Dreams: Their Interpretation, Yoga and Discrimination
The second part is the dream yoga as taught by Naropa for the practitioner who has practiced Hinayana and Mahayana, who has grasped the accomplishment of Sunyata and has practiced the first and the second initiations of Vajrayana.
I. Dream Interpretation
Buddha sits with back toward you
Buddha walks in the sky
Practice deep patience
Disregarded Dharma & sold Buddhist books; should offer gems to Guru!
Disregarded Buddha Dharma & agreed with those who do the same; should light lamps for a week and confess before Buddha
Get relics of any part of Buddha's body
Obstacles are reduced
Hear from Buddha but do not see him
Preach with false view; should confess and meditate in Sunyata rightly
Make offering to Buddha
Good! Quickly obtain accomplishment of meditation
Offer flowers and incense to Pagoda
You haven't offered to Buddha, now you become better
Buddha wears dirty robe
Obstacles increase; should practice meditation of non-dualism
Rare Dharmas never heard before
You have done good deeds; be diligent again
Excellent preacher never seen before
No more obstacles
You have helped Buddha to preach; practice it again
Good sign, rid of pride
Buddha turns the Dharma wheel
No return to a lower state
Buddha's Parinirvana in Pagoda
Close to supreme path
Get Buddha's robe
Practice Buddha Wisdom
Get Buddha's bowl
Remembered by Buddhas
One Buddha only
Buddha with many disciples
Practice patience and induce many students
Get Buddha's umbrella
See Buddha's shoes
Practice as a hermit
Offer food to Buddha
Offer flowers to Buddha
Come up the mountain and have doubt
Disease and lack of wisdom
Go to the four directions
Laziness; should live with Guru
Miss the right way
Obstacles; should offer to the triple gems
Rains and clouds
Many demons; should keep deep faith.
Bad Karmas; should keep vinaya
Fight in battle
Didn't subdue the ghost; should practice six Paramita
Limbs in fetters & will be killed
More demons; practice great compassion
Body on knives
More bad friends; practice Bodhicitta
Get a Sutra
Dharma conditions gathered; practice diligently
Hear a Dharma Merit Voice
May obtain Mantra
Hear someone calling the Bhikshu
Lack of wisdom; practice Prajna Paramita
Good ability of rebuttal
Obtain certain wisdom
More sorrow, less obstacles.
Hear Buddha's name which never heard before
Will get Buddha's prophecy
Hear Bodhisattvas names of other world
Remembered by Bodhisattvas
Diligence and practice wisdom
Gathered many gems
More sorrow, do White Karmas
On the summit
No return to the vulgar world
Climb up the Mountain
Less obstacles but more demons
Get to the top of tree
Aware of Demon and practice wisdom
Dragon and elephant
Too much alms-giving, lack of wisdom
Ride on dragon or elephant
Have wisdom, release delusion
Ride on horse
Good samaya, practice wisdom
More demons, practice wisdom
Trees with flowers
Ride on horse, pass a garden
Have much food; should offer to Guru
Live in new village with monks
Have difficulty; should repeat Amitabha
Preach before multitude
Have demons; practice chastity
Make a boat pass through dirty water
Obstacles and demons increase; reduce desires, don't separate all monks
Gather many boats
Practice 6 Paramitas equally
Thunder and lightning
Demons; give up lovely things
Get some knives
Obstacles increase; practice patience
Get some vessels
Obstacles; practice 4 kinds of inducements
Show Dharma path
Obstacles; should live with Guru
Heal other's disease
Demons increase; practice great compassion
On the Dharma path
A bottle full of water
Some demons; practice Sunyata
City which never saw before
Have obstacles; practice patience
Palace of Dragon King
Have pure Karma, will get wisdom
Wear white clothes
Some obstacles finish, some demons remain.
Gurus of the whole tradition
No obstacles and demons; reflect on own sin
Get some fading flowers
Some obstacles; don't accept anything from others.
Beat the drum
Obstacles and demons increase; treat all persons equally
Moon and sun eclipse
White Dharma destroyed; many sorrows; give up all things to others.
Paint body with dirty things
Done bad things to sages; confess day and night!
To be a king
Have done many merits through difficulty; practice charity; keep silas.
To be an officer
Have sorrows; practice Sunyata.
A. Comprehending the Nature of the Dream-State
The first part, Comprehending the Nature of the Dream-State, is comprised of three practices: Comprehending it by the Power of Resolution; Comprehending it by the Power of Breath; and Comprehending it by the Power of Visualization.
1. Comprehending it by the Power of Resolution
With respect to the first practice, Comprehending it by the Power of Resolution, that which has been called "the initial comprehending of the dream" refers to resolving to maintain unbroken continuity of consciousness (throughout both the waking-state and the dream-state). In other words, under all conditions during the day (or waking-state) hold to the concept that all things are of the substance of dreams and that you must realize their true nature. Then at night when about to go to sleep, pray to the guru that you may be enabled to comprehend the dream-state, and firmly resolve that you will comprehend it. By meditating thus, one is certain to comprehend it. It has furthermore been said (in this connection) that all things are the results of causes; they depend wholly upon resolutions (or motives).
In the second practice, Comprehending it by the Power of Breath, the methods are: Sleep on the right side, as a lion posture. With the thumb and ring-finger of the right hand, press the pulsation of the throat arteries, stop the nostrils with the fingers of the left hand, and let the saliva collect in the throat.
3. Comprehending it by the Power of Visualization
B. Transmuting the Dream-Content
In the second part, the Transmuting, as it is called, the process is as follows:
If, for example, the dream is about fire, think "What fear can there be of fire which occurs in a dream!" Holding to this thought, trample upon the fire. In a like manner, tread underfoot whatever be dreamt.
After having gained proficiency in this, then turn the thought to the various Buddha Realms (thinking that they are attainable). Accordingly, when about to sleep, visualize a red dot as being within the throat psychic-center, and firmly believe that thereby you shalt see whichever of these Realms you desire to see, with all its characteristics, most vividly. By concentrating the mind thus, one beholds the Buddha realm which one has wished to behold, the Tushita Heaven, or the Happy Western Realm or that called "Happy to Know", or any other of the Realms. This practice serves as a test of efficiency (in the art of transmuting dreams).
At the outset, in the process of realizing it to be mayan all feeling of fear (or dread); And, if the dream be of fire, transform the fire into water, the antidote of fire. And if the dream be of minute objects, transform them into large objects; or, if the dream be of large objects, transform them into small objects. Thereby one comprehends the nature of dimensions.
And if the dream be of a single thing, transform it into many things; or if the dream be of many things, transform them into a single thing: Thereby one comprehends the nature of plurality and of unity. Continue such practices until thoroughly proficient in them.
D. Meditating Upon the Thatness of the Dream-State
This fourth part is, as has been said, "To meditate upon the real essence of the Thatness"; and thereby, the dream propensities from which arise whatever is seen, in dreams, as appearances of deities, are purified.
By concentrating the mind upon the forms of the deities seen in the dream-state, and by keeping the mind free of thoughts, in the quiescent condition, the forms of the deities are attained to the non-thought condition of the mind; and thereby dawns the Clear Light, of which the essence is of the Voidness.
If one attains mastery of this process, then whether in the sleeping-state or in the waking-state, one realizes both states to be illusory (in so far as their content are concerned); and all phenomena will be known to be born of the Clear Light (which is the noumenal reality sustaining the maya), and phenomena and mind (or noumena) will blend.
III. Discrimination of Dreams & Interpretations
There are a few statements concerning dreams in the Upanishads and I would like to discuss them first. In the Brihad-Aranyak Upanishad it is stated, "In the state of sleep going aloft and below, a god, he makes many forms for himself. Now, as it were, laughing and even beholding fearful sights." Again in the Chandogya Upanishad it is stated, "He who moves about happy in a dream, he is the self. That is Brahma." This seems to say that when Brahma sleeps, his dream is creation, when he awakens, it is his destruction. There is one kalpa, about 1,334,000,000 years between his creation and destruction. When the next Maha kalpa comes to pass, Brahma will sleep and then wake again. It is transmigration. What we want is a wakeful state outside of transmigration; therefore, this is not the doctrine we want to follow. The Buddha is awake and will never sleep again. He is in eternal Enlightenment. He who seeks the doctrine by which he can be rid of transmigration should learn the doctrine of dreams and others from Tantric Buddhism.
The real cause of dreams has been well stated in the book entitled "The Profound Bodily Doctrines in Tantra" by Ran-Chaing-Dorjee, Karmapa III. This book is one of the main cannons of Tibetan Tantra. I quote as follows: "The sixth consciousness together with its habits entices the defiled mind and life energy making dream occur." According to this truth, we know that the nature of dream contains two conditions: the defiled mind and active energy. Neither mind is God nor energy.
Even the layman who dreams never says he is the creator of his dreams and then wakes up to say that he is the destroyer of his dreams. It is only the person who holds to a concept of a higher self of Brahma that falls into sin of lying and the sorrow of pride. The dreams of human beings are caused by ignorance and karma of individuals, and this world which is like a dream is caused by public karma of the world community.
Regarding the interpretation of dreams, Hinduism is less accurate than Buddhism. This is because Brahma himself has only reached the four stages of dhyana, and his wisdom must necessarily be limited. There are many stories which relate discussion between Brahmin sages who have asked for information concerning dreams from Gautama Buddha. The following story is quoted from the "Sahat-Mahat King's Ten Dreams Sutra."
"Once the king of Sahat-Mahat named Prisience dreamed ten wonderful dreams. He asked his guru, a Brahmin to explain them. The sage said, "All your dreams are bad omens, you should kill your Queen, the Prince, the great officials and make offerings to Brahma. Again, you should put your clothes, diamonds, pearls, and all other precious gems and furniture in the fire as an offering to Indra. Then you will be rid of the dangerous conditions". Upon hearing this explanation and advice, the king became very anxious. The queen, Muni, suggested that the king go to Buddha Gautama to get the exact explanation of the ten dreams. He followed her advice and in response to the Buddha's questioning related the following:
About the first dream the king said that there were three bottles. The two bottles were on either side. The Buddha explained, "In the future there will be many rich people who will associate with one another but not with poor folks. There is nothing about yourself in the dream, so please do not grieve. What was the second dream?"
After giving thanks to Buddha. King Prisience said, "I dreamed a horse was eating with both mouths and anus." The Buddha told him that in the future there will be a king with all his officers, whether in high or low positions, who will take food from people gluttonously. There was nothing that had to do with the king.
With deep adoration the king told his third dream, "I dreamed again of a small tree blooming." The Buddha said, "In the future there will be youths who will be white-haired at the age of thirty because of their lustful habits."
In the fifth dream a man was making a long rope and a sheep behind him ate the rope. The Buddha interpreted the dream in this manner. "In the future there will be some business man selling goods in very distant places and his wife with her lover will share all his wealth at home."
The sixth dream was that a fox sat on a golden bed and ate food from a golden box. Buddha said, "In the future there will be lower caste members who will become rich and be well regarded by members of the higher caste. At the same time the opposite will occur with members of the higher caste."
Next, a great cow took milk from a calf. Buddha explained, "In the future there will be women who have no shame and will teach their daughters to go to other's boys. They will act as procurers for the daughters for their own livelihood."
In the eighth dream there were four bulls coming from the four directions. They wanted sexual intercourse but did not succeed in satisfying their desires and disappeared. The Buddha told the king that in the future all the kings and officers will have no belief in God. However, during the period when a drought will appear they will pray to God for rain, and although there will be thunder and lightening, all clouds will disappear and there will be no rain.
In the ninth dream, there was a great pool. The water in the center of the pool was very clean but that along the edge was very muddy. The Buddha said, "In the future the center of the area of Buddhist countries will get disturbances from evil policies. The people will not honor their parents or elders. But those Buddhist countries on the edge will be in peace and they will honor parents and elders."
The last dream told to the Buddha was that there was a great river of red water. The Buddha explained that in the future there will be a great war in which countries will fight with one another. Many people will die, so many that their blood will be as a river of red. In conclusion the Buddha told the king that the ten dreams had nothing to do with him but were about the destiny of the dharma only. The king prostrated himself on the ground and said, "As a small vessel does not hold much butter, by changing to a larger one all the butter may be kept safely." The king no longer believed in his Brahmin guru and changed his beliefs to Buddhism.
Now, in our age these predictions have become existent facts. Why should all the Hindus not follow the king and take refuge in Buddhism. Suppose the king had carried out the advice of his Brahmin guru and killed his queen, prince, and all the great officers, what a great sinner he would have been.
- If during rites done for wish
- One sees a woman in his dream
- Success he there may recognize
- In this appearance of his dream.
But it is not quite as simple as the verse intimates. If the woman is leprous, it is a sign of great sin. If she is a widow, trouble. If the woman kisses the corner of your mouth and you are Chinese, it is a sign of a quarrel because the word quarrel in Chinese is Kou-Chiao. Kou means mouth and chiao means corner. The words represent the phase of a quarrel to fight with the mouth. If the woman embraces a baby, it is also a sign of a quarrel. If you touch her sex organ with your second finger (in Chinese called a finger of food), you may get food. If you go to her, you will get money, but if you only saw her vagina, it is a sign of a quarrel again. I do not wish to waste your good time with any more extensive descriptions of dreams, so let us go on to the next subject.