Chapter 4: From Dreams toward Truth
I have just been to the Girnar mountains, where the temples glisten in the morning sun. Seeing these temples, it occurred to me: The soul too has such high peaks where temples shine even brighter; for the Lord’s light is more keen and intense than the sun’s light. But we are such, we lose ourselves in the temples outside and get no hint of the temples within. We might spend a whole life climbing mountains, unaware of the heights of our own consciousness. As there are tracks that lead to the Girnar peaks, so there are paths leading to the peaks of consciousness.
There is a difference however, in these two paths. In the realm of consciousness no footprints are left behind. Just as the birds that fly in the air leave no trail behind - each bird flying its own path, so also in the path of truth there are no cut and hewn roads. Each one must carve his own path, which takes shape as he walks along. There is no definite direction that one can follow. If the paths were ready-made, all we had to do was to follow one of them and reach the top. But there are no paths. As man walks, his footsteps get erased behind him and are lost forever. Though each one has to make his own path, a few hints can be given in connection with them. In this last discourse, we shall talk about these pointers.
We have already discussed the first two rules. Today, we shall talk on the third rule. This third rule is somewhat symbolic. The first fact to be understood about this rule is that life, as we normally take it to be, is not real; and as long as we consider it to be real, our eyes will never turn in the direction of truth.
Those who wish to set out in quest of truth, have perforce to know that this life is no more than a dream - this is the first tip. This long journey from birth to death - is it a reality or a dream? We shall have to ponder on this. Normally we take it as real but that is because we have never thought much on it. When we dream at night, the dream appears real. It never occurs to us while dreaming, that what we are experiencing is not true. Dreams look very real, while dreaming. How many times do we dream? All through life we dream, but never has the unreality of the dream been experienced or known during the dream, its falsity never comes to our mind. Those who have awakened to greater truths, claim that the world we see with open eyes is also no more than a dream.
A king’s one and only son lay on his deathbed. The doctors had given up hope - death was lurking close, perhaps it would come that very night. The king and the queen kept vigil by his bedside. When it was almost dawn, the king fell asleep on his chair. In his sleep was forgotten the ailing son, the large kingdom, the magnificent palace.
And he dreamed: he dreamed that he was the master of the whole world. He had twelve sons - healthy, handsome, strapping youths. His palaces were made of gold with steps inlaid with precious stones. He could not be happier. And then - all of a sudden, the twelve sons died. His queen began to wail and he was shaken out of sleep. Everything was lost - the mighty kingdom, the golden palaces, the robust sons - all vanished.