Selected Baha’i Writings on Dreams

A Spiritual Guide to the Dream World | Dreams: The Language of the Soul – Talk by Dr Reza Samvat | Mystical Dimension of Dreams | What Do We Know About Dreams?

In South Africa, an artist has produced paintings inspired by the Báb and His mission, particularly His call to strive to elevate all things to their state of “uttermost perfection” and excellence.

Prayer of Baha’u’llah: Beseeching Guidance through Dreams

  • Indeed, O Brother, if we ponder each created thing, we shall witness a myriad perfect wisdoms and learn a myriad new and wondrous truths. One of the created phenomena is the dream. Behold how many secrets are deposited therein, how many wisdoms treasured up, how many worlds concealed. Observe, how thou art asleep in a dwelling, and its doors are barred; on a sudden thou findest thyself in a far-off city, which thou enterest without moving thy feet or wearying thy body; without using thine eyes, thou seest; without taxing thine ears, thou hearest; without a tongue, thou speakest. And perchance when ten years are gone, thou wilt witness in the outer world the very things thou hast dreamed tonight.

    Now there are many wisdoms to ponder in the dream… First, what is this world, where without eye and ear and hand and tongue a man puts all of these to use? Second, how is it that in the outer world thou seest today the effect of a dream, when thou didst vision it in the world of sleep some ten years past? Consider the difference between these two worlds and the mysteries which they conceal, that thou mayest attain to divine confirmations and heavenly discoveries and enter the regions of holiness.

    God, the Exalted, hath placed these signs in men, to the end that philosophers may not deny the mysteries of the life beyond nor belittle that which hath been promised them.

    ~ Baha’u’llah, The Seven Valleys, pp. 32-33.

  • Behold how the thing which thou hast seen in thy dream is, after a considerable lapse of time, fully realized. Had the world in which thou didst find thyself in thy dream been identical with the world in which thou livest, it would have been necessary for the event occurring in that dream to have transpired in this world at the very moment of its occurrence. Were it so, you yourself would have borne witness unto it. This being not the case, however, it must necessarily follow that the world in which thou livest is different and apart from that which thou hast experienced in thy dream. This latter world hath neither beginning nor end. It would be true if thou wert to contend that this same world is, as decreed by the All-Glorious and Almighty God, within thy proper self and is wrapped up within thee. It would equally be true to maintain that thy spirit, having transcended the limitations of sleep and having stripped itself of all earthly attachment, hath, by the act of God, been made to traverse a realm which lieth hidden in the innermost reality of this world. Verily I say, the creation of God embraceth worlds besides this world, and creatures apart from these creatures. In each of these worlds He hath ordained things which none can search except Himself, the All-Searching, the All-Wise. Do thou meditate on that which We have revealed unto thee, that thou mayest discover the purpose of God, thy Lord, and the Lord of all worlds. In these words the mysteries of Divine Wisdom have been treasured.

    ~ Bahá’u’lláh, Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, pp. 187-188

  • Verily I say, the human soul is exalted above all egress and regress. It is still, and yet it soareth; it moveth, and yet it is still. It is, in itself, a testimony that beareth witness to the existence of a world that is contingent, as well as to the reality of a world that hath neither beginning nor end. Behold how the dream thou hast dreamed is, after the lapse of many years, re-enacted before thine eyes. Consider how strange is the mystery of the world that appeareth to thee in thy dream. Ponder in thine heart upon the unsearchable wisdom of God, and meditate on its manifold revelations….

    ~ Baha’u’llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u’llah, p. 161.

  • Know thou of a truth that the worlds of God are countless in their number, and infinite in their range. None can reckon or comprehend them except God, the All-Knowing, the All-Wise. Consider thy state when asleep. Verily, I say, this phenomenon is the most mysterious of the signs of God amongst men, were they to ponder it in their hearts. Behold how the thing which thou hast seen in thy dream is, after a considerable lapse of time, fully realized. Had the world in which thou didst find thyself in thy dream been identical with the world in which thou livest, it would have been necessary for the event occurring in that dream to have transpired in this world at the very moment of its occurrence. Were it so, you yourself would have borne witness unto it. This being not the case, however, it must necessarily follow that the world in which thou livest is different and apart from that which thou hast experienced in thy dream. This latter world hath neither beginning nor end. It would be true if thou wert to contend that this same world is, as decreed by the All-Glorious and Almighty God, within thy proper self and is wrapped up within thee. It would equally be true to maintain that thy spirit, having transcended the limitations of sleep and having stripped itself of all earthly attachment, hath, by the act of God, been made to traverse a realm which lieth hidden in the innermost reality of this world. Verily I say, the creation of God embraceth worlds besides this world, and creatures apart from these creatures. In each of these worlds He hath ordained things which none can search except Himself, the All-Searching, the All-Wise. Do thou meditate on that which We have revealed unto thee, that thou mayest discover the purpose of God, thy Lord, and the Lord of all worlds. In these words the mysteries of Divine Wisdom have been treasured.

    ~ Baha’u’llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u’llah, p. 151.

  • Prayer to be said after disturbed dreams: It hath been decreed that, if anyone should have a troubled dream and should thereby be grieved and saddened, he may recite this blessed verse: “O Thou by whose Name the sea of joy moveth and the fragrance of happiness is wafted. I ask Thee to show me from the wonders of Thy favour, that which shall brighten my eyes and shall gladden my heart. Verily, Thou art the Giver, the Generous.” Even in the case of dreams which have not been troubled, it is agreeable for this verse to be recited.

    ~ Bahá’u’lláh, provisional translation of a Tablet to Muhammad Karim-i-Attar

  • The soul as thou observest, whether it be in sleep or waking, is in motion and ever active. Possibly it may, whilst in a dream, unravel an intricate problem, incapable of solution in the waking state.

    ~ Abdu’l-Baha, Tablet to Auguste Forel, pp. 8-9.

  • Among all the worldly bounties, none is more wonderful than the dream. In this state the human spirit is able to release itself in such a way that the contingent phenomena become cut away. The ability of the human spirit to free itself, however, is dependent upon a heart that is sanctified and pure. If the heart of man has not attained this state, it will become very fearful in the world of the dream, and things will appear distorted in its view. This is because his heart is not sanctified and pure. But if the heart becomes purified, in the dream man is freed. If he is in a prison, he will see himself in a rose garden; if he is under the weight of chains, he will see himself seated upon a throne. Indeed, he will be unaware of any bodily sensations. But if he has vain thoughts in his mind, his dream journey will not be wondrous.

    How often it happens that man ponders a question in wakefulness, but he is unable to solve it. Then, in the world of the dream, it happens that the answer is discovered. Frequently such a dream is a true dream, inasmuch as that which is seen becomes manifested to the outer eye, requiring no interpretation.
    ~ From a talk of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá to pilgrims dated August 8, 1919

  • There are three kinds of dreams. One is a true vision, which is even as the morning light and has no need of interpretation. Exactly what is seen, the same thing occurs. But most people, generally, do not receive this kind of dream. In the period of every person’s life it may chance to happen that one’s heart and mind are free and clear of false suppositions. Then whatever the spirit discovers conforms to the reflection obtained. This is a true vision and needs no interpretation; it is reality.

    The second kind of dream is that requiring interpretation, because the mind or the heart of the dreamer possesses false suppositions. When a spiritual journey is attained, it must be interpreted and false thoughts must be separated from spiritual discoveries. The soul is even as a fine white fabric. Any color that you add to it, it will receive, and this is real. However, if a color other than white is in the fabric, and you add a color, this is unreal. For example, if a yellowish color is in the fabric and you give it blue, it will become green. Then it is necessary to separate out the yellow until the blue is displayed. This is interpretation.

    Another kind of dream is the confused dream. For example, during the day a man becomes engaged in a quarrel and dispute. Later, in the world of the dream, these same circumstances appear to him. This is a confused dream. It has no interpretation and contains no discoveries. Before the person dreamed, he was overcome with delusions. It is clear that this kind of dream bears no interpretation and is confused.

    ~ From a talk of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá to pilgrims dated August 8, 1919, Amr va Khalq, Vol. 1, compiled by Fadil-i-Mazindarani, Tihran 1954-55. Provisional translation by Keven Brown.

  • Again for instance a person is dead, is buried in the ground. Afterward you see him in the world of dreams and speak with him although his body is interred in the earth. Who is the person you see in your dreams, talk to and who also speaks with you? This again proves that there is another reality different from the physical one which dies and is buried.

    ~ ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Foundations of World Unity, p. 109

  • In prayer there is a mingling of station, a mingling of condition. Pray for them as they pray for you! When you do not know it, and are in a receptive attitude, they are able to make suggestions to you, if you are in difficulty. This sometimes happens in sleep but there is no phenomenal intercourse! That which seems like phenomenal intercourse has another explanation. The questioner exclaimed; “But I have heard a voice!” ‘Abdu’l-Bahá said: “Yes, that is possible; we hear voices clearly in dreams. It is not with the physical ear that you heard; the spirit of those that have passed on are freed from sense-life, and do not use physical means. It is not possible to put these great matters into human words; the language of man is the language of children, and man’s explanation often leads astray.”

    ~ ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá in London, p. 96

  • When man’s soul is rarified and cleansed, spiritual links are established, and from these bonds sensations felt by the heart are produced. The human heart resembleth a mirror. When this is purified human hearts are attuned and reflect one another, and thus spiritual emotions are generated. This is like the world of dreams when man is detached from things which are tangible and experienceth those of the spirit. What amazing laws operate, and what remarkable discoveries are made! And it may even be that detailed communications are registered…

    ~ Abdu’l-Baha, Selections from the Writings of Abdu’l-Baha, p. 108.

  • In the time of sleep this body is as though dead; it does not see nor hear; it does not feel; it has no consciousness, no perception—that is to say, the powers of man have become inactive, but the spirit lives and subsists. Nay, its penetration is increased, its flight is higher, and its intelligence is greater.

    ~ ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Some Answered Questions, pp. 227-228

  • Whatever is answered through the dream state happens without personal volition. But man can prepare himself that a better dream may be realized. It is like a guest who comes. If the owner of the house freshens and cleans it, its coming is easier.

    ~ From a talk of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá to pilgrims dated August 8, 1919, Amr va Khalq, Vol. 1, compiled by Fadil-i-Mazindarani, Tihran 1954-55. Provisional translation by Keven Brown.

  • Dreams and vision are always coloured and influenced more or less by the mind of the dreamer and we must beware of attaching too much importance to them. The purer and more free from prejudice and desire our hearts and minds become, the more likely is it that our dreams will convey reliable truth, but if we have strong prejudices, personal likings and aversions, bad feelings or evil motives, these will warp and distort any inspirational impression that comes to us.
    ~ Shoghi Effendi, Lights of Guidance, p. 513

    More Quotes on Dreams form the Baha’i Writings