The journey of silver dreams
Author's introductionBooks on dreams can never, never be accurate. When the person sees the dream, it is one thing; when he tells it to others, it becomes totally different. This is the main reason why occultists and others find it difficult to give the proper significance of dreams. A person dreams one thing, but in telling others he sees that it becomes totally different or very vague. Then the occultist must concentrate very powerfully to tell on which plane the dream occurred.
There are many dream worlds. As there are seven higher and lower worlds, there are also many dream worlds. If someone sees a dream in a particular world, then its significance there will be one thing, and if he sees it in a higher dream world, that will be a totally different matter.
I have read quite a few books on dreams. I laugh and laugh because some of them are so absurd. But now that I have written a book on dreams, I must also laugh at myself because all I can do is give a general idea about the subject.
Question: What are dreams?Sri Chinmoy: Dreams are realities of other worlds. If they are dreams from the lower worlds, the soul will either try to illumine and elevate them or try to destroy them. Unillumined dreams create tremendous problems for the seeker. If they are undivine dreams, the soul's light fights with them and does not want them to manifest.
If they are elevating dreams, dreams from the higher worlds, then the soul's light expedites their earthward journey. When the realities of the higher worlds want to come down, the soul's light helps them. As a matter of fact, it pulls them like a magnet and tries to manifest them. If they are not manifested, it means that the time has not yet come. Or perhaps the Divine within us may not feel it is necessary for them to be manifested, or the Divine within us may change the game and decide that they should not be manifested. But most of the time today's dream is tomorrow's reality.
Even in the ordinary world, if somebody wants to become a millionaire, he works for fifty years and then he becomes a millionaire. Fifty years ago it was a dream, but now it has become a reality. In the spiritual life, when you aspire you feel that you will realise and manifest God. These are all dreams. But they will be manifested realities in ten years or twenty years or in a few incarnations.
Question: What does it mean when you see colours in your dreams?Sri Chinmoy: Each colour has a spiritual significance1
In a dream you may not see any person or hear any words; you may just see flashes of light. When you see light in your dreams, you have to know that this light is going to enter into you and is going to manifest in you and through you. When you know the meaning of this light, immediately you will be able to interpret these dreams.
When you see a pure white colour in your dream, immediately you should know that divine purity and the divine consciousness of the Mother is entering into you. The universal Mother has all colours, but pure white light happens to be her dearest colour and it is through this colour that she manifests herself. So her consciousness will come as pure white light.
Similarly, if you see a pale blue colour, you have to know that it indicates infinity, spirituality, great power. Green indicates new life, vitality and dynamism. If you see green light, it means that new life has dawned. When you see the colour red, you will know that divine power is entering into you.
JSD 3,1. Sri Chinmoy's book Colour Kingdom gives the inner significance of 52 colours.↩
Question: What does it mean when you see animals in your dream?Sri Chinmoy: No matter which plane of consciousness your dream comes from, if you see a deer and the deer is running, this indicates that you are running very fast in your spiritual life. If you see an elephant in a dream, no matter in which plane the dream takes place, you have to feel you are being energised with enormous strength in your spiritual life. If you see a dog biting you, this means that you have lost faith in your spiritual life, in your Master and in yourself. But if the dog is following you, this indicates that you have absolute faith in your Master and that you are your Master's obedient disciple. These animal dreams generally take place in the vital world.
I would like to tell you a funny story. I had a disciple in New York who was a well-known psychiatrist. She analysed and interpreted dreams, and got paid thirty-five dollars for a half hour. She told everybody the significance of their dreams, but she could not interpret her own dreams.
Once she came to me and for two and a half hours she asked me about the significance of her dreams. Many of the dreams that she had were wonderful experiences in a very high spiritual world. When I told her their meaning, she started crying and creating a scene. In her dreams, she was able to recollect some of the experiences which she had had in a previous incarnation. In this incarnation she had hundreds of dreams which she was not able to analyse; but she was able to recollect experiences from her past incarnations in her dreams. Her husband was also very much interested in these dream worlds. They were both very well-known in their past incarnation, and in this incarnation she is most successful in her profession.
Question: If one has a dream, will the events in it actually take place?Sri Chinmoy: There is no hard and fast rule. You have to know what kind of dream you are having. Sometimes they are all imaginary dreams which come from the subconscient plane. Let us say that you want to eat chicken, but you don't get any. At night that desire may be transmitted into a dream and in the dream you will be eating a chicken. That kind of dream is not a real dream. It is only an unfulfilled desire which comes from the subconscient plane. We see these very often in the dream state.
Some dreams are strange. In the vital world, the consciousness is not pure, so dreams will be full of chaotic, mixed up, silly things. Those dreams are incidents that take place in the vital world.
But there are many good dreams, real dreams. These are harbingers of reality. Dreams are reality in another world above the physical world. If you have a good dream, take it as a reality. But if you have a bad dream, take it as a mental hallucination and just throw it away.
Sometimes the dreams are destroyed before they touch the physical world. On the way to the physical world they are destroyed in the vital plane; therefore they do not take place.
There are some dreams which do take place. These dreams we generally get in the small hours of the morning, between 4:00 and 5:00 or 5:30, at the Brahma Muhurta, or Hour of God. If you have dreams at that time, they are likely to materialise. But these dreams have to be properly guarded against impure thoughts. Also, if you have dreams at a lunar eclipse or a solar eclipse, these dreams are usually fulfilled.
Question: How do dreams materialise? Can they be prevented from doing so?Sri Chinmoy: There are many worlds. A dream is an incident that is taking place in the psychic world, the mental world, the vital world or some other world. When a person dreams in the mental world, the dream has to come to the vital world for manifestation before it comes to the physical world. The physical world is the last world in which we see it. It is like climbing down a tree. When the incident takes place in the mental world, after a short time it tries to come down to the vital level and from there it tries to come down to the physical level.
But it can happen that some incident may take place in the mental world which may never take place in the physical world. If the vital world resents it, it can prevent this incident from taking place. The vital is like a bodyguard, a soldier. If the vital allows it, then that particular incident eventually takes place in the physical also. Dreams need an opening to enter into the vital, and from there, if they get another opening, they enter into the physical. When the vital opens its door, the incident in the dream comes to the physical and materialises there. It is the same thing with diseases. If a disease first enters into the mind, the disease can be prevented from entering into the physical. First it takes place in the deeper or higher regions, and then when the vital allows it, it takes place in the gross physical.
Very often we have dreams and do not recollect them in the morning; but the incident that took place is most authentic, and it will eventually materialise. Again, there are many things which do not actually first take shape or form in the mental or psychic world. Many incidents can come into being directly from the universal Consciousness. When the physical can expand its consciousness, like the wings of a bird, many things happen. It can draw experiences directly from the universal Consciousness, without passing through the mind or the vital. Also, if you want to negate anything in the mental world, you have to be able to enter into the universal Consciousness and draw energy from there. Once you have free access to the universal Consciousness, then you can go and fight in the mental plane and be successful there.
Question: Can you explain why, while babies are sleeping, sometimes they smile like angels and sometimes they cry?Sri Chinmoy: When they smile, it is the soul expressing its joy in a visible way in the face. The psychic delight has taken full manifestation right in the face. First we feel joy which we may not even be aware of, then immediately it expresses itself right in our face.
Why does a baby cry? There are various reasons. At a particular hour he may be hungry or thirsty. Another reason, from the spiritual point of view, is that the child may be having a dream. A child between the ages of four and seven will have dreams almost every night. When we have dreams that are destructive, frightening or tormenting we do not usually cry aloud. We know that we will be alarmed only for a few minutes or seconds. But in the child's case, the child feels that he has been attacked, and he does not know what the attack is or when it is over. He is as helpless as a babe in the woods, and he feels that only if he cries aloud somebody will come to save him. I know a child who used to cry almost every night. He was not hungry or thirsty; he was only having dreams. Three nights I concentrated on that particular child to see what was actually happening, and I saw that it was a dream that was the cause of his suffering. But parents cannot prevent children from having dreams. Wise parents can only come and comfort the child.
Question: Can these dreams at such an early age be reminiscences from previous lives?Sri Chinmoy: Yes, sometimes they are reminiscences of previous lives. Also, if brothers and sisters are fighting in the family, or if people in the neighbourhood are fighting, the vibrations remain in the atmosphere. Then a child suffers because he is the feeblest, the weakest, in the family. Consciously he does not even know of these fights, but if his parents are fighting or if his brothers and sisters are fighting, these wrong vibrations enter into the child's consciousness, and the child suffers.
Question: Once while I was in a meditative mood, I saw a very ancient temple where lots of people were worshipping statues. There was so much reality in it. I recognised all the faces I saw. What is the significance of this?Sri Chinmoy: This was not your imagination. These were the people whom you knew in your previous incarnations; some of them were very close to you, others were mere acquaintances.
Question: But what is the good of having a dream like that?Sri Chinmoy: It only makes you feel that this is not your first or your last incarnation. You were something and you knew some people before. If they were not good people, then you will know better people in this incarnation. It encourages you in this way. If you have not done something in the past, you can do it now, and if you don't do it now, you can do it tomorrow. This is the purpose of reincarnation — so that if you have not done something, you will be given the opportunity to do it in another life.
If you saw an uninspiring person in the street yesterday and today in your dream you see that person again, what benefit do you get? When you saw him yesterday, you didn't get anything. By having a dream of that person, you still don't get anything. But if that particular person was very spiritual, sincere and aspiring, then you got inspiration from him when you saw him. And at night, if you see the same person in a dream, then you get additional inspiration. If you see aspiring people, it is a blessing. But if you see unaspiring people during the day, it is a waste of time, and if you see those people at night, it is also a waste of time.
Question: During the past five months I've experienced two mandalas; the first was a vision of all the people I knew and the second was a vision of a blue lotus. Can you explain the cause of these?Sri Chinmoy: They are self-explanatory. You have practised the mandalas and so you have had the vision of previous incarnations. Here is the proof that we have previous incarnations. Your soul is bringing to the fore people with whom you are connected.
The blue lotus that you have seen is the blue lotus of consciousness. Water is consciousness. A blue lotus is a sign of infinite Consciousness within us. When the lotus blooms petal by petal, it means that the seeker is entering into the infinite Consciousness. Blue signifies Infinity and a lotus signifies consciousness. The infinite Consciousness is blossoming in the form of a blue lotus.
Question: I have always had a great interest in philosophy. Once during my sleep, I felt that Socrates and Ben Franklin were two incarnations of one soul. Can you trust a dream that seems so clear?Sri Chinmoy: It depends on your own development. Today you are saying Socrates was Benjamin Franklin; tomorrow you may say that he was Aristotle or somebody else, and many names will go through your mind. If it is simply an ordinary dream or a kind of a flash, then please don't give any importance to it. But if it dawns like a vision, then you can say that it is something true, and you will derive benefit from it.
The spiritual life is something much deeper than the philosophic life. Philosophy can come right up to the door of God's Palace, but it cannot enter inside, whereas spirituality can enter into God's Palace. Philosophy helps; it creates a kind of higher reason. But the actual feeling of God, the feeling of becoming one with God, philosophy can never achieve. It is only our spiritual practice, our spiritual life, that can do this.
Question: What is the relationship between our dreams and reality?Sri Chinmoy: A dream that comes from the subconscious world, where we are quarrelling and fighting and doing many undivine things, will not necessarily materialise. But a dream that comes from the higher worlds is bound to materialise. Today's dream is tomorrow's reality. Why? Because the dream is coming from a world which is living and palpable. With our limited consciousness we do not know this. But when we meditate we consciously enter into many higher worlds, and the reality of these worlds enters into us in our dreams.
An ordinary man sees a dream as something totally separate from the rest of his life. He feels that he is living in the reality, whereas the dream has nothing to do with reality. It is something sweet, something precious, something encouraging, something inspiring and so forth, but he does not feel that it is more than that. But when a spiritual man has a dream, he immediately feels that his dream is the precursor of reality. He feels that each dream is a stepping-stone towards his divine Goal.
Question: How should we respond to dreams from the lower worlds?Sri Chinmoy: When we have a dream from the lower worlds, we do not want to identify ourselves with it, for we are badly frightened by it. The dream comes to us as a threat. But a dream that comes from the higher worlds comes as an invitation. We get inner joy and inner satisfaction and immediately feel our identity there. Then we have to enter into it and grow into it.
Question: If one has a dream about one's spiritual Master, is it reliable?Sri Chinmoy: At times the wrong forces, hostile forces, take the form of spiritual persons or a spiritual Master and they appear in a dream. At times they are successful and they do many bad things. How can you recognise them and how can you distinguish the real Master from the hostile forces? When a wrong force, a hostile force, stands in front of you in your dream in the form of your spiritual Master or a great saint, the first thing you will notice is its impurity. If you see there is no purity, then immediately you will know that it is not the Master, but a wrong force in the form of the Master. Many times it has happened that the wrong forces came and stood in front of a seeker, and the seeker bowed down to these wrong forces. You must never, never bow down in a dream unless and until you are sure that that particular person is really your Master or Krishna, Christ, the Buddha or some other great spiritual Master. Otherwise, the moment you bow down and touch the person's feet, occultly that wrong force will take away some of your divine qualities. I know of many, many cases in India in which sincere aspirants have been mercilessly attacked by wrong forces. They thought that it was their Master, and they lost their divine qualities. So when you see your Master in a dream, first see if he brings with him a flood of purity and the fragrance of a flower or the radiance of light. This purity can never be brought by the wrong forces. The moment you feel absolute purity and the fragrance of flowers, you can rest assured that it is a divine person who has come. But if he feels impure or if you are alarmed or frightened, then you can be sure that it is an impersonation by a wrong force.
Some people have good dreams about their Master while others have silly, absurd dreams and then they are confused. It is not the fault of the Master. The disciple must distinguish one from the other.
Question: What happens when we dream about you?Sri Chinmoy: When you have a dream of me, all your beings are fed with joy. The outer being will get the result in a day or two or three. But if you don't have any dreams about me for two, four, six months, that doesn't mean that you have made no progress. If you meditate well you will get the same result. But if you see me in a dream, it is a sign. It is not that I shall only flatter you. Sometimes I may scold. As I scold outwardly, I can also scold inwardly. It is for your good that I am doing it. It is another opportunity for you when you have a dream of me. Those who live near me see me so many times in the physical world. But the dream world is also a world where people can approach me.
If you see me in a dream in the morning, it often means that your heart or soul has made a special effort to commune with me. Or it may happen that you have not made any effort, but that I want to see you, because I feel that your heart needs special treatment. That is why you see me.
Question: Guru, I have a question about a dream my husband had. He is not a disciple, but the dream was about you. He dreamt that you visited him and had a discussion about genetics with him and that you told him that environment was not that important in one's spiritual development.Sri Chinmoy: One's environmental circumstances can increase one's aspiration and spirituality and also they can destroy these things. But, often we give too much importance to our environmental circumstances. Many people on earth have come into the world in an ordinary, unaspiring family, but they have gone very far and very deep in their inner life. Again, there are many people who have come into the world in a high, spiritual family and yet led a most ordinary life.
All spiritual Masters have brothers, sisters, friends, relatives and so forth who live in the same environment as they do. But you don't hear anything about their friends or their relatives. When you hear about the spiritual Master, you also hear about his dearest disciples, who become immortal. The Master's spiritual children become his real children, whereas his own physical children are nowhere. The spiritual people around a Master, who also pray and meditate with him, become his real children.
If, from our forefathers, we get something that is good, we can increase it. But again, even if we don't get any spiritual help from our origins, we can still realise and manifest the Highest if the soul comes to the fore. But those who are meant to be spiritual and divine do not depend either on the members of the family from which they came or on the circumstances of their environment. Their inner power pushes them towards the highest height and manifests their divine qualities.
Question: But was it the Supreme in you that visited my husband?
Sri Chinmoy: My soul visits everyone. Not my physical consciousness, but my soul visits everyone. So my soul visited him.
Question: What should we do if we have a frightening dream that foretells the death of somebody?Sri Chinmoy: When you have a frightening dream, please pay no attention to it. Suppose you dream that something bad is going to happen in your life. If you are frightened, you are already dead. But if you are not frightened, then during the few hours or the few days that lie between your dream and the actual occurrence you can fight against it. And the divine Grace is bound to come and help you at that time. Suppose you have a dream that a friend or relative of yours will pass away, and your dream is absolutely correct. Tomorrow he will surely die; but if you are frightened now, then today he is already dead for you. If you surrender to the dream, you will suffer unnecessarily before the actual hour. Also, your fear will immediately enter into the future victim and create an additional burden for him.
What you should do at that time is try to fight against the possibility of his death through prayer and meditation. Pray to God, "I have seen it. O God, save him, save him." Instead of being frightened, try to offer your prayer to God. Perhaps you think that prayer is something feminine or delicate. No! Your prayer is your greatest strength. God's strength is His Compassion and man's strength is his prayer. Or you can meditate. That will be an even mightier strength. If you fight and God's Grace descends, I assure you that you can delay the actuality of the person's death. Many times it has happened that spiritual seekers have dreamt that their relatives were going to die and immediately they started meditating and praying to God. Then, God's Grace descended. But God does not nullify the possibility. He may just delay the actual event.
Why does God help the aspirant in cases like this? God helps because God is not bound by cosmic law. Cosmic law is created by God and at any time He can break His own law. If He cannot break His own law, then He is not omnipotent. And you can make God break His law through your soulful prayer. God says, "This is to be done." He has recorded it. But when human prayer enters into His Heart, He may cancel His own decree.
When you have hopeful dreams, illumining dreams, encouraging dreams, when you see that something significant is going to take place in a friend's life, what you should do is consciously try to identify your soul with his soul. How will you do this? Through your meditation. He will eventually get joy from the event because it belongs to him. But this joy, by God's Grace, you have received before he actually has. If you are wise, you will go deep within and assimilate the joy that you have received and then try to offer it to him inwardly before he gets it directly from God. Otherwise, if you tell him, "You know, I had a wonderful dream about you," he will be happy for a second, and then he will doubt you. He will say, "Oh, it is all mental hallucination." Despite your best intention, his doubtful mind will throw cold water on your encouraging message. So instead of telling the person verbally, try consciously to offer him the joy of the dream through your meditation. At that time, he will get additional strength. Before he gets the experience of your dream, which will come to him in the form of reality, he will start getting inner peace, inner joy, which he cannot account for, because you have started injecting him, preparing him to receive something very high, very meaningful and fulfilling. And when you have good dreams about yourself, go deep within and prepare yourself to be ready, to be a fit instrument for the reality, to receive the reality as it should be received.
Question: How can we tell what plane of consciousness our dreams come from?Sri Chinmoy: There are seven higher worlds and seven lower worlds. When we have dreams coming from the lower worlds, the subconscious worlds — or you can say, inconscient worlds — we have to feel that these dreams have no value. They cannot change our nature. They cannot inspire us. They cannot give us any hope for our future fulfilment. When we get a dream from the vital plane, we will see that the dream will be constant movement. It will be like a battlefield where everything is breaking and smashing and people are being killed. These dreams cannot help us at all in our spiritual life. The best thing we can do is forget them. If the dream comes from the mental plane, there will be some poise — not full poise, but a little poise, a little calm and quiet there. If it comes from the psychic plane, we will feel affection, sweetness, compassion and concern for the things or persons we are seeing. And if it comes from the soul's plane, it will be all Light, Delight and Peace.
Question: How can we remember our dreams when we awaken?Sri Chinmoy: There are some people who say they do not have any dreams at all, but they are mistaken. They do dream, but when they come out of the dreamland, they totally forget. Some people have the capacity to retain their dream-consciousness while they are fully awake early in the morning. If you feel that you had a dream at night but cannot remember it, then early in the morning try to concentrate on this particular point, at the back of the head, just at the top of the neck. When you have dreams, either they will manifest through your physical mind, or for some time, for a few hours or even for a day or two, they will be registered there. So if you want to recollect any dream, try to concentrate there. If you can concentrate there for ten or fifteen minutes, you will be able to feel that you are knocking at a particular door. And when the door opens, you will be able to remember your dreams completely. Everything will come back to you.
Question: What is the best way to learn the meaning of our dreams? Does it do any good to read books?Sri Chinmoy: If you read books for the interpretation of dreams, each book will give a different answer. Perhaps each book is right in its own way. But you have to get your own interpretation from your dreams. When you have a dream, try to feel your own existence in the dream; try to feel that you are inside the dream itself. Those who meditate daily will not find it difficult to do this, because when we meditate for ten or fifteen minutes in the morning or in the evening, we widen our consciousness.
Right now our consciousness is separated into three parts. At this moment we are in the waking consciousness. But when we sleep we will have another consciousness: sound sleep, deep sleep. Then we have a third consciousness: the dream state. But one who meditates widens his consciousness to embrace all three planes.
Question: Is it bad to pray to God for spiritual dreams?Sri Chinmoy: It is not bad for an ordinary seeker to pray to God for spiritual dreams. Dreams are necessary, as experiences are necessary. But if you do not have dreams, if you do not have experiences, that does not mean that you are not fit for the spiritual life or that you are not fit for God-realisation. There are people who do not have any experiences. They curse themselves and think that God is displeased them. Far from it! God is most pleased with them. Suppose I want to reach a door. There are two ways of going. One way is to go there consciously. My calculating mind says that I have to take four or five steps to get there: one, two, three, four, five. Each step is a experience for me. If my physical mind wants to be convinced at every moment while I am walking towards my goal, then I can say that step one is an experience, step two is an experience, and so on. But again, if I know that my destination is awaiting me, it may not be necessary for me to count each step or to have constant experiences each step of the way. What is necessary, in my case, is only my destination. I just go there and God is ready for me.
If you want to have dreams or experiences, they can serve as preparatory steps. But they are not necessary at all. The human mind always wants to be convinced and wants to get joy at every step when it does something. But if we live in the soul, in the heart, then we need not give that kind of importance to experiences and dreams. They are not necessary because God is preparing us in His own Way. If He does not want to give us convincing experiences, no harm. But if we pray to God for convincing experiences or sweet dreams, there is no harm in our prayer. Eventually a day will come when we shall offer God the highest prayer: "O God, if You want, give me dreams. If You want, give me experiences. If You don't want to give me dreams or experiences, it is all up to You. Only make me worthy of Your Compassion. And if You don't want to make me worthy of Your Compassion, it is also up to You. Only do with me as You will. Let Thy Will be done in and through me. I care for nothing except for Your own fulfilment in and through me." When we have that kind of prayer within us, then God comes to us and says, "Do not be a beggar. Do not cry for dreams; do not cry for experiences. Take Me, the Reality itself."
Question: How can we have spiritual dreams?Sri Chinmoy: If you want to have sweet dreams, inspiring dreams, then you should meditate most soulfully early in the morning — at 3:30 or 4:00 or 5:00 a.m. — and then go to sleep for about half an hour or forty minutes. If your meditation is sound and genuine, if it comes from the very depths of your heart, any dreams you have afterwards will be divine, significant dreams. They will be about angels and gods, or about your dear ones; or you will see some encouraging, inspiring things. If you want to have good dreams before 3:00 a.m., please try to meditate on your navel for about ten minutes at night before you go to bed. The navel is where emotion starts. Emotion itself is not bad; it is a question of how we use it. When we have human emotion, we only bind and bind. But when we have divine emotion we extend, we extend our consciousness. If you concentrate on your navel centre for ten minutes, you can bring the human emotion under control and allow the divine emotion to go up from the heart, upward to the highest.
Editor's noteSri Chinmoy invited the following questions on 2 October, 1973 during a meeting of his New Jersey Centre.
Question: Last year when you were in India, I had a dream in which I heard distant music and I woke up and thought I was either dead or in Heaven.Sri Chinmoy: This was a most powerful experience that you received from the depth of your soul. The music that you heard is from the soul: This music cannot be appreciated by the outer ear; it has to be appreciated through our inner organ. In the ordinary life, when the lower vital or emotional vital does not appreciate or identify with something, immediately we feel that we are dead. When the body and vital do not appreciate the soul's music, they are dead to that kind of music that inspires and elevates our consciousness. So when the physical is separated from the soul — the soul's music, the soul's light — the physical is dead. It is not that you are dead, but when the unaspiring body does not accept the soul as its Source, then we feel that it is like a dead soldier, as good as dead, just as we say that whoever does not practice spiritual life is a dead soul.
Question: In what plane of consciousness are our dreams?Sri Chinmoy: Dreams are on many different planes; it depends on the dream. There are various kinds of dreams. Some dreams take place in the vital plane. These dreams are very often confusing, because there is not much light in the vital, which is the world of enjoyment. In dreams from the vital world there are many sensations and great excitement. When we have dreams in the vital world, very often they soon take form in the physical world because it is the closest to the vital world. We may also have dreams in the world of the mind, the heart or the soul. In the higher worlds the dreams are luminous, but they have no sensations in them. When we have dreams in the higher regions, in the soul's world, they usually take a long time to manifest here in the gross physical.
If you tell me what kind of dreams you have, I will be able to tell you what plane of consciousness these dreams are from. Sometimes you will dream that you are flying like a bird or an airplane at your sweet will. You are dropping from rooftops and touching the earth, then rising up again. You may think that this dream is coming from the highest world, for if you are able to fly and others are not, this must mean that you are on a very high level. But these dreams are taking place only in the vital world. If you have dreams of peace and light, if your whole consciousness is inundated with Peace or Light or Beauty and you do not know where it is coming from — it just exists and you are existing inside it — then you have to know that this dream is taking place in the soul's region and not in the vital. Like this all dreams have their own plane.
Question: What determines what we dream?Sri Chinmoy: Your inner beings, your aspiration and the entire universe inside your spiritual heart determine what you dream. But if your aspiring heart is not big enough for you to identify with the universal Consciousness, then you will feel that things are coming from the outside. Your aspiring heart can be made bigger only through aspiration. There comes a time when the aspiring heart becomes one with another Heart, which is flooded with Light and Delight. That Heart holds even the universal Consciousness. It is this Heart that determines all dreams from the most significant to the most insignificant.
Question: About a year and a half ago I dreamt that I fell down through the earth and became a prisoner somewhere. Then a group of us, myself and other prisoners, had to try to work together to get out of the prison.Sri Chinmoy: That prison is the prison of inconscience, where there is no light, no hope, nothing, absolutely nothing. The prison of inconscience is the land of destruction. You have come out of it just because inside you there is something very sincere, very soulful, very devoted. So the unconditional Blessings of the Supreme have entered into that inconscience and brought you back. You have come out of it because the divine Grace, the unconditional supreme Grace, has saved you. I tell you, even in that prison, if you had been conscious of me, if you had uttered my name, you would have been saved.
Question: If in a dream we feel deep love for someone, how can we best carry detached love into our outer relationship?Sri Chinmoy: If in a dream we feel deep love for someone, we must try to know whether this love is an emotional love. If it is vital emotional love, then immediately we have to offer both our love and the object of our love to the Supreme in us. This kind of dream is like eating cake. First of all, we shall try not to eat the cake at all, because of the weight problem it will create for us. But if we find that we have to eat the cake, then we shall do so secretly. Outwardly we shall be afraid to eat the cake, because the world will see us and laugh at our greed. But the best thing is not to eat the cake at all, not even in secret. If inwardly we consciously do something wrong, then it is very difficult, almost impossible, to detach ourselves from it; therefore, we should always try to be fully alert so that in our dreams we do not do the things which we should not and would not do in our waking hours. How can we be aware in our dreams? We can be fully aware in our dreams by developing more and more conscious will-power in our waking hours.
Question: I dreamt that I was outside my parents' house and I saw an old friend of mine whom I had known before I was a disciple. He brought back a sort of bad state in myself, but I was playing with him. All of a sudden a large, powerful purple eagle came down from the sky and attacked me. I killed it, and I felt the most powerful force that I have ever felt in myself.Sri Chinmoy: You know the significance of an eagle. An eagle flies high, but its consciousness is very low. It is like a seeker who pretends to be flying very high while he is meditating, but his consciousness is in the lower vital or in the gossip world or somewhere else undivine. When you saw your old friend, who was still in the consciousness that you had before you entered into the spiritual life, your old undivine life all of a sudden came forward and attacked your spiritual life. The undivine life has a kind of arrogance and a feeling of superiority. It is not only the divine life that feels it is superior. The life of aspiration feels that it is the real life, but the life of desire, the undivine life, feels that it is the real life. Your previous life was a life of desire; there was no aspiration in it. Although you used to lead a very unaspiring life, inside you there was a feeling of superiority. You felt superior to people who were not doing as you were doing. You felt that they were all fools, that they were not experiencing anything in their lives; you felt that either they were cowards or they did not have enough sense to enter into the adventure of life. That kind of pride you had. Just as the eagle flies high but has a very low consciousness, so also you were going up and becoming proud, haughty and arrogant, but your consciousness was on a very low, low plane.
Then all of a sudden, because you accepted the spiritual life, your soul came to the fore. Since you accepted the spiritual life soulfully and consciously, your soul used its power and destroyed the eagle. The eagle represented the false way of climbing. The soul will let you climb up and soar above, but in a true way, with aspiration, and not the other way, with desire and arrogance and a negative, destructive feeling of superiority. It was your soul's light that destroyed your undivine qualities in this dream.
Question: Right after I got married, I had a dream in which all I saw was your face. It was very powerful and dynamic, and it came right in front of me and seemed to be pulling me.Sri Chinmoy: Very good! This dream meant that it was necessary for you to accept life powerfully and courageously. You had entered into a new life, and there was a subtle fear in you. So it was tremendous energy that I was pouring into you in this dream. This energy was entering into you and, at the same time, like a magnet it was pulling you. Through my concentration I made a conscious entrance into your soul so that you would not have fear. It was necessary for you to be powerful and dynamic so that you could get a bumper crop of Truth, Light and Bliss in your new life.
Question: Guru, I had a dream about Krishna and Arjuna. In the dream I think I was Arjuna. The word 'Arjuna' came out of my stomach.Sri Chinmoy: Very good! Krishna and Arjuna have the very closest connection with each other. They are spiritual brothers. Arjuna signifies the inner instrument, and Krishna himself represents the Highest. So Krishna wants you to be a real divine, detached and surrendered instrument of the Supreme. To be Arjuna means to be the dearest, most effective, most faithful and devoted chosen instrument of God. And the voice that came from within means you identified yourself with Arjuna's consciousness. That is to say, you wanted to be as powerful, as devoted, as surrendered to your own Master as Arjuna was to Krishna.
Question: Guru, before going to bed lately, I've been praying just to have a silent sleep, because I don't like to have bad dreams. Should I keep on doing this, or should I just let dreams come that come?Sri Chinmoy: First meditate on the heart and feel the real presence of light. Then take this light and throw it into the dark abyss of the navel for purification. Then you cannot have any bad dreams because your vital will be illumined.
Question: Guru, I had this dream about Sri Anandamayi Ma. She gave me four pictures. The two middle ones were white. The first one was that of my former Master's own Master, and the one on the far end I could not recognise.Sri Chinmoy: Very good! There are many, many false teachers on earth, but Anandamayi Ma happens to be one of the absolutely sincere spiritual Masters who has really realised God. You hear of hundreds of spiritual Masters, but I wish to tell you people that you will realise God before many of them. But Anandamayi Ma is one of the very, very few who have really realised God and who can speak on God with authority.
I have a very close inner connection with her. Outwardly we have seen each other only once, many years ago, and then we didn't talk. We didn't have the necessity. We just stood near each other, and she looked at me and I looked at her; that's all. But in one second's glance we did many things inwardly, although outwardly we didn't have any time. Then I went home and wrote a beautiful poem about her, using the word Nirmala in the first line. Believe it or not, at that time I didn't even know her given name. Later I read her biography and learnt much about her. On the first page I got her name, Nirmala.
To come back to your dream, the white colour means purity. Nirmala also means purity. Out of the four pictures, she gave you two white ones which represent purity. She gave you the highest purity, transcendental purity, and warned you about the purity of the Master and the other person you did not recognise.
Question: Guru, if we have a dream in which you appear to us and tell us something very clearly, is it the same thing as your telling it to us face to face?Sri Chinmoy: Certainly! If you see me vividly and if it is something very solid and distinct, then if I give you some message it is as good as my giving you the message on the physical plane. But the only thing is that if it is a serious matter, it is better that you clarify it on the physical plane. Otherwise, it may create real problems. It may be wishful thinking. It is true, as I have told you people before, that no hostile force can take my form, but you may create me with your own imagination.
It has happened a few times that a spiritual Master will say something in a dream which the disciple really likes. Then, when the Master on the physical plane says it was all false, the disciple will not believe him. I know of a case where a very sincere seeker wrote to his Master, "Master, you came to me and it was so vivid. You told me that in this incarnation there is no other way for me to get realisation except by committing suicide." The Master said, "Impossible! I have not told you that." But the disciple said, "Here on the physical plane you are jealous of me. If I realise God, I will be equal to you. That is why you are denying this. But on the inner plane you are not jealous; that is why you have told me the truth. So the best thing is for me to commit suicide, and then I will realise God."
It is always advisable to listen to the Master on the physical plane. If you have a dream, wonderful! Tell the Master, and if it is genuine, the Master will immediately say so. If you feel that he has said something on the inner plane, he can easily tell you on the outer plane if it is true. The Master is the same person. He will definitely know whether he has said something to the particular disciple. But if he denies it, then it is not to be accepted.
When a spiritual Master finds it difficult to offer a message to a disciple on the physical plane, it may happen that it is easier for him to offer the same message on the inner plane in a dream. It has happened in hundreds and thousands of cases. When the disciple comes to the Master on the physical plane, the disciple immediately sees the physical in the Master. At that time, he cannot think of the Master as the Highest for him. But in the inner plane, where there is no mental barrier, the disciple sees the real height of the Master, or at least he sees more of his height than he can see on the physical plane. So the disciple has more faith at that time in the Master's words. If the Master says something, the disciple believes it.
Question: I felt that I was climbing a very steep hill. It was green, very luscious, with grass and stuff. It was becoming very steep, and I got afraid. But I kept going up with the assistance of an unidentified person. When I almost reached the top, I was distracted by some nuns offering flowers.Sri Chinmoy: I wish to say that the spiritual path is most arduous, and it is very steep. When you have to go up, it is most difficult. The beings you saw were not actually nuns; they were angels. But in your dream you felt they were nuns because your physical mind was operating. Your physical mind did not want to feel that you saw angels, because it did not want you to get the greatest joy. The mind is like that. It destroys everything. With your heart you went up very high, but your mind wanted to diminish your joy. So the mind made you see them as nuns. If the mind had not interfered, then you would have been so happy to see angels with flowers.
Question: I have wonderful meditations with you and then go home that night and have very vital and impure dreams.Sri Chinmoy: When you have vital dreams, they have to be purified. If you leave your room messy, you cannot expect that if you enter into the room, all of a sudden it will automatically be clean. You have to enter into the room and try to clean up the mess, pick up some things, throw away some things.
Here in meditation you will seek light, and this light has to enter into your vital to purify it. If you enter into a dark room without a light, you won't see anything. Then you will think that everything is all right. But once you turn on the light, you will see that nothing is all right, that there are all destructive forces in the room. This is good, because then you will be in a position to transform these forces. When you get light and bliss from your meditation, when you enter into the vital world, there is every possibility of purifying it. So don't worry about these vital dreams. When you have a wonderful meditation, try to bring the light from your meditation into your vital dreams and purify them. Let your dreams be purified by the power of your meditation.
Question: I was carrying a large box along with someone else, and I was taking it to you. But then you came and said that I was not doing the right thing.Sri Chinmoy: You were unconsciously taking the responsibility of someone else and bringing it to me, and I was telling you that it is the wrong thing to do because that person does not want to give you his responsibility.
You feel that it is your bounden duty to bring me the load, which here means some person who is involved in your life. So you wanted to bring that person to me, and I was saying it is not at all necessary, that the hour has not come for that person to follow our path. For him it is only a bother and nothing else, for he is not ready for the spiritual life, especially for our path. If you go deep within, you will know who the person is.
Question: I had a dream in which I entered a room. I saw that you and all your disciples had wings.Sri Chinmoy: Wings mean that the disciples have soaring aspiration. They are not the wings of an angel or the wings of a bird, but soaring aspiration that flies very, very high, infinitely higher than a bird. It is absolutely true that my disciples are most sincerely trying to develop and increase their power of aspiration. They have intense aspiration. Disciples who aspire definitely have these inner wings, which are called aspiration.
Question: Guru, I had a dream about my older sister. She was wearing a green sari and she was standing on a path that was a kind of twilight.Sri Chinmoy: Green means new life. If your sister is wearing a green sari, new life, new hope has entered into her. Now there are two types of twilight. One is early morning twilight and one is evening twilight. Which one was in your dream?
Question: It was evening. First I saw the green sari and then I noticed the evening twilight.Sri Chinmoy: The green sari means inspiration, dynamic energy, new hope, new identity, new life, and twilight means a sort of light and darkness, let us say half light and half darkness. Although your sister has hope and inspiration and cries for new life, she is not fully ready to accept the spiritual path. She is ready to have fifty per cent darkness and fifty per cent light. But if she were really aspiring, she would want to have one hundred per cent light.
She has or had the opportunity to be dynamic, to be very fresh and full of enthusiasm, and to enter into the sea of light, but she did not care for the opportunity. She did not avail herself of it. She wants to enjoy both the outer world and the inner world together, which is impossible. She wanted to enjoy both the outer world of darkness and the inner world of illumination at the same time. She wanted half light and half darkness in her life, a mixture of both. But a mixture of both you cannot have. Either you have to have light or darkness; you cannot be in between.
Question: I dreamt that I was talking to someone and we were looking over a vast, fertile land. Also I saw the sky which was like a golden dawn, like when the sun is rising over the land and casting a gold light.Sri Chinmoy: The sky signifies vastness. And the vast land that you saw also represents vastness. High above you there is vastness and here where you are standing there is also vastness. When the vastness above and the vastness around you meet together, then only will fulfilment come. The higher vastness means Heaven, and the other vastness is earth, where you are living. When our earth-consciousness is widened, immediately the Heaven-consciousness, which is infinitely wider than the earth-consciousness, meets with the earth-consciousness. When they meet together, immediately you see a gold colour. This is the colour of divine manifestation. When earth is receptive, then the Light of Heaven can enter into it. When earth's heart is wide, immediately Light from Heaven can enter. At that time, Heaven's illumining consciousness and earth's aspiring consciousness become one. And when they have become one, it is a manifestation of the divine Reality.
Question: I had a dream that you told me to make a blue ball for you.Sri Chinmoy: Blue signifies something very vast, something infinite, and a ball means the world or the universal Consciousness. The blue ball here represents the eternal instrument. I was telling you that the Supreme is making you a dependable instrument of His.
Question: I don't remember the dream exactly, but it was like sinking down into something, and when I came out it was like coming out of meditation. I almost wanted to stay there.Sri Chinmoy: It was not actually sinking, You went very deep within. You entered into the region of your soul for real rest and fulfilment.
Question: I dreamt that I invited you and Swami Vivekananda and Sri Ramakrishna to my house.Sri Chinmoy: So, very good! This is a very significant dream. It means that we belong to the same family. We are all genuine spiritual Masters, so we belong to the same family. I am your spiritual father, and they are the members of your spiritual family.
Question: This morning I had a dream in which you asked me to meditate.Sri Chinmoy: This means that I want you to give more importance to your inner life than to your outer life. If you do not pay more attention to the inner life, no matter what you achieve in the outer life, you will not be satisfied. So in order to be satisfied, truly satisfied and fulfilled, I want you to meditate more. What I told you was not just to meditate, but to meditate more than you have been doing.
The day I wanted to sailThe day I wanted to sail
Our boat did not start.
The day I wanted to sail
Our boat sank when the journey
Was three minutes old.
The day I wanted to sail
God immediately jumped into our boat
And on we sailed.
Both love and I
Just slept, sang and danced in the boat.
But God did something more:
He led us all the way
With His Nectar-light.
Is the dream
Of my earth-aspiration.
Is the dream
Of my Heaven-vision.
Is the dream
Of my life-perfection.
My ancient dreamO Lord Supreme,
Teach my mind
How to sleep without a futile dream.
O Lord Supreme,
Teach my heart
How to regain my ancient dream —
The dream that revealed
You and I are one,
The dream that distributed
Our respective tasks:
You the Monarch of Heaven,
And I the monarch of earth.
Big dreams, small dreamsHis small head
Had big dreams.
His big head
Has small dreams.
He is waiting
For his head
To become larger than the largest
So that his small dreams
Can die down
And his reality-friends
Can live with him
Openly and fruitfully.
A born dreamerWhen he is in his body
He is a born sleeper.
When he is in his vital
He is a born fighter.
When he is in his mind
He is a born doubter.
When he is in his heart
He is a born sacrificer.
When he is in his soul
He is a born forgiver.
When he is in his God
He is a born dreamer.
My journeyEarth is not
My journey's start.
Heaven is not
My journey's close.
My journey is
The birthless Lover on earth.
My journey is
The deathless beloved in Heaven.
Man and GodMan's dream is God;
God's fulfilment, man.
Man's solace is God;
God's hope is man.
Man is God crying;
God is man struggling.
Man's strength is his ignorance;
God's strength is His Grace.
My dream will be fulfilledMy dream will be fulfilled
In the great festival
Of my surrender's consecration-fire.
Your Smile, Your Flute,
Your Banner, Your Consciousness-Light,
In my world shall dance,
I know, I know.
The story of dream and fulfilmentDream keeps fulfilling,
Fulfilment keeps dreaming.
This is the birthless story
Of dream and fulfilment.
My Lord, am I correct?
"Son, you are always correct.
But don't forget,
And only then Fulfilment-shore.
Don't reverse My Cosmic Game."
The SupremeFather, You are the Grace.
Father, You are the Law.
Father, You are the Birth
Death of creation.
Father, You are the Child
Editor's preface to the first editionThis book consists of various questions Sri Chinmoy has been asked by disciples and seekers on the subject of dreams, and his answers. All the questions are authentic. The names of the questioners were not recorded.
The questions in this book were asked of Sri Chinmoy at different times in the early 1970s.