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Re: Different States of jiva

From: Anand Karalapakkam (
Date: Sat Jun 05 1999 - 16:13:24 PDT

SrI Lakshminrusimha ParabrahmaNE namaha
SrI Lakshminrusimha divya pAdukA sEvaka SrIvaNN-
SatakOpa SrI nArAyaNa yateendra mahAdESikAya namaha

 Dear SrI Narasimhan and SrI Harikumar,
 namO nArAyaNA.

> Question from my friend L.Harikumar.:
> This question is from the Mandukya upanishad.It talks about four terms
> visva,taijasa ,prajna and turiya. Sripada Sankara interprets them as the
> four states of the jiva.Turiya is considered as the state of self
> realisation(in which the jiva realises its identity with the Supreme
> Brahman) and prajna as the deep sleep state,taijasa as the dream state
> and visva as the waking state in which the jiva enjoys gross
> objects.Here the turiya stage is interpreted to convey that the jiva
> realises himself as the all pervading impersonal Brahman.
> Sripada Madhvacharya interprets them as the four forms of God(Vishnu),
> with names visva,taijasa,prajna and turiya,controlling the jivas in all
> these states,by residing in four different parts of the body of the
> living entity.In the Brahmopanishad, visva(jagrata) is said to be
> located in the neck,taijasa (svapna)in the eye,prajna(sushupti) in the
> heart and turiya in the brahmarandra(topmost protion of the
> skull).Madhva quotes this as reference in his mandukyopanishad bhashya.
> In the Narasimha uttaratapani upanishad also there is description of all
> these stages and the mantras from the Mandukya upanishad are repeated
> and it is said that the Turiya which conveys the Omkara is to be
> realised.Here the four stages are respectively called as the
> jagrata,svapna,sushupti and turiya respectively. As I'm not having the
> commentary on these upanishads as per vishishtadvaitic point of view, I
> humbly request the members of this forum to enlighten me  in the above
> questions regarding these four states by explaining the vishishtadvaita
> coception of these four terms.

 As such,  adiyEn doesn't have the mANdUkya upanishad bAshya of
 a SriVaishnava AchArya. But, "abhinava dESikan" Uttamoor T.
 Veeraraghavacharya swAmi's "Upanishadartha Sangraha" <as the
 name suggests> contains the gist / important messages of  many
 upanishads. It is composed of 220 sanskrit verses, for which Uttamoor
 swAmi Himself has given a translation/ <brief> commentry in sanskrit
 and tamizh.Verses 37 to 45 deals with mANdUkya upanishad.

 Uttamoor swAmi's "vEdAnta pushpAnjali" is a stotram composed
  on  thirupathi SrInivasa PerumAL. It has  216 sanskrit verses,
 in which Uttamoor swAmi takes upanishad after another <as flowers>
 and by mentioning the cardinal messages of each upanishad,
 salutes/worships the Parabrahman SrInivAsan as the one glorified  in
 all these upanishads. Uttamoor swAmi Himself has provided sanskrit
 notes and its tamizh translation. Verses 22 to 26 of this work is
 concerned with mANdUkya upanishad.

  Since Uttamoor swAmi has packed many invaluable details in these
  works, its better to read the originals with His blessings. These books
 can be had from adiyEn's father Sri K.G.Krishnan at 11, Hasthigiri St,
 West Mambalam,  Chennai 600 033. Tel: 483 4676.
 Brief notes from these works  for the question in  hand:

 jIvAtma has four states viz.jAgrat (waking) etc ; VaisvAnara (having
 visva rUpa), taijasa etc refers to paramAtma mUrthIs presiding over
 these states. The connection with pranava ( its four   pAdAs linked with
 these four mUrthIs etc) has to be learnt from an AchArya or at the least
 from the original text. Upabrahmanas like Ahirbudhnya Samhita (51st
 adhyAyam) and SrImad BhAgavatham (12.11.21-23) elaborates on
 the fact that the words visva-taijasa-prAj~nya- turIya refers to
 SrIman nArAyaNA alias Parabrahman in various forms. Someone
 can kindly post the relevant translations from the SrImad BhAgavatham.

 Current Villivalam Azhagiyasingar, in His RahasyatrayasAra Vivarnam,
 ( Tattvatraya chintanA adhikAram) explains very clearly about the
 four  mUrthIs in connection with the four states of jIvAtma.
 This has been described in Ahirbudhnya samhita , Lakshmi tantra
 and SAtvata Samhita as well. In SrI VaikuNTam,  SrIman nArAyaNA
 has taken a special form  in the shape of a huge pillar ( ofcourse filled
 with suddha sattvam) called ViSAkha yoopa alias Brahma yoopa.
 It has four parts ( jAgratsthAna, svapnasthAna, sushupti sthAna and
 turIya sthAna) with four vyUha forms ( vAsudEva, Sankarshana,
  Pradyumna, Aniruddha) in each part. The activities, form, weapons
 etc of the Lord in each of these parts are comparable to the four
 stages of a upAsaka ( bhakti yOgi) viz.
 a. preliminary stage with  less meditation and no full control of the
     external senses and mind ;
 b. Next advanced stage with full control of the senses, but not
      of the mind ;
 c. Next advanced stage with full control of the senses and the
      mind; but breaths in and out ;
 d. Most advanced stage in which the yOgi is not even breathing
     in and out ; He is like one in a swoon.

 These four stages of a upAsaka is like the four states experienced
 by  normal human beings viz. jAgrat (waking state) , svapna (dream),
 sushupti (deep dreamless sleep), turiya ie. swoon. This is just an
 analogy given from our day to day experience, to understand
 about the four stages of the upAsakAs, who constantly meditate
 on SrIman nArAyaNA according to a Brahma vidya.

Azhagiyasingar explins these facts using the slokam composed
 by bhattar in Sri RangarAjasthavam ( UttarakhAndam, 39) , which
 in turn is cited by SwAmi dESikan in His Srimad Rahasyatraya sAram :

 " O Lord Ranganatha ! Of those (upAsakAs) who meditate upon You,
   some are like those in the waking state, some are like those dreaming
   in their sleep ; some are like those sleeping without dreams ; some
   are like those in a swoon. In the same way, O Lord, you have taken
   four forms <in an analogy to these four states/stages> and divided
  Yourself  into four vyUha mUrthIs in each such forms <reference to
   ViSAkha yoopa> for the purpose of meditation (upAsana), with
   appropriate attributes ( difference in color etc) and weapons, suited
   to each form"

 note : BAdarAyana discusses the four states of a jIvAtma in chapter
          three, section two of Brahma sUtrAs.

> I've come across a term in vishnu sahasranama
> "chaturatma". Is there any connection between this name and
> the four terms mentioned above?

  The name  "CaturAtmA" for Lord Vishnu, occurs in two
  places in the Vishnu SahasranAmam.

  1. 139th name :
       ( _caturAtmA_ caturvyUha: caturdamStra: caturbhujaha .....) :

       Lord has four forms  viz. vAsudEva, Sankarshana,
       Pradyumna and aniruddha.

  2. 775th name :
       (_caturAtmA_ caturbhAvaha caturvEdavit yEkapAt)

        Lord in the four forms ( corresponding to jAgrat, etc states)
        reveals Himself to upAsakAs.

   Hope this helps.

   adiyEn rAmAnuja dAsan
   ananthapadmanAbha dAsan