Saturday, February 9, 2013

Ramana Maharshi on Samadhis

1. Mr. Cohen wanted to know the exact meaning of samadhi.

Bhagavan: Samadhi is one’s true nature.

C. Is it the same as Turiya?
Bh. Samadhi, Turiya, Nirvikalpa, all have the same implication, namely awareness of the Self. Turiya literally means the Fourth State – the Supreme Consciousness – to be distinguished from the other three – the waking, dreaming and dreamless sleep. The Fourth State is eternal, over, or in which the other three, come and go. In Turiya there is the awareness that the mind has merged in its source, the Heart, and is quiescent there, although some thoughts still impinge on it and the senses are somewhat active. In Nirvikalpa the senses are inactive and thoughts are totally absent; hence the experience of Pure Consciousness is intense in it; so is the bliss. Turiya is obtainable in Savikalpa Samadhi.

C. What is the difference between Sahaja and Nirvikalpa samadhi?

Bh. Sahaja is also Nirvikalpa. You are probably meaning Kevala Nirvikalpa, which is temporary, while the samadhi lasts. The Sahaja Nirvikalpa is permanent and in it lies liberation from rebirths.

There are two Nirvikalpas: the internal and the external. In the former the mind completely merges in the inmost Being and is aware of nothing else. This is compared to a lamp protected from wind. But in the latter, although the mind is absorbed in the Self, the sense of world still prevails without a reaction from within, and has the calm vastness of a waveless ocean. In both, the Self is realised in its nakedness and the essence of bliss experienced. When the waveless ocean of the external and the steady flame of the internal Nirvikalpa are realised as identical, the ultimate goal, the Sahaja Nirvikalpa Samadhi is said to have been reached. Nirvikalpa is effortless, whereas Savikalpa is attended with effort.

C. Is the internal Nirvikalpa absolutely necessary before the attainment of Sahaja?
Bh. Abiding permanently in any of these samadhis, either Savikalpa or Nirvikalpa is Sahaja. What is body- consciousness? It is the insentient body plus consciousness. Both these must lie in another consciousness which is absolute and unaffected, and ever-abiding, with or without the body-consciousness. What does it then matter whether the body-consciousness is lost or retained, provided one is holding on to that Pure Consciousness? Total absence of body consciousness has the advantage of making the samadhi more intense, although it makes no difference in the knowledge of the Supreme. June, 1936

July, 1936 2. Mr. C. May I have a clear idea, Bhagavan, of the
difference between Savikalpa and Nirvikalpa?

Bh. Holding on to the Supreme State is samadhi. When it is with effort due to mental disturbances, it is Savikalpa, when these disturbances are absent, it is Nirvikalpa. Remaining permanently in the primal state without effort is Sahaja. Like Nirvikalpa, there is an internal as well as an external Savikalpa, depending on whether the disturbing thoughts are from outside or from inside.

C. Should all vasanas (mental habits) be completely overcome before Self-Realisation takes place, or may some remain for Self-Realisation to destroy?

Bh. Vasanas which do not obstruct Self-Realisation remain. In Yoga Vasishtha two classes of vasanas are distinguished: those of enjoyment and those of bondage. The former remain even after Mukti is attained, but the latter are destroyed by it. Attachment is the cause of binding vasanas, but enjoyment without attachment does not bind and continues even in Sahaja.

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