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Avasthathrayam - Three states of experience

Discussion in 'Chitvish on Hindu Culture & Vedanta' started by Chitvish, Aug 9, 2007.

  1. Chitvish

    Chitvish Moderator IL Hall of Fame

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    The three states of experience are:

    Jagrad-avastha - the waking state
    Svapna-avastha - the dreaming state
    Sushupthi avastha - the sleeping state

    Jagrad-avastha:
    This is the state in which we function through the physical body and the sense organs and contact the external world.
    In this state, we experience the external world. This is Anubhava.
    While contacting the external world, the mind records and stores all the experiences in the form of impressions called Vasanas. (We will learn more about it in a separate post) Our mind retains them also.
    So in the jagrad avastha, Anubhavas are recorded and stored as Vasanas.

    Svapna-avastha:
    We record all impressions in jagrad-avastha. When we sleep, we stop functioning through the physical body and sense organs and the external world disappears. We are not aware of our physical body. But in the swapna-avastha, we encounter a new world with its own, “ sabda (sound), sparsa(touch), rupa (appearance), rasa (taste), gandha(smell). “
    This is the dream world which is not an external world but an inner world, a projected world born out of the activation of impressions (vasanas).
    This inner world is full-fledged in that we have our own physical body and we feel it is solidly real. We do not know it is our projection or dream state.
    Very often, if we dream of a lion chasing us or that we fall down a staircase, we wake up with a jerk and we realise we are trembling !
    The scriptures even say that dreams born out of purva-janma-vasanas are also possible ! This is because the subtle body continues to be the same for all births.
    A child becomes a musical prodigy because of the activation of purva janma vasanas.
    The activation very often is not total, but vague. For some people, these vasanas attract them easily to spirituality !
    Thus vasanas play a contributory role in jagrad-avastha and a prominent role in svapna-avastha.

    Sushupthi-avastha:

    This is the deep sleep state. Neither the physical body functions nor are the vasanas activated. Only involuntary actions like blood circulation, digestion etc go on. There is no conscious willful functioning through the body . There is total blankness without any experience. This is a state of relaxation without any strain and hence is highly refreshing.

    The above three states are introduced in our sasthras for a particular purpose. The three bodies, gross, subtle and causal cannot be physically separated. Since they are always together we cannot understand them distinctly. So we have to find out the state in which each one functions prominently to distinctly understand the role each plays.
    In the waking state, gross body plays an important role.

    In dream state, though the physical body is present, the subtle body plays an important role because the vasanas are playing an active role. So, the dream state is ideal to understand the subtle body.

    The deep sleep state is ideal to understand the causal body. Here all the functions of the gross and subtle body are resolved. The karmendriyas and jnanenndriyas do not function. Thinking or feeling is not there. Even, ahankara, the “I” notion is resolved. All go back to the causal state called karana-sariram. Even though the two bodies are not resolved, they are as good as resolved because they are without voluntary functions. Thus the deep sleep state can serve as a model for pralayam (total dissolution).

    Love,
    Chithra.



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  2. vidhi

    vidhi Senior IL'ite

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    Dear Chithra

    So this time you have given the details of the three states of experience. It is nice to know how we as a body function. The explanation you have given for the child prodigy made sense. Great going chithra. Looking forward for the next week.

    Love
    vidhi
     
  3. Chitvish

    Chitvish Moderator IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Vidhi,
    Thankyou for the first FB.
    All these have to be familiarised before we go on to Atma in the second chapter of Gita.
    I am happy that you enjoy these posts.
    Love,
    Chithra.
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  4. mkthpavi

    mkthpavi Senior IL'ite

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    Very nice write-up Chithra :)
    On a lighter note, most of us will agree that in classrooms, we spend most time in Svapna-avastha (physically awake but mentally in a different dreamland) :) :)

    With love
    Pavithra
     
  5. Chitvish

    Chitvish Moderator IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Pavithra,
    Thankyou for joining us here.
    Why only in classrooms? - in life we spend more time in pahal kanavu, rather day dreaming than in fruitful action !
    Love,
    Chithra.
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  6. Malathijagan

    Malathijagan Silver IL'ite

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    Dear Chithra,
    My humble request - If you could explain the terms- Karana sariram,karmendriyas and jnanenndriyas etc. since quite a lot of our members may be a novice in this field. That would make understanding much easier.
    Otherwise this thread is a wonderful eye-opener for the spiritual seeking person as well as for the curious readers who would love to get initiated.
    Regards,
    Malathi
     
  7. Chitvish

    Chitvish Moderator IL Hall of Fame

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  8. gayathriar

    gayathriar Bronze IL'ite

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    Dear C

    Thanks for the links in response to Malathi's question. I re-read the sharirathrayams to co-relate their reference.

    Even in the deep sleep state( Sushupthi avasta ), we still have the physiologicalsystems like the circulatory and probably even the digestive systems functioning. So, why should we think all the functions of the subtle body are resolved like in Pralaya where all the gross and the subtle bodies are resolved into an unmanifested form( Nirvikalpa )?

    Is this unmanifested form the ultimate goal of all the beings( moksham )? If so, is Pralayam a good thing - as it resolves all the subtle and gross bodies into one unmanifested form?

    If the nirvikalpa from is not moksha, what is the difference? If it is a off-topic issue, please ignore this question.

    I am sorry for the volume of questions. Many many thanks for generating interest in these topics. Now I am looking forward to see how all the sharirams and avastas are handled in Gita.

    -Gayathri.
     
  9. slp807

    slp807 Bronze IL'ite

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    Dear Chitra mam,

    one more excellent write up from you.
    i enjoyed reading and understanding the three states of experience.i feel very honoured reading all your posts which are very easy to grasp.
    Thankyou Mam once again.

    cheers
    sreelatha
     
  10. Chitvish

    Chitvish Moderator IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Gayathri,
    In sushupthi, only involuntary functions go on and it is similar to pralayam, where everything is there but totally unmanifest.
    Pease do not confuse with moksham. Moksham is ultimate liberation, when you reach the stage of no more janmas. It can happen to one in a billion like
    Paramacharya.
    More than sharirams and avastas being handled in Gita, I am building a prelude to Atma which comes in the second chapter of Gita.
    Next will be pancha koshas after which I plan to deal with Atma. In between, I will take up Gita also, to keep your interests alive !:-D
    Please stay tuned.
    Love,
    Chithra.



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