Adventures in Advaita Vedanta, the philosophy and science of spirit. We are one you and I; are you curious why?..


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Drop The Dream

Hari OM

'Text-days' are for delving into the words and theory of Advaita Vedanta.

We are now studying Aatmabodha. As always, with each week, you are encouraged to review the previous teachings and spend some time in contemplation of the meanings as the affect your life. Please do consider purchasing the text. Remember, also, to recite the mangala charana before each study and review the lessons before each new one.

Having made clear to the student that one must purify oneself wholly in order to reside in the Self, the Guru now transitions towards explaining how it is that our 'waters' are muddied at all. We now see the introduction of the concept of the triaavasthaa - the three states of consciousness.

संसारः स्वप्नातुल्यो हि रागद्वेषादिसंकुलः
स्वकाले सात्यवद्भाति प्रबोधे सत्यसद्भवेत ||6||
samsaaraH svapnatulyo hi raagadveshaadisamkulaH
svakaale saatyavadbhaati prabodhe satyasadbhavet ||6||
The world which is full of attachments, aversions and so on is like a dream. It appears to be real, as long as the dream continues, but becomes unreal when one wakes up - when True Wisdom dawns.

One of the great analogies of Vedanta is now given. It is not so difficult to follow, for everyone can relate to the experience of the dream state and how real it feels. Only when we waken do we realise it was a dream at all.

It might be thought that the shloka speaks for itself and there is no need to ponder in depth upon it. This would be naive, even a little arrogant, and certainly a mistake.

Each and every verse handed down by such great Masters is a mine of learning for the eager student. Yes, there is the clear-cut example, we dream, we awaken, we know the dream for what it was. However, now we must fully deal with this understanding in relation to what we call our waking state and gradually accept that we are yet within a dream. A shared dream, with billions of others. Vivid and seemingly endless. What could be the waking which negates this dream for us?

Unfulfilled desires, passions and emotions which infect our days are the things which often manifest in our dreams. That is why the one who has a balanced and controlled mind, who is not tossed about by life and its pettiness, its likes and dislikes (raaga-dvesha), sleeps a sound sleep without the vivid and tumultuous dreams of others.

In dreams we can experience all sorts of wild and wonderful wanderings; things that when we awaken amaze and entertain - or frighten - us. In life such things happen also yet we are not prepared to accept that it too is a prolonged dream and we can escape such things.

The reason for this, we are told, is the avidya, the core ignorance created by our egos attaching to the things of the world. The dream is quite real to us so long as we are not awake. When we go deep into the layers of matter with which we are attached, we gradually see them drop away and begin to experience the all-pervading Consciousness. That is when we start to see the ephemeral, numinous quality of that which we call 'hard matter', the objects of and indeed the world itself. We start to glimpse the unity of everything and that plurality is but a deception. Thus this shloka is put in as an alarm bell to begin the awakening!

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Hari OM
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