Turiya

təˈri yə - तुरीय

The state beyond deep, dreamless sleep, in which the superconscious becomes overtly active. (1)

According to Swami Sivananda, turiya is the fourth state of consciousness in which the individual rests in Satchidanandam (“ever-existing, ever-conscious, ever-new bliss”). The individual has attained nirvikalpa samadhi or final liberation from ego consciousness and is united with infinite spirit. Turiya refers to both Atman, the individual self, and Brahman, the infinite self, representing their spiritual union. (2)

The individual soul realizes and transcends the three states of waking, dreaming, and deep sleep consciousness in turiya. He goes beyond the gross aspect of Brahman in the material world, the subtle aspect of Brahman in the dream world, and the causal aspect of infinite nature in deep sleep. He realizes his true nature as pure knowledge and bliss. Thus he is freed from desire, delusion, and duality in the external world. (3)

Turiya is not a state apart from the grosser states but pervades all levels of reality as superconsciousness. Ramana Maharshi interprets turiya as the natural state that permeates the other states, the only whole reality. (4) The Mandukya Upanishad discusses turiya as pure consciousness, which is indescribable, incomprehensible, and unthinkable by the mind, but ultimately realized as the one true self. (5)

References

  1. Whispers from Eternity, by Paramahansa Yogananda.
  2. Turiya or the Fourth State,” Swami Sivananda.
  3. Turiya,” by Yanush of Self-Realization Fellowship.
  4. Turiya: The Absolute Waking State,” by Anadi.
  5. Mandukya Upanishad and Yoga: Twelve Verses on OM Mantra,” by Swami Jnaneshvara.