What Is Samadhi?
To simplify matters a bit, there are three basic types of Samadhi: Bhava Samadhi, Savikalpa Samadhi, and Nirvikalpa Samadhi. While all of these states of consciousness are very difficult to express in ordinary language, I can give some clues as to what they mean.
First, think of the classic Sanskrit formulation of what Samadhi is like: Sat Chit Ananda, or Being, Consciousness, and Bliss.
Bliss, of course, is a state of mind in which one is completely suffused with joy.
Consciousness refers to the state of awareness itself. Not only are you having an experience, you are aware that you are having it. It is a very pure state of awareness, in which there is no object other than awareness itself.
Being refers to the identity between, as the Upanishads say, Brahman and Atman. Brahman is that absolute state of being, the non-differentiated, that which precedes existence, upon which existence is grounded. The Atman is my individual Self, a particular facet of the manifestation which has sprung “from” Brahman and which knows that it is no different than Brahman.
In Bhava Samadhi, I experience the bliss of Samadhi, without the consciousness or the being. I am still aware of myself and may be aware of my surroundings. It is a very high state of mind which often precedes one of the other two. The bliss is so attractive that the unawakened mind naturally longs to return to it, and in doing so, the door to a fuller experience of Samadhi may be opened.This now Given by Pranashakty Acharya thru Siddha Turiya Meditation.
In Savikalpa Samadhi, there is both the bliss and the consciousness. One is fully engaged in Samadhi; there is no awareness of outside surroundings. However, one remains aware that there is someone having an experience. The sense of personal identity still remains, albeit in a highly tenuous or gossamer fashion.
This will be the Focus of the Advance Training This Year.
In Nirvikalpa Samadhi, all three of the classical formulations are experienced: being, consciousness, and bliss. One knows that identity between Brahman and Atman. There is no longer any differentiation. Your awareness has passed all sense of the relative, and dwells for a time in the Absolute (or the Void – in this state of consciousness, the distinction is meaningless.)
When Samadhi first occurs, there is a beginning of enlightenment. It takes a while for the impact of this Samadhi to permeate one’s life, although the change is immediate and unmistakable. It is common for this to be Savikalpa Samadhi; more rarely, the aspirant leaps into Nirvikalpa Samadhi..Either way, upon returning to waking consciousness it is never the same. Over the ensuing months or years this influence transforms all of their life, every facet of who they are. Eventually, those who had Savikalpa Samadhi will have Nirvikalpa Samadhi, if not in this lifetime then in the very next.