The Dreams of a
We take up for discussion the detailed report of the five
consecutive dreams Mr.S.R.C, has had in a single night.
Mr.S.R.C, 37, Unmarried, had his education for the medical
profession, but voluntarily gave up a career in Medicine in order to
do full-time sadhana through Raja-yog. First he began on his own
with dhyana sadhana and practised for a year. Subsequently, he has
been formally initiated into Raja Yoga sadhana by a house holder
guru. "In spite of having an otherwise excellent gurudeva",
of late Dr.S.R.C. is being plagued by anxieties and doubts.
In his first Dream:
Dr.S.R.C. asks Saint Ramakrishna
Paramahamsa why he was not progressing in sadhana and what he
should do about it. Sri Ramakrishna says "something about
the 8th house".
Dr.S.R.C. does not understand its import and wonders whether
it has something to do with the 8th house of astrology which
deals with occult matters.
Suddenly another siddha saint of 19th-20th century Varanasi
to whose "order" Dr.S.R.C. belongs appears and
repeats "the 8th house". Dr.S.R.C. requests him to
explain it but "the 8th house" is all that he
Dr.S.R.C. wants to understand the meaning of
the sages reply "the 8th house". He also wants to know
whether this dream could be more than just a fancy of his
unconscious, or "perhaps a true mystical experience".
Dr.S.R.C. discovering the meaning of a dream consists in
inserting the text of the dream into the context of the dreamers
ongoing biography. This is to be done, in the first instance, by
producing free associations from relevant and significant elements
in the dream and linking them up with elements/situations in the
wake-state. I have described this method in detail in the
September 1996 issue if EST. Your dream is also most appropriate
for the application of what is called the dialogue technique.
The dialogue technique consists in carrying on an imaginary
conversation in the wake state with the dream figures. In your
case, you will most probably begin the dialogue with the following
question: Dr.S.R.C.: Swami (Ramakrishna), why did thou appear in
Then you will assume yourself to be Saint Ramakrishna (it means
no blasphemy in this context, you can rest assured on that) and
utter as the reply whatever comes to you spontaneously, without
second thought or hesitation, If the reply is irrevalant,
incomplete or unsatisfactory you must revert and become yourself,
derive the next question from this reply and thus proceed till it
results in what is called an aha experience - a mini-stori- of
discovering something that is at once surprising and obvious. You
will repeat the same exercise - perhaps, with a different series
of questions - with your present guru (Remember, this is only an
imaginary conversation mono-acted by yourself!)
The answer for your second question under this dream is
dependent on the first. Again, as the Mother (of Sri Aurobindo
Ashram) has indicated in an identical context of dream
interpretation, first exhaustively search within yourself for an
answer to a question about the meaning of your dream before you go
outwards or for occult explanations.
This dream of yours indicates that you
have an ambivalent (a mixture of both positive and negative)
attitude towards your present guru. If you compare the measure
of your progress on your own before you come under your guru
with what you have since
achieved in a calm and dispassionate way, it
may help you gain better perspective. Your letter attests that you
do have an open-Dr.S.R.C. asks Saint Ramakrishna Paramahamsa why he
was not progressing in sadhana and what he should do about it. Sri
Ramakrishna says "something about the 8th house".
Dr.S.R.C. does not understand its import and wonders whether it has
something to do with the 8th house of astrology which deals with
occult matters. Suddenly another siddha saint of 19th-20th century
Varanasi to whose "order" Dr.S.R.C. belongs appears and
repeats "the 8th house". Dr.S.R.C. requests him to explain
it but "the 8th house" is all that he repeats. mind which
is willing to observe critically and scrutinize closely
well-established and received, traditional beliefs in the light of
your individual experience and change them when this is warranted.
This is really a valuable quality. Keep it up and it will stand you
in good stead.
If you feel it wont interfere with your sadhana you may keep up a
dream diary and regularly practise dream understanding exercises. I
have indicated in the same column in the June 1997 issue (pp.59-60)
the relationship and difference between dream understanding and
meditation. They could be complementary. I may add here that the
Mother began this practice of recording her dreams and she says she
could begin to see its effects only after fourteen months.
Of course, no hard and fast prescriptions can be made in these
matters - especially in the case of those those who have already
under-taken sadhana, and certainly not from a distance, without
any occasions for face-to-face interaction.
But your second dream in which
two well-built sadhus are
self-administering shocktherapy of high voltage but applied low
voltage to you when you sought the same (shock therapy)
indicates that your psyche is set and ready
for a modulated progress, not for one in a rigid and hurried
time-frame. The answers for the two questions you have raised are to
be discovered by yourself-mostly by the free association technique.
Yes, the threads of your first, second and third dreams are in
tandem. The content of the third dream in which
You encounter your erstwhile Professor of
Surgery in the Calcutta tube railway (I am glad you have
noticed the anomaly of seeing a lot of country on either side
though you are travelling underground: try to eke out its
significance because, often anomalies have latent but powerful
significance), who informs you that you have travelled past your
as you have surmised, must be an echo of your
excelling performance of the occult Kriya together with your gurus
reactions thereto earlier. Your first two questions under this dream
have been partly answered here, I believe.
As to why you should feel apprehensive that you have travelled
farther than you are entitled to is difficult to answer from the
information you have provided: perhaps, you unconsciously evince a
hesitation about transgressing the limits prescribed by your guru
for your progress. Do you get an insight when you link up by free
association - as I would do, for example - guru - authority figure
- Professor of Surgery - Shock Therapy - Intravenous Fluids - a
year - two other sadhus giving your milder voltage
electroconvulsive therapy? Why should this sadhu be ash-smeared?
Who does he look like?
Pursue such chains of free associations from each of the
elements - like "ampere" - meter; they will converge
onto a significant point and knot up or criss-cross into a
networks of words which will capture the meaning of your dream.
Most important: Pursue
exhaustively all that is associated with "8th house" in
the depths of your mind and link it up with these. Dhyana sadha
proceeds by distinct stages. I believe you have definitely got
into the first stage because you feel physically fit and mentally
Other sign are: Less sweating,
panting and palpitation than before when you have to exert
yourself physically. Each stage gets stabilized and you stay put
there for sometime. Then, when once progress to the threshold of
the next stage, there is a total destabilization and one feels
utterly lost and "back to square one" nay, worse than
that. So your doubts and anxieties may also be a part of the
travails of progress. From your report I feel that you have what
it takes to achieve substantial progress in sadhana and that your
observations about yourself and others must be fairly accurate.
As Sri Aurobindo advises a sadhak, one must go by ones own
internal experiences and not trust explanations. I suggest that
you read Sri Aurobindos "Letters on Yoga" in volumes 15
and 16 of his Collected Works - particularly his observations
about dreams. Though the letters of disciples (for which some of
the observations are replies) are not included in these volumes
you may still find them helpful.
I will comment on your other two dreams which relate to your
family (brother) and personal life in the next issue.
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