Dream Analogies

The Dream Analogy

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The following passages are found in the Maha Vedabase. My thought is to bring out the significance of the “Dream” anology often found in these Hare Krsna teachings. Our presence in the material existence is a complex multi-dimensional dream. The true reality is the spiritual world with God, Lord Sri Krsna and His eternal associates.

TRANSLATION
Actually a living entity is transcendental to material existence, but because of his mentality of lording it over material nature, his material existential condition does not cease, and just as in a dream, he is affected by all sorts of disadvantages.

>>> Ref. VedaBase => SB 3.27.4
TRANSLATION
The body of such a liberated yogi, along with the senses, is taken charge of by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and it functions until its destined activities are finished. The liberated devotee, being awake to his constitutional position and thus situated in samadhi, the highest perfectional stage of yoga, does not accept the by-products of the material body as his own. Thus he considers his bodily activities to be like the activities of a body in a dream.

>>> Ref. VedaBase => SB 3.28.38
TRANSLATION
The body of such a liberated yogi, along with the senses, is taken charge of by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and it functions until its destined activities are finished. The liberated devotee, being awake to his constitutional position and thus situated in samadhi, the highest perfectional stage of yoga, does not accept the by-products of the material body as his own. Thus he considers his bodily activities to be like the activities of a body in a dream.

>>> Ref. VedaBase => SB 3.28.38
TRANSLATION
When a person becomes devoid of all material desires and liberated from all material qualities, he transcends distinctions between actions executed externally and internally. At that time the difference between the soul and the Supersoul, which was existing before self-realization, is annihilated. When a dream is over, there is no longer a distinction between the dream and the dreamer.

>>> Ref. VedaBase => SB 4.22.27
TRANSLATION
Narada continued: O you who are free from all sinful activity! No one can counteract the effects of fruitive activity simply by manufacturing a different activity devoid of Krsna consciousness. All such activity is due to our ignorance. When we have a troublesome dream, we cannot relieve it with a troublesome hallucination. One can counteract a dream only by awaking. Similarly, our material existence is due to our ignorance and illusion. Unless we awaken to Krsna consciousness, we cannot be relieved of such dreams. For the ultimate solution to all problems, we must awaken to Krsna consciousness.

>>> Ref. VedaBase => SB 4.29.34
TRANSLATION
Sometimes we suffer because we see a tiger in a dream or a snake in a vision, but actually there is neither a tiger nor a snake. Thus we create some situation in a subtle form and suffer the consequences. These sufferings cannot be mitigated unless we are awakened from our dream.

>>> Ref. VedaBase => SB 4.29.35
TRANSLATION
Everything happening within time, which consists of past, present and future, is merely a dream. That is the secret understanding in all Vedic literature.

>>> Ref. VedaBase => SB 4.29.2b
TRANSLATION
Even if one is liberated, he nevertheless accepts the body he has received according to his past karma. Without misconceptions, however, he regards his enjoyment and suffering due to that karma the way an awakened person regards a dream he had while sleeping. He thus remains steadfast and never works to achieve another material body under the influence of the three modes of material nature.

>>> Ref. VedaBase => SB 5.1.16
TRANSLATION
A dream becomes automatically known to a person as false and immaterial, and similarly one eventually realizes that material happiness in this life or the next, on this planet or a higher planet, is insignificant. When one realizes this, the Vedas, although an excellent source, are insufficient to bring about direct knowledge of the truth.

>>> Ref. VedaBase => SB 5.11.3
TRANSLATION
The individual soul bereft of Krsna consciousness has many ideas and activities created in the mind by the external energy. They have been existing from time immemorial. Sometimes they are manifest in the wakening state and in the dream state, but during deep sleep [unconsciousness] or trance, they disappear. A person who is liberated in this life [jivan-mukta] can see all these things vividly.

>>> Ref. VedaBase => SB 5.11.12
TRANSLATION
When a person is in deep sleep, he dreams and sees in himself many other objects, such as great mountains and rivers or perhaps even the entire universe, although they are far away. Sometimes when one awakens from a dream he sees that he is in a human form, lying in his bed in one place. Then he sees himself, in terms of various conditions, as belonging to a particular nationality, family and so on. All the conditions of deep sleep, dreaming and wakefulness are but energies of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. One should always remember the original creator of these conditions, the Supreme Lord, who is unaffected by them.

>>> Ref. VedaBase => SB 6.16.53, SB 6.16.54, SB 6.16.53-54
TRANSLATION
As one mistakenly considers a flower garland to be a snake or experiences happiness and distress in a dream, so, in the material world, by a lack of careful consideration, we differentiate between happiness and distress, considering one good and the other bad.

>>> Ref. VedaBase => SB 6.17.30
TRANSLATION
Sukadeva Gosvami said: Maharaja Ambarisa, the most fortunate personality, achieved the rule of the entire world, consisting of seven islands, and achieved inexhaustible, unlimited opulence and prosperity on earth. Although such a position is rarely obtained, Maharaja Ambarisa did not care for it at all, for he knew very well that all such opulence is material. Like that which is imagined in a dream, such opulence will ultimately be destroyed. The King knew that any nondevotee who attains such opulence merges increasingly into material nature’s mode of darkness.

>>> Ref. VedaBase => SB 9.4.15, SB 9.4.16, SB 9.4.15-16
TRANSLATION
As a person just arisen from sleep may continue to meditate on a dream even though it is illusory, so by the agency of the mind one meditates on the sense objects, which the senses can then obtain. Therefore one should become fully alert and bring the mind under control.

>>> Ref. VedaBase => SB 10.47.32
TRANSLATION
A sleeping person imagines an alternative reality for himself and, seeing himself as having various names and forms, forgets his waking identity, which is distinct from the dream. Similarly, the senses of one whose consciousness is bewildered by illusion perceive only the names and forms of material objects. Thus such a person loses his memory and cannot know You.

>>> Ref. VedaBase => SB 10.84.24, SB 10.84.25, SB 10.84.24-25
TRANSLATION
The Lord is like a sleeping person who creates a separate world in his imagination and then enters his own dream and sees himself within it.

>>> Ref. VedaBase => SB 10.86.45
TRANSLATION
One who is sleeping may see many objects of sense gratification in a dream, but such pleasurable things are merely creations of the mind and are thus ultimately useless. Similarly, the living entity who is asleep to his spiritual identity also sees many sense objects, but these innumerable objects of temporary gratification are creations of the Lord’s illusory potency and have no permanent existence. One who meditates upon them, impelled by the senses, uselessly engages his intelligence.

>>> Ref. VedaBase => SB 11.10.3
TRANSLATION
Just as a dream is merely a creation of one’s intelligence but has no actual substance, similarly, material lamentation, illusion, happiness, distress and the acceptance of the material body under the influence of maya are all creations of My illusory energy. In other words, material existence has no essential reality.

>>> Ref. VedaBase => SB 11.11.2
TRANSLATION
One who is enlightened in self-realization, although living within the material body, sees himself as transcendental to the body, just as one who has arisen from a dream gives up identification with the dream body. A foolish person, however, although not identical with his material body but transcendental to it, thinks himself to be situated in the body, just as one who is dreaming sees himself as situated in an imaginary body.

>>> Ref. VedaBase => SB 11.11.8
TRANSLATION
Although the sky, or space, is the resting place of everything, the sky does not mix with anything, nor is it entangled. Similarly, the sun is not at all attached to the water in which it is reflected within innumerable reservoirs, and the mighty wind blowing everywhere is not affected by the innumerable aromas and atmospheres through which it passes. In the same way, a self-realized soul is completely detached from the material body and the material world around it. He is like a person who has awakened and arisen from a dream. With expert vision sharpened by detachment, the self-realized soul cuts all doubts to pieces through knowledge of the self and completely withdraws his consciousness from the expansion of material variety.

>>> Ref. VedaBase => SB 11.11.12, SB 11.11.13, SB 11.11.12-13
TRANSLATION
According to My instructions, one should fix the mind on Me alone. If, however, one continues to see many different values and goals in life rather than seeing everything within Me, then although apparently awake, one is actually dreaming due to incomplete knowledge, just as one may dream that one has wakened from a dream.

>>> Ref. VedaBase => SB 11.13.30
TRANSLATION
Those states of existence that are conceived of as separate from the Supreme Personality of Godhead have no actual existence, although they create a sense of separation from the Absolute Truth. Just as the seer of a dream imagines many different activities and rewards, similarly, because of the sense of an existence separate from the Lord’s existence, the living entity falsely performs fruitive activities, thinking them to be the cause of future rewards and destinations.

>>> Ref. VedaBase => SB 11.13.31
TRANSLATION
One should see that the material world is a distinct illusion appearing in the mind, because material objects have an extremely flickering existence and are here today and gone tomorrow. They can be compared to the streaking red line created by whirling a fiery stick. The spirit soul by nature exists in the single state of pure consciousness. However, in this world he appears in many different forms and stages of existence. The modes of nature divide the soul’s consciousness into normal wakefulness, dreaming and dreamless sleep. All such varieties of perception, however, are actually maya and exist only like a dream.

>>> Ref. VedaBase => SB 11.13.34
TRANSLATION
The material body certainly moves under the control of supreme destiny and therefore must continue to live along with the senses and vital air as long as one’s karma is in effect. A self-realized soul, however, who is awakened to the absolute reality and who is thus highly situated in the perfect stage of yoga, will never again surrender to the material body and its manifold manifestations, knowing it to be just like a body visualized in a dream.

>>> Ref. VedaBase => SB 11.13.37
TRANSLATION
Therefore, one should reject all material processes of elevation, which are like the mental creations of a dream, and should completely absorb one’s mind in Me. By constantly thinking of Me, one becomes purified.

>>> Ref. VedaBase => SB 11.14.28
TRANSLATION
Just as a foolish businessman gives up his real wealth in useless business speculation, foolish persons give up all that is actually valuable in life and instead pursue promotion to material heaven, which although pleasing to hear about is actually unreal, like a dream. Such bewildered persons imagine within their hearts that they will achieve all material blessings.

>>> Ref. VedaBase => SB 11.21.31
TRANSLATION
O most charitable Uddhava, what is called birth is simply a person’s total identification with a new body. One accepts the new body just as one completely accepts the experience of a dream or a fantasy as reality.

>>> Ref. VedaBase => SB 11.22.40
TRANSLATION
Just as a person experiencing a dream or daydream does not remember his previous dreams or daydreams, a person situated in his present body, although having existed prior to it, thinks that he has only recently come into being.

>>> Ref. VedaBase => SB 11.22.41
TRANSLATION
The soul’s material life, his experience of sense gratification, is actually false, O descendant of Dasarha, just like trees’ appearance of quivering when the trees are reflected in agitated water, or like the earth’s appearance of spinning due to one’s spinning his eyes around, or like the world of a fantasy or dream.

>>> Ref. VedaBase => SB 11.22.54, SB 11.22.55, SB 11.22.54-55
TRANSLATION
For one who is meditating on sense gratification, material life, although lacking factual existence, does not go away, just as the unpleasant experiences of a dream do not.
>>> Ref. VedaBase => SB 11.22.56
TRANSLATION
Actually, the living entity is transcendental to material existence. But because of his mentality of lording it over material nature, his material existential condition does not cease, and, just as in a dream, he is affected by all sorts of disadvantages.

>>> Ref. VedaBase => SB 11.28.13
TRANSLATION
Although while dreaming a person experiences many undesirable things, upon awakening he is no longer confused by the dream experiences.

>>> Ref. VedaBase => SB 11.28.14
TRANSLATION
Although a self-realized soul may sometimes see an impure object or activity, he does not accept it as real. By logically understanding impure sense objects to be based on illusory material duality, the intelligent person sees them to be contrary to and distinct from reality, in the same way that a man awakening from sleep views his fading dream.

>>> Ref. VedaBase => SB 11.28.32
TRANSLATION
In a dream one can see his own head being cut off and thus understand that his actual self is standing apart from the dream experience. Similarly, while awake one can see that his body is a product of the five material elements. Therefore it is to be understood that the actual self, the soul, is distinct from the body it observes and is unborn and immortal.
SB 12.5.5

>>> Ref. VedaBase => SB 12.5.4

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