The Bad Dream is the parody of a sage trying to escape from his own shadow. In Hinduism, virtue and vice are two faces of the same coin, represented here by the sage and his shadow.
As humans, we often fight the demon within ourselves. This struggle is depicted by nine naked beings captured by the long, sticky tongue of a menacing demon: the strong pull of worldly desires. Our virtuous self, shown on the top left, is trying to save us from our own perilous choices.