തുരീയാതീത – Devi, Beyond the 4 states of mind

Devi is of the form of the universe. She is also beyond all four states called “turyatheetham”.

We are now looking at the important spiritual principles or truths embodied in the Lalita Sahasranama. Devi is “kṣetra svarūpā, kṣetreśi, kṣetra kṣetrajña pālini, and kṣaya vṛddhi vinirmuktā, One who is free from growth and decay. We have seen that “Kshetram” has many meanings, as the manifest universe, as the great temples, and also as our body.

The Vedas speak about this principle or truth of the indestructible, all-pervasive self. The Puranas, also called the Upapramanas are written for those who are not able to directly experience this truth. The Puranas also convey the same truths. The Puranas make it clear to us, the concepts that we find indecipherable in the Vedas.

Veda says “Satyam vada” and this is depicted through the example of the story of the King Harishchandra in Puranas. The highest state of spirituality is propounded in the Vedas and it is the same absolute reality that is described in the Lalita Sahasranama.

Kalidasa has written the following verse.

किं न सिद्ध्येद्वपुः श्यामलं कोमलं चन्द्रचूडान्वितं तावकं ध्यायतः
तस्य लीलासरोवारिधिः तस्य केलीवनं नन्दनं, तस्य भद्रासनं भूतलं,
तस्य वाग्देवता किङ्करी, तस्य चाज्ञाकरी श्री स्वयम् – Shyamala Dandakam

What is not accessible or achievable to the devotee who meditates on your beautiful dark blue form sporting the crescent moon on the head? For him the ocean is the pool for water sports, the Nandana vana is the forest where he can play, his seat is the entire earth, the Goddess of speech is his handmaid and Goddess Lakshmi waits for his orders. (Shyamala Dandakam)

For those who meditate upon the form of Lalita Parameshwari in her bewitching beauty, all sidhis are within their reach. The universe can be owned by him. The three worlds become his own. (Heaven, Earth, Hell)

Goddess Sarasvati will be present in his words, his words will have beauty and wisdom. He will be served by Mahalakshmi. He will become prosperous in life. In Lalita Sahasranama Devi is praised as

kaṭākṣa kiṅkarī bhūta kamalā koṭi sevitā
(who is attended by millions of Lakshmis who are subdued by Her mere glances)

Lalitambika is adored by different names, “Lalita, Lalitamba, Para-Hanta-Swaroopini, Para Bhattarika, Chidroopini”. All her names are different ways of describing the absolute reality. The Universe is suffused with Devi.

Now we are entering the domain of the subtle from the gross. The next part of the mantras that we are going to take up are

Om viśva rūpāyai namaḥ
(who has the whole universe as Her form.)
Om jāgariṇyai namaḥ
(who assumes the form of the jiva who is in the waking state.)
Om svapantyai namaḥ
(who assumes the form of the jiva in the dream state.)
Om taijasātmikāyai namaḥ
(who is the soul of the jiva in the dream state.)

Om suptāyai namaḥ
(who assumes the form of the jiva experiencing deep sleep.)
Om prājñātmikāyai namaḥ
(who is not separate from the jiva in the state of deep sleep.)
Om turyāyai namaḥ
(who is in the state of turya.)
Om sarvāvasthā vivarjitāyai namaḥ
(who transcends all states.)

The different states of consciousness are described here.

Devi is of the form of the universe. She is of the form of the universe in the waking state. She is called “Thaijasa” in the dream state. In the state of Sushupthi or deep sleep, Devi is called “Prajnan”. Devi is also the fourth state of “Turiya” She is also beyond all four states called “turyatheetham”. This is the general meaning of the above mantras.

“Jagarini” is the state in which our mind and sense organs are awake and alert in its interaction with the world. In the Vedas, this state is called “Vishwan”.

“Swapanthi” – Only the mind remains active, the sense organs are inactive, the body lies asleep, still as a corpse. This is the stage when dreams occur. Even though we dream of all the multifarious objects and activities of the world, they are purely creations of the mind. This state is called “Thaijasan”

We go into a deep sleep. There are three factors here. The feeling that I slept well along with the perception of “I” that is accompanied by ignorance and unawareness. We experience happiness in deep sleep, we say that “I slept well”, but this state is not a means for attaining jnana or enlightenment. If it was so, all of us would have attained enlightenment through deep sleep. It is not possible. It is called “Prajnan” .

“Viswan, Thaijasan, and Prajnan” these three names denote the waking, dream, and deep sleep states in the Lalita Sahasranama. Ideal saadhaks (spiritual aspirant) go beyond these three states to reach the fourth state of “Turiyam” or the highest state of spiritual enlightenment.

They experience the fourth state of “Turiyam”. “Turiyam” is not tainted with the ignorance and unawareness present in the other three states of Jagrath. They have become enlightened. This is called “Turiyam”.

There is another state beyond these four states, it cannot be described by mere words. It is called “Turiyatheetham”. Those who have attained this state, even though they resemble ordinary human beings their words, actions, movements, breath and thought come from a realm that cannot be described in words or grasped by the intelligence.

It is with the constant establishment in the state of “Turiyam” that man can go beyond it and attain the Absolute reality. It cannot be called a state of consciousness. It transcends all states.

It is the goal of every human life, the attainment of oneness with the pure self. It is the bliss continuously experienced by those who have been liberated from the cycle of birth and death, while still in their human bodies.

This cannot be defined as a state, hence in Lalita Sahasranama Devi is called, “sarvāvasthā vivarjitā” – One who transcends all states. “viśva rūpā – jāgariṇi ” – The one who is called Vishwan in the. “svapanti- taijasātmikā” – The one who is called Thaijasan in the state of dream sleep.

suptā – prājñātmikā ” – The one who is called “Prajnan” in the state of deep sleep. “turyā and turyātitā”, – the fourth state and one who transcends all states, are all the different aspects of Devi.