Archive for Samadhi

Categories of Samadhi

In a state of Samadhi the Chitta, the consciousness sets in ‘Dhayeya’ (focal point, which we bear in mind and concentrate upon). Hence the difference in the states of Samadhi is according to the relation between Dhayeya and the consciousness.

  1. Savitarka and Nirvitarka Samadhi
    1. Savitarka Samadhi: When the name and the form of Dhayeya remains in the consciousness of a Sadhaka, such a state is called Savitarka Samadhi.
    2. Nirvitarka Samadhi: The state in which consciousness is completely dissolved in Dhayeya and loses sense of the form and name also is called a Nirvitarka Samadhi.

    In Savitarka and Nirvitarka Samadhis Dhayeya is in the physical (sathula) form. But when the Dhayeya is not in the physical form but in subtle form (sukshama), the names of the Samadhi change in that case such as:

  2. Savichara and Nirvichara Samadhi
    1. Savichara Samadhi: The state in which Dhayeya is in subtle form but the form and name is retained in the consciousness is called the Savichara Samadhi.
    2. Nirvichara Samadhi: When the consciousness is free from the thought of name and form and completely lost in Dhayeya, that state is known as Nirvichara Samadhi. It has special importance. It cleanses the inner-self completely and one attains the "Ritambhara Pragya / Prajna", which means divine realization of the Absolute truth and there is absolutely no trace of ignorance.

    With the attainment of the "Ritambhara Pragya" the Samskaras (imprints on mind of deeds of various births) are completely cleansed and no new imprints are formed.

  3. Nirbeeja Samadhi: When the "Ritambhara Pragya" also ends, in other words, when this stage is also surpassed then a unique Samadhi is attained and the consciousness gets into an unexplainable stage, which is named as Nirbeeja Samadhi.
  4. Dharma Megha Samadhi: In Nirbeeja Samadhi the consciousness is in the state of "Oneness with the Absolute" as one experiences the knowledge of the Absolute, such a state is called the ‘Dharma Megha Samadhi’. It means that as the earth gets water from rains in a natural way, similarly the Yogi is constantly showered with knowledge of the Absolute. At this stage all the deeds and troubles come to an end and the Nirbeeja Samadhi takes place. All the stages of Samadhi before Nirbeeja Samadhi are the types of Sabeeja Samadhi.

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Four Steps towards Samadhi

  1. First steps – Yama and Niyama
    1. Yama: Yama means restraint. It has five parts: Ahimsa, Satya, Asteya, Brahmcharya, Aparigraha.
      1. Ahimsa (Non-Violence): Ahimsa means not to trouble any living being either by mind, speech or deeds.
      2. Satya (Truth): To have a firm faith in the truth, truthful speech and truthful behavior. Where mind, speech and deeds are different, the truth is missing there.
      3. Asteya (Non-stealing): It means not to steal and to be satisfied with whatever is owned. Anything that belongs to others should not be taken by mind, speech or deeds.
      4. Brahmcharya (Celibacy): It means try to concentrate all thoughts in God, restrain yourself from luxuries by mind, speech and deeds. Except your own wife every elderly woman is to be considered like mother, woman of equal age as sister and young ones as a daughter.
      5. Aparigraha (Not to accumulate in excess): It means not to think about the wealth of the others and be content with whatever you have.
    2. Niyama: Niyama means pledge or oath, in other words a self-discipline. Whatever is heard in the pravachanas (sermons) of the Guru, to follow the same strictly is called Niyama. It too has five parts: Shaucha,  Santosha,Tapas, Swadhayaye, Ishawara Pranidana.
      1. Shaucha (Purity): It means purity of body, mind, speech, and deeds.
      2. Santosha (Contentment): To be satisfied with whatever is owned. In no way the mind should be allowed to stray into materialism of the world.
      3. Tapas (Control over senses): To train or discipline the sense and bearing of hunger, thirst, hot and cold weather, and benevolence to every living being.
      4. Swadhayaye (Study of Scriptures): Concentrate thoughts in the self, study and follow the scriptures.
      5. Ishawara Pranidana (Trust in God): It means to have a firm faith in God.

    With the practice of above-mentioned Yama and Niyama person cleanses and purifies his mind and becomes worthy of reaching the second step of Samadhi, the Pratyahara.

  2. Second step – Pratyahara: When all the senses of the knowledge (eyes, ears, nose, tongue and skin) are trained to be free from their individual infatuations or obsessions and submit to the control of mind and when mind becomes introvert, this is known as a state of Pratyahara. It needs a long practice indeed.
  3. Third step – Dharana: The third step to the Samadhi is Dharana (To attach the conscience to one place or point is called Dharana). When the introvert mind achieves the aim with the blessings of the Satguru (Guru), it is known as the state of Dharana.

    In this state there are three different centers before the mind, Dhyata (Sadhaka himself), Dhayeya (focal point) and the effort. Dharana too needs a practice for a long time like Pratyahara. If one tries to reach Dharana with immature Pratyahara, it would be a miserable failure. The same principle is applicable to the next stage also from Dharana. The aim of Dharana (affixing mind to a point) is also achieved with the blessings of the Guru only. In Dharana, Shradha that is devotion to the Guru, Aastha, which is faith in the focal point, and self-confidence are of utmost importance.

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Samadhi (Trance)

Samadhi is the highest state of mental concentration that a person can achieve while still bound to the body and which unites him with the highest reality. It is a state of profound and utterly absorptive contemplation of the Absolute that is undisturbed by desire, anger, or any other ego-generated thought or emotion. It is a state of joyful calm, or even of rapture and beatitude. Samadhi is regarded as the climax of all spiritual and intellectual activity, which is the ultimate aim of Yoga.


Yoga has two branches, Hatha Yoga and Raj Yoga. Hatha yoga has seven parts:

  1. Shat karma (Six Cleansings)
  2. Asana (Postures)
  3. Mudras
  4. Pranayama (breathing exercises)
  5. Pratyahara (Control of senses)
  6. Dhyana (Meditation)
  7. Samadhi (a state of contemplation or trance)


Raj yoga has eight parts (Asthanga yoga):

  1. Yama
  2. Niyama
  3. Asana (Postures)
  4. Pranayama (breathing exercises)
  5. Pratyahara (Control of senses)
  6. Dharana
  7. Dhyana (Meditation)
  8. Samadhi (a state of contemplation or trance)

The first five parts are called external aids to Yoga; the remaining three are purely mental or internal aids. As the ultimate goal of both the branches is the Samadhi, so a reader may find a few aspects common in both the branches. To achieve the state of Samadhi, a sadhaka has to go through/climb up the four steps as described in next article.

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