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Awakening Your Mind: Exploring the Four States

Discover the hidden realms of consciousness and the intricacies of the mind in this article. Delve into the profound insights from Yogic texts, unveiling the four states of Mind: Jagrata, Swapna, Sushupti, and Turiya. Gain a deeper understanding of Mana (Mind) and Atmana (Consciousness) as we explore these states and their significance in our daily lives. Learn how to distinguish true awakening from mere awareness of surroundings and uncover the path to a genuine understanding of the mind and the world outside your mind.

There are three states of Mind according to Yogic texts, namely Jagrata (Waking), Swapna (Dreaming), Sushupti (Deep Sleep) and Turiya (the fourth state beyond the three). To understand these states, one must understand the concepts of Mana (Mind) and Atmana (Consciousness). Please refer to my previous articles on the topic on this website.

  1. Jagrata is the state wherein the mind is alert with full knowledge of consciousness. Most people think that they are awake when they are aware of their surroundings. But unless a person has realized one’s mind and consciousness, there is no real awakening or Jagrata. When the mind is Iagrata, it is constantly aware of things around it and observes them objectively, acting rather than reacting. This is the true state wherein the mind works to resolve challenges through indifference and wisdom. When in this state, the mind is in indifferent bliss. It is also bereft of hate.
  2. Swapna is a state where the mind is dominant, and it makes you believe that you are the mind. In this state, you are driven by the desires of the mind and also its resultant emotions. Emotions are most detrimental when you react to them; they often result in disaster. It also fails you to see things as they are and interprets them to the extreme – either as an opportunity or as a threat. In this state, people enjoy only momentary pleasure and pain, and happiness is elusive. Most people who are mindlessly driven towards wealth, fame, money, and recognition are essentially in this state. The reason in this state is nought, and people are often unreasonable when someone tries to give them a better perspective. There is mostly stress of the mind throughout with little signs of success.
  3. Sushupti is a state wherein people have refused to accept the reality of life and live in their world of delusion. This is the state where most mental patients live. Mental asylums are full of them. When the Swapna state goes unchecked, this is the state wherein people land, and the mind is completely a mess.
  4. Turiya is the state where all minds lead once the mind has ended. It is a state wherein there is no pain and absolute bliss. This state is mostly achieved when the mind ceases to exist – temporarily or permanently. One can, through meditation, retrospection, and wisdom, achieve this state temporarily to check the impurities of the mind and clear the mind of detrimental thoughts, values, and emotions.

When people are driven by extreme passion and confuse it for love and suffer innumerable pain, that’s a state of Swapna. It is also a Swapna when you are asleep but your mind is not, and you dream. When your mind is swayed by people around you to do things convincing your mind that it is important for you to be happy, peaceful, and successful, that too leads you into a dream state. There’s an important quote – “It is easy to awaken a person who is asleep, but you cannot awaken a person who is pretending to be asleep or has no need to be awakened.” The mind deceives us to believe that we are the mind, as a result, all the limitations of the mind become ours. The only way to come out of this deception is also through the mind – by convincing our mind that we are conscious.

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