Chapter 50 — Description of the Seven Kinds of Living Beings; We Are Dream-Objects

Vasishta added:—

The bodies of living beings seen to fill the ten sides of this world consist of the different classes of men, naaga serpents, sura deities, gandharva spirits, mountaineers and others. Of these, some are waking sleepers, and others are waking in their imaginations only and therefore are called imaginative wakers. Some are only wakeful, while there are others who have been waking all along. Many are found to be strictly wakeful, and many also are waking sleepers both by day and night. There are some animals that are slightly wakeful, and these constitute the seven classes of living beings.

Rama said, “Sage, tell me for my satisfaction. What is the difference among the seven species of living beings? They appear to me to be as different as the waters of the seven seas.”

Vasishta replied:—

There have been some men in some former age and parts of the world who are known to have been long sleepers with their living bodies. The dream that they see is the dream of the existence of this universe. Those who dream this dream are living men and called as waking sleepers or day dreamers.

[“O Rama, in a certain previous world cycle, in a certain corner of creation, some beings remained in a state of deed sleep, though alive. The dreams that they dream are what appears as this universe. They are in what is known as the dream-wakeful state. We are all their dream-objects. On account of the fact that theirs is a very long dream, it appears to be a real and wakeful state to us. And the dreamers continue to be jivas in all this. Because of the omnipresence of omniscient consciousness, everything exists everywhere. Therefore, we exist as the dream-objects of the dreams of those original dreamers.” Venkatesananda, Vasishta’s Yoga.]

Sometimes a sleeping man sees a dream rising of itself before him by reason of some prior action or desire of the same kind arising in the mind. Such is the uncalled for appearance of anything or property to us. Therefore that they are called dreaming men. They who awaken after their prolonged sleep and dream are called awakened from their sleep and dream and are said to have gotten rid of them. I say we are also sleepers and dreamers among those sleeping men because we do not perceive the Omniscient One who by his omnipresence is present everywhere as the all in all.

10 Rama asked, “Tell me where those awakened and enlightened men are situated now that those kalpa ages in which they lived are gone along with their false imagination?”

11 Vasishta replied:—

Those who have gotten rid of their false dreams in this world and are awakened from their sleep, pass to some other bodies which they meet with, agreeably to the fancies which they form in their imaginations. 12 Thus they meet with other forms in other ages of the world according to their own peculiar fancies. There is no end to the connections and ideas of fancy in the empty air of the mind.

13 Those who are said to be awakened from their sleep are those who have gotten out of this imaginary world, just as inborn insects come out of an old and rotten fig tree.

14 Hear now about those who are said to be waking in their fancies and desires. They are born in some former age in some part of the world, completely restless and sleepless in their minds owing to some fanciful desire springing in them and to which they were wholly devoted. 15 They also are those who are lost in meditation and subject to the rule of their greedy minds. They have lost all their former virtues and become strongly bound to their desires.

16 They whose desires have been partly awake from before and have gradually absorbed all the other better endeavors of their possessors are also said to be wakeful to their desires. 17 They who after their former desires cease, indulge in some fresh wishes again, are not only greedy people themselves, but think that we also are of the same sort.

18 I have already told you about the vigils of their desires. Now know them to be dormant over their desires who bear their lives as they are life beings, dead to their wishes like ourselves. But hear further of those who are ever awake. 19 The first patriarchs produced from the self-evolving Brahma are said to have been ever wakeful because they were immersed in profound sleep before their production. 20 But being subjected to repeated births, these ever wakeful beings became subject to alternate sleep and waking owing to their being subject to repeated work and repose. 21 These again became degraded to the state of trees on account of their distasteful deeds, and these are said to be in a mindless state because of their lack of consciousness even in the waking state.

22 Those who are enlightened by the light of the scriptures and the company of wise men look upon the world as a dream in their waking state, and therefore are called waking dreamers by day. 23 Those enlightened men who have found their rest in the divine state and are neither wholly awake nor asleep are said to have arrived at the fourth stage of their yoga.

24 Thus have I related to you the difference among the seven kinds of beings, such as that among the waters of the seven seas. Now be of that kind which you think to be the best. 25 After all, O Rama, give up your error of reckoning the worlds as real entities of themselves. As you have come to your firm belief in one absolute unity, get rid of the duality of emptiness and solidity and be one with that Primordial Consciousness which is free from unity and duality.