Guided by the actions of past lives, man returns again from sushuptawastha, the state of deep sleep, to swapnawastha, the dream state, to jagratawastha, the waking state. Thus, the embodied soul dwells in three cities: the gross body, the subtle body and the causal body – and the web of all illusion is born out of this. Only when the three bodies have dissolved will the embodied soul become free from the web of illusion. The soul will then realize eternal bliss.
It is out of this that prana – the life-energy – mind, and all the senses emerge. It is out of this that Earth, which bears sky, air, fire, water, and all the world, is created.
In this morning’s sutras we talked about how man, in his hypnotized state of mind, falls into imaginary joy or suffering in the waking, dreaming and sleeping states; how he creates illusions of happiness and then suffers unhappiness.
Jagrat, swapna, sushupti – waking, dreaming and sleeping…India has done much research on these three states. And let me remind you again that these three words present yet another aspect of India’s research into the number three. Man’s so-called outer, visible state is a combination of these three, his life is a creation of these three – but the essence that is hidden behind his life is beyond these three. Only the world is a creation of these three. Hence, we will need to understand this sutra as deeply as possible, because it has many aspects.
First, waking, dreaming and sleeping are not only states of mind, they are also the foundation pillars of life; life is based on them. But we are the fourth. The house is created out of these three, but the one who lives in the house is separate from it: he is the fourth.
This is why in India this fourth state has been called turiya. Turiya means “the fourth.” It has not been given any name, it has simply been called “the fourth.” The other three have been given names but the fourth cannot be given any name. Nobody knows its name and it cannot be compared to anything else, so it has been called only “the fourth.”
We pass through the other three states every day. When you wake up in the morning you enter jagrat, the waking state. In the evening when you go to bed, at first you enter swapna, the dream state. Then when the dream state has also been crossed, you enter sushupti, the deep-sleep state. During each twenty-four hour day, you go on passing again and again through these three states.
And if you look into it a little more deeply, you will find that you are passing through one of these three states almost all the time. From the outside you appear to be in the waking state and suddenly, inside you, a dream begins, what you call daydreaming. Sometimes it seems as if for a moment you are not in this world at all, as if you have lost all consciousness: then it is sushupti, the sleep state, that has taken over.