[Advaita-l] Dreams and Reality

kuntimaddisada at yahoo.com kuntimaddisada at yahoo.com
Thu Feb 19 19:18:05 CST 2009

Suresh - PraNAms

Here is my understanding.

First the analysis of dream and comparison to the waking state is provided by ManDukya Upanishad as part of Vedanta. 

Any theory based on partial data will only be a speculation theory at best. Thus any philosophy based on only the waking state will be incomplete if not erroneous. Vedanta takes into consideration the complete human experience - anubhava - that involves waking, dream and deep-sleep experiences (or lack of them) to come up with self-consistent truth underlying all the three. That is the beauty of Vedanta.

Dream is god-given example using which one can understand:
1. How the material cause and the intelligent cause can be one and the same.
2. How one conscious entity can project multitude of jiivas and jagat instantaneously as one goes from waking to dream state- an illustrative example of how maayaa shakti makes impossible to possible (aghaTita ghaTanaa paTiiyasii maayaa)
3. To establish that even the material that appears to be real during dream is nothing but projection of the dreaming mind.  Similarly one should not take the materialin the waking state as real from abosolute point but appears to be real only in that state.
4. The laws in each creation are self-consistent. Problem comes only when you  compare waking state laws to dream state laws, as your question implies. 
5. How all the multitude and jiivas and jagat get absorbed into one self when one awakens to the higher state of consciousness - thus dream to waking being similar to waking to the turiiyam; thus establishing there are no multiple jiivas in reality just because one sees in any particular state - na ca mastanni bhuutani. Appearence is not necessarily real.

Thank God we have a beautiful example He has provided for us to use the knowledge to transcend all three states.

In your question - look at each state as self-consistent state. In the waking state the world is self-consistent and waker has no problem. We do find some miracles that are reported which are accounted by siddhis possible by those who could achieve them by saadhana. Otherwise all in all the cause-effect relationships are valid from birth to death.
In the dream world also the laws are self-consistent and dreamer does not find add if he starts flying and that is part of the dream laws. 
The problem comes only if we try to compare the two sets of  laws - the comparison is not valid because one cannot be in two sets of states simultaneously, unless one is day-dreaming. Either one is dreaming or one is awake or one is deep sleep state - transition state is also part of the transition only - the one who is in any of the state does not feel any odd about the laws that are operating in that state.

Hari Om!

--- On Thu, 2/19/09, Suresh <mayavaadi at yahoo.com> wrote:

Dear Friends,

In advaita, we're often given the dream analogy so we can make sense of why we mistake an illusory world as real. But there's one thing I don't get. Why do we mistake the dream (the dreams we have while asleep) for reality? For instance, we may dream of someone flying or something even more bizarre like some long dead historical personality. Yet, while dreaming, we never once get suspicious, we never once get the feeling that something's odd (except of course in rare cases of lucid dreaming).

My question is, Why is it this way? In the normal waking state, we all know that it'd be impossible to see a flying guy, we laugh at the very idea. But while dreaming, we do the exact opposite, in that we believe every bit of it. How is this possible, when the 'waker' and the dreamer are one and the same person, and with the same knowledge and awareness. 

I am a guy with the awareness that X is an impossible event, and with that same awareness I go to sleep. Yet I believe X totally while dreaming. Why? How can awareness vanish like that, or be replaced by some other type of awareness? What's it about the dream that makes us fall for it completely, even when it's totally illogical?

I look forward to reading your views on this.



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