Yogasutra Stories

Swami Nirvikalpananda Saraswati

Sutra 1:19

The videha and prakritilaya yogis have birth as the cause of asamprajnata samadhi.

- Tell me more about the land of Samadhi, Sadhaka begged the rishi the next evening. Does it take a long-time before you reach Nirvikalpa?

- That depends, answered the rishi. For most people the journey is very long - many lifetimes may pass before they reach their goal - but it varies. Some can reach it in just a few years. Anyway, the journey is so beautiful that it really doesn't matter how long it takes.

- Why does it take more time for some people and less for others? asked Sadhaka.

- You see, it depends on their karma. There are, for example, some people who travel through the land of Samadhi and reach as far as these rivers we talked about, called Asamprajnata Samadhi. But before they can go further, Yama, the god of death, calls them, and they have to go to his abode for some time. Later on they are born as small children again, and as they already once have been as far as Asamprajnata Samadhi, they know the way and are able to proceed much faster than other people. They can reach Nirvikalpa when they are not much older than you are right now.

- What does karma mean? asked Sadhaka. I don't understand that completely.

- Karma is the law of cause and effect. You see, man is like a farmer, sowing his field of life with the grain of actions. Thinking that he won't have to eat the harvest of what he sows, he often doesn't care about the quality of seeds he puts into the soil. He doesn't care whether the grain is good or bad, if the soil and climate are auspicious for that kind of grain, or if the grain is sown in the right way according to the laws of truth.

After having sown his field of life, man goes to the abode of Yama to rest for some time. Meanwhile the grain he has sown grows, and when he comes back to earth the grain is ready to harvest. If he has sown his field with bad grain, he will get a bad harvest; likewise, if the field was sown with good grain, his harvest will be good. This is called the law of karma.

- Now I understand it better, said Sadhaka. But how can other people, who haven't this auspicious karma, reach Asamprajnata Samadhi?

- That, said the rishi, I will tell you more about tomorrow.

Thus ended their talk that evening.