When you start meditating, you're well aware that "you" — the subject — are quite different from the object of meditation. You experience the white or blue light or the visualized deity as distinct from yourself. But as meditation deepens, the boundary between subject and object — consciousness and its contents — becomes increasingly blurred. Then, at one point, the two merge completely. You're the light or deity. This point is the celebrated state of ecstasy called samadhi in Sanskrit (pronounced sah-mahd-hee).
Wherever you go, there you are
Sri Ramana Maharshi was one of the great Yoga masters of the 20th century. When, as he was on his deathbed, his disciples expressed their sorrow at losing him, he calmly said, "They say that I am dying, but I am not going away.
Where could I go? I am here." He had realized the eternal Self, which is everywhere. To this day, his spiritual presence can be felt in the hermitage that disciples built for him long ago.
Yoga distinguishes two fundamental types or levels of ecstasy. At the lower level, the ecstatic state is associated with a certain form or mental content. The higher type of ecstasy is a state of formless consciousness.
Many Yoga practitioners never experience the ecstatic state, but some definitely encounter it in the course of their lives. What matters isn't how often or how long you enter into samadhi but whether and how much you embody spiritual principles in your daily life. Are you compassionate and kind? Do you see others not as total strangers but fellow beings going through their own struggle of Self-realization? Can you love unconditionally? Are you forgiving and encouraging toward others?
Samadhi isn't identical with enlightenment, which is the real goal of Yoga. You can attain enlightenment without ever experiencing samadhi. The following section enlightens you about the state of enlightenment.
Was this article helpful?