From this answer, it is clear that

The objects seen in the dream state are impressions from the waking state. They are nothing but the internal workings of the mind. They are nothing more than internal mental states.

From this answer, it is clear that

Adharmas or Acts of Sin are mainly of three categories: ‘Sthuula’ (in Gross Form), ‘Sukshma’ (Small in content) and ‘Athyantha Sukshma’ (Minute). These sins are performed by Mind (Manas), Tongue (Vani) or Karma (Action). The Manasik type is four-fold: Thinking of other’s women, wealth, material loss and difficulties. ‘Vachik Paap karma’ (Sinful Utterances) like lies, unpalatable sayings, blaming others and using provocative language

Thus, it is clear that dream contains internal thoughts and some thoughts listed above are sinful. Now my doubt is that if a person performs an Adharma in his/her dream, is he/she to be considered a sinner due to that act(in dream)?

Example : Dream on thinking/stealing other's wealth, other's women, talking lies, blaming others etc.,

  • 1
    How can they be, if dreams are not under one's control?
    – user16581
    Nov 5, 2019 at 17:38

2 Answers 2


In his bhasya on Brihadaranyaka Upanishad, Ch 4.3.15, Sri Shankara has dealt with the issue in some detail. He concludes one para by saying, "nobody considers himself a sinner on account of sins committed in dreams, nor do people who have heard of them condemn or shun him". This comment of the great master clearly sums up the issue. Other highly convincing details can also be found there on this subject of dreams.

It may be asked, how is one to know that a man does not do good and evil in dreams, but merely sees their results? Rather the presumption is that as he does good and evil in the waking state, so he does them in the dream state also, for the experience is the same in both cases. This is being answered: He, the self, is untouched by whatever results of good and evil he sees in that dream state. If he actually did anything in dreams, he would be bound by it; and it would pursue him even after he woke up. But it is not known in everyday life that he is pursued by deeds done in dreams. Nobody considers himself a sinner on account of sins committed in dreams; nor do people who have heard of them condemn or shun him. Therefore he is certainly untouched by them. Hence he only appears to be doing things in dreams, but actually there is no activity. The verse has been quoted: 'He seems to be enjoying himself in the company of women' (IV. iii. 13). And those who describe their dream experiences use the words 'as if' in this connection, as. for instance, 'I saw to-day as if a herd of elephants was running.' Therefore the self has no activity (in dreams).

How is it that it has no activity? (This is being explained:) We see that an action is caused by the contact of the body and organs, which have form, with something else that has form. We never see a formless thing being active; and the self is formless, hence it is unattached. And because this self is unattached, it is untouched by what it sees in dreams. Therefore we cannot by any means attribute activity to it, since activity proceeds from the contact of the body and organs, and that contact is non-existent for the self, for this infinite being (self) is unattached. Therefore it is immortal.


If a person create or imagine himself/herself doing Adharma in his/her dream then it can be a form of sin.

If it is not created by a person and happened naturally then it is just a thought and not a sin. But if it is happening regularly then it is necessary to check or search meaning. If you read Sai Satcharitra chapter 49 then there is a reference for it

Only we should never entertain evil thoughts. Making the mind desireless, observe God's works of beauty. In this way the senses will be easily and naturally controlled and even in enjoying objects you will be reminded of God.

"If the outer senses are not held in check and if the mind be allowed to run after objects/materialistic things and be attached to them, our cycle of births and deaths will not come to an end."

  • 6
    You should cite references from Shastras.
    – Yogi
    Jun 22, 2017 at 10:12
  • This is my observation on it. because dreams or thoughts are base of any karma. if I am doing adharma in my dreams then some how I am making a base of my wrong karma. Just an observation. Jun 23, 2017 at 3:20
  • 1
    I am afraid your observation is wrong, there are two cases 1) Dreamless sleep when jeeva rests in bramhan 2) Normal sleep even in normal sleep jeevatman is not fully aware of his surroundings and doesn't have control over the senses, so there is no sin associated with the body when jeevatman is not the controller.
    – Yogi
    Jun 23, 2017 at 3:56
  • Yes dream state either purges your punya by having u enjoy good thing doing adhaarma is also way lord purging your accrued punya your bad karmaa is purged by having bad dream like seeing death or seein filth and entering filth
    – Prasanna R
    Nov 6, 2019 at 12:18

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