A- A+

Darshan with Swami Krishnananda during 1996
by Swami Krishnananda

33. Are Dreams Real?

(Darshan given on May 14th, 1996.)

Swamiji: The senses have to be immersed in the mind; the mind must be concentrated in the intellect; the intellect must be concentrated in the cosmic intellect, and the cosmic intellect in the Absolute. Thus, the mind has to be gradually withdrawn from its outside entanglements and involvements to the inward and Universal Reality, in a gradual ascent of consciousness. It is the essence of yoga practice.

A visitor: How should we proceed from the intellect to the cosmic intellect?

Swamiji: You have to withdraw your mind from objects, and have no desire for things; then the mind will immediately go to the cosmic intellect. The finite should not go to the finite; the finite has to move to the Infinite. So, you have put the same thing in a different way. Instead of moving horizontally, you move vertically.

Visitor: Is the dream condition considered to be sadhana?

Swamiji: If you do sadhana in dream, it is good, but you should not do anything else. In dream also you can do sadhana if your mind is purified. Is the mind thinking of God in dream? Then it is sadhana only. But you should not dream something else.

Visitor: But are the experiences in dream true?

Swamiji: Everything is true. If it is not true, you cannot experience it. It looks like it's not true only because you compare it to something else, so don't compare. Each one is true in its own place. It is like saying a rich man is better than a poor man, which is not a correct definition. Don't compare anything. Each experience is real by itself. Only if you contrast and compare, then something looks better or worse than the other.

Whatever you experience is real. If you don't experience it, then you cannot call it real. Whatever your consciousness feels is okay is real for you; otherwise, you will not experience it. Every experience is a contact with a reality of some degree. If it is not at all real, even its presence cannot be felt. So, there are no untruths in the world; there are only lesser truths. If something is entirely a falsehood, it cannot exist. It is not possible. Every experience is one degree of reality.

Another visitor [a doctor]: Prarabdha karma must be responsible for people falling sick; otherwise, why should one person get disease and another not get it? This is in the back of the mind of a doctor, and it affects his practice.

Swamiji: Doctors should not think of negative things. This is a negative thought. All thought should be positive. It is a foolish thought, actually. You are thinking that somebody is controlling you and doing something, but it is not so. Your consciousness that you are Dr. so-and-so contradicts the other thought that somebody is compelling you to do something. Is something compelling you to feel that you are Dr. so-and-so, or are you deliberately feeling it? You cannot say that somebody is forcing you, so you should not use the word prarabdha.

Prarabdha is a force exerted upon you. If you are consciously doing it, then your action is your action. If action is taking place because of some pressure exerted upon you, and not due to your deliberate will, you are not responsible for it. So, you should not use that word without properly knowing what it means. Prarabdha is the force of your previous actions, which is not always bad. It is good also.

We always use that term in a bad sense, as if the prarabdha will do only bad things. It is not like that, but the word has been misused and so it has to be clarified first before you use it. It means a force exerted upon you against your conscious will. But still, whenever you feel that you are doing something consciously, you will be responsible for it, though at the back of it there is the prarabdha. At the back of it the prarabdha is there, but you don't feel like that. You feel that you are doing it. Your feeling is your bondage, whatever be the real truth about it.

Visitor: It is his prarabdha to be suffering and my prarabdha to cure him.

Swamiji: Yes. The whole world is interconnected. There is not one individual isolated from the other. Everything touches everything else; everything is interwoven. Every action is all action, finally.

Another visitor: How do I find my Guru?

Swamiji: Generally, it is believed that when you are sufficiently mature in your spiritual aspiration, the Guru himself comes; somehow you will come in contact with the Guru, by some chance. Actually, it is not by chance. It is the working of God Himself. The Guru will find you. Your relationship to the Guru is something like your relationship to God Himself.

Visitor: Yes, particularly with reference to the balance between losing oneself and finding oneself – what you perceive to be your personality.

Swamiji: You cannot call it losing. If a person has some illness, and afterwards he is cured of that illness and becomes very healthy, can you say that the healthy person has lost something because he has lost his illness? Will the person cry, “Oh God! I have lost my illness!” Will anyone say that he has lost his illness because he has become healthy?

In spiritual progress there is no such thing as losing. It is only gaining, always. You lose nothing. If you lose anything, you are losing only your foolishness, idiosyncrasy and illness, and you cannot call it losing. You are gaining. In spiritual life, it is always gaining only. It is movement from one truth to another truth – from lesser truth to higher truth, from one gain to another gain. It is a complete blessedness. That is spiritual life. You lose nothing, so don't think that anything is lost. It is only gaining.

Swamiji [to a physicist]: Every event in the world appears to be taking place in space, but physics says that events neither take place in space nor in time. They take place in a space-time continuum, so it is a transcendental thing. If that is true, events do not take place at all. That means there is no such thing as history. It is a serious blow to the very existence of a thing called life in the world. Life itself is annulled in one second by this statement that events do not take place in space. It is another way of saying that events do not take place. It means that nothing happens.

This is what Vedanta philosophy tells us, finally: Nothing happens. Everything is what it is. I am what I am; you are what you are. It is a very serious matter, sir. If events do not take place in space, then where do they take place? They take place in eternity, in the Absolute.

Visitor: Physicists are also teaching that if anything goes with a velocity greater than the speed of light, it will arrive before it starts. Time becomes negated.

Swamiji: That means that nothing happens. Do the newspapers say nothing happens? Everywhere something happens; horrible things happen, but Vedanta and physics say that nothing happens. In the newspaper they can print only one line: Nothing Happens. You can purchase that newspaper only to read that one sentence!

It is a very serious matter. It is not a joke or something you can laugh at. It tells us how stupid we are. We are living totally contrary to reality. Everything is opposite to reality. This is our life. No wonder there is suffering! How will you set matters right? Is it possible to live in the world in harmony with this statement that you have made?

Visitor: No.

Swamiji: Then what is the use of studying relativity? How will you benefit? Visitors are listening to all these things: History never took place. Nobody was born, nobody died; nothing happened. This is called history.

Bhagvan Sri Krishna is telling the same thing in the Bhagavadgita: “I have already done the work, though the work has not started.” Before the work started, he said that he has already done it. He is also a relativity professor!

The Bhagavadgita is also a great relativity text. Quantum, everything is inside it. You can't understand what it means. It is also a great literature; it is poetry, philosophy, metaphysics – everything is inside it. It is a masterpiece.

A wonder is this to hear, a wonder is this to speak! After having heard it so many times, still nobody understands what it actually is.