This is the transcript of a talk delivered in the prayer session of the Institute a few weeks ago by one of Swami’s students, Sri S Chandran, from the undergraduate class.
The reason I chose “DREAMS AND REALITY” as the subject of my talk, was because of two interesting dreams I had over the last two months.
The first dream is a scene in which I am standing in front of my old house, next to a motorbike. Suddenly at a distance, I see our Warden approaching me. There is some kind of fear created in me and I tear open the seat cover of my motorbike and begin to run. I run through that lane, continue running into the next lane and finally stop in front of a hospital. Out comes a doctor from the hospital, and he asks me “So, where is your income tax?” I am not surprised at the question, and I answer him telling that I had already paid it the previous day. I look back, I do not find the Warden, but I continue running till I reach the original scene in front of the bike. Having had a last look for the Warden, I replace the seat cover.
At the end of this I asked myself a series of questions. Why did I fear the Warden? Why did I tear open the seat cover? Why did a doctor ask me for income tax? I want you to keep these questions and this sequence of highly illogical steps in your mind. It is essential to remember that throughout the dream things seemed very natural and logical to me; as if they happened because they had to happen. But before I move further, allow me to quickly introduce the four states of consciousness and a couple of sentences on what Swami has to say about each.
The first is the Jagrathaa Vastha or the consciousness of wakefulness. This is the state we are experiencing right now. Swami says, “This wakeful state is the state of normal consciousness. It is concerned with the gross world of matter”.
The second is the Swapnaavastha or the sub-consciousness of dreams. This is the state we experience when asleep and dreaming. Swami says, “This state has the faculty of recognizing and getting an inkling of the holy experience of Divinity. It carries with it subtler impressions of the experiences of Jagrathaavastha.”
The third is Shushupti or the unconsciousness of deep sleep. What does Swami have to say about this? “It is a transcendental state of consciousness in which the dichotomy between grossness and subtlety disappears. The differentiating and diversifying faculties of the mind become inoperative”.
The last state is the Turiyaavastha or the state of super-consciousness. A person in this state can experience all the other states of consciousness but at the same time does not lose grip of this state. In other words, the Turiya encompasses all the other states of consciousness. Swami says, “It is the highest state in which the essential nature of the Self is experienced. It is a pure, tranquil state in which all the discriminating and differentiating attributes are dissolved.”
Having introduced the four states of consciousness, recalling that sequence of highly illogical steps, and given that I am in a particular state of consciousness ‘A’, how sure am I that events and occurrences in another state of consciousness, ‘B’, will seem logical to me? Or given that I am in the particular state ‘B’, how sure am I that events and occurrences in state ‘A’ of consciousness will seem logical to me? So what may seem logical in one state may or may not be logical in some other state, or in other words, logic is not universal; logic is localized.
Keeping aside this concept of localization of logic, let me narrate my second dream. This was in the practice session before our New Year band concert (I happen to be a part of the Sri Sathya Sai University’s Brass Band), that I was asked to stand in the second row of the concert formation because of lack of space in the first row. That night I had a dream in which the band leader comes to me and asks me “So, do you want to stand in the first row? There is some place right at the centre, front of Bhagavan”. I was overjoyed, I was thrilled, and I pinched my hand during the dream and said to myself, “I hope this is not a dream, this must be real”. The next day, in the dream itself, I stood in the first row and gave the performance. The point I am trying to drive home is that, when I am in a particular state of consciousness, all events and occurrences seem ‘real’ to me unless and until I am out of that particular state.
Combing the two properties discussed through the two dreams, that is ‘localization of logic’ and my inability to experience the ‘virtualness of a state’, there is no way one can conclude that all the laws of science that we study, be it the law of gravitation or the theory of evolution, are universal; however logical and real they may seem. At this point some smart guy can ask, “How is it that I am using logic to refute logic itself?” Yes, I will use one thorn to remove the other, but at the same time, I will throw away both the thorns once the thorn is removed. This is similar with logic.
I am reminded of an incident from the Mahabharata in which the Lord points out to a bird and asks Arjuna, “Arjuna, that bird looks like a dove”. “Yes Lord, it is a dove”, replies Arjuna. The Lord points out to the same bird again and says, “Arjuna, that is not a dove, it is an eagle”. Arjuna humbly replies, “Yes Lord, it is an eagle”. For the third time the Lord points out and says, “But that is a dove Arjuna, it is not an eagle”. Arjuna folds his hands and says, “Yes Lord, it is a dove”. The Lord is puzzled at this and asks Arjuna, “Why is it that you are repeating the same thing that I say?” To this Arjuna says, “Lord, You are the one who has transcended space and time, You are in the highest state of consciousness, the Turiyateeta; it is then a mere child’s play for you to transmute a dove into an eagle and an eagle into a dove”.
We are all in a similar situation. There are so many things that Bhagavan tells us, which at the first sight may seem absurd, illogical, and out of place. But we must remember that Swami is the highest state of consciousness, He transcends space and time. Is it not foolish on our part to raise questions and doubts, for we do not even know as to how logical our logic is!!
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Jai Sai Ram.