Samadhi is Sublime

Swami Satyananda Saraswati, as printed in Free Press Journal, Bombay, 9.10.77

Trance or ecstasy or suspension of consciousness is not samadhi. Samadhi is sublime equanimity. There are many wrong notions about samadhi. According to some, samadhi is a state where the body is petrified and comes to look like a stone, the pulse rate slows down and the metabolic process stops. Suspended animation is the great science that has been mastered and perfected by Indian yogis, but this state is not samadhi. In the state of suspended animation or jada samadhi, there is no awareness or knowledge.

If samadhi merely meant a stage of steady posture and total unconsciousness, very few spiritual seekers would be successful in attaining it. A person who has been able to make the conscious and the subconscious forces dormant is commendable, but that has nothing to do with yoga and the common man. If the stage of samadhi does not exhaust the muscular, emotional and other tensions, if it does not bestow peace, power and enlightenment, if it does not remove your complexes, conflicts, psychological disorders, it is not samadhi.

What is samadhi? Can everyone achieve samadhi? Is samadhi total awareness or complete forgetfulness? In samadhi are we conscious or unconscious?

The mind is a bundle of mental patterns of awareness. When every pattern of awareness is rejected and annihilated, what remains is the ultimate form of consciousness where man experiences peace within.

Modern man feels tension in his day to day life. The busy mechanical life of towns, the industrial congestion, the family problems, all these form matters for increased tension, but in fact this is not tension. Tension is that state when two forces pull each other in opposite directions, when one wants to do something but some force in him dissuades him from doing so. This is the tension in the ego and super-ego, as the psychoanalysts would have it.

There is a divine and an evil element in us. The war between the dark and the divine forces is the real tension. If you wish to remove your tensions the first step is to ease and relax yourself. Find out the original cause or causes of tension. By the practice of yoga the mental, muscular and emotional tensions of a person are removed and a stage dawns when there is an end to this eternal fight within man. This is the supreme stage of sublime equanimity. Yoga helps one to make his life powerful, to awaken the dormant genius within, to activate the third eye. This is the state of consciousness.

In samadhi you are awake inside. Now, if you close your eyes you will feel blankness and darkness, but in samadhi you are awake internally and externally both. Yet this is not the highest samadhi.

The greatest samadhi is balance of mind, not just balance of consciousness. It is not intellectual balance. Sometimes, when you feel there is no tension in you, the tension has actually passed on from the conscious level to the subconscious or unconscious. Kama, moha, and krodha are the dacoits in the body. Lust, greed and anger are the dacoits hidden in us to loot our divine treasures.

How to get rid of these inner tensions? So long as you do not practice yoga, do not introvert your mind and control your senses, you will not be able to remove your tensions; senses and mind are indestructible. Without craving, there can be no sense of mental activity. There is no use in curbing the senses, and suppressing the mind and sense desires.

If you want restoration of spiritual peace, you will have to annihilate attachment and perfect the art of detachment. No liking for pleasant things and no dislike for unpleasant things. Physical, mental or intellectual detachment will not help you much; spiritual detachment is the real thing.

Samadhi is the state of absolute sense, intelligence and vigilance. You will recognise and know all in samadhi, as you know people now in the waking state. One does not become inactive after samadhi, rather, one becomes very powerful. Hard work for days together does not tire; no incident of tragedy or joy influences him. He is full of indescribable serenity. In deep sleep you are in the lap of a blissful experience and nothing disturbs you. In samadhi you are conscious of everything yet you are serene, equi-balanced, cheerful.

This is what every individual needs to face the storms of day-to-day life. You must have strength so that you do not get tired even after working hours together. It is possible to live without eating, sleeping etc. but only after the attainment of samadhi, not before that.

Accept yoga in your daily life. Yoga is a total way of life, the culture of tomorrow. Take yoga also for your worldly achievements. Yoga will fulfil your worldly ambitions and quench your spiritual thirst. Whether you wish for good health, happy married life, prosperity or spiritual enlightenment, yoga will help you. The starting point for yoga is satsang; the culmination is samadhi. You will always remain restless if you do not practice yoga. There will be something wrong with your inner personality. The first, last and only remedy for the removal of emotional, muscular and mental tensions is the practice of yoga. It is then alone that you will be free from all tension and reach a stage where you will exclaim with joy and ecstasy: 'I am happy, I am happy, I am happy'.