Samadhi - communion with God
Dr. Reet Priiman
Light and Love
Samadhi is as the central
point for spiritual awareness about what is interesting to contemplate
by the guidance and help of Swami's quotations.
After describing the noble characteristics of a truly wise man, Krishna told Arjuna, "Arjuna, Follow my commands! Discharge your duties while all the time thinking of me. Then you will be able to experience and enjoy the divinity that is everywhere. This divinity is the unity which underlies all the diversity in the world. Base your actions on that. Constantly concentrate on that divinity. I am that divinity and you are very dear to me. When you concentrate on me, then I will be fully concentrated on you." ( Exerpts from: Sai Baba Gita. XXII, page 222).
The first advice to humans for the sake their awareness through meditation and its final state Samadhi is constantly concentrate to the God and to dedicate all actions to Him as through this is possible to experience the divinity everywhere.
Devotion and faith has a profound importance in the development of meditative states and Samadhi Oneness of the Self, God. Devotion draws the interest of the God and attracts spiritual initiation. Devotion focuses the mind more intently and gives for meditation feeling and power. It allows one to turn mind completely within. Faith is implicit in devotion.
Without devotion one will has no results. A great saint can achieve Samadhi without a formal meditation. Devotion brings meditation naturally. However, all happens by the Divine Will.
By Swami suffering is
caused because there is lack of faith that Divine is in person. The
religions and beliefs are different, but Brahman is the One.
By Yoga-Sutra, the three main practices that produce Samadhi are austerities*, "self study," and "devotion to the Lord." There is mentioned that Samadhi is more easily understandable through the cultivation of wisdom (jnana). Wisdom is the knowledge about the Self, the divine inner Self as the 'self study' (1, 2).
(*The Vedic word for
austerities is "tapasya" meaning to burn. Austerities purify the
physical and astral bodies and burn away karma that obstructs practice.
The true austerities are: Sexual Restraint, Meditation, Pure Food,
Pranayama, Fasting, Silence, and Solitude).
The recent discoveries made under guidance of CERN (The world's largest particle physics laboratory) show the that two entangled photons can be far away from each other and still yield correlated results for measurements. A more exotic scenario, and one that has recently been measured, is when a photon hits a beam splitter and turns into what are effectively two versions of itself in two different places, which display the same sort of correlations between its two manifestations. Is it not an indirect scientific proof that all is the same Atma, Brahman? By the same research, the bizarre predictions of quantum mechanics really do hold in our universe (3). In this bizarre illusion the nature of life is not a life, not a death, there is no coming, no going only being in one state or another...what in essence are only appearances of eternal Atma.
predictions of quantum mechanics being connected with spiritual wisdom
alias parts from Swami's Teaching are not bizarre at all.
"To a superficial observer, the life of man appears as an endless round of eating and drinking, toiling and sleeping. But, verily life has a much greater meaning; a much deeper significance. Life is a sacrifice, a yagna. Each little act is an offering to the Lord. If the day is spent in deeds performed in this spirit of surrender, what else can sleep be except Samadhi? Man commits the great fault of identifying himself with the body. He has accumulated a variety of things for the upkeep and comfort of the body. Even when the body becomes weak and decrepit with age, he attempts to bolster it up, by some means or other. But, how long can death be postponed? When Yama's warrant comes each has to depart. Before Death, position, pride and power, all vanish. Realizing this, strive day and night, with purity of body and mind and spirit, to realize the Higher Self, by the service of all living beings." (Sathya Sai Baba. Prema Vahini, p. 5).
Below is brief general
information about Samadhi what helps more properly to understand this
state of being and significance of Swami's explanations on this topic.
By encyclopedia of
Britannica Samadhi is the highest state of
By thesaurus: Samadhi is Happiness, Nirvana Parinirvana (Sanskrit meaning: establish, make firm).
Different thesaruses give little different explanation to this state of being. I selected the more complete of them (by my opinion).
Samadhi includes a
non-dualistic experience in which the consciousness of the experiencer
becomes one with consciousness itself. This occurs when all other mental
functions pause except consciousness. Concentration is not Samadhi.
Rather, concentration helps create a mind capable of experiencing
Samadhi by strengthening the mind.
The second stage is Dhyana. This is where the mind achieves steady concentration on the object. In Dhyana the thoughts of the object flow continuously and uninterrupted. Some say that only the stage of Dhyana is a true meditation.
The third stage comes soon after, and is Samadhi. Here the mind merges with the object, takes on the object's own nature, and becomes still. If the object has been a transcendental divine object, one merges in God. This is the goal and the attainment for the spiritual seeker. If the concentration has been on some lower object, the meditator attains perceptions and powers related to that object.
The hardest stage to pass through is Dharana, simple concentration. The mind of everyone naturally wanders. The task of making it stay on an object seems very difficult until practice improves concentration. But when one arrives at Dhyana, Samadhi is near.
Yoga-Sutra verses 1, 2 and
3 from the third chapter:
Samadhi has definite physical patterns. The first level of Samadhi Savikalpa involves the natural cessation of breath and heartbeat, or kumbhaka. The life force reverses itself up the spine to its Source (pratyahara). If inclined, the aspirant then becomes able to see the astral plane, consciously leave the body, and engage consciously in astral activities.
The second level Nirvikalpa
(in Sanskrit it means "Ecstasy without form or seed) is the realization
of the Self, Parasiva, a state of Oneness beyond all change or
diversity; beyond time, form and space. Nir means "without." Vi means
"to change, make different." Kalpa means "order, arrangement; a period
of time." (1).
Beside practical advices, Swami tells (excerpts from the mentioned chapter):
"Many image that all Dhyana calls for is sitting in the padmasana (lotus pose). But one does not know where his mind is wandering at the time. The concentration is disturbed by a mosquito sitting on the nose.
Meditation in these days
is often confined to the puja room. As soon as one emerges from the
shrine, one is filled with all sorts of mental agitations. This does not
mean giving up all worldly affairs. Fulfill your duties. But in all
these activities, use your Dharana power (the power of concentration).
In the process, you develop your powers of Dhyana (meditation). Dhyana
means single- pointed contemplation. Dhyana means absorption of thought.
It should be centred on only one specific subject. This is described in
Vedantic parlance as Saalokyam. This means concentrating your thought on
what you desire, whatever is the object or subject."
The practice of meditation leads to the proximity to the Lord. This leads to the next stage - Saroopyam (experience of the vision of the Lord). This may be compared to the arrival of a river to merge in ocean. Spiritually, this process of merger of the jivatma (the divine spark) with the Paramatma is described as Saayujyam (mergence in the Divine).
The first stage in the process is Salokyam - continuous contemplation of the Divine. Think about the Lord in whatever action you do. Then you achieve Sameepyam - nearness to the Lord. Coming nearer, develop closer relations with the Divine. The state of Saroopyam is attained. The realisation that "you and I are one" dawns. Then Sayujyam is experienced - complete oneness with the Divine.
This fourfold approach to
the Divine is to be found in any philosophy of religion. The creeds may
vary, but the spiritual process is one."
All siddhis take place in
the outer world when the consciousness of the practitioner is outward
turned. So even siddhis are seen as only more worldly phenomena, albeit
using higher laws. Thus siddhis are not made a goal by the wise. The
attitude of the wise is to spurn conscious pursuit of siddhis, and allow
the Divinity to do whatever it lists. Most of the miracles that have
happened around great saints are not a product of their conscious will
but it is the product of the Divine Will.
There are two aspects of Samadhi. One is after passing the world - when a person is 'entered' in the Atmic reality as unity of the God, Absolute.
The other aspect is a state what is possible to experience through meditation, through devotional longing, or any type of rituals in order to reach to Samadhi. Sometimes the voices and images of people can hear or see, but they are as not relate to the world, what disappears into some 'thick' trancidental light what insists quiet, peace, bliss and inner joy. It is possible to feel that oneself is as fuse into the infinite sky of light and acts as one with this infinite and bright sky. This brightness is not clearly seen but feeling is such and thereafter all thoughts as has fallen into 'black hole.' However, the much more difficult is to leave 'black hole' than to fallen in it. It is an attempt to describe 'feelings' before and after falling into 'black hole'. Such are my experiences, but I do not know how real they are in comparison with true Samadhi. I obtained this as a 'method of personal protection' in early childhood (in age three - four) being in unliberty. At that time, this experience was alone what belongs to me as my parent, friend... (Naturally, at that time I had no idea about spirituality, Swami, God... it happened at that time spontaneously and till today my friends are these 'fields of Nature'. I think now that this spontaneous skill, experience helped me not to die. A few little children remained in such conditions alive). It seems that everyone has his/her own experiences near to Samadhi or real Samadhi what can quiet the mind and lead to the peace in mind.
"In the Sastras, Vedas and
the Upanishads have they not declared how they have realised God in
their Dhyana Samadhi, each in his own way, according to his attitude and
devotion and worship; how each has been blessed with the vision of the
Lord and the actual consummation of union with him." (Sathya Sai Baba.
Sandeha Nivarini. Dialogue III).
When to observe images (idols) of great ancient saints it is possible to feel the energy what spread from them and inspired the (observer) person to catharsis. This Divine energy as calls ones for actions to express the divinity within through spiritual and worldly activity.
The same kind vibrations are always around Swami, His Form in physical body. It is the purpose why millions of people long for His direct Darshan. His Omnipresent Cosmic form has the same energy but for normal human beings this is more difficult to access through 'fields of Nature'.
I imagine that true Swami's
devotees is not only spread Swami's Teaching among the seekers of Truth,
but they spread Swami's Divine energy, what calls for actions...The role
of Swami's devotees is pictorially to be as transformations stations.
The last are responsible for spreading electrical current and bringing
the light to distant regions...