You are here: Sri Vaishnava Home Page : Bhakti List : Archives : June 1999

Re: Different states of a jIvAtma

From: Sadagopan (sgopan_at_computer.net)
Date: Tue Jun 08 1999 - 15:11:42 PDT

Dear BhakthAs :

It is my pleasure to provide the free flowing transalations
of the Srimad-Bhaagavatham passage below as requested by 
Sri Anand in the second portion of this rather long
posting . When one gets into Upanishads , the descriptions
get longer .There are so many layers of meaning and
Upanishad BHAshyakArAs enjoy the intellectual challenges
implicit in such efforts .MandhUkya KaarikA of Sri Goudha-
PaadhA is a classic case in point .

Sri Mani Varadarajan's reference to the complimentary
links between JyOthir BrahmaNA of BrihadaaraNyaka Upanishad 
and MandUkya Upanishad is a very important one indeed .

SanyAsa Upanishads focus quite a bit on the TurIyA state 
and the yogic way of dhyAnam and the four different states.

Although Upanishads are great , I seem to enjoy most 
the ArchAvathArams of the Lord as celebrated by 
the AzhwArs . The reason for this anubhavam will become clear 
as the different passages of Upanishads relating to the four 
states are referred to and discussed . 

****************************************
 
A sample quotatation from one of the five Bindhu Upanishads 
( Amrutha Bindhu Upanishad ) refers to the four states:

yEka yevAthmA manthavyO jaagrath svapna sushipthishu
sthaana thraya vyathIthasya punar jnama na vidhyathE (11)

Translation : " "Verily , the Athman (the self-luminous
witness of Buddhi )should be known as the same in its states of 
wakefulness (Jagrath , when the impressions of the objective
world are directly received by the senses ) , dreaming 
(SvapnA , When the objects are perceived on the sub-conscious plane),
and dreamless sleep (Sushupthi, when there is complete 
cessation of differentiation in impressions and
knowledge , and what remains is consciousness alone ).
For the Yogi , who has transcended ( attained the TurIyA state)
the three states , there is no more rebirth ( Moksham ) .

Another minor Upanishad nmaed SarvOpanishad also asks
the same questions about the four states and defines TurIyA 
as the supremely desirable state.BrahmOpanishad has a good
definition of the third state ( Sushupthi ).It has a wonderful
passage ,where one  has to go behind the obvious meanings
of the naamams such as Brhma , VishNu and RudhrA :

athAsya Purushasya chathvAri SthAnAni--tathra chathushpAdham 
Brahma VibhAthi. JAAGARITHAM SVAPNAM SUSHUPTHAM THUREEYAMITHI.

JaagarithE BrahmA , svapnE VishNu: 
Sushupthou Rudhra: ThurIyam Paramaaksharam --

Meaning : "Now this PurushA has four seats , the navel,
the heart , the throat and the head . In these shine
forth the Brahman with four aspects : the state of 
wakefulness , dream , dreamless sleep and the fourth,
the transcendental state. 

In the wakeful state , He is BrahmA, in the dreaming
state , He is VishNu, in the dramless sleep state , He is
RudhrA and in the fourth ( ThurIyA ) state , He is 
the Supreme , indestructible , Akshara BRahman " ,
(Sriman NaarAyaNA) .He is the Sun , Agni and is 
the transcendent Brahman shines within all these .All is 
warped and woofed in Him .


Sri Anand"s reference to Srimadh Bhaagavatha slOkams 
*****************************************************

Here , we descend from the lofty heights of Upanishadic
planes and descend to Bhakthi yOgam and the anubhavam
of an UpAsakA .

> 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.
  ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Chapter 12.11.21-23:

Oh Sage !VaasudEvA , SankarshaNA , PradhyumnA and 
AniruddhA are four visible embodiments of the Supreme Lord 
( Sriman NaarAyaNA ) and are recommended for proper
worship separately . The all -powerful Lord (Sriman NaarAyaNA)
should also be meditated upon in any one of these four forms ,
namely , the VaisvAnarA , TaijasA , PraJ~nA and ThuriyA by means
of the different senses and their objects , as well as by
means of the desires or through the power of knowledge.

Incarnating Himself in these four forms , the Supreme Lord
(Sriman NaarAyaNA ) is visulaized and experienced with several 
principal and subordinate limbs , as well as with various 
weapons and ornaments . When He assumes those four forms with
the appropriate  weapons , limbs and bhUshaNams , He deserves 
our special worship .

V.Sadagopan