Right enquiry begins with prayer; otherwise, the enquiry is not right. Without prayer, doubt is just a disease. With a prayerful mood, with a prayerful heart, doubt becomes just a methodology to enquiry, and to enquire.
Doubt is healthy if inside there is faith. A faithful doubt is a good sign. The end remains faith; doubting is just a means. The doubt must not be the end. If doubt is the end, then it is an infinite regress: you can go on doubting and doubting and doubting, and there is no end to it. You go on falling, with doubt, into more indecisiveness. To reach somewhere, doubt must not be the end. Use it as a means - it is helpful - but remain centered in faith, because that opens your mind; doubt closes it.
Doubt is a closing - you are closed. So doubt is a self-destructive process; it is suicidal, because you ask and you are not open to receive. You ask but you are not ready for the answer. You go on asking, and preventing the answer from reaching you.
Prayer means receptivity, festivity - you are open. Be open and ask, be open and enquire.
This UPANISHAD begins with prayer to the divine force for help, then the enquiry, and then the questioning. With prayer questioning is not just curiosity. With prayer it becomes a sincere quest.
The first thing towards freedom is to know that you are not free. The first step, the basic, is to know that you are in bondage. Then comes the longing, then is created the desire; then one begins to dream about freedom. But one must be aware that one is not free, one is just a slave. So the enquiry begins with the question: What is bondage?
Bondage doesn't mean knowledge. VIDYA is not knowledge. Vidya means the methods, the techniques. "What is wisdom?" It doesn't mean, "What is knowledge?" it means, "What is the methodology? How to achieve it; how to be free? Tell me about the highest, the supreme-most truth - because the supreme-most truth is not to be born at all.
The primary truth, the foundational truth, the best, the highest the supreme-most is not to be born at all. And the second is to die as soon as possible after you are born.
False doors, false keys pseudo-methods are there. AVIDYA means pseudo-methods.
Dreaming is not just a dreaming; it is substantial, it is significant. You cannot dream without causes.
Even a dream has a causality. It is relevant, it shows something about you. Rather, it shows more about you than anything you are doing and showing when you are awake, because one can deceive oneself and others when one is awake, but one cannot deceive in dreams. Dreams are more innocent because we have not yet found any technology to polish dreaming, to use masks in dreaming. Dreams are still naked real, authentic; they show the real face more sincerely than any face you use when you are awake.
So this paradoxical thing happens: a dream becomes more real than all that you think is real, because you cannot maneuver it, you cannot manage - you are just helpless. A dream happens; you cannot do anything in it. You are not the doer, you can just be an observer. In a subtle way, you are totally helpless. Because of that helplessness, a dream becomes more real, more authentic, and shows many things about your mind. Dreaming is worth knowing, worth enquiring about.
So the UPANISHAD asks, "What is this awake state of the mind? What is dreaming? What is non-dreaming sleep? And what is TURIYA?"
This word "turiya" only means "the fourth." So what are these three states - being awake, dreaming, being deeply asleep - and what is the fourth which transcends all these three? The fourth has not been given any name; it has only been known as "the fourth," the turiya, because really that is not a state of the mind but one's being, one's nature.
These three are states.... When you are awake, this is a state, a mode, a form, a shape of your being. This is not your being. This is a state - it can change. In the night you will be dreaming.
Dreaming is still a state, because it can change. Then you will be deep in sleep, dreamless sleep - that too is a state. By "state" is meant something which you can take and change. The fourth, the turiya, is not a state, it is your being. You cannot change it, you are IT. So the fourth goes on in all the three states, and transcends them. But the fourth is not a state, it is your being. So what are these four?
All sociological interpretations of religion are just nonsense, sheer nonsense, because they cannot conceive that religion is born in a consciousness. They can only conceive that out of fear every god is born. No, never out of fear is any god born - out of love, out of prayer, out of a deep glimpse into the nature of existence. But this glimpse is bound to be individual. When others begin to follow, they are just following a dead ritual.
The sun can become divine in a moment of opening, in a moment of deep exposure, when there is a deep opening in all of your five bodies and the innermost becomes one with the outermost - even for a single moment. In that exposure, everything is just divine. EVERYTHING! In that exposure nothing remains material; in that exposure everything becomes just a benediction, a bliss, a blessing. Matter just dissolves; everything becomes alive.
Divisions fall, barriers are not, oneness is felt.
Out of this oneness, out of this love, religion is born.
So all sociological theories about religion are absurd. They just miss the POINT! But that is natural, because for one who has not known love, fear is the only thing in life, the only experience. These are the basic experiences: either you know love or fear; if your life is not oriented in love, then it is bound to be oriented in fear. So, man's mind can have only two conceptions about the universe:
either fear-oriented or love-oriented. If it is love-oriented it becomes religion; if it is fear-oriented it becomes just a material science. If you are in fear, then you begin to fight.
Science is a fight, a conquering of nature, a conquest, a struggle - nature becomes the enemy. If life is love-oriented - and that is what is meant by a religious life - then it is not a fight. Then it is a communion, then it is a reverence; you are not an enemy and nature is not your enemy. Then there is a deep friendliness; then you become one.
So, if one has not felt deep love, love towards each and everything, then there is only one interpretation possible - one can only interpret through fear.