There are four states of existence, Awake – Jagruti, Swapna -Dream, Deep sleep – Sushupti and Turiya – the fourth state e.g. in deep Dhyan.
The dream state is an intermediate one between the awake (Jagrut) and the deep sleep (Shushupti) states. This is a joint (Sandhya) between these two states and is by itself a ‘state of existence’. The joint between two energies is always very important as the energies here are different and allow you to explore things which would not be possible in the two states themselves. The energy of the joint /Sandhya is called the Devi, ray of Light. All the texts insist on focussing on the Sandhya for spiritual progress and eventual Moksh.
The Dream state is called ‘Mayavat’, ‘similar to Maya’. Maya Maya is a Sanskrit word which is taken to mean ‘illusion’, which is incorrect. Maya means ‘not this’. Thus the dream state cannot be conclusively proved to be real nor can it be conclusively proved to be un-real.
The Kuthastha purush/ the individual soul has powered down the body-robot and has all possible energies at his disposal. The individual soul is the Creator of the Swapna state, ie you exercise the powers of creation in the dream state. Normally people get fantastic dreams where impossible things are seen and experienced. And for the dreamer, these things are very much real.
There have always been incidents where dreams have foretold the future. People see omens in dreams or some things from the past are made clear in the dreams. One of my clients would get dreams where he would be killed in a war with an arrow through his neck, he would feel the pain and wake up. The same dream repeating again and again. He went through a guided mediation session after which he remembered one past life as a Mongol warrior and came to terms with it. After this the dreams stopped.
In Sanatan dharm/Hinduism, the Seers/Rishi have often been given Mantra in their dreams. The Ramraksha stotra was given by Shiv to Rishi Vishvamitra in his dream state. This is one of the most powerful stotras and is often used to protect children in India.
Often your ancestor spirits will come in your dreams to indicate things and communicate with you. If you see some ancestor in your dreams frequently you should offer a chapati with some jaggery to a desi cow (cows with a hump on the back). This simple act sends energy to the said ancestor and the repetitive dream will stop.
The soul rebalances karma in dreams, as the experiences seen in the dreams are sometimes karma being experienced. You might see your child dying in your dreams, you feel the intense pain and the grief. And when you wake up you realise that you are not even married yet! But you have completed a significant karma of experiencing the death of your child in the dream state. Often astral travel happens and is one of the commonest methods of rebalancing karma while in the Swapna-awastha. But if you are astrally travelling too much take care of your physical body, do some spiritual practice to energise yourself, else you will fall ill.
Especially things related to ‘black magic‘, are seen more clearly in dreams. People who have ill-wishing put on them using black magic suffer these effects in their dreams too. If you get dreams of being buried alive and perhaps some ritual connected to you being performed in a cemetery (smashan), be alert. In your waking state take sufficient precautions to protect yourself on the energy levels.
And if you are strong enough you can remove the effects of ‘black magic/ ill-wishing’ more easily if you are aware and work in your dream state. You can recite mantras or even do rituals in your dreams. These are then not random dreams, you decide on the activities you are going to do. The more you progress spiritually the more you can control and use the dream state for energy work.
Now the astrological connections. People who have their 12th house, Pisces sign or ascendant sign/lord, or Moon associated with Rahu or Ketu can control their dream states easily. If this Rahu or Ketu is influenced /conjunct / aspected by Venus or Jupiter it becomes even more easier you will have access to the knowledge. Mars especially can help you remain unafraid and pro-active. Mercury will help in the technical stuff related to dream-control and activities. Saturn will make you work so hard in your dream state that your physical body will suffer. And a Sun influencing them will also help in giving self-confidence and more control over the creativity linked to the dream actions.
If you have nightmares, the simple Mantra ‘Govind’ will stop the nightmare immediately. ‘Govind’ is specifically for destroying nightmares, ‘Duhswapne smarh Govindam‘, from the Vishnu Shodash-nama stotra. Do this. Cup your right hand on the back of your head where your neck meets the head. There is a hollow at the base of the skull here (point where Sushumna bifurcates). And the left hand at the third eye/ Ajnya chakra. Intend very strongly that you will remember the Mantra ‘Govind’ in your dreams. Push this thought strongly into your palms and into your head. This will register in your subconscious. So the next time you are uncomfortable in a dream, your subconscious will remind you within the dream to recite ‘Govind’. It takes just this one word to stop the nightmare.
Another way of making use of your dreams is you keep a dream diary. Most of us remember the dreams as we wake up for a couple of minutes, then we forget. So keep a diary at your bedside and the first thing as you wake up write a few keywords from your dream in it. So even if you forget it, you will be able to remember it from the diary. So you can then make use of whatever your subconscious has shown you during the dream state/ Swapna awastha.