EIGHTH STEP – SAMADHI
Samadhi is superconscious state. It is Union with God or Supreme Being. There is no means or language to give expression to it.
In Samadhi the meditator loses his individuality and becomes identical with Supreme Self. Just as the camphor becomes identical with the fire, the meditator and meditated become one.
This blissful divine experience arises when the ego and the mind are dissolved.
This is a magnificent experience of unity and oneness. In the state of Samadhi the aspirant is not conscious of any extemal or internal objects. There is no thinking, hearing, smelling or seeing.
Samadhi is the property of every human being. It is your birthright.
Faith, power of concentration of mind, memory for contemplation, celibacy and discernment (Prajna) are the means for the attainment of the Samadhi.
God’s grace alone can take you to the realms of transcendental experience or Nirvikalpa Samadhi.
There are two kinds of Samadhi, viz., Savikalpa and Nirvikalpa. Savikalpa Samadhi is also known as Samprajnata and Sabeeja Samadhi.
In Savikalpa Samadhi there is the Triputi or the triad; the knower, knowledge and the knowable.
Samprajnata or Savikalpa Samadhi is possible when there is Ekagrata or one-pointedness of the mind. There is only a partial inhibition of the mind. The Samskaras or impressions are not burnt. Hence the name Sabeeja.
When the Yogi meditates on the Sattvic mind itself, devoid of Rajas and Tamas, he attains intense joy. So it is known as Saananda Samadhi or blissful Samadhi. The Yogi feels “Aham Asmi” or “I am.” So, it is called Asmita Samadhi.
Nirvikalpa Samadhi is a condition of perfect awareness. The knowledge and the knowable become one. In Nirvikalpa Samadhi Yogi sees without eyes, tastes without tongue, hears without ears, smells without nose and touches without skin. This is described as follows: The blind man pierced the pearl; the fingerless put a thread into it; the neckless wore it; and the tongueless praised it.
Nirvikalpa Samadhi is also known as Asamprajnata and Nirbeeja Samadhi.
There is complete inhibition of all mental functions. Hence it is called Asamprajnata Samadhi.
It can be attained only when there is perfect Nirodha or control of mind. Here Samskaras are burnt in toto. Hence the name Nirbija. You will have to be perfectly established in
Nirvikalpa Samadhi. Then only will the seed of rebirth be burnt in toto.
The only Sadhana for attaining Nirvikalpa Samadhi is Para Vairagya or supreme dispassion. Here the Yogi completely disconnects himself from the Prakriti and its effects. The mind, intellect and the senses entirely cease to function. There is neither sound nor touch nor form here.
The Gunas, having fulfilled their objects of enjoyment, entirely cease to act now. The Yogi has attained Kaivalya, or Supreme independence or freedom. He has simultaneous knowledge or omniscience now. The past and the future are blended into the present. Everything is ‘now’. Everything is ‘here’. The past and the future are blended into the present. Everything is ‘now’. Everything is ‘here’. The Yogi has transcended time and space. All sorrows have ceased; all miseries have disappeared; the seeds of action are burnt; all doubts are dispelled. There is eternal freedom. It is a state like the ocean without waves.
OBSTACLES TO SAMADHI
Tossing of mind, sleep, cravings, carelessness, indecision, subtle Vasanas, disease, the happiness of Savikalpa Samadhi, doubt, spiritual pride, etc., are all obstacles to the attainment of Samadhi.
Do not mistake sleep for Samadhi. When a man returns from Samadhi, he has transcendental wisdom.
The Samadhi of the Hatha Yogi who buries himself is Jada Samadhi. It is like deep sleep. There is no transcendental, divine wisdom for him. The Samaskaras are not burnt. He cannot have Moksha or final liberation.
In Chaitanya Samadhi there is perfect awareness. There is no rebirth. The Yogi attains liberation and divine wisdom.
Excerpts from “FOURTEEN LESSONS ON RAJA YOGA” by Sri Swami Sivananda