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A devotee kneels in a state of blessedness, eyes lifted toward her Lord Íiva, who cradles her in the sheltering palm of His hand. In her state of centered and serene awareness she inwardly discerns His perfect universe and knows that nothing is wrong in this world. Her serenity has blossomed as she perfected yoga in all the four states.


our obsession with physical existence. This causes us to presume there is a continuous existence of our physical personality, which is not the case. Deeper forces of consciousness and eternity impact us during our daily life cycles. So, too, our spiritual practice proceeds one day at a time, with each


day offering new opportunities for growth, transformation and real- ization of the greater consciousness within and around us. Our spiri- ô ô ô^ 3 3 Sô ô


ô forming power of each day.


Mind & Prana Our mind and prana change radically in the four states. In the wak- ing state, both mind and prana are active outwardly. The mind is caught up in dualistic currents of attraction and repulsion, like and dislike, pleasure and pain, love and hate. The prana is caught up in dualistic currents of inhalation and exhalation, sensation and action, and the movement of energy on the right and left sides of the body. In the dream state, the mind is withdrawn inwardly and our prana


also turns within. Our inner mind comes forth with its luminous dreams and powers to radically alter our time-space experiences. We also experience a subtler non-physical prana that projects a change- able dream body according to the thoughts of the mind. While dreaming, we function in the astral body—consisting of the prana- maya, manomaya and vijnanamaya koshas. Pranamaya dreams are largely energetic and instinctual in nature. Manomaya dreams are sensory and emotional. Vijnanamaya dreams connect to deeper in- sight and cross over into deep-sleep type meditations. In deep sleep the mind merges into a state of latency. The body is


upheld by prana, which sustains it from its seed state. (This is dis- cussed in detail in the Prashna Upanishad.) We experience a natural deep pratyahara, sensory withdrawal, in which all our faculties re- turn to their core energy. In the fourth state, turiya—for those who are able to experience it


through meditation—prana and mind are merged within a deeper consciousness. The mind ceases to make any movements of its own, functioning only as an instrument of unitary consciousness, no


ô ô ô ô33 õ 3-


longer able to generate false ego activity. To reach that fourth state, Sô 3 5 Rô


õô ^ S ôUô3L 3 ô ^ ô 5 ôUôK ! ô ô õ ô 3 õUL õ ô ô õSô 3 Rô ô


knot of prana that connects us to it. It is said that in the waking state our consciousness dwells in the U


ô


throat. In deep sleep it dwells in the heart—meaning the deeper spir- itual heart, not the physical or emotional heart. In the fourth state it is also centered in the heart but consciously, not unconsciously as it is in deep sleep.


Healing Drawing our prana, or vital energy, within us is the essence of all deeper healing. In this regard, the prana of deep sleep has the special power to heal all the other pranas, as well as the mind. In deep sleep, the brain is able to remove negative patterns and energies and reset its equilibrium. This is vitally important in all psychological healing. Yet, the deepest healing of the body also comes from the awareness


and prana behind deep sleep. A yogi can access this inner power of prana and direct it through his hands or through his eyes, using it to both guide and heal his disciples.


Sleep and the Home % 3


3 õô^ ô ô3 3 S ô ô Sô 3 ôô L ô_ô 5 3 ôô X3 -


portance. Our bedroom is the most intimate room in the house. We all look forward to going home and having a good night’s rest, par- ticularly after a hectic day or after having traveled away for some time. Having no home or place to sleep of our own is a great trauma. Establishing our home or place of rest is the foundation of our sense of well-being. Sleeping in the same place affords us a certain inner contentment. Yet, it is not just a question of a house, room or physical home.


Sleep takes us back to our spiritual home, the divine energy and con- sciousness through which deep sleep renews us. We all sense that ô ô^


Sô K . ô Sô Rô õ ^ ô3 ôL Sô S 3


turn to the quiet and rest of our homes, in which we can shut the outer world off, be ourselves, relax and let go—and have a good sleep. We are all happy to go to sleep because we recognize that sleep


brings us to a natural state of peace and well-being in which we can release the cares of the world. Beggar or king—sleep is the same for both. This peace of deep sleep can help us understand the peace in- herent in our deeper consciousness. Yet, it is not enough to rest in our outer home, we must learn to rest in our inner home, which is the core awareness within our own hearts.


Qualities of the States of Consciousness (Avastha) English


Sanskrit Lord WAKING DREAMING Svapna Vishnu DEEP SLEEP Sushupti Rudra THE FOURTH Turiya Ishvara


BEYOND THE FOURTH


Turiyatita Jagrata Brahma annamaya


Kosha/Sheath Realm/State of Mind Mind & Prana physical; conscious


pranamaya, manomaya & vijnanamaya


astral; subconscious


anandamaya higher astral; subsuperconscious


anandamaya Brahmaloka; superconscious


beyond the five koshas


Parasiva/Parabrahman; beyond the mind


outwardly directed inwardly directed


withdrawn


merged within; samadhi


transcendent


Location right eye


throat


spiritual heart, unconsciously


spiritual heart, consciously


timeless, spaceless, formless


april/may/june, 2017 hinduism today 41 ô-


Planet Earth


Moon Sun


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