Actually, dreams simply support your sleep. Whenever your sleep is about to be disrupted, a dream will come to deceive you and help your sleep to continue. You are thirsty, but if you don’t have a dream that you are drinking water at a riverbank your sleep will have to be interrupted, thirst is such a compulsive thing. But you create a dream that you are at the bank of a river, or taking a bath in a lake and drinking to your satisfaction. You have this dream and your thirst is quenched; it is not correct to say quenched, rather it appears to be quenched, and so the sleep continues. You are hungry, so you dream that you are invited to a feast in the royal palace and therefore your sleep is not broken. You have repressed your sexual urge – now it arises in you in a dream. Dreams provide beautiful women even to beggars…and your sleep continues.
Just as we quench our thirst with imagined water in dreams, the same also happens in our so-called waking state. The Upanishad says that our awake state is also just a dream. In that dream state we are hiding our ignorance by accumulating false knowledge, by learning and memorizing it. Thus our sleep is not disrupted and our worldly affairs can continue in the same way as our sleep continues in the night.
Just as one awakens from sleep and the consciousness enters into another dimension, in the same way, when a person awakens from the sleep called “the world,” sannyas happens and the consciousness enters into another realm. Sannyas means that now one no longer chooses to function in the world like a somnambulist, now one simply wants to live consciously.
If by listening to these discourses on the Upanishad you just become more knowledgeable, then I have committed a mistake by speaking, I have become your enemy. If with these discourses you now set out on the journey of self-revolution, then what I have said has been beneficial and good for you.
What I will say can become a poison, an absolute poison, if you turn it into a subject for your discussion, as food for your intellect and a protection for your sleep. What I will say can also become nectar if you do not make it food for the intellect, if instead it develops into a determination, an energy with the potential to transform your heart. It will all depend on you what you do with this Sarvasar Upanishad. If you return from here just having learned a few more things it will not be good, it would have been better had you not come here at all. If you return from here having gained some more information, some more knowledgeability, then your coming and going have been utterly useless.
No, I have no intention or desire to add more information to your store of knowledge. Rather, I would like you to return a little transformed, a little changed; I would like it that your vision changes, not your memory; that your understanding grows, not your knowledge. I would like you to grow, not your intellect.
How can that which is your real being grow – not your knowledge, but your very being? That is why I said that this Upanishad is dangerous.
To encounter truth, even a little bit, is not a game; it is dangerous, because truth will not allow you to remain as you are. It will change, demolish, destroy and renew you. It will give you a new birth. Certainly there is pain in the birth, but without pain how can there be a new birth? And when there is so much pain for a mother in giving birth to another being, there will be much more pain in giving birth to one’s own self. A mother carries the baby inside her womb for only nine months; we have carried ourselves within our wombs for innumerable lives.