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Yoga and Meditation

Lesson X

Samadhi

“Which having obtained, he thinketh there is no greater gain beyond it, wherein, established, he is not shaken even by heavy sorrow.”—Bhagavad-Gita: Ch. VI-22

The fruit of meditation is Samadhi. Samadhi is super conscious state, wherein the Yogi gets superintuitional or supersensual knowledge and Supersensual bliss. He gets the vision of the Lord. He is in a state of communion with the Lord. He is in full enjoyment of the Divine Ecstasy or Divine Thrill. He has seen the Light of lights now.

The five afflictions, reference to which was made in Lesson I, have now come to an end. All sorts of imperfections have disappeared. Just as the river has joined the sea, the individual soul has joined the Supreme Soul. All limitations have dropped now. This state cannot be described in words: It has to he felt by actual practice. There are neither wants nor desires here. All doubts and delusions, all sorrows and tribulations, all fears, differences, distinctions and dualities have vanished entirely. This is the ultimate goal of all spiritual practices. This is the goal of life.

Samadhi is the eighth step of the Yogic ladder. Intuition, revelation, inspiration and ecstasy are all synonymous terms. The meditator and the meditated, the thinker and the thought, the worshipper and the worshipped, the subject and the object have now become identical. The meditator has merged himself in the Soul or the all-pervading Spirit. All watertight compartments have disappeared. The Yogi feels oneness and unity everywhere. He feels: “I have nothing more to learn. I have nothing more to do. I have nothing more to obtain.”

That which is night of all beings is the time of waking for the illumined Yogi; when other beings are waking, then it is night for him. Yajnavalkya, the greatest Yogi says: “By Pranayama impurities of the body are destroyed; by Dharana or concentration impurities of the mind. By Pratyahara the impurities of attachment and by Samadhi everything that hides the Soul is removed.”

Samadhi is of two kinds viz., Savikalpa Samadhi and Nirvikalpa Samadhi. Savikalpa is a lower Samadhi. In the Savikalpa Samadhi the Samskaras or latent impressions are not fried in toto. There is support for the mind. There is still the triad of subtle type viz., the seer, sight and seen, or the knower, knowledge and knowable. So Savikalpa Samadhi cannot give full satisfaction, full freedom, full bliss and knowledge.

In Nirvikalpa Samadhi all Samskaras are burnt in toto. There is no support for the mind. The mind has merged into the all-pervading Spirit. There is no triad of seer, sight and seen, and so forth. Nirvikalpa Samadhi gives full satisfaction, full freedom, full bliss and full knowledge.

There is also another classification viz., Jada Samadhi and Chaitanya Samadhi. In Jada Samadhi there is no awareness. It is more or less like deep sleep. The Yogi does not return with intuitional knowledge. The Samskaras and desires are not destroyed. This is the Samadhi of the Hatha-Yogins who practice Khechari Mudra (reversing the tongue backwards and upwards, fixing it at the root of the palate and closing up the posterior nasal openings is Khechari Mudra). Somehow the Prana is fixed in some lower Chakra or centre of spiritual energy, and the Yogi remains like a dead corpse. The Yogi can even be buried in a box underneath the ground for several days at a stretch. Jada Samadhi cannot give liberation or Mukti. It is more like an acrobatic feat. The Samadhi that we often hear of persons entering into, in public places is nothing but Jada Samadhi. In the other variety of Samadhi viz., Chaitanya Samadhi, there is “perfect awareness.” The Yogi has intuitional knowledge.


William Wordsworth, the great English poet, describes Samadhi as follows:—

“….That blessed mood,
In which the burthen of the mystery,
In which the heavy and the weary weight
Of all this unintelligible world,
Is lightened—That serene and blessed mood,
In which the affections gently lead us on,
Until the breath of this corporeal frame
And even the motion of our human blood
Almost suspended, we are laid asleep
In body, and become a living soul;
While with an eye made quiet by the power
Of harmony, and the deep power of joy,
We see into the life of things.”
Sankara, Dattatreya, Vamadeva, Jada Bharata, Madalasa and Yajnavalkya had all the experience of supercosmic consciousness (Nirvikalpa Samadhi), while Ramadas, Tulasidas, Kabir, Tukaram, Mira, Gouranga, Hafiz, Madhva and Ramanuja had the experience of cosmic consciousness (Savikalpa Samadhi). Dr. Maurice Bucker the celebrated author of “Cosmic Consciousness” believes that St. John of the Cross, Bacon, Jacob Behman, Pascal, Spinoza, Swedenborg, William Wordsworth, Alexander Pushkin, Honore de Balzac, Emerson, Tennyson, Thoreau, Walt Whitman and Edward Carpenter had the good fortune to taste the nectar of cosmic consciousness. As a Hindu example he also mentions the name of Ramakrishna Paramahamsa of Bengal.

He who poses for a great Yogi before the public and advertises in newspapers that at such and such time on such and such day he is going to enter into Samadhi does so with a view to make money and also a name for himself. He is actually deceiving and swindling the public in broad daylight. A real Yogi who has reached the goal of life and is always in Samadhi throughout the twenty-four hours will never make a parade of his attainment. He will never even tell others that he is enjoying the bliss of Samadhi. It is only the empty drum that maketh much sound.

In the waking state you do conscious work, but you are not conscious of the working of the heart, stomach, liver, etc. Just as there is unconscious work beneath the level of objective consciousness, so also there is superconsciousness above the level of physical consciousness, wherein there is play of neither the mind nor the senses. The man who returns from sleep does not possess any new knowledge, whereas he who comes down from Samadhi possesses supersensual knowledge. He can clear any doubt concerning the problems of life.

“The Yogin is one who has realised the Brahman that is all-full beyond Turiya (there are four states of consciousness viz., waking (Jagrat) state, dreaming (Svapna) state, deep sleep (Sushupti) state, and superconscious (Turiya) state. There is a state still higher, or rusher the highest of all, and that its Turiyateeta state. In this state the Jivatman gets absorbed into Brahman. This is the goal of life). They (the people) extol him as Brahman; and becoming the object of the praise of the whole world, he wanders over different countries…. Then the Yogin becomes immersed in the ocean of bliss. When compared to it, the bliss of Indra and others is very little. He who gets this bliss is the supreme Yogin.” (Mandalabrahmana-Upanishad).

Again in the Yogatattva-Upanishad it is said: “One who is engaged in Nirguna Dhyana attains the stage of Samadhi. Within twelve days at least, he attains the stage of Samadhi. Restraining the breath, the wise one becomes an emancipated person. Samadhi is that state in which the Jivatman (Lower Self) and the Paramatman (Higher Self) are differenceless (or of equal state). If he desires to lay aside his body, he can do so…. But if he does not so desire, and if his body is dear to him, he lives in all the worlds possessing the Siddhis of Anima, etc. Sometimes he becomes a Deva and lives honoured in Svarga; or he becomes a man or a Yaksha through will. He can also take the form of a lion, tiger, elephant, or horse through his own will. The Yogin becoming the great Lord can live as long as he likes.”

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