तदेवार्थमात्रनिर्भासं स्वरूपशून्यमिव समाधिः I
tad-eva-artha-mātra-nirbhāsaṁ svarūpa-śūnyam-iva samādhiḥ
When the mind is as if (iva) empty, it becomes its essential form (svarūpa) and the object (artha) of meditation glows (nirbhāsaṁ), that (tad) is complete absorption (samādhiḥ).
PRACTICAL LIVING In the last sūtra we described a state of meditation – creating a relationship with an object (external or internal) where we lose track of the self, space and time. Deeper than that is what Yoga calls samādhiḥ. A challenging state to explain because here one has transcended the ego – our sense of identity. Duality does not exist in this state. In other words, there is no ‘me’ and ‘you’. There is no ‘like’ or ‘dislike’. There just ‘is’. It is a state of spaciousness, a state of profound peace, a state of complete surrender. It is the state that experientially explains the deepest potential of our nature.
If these words seem hard to grasp, it is because the state of samādhiḥ is extremely difficult to put into words because, well, it transcends the mind, therefore it transcends words. It is also rare to experience this because the ego has a very hard time letting go of its rule over us. It wants to make sure we know who we are, according to its rules. It wants to be king of everything. And samādhiḥ has no rules. It’s the kingdom of complete freedom.
This state is definitely a result of working on ourselves. There is no way to plan for it. If we are lucky to experience it, it feels like we have received a HUGE gift from life, the biggest blessing anyone has given us since it gives us a glimpse on our most powerful potential.
IN THE YOGA WORLD It is common to attach ourselves to the concept of samādhiḥ. Many spiritual texts describe this state in different ways. It always sounds vague and non-graspable. And that is because it is, at least in the arena of the mind. Understanding the mind and its amazing abilities to create and manifest is really important. Understanding the mind’s limitations is also important. Sūtra II.3 described what prevents us from experiencing samādhiḥ: (i) misperception (we think we are ONLY bodies that think and feel); (ii) we over identify with the roles we play in life; (iii) we attach to those roles, people and other objects with the misperception that those will bring us happiness; (iv) we avoid any negative experiences as much as we can; and (v) fear of death (of cycles ending, of our own lives or those whom we love, once again misperceiving that death is the worst thing that can happen to us).
INSPIRATIONAL PERSON Aimlessly walking around Madurai, India one hot evening, life’s magic took me to the house where Ramana Maharshi experienced samādhiḥ. I happened to be there when the evening chants would begin. The voices of this sage’s devotees reached my heart in a way that I have only felt a handful of times in my life. From that moment, Ramana entered my life and began teaching me through his books, his devotees, his energy and the magical mountain and cave where he spent the last few decades of his life in. A man who knew what samādhiḥ meant. A man who understood both the duality and the oneness of life. A man who inspired while he was alive, and whose teachings and influence still reach many, including myself. Thank you Ramana for guiding me that night in Madurai!
Do you have any experiences you would like to share? Please interact as much as you like – everyone will learn from your personal experiences!
Thanks and next week we will discuss the fusion of concentration, meditation and complete absorption!