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The nightmare can become a dream - once you 'realize' it...

Updated on October 8, 2015
We constantly live in a 'dream' world! 'Wake' up and the 'dream' is gone...
We constantly live in a 'dream' world! 'Wake' up and the 'dream' is gone...

The recurring nightmares...

The long day finally came to an end and with all eagerness I looked forward to hitting the sack as soon as possible. The bed seemed to be beckoning me and I felt that we were made for each other. With the softness of the pillow below my head and the warmth of the blanket over me, I snuggled inside and then was lost to the world.

Soon another world opened up to me. I was somewhere in the deep woods walking all alone. The heavy overhanging creepers gave me the creeps and the dense interlocked branches barely allowed a few beams of light to percolate to the ground level. It was by the yellowish colour of the light beams which filtered down that I realized it was day and not night. The only sound I could hear was the soft squishing of the moss and ferns under my own feet as I walked. I knew not where I had come from and had not the slightest idea where I was headed to. Uncertainty and fear haunted me as I was unsure of what I would meet on the road ahead.

Out of the blue, there were loud howls from the treetops above. A fierce group of some primates seemed to have found sudden interest in me and they were charging down towards me. I broke into a run. Dashing wildly along an imaginary path, among the thorny bushes and slippery ferns, I moved with a speed that amazed me. But that is the way anyone would run when in mortal danger.

A roar now echoed from my left. To my horror, I saw that it was a black panther - a mother guarding her cubs.

The black panther was 'wild' in every way and I seemed doomed!
The black panther was 'wild' in every way and I seemed doomed!

Not exactly pleased with the intruder, she decided that I would make a good meal for her family. She joined the chase that was hotting up every moment for me. I was now palpitating - more out of fear than exhaustion. And then the worst happened.

A tiny slip followed by a huge fall. It was sickening to hear the cracking and crunching of my own bones. I rolled over the mossy yet stony forest floor and felt as though my right leg did not exist. As I tried to get up an excruciating pain shot up from my knee and travelled the length of my body. It was a hopeless condition.

Automatically tears coursed down my cheeks and I just lay there waiting for the inevitable end. The apes above and the panther below - what a gruesome exit it would be! I closed my eyes and for the first time in my life, I seemed totally blank.

I woke up gasping in my bed. Beads of perspiration rolled down my fear stricken face. I sat with my mind in the same state of blankness. It was evident that I had suffered a bout of sleep paralysis, and that had been responsible for my 'helplessness'. A few moments later, I was gulping down a glass of water. The last month had been terrible I felt. Every night scary dreams haunted me. Every night, I woke up in the middle of my sleep feeling helpless.

What could I do? Who could help me? Nightmares, bad dreams, sleep paralysis - these are all very common in the world. I decided that the dreams had gone too far this time. I would put an end to them before they ended me.

"What an irony!" I thought, "I create the dream and it tries to destroy me??"

My tryst with mySelf...

I walked up to the mirror and looked at myself. And in an instant, something seemed to happen. It was no longer myself that I was seeing in the mirror, but mySelf. The image there seemed to speak to me:

"You are the one who has created that dream. You can change anything that you want. You need not feel helpless because everything there is just a manifestation of your mind and your will. You are the creator and so create whatever you like. Do not suffer the limitations that you create for others. Nothing can limit you. Whatever your mind can think of, you can do because you are the creator. But remember, you must Know who you are. Otherwise you will again get overwhelmed by your own creation."

You seem lost when you are not able to 'reflect' your own Self!
You seem lost when you are not able to 'reflect' your own Self!

I walked up to my walkman now. I recorded whatever MySelf had spoken to myself. I plugged in the earphones and played the tape. I heard it over and over again till once more, I was lost to this world. I was again in the deep woods walking all alone...........The same dream began to repeat itself.

Fast forward to where I lay on the floor, helplessly awaiting the panther and the apes. This time however, all of a sudden, I found a walkman next to me! I put on the earphones and heard what MySelf spoke to myself. And I Knew.

The redeeming power of discrimination and wisdom...

"It is a dream and I am just creating it."

Then as the panther lunged at my throat, I willed it to be transformed into a sweet kitten. Soon, it sat in my arms mewing! I looked at my right leg and willed. It was as healthy and wholesome as never before! Another will later, the apes brought me food and water and seemed to massage my feet!

Then I realized that I had stopped thinking. I just seemed to know everything. I knew I was in New York and I was walking barefoot on the streets there. Everyone around thought that I was mad and it just did not matter for me. I once again Knew that they appreciate me a lot and at that instant there was a huge gathering waiting to hear me speak. I didn't want to speak for I was lost in the bliss of my new found Identity- my true one in fact. I knew that I would fill everyone with the same bliss and the next minute, all seemed so ecstatic.

I then knew that I was gone and the next moment I was on the slopes of the Himalayas. I knew that the cold would never be able to touch me and sure enough, it didn't. I came to understand that the New York Times carried my picture on the front page with the headlines, "Miracle Man vanishes into thin air!"

I felt that....sorry..... I knew that humanity had been misguided. By now, I had stopped thinking and feeling. I just knew everything, for I was and am the creator right?

As I walked the great Gangetic plains in India, I knew a wave of kindness and with a wave of my hand, I healed all the sick there. I created a world just as I wanted. Years passed this way. It was so simple. Since I was in charge, I traversed through time too. Time travel was not a myth. I knew it and so could do it. Then I knew I was back in New York. People rushed to me from everywhere and then I was facing a mammoth gathering in a super-dome. Everyone addressed me as God! Oh my God! This was crazy. Didn't they realize that this was all a dream. If I was God, then they too were God equally! Right?

It was only out of supreme compassion that I spoke.

I said, "There is only one thing that you need to know. You are all God too. You can do all that I do only if you know this Truth. The difference between me and you is that I know the Truth while you do not!" Well, the people adored me but they were not ready to understand what I said. They felt that I was muttering the impossible. Bound in their own narrow realms, they refused to see the Truth.

I told them,

"You do not have to achieve anything. Just KNOW. That's all."

This simple statement for them seemed the most complicated and inconvenient Truth. But I just knew that wherever I go, I would just speak the same thing - that alone was the Truth, everything else an illusion.


The dream ended for, soon, I woke up in the morning. I woke up gently this time. I felt in supreme control of myself. The time was 5:30 am. I washed and dressed and flicked on the digital radio set and tuned into RadioSai, the carrier of divine love in the digital dimension. Swami's (Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba's) sweet voice floated into my room. The Youth Conference of 2007, Valedictory discourse was on.

"You are all God. Everything you see is God. You spend hours in meditation and spiritual activity. 11 seconds are enough. Keep yourself steady and KNOW, "I am I". That's all there is to be done......Know yourself and it takes only 11 seconds to do that.............You are unnecessarily taxing your body by sitting for hours together in meditation......"

My ears were deaf to any more words. I was lost in a trance like state. Deja vu? A sudden flash of realization? I don't know what exactly I felt. I fell on my knees and hoped that once again myself would listen to MySelf.

Today, I do not abhor 'bad dreams'. I feel that these dreams have been put into our lives with a purpose. The nightmares are meant to prod me into realizing the dream that we call life! In trying to reason out that there is no need to fear a dream, unconsciously and subconsciously, I am strengthening myself to 'face the difficulties' of life.

I may feel that the 'dream' is a simulator to help me painlessly learn to face 'life'. However, as Swami puts it,

"Life is a dream; Realize it."

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    • THEmikeLO profile image


      6 years ago

      Very interesting hub, I truly enjoyed the read and your writing style just kept pulling me in! keep it up

    • profile image

      P S 

      6 years ago

      Dear Aravind Bro,

      It is always Swami who grant us the insights and make it share with others.

      Actually, you deserves the realistic thanks for sharing with us the divine nectar you received directly from our BELOVED GOD.

      May all of us grow more & more in his love & devotion.

      Sai Ram. :-)

    • profile image

      Yogesh Kamath 

      6 years ago

      Thanks for your posts.Every one of them helps me focus on God.And when God is achieved, the rest of the world falls in place. The blend of your experiences with your writing style is very rich.

    • profile image

      Rajesh M 

      6 years ago

      I had opened and kept this page in my browser and in other tabs I had many pages opened from my google search - How to deal with sleepiness during meditation. After all that reading and coming here and seeing Swami's words of 11 seconds means a lot to me. It gives me great strength and gratitude to know that there is guidance from The Lord when I look for it.

    • profile image

      Ana MarĂ­a 

      6 years ago

      Om Sai Ram. As you requested I am posting a similar experience I had. Thank you for sharing that awesome discovery.

      So, this was the situation:

      like three months ago I had a nightmare. I have never had nightmares since I knew Swami. So I was really scared about this one, particularly because it seemed very real.

      I woke up at 4 in the morning and did my prayers. I started listening to Shivoham mantra and bhajans and the music player kept playing vedas. But I fell asleep. As I had not had any marked experience, my dream was simple: I was in bed, I was able to remember my morning as it had happened and I could feel the dream was part of my wake state. Suddenly, a voice was in my right ear saying: hello. It was a dark, uggly voice. And when that voice reached my ear, I experienced sleep paralysis... I don't remember how many times more the same situation was being repeated (in the same dream). In the dream I got up from bed to tell the experience to my brother and mother... but they were sleeping so I had to go to bed again and the voice was going to disturb me again and again.

      The dream finished untill the moment I said: wait, I must be sleeping. I was hearing the sound of Vedas and it frightened me more hahaha. So, I said: that's it, vedas are there, I am sleeping. So I tried strongly to fight against the paralysis... till I woke up.

      Many days passed and I was very scared of going to bed...

      So finally, what happened was the following: in a morning I was in my bed, reading Shirdi Sai book; I offered to His lotus feet my inner fear. And I closed my eyes. As a vision, I saw Swami in a red chair... in the centre of a squared construction. While I watched Swami, walls fell down as if he were destroying my fears. All of a sudden, a little and nice kid appeared and said: hello!... and that was it.

      I opened my eyes... realizing that the scary voice was indeed a child's voice...

      Swami kindly destroyed the ilusion as I think it happened when the panther became into a kitten. I learnt: everything is Prema. There is no bad at all in the universe: all this is a result of the mind.

      Thank you again for sharing this experience and for letting me go through it for remembering this incident.

      Om Sai Ram

    • aravindb1982 profile imageAUTHOR

      Aravind Balasubramanya 

      6 years ago from Puttaparthi, India

      @ P S - Though it is a delayed reply, I felt I must thank you for the painstaking research and insights that you have added here. It definitely enriches the content and offers the reader with so much more understanding about the subject.

      @ Sukhbir Cheema - I agree; The concept of "goal" and "means" vanishes once there is Self-Realization. There is no second in that state.... :)

      I must confess though, that I speak only from intellectual knowledge... :)

    • profile image

      Sukhbir Cheema 

      7 years ago

      What a good write up! I think Self realisation was never really a "goal". Rather, it's just knowing and being. Then once you know and be, you will understand and be "realised" :)

    • profile image

      p s (from shimla) 

      7 years ago

      regarding unexpected dreams,

      Swami has explained in "PREMA VAHINI":

      "If the day is spent in good deeds, then the evening blesses us with deep sleep, invigorating refreshing sleep, the sleep about which it is said that it is akin to Samaadhi."

      In his discourse on 1 May 2008 at Brindavan ( ), Swami has said the following:

      "Dreams are only the reaction, reflection, and resound of the waking state. Whatever you do in daytime, it comes into your dreams at night. Dreams are like passing clouds. Do not run after them. Hold on to God, who is true, eternal and changeless. When you hold on to God, you can accomplish anything. Then you will have no fear and no worries."

      Although dreams are only the reaction, reflection, and resound of the waking state, but there is one more profound truth that Swami has also explained to us in his Chinna Kathas. According to Swami, regulated Aahaara and vihaara (food and recreation) is must for proper spiritual growth. Following is the link to one such Chinna katha as narrated by Swami:

      From the above chinna-katha, we came to know that the disciple who was so earnest and sincere, too suffers unexpected dreams because of food consumed by him.

      Swami has also explained that:

      "What is consumed by the mouth is not the only food that enters the body. The other sense organs, like the eyes, the ears, the nose and the hands also consume objects from the external world." (source: SUMMER SHOWERS 1990 INDIAN CULTURE AND SPIRITUALITY.)

      Hope, this provides some simplified clarification. SAI RAM.


      Dear Aravind, discourse of Swami on 1 May 2008 referenced above was found in but I could not found it in ..¿¿ Why is there such discrepancy... ¿¿¿

    • profile image

      Parmila Singh 

      7 years ago

      Add Your Comment..Such a rewarding piece to always be truthful. Truth is god.Our part is to follow and practice truth as truth is god

      Always be happy

      I couldnot believe myself that I sang this song in bhajan practice tonight and thanks to swami ,Arvind I got the meaning of the song from this article thanks so much

    • aravindb1982 profile imageAUTHOR

      Aravind Balasubramanya 

      7 years ago from Puttaparthi, India

      @ Ravi KS - Have had many such dreams... I am not much of an interpreter though. Only convinced this much that nothing which happens in the dream is 'bad'. So, am not scared of dreams. I believe in all the possibilities that you listed out. I feel another thing also -

      Like the episode of King Janaka - which left him wondering as to what was true - 'real' life or 'dream' life, we too are left wondering. As far as the mind is concerned, both worlds seem equally 'real'. And so i feel, experiencing things in the dream is as 'real' as experiencing in the 'real' world. Thus, it is a good way devised by the dear Lord to work out our karmas.

      For, though in reality both the worlds are a dream, we somehow feel that the 'real world' when we are awake is more real than the dream world. So karmas worked out but we feel that we do not suffer as 'it was only a bad dream'

      Getting me? Or have I confused you?

      @LifeisFair - :) I agree.... in that sense, Life is fair! :)

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I know what you mean! i have had a series of such dreams! scary..most of the time it was 5AM when i used to force myself out of it. And soon after waking it was as if somebody whispering a great lesson..words of wisdom related to the dream! Having such scary dreams followed with some lessons were very confusing! bt the revealations were such an eye opener that i could only look up to God and say Thanks!

    • raviks profile image


      7 years ago from Hyderabad, India

      Thanks for resharing this, brother. It came to me at an appropriate time.

      Interestingly, today I woke up with a very bad dream, one that made me feel guilty. I wouldn't normally do in the "awake" state, what I had done in the dream. And I was wondering why it must have happened. Is it another way for the mind to get the bad out of you, without you actually doing it....and make you realize how terrible you would feel if you ever did that? Or is it a lesson that in the subconscious mind there is something that I need to deal with in the conscious state and get rid of it?

      I need medical help :-)

    • aravindb1982 profile imageAUTHOR

      Aravind Balasubramanya 

      7 years ago from Puttaparthi, India

      @ Mark Aspa - Thank you. I just record honestly what goes on within... It is He who is the revealer - am just a scribe...

      very happy that there was light for you!

    • profile image

      Mark Aspa 

      7 years ago from Berlin, Germany

      that was incredible! such a powerful and meaningful piece! i gotta say again, you have a talent for writing and conveying spiritual truths.

      thanks for bringing light on so many occasions.

      let's make the bad dreams good... and then wake up to dream no more.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Seems like I too should take down the lines,record it and listen to it quite often. Thank you anna. For a few minutes felt like I was reading one of Paulo Coelho's books :)

    • baygirl33 profile image


      8 years ago from Hamilton On.

      Good hub. Haven't figured it out yet but interesting read.

    • profile image


      8 years ago


    • poornimasrinath profile image


      8 years ago from Midrand, Johannesburg, RSA

      I remember the story in which seed from the fruit of banyan tree was asked by a guru to his disciple to be crushed to see the inside which led to nothing...the nothing has something in it..feel glad that you were able to live the moment Swami wanted all of us to realize ....nice read :)

    • aravindb1982 profile imageAUTHOR

      Aravind Balasubramanya 

      8 years ago from Puttaparthi, India

      @ Spirit Whisperer - Beautifully put! :)

      Thank you

    • Spirit Whisperer profile image

      Xavier Nathan 

      8 years ago from Isle of Man

      Another very well written hub with a very important message. The problem, however arises with "KNOWING". We cannot "know" anything because we are designed to perceive. The best that we can do is to "perceive correctly" and that is the basis for the undoing of the ego. Rather than criticise and judge our perceptions we need to forgive them and in so doing we do not give them energy. The ego needs our judgement and criticism of each other, ourselves and our dreams. When we learn to forgive the illusion we are the perceiving correctly and preparing the way back to God. Thank you.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      This, is deja vu for me this morning. I'm recording the words you've written down Anna in keeping it safe with me - that's the very same words my Self told me this morning.

      See you soon :)


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