सर्वे भवन्तु सुखिन:
सर्वे सन्तु निरामया:।
सर्वे भद्राणि पश्यन्तु।
मा कश्चित् दु:खभाग भवेत् ।।
Happiness be unto all.
Perfect health be unto all.
May all see what is good.
May all be free from suffering.
8 - Samadhi
What is Samadhi?
Samādhi is such a subtle state of Chitta (mind stuff) and intellect as brings face-to-face the subtle and essential nature of objects by analysing them. In this knowledge there is no possibility of doubt, wrong or perverted knowledge or imagination. By the discourses of the sages in scriptures, only general knowledge of an object can be gained, but the special knowledge attained by Samādhi is beyond the grasp of the senses and is the means of attaining Moksha or liberation. By showing this supersensual knowledge the Samādhi-s take one to the very gate of Moksha.
Teachers hold different views regarding the number and classes of Samādhi-s. But according to the Yoga Sutra-s of Pātanjali, the authoritative text of Yoga, Samādhi-s are mainly of six kinds.
Both the Sāmkhya and the Yoga schools of philosophy consider Alinga Prakriti (non-manifest nature) to be the balanced state of the three Guna-s (Sattwa, Rajas and Tamas - purity, passion, inertia) and all objects of the world, being evolved from Prakriti, have the nature of the three Guna-s (qualities). Knowledge of all objects is also in accordance with the three Guna-s, therefore Chitta and Buddhi (mind-stuff and intellect) are expressions of the three Guna-s and demonstrate cause and effect, but they are unable to show Ātman or Chetna Tattwa (the conscious principle) directly. Thus, these Samādhi-s too are special expressions of the three Guna-s because they are all states of mind-stuff and intellect which consist of the three Guna-s.
Therefore, according to the predominating Guna in the Chitta and Buddhi (mind-stuff and intellect), Samādhi is also associated with the same Guna. In this way, affected by the three Guna-s The three main classes of Samādhi are as follows:

1. Tamas Predominating Samadhi. Tamas is the quality of gross, darkness or inertia. In this Samādhi the mind-stuff becomes void like an inert object. The mind rests in Shūnya Bhāva (experience of void) for from two to twelve hours, or whichever period has been attained by the force of practice. It is just like a heavy sleep. There is no essential knowledge or positive experience just as in Tamas sleep. After arising from Tāmasik Samādhi one does not remember anything else but the voidness. When Chitta and Buddhi are to be concentrated it can be done on any object or Guna. While concentrating the Chitta and Buddhi (mind-stuff and intellect) one should by his will-power detach them from the influence of Rajas (passion) and Tamas (inertia) and creates such Sattwik state as may be desired. Mind must first be under proper control. When a Yogī acquires mastery over Chitta and Buddhi there is nothing impossible for him.

Regularly repeated practice undoubtedly has its special power. By practice of meditation on Ātman at an appointed time daily, the Chitta (mind-stuff) becomes habituated so that it automatically turns to meditation at its fixed time, then the practitioner does not have to exercise effort. Gradually, Sattwa Guna (Purity) predominates and the other Guna-s are present only as auxiliaries for Sattwa. According to this Sutra, experience in the Tāmasik state is similar to sleep yet distinct from it. Sādhaka-s (aspirants) who go on practising removal of Vritti-s (movements of the mind) without being in association with a Guru usually attain this void state of Samādhi first. I too, in the beginning, spent years in the practice of Shmnya Samādhi. By gradually increasing the period of Sadhana I could sit in this Samādhi for ten to fifteen days at a stretch. But I could not attain any true experience or insight during those days. The senses and the limbs of the body would become inert like a wooden log;; having risen from Samādhi by the force of will power I could usually recover after an hour or so. Whenever I wanted to sit in Samādhi for several days I first used to purify my body by performance of Hatha Yogic Kriya-s (purificatory actions) such as Neti, Dhauti, Basti, Vajrauli. This should be done whenever one wants to sit in Samādhi for a long time. For thirty years I could not see any possibility of attaining self-realisation by the practice of this Shmnya Samādhi alone.

In the Himalayas. On the way, by the grace of God, I met a great soul and acquired knowledge from him. The thirst for self-realisation should be quenched by having recourse to a Samādhi that bestows knowledge and wisdom.

2. Rajas predominating Samadhi. Rajas is the quality of passion, effort and attachment. In this Samādhi, Sattwa help Rajas is bringing about knowledge of subtle matters. These two qualities overpower Tamas to such an extent that the Tamo-guna cannot obstruct the process of acquiring knowledge. There are Science of Soul various stages of Rajas predominating Samādhi. The first degree is Savikalpa - identification, but with individual consciousness. When an aspirant concentrates his mind on a gross object he first realises the gross parts, colour, form and name of the object. He identifies with the object but his own individual identity as well as his faculty of knowing still remains. This is Savikalpa Samādhi.

Savitarka Samādhi There next arises enquiry regarding the object and its function. For example, when an spirant concentrates on the Mūladhāra Chakra (the subtle centre at the base of the aspine) the mind illumines the Mūlādhāra by throwing its rays there. Then one experiences a vision like an altar of fire, then observes its outlines and dimensions, then one considers the functions of that centre. Three main things become apparent here:
1. The vision of the object;;
2. Name of the object;;
3. Knowledge of relationship between name, object and function;;

knowing all this, there is also the awareness 'I am seeing' (Dhyātā) and then the function itself of seeing the object (Dhyāna) and then -' the object is of a particular colour, it is of this shape and size' (Dhyeya), 'I myself desire the seeing of this object'. In this condition, the Triputi or triad of meditator, meditation and object meditated upon continues to exist, although there is absorption 'With the object and its nature on a relatively gross plane. This is Savitarka Samādhi - identification on the plane of reasoning.
The third degree is Savichāra Samādhi. Now the Buddhi Tattwa (intellect) is concentrated in the Brahmarandhra (the 'great hole' in the upper part of the head) in order to realise the subtle elements which are the foundation of gross objects. Then, seeing divine objects there, various arguments and doubts develop regarding the aim of meditation. This Rajas predominating intellect in the form of question, enquiry and argument resolves into definite decision regarding the object of meditation with the aid of mind. Divine object is seen by the divine eye, and the mind offers this function of seeing to the intellect. Then the intellect considers in the following way - that a particular object is long or broad, thick or thin, high or low, round or triangular, etc., of colour red or yellow, steady or moving, small or of medium size, then what are the elements that constitute the object and what is the purpose for which it is made? For instance, our subtle senses that abide in Brahmarandhra, mind, intellect, the sphere of the five Tanmātrā-s (subtle elements), their colours, forms and functions - the experience of these, which are beyond the grasp of senses, is attained gradually by Samādhi. The particular concentrated state by which all this is realised is Savichāra Samādhi. Therefore, one can realise everything up to Prakriti by practice of Savichāra Samādhi. In the acquisition of this knowledge, Sattwa (purity) helps Rajas (passion). In other words, the activities which are Rājasik are seen in the light of Sattwa and Buddhi (intellect) gives its judgement - When this Savichāra Samādhi perfected, every sphere weather it is of Brahmarandhra or of the heart reveals its effulgent nature, and divine objects also become manifest. For instance, divine sound or sound from a distance is audible to the divine ear, divine touch is experienced by the organ of divine touch, and in the same way other divine perceptions of senses are manifest. Just as the organs of the gross senses are instruments for perception of gross sound, so the luminous subtle divine senses are instruments for perception of divine form, taste, touch, smell, and sound. The entire scope of knowledge and realisation in Brahmarandhra has been given in book The Science of Soul. All this is the object of Savichāra Samādhi only. Thus, all knowledge of gross and subtle object associated with internal argumentation, doubt and oscillation culminates Savitārka Samādhi and Savichāra Samādhi. Then all uncertainty and intellectual processes stop automatically and the object alone is realised. The intensity of Rajas is lost, it becomes latent, and the third kind of Sattwa predominating Samadhi develops.

3. Sattwa predominating Samadhi. Sattwa is the quality of purity, light and harmony. In Nirvichāra Samādhi, Rajas (passion) and Tamas (inertia) are overpowered to such an extent that the object alone shines in the light of Sattwa and there is simply the experience - 'This is' (Asti). This is Sattwa predominating Samādhi. No other distraction arises here. Chitta (mind-stuff) identified with the object of meditation flows in one continuous stream giving rise to a particular form of bliss (Ānanda). Because of the predominance of Sattwa no thoughts, imagination or doubts can arise. This phase of Nirvichāra Samādhi is called Ānandānugata Samādhi. When Chitta is purified by the practice of Samādhi, the bliss that arises cannot be described by speech, but it can be experienced by the heart. So say the authors of the Upanishad-s. A second phase is Asmitānugta Samādhi', in this state one realises merely 'I am' (Asmi). Further: Nirvichāra — According to this Sūtra, there arises the ability to discriminate Purusha (The Supreme Spirit) from Prakriti (matter) in the Chitta (mind stuff) and in the light of Ritambhara Prajna (consciousness filled with truth) one attains Viveka-Khyāti or discriminative knowledge which confers self-realisation. All these Samādhi-s are known as Sabīja (with seed), i.e., giving rise to distraction, because there is some form of support in the Chitta (mind-stuff) in all of them. Dharma Megha is when these supports drop away and the soul does not feel the necessity of Chitta, then in the state of Dharma Megha (cloud of virtue) in the form of Parama Vairāgya (supreme dispassion) the soul abides in its essential nature.
* See author's Brahma Vijñāna (Science of Divinity) for fuller details.