Dreams: should we take them seriously for our spiritual lfe?


Answer to a question

I had in mind to give a long answer with many more sastric quotes but now I’ll give a short answer. At end of this page you’ll find a fixed link. You’ll have access to a file that in time will be updated on the specific topic.

Dreams are a bonafide comunication method. We find many instances in our literature how the Lord or His pure devotees communicate through dreams. We know that both Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati and our Srila Prabhupada received instructions in dreams. In Srimad-Bhagavatam we find Usha dreaming of Aniruddha and falling in love with Him without never having met him. Madhavendra Puri dreamed Gopala so many times.
The instances are very numerous.


However this concerns only perfected souls, not common people. If someone has a dream with Guru, Krishna or the devotees there is no way to ascertain if there is any bonafide spiritual meaning or instruction. A serious devotee will not trust the dreams.
In may life I heard many people saying they dreamt this or that. Many of them are just liers, lying to appear more interesting that they are.
Then there are people who may have some interesting dreams but the interpretation is difficult or impossible, being mixed with some spiritual and material item.

Narada Muni speaks about dreams to King Pracinabarhi (Srimad-Bhagavatam 4.29.67), and the verse and Srila Prabhupada purports are illuminating,
adṛṣṭam aśrutaṁ cātra
kvacin manasi dṛśyate
yathā tathānumantavyaṁ
“Sometimes in a dream we see something never experienced or heard of in this life, but all these incidents have been experienced at different times, in different places and in different conditions.”
Srila Prabhupada purport:
“In the previous verse it was explained that in dreams we see that which was experienced during the day. But why is it that we sometimes in our dreams see what we have never heard of or seen at any time during this life? Here it is stated that even though such events may not be experienced in this life, they were experienced in previous lives. According to time and circumstance, they combine so that in dreams we see something wonderful that we have never experienced. For instance, we may see an ocean on the peak of a mountain, or we may see that the ocean has dried up. These are simply combinations of different experiences in time and space. Sometimes we may see a golden mountain, and this is due to our having experienced gold and mountains separately. In the dream, under illusion, we combine these separate factors. In this way we are able to see golden mountains, or stars during the day. The conclusion is that these are all mental concoctions, although they have actually been experienced in different circumstances. They have simply combined together in a dream. This fact is further explained in the following verse.”

Narada Muni continue explaining this point in the following verses. Please go read them. In the future I’ll include all of them in this file.

We should not take our dreams as authorities. They are Guru, Sastra, Sadhu.
Srila Prabhupada confirms this point:
“ This is not the process. Process is the Sastra, authority. That is… we have to… not that jugglery: I have see in dream. I have to become Guru. No.”
(Srimad-Bhagavatam 5.6.8, nov. 30, 1976, in Vrindavana.)


The forever link


– Manonatha Dasa (ACBSP)
10 fen 2020




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