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Four Aspects Of Individual Soul - Atman

The concept of the individual soul, or Atman, in Hindu philosophy is rich and multifaceted, often described through various aspects representing different states of consciousness. In this particular passage, four aspects of Atman are elucidated, each corresponding to different states of consciousness experienced by individuals: waking state, dream state, deep-sleep state, and a transcendent state beyond the other three.

Vaishvanara (Waking State): This aspect of Atman is associated with the waking state of consciousness, where an individual is fully awake and cognizant of external objects. Vaishvanara experiences gross material objects through the senses and motor organs. It's likened to the sun, air, and earth, implying its pervasive nature and its connection to the physical world.

Taijasa (Dream State): Taijasa represents the aspect of Atman that is active during the dream state. In this state, the individual experiences internal objects and phenomena, often characterized by dreams and fantasies. Like Vaishvanara, Taijasa has seven limbs and nineteen mouths but is oriented towards subtler, internal experiences.

Prajna (Deep-Sleep State): Prajna embodies the aspect of Atman associated with deep sleep, where there are no dreams or desires. In this state, the individual experiences a sense of bliss and unity, devoid of the distinctions present in waking and dream states. Prajna is described as the lord of all, the knower of all, and the inner controller, signifying its overarching and foundational nature.

Turiya (Transcendent State): Turīya represents the fourth aspect of Atman, distinct from the other three. It transcends the states of waking, dreaming, and deep sleep, and is described as indescribable and beyond the comprehension of the senses. Turīya is characterized as the Universal Self, one without a second, and is the ultimate reality to be realized or known.

Together, these four aspects offer a comprehensive understanding of the individual soul in Hindu philosophy, spanning various states of consciousness and ultimately pointing towards the transcendent nature of the self.