You are here: Sri Vaishnava Home Page : Bhakti List : Archives : April 2000

Re Dream and Waking States

From: A.Bharat (
Date: Thu Apr 13 2000 - 06:34:34 PDT

Dear BhAgavatOttamas

Re Sri Chandrasekaran's query and the ongoing discussion
about the dream objects aDiyEn would like to say a few
words.Basically any Vaidika,i.e., believer in what the
Vedas say,believes in the Karma Theory,which says merely
that everything that happens to a Jiva whether in the
waking or dream state is his karma-phala.And the person
who gives that phala is the Lord Himself (<Phalamata
upapattEh> says the VedAnta SUtra).Just as He creates for
the Jiva in the Waking state experiences good and bad
according to his karma,so does He in the Dream state-
- <sa hi kartA> says this context.If one could
believe,like most of humanity does,that the Lord created
the Universe and all that there in,it may not be straining
one's credulity too much to believe that He also created
the extremely short-lived dream objects as well.These are
the phalas for Karmas which are too small to require a
longer experience in the waking state.They have a specific
life-span, and a specific experiencer.But the experience
during that time span is as valid as during a longer span
in the waking state.Sri BhAshyakArar says in a pithy
sentence,"a person may say that those dream objects are no longer
there now, butno one says that he did not see them
at all." The dream objects are not "real" in the Waking
State,but the dream itself continues to be real.After you
come out of the cinema hall can you deny that you've seen
that film or that you laughed or cried at that time?

This is said by Sri BhAshyakArar in this condensed form:
<Atah jIvAnAm alpAlpa-karmAnuguNa-phalAnubhavArtham tAvan-
mAtra-kAlAvasAnAn tadEkAnubhAvyAn arthAn utpAdayati>

Following the VEdAntasUtras he also clarifies that dreams
are a medium for various purposes like memories or indications
of future events apart from the purpose mentioned above.
All the experiences of the Jiva while in the body is through
his DharmabhUta GnAna; so whether it is in the Waking or
Dream state the validity of the experience is the same. 

With this background let us consider the example posed by
Sri Chandrasekharan-

A person is presently dreaming of his house being on fire. He is still
in the dream state. Rest of his family is awake, say. They all are 
living in that
same house while only that person is seeing burning house. At this 
moment when
two different persons are experiencing the same object (the house), 
which one will
we choose to describe as real? The burning house that the dreamer is 
imagining or the intact one the person awake is living in. It would be 
contradicting to say
both are real since the same object can't be in two different conditions 
at the
same time.
   One might say burning house is real in the dream-plane and intact 
house is real
in the waking-plane of consciousness. But I tend to feel that when we 
an object thus as real or unreal, we should do so only with respect to a 
plane of objects. Otherwise, I think we don't need a word "unreal" in 
language. Seriously after reading these posts, I have a question
"what then is unreal in this world". Please clarify.
the simple answer to this question is that the "burning house"
is the dream object created by the Lord for a fixed period for
the specific experience of the dreamer.The other family members
are not seeing it because each person's Karma is different.Sometimes
they coincide at a point,like when a group of people are killed
in a disaster,otherwise they don't.

ADiyEn would close this by giving a very interesting event which
took place more than 40 years ago,and which is like a text-book
illustration for the above point:

One stormy night a country bus was moving in interior Tamil
Nadu.The bus was totally crowded and people were hanging on
to the straps.Outside there was terrible thunder and rain.
About midnight one of the passengers began laughing and
when the surprised neighbours asked him for the reason
he said,"I'm going to to prove how false astrology is.
I've been told that I'm likely to die in an accident at
midnight tonight.Now there are nearly  hundred people here.
are you  going to tell me that all of us have the same
horoscope? Because If there's going to be an accident now
all of you are going with me too!" The passengers noted
that hardly a few minutes were left for midnight,and
immediately there was panic in the bus.Suddenly the
man's neighbours caught hold of him and pushed him
out of the running bus.The startled driver immediately
applied the brakes.A second later a huge tree broke in
the wind and crashed right in front of the stationary

Sri EmberumAnAr TiruvaDigaLE SaraNam!

Chocolate eggs, tulips, bunnies and more...
Click Here

           - SrImate rAmAnujAya namaH -
To Post a message, send it to:
Visit for more information