Arista Dreams –Predicting Death

Can dreams predict death? What if it’s predicted that the patient will die in a few days? Should we stop our treatment! From where does this ridiculous concept of predicting death originate? Let me now introduce one of the most interesting, debatable and research-requiring topics in Ayurveda-Arista .i.e, predicting death.

In a less severe expression or a milder tone of understanding, what we are talking about here are those Fatal signs which are seen in dreams sometime before the death actually occurs.

Walk into the light
Walk into the light

Here we are specifically talking about medical conditions, not any accidental deaths. The ancient ones, though didn’t have the aid of modern-day technologies but were gifted with keen sense of observation and analysis. What they did was to create a summary of their observations of end stages of a critical situation, and list out what was common in them.

It is said that death is definite if the following signs are observed by a person. Also that the doctor should stop the treatment as the case has no positive outcome. I firmly believe against the above two sentences, but first let me learn what these signs are. Anyone trying to test these signs should have complete theoretical knowledge, keen sense of observation, and vast & practical experience of the medical field. It includes all varieties of examination, logic and ability to draw inference.

Dreams indicating Death(Charak Indriyasthan 5)

  1. Bamboos, creepers and bushes growing on head, and birds nestling in those bushes
  2. Head is made bald
  3. Surrounded by vultures, owl, dogs, crows
  4. Surrounded by rakshshas, pretas, dead souls and entities, and black people
  5. One who gets lost in a dense jungle, creepers or bushes
  6. Falls down while walking, falls in a land full of sand, insects, ash or cremation ground
  7. Falls in filthy water full of mud, filthy water or a dark well
  8. Washed out by river
  9. Drinks, or massages oily substances, or vomits oil ghee etc
  10. Gaining gold
  11. Fight with someone, defeated by enemy
  12. Both shoes are stolen
  13. Skin of legs chipping off
  14. Happyness in dreams
  15. Dead ancestors scolding
  16. Falling of teeth
  17. Falling of celestial objects like sun, moon, stars
  18. Blasting or falling mountains
  19. Seeing red flowers, jungle, war zone, areas of sin such as slaughterhouse or red light area
  20. Laughing aloud
  21. Seeing oneself nude or in orange dress and going towards south, with dead souls or monkeys
  22. Seeing someone nude and in a very horrible attire.
  23. Seeing witches, or a black lady with long hair and nails, with dirty garland around neck

Special mention: If after such dream, a person doesn’t wake up and sees a normal dream again, then the earlier horrible dream loses its effect

What are Dreams?

Dreams are something which can’t be put into test tubes, measured by mathematical or any scientific parameters and can’t be recorded. Everyone has them, but here we are in the 21st Century, standing clueless about exactly what it is. Many philosophers have given their theories regarding it. What I know about dreams is that it’s a simple and natural phenomenon, when a person sleeps. It has its relation with our spirit, our mind, our body channels, our auras, our being healthy or diseased. In practical approach, dreams can be classified into 7 categories

  1. Drista: Those which we see everyday, get reflected in our dreams.
  2. Shruta: Something which we just herd might reflect as our dream
  3. Anubhuta: Something experienced in past might just pop up as a dream. Few days back I dreamt of a friends house I used to visit when I was just 3 year old. All these years I never thought about it. But since it was hidden in some corner of my brain as an experience, it showed up.
  4. Prarthit: Something which you extremely desire of. Whenever I sleep little hungry, I end up seeing food in my dreams.
  5. Kalpit: Imagination:- This is something to do with artists poets writers scientists, all those who want to see the world with rosy glasses. Imagination may take you to unseen worlds and give you insurmountable powers in your dream.
  6. Bhavik: That which is going to happen, i.e., seeing future
  7. Doshaj: Those dependent upon the balance of your bio –energies (Vata,Pitta, Kapha)

The first five have no results. The seventh one may indicate something depending whether the body is diseased or not. Daydreams also don’t have any effects. Extremely small, or very long dreams too don’t have any effect.

Only those dreams after which a person can’t sleep brings strong results.


Dream analysis is a specialized subject. Here we learnt about a few dreams in general, which indicate death in near future. Whenever I talk with my patients, I always ask about his or her dreams, which give me a clear idea where the case is going. There have been many instances where, since I could not intervene, the dreams brought its fatal effect. There have been even greater number of cases, where due to my prompt action, the patient was saved, and the dreams were rendered harmless. What I have learnt from my studies and experiences is that, bad dreams or dreams in general do indicate something. Something, which might be very important for near future. The whole attention of the captain of a ship is that there should not be a single crack or hole, through which water enters the ship. The above mentioned dreams indicate all those holes which require urgent attention by an experienced physician.

Case treated by Jeevak

A Businessman of Rajgrih had a chronic disease which did not respond to any medicines. According to the Arista Lakshanas(fatal signs) his death was predicted in 5 days. Vaidya Jeevak(525-450 B.C.) performed a brain surgery, by opening scalp, which was successful in saving the patient. Hence the fatal signs can be averted from reaching their final destiny, if the patients are treated by the right doctor. Today we find many doctors who do successful treatments in life threatening and end stage diseases. Salutations to those, who have dedicated their entire life towards serving people and creating a better and healthy life for them.