In my previous post, A Glossary of Terms, I defined Self-Realization, Moksha, Mukti, and Samadhi. I also stated that Samadhi has various types and stages.
I’ll now describe the three predominant types of Samadhi. Knowing these terms is optional. However, if we read the scriptures, we may encounter these. Hence, it helps to get some idea.
We attain Mukti when we can drop our thoughts and desires at will. In that state of no thoughts, we connect with the Singular Entity. There we experience a basic form of Samadhi, called the Sahaja Samadhi.
We all glimpse Sahaja Samadhi when we intensely focus on reading, writing, painting, sports, or even working. Those who perpetually experience Sahaja Samadhi live with intense mindfulness, even when not performing those activities.
In this context, Sahaja means natural state. In Sahaja Samadhi, the mind settles in its natural state of tranquility. Yes, it might not feel like it, but the base state of mind is calmness.
In Bhakti, we may feel an inexplicable Divine presence, and some get Divine Visions or other spiritual experiences. These occur when we experience Bhaava Samadhi, an emotional connection to the Divine.
Bhaava Samadhi is also called Savikalpa Samadhi. Typically, it’s a temporary experience that comes and goes. Besides Bhakti, we glimpse it in performing arts like music and dance. This state is so addictive that many prefer to keep performing these activities or remain immersed in Bhakti.
Sa means ‘with’, and Vikalpa implies distinction or separation. Hence Sa-Vikalpa means ‘with separation’. It is so-called because we simultaneously feel two separate things here: the mind’s emotions and the Singular Entity.
The scriptures refer to this as Yogic Samadhi because many get this experience through Yogic practices. Nir means negation, and Vikalpa implies distinction or separation. Hence Nir-Vikalpa means ‘without separation’.
In this state of mind, we’re not sleeping and have a pristine awareness. Yet, we feel like everything around us, including the body, has disappeared. Since we don’t feel the mind or the world, this is called ‘no separation’ from the Singular Entity.
Sanatana Dharma’s Nirvikalpa Samadhi is equivalent to the Buddhist emptiness experience. Some argue that this type of Samadhi is theistic, and others consider it atheistic. Is zero a number or void? That’s the same argument here, which nobody can easily resolve.
Note: Please don’t worry if you don’t get these terms! As I mentioned earlier, it’s optional to know these.