Author Topic: Ramana Maharshi Clarifies To A. W. Chadwick About Dream And Waking States  (Read 1908 times)


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Bhagavan refused to see the least difference between the two states, and in this he agreed with all the great Advaitic Seers.Some have questioned if Sankara did not draw a line of difference between these two states, but Bhagavan has persistently denied it. Sankara did it apparently only for the purpose of clearer exposition, he would explain.

Go beyond both states, all three states including deep sleep,and study them from that point of view. You now study one limitation from the point of view of another limitation. Could anything be more absurd? Go beyond all limitation, then come here with the problem.”

But in spite of this, doubt still remained.

I somehow felt at the time of dreaming there was something unreal in it, not always of course. But just glimpses now and then. “Doesn’t that ever happen to you in your waking state too?”

Bhagavan queried. “Don’t you sometimes feel that the world you live in and the thing that is happening is unreal?”

Still in spite of all this, doubt persisted.

But one morning I went to Bhagavan and much to his amusement handed him a paper on which the following was written:

“Bhagavan remembers that I expressed some doubts about the resemblance between dreams and waking experience. Early in the morning most of these doubts were cleared by the
following dream, which seemed particularly objective and real:

“I was arguing philosophy with someone. I pointed out that all experience was only subjective, that there was nothing outside the mind.

“The other person demurred, pointing out how solid everything was and how real experience seemed. It could not be just personal imagination.

“ I replied, ‘No, it is nothing but a dream. Dream and waking experience are exactly the same.’

“‘You say that now’, he replied, ‘but you would never say a thing like that in your dream.’”

And then I woke up.



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We are all talking about dream states and we agree that they
are unreal.  But that point of dreaming, they look quite 'real'.

But in respect of wakeful states, we all stamp our feet on the
ground and swear that they are quite real and nothing but real.

No one accepts that the dream states and waking states are
equally real.  "Excepting the fact that the dream-states are
short and wakeful-states are long" there is no difference says
Bhagavan Ramana in Who am I?

In the worldly life, for all problems of dream and wakeful states,
deep sleep is the only solution.  Everyone wants a good sleep
at night.  Psychiatrists also solve a patient's problems [since
they do not much either] by giving sleeping tablets.  The
Western philosophy also did not go beyond wakeful and dream
states.  Even there, Freud was the first one to attempt some
theories about dream states.

Whereas Indian Jnanis went beyond, all the three states. They
say:  First you understand the unreality of wakeful state, and
dream state.  Then you understand that the deep sleep state
is also not a permanent solution for your problems.  The solution lies in understanding your mind/ego and conquering it so that
no problem is touching you. 

Bhagavan Ramana says in His Sri Arunachala Ashtakam, Verse 6
and 7:-

You alone exist, O Heart, the radiance of Awareness. In You
a power mysterious dwells, a power which without You is nothing.  From it (this power of manifestation) there proceeds, along with
the perceiver, a series of subtle shadowy thoughts which, lit by the reflected light of mind amid the whirl of prarabdha, appear within
as a shadowy spectacle of the world and appear without as the world perceived by the five senses, as a film is projected through a lens.  Whether perceived or unperceived, these [thoughts] are nothing apart from you, O Hill of Grace!               

Until there is the I thought, there can be no other thought.  When
other thoughts arise, ask "To whom? To me? Where does this 'I'
arise?"   Thus diving inwards, if one traces the source of the mind,
and reaches the Heart, one becomes the Sovereign Lord of the
Universe.  There is no more dreaming of such as in and out, right and wrong, birth and death, pleasure and pain, light and darkness,
O boundless ocean of Grace and Light, Arunachala, dancing the
dance of stillness in the dancing Hall of the Heart.

Arunachala Siva.


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well said Subramanian garu.