During the early 1950s, when I was between 5 and 8 years old, I was staying in a scarcely populated village and vast stretches of fields seemed to meet the sky at the horizon. In the evening the whole village used to drown in darkness as the only source of light was a single kerosene lamp or lantern near the kitchen. The fear of darkness made us stay together at the side of the elders. There I had two peculiar dreams, 2-3 times each, which I have not forgotten even now. I am amazed at how those dreams have unknowingly become realized through my progress in spirituality.
In my first dream I used to get frightened and I could make out that I was afraid in the dream only, but I could not end the dream at my own. Then I would start repeating the name of God to get rid of the dream.
In the other peculiar dream I used to fly above the village, but the people with the help of bamboos tried to poke me. To avoid their poking I tried to fly higher but their bamboos always reached me. Getting frightened and losing my flight I used to fall in the lap of a beautiful and compassionate lady, a mother. Being in her lap I felt so comfortable that it is beyond description.
At that age, or later, I hardly bothered to find the meaning of those dreams. It is only when their meanings are revealed to me in life, gradually and practically, that I am prepared to share them with those who are interested. Some dreams have a hidden meaning about the future or are connected with the purpose of life.
In the event of self-realization one remains submerged in bliss for a few days, depending upon one’s body power. But when the blissful period is over one finds oneself all alone and very much afraid of loneliness. The world becomes fearsome when one regains body consciousness. If the body survives the experience one has to cling to the name and form of one’s personal God (the source of all bliss). God is nothing but one’s own soul, a life force, which is beyond mind and intellect. Some may define the God-soul relationship as the sea and its waves or a father and son as long as the body remains. So all components of the physical body are devoted to their own self with a feeling of duality. This relationship is remembered through repetition of the sweet name of the personal God, his acts, his sayings, etc. In all, we say that the path of devotion first proceeds from duality to non-duality and then again to duality. It is a true source of bliss in life. Thus, the meaning of my first dream was clearly that when we are afraid of the world, we should repeat the name of God continuously, because this will ultimately lead to the reality of the world and our relationship with it.
Self-realization is reached through the knowledge path, which provides wings to fly beyond the body. One is bound to keep quiet losing interest in anything else. In devotion one has a complete compassion at heart and people who keep asking questions may not get satisfying answers from the one whose compassionate heart attracts them. Hence, the meaning of the second dream becomes clear. Through knowledge alone one cannot remain calm and composed. One should have a compassionate heart as well.
In fact we need two legs to walk, even on the spiritual path, and these are true knowledge and devotion. The wise say that when one goes for devotion first, knowledge will follow by itself. But the intellectual or analytical mind won’t accept devotion before knowledge. There are many pitfalls even after self-realization and although one may have chosen the path of knowledge first, eventually the path of devotion has to be traversed anyway. Our ego is associated with many problems and unless it is crushed one cannot surrender to the supreme and enter the path of devotion in a real sense.
Now I realize a saying, “A man with the heart of a lady is a God and a lady with the heart of a man is a damsel.” Usually ladies are supposed to have a compassionate heart.
The world is a strange phenomenon and so is our mysterious life. If we are satisfied through some experience, or some other way, our mission is over. Development of compassion and humanity is the bonus for such a person.
It is our right to raise questions and get answers. However, perseverance, faith and patience are required. Never give up, just keep the questions alive and surely you will get answers one day.
After I had earned my science degree I wished to serve a scientific organization while working as a proof reader in a printing press. I tried for more than two years but without success. Then just 2-3 months before I was selected for a technical post in an oceanographic institute in 1972, I had a dream that I was sinking in a fathomless sea. I was a little frightened during the dream.
Only recently (April 2005) I had another dream that I and another person (not acquainted and we didn’t even talk, just felt his presence) were in the high seas and a small canoe happened to be nearby. We avoided boarding it, fearing, in doing so, it might be upturned. So we just caught it from a side and were sliding on the water effortlessly. We could see to greater depths as the water was very clear. No animals were visible.
The first dream is concerned with the knowledge path – scientific knowledge about the world and about our own self. I had an opportunity being in an editorial department to read about all the sciences, as oceanography is a multidisciplinary science. In 1977 when I had self-realization (Please see may article, Death – a great spiritual teacher, indeed!), I was at the end of my knowledge path and the beginning of my devotion path. Until 2002 I had no perfect equanimity of mind in all circumstances. But then I came across a perfect guide in August 2002 and surrendered to him with my whole faith for my entry into the fourth step of the devotion path, according to Hinduism (Please see my article, The spectrum of the love of God). Now the way my present life develops is shown in my recent dream, where I’m crossing the high seas.
On the basis of all this one has to conclude that the knowledge path is not sufficient for a smooth going of life. Perfect devotion must also be attained, only by the grace of God, of course, or by His perfect agent.
(Continued in Dreams coming true – Part III)
SP Sharma, India