How to Meditate on God Consciousness
“After you have settled in your asana, through the practice of either ajapa-gayatri anusandhana or cakrodaya anusandhana, then commences pranayama. By maintaining the constantly refreshed continuity of your awareness in the center of the two breaths you settle in your asana, and the movement of your breath becomes very subtle, very refined, as if thin. At this stage you feel like going to sleep, but it is not really sleep. You are proceeding towards the subtle state of awareness. Your awareness will not allow you to fall asleep. At this point you enter the fourth state-turya, which is neither the waking, the dreaming, nor the deep sleep state. This is the beginning of parama-spanda-tattva.
Shankaracarya has said:
“If you maintain your awareness at that point which is found between waking and sleeping you will be focused to that supreme felicity which is the supreme bliss of God Consciousness." (Shloka ashtaka.)
This is the point through which you pass in the fourth state (turya). It is that point, which is found at the ending of wake-fullness and the beginning of sleep, the point between waking and sleeping. This point or junction is very important, it is the entrance into the state of Turya, which has become open through settling in your asana and undergoing pranayama.
In this connection I have also composed these lines long ago:
“There is a point between sleep and waking
Where thou shalt be alert without shaking.
Enter into the New World where forms so hideous pass.
They are passing, endure, do not be taken by the dross.
Then the pulls and pushes about the throttle,
All those shalt thou tolerate.
Close all ingress and egress, yawnings there may be;
Shed tears, crave, implore and thou will not prostrate.
A thrill passes and that goes down to the bottom,
It riseth-may it bloom forth. That is Bliss.
Blessed Being! Blessed Being! O greetings be to thee!”
I have explained that there are two means for settling in your asana commencing with pranayama, i.e. ajapa-gayatri and cakrodaya. Asana must be understood to mean maintaining full repeatedly refreshed awareness on and in the center of the two breaths. Pranayama–the automatic refinement of the breath–takes place through settling your asana and results in gaining entry into Turya, the fourth state.
I have told you that settling in your asana through ajapa-gayatri is extremely difficult, if not well neigh impossible. I do not advise you, therefore, to pursue ajapa-gayatri. I suggest instead that you practice cakrodaya. In this practice there is real hope. It is practical.
In the practice of cakrodaya you must inhale and exhale in long breaths with sound. Long breaths do not occupy as much space in the movement of breath. Inhaling and exhaling quickly, in short breaths, occupies much more space. The longer the breath the less space it occupies; the less space it occupies the quicker the results.
“By decreasing the span of your breathing by just one tuti you will become omniscient and omnipotent." (Kallata)
The movement of breath occupies sixteen tutis; from its internal beginning point at the heart to its external ending point, the dvadashanta. One tuti is equivalent to the space occupied by 2-1/4 fingers laid side by side. At certain times the breath may occupy 17 tutis. When you are being chased by a tiger, for example, and are very much afraid and running very fast, the breath occupies more space.
In the practice of cakrodaya the breath is to occupy a minimum of space. At the time of practice you must be able to hear the sound of the inhaling and exhaling breath. The sound of your breathing should be loud enough so that even those sitting near you can hear it.
There are two understandings of how cakrodaya is to be practiced. Some say, “that the breath is to be inhaled and exhaled by the throat.” Others say, “that the breath is to be inhaled and exhaled by the heart.” Those that say that the breath should be inhaled and exhaled by the heart are wrong. It is a very dangerous and deadly procedure to adopt. To practice in this manner will produce such powerful and intense heat that the heart will be adversely effected and severely damaged. You will die in as short a time as a few weeks. The practice of cakrodaya, therefore, must be practiced by inhaling and exhaling by the throat, not by the heart.
When, through the practice of cakrodaya, your asana is established, your breath (prana) becomes more refined, more subtle, as if thinner. At this point begins pranayama. As I told you previously, you might, at that time, feel that you are on the verge of sleep, but your 'awareness' will not allow you to sleep. You may nod, but you will not be allowed to sleep, your 'awareness' will see to that. As I have explained, you will enter instead into that state called simply, turya–the fourth state. It is neither wakefulness, dreaming, nor deep sleep. In reality it exists in the junction between any of these three states, i.e. between waking and dreaming, between dreaming and deep sleep, and between deep sleep and waking.”