Samadhi: the only stable unchanging reality
is a Hindu and Buddhist technical term that usually denotes higher levels of
concentrated meditation, or dhyana, in Yogic schools, and is considered a
precursor for enlightenment, or Nirvana, in Buddhism. It is the eighth and final
limb of the Yoga Sutra of Patanjali, and comprises the pinnacle of achievements
in samyama, the three-tiered practice of meditation including also dharana and
dhyana. It has been described as a non-dualistic state of consciousness in which
the consciousness of the experiencing subject becomes one with the experienced
in which the mind becomes still (one-pointed or concentrated)
though the person remains conscious.
There are eight stages that yoga consists of
Yamas - where one learns abstinence and restraint
Niyamas - where one learns to live in contentment
Asanas - where one
learns the exercises
Pranayama - exercises
related to breathing
Partyahar - exercise
connected with the withdrawing of senses
Dhrana - where absolute concentration is achieved
Dhyana - the satge of meditation
Samadhi - achieving moksha or salvation.
The word literally means 'sama' and 'dhi'. 'Sama' means
equanimity and 'dhi' denotes intelligence. What it really means is that this state of intellect
occurs only when the intellect is functioning; in a situation when you are able
to discriminate between one thing and the other.
The discrimination exists because the intellect functions perfectly. The moment
you drop the intellect or transcend the intellect, this discrimination does not
exist. Generally this happens at a time when you have control of all your
senses, while keeping your eyes closed. When all senses merge into one, it
becomes a whole, in yogic terms, a reality, that drives you through life.
Samadhi has been categorized as:
Laya Samadhi is a latent ("laya"), potential level of samadhi. It begins in deep
meditation or trance—even with movement, such as dancing. This kind of samadhi
is a state of joy, deep and general well-being, and peaceful meditation.
Savikalpa Samadhi refers to the initial temporary state of full-valued samadhi.
The conscious mind is still active, as is the kalpa, meaning imagination. One
should compare this meaning to that of sankalpa, which is "wish." Kalpa takes on
a different, but related, meaning to sankalpa because one must use imagination
or consciousness (kalpa) to envision a wish or desire (sankalpa). Conversely,
vikalpa means "against imagination." At this final level of samadhi, the mind
has become quiet and given up its desires and attendant. Vikalpa leads to the
Truth, releasing one from any binds of
mind (which are mostly imaginations). In Savikalpa Samadhi, we get the taste of Bliss and Being ness, but are still
attached to our erroneous identification with the body as well as to our
numerous worldly attractions.
Nirvikalpa Samadhi is the end result. There are no more kalpas (imaginings,
wishes or other products from work of the mind), because the mind is finally
under control. Upon entering Nirvikalpa Samadhi, the differences we saw before
have faded and we can see everything as one. In this condition nothing but pure
Awareness remains and nothing is missing to take away from Wholeness and
Samadhi is the only stable unchanging reality; all else is ever-changing and
does not bring everlasting peace or happiness.
Staying in Nirvikalpa Samadhi is effortless but even from this condition one
must eventually return to ego-consciousness. Otherwise, this highest level of
Samadhi leads to Nirvana, which means total Unity and the logical end of
individual identity (and also death of the body). However, it is entirely
possible to stay in Nirvikalpa Samadhi and yet be fully functional in this
world. This condition is known as Sahaja Nirvikalpa Samadhi or Sahaja Samadhi.
Only the truly Enlightened can be and remain spontaneously free.
In Nirvikalpa Samadhi, all attachment to the material world and all karma is
dissolved. All awareness is withdrawn step by step from the physical, astral and
causal bodies until self-realization or oneness with the soul is achieved.