I had a weird dream last night. I have weird dreams pretty much all the time, but this one seemed like it was either reassuring me, directing me, or something similarly comforting. Anyway, basically in the dream I had asked someone to recommend a guru, and they told me I should go see V___ (something like Vengaluru or Venkatesh) and that he had an ashram a couple of blocks from my house. So I went, and the ashram was in a converted residental building, which was nice, because it was all open on the inside. V was blue, and very kindly, and I sort of broke down talking to him. I felt this great sense of relief and peace, like I’d found something I was looking for for a very long time. I asked him who I should pray to, and he said Venkateshwara. I looked in the central courtyard, where devotees were arranged in a circle around a murti, praying and chanting bhajans, and saw that the murti was of Hanuman, kneeling next to Sri Rama. Sort of weird, because it’s not exactly Venkateshwara, but not too far off (Vishnu, Rama, etc). And then we ate together and I was a little sad to wake up.
I have no idea if this means anything at all, but it gave me a little bit of courage. I find that my rational mind kicks in when faced with this sort of thing. It goes, “oh, that doesn’t mean anything. Your brain is just dumping and cleaning out.” But then again, the Vedas and by extension the Upanishads talk about three states of awareness – the conscious, the subconscious, and the third state, which is dreamless sleep, when the Self is totally aware. I like to think that dreams like this are a middle place between the subconscious and deep sleep, when the Self gets little hints into my conscious mind and lets me know I’m on the right track. (Actually, mostly I think that I try to rationalize things a little too much, and these dreams are the Self telling me to relax and not overthink everything.)
Anyway, even if it was just a weird dream, it was a nice weird dream, and I like to think that it will give me a little extra courage the next time I attempt to convince myself to join an actual local Hindu community (so far no luck, but apparently my subconscious is as persistent as the rest of me).