DIALOGUE BETWEEN SAGE VASISHTA AND THE DREAMER
(Compiled from the Dreamer’s notebook and elucidated by the editor)
THE END OF THE DREAM
It appears that the dreamer pressed and pressed the last question on to the sage who answered it in complete silence by tightening his lips, closing his ears, and shutting his eyes and gradually all appearances vanished resulting in the dissolution of the dream world. Thus ended the dream of the dreamer, who, when awakened into the waking world, was sorry for asking the last question but he had the consolation of acquiring the power of summoning the sage at will in his dream. The dreamer had other similar visions of which an account is to be found in his notebook.
The dreamer is no more a dreamer now. He has left his sidhanta (established Truth) for us to ponder over, to criticize, or treat it in any way we like. It is here reproduced not because it is intended that people should take it to be a gospel truth, but because it is possible that a study of the working of the dreamer’s mind may lead someone to reflect on the issues here raised. If it appeals to anyone as true, let such a one live up to it, and if it does not, it may be treated as a mere fiction. We cannot close this volume better than by quoting Socrates once more in the end: ‘the point is not who said the words, but whether they are true or not’.
Om, Shanti! Shanti! Shanti!
THE SECOND DIALOGUE
BETWEEN THE SAGE VASISHTA AND THE DREAMER
(Note: The first dialogue between the Sage and the Dreamer relates to going into Silence and the dreamer returning to the waking state. In the 2nd vision, the following dialogue took place between the two.)
SAGE: Well, how did our previous talk impress you? Are you satisfied with the answers I gave to your questions?
DREAMER: From the time you left me and I returned to my waking sate, I have been thinking over all the points we discussed in our last conversation. There are a few points in your answers to my questions that appear to me contradictory to what is taught us by other sages in our sacred books.
In talking about Kaivalya moksha or final liberation, you said, ‘neither I nor even the well-known Rama, Krishna, Buddha, Christ, etc., have attained it. So long as their names and forms can be brought down into the minds of their devotees, they cannot go beyond the sphere of creation.’ And further you said, ‘those who reach the highest state of knowledge in this life have no disciples or adherents and leave no name and form after them. Such are avadhutas and majzoobs.’ In your own case, it may be true that you have not attained final liberation because you are a jivanmukta and have therefore appeared in my dream, but the avatars like Rama and Krishna were gods incarnate and it cannot be said about them that they are still in the sphere of creation. Again, to avadhutas and majzoobs who look like lunatics and are useless members of society, you have given a position superior to the avatars.
SAGE: No wonder that the answers to these points appeared to you contradictory, because I answered them from the view point of the Absolute Truth and you were not prepared to comprehend them as such. To all your questions there are 2 answers, first from the standpoint of the Absolute Truth or Parmathic Satta, and second from the standpoint of relative truths or Vyavharic satta. Remember that the Absolute Truth is one and the relative truths are many.
If you carefully study the scriptures of all the religions in the world, you will find that in dealing with the Absolute Truth, they are all identical while in their description of the relative truths, no two scriptures agree. The teachers or gurus always teach their disciples both the absolute and the relative truths and it depends on the ability of the disciple whether he understands one or the other.
In reading my book, the Yoga Vasishta Maharamayana, you will notice that from the beginning, I expounded both sides of the Truth at the end of each chapter and yet my disciple Rama Chandra could not comprehend it until he himself awakened into the Ultimate Reality. It will be the same with you. The truth of my assertions will be clearly known to you when you reach the same stage of knowledge. Most of your religious textbooks deal with the relative truths because they are meant for the ordinary seekers after Truth and not for advanced students. If you want corroboration of my statement about the final liberation, you better read such other dialogues between the ancient sages and their advanced disciples.
Read what Gaudapadacharya (the guru of Shankaracharya's guru) says in his dissertation on the Mandukyopanishada, ‘there is in reality no dissolution, no creation, none in bondage, none desirous of liberation, none liberated; this is the Absolute Truth’. In the Kathopanishada you will read: ‘the absolute is not born nor does it die. It is unborn, eternal, immutable, and ancient. It is not destroyed with the destruction of the body.’ Thus, in reality, there is no bondage or limitation.
Ponder well over this question and you will know that it is not the Absolute that comes into bondage and assumes the name and form of an avatar (god incarnate), but it is your own, or jiva’s imagination that makes you and other jivas see the Unlimited under limitation. The space inside a pot is in reality not separate from the universal space yet you see the space confined in a pot. When the pot is broken, the inside space is not liberated or absorbed into the universal space. It remains just as it was when inside the pot undergoing no change whatsoever. It is you, or the jiva who give it the name of ghatakasha when it appears limited in the pot, and call it mahakasha when there is no pot to limit it. The space (akasha) never comes into limitation.
In the same way, you give the name of avatar or God-incarnate to the Absolute or Paramatman when you see its manifestation in a jiva or individual soul. The Absolute never assumes names and forms. Therefore, so long as the name and form of an avatara remain in your or other jiva’s mind, it persists not in reality, but in your mind.
Now understand the meaning or origin of avatars from the viewpoint of Relativity or Maya. To illustrate it, the analogy of dream would be best. The dream creatures, as you know, are nothing but your own manifestation or rather your own self in so many forms or personalities and yet each of them is an independent and separate being. To each of your dream creatures, you are related just as a single cell of your body is related to your whole physical organization. A cell cannot perceive you unless you become a cell or the cell becomes yourself, that is, your cosmic consciousness assumes the phase of individual cell consciousness or the cell consciousness develops into your cosmic consciousness. Similarly, the dream creatures, being within your mind, cannot perceive or recognize you. Their limited individual consciousness cannot comprehend your cosmic consciousness. If, for any reason such as forgetting the fact that they have no separate existence, you try to let them know that you are their creator, you will have to put yourself in their position and become a creature like them, a limited personality. They will then call you an avatar or God incarnate provided you show them miracles and thus convince them that you are their creator. Mere assertion or declaration that you are God will not convince them and they will call you an impostor, monomaniac, or paranoiac.
Again, if a dream creature wishes to know or realize you, his creator, he must develop his own limited individual consciousness into your cosmic or universal consciousness. If, in doing this, he loses his sense of individuality to such an extent that he becomes careless of his physical body and its wants and desires, he will be called an avadhuta by his fellow creature. In case he retains the sense of individuality and looks after his bodily wants, he will be called jivanmukta. The name majzoob, or magan, or mast is given to one who acquires cosmic consciousness by the path of bhakti or extreme devotion to God. Like an avadhuta, the majzoob also loses all sense of separateness or individuality and looks like a lunatic or an idiot. Both the avadhutas and majzoobs are useless members of society. They remain constantly in a state of intoxication of God or bliss and are knowers of Truth, but no one cares to approach them to acquire knowledge, and therefore they have no disciples or followers, and when their body or outward form disappears or returns to its source, they acquire the kind of moksha or final liberation when even their names become extinct.
DREAMER: How are the avadhutas and majzoobs to be distinguished from ordinary lunatics or insane persons? The subject of insanity has always been a favorite one with me and I have seen and studied hundreds of cases of monomaniacs or paranoiacs. They are usually quiet and show no signs of violence, but at intervals, they become maniacal over their special whims. Some of them declare themselves Gods. I have seen one calling himself the prophet Mehdi, another speaking of himself as an incarnation of Sri Kalki, and several personifying themselves as Siva, Bahirav, and other Hindu Deities. Are these to be classed as avadhutas, majzoobs, or monomaniacs?
SAGE: There is no criterion or scientific definition to distinguish a normally minded man from one of deranged mind. You have no means of testing the mental condition of a man except by his outward actions and behavior that are often deceptive. When a person does not act in conformity with the ordinary laws of the society in which he lives and moves, he is regarded by that particular society as one of deranged or abnormal mind and when such a person is unable to look after his own affairs and is troublesome to other members of that society, he is declared an insane person and is confined in an asylum. While there are certain common signs in all human beings to distinguish them from animals and other creatures, no two persons are alike in outward appearance or in their mental traits. If you individually ask every human being his own definition of an abnormal mind, his answer will be something like the following: ‘One who does not think and act as I think and act is a lunatic or a man possessing abnormal mind.’ This means that every one is a lunatic from the viewpoint of another. Ask a lunatic confined in an asylum and he too will give the same definition. Who, then, can be called a right-minded person? Everyone is a lunatic from another’s point of view and none from his own. The truth is that the knower of Truth, or gyani, alone can distinguish a majzoob or an avadhuta from a lunatic.
DREAMER: Another point that I wish you to clear up is this: Last time when I asked you to show me the Ultimate Reality, you went into complete silence with the result that the dream world disappeared and I found myself in the waking state world. Am I to understand that Silence is the Ultimate Reality?
SAGE: The Ultimate Reality is not silence. It is beyond silence and speech, in fact, beyond all pairs of opposites. Silence is a symbol indicating that speech has no power to express the Ultimate Reality. It cannot be shown or communicated by one to the other. Not even a master is able to show it to his devoted disciples. Complete silence is a stage through which every seeker after Truth has to pass before his final awakening. It indicates stoppage of all actions, mental as well as physical, and when the mind is inactive, the stage is called sushupti (sound or unconscious sleep), or samadhi (conscious sound sleep). In both cases, the individual mind becomes one with the cosmic or universal mind and there is complete silence, but in the former state, the sleeper does not know it while in the latter, the samadhist knows that he is in a state of bliss. The actions of the physical body and of the senses are at a standstill, even the breathing process stops and the person in this state appears to others as dead.