"CHAUTHAA PADA": FOURTH STATE

The three-qualitied Maya permeates the whole world (i.e., the whole world is in Maya's influence);
(under the spell of Maya, the man) acts in ego, and loses his honor. But one who becomes
Gurmukh comes to realize the Chauthaa Pada, the Fourth state (which is beyond the influence of Maya);
he finds Sukh (Peace, ਆਤਮਕ ਆਨੰਦ, etc.) through the Lord's Name ||3|| (sggs 604).
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Mirage seen in the desert is nothing but rising hot air, which gives the seer an illusion of water. When we see mirage as a river of water, we do not perceive the rising hot air. However, the moment we perceive the mirage to be the rising hot air, we do not see water in the mirage anymore! In other words, it is only when the division between the seer and seen is given up, we see the two as of one substance; leading to the Realization that there is only One Truth, all else is illusion - Mithiya!

While in the dreaming state, the dream appears to be true to the dreamer. However, on waking he realizes that it was just a passing dream! On account of conditioned consciousness (false ego), the mirage-like phenomenal world of names and forms appears in the living entity. Each person experiences within himself whatever his desires and fears (Vaasnaas, intoxication with Maya, etc.) has given rise to. In reality, this world appearance is nothing but a long dream, which appears to be permanent in the state of mental delusion.

  • ਜੈਸੇ ਜਲ ਤੇ ਬੁਦਬੁਦਾ ਉਪਜੈ ਬਿਨਸੈ ਨੀਤ ॥ ਜਗ ਰਚਨਾ ਤੈਸੇ ਰਚੀ ਕਹੁ ਨਾਨਕ ਸੁਨਿ ਮੀਤ ॥੨੫॥ ਪ੍ਰਾਨੀ ਕਛੂ ਨ ਚੇਤਈ ਮਦਿ ਮਾਇਆ ਕੈ ਅੰਧੁ ॥ ਕਹੁ ਨਾਨਕ ਬਿਨੁ ਹਰਿ ਭਜਨ ਪਰਤ ਤਾਹਿ ਜਮ ਫੰਧ ॥੨੬॥ Jaise jal te bodbodaa upjai binsai neet. Jag rachnaa tesai rachee kahu Nanak sun meet ||25|| Praanee kashoo n chetaee mada Maya kai andh. Kahu Nanak bin har bhajan parat taahi jam fandh ||26||: As the bubble in water wells up and disappears again, so is the (play of the) universe is created (by Parmeshar). ||25|| But, blinded by the intoxication of Maya (blinded from spiritual Life - ਆਤਮਕ ਜੀਵਨ ਵਲੋਂ), the mortal does not think at all (about the spiritual Life - ਆਤਮਕ ਜੀਵਨ ਬਾਰੇ). Says Nanak - without the uniting with Mool, (such mortal) is caught by the noose of Death. ||26|| (sggs 1427).
Time, space, action and matter are all but different aspects of the one Infinite Awareness, Waheguru. When we realize the diversity we see in us is illusory, then we understand that the one Infinite Consciousness which is alone is True. It is when we thus experience the real Truth Within, we become free of illusion. This state of Eternal Truth that lies beyond the apparatus of the body-mind-intellect is known as the Fourth State, Chauthaa Pada or Turiyaa Avasthaa (also spelt Turiya Avastha).
  • ਤ੍ਰੈ ਗੁਣ ਮਾਇਆ ਮੋਹੁ ਪਸਾਰਾ ਸਭ ਵਰਤੈ ਆਕਾਰੀ ॥ ਤੁਰੀਆ ਗੁਣੁ ਸਤਸੰਗਤਿ ਪਾਈਐ ਨਦਰੀ ਪਾਰਿ ਉਤਾਰੀ ॥੨॥: Trai guna Maya moh pasaaraa sabh vartai aakaaree. Turiya Guna sat sangat paayeeai nadree paari utaaree ||2|| (sggs 1260).
Literally, Chauthaa (or Chautha) means fourth or Turiya, and Pada means quarter, part, state, plane, etc. Thus, Chauthaa Pada means the Fourth State (of Consciousness or Absorption - ਆਤਮਕ ਦਰਜਾ, the state that transcends Maya, etc.). "The Fourth State" implies that there are three other fields of consciousness that precede the Fourth State. What are they?

The materialistic philosophers, scientists or researchers generally have been reviewing life in one state of consciousness - the "waking-state". But, from a standpoint of Absolute Truth, the life and its experiences should be reviewed and interpreted in its entirety. To our amazement, the great ancient sages of India, Spiritual Masters, Bhagat, and their Word examine human life in its entirety as no philosophy in the past or present has ever done it. Their observations, experiences and findings help us dissect the whole of life and discover the Supreme Truth in it. Therefore, before analyzing the Fourth State, it is of utmost importance to understand the other three quarters of the consciousness. Otherwise, our understanding of this Fourth State of Consciousness will be incomplete. With the help of the Divine Guide of the Gurbani (SGGS), this Reflection will attempt to reflect on the following:

  • Three states of consciousness
  • Fourth state of consciousness
  • Attaining the Fourth state
Three States Of Consciousness

For proper understanding of the totality of the subjective life of man, the ancient Giaanees revealed that the human personality consists of "three bodies", namely the gross body (Sathul), the subtle body (Suksham), and the causal body (Karan). The gross body is made up of five elements, ten senses, the five vital airs (Praan), and four subtle inner faculties namely mind, intellect, consciousness, and egoity. The subtle body is made up of the mind, intellect, consciousness, egoity, and five elements. As the name implies, the causal body is the cause of other two bodies.

Through Spiritual Inquiries (Vichaar), the ancient Giaanees recognized that these three bodies are active in experiencing the outside world through the three facets of life, the state of waking (Jaagrat), the state of dream (Swapna), and the state of deep sleep (Sushupti). Even though the Aatmaan (ego, consciousness or Mool) is the same in all states; but, due to material conditioning, we act differently in these states as though we in ourselves are three different entities. In other words, the Infinite Consciousness is one and the same, the Reality is one and the same, though it functions differently in the three planes of existence and, in these three states, it seems to gain three different sets of experiences. Accordingly, the waker in us seems to act different than the dreamer in us, and the ego manifesting through the sleeper in us seems to act different from both the waking and dream-state in us.

  • ਚਾਰੇ ਬੇਦ ਕਥਹਿ ਆਕਾਰੁ ॥ ਤੀਨਿ ਅਵਸਥਾ ਕਹਹਿ ਵਖਿਆਨੁ ॥ ਤੁਰੀਆਵਸਥਾ ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਤੇ ਹਰਿ ਜਾਨੁ ॥੧॥: Chaare beda kathahi vakhiaan. Teen avasthaa kahahi vakhiaan. Turiya Avasthaa satgur te jaan ||1||: The four Vedas describe the world of objects. They explain and expound three states of consciousness. The Turiyaa Avasthaa, the Fourth State of consciousness (union with the Lord), is known through the Satguru ||1|| (sggs 154).
The first state called waking-state-ego, results from the false ego enjoying the expression of consciousness through the gross body. In the waking-state-ego, we are aware of our body, mind, and experiences gained in the external world of the sense-objects. To put it otherwise, in the waking-state the consciousness becomes dissipated through the mind and the sense organs in the external world of sense-objects and registers knowledge of them. That's all. To put it otherwise, while awake, the only enjoy known to man is these five fields of the objects of the five cognitive senses - forms, taste, sounds, smells, and touches. Hence, conditioned consciousness (false ego) confounded itself with the frame of the body, seeing through the ignorance of its own True Nature, perceives a world of sense-objects, and thus deluded by its own false perceptions, experiences the waking-state. Our knowledge of the world-of-objects in this state is the sum total of our perceptions gathered through our senses.

The second field of consciousness, the dream-state-ego, results from the play of consciousness in the subtle body. When the same awareness playing in the outer world-objects withdraws and identifies itself with the subtle body, it creates a distinct personality called the dreamer, who has for its sphere of activity the world of dreams. In other words, the state of dreamer is created when the consciousness is withdrawn from the gross body and it functions through the subtle body. As the dreamer is unaware of the gross body, he functions in the world of dreams, because he is conscious only of the inner world of objects. The dream world is nothing but a mental creation of the dreamer himself. During the waking-state, the mind experiences the world of sense-objects and gathers impressions. During the dream-state, one part of the dreamer's mind observes these impressions in another portion of his own mind!

In the third state, the deep-sleep-state-ego, the sleeper does not desire any sense-objects, nor does he see any dreams. It is the withdrawing of the consciousness from the gross (waking) and subtle (dream) bodies and functioning through the causal body that creates the state of deep-sleep. In other words, this state takes place when we are conscious of neither body nor the mind, therefore it is a state of living in which usual instruments of cognition are closed down! Here the Self identifies Itself with the causal body which is made up of nescience. The only thing we experience in deep-sleep-state is utter ignorance or negativity (void); for there is neither form, nor sound, nor smell, nor taste, nor touch. It illumines nothing in particular, except the one single idea: "nothingness". Here in the deep-sleep-state-ego, thus, the entire consciousness available in the human form is consolidated and conserved. As a result, there is no agitation in the mind, because none of the forces that create mental agitation and sorrows in the waking and dream states are present here. Therefore, in this state of homogeneous solid mass of Pure Consciousness, the Jeeva (individual being) experiences complete joy and bliss, by means of the subtle nescience. It is the gateway (cause) for the projection of consciousness into other two states of consciousness, the dream and the waking. For example, when the consciousness from the sleep-state is projected upwards, it illuminates the dream-state, and again, when the projection increases and come to the outer world, the same consciousness makes it possible for us to know the external world of sense-objects outside, in the waking-state-ego.

The waking-state-ego and the dream-state-ego are conditioned by both cause and effect. Ignorance or non-apprehension of the Reality is the cause, and the resulting phenomenal world of names and forms is the effect. In the dream-state-ego, although we are unaware of the world of outer gross objects, but we are aware of the world of plurality or inner objects. The deep-state-ego is different than the waking and dream states in that it is conditioned by only the cause. Again, ignorance of the Mool within (Jot, Source, Origin...) is the cause which gives rise to plurality, finitude, doubts, limitedness, and misunderstanding. There are no effects in the deep-sleep state as we are unaware of the multiple world of phenomenon.

  • ਤੀਨਿ ਬਿਆਪਹਿ ਜਗਤ ਕਉ ਤੁਰੀਆ ਪਾਵੈ ਕੋਇ ॥: Teeni biaapahi jagat kaou turiya paavai koi:  The world is in the grip of the three (qoalities of Maya); only a few attain the Turiyaa Avasthaa (Fourth State of Consciousness, union with God, etc.) (sggs 297).
As we can see, it is relatively easy to understand the personality we are in a waking-state. With some conscious efforts, we can also grasp the personality of a dreamer in us. However, it is difficult for most of us to understand the sleeper in us. Because, in the deep-sleep-state neither the apertures of knowledge function, nor the knowledge acts. In it all experiences become unified or undifferentiated.

The life thus include and incorporates in itself the waking-state, the dream-state, and the deep-sleep-state. Perhaps we can now appreciate the fact that if we analyze only the waking-state, as materialistic philosophers and scientists do, and try to understand the phenomenal world and our own nature in relation to it, we will be only trying to evaluate life by observing it partially. A wise jeweler will never buy a precious jewel before evaluating it from all its facets!

All three states exist in the realm of Maya and its three Gunas or qualities - Saatav, Raajas, and Taamas. The combination of experiences of these three states of consciousness constitutes our individuality (Jeeva). The Divine Order (Hukam) enables man to go through these three states. Just as the waves rise only to merge back into the ocean (Source), or water in the mirage disappears upon knowing its reality, similarly, when a seeker, by becoming the Gurmukh withdraws his false ego from the three states and constatntly engages in the Shabad-Vichaar (Aatam Giaan, Divine Knowledge, Spiritual Wisdom) of the Illuminating Principle, all three states fade out into the Turiyaa or Forth state.

  • ਤ੍ਰੈ ਗੁਣ ਮਾਇਆ ਮੋਹੁ ਹੈ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਚਉਥਾ ਪਦੁ ਪਾਇ ॥: Trai guna Maya moh hai gurmukhi chauthaa dada paai:  The three qualitied Maya's Moh (worldly attachment) is (prevalent). Who becomes the Gurmukh attains the Fourth State (the state that transcends Maya) (sggs 30).
Fourth State Of Consciousness

The three states of consciousness, each one exclusive of the other two, alternate involuntarily for the average person. As these states are conditioned by the time and the space (Maya), they are unreal. The Pure Mool within (Jot, Source, Origin...), Infinite and Indivisible, is the only Reality there is, nothing else. However, aware of the waking, dream, and deep-sleep states, we remain unaware of our own Mool within (Jot, Source, Origin...), the Fourth State or Chauthaa Pada.

This leads us to the following question: as the All-pervading Reality is repeatedly declared by the Gurbani to be Infinite and Indivisible, then how did the Indivisible Reality ever get divided into four parts? In reality It did not! The One Eternal Reality is without-a-second. Unconditioned by the time and the space, It transcends all modes of material nature; thus Absolute.

  • ਏਕ ਦ੍ਰਿਸਟਿ ਸਭ ਸਮ ਕਰਿ ਜਾਣੈ ਨਦਰੀ ਆਵੈ ਸਭੁ ਬ੍ਰਹਮੁ ਪਸਰਈਆ ॥੭॥: Ek drishtee sabh sam kar jaanai nadree aavai sabh Brahm pasraeeaa ||7||: (The Gurmukh) with a single, impartial eye, looks upon all alike, and sees God pervading all ||7|| (sggs 833).
The term Pada does not mean here "limb" just as four legs of a horse! If we accept the dictionary-meaning of "four", then we would get the entire scriptural gist misconstrued and misunderstood. Consequently, the Gurbani (or other scriptures for that matter) would read meaningless and even incongruous. If we accept that there are "four parts", then it would make the homogeneous Reality entertain a difference in Itself. That which has any differentiation within itself would become a "substance". Since a substance is bound in the framework of time and space (i.e., beginning and end or Maya), the Reality would then also become finite, impermanent, or perishable.

None of the causes and effects that condition the waking, dream and deep-sleep states can condition or delude the Reality behind them. The superimposed vision of water in the mirage is illusory, and an illusion cannot condition the Reality. For example, the illusory water of the mirage cannot wet even a single grain of sand in the desert! Similarly, due to conditioning, the three states of consciousness are superimposed on the One Reality, the Fourth State. However, as the Truth is Eternal, It is conditioned neither by the cause nor the effect. Thus, the false egos of the three states are only delusory superimposition upon the Fourth State, because it is this Reality that pervades the other three states. To put it otherwise, the All-pervading Reality is called the Fourth State only as a distinction from the other three states of unripe-ego we normally experience.

  • ਰਜ ਗੁਣ ਤਮ ਗੁਣ ਸਤ ਗੁਣ ਕਹੀਐ ਇਹ ਤੇਰੀ ਸਭ ਮਾਇਆ ॥ ਚਉਥੇ ਪਦ ਕਉ ਜੋ ਨਰੁ ਚੀਨ੍ਹ੍ਹੈ ਤਿਨ੍ਹ੍ਹ ਹੀ ਪਰਮ ਪਦੁ ਪਾਇਆ ॥੨॥: Raj gun tam gun sat gun kaheeai ih teri sabh maya. Chauthe pad kau jo nar cheenai tin hee param pad paaiaa ||2||: (O Lord) Raajas, Taamas, and Saatav modes are the creations of Your Maya. The man who realizes the Fourth State; he alone obtains the Supreme Status ||2|| (sggs 1123).
Therefore, here the Gurbani meanindicates only the four fields of experiences and that the same Mool within (Jot, Source, Origin...) seems to acquire for Itself four different aspects, though in fact all the initial three devolve themselves into the last part. It is like four pieces of a puzzle; upon adding three to the fourth one, they all become one united synthetic whole. Similarly, when we add the three planes of consciousness to the Fourth Plane, transcending the previous three, the entire merges into the One, to become the Whole. The reflected moon, circumscribed by small water-pots, looks real in each pot. However, at the destruction of the pots, the reflected moons (unreal) seen in water-pots merge and become the one moon (real) whose rays spread over the sky.

During the typical twenty-four hours of life, we not only experience the three different states of consciousness, but also remember all of them. Which means that there must be one common "exeperiencer" or "witness" who was living through the three planes of experiences in us. This common factor, who is the common experinecer in the three fields of our activity is the Pure Consciousness, the Mool within (Jot, Source, Origin...). Thus, the Mool, which is of the nature of Truth-Knowledge-Bliss, is the "witness" in the three states of consciousness. Through the sharpened Divine faculty of discriminating intellect (Bibek Budhi), realization of this "common denominator" in the three planes ("witness") is in itself the Fourth State or Turiyaa Avasthaa. In the following Gur-Shabad we have a glorious description of the Fourth State-of-consciousness.

  • ਬੇਗਮ ਪੁਰਾ ਸਹਰ ਕੋ ਨਾਉ ॥ ਦੂਖੁ ਅੰਦੋਹੁ ਨਹੀ ਤਿਹਿ ਠਾਉ ॥ ਨਾਂ ਤਸਵੀਸ ਖਿਰਾਜੁ ਨ ਮਾਲੁ ॥ ਖਉਫੁ ਨ ਖਤਾ ਨ ਤਰਸੁ ਜਵਾਲੁ ॥੧॥ ਅਬ ਮੋਹਿ ਖੂਬ ਵਤਨ ਗਹ ਪਾਈ ॥ ਊਹਾਂ ਖੈਰਿ ਸਦਾ ਮੇਰੇ ਭਾਈ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ ਕਾਇਮੁ ਦਾਇਮੁ ਸਦਾ ਪਾਤਿਸਾਹੀ ॥ ਦੋਮ ਨ ਸੇਮ ਏਕ ਸੋ ਆਹੀ ॥ ਆਬਾਦਾਨੁ ਸਦਾ ਮਸਹੂਰ ॥ ਊਹਾਂ ਗਨੀ ਬਸਹਿ ਮਾਮੂਰ ॥੨॥ ਤਿਉ ਤਿਉ ਸੈਲ ਕਰਹਿ ਜਿਉ ਭਾਵੈ ॥ ਮਹਰਮ ਮਹਲ ਨ ਕੋ ਅਟਕਾਵੈ ॥ ਕਹਿ ਰਵਿਦਾਸ ਖਲਾਸ ਚਮਾਰਾ ॥ ਜੋ ਹਮ ਸਹਰੀ ਸੁ ਮੀਤੁ ਹਮਾਰਾ ॥੩॥੨॥: Begam Puraa sahar ko naaou ...: Begam Puraaa, "the city without sorrow", is the name of That City (or State of mind). There is no suffering or anxiety there. There are no troubles or taxes on commodities there. There is no fear, blemish or downfall there. ||1|| Now, I have found This most excellent City. There is lasting Peace and Safety there, O Siblings of Destiny. ||1||Pause|| God's Kingdom is steady, stable and eternal. There is no second or third status; all are equal there. That City is populous and eternally famous. Those who live there are truly wealthy and contented. ||2|| They stroll about freely, just as they please. They know the Realm of the Divine Presence, and no one blocks their way. Says Ravi Daas, the emancipated shoe-maker: whoever is a citizen there, is a friend of mine ||3||2|| (sggs 345).
Due to its agitated surface, the ocean has many manifestations such as waves, ripples, foam, and lather. However, beneath the surface, there is a serene quietude, ever free of any storms or disturbances. There are neither waves, nor ripples, nor foam, nor lather. Similarly, in the the Mool within (Jot, Source, Origin...), the substratum of all activities, there is neither the waker, nor the dreamer, nor the deep-sleeper. There is no water or ocean, light or darkness, creation or destruction, life or death, pain or pleasure, wind or fire, no time or space, no lower or upper worlds, no names or forms, no "I" and "me", no "mine" and "your", no truth or false, no humans or demons, no bodies or senses, no mind and thoughts, no beginning or end, no "this" or "that". Only Unconditioned Awareness exists there, beyond the comprehension of the body-mind-intellect. In the following Gur-Shabad we have another glorious description of this Transcendental State, the Chauthaa Pada.
  • ਤਹ ਪਾਵਸ ਸਿੰਧੁ ਧੂਪ ਨਹੀ ਛਹੀਆ ਤਹ ਉਤਪਤਿ ਪਰਲਉ ਨਾਹੀ ॥ ਜੀਵਨ ਮਿਰਤੁ ਨ ਦੁਖੁ ਸੁਖੁ ਬਿਆਪੈ ਸੁੰਨ ਸਮਾਧਿ ਦੋਊ ਤਹ ਨਾਹੀ ॥੧॥ ਸਹਜ ਕੀ ਅਕਥ ਕਥਾ ਹੈ ਨਿਰਾਰੀ ॥ ਤੁਲਿ ਨਹੀ ਚਢੈ ਜਾਇ ਨ ਮੁਕਾਤੀ ਹਲੁਕੀ ਲਗੈ ਨ ਭਾਰੀ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥: Tah paavas sindhu dhoop nahee chhaheeaa tah utapat parlaou naahee ...: There (in the Sahaj Avasthaa-Natural State of being, ਗਿਆਨ ਅਵਸਤਾ, Awakened State, the State of Spiritual Wisdom...) is no rain, ocean, sunshine, shade, creation or destruction (in other words, there remains no Mayaic thughts, or any longing, desire, impulse or lust for places or things symbolized by all these). No birth or death (i.e., in that Sahaj Avasthaa, there is no longing for life or fear of death), no pain or pleasure is felt there (i.e., in that Sahaj Avasthaa, there is no longing for Sukha or repulsion of Dukha). There is only the Sunn Samaadhi (the state devoid of Mayaic thoughts or evil-mindedness), and no duality (i.e., in that Sahaj Avasthaa, nothing else can approach - no feeling of "I, me, you" remains there, no Mayaic thoughts arise there, etc.). ||1|| The description of the State of Sahaj is indescribable and sublime. (This state of Sahaj Avasthaa cannot be compared with any Sukha of this world, therefore, it cannot be said that) it is lower or higher (than any Sukha of the world, etc.). ||1||Pause|| (sggs 333).
Other terms used in the Gurbani that are synonymous to Chauthaa Pada include Amrit, Baygumpuraa, Gaganpuraa, Sookh Mahal, Bismaad, Agam Roop, Ratan Kothree, Baikunth Nagar, Param Pada, Param Purakh Kee Ghaatee, Sunn Samaadhi, Sahaj Samaadhi, Nirvikalapa Samaadhi, Anhata Dhuni, Panch Shabad, Gobind Gajjiaa, Shabad-Surti, State of Absorption in Naam, Supreme State, Blissful or Divine Realm, State of Fearlessness, state of living liberated (Jeevanmukta), Tenth Gate, Self-realization, Higher Consciousness, Royal Mansion, Home of the Self, cave of Celestial Being, Transcendental Consciousness, Home of the Supreme Being, non-dual Reality, Cosmic Void, awakened Kundilini, Awakened Satguru Within, Awakened Saadh or Sajjan Within, and so on.
  • ਸੁੰਨ ਸਮਾਧਿ ਗੁਫਾ ਤਹ ਆਸਨੁ ॥ ਕੇਵਲ ਬ੍ਰਹਮ ਪੂਰਨ ਤਹ ਬਾਸਨੁ ॥ ਭਗਤ ਸੰਗਿ ਪ੍ਰਭੁ ਗੋਸਟਿ ਕਰਤ ॥: Sunn samaadhi guphaa tah aasan. Keval brahm pooran tah baasan. Bhagat sang prabh gost karat: One (who has the Divine Treasure of the Naam) sits in the cave of Sunn Samaadhi (the state of complete Stillness, spiritual Silenece; the state devoid of Mayaic thoughts or wanderings, etc.); there the unique, perfect God dwells (in that Heart-Cave or Heart-Home). (The heart in which this Divine Treasure is awakened) God holds conversations with (those) devotees (i.e., those devotees Realize God) (sggs 894).
  • ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਸਹਜੁ ਹੈ ਮਨੁ ਚੜਿਆ ਦਸਵੈ ਆਕਾਸਿ ॥ ਤਿਥੈ ਊਂਘ ਨ ਭੁਖ ਹੈ ਹਰਿ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤ ਨਾਮੁ ਸੁਖ ਵਾਸੁ ॥ ਨਾਨਕ ਦੁਖੁ ਸੁਖੁ ਵਿਆਪਤ ਨਹੀ ਜਿਥੈ ਆਤਮ ਰਾਮ ਪ੍ਰਗਾਸੁ ॥੧੬॥: Gurmukhi antar sahaj hai manu charriaa dasavai aakaas ...: Upon becoming Gurmukh (Spiritual Being), Intuitive Poise (Sahaj) awakens within; then his mind ascends to the Tenth Plane - Dasam Duaar. No one is sleepy or hungry there; they dwell in the peace of the Ambrosial Name of God. O Nanak, pain and pleasure do not afflict anyone, where the Light of the Lord, the Supreme Soul, illuminates ||16|| (sggs 1414).
As discussed before, in the waking-state-ego, we are only aware of the external world of sense-objects; in the dream-state-ego, we are only aware of the world of plurality; and in the deep-sleep-state-ego, we know nothing. However, in the Fourth Plane we know everything, since It is a state of Changeless and continuous knowing. Thus, Turiyaa is Pure Knowledge, the Light, who needs no service of another light to illumine it. It is Self-illumined (Saibhang)! In other words, the Mool within (Jot, Source, Origin...) is the subject, which needs no other subject to know It.
  • ਮਾਇਆ ਕਾ ਮੂਲੁ ਰਚਾਇਓਨੁ ਤੁਰੀਆ ਸੁਖੁ ਪਾਇਆ ॥੨॥: Maya kaa mool rachaaion Turiya sukh paya: Maya (Illusion) is the root of the world-creation; the Peace is obtained (in the midst of this Maya) by attaining Turiya Avasthaa (the Fourth State-of-consciousness, etc.) (sggs 509).
As indicated in the Gurbani, this Illuminating Principle is unconditioned Reality, non-dual, beyond the three states, beyond the three bodies, beyond the three Gunas of Maya, beyond the reach of sense-organs, detached, incomprehensible by the mind, uninferable, unthinkable, indescribable, formless, all peace and bliss, Pure Consciousness, Pure Knowledge, All-pervading, infinite, indivisible, changeless, ever-Effulgent, free of miseries and sorrows, free of cause and effect, All-knowing, All-seeing, beginningless, endless, Immortal, Eternal Truth, etc.
  • ਭਇਓ ਪ੍ਰਗਾਸੁ ਸਰਬ ਉਜੀਆਰਾ ਗੁਰ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਮਨਹਿ ਪ੍ਰਗਟਾਇਓ ॥: Bhaio pargaas sarab ujiaaraa Gur giaan manhi pargtaaio: When the Guru's Spiritual Wisdom awakened in my mind , then the Divine Light illuminated within me (ਤਾਂ ਮੇਰੇ ਅੰਦਰ ਪਰਮਾਤਮਾ ਦੀ ਹੋਂਦ ਦਾ ਚਾਨਣ ਹੋ ਗਿਆ), and I see that Light everywhere (sggs 209).
The Chauthaa Pada is perfect illumination when the world-appearance ceases. It is the state in which the mind is freed from its characteristics movement of thought and in which there is only the experience of Sahaj Avastha (Natural State of being, ਗਿਆਨ ਅਵਸਤਾ, Awakened State, the State of Spiritual Wisdom...). Here the false ego-sense (deluded mind) which makes the activities and experiencing of the senses possible comes to a complete rest. In this state there are no objects to be seen, and there is no Karma to be accounted for.
  • ਚਉਥੇ ਸੁੰਨੈ ਜੋ ਨਰੁ ਜਾਣੈ ਤਾ ਕਉ ਪਾਪੁ ਨ ਪੁੰਨੰ ॥ ਘਟਿ ਘਟਿ ਸੁੰਨ ਕਾ ਜਾਣੈ ਭੇਉ ॥ ਆਦਿ ਪੁਰਖੁ ਨਿਰੰਜਨ ਦੇਉ ॥: Chayuthai sunnai jo nar jaanai taa kayu paap na punnam. Ghatt ghat sunn kaa jaanai bheyu. Aadi purakh niranjan deyu: One who is established in the Fourth State (beyond Maya), is not subject to vice or virtue (Paap or Punn). One who knows the mystery of God the Absolute, who pervades each and every Heart, he himself becomes the manifestation of the Primal Being, the Immaculate Divine God (sggs 943).
Realization of the greater Truth that lies beyond the three states of consciousness is liberation (Mukti). As long as the potentiality of Vaasnaas (undigested desires, latent memories, etc.) exists, we remain conditioned in the three states. When all Vaasnaas are digested or destroyed, that state is known as the Fourth or Transcendental State; beyond the false ego of the waking, dream, and deep-sleep. Hence, it is only after all Vaasnaas are completely removed, one is said to have been established in the state of Pure Truth, Chauthaa Pada.
  • ਇਸੁ ਕਾਇਆ ਅੰਦਰਿ ਵਸਤੁ ਅਸੰਖਾ ॥ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਸਾਚੁ ਮਿਲੈ ਤਾ ਵੇਖਾ ॥ ਨਉ ਦਰਵਾਜੇ ਦਸਵੈ ਮੁਕਤਾ ਅਨਹਦ ਸਬਦੁ ਵਜਾਵਣਿਆ ॥੩॥: Is kaaiaa andar vasat asankhaa. Gurmukhi saach milai taa vekhaa ..:  Within this body is the Lord of countless objects. By becoming the Gurmukh, one attains Truth and comes to see Him. Beyond the nine gates, the Tenth Gate (ਵਿਚਾਰ ਮੰਡਲ, inttuive state, etc.) is found, and liberation (from Bikaars, evil inclinations) is obtained. (In the Tenth Gate) the Unstruck Melody of the Shabad vibrates ||3|| (sggs 110).
Chauthaa Pada is the unmodified consciousness, without any objectivity or movement of the consciousness, like the awareness of a just-born infant. The three states are of the mind. When they cease, the mind dies; and the Supreme Truth (Sat) alone remains; which the true devotees aspire to reach. The Gurbani indicates there is no ignorance or illusion in our Mool (Jot, Source, Origin...). People call it by different names and then argue about it! The Gurbani tell us, therefore, to abandon all the notions and live in Peace without the movement of the mind or differentiation of the consciousness. This is the Chauthaa Pada.
  • ਸਾਚੁ ਧੜੀ ਧਨ ਮਾਡੀਐ ਕਾਪੜੁ ਪ੍ਰੇਮ ਸੀਗਾਰੁ ॥ ਚੰਦਨੁ ਚੀਤਿ ਵਸਾਇਆ ਮੰਦਰੁ ਦਸਵਾ ਦੁਆਰੁ ॥ ਦੀਪਕੁ ਸਬਦਿ ਵਿਗਾਸਿਆ ਰਾਮ ਨਾਮੁ ਉਰ ਹਾਰੁ ॥੫॥: Saach dharhee dhann maadeeai kaaparh prem seegaar ..: (Jeeva - individual beings - who keeps the Truth in the mind, for that soul-bride, this is as) braiding her hair (to please Him); She makes the Love of the Lord her clothes and decorations. To have the Lord permeate the consciousness (is like) the sandalwood (mark on her forehead), and the Temple of her Tenth Gate is opened (i.e., she has made the Tenth Gate the dwelling of the Lord). (She has) lit the Shabad within, (she has made) the Name of the Lord her necklace ||5|| (sggs 54).
The analogy of watching pictures on the television screen will be helpful to further appreciate this. The screen is fixed, whilst the pictures move in it. The screen, however, remains unaffected by the movement of these pictures. Likewise, the Chauthaa Pada is the changeless state; the waking, dream and sleep states are mere movement in it. The Spiritually Awakened (Gurmukh) is fully aware that the true state of his Mool within (Jot, Source, Origin...) ever remains unmodified and that all activities go on around him; hence he considers only the screen and not the moving pictures.
  • ਚਉਥੇ ਪਦ ਮਹਿ ਸਹਜੁ ਹੈ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਪਲੈ ਪਾਇ ॥੬॥ chouthhae padh mehi sehaj hai guramukh palai paae ||6||: (Transcending Maya) in the Fourth State, there is the Sahaj Avasthaa (Intuitive Balance, Natural State of Being, ਆਤਮਕ ਅਵਸਥਾ, etc.); and (this Sahaj Avasthaa) is realized by becoming the Gurmukhs. ||6|| (sggs 68).

Attaining The Fourth State

In nutshell, as time and again indicated by the Gurbani, one realizes the Fourth State by becoming the Gurmukh.

  • ਚਉਥੀ ਪਉੜੀ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਊਚੀ ਸਚੋ ਸਚੁ ਕਮਾਵਣਿਆ ॥੪॥ chouthhee pourree guramukh oochee sacho sach kamaavaniaa ||4||: The Fourth State, the Highest (the state above the influence of Maya), is obtained by becoming the Gurmukh, who practices Truth, and only Truth. ||4|| (sggs 113).

Based on what we have discussed so far, the Pure Consciousness, the Divine Spark of Life, in us is the womb of all things; because the world of names and forms have a look of existence only with reference to our being able to perceive it through consciousness in us. When this Illuminating Pure Light (the Mool) is projected out through the apparatus of the body-mind-intellect, then it expresses itself as false ego or awareness of the thoughts, concepts and objects. In absence of this awareness we are pronounced dead; because the world of objects is nonexistence to the dead person. What it means is that the outer and inner worlds of objects rise (creation) from this Pure Consciousness, exist in It (sustenance), and at the withdrawn of It, merge back into It (dissolution). Just as the ocean is one; but it is the substratum for countless waves, wave-lets, foam, ripples and bubbles. They  have no existence apart from the ocean. They all emerge out of the ocean, remain sustained in the ocean, and ultimately sink themselves back into the ocean. So too is life, the three states of consciousness. The bubbles of consciousness (ego) ripple out of the Supreme Consciousness to form the universe, and ultimately all merge back into the Homogeneous Oneness.

  • ਜਲ ਤਰੰਗ ਅਰੁ ਫੇਨ ਬੁਦਬੁਦਾ ਜਲ ਤੇ ਭਿੰਨ ਨ ਹੋਈ ॥ ਇਹੁ ਪਰਪੰਚੁ ਪਾਰਬ੍ਰਹਮ ਕੀ ਲੀਲਾ ਬਿਚਰਤ ਆਨ ਨ ਹੋਈ ॥੨॥: Jal trang ar phen budbudaa jal te bhinn n hoee. Ih parpanch paarbrahm kee leelaa bichrat aan n hoee ||2||: The waves of the water, the foam and bubbles, are not distinct from the water. (Similarly) this manifested world is the Play (Leelaa) of the Supreme Being; reflecting upon it, we find that it is not different from Him. ||2|| (sggs 485).
When a beam of light passes through a prism, the same beam of light emerges out dispersing into seven colors. Our mind and intellect act as the prism. When the Pure Consciousness in us is projected through this prism of the mind and intellect, it creates divisions or diversity, and gives rise to the world of plurality. Thus, the All-pervading Reality, in its delusory identification with the body-mind-intellect, feels for itself a separate personality. With this delusion rises the ideas of egotism, self-limits, finitude, vanities, and foolishness. To remove this falsehood and merge with the Original Source, the Pure Wisdom, is the goal of all the students of spirituality.

It's clear that the Pure Light (the Mool), the One All-pervading Consciousness, is to be understood as distinct from, and beyond the physical apparatus constituted of the body-mind-intellect personality. Therefore, by the Shabad-Vichaar if we can transcend this apparatus, then the individualized awareness ( false ego-sense) projected forth from us will merge with the Mool within (Jot, Source, Origin...), the Homogeneous Oneness. One's experience of the Mool is Self-realization - Chauthaa Pada.

  • ਸੂਰਜ ਕਿਰਣਿ ਮਿਲੇ ਜਲ ਕਾ ਜਲੁ ਹੂਆ ਰਾਮ ॥ ਜੋਤੀ ਜੋਤਿ ਰਲੀ ਸੰਪੂਰਨੁ ਥੀਆ ਰਾਮ ॥: Sooraj kirin mile jal kaa jal hooyaa Raam. Jotee joti ralee sampooran theeyaa Raam: The rays of light merge with the sun, and water merges with water; somilarly, when one’s light blends with the Light, one becomes totally perfect (sggs 846).
However, there is no liberation from ignorance or material conditioning so long the Jeeva (living entity) identifies with the three states that are conditioned by the cause and effect; for liberation is synonym for Pure Mind, correct Spiritual Wisdom, and a truly Awakened State (ਗਿਆਨ ਅਵਸਥਾ). As the Turiyaa is indicated to be Unthinkable, Inaccessible, Unapproachable, Unrivaled, Incomparable, Incomprehensible, Invisible, Inscrutable, Infinite, Unfathomable, etc., It is beyond the reach or apprehension of the body-mind-intellect. Because the body can't comprehend the Infinite Reality because It is not the object of senses; the mind can't comprehend It either because It is not the object of emotions; and the intellect can't comprehend It as well because It is not the object of cognition!
  • ਦੇਹੀ ਨਗਰੀ ਨਉ ਦਰਵਾਜੇ ਸੋ ਦਸਵਾ ਗੁਪਤੁ ਰਹਾਤਾ ਹੇ ॥੪॥: Dehee nagree naou darvaaje so dasvaa gupat rahaataa he ||4||: The body-village has nine (visible) gates; the Tenth Gate remains hidden (through which one reaches Him) ||4|| (sggs 1031).
Since the True Mool (Jot, Source, Origin...) is ever present within, then what is it that inhibit us from Realizing It? As indicated in the Gurbani, our Pure Mool (Jot, Source, Origin...) is covered by the layers of material contamination or undigested Vaasnaas. These layers created by our mental delusion are caused by our false identification with the outer sense-objects. Consequently, just as the deer chases the mirage for water, we constantly try to find the Bliss (Anand) in the gross objects of the mirage-like outer world. These Mayaic efforts provide us temporary joy, followed by long spells of miseries and sorrows. Accordingly, the scriptures declare that the root of man's suffering is his ignorance of his True Nature as Unconditioned Consciousness, the Source of Eternal Bliss. Identifying ourselves with the world of sensory experience we attempt to find the everlasting Bliss in the evanescent sense gratification deluding ourselves in the bargain. The Gurbani declares that it is a rare person who - by becoming the Gurmukh - rises above the three states and tries to find out the Source of the True Joy (Anand) that will be everlasting in nature.
  • ਇਹੁ ਮਨੁ ਆਰਸੀ ਕੋਈ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਵੇਖੈ ॥ ਮੋਰਚਾ ਨ ਲਾਗੈ ਜਾ ਹਉਮੈ ਸੋਖੈ ॥ ਅਨਹਤ ਬਾਣੀ ਨਿਰਮਲ ਸਬਦੁ ਵਜਾਏ ਗੁਰ ਸਬਦੀ ਸਚਿ ਸਮਾਵਣਿਆ ॥੪॥: Ihu manu aarsee koee Gurmukhi vekhai ...: This mind is like a mirror (or looking-glass, through which one can see his Mool, Source, Originality, Authentic Nature, Jot-Svaroop, ਆਤਮਕ ਜੀਵਨ, etc., but); hardly any by becoming the Gurmukh (Spiritual Being...) sees himself in it. The rust (of ego or Haume, Maya...) does not stick to (the mind of him who becomes the Gurmukh and) burns his ego (and, with ego burnt, he can see himself through this mind-mirror). The Unstruck Melody of the Bani, the Pure Shabad resounds (within the Gurmukh); through the Gur-Shabad, (the Gurmukh) remains absorbed in the Truth ||4|| (sggs 115).
All impurities, notions, cognition of duality, or three states exist in the mind. The reason for this world-illusion to arise in us is the movement of thoughts in the mind. When these thoughts cease the illusion also ceases, and the mind becomes dead. As the dirt is washed with the dirt, a thorn is removed by another thorn, a poison antidotes poison, similarly, the mind is purified or conquered by the mind itself. How can we achieve it?
  • ਅਕੁਲ ਨਿਰੰਜਨ ਸਿਉ ਮਨੁ ਮਾਨਿਆ ਮਨ ਹੀ ਤੇ ਮਨੁ ਮੂਆ ॥: Akul niranjan siou manu maaniaa man hee te manu mooaa: Through the mind itself, the mind stands killed (i.e., the mind turns away from the wanderings of Maya, etc.), when the mind becomes pleased and appeased with the Lord (the Mool within through the Aatm Giaan), who is Akul Niranjan (beyond the influence of Maya...). (sggs 1127).
In reality the the Mool within (Jot, Source, Origin...) is ever Truth-Knowledge-Bliss. However, because of the intervention of the body-mind-intellect personality (false ego), and our identification with them that we have veiled the Supreme Truth from ourselves. Just as the space inside a pot is eternally pure even though the pot may be filled with obnoxious smell of rotting food in it. Because the rotting smell is for the atmosphere in the pot and not for the pot space as such.
  • ਆਤਮ ਮਹਿ ਰਾਮੁ ਰਾਮ ਮਹਿ ਆਤਮੁ ਚੀਨਸਿ ਗੁਰ ਬੀਚਾਰਾ ॥: Aatam mahi Raamu Raam mahi aatamu cheenasi Gur beechaaraa Raam is in the Soul, and the Soul is in Raam. This is realized through Reflecting on the Gur-Giaan (Divine Wisdom of the Gur-Shabad...). (sggs 1153). (sggs 1153).
  • ਤਤੁ ਨਿਰੰਜਨੁ ਜੋਤਿ ਸਬਾਈ ਸੋਹੰ ਭੇਦੁ ਨ ਕੋਈ ਜੀਉ ॥: Tat niranjan joti sabaaee soham bhed na koee jeeo: The essence, the immaculate Lord, the Light of all — I am He and He is me — there is no difference (sggs 599).
  • Tat tvam asi: Thou art That (Vedas).
Ignorance is nothing but the non-apprehension of greater Reality or higher Consciousness. This non-apprehension of Reality causes the misapprehension in our life. In the waking and dream states the ego in us is conditioned by both non-apprehension (cause) and misapprehension (effects), while in the deep-sleep states the ego is conditioned by the non-apprehension. Thus these three planes of consciousness are not conditions of perfection; for it is the only Fourth State in which there is neither non-apprehension nor misapprehension. We are This Reality. Under the spell of ignorance, however, we have confounded the This Reality with the body. This is our error, as pointed out by the Gurbani.
  • ਨਗਰੀ ਏਕੈ ਨਉ ਦਰਵਾਜੇ ਧਾਵਤੁ ਬਰਜਿ ਰਹਾਈ ॥ ਤ੍ਰਿਕੁਟੀ ਛੂਟੈ ਦਸਵਾ ਦਰੁ ਖੂਲ੍ਹ੍ਹੈ ਤਾ ਮਨੁ ਖੀਵਾ ਭਾਈ ॥੩॥: Nagaree ekai naou daravaaje dhaavat baraj rahaaee || Trikuti chute daswaa dar khule taa manu kheewaa bhaaee. Abhai pada poor taap tah naase kahi kabeer beechaaree ||3||: There are nine gates or 9 openings (these are: two eyes, two ears, two nostrils, one mouth, one genital, and one anus) to the one city of the body; restrain your mind from escaping through them. O brother! When the knot of the three qualities of Maya is untied, then the Tenth Gate opens up (Mool-Realization...), and the mind remains intoxicated (in that State of abiding in Mool) ||3|| (sggs 1123).
We can try understanding it with another illustration. In the darkness when we do not have the True Knowledge of a rope, we may misunderstand it to be either a snake, or a piece of stick, or a streak of water, or a crack in the ground, and so on. Thus, due to initial non-apprehension of the rope, we could have misapprehensions of the various other objects superimposed on the rope. Similarly, the Self is one, but in ignorance It has been imagined as the ego, the Praan, the mind, the intellect, the body, the senses, etc. In such dense conditioning, we then start superimposing upon the Self the qualities of likes and dislikes � desire and fear, joy and sorrow, knowledge and ignorance, success and failure, birth and death, disease and decay, good and bad, friend and enemy, praise and insult, and so on. In reality, the Pure Consciousness, Waheguru, is free of any such conditioning (Nirlep and Niranjan). The reason for these misconceptions to rise in us is our ignorance of the "Joti-Svaroopa". This is the verdict of the scriptures reiterated again and again to hammer the true message into our deluded head.
  • ਸਕਤਿ ਅਧੇਰ ਜੇਵੜੀ ਭ੍ਰਮੁ ਚੂਕਾ ਨਿਹਚਲੁ ਸਿਵ ਘਰਿ ਬਾਸਾ ॥: Sakti adher jevarhee bhram chookaa nihchal siv ghari vaasaa ||: In the darkness of Maya, I mistook the rope for the snake, but that is over, and now I dwell in the Eternal Home of the Lord (sggs 332).
  • ਇਉ ਕਹੈ ਨਾਨਕੁ ਮਨ ਤੂੰ ਜੋਤਿ ਸਰੂਪੁ ਹੈ ਅਪਣਾ ਮੂਲੁ ਪਛਾਣੁ ॥੫॥: Iou kahai Nanaku man toon joti saroopu hai apanaa moolu pashaanu ||5||(sggs 441).

The essentials of Mool-realization or the Forth State - the Pure Nature of the All-pervading Principle - is knowing that we are not this material body but we are different from it, and our true happiness is in Truthful living, Eternal Life, Spiritual Wisdom, and Bliss. Hence, the perfection of Mool-realization means attaining a Blissful, Eternal Life full of Divine Knowledge. According to the Gurbani, the surest way to Realizing this State, thus, is the conviction that "He is me, and I am Him". It is the "Yoga" or linking with the Divine Spirit. It is the direct experience or perception of the Supreme Truth by the All-aware intuitive faculty of the Soul. This intuitive Realization of the Spirit is the essence of the real Dharma; for the Dharma is just another name for the Intuitive Wisdom, Divine Knowledge (Aatam Giaan).

  • ਜਿਨੀ ਆਤਮੁ ਚੀਨਿਆ ਪਰਮਾਤਮੁ ਸੋਈ ॥: Jinee aatam cheeniaa parmaatam soee: Those who understand their own Soul, are themselves Parmaatam (sgg 421).
As the Mool (Jot, Source, Origin...) ever dwells Within, we are never apart from It. Further, there are not two Mools. The Mool is only one, and we can't live without it. As such, it is not the matter of Realizing the Mool, but of Realizing that we never were not the Mool! In other words, it is the Mool experiencing Itself. Hence It's "here" and "ever-now"! There is no "other time" or "other place". It is not after death somewhere; for it is not a post-mortem state! As It is ever Holy, we are as holy as we can get, right at this very moment! To Realize This is our birthright. All that is needed is detaching the mind from the non-self and turning it Within. In other words, the time required to realize the Turiyaa will depend on the intensity of our self-efforts, regularity, sincerity, and correct understanding. The reason we are not aware of the Chauthaa Pada "now" is because of our identification with the physical consciousness, God's cosmic dream (Leelaa).
  • ਸਭ ਕਿਛੁ ਘਰ ਮਹਿ ਬਾਹਰਿ ਨਾਹੀ ॥ ਬਾਹਰਿ ਟੋਲੈ ਸੋ ਭਰਮਿ ਭੁਲਾਹੀ ॥ ਗੁਰ ਪਰਸਾਦੀ ਜਿਨੀ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਪਾਇਆ ਸੋ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਬਾਹਰਿ ਸੁਹੇਲਾ ਜੀਉ ॥੧॥: Sabh kishu ghar mahi baahari naahee... (sggs 1121).
Therefore, the Fourth state is the opposite of spiritual ignorance. Simply put: Realization of the Fourth State is to get rid of the ignorance (cause) that we are apart (effect) from the Mool. Accordingly, the scriptures repeatedly remind us to live each breath we are given in remembrance of the Timeless. But the majority of us never do. Instead, we take the world of names and forms with their qualities and differences as real, and one's own Mool as unreal. Because of this ignorance, we experience the repeated pain and delusion. To know the Mool as the only Reality (Jot-Svaroopa) and all else as temporary (Jhooth, Koorh or Mithiya) and transient is Mool-realization, the Fourth State. It is like cleansing the mirror; the same mirror that shows us the world of plurality will also show us our real Self when polished by the cloth of Shabad-Surti or Unconditioned Consciousness - "He is me, and I am Him".
  • ਬਜਰ ਕਪਾਟ ਜੜੇ ਜੜਿ ਜਾਣੈ ਗੁਰ ਸਬਦੀ ਖੋਲਾਇਦਾ ॥੨॥ ਭੀਤਰਿ ਕੋਟ ਗੁਫਾ ਘਰ ਜਾਈ ॥: Bajjar kapaat jarhe jarhi jaanai gur sabdee kholaaidaa. ||2|| Bheetar kot guphaa ghar jaaee: The hard and heavy doors (of the love of Maya, etc.) are closed and locked (within the fortress of the body). Through the Gur-Shabad, they are thrown open. ||2|| Within the fortress (of the body) is the Cave, the Home (of the Truth) (sggs 1033).

The Cosmic Charmer, Maya, is the dreadful ocean of illusion. The conditioned Jeeva under the influence of the beginningless Maya remains in a state of sleep. This means that the man in his conditioned state lives in the non-apprehension of his True Nature as the All-pervading Consciousness. This sleeping ego, ignorant of its Reality, living in its delusory idea of separate existence is called Sansaar or Jagat (material world).

The duality (Doojaa Bhaav) that is cognized by our conditioned senses and mind is a mere illusion of Maya. When this false ego awakens fully to the greater Truth, the Reality of its essential nature, then it realizes in itself the Pure Truth which is Non-duality, beginningless, endless, and free of both non-apprehension and misapprehension of the Undivided Truth. When we have thus awakened to the Reality, all our concepts, ideas, notions, self-limitations, finitudes, mortality, etc., drop away from us. Our false ego then folds its tent and leave, never to come back. This is the Chauthaa Pada, the state of the Gurmukh (Spiritual Being).

  • ਤ੍ਰੈ ਗੁਣ ਵਰਤਹਿ ਸਗਲ ਸੰਸਾਰਾ ਹਉਮੈ ਵਿਚਿ ਪਤਿ ਖੋਈ ॥ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਹੋਵੈ ਚਉਥਾ ਪਦੁ ਚੀਨੈ ਰਾਮ ਨਾਮਿ ਸੁਖੁ ਹੋਈ ॥੩॥: Trai guna vartahi sagal sansaaraa hayumai vich pat khoee. Gurmukh hovai chauthaa pada cheenai raam naam sukh hoee ||3||: The three-qualitied Maya permeates the whole world (i.e., the whole world is in Maya's influence); (under the spell of Maya, the man) acts in ego, and loses his honor. But one who becomes Gurmukh comes to realize the Chauthaa Pada, the Fourth state (which is beyond the influence of Maya); he finds Sukh (Peace, ਆਤਮਕ ਆਨੰਦ, etc.) through the Lord's Name ||3|| (sggs 604).
  • ਦੇਵ ਸਥਾਨੈ ਕਿਆ ਨੀਸਾਣੀ ॥ ਤਹ ਬਾਜੇ ਸਬਦ ਅਨਾਹਦ ਬਾਣੀ ॥ ਤਹ ਚੰਦੁ ਨ ਸੂਰਜੁ ਪਉਣੁ ਨ ਪਾਣੀ ॥ ਸਾਖੀ ਜਾਗੀ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਜਾਣੀ ॥੨॥ ਉਪਜੈ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਦੁਰਮਤਿ ਛੀਜੈ ॥ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤ ਰਸਿ ਗਗਨੰਤਰਿ ਭੀਜੈ ॥ ਏਸੁ ਕਲਾ ਜੋ ਜਾਣੈ ਭੇਉ ॥ ਭੇਟੈ ਤਾਸੁ ਪਰਮ ਗੁਰਦੇਉ ॥੩॥ ਦਸਮ ਦੁਆਰਾ ਅਗਮ ਅਪਾਰਾ ਪਰਮ ਪੁਰਖ ਕੀ ਘਾਟੀ ॥ ਊਪਰਿ ਹਾਟੁ ਹਾਟ ਪਰਿ ਆਲਾ ਆਲੇ ਭੀਤਰਿ ਥਾਤੀ ॥੪॥ ਜਾਗਤੁ ਰਹੈ ਸੁ ਕਬਹੁ ਨ ਸੋਵੈ ॥ ਤੀਨਿ ਤਿਲੋਕ ਸਮਾਧਿ ਪਲੋਵੈ ॥ ਬੀਜ ਮੰਤ੍ਰੁ ਲੈ ਹਿਰਦੈ ਰਹੈ ॥ ਮਨੂਆ ਉਲਟਿ ਸੁੰਨ ਮਹਿ ਗਹੈ ॥੫॥: Dev sathaanai kiyaa neesaanee ...: What is the insignia of the Divine Lord's dwelling (i.e., the insignia of the mind in which God dwells - the mind that has Realized God or the state of Union with God)? (The answer is:) the unstruck sound current of the Shabad vibrates there. There is no moon or sun, no air or water there. The Gurmukh becomes Aware, and knows the Teachings (of the Guru - ਗੁਰੂ ਦੇ ਰਾਹੀਂ ਸੂਝ ਦਾ ਪੈਣਾਂ). ||2||(In the state of Awareness) Spiritual Wisdom arises within, and evil-mindedness departs; (in this Higher state) the mind becomes drenched with the Rasa of the (Naam) Amrit . One who knows the secret of this device (ਹੁਨਰ, ਕਲਾ, etc.), meets the Supreme Guru (God). ||3|| The Tenth Gate is the Home of the inaccessible, infinite Supreme Being. Above the store (of the mind) is a niche, and within this niche is the Commodity (Divine Light). (One who has realized God) remains (spiritually alert) Awake, never sleeps (in the slumber of Maya). In that state of Samaadhi, the three qualities (of Maya) and the three worlds vanish. He takes the Beej Mantra (God's Name), the Seed Mantra, and keeps it in his heart. Turning his mind away from the world (i.e., Maya), he focuses on the Cosmic Void of the Absolute Lord (the state devoid of wnaderings of the mind - ਜਿਥੇ ਕੋਈ ਫੁਰਨਾ ਨਹੀਂ ਉਠਦਾ- ect.) ||5|| (sggs 974).
How can we Awaken ourselves from this long sleep of ignorance, the unenlightened existence? By killing (transcending) the outgoing mind, say the scriptures. The Shabad or Divine Name (Naam: Aatam Giaan, Spiritual Wisdom attained through the Shabad-Vichaar) is the antidote for the delusory mind, the false ego. We too can subjectively experience the Supreme Truth, the Fourth State of Consciousness, with the help of the Shabad-Kamaaee (Spiritual Practice), which affords greater insight and appreciation as devotion (Bhagti) is enhanced in the process; leading to selflessness, Inner Inquiry, deeper meditation, mental subtlety (Sahaj), abidance in the essentials, complete detachment, and cessation of the perception of duality (diversity within and outside); followed by the Fourth State.
  • ਨਉ ਦਰਵਾਜੇ ਕਾਇਆ ਕੋਟੁ ਹੈ ਦਸਵੈ ਗੁਪਤੁ ਰਖੀਜੈ ॥ ਬਜਰ ਕਪਾਟ ਨ ਖੁਲਨੀ ਗੁਰ ਸਬਦਿ ਖੁਲੀਜੈ ॥ ਅਨਹਦ ਵਾਜੇ ਧੁਨਿ ਵਜਦੇ ਗੁਰ ਸਬਦਿ ਸੁਣੀਜੈ ॥ ਤਿਤੁ ਘਟ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਚਾਨਣਾ ਕਰਿ ਭਗਤਿ ਮਿਲੀਜੈ ॥ ਸਭ ਮਹਿ ਏਕੁ ਵਰਤਦਾ ਜਿਨਿ ਆਪੇ ਰਚਨ ਰਚਾਈ ॥੧੫॥: Naou darvaaje kaaiaa kotu hai dasavai gupat rakheejai. Bajjar kapaat n khulanee gur Shbadi khuleejai. Anhad vaaje Dhuni vajade gur shabadi suneejai. Tit ghat antar chaananaa kari bhagti mileejai. Sabh mahi ek vartadaa jin aape rachan rachaaee ||15||: The fortress of the body has nine gates; the tenth gate is kept hidden. The rigid door is not open; only through the Shabad can it be opened. The Anhad Dhuni or the unstruck sound current resounds and vibrates there. It is heard by the Shabad. Deep within the nucleus of the heart, the Divine Light shines forth. Through Bhagti, one meets the Lord. The One Lord is pervading and permeating all; he Himself created the creation ||15|| (sggs 954).
Thus, when we have transcended both the non-apprehension (cause) or ignorance of our own True Nature (Mool), and the misapprehension (effects) or the world of plurality, we will experience the Supreme Truth in the Fourth State of Consciousness. Therefore, the way to experience the greater Reality is to use the life for Spiritual pursuits, to emerge from behind the clouds of cosmic hypnotism of Maya, and to cease from identifying with the false ego, the second nature. Worldly rituals or dogmatism, outer appearance, corrupt intelligence, material logic, philosophical speculations, smartness, cleverness, or a symbolic demise of ego will not do the trick; for they are the functions of the three states. What is needed is faith, loving devotion, selfless service, Inner Inquiry, introspection and meditation by a pure, subtle and single pointed mind.
  • ਪ੍ਰਥਮੇ ਤਿਆਗੀ ਹਉਮੈ ਪ੍ਰੀਤਿ ॥ ਦੁਤੀਆ ਤਿਆਗੀ ਲੋਗਾ ਰੀਤਿ ॥ ਤ੍ਰੈ ਗੁਣ ਤਿਆਗਿ ਦੁਰਜਨ ਮੀਤ ਸਮਾਨੇ ॥ ਤੁਰੀਆ ਗੁਣੁ ਮਿਲਿ ਸਾਧ ਪਛਾਨੇ ॥੨॥: Prathme tiyaagee hayumai preet ...: (After having tasted the Prema-Rasa or Prema-Bhagati: Shabad-Vichhar, Aatam-Giaan, Gurmat...) first, I renounced my love of egotism (ਹਉਮੈ). Second, I renounced the ways of the world. (Then) I renounce the three qualities of Maya and I recognize friend and enemy alike. And then, (renenouncing the three qualities of Maya) the Turiyaa Avasthaa (which is above the three qualities of Maya - the Fourth State of Bliss) was realized. ||2|| (sggs 370).
The Fourth State exists only in those who are liberated while living in the body (Jeevanmukta, the Gurmukh), and the same state continues even after the physical body is finished. Simply put: becoming Jeevanmukta involves separating the consciousness from the material bondage (Maya) while incarnated! Realization of the Chauthaa Pada is the only method to understand the riddle of the universe as to "Who am I", "Why am I put on this earth", "Where did I come from and where am I going", "What is my purpose in life", "What is the nature of this world, the place of repeated birth and death", "How am I bound", "What is liberation and how do I obtain it", "How do I merge into the Eternal with Sahaj", "How I have come into being in this temporal and transient state", "What is the ego or mind", "Who is the sufferer", "What is the Supreme Truth", and so on.
  • ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਤੁਰੀਆ ਗੁਣੁ ਉਰਿ ਧਾਰੁ ॥੪॥: Gurmukhi Turiya Guna urdhaar ||4||: By becoming the Gurmukh, enshrine the glory of the Supreme Turiya State (that is above Maya) ||4|| (sggs 1262).
  • ਸਤਗੁਰਿ ਮਿਲਿਐ ਤ੍ਰਿਕੁਟੀ ਛੂਟੈ ਚਉਥੈ ਪਦਿ ਮੁਕਤਿ ਦੁਆਰੁ ॥੨॥: Satgur miliai trikuttee shhoottai chouthai pad mukat duaar ||2||: Meeting the Satgur, the bondage of the three qualities (of Maya) is cut away; and the Fourth State, the "Door" of Liberation, is attained ||2|| (sggs 33).

— T. Singh
www.gurbani.org