We all dream. Sometimes the dreams are happy and they thrill us, sooth us or simply leave us with a sense of mysterious inexplicable joy.
My dream that I had sometime ago was nightmarish and so full of life that I still feel the goose bumps when I am reminded of it. Nay the fact is that it has taken me into its octopus grip. I am living that dream ever since. And what was that dream?
I am travelling. It is a beautiful day. Suddenly I feel that my body has left me. It is lying by my side. Then who am I without the body. I start shouting for help- hey listen I am so and so –help! I work at this place help. No help comes. It was a dark road. I furtively search my purse to take out the money to go back home and I am not able to do that. My limbs are numb. My credit card had been my savior in the worst situations. But where to use it? I am sweating. My ID, my money, my position till now had been my strength. This time it was all floating like dead pale leaves above the water , away from me leaving me stunned and petrified. A feeling of utter helplessness – the first of its kind ,never before felt was engulfing me. It was a kind of misery I have seen the fish shows, when taken out of water or a pinned insect that wriggles with pain . The consciousness dawns on me. I am dead –now sans body, sans position, sans money that glorified me on the earth. That hopeless brief moment of mute despair awakened me into a different kind of consciousness – seeing everything, knowing everything, understanding everything but not able to do anything. That made me realize why the birth of human life is considered so precious. A smiling white bearded angel takes me towards an ethereal garden shimmering as if covered in a crystal dome. And I woke up from my heavenly dream
Death-in- Life was now a beacon of Life-in-Death for me.
I have read that at the burning ghat of Manikarnika in Kashi, Lord Shiva whispers a Tarak Mantra in the ears of a dead person and the dead person gets salvation. This dream has now become my Tarak Mantra. I am living a life like a sojourner, a comfortable life like a person who has checked in a luxury hotel without a messy golden net of worries, paradoxically though ,we are usually happy to be entangled in. I am living like a traveller who knows deep inside that I am here for a destined period and have to check out when I have worked out my karmas. Life now is a bridge beyond which is a seven colored rainbow and an infinite blue sky studded with sun and moon and countless stars. The meaning of my guru‘s advice Paramhansa Yogananda – not to take this life very seriously because it is a big joke -is now clear. But this perception holds logic only when we accept that we have to take our exit. Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev who knows this a certainity says, that creation is just a jugglery of five elements.” Once you know something is a big joke, you refuse to play.” The yogis and saints wear such a cheerful yet enigmatic smile because they don’t play anymore.
In Hindu thought Arth, Dharma, Kaam and Mokch are the four pallars of life. Mokch is attained if the glories of earth are enjoyed much in the same way the imagery of an age –old spiritual metaphor of lotus in a murky pond exemplifies. And this truth is realized and expressed in different ways by the saints and sages of all religions. The great king Akbar inaccurately but lovingly inscribed the saying of Christ on the Victory Arch of Fatehpur Sikri –“Jesus, the son of Mary said: The world is a bridge; pass over it, but build no house upon it .” The first shloka of Isha Upanishad opens with the same idea — whatever we see in this material world is covered with the prosperity of God: enjoy it without getting lost into it because this prosperity is nobody’s.” My dream has taught me the quintessence of life – to be in the world but not of the world. This stoic gusto gives ultimate joy while we float in this beautiful world without fetters.