Sri Nimbarkacharya on Dreams As some dreams are indicative
of future good or bad fortunes, it is impossible for the individual
to dream a good or a bad dream according to his own choice, he,
being in his present state of bondage, ignorant of the future. The
individual soul, in his emancipated state, can certainly exercise
his will for the creation of vision in dreams; but the power, in
the state of his bondage, remains eclipsed by the superior will of
the Universal Soul, who directs his actions according to the merits
and demerits of his past conduct; and the suppression of his power
is due to his being encaged in the body. Jāgrata (wakefulness),
svapna (sleep or dream) and suṣupti (deep sleep) are three states
of being in man. Besides these three, the fourth turiya is
acknowledged by the Upanishads. The mind plays the primary
role in the work carried out by our senses. On account of its
mastery over the motor and sensory organs, it is called
‘antahkaraṇa’, i.e. the internal means or organ in Sanskit.
According to Āyurveda, the mind remains beyond sense and motor
organs, functional in all states and is unsteady or inconstant. The
function of mind never stops except in deep sleep when it is
completely influenced by tamas. But a complete cessation of
wakefulness occurs rarely and the mind remains active due to some
influence of passion (rajas) and purity (sattva) even in the
sleeping state. In the state of a minimally active mind, turned
away from the external world, dreams occur. Success and failure,
accuracy and incorrectness of dreams depend on the state of the
mind. Some scholars opine that desires, suppressed excitement or
thoughts which are not converted into action or words in the day,
appear as dreams at night. But this alone is not true because it
does not explain the presence of non-experienced and unseen
subjects. According to Charaka Samhita, in the absence of deep
sleep, men see different types of fruitful and unfruitful dreams
through the mind. The Vedanta physiology has supported the doctrine
of Āyurveda by ‘jāgradvāsanāmayatvāt svapna. It opines that dreams
are vāsanā (consciousness of past perceptions) or imaginations of
the mind in a sleeping state resembling a stage of wakefulness.
Charaka has categorised seven types of dreams namely, dṛṣṭa, śruta,
anubhūta, prārthita, kalpita, bhāvita and doṣas i.e. seen, heard,
experienced, pictured for inner desires, created by the fancy,
manifested and created by imbalance in the doṣas respectively.
According to Āyurveda, the first five don’t signify any physical or
mental disorders. Also, dreams in the first part of night usually
do not have any great degree of meaning, whereas those in the
latter part, or if the person is woken by the dream and cannot
sleep again, have significance. Dṛṣṭa is a dream of a thing seen
previously in wakefulness. Perception of words, listened to in the
sleeping state, is called a śruta dream. Feelings in sleep, when
experienced by any sense organ, are termed anubhūta, i.e.
experienced dreams. Desiring any listened or experienced thing
which was earnestly desirable in wakefulness is called prārthita or
desired dreams. Sometimes an assumption of things which are within
the range of the senses happens in the mind as imaginations. These
imaginations in sleep create kalpita dreams, i.e. imagined dreams.
Those dreams in which what the person saw in sleep and actually
happens, are called bhāvita or manifested dreams.
According to Jyotisha, Astrological science, dreams and signs are manifested on the palm on the basis of past deeds and are indicators of the good and bad.
Dreams experienced in the vitiated state of vāta, pitta and kapha
are called doṣaja.
According to Āyurveda, if a sick person
perceives fearful dreams, he will die, whereas a healthy person
will be afflicted with a dreadful disease.
In Āyurveda, dreams are
used for three purposes:
1. to indicate the state of the body,
2. to diagnose the state of disease and 3. to assess the prognosis of
Perception of many dreams in which sleep is not profound indicates a doṣaja (śarīrika and mānasika) condition of the body. Similarly cessation of indriya, vāk or ceṣṭā activities in sleep, also point to a certain state.