The Fourth State of Consciousness in Advaita Vedanta | Turiya

Published | Updated September 25, 2019

The Fourth State in Advaita Vedanta | Turiya
In traditional Vedanta philosophy, four states of consciousness are acknowledged: the dream state, the dreamless sleep state (or deep sleep), the waking state (or what we usually call the “conscious” state) , and the state “beyond.”

According to Advaita Vedanta concepts, every human being experiences the first three states, but the state “beyond,” the so-called “fourth state” or Turiya is rarely consciously known.

The fourth state is difficult to spot, because it “penetrates” the first three states, and in fact, it’s the “background,” source and awareness of the other states of consciousness.

Moreover, the fourth state is awareness itself, thereby not something one can be aware of—there’s nothing “behind” it.

Then again, the fourth state isn’t a “state” really. It isn’t a state, because a state is apt to come and go, and the fourth state on the contrary—is always there, only waiting to be recognized.

This recognition is not something coming from “outside,” it’s merely the fourth state realizing itself as being there, having been there always, and staying there. The fourth state in that sense is self-conscious i.e. self-aware.

It recognizes itself as being the source of the other three states, and moreover—the source of its own being. The fourth state doesn’t know how, doesn’t know why, but only sees what-is.

The fourth state can contemplate all other consciousness states and itself. In contemplating itself, all other states of consciousness vanish, being absorbed by Turiya, being Turiya.

The fourth state contemplating itself is a great mystery. It reveals an emptiness, a void where nothing appears, no “explanations,” but where all is without any description, without any separation, without any object-subject relationship.

But it’s not static at all, it’s very much alive, deepening whilst contemplating. It’s a realm of consciousness that is unlimited in her depths but without any recognizable properties. Diving into the abyss of Turiya unveils the source of life, being this life itself looking into a mirror created by itself.

When a human being recognizes factually being this fourth state, and nothing else, then there’s realization that there’s only one-thing, one “person,” that only the fourth state is.

We then understand that we only love ourselves, our all-pervasive, radiant being, and – whilst being actually alone – loving the entire world being our own reflection.

We understand that what we call Life, has created the “objective world” out of love, to be loved, experiencing itself as love.

And finally, in deepest contemplation, we realize that the fourth state finally even transcends itself. The We however is not an I, there’s no-thing that sees some-thing else, no separate entity, but solely being-seeing-that-what-is.


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