11 July 2015

For Ramana and Nisargadatta Toe-lickers

For those who still believe Ramana and Nisargadatta speak of the same thing, I direct you to Michael James’ book the Happiness of Being, pages 289-292 that explain the terms Turiya and Turiya-atita.  Turiyatita does not mean a state that transcends Turiya. Rather it is because Turiya underlies the “normal” states of waking, deep sleep, and dream, and from Turiya, one experiences these other three states as mere appearances, something added on to you, and thus Turiya is the only state, not the Fourth State, and thus its real nature is beyond the meaning and designation of the Fourth State; that is, it transcends the concept of the Fouth State, and is called atita, or Turiyaatita.

In verse 32 of Uḷḷadu Nāpadu Anubandham Sri Ramana says:

For those who experience waking, dream and sleep, [the real state of]‘wakeful sleep’, [which is] beyond [these three ordinary states], isnamed turiya [the ‘fourth’]. [However] since that turiya alone exists,[and] since the three [states] that appear [and disappear] are [inreality] non-existent, [the one real state that is thus named turiya is infact] turiya-v-atīta [that which transcends even the relative conceptthat it is the ‘fourth’]. Be clear [about this truth].

Our fundamental and natural state of ‘wakeful sleep’ or true non-dual self-knowledge is described as the ‘fourth’ only to impress upon us that it is a state that is beyond our three ordinary states of waking, dream and sleep. However, when we actually go beyond our three ordinary states by experiencing our fundamental state of true self-knowledge, we will discover that this fundamental state is the only real state, and that our three ordinary states are merely imaginary appearances, which are seemingly superimposed upon it, but which in reality do not exist at all. Therefore, though it is sometimes called the ‘fourth state’, the state of true self-knowledge or ‘wakeful sleep’ is in fact the only state that truly exists.

Hence, since the term turīya or the ‘fourth’ implies the existence of three other states, it is actually not an appropriate name for the only state that truly exists. Therefore, though the true state of ‘wakeful sleep’ is named turīya, it could more appropriately be named atīta, ‘that which transcends’.

In other words, since it is the one absolute reality and is therefore completely devoid of all relativity, it transcends not only the three relative states of waking, dream and sleep but also the equally relative concept that it is the ‘fourth’ state. This is the reason why it is also described as turīyātīta, a term that literally means ‘that which transcends the fourth’.

Thus Ramana never went beyond the experience of the Fourth State (in this part of his exposition, of my shower awakening experience, where I alone existed and sleep, waking, and dream came to me like clouds that came and went and did not touch me.

          From this point of view, the normal Consciousness of waking, sleep, and dream is illusory and does not exist.

This is similar to Nisargadatta’s  concept which he inherited from Siddharameshwar,but not the same, because both Nisargadatta and his teacher clearly stated that the Absolute, the Witness, Parabrahman laid prior to Consciousness, including prior to Turiya, the Fourth State.

However, Ramana’s initial awakening concerned the explosion of awareness he felt within, including the full force of his personality, and all the internal processes of his body centered in his experience of his Self.

So Ramana moved from a position I call realization of the Manifest Self (Awareness or sentience itself, experience of the body, experience of thought, internal energies, one’s sense of presence, and the experience of the divine within as oneself), to later announcing the utter existential and ontological priority of Turiya, waking sleep as he called it, or the experience of Self as separate from the three-fold human consciousness.

Both Ramana and Nisargadatta startedas Bhakta’s worshiping  theenergies and aliveness of human god-embodied Consciousness, and then going beyond it to either Turiya (the Atman), or beyond Turiya to the Noumenal, non-existing in the world, Witness, or Parabrahman.

But, to those who have experienced both awakenings, one sees clearly that both are one.  The Noumenal Witness, Parabrahman, is the flip side of human/divine embodiment, the Manifest Self so strikingly described in Ramana’s waking experience.

In any event, I say to the reader, “So what?”

Both Ramana and Nisargadatta would say none of this would mean anything to you except by constant abiding in your own sense of Self.  Find your sense of I, or IAm, and dwell there, abide there, rest in your Self. That is, rest in you, and when you do so without thinking, you are the Witness.

After through Grace you get to have a great experience of recognizing God in you as you, you carry that sure knowledge with you evermore, but it is not obtained through reading Ramana or worshiping him, but through loving Self-acceptance and self-abidance.