What is Samadhi ?
Samadhi is absorption of mind. Mind becomes intensely immersed in objects of meditation. Samadhi is culmination of yoga practice or spiritual practice.
What are the different types of Samadhi?
Samadhi in general classified into two types namely - Savikalpa and Nirvikalpa.
What is the difference between Savikalpa and Nirvikalpa Samadhi ?
Kalpa means - modifications of mind. In Savikalpa samadhi, the mind gets absorbed in object of meditation but tendencies of the mind get suppressed. Once the absorption in the object is withdrawn, tendencies of mind appear. In general mind is nothing but mental objects like - form, feelings, sensation, thought, conciousness, memory etc. In Savikalpa samadhi, these aspects of mind are still there eventhough suppressed for duration of the meditation.
What is nirvikalpa samadhi ?
Savikalpa samadhi requires objects of meditation while Nirvikalpa samadhi is objectless meditation. In Nirvikalpa samadhi mind ceases to exit.
Nihi - Vikalpa - nirvikalpa means no mental modifications. All the mental modifications like form, feeling, thought etc are eliminated.
What is the benefit of Savikalpa and Nirvikalpa Samadhi ?
Savikalpa samadhi leads to deeper understanding of objects of study. Any object can be studied with intense concentration and absorption. This leads to new discoveries in science, engineering or any other field. As applied to Spirituality, savikalpa samadhi is used for deeper understanding of God/Self. We can say Savikalpa samadhi is for the purpose of understanding any topic. As applied to Spirituality it uplifts the aspirant through deeper understanding.
Main purpose of Nirvikalpa samadhi is to transcend the creation. Liberation or Mukti is the purpose. Liberation from the tendencies of the mind. One who attains Nirvikalpa samadhi attains liberation or Mukti from the mind. This is the result of freeddom from the Maya.
What are the different techniques for Savikalpa Samadhi ?
Savikalpa samadhi involves deep concentration on one of the objects. Object can be external or internal. Example of external object is Sun or moon or earth etc. Spiritual aspirants focus on external aspects like Rama/Krishna/Jesus.
Internal objects are - breath, heartbeat, subtle inner sounds, concepts, affirmations, mantra, subtle inner lights, thought etc.
In general we can notice that whether it is external or internal, everything has a form (rupa), feeling, sensation, concept, thought (conciousness) etc. The objective of Savikalpa samadhi is to experience the object fully - form, feeling, sensation, concept and thought. Complete experience of the object gives rise to deeper understanding.
Many of the spiritual seekers focus on form of divine incarnation but donot experience the incarnation in totality involving form, feeling, sensation etc. This is where the realization becomes partial and transformation of the individual is not complete.
Explain the transformation process due to Savikalpa Samadhi.
Typically Savikalpa samadhi involves meditation on Divine incarnation like Rama, Krishna or Guru - Spiritual Master. According to the saying - whatever one thinks - he becomes that. The more one focusses on the divine personality, the more Sadhaka acquires the qualities of the divine. This is explained in terms of Salokya, Sameepya, sarupya and Sayujya mukti. Salokya stands for experience of the divine plane, sameepya involves mental closeness to divinity, sarupya means acquiring inner qualities of the divine and sayujya means attaining full oneness with the divine.
What is the process of attaining Nirvikalpa Samadhi ?
Nirvikalpa samadhi can be attained by enquiring into the nature of what we call as myself. Mind is nothing but a bundle of thoughts. Thoughts are product of memory. Once one enquiries into nature of self, one gets established in Nirvikalpa samadhi. Offcourse there are some forceful techniques for Nirvikalpa samadhi - like stopping breathing through techniques. These will not lead to higher understanding or realization.
What is Sahaja Samadhi?
Sahaja samadhi is natural state. It is our original state. Once a person attains Nirvikalpa samadhi through self enquiry he can abide in his Higher Self while doing any activity. He will become instrument of God in any action. He will never lose conciousness of his Higher Self - Paramatma in any activity while engaged in life. This is the state of a liberated soul - Jivanamukta.
What is sajiva samadhi ?
Sajiva samadhi refers to dropping of the physical body. A jivana mukta can decide to throw off his body. If a person who is not jivanamukta throws off his body it is called suicide. While jivanamukta has outlived the purpose of body - Self realization. Such Jivanamuktas sometimes - take bhusamadhi - death in earth, or jalasamadhi - drowning in water.
What is prajna ?
Prajna is wisdom gained by direct observation. It is result of direct knowledge. We can have direct knowledge or indirect knowledge. For example seeing a elephant with our own eyes - Pratyaksha is form of direct knowledge. Hearing about some truth from a learned master/scriptures is indirect knowledge. Enlightenment or prajna is possible only when one experiences the truth of scriptures directly. This only can lead to liberation. This experience is called aparoksha jnana. Aksha stands for eyes. Apara means eyes of the other - indirect knowledge. Aparoksha jnana means direct knowledge. It is different from the knowledge gained through senses - Pratyaksha because in Pratyaksha there is a gap between the seer and seen. For example Duryodhana saw Krishna but was not transformed while Vidhura saw Krishna but trnasformed. Vidhuras vision is through the inner eyes - eyes of wisdom - fullest experience of Krishna - form, feeling,sensation ....
What are the different levels of Samadhi ?
As discussed earlier, there are two general types of Samadhi - Savikalpa and nirvikalpa. Patanjali Maharshi classifies these samadhi into seven levels - Savitarka, Nirvitarka, savichara, nirvichara, sananda, sasmita, - smprajnata (or savikalpa), asamprajnata (nirvikalpa).
Vitarka means focus on the gross objects. Focus on the grosser aspect like name, form etc. For example focus on form of Divinity say Rama. Savichara leads to focus on the subtle qualities of form eg. Dharma aspects of Rama. Sananda means focus on the inner qualities of object eg Bliss of Rama. Asmita means experience of Iness - innermost self. Nirvikalpa/Asamprajnata means becoming one completely by dropping the seperating sense of self - iness.
What is jnanayoga samadhi, bhakti yoga samadhi, kriya yoga samadhi ,Karma yoga samadhi?
Jnanayoga samadhi involves establishment in nirvikalpa state through process of self enquiry while bhakti yoga samadhi results in becoming one with the Divinity (Savikalpa samadhi) through devotion. Kriya yoga samadhi involves attainment of thoughtless awareness through breathing and other energetic practices. One involved in Karmayoga attains a state of Naishkarmya siddhi - realization of non-doership even while engaged in worldy activities. This is Karmayoga samadhi.