19 Jan 2012



Samādhi in Hinduism is the highest level of meditation, in which the mind becomes still and one-pointed. It is a non-dualistic state of consciousness in which the person meditating, while still physiologically awake, leaves behind the trappings of herself/himself and becomes one with the Self, the ultimate object of meditation (Universe, God, Being, Brahman).


Meditation is Samādhi when it shines with the Object of meditation alone. The thinker and the meditated become one. The separate notions contemplation, contemplated and contemplator vanish... Samādhi or blissful divine experience arises when the ego and the mind are dissolved. It is a state to be attained by one’s own effort. It is limitless, divisionless and infinite. When this experience is realised, the mind, desires, actions and feelings of joy and sorrow vanish into a void.

In Samādhi or Superconsciousness the student gets merged into the Lord. The senses, the mind and the intellect cease functioning. Just as the river joins the ocean, the individual soul mixes with the Supreme Soul. Samādhi bestows Supreme Knowledge, and one is freed from the wheel of births and deaths and gets Kaivalya (Moksha) or liberation.

-- Swami Sivananda


In samadhi you enter yourself fully conscious, fully alert. And once you are at the centre fully alert, you will never be the same again. Now you will know who you are. Now you will know that your possessions, your actions are just on the periphery; they are just the ripples, not your nature.

-- Osho


Mukti (liberation) is synonymous with the Self.

-- Ramana Maharshi


Honour your Self. Worship your Self. Meditate on your Self. God dwells within you as You.

-- Swami Muktananda


samadhi is the atomic explosion
of the sushumna blue line
triggered by meetings of several chakras
in a rapid vertical atomic explosion
experiencing beyond the boundaries of the bodymind form
one with the open sky

-- Swami Rajneesh




  1. I am in no position to comment on the yoga of meditation, often failing to even maintain a state of concentration.

    However, from what others have written I understand dhyana and samadhi to be different states. Our sampradaya teaches:

    Ashtanga yoga, also called raja yoga, has eight successive steps, each one dependent upon the one that precedes it. These eight successive steps are yama (restraint), niyama (observance), asana (posture), pranayama (breath control), pratyahara (sense withdrawal), dharana (concentration), dhyana (meditation) and samadhi (contemplation).

    This is based on the teachings of the Tirumantiram (3:41.552):

    Iyama, Niyama, and Asana numberless
    Pranayama wholesome and Pratyahara alike,
    Dharana, Dhyana and Samadhi to triumph
    --These eight are the steely limbs of Yoga.


  2. Thanks for that Tandava. Yes, I have read dhyana as distinct from samadhi, while in other traditions it is described as the same as samadhi -- or rather, dhyana as one-pointed concentration (dharana) taken to 'Perfection'. Maybe what I can do is edit the sentence above to indicate that there are different philosophies that interpret the term differently.

  3. ... actually, what I did what remove the little 9-word clause relating to dhyana entirely. It really would be better to dedicate another post to that concept and explicate it's different interpretations, rather than try to squeeze it all into one sentence.

    1. Just to confuse things further we talk about two levels of samadhi, savikalpa samadhi where the ego is still minimally present to observe, and nirvikalpa samadhi, where the enlightened one becomes absorbed in pure bliss, also called "satcitananda".

    2. Yes, yes :) -- and to confuse it even more, the quote above by Sw. Sivananda was elided. He eludes to a great number of kinds of samadhi: "Samadhi is of various kinds. But of all of them there are only a very few important ones." The interim paragraphs did speak of savikalpa (which he also calls samprajnata) and nivakalpa samadhi (asamprajnata), but also of bhava samadhi and nirbija samadhi.

      It was all quite detailed and 'deep' for me this morning! haha... I just couldn't parse it all in my own mind just yet, so didn't feel up to the task of trying to share it with others just yet. Which is why I settled for providing quotations for reflection, rather than an essay on my own (as yet under-formed) understanding of it all.

    3. I know what you mean about detailed and deep. I wondered whether there were more than two froms, as Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami said "Now, there are various stages of samadhi ... " before describing savikalpa and nirvikalpa.

      I don't think it is particularly important for me at the moment, when I think about things like this I feel that I am like someone who is setting off to walk across the mountain range and is looking at the names of hotels in a village the other side rather than mapping the path ahead.

    4. ...and to confuse things further yet, there is Sahaja Samadhi -- the final state. This is the state of permanent realisation with the self, and is very rare. The person who has attained sahaja lives, moves and has his/her being without ever falling back into ego. The roots of ego have been permanently severed.

    5. I have experienced this lower form, savikalpa many times. As a parent, I think it is as far as I would try. I worried how such a being could raise 8 children (most of which are teenage boys:P). There must be a great difference in the three...thankfully. One allows us to slip back into this role.

    6. Mahalaya, I remember when I was reading our interview for your TAH bio ( that you described very keen spiritual experiences. So it does not surprise me at all that you have touched on one of these states. And I know exactly what you mean about what giving oneself over to these states would mean to the mother/householder. Actually, I want to write something for the blog about that very dilemma. Now that women/mothers all over the world, among others, have access to spiritual teachings and techniques that were once the preserve of cloistered men without families, how do they engage with these practices and still be true to their lives and the dharma of being a householder/mother/partner/daughter/lover/friend. It should provoke a very lively conversation -- at least I hope so!

    7. I have pondered this topic a great deal, mostly on the HDF forum. It always comes back to duty. In as much as I would love to traipse around in nothing more than my white flannel binky and think of this greater Truth. At this time it just can not be....

      But, as I always say...foot in the water or completely are still wet. So i keep the toe in...and wait for a time when I can just sink completely.:P

  4. I just googled sahaja samadhi; the definition given by Wikipedia is utterly wrong!
    Here is a pretty thorough explanation on the stages of Samadhi given by Ramana Maharshi:

    1. "Holding on to the supreme state is samadhi. When it is with effort due to mental disturbances, it is savikalpa. When these disturbances are absent, it is nirvikalpa. Remaining permanently in the primal state without effort is sahaja."

      Thanks for that, Aruna -- I love how it's so clearly described and the different modes(?) of samadhi are differentiated.

  5. Hi T.A.H,

    I came across a blog ( I believe you would find this blog interesting as well and also I found an English version of the Vedas translated by Raimon Pannikar. You could google The Vedic Experience and the first search result would take you to that website. It's a 1000 over page in total but I believe its worth for those who knows its value. Share it with as many people as you want. And oh it's nice to see my blog under that which you follow. You can add another one of mine there too. Roots-

  6. Hi Jivanti -- thanks for the antaryamin link. Had a quick look around; seems really interesting, so will spend time this week having a good read. And, yes, I am already a follower of your new Roots page! Don't know why it's not yet showing up in my list of blogs to follow but will check on that, make sure all is working properly.


  7. Although I'm novice in this subject but thanks for simplifying the subject in beautiful description.

  8. Thanks, Jeet. I'm a novice as well, of course, and the conversation these quotes has started is really enriching for me too. It's given me a lot to think about this week.