While reading Vivekachudamani, commentaries on some of the Mukhya Upanishads, (Jnaneshwari) Bhagavad Gita & Yoga Vasistha, I found that they are talking about the different state of Chitt viz. Jagrat (जाग्रत), Swapna (स्वप्न), Sushupti (सुषुप्ति) & Turiya (तुरिय).

Among which we realize Jagrat, Swapna and Sushupti regularly.

I want to know Turiya and How do I realize it? I think realization is very important to exactly/truly know them.

So, What is Turiya and how can we realize it?

Note: This is very general/common question for beginners

  • Sushupti is deep sleep, so presumably you attain it every night. By the way, philosophical Shaivites believe in a fifth stage called Turiyatita which is beyond even Turiya; see my question here: hinduism.stackexchange.com/q/8944/36 Commented Feb 23, 2016 at 12:11
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    Turiya is nothing but Non-Dual Brahman. The Mandukya Upanishad also describes this. It is neither this nor that. It cannot be described! Whatever you say about it, it is not, but yet it is that. It can only be realized. Mandukya Upanishad says that when you chant AUM, there is a silence that follows, that silence could lead you to Turiya. Some sadhakas try to focus on the silence between two thoughts, two breaths, two AUMs, two Mantras, to realize Turiya. Because this silence is one's identity. Realizing Turiya and Realizing Brahman are same thing. by following Jnana, Bhakti, Karma or rajayoga
    – Sai
    Commented Feb 23, 2016 at 17:16
  • @Sai But this answer says Turiyatita is Non-Dual Brahman.
    – Pinakin
    Commented Feb 25, 2016 at 4:32
  • @ChinmaySarupria Yes that answer is very good. Thanks for sharing. However, according to Mandukya Upanishad, the Turiyatita state that the user refers to is actually the Turiya state. See here: swami-krishnananda.org/mand/Mandukya_Upanishad.pdf. Specifically Verses 7 and 12. Now again, my intention is not to contend with that answer. i.e. that answer is right in its own way. But it is not a universally accepted concept that there is a fifth state called Turiyatita. I personally believe its just a question of how to word it (you can refer my comment on that question for my take).
    – Sai
    Commented Feb 25, 2016 at 15:44

3 Answers 3


Turiya refers simply to the Fourth. There are four quarters to Brahman; the waking, dream, dreamless, and the Turiya. The Fourth state is not separate from the other three but rather transcends and encompasses the other three states as well as a Fourth. Turiya is Pure Consciousness and is the same as the Atman or the Unconditioned Brahman. The Mandukya Upanishad verse VII says:

नान्तःप्रज्ञं न बहिष्प्रज्ञं नोभयतःप्रज्ञं न प्रज्ञानघनं न प्रज्ञं नाप्रज्ञम् । अदृष्टमव्यवहार्यमग्राह्यमलक्षणं अचिन्त्यमव्यपदेश्यमेकात्मप्रत्ययसारं प्रपञ्चोपशमं शान्तं शिवमद्वैतं चतुर्थं मन्यन्ते स आत्मा स विज्ञेयः ॥

(Swami Nikhilananda translation):

Turiya is not that which is conscious of the inner (subjective) world, nor that which is conscious of the outer (objective) world, nor that which is conscious of both, nor that which is a mass of consciousness. It is not simple consciousness nor is It unconsciousness. It is unperceived, unrelated, incomprehensible, uninferable, unthinkable, and indescribable. The essence of the Consciousness manifesting as the self [in the three states], It is the cessation of all phenomena; It is all peace, all bliss, and non-dual. This is what is known as the Fourth (Turiya). This is Atman, and this has to be realized.

The Upanishad then goes on to explain the meaning of AUM and the correspondence of the individual letters to the first three states and finally that AUM, in total, corresponds to Turiya. Verse XII then says:

The Fourth (Turiya) is without parts and without relationship; It is the cessation of all phenomena; It is all good and non-dual. This AUM is verily Atman. He who knows this merges his self in Atman--yea, he who knows this.

Sankara's and Gaudapada's commentary on this verse then explain that those who meditate on AUM in the heart as a symbol of Brahman will realize AUM, will realize Brahman.

In his introduction to his translation of the Mandukya Upanishad and Gaudapada's Karika, Swami Nikhilananda gives some general comments on how to realize Brahman. He says (The Upanishads, V2, p 206):

Therefore rigorous disciplines are indispensable for the actual experience of Reality. The Upanishads ask the pupil to practice various disciplines, such as austerity (tapas), continence (brahmacharya), truthfulness (satyam), and reverence (sraddha). Vedanta lays down four general disciplines. These are discrimination between the Real and the unreal, renunciation of the unreal, a group of six virtues (calmness of mind, control of the senses, self-settledness, forbearance, concentration, and faith), and lastly an irrepressible longing for the Knowledge of Reality.

The last discipline (longing, or as Sankara says in may places, a deep hankering) is considered by many the most important. A person who has this hankering will naturally develop the others. Ramakrishna Paramahamsa gave the following story: A student kept on asking his teacher what was needed to realize God. One day, the teacher had the student go down to the lake with him. After they entered the water, the teacher grabbed the student's head and pushed him underwater and held him there for sometime. After a while the teacher let go of his head and let him surface. The teacher asked the student - "What were you thinking?" the student replied - "I could think of nothing else but wanting a breath of air!" The teacher replied - "When you long for Brahman as you did for that breath of air, Brahman will be realized."

When you can think of nothing else but Brahman to the exclusion of all else, the Turiya will be realized.

  • Turiya is not that which is conscious of the inner (subjective) world. So does than mean it's not possible to hear inner sounds, access/travel to divine dimensions in turiya state?
    – Aoi. T_015
    Commented Nov 24, 2018 at 8:37

What is Turiya?

Turiya/तुरीय should be the ultimate state of the consciousness. It's the final outcome or remainder after Neti Neti(Apophatic theology) of other states of consciousness.

In spirituality, the final state is Moksha, so Turiya might be termed as the experience of Moksha, while still being alive!
We can also draw parallels among the various stages based on what Adi Shankara has derived from Mandukya Upanishada and from this answer:

  • Sthula Sharira/Annamaya Kosha (gross body) -- JAgruta (awake)
  • Sukshma Sharira/Manomaya Kosha/Mann (subtle body) -- Swapna (dreaming)
  • KArana Sharira/Anandamaya Kosha/Buddhi (causal body) -- Sushupti (dreamless)
  • Avyakta SwabhAva/Atman (true self) -- Turiya (none of the above; i.e. liberated)

How can we realize Turiya?

Waiting & "doing nothing"!

  1. mā karma-phala-hetur bhūr: Surrendering the ownership of the actions to "that"(god). Because, anyways effectively we "do nothing". Our actions should be natural to us rather than goal-centric.
  2. mā te saṅgo ’stv akarmaṇi: If we literally "do nothing", then we should not be excited by that either. Just don't do something, because it's natural.

Above 2 are the basis of Karma Yoga and Karma SanyAsa respectively. They are not choices. In most lives they are nicely intermingled.
e.g. After having a meal we walk, as it's natural to us. Here "Walking" is a NishkAma Karma, because by walking we don't want to go anywhere! Similarly, sometimes if we "don't walk", we don't repent that inaction. Here "not walking" is Akarma, to which we aren't attached.

Karma Yoga and Karma SanyAsa are naturally followed for many un-important things. But often we fail the test for other things, which we have categorized as "important".
Be indifferent to all "important" and "unimportant" matters.

People are different and hence are the ways. If there was a really a guaranteed way for all, then there would have been lot of businesses (e.g. Moksha machines in USA around '70s) by now. But [un]fortunately, such things are just received rather than achieved!


In hindu philosophy (the sanskrit meaning' Turiya' the fourth) caturiya chaturtha is pure conciousness. Turiya is a background underlies transcend the tree the common state of conciousness. To know about Turiya plz visit on http://themodernvedic.com/life/fourth-state-mind-consciousness-turiya/

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    It would be better if you could actually quote the relevant information from the website and then provide the link, so that the answer is complete.
    – Surya
    Commented Sep 29, 2017 at 16:24

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