Abstract/Details

TURIYA AND THE CATUSPAD DOCTRINE IN ADVAITA VEDANTA: AN INQUIRY INTO AN INDIAN "STATES OF CONSCIOUSNESS" DOCTRINE


1982 1982

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Abstract (summary)

This dissertation traces the development and modifications of tur(')iya and the catuspad doctrine in advaita Vedanta. The catuspad (four "foot") doctrine is one traditional formulation of "states of consciousness" in Indian thought. This formulation, discussed most concisely in the Mandukya Upanisad, mentions three varying states (waking, dream, and deep sleep), and an unchanging fourth, tur(')iya. This fourth "state" is analyzed at some length in the advaita Vedanta school, particularly by the school's progenitors, Gaudapada and (')Sankara. In their view, tur(')iya designates the undifferentiated substratum of the conditioned states of consciousness and is identical with the ultimate, non-dual reality, brahman.

While mainly a textual investigation directed toward Indologists, this dissertation also illuminates a non-Western states of consciousness scheme which emphasizes non-waking states for those interested in alternative psychological models.

The dissertation first discusses advaitin psychology, and its interest in the substratum of consciousness. Advaitins emphasize the non-difference of "mind" and "matter". Tur(')iya, basic "consciousness", is to conditioned mental states what brahman, fundamental "substance", is to the apparent physical world--different aspects of a single substratum.

After looking at some Vedic and Upanisadic precursors to the Mandukya's catuspad conception, I translate, with notes and comments, the Mandukya and the first prakarana of Gaudapada's karikas. (')Sankara's understanding of this scheme, particularly of tur(')iya as the self, follows. His analysis of sleep as blissful, unified rest is contrasted with other conceptions of sleep as ignorance. In later texts, the catuspad doctrine sometimes appears as a meditation stage scheme. The four states are linked with the morae of om (a, u, m). In some "minor" Upanisads and the Yogavasistha, tur(')iya begins to appear as an exalted meditation stage (samadhi), rather than as the substratum of states (brahman). Some modern swamis, recently interviewed, look back to the advaitin tradition; others, generally more aware of Western psychology, emphasize the meditation stage scheme. (')Sr(')i Aurobindo also recasts the catuspad doctrine as "planes of consciousness".

The conclusion discusses transpersonal psychology, particularly psychologists looking "East" for new models of consciousness. We observe their interest in "altered" (non-waking) states and their sometimes simplistic understandings of Eastern ideas. . . . (Author's abstract exceeds stipulated maximum length. Discontinued here with permission of school.) UMI

Indexing (details)


Subject
Religious history
Classification
0320: Religious history
Identifier / keyword
Philosophy, religion and theology
Title
TURIYA AND THE CATUSPAD DOCTRINE IN ADVAITA VEDANTA: AN INQUIRY INTO AN INDIAN "STATES OF CONSCIOUSNESS" DOCTRINE
Author
FORT, ANDREW OSMUN
Number of pages
200
Publication year
1982
Degree date
1982
School code
0175
Source
DAI-A 43/03, Dissertation Abstracts International
Place of publication
Ann Arbor
Country of publication
United States
University/institution
University of Pennsylvania
University location
United States -- Pennsylvania
Degree
Ph.D.
Source type
Dissertations & Theses
Language
English
Document type
Dissertation/Thesis
Dissertation/thesis number
8217116
ProQuest document ID
303072912
Copyright
Database copyright ProQuest LLC; ProQuest does not claim copyright in the individual underlying works.
Document URL
http://search.proquest.com/docview/303072912
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