The interpretation of a dream


Every Thursday a fellowship of spiritual seekers would meet. Abdur Rahim Khan-e-Khanan, a renowned mystic and poet, was a member of that fellowship. One Thursday evening as they assembled, one of them said:
“Friends I have a dream to share”. Others waited with their usual calm and grace. “I saw a vast open space”, he began, “and there was a great fire raging. I saw the figure of Krishna right in the middle of that fire, and the figure of Ram outside of the circle of fire as if he was about to enter”.

One of them immediately responded: “Is it not obvious what the dream means? The fire you saw was the fire of hell; Krishna has already been thrown into it and Ram was soon to join him”.

At this daring interpretation there was an air of unrest in the fellowship. Abdur Rahim Khan-e-Khanan, the mystic and poet, was sitting with his head bowed, his hands joined resting in his lap.

After a long pause he lifted his head and looked towards the person who had interpreted the dream, and with a gentleness and clarity that shone like a sword of light, he said: “Friend, if you allow me, I should say that you have committed two very grave mistakes: first you have abused the figures which our Hindu brethren hold in great respect and devotion, and this is morally wrong from the Islamic point of view, and also generally we should not speak ill of someone else’s beloved. The second mistake you have committed, is spiritual: you have shown a strange haste in interpreting a dream which should be regarded as a sign from the realm of the unseen”.

The fellowship, thus alerted by these words of wisdom, felt refreshed as if a heavy burden had been lifted from their souls. They all looked at Abdur Rahim KHan-e-Khanan sitting once more with bowed head, hands together in his lap. He lifted his head again and said: “Friends, there is another way to look at the dream. Let us regard the fire that you saw in your dream as the fire of love; then we understand that Krishna, being the archetype of perfection in love, should be in the centre of that fire, and Ram, being yet a novice and a seeker, was still standing outside the fire”.