540 – Dreams

National Integration Through Thirukkural And Sanskrit


This narrative is about Srinivasa Ramanujam who was one of India’s greatest mathematical geniuses.

Ramanujam spent most of his childhood in extreme poverty and often on the brink of starvation. Most of the days, he would skip his breakfast and lunch and would go to School. One such day, he did not return back  home from School. His mother was worried and checked up at the School and his friends place and could find him nowhere. After a frantic search, she saw Ramanujam sleeping under the Mantap of a temple. She was saddened by that sight and thought, that, he had fallen asleep out of hunger. She woke him up.

Ramanujam on waking up, looked fresh  and enthusiastic. He told his mother, that, in his dreams, he had almost solved 90% of a complex mathematical problem which had been evading solution for quite some time. The balance 10% of the solution could have been available to him, had his dream not been aborted. He did not even remember that, he neither had breakfast nor lunch.

In his later years, while addressing Cambridge University, he said that, inspiration and insight for his work many a times came to him in his dreams.  “A Hindu  goddess, named Namakkal Mahalakshmi, would appear and present mathematical formulae  which he would verify after waking.  Such dreams often repeated  themselves and the connection with the dream world as a source for his  work was constant throughout his life.”

Phychologists who have done extensive research on dreams conclude that, the brain is nearly as active as when it’s fully awake, during its dream state. It is also estimated that more than 2 hours out of each night’s sleep are spent dreaming or in a dreamlike state. They observed that, repeated thoughts manifest itself in one’s dreams and are more likely in respect of unfulfilled aspirations and unanswered questions. Intensity of the quest decides the frequency and length of dreams.

Our revered leader Dr. Abdul Kalam, encouraged everyone to dream. He said, dreams transform into thoughts and thoughts result in action.

Thiruvalluvar in his Couplet 540 states that, constant reminder of an objective leads to its fulfillment.

உள்ளியது எய்தல் எளிதுமன் மற்றும்தான் 
உள்ளியது உள்ளப் பெறின்

Ulliyadhu Eydhal Elidhuman Matrundhaan
Ulliyadhu Ullap Perin

பரிமேலழகர் உரை:

தான் உள்ளியது எய்தல் எளிது மன் – தான் எய்த நினைத்த பொருளை அந்நினைத்த பெற்றியே எய்துதல் எளிதாம், மற்றும் உள்ளியது உள்ளப் பெறின் – பின்னும் அதனையே நினைக்கக் கூடுமாயின். (அது கூடாதென்பது ஒழிந்து நின்றமையின், ‘மன்’ ஒழி இசைக்கண் வந்தது. அதனையே நினைத்தலாவது: மறவி இன்றி அதன்கண்ணே முயறல். இவை இரண்டு பாட்டானும் பொச்சாவாமைக்கு உபாயம் கூறப்பட்டது.).

A person can achieve whatever he desires, provided that, he does not falter in his determination and forget the object of his desire in his mind.

Sanskrit Translation by Shri S.N. Srirama Desikan

சிகீர்ஷிதமவிஸ்ம்ருத்ய ஜாக³ரூகதயா(அ)நிஸ²ம் |
தத்ப்ராப்த்யை யதமானேன வாஞ்சி²தம் ஸாத்⁴யதே த்⁴ருவம் ||