*BrihadAranyaka Upanishad categorically declares that dreams are real and are created by God*

Are Dreams Real?:

Swapna - Dream pages: (many examples of dreams, devotional dreams, various devotees dreams)

Sleep and Dreams - a nice article

Jiva-atma page:
Unscientific (funny but true)
Death and dying:


*BrihadAranyaka Upanishad categorically declares that dreams are real and are created by God*
(i) The question arises how can we conclude that they are created by God? And, why not say that the JeevAtma  (individual soul - the living entity - JIva or Jiva) itself could create the dreams?

The answer is, for one thing- the JeevAtma has no power of creation. For another, if it had the power, it will not create unpleasant dreams for itself. We see tigers, fire, flood etc., in which the dreamer appears as a victim. No body would indulge in creating even in a dream such self-threatening, self-destructive and unpleasant experiences to one's self.

Prof. Narayanachariar explains the meaning of the word "Swapiti" the state of dreaming or deep sleep by etymology means "returns to one's self (i.e.) to God as the Innermost dweller". Thus, the dreams in the dream state and the state of deep sleep are in the realm of ParamAtma (God who is the witness to all events seated with the region of our heart) and not of the JeevAtma"

(ii) The dreams are real so far as the person who dreams is concerned and real so long as the duration of the dream. That the objects in the dream vanish when the person wakes up underlines the temporary-ness of the objects and *not that the experience itself was unreal. The joy, the fear, the thrill, the excitement are all real for the person dreaming who may even be able to remember and relate them subsequently.

(iii) Why should God create dreams at all is the next question. The answer is:- The JeevAtma does some small good deeds and some small bad ones. They are not big enough or significant enough to attract a palpable reward or a palpable punishment. God gives the JeevAtma a little pleasure through pleasant experiences in the dreams so that he is happy for the duration of the dream enjoying pleasant things; Similarly, for the small bad ones that are not significant enough, a mild punishment is imposed by the Lord by making the JeevAtma feel the pain by dreaming unpleasant things and unpleasant experiences for the duration of the dreams.

(iv) Another question raised by Sri Chandrasekaran is that because sometimes dreams follow certain experiences in real life, may be as a consequence and continuation thereof, can it not be inferred that it is the Jeeva through such experiences, actually creates the dream scenes. The answer is that that it is God who uses these impressions as raw materials to spin the dreams for the Jeeva to experience.

(v) Another question by Sri Chandrasekaran is that children do not have dreams. This is not proved by Science or experience. On the other hand, it used to be said that the Lord shows flowers to make them smile happily and takes away the show of flowers when they start crying on missing something. Thus, even babies do experience pleasant and unpleasant moments, may be due to small good or bad deeds done by them in their earlier lives.

The above article was used courtesy of the Srirangasri newsletter.
[SriRangaSri] SriRangaSri Vol.I/024 d/03/03/01