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Four stages of the soul according to Veda (Meditation and Deep Sleep)


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Four stages of the soul according to Veda (Meditation and Deep Sleep)


Veda says that there are four stages of the soul.


1. the awakened state in which the soul is called as the Vishwa where the soul is superimposed on the materialized gross body.


2. the dream state in which the soul is called as the Taijasa where the soul is superimposed on the subtle body which is a bundle of feelings and each feeling is awareness associated with kinetic energy.

3. the meditation state in which the soul is called as Prajna where the soul is in awareness of itself as pure awareness enjoying the bliss




4. the deep sleep state in which the soul is called as the Turiya where the soul is beyond the above three states of awareness i.e. the soul is in its original raw state of inert energy with full of ignorance about God.


If you say that the fourth state is beyond deep sleep (by treating the third state as the deep sleep eliminating the meditation), such fourth state is not in the experience of the soul directly or indirectly. The deep sleep is indirectly experienced as full ignorance by inference after rising from the deep sleep. When you awaken from the deep sleep, you are saying that you did not know anything during the deep sleep. This does not mean that you were experiencing the ignorance during the state of deep sleep also. The ignorance during the deep sleep was indirectly experienced through inference only after awakening from the deep sleep. Hence the deep sleep is also experienced indirectly through inference but even such indirect experience is not there for the fourth state because after the deep sleep you are entering into the first state immediately.


In absence of any authority like perception or inference for the fourth state of the soul, such a state is not acceptable to direct or indirect experience and logic. The fourth state is related to the soul and hence you cannot say that it is beyond logic. If we take the deep sleep as the fourth state it represents the ignorance of the soul regarding God and therefore it is the state of soul towards and not the state of God. Therefore, the meditation state is third which is almost considered as deep sleep. If you take the soul as prajna or pure awareness in the deep sleep, it becomes absurd because in deep sleep the awareness is totally disappearing.


In deep sleep there is no experience of bliss during that state. But in the state of meditation there is experience of bliss during that state. After deep sleep, the bliss is enjoyed due to conservation of energy since the nervous system was not working in deep sleep. But the bliss due to such conservation of energy is not enjoyed during the state of deep sleep. During the deep sleep the energy is stored and the stored energy is suddenly experienced as bliss when you awake from the deep sleep. When you take food the extra energy is supplied and in that case also you are experiencing the same bliss. Similarly in the deep sleep the energy becomes excess due to absence of its expenditure.


Both the states of meditation and deep sleep are almost one and the same in the sense of excess energy, which alone is giving more happiness or freshness for which the word bliss is used. If you take the state of meditation, here also all the thoughts are arrested and the excess energy is stored. In this meditation state very little energy is spent in the awareness of itself. Thus the deep sleep is hundred percent storage of energy and the meditation is ninety nine percent storage of energy. Hence the enjoyment of bliss is almost same except the difference that the bliss is enjoyed during meditation whereas the bliss is enjoyed after the deep sleep.


The merit of the meditation state is that the soul can be called as pure awareness in this state since it is enjoying the bliss directly during this state. In deep sleep the soul is not awareness because it is transformed into inert energy and there the word prajna meaning pure awareness cannot be applied. Moreover during the deep sleep the bliss is not directly enjoyed. Due to these points, the meditation state should be considered as the third state (sushupti) and the actual deep sleep can be considered as the fourth state (turiya), which represents the ignorance of soul towards God.


The deep sleep indicates the unknowable God due to complete absence of knowledge of the soul. Before God the soul becomes inert item and hence cannot know even a trace of the real nature of God. In the deep sleep the soul disappears since the causal body dissolves into its basic form of inert energy called as primary energy. This primary energy is the ultimate item of the universe and the soul in the awakened state can recognize the existence of this primary energy only at the maximum. Therefore the primary energy is the ultimate existence (sat) with respect to the knowledge of the soul.


Hence Veda says that the soul dissolves in sat in the deep sleep and does not know about anything because the primary energy is inert (sati sampatsya na viduh…….). This primary energy is the basic homogenous material cause of this entire universe and can be called as Brahman in the sense that it is the greatest in the world or in the imaginable items. Now there is no objection if you say that the soul dissolves in the primary energy (sat), which is inert and the soul is in the state of full ignorance of anything including itself and God and the soul thus becomes the Brahman, which is the primary energy. The entire argument of advaita is correlated in this way and yet God is not touched by the soul because God is beyond such Brahman and is called as Parabrahman.


The word Brahman is not fixed to any particular item as it is clear from the usage of this word Brahman in the sense of Veda, which is greatest among all the scriptures. Therefore, the whole misunderstanding comes from the usage of the word Brahman. Gita says that the Parabrahman or God is beyond sat also (na sat tat ….). God is indicated by the word asat (asadvaa….Veda), which means that the God is not sat or primary energy i.e God is beyond the primary energy (Mula Maya). However, the word asat also has another sense of non-existence and this sense is removed by the Gita because God is existent (naasaduchyate…).



At the Lotus Feet of His Holiness Sri Dattaswami


Anil Antony



Universal Spirituality for World Peace


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