Friday, July 06, 2012

Fourth State - Super-consciousness

Normally we say, we are in two states. Either awake or asleep.

Actually, there are three normal states.

Awake, Dreaming, Dreamless sleep.

Our natural state is actually the fourth one. Called 'Tureeyaa' in Sanskrit. That's the state of super-consciousness. That's when "I" feeling goes and we merge with the universal consciousness.

Dreamless sleep is what relaxes you. When you are in dreamless sleep, there is no association with body, mind, intellect or "I" (ahamkara). The individual consciousness merges with the universal consciousness during the time you are in the dreamless sleep. 

Actually, what we call 'awake' and 'dreaming' are one and the same. If you ask enlightened people, they say what we call 'awake' state is nothing but dreams in Eastman color. That's all. Since we are able to perceive with senses, it feels more real. When you are dreaming something, it also feels very real. Recall some of your pet dreams and worst nightmares. How happy or horrified you were when you came out of your dream or nightmare.

Dreamless sleep is very relaxing. Agreed. But, you are not conscious in that state. You are helpless. All though it offers limitless possibilities to work on your 'self', since you are unconscious, you can not do much. That's where meditation comes in. 

In meditation, you try to get into the unconscious state and beyond while staying very conscious. It's like scuba diving. You know how to get to the bottom of the ocean and come back up safely. Similarly, as you practice and perfect meditation, that's what you do. You dive deep into your own self, look for good things and bad things and deal with them. Old conditionings (called Samskaras) are all there. Some may be at 10 ft deep and some may be at 100 ft deep. As you dive deeper and deeper, you deal with them as needed. At some depth, you see that anger conditioning, which is nothing but some screw loose somewhere. Using the name of the God, you tighten it up and voila you have nullified the anger samsakra. Next day onwards, you will be less angry to the extent you have done the repair. You may also find some good pearls at the bottom of the ocean which you had not seen before. Like patience, compassion, forgiveness etc. You bring them up and wear them proudly. Then onwards, you will become more patient, compassionate and forgiving - to the extent equivalent to the quality of those pearls.

As novice divers do not attempt to dive very deep right away, we also should not expect to be able to  dive very deeply right away. We won't be able to do so even if we desire to.  There are built-in safety mechanisms in our body, mind and spirit that will automatically prevent you from going deeper than you are capable of. There are several safety valves. But, do not try to test them. When they blow up, consequences, even if temporary, can be quite troubling. Just like when the safety valve of your domestic pressure cooker blows up, it is quite messy.  Just like that. That's why they say do not try to meditate more than recommended even if you like it very much. Right dosage matters in meditation as in medication.

The fourth state - Tureeya - is hard to reach. It's harder to remain in that state even if you reach it once in a while. It's like the bottom of the ocean floor. Even if you manage to get there, you will have to come up when your oxygen supply is finished. That's ok. Even getting down to few hundred feet and making best use of that goes a long way in setting several things right. So do not worry about whether you can reach the state of super-consciousness or if you can stay there. Only blessed people are able to do that. If not in this life, you will be able to do that in some lifetime. Keep practicing.

It's really funny. If you can really 'concentrate' for just 1728 seconds (roughly 30 minutes) in meditation, you can reach and permanently stay in the state of super-consciousness. This 1728 seconds comes directly from Patanjali, the father of Yoga system. He was very scientific and worked out all the details. But, try meditating and see for yourself how long you can really concentrate.


** Inspired the works of several masters like Sri Ekanath Easwaran, Swami Adiswarananda etc.

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