world, your dreams and the soundness of the deep sleep? Disciple: I am just beginning to have a little idea of the nature of Atman who is present in all the three states. From the above conversation between the Guru and the disciple, it is clear that the dream and the deep sleep states are worthy of our study in order to understand the true nature of the Atman, as we already pretend to have some knowledge at least of our waking consciousness. Dream is but a disturbance of the deep sleep and the study of the former, as to its origin, working, purpose and meaning will naturally lead us to the study of the deep sleep state also. The best way to study a subject is to trace its history and development in the hands of eminent authors and to focus our critical faculty on what we have studied from their treaties and to rectify any omissions, when we shall have a complete and satisfactory survey of that subject. The dream reveals within itself those unconscious mental mechanisms evolved during the course of development for the purpose of controlling and shaping the primitive instinctual self towards that form of behaviour demanded by the contemporary civilization. A working knowledge of the dream as a typical functioning of the psyche—that is, a knowledge of the dream mechanisms 3 PHILOSOPHY OF DREAMS and of the theory of the unconscious symbolism—is therefore indispensable for dream interpretation. This knowledge may be gained intellectually from the books written by authorities on that subject, but emotional conviction is the result only of personal analytic experience. Dream should be considered as an individual psychical product from the storehouse of specific experience, which indeed the dreamer may in consciousness neither remember nor know that he knows. In the analysis of a dream, one would say that the assimilation of knowledge of the unconscious mind through the ego is an essential part of the psychical process. The principle involved in valid explanation is the revelation of the unknown, implicit in the known in terms of the individual. This principle underlies all true dream interpretations. The value of a dream therefore lies not only in discovering the latest material by means of the manifest content, but the language used in the narration of dream and in the giving of associations will itself help towards elucidation. The subject of “dream” and its analysis will be, therefore, a most interesting one in understanding the true nature of the individual. We, therefore, quote in the following pages, relevant extracts from the lectures of Sigmund Freud, the famous authority on that subject and will evolve it further, if necessary, by the help of the knowledge we get from the Indian Sages and Seers. 4. DREAM PHILOSOPHY Certain Karmas are worked out in dreams also. A King experienced a dream in which he acts the part of a beggar and suffers the pangs of starvation. Certain evil Karmas of the King are purged out in this experience. If a man is not able to become a king on account of evil influence of some planets, he plays the part of a king in his dream. His strong desire materialises in the dream state. One derives more pleasure in dream than in the waking state when he experiences pleasant dreams because the mind works more freely in dream. If you have made arrangements to go to Bombay in the morning of 30th April, you may experience a dream on the night of 29th itself that you are purchasing a ticket at the station and entering the train and some friends have come on the platform of Bombay station to receive you. The strong thoughts of the waking state find expression at once in the dreaming state. When a strong desire is not gratified in the waking state, you obtain its gratification in dream. The mind has more freedom in the dreaming state. The mind is then like a furious elephant let loose. 4 STUDY OF DREAM-STATE 5. PHILOSOPHY OF DREAM I One dreams many things that are never to be experienced in this life such as “He dreams he is flying in the air.” A dream is not an entirely new experience, because most often it is the memory of past experiences. In the waking state the light of the self is mixed up with the functions of the organs, intellect, mind, external lights etc. In dreams the self becomes distinct and isolated as the organs do not act and the lights such as the sun that help them are absent. The dreamer is not affected by whatever result of the good and evil he sees in the dream state. No one regards himself a sinner on account of the sins committed in dreams. People who have heard of them do not condemn or shun them. Hence he is not touched by them. The dreamer only appears to be doing things in dream but actually there is no activity The Sruti says, “He sees to be enjoying himself in the company of women.” (Bri. Up. IV. iii. 13.) He who described his dream experiences uses the words ‘as if’; “I saw today as if a herd of elephants was running.” Therefore the dreaming self has no activity in dreams. An action is done by the contact of the body and the senses, which have form with something else that has form. We never see a formless thing being active. The Self is formless. Therefore it is not attached. As this Self is unattached, it is untouched by what it beholds in dreams. Hence we cannot ascribe activity to it, as activity proceeds from the contact of the body and the organs. There is no contact for the Self, because this infinite Self is unattached. Therefore it is immortal. Doctors say, “Do not wake him up suddenly or violently”, because they see that in dreams the self goes out of the body of the waking state through the gates of the organs and remains isolated outside. If the self is violently aroused it may not find those gates of the organs. If he does not find the right organ the body becomes difficult to doctor. The self may not get back to those gates of the organs, things which it sent out taking the shining functions of the latter, or it may misplace those functions. In that case defects such as blindness and deafness may result. The doctor may find it difficult to treat them. II Dreams are due to mental impressions (Vasanas) received in the waking state. The consciousness in a dream depends on the previous knowledge acquired in the wakeful state. 5 PHILOSOPHY OF DREAM The dreams have the purpose of either cheering or saddening and frightening the sleeper, so as to requite him for his good and evil deeds. His Adrishta thus furnishes the efficient cause of the dreams. Even in the state of dream the instruments of the self are not altogether at rest, because scripture states that even then it is connected with Buddhi (intellect). “Having become a dream, together with Buddhi it passes beyond this world.” Smriti also says, “When the senses being at rest, the mind not being at rest, is occupied with the objects, know that state to be a dream.” Scripture says that desires etc. are modifications of the mind (Bri, Up. I-v-3). Desires are observed in dreams. Therefore, the self wanders about in dreams together with the mind only. The scripture in describing our doings in dreams qualifies them by an ‘as it were’. “As it were rejoicing together with women, or laughing as it were, or seeing terrible sights” (Bri. Up. IV-iii-13). Ordinary people also describe the dreams in the same manner. “I ascended as it were the summit of a mountain, I saw a tree, as it were”. Dream creation is unreal. Reality implies the factors of time, space and causation. Further, reality cannot be sublated or stultified. Dream creation has not got these traits. Dream is called ‘Sandhya’ or the intermediate state because it is midway between waking and the deep sleep state, between the Jagrat and the Sushupti. III Dreams, though of a strange and illusory nature, are a good index of the high or low spiritual and moral condition of the dreamer. He, who has a pure heart and untainted character, will never get impure dreams. An aspirant who is ever meditating will dream of his Sadhana and his object of meditation. He will do worship of the Lord and recite His name and Mantra even in dream through the force of Samskara. 6. WHO IS IT THAT DREAMS? If you ask any man in this world, “Who is it that wakes up? Who is it that dreams? And who is it that sleeps?” He will answer, “It is I that wake up; it is I that dream; it is I that sleep.” If you ask him “What is this I?” he will say, “this body is the ‘I’.” He will tell you that it is the body that sleeps. When the brain is tired or exhausted, it is the body that sleeps; when the brain is disturbed, it is the body that dreams; and when the brain is refreshed, it is the body that wakes up after sound sleep. A psychologist who has made a special study of the mind will say that the mind, which has its seat in the brain, is the ‘I’. He says that the mind is inseparable from the brain and it perishes along with the physical body. 6 PHILOSOPHY OF DREAMS The metaphysicians and the spiritualists hold that the mind continues to exist somewhere after the death of the body. According to psychologists, metaphysicians and spiritualists it is the mind that wakes up, dreams and sleeps and this mind is the ‘I’. A Theologist says that there is a soul which is quite independent of the body and the mind and it is this soul that wakes up, dreams and sleeps and the soul is the ‘I’. This soul enters another body in accordance with the law of Karma. A Vedantin says that neither this body nor the mind nor the soul is the ‘I’. There is one pure consciousness or Atman in all beings which is Infinite, Eternal, all-pervading, self-existent, self-luminous and self-contained which is partless, timeless, spaceless, birthless, and deathless. This is the real ‘I’. This ‘I’ never wakes, dreams or sleeps. It is always the seer or the silent witness (Sakshi) of the three states of waking, dreaming and sleeping. It is the Turiya or the fourth state. It is the state that transcends the three states. It is the false or relative ‘I’ called Ahamkara or ego or that Jiva that wakes up, dreams and sleeps. The waker, the dreamer and the sleeper are all changing personalities and unreal. The real self, the real ‘I’ never wakes up, dreams and sleeps. From the point of the Absolute Truth or Paramartha Satta no one wakes up, dreams and sleeps. 7. LORD CREATES DREAM OBJECTS (Another view) Some Indian philosophers hold that the creation of chariots etc. in the dream is verily by the Lord and not by the human self. The dream objects are created by the Lord as fruition of the minor works of the Jiva. In order to reward the soul for very minor Karmas, the Lord creates the dreams. The followers of one Sakha, namely the Kathakas, state in their text that the Supreme Lord is alone the Creator of all Karmas in the dream state for the dreamers (Katha Up. V-8). “He, the Highest Person, who is awake in us when we are asleep, shaping one lovely sight after another, that indeed is the Bright, that is Brahman, that alone is called the Immortal. All worlds are contained in Him, and no one goes beyond Him. This is that.” Maya or the will of the Lord is the only means through which He creates dream objects. They are not made of objective matter (gross elements) because they are not perceptible to all persons, but are seen only by the dreamer. He who can cause the bondage and release of the soul can easily bring about the dream and its withdrawal for the soul. There is nothing wonderful in it. Kurma Purana says: “It is He (the Lord) who makes the soul perceive the dream creation etc. and it is He who hides them from his view; for on His will the bondage and release of the soul depend.” 7 PHILOSOPHY OF DREAMS 8. PROPHETIC DREAMS Sometimes dreams are prophetic of future good and bad fortune. The scripture teaches, “When a man engaged in some work undertakes for a special wish, sees in his dreams a woman, he may infer success from that dream vision”. “Then having washed the Mantha vessel which should be either of bell-metal or of wood, let him lie down behind the fire on a skin or on a bare ground silently and singly. If in his dreams he sees a woman, let him know this is an omen that his sacrifice has been successful”. (Chh. Up. V-2-8-9). Other scriptural passages declare that certain dreams indicate speedy death e.g. “If he sees a black man with black teeth, that man will kill him” (Kaushitaki Brahmana.) Those who also understand the science of dreams hold the opinion that the dream of riding on an elephant and the like is lucky; while it is unlucky to dream of riding on a donkey. Lord Siva taught Visvamitra in dream the Mantra called “Ramaraksha”. He exactly wrote it out in the morning when he awoke from sleep. Works of genius like poems etc. are found in dreams. Remedies for diseases are prescribed in the dream. Sometimes the exact object seen in dreams is seen afterwards in waking state. Vyasa and other sages who know the science of dreams say, “Whatever a Brahmin or a God, a bull or a king may tell a person in dreams will doubtless prove true”. Ramanuja holds, “Because the images of a dream are produced by the Highest Lord Himself, therefore, they have prophetic significance.” 9. SPIRITUAL ENLIGHTENMENT THROUGH DREAMS “He who is happy within, who rejoices within, and who is illumined within, that Yogi attains absolute freedom or Moksha, himself becoming Brahman.” (Gita: V-24.) The highest spiritual knowledge is Knowledge of the Self. He who has known himself, rather his self, for him nothing remains to be known. The wisest of the Western philosophers Socrates, gave the highest and the best of his teachings to his disciples in the injunction “Know Thyself”. The Indian saints likewise gave their highest teaching in the form known as Adhyatma-Vidya or Self-Knowledge. Knowledge of the Self, which has been called the supreme knowledge by the wise men of all ages, has seldom been recognised as a mystery by the ordinary man. He seems to know himself so well that he does not think it even necessary to reflect upon himself. Not only does the uneducated illiterate person think it useless to reflect upon himself, but the highly cultured modern man also thinks in the same way. The greater the advancement of science and learning, the less we find in the modern man a desire to know himself. 8 PROPHETIC DREAMS