The final limb of the Eight Limbs of Yoga is Samadhi, often translated as absorption, intense contemplation, union with God, a superconscious state, or a complete meditative state of oneness with the All or the Divine. In essence it is all of these, as they are all ways we use words to describe that for which there are no words to properly describe.
As stated in the post Quantum Yoga & Samadhi: [Samadhi] is often thought of as a state of a thought-free mind connected with the body, but this would make it a goal of the separate individual. On the contrary, the oneness of Samadhi is a oneness with All: the divine, the universe, the mundane, and all sentient beings; and the complete meditative state is not a form of escapism, but a cessation of letting the chatter and worry of the ego-mind cloud our awareness. A meditative state is a state of complete awareness of the oneness of All.
In The Yoga Sutras Patanjali talks about several types of Samadhi, categorized under distinguished (samprajnata) and undistinguished (asamprajnata). Samadhi is practiced on all levels: material, mental, subtle…leading to the understanding of “I-ness” and Prakriti, Nature, the basic energy from which mind and matter form. The purpose of these Samadhi practices is to understand Prakriti and the ego so that with this awareness, we can set them aside and see our True Self. When we are free of the mental and material/physical, we can then become absorbed into the Divine.
Bhavapratyayo Videha Prakritilayaanaam – Sutra I-19
Those who merely leave their physical bodies and attain the state of celestial deities, or those who get merged in Nature, have rebirth.
Vitarka Vicaaraanandaasmitaanugamaat Samprajnaatah – Sutra I-17
Samprajnata samadhi is accompanied by reasoning, reflecting, rejoicing and pure I-am-ness.
Shraddhaa Viirya Smriti Samaadhi Prajnaapuurvaka Itareshaam – Sutra I-20
To the others, this asamprajnata samadhi could come through faith, strength, memory, contemplation or by discernment.
Iishvarapranidhanad Va – Sutra I-23
Or by devotion with total dedication to God.
Samaadhi Siddhar Iishvarapranidhaanaat – Sutra II-45
By total surrender to God, samadhi is attained.
When we purely devote ourselves to practicing Samadhi, we will see all forms melt into the radiant luminous light of God, the Divine, All, and the Universe, and we will experience the joy and inner peace of Samadhi. In the Bhagavad Gita, when Lord Krishna bestowed spiritual vision upon Arjuna,
Arjuna declared: You are the supreme, changeless Reality, the one thing to be known. You are the refuge of all creation, the immortal spirit, the eternal guardian of eternal dharma. You are without beginning, middle, or end; you touch everything with your infinite power. The sun and moon are your eyes, and your mouth is fire; your radiance warms the cosmos…You are behind me and in front of me; I bow to you on every side. Your power is immeasurable. You pervade everything; you are everything.
Krishna: But through unfailing devotion, Arjuna, you can know me, see me, and attain union with me. Whoever makes me the supreme goal of all his work and acts without selfish attachment, who devotes himself to me completely and is free from ill will for any creature, enters into me.
Jnana Yoga: The Path of Knowledge
Twameva Sarvam Mantra – You are everything, the All in All sung by Gina Sala
Wonderfully explained Julianne. Thank you.
so enlightening thanks – wish one could try to do that sucessfully
Practice, practice, practice. 😉
Thanks for this series on the 8 limbs, and the conclusion was as enjoyable as all of the series. –Aggie
Thanks Aggie! It only took two years to complete, but all when the time is right! 😉
It’s a big responsibility, IMO, conveying spiritual information on the internet. I’m glad you took your time!