The Significance of Dreams - From Desire to Tantra
Question: What is the significance of dreams? Are they a sort of warning or indication of something?
Sadhguru: Most of the dreams people go through in their day-to-day life are because there is an unbridled sense of desiring. Most human beings are not conscious of most of their desires. If they look at something, they desire that unconsciously. If they look at something else, they desire that. This is happening all the time for most human beings. Whatever they see, they desire it a little bit, but not consciously.
These desires build up in a huge way. If they have to be fulfilled in your life, you would need a hundred lifetimes – you have desired so many things! It is impossible for these to be fulfilled during the day, during the course of your life. So, dreams will find expression and you will not remember most of these dreams. Unfulfilled desires getting fulfilled in dreams is what ninety-five percent of human dreams belong to I would say.
The second state of dreaming
The second state of dreaming may have something to do with your subconscious, where sometimes you would not see exactly that situation, but a certain parallel situation which refers to some aspect of your life. Since the subconscious does not function within the realm of logic or the realms of time and space, you could already be seeing what could be tomorrow, but maybe not clearly. Usually, it may be a parallel vision. Let us say for example, you find that you are climbing a mountain and your legs are hurting but still you are not getting anywhere. Tomorrow morning you may go to the office and face an uphill task. Two to three percent of the dreams could be something like this.
Tantra - Crystalising dreams into reality
There are other kinds of dreams with which you can create. The whole aspect of tantra is just about using your imagination in such a systematic way that you go on creating. If you take your little finger and with your mind, draw a line along the outline of the finger without missing a single point, it will take a lot of practice and slowly, if you can do it 100% – for every point, you can actually create what you visualize. You can crystallize it into reality simply because you are using your mind in a certain way. The whole tantric procedure is just that – using your imagination and creating everything, point by point, and after some time you can breathe life into it.
Even today this is true, occult practitioners in India will make a doll out of cooked rice or some dough. They will work it up with all kinds of things and then make it actually walk – like a robot. It takes two, three steps and cracks up and falls apart. This is simply by using the power of the mind. If you train yourself just using the imagination, your dream process can become like that. You may have heard of Ramakrishna Paramahamsa feeding Kali and all these stories? They look like mumbo-jumbo but for him it was a reality. There were any number of people like this for whom it was a reality. Whether Kali comes or not, he makes it happen for himself. His mind is so crystallized on this, he actually creates the form. You can crystallize reality simply by using your mind.
Dream states can also be like this, but do not start wondering about the significance of dreams or imagining that every dream you get is going to happen. It will drive you crazy. Most of the dreams are just unfulfilled desires being fulfilled. If dreams are significant, they will manifest. But if you go on trying to sieve every dream that you get, you will waste your time and life. So don’t pay any attention to dreams, pay attention to life.
Editor’s Note: The significance of dreams and their various kinds is one of many topics that Sadhguru explores in detail in the book "Of Mystics and Mistakes," available for purchase as an ebook and in print.