Dreaming and Waking: Sanskrit Stories of Delusion and Freedom

Stuart Hall, Room 102

How do we know whether we are dreaming right now? And if we might be, what should we do about it, and how? Since the time of the Upanishads, Sanskrit texts have used stories about dreaming and waking to teach lessons on awareness and spiritual liberation. The story of a person who experiences a series of mysterious transformations was used in a simple form in texts on Vedanta to explain how being awakened from sleep is a useful model of enlightenment. More entertaining versions of it elsewhere associate it with a philosophy in which the model is not waking up from our dream, but waking up inside it.