Lesson 20 - Samadhi
Lesson 19 you learnt about Dhyana or meditation. You now know that Dhyana
involves merging of three fields of consciousness namely consciousness of object
of meditation, bodily consciousness and concesiousness of the process of
meditation. This stage is not, however, the final destination. Dhyana further
evolves into Samadhi which is the subject matter of this lesson.
In the state of Dhyana though there is merging of the three fields of
consciousness each type of consciousness still has independent existence. For
example, when you put a spoonful of sugar in a glass of water, both of them
unite but for some amount of time the sugar still has an independent existence.
Only when you stir the water with a spoon the sugar completely dissolves in it
and can no longer hold an independent existence. The same thing can be said
about Dhyana also. When your Dhyana becomes so deep that your consciousness
(i.e. the last two fields of awareness) vanishes completely and what remains is
the consciousness of the object alone. This state is called as Samadhi. Remember
that in Samadhi there is no role for the "physical" object what remains is the "Bhava"
or "Artha" of the object expressed by its consciousness.
Dharana, Dhyana and Samadhi are, thus, progressive stages of the same
process. You may choose different techniques for Dharana and Dhyana as explained
in the previous lessons or you may choose just one object for all these three
stages. If you practice Dharana, Dhyana and Samadhi on the same object this trio
is referred as Samyama. Samyama is said to give the practitioner various Siddhis
or supernatural powers. However, a real Yogi ignores such Siddhis and continues
his practice further.
Samadhi itself is a progressive step. It further undergoes a series of
progressions before a Yogi reach its final destination. These stages or type of
Samadhi are explained below:
- Samprajnata Samadhi
- Savitarka Samadhi
- Nirvitarka Samadhi
- Savichara Samadhi
- Nirvichara Samadhi
- Asamprajnata Samadhi
The word Samprajnata is combination of Sam + Prajnata. Sam means "with" and
Prajnata means "knowledge with awareness". Thus Samprajnata Samadhi is a state
where there exists knowledge with awareness. This awareness is in the form of
reasoning, reflection, bliss and individuality.
Asamprajnata Samadhi is the next stage in which there is no mental activity
such as reasoning etc. However, some traces of Samskara or impressions still
Savitarka Samadhi means "Samadhi with reasoning" (Sa + Vitarka). In this
stage word, its meaning and knowledge of that meaning exists.
Nirvitarka Samadhi is the next stage where mind becomes pure and expresses
the object of meditation alone. Thus there is no process of
reasoning in Nirvitarka Samadhi.
Savichara Samadhi means "Samadhi with mental reflection" (Sa + Vichara).
Vichara is more accurate and subtle than Vitarka. In
this stage the object expresses itself as a reflection.
Nirvichara Samadhi means "Samadhi without any reflection".
All the above type of Samadhi are called as "Sabija" or "with seed" because
they involve a seed in the form ones ego or individuality. The final stage is called Nirbija Samadhi which does not involve even a seed. It is total absorption of
In is important to remember that knowing this classification is fine but what
is more important is to experience the state of Samadhi. Don't bother too much
about various types of Samadhi and their meaning. Keep practicing with full
efforts and you yourself will experience them.
May the peace be with you.