Chapter 165 — Play on the Similarity between Waking and Dreaming; Real or Unreal, Why Be Deluded?

Vasishta continued:—

In the state of waking dream, dream is called waking. In the state in which we dream of being awake, this waking goes by the name of sleep. The dream ends upon waking, the waking man rises from his dreaming, then falls back into his awake-dream. One awakened from his dream of being awake afterwards falls into his waking dreams. The dream of the awake dreamer should also be called a dream, the waking dream of this world. Similarly, we can call the dream of being awake a man’s waking state. Therefore the wakefulness of one who remains in his dreaming state can be called his waking state and not any dream. So also the dream when awake and the daydreams imagining airy castles are to be called dreaming and never being awake.

Whatever lasts for a short while, a temporary delusion or a flight of imagination, is called a dream even if experienced while awake. Similarly, being awake seems brief to the dreamer.

Therefore there is no difference whatsoever between the two states of waking and dreaming, other than the absence of one in the other. Both are unreal because they blend into one another. The waking dream of the world vanishes when we become unconsciousness of the world at death. Similarly, the consciousness of dreaming is lost when we wake and know it was an airy nothing. A dying person who does not perceive the vanity of the imaginary world on his death-bed has no hope of being awake in the next world. Whoever believes he is alive among the varying scenes of this empty world lives content with them. He can never see the visions that await him.

10 As the intellect displays its wonders in the exhibitions of the various scenes of worlds to the sight of one in his dream, so does this universe appear before the minds of men at the time of their waking. 11 These creations, so conspicuous to sight, in their transcendental light are at best only nothing. All the forms of things are like empty shadows appearing in our dreams. 12 The world with all its varieties of visible objects appears in a dream in its empty and shadowy form. It is equally empty, only an intellectual form, in our waking state.

13 It is the nature of the empty Consciousness to show the form of the world in its own space. So this earth appears to us in the spacious atmosphere like balls of light in the skies. 14 The wonderful display of Consciousness shines before us under the name of universe. These wonders are as inborn and innumerable in itself as watery and earthly particles are innate and diffused throughout nature.

15 What can you mistake as a reality in this unreal world that is an empty body in the infinite womb of emptiness? 16 The words recipient, receipt, reception, subject, object, and attribute are all meaningless with regard to this empty world. Whether it is a reality or unreality, we have no perception of it. 17 Whether the world is real or unreal or anything else, why should you mistake it for anything at all regardless of how you view it? It will amount to mistaking an empty ball for a fruit.