Jagrat avastha or Waking state:
In this state , a person is fully aware of his body parts and their respective functions, including his free will i.e the fact that he can make a choice. He has his listening etc. indriyas, gyana indriyas, speech etc. and objects of cognition, with the help of which a person is able to realise he is a JIVA. There is a choice of action and this is the only state where a person has a choice. All the cognitive objects are available to him only in this state. He has an ahankara about his sthoola shariram pertaining to his karma and gyana Indriyas. Even a blind person is aware of his indriyas and knows he is blind.
ATMAN is the waker or called the Vishwa and this person is a doer. He has a choice of pursuing all the four purusharthas- Artha, kama, dharma and moksha in this state. All the three sharirams are available- Sthoola, Sukshma, and Karana shariram. That is the reason the waker is called a Vishwa because he experiences everything in this state. But dream and sushupthi is not possible in waking state. Each state is mutually exclusive.
He associates and identifies himself with his body-sense-mind complex and is known as Jiva or an individual. In this state there is Vikalpam. This is because of the Ahankara he has about his Sthoola Shariram and Sukshama Shariram.
Swapna Avastha or Dream State:
That what was seen, and heard in the waking state, that which a person remembers, those impressions which he gathers in the waking state, occur in the dreams. Dreams are not in a particular order, They are random. Thinking about Vasanas(desires), suppressed raga- dweshas, which one experiences in waking state come in the dream, which is half-asleep state. If a person is a serious thinker of a particular subject, there is every possibility, a great invention or a solution to a problem occurs also in the Dream State. This is because unaccomplished desires or vasanas often come in dream. The thoughts appear more clear as there is no other distraction during dream. The sthoola is inactive and only the sukshma sariram is available.
Everybody dreams. There is no Bheda or Vikalpam about who will dream and who will not. In this state a person transacts with only himself. He is called TEJASAH.
All the three states are not co-related. All of a sudden when one wakes up from Dream state, and it being not a gradual process, sometimes even after waking one is living in a dream for a few moments. He is possessed about his Sukshma Shariram because all the thoughts in the mind take control in this state. His physical body, not being available to that person, his mind functions thereby illuminating his thoughts like an HD movie. There is no Free Will and it’s a free roller coaster ride with uncontrollable thoughts and parakrama.
Waker-Dreamer-Sleeper are three states. All the three words are connected by the letters”er”. This is Consciousness. When a person wakes up, he will say he dreamt or had a deep sleep. He is aware. This awareness is consciousness and is a witness to all the three states. Atma is ever present all along and that is how a person is able to recall. Similarly, our body undergoes many physical changes from childhood to adulthood to old age. This change is known to us through Atma- a silent witness.
Sushupti avastha or deep sleep state:
It is that state where, I am happily unaware, experiencing deep sleep. In that state I don’t know anything. All the three shariram are dissolved. Sleep is a must for everybody. In America and few other countries, there is also a method of torturing prisoners to make them stay awake. Sleep deprivation was a technique used on the prisoners in Guantanamo Bay by America. Between 12.00am and 3.00am body’s digestion works and therefore body needs rest. At that time food should have been completely digested. Night shift workers suffer many difficulties due to lack of deep sleep. Quality of sleep is important.
Abhimanam of all the shariram- sthoola, sukshma and karana shariram(avidya) is absent in this avastha. Individuality is gone. Everything around goes into an unmanifest stage. A person is unaware of himself as a JIVA. That is how one is, when one dies. A vedanti is better prepared for death than an ordinary person. If our balance of prarabdha karma is there then we will wake up. Therefore, when we wake up we must be grateful to Ishwara which illuminates the whole world and also for our rebirth. Deep sleep state is akin to a long sleep. To spend the karma one takes birth. Waking early is also a respect shown for the Sun God because of whom there is existence.
Once a person realises he is not the doer, and that only his physical body is doing karma, then he is liberated because he does not associate himself with the results of his karma.
Pragya-A sleeper is ignorant about his own SELF because of his association with his karana shariram(avidya). Atma is mistaken for the sthoola, sukshma and karana shariram. Ignorance is Bliss.
The word pragya has 2 meanings depending on the context of usage. -One is a person who deduces and arrives at his TRUE SELF and another is the one who is unaware and ignorant and in bliss. Our physical body is the Upadhi for all three states. Our physical body is upadhi for all three states. Atma is untainted and clear Shudha Chaitanya. Because of the upadhis it appears to be tainted. I + am adds a rupa or form. Atman does not have attribtes.