My friend Sanjay (fictitious) recounted to me a nightmare he had the previous night. After explaining the complex plot, he told me that he killed his enemy in the dream and with that shock, he woke up from the nightmare.
He wondered whether he will be punished for having killed his enemy in the dream.
Here is the logic that I went through to find the murder doer before proclaiming my sentence:
Ego is the soul attached to the body
“What is the ego?” asked a devotee.
“The ego,” Paramhansa Yogananda replied, “is the soul attached to the body.”
Ego is part of the astral body
The nineteen elements of the astral body are mental, emotional, and lifetronic. The nineteen components are intelligence; ego; feeling; mind (sense-consciousness); five instruments of knowledge, five instruments of action and five instruments of life force.
We are in our astral body when we dream
“A man identifies himself about sixteen hours daily with his physical vehicle. Then he sleeps; if he dreams, he remains in his astral body, effortlessly creating any object even as do the astral beings. If man’s sleep be deep and dreamless, for several hours he is able to transfer his consciousness, or sense of I-ness, to the causal body; such sleep is revivifying. A dreamer is contacting his astral and not his causal body; his sleep is not fully refreshing.”
So the judge in me declared that with all this conclusive evidences based on Master’s teachings that Sanjay is convicted.
Oh, no. Sanjay ran away in fear.
Wait a minute. Something is amiss here. You see, in reality no one is killed. But, will he be punished? Isn’t there something wrong here?
When the necessary situations came into existence through the subconscious impressions in the dream, Sanjay decided to perform the murder. So if one considers the interpretation of Patanjali’s aphorism by Sri Yukteswar, the death blow has been struck.
“Why didn’t you finish the job?”
“Master! Do you advocate taking life?”
“No; but the deathblow already had been struck in your mind.”
“I don’t understand.”
“Patanjali’s meaning was the removal of desire to kill.”
Or to put it in another way, if such similar situations were to arise, then Sanjay’s desire may be to kill. As the intention of a judicial system is not to let the mistake happen again, it will be helpful for Sanjay to go into a jail of introspection. When Sanjay transforms himself, understanding to the core of his being that his happiness doesn’t come by injuring others, he gets the release.
“As soon as the knowledge of the Reality has sprung up, there can be no fruits of past actions to be experienced, owing to the unreality of the body, in the same way as there can be no dream after waking.”
In some way or the other we are responsible for the dream we find ourselves in and if we have perfected ahimsa (harmlessness), then we wouldn’t harm others even in the dream, rather we would say:
When my mind weaves dreams
With threads of memories,
Then on that magic cloth I find embossed:
God! God! God!