Raja Yoga – Part 14: Nature of Samadhi

Enlightenment! (Photo by Kalidas)

Enlightenment! (Photo by Kalidas)

We learned about samadhi state of Raja Yoga in the last post. We will explore it further in this article.

Once we master the step of dhyana to become second nature, we will be aware of only the deity! This means we will be merged with the deity. This is what we were talking about the real goal of yoga!  The state of samadhi  in meditation gives us the direct access to experience of God, i.e. merging our Individual Self with the Universal Self.

Does this mean that we got the complete liberation from birth and death cycle?

Unfortunately, no! Our residual karmas prevent us from merging with Universal Self completely to feel oneness– “I am God”.  By continuous practice of meditation and by the Grace of the Divine Power we can experience the complete oneness with the Universal Self(God).

Our traces of past karma bring us back to the world after merging with the God. We get the complete liberation(even from our body) only after burning all our past karma. So, don’t be scared! Practicing meditation is completely safe. We will automatically come back from the Samadhi state, as though we are waking up from sleep!

At this point, it is worth mentioning that there are two major stages of Samadhi state.  First is Samprajnata Samadhi(objective Samadhi state). In this state, we are not fully inside the Universal Self. We are connected to it from outside. So, there is a dual feeling – “ I and Universal Self”. There are four stages in this state also. To keep  it simple, we are not going into details.

In the second, more advanced, Asamprajnata Samadhi(subjective samadhi), we feel ourselves as God(Universal Self). We are one with Universal Self without any duality. This is the ultimate stage of Samadhi, where we can be the God ourselves!

Let us understand these two states clearly by an analogy. In the samprajnata samadhi, water drop(our Self) just touches the ocean(Universal Self). Water drop still feels separate from the ocean, but realizes the infinite feeling  and vast expanse of the ocean. In other words, sense of “I” and “that” exists. This is why it is called objective samadhi. 

On the other hand, in asamprajnata samadhi, water drop is fully merged with the ocean, it feels “I am ocean”!  The Individual Self loses its identity and realizes itself to be the Universal Self. The feeling in this samadhi is “I am the God that is present is all living beings and non-living things”! So, this is termed subjective, i.e. only knowledge of the subject (“I “) remains, the object (“the other”) vanishes. I hope that this concept is crystal clear now.

This is the ultimate goal of yoga, merging of Individual Self with the Universal Self. This is the realization of God.  In other words, experiencing our Self as God.

This is what all our Vedas and Upanishads are saying in unison: “You are God(Tat Tvam Asi). Realize that power!” . Our Great Masters like Patanjali Maharishi showed us the clear path to achieve it. Our humble salutations to them.

If you are with me from the beginning of the series, by now, you must have understood the real power of our mind and how to redeem it.  The mind  is also called the king of our psychological apparatus. Who is the minister who advises the king on what to do? That is our buddhi (intellect).  In Raja Yoga, we use the king(mind) as our vehicle and intellect as the chauffeur to merge with the Absolute. Hence the name: Raja Yoga(Royal Yoga).

Mind is a very valuable coupon we have to experience the God within ourselves. For this, we need to fully control it and own it. Then we can deposit it in the Universal Self to enter into the God.

That is all about the essence of Raja Yoga.  We need to read the original Yoga Sutras with the commentary of Shri Vyasa Maharishi to get a detailed account of Raja Yoga.

Congratulations for completing the series of articles on Raja Yoga! I am sure you enjoyed reading these articles. To me, personally, it was an exhilarating learning experience writing these. This was only possible by the Grace of Shridevi and the guidance of my Sadguru.

We have seen in the series of articles, how our great teacher Shri Patanjali Maharishi shows us the royal path(Raja Yoga) to experience the Ultimate Reality. Let us pray him once again kaya-vacha-manasa(by body, speech and mind) for his Grace to help us achieve our ultimate goal of yoga and life!

Yogena chittasya padena vachaa  malam sharirasya cha vaidyakena|

Yopakarottam pravaram muninam Patanjalim pranjaliranatosmi ||

I salute Shri Patanjali Maharishi who eradicated dirt of mind, speech and body by his books yoga sutras(on yoga), vyakarana mahabhashya (on grammar)and ayurveda samhita(on medicine) respectively.

Are you curious what comes next?

Next post: Raja Yoga -Part – 15: Afterwords. Stay with me!

Sarvesham shantirbhavatu |

May everybody be peaceful!

Om Namah Shivaya ||

– Kalidas

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2 Responses to Raja Yoga – Part 14: Nature of Samadhi

  1. Yoga Guardian says:

    Thanks for the great explanation and references to additional reading.

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