5 Subjective States in Kashmir Shaivism - part 5- highestState

This lecture is a continuation from a previous lecture about the five Subjective States of awareness​ in Kashmir Shaivism. This is from the 11th Chapter of Kashmir Shaivism: The Secret Supreme, revealed by Swami Lakshmanjoo.

Here Swamiji explains the three​ states of turya and why there is not a fourth state of turya. Then he goes on to explain the state of turyātīta, which is above all the others.

“The highest state [turyātīta]  [of the individual subjective body] . . . . is [existing] in each and every state of the individual subjective body, it is there.” ~ Swami Lakshmanjoo

5 Subjective States in Kashmir Shaivism - part 5- highestState

5 States of the Individual Subjective Body

The state of turya is above the state of pramātṛi. It is called the state of pramiti. Pramiti is that state where the subjective consciousness prevails without the agitation of objectivity. And where the agitation of objectivity is also found in subjective consciousness, that is the state of pramātṛi. For example, when a person is lecturing and he is full of those objects which he is explaining, this is the state of pramātṛi. And when that same experiencer is without the agitation of lectures and there is no objective world before him, this is the state of pramiti. The state of pramiti is without any object at all. In other words, when he is residing in his own nature, that subjective consciousness is the state of pramiti.

The state of turya is said to be the penetration of all energies simultaneously, not in succession. All of the energies are residing there but are not in manifestation. They are all together without distinction. Turya is called savyāpārā because all of the energies get their power to function in that state. At the same time, this state is known as anāmayā because it remains unagitated by all of these energies.

Three names are attributed to this state—by worldly people, by yogins, and by illuminated humans (jñānīs). Worldly people call it turya, which means “the fourth.” They use this name because they have no descriptive name for this state. They are unaware of this state and, not having experienced it, simply call it the fourth state. Yogins have attributed the name rūpātītā to this condition because this state has surpassed “the touch of one’s self” and is “the establishment of one’s self.” The touch of one’s self was found in sound sleep; however, the establishment of one’s self takes place in turya. For illuminated humans, jñānīs, the entire universal existence is found in this state of turya, collectively, as undifferentiated, in the state of totality. There is no succession here. Jñānīs, therefore, call this state pracaya.

Now I’ll explain the names given to the states of turya jāgrat, turya svapna, and turya suṣupti. Only these three states are possible in turya. As turya cannot be divided, turya turya is not possible. The preceding states of individual subjective consciousness, jāgrat, svapna, and suṣupti, each have four aspects; the state of turya has only three.

The state of turya jāgrat exists when the consciousness of turya is not vividly manifested. Here, the consciousness of turya is in a subconscious state; it is found in the background. In this state, though strong consciousness exists, it is not manifested totally. It is yet to be manifested. In the state of turya svapna, the consciousness of turya is more vividly manifested. Consciousness is stronger here. And in the state of turya suṣupti, the consciousness of turya is the most vivid. Here, consciousness is the strongest. The state of turya jāgrat is called manonmanam, “beyond the span of the mind,” because it is that state where the mind has taken rise in mindlessness, complete thoughtlessness. The state of turya svapna is named anantam, which means “unlimited” because here is found the unlimited nature of the Self. This is the state of unlimited Being. Turya suṣupti is called sarvārtham. Sarvārtham means that in this state, although you are unlimited, you find existing all of the limitations of the universe.

Turyātīta is that state which is the absolute fullness of Self. It is filled with all consciousness and bliss. It is really the last and the supreme state of the Self. You not only find this state of turyātīta in samādhi, you also find it in each and every activity of the world. In this state, there is no possibility for the practice of yoga. If you can practice yoga, then you are not in turyātīta. In practicing yoga, there is the intention of going somewhere. Here, there is nowhere to go, nothing to achieve. As concentration does not exist here, the existence of the helping hand of yoga is not possible.

There are only two names actually attributed to this state of turyātīta, one given by worldly people and one by jñānīs. Worldly people, because they know nothing about the state, call it turyātīta, which means “that state which is beyond the fourth.” Jñānīs, on the other hand, have a name for it. They call it mahāpracaya, which means “the unlimited and unexplainable supreme totality.” Yogins do not actually attribute any name to this state because they have no knowledge of it. It is completely outside of their experience. Yogins have though, through the use of their imagination and guesswork, imagined one name which might be appropriate for this state: satatoditam which means “that state which has no pause, no break.” It is a break-less and unitary state. In samādhi it is there. When samādhi is absent, it is there. In the worldly state it is there. In the dreaming state, it is there. And in the state of deep sleep, it is there. In each and every state of the individual subjective body, it is there.

I have explained the nature of these five states of individual subjectivity from the Trika point of view. In the Pratyabhijñā philosophy, the masters of the Pratyabhijñā School have also explained and defined these five states. Their definitions of jāgrat, svapna, and suṣupti seem to differ somewhat from that given by the Trika Śaivites. Their explanations of turya and turyātīta, however, are the same.

The masters of the Pratyabhijñā School say that when you remain in that state where your consciousness is directed towards objectivity (bahirvṛitti) and you are no longer in your own subjective consciousness, that state is to be known as jāgrat. When you remain only in the sphere of impressions and thoughts (saṁkalpa nirmāṇa), that state is to be known as svapna. And when there is the absolute destruction of all impressions, thoughts, and consciousness (pralayopamam), when you are absolutely dead in your own self, that state is to be known as suṣupti.

Abhinavagupta, the greatest master of Śaivism and the greatest philosopher the world has ever known, gives the general definition of these states so that the student will know that there is really no difference at all between the Trika Śaivite and the Pratyabhijñā points of view. He explains that when there is vividness of objectivity, that is the state of jāgrat. When the vividness of objectivity is shaky and unstable, that is svapna. When the vividness of objectivity is gone completely that is suṣupti. When super-observation is found by some observing agency, that is turya. And when that objectivity is individually dead and found full of life in totality, that is turyātīta*.

So this is general definition of these five states.


*Turyātitā, beyond the fourth, is not found mixed with any other state. Turyātitā is absolute. In turyātitā, there is no contact of either objectivity or subjectivity. It is for this reason that only four different modes are to be found in each of the four states of the individual subjective body. Turyātitā is not explained nor is it recognized in this context.


Read more on how this individual subjective body travels in each state in detail in Chapter 11 of
Kashmir Shaivism: The Secret Supreme,
revealed by Swami Lakshmanjoo

Copyright © John Hughes

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