Back to top

Sleep and Dreams

Sleep and Rest

I was sleeping but woke up exactly when it was time to attend classes. Was it the Divine who woke me up?

Not necessarily. There is always a part of the subconscient which is awake, and it is sufficient to have the will to wake up at a certain hour to make this part awaken you.

3 March 1933


I would like to know why I had such a disturbed night.

Obviously you did not quiet your thoughts before going to sleep. At the time of lying down one should always begin by quieting one's thoughts.

28 January 1935


I can never sleep on the night before Darshan. People say it is a lack of balance. But on the contrary I feel it is because of Your awakening presence. I do not feel any disturbance. I think it is all right. Isn't this true?

To pass a sleepless night once in a while, every three or four months, does not matter much, provided that the rest of the time you sleep well


I advise you to sleep well and to take enough rest. This is indispensable in order to be able to keep doing the work regularly and well.


My blessings are always with you


Sleep is the school one must pass through if one knows how to learn one's lesson there, so that the inner being may become independent of the physical form, conscious in its own right and master of its own life. There are entire parts of the being that need this immobility and semi-consciousness of the outer being, of the body, in order to be able to lead their own life independently.

It is another school for another result, but it is still a school. If one wants to achieve the maximum possible progress, one must know how to make use of one's nights just as one makes use of one's days. Only, people usually have no idea how to go about it; they try to stay awake and all they achieve is a physical and vital imbalance, and sometimes a mental one too


Sleep is indispensable in the present state of the body. It is by a progressive control over the subconscient that the sleep can become more and more conscious.

25 January 1938


I know by experience that it is not by lessening the food that sleep becomes conscious; the body becomes restless but this in no way increases the consciousness. It is in good, sound and quiet sleep that one can get in contact with a deeper part of oneself.

4 August 1937


I hope that soon you will completely recover and that you will not feel tired any more. But are you eating enough? Sometimes it is hunger that keeps one from sleeping.


My blessings are always with you


Proper rest is a very important thing for the sadhana.

2 March 1942


You must rest—but a rest of concentrated force, not of diluted non-resistance to the adverse forces. A rest that is a power, not the rest of weakness


To Rest Before Sleeping

There is no end to the discoveries that you can make in dreams. But one thing is very important: never go to sleep when you are very tired, for if you do, you fall into a sort of unconsciousness and dreams do with you whatever they like, without your being able to exercise the least control. Just as you should always rest before eating, I would advise you all to rest before going to sleep. But then you must know how to rest.

There are many ways of doing it. Here is one: first of all, put your body at ease, comfortably stretched out on a bed or in an easy-chair. Then try to relax your nerves, all together or one by one, till you have obtained complete relaxation. This done, and while your body lies limp like a rag on the bed, make your brain silent and immobile, till it is no longer conscious of itself. Then slowly, imperceptibly, pass from this state into sleep. When you wake up the next morning, you will be full of energy. On the contrary, if you go to bed completely tired and without relaxing yourself, you will fall into a heavy, dull and unconscious sleep in which the vital will lose all its energies.

It is possible that you may not obtain an immediate result, but persevere


For some time I have had trouble sleeping due to inner and outer turmoil. I pray to You to help me.

Before trying to sleep, when you lie down to sleep, begin by relaxing yourself physically (I call this becoming a rag on the bed).

Then with all the sincerity at your disposal, offer yourself to the Divine in a complete relaxation, and… that's all.

Keep trying until you succeed and you will see.


March 1969



Usually I give no “meaning” to dreams, because each one has his own symbolism which has a meaning only for himself


I will speak of certain details in this connection, next time we meet. Until then I shall keep the papers with me. (Sri Aurobindo and myself alone will see them.)

In the first dream we can take the theatre as the symbol of this world where all is a play—the appearance of something and not the thing itself. Here the kings and queens are not such because of an inner and divine right but as a result of the confusion of circumstances and birth.

I suppose the obstacles which were standing in the way of your joining me represent the difficulties (inner and outer) which are to be overcome in order to realise the union with the true consciousness.

The second dream seems to be an embodiment of old impressions left in the subconscient of social surroundings and your reactions to them.


In the third the train is, as always, an image of the way and the journey towards the goal. The sets of people are the various groups (secret societies etc.) that have been formed for this purpose. The one you were supposed to join was the society to which you became attached—composed of the boys who were with you at your first “school”; the image is clear, but an association which you did not feel to be definitive


Both of these dreams (are they only dreams?) are of a quality far superior to the former ones.

The first seems to be one of those symbolic transcriptions of the inner condition and action which one so often gets in sleep. What appears to me most clear is how pointedly this dream shows the lack of any true ground for the apprehension you felt while swimming (the fear of not being able to reach the goal). For the protection showered from the shore to be reached brings you there even when in appearance conditions or circumstances seem to be driving you away from it.

To say exactly what the motor launches stand for is difficult in the absence of details.

The second is certainly not a dream but a reality, a very charming expression of the reality of the constant presence of Sri Aurobindo and of his help given through an intimate and true relation, even though veiled to the outer consciousness. This is a precious experience worth being kept in the most sacred corner of the remembrance


The six couches: the seats, basis of the powers of creation (6). One still occupied by the titanic forces (the last, most material one).

The servant: who showed us the way through the “labyrinth”, gave us some food and even a smoky light (torch, very poor) to find our way in the dark, the lower nature; she asked 135to be paid for her services, saying that the “other gentleman” (titan) was always paying her.

The place: some vital layer in the physical consciousness.

20 February 1932


It was Darshan day. You were there with Sri Aurobindo. I ran into Sri Aurobindo's arms. He caressed me with much joy, saying that he had come to raise me up. I was on his lap. You also caressed me gently, saying one of the prayers I sent you.

This dream is the result of a psychic impression which rose to the surface during sleep.

19 March 1936


Generally I try to remember you at least once at the time of sleep. I wonder why such foul dreams visit me then, when I should have dreamed of you. Any guidance from you to avert the evil will be welcome if you would graciously grant me sufficient will and power to follow it.

Keep constantly and sincerely in you the will to conquer.


20 July 1947


One can learn much by controlling one's dreams.