Advaita Vision

Advaita for the 21st Century

The Dream Problem
Part 14

by Dr. R.V. Khedkar, edited by Ram Narayan


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The Dream Problem, by Dr. R. V. Khedgar, edited by Ram Narayan, published 1922 by Practical Medicine, Delhi.

Read Part 13

(Compiled from the Dreamer’s notebook and elucidated by the editor)



DREAMER: I think it is the intellect in me that is interfering in my realization of the Ultimate Truth by creating doubts at every step. I wish to get rid of this obstacle altogether, and then hope I will have implicit faith in your words, which I believe will awaken me.

SAGE: Never think or do any such act that deprives you of the use of your intellect while you are a seeker after Truth. Loss of intellect is a great misfortune or calamity in the path of knowledge. You know the condition of the imbecile who loses his intellect from any mental disease or of the idiot, the child in whom intellect does not manifest itself from some congenital defect in the brain, and of the old man, in dotage who loses intellect due to advanced age. All these individuals are like animals and have no chance of ever knowing the Truth so long as they live. It is much easier to lose intellect than to acquire and develop it. Those who lose it are like machines and act like puppets in the hands of others.

There are many hypnotists who pose themselves as teachers (gurus) and teach certain practices under the name of yoga powers by which their disciples lose their intellect and become slaves or obedient to their masters in all matters. I warn you to be on your guard and avoid them. They possess strong hypnotic powers and employ them in bringing weak-minded people under their domination. Their alluring advertisements in public newspapers offering to teach the ‘Secret Of Power’, ‘Personal Magnetism’, etc., attract many ignorant men who go to them either personally to learn the method or receive typed lessons on payment of money.  But instead of learning the method of enslaving others, these dupes are enslaved themselves by these hypnotists. The practice of mental control by intelligent persons over their less intellectual fellows under the guise of religious education is fast increasing and I advise you not to join such creeds. This mental slavery or having blind faith in any one will always keep you in ignorance. Besides this, the knowledge gained by blind faith does not last long. Little children, who instinctively believe in what they are taught, have often to change their views when they grow older and their intellect develops. Whatever they have learnt in their early life with undeveloped intellect is not accepted by them in their after life. They reject or discard it as untrue. 

DREAMER: But you yourself say that the Ultimate Truth is beyond the reach of intellect. What is the use of preserving it, then?

SAGE: It is true that in the realization of the Ultimate Truth, the intellect with all its powers of reasoning and logic is ineffective, but by removal of all doubts from it, the intellect can be purified and changed into its highest phase, the intuition, which as I have already told you, helps in the realization. Understand that the instinct, intellect, and intuition are the 3 different states or phases of pure consciousness or knowledge and that the one develops into the other with the progress in the path of knowledge. The knowledge of Truth is, accordingly, divisible into 3 types as follows: First, the instinctive knowledge, which is apprehended instinctively or emotionally, as a personal conviction or faith in the Truth; second, the intellectual knowledge, the conclusion arrived at through a chain of philosophical arguments; and third, the intuitive knowledge, the result of sudden illumination occurring when the intellect develops into pure consciousness which gives a man perfect certainty, making him as sure of what he discerns as he is of his own existence. This intuitive knowledge leads to the final awakening of the state of Turiya, when he becomes fully conscious of his own (atman) oneness with the Universal Self (Paramatman). This is the highest imaginable type of knowledge.

What you require now is the purification of intellect by freeing it of all doubts, for it is the only obstacle in your way to intuitional knowledge.

DREAMER: The removal of one’s doubts is very difficult, almost impossible, as there can be many answers to one and the same question. I have tried the experiment by arranging all my doubts regarding the nature of dreams into 14 Points and circulating them among the wise men of my waking state world. In response, I have received hundreds of authoritative answers from men of great intellect and culture. But they all differ from one another in many respects being answered from different points of views and some appear even contradictory. There are many who state that the dream is as real as the waking state creation and that there are other worlds besides these two, which are equally real. There are others who assert that both the dream and waking state worlds, as well as other worlds, are unreal and illusory. Others say that only the waking state world is real and the dreams are illusory and unreal. How can such answers contradicting each other be correct?

SAGE: You cannot expect the same answers to your questions from everybody. Of the millions of people that you meet in your waking or dream world, no two are exactly alike either in body or in mind. Even twins differ from each other in many ways. But, if you carefully examine their views, you will find that the differences are not so much in fundamental principles. It is only in the ways of expression of the Truth and in the language that they differ from one another. In principle, all are one. In the way of expression, all differ. For instance, the materialists tell you that there exists nothing but matter, and that energy, consciousness, and other subtle forces are the result of changes occurring in matter. The energists say that all is energy or force that they call electrons, and that matter is nothing but a condensation of electrons. The idealists believe that the mind is the Ultimate Reality and everything else such as energy, matter, etc., are mere modifications or changes in the mind. Lastly, the Indian philosophers, the Vedantists, assert that the Ultimate Reality is beyond mind and undergoes no modifications. All that is perceptible by the senses is an illusory appearance of the Reality in the same way as the illusion of a snake in the rope. Thus the one and the same truth is expressed in a variety of ways and it depends upon your power of discernment to separate chaff from wheat and pick up the underlying Reality.

I have already explained to you the great principle of Opposites (prityogi), the knowledge of which will make it clear that all is light. There is no darkness anywhere. When you do not see light you call it darkness. The fault or ignorance lies in your vision and not in the light. Where men see darkness, an owl or cat sees light. Where does the illusion then lie? Not in the thing itself, but in you, who sees it different from what it really is.

DREAMER: Excuse me if I ask you the same question again and again. It always comes to my mind whenever you talk of the Ultimate Truth as one without a second. Please solve the problem once and for all. How does the idea of duality originate and who is the seer of Truth if there is nothing but Truth?

SAGE: Yes, there exists nothing but Truth and Truth discerns and sees the Truth. In the very act of discerning Truth by the Truth, appears duality which gives rise to relativity or diversity in the Unity and to the illusion of phenomenal world. Just imagine, if the eye wishes to see itself, how can it do that? Only by having in front of itself another eye, an image of itself. In the same way if the self wants to see itself, the only means lies in creating another self and as the self possesses the creative power, another self at once appears for it to look at. Again, as this other self is the creator’s own reflection, it inherits the power of creating another self who also desires to see himself (self-knowledge). Thus, the second self creates the third, and the third a fourth, and so on and so on till a stage is reached when the innumerable selves forget their origin and source and wish to know why, how, and wherefrom, they came. The first creator (Brahma) knows that the created beings have no separate existence and are only in His imagination, but the created beings forget their origin and wonder who created them. The dream world has been created by you exactly in this way and in every created being. In your dream creatures, there exists the inherited desire of self-knowledge and the power to create another self like himself. And what is every created being doing? Having the inherent desire of knowing himself with the power of creating, he is multiplying his self and is thus receding further and further away from his origin.

DREAMER: The above may be a true explanation of the creation of dreams by the mind, but how does the waking state world come into manifestation?

SAGE: the origin of the dream creation you have understood because you have experienced both the beginning and end of the dream. Of the waking state world, you have neither seen the origin nor the end, and therefore, you do not know how it has come into manifestation and how will it end until you experience it yourself. This will take place when you will make further progress in the path of knowledge and reach the stage of nididhyasana, or concentration, which will keep you conscious during the state of sushupti and then you will know how the waking state world comes into manifestation.

Read Part 15

Page last updated: 22-Sep-2013