Saturday, October 23, 2010

sivayOgins attain turiyA state in mortal body - mantrA 121

srigurubhyO namahA
In this mantrA, the first of a few that detail the state of being of a true siva yOgin, the sage paints a wonderful picture. The terms ' sethttiruthal' or 'being in a state akin to death' and 'summAiruthal' ' simply being' are oft occurring in the siddhA texts. Here the sage makes clear that the true siva yOgin will remain in a state akin to death (i.e. unaffected by the sensory stimuli) even when awake and engaged with the phenomenal world. The yOgin cultivates no attachments towards the world and simply accepts whatever comes his way as the will of siva. He wants nothing, he dislikes nothing. He remains ever immersed in siva. He remains ever full.

வித்தைக் கெடுத்து வியாக்கிரத் தேமிகச்
சுத்தத் துரியம் பிறந்து துடக்கற
ஒத்துப் புலனுயிர் ஒன்றாய் உடம்பொடு
செத்திட் டிருப்பார் சிவயோகி யார்களே. I.1.9.121.

Sivayogins Attain Turiya State in Mortal Body

Sivayogins are they that the seed destroy,
Who, in waking state, the pure awareness induce;
Who in harmony unbroken, achieve the tranced breath,
When life, senses, body--alike simulate death. I.1.9.121.

Com - they that the seed destroy, Those who have destroyed the seed and cause of births, namely the ‘vinai’ or karma as described in the previous mantrA and have arrived at a transcendental realm Who, in waking state, the pure awareness induce; (and) those who are able to rise free from the ties that bind by attaining to the state of pure turiyA (the fourth or transcendental state) even while being in the (ordinary) waking state Who in harmony unbroken, achieve the tranced breath, those who are able to merge the senses into the pure breath and stand in perfect harmony When life, senses, body – alike simulate death . those who being in that transcendental state remain as it were in a lifeless state (without any individual thoughts or actions for themselves) Sivayogins are such a person (who fits the above description) is known as a siva yOgin.

# This mantrA follows on from where the previous verse left off. The word ‘vyAgiram’ in the original refers to shuddha jAgrat or pure waking state. It is a transcendental realm.

To understand this better, we need to be aware of the different states of consciousness. The wise realise that the sentient being has a consciousness that is in different states at different times. They divide this into five specific categories or realms and these are as below –

jAgrat avasthA – this is known as the waking state of consciousness. When we are awake and are engaged in activities, this is the state of being. Though it is beyond the scope of this post to discuss these states in greater detail, it will be wise to note that during the jAgrat or waking state, the mind is affected by the g~nyAnEndriyAs (instruments of cognition) and the karmEndriyAs ( instruments of action), manas or mind, buddhi or intellect are active. The idea of ego and the limitations of the individual are present and affect the state of being accordingly.

– this is known as the dream state. When we are asleep but not in the deep sleep state, the consciousness is in the swapnA or dream state. Here it is of note that only the g~nyAnEndriyAs (instruments of cognition) and the manas , buddhi are active. The karmEndriyAs or instruments of action cease to be active, thus we are not engaged in activity during then. But sensory stimuli is perceived (like we can see and smell touch and taste etc during dreams).

Sushupti avasthA – this is known as the deep sleep state. In this state, the consciousness is in a state akin to death. The instruments of cognition and action are inactive. The manas and buddhi too are inactive. There is no memory or experience and it is a deeply restful state. Though similar to the state of samAdhi, the down side is that the jIvA is not aware of the state that he is in. It is an unconscious state of consciousness.

Turiya avasthA – this is known as the fourth state or the transcendental state as this is not a state of consciousness that is open to all. The above three states are accessed by all beings repeatedly at different times daily throughout life. However, the turiyA or the fourth state is something that is reached only through the grace of the guru and through the fruit of sAdhanA or spiritual practices. Here everything is clear and there is no delusion. This is the state of samAdhI (savikalpA).

TuriyAthItha avasthA – there is a fifth state, that which is even beyond the transcendental. This is the supreme avasthA or state where is nothing but self, established in self. Regular practise in being established in the turIya avasthA is the method to finally reach this state of turIyAthIthA where the state of samAdhI is effortless and continuous. (nirvikalpA).

So coming back to the mantra, the term ‘shuddha jAgrat’ or pure wakeful state refers to the state where the yOgin, though awake (i.e. with all the sense faculties operating normally) is not attached to or caught up in the phenomenal reality. The term ‘shuddha turIyam’ or pure transcendence refers to the fifth state detailed above, where the yOgin is ever immersed in the light of self. The words ‘ pulan uyir otthAi’ refer to the state where the yOgins mind is not pulled outward due to the operation of the senses.

The term ‘ sethittiruthal’ or simulating death refers to the state where the yOgin remains without any actions for one’s individual self.

Through the above mantrA we get a glimpse into the state of being of a true siva yOgin. The sage mentions that they are ever immersed in the light that is born from the realisation of self. Though they appear to be awake and appear to go to sleep etc like the rest of us, there is in reality a great difference in the state of consciousness of the regular jIvA and the siva yOgin who has ‘seen’ siva. The yOgin remains unaffected by what is seen or heard or felt or tasted. Though their sense faculties are in operation during the waking or jAgrat state, the manas or mind of the yOgin is unaffected by the stimuli and thus it does not flow outward to grasp the products of the phenomenal world. Not only that, the sage further clarifies that the yOgin remains immersed in the light of self or in the turiyAthItha avasthA where the self is seen reflected as all. As they perceive siva everywhere and in everything and as they are ever content and beyond the pull of the senses, the siva yOgIs remain without any actions for themselves. This however does not mean that they just sit doing nothing – it refers to the fact that they have dissolved the sense of individual identity in the state of supreme self. Thus all their actions are the actions of the supreme, not their own. Due to this, they also transcend the fruit of their actions – as their actions are not their own, so too the fruit is not theirs.

From the words of the sage we know that the true siva yOgin remains free of the taint and delusion of the body though they are possessed of the body just like everyone else.