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

RE: Dream and Waking States

From: Chandrasekaran Venkatraman (vchandra_at_ambernetworks.com)
Date: Tue Apr 18 2000 - 03:19:32 PDT

Dear Sri Bharat,
  Thanks for your response.

> Dreams come into this
> category as consequences of actions too minute to be
> given in the waking state.Mixed with them are past
> impressions and future forebodings.

  If a person beats a dog in his dream out of fear or anger, will he incur sin and
accumulate karma vinai ? Even thinking about committing a sin makes one incur sin. 
This question has relevance to the claim here that "dreams are consequences of 
actions". Are they purely consequences? I don't think. 

  By analysing the nature of many "vague dreams, haphazardly sequenced, drifting 
person to person" I somehow don't tend to think they are merely consequences of
actions. It appears more like a chaotic work of the internal thinking machine than 
anything divine. By divine I mean "produced directly by God" like results of 
actions. Thoughts are not produced directly by God, though He forms the substratum 
for that. There is no doubt, He and He alone is the basis and substrate for 
everything that is happening here. But attributing directly the images that appear 
in our dream to Him is something I feel less convincing so far, for the following
reason. 
  A person sometimes experience immoral things in dreams. Members, please don't 
take offence with me here. Why would God, who instructs against such things, 
induce such things in the dream. That's another point that makes me think that
this IS but the chaotic work of the crooked ego-centered "I" and has no divine 
interference whatsoever. Please justify this from your angle.

> Secondly you seem to equate thoughts and dreams without
> sufficient basis.If thoughts were dreams one could give
> oneself pleasant dreams all one's life.You mention the
> thought just before going to sleep;but does it STAY that
> way a few seconds later?

  I have gone over the unpleasantness of dreams earlier. But may be I was 
unconvincing. You seem to be saying that we don't think about unpleasant things at 
all. This is a wrong opinion. Owing to lack of self-confidence and weak morale, 
one, under dire personal situations, will tend to go on imagining about unpleasant 
outcomes of something. For eg. when someone dear to us is seriously ill, our mind 
starts imagining about death and such tragedies ensuing thereafter. When someone 
dear to us is travelling that night to a distant city and it's a stormy night, we 
tend to imagine about accidents and such unpleasant things. We hardly want ever to 
get tormented by such tragedies. But still we imagine unpleasant things. It's 
nothing different from dreams in this sense either. Our thoughts are not just 
roses. They can get thorny easily. Thoughts can even go to suicidal extremes under 
adverse conditions.

  I am not clear how it matters if dream stays or not beyond a few seconds. In 
many cases the dream continues with the thing that we were thinking about. What I 
am trying to say is that the mental images at the verge of sleep is just a 
transition from thought to dream while we transition from waking state to dream 
state. Is this not enough to conclude that thoughts and dreams are similar thing 
manifested in different states of manas and intellect of the individual?

>> 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.

>I'm afraid your example is correct but your conclusions are
>wrong.A wave doesn't stand alone.It's minutest action is the
>direct result of its physical contents,its position in the
>ocean,the wind position,pressure from other waves and the
>basic movement of the ocean itself.IN EXACTLY THE SAME MANNER
>everything that happens to a JIVA is the result of various
>factors like his own karma,the karmas of people connected with
>him,BhagavAn's AnugrahEchhA or NigrahEchha towards him etc.
>Man's Free Will is there,but should one not grant the same
>freedom to God also? This is discussed in detail in
>ParAyattAdhikaraNam in SrI BhAshyam.

   Actually the choice is between ocean and wave. Ofcourse the wind etc., are 
always there. I didn't deny explicitly. Here the crux is 
   "Is jIva active or passive agent during a dream?" . You seem to say passive. I 
asserted above as active by giving example of "immoral dreams" etc., If you agree
that jIva is also active, then the more closer agent is the jIva and so he should
be attributed with the object like in the case of wave and ocean. No one 
questions the dependency of the wave on the ocean for its existence, though.
   God never needed freedom. He is the giver of freedom. What I am saying is, 
the dream is an outcome of "jIva's freedom of thought and action" and not that of 
Iswara. Iswara just monitors as he does so the actions of the jIva during the 
waking state.

> So SrI EmberumAnAr says- 
> Reality is that which produces an
> impression on you.And dream objects certainly do
> exactly like objects cognized in the waking state.

  adiyEn's intention is not to question the authorities of this list. With humble namaskarams to the pAdhareNu of the AchArya, I wish to put forth the following point:
  I have always attached very sacred importance to the term "Reality" in our 
dharma. But looking at the definition, I tend to feel this is not a very special 
or sacred term. Is this what is the definition of the term "sathyam" in the three important qualities of the Supreme viz., "sathyam jn~Anam anantham" also? I am confused.

>So the cognition is real even though the
>objects cannot be produced later.You can't deny the
>cognition also after waking up. 

  I think here we both agree that "dream objects are "real" as delusive images"
I added the word delusive going by your statement "objects cannot be produced 
later".


In summary, these are my observations,
1.thoughts and dreams are different manifestations of the same thing.
2.these are outcomes of the freedom of thought and action of the jIva and not
  that of Iswara.


   adiyEn,
   chandrasekaran.


------------------------------------------------------------------------
Avoid the lines and visit avis.com for quick and easy online 
reservations. Enjoy a compact car nationwide for only $29 a day! 
Click here for more details.
http://click.egroups.com/1/3011/2/_/716111/_/956054942/
------------------------------------------------------------------------

--------------------------------------------------------------
           - SrImate rAmAnujAya namaH -
To Post a message, send it to:   bhakti-list@eGroups.com
Visit http://www.ramanuja.org/sv/bhakti/ for more information