Jagrat

Definition - What does Jagrat mean?

Jagrat is the Sanskrit term for one of the four states of consciousness of the mind, called avasthas in yogic philosophy. Jagrat is the waking state that people experience whenever they are not asleep.

In jagrat, the mind is said to occupy the brain. It perceives external objects in the physical world through the senses, and it also identifies itself with the gross body, which is another external object. The mind in jagrat depends on these outward impressions arriving in its field of perception. In contrast, when the mind is in the dreaming state of consciousness (svapna), it creates its own impressions and objects to perceive, often using memories and ideas recalled from the waking state of jagrat. When the mind returns to jagrat, these dream objects vanish.

Yogis believe that in jagrat, although the perception is that one is awake and perceiving reality, this is actually just another dream. In truth, “reality” exists in all the possible states of consciousness.

Yogapedia explains Jagrat

As well as jagrat, the lowest mind state, there are three other higher states of consciousness:

  • Svapna - dreaming
  • Sushupti - deep sleep
  • Turiya - trance

Some sources list only the first three states of consciousness, and turiya, the highest state, may be referred to as the trilogy of jagrat-svapna-sushupti. It is also possible for the mind to exist in svapna-jagrat, which is where the mind is awake, but also recalling past events or imagining things. This is thought of as dreaming in the waking state.

One difference between the waking state of jagrat and the dreaming state of svapna is that the objects exist independent of the mind that perceives them. In jagrat, they would be there anyway, even if the mind were not aware of them. Contrastly, in svapna, the objects perceived only exist for as long as the mind is in this state creating them.

Those who understand and believe the yogic philosophy know that the gross world is simply an illusion. Some, therefore, describe jagrat consciousness as just a long dream. Once yogis have realized this, they no long experience the pain of attachment to objects in the material world.

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