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Four states of consciousness: Spiritual - Theosophy Dictionary on Sleep Sleep In sleep the ego becomes unconscious on the physical

plane in its brain -except in the cases of dreaming; the connection between the mind and the bodily senses is quiescent and there is no direct self-conscious cognition of physical objects and events.

In short, the ego is functioning on a different plane of consciousness. On awaking, we have confused recollections of experiences of the state of imperfect sleep which fringes the waking and sleeping states, but the sleeping state is not a single state. Many planes of consciousness are enumerated, of which what we call the waking state is one.

One Hindu system has a fourfold division of consciousness into 1) 2) 3) jagrat, the waking state; svapna, the dream state; sushupti, the state of dreamless sleep; and, highest,

4) the turiya, which is relatively complete egoic or spiritual consciousness on interior planes.

From this last state of perfect awakenment, the jagrat or physical waking state is the farthest removed; what is to us the dream state (svapna) is a closer approach; and sushupti, which to us is complete loss of physical brain-mind consciousness, is actually the closest approach to the complete consciousness experienced by the ego in turiya. Turiya is the complete oblivion to the outside world, for the ego is functioning in its spiritual vehicle of consciousness. These four distinct states of consciousness into which the human egoic self can enter, are the manifestations during imbodiment of what takes place on a more profound and radical scale at death. Sleep is a small death, and death may be called a larger sleep: in both, the ego, liberated successively form various bonds, travels inwards and upwards through different grades of consciousness and reaches the experiences proper to those planes. Sleep is also used figuratively, in contrast with waking, to denote a state of nonmanifestation, when there is no contrast between subject and object; the term so used is relative, and sleeping on one plane may coincide with waking on another. In early Hindu philosophy, turiya (also called caturtha) is a state of pure consciousness, or the experience of ultimate reality and truth. It is a fourth state of consciousness that underlies and at the same time transcends three common states of consciousness: (i) the state of waking consciousness (jagrata), (ii) the state of dreaming (svapna), (iii) and dreamless sleep (susupti). Sushupti susupti (Sanskrit) [from su well, good, fine + shupti from the verbal root svap to sleep] Fast asleep, deep sleep; the deep sleeping state when human consciousness is plunged into profound self-oblivion, "when the percipient consciousness enters

into the purely manasic condition . . ." (OG 72). Sushupti is the third of the four states of consciousness mentioned in yoga philosophy, the others being jagrat, svapna, and turiya. The state of Jagrti (Consciousness) and the state of Susupti (Deep Sleep): According to the Upanisads, the individual self can exist in 4 states - jagrita or awakened, swapna, or the state in which dreams are seen, susupti or deep sleep (in which no dreams are seen) and turiya or the liberated state. Of these, the third is considered a reflection of sorts of the fourth. This is because in the state of susupti, the soul gets detached from all material adjuncts, so to speak, and exists in its own nature, i.e., consciousness. Now, the Advaitins argue that since we have no recollection of self awareness during the state of susupti, it follows naturally that during turiya also, the object of consciousness, viz. the Atman is sublated and what remains is pure consciousness. Thus, Atman is of the nature of consciousness and not a substratum of the same. Sri Ramanuja decries this interpretation and states that when a person awakes from slumber, he feels refreshed since during sleep, the Atman was detached from the trauma-causing state of samsara (the worldly cycle of birth and death). Hence, susupti does in fact point towards the uninterrupted existence of Atman even during that state. Moreover, the absence of self awareness during this state does not imply that the Atman had been sublated into pure consciousness. What happens during susupti is the disappearance of consciousness of 'I-ness" that is characterized by the association of the soul with the body, i.e., one's caste, age etc. Rather, this state is a state of pure reflexive awareness, in which the Atman is aware only of itself as 'I'. Jagrti (Consciousness) and the state of Svapna (Dreams): According to Sri Ramanuja, dreams are caused by God and are a means of expending the fruits of one's actions, since dreams can be either pleasurable or otherwise. The objects of dreams are illusory in so far as they have a provisional standing, lack public verifiability and are banished by waking consciousness; they are real in so far as they are actual objects of experience in the dream state. Thus, dreams are of the same class as the wakeful state in that they are a medium for expending of one's karma and a form of direct samsaric (wordly) experience.

Sushuptyavastha is the sleeping state or condition. Sri Bashyam: 3rd Adhyaayam 2nd Paadam (Sri Bashyam) - Adhikaranam - SandhyadiKaranam (Svapna Dasai) - Sushukti Dasai