Jāgariṇī जागरिणी (257)
The three stages viz. awake, dream and deep sleep are now being discussed from this nāma till 263.
She is in the form of waking state in the living beings. In Śiva Sūtra (I.8) says, “jñānaṁ jāgrat”. The stage of jāgrat (the stage of awake) is explained thus: ‘The knowledge obtained by consciousness by direct contact with the external objects’. Here the subject (mind) is in direct contact with the object (material world) and knowledge is derived with the help of sensory organs. In the previous nāma, She was addressed as ‘Viśvarūpa’. Her Viśvarūpa form exists in the form of jāgrat in all living beings. This and subsequent nāma-s emphasize the omnipresent nature of the Brahman.
Svapantī स्वपन्ती (258)
She exists in dream state too. [During dream state, REM (Rapid Eye Movement) continues to exist but at lower intensity.] The knowledge gained through external objects is transmitted to mind, causing impressions in the mind. But during dream state, these impressions manifest subconsciously as dreams. Dream is nothing but the contemplation of the mind that could not be executed, in not only this birth, but also the previous births. Dream is the store house of thoughts, accumulated over a period of time. In this state, there is no reasoning to interfere, thoughts remain only as thoughts. Thoughts do not get converted into action. Impressions on the mind remain only as impressions. Impressions revolve in mental horizon. Mind in this stage does not use sensory organs. Here the subject is not in direct contact with any objects as sensory organs are not involved. The modification of consciousness in this stage is assumed by intellect gained in the waking stage. That is why most of the dreams are around the objects that are already known to us. The transformation from gross to subtle begins at this stage. The mind does not actively participate in dream state. It remains passive and just watches the dreams as a witness. Exactly this situation is to be attained when one is awake, not getting affected by the materialistic impressions of the mind. This becomes the ultimate step for Self realisation. She is the cause for this stage.
Taijasātmikā तैजसात्मिका (259)
The individual soul associated with the dream state discussed in the previous nāma is called taijasa. In the state of awake, gross body is active and in the state of dream, subtle body (sūkṣma śarīra) is active. Taijas operates through the egoistic impulses with the aid of sense faculties and vital airs. Its consciousness turned inward, enjoying exquisite dream memories. Because of its association with the subtle body, it remains associated with hiraṇyagarbha state, the aggregate of all subtle bodies. When the individual consciousness withdraws from the gross body and becomes identified with the subtle body, the waking state disappears and the dream state emerges. In this state, the consciousness remains restricted to mind, intellect, consciousness and ego (these four together are called antaḥkaraṇa). Taijasa is the word derived from tejomaya (nāma 452), which means splendour or light, shining, brilliant. She manifests in this stage.
Suptā सुप्ता (260)
The third of the three known stages called ‘suṣupti’, the state of deep sleep or the state of unconsciousness. In the stage of deep sleep, one is not aware of anything around him. In this state mind also rests. No traces of the previous two stages are felt here. During this state, REM is either absent or present in lowest intensity. In this stage, casual body is also rested. She is present in this stage as well, the confirmation of Her omnipresence.
Prājñātmikā प्राज्ञात्मिका (261)
She is known as prājñātmikā in the suṣupti stage, the stage of deep sleep. This is an extension of the previous nāma. Prājñā is the manifestation of individual soul in the casual body. As such, it is associated with the Brahman, the aggregate of entire casual bodies. If Brahman controls the universe, at microcosmic level, prājña controls individual existence.
Vāc Devi-s after having described the three known stages, now proceed to explain the fourth state of consciousness called turya.
(Further reading on the three normal stages of consciousness as elaborated in (Śiva Sūtra-s I.8, 9, 10)
Jñānaṁ jāgrat ज्ञानं जाग्रत् (sūtra 8)
Svapno vikalpāḥ स्वप्नो विकल्पाः (sūtra 9)
Aviveko māyāsauṣuptam अविवेको मायासौषुप्तम् (sūtra 10)
Jñānaṁ means knowledge. Jāgrat refers to the state of wakefulness or the normal active stage with alert stage of consciousness (8).
Svapna means dream. Vikalpāḥ refers to internal perception. External perception happens through senses and internal perception happens through mind (9).
Viveka means discrimination. Aviveka means absence of discrimination. Māyā means illusion. Sauṣupta means deep sleep. Indiscrimination happens naturally in the deep sleep state or māyā (10).
These three aphorisms are considered together because they refer to the successive stages of mundane level of consciousness. Every person undergoes through these three successive levels of consciousness almost daily. The first stage refers to the normal active stage of awareness, without which no action can take place. Here sensory perceptions play the lead role. Second stage is the stage where one enters the dream state, a prelude to the next stage of deep sleep. Here, mentation plays a significant role, as dreams unfold only through mind. The last of stage of normal consciousness level is deep sleep, where even the mind ceases to function.
During the first stage, the mind responds to the sensory inputs (8th aphorism). Mind is extremely active during this period as it has to act on multitude of sensory stimulations it receives when a person is in active or alert cognitive state. During this state, mind and senses are interdependent. Communication between senses and mind happens in tremendous swiftness. The sensory perceptions leave lasting impressions in the mind known as thoughts that manifest as dreams in the second stage of consciousness, the dream state, as conveyed through 9th aphorism. The third state of consciousness is a sort of delusion, as during the stage of deep sleep one forgets his own inherent nature. Both his senses and mind are completely rested. The 10th aphorism compares this stage to māyā, the deceptive state. It is only due to the veil of māyā, one forgets his inherent nature. It is only māyā that makes a person slide down into fathomless bondage and desire. According Trika philosophy, māyā also is the will of Śiva, which Advaita also endorses. All the three states co-exist at all the time, but only one state is predominant. This is like three types of guṇa-s. All the three guṇa-s prevail at the same time, but only one among them is predominant. This is also the case with five basic elements, ether, air, etc. But there is a significant precept in the tenth aphorism. It says that absence of higher level of consciousness is equivalent to the state of deep sleep. To put it other way, it says that ignorance (avidyā) is nothing but the state of deep sleep, where neither mental activity nor physical activity takes place. What is being discussed in these three aphorisms is only the mundane level of consciousness. There are higher levels of consciousness turya and turyātīta that will be discussed later in this book.
What is discussed above pertains to normal human beings. But, yogis are exceptions. Their level of consciousness is totally different from the consciousness level of ordinary humans. Yogis are those who are able to connect microcosm with macrocosm and remain in that position perpetually. Yogin means yoking. His concentration is always focused. Even in active state (Jāgrat), he remains connected with Śiva, the Ultimate Reality. His sensory perceptions are limited to merely maintain his gross body that merely acts a cover for Śiva within. None of the gross matters is of any interest to him. In the absence of extraneous impressions in his mind, in his dream state also, he remains united with Śiva. His internal perceptions do not undergo any significant changes to cause a dream other than Śiva. His sensory perceptions would have almost lost their intended utilities and therefore do not cause any significant impressions to dream about something else other than his own Śiva. Without any modifications, his consciousness enters the stage of samādi, in his deep sleep state. He enters the state of samādi at his own will and in fact most of the times he remains in the stage of samādi. Samādi is attained by constant practice of cessation of all mental activities, in which the mind retains only the unmanifested impressions. The difference in perceptions happens only if any alternate object is available for consideration. But he does not have an alternate matter to consider. He considers everything as Śiva. He has realised that he is not different from his own Śiva. For him the knowing, the knower and the object of knowing are not different. He has developed unbroken flow of concentration in Śiva. He enters the higher tiers of consciousness turya and turyātīta at his own will and for him the transition from one level of consciousness to another level of consciousness happens with ease. To attain this stage, his free-will would have played a preponderant role.}
Turyā तुर्या (262)
This is the fourth stage of consciousness. It cannot be experienced automatically. This stage can be attained only through meditation. This stage is not related to any of the three earlier stages. In the waking stage we are associated with consciousness. In the dream stage our mind is associated with our consciousness. In the third stage of dream-less sleep, consciousness has no part to play as the mind at this stage is at rest. But in turya stage, one has to tune his mind to become unaware of consciousness. This can be attained only by practice. In this stage one is neither the Brahman nor his own self. If one is able to advance to the next stage of turyātīta, he merges with the Brahman. If he falls from turya stage, he is again bound by worldly actions and the associated miseries. She exists in the form of turiya stage.
This state of consciousness is witnessing the consciousness of the other three stages (in the deep sleep, consciousness is inactive). The consciousnesses in the other three stages are subjected to modifications. In this stage, the consciousness alone remains looking up for something Superior that has not been experienced by it so far. Therefore the normal consciousness ceases to exist in this stage. Only when we talk about consciousness, we talk about subject and object. There is no subject and object and in fact nothing exists. This stage of ‘nothing exists’ leads to the transformation of awareness. This can possibly be interpreted as a seed ready to sprout. The transformed consciousness leads to the single pointed or focused consciousness to know about the Brahman or even ready to merge with it. The final stage is yet to be reached in this state.
(Further reading on turya as enumerated in Śiva Sūtra (I.7):
Jāgratsvapnasuṣuptabhede turyābhogasambhavaḥ. जाग्रत्स्वप्नसुषुप्तभेदे तुर्याभोगसम्भवः (sūtra I.7)
There are three stages of consciousness, jāgrat, (normal active stage, or stage of awakening) svapna (dream stage) and suṣupti (deep sleep stage). These three stages are the normal level consciousness of a man. Bheda means difference. Beyond these three levels of normal consciousness, there are two more levels of consciousness. Out of these two, this sūtrā discusses about the fourth level of consciousness known as turya. Ābhoga (आभोग) means ecstatic stage (abhoga अभोग means non-enjoyment). Sambhavaḥ means existing.
This sūtra says that even during the first three stages of consciousness, the fourth stage of consciousness, the ecstatic turya exists. When spiritual transformation happens in a person, there is a meeting point between the material awareness and the spiritual awareness. Beginning from that point, when the upward movement in the spiritual path really begins, one’s ego begins to dissolve. When ego begins to fade away, it leads to universal attitude of the soul, when the knowledge of the omnipresent nature of the Brahman begins to unfold. This is what is to be precisely practiced in meditation. The fourth stage of consciousness continues to prevail in the other three mundane stages of consciousness, as one is bound by ajñāna (ignorance) and consequent egotism. When ego begins to get dissolved, the spell of ajñāna also begins to fade away, paving the way for the realisation of the Self. This transformation happens in the stage of turya.
Turya state is un-inferable, inconceivable and indefinable where manifold sensory perceptions paves way for the realisation of the Śiva. Māṇḍūkya Upaniṣad (7) says, “Turya is not conscious what is happening within. It is also not conscious of what is happening externally. It is not conscious of anything in between. It is also not a mass of consciousness. It is not conscious of all objects simultaneously; it is not unconscious either. It is invisible, not susceptible to any kind of usage, not within the reach of any organ of action or perception or thought. In it there is only consciousness of the Self and there is a total cessation of materialism as such. It is the embodiment of peace and all that is good. It is one without a second. “
The fourth state of consciousness is always present in all the men as a witness to all the three mundane levels of consciousness. This is in contrast to the first three level of consciousness that prevails one at a time. When one is awake, he cannot sleep, when one is dreaming he cannot be awake and when one is in the state of deep sleep, he can neither be awake nor dream. But, turya is present in the first three states of consciousness, sheathed by māyā, thereby making it unrealizable. This can be realised only in the advanced stages of meditation. Preliminary stages of meditation merely formulate groundwork and lay proper foundation for the realisation of Śiva. If the foundational consciousness is weak, the most powerful Śiva cannot manifest. When proper preparatory work is completed, turya takes over the consciousness, and the emancipation happens thereafter. It does not mean that his body ceases to exist (death), but his consciousness is purified by his preparatory work, making it easier for turya to take complete control of his consciousness. He still experiences the first three stages of consciousness, the exception being that the quality of his consciousness has undergone complete transformation, moving closer and closer to Śiva, awaiting the final realisation of Śiva at anytime.}
Sarvāvasthā-vivarjitā सर्वावस्था-विवर्जिता (263)
Previous nāma-s confirmed Her existence in all the four stages. Now it is said that She is beyond these stages, again the quality of the Brahman. Since, She being the Brahman, is merely witnessing these four stages by residing within us and She does not associate Herself with these stages. This is because the Brahman has no attributes and forms. In the earlier four stages, there existed consciousness. Turyātīta is the fifth stage, where there is no consciousness at all. This stage is beyond consciousness. When this stage is reached, there is no question of return to the lower four stages. Unless one experiences turya stage for some time, this fifth stage cannot be attained. The dictum that, practice alone makes a man perfect, is the best fit here. Here there is no duality. ‘Sarvam Īśvara mayam jagat’ meaning everything is Īśvara or the Brahman. He becomes Śiva Himself. He will not make prayers, he will not perform japa, he will not go to places of worship, and he will not perform rituals. Whatever he does, he knows it is done for Śiva only. When he eats, Śiva eats. When he bathes, Śiva also takes bath. No duality, no māyā, no discrimination. He will not wear a red or white robe. He will dress like anyone else. He walks and talks like us. It is extremely difficult to recognize him as Śiva. As Śiva exists everywhere, this yogi also coexists one amongst us. This stage is beyond all the other four stages and She exists in this stage too. Here Śiva also means Śaktī.
Śiva Sūtra-s (III. 27, 28 and 29) enumerate the qualities of a person who has reached this stage. He is always of full of Supreme I consciousness and feels ‘I am the highest Ātma and I am Śiva.’ He realises that knowledge of the Self is the gift that he disseminates. He has attained mastery over śaktī-s (meaning powers), and becomes an instrument of knowledge and wisdom.
Sage Patañjali underlines the importance of purity of mind in his Yoga Sūtra-s. He says (I.47), “The concentration without discrimination being purified citta becomes firmly fixed.” The pure form of consciousness is known as dhyātmprasādaḥ. In the next aphorism (I.48), he says, “the knowledge in That is called filled with Truth.” This is the stage without ego. This is called Truth because there is nothing beyond this point. She is present in this stage also. These nāma-s repeatedly affirm Her Supreme status. The singular fact that is to be remembered is that Śiva and Śaktī do not have any ideological differences and the one without the other becomes inert. Their conjugation causes creation. This is discussed in the next nāma.