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Turiya State, an Overview
Turiya is the final stage of human consciousness. It encompasses all the three stages which we described in our previous articles. It is mentioned in Mandukya Upanishad with the other three stages being the final destination for the Yogis. However, there is also the mention of another stage or the fifth stage of human consciousness called Turiyatita which we will discuss later. First, let’s understand what Turiya is all about. Before that, don’t forget to go through our short articles on Jagrit, Swapna, and Sushupti.
In the other three stages of human consciousness of Hindu Philosophy. We understood that the waking stage, dream stage, and dormant stage ( sub-conscious mind) are not enough to explain reality. But why?
In the first stage or the Jagrit Avastha, we knew that whatever we see or hear, or feel through our sense organs are nothing but objects of the physics hitting the senses. Light hitting eyes, Sound Wave hitting ear, etc.
Swapna Avastha makes us realize dreams and Sushupti, the subconscious mind which activates when the body requires it. However, all of these stages are not in the control of the man. It is because these are natural things also called Prakriti which is certain to exist. If someone wants to comprehend these three stages, there are steps associated with them. And, yes this stage is Artificial.
Turiya State is actually Artificial, not Natural.
The state of Turiya Avastha is achieved only after the practice of Meditation or any other suitable methods. It brings all the three stages of human consciousness into the conscious mind of a Yogi or the practitioner. This state depends on the choice. If one chooses to live in the Turiya Stage one can do it and if one chooses not to live then one lives in Maya. You can click here to read more on the Maya and Koshas.
People often ask the difference between Turiya and Samadhi. Here is a detailed article on the Samadhi.
Difference between Turiya and Samadhi.
Turiya and Samadhi differ in the context in which it is being talked. Turiya is all about the form of consciousness but Samadhi is absorption in the supreme accepting the Turiya stage. The Mandukya Upanishad says; the absorption in the supreme self is the ultimate reality. The form of consciousness in which we can absorb ourselves itself is the final stage.
What is likely to be in Turiya Stage?
The state of experience in this stage is known only to the Yogis who have actually understood the Sushupti Avastha. A complete harmony of the natural Laws with the life considering a new identity is the first experience. If you have an idea of Buddhist ways of meditation, you can understand the theory behind this stage of Human Consciousness.
The buddhist ways of meditation deal mostly with awareness. When you are aware, even consciously synchronous with the breath you take you to understand your soul at the best.
Adi Shankaracharya compared the stages of human consciousness with the three bodies of the beings. The Gross, Subtle and Causal Body. However, this might not be the idea that people look for in modern times. However, the Causal Body can be related to the Sushupti Avastha. Here, the principle of Cause and Effect cannot be ignored. Meanwhile, you can also refer to the Gaudpada too.
Let’s understand in depth.
How you took birth?
The first answer anyone would perceive is, the parents got united at some point in time and your mother gave birth to you. Again, who gave birth to your parents? It is obvious, your grandparents. What about your grandparents, great-grandparents, and great-great-grandparents? Who gave them the birth? It is obviously their parents but till where it goes back in time. May be you have a stardust within you, which gave birth to the first ancestor. But wait? Isn’t the union between male and female create a new creation?
The Cosmic Birth and Consciousness.
Think, how the first union would have happened? Was it between the two human beings or in between gods or stars or something else? Evolution says it was some cells or some microscopic things. And yes, the information to unite was present inside the cell itself. Interestingly, this information is present with us now also. It has been passed from the first being/cell to us. Let’s not discuss the agnostic or atheistic perspectives here.
Our assumption could be, the information present is the major cause of birth of beings.
Now, what about the information of other stuffs?
In Sushupti Avastha, the information is present in the body. This makes us breathe, react to the situation, understand the natural processes, etc. There is no wrong in saying that the information present inside us is the cause of everything.
Is there any central cause?
The central cause is said as Sarva Karana Karanam or the reason of all reasons. It is present in every being. Some call it God and some call it a soul. To reach this, there is a need for estimation of extremes.
When someone understands this and adapts to the extremes, he/she is Turiyatita or the one who is beyond the fourth stage (Turiya) of human consciousness.
Adaptations to the Natural Extremes is the Turiya state and one who is completely adapted to it is called Turiyatita, also the fifth state.
The Natural Extremes and the Turiya Adaptation.
The word adaptation might make you think that the discussion is going more towards evolution. However, this is not only the single fact, there is more to it. You might have heard about Hatha Yoga or forms of Yoga where a Yogi is seen resisting the extremes. In the extreme colds of the Himalayas, they are seen resisting something, you can see the video below. What they are resisting? Can you think?
If you thought of sense organs, you are right.
They are resisting the sense organs only? But again in the Article on Jagrit Avastha, we understood whatever is coming to our sense organs are some things of physics like light, sound waves, etc.
In a more precise understanding, these Yogis are actually trying to resist the natural processes happening in their causal Body or the sushupti through conscious understanding.
They are trying to adapt and control the extremes by bringing the actions of the subconscious mind (Sushupti) to achieve the Turiya stage and become Turiyatita.
What if someone can control all the light falling to the body?
Hypothetically, the person will be invisible. No one will be able to see him. This can be one of the superpowers in the Turiya stage. You can read about the superpowers from here.
There are many Yogis who have comprehended the Sushupti stage and have become Turiyatita. We also got the popular list of these Yogis, you can visit the home page and look for it if you are interested.
Kindly note that the above example don’t apply for all. You can read ‘Autobiography of Yogi’ by Paramhamsha Yogananda to read more about such Yogis.
Why do people fail to get into the Turiya?
There is a common misunderstanding in young Yogis about the stages of human consciousness. They try had to get dream-less nights but they fail. They literally think, Turiya state is to sleep without dreaming. This is wrong.
In the series of four articles, we didn’t give emphasis on the words deep sleep or dreamless sleep which most of the articles on the web use. It is because to understand these stages people often sleep and try to get dreamless sleep in the morning time. This is silly. Metaphysically, as discussed earlier meditation and extreme adaptation can make you reach the Turiya stage.The reason why people don’t get into Turiya Avastha is they don’t go for adaptation instead they try to find sensory satisfaction.