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Asamprajnata Samadhi

by Swami Sivananda

(1) STOPPING MENTAL MODIFICATIONS

The other Samadhi is that which consists only of impressions being brought about by the constant practice of the cessation of mental modifications.

NOTES

This is the highest Asamprajnata Samadhi which brings Kaivalya or Independence. Here there is no Alambana for the mind. It is rendered perfectly steady. All Samskaras are fried up.

There is no Triputi here. This is not the Laya state or deep sleep. There is perfect awareness. This is a stage where a Yogi gets the highest knowledge. There is Prajna or pure consciousness. This is the state like ocean without waves. The only Sadhana for attaining this state is Para Vairagya. Rajas and Tamas are completely destroyed. When there is Ekagrata, Samprajnata Samadhi is possible. Asamprajnata Samadhi is possible when there is perfect Nirodha of mind. Para Vairagya brings complete rest to the mind. All Vrittis stop. This is the highest end of Raja Yoga which gives freedom.

In Samprajnata Samadhi there is only a partial inhibition of mental functions. Partial inhibition of the mental functions cannot totally uproot the seeds of rebirth. It cannot lead to final liberation wherein the seer rests in his own native, pristine, Divine Glory. Asamprajnata Samadhi destroys the impressions of all antecedent mental functions, and even goes so far as to tide over even Prarabdha. A Yogi has no Prarabdha at all. The mind having no object to grasp, becomes as it were, non-existent. This is Nirbija or Niralambana Samadhi.

(2) NIRVICHARA SAMADHI

Nirvitarka Samadhi is that in which the mind shines as the object alone on the disappearance of memory and when the mind is, as it were, devoid of its own nature.

NOTES

You have seen the different kinds of Samprajnata Samadhi. Among those gross forms of meditation, if you meditate by taking the elements out of time and space, and by thinking on them as they are, it will become Nirvitarka Samadhi (without argumentation). This is a higher form of Samadhi than the previous one. Everything besides the complete idea of the object is forgotten in this Samadhi. The mind is not conscious of name, form, meaning or relation of the object. It is absorbed in one idea. The faculty of memory is suppressed here as it brings association of name, form, meaning, relation, etc. In ordinary persons, it is difficult to separate the sound, meaning and the knowledge, as they occur with great rapidity. A Yogi who practises Nirvitarka Samadhi will be able to distinguish clearly one from the other. The state described in this Sutra is perfect Nirvitarka Samadhi. The mind of the Yogi becomes very, very subtle on account of various practices in concentration and the development of qualities like Maitri, Karuna and Mudita. The disturbing Rajas and Tamas have been wiped out.

(3) NIRVICHARA AND SUBTLE OBJECTS

By this (process) meditation with deliberation and without deliberation with their objects as subtle, are also explained.

NOTES

Just as the two kinds of argumentative concentration refer to the gross elements, so the two kinds of concentration with deliberation and without deliberation refer to subtle elements. Sananda and Sasmita are also included here. Vichara here means 'meditative state.' It is not the Tarka Vichara.

(4) THE PROVINCE OF SUBTLE OBJECTS

The province of the subtle objects reach upto (or end with) Mula Prakriti.

NOTES

Behind all subtle objects is Mula Prakriti, the primal cause. Pradhana is a terminology of the Sankhyas for Mula Prakriti. It means the 'chief'. The other principles, Mahat, Ahamkara, Manas, Tanmatras and the gross elements are derived from this. Hence it has got this significant name. Vedantins call this 'Avyaktam' (unmanifested), 'Avyakritam' (undifferentiated), because the matter and energy are one here. They are not differentiated. All kinds of sounds also exist here in an undifferentiated state. Hence the significant name 'undifferentiated.' All the products or Vikritis are dissolved at the end of Pralaya in the chief Pradhana. When the three Gunas are in a state of equilibrium in Pralaya, the name Prakriti is given. This is the Gunasamya Avastha. When the equilibrium is disturbed during Srishti, the state of Vaishamya Avastha begins. Then this motion of Jivas is set up through the influence of Sattva, Rajas and Tamas. One who has mastered the four stages of concentration described above, gets mastery over Pradhana. Purusha, which is more subtle than Pradhana, is above Pradhana. He is only the instrumental cause for this world (Nimitta Karana). Mula Prakriti is Upadhana Karana or material cause for this world. Pradhana is also known by the name 'Alinga.' This means without mark. The Sukshma state of gross elements is Tanmatras. Mahat is more subtle than the Tanmatras. Mahat is individual Buddhi Tattva. It is also known by the name 'Linga.' Pradhana is more subtle than the Mahat.

7. BENEFITS OF NIRVICHARA SAMADHI

(1) INTERNAL PEACE

When the meditation without deliberation is purified, comes the spiritual internal peace of mind.

NOTES

As there is pure Sattva only in the mind, owing to the eradication of Rajas and Tamas, there is light and purity in the mind. The mind is perfectly steady. So, there is Prasada or contentment and peace of mind or subjective luminosity. The Purusha, who is all-bliss, all-knowledge, all-purity can only be realised when the mind is perfectly steady and is filled with purity. The Yogi gets simultaneous knowledge of everything.
If you want to meditate on the subtle Tanmatras by taking them out of time and space by thinking as they are, it will constitute Nirvichara Samadhi (Samadhi without deliberation).

(2) RITAMBARA PRAJNA

The consciousness therein is full of Truth.

NOTES

There is the real knowledge free from Samsaya (doubt) and Vipareeta Bhavanas (perverted knowledge). There is knowledge by mere intuition. The real essence is revealed here. There is not even a trace of false knowledge. Worldly knowledge, knowledge from books is only false knowledge.

(3) THE RANGE OF INTELLECT

The range of intellect is different from those of revelation and inferential cognition.

NOTES

Its subject is different from testimony and inference, for, it refers to particulars (which cannot be reached by testimony and inference), i.e., ordinary knowledge. Ritambara is a special Jnana Bhumika. You get Yadartha Jnana or real wisdom. In this state of Prajna, knowledge of Parama Anus, knowledge of hidden things and distant objects is directly obtained. This knowledge is perfectly true and is absolutely free from errors. Knowledge of minute particulars is obtained. Reason has got its own limitations. It is an imperfect instrument. It cannot solve many problems of life. A man of lower reasoning power can be defeated by a man of higher reasoning power. It cannot answer the 'Why?' of the Universe. The very word 'mystery' admits that reason has not got the power to explain certain things. It shines in borrowed light from the Purusha. It takes you to the threshold of intuition and leaves you there. It helps in a way. Intuition transcends reason but does not contradict reason. The Yogi gets supersensual knowledge and knowledge that lies beyond reason through intuition.

(4) SAMSKARAS ARE OBSTRUCTED

The impressions therefrom (from the Samadhi previously described), obstruct other impressions.

NOTES

The impression on the mind produced by this Samadhi prevents other impressions from gaining ground on it. The mind has become absolutely pure now. This Samadhi has the power to suppress all the old Vishaya Samskaras. Samskaras are your real enemies. Samskaras constitute the destiny of man. During concentration, they all join together and attack you with great vehemence. But the Samskara of this Samadhi comes to your rescue. It destroys all the other vicious Samskaras. It is a great asset for you. The mind is absolutely steady now. It can never run towards objects.

(5) NIRBIJA SAMADHI

By the suppression of that Samskara (the Samadhi Samskara) also, due to the suppression of all Samskaras, comes the Nirbija Samadhi.

NOTES

When the Samskara caused by the experience of Ritambara Prajna is also restrained, all other Samskaras also are totally restrained. Now all the seeds are totally burnt up in the fire of Asamprajnata Samadhi. In the beginning there were countless Vrittis. These were all controlled gradually. There was only one Vritti. In this state, there was the state of 'I am'. There was 'Aham Prajna'. This Vritti also is given up. Then the Kaivalya state is reached. The Yogi who has attained Kaivalya is called a Mukta. The mind, thus having nothing to rest upon, is destroyed by itself (Mano-nasa). Purusha alone shines in perfect bliss, knowledge, peace and glory. The Yogi is absolutely free. He realises his real Immortal nature.

(6) THE STATE OF VIDEHAS

This (Asamprajnata Samadhi) gives the state of Videhas and Prakriti-layas who are merged in nature.

NOTES

Videhas and Prakriti-layas are inferior Yogis who have not finished the complete ascent in the Yogic ladder. They have not reached the final goal of Yoga. They have stopped at some stage. Videhas and Prakriti-layas are distinct from each other.
Videhas do not feel the physical body, but they feel that they have a very subtle body. The minds of Prakriti-layas have not yet fulfilled the object of their existence; they have still work before them. Prakriti-layas having their minds merged in the Prakriti, with its work still undone, enjoy a state of something like absolute freedom, as long as they do not come back by virtue of the work yet to be done.

Pratyaya means cause. The artificial, abstract meditation or Asamprajnata Samadhi is that in which the meditation is brought about in this very world by methods or means prescribed in the scriptures such as Sraddha, power, memory, Prajna, meditation, etc. This is Upayapratyaya.

In the natural, Bhava-pratyaya, Asamprajnata Samadhi, discernment, non-attachment come by themselves without any practice in this birth on account of the practices in the previous birth. By mere willing, the Yogi enters into Asamprajnata Samadhi. You will find in Gita a description of Yoga Bhrashtas: Having attained to the worlds of the pure doing, and having dwelt there for immemorial years, he who fell from Yoga is reborn in a pure and blessed house. Or he may even be born in a family of wise Yogis; but such a birth as that is most difficult to obtain in this world. There he recovereth the characteristics belonging to his former body, and with these he again laboureth for perfection.

Bhava-pratyaya or natural Samadhi is only possible in the case of Videhas and Prakriti-layas. Ordinary persons should adopt the means and acquire discernment, non-attachment, etc. The mind, having all its functions duly performed, becomes completely absorbed into its root cause along with the Prarabdha and the Samskaras of inhibition. This is the highest Yoga which brings Kaivalya.

Videhas and Prakriti-layas are born again in this world. Although the mind in Prakriti-layas has become similar to the Prakriti, yet they come back when the limit has been reached. As on the cessation of the rainy season, the body of the frog is assimilated to the earth and comes back to life again on coming into contact with rain water so does the mind of the Prakriti-laya. It is only the full-blown Yogi, who has reached the highest Asamprajnata Samadhi and in whom all the Samskaras are fried, will not be born again.


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