The next Sûtra is Swapnanidrajnanalambanam va meaning “the knowledge of dream or sleep can also awaken you”.
This is very interesting. You sleep all your life, but you have never met your sleep. It’s like a person who has lived all his life with millions in his hands but never knew how to spend it. Or like a person who is sitting at the dining table with a delicious, elaborate meal, without knowing how to eat it.
It is the same with our life.
Sleep is there but we do not know how to sleep! We dream everyday and we do not know what a dream is.
When you sleep you let go of everything. If you hold on to anything, can you sleep? In sleep, your identity vanishes. You are neither male nor female. There is no difference between a rich man’s sleep and a poor man’s sleep, between an intelligent man’s sleep or a stupid man’s sleep. Sleep is sleep.
In sleep, what do you do? You let go of who you are, of your likes and dislikes. You cannot take anybody with you into your sleep. In your sleep you are devoid of your identity, your cravings, your aversions, your likes and dislikes.
This is exactly what meditation is, when you do not do anything. For God’s sake, in meditation do not do anything. In meditation, do nothing and let go of everything, as you do during sleep. Patanjali says that the knowledge of sleep leads you to samadhi.
Next come dreams. Ignorant people make their dreams a reality and enlightened people see reality as a dream! Utter ignorance is trying to interpret dreams. Enlightenment means realising reality is a dream. Do you see the difference? If you go to an enlightened person and say this is my dream, he will say “Forget about it and wake up”. When you go to a dream interpreter, they say, “Oh! this means that, that means this.” Such ignorance!
There are five types of dreams. One is that which comes up in the form of cravings or your unfulfilled desires. They appear in dreams as fulfillment. Have you experienced this? Your latent desires always show up in your dreams.
The second type of dream is stress release from the past. All you have experienced in life comes up as dreams.
The third type of dream is an intuitive dream — where you think of what might happen in the future.
The fourth type of dream has nothing to do with any of these. It is to do with the place where you are sleeping. For instance, if you are sleeping in a hotel in Italy, in your dream, you may experience Italian sounds and feelings.
The fifth type of dream is a mixture of the four. You never know one from the other. So you cannot really distinguish a dream and say, “this is my intuitive dream”. It could be, it need not be. A wise person would simply brush them aside.
Even this waking reality is a dream. Now you are sitting and reading, tomorrow you will be doing something else somewhere else and next week all this will be a dream. What you would do next week is a dream right now. Your mind dreams more when it is awake.
You have only two states of consciousness. One is deep sleep and the other is the dream state. Day-dreams or night dreams! Building castles in the air. The day-dreaming never ends. Then when you suddleny wake up to reality, that awakening is pragnya or samadhi.
Patanjali has done a marvellous thing by quoting this Sûtra. Knowledge of sleep awakens you. When a person is sleeping, he is not at all aware that he is sleeping. The moment he knew that he was sleeping or this is sleep, he is already awake.
A person who is day-dreaming does not know he is day-dreaming. The moment he knows that he is day-dreaming, he awakes to the reality that very moment, instantly. Are you day-dreaming? Are you sleeping? There can be only two possibilities. There is no third possibility.