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

Re: Dream and Waking States

From: Chandrasekaran Venkatraman (
Date: Mon Apr 17 2000 - 02:49:06 PDT

Dear Sri Bharat,
   Thanks for the response. I have some doubts. Please clarify.

karma and dreams:
   I agree that every suffering and comfort that the Atman experiences in this life are due to its karma vinai. So in that sense, even the unreasonable experiences through one's dreams could also be dictated by karma. Afterall the dreams are dictated by one's waking state experiences.
   But how do we explain the haphazard dreams which don't seem to make any sense at all?) I am sure I am not the only person experiencing such dreams:) When I contemplate on the contents of these dreams it more appears to me to be some superfluous unconsequential mental images owing to weak or lack of inner-control. We can let this one pass if we don't have much to discuss about karma and dreams. 

God and dreams:
   Next one is regarding God being creator of the dreams. I wholly agree that God is behind everything in this world subtle and gross equally. But please clarify.
God commands the outcome of one's actions and inactions. But does He also command what and how one should think and act ? 
   If the answer to this is Yes, then doesn't it give a sense of non-ownership on the part of the jIva, of its actions ? This is what my problem is, I guess. I totally agree that God is the basis of everything in all states. This is clearly brought out in the divya nAmA viz., "thri kakubh dhAma" (vishnu sahasranama) which means "substratum in all three avasthas". But does He also command the way one should act etc., ? 
   If the answer is No, then same holds in the case of dreams too. In an ocean if a boat gets tossed upside down, then to describe more specifically the cause of the tossing, I tend to attribute it to the wave and not the ocean, while I completely agree that the wave is part of ocean and the ocean forms the basis for the wave. Similarly in the dreams and waking state thoughts, while the brahman remains as Supreme monitor and basis for all that happens, the immediate event that happens is owned by the jIva and hence it incurs the karma by that. But while it enacts this, if it realises that it's afterall a part of the brahman and sheds the sense of doership, it avoids effects of the karmas.

reality of dreams:
   I actually gave the example of the burning house in the context of reality of dreams and not for karmas. But I think you have quoted that for proving karma.

I request you to answer the following basic questions for me, so that I can fill the gap in my understanding of the basics of this discussion on reality.
   "what is unreal in this world if at all there is any such thing?"; 
   "Shouldn't an object, to be called "real", be real in the True sense to one and all and in all states?"
   "If I think of a tree and make a mental picture of it, can that tree be described as real?"

In this regard, I wish to draw similarities between dreams and thoughts. Sometimes we will notice at the verge of falling asleep that, dream slowly emerges and evolves and that dream happens to be centered around the thing that we were thinking about just before falling asleep. This means that thoughts and dreams are different manifestations of the same thing in the two states. So they are similar in their characteristics.

   I don't know if we are talking about the same thing. I agree that the images in the dream are "real" as part of the dream because we know we dreamt. But as objects they are unreal even during the dream. Similarly in the thoughts, "tree as a thought" is real and as a tree-object is unreal. Is this what you also mean? :) If yes, I think we have come to a conclusion.

   I sincerely apologise if the above discussion seems naive and insignificant and is wasting your time.

   Thanks and regards,


Get your money connected @ - the first Web site that lets
you see and manage all of your finances all in one place.

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