There is no reality in a dream but nevertheless we believe in the reality of the things seen in a dream. After waking up, we recognize the falsity of the dream and we smile at ourselves. In the same way, the person deep in the sleep of the fetters (saṃyojananidra) clings (abhiniviśate) to the things that do not exist; but when he has found the Path, at the moment of enlightenment, he understands that there is no reality and laughs at himself. This is why it is said: like in a dream.

Moreover, by the power of sleep (nidrābala), the dreamer sees something there where there is nothing. In the same way, by the power of the sleep of ignorance (avidyānidrā), a person believes in the existence of all kinds of things that do not exist, e.g., ‘me’ and ‘mine’ (ātmātmīya), male and female, etc.

Moreover, in a dream, we enjoy ourselves although there is nothing enjoyable there; we are irritated although there is nothing irritating there; we are frightened although there is nothing to be afraid of there. In the same way, beings of the threefold world (traidhātukasattva), in the sleep of ignorance, are irritated although there is nothing irritating, enjoy themselves although there is nothing enjoyable, and frightened although there is nothing to be afraid of.

— Nagarjuna – Mahaprajñaparamitopadesa – Chapter XI


Like a Dream

21 responses »

  1. I have found each of your posts a thoughtful selection which always leave me in silence and deep reflection – sometimes days after I have read it. Thank you so much. I look forward to discovering the ocean of wisdom and life you have here. With warm gratitude and blessings for a new day, Sharon

    • Thanks a lot Sharon for your kind words. Although my 365 day project of daily quotes will come to an end very soon, I have still not decided how I will continue. It was a big challenge to post a quote every day and I have run out of pictures for one month now. That’s why I have decided to post 30 days of quotes from some of my favorite authors together with a photo or representation of them. I have been asked several times now to keep it up or to write my own texts. I’ll leave this decision spontaneous. Thanks a lot for reading and motivating me to continue. You are very welcome.

    • … an och ganz flott formuléiert. Ganz oft sinn dem Nagarjuna seng Texter zimlech déif, akademesch an schwéierfälleg geschriwwen. Den heiten Text huet mir gutt gefall, virun allem well en sou flott opgesat ass, an keng weider Erklärungen brauch. Merci! 🙂

  2. For last few months I was not very regular and active on net.Missed out on lot of things.Once or twice wandered here and wondered why are you posting only portraits .Though I stumbled upon your blog while searching some spiritual topic and was overjoyed to find the veritable treasure of deep reflections ,thoughts ,poetry from varied sources yet your pictures gradually became my reason to return here times and again,not only due to the technical aspects of the pics but the feel they provided.Your pictures always have that calming impact and conveys more than we see.
    hope you can arrange to go on another trip to some far off place full of mystery,mysticism and the forgotten past and then through your pictures I too can imbibe the essence.
    What about Kumbh visit?

    • Hi Namita,
      Thanks a lot for these nice words. As I answered Sharon, I have slowly run out of suitable pictures for the blog although I still have many pictures of decay and underground. But I cannot find a suitable spiritual text for most of these pictures. Quality has always been a concern for me and so I have discarded a lot of pictures that I consider being only snapshots.
      I have still the intention to be for the main bathing day at the Kumbh Mela. I think that I will have to start organizing my trip now because there will most probably be a lot of people in Allahabad and Varanasi. I look forward to this event to take some really nice pictures and live a wonderful journey in this crowd of holy men.
      Thanks again for your nice comment.

  3. Pingback: Dream Like Emptiness ~ the True Nature of our Reality pt 1 | Cosmic Loti

  4. Paramanhsa Yogananda preaches all we see as reality is “maya” or a dream. I only dimly understand this but appreciate your post very much since it helps further my understanding.

    • Hi,
      In this post Nagarjuna speaks about the same subject. Everything we perceive with our senses is like a mirage, and therefore unreal. If you go deeply into the subject you will certainly come to the question “who perceives what?”. As the sensual perception is always old, based on culture, education and conditioning, it is memory. Your perception is most probably very different to the perception of others. Then comes the question about the perceiver. Where does perception happen and who is the perceiver. If you go deeply into the subject you might not be able to say exactly where the perception is happening. Is it in the eye or do you believe it to be in the brain, or the heart? Is it in the ears when it is sound. And who is the “I” that perceives it? Have you tried to locate it? Can it be found somewhere? But there is one “I” that might have fear from spiders and another “I” that collects spiders in a terrarium. One “I” is attached to the spiders and the others has repulsion and run away at the sight of the spider. All of this is the same as the dreams we experience at night. And every time we experience something, be it the body through our sensations or the world through our senses, it is called “Maya” or delusion.
      This is a very deep subject and all saints of all traditions go into that, be it Paramahansa Yogananda as a Hindu Yogi or Nagarjuna as a Buddhist Saint.
      Many thanks for your comment.

  5. Pingback: Am I dreaming? Kadampa Life | Cosmic Loti

  6. Pingback: Like a Dream | Cosmic Loti

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