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Thread: Turiya and Brain Damage?

  1. #1

    Turiya and Brain Damage?

    Jai Gurudeva,

    I read recently in all circumstances one should be absorbed in the truths of Vedanta. Vitarka being part of the process one can apply vedantic thoughts, even in English or any language and they can help in initial application to bring about silence and concentration and go more subtle, when Vitarka is purified and becomes more subtle it becomes tarka deep contemplation beyond ordinary thoughts in states of samadhi union with turiya. It is these non ordinary states that causes a type of brain damage.

    When I first read that swaroop lakshanam was described as brain damage as part of one persons writing on Vedanta it caught me, I knew there was a deeper meaning behind it. Its not like the brain damage of being in car crash or serious head injury. Although saying that a friend told me recently that there is a ted talk about a woman who had an stroke and the left part of her brain was heavily damaged and she lost the use of most of her physical faculties. Although she lost many of the empirical functions she has a wave of experiences in the subtle, the right side of the brain and spoke about lucid states, the story is about Jill Bolte for further research, and how she gradually built her self up, I think will be a nice research.

    As per my understanding we gain knowledge, conscious knowledge of turiya when we are in sushupti~ yogic sleep which is actually awake and free from the limitations of mental and physical consciousness, jagrat and svapna. I may have to write this in parts as its such a broad subject to explain, and there is something important to learn about it for the aspiring transcendentalist.

    Recently I was doing some research into tatastha, and came across swaroopa lakshanam and tatastha lakshanam, Tatastha Lakshanam (from a worldly standpoint); Swaroopa Lakshanam(from a Brahman standpoint). In one explanation of swaroopa lakshanam it was described as brain damage. In states beyond svapna and Jagrat there is no longer any attachment to physical and mental activity, even if there is sense of thoughts patterns and physical sensation there will be detachment according to the strength of the absorption, the deeper the absorption the deeper the detachment. In these states one is experiences awareness without name and form, or in other words they will experience a reality beyond the whole range of the empirical world, even subjectivity is not within sushupti and the deeper states of inner absorption.

    here is a quote from yogapedia describing nirvikalpa samadhi.

    Nirvikalpa samadhi is recognized as one of the highest states of samadhi. The state of consciousness before this is savikalpa samadhi where the experience of time and space alters. The yogi recognizes that everything is complete and there is nothing more to do. Thoughts still exist, but they do not affect the yogi in this state. After experiencing savikalpa samadhi, however, normal human consciousness returns.
    The difference between this stage is that in nirvikalpa samadhi all thoughts dissolve. This is considered a state of being at one with the Divine. It is a state of true ecstasy, oneness and limitless bliss. After experiencing nirvikalpa samadhi, a yogi does not wish to return to the world. They may forget their own name, how to speak or how to think properly. With practice, though, they may find it easier to experience this state and then function in a normal way afterward.
    Beyond nirvikalpa samadhi is sahajasamadhi. This state is only achieved by very few spiritual masters and is said to allow them to achieve the highest level of spiritual consciousness while still functioning in the physical world.

    Due to our brain being programmed by prakriti we associate all experience through that type of consciousness, the type of consciousness here is one that has had no experience or did not notice the experience of something beyond this, so over time reality based in the chitta becomes grouped around svapna and jagrat or mental and physical consciousness. This makes up our empirical world, the normal day to day conventional reality that we experience through the mind and 5 senses.

    To keep it simple, if some how one has a non ordinary experience of a higher state, which is beyond svapna and jagrat, mental and physical consciousness the brain doesnt know how to understand and conceptualize it, its been given an experience beyond any conceptual form that it was programmed to think or understand. In this way the states higher than svapna and jagrat, mental and physical consciousness cant be understood at this point, not only that it directly affects how we see the world and the former self which we identified with.

    The implications of this is quite important, especially as many people who aspire for transcendence are living normal lives. To many, and I would consider myself in this category that life is usually to short to realize the perfect harmony of the the jiva living as a pure divine shakti filled with the quality of turiya in this life.

    If inspired as I have run out of time I may try add some other reflections, also as an aid to explore these things in more depth
    Last edited by markandeya 108 dasa; 15 April 2018 at 05:05 AM.

  2. #2

    Re: Turiya and Brain Damage?

    I put this in canteen, its a bit of freestyle writing, im not even trying to be philosophically correct, its not about spiritual realization causing damage to the brain, , only to the perception and a attempt to write about how the conceptual conditioned world, false views , view as in dristi,are destroyed in higher states.

    What all sadhanas ~ spiritual practices boil down to is the training and purification of the chitta. Chitta or mind is originally empty, its pure awareness, its also known as memory or storehouse consciousness, in some ways its a like a video camera constantly absorbing impressions and events and recreating them as evolutes of the mind, even the most subtle thoughts, most do not hit yhe gross level, a large part of the initial practice is the practice of protecting and strengthening the chitta, I dont know the Sanskrit in pali its cultivation of kusala wholesome states, actions and abstaining from akulsala unwholesome states and actions, as the mind evolves into prakriti or material nature it takes on those qualities, the more it takes on those qualities the deeper it gets conditioned in states of svapna and jagrat or conditioned by mental and physical consciousness. Stop an ordinary man in the street and ask him if he is his body and mind he will say yes and think nothing of it, to him that is all he is, the lower the states go there is more grosser forms of consciousness jagrat. One only reaches a real stage of consciousness, self awareness in sattva, sattva is the first symptom of consciousness, rajas~creative becoming and tamas~ destruction, are considered as unconsciousness states. A key point being that sattva is the source of all success for the aspiring transcendentalist. There is strong emphasis to protect and be careful what we put into the chitta, information is junk food and brahma vidya is prasadam.

    This isnt just theory, its very practical and there are many people who struggle to find a balance with the spiritual development and living in normal conventional society.

    The deeper this study goes the more profound it becomes, its a process of unbinding, its a gradual process, as the saying goes, there are no shortcuts. I have seen time and time again and also within my own experience that when some understanding no matter how it comes there is duality within ones existence after any strong paradigm shift, if that shift does not become stabilized and matured it can bring duality or confusion between spirit and matter, this was part of Arjuna dejection at the start of Bhagavad Gita, he was seeing everything with physical attachments and this brought him grief.

    When there is genuine insight the world view changes, we may become more aware that we are not this body, or the mind, the very thing we recognize as our true self is something more, better, more profound, bright luminous, having its own source of energy and is conscious, this is an experience of pure mind or raw chitta. Due to the previous conditions in chitta those experiences do not always last very long and the conditions of previous states comes flooding back and there can be tension, even aversion to anything material, chitta has not matured at this stage and it needs further training to maintain balance and equanimity. There is a lot of importance given to the practice of samatha or calm abiding, its an essential preliminary for chitta training and attaining samadhi states, to give the boat strength when its crosses the seas and meets the storms.

  3. #3

    Re: Turiya and Brain Damage?

    Its said that one should not share spiritual personal experiences in public, I agree to this but if it can be used for benefiting oneself and others then it would be OK to share, plus if not for the sages revealing this knowledge to us in one form or another we could not even transcend basic earthly drives and instincts.

    A few days before opening this thread I saw a comment and engaged in discussion, the topic was about why the jiva falls , or thats how they talk within the Gaudia tradition, its a useless debate or discussion at the present state. I rarely get involved, but someone said something that interested me, he injected something new into the discussion which I have not usually heard Hare Krsna devotees talk about, citing that sushupti is somehow related to tatastha, that interested me and we had a fruitful discussion.

    One night after a long day I was tired and took some rest at night and put on low volume an mp3 of om chanting and started to drift into a relaxed state before going to sleep and then started to enter into a mental absorption. Having done quite a few silent retreats and vipassana over the years I can understand somethings that happen to states of mind when it becomes absorbed. Mind was gaining strength in concentration and decided to get up and do some sitting, formal sitting posture is the best as the whole subtle energetic system flows more easy and the mind is kept in bright focused steady state.

    It was a mixed state where there is awareness of normal thought patterns, the thought patterns were based around what was being contemplated for some time, there was a concentration and absorption building up around the thoughts, which were not the thoughts themselves, I would consider this state of mind as a form of vitarka as some of the things that was being subconsciously processing started to come mind, the key reflections were jagrat, svapna, sushupti, tatastha, chitta ishvara, swaroop lakshanam Turiya and mantra 7 in mandukhya Upanishad~ adṛṣtam, avyavahārayam, agrāhyam, alakṣaṇam,acintyam, avyapadeśyam, these are some main things that I have been trying to understand via various means for a while, or as the central theme of sadhana.

    Mind in this state is allowed to see the thoughts behind the thought , meaning mind here is observing thought and is not a thought in itself and rather than just being swept along by conditioned neurological patterns ~vrittis, beyond the vrittis there is some space behind
    ~chid akasha, to see how thoughts connect, as said before this is not about being philosophical correct so some Sanskrit usage maybe not totally accurate , plus my Sanskrit is limited, and i am of the clothe that a Sanskrit word a day helps keep avidya at bay, here chidakasha is meant as empty spacial consciousness behind the vrittis, also im not aligning to any one tradition or school of thought or specific teaching in any strict manner or format, for example, I have equated the sanskrit prefix vi वि ,as a partial expansion of antariyami~paramatma, may sound odd, but if insight is only gained via anugraha then to some degree it makes sense and makes every precious moment of higher states nothing less than a blessing, im not making a literal statement, just sharing what helps me build up appreciation on the pathway to Self realization, sometimes it feels like the path to gradually awakening is just as rewarding as the end goal of full realization of Brahman, and since the Self can only be understood by the Self then surely what supports Self realization is also the Self .

    When mind is in this state there is the observation of seeing how something moves within the state of absorption, what moves into the mind is not the mind and here mind is not the thought, mind is awareness chitta, absorption is samadhi, samadhi is union with turiya, what moves into chitta starts to do some type of surgery on the vrittis, and begins to knit everything together and make senses of things in a way that that could be understood, something that I have been contemplating and trying to understand for many years was fixed to in the operation, the condition is not fixed properly and will require more surgery.

    On the basis of this experience and some insight gained I want to, in my own time and words, try and write it out. In the normal empirical waking consciousness not all of it has settled, and there is an awareness that there is process that goes on in the subconscious or the deepest root of chitta, what has worked in the past is when these types of things happen its time for retreat, and usually I would do that but at the moment I cant due to some things that I need to attend to, but that is what makes it more interesting to try and see what manifests and grows in part of normal daily life and it is this aim why I am writing in public because I see it as something that maybe can help the aspiring transcendentalist and also myself to make things more clear, in the chitta I know, there is not any confusion only a process of maturing, but to speak it out I dont know how to, or it will at least take time, so this is an exercise to bridge that gap between the spiritual and the material,where we find the profound in the most ordinary things and find our true potential in union with the Supreme while living in this life.
    Last edited by markandeya 108 dasa; 19 April 2018 at 11:51 AM.

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