Question

What are the three states of consciousness?

Answer
By Yogapedia Editorial Team | Published: September 3, 2018 | Last updated: September 3, 2018

Delving deeper into the states of consciousness, we begin to look at the waking and the dream states, and the transitions that occur between them. There are actually seven states of consciousness, which I have broken down as follows:

  1. Waking / Conscious / Vaishvanara / Gross / "A" of AUM
  2. Transition / Unmani
  3. Dreaming / Unconscious / Taijasa / Subtle / "U" of AUM
  4. Transition / Aladani
  5. Deep Sleep / Subconscious / Prajna / Causal / "M" of AUM
  6. Samadhi
  7. Turiya / Consciousness / Absolute / Silence after AUM

The three syllables of AUM each symbolize a specific state of consciousness. The fourth state occurs after those three parts of AUM, within the silence, and relates to consciousness or awareness itself.

(What are the benefits of silence?)

Now going deeper, between these four states of consciousness there are three transition states. First is the transition between waking and dreaming, or between conscious and unconscious states. The name of this transition stage of consciousness is called unmani. It is the transition level of consciousness itself. Think "daydreaming."

Next there is a transition stage between dreaming and deep sleep states. The name of this transition stage of consciousness is aladani. This is a state that one normally does not experience consciously. Aladani occurs in the unconscious mind normally only accessed when one is having dreams while in the dream state of sleep.

Finally is samadhi. It is beyond waking, dreaming and deep sleep. It is the state of deep and complete union with the universe.

(Why do I get sleepy when I meditate?)

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Yogapedia Editorial Team
Yogapedia's editorial team is dedicated to writing and curating authentic yogic knowledge from around the globe. Our intention is to help seekers turn within and connect with Self (Ātman) through shared understanding of the philosophy and practice of yoga.

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