No matter how disturbing, a dream is known to be ” Just a dream” on waking. And even if a dream has been pleasing , when we wake up, and know that it has flitted away , it is again known to be ” Just a dream” Sages say that unless and until we find our own Divinity, unless we realise that we are not just this body or this mind, that we are actually a soul, an integral part of God; Unless we know that we are Atma which is part of Paramatma, we are not truly awake to our own reality. It is not that the world we live in with all its joys and sadness, delights and problems is unreal: It is rather that we do not know the world fully unless we know God or Divine consciousness. So too, Shaivites do not think of the world as mithya, an illusion, but they understand that it is of little or no use to be here if we are not consciously connected to Shiva.
Shiva Himself teaches Rishi Vasugupta in the Siva Sutras,” Jagrat svapna susupti bheda, Turiya bhog Shambhav” Beyond the three states of life known to you as waking, dream and deep sleep, there is a fourth state , of God consciousness. Aum Namah Shivaye.
(Shail Gulhati is a Jammu based Shaivite Author)