by purujit dasa
DREAM BODY VS. AWAKE BODY
Many of us ask though: “If reincarnation is a reality, why don’t I remember my previous life?” And this is true. Besides some exceptional cases like a boy on Tv who speaks 100 foreign languages and knows how to drive an airplane at the same time, most of us do not have any memory whatsoever about anything which might have happened before we were born. If you ask yourself, what you did exactly at this particular time 1 year ago, it will be very hard to remember, what to speak of the last life? To answer this dilemma, we can say, that the fact we do not remember an event from the past does not necessarily mean that it never happened. For example your parents remember you as a tiny child, but you have forgotten all about it. That doesn’t mean you did not have a childhood. Similarly, we might have forgotten our previous life, but that doesn’t necessarily prove anything. Yes, you might say that from your childhood you can remember at least a few things, but there are people who got into a trauma or a similar condition where they suffered a complete memory loss and they don’t remember anything. So this is not an argument.We are actually having an experience of complete forgetfulness of our present body on daily basis. It’s called sleep.
One point in this connection is that at night when I am dreaming I forget this body. This body, in dream, I am seeing that I have gone in a different place, talking with different men, and my
position is different. But at that time I don't remember that actually my body is lying on the bed in the apartment where I have come. But we don't remember this body. It is everyone's
experience. Similarly, when you come again, awakening stage in the morning after getting up from the bed, I forget all the bodies I created in my dream. So which one is correct? This is correct?
This body's correct, or that body's correct? Because at night I forget this body, and in daytime I forget the other dreaming body. So both of them not correct. It is simply hallucination. But I
am correct because I see at night, I see in daytime. So I am eternal, the body is not eternal. This is the fact. Antavanta ime dehā nityasyoktāḥ śarīriṇaḥ [Bg. 2.18]. Śarīriṇaḥ, the owner of
the body, is eternal, but not the body.
Bhagavad-gītā 2.28 -- London, August 30, 1973
When the body is annihilated, the soul and consciousness is not annihilated. Just like when we sleep, our consciousness works in a different body, subtle body: mind, intelligence and ego. That we have got experience every night. We sleep on our bed, but my consciousness goes to other country or other place, and work in a different way. Again, when at the end of the dream we come back to this body, gross body. So death means when the consciousness does not come back again to this gross body and enters another gross body. This period is called death.
Bhagavad-gītā 2.13 -- Public Lecture With German Translation Throughout -- Hamburg, September 10, 1969
What is actually happening every night is that the soul temporarily leaves the gross body in its subtle body, which serves as a container. Then in the morning it comes back and we revive our memory. So, just like in sleeping condition when we forget our present gross body, at death we forget it but completely. As long as we’re not self-realized, we must identify either with the gross body, the subtle body in a dream, or the body we’ll have in our next life.
One can experience the distinction between the subtle and gross bodies even daily; in a dream, one's gross body is lying on the bed while the subtle body carries the soul, the living entity, to another atmosphere. But because the gross body has to be continued, the subtle body comes back and settles in the present gross body. Therefore one has to become free from the subtle body also. This freedom is known as mukta-liṅga.
Suppose my father dies, if I have got clear understanding that "My father has not died. He has changed the body. He has accepted another body." That is the fact. Just like in our sleeping state, dreaming state, my body is lying on the bed, but in dream I create another body and go, say, thousand miles away in a different place. As you have got daily experience, similarly, the gross body being stopped, I, as spirit soul, I do not stop. I work. My mind carries me. My mind is active, my intelligence is active. People do not know that there is another subtle body made of mind, intelligence and ego. That carries me to another gross body. That is called transmigration of the soul.
Bhagavad-gītā 2.15 -- Hyderabad, November 21, 1972
Hanumān: In your books you say that the world is like a dream.Prabhupāda: Yes, it is dream.Hanumān: How is it a dream?Prabhupāda: Dream, just like last night you had some dream.Hanumān: Yes.Prabhupāda: Well, it has no value. It is gone. And again, this night, when you'll sleep, you'll forget all these things. You'll dream. You don't remember during night, when you are dreaming, that "I have got my house, I have got my wife I have..." You all forget. So it is dream.Hanumān: It is true or is not true?Prabhupāda: No, no. Where is true? You forget at night. Do you remember when you sleep that you have got your wife and you are sleeping on bed? You have gone some three thousand miles away and seeing something else. Do you remember that you have got a place to reside?Hanumān: No.Prabhupāda: So this is dream at night. And night dream, what you saw at night, that is now dream. So both of them dream. You are simply visitor. That's all. You are seeing this dream and that dream. You are, you are fact, but what you are seeing, that is dream.Hanumān: But I have the impression that "This is true, and my dream is not true." What is the dif...?Prabhupāda: No, no. Everything is untrue. How it is true? If it is true, why you forget at night? Why you forget? If it is true. Do you remember at night?Hanumān: No, I don't remember.Prabhupāda: Then? How it is true? As you don't remember the dreams which you saw last night..., That, therefore we say "dream." Similarly this thing, because you forget at night, this is also dream.Hanumān: But I have...Prabhupāda: This is day-dream, that is night-dream. That's all.Bahulāśva: Jaya. Day-dream and night-dream. And the night-dream, then you perceive that as being real.Prabhupāda: Eh?Bahulāśva: When you dream at night, then you think that is real.Prabhupāda: Yes. That is real. You cry... It is dream, but you are crying, "There is tiger, tiger, tiger!" Where is tiger? But you are seeing it is fact, tiger. "I am being killed by a tiger." But where is tiger. [break] ...in dream you are embracing some beautiful girl. Where is that beautiful girl? But actually this is happening.
Morning Walk -- January 9, 1974, Los Angeles
(to be continued...)