“Samadhi does not come upon anyone by accident. It takes dedication and effort.” -Kaisa Kapanen
Patanjali’s ashtanga yoga includes eight components of practice (“ashtanga” means “eight-limbed” in Sanskrit), and dharana, or concentration is the sixth of these eight limbs. The seventh limb is dhyana, or meditation, and the eighth and final limb is samadhi, or enlightenment.
Samadhi is a state of being intensely present without a point of view. Samadhi allows for the perception of all points of view and reality at once, without focusing on any particular one. Samadhi is the state in which awareness on a cellular level exists. Samadhi is the underlying oneness of the universe. To reach this oneness we must also study the four levels of existence.
There are four types of samadhi:
· vitarkânugama samâdhi (the calmness that you get from special logic)
· vichârânugama samâdhi (equanimous state where you are aware of the thoughts, yet they are not disturbing you)
· anandnugama samadhi (blissful state)
· asmitânugama samadhi (deep experience of meditation with just the awareness that ‘you are’).
All the four are called sampragnâtha.
At first it may seem like the quest for samadhi is far too much to bring into daily life. However, leaning into and towards Samadhi does not mean moving into an ashram. Seeking samadhi does not require as much restriction as one might assume. Work and determination required and well-worth the time and energy.
Simply start recognizing that divinity dwells within each one of us. It is inside of us, outside of us, everything we gaze upon and all that gazes upon us. We are divine light, souls that united with the universe. Everyone is part of the same source, we are family. The animals around us and nature, even humans we don’t know and even the ones we dislike.
When we can move past the mind and the ego which wants to judge, possess, and compare. The moment we are able to see that others are divine as well, we grow closer to a state of connection, to samadhi.
For a deeper investigation on the subject, study the the following which is taken from The Yoga Aphorisms—Chapter III—IV and discusses samadhi at length.
Translation and Commentary by SWAMI VIVEKANANDA
“Samadhi is many stages, but any Samadhi can destroy the enemy death, and bring one to the Divine State of Supreme Bliss.
When the Prana (Vital or Life Force) and mind are controlled, a state of harmony arises—that is Samadhi. As salt thrown in water becomes one with the water, so the controlled mind becomes one with Atma—that is Samadhi.
Those who really understand the greatness of Yoga, and obtain it thru practice, and by the help of a kind Guru, are emancipated.
Understanding of Wisdom, and directly realizing the one Atma as Parabrahma (Universal Soul) is emancipation, and it gives power over all of Nature’s forces—known as Sidhis and Anima.
Without the help of a Spiritual teacher, and without sincere effort of the student, the real realization of Truth, and the state of Samadhi cannot be attained by the student.
When a Yogi has awakened the Kundalini (Mother God) by practicing the Mudras, then Prana moves thru the Sushumna, and having aroused all the Chakras, the Yogi arises above all Karma, and is then freed from cause and effect;—that state is Samadhi.
The mind is the cause of Karma; when the mind and Prana (its moving power) is controlled by daily practice of Mudras. then the lower mental activity ceases. The higher self then manifests. Yogi attains the unchanging state. He is master over time, matter and space;—that state is Samadhi. When the mind is poised, the Prana moves in the Sushumna, and real realization is obtained. Why should one fear death, as they are above decay and death? No one can attain wisdom as long as the Prana and mind are not controlled. He who controls the Prana and mind attain liberation.
The human body has a great number of Nadis, the three main ones,—Ida and Pin-gala on each side of the spine, the Sushumna in the middle. The Prana moves thru the Ida and Pingala only; the Sushumna being closed. When Yogi learns the secret of controlling the Prana and Apana, then he can awaken the Kundalini, and force the Prana to go thru the Sushumna. When this has been accomplished—Samadhi follows. All other means are waste of time. Thus Yogi should not follow other means if he desires to awaken the Kundalini and reach Samadhi.”