When our meditation practice becomes true to ourselves as states of joy alight, we are in the state of turiya. Turiya is higher consciousness. Turiya is what the Sages call the sleepless sleep. Turiya is the experience of the liberated. The liberated are the Self-realized.
Sri Ramana Maharshi, one of Mother India’s enlightened masters, would awaken the turiya state of higher consciousness of any seeker who sought his blessings simply through silent presence. His simple gaze would awaken a seeker to realization.
Sri Ramana Maharshi's awakening of the turiya state is conveyed in the following story that Nandhi adapted to convey the yogic insights into the essence of meditation and the conscious mind.
“Three thieves ruled over the jungle. If anyone entered this jungle they never could escape - for the third thief was merciless, cruel and lazy. The second thief always wanted things done. He was constantly in action - running around the forest, checking out the neighboring towns and never at one place for very long. The third thief however had goodness in him. He was peaceful, happy, but sworn into company of the other two thieves since they were living together in the forest as a family.
One day, Manidan had to go through the forest. As always happened to anyone who entered the forest, Manidan was held captive by the three thieves. The thieves tied up Manidan as prisoner within the forest.
Imprisoned by the three thieves, Manidan prayed to Source for freedom from this harassment and cruelty, not knowing any other relief. Hearing the prayers the third thief, the good thief came to the rescue of Manidan.
One day, while the first thief, the bad thief, was sleeping, the good thief released Manidan of the bonds. The good thief took Manidan to the outer boundaries of the forest and said, “Walk out to your freedom beyond the entrapment of this forest and the robbers who dwell in it. From now on, remember that you are not Manidan anymore. You are a Deva, an Angel.” Manidan walked out to his true reality, with the name and identity of Deva.
“The Thieves” are the three states of mind. The first state of mind is Tamas - the lower state of the mind that is ignorant. The tamas state is characterized as the nature of sloth, anger, violence and all the lower tendencies of the human. The second state of mind is Rajas which depicts a person who is active and action oriented, as in the fast paced society of the West and as city dwellers - in a survival mode. The third state of mind is called Satva which is characterized as the peaceful tranquil nature that knows basic goodness in each pure thought.
Any time we pray, meditate, or contemplate Source, our satvic mind steps in to untie us from the unique bond of ego and the mental patterns we experience in human limitations. The “Forest” is the human mind that we enter into through this birth. “Manidan”, the man captured and confined in the mind “forest” is the humanness of ourselves. Manidan in Tamil means the human. “Deva” is the Being whom we are when we are shown freedom by the third state of the mind, the Satvic nature within ourselves. "Deva" in both Tamil and Sanskrit means the Angel.
This “Deva” state is turiya - the spirit having the human experience as a higher conscious being. In the state of turiya - experienced as expanded realities - we are able to tap into our potential of genius wherever we choose to focus our attention.
The turiya state is a common denominator of inspiration for all people. For instance, an artist while painting, a mother suckling her baby, or anyone who is aligned to the genius of perfection, steps into turiya states where the doer forgets time, hunger, and tiredness in the intensity of inspiration. Every higher conscious master imparts wisdom through the alignment of being in states of turiya through prayer, contemplation, meditation and inspiration.
The majority of humanity experience turiya unconsciously in states of joy. In this fleeting flash of a moment, joy reveals itself and sets the human in pursuit to have more of this joy.
A yogi consciously seeks the state of joy perpetually within and until the state of turiya begins to be the perpetual meditation mode - of being in love, as love, in every moment. Disciplines form around the desire to have more joy - leading us to do our daily yoga, lighting a lamp to Source. All of this leads to a mind that is in the joy of awareness, mindfulness and bliss, which is the nature of the turiya state.
Those liberated and blessed by Turiya are Mahatmas - the immense awake souls - like Mahatma Gandhi. If you are traveling through Mother India, visit Sabarmati Ashram. Here Mahatma Gandhi’s divine presence is enshrined in the form of the many books he wrote and the innumerable articles, notes and books written about him. Here was a man who also did household chores, ashram duties and was involved in the relentless struggle for freedom. The time he spent in prison, of course, gave Mahatma Gandhi ample time to utilize in writing. What you will ‘see’ in Sabarmati Ashram is the immense stature of Mahatma Gandhi, as he made more than a mere mark in history. He was a giant in this moment in time, swaying global leaders while being the epicenter of a mass movement committed to non-violence.
Mahatma Gandhi was in the blessed state of turiya. He was a yogi. He began his day waking up no later than 3:00 to 4:00 am. Every morning without fail, at 4.30 am, he and all the ashram inmates would repeat the prayers that had been chosen from all the major religions.
Mahatma Gandhi would go to bed at 11:00 pm. He loved reading and would fall asleep by midnight, providing him with about 4 hours of sleep each day. He did not sleep during most days; and if he did take a nap during daytime, it was a short nap for less than 30 minutes. Mahatma Gandhi said, “If you are really tired during the day, meditate twice as much, to wipe tiredness away.”
In Mahatma Gandhi's most personal book called "Prayer," he is revealing the turiya state. In this autobiographical book, Mahatma Gandhi writes a rare portrait of himself - more open and frank in discussing his intimate spiritual life. In understanding and celebrating each breath in tune with Source, Mahatma Gandhi describes being in a meditative state throughout his daily work, and how intensely inspired each moment was, even during difficult times. He mentions in this book, how he went to sleep with his final plunge into the depth of sleep through prayer and then would wake up each morning with prayer; thus attaining the higher conscious mind that could manifest magnificent realities as a Mahatma.
A historically significant incident was recorded by the disciples of Sri Ramana Maharshi, when the Saint was asked what he thought about M.K Gandhi. This was at a time when the title of “Mahatma” was not yet conferred to Mahatma Gandhi, about twenty years before India won independence and when the freedom struggle of India against the British imperialism had waned. At that time, Mahatma Gandhi was in a political wilderness, with no seeming breakthrough with the British, in the struggle for freedom. Sri Ramana Maharshi responded with total confidence, “Gandhi operates from the Aadi Atma Shakti, and no matter what, he will accomplish the objective of the freedom struggle.”
Sri Ramana Maharshi meant that Mahatma Gandhi had tapped into the powerful “Soul Force”, the primal energy of the soul, and this awake turiya state would lead Mahatma Gandhi to victory. Thus, the turiya state of the awake presence and actions of Mahatma Gandhi was recognized by Sri Ramana Maharshi, years before Mahatma Gandhi was truly acknowledged by all of India for this accomplishment of winning independence.
Attain the turiya state through our daily practice to celebrate our union with Source. By cultivating our daily practice we expand our consciousness making each thought potent to manifest the most harmonious, abundant and inspired realities! Imagine the power of a million Mahatmas shaping our global realities as blessings of turiya for all of humanity! Through turiya be a “Mahatma.”
Gratitude to the editd by Brother Ganganath and Sister Tara
Upcoming release of our new album ARAKARA by White Swan Music!
Upcoming release of our new album ARAKARA by White Swan Music!
Music to Awaken the Inner Fire: Turiya Nada: www.turiyanada.com