One Sufi story about Mulla Nasruddin is that one night he dreams that an angel is giving him some money, “Because you are so virtuous, so wise, God has sent some reward for you.” He gives him ten rupees.
But as the mind is, Mulla says, “This is not a reward – don’t insult me.”
And slowly slowly he brings the angel up to ninety-nine rupees. But Mulla is stubborn; he says, “I will take a hundred or I will not take anything. What a miserly approach it is – and from God! You represent God and you cannot make it a hundred?”
He shouted so loudly, “Either a hundred or nothing!” that it woke him up. He looked all around – there was nobody, just he was sleeping in his bed. He said, “My God, I lost ninety-nine rupees unnecessarily, just being stubborn for one rupee more.” He closed his eyes, tried hard, “Please come back, wherever you are. Ninety-nine is okay; even ninety-eight will do…ninety-seven is also all right – anything will do. You just come back! Where are you?”
He came back to ten rupees, “I will take only ten rupees…anything from God is great. I was foolish to call God a miser; in fact, I was greedy. Forgive me, and give me just ten rupees.” But the angel was not there.
You cannot catch hold of the same dream again; once you are awakened there is no way to catch hold of the same dream.
A dream takes you away from yourself; that’s its basic quality. Perhaps that’s why it cleanses you and helps you to have a certain relaxation: you forget your worries. For a few moments at least you can be in paradise, you can be in a situation you always wanted to be in.
The fourth stage also has something similar, but just similar. It also takes you away from yourself – but forever. You cannot come back to yourself. In the dream you cannot come back to the same dream; in the fourth stage you cannot come back to the same self. It takes you really so far away that you can be the whole universe. That’s what the Eastern mystics have said: Aham brahmasmi – I have become the whole.
But you have to lose the self. You cannot come back to it.
This fourth stage has been given different names. This is the most mathematical name, the fourth. It was given by Patanjali, who was a very scientific and mathematical mystic. His treatise has remained for thousands of years the only source of yoga. Nothing has been added, because nothing is needed. It is very rare that one person creates a complete system, so complete and so perfect that it is impossible to change anything in it.