The Four States of Consciousness

No model of the chakras is complete without an understanding of the four states of consciousness that are possible to us in the human experience.  I am taking all of this from my own experience and the teachings of my Guru Sri Vasudeva and applying them to understanding the nakshatras and the bigger picture of cosmic consciousness...

These four states are:
Waking - the gross physical consciousness
Dreaming - mind is active (astral)
Deep Sleep - mind is blissful, ego not active (causal)
Witnessing (transcendent) - the enlightened "I" is awake in all other states

These are called in Sanskrit:  जाग्रत् jagrat, स्वप्न swapna, सुषुप्ति shushupti, and तुरीय turyia
 their corresponding energy fields or the bodies in which we experience these states are: स्थूल sthula, सूक्ष्म sukshma, करण karana, and तुरीय turyia (beyond the embodiments) [but in order to have an "I" we are also in the bodies, one part of us observing/witnessing and the rest of us acting.

Sri Vasudeva has given many talks about them and you can also look these up.  Turyia is that point of silent mind that still allows us to participate in the world but from a liberated (moksha), untouchable, invincible, pure, and blissful perspective.  Sri Vasudeva calls this the rapturous Witness.  When we are deserving Grace takes us here, where we are carried by Higher Self and our individual ego lives in grateful surrender, as Jesus like other masters said "In Him I live, move and have my being."

I believe these four stages are the fundamental basis for:
The four padas
The four cardinal directions
Even for the yugas!

Keeping in mind that the world we see with our physical eyes is but a reflection of a subtle blueprint within us that derives from Consciousness - there is going to be a lot of variation if we think about these things using the physical eyes logic only.  For example archeologist David Stuart writes in his book The Order of Days:  Unlocking the Secrets of the Ancient Maya about the following:

Sunrise is probably represented as East "elk'in" and the colour red "chak"
Sunset is probably represented as West "ochk'in" and the colour black "ik"
Zenith (high noon) is probably represented as North "xaman" and the colour white "sak"
Nadir (midnight) is probably represented as South "nohol" and the colour yellow "k'an"

In contemplation of this - these are the cardinal points in astrology.  North is really the idea of "above" and South is really the idea of "below".  Our physical brain structure also has these four basic parts plus a brainstem in the middle, each corresponding to either more primitive or more evolved intellectual capabilities - all of which I believe is a reflection of the subtle blueprint of the states of being and their forms as energy fields or "bodies" (see above).

And we see some variations of this in every kind of Medicine Wheel, for example this one from the Hopi Nation:

The centre is the void, that space without an "I" in it.  The four states also relate to the four elements and four everything else.

We see it in Taoism inner alchemy and the four guardian dragons or emperors of the Chinese lunar constellations.  The colours are sometimes different and the names of the directions are sometimes different so that part is more to do with cultural and philosophical preferences.  And Carl. J. Calleman has written about it from his research about the esoteric secrets of the ancient Maya - that our physical brain evolved into four parts and this has something to do with consciousness development.

Sri Vasudeva teaches that the consciousness development takes place in the subtle body, that mind is the blueprint for the physical, not the other way around (although we are influenced in our choice making and impressions from the outside world).  But the outside is really a reflection of our inner world, which is the main point I am making throughout this research.

The Padas as expressions of the 4 States of Consciousness

The padas are not the only way the four states of consciousness are expressed, but these relate specifically to the nakshatras.  The four cardinal points are also represented by the cardinal signs and their corresponding houses (Aries-1st, Cancer-4th, Libra-7th, Capricorn-10th).  They are also represented by the four pillars or goals of life represented by the four triangles represented in the whole kundali:  dharma, artha, kama, moksha.  But right now I'm thinking only of the padas.

In the Chinese system of 28 lunar constellations we have four dragons with seven constellations per dragon - so the four states of consciousness could be represented in terms of four quadrants of the circle as a linear progression something like this:

White Tiger west:  GV27 to GV5 [Ashwini to Punarvasu, involution, the gross layer]
Black Tortoise north: GV6 to GV12 [Pushya to Chitra, navel-heart-to base of throat]
Azure Dragon east: GV13 to GV19 [Swati to Uttarashadha, brow evolutionary]
Red Bird south: GV20 to GV26 [Abhijit to Revati, crown chakra awareness & part of the 9 levels of time/interlife]

In the Mayan System the four cardinal directions are represented by four trees of life, or four axis mundi.  I haven't figured this one out yet so let's leave it as to be continued... The 20 day signs representing (to me) evolution up the sushumna interlock with 13 number signs instead of padas and 9 underworld great time periods.  It's a totally different system - but I'm seeing it all as related.  I have discussed this elsewhere (sorry if this is confusing).

In the Vedic astrology we have 108 possibilities in total with four padas per 27 nakshatras, leaving out Abhijit.  I don't know if the pada system was part of the original 28 nakshatras or not, but it adds a sophistication in terms of reading the birth chart.  We have the idea of each nakshatra (excluding Abhijit which is perfect, as mind is silent and unmoving like the pole star) operating on a gross level, astral, causal or spiritual (transcendent) level and this is represented by the navamsa chart or D9.
I see this as related to the concept of the Mayan daysigns - which is a confluence of three separate calendars:  underworld (one of 9) + daysign (one of 20) + number (one of 13).  In the Vedic system we have:  navamsa or mahadasha (one of 9) + nakshatra (one of 28) + pada (one of 4).  So what is going on here?  Are they even related?  Yes I think they are!  I don't know enough about the Taoist system to include that one at this point.

How I believe these systems are related

They are all looking at mental tendencies through the perspective of timing, through the perspective of expressions of energy (the chakras) and through the perspective of states of consciousness.  These three things need to be considered as interconnected, not separate to one another.  Chakras are expressions of consciousness too, not only energy (and they are also stages of consciousness evolution and they are also portals to other dimensions).  I have been studying and experiencing chakras for over twenty years now and still have much to learn.

Evolution is all about coming into a state of oneness, where all is one Self is perceived, understood, and is a very tangible experience of life through which all the other states are known.  To get to that point we need to know our chakras one by one through the gross, astral, causal and transcendental levels.  There are of course many paths to reach the same goal, but it is in reaching that goal that we see the beauty of the diversity in life.  And it is in attaining the transcendental level that we are able to enjoy ALL the levels to the maximum if we wish, and live to our fullest potential.