Question: When you appear in a dream, is it really you in some form?

Sri Chinmoy: Yes. When I appear in a dream, it is really one of my forms, one of my divine forms. The form I take depends on the disciple’s inner and outer needs. But most of the time it is according to the disciple’s inner needs. But again, sometimes the mind will translate the experience I am giving to your soul inwardly into its own mental creation.

Question: I dreamt of a very lustrous, bright orange serpent shortly after becoming your disciple. What does this mean?

Sri Chinmoy: Your dream of a very lustrous, bright orange serpent is very significant. But the colour that you saw was not orange; it was gold. This gold has a special significance. As you know, blue indicates Infinity and gold signifies divine manifestation.

A snake means energy. You will see snakes around Lord Shiva’s neck, and that means that energy is around him. Each snake has a meaning of its own. If they are not black, then they are all good. If you see a black snake, you have to know that it is a wrong force, an undivine force, a hostile force. But if you see a snake with a golden colour or a red colour, the gold signifies divine manifestation and the red signifies power. A gold snake means the manifestation of divine energy. Divine energy entered into you, into your spiritual life, and it wanted to flow through you in the form of manifestation. The first manifestation is your total surrender to the Will of the Supreme. The second manifestation is your conscious and constant service to the Will of the Supreme. The third manifestation is not to have any individual feeling of yourself but to feel the Supreme at every moment and to feel that you are of Him all the time and you are for Him all the time. You are of His Dream-Reality and you are for His Reality-Dream.

Question: When I first go to bed, sometimes I get a strong feeling of a dream that I had the previous night. Why is this?

Sri Chinmoy: This means that your dream was very strong. Whether it was a positive or a negative dream, the dream was equally strong. With positive dreams you go forward; with negative dreams you go backward. A positive dream is like a flower. You keep a few flowers on your shrine and they emit a fragrance. After some time, even if you take the flowers away, still the fragrance remains. You burn an incense stick for some time and you smell the incense. But when you remove the incense, the same fragrance is there. The thing goes away, but its capacity, its essence, its quality remains. A similar thing can happen with a person. A saint stands in front of you, and then after some time he goes away. But the peace, joy, love that he had in him are still vibrating at that particular place. And if a bad person full of anger and other undivine qualities stands in front of you, then his undivine qualities also remain there and vibrate for some time after he leaves. When a man goes away, the quality that he embodied he leaves on the spot, and you get the effect of the consciousness that he had when he was physically present. It is the same thing with a dream that lingers after it has gone away. If the dream was very powerful, the essence of the dream, its main quality, remains with you.

Question: Does God feel that dreams are a necessity?

Sri Chinmoy: Yes, God feels that dreams are a necessity, a supreme necessity, provided they are good dreams, spiritual dreams, illumining dreams. If you have that kind of dream, then each dream is like an egg which is about to hatch a chick or a duckling. When a chicken eats, it is with one-pointed attention and concentration, which is absolutely necessary, and when a duck eats, it has the unusual capacity to separate milk from water, the essential from the nonessential. If you can develop these capacities, you will run very fast in your spiritual life.

Question: After awakening, how can we become conscious of spiritual experiences that we’ve had during sleep?

Sri Chinmoy: You can become conscious of spiritual experiences that you have had during sleep only if you feel that these experiences are of tremendous value. If you have that kind of feeling, then when you forget your experiences, you will feel a sense of tremendous loss, irreparable loss. Then the next time you dream, you will not forget your experiences.

Our problem is that we do not give due value to our experiences. First of all, when we have an experience during sleep, we feel that it is only our mental hallucination and nothing else. This is wrong. Secondly, we feel that these same experiences others also get, that they are nothing unusual. That is also wrong. Whether others have dreams or not is not our business. Our business is only to have experiences and, with the help of these experiences, to get a new life and run towards our destined Goal. If we do not give due value to our experiences, the experiences find that they are not needed, so they do not come and knock at our door.

The reason we do not become conscious of our experiences that we had during sleep is because we do not give due value to them. When we give proper value to someone or something, that person or thing remains with us, in us and for us.

Question: Why is it that a person you are dreaming of sometimes changes faces and becomes other people?

Sri Chinmoy: When you see a person change his face and become other people in a dream, it can mean that you are seeing quite a few of that particular person’s previous incarnations, or it may happen that his soul wants to show you the future incarnations of that particular person. The soul is able to do this. Or it may be that even in this incarnation, you will have a different experience of this same person. When he is in the physical world you will see him in one way, when he is in the vital world you will see him in another way, when he is in the mental world you will see him in a third way, and when he is in the psychic world you will see him in a fourth way. This is quite possible.

Again, it may be that you are seeing different things that are happening in the person’s inner being or consciousness. These things are taking form, or you are giving life to them, and they are being reflected on the person’s face.

When spiritual Masters look at their disciples, they see different faces on the same person. When I look at you, if you are angry, immediately I see one face in you. If you are depressed, I see a different face. If you are happy, I see a third face. Your physical face is actually the same, but the forces that you embody in your physical body immediately come to the fore, and these forces are easily noticeable by spiritual Masters. If you are depressed, a depression force is operating inside you; if you are happy, a happiness force is operating in you; if you are angry, an anger force is operating.

In the dream, if faces are changing constantly, but not inspiring you, then you should try to stop the dream. But if each time the face is changing you get inspiration and aspiration, then be happy to see the change of faces.

Question: What does it mean when you dream that you are injured or in a battle?

Sri Chinmoy: When you dream that you are injured, that means that you are being attacked by some undivine forces. These forces may attack you on any plane — on the physical plane, on the vital plane, on the mental plane or even on the psychic plane.

The attack and the injury may take place on any plane. But when you see it, it is your mind that sees it, and it is the mind that convinces you that you are injured.

When you have a dream that you are in a battle, if it is on a higher plane, that means you are fighting against ignorance. If it is on a lower plane, it only means that your own undivine life is fighting against somebody else’s undivine life. But when one becomes a spiritual seeker like you, if you dream of a battle, that usually means that you are fighting against teeming ignorance, against the soldiers of ignorance. You have already taken the side of God, truth and light, so you are fighting against the forces that are standing against you, against your highest realisation of light and truth, against your revelation and manifestation of the divinity within you.

Question: How useful can dreams be in the spiritual life?

Sri Chinmoy: In our spiritual life dreams can be most useful provided they are inspiring, encouraging and illumining. We have to feel that a dream is a seed which is bound to germinate in the course of time. We have to feel that we are nothing short of God’s own Dream that is being unfolded for the transformation of earth’s ignorance-life into Heaven’s Perfection-Light.

Question: In dreams, how can one transform the demands of the vital with the same force that one can when one is conscious?

Sri Chinmoy: One has to be more careful, more conscious, more devoted to one’s spiritual life, especially during the time of meditation. Each time one meditates, one should feel that the results of the meditation are like a river flowing towards the sea, its destined goal. The seeker has to feel that the dream is not the goal. It is only a journey. During the journey one may encounter foul weather and obstructions on the way, but if one is brave, one inevitably reaches one’s destination.

So be brave during your dreams and feel that the dream is not the end. If you have an unhappy dream, feel that it is a necessary step in your life to strengthen you, especially in your case. Needless to say, Reality itself is crying for your arrival at its door. It desperately needs you, your heart’s cry, your life’s conscious and constant oneness, so that it can manifest in and through you for life-perfection and love-manifestation on earth.

Question: Guru, you once came to me in a dream and embraced and kissed me. Was that a vital dream?

Sri Chinmoy: My dear son, many times my soul has blessed your soul with overwhelming love and concern. But when your physical mind and your vital are not in the sovereign height of purity, you see and feel this blessing as an embrace and kiss instead of a loving blessing. The physical mind always tries to give a physical interpretation to the inner reality and tries to convince the outer being in a way that it finds usual and understandable. If the inner love of the Master is misunderstood by the demanding vital, then indeed it becomes a vital dream. If your aspiring consciousness had remained in the plane where the dream took place, then your entire being would have been flooded with Light and Delight, and this experience would have lasted for days.

Question: What is the significance of falling in a dream, like when one falls off a cliff?

Sri Chinmoy: This dream has three possible meanings. When you fall, if you are frightened to death, it means that your consciousness has become totally one with your vital being. This kind of dream has actually taken place in the vital plane. If you are falling and enjoying the fall, like a child playing on a trampoline, it means you are becoming one with the aspiring reality that is below you and around you. This dream takes place in the psychic plane. If you see while falling, that many human beings are looking at you from below with an eager hunger, that means you are bringing down light from above to feed aspiring humanity. This dream is an unusual and, at the same time, most significant dream. It takes place only in the soul’s plane proper.

Question: I very rarely have dreams. What does this mean? If it means I am not remembering them, should I try to remember?

Sri Chinmoy: If you don’t have dreams, that means you don’t need them. If you have dreams but forget them and then feel that you have lost something important in life, then you have to try to gain them back. In order to do that, you have to feel that your life is not a reality devoid of dreams. Also you have to know that each dream is the clear indication of an imminent reality; therefore, you will value the dream as you would value the reality. If you value dreams in this way, then an inner being of yours will help you remember your dreams.

Question: Why can I not remember my dreams for more than a split second after waking, even if I try?

Sri Chinmoy: There are quite a few reasons why you do not remember your dreams for more than a split second after waking, in spite of your best efforts. But there are two main reasons. One is that you do not give adequate importance to your dreams. Although you are trying your best to remember them, still you do not give your dreams adequate importance, You have lost something, you have misplaced something, and you want to get it back. But you are not trying your best; you are not offering your utmost sincere effort to find the thing that you have lost. There is no intensity in your search. That is one reason.

Another reason is that it is not the Will of God that you remember your dreams. Perhaps you had a bad dream, an unaspiring dream, a frightening dream, and you want to remember it. The Supreme knows that by remembering this undivine, frightening dream you will gain nothing, absolutely nothing. On the contrary, if you consciously remember that bad dream and think of it for a few hours, it will create fear in you and will only ruin your inner aspiration. Again, if you get a very high, lofty dream and if the Supreme sees that you are unable to assimilate it, He will not allow you to remember it. If He sees that you will become bloated with conscious or unconscious pride and say, “Oh, I had such a lofty dream, I am so great,” then He just takes it away from your conscious mind. He wants you to keep it inside the very depth of your heart, and gradually, gradually He allows the seed to grow inside you. In the course of time it will germinate and grow into a mango tree. When it is a tiny plant, there is a great risk that it may be destroyed by you or by others. But when it becomes a full-grown tree, it cannot be destroyed. At that time there will not be any pride in you. When you become a real mango tree full of mangoes, you will humbly bend down and offer your fruits to sincere seekers.

Question: Where do dreams come from?

Sri Chinmoy: There are many worlds, and dreams come from those worlds. What we call a dream here on earth, in some other world is a reality. It is a reality in its own right, but when it comes to us, we are a stranger to it and it is a stranger to us. When two strangers meet for the first time, it is like a dream; they don’t know each other; they can’t recognise each other. They are very puzzled; they are astonished by each other. But once they start living together they do not remain strangers any more. At that time the dream becomes a reality.

In the beginning, when the reality first comes and touches the earth plane where we live, we feel that it is a dream. But when we go to the Source where it came from, we see that it is a reality there. And when the dream stays with us for some time, then it becomes a reality and does not remain a dream any longer.