Dakshinamurthy Stothram – Sloka 1 – Introduction – Part 2 – Dream

We saw in the first part, the four features of the Mirror and the reflected image. These are adhiṣṭānatvam, sathyatvam, asaṃgattvam, advaiyatvam (the supporter, independent existence, unaffectedness and unitary nature of the Mirror and the opposites for the reflected images. Now let us see what happens in a dream.

The features of a dream:

Now have a look at the image below; someone (let us say it is myself) is having a dream about London.

Here I am, an young executive, after presenting my credentials to the HMS Authorities, I am being taken around for a tour of SW1 areas of London ( the dream city – स्वप्न नगरि svapna nagari) where I will be working. Wow. What a dream (स्वप्न svapna). Wow.

This Dream is a projection from myself; it is exclusive and unique to me and cannot be a collective event. For the purpose of the dream, I create a world within myself, a SW1 area in London, create the Queen, create the PM at 10 Downing St, create people and objects (in the lighter sense I have become a the God- the Brahman). My Dream is real but the events in the dream are imaginary. I create a dream and I enter into it either as an actor or as a witness. Dream is related to what I know; the world as experienced by me is required for all dream transactions. Within the dream I am not a creator; I am either an actor or a witness. In the dream, who am I is a function of where I want to associate myself with. The creator, the witness and the dreamer are one and the same and all are happy to perform the roles associated.

Summing up the two attributes of my dream are:

a) Entire dream and events, everything happens within me/inside me – “nija anthargatham” and

b) The whole thing is Externally Projected.“Bahir-Iva-Udbhuutam”

So, my Svapna nagaram, the dream world is one thing and the entire dream world is resting/residing in Me the waker; to be precise in my mind, in my mind it is resting, but since the mind is an integral part of the waker, I will use the expression, waker. So the mirror of the first example is comparable to the waker and the images/reflections of the first example is comparable to the स्वप्न प्रपछः svapna prapachaḥ the dream world.

1. Here I-the-waker, am the adhiṣṭānam, support, the basis for the entire dream world. The dream time; the dream space; As long as I support through sleep, the dream world continues, the moment the I the waker withdraws the support, the dream word collapses.

2. I-the waker, lend existence to svapna nagari, which means without me, dream world cannot exist, whereas without the dream world, I can, Thank God, I happily exist.

3. Whatever events happen in the dream world, has nothing to do with waker. In this particular dream case, the waker that is me, did not have a work permit, a visa and even a passport. I reached the airport in no time, flew to London in no time, everything was done with no time and space constraints at all.. In short, I the waker is asaṃgah, the dream event does not touch me at all.

4. The dream object and people; how many? OR whatever be their number, none of them can be counted, the only countable one is waker, and therefore, the people in dream are as good as non-existent. The Queen, the HMS Authorities, the Staff everyone are all non existent and therefore I am advayaha, I-the waker.

Here is a pictorial representation of the dream’s features

Waking up from a dream:

Let us take an example to understand the process of waking up from a dream. In a dark room, a rope is (wrongly) perceived as snake. Reacting to this snake, either one is afraid of it and tries to run away from it or one tries to catch it to earn something out of it. The game (reaction) of ‘run-and-chase’ continues as long as snake is perceived. The reason for this behaviour is our ignorance i.e. absence of the knowledge of truth. When we switch on the light, snake simply disappears and rope manifests itself without any effort on our part. Snake simply vanishes leaving no trace of itself. Snake was superimposed on Rope. Wrong perception made it look real. Snake ‘veiled’ the rope. Snake was real only until darkness prevailed. Now let us get back to the dream!

  • The dream world is inside me and it is unreal (mithya) but the dream world appears to be outside me, and real, when I am asleep (nidrāḥ). In other words, sleep (nidrāḥ) makes the inside-dream-world, outside and not only that,it makes the unreal-dream-world look as though real. To put it in a technical manner, my sleep state is not aware of my Waker nature which essentially means that Waker-ignorance is sleep (nidrāḥ). More technically, waker is adhiṣṭānam and therefore adhiṣṭāna-ignorance is nidrāḥ. Or still more technically, Waker-aadhiṣṭāna ajnānam eva nidra iti ucyate. When I am asleep, when I have adhiṣṭāna-ajnanam, the inside-dream appears outside and false-dream appears real.
  • When sleep (nidrāḥ) goes away i.e., at prabodha samaya (prabhoda is waking, samaya means at that time) I am aware of my waker status. So waking up is nothing but waker-knowledge. Prabhodha is nothing but adhiṣṭāna jnānam. And when I am aware of myself as the waker, when I have adhiṣṭāna jnānam, the outside dream is no more outside, and, the real dream is no more real; it is falsified.

In the same way, this world is experienced as separate object due to veiling power of māyā. Once this veil, the root cause of ignorance is removed, Self, the Brahman, shines by itself. This world is true only until the truth is veiled. The world talked here is better understood if we take it as ‘mental world’ or ‘Jīva shṛṣṭi’.

With the two examples of Mirror & Dream in these two introductory blogs,let us digest these learnings and proceed to the Sloka in the next blog.


To be continued in next week.