Parable Of The Hunter’s Dream – Nature of Jivanmukta

A hunter went to bed at night and dreamt. In the dream he saw that a fierce lion was chasing him and was about to jump at him. He was frightened. He gave out a terrible cry. He dreamt that he was stooping to pick up his bow and arrow, shouting at his comrade “Get me bow and arrow.” Actually, he slipped out of his bed in an effort to get the bow and arrow. At once he woke up. His son who was sleeping in the adjacent room, had heard his cry and his words: “Get me the bow and arrow.” He did not know what it was all about and so rushed in with bow and arrow. The father smiled and shook his head: “no, I do not want them now. It was a dream only. Now that I know it was a dream, I have no more use for the bow and arrow. What a wonderful dream it was; though now I amawake and realise it was all a dream, I do still remember the dream vividly and rejoice.”

Similarly, the Jiva lies down on the bed of the body. He dreams or imagines that he is roaming in the forest of this world. Great misery in the shape of disease, poverty, old age, etc., attacks him. He cries and shouts. He is wont on such occasions to take the weapon of sensual indulgence in a vain attempt to kill the misery. But Grace of God takes him away from the body-consciousness. He attains Jnana. His friends and relatives treat him as they used to treat him before. But he smiles and declines to indulge the senses. He is an awakened soul. He now knows that his past life was but a long dream. In his awakened soul there is no misery at all; and therefore sense-indulgence has no meaning for him. Though he recalls the memory of his past life of ignorance, he now realises that it was all a long dream, fit only to be laughed over.

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