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From: vchandra (
Date: Tue Apr 11 2000 - 04:50:46 PDT

Dear Bhagawathas,
   This is in reply to Sri Anbil's posting on the dreams and the reality.

> ( i ) The question arises how can we conclude that they are 
> created by God? 
> And, why not say that the jeevAtma itself could create the dreams?
> The answer is, for one thing - The jeevAtma has no power of creation. 
> For another, if it had the power, it will not create 
> unpleasant dreams for 
> itself. 
> We see tigers, fire, flood, etc., in which the dreamer 
> appears as a victim. 
> No body would indulge in creating even in a dream such 
> self-threatening, 
> self-destructive and unpleasant experiences to one's self.

  At the outset I feel it is misleading to use the term "creation" in 
the context of thoughts and dreams. We should probably 
say "imagination". Please read on.
  One thing we invariably notice is that though the dreams are self-
threatening many a times, the victim or the dreamer never gets hurt 
in any danger. So can't these dreams be likened to unpleasant 
thoughts that one undergoes in the waking state. These thoughts 
during waking state are indeed imagination(creation) of the ego-
centered "I". So I am not clear why the dreams can't be also the same 
  Another point in support of the above arg., is that, the dreams are 
always based on what one had experienced/seen in his/her waking 
state. Nothing new to the self appears in one's dream. For eg., a 
child won't dream of a flood or a fire because its ego-centered "I" 
has no knowledge of those things. For all we know almost all nights a 
child might have only deep-sleep. Only when the child goes through 
life's traumas viz., studies, teacher, family pangs etc., does it 
start getting dreams in its sleep. Till then it gets only deep-sleep. 
I am sure bhagawathas will agree with me on this one.
  Thoughts/dreams are subtle and don't have physical forms except 
what the imaginer/dreamer imagines. Yes, the plane of consciousness 
while one imagines/dreams is different from the physical plane. But 
how else can one say between reality and imagination? The thrill, 
fear, sorrow experience could be real since the imaginer feels it, 
but the source of the experience is unreal. A real experience from an 
unreal object is indeed possible. For eg., when we see mirage, the 
thought about water is real but its true that there is no real water 
there. So the object of imagination is unreal. I agree that the water 
is real to the viewer of the mirage at that moment. But to talk of 
the Truth, "water is unreal; thought about water is real".

  I feel the thoughts in the waking state are similar to incidents in 
the dreaming state. Say, a person has an important examination the 
next day. He is very anxious and sits quiet and owing to his lack of 
self-confidence some unfavourable happenings flash through his mind 
thus: "he leaves for the exam hall the next day; on the way his 
vehicle gets punctured; he gets delayed on the way; somehow manages 
to make it 5 mts after the exam starts; he is admitted in and gets 
the question paper; first question is the one he hated the most; to 
his agony he finds that he forgot his pen etc..." his thoughts go 
thus into unpleasant realms. Though he himself never wanted to get 
tormented by these tough situations, his manas with intelligence 
which is a very queer process working on memory cooks up all these... 
But all through this the person is really unaffected by the thought 
process. In some cases even we undergo mental trauma and 
sleeplessness due to odd imagination of future events when someone 
dear to us is seriously ill though we never wanted tragic events to 
take place in our life... This happens in one's waking state itself. 
In the same way the dream works regardless of the pleasantness of the 
events. But in the waking state manas is aware of this. Thus I feel 
the incidents in one's dream are like thoughts in one's waking state. 
So can't both have the same imaginer/creator?

> ( ii ) The dreams are real so far as the person who dreams is 
> concerned and 
> real so long as the duration of the dream. That the objects 
> in the dream 
> vanish when the person wakes up underlines the temporariness 
> of the objects 
> and not that the experience itself was unreal. The joy, the 
> fear, the thrill, 
> the excitement are all real for the person dreaming who may 
> even be able to 
> remember and relate them subsequently.

  This is a very tricky one to argue.
  Why should we call an imaginative event real? If we call this real, 
then what is unreal? Please explain.
  Is it just a terminology issue here? 
  It's no wonder one could relate to events in a dream after waking 
up. Because the ego-centered "I" is aware of it all the time.

> ( iii ) Why should God create dreams at all is the next question. 
> The answer is-The jeevAtma does some small good deeds and 
> some small bad 
> ones. They are not big enough or significant enough to 
> attract a palpable 
> reward or a palpable punishment. God gives the jeevAtma a 
> little pleasure 
> through pleasant experiences in the dreams so that he is 
> happy for the 
> duration of the dream enjoying pleasant things; Similarly, 
> for the small bad 
> ones that are not significant enough, a mild punishment is 
> imposed by the 
> Lord by making the jeevAtma feel the pain by dreaming 
> unpleasant things and 
> unpleasant experiences for the duration of the dreams"

  If God creates these incidents in one's dream, why are they so
arbitrary and vague in sequence. For eg., some dreams start at one 
point with certain persons involved in it, say in one's house with 
father and brother; suddenly we will see that the persons have 
changed and place has changed; instead of our brother we will find 
ourselves with one of our classmates or old friend.. The place of 
dream could be classroom instead of house... Why does this happen in 
an improper manner?

Why/How would one's past karma dictate this vagueness?

  I hope that Bhagawathas will not misunderstand my intent here. I am 
basically trying to resolve my doubts and not to raise anti-list 
  Please pardon me for any anti-visishtadvaithic opinions above. And 
please clarify in the above context.

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