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(inert) samadhi and chaitanya (conscious) samadhi. There is a popular belief that samadhi means sitting in a state of absolute unconsciousness in the lotus pose, with perfect suspension of breath. The ordinary run of mankind thinks that the man who is established in samadhi should not have consciousness of his surroundings, and should be absolutely insensible even if a knife is thrust into his body. Such samadhis do certainly exist. They are all jada samadhis induced by hatha yoga exercises such as khechari mudra and retention of breath, etc. The prana is taken up and fixed in some chakra. The man is practically dead for the time being. The breathing and heart will entirely stop. This is something like a long, deep sleep. These samadhis are of no value. The past impressions and desires are not completely burnt. There is no perfect awareness. The man returns from this samadhi as the same man, with the same bundle of old samskaras and vasanas. He has no super-intuitional knowledge. This is a kind of acrobatic feat or internal gymnastics. Worldly people are deceived by such feats. Such samadhis cannot give liberation. When the mind gets concentrated the breath will become less and less. It will come to 15, then 14, 13, 12, 10, 8 per minute, and so on, and the pulse beats may come to 30. When you enter into very deep silent meditation the breath will not come out of the nostrils. There may be occasional slow movement of the lungs and the abdomen. From the nature of the breathing you can infer the degree of concentration of an aspirant. Watch the breath very carefully. But, even if you do not feel any pulse in the sadhak when he is in meditation, even if his breathing stops, do not think that he is in nirvikalpa samadhi. He should return with super-sensual divine knowledge. Then only can it be said that he has attained real samadhi. The breathing and pulse may stop from various other causes also. If one abstains from food and drink and practises a little concentration or even sits on one asana steadily for some time, the breathing and pulse may stop. The sadhak must have perfect awareness in meditation. There is not much spiritual gain if he remains in a mere dull, inert state, even though he is insensible to external sounds. Once two sannyasins were deceived by another sadhu who used to sit in meditation without pulse and breathing for several hours. Later on he turned out to be a hypocrite and a hoax. He cheated them and ran away with some money. You will have to be very very careful in your judgement. During meditation do not allow yourself to pass into an inert state. Do not mistake this state for merging in the Lord or communion. Remaining in a dull state for some hours is not desirable. It is like deep sleep. This will not help you in your spiritual evolution. If this time is spent in doing japa, kirtan, mantra-writing and study of sacred books you will have quick evolution. Be on the alert. Watch vigilantly. If there is real merging or real deep meditation you must have peace, bliss and divine knowledge; you must be free from doubts, fear, delusion, egoism, anger, passion and likes and dislikes. Some dull inexperienced aspirants, mistaking deep sleep or this jada state for nirvikalpa samadhi, get false contentment and stop their sadhana. Sometimes cupidity will simulate a concentrated state. You are concentrated elsewhere but not on the object of meditation. Watch this and withdraw the mind. In chaitanya samadhi the yogi has perfect awareness. He comes down with divine knowledge. He

gives inspired talks and messages and those who hear him are much elevated. The subtle desires are destroyed by this samadhi and the yogi attains perfect freedom. Savitarka Samadhi and Nirvitarka Samadhi "There the concentration in which the options of word, meaning and understanding are confused, is called savitarka samadhi, or the samadhi with argumentation." (I-42) Savitarka samadhi is samadhi with reasoning. It is a superficial attempt of the mind to grasp any object. Sound, meaning and knowledge are mixed up in this samadhi. The aspirant can meditate on Lord Vishnu with four hands, or Lord Krishna with flute in hand, or any ordinary object. He will obtain the direct perception of all the peculiar features, the excellences and the defects of the object of meditation. He will have complete knowledge of the object. He will be endowed with all the unheard of and unthought of features of the object. He will obtain all these through savitarka samadhi. He meditates on the object again and again by isolating it from other objects. The yoga student can meditate on the gross elements also. He will gain power over them through intense meditation. The elements will reveal their truths to him. Just as the new archer first aims at big objects only and then at smaller ones gradually, so also the beginner in yoga concentrates on the gross objects such as the five gross elements, or Lord Hari with four hands, etc. and then on subtle ones. In this manner the grasp of the objects by the mind becomes subtle. A yogi directly perceives, by the force of his meditation, the real body of Lord Vishnu as He lies in Vaikuntha, although he remains at a great distance from the Lord. "Nirvitarka samadhi is that in which the mind shines as the object alone on the disappearance of memory, and when the mind is, as it were, devoid of its own nature." (I-43) In savitarka samadhi, concentration is practised on gross objects and their nature in relation to time and space. This is a gross form of samadhi. When the yogi meditates on the elements as they are, by taking them out of time and space, then it is called nirvitarka samadhi, or samadhi without questioning, reasoning or argumentation. This is a subtle form of samadhi. In savitarka samadhi there is a fanciful notion of word, object and idea. There is no such notion in nirvitarka samadhi. There are three factors in the comprehension of a word, e.g. cow: (1) cow, the word; (2) cow, the object; and (3) cow, the idea in the mind. When the meditator imagines these three to be one and the same, it is an instance of fanciful notion of the word, object and idea. SAVICHARA SAMADHI AND NIRVICHARA SAMADHI "By this (process) the meditation with deliberation and without deliberation with their objects as subtle, are also explained." (I-44)

"The province of the subtle objects reaches up to (or ends with) mula prakriti (primordial matter)." (I-45) If you meditate on the subtle tanmatra (rudimentary elements) and their nature in relation to time and space, it is savichara samadhi with deliberation or discrimination. This is subtler than savitarka and nirvitarka samadhis. The five gross elements are derived from the subtle elements, through the process of quintuplication or mixing. Meditation goes a step higher in this samadhi than in the previous one. The yogi will get knowledge of the subtle elements and will obtain control over them. He will get direct perception of the various subtle forms of the object, culminating in primordial matter. There is a mysterious power in meditation. Although ordinary meditation is possible only in ways already heard and thought of, yet even such things as have not been heard or thought of may be directly cognised by the force of meditation. "When the meditation without deliberation is purified, comes the spiritual internal peace of mind." (I-47) If you meditate on the subtle elements by taking them out of time and space, by thinking of them as they are, it will constitute nirvichara samadhi (without deliberation or discrimination). As there is pure sattva only in the mind owing to the eradication of rajas and tamas, the yogi enjoys internal peace or contentment and subjective luminosity. The mind is very steady. The Purusha, who is all bliss, all knowledge and all purity, can only be realised when the mind is perfectly steady and is filled with purity. The yogi gets simultaneous knowledge of everything. "This consciousness therein is full of Truth." (I-48) There is real knowledge free from doubt and perverted knowledge. There is knowledge by mere intuition. The real essence is revealed here. There is not even a trace of false knowledge. Worldly knowledge (knowledge from books) is only false knowledge. "The range of intellect is different from those of revelation and inferential cognition." (I-49) In this state, knowledge of hidden things and distant objects is directly obtained. This knowledge is perfectly true and is absolutely free from errors. Knowledge of minute particulars is obtained. Reason has got its own limitations. It is an imperfect instrument. It cannot solve many problems of life. It cannot answer the 'Why?' of the universe. It shines in light borrowed from the Purusha. It takes you to the threshold of intuition and leaves you there. Intuition transcends reason but does not contradict it. The yogi gets super-sensual knowledge and knowledge that lies beyond reason through intuition. "The impressions therefrom (from the samadhi previously described) obstruct other impressions." (I50)

The impressions produced on the mind by this samadhi prevent other impressions from gaining ground on it. The mind has become absolutely pure now. This samadhi has the power to suppress all the old worldly samskaras. Samskaras are your real enemies. They constitute the destiny of man. During concentration they all join together and attack you with great vehemence, but the samskara of this samadhi comes to your rescue. It destroys all the other vicious samskaras. It is a great asset for you. The mind is absolutely steady now. It can never run towards objects. SANANDA SAMADHI OR THE BLISSFUL SAMADHI Sananda samadhi gives intense joy. In this samadhi the gross and the subtle elements are given up. The yogi meditates on the sattvic mind itself. He thinks of the mind which is devoid of rajas and tamas. Through this type of samadhi there arises in the yogi a peculiar perception in the form of intense joy. Do not give up your practices, do not stop here. You will have to advance still further. This is a glimpse of Truth only. This is not the whole experience, the highest realisation. This is a new platform for you. Stand firmly now on this platform. Try to ascend further and reach the unconditioned state. Then you will be proof against temptations. SASMITA SAMADHI "These only, viz., savitarka, savichara, sananda and sasmita are sabija Samadhi (with seed [samskaras])." (I-46) In this samadhi the mind is the object of meditation. It bestows the knowledge of the subject of all experiences. The self knows the Self. Only the sattvic state of the ego remains. The yogi can think of himself now as without his gross body. He feels that he has a fine body. This samadhi takes the yogi to the root of experiences and shows the way to freedom. The yogi feels, 'I am (asmi) other than the body'. He experiences that the gross, subtle and joyous samadhis are not the highest samadhis. He finds defects in them also, and gets disgusted with them (even though they are infinitely more blissful than the miserable mundane life), because even lower kinds of samadhi act as an obstacle on the path of the aspirant and prevent him from striving to reach the highest nirvikalpa samadhi. He proceeds further and practises sasmita samadhi. He experiences consciousness of the Self (sasmita). He experiences a feeling of 'enough' and develops dispassion in its highest form (para vairagya). This finally leads to the development of asamprajnata or nirvikalpa samadhi. RAJA YOGA SAMADHI "Samprajnata samadhi or concrete meditation is that which is accompanied by argumentation, deliberation, happiness, egoism and form." (I-17) According to raja yoga, samadhi is mainly of two kinds samprajnata and asamprajnata. In the former the seeds of samskaras are not destroyed. In the latter the samskaras are completely fried or

annihilated. That is the reason why the former is also called sabija samadhi (with seed) and the latter as nirbija samadhi (without seed or samskaras). Samprajnata samadhi leads to asamprajnata samadhi. Samprajnata samadhi is also known by the names savikalpa samadhi or salambana samadhi. This samadhi brings perfect knowledge of the object of meditation. The mind continuously, and to the exclusion of all other objects, assumes the nature of and becomes one with the subject of its contemplation. The yogi attains all the powers of controlling nature in this samadhi. All the forms of samprajnata samadhi are salambana (with support) and sabija (with seed of samskara). There are three states of samprajnata samadhi. In the first, the content of the mental modification (vritti) is existence, knowledge, bliss absolute. There is still a separate knower. You get real wisdom. In the second, every kind of veiling is removed. The third state is the state of peace in which the mind is destitute of all mental modifications. The knowledge that you get from testimony and inference is about objects of the world, but the knowledge that you attain from samadhi is divine knowledge. It is supersensual intuitive knowledge where reason, inference and testimony cannot go. The various stages described in raja yoga savitarka, nirvitarka, savichara, nirvichara, sananda and sasmita all constitute samprajnata or sabija samadhi. All these samadhis have something to grasp. There is argumentation or questioning. They give intense joy but they are not the best and finest forms of samadhi. They cover the gross or the subtle elements of nature and the organs of senses. They give you the direct knowledge of the elements, objects and instruments of knowledge, and some freedom. You transcend time and space. Savikalpa samadhi of a raja yogi who practises savitarka, savichara, nirvitarka, nirvichara, sananda and sasmita samadhis, leaves the impressions of enquiry, feeling of bliss and the feeling of 'aham asmi' 'I exist'. This is called the 'remainder of tendencies' and it corresponds to the lesha avidya (trace of ignorance) the sage experiences after he has attained the state of jivanmukta. On account of this he moves about, takes bath, answers calls of nature and takes food and drink. (The impressions of lesha avidya are like that of the garlic smell which the pot emanates even after it is washed several times.) Camphor melts in the fire and assumes the form of fire. When salt is dissolved in water, it is no longer perceived separately; the water alone remains. Even so, the mind that has assumed the form of Brahman which is secondless, is no longer perceived. Brahman alone remains in its pristine glory. "By the suppression of that samskara also (the samadhi samskara) due to the suppression of all samskaras, comes the nirbija samadhi." (I-51) When the samskara caused by the experience of consciousness full of Truth is also restrained, all the other samskaras are also totally restrained. Now all the seeds are totally burnt up in the fire of asamprajnata samadhi. The mind, thus having nothing to rest upon, is destroyed by itself (mano-

nasha). Purusha alone shines in perfect bliss, knowledge, peace and glory. The yogi is absolutely free. He realises his own immortal nature. In asamprajnata, nirbija or nirvikalpa samadhi there is no ego-consciousness. Ego and mind melt and fuse in Brahman. The distinction of knower, knowledge and the object of knowing completely vanishes. The pure mind assumes the form of Brahman. This is the highest form of samadhi. This comes after intuitional knowledge or the final discrimination between matter (prakriti) and spirit (Purusha). All the seeds or impressions are burnt by the fire of knowledge. This samadhi brings absolute independence. It is the culmination or climax of yoga and bestows supreme undying peace or knowledge. The yogi enjoys the transcendental glories of the Self and has perfect freedom from mental life. The sense of time is replaced by a sense of eternity. In this samadhi there is neither seer, seen nor the act of seeing, nor support. This samadhi alone can destroy birth and death and bring highest knowledge and bliss. This is known as asti-bhati-priya or sat-cit-ananda. That which ever exists is asti (sat); that which ever shines is bhati, absolute consciousness (chit); that which gives happiness always is priya, unalloyed bliss (ananda). This state is indescribable. In vedanta they call it arupa manonasha and sarupa manonasha. Manonasha is destruction of the mind. In sarupa manonasha, rajas and tamas are completely destroyed and sattva alone remains. Sarupa manonasha is for the jivanmukta. Jivanmuktas have the form of the mind for the purpose of serving the world. Arupa manonasha comes in videhamukti, where the whole mind is destroyed. There are two kinds of asamprajnata or nirvikalpa samadhi. In the first the jnani, by resting in Brahman, sees the whole world within himself as a movement of ideas, as a mode of being or a mode of his own existence, like Brahman. Brahman sees the world within Himself as His own imagination (sankalpa). So also does a jnani. This is the highest state of realisation as in the case of Lord Krishna, Lord Dattatreya, Sri Sankara, Jnana Dev and others. In the second variety the world vanishes from view and the jnani rests on pure attributeless Brahman. When you get full success or perfection in raja yoga by entering into nirvikalpa samadhi, the five afflictions of ignorance, egoism, love, hatred and clinging to life are destroyed, and the bonds of karma are annihilated. This samadhi brings the highest good and exaltation. It gives deliverance from the wheel of birth and death. There is no imagination (vikalpa) of any sort in this condition. There is no functioning of mind or intellect. All vrittis totally cease and there is only pure consciousness or awareness. "Then comes the removal of all coverings of impurities due to the infinity of knowledge, and the knowable becomes very little." (IV-31) Knowledge that ordinary men get from worldly experiences becomes very very insignificant. The

knowledge of the yogis is like a sun. The knowledge of objects is like the light of a glow-worm. In this samadhi the yogi sees without eyes, tastes without tongue, hears without ears, smells without nose and touches without skin. His thought-force can work miracles. He simply wills and everything comes into being. This state is described in the Taittiriya Aranyaka thus: "The blind man pierced the pearl, the fingerless put a thread into it, the neckless wore it and the tongueless praised it." (I-II-5). Eventually he realises his own native state of divine glory, isolation or absolute independence (kaivalya). He has completely disconnected himself from nature and its effects. He feels his absolute freedom and attains kaivalya, the highest goal of raja yoga. All karmas are destroyed. "Then the succession of the modifications of gunas comes to an end, having fulfilled their part." (IV32) The gunas having fulfilled their objects of enjoyment, now entirely cease to act. He has simultaneous knowledge. The past and the future are blended into the present. Everything is 'now', everything is 'here'. May you all attain success in raja yoga and enter into nirvikalpa samadhi or the blissful union with the Lord by controlling the senses and the mind, and practising regular and constant meditation! JNANA YOGA SAMADHI Jnana yoga samadhi is also of two kinds savikalpa and nirvikalpa. Savikalpa samadhi is a means (sadhana). Nirvikalpa samadhi is the fruit or the result. Though there is a perception of duality in savikalpa samadhi, in as much as there is distinct recognition of subject and object, yet the duality only helps to know Brahman, One without a second. In the same way as in an earthen jar there is a perception of earth though there be an appearance of a jar, so too is there the perception of the secondless Brahman alone, even though there be an appearance of duality. Savikalpa samadhi is of two kinds drishyanuvidha when it is connected with an object, and shabdanuvidha when it is connected with a sound such as 'I am Brahman aham Brahma asmi'. When it is not associated even with the sound of 'Aham Brahma asmi', it is nirvikalpa. When you meditate on the consciousness as the witness of the modifications of the mind (such as desires, etc.) which are to be regarded as perceivable objects, it is inner antar drishyanuvidha savikalpa samadhi. When you meditate and actually feel: 'I am unattached, existence, knowledge, bliss absolute, selfluminous and non-dual,' it is antah shabdanuvidha savikalpa samadhi. When you see only Brahman in the external objects by separating the names and forms, it is termed bahir drishyanuvidha savikalpa samadhi. That constant reflection that the unlimited substance of existence, knowledge, bliss absolute (which is always of one nature) is Brahman, is the middle kind of samadhi or bahir shabdanuvidha savikalpa samadhi. By the practice and experience of these two kinds of samadhi, that steady state of the mind produced owing to the realisation of bliss (like the

ocean without waves) is called the third kind of samadhi or bahir nirvikalpa samadhi. That steady state of mind like the unflickering flame of a light in a place free from wind, wherein one gets indifferent to both objects and sounds owing to his total merging in the realisation of his own real Self (Brahman), is termed antar nirvikalpa samadhi. One should always spend his time in these kinds of samadhi. By these samadhis the identification with the body vanishes, the highest Self is realised and the mind is always in samadhi wherever (or in whatever place) and to whatever object it is directed (or runs to). According to vedanta, annihilation of ignorance leads to samadhi. According to Patanjali Maharishi, the aspirant attains samadhi by removing the hold of the world by practice and discipline. The vedantin enjoys the eternal bliss and natural ease of sahaja samadhi. He remains as a silent witness. He does not make any serious attempt to control the psychic stream or thought current. He raises the thought of Brahman alone by meditation on the significance of Tat-tvam-asi mahavakya. The subconscious (chitta) is modified in the form of the thought of Brahman alone. All other modifications are withdrawn. This thought (vritti) annihilates the ignorance and dies by itself, and Brahman shines out as the aspirant realises his identity. When this vritti is continuous, the highest form of samadhi, i.e., nirvikalpa samadhi, is attained. When it is intermittent the sage attains savikalpa samadhi. Samadhi in the jnani is effortless and spontaneous. Wherever the mind goes, there it experiences samadhi. He rests in samadhi always. There is no 'in samadhi' and 'out of samadhi' for a sage. He experiences samadhi always, without any effort. Hence, it is called sahajavastha or sahaja samadhi. He enjoys freedom, bliss and peace in all moments of his life. He drinks the nectar of immortality in this very life. BHAKTI YOGA SAMADHI In bhakti yoga there is absence of the least tinge of pride and self-assertion. The devotee does total unreserved self-surrender to the Lord. He resigns himself completely to the Lord and obtains His grace. Grace is a mighty spiritual force. It transforms the entire being of a devotee. It infuses in him inspiration and a new divine life. Self-surrender makes the devotee feel the reality of divine grace and the Lord's readiness to bestow help on him at all times. It is through grace alone that the devotee's whole being is galvanized and rejuvenated. Through divine grace there is inflow of divine energy into the entire being of a devotee and his whole being is properly moulded for divine realisation and divine instrumentality. Liberation (moksha) is loss of one's personality in the divine. It is deliverance from delusion of personality. There is no annihilation by the melting of this little false personality. Just as the river becomes the ocean itself, the individual soul becomes the mighty supreme Soul with higher consciousness and transcendental bliss and knowledge. There are nine modes or rungs in navavidha bhakti. They are sravana, kirtana, smarana, padasevana, archana, vandana, dasya, sakhya and Atmanivedana. Sravana is hearing His lilas (stories of God and

His divine play), kirtana is singing His names, smarana is remembrance, padasevana is service of His feet, archana is offering of flowers to the Lord, vandana is prostrations, dasya is servant attitude towards the Lord, sakhya is friendship with the Lord and Atmanivedana is self-surrender. Admiration, faith, devotion, taste for repetition and singing of the Lord's name, firm devoutness, intense attachment to the Lord, steadiness in God-love and transcendental God-love (absorption) are the eight steps in the ladder of prema or bhakti yoga. Salokya, samipya, sarupya and sayujya (remaining in the world of God, staying near God, assuming the form of God and remaining absorbed in Him) are the four kinds of mukti (liberation) of the devotees. Surrender draws down grace. The individual becomes one with the cosmic Will through surrender. Grace makes surrender complete. Without grace perfect union is not possible. Surrender and grace are inter-related. Grace removes all obstacles, snares and pit-falls in the spiritual path. The samadhi experienced by a bhakta is bhava samadhi. The devotee attains the state through bhava and maha bhava. A bhakta who meditates on the form of Lord Sri Krishna will see Krishna and Krishna only everywhere when he is established in samadhi. He will see himself as Sri Krishna. The gopis of Brindavan and Gouranga and Ekanath had this experience. Those who meditate on the allpervading Krishna will have another kind of experience the consciousness of Virat (the Lord in His form as the manifested universe). The bhakta enjoys the warm embrace of the divine. He attains divine auspiciousness. All the spiritual wealth of the Lord belongs to him. He is endowed with divine vision, lustrous subtle body and divine senses. He does not like to have complete absorption or merging in the Lord, but wants to remain himself separate in front of Him and taste the divine honey of God-love. The absorption in the Lord comes to him temporarily in the intensity of his love and experience in the beginning, though he does not like it. He then attains similarity with God. He is God-like. Eventually he attains sayujya or oneness but does not lose his separate identity as a devotee. SAMADHI AND WORK The state of samadhi is maintained even during work. The mind and body are used as perfect instruments in the service of the Atman that is seated in the hearts of all. Even during action Sri Sankara, Lord Krishna and Lord Rama did not move an inch from their being established in Brahman. Rajah Janaka enjoyed true samadhi even while ruling his kingdom. He never lost sight of Brahman even for a moment. When he was put to the test he said: "Even if the whole of Mithila (his kingdom) is burnt, nothing is lost for me. I have the inexhaustible imperishable wealth of the Atman". He who is established in samadhi keeps his mind and body in perfect balance and utilises them in the service of humanity with the feeling that everything is Atman. He is ever fixed in Brahman. He is always in samadhi. There is no tossing of mind for him, under any condition. He stands adamantine on account of his knowledge of the Self. Real samadhi should be kept up as much in action as in meditation. This is the real test of one's inner strength and realisation. This is real chaitanya samadhi. A samadhi that one enters into in mountain-caves and forests with closed eyes, but that is broken or shattered during work, is not the ultimate samadhi.

As long as you are established in a samadhi, there is only Brahman or the Absolute. Continuous unbroken (nirantara) samadhi does not mean sitting blind-folded, but the renunciation of attachment to the body, regarding the individual soul and supreme Soul as one, and knowing that the practitioner himself is the supreme Soul and acting upon this knowledge. Samadhi means the annihilation or absorption of the mind. Wherever he goes he beholds the one Self everywhere.