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An emperor was filled with grief over his only son who was dying. The doctors had predicted that he would not last long and would die any moment. The emperor sat by the bedside of his son all night. In the wee hours of the morning, the king dozed off to sleep. While sleeping, he had a dream that he was a king with great wealth and power, who ruled over a great empire. He dreamt that he was the father of twelve sons with intelligence, charm, valour and talent. While he was dreaming this wonderful dream, his wife screamed out loudly as their only son breathed his last.
The emperor sat mute with astonishment on waking up to the shrill cry of his wife. His wife who noticed his shocked state, was in turn surprised by his strange behaviour. She grasped his shoulders and shook him hard, “What has happened to you? Our only son who you loved with all your heart is dead, and you sit still!"
The king replied, “In my dream I had twelve sons and they have all died and my vast empire also vanished. Now this son has also died like the others. Tonight I will go to sleep and will forget you and everything else in my sleep! Everything comes and goes"
The king continued, “Now I've awakened and both the dreams have gone!"
When one awakens into consciousness, he recognises his true nature which is pure awareness in the waking state, the dreaming as well as the deep sleep state .