Understanding Samadhi

A short explanation of Samadhi accompanied by timeless poem written by Paramahansa Yogananda.

The Sanskrit word ‘Samadhi’ might be most accurately translated as ‘concentration’ or ‘unification of mind’. The word is used to describe the trance-like state that one can experience through practicing yoga and meditation.

In this state, a person is devoid of any negativity, or fear. They are engrossed in the feeling of being totally interconnected, inseparable from the very essence of the universe. In Samadhi, a person remains in a joyful and enlightened state and are free from the bonds of their human conditioning.

Paramahansa Yogananda

Paramahansa Yogananda

Paramahansa Yogananda was a renowned Indian yogi and monk, who introduced millions of people to the practices of meditation and Kriya yoga. He lived from 1893 until 1952, and he was the first of the Indian Yogi’s to settle in America, to popularize the ancient teachings.

He founded the Self- Realization fellowship and wrote the world famous book, ‘Autobiography of a Yogi’. This book has been reported worldwide as being a life-changing read. Though this book has many stories that may turn heads, and be unacceptable as fact to the scientific mind. One excerpt, a poem wherein he describes the experience of Samadhi, is, in my opinion, a perfect description of the seemingly universal experience this particularly deep state of meditation.

Those of us who have had particularly deep meditations, might recognize our own experience in the verses of this beautiful poem written by Paramahansa Yogananda.

Vanished the veils of light and shade,
Lifted every vapor of sorrow,
Sailed away all dawns of fleeting joy,
Gone the dim sensory mirage.
Love, hate, health, disease, life, death:
Perished these false shadows on the screen of duality.
The storm of maya stilled
By magic wand of intuition deep.
But ever-present, all-flowing I, I, everywhere.
Planets, stars, stardust, earth,
Volcanic bursts of doomsday cataclysms,
Creation’s molding furnace,
Glaciers of silent X-rays, burning electron floods,
Thoughts of all men, past, present, to come,
Every blade of grass, myself, mankind,
Each particle of universal dust,
Anger, greed, good, bad, salvation, lust,
I swallowed, transmuted all
Into a vast ocean of blood of my own one Being.
Smoldering joy, oft-puffed by meditation
Blinding my tearful eyes,
Burst into immortal flames of bliss,
Consumed my tears, my frame, my all.
Thou art I, I am Thou,
Knowing, Knower, Known, as One!
Tranquilled, unbroken thrill, eternally living, ever-new peace.
Enjoyable beyond imagination of expectancy, samadhi bliss!
Not an unconscious state
Or mental chloroform without willful return,
Samadhi but extends my conscious realm
Beyond the limits of the mortal frame
To farthest boundary of eternity
Where I, the Cosmic Sea,
Watch the little ego floating in Me.
Mobile murmurs of atoms are heard,
The dark earth, mountains, vales, lo! molten liquid!
Flowing seas change into vapors of nebulae!
Aum blows upon vapors, opening wondrously their veils,
Oceans stand revealed, shining electrons,
Till, at the last sound of the cosmic drum,
Vanish the grosser lights into eternal rays
Of all-pervading bliss.
From joy I came, for joy I live, in sacred joy I melt.
Ocean of mind, I drink all creation’s waves.
Four veils of solid, liquid, vapor, light,
Lift aright.
I, in everything, enters the Great Myself.
Gone forever: fitful, flickering shadows of mortal memory;
Spotless is my mental sky, below, ahead, and high above;
Eternity and I, one united ray.
A tiny bubble of laughter, I
Am become the Sea of Mirth Itself.