Question: Someone dreamt of a relative who passed away more than 20 years asking for money offerings. What should be done?
Answer: Especially if no one had any such dreams recently, including in the last two decades, it is extremely unlikely that it was really the deceased in the dream. This is so as the deceased is most likely already reborn, not still lingering as a wandering spirit. There is also no reason for the deceased to wait for so long to communicate through a dream.
What could had caused the dream then? It could be the dreamer’s mind that created it, as a mix of personal concerns, memories, attachment, survivor’s guilt… The brain is known for ‘sorting out’ and playing out what preoccupies the mind consciously or subconsciously through dreams, sometimes incoherently. Due to the dreamer not being mindful enough, habitual stray thoughts not aware of can play a big part too.
Either the above is true, or it was a dream created by a passing unseen being, who is not the deceased dreamt of, but one who read the dreamer’s mind, for a reference of who the dreamer is attached to, using it as an opportunity to express deluded greed. Whether the dream is by the person dreamt of, someone else, or due to the mind playing tricks, something should still be done.
When dreaming and awake, this sequence of practice should be done for peace of mind, and to offer guidance and merits which might be needed: https://purelanders.com/2016/07/19/what-should-be-chanted-during-after-a-funeral. Money is useless, while merits alone only reduce suffering, unable to guide to Pure Land. This is why guidance to give rise to the Three Provisions is needed too.
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