Varivasya Rahasyam 10 – Shlokas 37-41

इन्द्रियदशकव्यवहृतिरूपा या जागरावस्था ।
तत्र प्रकाशरूपो हेतुर्भाव्यस्तृतीयगे रेफे ॥ ३७

indriya dashaka – The ten indriyAs – 5 jnAnEndriyAs and 5 karmEndriyAs

vyavahRuti rUpA – transactional form

jAgarAvasthA – Is the jAgrad avasthA (awaken state) 

What does this mean? The state in which the Understanding of the jagad around us happens through the 10 indriyAs is called jAgrad avasthA.

tatra – there

prakAsharUpO hEtuH bhAvya – (the catalyst) that is shining

tRutIyagE rEphE – The rEphA of the third kUTA.

What does this mean? Even though the external elements are understood through these 10 indriyAs, the power for these indriyAs is given through the prakAshA – the light within. This light is what makes the person during the jAgrad avastA feel “I am seeing”, “I am hearing”, “I am walking” etc. This inherent “I am” – the svayaM prakAsha AtmaN – is what is shining and which makes everything else shine. This is represented by the rEphA of the third kUTA.

Why the rEphE? why the third kUTA? Let us look into bhAskararAyAs commentary for these answers.

कर्मेन्द्रियाणि पञ्च वाक्पाणिपादपायूपस्थानि; 

There are 5 karmEndriyAs – vAk, pANi, pAda, pAyu, upastha.

ज्ञानेन्द्रियाण्यपि पञ्च घ्राणरसनचक्षुस्त्वक्श्रोत्राणि;

There are 5 j~jAnEndriyAs – ghrANa, rasana, cakShu, tvak, shrOtra.

एतेषां दशानां स्वस्वविषयोत्पादकत्वं व्यवहारः; स एव जागरावस्था ।

These 10 indriyAs have specialized focus. Each one can only perform one transaction. Meaning you can only see through your cakShuH. It is not possible to hear or smell through your eyes. So each of these have their vishEsha vyavahAraM – special transaction/ability. Using these special abilities, these 10 indriyAs, perform their actions. The state in which these 10 indriYAs are the primary input generator and the feeder to get viShaya jnAnA is called jAgrat avastA.  

तत्र हेतुरूपं ज्ञानं अरूपत्वाद्भावनादशायां प्रकाशरूपत्वेन तृतीयकूटस्थरेफस्थाने विभावनीयम् ।

There should be something else that acts as a controller of these indriyAs, isn’t it? They by themselves do not have that capacity. We know a lot of people who have the physical eyes and physical ears do not have the seeing power or the hearing power. So something else has to provide this power to these karmEndriyA and jnAnEndriyAs so that they can go about performing their specialized tasks. Unfortunately, the faculty that gives this power is not as tangible as these indriyAs – it is arUpA – formless. It is the one that does not need something else to shine upon it, in other words, it requires no other external shining catalyst but it acts as the shining catalyst for everything else. It is only through this prakAshA – Atman within, each of these indriyAs realize that I am seeing, I am knowing etc. 

This jAgrad avasthA should be imagined in the RephaM of the third kUTAM. Sri Bhakaracharya does not explain this any further.

Fine. Let us contemplate. We all know that only the last hrIM (the third kUTaM hRIM is the complete hrIM). Hence, he is considering just the final kUTaM. Why is he considering only from the rEphaM and not the ha? The h indicates the jIVA who is experiencing the avastAs and the avastAs themselves are indicated from the syllables after that. 

So, it starts from the rEphaM. So, when we are doing the avastA pancaka bhAvanA, we would have to imagine the first avastA on the rEphaM of the third kUTa hrIM.

Even though bhAsakararAyA hasn’t given the physical location of this avastA, I feel, this should be in the nAbhi stAnaM or the maNIpUraka cakrA. Since rEphaM is agni bIjaM, and in the jAgrat avastA, the guNAs come into play and they are also represented by the agni only. Hence nAbhi/maNIpUraka chakrA should be visualized along with the rEphaM.

अन्तःकरणचतुष्कव्यवहारः स्वप्निकावस्था ।
सा तार्तीयेकाराद्बोध्यापि गलस्थ-ले चिन्त्या ॥ ३८

antaH karaNa catuShka – The four antaH karaNas (what are the four antakaraNAs? manO, buddhi, ahaMkAra, and cittaM). 

Now, you may ask, in our 36 tatvAs, we only have ahaMkAra, buddhi, and manas. Why don’t we have the cittA? In our tatvAs, antaHkaraNa is truputi only. Why? cittA is considered as part of buddhi itself. But in advaita philosophy, antaHkaraNa is considered as four. Hence cittA is given prominence. Even in nirvANa ShaTkaM of Adi ShaMkarA, you would see the reference of manO budyahaMkAra cittAni nAhaM. bhAsakarA has used the four here. But if you want to use three also, the concept is the same and there won’t be a change.

vyavahAraH – transactions – What transactions? The transactions that happen only due to the antaHkaraNas

svapnikAvasthA – indicates the svapnAvastA state. Meaning – In the svapnAvastA, the indriyAs are asleep. Only the antaHkaraNas are awake. Their transactions are not external. It is all internal. 

sA tArtIya – That third kUTaMs.

IkArAd- I kAraM

bOdhya api – is indicated. Also,

galastha – in the throat

la cintyA – The la-kAra can be imagined too.

मनो बुद्धिरहंकारश्चित्तं चेत्यन्तः करणानि चत्वारि ।

There are four antaHkaraNAs – manO buddhi ahaMkAraM and cittaM.

तैरेव व्यवहारः स्पप्नः ।

taiH eva vyavahAraH svapnaH – Their transactions only result in svapna state.

तज्जनकः प्रकाशस्तृतीयहृल्लेखस्थकामालया बोध्यः ।

Its source is in the third kUTa hRIMs kAmakalA – or I.

अथापि गलस्थ-ले द्वैतीयीकलकारे चिन्त्यः ।

In addition, visualize this in the throat as the la-kAraM in second kUTaM.

गलस्थश्चासौ लश्चेति विग्रहः ।

The breathing from the throat along with the second kUTa la-kAraM.

Only for this svapna avastA he has given this special second kUTaM la-kAraM. He has not given any additional points for this. So this deserves some contemplation. We cannot simply ignore this point and move on.

Let us understand this state of svapnA. Without any effort, any living being on earth will go through two svastAs – jAgrat and svapnA. You don’t put any effort towards these. They simply happen by themselves. Thankfully. How can they simply happen? There is something that is powering and managing these. It must be using some faculties to do these. These faculties or instruments/devices are called karaNam. There are two types of karaNams – bAhya karaNams and antaH karaNams… external and internal. External faculties are the 10 indriyAs. The internal faculties are the manO budhi ahaMkAra and cittaM. 

During the jAgrat state, the external faculties are the primary feeders. They go out and gather the vishayaM or the data from the external universe and feed to the manas. Manas is like a new paper. The new paper would document the facts – whatever was collected as is. In addition, there would be an Editorial column, and this Manas is like the Editor. It would form its own opinion and would try to influence the reader, who is the jiva. The buddhi, ahaMkArA, and cittA would all take the facts and also the editorials and then depending on the vAsaNas of the jIvA guide him accordingly. As you can see, in addition to the 10 external faculties, even the 4 internal faculties are needed during the jAgrat avastA. But the primary focus is the external faculties.

In the svapnA state, all the external faculties are asleep. The internal faculties are in action. As we saw earlier, the vAsanAs where the kArmic seeds are imprinted are in these antaHkaraNas. They guide during the jAgrat avastAs to resolve karmAs and also to create new karmAs. In the svapna avastA, the external Universe cease to exist. What remains is a new Universe and experiences created by the antaHkaraNas. Why do they do that? Why can’t they also sleep? They can and they will. But when they are awake while the external faculties are asleep, they try to do these stuffs. What is the purpose? It is possible to resolve karmAs at the state as well depending on the vAsanAs we have. 

At this state, when the external faculties are asleep, the Atman is awake, and the antaHkaraNas are awake, the only thing that is keeping the link is the breathing to the earth. If this is cut, there is nothing to bring us back. So this breathing is represented by the statement – galastha svasau – breathing through the throat. What is the link? Link with earth. BhUmi or pRuthivI bIjaM is la.   

Next question – Why did he choose the la of the second kUTaM? Why not the first or third kUtaM? In the triputIs – vAgbhavaM is Anava malaM, kAmarAjaM is mAyika malaM, and shakti is kArmika malaM. svapnAvastA is mAyA prAdhAnikaM which is the mAyika malam hence second kUTaM. 

Let us now move on to the next avastA.

आन्तरवृत्तेर्लयतो लीनप्रायस्य जीवस्य ।
वेदनमेव सुषुप्तिश्चिन्त्या तार्तीयबिन्दौ सा ॥ ३९

Antara vRuttE – The actions of antaHkaraNas

layatO – when they subside/stop

lInaprAyasya jIvasya – the jIva appears to be a dead person

vEdanaM evaM- This state is

suShupti – suShupti

cintyA – imagine/visualize

tArtIyabindau sA – The third kUTaM bindu there. 

Even this avasthA happens without any effort from the jIvA. While the jAgrat and svapna avastA happens on a daily basis for the jIvA, suShuptI is not a frequent occurrrence. suShupti means deep sleep. What is deep sleep? When all the external and internal faculties sleep, then it is called deep sleep. How is this experienced? jIvA will not be aware of this state while he is experiencing it. ONly after he comes out of this state he will realize “I had a deep peaceful sleep. I didn’t know anything”. Interestingly, this thought always comes together. If we contemplate on this, we will then realize that suShupti is not AtmAnubhAvam. Why? When everything that is linked to the sthUla dEhaM is asleep and we are able to experience the peace, why would that not be an AtmAnubhAvaM? While it is true that the peace experienced is noteworthy, the accompanied “I didn’t know anything” indicates ajnAna. AtmAnubhAvaM cannot have even a trace of ajnAnA with it. So in suShupti, since ajnAnA is present, it is not AtmAnubhAvam. But it is definitely a significant state as the ever awake antakaraNa is put to sleep.

Let us look into bhAskara rAyA’s commentary –

विवरणमते आत्मसुखज्ञानविषयिकास्तिस्रोऽविद्यावृत्तयः स्वीकृता इत्यत आह – आन्तरवृत्तेरिति ।

In the vivaraNa granthA, “Atma sukha jnAna viShyika astisrO avidyA vRuttayaH svIkRutA iti” – meaning – when the peace is experienced, along with the knowledge that the peace was experienced, the ajnAnA also accompanies. 

अन्तःकरणपरिणामरूपवृत्तेरित्यर्थः ।

The transformations of the antaHkaraNa transactions.

वार्तिकमते वृत्तिसामान्याभाव एव सुषुप्तिः ।

suShuptiH – A state where all faculties are put to sleep.

तार्तीयबिन्दौ ललाटस्थाने ।

tArtIyabindau – In the third kUTa bindu.

lalATa sthAnE – In the forehead.

During the japakAlA, visualize the suShupti avastA in the forehead at the bindu sthAnA. The third kUTA bindu of the hrIM-kAraM is represented here.

Let us now look into the next avasthA.

तुर्यावस्था चिदभिव्यञ्जकनादस्य वेदनं प्रोक्तम् ।
तद्भावनार्धचन्द्रदिकं त्रयं व्याप्य कर्तव्या ॥ ४०

jIvA experiences the first three states – jAgrat, svapna and suShupti avastAs. Jagrat and svapna avastAs are experienced by the help of indriyAs and antaHkaraNAs. In the deep sleep state, he realizes the possibility of a state without the functioning of all internal and external faculties. He realizes the possibility here. Through this feedback, he realizes that the peace experienced is not because of the existence of the faculties or the absence of the faculties but the nature of the Atman within. This gives a motivation to experience the Atman. This becomes possible by separating the “I” from the experiences. This is a result of a conscious practice. This state where the Atman is experienced is called the fourth state. The kunDaliNi nAda dhvani of the parA can be experienced until the nAdaM. 

turyAvasthA – This turyAvastA

cit abhivya~jjaka – symbolically indicates citsvarUpaM

nAdasya vEdanaM prOktuM – exists in nAdaM

tat bhAvanA – That visualization

ardhacandradhikaM trayaM vyApya kartavya  – three states from ardhachandrA – viz, ardhacandrA, rOdhini and nAdaM.

अर्धचन्द्ररोधिनीनादेषु व्याप्तस्तुर्यावस्थाप्रकाशोभाव्यः ।

The three points – ardhacandra, rodhini and nAdaM are visualized in the turyAvasthA. (

Let us now look into the last shlOkA –

आनन्दैकघनत्वं यद्वाचामपि न गोचरे नॄणाम् ।
तुर्यातीतावस्था सा नादान्तादिपञ्चके भाव्या ॥ ४१

We all know that the fourth state, they could not name it and hence simply called the fourth state or turiyA. Now, this fifth state also, they could have called the same way as pancama isnt it? Why did they have to called it turiyAtItA – beyond fourth? What is beyond fourth? Does that mean five, six, seven, eight, etc? Are there more states? Is that the reason they bundled everything together as beyond four?

In fact, this turiyAtItA is not a state at all. It is a stateless experience. It is beyond the triputi samaShTi and vyaSHTis. In the turiyA state, you realize that you are not the body, mind, etc and experience the nature of Atman. But when even the feeling – that you are not this or that –  is vanished and you simply become that – Ananda ghanatvaM – just prajnAnaghana – saccidAnanda – brahmaN – the mahAbindu – shuddhaprakAshaM – that is turiyAtItaM. 

This is symbolically visualized from nAdAntaM to vyApini state.

AnandaikaghanatvaM – Just the blissful Atman

yad vAcAmapi na gOcarE nRuNAM – that which cannot be explained by men.

turyAtItAvasthA sA – That beyond the fourth avastA

nAdAntAdipa~jcakE bhAvyA – visualize on the five positions from nAdAntA.

That’s it. When I first read VR, I got confused with this avastA pa~jcakaM. If you have listened carefully, all these avastAs are basically in hrIM bIjaM only. It can be easily said that avastApajcaka visualization for the shAkta praNavaM or mAyA bIjaM instead of saying K15 japakAle bhAvanA. 

Fine. Even if I ignore this is for K15 and simply take it as HrIM bIja bhAvanA, how do I visualize this during the japakAla? It must have been possible, and he must have practiced it and only because of that he is purposefully mentioning it in the book. I was not able to get a hold of how to visualize this. I read VR once a year as I know that with the mantra vIryA and Guru’s grace things would open up. Around the 3rd reading or so, I was able to understand how to visualize this during the japa kAlA based on the hrIMkAraM. 

I ignored the K15 and only focussed on the mAyA bIjaM. Lucklily at that time I was doing my mantrapurashcaraNa for dashamahAvidyA and bhuvaneshvarI was going on. So by the anugrahA of that dEvatA, this meaning opened up. With each mantrA uccAraNa of hrIMkArA, I would visualize the kuNDaliNI raising from mUlAdhArA, jumping to nAbhI, touching the visuddhi, leaping to bindu sthAnA and traversing the nAdA states. I would do this consciously when I start the japA. Each hrIM kArA would traverse this path. If you chant it in mind, it won’t be fast and you would do it slowly. You cannot be doing these kinds of visualizations for your thousands of japAs. You can do it for your nitya japAs. 100s or less. But it would take a lot of time.

So initially each hrIM-kAram would be very slow going through these cakrAs. But after a few mins, I would only feel the mUlAdhArA till maNipUrakA. By the time it leaves maNipUrakA, it would simply be a dream, then I will lose account of it and beyond that head would start to spin and the sound would only remain for a while. Then I would come back and start again from mUlAdhArA and the cycle would continue. japA count is not important here. The visualization of the avastAs through this mantrA was the key. 

This won’t happen on day 1. But with daily effort, it can happen after a year may be. The point is your constant focus and visualization. It does happen though.

Now, you may question what is the big deal in telling this part is jAgrat, this is avapnA, this is suShupti etc? How is this visualization going to help? If you all remember when I talked about sandhIs, I have mentioned the importance of sandhi in realizing brahman. Remember? One of the sandhIs I have always talked about was – avastAs. Remember? If you can catch the point between the jAgrat and svapnA, then you would have realized brahman. But there is no way for us to do it. There is no possible method for us to capture that nanosecond that slips us into one state to another. 

This avastApancaka visualization technique would help you do that. How? using the mantrA as the catalyst. If you observe closely what happens in each of the avastAs, 

  • jAgrat is Atman+ajnANA+antaHkaraNa+indriyAs.
  • svapnA is Atman+ajnAnA+antaHkararaNA
  • susHUptI is Atman+ajnAnA
  • turiyA is AtmaN+aparOkSha jnAnA = Atma jnAnA
  • turiyAtItA is Atman = AtmAnubhavaM

As you can see, it is like a shuttle launch… As we move from one stage to another, different module gets detatched and the core alone is the common thing that goes till the end. Atman is the only common element among all the avastAs. That is the only thing that exists between the avastAs too. It is the underlying string in the mAlA analogy that we used. So, it is possible to grasp the Atman through this avastApancaka visualization. This should give you an idea on why such visualizations are important.

There is a misconception that upAsanA means just repeating on a mantrA numerous time. Unless you connect the various dots and have the high-level understanding of the purpose – being brahmAnubhUti. Every small stream contributes to the flowing the river and is key for the lifeline of the river. If you look at one stream separately, it may appear to be insignificant or addressing some small local need. But only when the overall river is understood and its purpose and significance is realized, you will start to take everything seriously.

You may then start asking are my thousands and thousands of mantra chanting useless then? Because I dont do any such visulaizations then. My focus is primarily on the japa counter or something else while the mantrA still lingers on my tongue. I am sure this would be the question everyone would be having. How many times have you heard me saying during these Saturday lectures that certain understanding happened because of the mantra japA over a period of time. So just like the stream, mantra chanting is needed. It has its own act. Those would trigger new anubhavAs. I could not even relate to VR for several months or years. I had to do multiple readings and Guru kripa and sadhanA were all the needed ingredients to help take you to the next level. So Guru anugrahaM, your own effort, mantra vIryA, and dEvatAnugrahaM – all are needed for this to work.

Now, when this experience happened, I then questioned why not apply this to K15? It should not be any different as instead of chanting just hrIM, I would be chanting the three kUTAs and only in the last kUTA I will be visualizing it. That is what I thought. But my experience was different. The first kUtA hrIM took me till anAhatA and the second kUTA hrIM till AjnA and the third kUTA hrIM from bindu to vyApinI visualization. However much I tried to align with my original hrIM-kAra experience, I was not able to. It is probably because I did the visualization with hrIMkArA alone first and then went on with K15. Even today, this avastA pancaka bhAvanA japA if I do, it happens the same way. 

  1. 1. First kUtA – mUlAdhArA to anAhatA – jAgrat. 
  2. 2. Second kUtA – anAhatA to AjnA – svapnA. 
  3. 3. Third kUtA – AjNA to bindu – suShuptI. 
  4. 4. ardhacandrA to nAdA – turiyA. 
  5. 5. nAdAntA – vyApinI – turiyAtItA. 

This is the visualization and its corresponding experiences. 

I generally dont share my experiences as it may make you to think that is the only way to do it. I just shared so that you all know that my experience has been different from bhAskararAyAs experiences for K15 and matched with his for hrIM. So this avastA pancaka bhAvanA method does work when applied during japakAlA. You simply have to put proper focus. Even if you do it for 5 mins, that is fine – do it properly with very high intensity. It does work. You will feel dizzy once your visualization leaves the throat. Headache will be there. Extreme pressure above the forehead and some head spinning might happen during the intense stages but over a period of time, these will all go away and peace and bliss will settle in.