We do not usually ponder upon the waking, dream, and deep sleep states. For people who study Vedanta, this knowledge is very important. The pure self stands as a witness to these states. The Pure Self is the witness to the Jagrat, Swapna, and Sushupti states. This is very crucial.
Let me talk about an experience of mine. It concerns a dream. I would like to share it with you because it reveals a glimpse of the greatness of Amma. This incident happened around twenty-five years ago.
I was a student at the Ayurveda College at Trivandrum. Travel between Vallikavu and Trivandrum was very easy. So I would come to almost every Devi Bhava of Amma. I would also entertain myself by going to cinemas. I would accompany my friends to the cinema even though I wished to stop the practice.
Finally, one day I made a resolve to stop going to the movies. But after a few days, I gave into the coercion of my friends and went for a movie. My conscience pricked me, that I could not desist from this practice, even after meeting Amma. Darshan was given at the hut, in those days. I came to Amma and confessed, “I keep frequenting movie theatres”.
Never before had I told about Amma my name or what it was that I was doing. I would come to her, take her darshan and go back. That was my routine. I had never before even spoken to Amma. Amma had never before tried to hold a conversation with me. But on that particular day, strangely with great anger, she inquired of me the localities and theatres I went to and movies I watched.
She told the assembled devotees, ‘the government is to blame for letting these young kids run wild”. They become trapped in their bad habits “This will become very detrimental for their future”. “The government should put an end to this” By then, I had become familiar with almost all the devotees who come down from Trivandrum for Amma’s darshan, and I was known to many of the ashram residents also. All of them were sitting around Amma.
I felt very upset, it seemed that Amma had defamed my character in front of all my acquaintances. I returned to Trivandrum. For a long time after that, I wouldn’t go for Amma’s darshan. I would frequent the ashram, talk to residents, listen to the bhajans, and go back. Six months passed in this manner.
I had not gone for darshan all these months and in the final darshan, Amma had spoken very harshly to me. I was under the impression that she had abandoned me. At that time, I was not aware that Amma’s anger was a mask she puts on to bring the seeker to the right path. I was not aware of her impartial nature.
The thought started troubling my mind, “Maybe I should go in search of another ashram as Amma seems to be totally neglecting me”. But in between these months, a very strange thing had happened to me. Whenever I slept Amma would be there in my dreams. She would sometimes scold me, talk to me, show affection towards me.
But Amma was unfailingly there for me in my dreams. Whether I slept in the morning or night, I would always wake up dreaming about her. This has been recurring for the last six months. I mustered up my courage on Krishna Jayanthi, and went for darshan during Devi Bhava.
I thought I would unburden myself to her, “Am I suitable, good enough to visit the ashram? Should I go elsewhere if Amma finds me unfit to receive her darshan”? I went and managed to say something or the other to her.
Amma listened to me with great patience and explained to me “Is it possible to build a hospital and put up a notice saying that the sick cannot enter here? Can you learn to swim laying on the ground? Can I start a school and say that no students will be given admission?
The purity of mind should be gained through devotion, by frequently coming to the ashram. Amma has established the ashram for this purpose. It is for everybody. Do not think that you are unsuitable for the ashram”. With patience and love, Amma cleared the doubts in my mind.
I felt that Amma had no genuine anger towards me, it was a mask she put on to lead me back to the right path. I started going for her Darshan. But the strange thing was that, after I started receiving her physical darshan, she no longer came to my dream state. I realized that our dreams are also under her control. If Amma decides, she can also bless through dreams.
In Lalita Ashtothara, there is a mantra
Devi is the witness to the three states of waking, dream, and deep sleep. Devi is the knower in the three states. Each and every thought of ours passes through her, whether in the dream or in the waking state. This is the knowledge that I gained through my personal experience.
viśva rūpā – jāgariṇi – svapanti – taijasātmikā – suptā – prājñātmikā – turyā – sarvāvasthā vivarjitā
These mantras teach us that Devi is present not only in the physical objects that make up the Universe but also in the different states.